Author Archives: nicpope


One of the unique opportunities offered at Piedmont is the chance to study abroad during Maymester.

“I think there is no better way to learn about another society and to get to know its people than to visit in person,” said Beth Lovern, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology , who traveled on the trip as a mentor.  

Alyssa Gibson is a junior mass communications major at Piedmont College who attended a  Maymester trip to France and Switzerland during the summer of 2018. Gibson, 19, knows exactly what she wants to do in her life and her trip helped her find that passion. 

“In the future, I want to go into photojournalism and be a journalist that travels and goes on a bunch of adventures,” she said. 

While on the Maymester she had to do some classwork and got six hours of credit for going on the trip. Gibson believes every student should go on a Maymester, or study-abroad trip, and encourages students to do that trip with Piedmont College. 

“We definitely had an amazing time… and one of the beauties of taking a trip with Piedmont is you get to split up and go off with smaller groups while interacting and experiencing the culture,” she said. 

One thing that stood out to her about France was the urban art surrounding the city. She saw ruins from previous wars that had been painted to resemble different things, and it really fueled the love of art inside of her.

“It was really cool to see the urban art surrounding the city and it helped me understand the struggles of each city,” she said. 

Gibson noted that Piedmont College makes sure that student needs are accommodated for while the students are traveling. Mike Adams, a commuting Piedmont student, went on a Maymester and said he was initially worried about the language barriers and struggles, but was pleasantly surprised at the smooth transition and encourages students to dive into other cultures. 

“When you swim in the culture for just a few days, it’s unbelievable how you acclimate to that,” he said. 

Another unique thing that Piedmont students are offered is financial benefits and grants that students can apply for that can help cover the cost of the trip abroad. Dr. Julia Schmitz talked about the scholarship and what it grants the student. She emphasized the importance of this grant and how it has made the dreams of some students actual realities after the grant. 

“I enthusiastically recommend Maymester trips. They’re a great way to make new discoveries about yourself and connect with people in other cultures in ways that you never could have before. The trips teach [valuable lessons] while completely immersing you into another culture outside of your comfort zone. For me, it was a defining moment in figuring out what I wanted to do in my field of study for a career and sparked a long-time love of travel,” Gibson said.

Disaster Drill

Piedmont College held its annual disaster drill March 27 at Piedmont’s main campus in Demorest. 

The event provided a unique opportunity for students campus wide to take part in, including students in nursing, mass communications, and theatre. Each class had different roles in the drill. Nursing seniors would come onto the scene as paramedics and the juniors were the victims of the disaster. 

The drill is a community wide event, with all aspects of Habersham County’s officials getting involved. This year some of the departments involved are: the City of Demorest Police, the Demorest Fire department, Habersham County Medical Center, Habersham County Fire Department, Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security, Habersham Search and Rescue, and the District Two Public Health Administration. 

Fred Bucher, Director of Facilities and Safety for Piedmont College, says “[The drill] is a combination of things we do for this exercise. First, it exercises the first responders. [and] gives the students a place they can practice their skills.” 

Bryce Griggs, a junior mass communications major, continues to say the event really captures what the nursing majors will do in their careers dealing with the smoke, chaos, and injuries. Griggs also emphasized the importance of the drill for the county by giving the police department, traffic control, fire department, and all the others getting involved to practice a real world scenario, with homeland security filming it with a drone and the helicopter coming in as the life-line. 

Griggs covered the event for the first time. He attended the event in years past, but this year filmed the behind the scenes work that was put into making the event as realistic as possible. Griggs said the event felt, “very realistic and everything was organized… the fog machines that made the building look as if the building was actually being destroyed.”

Griggs felt that the event puts the students in real world scenarios with deadlines and intense situations.

Joe Dennis, Professor of Mass Communications, says, “the disaster drill is a very unique opportunity for Piedmont students to practice their majors, and an event that not many other schools can offer.”

Jeff Bowers

For Jefferson Bowers, English started his Spanish journey. 

“A lot of people say it’s crazy to see a little white kid speaking Spanish, but it all started when I was 16 years old in English class with a Mexican guy named Hugo” Said Bowers. “I just started messing with him asking stupid typical ignorant questions like, “Do they have TVs down “there” (Mexico)?” and stuff along those lines.”

First year assistant Spanish Professor Jefferson Bowers, originally from Rock Hill, South Carolina, graduated from Appalachian State in the fall of 2014 with a masters degree in Spanish, but at first sight you would not expect him to be a Spanish professor. Ironically, his passion for Spanish all began in an English class.

“A lot of people say it’s crazy to see a little white kid speaking Spanish, but it all started when I was 16 years old in English class with a Mexican guy named Hugo” Said Bowers. “I just started messing with him asking stupid typical ignorant questions like, “Do they have TVs down “there” (Mexico)?” and stuff along those lines.” 

Bowers said Hugo’s family always ate dinner earlier than his and often invited him to stay. Sitting around the table was the first exposure to Spanish and since then he’s been listening to music, watching movies, and trying to dive into the culture. “You have to be interested in learning, and motivated to learn… I tried to say everything I said in English in my head in Spanish,” Bowers said “I was obviously very wrong on most of it, but it allowed me to think through the organization of the language.” 

Students say Bowers’ teaching style has been beneficial to them. 

“Jeff has been an incredible Spanish teacher and has really helped me when I needed help understanding different conjugations, and translations,” said sophomore Matt Crumbley who is currently enrolled in Bower’s Spanish 1102 class. 

“He’s just a genuine and happy guy who makes learning the language fun,” said freshman Leul Tekilemariam, Piedmont student. 

“I think he really makes learning the language fun for all the students, and he’s understanding of the unintentional ignorance some students may have with Spanish culture, but learning from him intrigues us to get connected with the culture,” said Cameron Earls, a sophomore at Piedmont College. 

Out of class Bowers hopes to translate his love of Spanish to his students. Bowers says he “loves to see people gain interest in the culture and language of Spanish-speaking countries. (and) really enjoys seeing people get excited about the language.”

“My greatest reward is being able to interact with the students and see them grow academically and personally… and I want them to know that they are truly appreciated and an important part of Piedmont College. 

hey this used to be me..

I don’t really know how to start this blog, and I don’t know what the title should be either… Oh well. (I need to find an updated photo)

My name is Nickolas Pope and I was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and lived in Florida until grade school. Most of my life I grew up in little town called Nashville, Georgia. To give you a sense of size, I graduated with 120 people in my senior class. If you know me you’ll know sports is one of the main influences on my life. Growing up my life was always at the rec. department playing any sport I was allowed to play, but once I got into middle school I really narrowed it down to two sports, soccer and basketball. 

Why Piedmont?

When I was looking at schools I knew I wanted to play soccer, but also knew I wanted to be in a good communications department and it came down to a couple of schools that I could reasonably afford and still get actual playing time. I chose Piedmont expecting to get a few minutes here and there but after a few key injuries I found my self starting my first collegiate game merely five games into the season. Everything was uphill from there and I’ve loved every minute being a Lion here at Piedmont. Of course there’s more to school than sports, and another one of the things I loved about Piedmont’s campus was the class sizes and the relationships I could have with the professors. I got here as a Masscom Major and since then I’ve switched to Sportscom, but think both programs prepare you to go out and get a job.