Author Archives: Oliviamarie

About Oliviamarie

I’m a 21 year old just trying to put my writing out there. I write based on my mood and the music I’m listening too. I just hope my writing feels relatable to some people in this crazy world.

Neuroscience Takes on the Symposium

More than 100 research studies were presented at the 2021 Piedmont Symposium, but senior psychology major Kaden Carter was the only one that actually focused on the process of research, specifically human subjects research.

In her presentation, “The Hidden History of Neuroscience,” Carter discussed how research is more ethical now than compared to how it was gathered in the past. 

“(The researchers) main goal is to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects during research,” she said. 

Carter works for Dr. Cynthia Vance with research applications on human subjects under neuroscience. Dr. Vance is the coordinator of Human Subjects Research and a professor of Psychology at Piedmont University. Together, Carter and Vance go through applications approving or disapproving the applications based on what the proposed research methods.  

In the presentation, Carter also talked about the importance of organizing pertinent documents together, especially consent forms when in the initial stages of creating a research proposal. Carter explained that the process was long, but in order to be able to conduct responsible research at Piedmont University, it is well worth it to keep students and faculty in an ethical environment.  

History Professor Ryan Franklin found the historical context in Carter’s presentation intriguing.

“I thought the presentation was overall quite interesting. I especially found the presentation’s segue from the Nazi experiments to the Milgram experiment to be intriguing given that the latter was conducted simultaneously with the Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem,” said Franklin, “The students did a solid job elucidating this more “hidden history of neuroscience.’”  

Franklin also agreed that the experiments discussed in Carter’s presentation were unethical, and he believes that it is great that Piedmont University has created a very extensive process in order to conduct research at the institution.

Carter finds pride in her role as an integral part of this process, and like many other students, senior business major Leslie Lopez was unaware of the amount of research that goes on at Piedmont University.

“They presented some really interesting facts. I thought it was really informative and something that, as a business major, I don’t really hear a lot about.” said Lopez, “It was really interesting to hear what they had to say.”  

Carter explains that most of the research applications are a mix of independent research projects and doctoral students who are getting their dissertation, but despite this Carter embellishes the opportunity to work with these studies.  

“I enjoy working in research because it provides me with opportunities to learn about the importance of ethics in experimentation and the knowledge of how research works. In the future, I can refer back to what I have learned and experienced while on the job,” said Carter. 

-Kaden Carter 


-Leslie Lopez

-Ryan Franklin 


10 dead after category three tornado hits Piedmont College.

There were approximately 70 victims, with 10 deceased and 15 people in critical condition.

“We were not at a total loss. We had some people that jumped on and got things done,” says Vice President for safety and building management Fred Bucher.

It all started at approximately 9:00 AM on March 24, a category three tornado hit the Swanson center at Piedmont College. 

“We were walking around the campus enjoying the day when it got quiet, and the trees began falling,” says Casey Ellis, a person injured in the storm.

The tornado that hit Swanson came without any warning. The clouds began to swirl when it touched down right next to the building. Many people ran to seek shelter but were unable to.

“Because the Swanson performing arts center sits on a hill, it was badly damaged,” explained Fred Bucher.

The Swanson center’s air conditioning units were toppled over and shorted out. This created a fire on top of the building due to the air ducts. Many of the casualties that were seen were caused by the collapse of the roof and the debris.

When arriving on the scene, the City of Demorest Police and Fire departments, Habersham Search, Rescue and Habersham County MedicalCenter and EMS were all there helping the injured. The nursing majors at Piedmont College were also hard at work trying to save everyone they could.

“We are being able to triage everyone and make sure everyone’s going to get out safely,” says senior nursing major Kaylee White, who was on the scene.

Piedmont is fortunate to be able to have fantastic nursing students on campus to help in such a tragedy. They worked along with many experts to find and treat everyone. They placed three large tarps in the quad of Swanson. The colors were red, yellow and green. Each tarp represented how the patient needed to be treated and what condition they were in.

Thanks to the help of the nursing students at Piedmont and the experts that arrived quickly on the scene, the casualties were able to be kept at a minimum and many lives were saved.

Jeff Bowers Never Wanted to be a Teacher

Being raised by teachers, Jeff Bowers, a small town country boy, didn’t want to be like his parents. 

“I never wanted to be a teacher,” Bowers says.

Born and raised in Boone, North Carolina, Jeff Bowers had a childhood full of sports, building forts, and spending many hours playing outside. Bowers’ parents were both school teachers and he was brought up in a household full of high expectations.

Bowers never wanted to be involved in the education field because his parents were teachers. Bowers  had huge aspirations to be a lawyer from high school until he went to Appalachian State for his graduate degree in Spanish. Everything changed for Bowers when he had his first experience as a graduate assistant in his second year of the Spanish program. Bowers knew that being a Spanish teacher is what he wanted to pursue in life. 

“The ultimate desire was to connect with people different than me and to be able to share part of a culture that I really admired,” he says.

Bowers was introduced to Spanish at a young age. His mother taught many hispanic children and began to learn the language to better teach her students. She always encouraged her son to learn the language. He really dived into Spanish when he met his friend Jugo at 15- years- old. Bowers constantly asked his friend questions about Mexico, traveling, and he really liked Mexican food. Jugo would invite Jeff over to his house to have dinner with his mother. Jeff quickly learned that he could not communicate with Jugo’s mother and this inspired him to break the barrier. 

Bowers began to practice and became more fluent after he moved to Colorado. He was a fishing guide in the icy rivers and many of his clients spoke Spanish. Bowers spoke Spanish nearly every single time he had a client. Missing his friends and family drove Jeff back to the east where he began studying spanish at Appalachian state.

“It’s very satisfying to see something grow that you’ve started from a seed,” Bowers says. “One day I would love to be a farmer.”

Though Bowers was talking about his passion for gardening, he enjoys watching the growth of his students during their time at Piedmont. He isn’t just someone who teaches with passion, but he is also a huge supporter for his students. Before the pandemic, Bowers would be at any sporting event or performances he could. He loves being a part of the student life and being able to watch his students grow into the people they are meant to be. He loves his students, colleagues and being a part of a great community. Bowers has loved his experience in the short three years he has been at Piedmont College. He plans to stay in Demorest for a very long time. 

“Right now this is the best place,” Bowers says.

Contact Olivia Justus FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Cell Phone 404-558-5267 September _ 2020




Students and faculty team together to celebrate the upcoming Global Handwashing Day 

Demorest, Georgia, Sept. 11, 2020- Students at Piedmont College will celebrate Global Handwashing Day on Thursday Oct. 15 to demonstrate the importance of washing your hands. 

The Mass Communications media writing class is banding together with biology professor Dr. Julia Schmitz and her microbiology class to develop an on-campus celebration of Global Handwashing Day. Schmitz wants students to understand the importance of handwashing with soap, rather than relying on hand sanitizer. 

“Soap is going to be better,” she said. “The difference is that hand sanitizer uses alcohol where soap basically has oils in it and it also has an alkaline base in it. Soap is going to break water tension so when you’re washing your hands, the bacteria tends to stick to the grease and oils that are on your hands. The soap acts as a mediator between the water and oil grease on your hands. When you rinse off the soap, it’s also going to rinse off the germs that are connected to the oils. That is why soap is actually better to use.” 

On Oct. 15, a station will be set up in the Commons that displays how much someone actually covers their hands in the 20 seconds they wash them. This will be shown by spreading ink all over gloved hands. Then they will proceed to wash their hands for 20 seconds. Additionally, a Tik Tok contest will be held for students, with prizes going to those who make the most creative video about washing hands. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic provides a stark reminder that one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of a virus is also one of the simplest: hand hygiene, especially through handwashing with soap” says The Global Public-Private Partnership

The Global Public- Private Partnership is emphasizing the importance of handwashing due to the current COVID-19 pandemic the world is going through currently. They explain that the simple action of washing your hands could potentially stop the spread of a virus. The organization is very firm about trying to end this pandemic and keeping individuals safe beyond it. They want handwashing to be a priority now and in the future. 

For more information about Global Handwashing Day and the event at Piedmont College, email Joe Dennis at

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About Piedmont College 

One of the most dynamic small colleges in the Southeast, Piedmont is an independent liberal arts college of more than 2,260 students. The college’s four schools—Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, and Nursing & Health Sciences—develop tomorrow’s leaders by engaging students in the classroom, in their community, and around the world. Founded in 1897, Piedmont offers bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degree programs at its Demorest residential campus in the foothills of the northeast Georgia mountains and at its Athens campus in the heart of Georgia’s Classic City. Information can be found at

My Biggest Influence in Life

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have always been a huge inspiration to me. The story behind the Red Hot Chili Peppers is very interesting. Anthony Kiedis, Micheal Balzary, and Hillel Slovak all went to Fairfax high school in California. Hillel Slovak taught Micheal Balzary how to play bass guitar. Anthony Kiedis has many talents of writing poetry and songs. Micheal Balzary encouraged Kiedis to keep up his writing talents and turn them into better songs. After adding drummer Jack Irons, they soon began to play in strip clubs in bars in California under the name Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. In 1983, they changed their band name to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Micheal Balzary began to go by the name “Flea.” 

Tragedy struck the band when guitarist Hillel Slovak died of a heroin overdose on June 25, 1988. Kiedis and Balzary were not sure if they wanted to keep the band going, but after going through two guitarists and a drummer, they decided to add Chad Smith and John Frusciante to their band. Once this happened, the band skyrocketed in the music industry when Blood Sugar Sex Magik came out. They sold roughly seven million copies in just the United States. They went on to produce Californication, By the Way, Stadium Arcadium, I’m With You, and The Getaway, and are currently working on their next album. 

I listened to the Red Hot Chili Peppers since I came out of the womb. I always remember hearing them in the car on the way to my grandparent’s house for holidays. One Christmas, my parents bought me a little pink CD player. I ventured out to the car to grab a CD and I picked the Stadium Arcadium album because I thought it looked pretty. I listened to it the rest of the night. 

My parents often asked what the song name was to the lyrics they were singing. I did not exactly know the names of the songs, but I could definitely tell you what track it was on the CD. This band has inspired me so much in this lifetime. In seventh grade I read Anthony Kiedis’ autobiography Scar Tissue. The book opened my eyes to so many different things: feelings of loneliness, what California was like back then, and the hard impact that drugs had on his body and career. I learned a lot from that book and decided to jump even farther into their music. 

On the weekends, or even when I had nothing to do, I would study their lyrics. The lyrics were never straightforward and I had to analyze what Anthony Kiedis was trying to portray in this music. It is poetry. Sometimes the similes and metaphors dive a little deeper into life and the universe. I found that the lyrics touched on many different subjects. The women Kiedis dated, loneliness, and drugs. 

For example in the song Wet Sand: 

“I’m betting now where we collide,

The universe will shift into a low” (10-11).

Another example is in the song Desecration Smile: 

“Desecration is the smile on my face,

The love I made is the shape of my space” (11-12).

There were many times that drugs interfered with his relationships and even his career. It was eye opening to me because I never actually realized how much drugs could affect a person. 

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are still very prominent in my life. I could not tell you a day I have gone without listening to at least one song by them. Each song has had a different impact on me because of the time period I was or am going through. I listen to them like I am experiencing 

finding them all over again. I even have their band logo marked on my body because they will always be a part of the person I am today and will further become. I highly suggest listening to this funk rock band and falling in love with them just like I did at such a young age. 

Justus and for all


Hello, my name is Olivia Marie Justus. I’m from the most amazing county in the world, Habersham, Georgia. Maybe I went a little far by saying this small town is amazing, but I was raised here. All I can say is, we make due with the lack of opportunities we have here.

I’m not much of an interesting person. I’m weird with a cross between introvert and extrovert. I’ve always been one to draw people to me, but I always keep them at arms length due to my current and past situations I’ve been in.

I will say this, I love writing. At a very young age I’ve always been drawn to writing things down. I always participated in the Young Georgia Authors competitions, though I never won. While packing up for college, I found one of my old composition books from 5th grade. I picked it up interested in what was going through my young brain. It wasn’t pretty. It was quite hilarious if you ask me. But the effort was there, so I can be proud of that. I love to write songs, poems, nonfiction prose, articles, anything that my mind wonders off too. I use writing as a way to get what’s floating around in my  battered brain on to paper. It actually really does help a lot. I’ll let you in on a little secret. The account I am currently typing this off of is the blog I started my senior year. Thank goodness Piedmont has further my writing skills. I cringe every time I go back through and read my stuff. During the lovely quarantine we experienced, I decided to publish a book. I went back and forth on it for months. But, I finally got the balls to publish it to get my name out there. Well sorta, I’m still writing under a pin name until I start my professional career. You never know what could hurt you in the future. Especially for me, I tend to be an open book when it comes to writing.

Anyways, enough about that. I would really like to touch on the best thing that has ever been invented. Music. These beautiful sounds and voices has had such an impact on my life. I seriously have no idea where I would be without it. My love for music runs deep within my soul, but I am not musically inclined in the slightest. I could tell you every song by Red Hot Chili Peppers (THE BEST BAND EVER), The Neighbourhood, and Juice Wrld. But trust me, there is a lot of other bands and songs that have won my heart. I like to believe that my brain is made up of 95% song lyrics. It is a constant in my life. I listen to it when I work out, hang out with friends, when I sleep, when I do homework, you name it.

I chose Piedmont, not because of just soccer, but because it is such a great community to be apart of. I’ve met my friend soulmates, my worst enemies, and impactful professors. This place has been an absolute blessing for me. And, I am so beyond excited to be apart of the Mass Communications family. Ya’ll really are some awesome people. The opportunities that I have experienced here already have been far from amazing. Thanks to Professor Tingle, I have taken up a new web design business. She gave me to tools and I advanced that with my creative side. I have already completed three websites for different clients and I can not wait to make many more. I have been blessed to have Dr. Tingle, Dr. Dennis, and Dr. Van Conform as not only amazing professors, but also an amazing support team. I cannot wait to continue to meet new people, pursue further in my writing career, and become part of the Mass Communications family.