Author Archives: Rowan Edmonds

About Rowan Edmonds

Junior Mass Communications major at Piedmont University

The Keeper of Piedmont

Most kids are introduced to sports at a young age. Whether they stick with it or not typically depends on their love of the sport, as well as their skill level and dedication growing with them. According to some statistics, many kids stop playing sports between 11 and 13, as they lose their love of the game. However, for senior mass communications major Cameron Verona, this is the age when he fell in love with the sport he grew up playing, soccer. 

Verona started playing soccer when he was 3. His dad was the person that kicks started his love for the sport, taking him to play in the neighborhood.

“My dad and I, when I was 3 years old, used to always go out into the cul-de-sac of the unfinished houses in our neighborhood and we would play soccer 3v3,” said Verona. “I would get beaten every time. I would come home crying and slamming things around my house.” 

These 3v3 games helped shape Verona’s competitive drive and made him want to take his skill to the next level. When he started playing soccer on a real team at age 5, he was a forward, where he continued to play until he was put in as goalie about four years later. This is where Verona found his true passion as a soccer player. 

“I was never playing at a level that was top-flight until I was a junior in high school,” said Verona. “I got my shot and worked for it and it helped me get into college.” 

Verona played at Reinhardt University for his freshman year in college before transferring to Piedmont University to get more time in goal, and this is where his career as a keeper gained traction. 

“He’s always been one of the best keepers I’ve played with,” said Ian Addison, a senior defender for the Lions. “He’s easily one of the most dedicated soccer players I’ve ever met.” 

Addison and Verona have known each other long before their collegiate careers. Having played together for about six years, Addison has seen how Verona has grown as a player and person over the years. 

“He takes it very personally when he gets scored on or when it comes to working hard,” said Addison. “He’s super passionate about it, which I love, and he’s only progressed further with every year that he plays.” 

Verona has the determination and competitiveness to hold his own in the goal, but it’s his focus on improvement that makes him one of the best goalkeepers in the conference. In 2021, Verona led all USA South goalkeepers with 69 saves and finished second with an .802 save percentage. His 69 saves also ranked him fourth overall in NCAA Division III

“Verona has only gotten better since he’s gotten here,” said senior sports communication major Davis Barlow. 

Barlow has been a Piedmont University go-to sports reporter, so he has yet to miss a single home game in the three years Verona has been playing for the university. 

“He put in some great work this year and really held down that young backline,” said Barlow. “There were a lot of freshmen on the field and he did a great job leading them not only on the field but off the field as well. He wants to continue to play at the next level, and with his drive and heart he can.” 

With roughly four weeks left until graduation, there were a lot of questions being thrown at Verona about what he wanted to do with his life. 

“It’s never wavered for me,” said Verona. “I’ve always been sure that this is what I wanted to do with my life. It’s been a dream of mine since I was little.” 

Cameron Verona has signed to play with East Atlanta, a semipro soccer team, starting this summer. His goal is to ultimately play soccer on a professional level, and with his skill, determination, and drive, that goal is pretty much in the bag. 

You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid

When in high school, many people say they want to go into film because they have no idea what they want, and at the time it seemed like a good idea. By the time they go to college, most of these people can figure out this isn’t their dream and tend to do something different. That was not the case for Junior Mass Communications major Caleb Rogers. 

“I’d like to think of myself as a creative person, and film is an outlet for that,” said Rogers. “I started taking summer art courses when I was 5-years old so I grew up around the arts. I love movies and found an interest in how they were made.” 

Rogers was adopted from Shakhty, Russia when he was 6 months old and lived in Richmond, Virginia for 11 years before moving to Clarksville, Georgia where he currently lives with his parents and brother. 

As a child, Rogers had a huge love for movies and would always watch behind-the-scenes and production clips to see how they were made. He spent his years in high school building up his portfolio for college and helped build the art department at his school. 

“In 2017 I went to SCAD with a $25,000 scholarship and made the best of my time there,” said Rogers. “I had the wonderful opportunity to work on several student films, SCADS Emmy award-winning live shows, and my favorite was working as media at the Savannah film festival interviewing celebrities like Hugh Jackman, John Krasinski, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Armie Hammer.” 

Rogers has also spent plenty of time working on music videos and this May he will be working on his biggest project yet, “Shazam 2” as the assistant Visual Effects Coordinator. 

Rogers has been seriously working in the film industry for about two and a half years now and he shows no sign of slowing down.

“I want to continue my knowledge in film to later have my own business to make a fortune,” he said. 

Senior Mass Communications major, Cameron Verona, also has a big interest in film and finds Rogers’ work inspiring. 

“I respect and value the quality of his work,” said Verona. “I think his high profile experience in the industry can help grow the already phenomenal program we have at Piedmont.”

Rogers has been a huge part in building the film program here at Piedmont. Having a mass communications degree could only take him so far when it came to the film industry, so he has been trying to push the idea of a film major for a while now. 

“With the love I have for film I believed I could help push Piedmont to create a film studies program,” Rogers said. “I first had a meeting with Dean [Steve] Nimmo then with [Vice President] Dan Silber as well as [Department Chair] Joe Dennis and from that point on we four had several meetings figuring out how we can make this work and what the curriculum would look like.” 

Caleb Rogers still has a lot to learn in regards to working full time in the film industry, however, with the start he has now and the skills he is willing to pass along to others around him, he is going to go far. 

A Court of Silver Flames Review – Long

Contains Spoilers

Book lovers, myself included, have been waiting for Feb. 16, 2021, for three years. On this day, the 5th installment of the Court of Thorns and Roses book series came out. As an avid reader of fantasy, I was jumping out of my skin in excitement for this book, and it did not disappoint. A Court of Silver Flames, written by Sarah J. Mass, doesn’t follow the main protagonist, Feyra Archeron, as it had done in the previous four books. It instead follows her older and bitter sister Nesta’s story after the war against Hybern. 

The beginning of this book was frustrating to read. Nesta had been drinking her sister’s money away and sleeping with any man who would have her to deal with the death of her father as well as her transition from human to High Fae, which I see as a step up considering she hated her life back home. Cassian, the general to the armies in the war and Nesta’s sister’s good friend, comes knocking at her door, he offers her two options; getting help or going back and living with the humans. This gives readers exactly what they want. The painfully apparent sexual tension between the two of them had nothing to do with the audience’s excitement either. I mean, the scary-looking “I-could-kill-you-with-my-bare-hands” guy who’s a giant softie and the woman who hates everyone and everything spending copious amounts of time together? On top of the obvious sexual tension? Sarah J. Mass delivered on the desires of her readers. 

In one chapter, we have the edge-of-your-seat fight scenes –  battles between mythical creatures, and dealing with insane amounts of magic. In other chapters, we see moments between Cassian and Nesta that are far more steamy. Many fans have taken to social media and referred to some chapters as “faerie porn,” and honestly, that term is not all that inaccurate, not that it’s a bad thing! 

A Court of Silver Flames humanizes Nesta, and honestly, before this book, I hated her. She was rude and mean and did nothing to help her family in their most significant time of need, even though she was the oldest sister and should have stepped up. However, her growth and character arc were terrific to see in this book and the audience, myself included, fell in love with Nesta. Readers loved watching her relationship with Cassian, as well as her sisters, which was very refreshing, as was her new friendship with Gwen and Emerie, two other women with damaged pasts who could care less about Nesta’s cold demeanor. As far as ranking the books from personal favorite to least favorite, this book would come in second, just behind A Court of Mist and Fury

As much praise as I have to offer for this series, I was not too fond of a few things. One was Rhysands attitude throughout the book. Rhys is Nesta’s brother-in-law, husband- and mate to her sister Feyra. In previous books, Rhys has been my favorite character; however, in this story, he was written as an overprotective jerk who wants Nesta wiped from the face of the Earth. I understand he felt like that because his mate, Feyra, was pregnant and in danger, but it made the audience irritated to see him treat everyone so poorly in this book when he has never been like that in the past. The other thing I didn’t love was the entire blood rite arc. The blood rite is a test that all Illyrians must take to become a proper soldier. Cassian had taken this and been one of the few actually to win the tradition. When Nesta, Gwen, and Emerie were forced into this rite, I was pleased first. However, the outcome was rushed and made no sense. Most Illyrians train their whole lives for the Blood Rite and seldom win. Yet the three of them had been training for about six months and won. It was a rushed ending, and they should not have won. 

Besides those few criticisms, I was a massive fan of this book and thought it was incredibly successful, and according to most fans online, they are in agreement. 

A Court of Silver Flames Review

Nesta Archeron’s life turned completely upside-down the day a High Fae lord took her sister. Her sister getting turned High Fae after sacrificing herself for a POS guy, Nesta getting stolen from her home and forced to turn High Fae as well, the entire War debacle, and attempting to deal with her feelings towards the general of her brother-in-law’s armies? That could merit some stress. 

Passionate, sexy, fiercely romantic, and daring are traits of the 5th book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series, A court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Mass. 

Being Happy

*Names and specific details changed/left out due to confidentiality*

I still remember the day it happened. 

“Mom, Dad, I think I’m bi.” The cracking in my voice wasn’t hidden by the bustling of the Mexican restaurant we were sitting in. 

Their reply: “Row, you’re 13 years old. You shouldn’t even be worried about that right now. If you still want to be bi when you’re older, then that’s fine.” 

That is not what one wants to hear after expressing their sexual confusion to their parents. 

I thought they were right. Maybe my unhealthy obsession with Scarlett Johansson was normal.  So I repressed it. The thoughts, feelings, same-sex crushes – all of it. That was until Grace came along. 

I was a junior in high school, and she was a freshman. She was 5’11”, played basketball, and was openly gay. Grace and I sat next to each other in Spanish, and we were good friends. 

I envied her. 

I envied her style, athleticism, and ability to like and be liked by everyone. More than anything, I envied how open she was with her sexuality and how utterly happy she was, even for highschool standards. She was kind and funny and everything I wanted to be, despite being a few years older than her. On this particular day, we were hanging out together in our shared free period, and she was telling me all about the new girl she had been talking to that week. 

When I asked her how she did it, how she was so open and unafraid of who she was, I will remember her response forever. 

“Stop running away from who you are; run towards that person instead.” 

It’s easy to do when you have an accepting family, so I took her statement to heart. 

For the next year, I carried that statement with me and blindly stumbled down a path of self-discovery towards what I hoped was blissful queer happiness. I knew I liked boys. I had had boyfriends and crushes in the past, so what was this insatiable infatuation I had with women? 

I did loads of research, took Buzzfeed quizzes to see what level of queer I was, and even talked to people anonymously on chat sites about their own experiences. I knew in my heart what the answer to my question was, but it was hard to come to terms with the reality. When I had expressed my concerns as a child, I was brushed off by my parents and made to seem like it wasn’t a big deal. 

Everything changed after Kairos, a “self-spiritual” trip the senior class does every year.  I was super excited to participate. No one knew what it was due to its secrecy, but one thing everyone knew for sure is that no one leaves the weeklong trip without crying at least once. 

It was the third night of Kairos, and we were listening to a classmate – one of the leaders for this specific trip – talk about the hardships in her family life. Her parents were generally accepting but disapproved of the fundamental aspects that made her who she was. 

I’m not sure why it was this specific moment that made everything click, but suddenly, everything made sense. Thousands of gears working against each other finally fell into place and began moving in a well-oiled machine. The disapproving parents, the fear of being who I was, and the lack of support; it was like listening to your least favorite song on repeat, and I was sick of it. 

“I’m bisexual, and I am done hiding it. Hate me, love me, I don’t care, but this is me, and I like me,” was what I told my parents when I got back from the trip. I didn’t let the image of the similar conversation we had in that Mexican restaurant years prior run rampant through my head; this is what I needed to do. 

They merely smiled and said, “If you’re happy, then we’re happy.” 

It’s been about two years since then, and yeah, I’m pretty happy. 

Life Isn’t Fair, But It Should Be

The students and faculty of Piedmont College should see themselves as lucky to get a spring semester in person, as Piedmont is very COVID-19 conscious. However, when it comes to restrictions put in place to “stop the spread,” how far is too far? 

Since last fall, the promise of sports in spring 2021 kept our student-athletes and fans motivated for the new semester. So far, the spring season is slowly and cautiously moving along. This is a huge deal for students. It provides a sense of normalcy where it is hard to find now. 

However, this sense of normalcy was short-lived as Piedmont College determined that “only essential gameday personnel will be in attendance at home athletic events until further notice.” This caused a minor uproar throughout the campus. 

Most students find this ridiculous, seeing as most spring sporting events are outside, and social distancing is possible. Parents, students, and faculty alike believe these are very drastic measures, especially considering that Piedmont is a small D3 school. If UGA can have home games with spectators, why can’t we? 

While Piedmont fans have access to the different games and matches via live streaming, it doesn’t replicate watching the game in person. The players won’t be able to hear the roar of the crowd cheering them on, and the spectators won’t be able to get that same sensation they get from supporting their home team live and in person. 

Many parents have taken to Facebook with their frustrations -and students have blown up the Piedmont app with their anger over this policy noting that this restriction doesn’t apply to theatre productions, art exhibits, or concerts. Those events are open to the public, It’s easy to understand why many students and parents feel that the school is targeting sports. 

The college should be consistent with its policies on crowds and audiences, whether it’s an art exhibit or a baseball game. Perhaps the college could limit the number of people allowed to watch the games and have designated areas marked for safe social distancing seating, as the theatre department is doing for its productions. 

Piedmont prides itself on being a big family. In this sense, the administrators, faculty and staff are like the parents, and students are like the children. When it comes to keeping the campus safe from COVID-19, every family member is on the same page. We all want the school year to go as normally as possible, and the children are willing to go along with any reasonable rules set forth by the parents to ensure this happens.

But the inconsistency of the spectator policy is like parents favoring one child over another. It’s time for the parents to recognize the inconsistency of their rules and treat every one of their children equally.

Global Handwashing Day

Rowan Edmonds

706-347-3374

redmonds0323@lions.piedmont.edu

Global Handwashing Day 

Dr. Julia Schmitz discusses the importance of handwashing. 

Demorest, Georgia, Sept. 4, 2020 – With the world in a pandemic, students and faculty at Piedmont College are collaborating to host an event on Oct. 15 for Global Handwashing Day. 

“You obviously can’t wash your hands constantly, but you definitely want to make sure you wash your hands before eating,” said Dr. Julia Schmitz, a biology professor at Piedmont College. “Pretty much all the time, whenever you can.” 

Until this year, Global Handwashing Day was just one of those fun little “holidays” that was always looked over. It was one of those things that would make someone mildly chuckle at the thought of having a day to celebrate and acknowledge handwashing. However, when the pandemic rolled around, handwashing became a little less goofy and a little more serious. 

“Most people know about the importance of washing hands, but many don’t know how to properly wash their hands,” said Joe Dennis, an assistant mass communications professor at Piedmont College. “It’s my hope that an event like this will help show people the proper way to wash their hands.” 

With a pandemic going on, stressing the importance of washing our hands has become even more critical than ever before. On Thursday, Oct.15, the college will recognize Global Handwashing Day by holding a handwashing event on campus, as well as hosting a TikTok video competition for students.  

For more information about the event, email Joe Dennis at jdennis@piedmont.edu. For more information about handwashing, visit https://globalhandwashing.org 

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 www.piedmont.edu 

The Impact of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Growing up, my dad would always tell me stories before I went to bed. A man flying around in a gold and red suit of armor, a super soldier over 100 years old who has a thing for shields, and a scientist with breathtaking anger management issues. I was never told the story about a princess who needed her Prince Charming, but rather the adventures of superheroes who would give their all to save the world. I was 7 years old when the first Iron Man made it to the big screen in May 2008, and being one of the youngest people in a room full of comic book nerds was exhilarating to me. At that point, the only Marvel movies that had been released were X-men, so only the true comic book fans knew about Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. 

The Marvel Cinematic Universe started out as a small group of comic junkies and quickly grew into a massive franchise with millions of fans. The comics were mostly written by Stan Lee, the father of all things Marvel. He had a cameo in just about every movie up until his passing in November of 2018. Iron Man one was the first MCU movies that was released with Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., taking his role as the “god father of the MCU.” Downey made roughly $500,000 in this film, which is miniscule to what he made in his final film, Avengers Endgame, where he was paid $20 million upfront. The movie itself is currently the number one movie in the world and made $2.8 billion. It was an accumulation of 23 films released over a 12-year period, bringing an end to the characters we all know and love. That being said, no one needs to say goodbye to the Marvel films just yet. Plans for new movies are going to be released with all new heroes, villains, and plots. We will delve further into some of the newer marvel characters as well, always keeping the originals in our heart. 

The movies had such a massive impact on me, and I tried to use them as guidelines to my life. I wanted to have the heart to stand up for the little guy like Captain America and Spiderman, the ability to be a good leader even after making so many mistakes like Thor and King T’challa. I wanted to have the drive to be the best no matter what like Iron Man, but to also be disciplined like Black Widow. I, like many others, grew up with these movies and while I am sad to see this particular era come to an end, I am so excited to see what’s in store for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Importance of Web Design

Taylor Pope is a theater arts and technical theater and design double major with dreams of becoming a sound designer on Broadway, and she hopes her website will help her get there.   

“It’s important to have your website because it’s a perfect way of showing who you are without the face to face contact,” Pope said. “I’ve always been a technology person, so it wasn’t hard for me to figure out Wix.”  

Pope presented her session, “Professional Website Design: How it Works” at the 2020 Piedmont Symposium this year, talking about her website on Wix and the importance of having a website. Pope is incredibly versatile in the play world, from working on the soundboard to creating crazy noises for characters as well as directing her own scene for her capstone project. She wants possible future employers to see just how versatile she is, so she stressed the importance of having a website to get ready for the real world. 

Pope has had to do many different things for different plays. For the musical “Cabaret,” Pope was the sound engineer. She had to run the soundboard, make sure the receivers for the mics were working, see that the mics themselves were working, and had to run around to make sure everything was going planned, all with a sprained ankle. For the second show of the year, “Gathering Blue,” she was the sound designer, creating new sounds for the show. She was directing her capstone at the time as well. To be in her position, you have to be pretty versatile, and that is something future employers are looking for, which is why she detailed all of this on her website. 

“I went with a premade layout (on Wix) because it was a lot easier, and then I could edit things to make it specific to me,” she said.

Pope started working on her website in January 2020 for her audition techniques class. She used Wix, a widely used and popular website startup. In her presentation for the Symposium, Pope goes through the ins and outs of her website, showing what she has done for each play that she worked on. She also had a section about who she was, including her contact information in case any possible future employers needed to reach out. 

“I would like to become a sound designer, hopefully in New York, but we’ll see how that goes,” Pope said. 

Pope’s post-grad dreams are to move to New York and become a sound designer on Broadway. She has plenty of experience doing different things for the play community, and this will transfer over to her profession one day as well. 

“Even if things don’t work out the way I planned it, at least I will have this website to help in any way possible.” 

The diverse life of Jeff Bowers

DEMOREST GEORGIA – College professor, world traveler, fly fishing extraordinaire – these qualities make up Jeff Bowers.

“The freedom you are allowed as a college professor is liberating because you can explore different areas of your interests,” said Jeff Bowers, an assistant Spanish professor at Piedmont College. “Your curriculum is not as monitored, and you just have a lot more than you’re able to do.”

Bowers has been the assistant Spanish professor at Piedmont College for two years. He got his undergrad at Presbieritan College with a double major in political science and Spanish. His goal was to be a lawyer. It wasn’t until he was at Appalachian State University when he found his love for teaching.

“Like anything, to be good at something, you have to have the motivation, and my motivation was to speak with my friend’s mom,” he said. 

Since his sophomore year of high school, he had an infatuation for the Spanish language because of Hugo, his good friend. Hugos’ mother spoke little to no English, so Bowers took it upon himself to learn for his friend’s family’s sake. He cared about Hugo’s family, as they cared for him as well, his adoration for the family spurred his love for Spanish, not just the language, but the culture as well.

“I’m very fortunate because I’ve done pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted to do,” He said. “I took some time off and traveled to several different countries as well as really delve into my hobbies and make those part of my income as well.”

Aside from just being a Spanish professor, Bowers has a lot to offer in the world travel experience. He’s been to France, Costa Rica, Germany, Guatemala twice, and he’s going to Spain over the summer for the Maymester experience. Bowers was a fly fishing guide for four years in Boone and lived in Colorado, where he skied every day. Now he is taking a short break from his adventurous lifestyle to pursue his teaching career.

“Get as much practical experience as you can, be a generalist, but also have a niche,” He said. “It’s good to have something that you’re good at but also be marketable.”