Author Archives: tcoles1224

2020 Piedmont College Symposium

Piedmont College— Even in the wake of COVID-19, a group of business students propose a way that companies can help refugees, and vice versa.

A group of business students: Rachel Irby, Leslie Lopez, Mark Mitchell, Julia Nichols, Walker Snyder, and Valeriya Zhurakovskaya presented the session, “Migration, Employment and Entrepreneurship” at the 2020 Piedmont Symposium.

“We used The Department of Homeland Security to find out where these refugees were coming from and where they were going throughout the U.S.”, said Walker Snyder.

“People struggle to build a new life either because they are lacking education or finances”, said Leslie Lopez.

Lopez put together a pool of information about the migration of refugees. Her main focus was about those who were from Syria and Venezuela. She explained that refugees have a hard time settling in a new city or country due to their lack of education or finances. It is not easy to make a life for yourself when you are being stereotyped and judged, she said.

But there is one place refugees can be welcomed — business. Mark Mitchell noted that companies can help refugees, and in return refugees can help those companies.  

“You’re trying to generate revenue and help both parties”, Mitchell said.

However, COVID-19 has made it difficult to pursue and maintain this mutually beneficial relationship between refugees and employers.

“Different fields of employment have went up now with the virus,” said Rachel Irby, noting that refugees are usually used to fill in the gaps for companies that need employment. With the virus putting people out of work and businesses closing, it leaves little to no job opportunities for the refugees.

“I think this team has done a very good job of trying to highlight both what was there and what could be there for impact investing in tools and resources in helping people connect”, said Professor Stephen Carlson.

A Coach Between the Lines

Taylor Browning– Ever since he was a child, Piedmont College’s Assistant Track and Field Coach has had a passion for the sport.

“My motivations are to win”


“I have loved track ever since I was in the second grade, he said. I didn’t want a job that was just clocking in and out for a paycheck, I wanted to do something I enjoyed.”

Browning started his journey off on a different foot. He explained that after graduating college, he planned on going to medical school to become a doctor. He was working in a surgery center trying to get all the experience he could in order to get into the top medical schools. Halfway through his first year of working, he knew that was not what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.


Throughout college, Browning was a successful athlete. He earned seven All-Conference Honors and was a three-time conference champion. Although he had a number of accomplishments, he said that there was never a time he could get big ego because there was always someone better than him. He even admitted that some of his best friends were better runners than him. He said key to be a great athlete is, always humble yourself because there will always be someone who is better than you or trying to beat you.


“When you go head to head with the best athletes in the world, you can’t get a big ego,” he said.

After realizing the medical field was not what he wanted to do, Browning took on the job as a graduate assistant for the track team at Augusta University. Now having his own team to coach, he said the big difference is the behind the scenes work that goes on. At Piedmont, he has more athletes to coach, and he must make all the training plans.


“Last year I was concerned with athletes being fragile and I didn’t want to push them so much, Browning says. This year I am pushing them a little more and doing a lot of specific training.”


In his second year of being the assistant coach at Piedmont, Browning felt the need to make minor changes. He explained how his coaching of jumpers took a different route. “Last year I trained them all like sprinters who jump. This year I have them doing specific jump training,” he said.

“Athletes can be very particular about their training, especially athletes who care about their performance,” he said.


With coaching the sprinters and the jumpers, Browning decided to split their workouts and he has notice improved results since then. “I like to keep things basic rather than complex if not needed. I like for my athletes to work hard and stick to the fundamentals,” he said. Browning likes to stick to his own methods of coaching, a formula that seems to be working, as he was named South/Southeast Region Women’s Indoor Assistant coach of the year in 2019. He feels that if he is seeing progress in his athletes, there is no need to change and complicate any of their training. The results of his athletes have shown over the two years of coaching.


“My goals for this year are to repeat conference champions on the men’s and women’s side, he said. We need to have a lot of more national performances and I believe we have the talent to do it.”

All About Timia

My name is Timia Coles and I am 19 years old. I was born on December 24th, 2000; in Stockbridge, Georgia and grew up in Eagles Landing. I am a shy and quiet person around people I am not familiar with but once I get comfortable, i’m a lot of fun. I have two older brothers, and one younger brother.

While growing up in Eagles Landing, there was a lot of opportunities for me and lots to do outside of school. In preschool, I was involved in ballet and taekwondo. I figured out very quickly that, that wasn’t something that I loved doing. Later on in elementary school, I decided to run cross country. Although i liked running, the long distances made me shy away from the thought of running. I later moved to Villa Rica, Georgia. That is where I currently live now. While in middle school my friends convinced me to try out for the football cheer leading team. I am a very shy person with a large voice. I did not think I would enjoy it as much as I did. After football season was over, I decided to continue cheering for the basketball teams and it eventually turned into something I loved doing. I also decided to take a risk and try out for the track team. After the first track meet, I knew this was something I was very passionate about. From that year on, I ran track and cheered for football and basketball. When I got to high school, I decided to try out for the basketball team. After playing basketball for two years, I chose to mainly focus on track. My freshman and sophomore year of running track for high school were amazing! I went from being a freshman running with all the seniors on the relay teams, to eventually breaking school records that haven’t been broken in years. This was a great time for me. I appeared in the newspapers and felt unstoppable. Unfortunately, due to me not warming up correctly, my junior year of high school I tore my hamstring in the middle of a race. Since then I’ve had many problems and had to miss many races. That day, I felt like everything was over with. All the college coaches that had been recruiting me would slowly fade away just to say, “Oh we’ll see what you do next year”. It was heart breaking to think that I went from the top to the bottom very quickly. I spent multiple hours daily in physical therapy, trying to gain my strength back and get back to where I was but there just wasn’t enough time. After going to the doctor months later, I was told that I had a grade two hamstring tear and I messed it up even more by continuously running and training without the proper treatment. The doctor informed me that no matter what, I will always have problems with my hamstring and that was a hard pill that I had to swallow.

I am now a freshman at Piedmont College. During the first semester, I was an Exercise and Sports Science major, but I found myself interested in other things. After discussing my strengths and my interest with multiple people, I decided to change to a Sports Communication major this year. Here at Piedmont I am a member of the track and field team. I enjoy running, exercising or doing anything active. I also enjoy going out with friends and shopping! I like watching movies, and YouTube channels. During my time at Piedmont, I plan on being the best student I can be while figuring out what I want to do in life. No matter where life takes me, I want to make sure that I leave my mark everywhere I go.