Category Archives: The Editors

Bailey White: Wandering and Wondering

Bailey and his nephew, Jack, speaking at his sister’s Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

I’m not lost. I’m just exploring.

Looking back on my life so far, It looks like I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. In high school, I was in the Audition Choir, volunteered at summer camp, and dreamed of living in a van or tiny house traveling the country. In college, I no longer wish to cram myself into a house on wheels, but I am still in choir. Of course, I am a double major because I simply can’t choose. It is true, I have know Idea what I want to be.

There are, however, a few through lines in my life that have guided me.

Wether I am using my voice in performance or speech, behind a camera, or typing, I can often be found telling a story. In the winter of 2018, my sister got married and I found myself walking up to the podium, with my nephew, Jack, to tell the story of my relationship with her, while Jack gave me bunny ears (pictured above). This ended up being one of the most memorable and important moments in my life.

I can also be found in charge of a group of people, despite the fact that I am very much an introvert. In high school, I was a councilor at camp. Last summer, I worked an elementary school’s summer program. If I can make a possessive impact on a person or group of people, I will go out of my way to do so. The joy of seeing someone change, even slightly, in front of my eyes, is like no other.

Of course, I am an introvert. So, often my favorite person to be with is myself. I will intentionally spend hours upon hours simply sitting or walking, often outside. If I am on the Swanson Bridge, and I’m not on my way to class, this is what I’m doing. The world of the mind never ends, and so I find great joy in just exploring it. This has led to a love of hiking, climbing, astronomy, and photography, among others. I have even considered becoming a monk. Without the chance to just contemplate, nothing listed above could be possible. This dive into the mind is what gives me the passion to do everything else.

So, I have no idea what I want to do, not because I don’t want to do anything, but because I choose not to ever be boxed in. I wander around the world of the mind and the physical world, so I can keep wondering about the mysteries of life. There’s not really job with such description that I have been able to find.

From Foundling to Founder & Beyond!

Before I finished High School, at the young age of sixteen, I was living in my car learning how to make ends meet, the hard way. I learned very quickly who I wanted (and didn’t want) to be. Hardship has a way of getting right to the point.

My name is Julie Dreier (soon to be Adams), and I’ve been in digital communications as a professional for the better part of fifteen years. I currently own my own marketing and advertising business, Girl In Paris™ Creative Studio, which I incorporated in 2011. Over the years I have built numerous websites, commercial WordPress® themes, various digital platforms, advertising campaigns, and provided print collateral for most of my high profile clients which I am very honored to say include: The Zac Brown Brand®, A Southern Company®Cox Media Group®, Netjets®, Forbes®, Ali Brown®, Anderson Aesthetics in Atlanta, University of Georgia®, and the former Marine One pilot for President Barack Obama, Michael Middleton, with his new software company Safe Helipad™. I am writing about each of these experiences in my upcoming book Brand Like A Girl.

I am a proud member of the Atlanta Ad Club, The Graphic Artist Guild, and currently, have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Maybe I am an overachiever? Probably.

You might be asking yourself ‘Dear God, woman, what are you doing here?’ The simple answer is that I am seeking a degree as a “backup plan”, but more importantly, the real answer is to have the honor of walking across that graduation stage with a diploma in my hand for the first time in my life. Remember when I said I started my adulthood in my car? That was during my Junior year. I didn’t get to finish high school because I was living each day wondering if I would survive the next. In fact, I never even saw my senior year.

But fast forward to today and the outlook is much brighter. I currently host my own podcast Girl Boss Talk™ that has made it to: iTunes®, Spotify®, Google Play™, Stitcher®, and just recently iHeart Radio® with over 10,000 downloads. 2018 proved to be a successful year for my show and has even spawned my new shiny project, Podcast Nation FM™, that just officially launched in December. My show’s episodes feature other successful women and their stories, along with tips and tricks to becoming a successful entrepreneur from a woman’s perspective. In my pilot episode, I talk about the professional revelation I had during my first semester here at Piedmont and why there is a need to bridge the gap between large corporate opportunity and the ambitious small business entrepreneur.

My hobbies include leather-working, jewel-crafting, painting, gaming, and playing drums. I have three daughters, the youngest is twelve and the other two have begun their adult journeys already. Time really does fly by! I also have three dogs, two cats, and a rabbit named Thumper, just in case, I get bored.

“Sacrifice is not what we give up, but what we ultimately gain” ~JD

me

Julie Dreier
CEO/Founder & Creative Director
Girl In Paris LLC
Podcast Nation LLC

Hadley: Yikes, What’s Up with the Moon?

On July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 landed on Hadley Base, near the Hadley C crater. 28 years later, an overgrown fetus slithered out of my mother. The two have no correlation, but it’s pretty cool that there’s a part of the moon that shares my name and a space mission that landed on my birthday.50274311_2251794588477775_7069170793715859456_o

My name is Hadley. I was born in the college town of Carbondale, Illinois, to Jeremy and Andrea Cottingham. I moved around a lot as a kid, my dad was a network engineer in the ’90s and early 2000s, meaning his job was in high demand. When we moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and my sister came along (as well as my diagnosis with a very expensive disability) we were just trying to make ends meet. We ended up in Tennessee for a few years, and then finally relocated to Atlanta.

During my childhood, I never knew anything for sure. My health, location, and family’s expenses were constantly fluctuating. What I always did have, though, was writing. No matter how little made sense to me or how scared I was, writing always gave me back a little bit of control. Oh, and I was good at it.

My writing career began to gain momentum during my junior year of high school when my short story, “A Very Vague Story About the Moon,” received two awards from the Georgia Young Authors Fair. I began touring colleges around this time, and I ended up at Piedmont College, where Dr. Joe Dennis took an interest in my writing. By the end of my first year at Piedmont, my poem “lightly” had received two awards, been published twice, and I was getting ready to take the position of opinions editor at the Piedmont Roar.

Thus far in my sophomore year, I have written, edited for, and traveled with The Roar to Louisville, Kentucky for the National College Media Convention, as well as published my first book. I’m working on comfortably switching between AP style and MLA format, and quickly learning that AP will have to pry the Oxford comma out of my cold, dead hands.

Emily Pierce- reading, writing, and racism

By the end of my senior year of high school, I was certain that I wanted to be a middle school Language Arts teacher. Now, my last semester of my undergraduate degree, I am certain that I do not.

In middle school and high school, much of my free time was spent writing, and I always loved my Language Arts classes. I entered Piedmont College as an English Education major, but I will be leaving this May with a B.A. in English, plus whatever a minor in Social Justice shows up as, and heading off to graduate school for, yes, more English. It took me a while to realize that the K12 education system was not for me, though I retain my intense respect for educators. The same semester I first spoke at a literary conference, SAMLA, I changed my major. Luckily, I had enough English credits to not be too far behind.

Since changing my major, I’ve had internships and other professional opportunities appear from out of the blue. I got to be the guinea pig for the Lillian Smith Scholars Program here at Piedmont as well as for Reforming Arts’ (a non-profit that provides liberal arts education at Lee Arrendale Prison) internship program. This past summer I stumbled into an internship with Georgia Humanities and got to work on the upcoming Lillian Smith documentary. In February, I’m giving a presentation on Lillian Smith’s Killers of the Dream at the Southern Studies Conference. I am also working on submitting a paper to be published.

Throughout the past couple years, Lillian Smith and her work have made a huge impact on me, and much of what she talked about could have been said yesterday. I have seen the impacts of institutionalized racism on the news and in day-to-day life, but nothing hit me so hard as my internship with Reforming Arts, getting to be in the prison and work with these women one-on-one. Mass incarceration has become a big social justice issue for me, and I have changed from “Miss Community Service” in my high school’s pageant to being someone who marches and affects change. I am writing my capstone on Lillian Smith’s work and the personal, societal, and historical traumas of racism.

These opportunities, combined with the influence of Lillian Smith and the love and support from my family, church family, friends, and boyfriend, have shown me that I made the right decision, and I know that I’m ready for whatever comes next.

Joe Dennis: shaped by journalism

20140106-102100.jpg

Journalist. Father. Teacher. Husband. Student. Friend. Mentor. Son.

There are many hats underneath the fedora that frequently adorns my head, but at the core of every aspect of me is a passion for people. Whether they are family members, students, colleagues, church members, friends or even strangers, I am fascinated by the uniqueness of each individual and the stories underneath their hats. It’s why I’m a journalist. Every person has a story, and I want to discover it.

My journalistic journey began at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. My summer orientation leader was sports editor of the college newspaper, and he needed a volleyball reporter. I didn’t know much about volleyball, but had a huge crush on one of the volleyball players. Middle hitter Tara, and the promise of free pizza at the newspaper meetings, roped me into journalism.

Little did I know that a little crush and a lot of pepperoni would set up the rest of my life.

The stories I heard, wrote and even lived through shaped who I am today and the hats I wear. I became an organ donor after profiling a man’s unsuccessful wait for a new liver. My respect for police officers grew immensely after spending 20 hours with a unit during a meth-lab drug bust. My compassion for the poor — especially children — was reinforced after visiting the blighted home of a slum-lord victim. My faith was strengthened after witnessing victims of various tragedies be thankful for the silver linings of their situation.

In addition to shaping who I am, journalism has also been a lot of fun. My career has given me the opportunity to hang out with several “stars,” such as musician John Mayer, WWE superstar Chris Jericho and basketball legend Isaiah Thomas. I’ve met several historical figures including civil rights leaders, war heroes and prominent politicians. But the most inspiration came from the everyday people I encountered: the principal of an impoverished school who is doing all he can to stop the cycle of poverty among his students, the nurse who has dedicated her career to providing free healthcare for the poor, the retired couple who are housing and keeping the local Red Cross chapter alive.

I tried my best to tell their stories through an article, later published in a newspaper. But their stories didn’t die there. Although the physical papers may have been trashed, their stories continue to be recycled in every interaction I make, each an individual thread in the hats that make me who I am.