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Advisory Council

The College of Education’s Advisory Council (AC) is a collection of individuals who bring unique knowledge and skills to augment the knowledge and skills of the faculty and staff in order to more effectively guide the organization. The AC serves to make recommendations and/or provide key information and materials to faculty and staff. The AC plays an important public relations role as well as providing faculty and staff with a fresh perspective on programmatic issues and provides feedback to help faculty and staff as they work to carry out specific initiatives.

 

Council Membership

Abigail Meyers

Student, University of North Georgia

 

Amanda Studer

Faculty, Mundy Mill Learning Academy

 

Dr. April A. Nelms

Associate Dean, College of Education, Professor, University of North Georgia

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: Science Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Alma Mater(s): University of Alabama, University of Northern Alabama

Dr. Nelms joined the faculty at UNG, formerly NGCSU, in 2011. During her time at UNG, she has served as a faculty member, as the Coordinator of Science Education, and as head of a department in the College of Education. In her current role as the Associate Dean, she is responsible for assessment, accreditation, and reporting. Her training is in education and in science, most specifically, the intersection of the two through the development of curriculum and instruction. Her research interests include pedagogical content knowledge, longitudinal professional development, and student analysis of primary literature.

 

Dr. Carol J. Adams

Associate VP, Academic Affairs and Dean, University College, at University of North Georgia

Area of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: Student Success Services, Retention Initiatives, History of US Foreign Relations in the 20th Century

Alma Mater(s): University of Alabama (BA in History, MA in Secondary History, MA in History, PhD in History with specialization in US Foreign Relations)

 

Dr. Catherine Rosa

Assistant Professor, Coordinator for Educational Leadership Program at University of North Georgia

Area of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, ESOL, Arts Integrations, Arts Education, Culturally Responsive Teaching

Alma Mater(s): University of Georgia (Doctorate of Educational Leadership, Specialist in Educational Leadership); Brenau University (MBA); Mercer University (BA)

 

Dr. Chantelle Renaud-Grant

Department Head, Middle, Secondary, and Science Education; Associate Professor, University of North Georgia

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: Science, Gifted Education, Leadership Education

Alma Mater(s): Grambling State University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, University of Texas at Austin

Personal Educational Motto or Favorite Education Quotation: An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. 

 

Dr. Cristina Washell

Department Head, Elementary and Special Education, Associate Professor, University of North Georgia

Alma Mater(s):  Argosy University (Ed.D.), University of North Georgia (M.A.T.), Florida Atlantic University (M.Ed.), Nova Southeastern University (B.S.)

 

Dr. Crystal Brown

Principal of Mundy Mill Academy with Gainesville City Schools

Alma Mater(s):  East Carolina University (Bachelor of Music); Fayetteville State University (Master of School Leadership); North Carolina State University (Doctor of Education)

Personal Educational Motto or Favorite Education Quotation:  It is better to build boys and girls than to mend men and women.

Dr. Brown was a North Carolina Fellow, a North Carolina Writing Fellow, North Carolina Principal Fellow, and a Wilcox-Hodnett Fellow. 

 

Dr. A. Damon Gibbs

Superintendent of Schools, Dawson County School District

Area of Expertise, Specialties, Interests:  K-12 Education, Leadership

Alma Mater: North Georgia College, BBA; University of Georgia, MEd; University of Georgia, Ed.D.

Personal Education Motto or Favorite Educational Quotation: “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” ~ Michelangelo Buonarroti

Dr. Gibbs is a proud husband and father.  He feels he has been fortunate to service the children of NE Georgia for over 25 years. 

 

Dr. Donna Gessell

Professor of English at University of North Georgia

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: Literature, Linguistics, Pedagogy

Alma Mater(s): Case Western Reserve University, the Ohio State University

Personal Educational Motto or Favorite Educational Quotation:  Teachers are known by the success of their students.

 

Gary Steppe

Retired Educator, Educational Consultant in Leadership, Coaches and advises both school system level administrators

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: Defining a Vision--Developing an Outcomes Based Strategic Plans--Developing High Performing STEM Programs--Developing a Skills Based program for a High Skills Economy--Set up a HS Business Incubator emphasizing Entrepreneurship development--Created programs that Engage Students, Recruited High Quality Teachers and Produced High Academically Performing Schools with High Graduation Rates and Well Rounded Students.

Alma Mater(s): Western Carolina University, University of North Carolina in Greensboro

Personal Educational Motto or Favorite Educational Quotation:

"I touch the future. I teach." Christa McAuliffe, teacher & astronaut

"Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another." G.K. Chesterton, English journalist & author

"A good teacher, like a good entertainer, first must hold their audience's attention. Then they can teach the lesson." Hendrik John Clarke, poet & writer

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Chinese proverb

"Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire." William Butler Yeats

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." William Arthur Ward, English writer

 

Holly Mauney

Director of Professional Learning, Pioneer RESA

 

Dr. James Badger

Professor, College of Education, Director of Center for Language Education, University of North Georgia

Alma Mater(s): University of Oxford (DPhil), McGill University, the University Manitoba, University of Winnipeg

 

Dr. James Zoll

Assistant Professor, University of North Georgia

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: Over twenty years of experience as a principal at all levels, Principal Preparation Programs, Educational Leadership Teacher Evaluation

Alma Mater(s): Young Harris College, University of Georgia, State University of West Georgia, Mercer University

Personal Educational Motto or Favorite Educational Quotation: “Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.” ~Nelson Mandela

 

Jeff Hunt

Human Resources Analyst and Talent Coordinator, Fulton County Schools

Alma Mater(s): Georgia State University (Master’s), Louisiana State University (Bachelor’s)

Favorite Educational Motto or Quotation: “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” ~ R. J. Palacio

 

Dr. Jeremy Williams

Superintendent, Gainesville City Schools

 

Dr. Jessica Miles

Head, Department of Kinesiology, Director of Athletic Training Program, Associate Professor at University of North Georgia. 

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests:  Athletic Training, Kinesiology, Concussion, Exertional Heat Illness

Alma Mater(s): University of Georgia (PhD, BS, BA), University of Alabama at Birmingham (MS)

Favorite Educational Motto or Favorite Educational Quotation: If I cannot reach a student beyond the walls of the classroom, beyond feeling like just another student in a seat, then I have not been successful as an educator.  “People don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care.” ~Dr. Ivan Misner, BNI

 

Dr. Kelly McFaden

Department Head, Social Foundations & Leadership, Professor, University of North Georgia

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests:  Social Justice Education, Comparative and International Education, Gender and Queer Theory, Qualitative Research

Alma Mater(s): University of Georgia (Ph.D., M.Ed., B.S.)

Personal Educational Motto or Favorite Educational Quotation: “As long as one people sit on another and are deaf to their cry, so long will understanding and peace elude all of us.” ~ Chinua Achebe

 

Keysha Robinson

HR Staffing Director, Gwinnett County Public Schools

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: Special Education and Recruitment

Alma Mater(s): Mercer University

Favorite Education Motto or Favorite Education Quotation:  “Teachers plant seeds that grow forever.”

 

Dr. Kristie Kiser

University of North Georgia, Student Success Coordinator at University of North Georgia

Alma Mater(s): Brenau University; Georgia Southwestern, University of North Georgia

 

Dr. Lauren Johnson

Assistant Dean, College of Education at University of North Georgia

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests:  Ethnic, class, and gender relations; educational anthropology, diversity pedagogy; issues of race in teacher education, immigration; and the African Diaspora of the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Alma Mater(s): Columbia University Teachers College, Columbia University of South Florida

Personal Educational Motto or Favorite Educational Quotation: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~Nelson Mandela

 

Lauren Pugh

Student, University of North Georgia

 

Leticia Jones

Fulton County Schools

 

Dr. Mark C Spraker

Professor of Physics, University of North Georgia

Area of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: Nuclear Physics, Particle Physics, Physics Education and STEM Education

Alma Mater(s): Indiana University (M.S and Ph.D.); Tennessee State University (B.S)

 

Mary Beth Byerly

Development Office, College of Education and College of Health Sciences & Professions, University of North Georgia

 

Dr. Michael Gwatney

Superintendent, Fannin County School System

Alma Mater(s): University of Georgia (Ed.D., M.Ed., Ed.S.), Brenau University (B.S.)

 

Nicky Gilleland –

Retired Superintendent of Dawson County School System, Field Placement Supervisor for UNG College of Education

Area of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: Early childhood education, former elementary principal for 18 years

Alma Mater(s):  University of Georgia – Specialist; University of North Georgia – BS and Master of Education

 

Dr. Patty Wagner

Math Education Program Coordinator, Associate Professor at University of North Georgia, Department of Mathematics

Area of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: Tertiary mathematics education Mathematics curricula

 

Priscilla Collins

Chief Professional Services Officer with Gainesville City School System

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: Human Resources Teacher and Leader Quality School Improvement Professional Learning

Alma Mater(s): University of West Alabama (Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education; University of North Georgia (Master’s of Science in Early Childhood and Specialist in Education)

Personal Educational Motto or favorite educational quotation: Education is the most powerful weapon.

 

Dr. Rob Brown

Superintendent of Schools, Lumpkin County School System

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: K-12 Education, Educational Leadership

Alma Mater(s): Carson-Newman College; Jacksonville State University; University of Alabama

Additional Information: Dr. Brown has served in public education for 25 years; jobs have included teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, executive director of secondary schools, and superintendent. After serving as superintendent for 4 years in Jeff Davis County, Brown is currently serving in his 5th year as superintendent for Lumpkin County Schools. Dr. Brown is a recognized leader within his professional organizations. In addition to having been appointed to serve on numerous state committees, he is currently serving as the President-Elect for the Georgia School Superintendent’s Association and the Vice-Chair for the Pioneer RESA Board of Control. During his career, Dr. Brown has presented at numerous state and national conferences on a variety of educational issues. The Georgia School Boards Association Conference, the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders Conference, the Georgia Charter System Foundation Conference, the National Youth At-Risk Conference, the National Dropout Prevention Conference, and the National Alternative Education Conference have included Dr. Brown’s presentations through the years. Schools and school systems under Dr. Brown’s leadership have been identified as some of the best in the state and country. Awards including a National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Lighthouse School, a Georgia School Boards Association State Finalist for the Governance Team of the Year, a GSBA Leading Edge Award, and the Georgia Charter System Leadership Development Award have been received under Dr. Brown’s leadership.

 

Sandy Ott

Blue Ridge Campus Director, University of North Georgia

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests:  Higher Education, Student Success and Community Engagement

Alma Mater(s): Georgia Southern University (M.Ed.), Shorter College (BA in Communications), University of North Georgia (Graduate Level Certification Program in Diversity Education)

Personal Educational Motto or Favorite Educational Quotation: “Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”  ~Mary Anne Radmacher

Additional Information: Ms. Ott received the University System of Georgia’s Chancellor’s Service Excellence Award for Outstanding Leadership.  She is actively involved within numerous community/civic organizations and values the relationships of community partnerships and collaboration. 

 

Dr. Sheri Hardee

Dean, College of Education, University of North Georgia

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: My Ph.D. is in the Social Foundations of Education, and my areas of interests for research include the following: (1) access to higher education for underrepresented students, (2) mentoring programs, (3) postcolonial concepts of the borderland in higher education, and (4) intersectionality in higher education. 

Alma Mater(s): University of South Carolina (Ph.D., M.A, B.A) Go Gamecocks (We pride ourselves on being consistently mediocre in sports)!

Personal Educational Motto or Favorite Educational Quotation:  "The academy is not paradise. But learning is a place where paradise can be created. The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom." ~bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress

 

Stephanie Gericke

Budget Manager, Mike Cottrell College of Business, University of North Georgia, student in the UNG, Ed.D. Program

Alma Mater(s): University of Georgia (BBA-International Business), University of West Georgia (MBA), University of North Georgia (Current student in Ed.D.)

Personal Educational Motto or Favorite Educational Quotation:  “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” ~Margaret Mead

 

Tina Payne

Director, Field Placement at University of North Georgia

Areas of Expertise, Specialties, Interests: Working with school districts, HR, principals, APs, mentor teachers, COE administration, faculty and supervisors to ensure high quality, successful field and clinical placements for our College of Education juniors, seniors and graduate students is my area of expertise along with a background in HR, finance and banking. I am a math nerd who loves excel spreadsheets and looking for ways to streamline and improve processes. My passions are family time, travel, flowers in my garden, and photography.

Alma Mater(s): Gainesville Junior College ( A.A., Business Administration); North Georgia College (B.A., Management and Accounting)

Personal Educational Motto or Favorite Educational Quotation: You may change the life of a child beginning with a smile.

 

Dr. Will Schofield

Superintendent of Schools, Hall County School District

Alma Mater(s):  University of Georgia (triple dog)

Personal Educational Motto or Favorite Educational Quote: Honored to prepare the next generation for citizenship and service in the greatest country on the planet.

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