What’s Happening With The Student Access And Experience Initiative

We often think of the college and university experience as a student’s first bold step into the world and as a doorway to endless possibilities. Brenau embraces that philosophy for the 137-year-old institution’s mission. The ForeverGold campaign provides for broader access to what Brenau offers and to richer experiences on campus and around the world. The $18 million segment of the campaign provides for need- and merit-based scholarships and fellowships for both undergraduate and graduate students throughout the university, an endowment for international experiences for students and levels of annual support sufficient to advance the university toward its goals year by year.

Elizabeth Campbell, an organizational leadership senior at Brenau, has her copy of 'Real-Life MBA' signed by the books authors Jack and Suzy Welch.
Elizabeth Campbell, an organizational leadership senior at Brenau, has her copy of ‘Real-Life MBA’ signed by the books authors Jack and Suzy Welch. Click here or the photo above for a gallery from the event.

Brenau Endowments like the Kay and Doug Ivester Endowed Program Series, expand student experience by bringing to campus outstanding performers and speakers. Above, Brenau senior organization leadership major Elizabeth Campbell, from Athens, Georgia, meets briefly with and collects an autographed book from the co-authors, the legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch and his wife, business journalist and television commentator Suzy Welch, following their appearance in Pearce Auditorium on the Gainesville campus April 30.

Yucatan Adventures. One of the Brenau’s ever-expanding international experience opportunities involves semester-long regular field work as well as short-term immersion courses in Yucatan, Mexico.

During the spring term, the School of Occupational Therapy conducted three programs for students there. A 12-week fieldwork course in Merida placed students in different health care settings, including a specialty hospital for children with issues like cerebral palsy and Down syndrome, a psychiatric facility, an acute care hospital and an orthopedic outpatient rehabilitation facility. During spring break, one Brenau group worked with Mexican clinicians practicing newer techniques on children with neurodevelopment disabilities, while a second group, as part of a global health perspectives course, took a close look at health care in another country, visiting sources ranging from a modern hospital to traditional healers in rural settings.

Brenau occupational therapy students talk about their experience doing their level 2 field work internationally in Merida, Yucatan. The students spend 12 weeks immersed in Yucatecan culture working alongside mexican clinicians to earn their hours.

Lawmakers. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signs into law a bill to expand state special education benefits for military dependents during the Atlanta Press Club lunch Wednesday, April 29. Deal had with him for the media event three 2014 Brenau occupational therapy alumnae, Rachel Strazynski Sushner, of Baltimore, Maryland, Shelby Wrenn, of Clarkesville, Georgia, and Allison Guisasola, of Braselton, Georgia.They and classmate Ashley McCoy, of Maysville, Georgia, had suggested the change in the law to begin with – as part of a project for an interdisciplinary public health care policy class in the College of Business & Mass Communication.

Governor Nathan Deal signs House Bill 62 into law during the Atlanta Press Club lunch Wednesday, April 29, in font of Brenau occupational therapy alumnae Rachel Strazynski, Shelby Wrenn and Allison Guisasola. HB 62, which helps special needs children of military personnel by lifting a one-year residency requirement before students can receive benefits, started as a class project the Brenau students worked on and pitched to Representative Kevin Tanner as they earned their graduate degrees.
Governor Nathan Deal signs House Bill 62 into law during the Atlanta Press Club lunch Wednesday, April 29, in font of Brenau occupational therapy alumnae Rachel Strazynski, Shelby Wrenn and Allison Guisasola. HB 62, which helps special needs children of military personnel by lifting a one-year residency requirement before students can receive benefits, started as a class project the Brenau students worked on and pitched to Representative Kevin Tanner as they earned their graduate degrees. Click here or the photo above for a gallery from the event.

Wayne_Dempsey_01Anonymous Donor Plants $50,000 Dempsey Scholarship Seed. With ForeverGold seeking to bolster scholarship endowments as a means of opening access for more students to all Brenau offers, an anonymous donor during the first years of the public phase of the campaign seeded the $50,000 Wayne W. Dempsey Endowed Scholarship Fund. Named for the late Brenau CFO, the fruits of the gift will be available to any students at any level “who are pursuing degrees, completing their studies or seeking to achieve better lives through a Brenau University education.” That contribution marked the second initiative named for Dempsey, a lifelong educator and music enthusiast. Starting during the silent phase, Brenau began its effort to become an all-Steinway piano school to enhance the educational experience for aspiring musicians and the listening experience for audiences. The university named the first instrument it acquired in the ongoing program for Dempsey, chief champion of the project. Dempsey, on the right, is shown 18 months before his death with Brenau music Professor Ben Leaptrott at the instrument’s 2013 dedication.

Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk. How do you say “Welcome to Brenau University” in Mandarin? How do you say the same phrase in Spanish?

Jordan Anderson, Director of International Students and Programs at Brenau
Jordan Anderson, Director of International Students and Programs at Brenau

For answers to those questions, the best person to consult at Brenau is Jordan Anderson, right, the new director of programs and services for the university’s scores of international students. In fact, if you want to know about Japanese or German, she is a good source on those languages, too. Anderson’s familiarity with languages other than her native English serves her – and the university – extremely well as it goes through the paces not only of bringing the world to Brenau’s doorstep, but also of taking Brenau to the world.

Already underway is an agreement with Anhui Normal University, one of the largest universities in China, which at the end of a three-year ramp-up will bring a steady rotation of 80 students a year to finish the last two

Lixin Zhu and Yan Zhou of Anhui Normal College in Anhui, China, work with first year student Tiffany Ozieh during Dr. Sonia Robles history class.
Lixin Zhu and Yan Zhou of Anhui Normal College in Anhui, China, work with first year student Tiffany Ozieh during Dr. Sonia Robles history class.

years of their degrees in early childhood education at Brenau. With the first Chinese students scheduled to arrive in 2016, faculty exchanges are already underway. Shown in the photo below left, ANU professors Lixin Zhu and Yan Ahou engage Brenau first-year student Tiffany Ozieh, a biology major from Duluth, Georgia, during a history class on the Gainesville campus. Brenau College of Education professors Eugene Williams and Bryan Sorohan already have traveled to China to work with students and faculty on the ANU campus.

Two more 2+2 agreements are nearing completion. They provide for a total biannual turnover of 220 Chinese students who will begin the first two years of college at their home institutions, then finish the last two years of their undergraduate studies at Brenau. Once ratified, the new deals project that students will arrive on the Brenau campus from Anhui College of Traditional Chinese Medicine for nursing and from ANU for English literature and composition majors starting in 2017.chinese students chart

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