OU Freshman Doubles as Advice Columnist

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Advice columnist Curtis Jones lounges in the Starbucks in Oglethorpe’s Turner Lynch Campus Center.

At first glance, Curtis Jones ’17 seems fairly typical amidst the throng of students in the campus Starbucks. You’d never guess that he has a “secret identity”: Curtis is an advice columnist for metro Atlanta teens.

The Oglethorpe freshman writes for Vox, a nonprofit teen magazine based in Atlanta that is “the voice of Atlanta teens.” It’s the city’s largest publication created by and for teens without censorship. The magazine is distributed to high schools and community groups. Vox also offers a blog, an after school program, and summer seminars for students interested in learning how to cover “new multimedia techniques for storytelling, the fundamentals of journalism, poetry, photography and design.

According to Curtis, he stumbled into his writing position when he was a high school senior. He had dropped by Vox’s office with friends already involved in the magazine and discovered that the Vox volunteers and students were “welcoming and friendly,” so he immediately asked how he could get involved.

VoxCurtis had always been interested in writing music and lyrics but has discovered that he also enjoys the kind of writing he gets to do for Vox. He worked his way up and took over the advice column at the end of the summer of 2013. The questions he answers tend to be staff-generated, but students are also encouraged to submit questions to the editor. The questions can range anywhere from academics to even more personal questions regarding relationships.

Curtis’ community involvement already extends to Oglethorpe as well. On campus, he’s active with the Black Student Caucus and OUtlet and is interested in joining the staff of the student newspaper, The Stormy Petrel. He hasn’t yet decided on a major, but is debating between communications or fields like counseling or social work. “I just want to help people,” he says,”That’s something that I’ve always known that I get joy out of.”

Ultimately, he chose to attend Oglethorpe for multiple reasons. Curtis says he “fell in love” with the campus itself during Admitted Students Day, plus the diversity of the campus was a determining factor. “It’s really big to me to be able to interact with so many different people.”

Curtis is a positive and determined student who by all indications will be a future campus leader.  Check out Curtis and his VOX colleague Akil singing about why “VOX rocks”:

Employee Recognition Luncheon Honors Staff and Faculty

President Larry Schall and Montrey Jackson, winner of the Staff Member of the Year Award.

President Larry Schall and Montrey Jackson, winner of the Staff Member of the Year Award.

The inaugural Employee Recognition Luncheon was held on Monday in the new Turner Lynch Campus Center, and a number of staff and faculty members were recognized for their exceptional service to Oglethorpe.

Oglethorpe staff members were invited to nominate their peers for six new staff awards that recognized individuals who have gone “beyond the call of duty.” All awards included a monetary prize. A total of 21 nominations were submitted for this year’s awards.

The top Staff Member of the Year Award for the 2012-13 academic year went to Montrey Jackson, systems & communications analyst in IT Services. His award was presented by coworker and nominator Al Fuller, who highlighted Montrey’s willingness to always stop what he’s doing to help anyone in the OU community. Montrey personally took it upon himself to research and implement the necessary steps for a gaming network on campus and has been integral in researching and implementing cost saving measures. When OU recently lost power across the entire campus, Montrey came to work even though employees were told to stay at home, in order to ensure that Oglethorpe’s network became functional. He is a consummate professional and has exemplified being a team player through his conduct, generosity, and service-oriented approach. 

Winners of staff awards, Katie Paden, Judy Zahn, Montrey Jackson, Suzy Lane, Laura Sinclair and Heather Staniszewski.

Staff award winners: Katie Paden, Judy Zahn, Montrey Jackson, Suzy Lane, Laura Sinclair and Heather Staniszewski.

Additional awards were presented to staff members who exhibited exemplary conduct during the past year in specific categories.
The winners of these awards are:
Professionalism Award: Suzy Lane, accounts receivable specialist, Business Office
Customer Service Award: Judy Zahn, circulation manager, Philip Weltner Library
Quality Award: Katie Paden, assistant director, Admission Office
Teamwork Award: Heather Staniszewski, assistant director, Center for Civic Engagement
Creativity Award: Laura Sinclair, reference librarian, Philip Weltner Library

The Staff Recognition Committee was responsible for reviewing and evaluating all of the nominations to determine the winners. This year’s committee included Melissa Briley, Becky Hall, George Kopec, Wayne Phipps, Renee Vary Keele and Toni Zimmerman. This year’s six award winners will form the Staff Recognition Committee for the upcoming academic year.

Staff and faculty that received pins commemorating years of service to Oglethorpe: Alan Woods, Cindy Vaios, Al Fuller, Wayne Phipps, Dan Giordano, Phil Ponder, Jon Akin, Stacia Kingston, Judy Zahn, Chris Summers, James Jones and Mike Rulison.

Staff and faculty who received pins commemorating years of service to Oglethorpe: Alan Woods, Cindy Vaios, Al Fuller, Wayne Phipps, Dan Giordano, Phil Ponder, Jon Akin, Stacia Kingston, Judy Zahn, Chris Summers, James Jones, Mike Rulison.

Additionally, pins were presented to employees who celebrated notable work anniversaries at Oglethorpe. Celebrating 5 years of service were Al Fuller, Leanne Henry-Miller, James Jones, Stacia Kingston, Wayne Phipps, Cindy Vaios and Alan Woods. Celebrating 10 years of service were Jon Akin, Dr. Lynn Gieger, Dan Giordano, Dr. Peter Kower, Dr. Seema Shrikhande, Chris Summers and Judy Zahn. Celebrating 15 years of service were Phil Ponder and Dr. Anne Rosenthal. Drs. Brad Smith and Dean Tucker celebrated 20 and 25 years, respectively. The awards with the most years of service went to Dr. Mike Rulison and Dr. Brad Stone, both whom celebrated 30 years of service with Oglethorpe this year.

Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees, and thank you to everyone who dedicates their professional lives to benefit Oglethorpe University!

Staff members from Admission, including David Dixon, Ryan Edwards, Katie Paden, Lucy Leusch, Alex Richey, Rebecca Secula.

Admission staff David Dixon, Ryan Edwards, Katie Paden, Lucy Leusch, Alex Richey, Rebecca Secula.

Development and Alumni Relations staff Sarah Minge, Heather Main, Barb Henry and Tess Beals.

Development and Alumni Relations staff Sarah Minge, Heather Main, Barb Henry and Tess Beals.

The Lale Özgörkey Bell Tower Dedicated at Oglethorpe’s Lupton Hall

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, Cemal Özgörkey, Armagan Özgörkey, Coca-Cola's Chairman & CEO Muhtar Kent and President Schall

On April 8, Oglethorpe University officially dedicated the iconic bell tower of Lupton Hall as The Lale Özgörkey Bell Tower. A dedication ceremony held in front of Lupton Hall included special guest speakers Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.

The naming is in recognition of a generous gift from the Özgörkey family, many of whom were in attendance. Cemal Özgörkey, chairman of Özgörkey Holding, is a member of the Oglethorpe’s Board of Trustees. Both he and his brother, Armagan Özgörkey, vice chairman of Özgörkey Holding, are Oglethorpe alumni. The bell tower’s new name honors their mother, Lale Özgörkey. The family’s gift benefits Oglethorpe’s new campus center, opening in August 2013.

“Oglethorpe’s relationship with the Özgörkey family began more than 30 years ago and we could not be more proud of Cemal and Armagan and what they accomplished,” said Oglethorpe President Larry Schall. “It’s a tremendous privilege for our entire community to name the bell tower that overlooks our campus in honor of their mother, Lale Özgörkey.”

Lupton Hall is named after John Thomas Lupton, the owner of the Southern franchise of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Lupton Hall was completed in three phases, with groundbreaking ceremonies in 1922, 1924 and 1927. The bell tower, a part of the original section of the hall, was built as a memorial to Lupton’s mother. Lupton Hall was the second building erected on the university’s campus.