She has grit and tenacity. She bravely faced major illness as a teen and is now taking on her education with the same fervor.

What is your occupation?
I am a college student, and as my parents put it... "That is your full-time job."

What is your college major?
My major is Anthropology. Most people ask what that is, so a brief definition that I always give is: Anthropology is the study of culture: past, present, and future. To me, the study of anthropology is the coolest thing to study, because it changes daily, you get to travel the world and meet new people, plus I love history and you learn A LOT of history!

Why eCore?
eCore became a really good path for me, because it allowed me to get extra classes and hours. I love to learn, and I am a veracious reader, so I feel like I will do well in this short session.

Who is the biggest inspiration for your education?
My biggest inspiration for education would actually be three people: My dad, my oldest brother Jonathan (I have three), and my Big Sis in my sorority, Amy. Each one of these people has influenced my ways of thought pertaining to education. Each one brings something new to the table, and all of their help has definitely helped me become the student I am today. My dad is very focused on facts and what he has seen, done, or learned. My brother does slightly the same, but he puts in a little more emotion and he taught me some fantastic ways to study and boost my grades.  Both of them have a love for learning that definitely was passed to me because of them.  As for my Big Sis Amy, she is one of the best people I know. She is about to graduate and become an elementary teacher, but although we have different career paths, she always helps me get to new levels on my road to success. She embodies the perfect teacher spirit, which I just love.  When we study together and I don't understand something, she helps me break it down into pieces that I understand, and then we put the "puzzle" back together.  They have all made learning fun and something that I love to do!

What is something cool you have learned this semester in eCore?
Well, this is actually my first session with eCore, so I haven't had a lot of time with it yet... But already I can sense that I will gain a lot of knowledge from this program.

What three words would you use to describe one of your online instructors?
Now that I have had a couple days to meet my teachers, I can say that each is unique, encouraging, and helpful! I really feel as if they truly care about my educational experience.

Where is your favorite place to visit in the USA?
I have had the opportunity to travel to California, New York, Philly, Boston, and Washington D.C., but my favorite place in the world would have to be Disney World in Orlando, Florida! My family of six (I am 1 of 4 kids...and the only girl) would take trips down there, and it was the only time we could all be together and enjoy being a family.  We went to all the parks in Orlando, but Disney holds the most memories!

What kind of mood are you in right now, and why?
I am in a great mood. I am reading and studying right now for my world history class, which I love. I find that it is a lot easier to study about something that fascinates you.

What is your favorite study spot?
I love to study outside in the warm sun, but when it gets cold I have a little corner that I sit in and can sit there for hours.

What is something your online classmates don't know about you?
I am secretly obsessed with an old Sci-fi show called Stargate SG-1. I can tell you all the names of the episodes, lines from each, and the most obscure characters names from all 10 seasons plus the movies they made.

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?
I am only 20 years old, and to many that is still a pretty young age, but I have had to grow up a lot faster than other people. When I was 14, I was in and out of the hospital for a year and a half having over 9 surgeries. I do not have a large intestine.  I know that this usually gets me the "WHOA, are you serious?” face. This event in my life changed me, not just physically. Yes, I do battle problems still on a daily basis. Yes, I almost died, but if I hadn't had the support system and encouragement from the people around me during this hard time, I would not be the person I am today. My mom and I began to say a phrase to each other, especially when I was not having a good day or was in a lot of pain, and that phrase is Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Although during my hard times I really had trouble believing in the big guy upstairs, the simplicity of my mom looking at me, holding my hand, and saying 4:13 was enough to keep me pushing and fighting for my life. Without her or the rest of my family and friends, I would not be here today. These two simple things, family and friends, changed my life forever and kept me alive.

1. What is your occupation? I work at a local power company, EPB, in Chattanooga, TN in the Field Services division.  I mainly focus on the fiber optic services like TV, Internet and phone service.  I troubleshoot problems that our fiber optics customers are having within their fiber network like TV signal issues, internet and phone issues. 

2. What is your college major?
My college major is Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership.  I was originally going for a Bachelor of Business Administration at Dalton State College before the eMajor program was offered. 

3. Why eMajor?
I needed the eMajor program because I work full-time, and it is impossible to take more than 6 hours per semester face-to-face.  It was taking me forever to finish and it was going to take me at least another 2 years to finish.  I am so thankful that DSC is a part of the eMajor program because now I will graduate summer after only being in this program for less than a year!

4. Who is the biggest inspiration for your education?
The biggest inspiration for my education is me. I know how that sounds but hear me out.  I have had crappy jobs most of my life.  When I graduated high school I went to the carpet factory. (We are in Dalton you know!) After 1 year of hard labor I decided I could do something better for myself.  I went back to Dalton State College to get my Associate's degree so I could get a better job.  I got my Associates degree in 2 years and shortly after I obtained a decent paying job.  Finally, I had something I could be proud of and since then I have excelled with my degree.  I wanted to go back to get my Bachelors degree so I could advance in my career and go even further and make even more money.  I pride myself in having a very good work ethic and I work extremely hard.  I know I can achieve anything because I have been there and done that and have seen the fruits of my labor.
5. What is something cool you've learned this semester in your eMajor class?

Something cool that I have learned is that I find it more interesting and I feel like I learn more because I have the material at my hands at all times.  Some of the discussions we have really feel like you are in the class and are getting to know the other students.  I have learned a lot about myself as a learner.

6. What three words would you use to describe one of your online instructors?

These are more like 3 statements vs. 3 words:
1. Very smart
2. Easy to communicate with
3. Involved

7. Where is your favorite place to visit in the USA?
My favorite place to visit is anywhere that has a beach and for adventure I have started hiking the Appalachian Trail. I love to hike and my friends and I will take week long hikingtrips and love being outside.  We started the AT this year and have completed to first 21 miles and will do another 20 mile section later this year. 

8. What kind of mood are you in right now, and why?
I’m in a great mood because I know my life is heading in a very positive direction and I can't wait to finish my degree to get my reward for all of those years of hard work.

9. Your favorite study spot?
My favorite study spot is my couch.  Believe it or not, I like to have the TV on and have it on mute while I study.

10. What is something your online classmates don't know about you?
I guess they do not know how funny I can be.  I have a lot of stupid-funny jokes that I tell so I think I'm pretty entertaining. 

11. What are your career plans beyond eMajor?

My career plans after eMajor is to further my career here at EPB.  This company is so amazing, and we have a culture here that only Google would know about.  EPB cares so much about its employees and always tries to make everyone comfortable.  There is always continuous opportunity and they make you feel important and always make you feel proud to be a part of this great company.  My goal would be to get into leadership either in power or fiber optics.  All I know is that I will get an opportunity to shine, and when I get it I will run with it!

12. Is there anything interesting you would like to share about yourself?
I'm just a regular guy trying to make it. I feel like nothing but good is ahead of me with my eventual graduation with a bachelor’s degree, potential advancement and a loving family.

You are known as one of America's top debate coaches, and have led the University of West Georgia to multiple national championships. You were also consistently ranked as a top 10 debater nationally when you were in college. Briefly tell us how to win an argument. 
You must first understand who you are trying to convince, determine what kinds of evidence they find persuasive, and what their most likely objections to your position are. 
Most Sunday afternoons, you can usually find me  . . . in the GA Dome, watching the Atlanta Falcons, Rise Up!
What was the last movie that made you cry? The Big Lebowski, when Donny dies.
Describe the most interesting online student you ever had. No one student stands out; rather, the composite profile of the non-traditional student always interests me. Their willingness to not only return to college, courageous in and of itself, but engage in online learning is something I admire and find remarkable. 
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? President of the United States.
What are two things most people don't know about you? I am an ordained minister; my karaoke version of "Purple Rain" brings down the house.
You travel all over the country to debate tournaments? Where's your favorite place? The Bay Area - San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley - has it all. 
The most used appliance in my house is :  Blender.
The definition of success is: Recognizing one's full potential.

David Bachman is one fascinating guy who grabs life by the horns and lives it to the fullest. He has lived in many different areas of Georgia, but has now settled in Midtown Atlanta. Believe it or not, David found out about eMajor from our USG eMajor Facebook page. 

1. What is your occupation?
I am a Ramp Control Coordinator at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. I coordinate the ground movement of 320-350 flights per shift on the world’s two busiest ramps. Yes, you could say that things get a little stressful at times. I work in a ramp control tower, which is located on top of the concourse in which passengers load their planes. During peak traffic times it is highly common to communicate with 20 or more aircraft. Ramp Control is a highly specialized profession that requires your full attention to ensure the safety of all passengers and the efficient movement of aircraft on the ramp areas. I am very fortunate to say that I look forward to my job every day.

2. What is your college major?
I have previously studied Mass Communications and Marketing at the University of West Georgia prior to transferring to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Control school at Middle Georgia College, where I graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Air Traffic Management.

I am working towards my Bachelors in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Public Administration from Valdosta State University via eMajor.

3. Why eMajor? 

I stay very busy with my full-time job in Atlanta which inhibits me from attending college in a traditional classroom setting. I chose to explore my options with eMajor and I have been very pleased with the ease and the results. I am able to learn at my own pace while working at my full-time job, which I love! The technology is state-of-the-art and the online systems make it easy to navigate, communicate with others, and upload files. I specifically enjoy sharing ideas and receiving feedback from my professors and peers. My degree from Valdosta State University will make me a much more marketable person in the future. 

4. Who is the biggest inspiration for your education?
My mother is my inspiration. She has always been a promoter and supporter of higher education. She frequently tells me how important it is to earn my Bachelor's degree. My mother attended college at the University of West Georgia, in Carrollton, but never finished. She has told me this was one of her greatest regrets. I now know what she is talking about. If you do a job search today it is nearly impossible to find a decent, respectable job if you do not have a Bachelors degree. Try it for yourself – it’s impossible! I’ve discovered that it’s absolutely required in today’s workplace to have that Bachelor’s degree behind your name. My mother has opened my eyes pushed me to finish, and I am very thankful for that. Thanks, Mom!

5. Where is your favorite place to visit in the USA?

My favorite place to visit is Austin, Texas. The Oasis at Lake Travis specifically, as the sunset view is stunning! Definitely a place to search on Google pictures.

8. What kind of mood are you in right now, and why?

I am in a very confident and a little taller and a little more proud in the investment that I have made in my education.

9. What's your favorite study spot?
Starbucks! Enjoying a delicious coffee combines very well with my studies. Surprisingly I am much more successful at studying when I am at Starbucks than when I’m at my own home.

10. What is something your online classmates don't know about you?
What I look like.

11. What are your career plans beyond eMajor?
My goal is to become employed by the Federal Aviation Administration as a certified Air Traffic Controller. My degree from Valdosta State University via eMajor will make myself much more marketable inside and outside the aviation industry.

12. Is there anything interesting you would like to share about yourself?
I enjoy working out regularly, staying fit and healthy, riding my bicycle, enjoying the pool with friends, and listening to Frank Sinatra.

David - "Sliding into eMajor!"

Dr. Denise Bogart teaches POLS 4601 Public Personnel Administration for eMajor, and the Chief Human Resources Officer; Director of Human Resources and Employee Development at Valdosta State University.

Why did you choose your field?
Human Resources is a natural extension of wanting to assist employees as well as educating and professionally developing others towards fulfilling life-long learning opportunities.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A Veterinarian; a Teacher; a Biologist…

What is the secret to a happy life?
Staying positive and adaptable.

Who in your life would you like to thank and for what?
My mother and father for always being  there when I needed them and for giving the greatest  gift-unconditional love.
What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life?
Don’t cry over spilled milk.

How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who cared.
What was the worst job you ever had and why was it so bad?
All my work experiences have been good for one reason or another…I did not like telemarketing. I cannot sell anything I don’t personally believe in.

What is it that you absolutely couldn’t live without?
My children!

What do you still want to accomplish?
My bucket list is very long- I still want to travel the world! I want to dive with whales; I want to get to the Galapagos!

Why did you choose teaching?
Teaching changes people’s lives….seeing someone finally get it – lifts your spirits! You know you made an impact in some way in this world and to this person.

What differences have you noticed between online education and face-to-face classes?
It is harder to teach students to be accountable for their comments; their actions as well as inactions… but on the other hand it frees students to express themselves who may otherwise have been intimidated in a classroom setting.

eCore professor Antoinette Miller (The Wacky Professor)
Drawing by Student of Dr. Miller

Dr. Antoinette Miller is currently a Professor of Psychology at Clayton State University, and is a popular professor for the USG eCore online program.

Why did you choose your field?
Initially, I was a Biology major (with a Neuroscience concentration) and as I got closer to graduation I realized I was more interested in humans than rats.  After I’d graduated with a degree in biology (and an additional degree in Classical Languages…no, really), switching to psychology (specifically physiological psychology) was an easy choice from there.

Why did you chose teaching?
I started teaching right after I defended my Masters in 1996, and realized after the first ROCKY semester (I stunk, really stunk bad) that I really enjoyed the interaction.  After graduating and then teaching part-time for another university, when we landed in Georgia I started looking for teaching positions, and happened to see the one I still hold in (of all places) the AJC jobs ad page.   I’ve never looked back, and am finishing my 12th year at Clayton State this Spring.

If you could do one thing over in your life, what would it be?
I would have minored in Psychology – I only took *2* undergraduate psychology courses (and neither of them was intro!) so I had some catching up to do when I hit graduate school.  I can’t think of much else…I’m pretty happy with how things have turned out in most aspects of my life. 

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
That’s a toss up between Isaac Asimov (he was the first exposure I’d had to someone with a PhD who was also incredibly creative) and Sherlock Holmes (also a childhood idol).  I realize that would be difficult since one is fictional and one is deceased.  Both of them represent different ways of thinking, and I respect that immensely.

What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life?
That there is no such thing as finishing or perfecting something like teaching.  It changes from year to year, and that’s part of the reason why I like it so much.  Also to never sacrifice core parts of yourself for your work – that’s another reason why I cherish teaching so much…it allows me to express my creative funkier side in ways that can benefit both me and my students.
In fact, this applies to most things – nothing is ever finished.  Just when you think it’s done, there’s more to do.  That’s both good and bad (but I tend to try to see it as “good”).

What is it that you absolutely couldn’t live without?
My family.  No matter how stressful the day job becomes, they’re always there.

What do you still want to accomplish?
I have dream projects in which I’d marry two of my “hobbies” (Doctor Who and Marvel comics) into my field.  I’m working on that…so stay tuned!

If your life were a movie, what would the title be?
“The Wacky Professor”

How do you think education changes lives?
Education equips people to handle situations, inside and outside of the classroom – or at least, it has the potential to.

How do you feel about current online courses?
I’ve been teaching online for 10 years now – a lot has changed from those days and I think they’ve improved vastly in the amount and quality of interactions between faculty and student (and student and student).  But like my answer to a previous question nothing is ever perfect or truly finished – and so what I do like about my experiences to date both with eCore and my home institution is that the design and implementation of these online courses is still a dynamic process (not a static one).

What differences have you noticed between online education and face-to-face classes?
It depends on the class and the people in it - -I’ve taught face-to-face classes where some students have never once interacted directly with me (despite my best efforts) and have online classes where students that I never saw (or even spoke to, really) were as interactive and engaged with me as someone sitting in the front row every day.  Each term is different, both on my side of the desk (screen) and theirs.

How will students use what they learn in your online classes?
Psychology is really a part of so many things that we do – whether it’s using persuasion to market, or to be able to understand why your three year old is standing between you and the TV and just doesn’t SEEM TO GET THEY ARE IN THE WAY, or to ultimately (with proper training) counsel and support people in crisis.  I hope if nothing else the students will gain a sense of how valuable it is to at least try to understand how people differ from each other (while still being predictable in many ways)  and how that applies to so many different contexts.

To sign up for eCore online courses in the University System of Georgia, vist us at or give us a call at 855-93ECORE. We are here to help.
Diane Wright is an assistant professor of adult and career education at Valdosta State University and teaches eMajor online courses. Often sought out by her colleagues for her expertise in online teaching, Dr. Wright contends that studying and teaching online takes more time than learning or teaching in the classroom.

In spite of the challenges, Dr. Wright says, "the 
main reason I teach online is for my students.  The majority of my students are taking online courses to meet their work or life schedules.  I have some students who are holding several part-time jobs so the only way they can take courses is online."

One of the most challenging aspects of teaching through eMajor is videoconferencing.  "We use Wimba for our video conversation, but it still can’t replace the experience of face-to-face interaction," she says.  "Students who like a quick exchange of ideas typically like a classroom environment.  On the other hand, students who experience anxiety when they are called on to speak during class typically enjoy the time to reflect on their responses offered by online courses."

Dr Wright gains inspiration for her virtual teaching through non-virtual experiences. For example, she and her grandsons have recently taken on a project of learning to do magic tricks. Presently, she's coming up with ways to incorporate some magic tricks into her lesson plans. She explains that when she teaches adult and career education majors, she shares with them the great importance of creating an exciting and memorable learning environment.

This summer, Dr. Wright will teach Contemporary Skills for the Workplace though the eMajor program

One of the best kept secrets in much of Georgia is the dual enrollment program which allows high school students to take college courses and also receive high school credit simultaneously. eCore, the University System of Georgia's online core curriculum, offers several fully-online core courses through nine USG institutions.

High school students who take dual enrollment courses often start college with a year or more of college already completed, and save money because Georgia's ACCEL program covers most or all the tuition. Furthermore, the courses taken do not count towards the 129 hours covered by Georgia's HOPE program.

Last Friday, Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 131, which will provide even more incentives for high school students to participate. The legislation, which goes into affect July 1, will give bonus points to a student's GPA and count towards the "rigorous coursework" that the HOPE scholarship requires.

"These partnerships allow high school students to earn college credits before graduating from high school, making their transition to postsecondary education smoother and their likelihood of graduating from college greater," Deal said.

eCore courses, in particular, provide an exceptional avenue for dual enrollment because they are fully online. "Students can take these courses from home, and they will interfere less with sports or other extra-curricular activities. Alternatively, some schools provide in-school study halls where students can do their online work together," explained Dr. Melanie N. Clay, dean of USG ecore. 

"For highly motivated students, I advocate for students taking the courses online from home, as this helps to better prepare them for the responsibilities they will face as a full-time college students," she said. Either way,  she said, "there's really no better way for parents to save big money on their child's college tuition" than to take advantage of dual enrollment.

An advantage of eCore dual enrollment courses over AP (Accelerated Placement) courses is that eCore course credits are accepted at all University System of Georgia institutions (lab sciences are occasionally an exception depending on the institution and the student's major). Credit is not based on a testing score as it is in AP - if the students passes the class, he or she earns the credit. eCore courses are standard across all member institutions, and were developed by teams of faculty members representing a cross-section of University of System Georgia institutions. Students may also take online eCore courses for dual enrollment in the summer.

Because eCore courses are online, a high school student can dually enroll in any of the nine member USG institutions with no concern as to how far the institution is from the student's home.

To enroll for Summer or Fall 2013, view the handbook, or email Craig Brown, USG eCore Senior Enrollment Manager.

1. What is your occupation?
Full-time Mom and Student

2. What is your college major?

3. Why eCore?
I chose eCore because I was pregnant with my son and wanted to continue going to school while pregnant and be able to still attend without going and reporting to a professor, since I was due during the fall semester.

4. Who is the biggest inspiration for your education? 
My parents were the biggest inspiration for my education. They passed away a year after one another while I was still in high school. My dad passed 2009 (junior year) and my mom passed 2010 (senior year). Neither of them were able to see me graduate, but as I was growing up I always told them "I am going to become a dentist." I believe they will be really proud of me and that this is what my parents would love to see me doing...going to school to achieve my goal and graduating high school and college. Presently, my children also give me the strength not to give up.

5. What three words would you use to describe your online instructors?
Helpful, Honest, Reliable 

6. Where is your favorite place to visit in the USA?
Niagara Falls

7. What kind of mood are you in right now, and why?
Happy, because I am watching my daughter playing and trying to be helpful with your brother. In addition, I'm thinking about how my life could not possibly be any better than what it already is.

8. Your favorite study spot?
In my bathroom with no electronics (including phone), because I am still at home with my babies in the other room.

9. What is something your online classmates don't know about you?
That I seriously love to read and enjoy taking classes.

10. Plans beyond eCore? eMajor, etc...? 
I plan on attending more classes whether it is eCore or on campus, until I get my bachelors in Biology. Then, I'm going to work my way up to a master's, and then go on to dental school.

11. Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself? (Favorite class, challenges, eCore tips, your town, family, goals, any "shout-outs" to any professors or students?)

I am very thankful for all of my eCore professors. They have worked with me through my fall semester taking ecore classes by helping me continue classes after giving birth to my son. I also want everyone to know, do not be afraid of talking with your professors no matter what kind of situation; they will work with you and make sure you are successful in their class. I also want to thank my extended family for their help in taking care of my children while I studied, took finals, and also made sure that I was successful this semester.  

To the future eCore students: make sure you know how to manage your time. It is not as easy as you might think it will be, you will get behind if you procrastinate. 

Thank you to every classmate and all my professors. I had a wonderful experience with eCore and I believed I made the right decision to do Fall Semester with eCore. 

I also want to thank my professors individually - Molly Stoltz, S Lewis, David Biek and Anna Rulska. They all worked with me and made sure I succeeded. Again thank you!
eCore student Kevin Sutor is currently stationed in Kuwait, where he is a US Army IT Specialist/Information Officer/Sharepoint Administrator.

Kevin attends Middle Georgia State College, where his major is B.S. Information Technology with dual concentration in Network Administration and Information Security (an online degree program).  

Last semester, Kevin took 6 courses, and earned As in all of them.

"One of the reasons why I've been so successful recently is because I've made bold decisions when lacking self-confidence. I honestly didn't think I could handle taking 16 online hours while getting deployed, but I signed up for it because I was determined to finish my degree as fast as possible," he says.

"We are all afraid to push our own boundaries and test our limits, but by pushing ourselves past the point that our mind thinks we can handle, we start to discover how amazing our true potential really is. But in order to do that, we need to take the bold first step," he continued.

This semester, two of Kevin's courses are offered through the USG eCore collaborative program - US History and Communications.

"What I learned from Communications that is helpful to my future is how to give a presentation. Some little things to notice like body language, avoiding jargon (which is somewhat difficult for me being in the IT field), and remaining confident. These all sound like they would be easy when put in words. Having to actually give a presentation to an audience was a different story. I never knew that live presentations required so much practice. I always thought it was something that just came naturally for most people."  

Kevin says that his favorite study place is in his bed with a laptop.

"It's so much easier for me to study and do my assignments when I feel relaxed, compared to being stressed when sitting down trying to cram information into my brain. It really depends on the week. Some weeks I have plenty of time to finish all of my assignments, but others require some late-night studying/reading. That's why I generally work on my assignments during a lunch break or any small off time that I have. All of the small breaks add up to a lot of total time spent on schoolwork during a week. I've never missed an assignment (aside from an extra credit one) so I can't say it's too hard to keep up. A lot of it is about time management," he explains.

Kevin also recently passed the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) Exam, and is now CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Network+, and now CCNA certified.

Kevin says, "Part of my job is to ensure that proper policies are being followed, and if there are any issues with design, permissions, or general questions of how to use SharePoint, I'm the first point of contact. I also schedule conference rooms for the multiple amount of meetings that different sections of my unit schedule. As an IMO, I ensure that all data is transferred in a secure fashion. I'm responsible for applying patches and installation of any required software for our machines. I am also responsible for adding, creating, and modifying any users in my organization. Aside from that, I perform my normal job function which is to resolve any IT-related issues that arise within my unit in theater."

"I'm really excited that I'm making myself more marketable for job opportunities," he says.

In his spare time, Kevin enjoys Anime, including Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, Naruto Shippuden, Fairy Tail, Gitama, and One Piece. "In between readings and assignments I always like to watch a 20 minute episode of anime just to let my brain cool down so I don't overload myself," he says.

Kevin will return to the United States in about four months, and hopes to one day live in the Steamboat, Colorado area, where he has fond memories of skiing with his family as a child.