Education Notebook: Middle Georgia State announces President’s Torch Society

Middle Georgia State College announced the inaugural class of the President’s Torch Society, a new student organization where top scholars interested in leadership will serve the college and the community.

Members receive a $300 book scholarship each fall and spring semester, and upon completion of two years in the society, they earn a recommendation from the president for work or graduate school.

Organized through the Office of the President, the society is made up of one representative from each of the college’s five campuses; one representative from each of its six schools; two or three at-large members; and two presidential interns. The society will assist with major institutional events, such as convocation, orientation, homecoming and graduation.

To find the members of the inaugural class, go to


Shelley Faith McDaniel, a student at Mercer University, has won the Student Professional

Association of Georgia Educators Betty J. Phillips Scholarship, awarded through the PAGE Foundation.

The scholarship is awarded to a rising junior, senior or graduate student SPAGE member enrolled in or committed to enrolling in an education program at a Macon college or university. McDaniel is majoring in The Holistic Child Program (early childhood/special education) and Latin. The $1,000 scholarship goes to a SPAGE member in a teacher education program who soon will be entering Georgia’s classrooms. Recipients agree to teach in Georgia for at least three years.

The scholarship was established in honor of former Bibb County teacher and school board member Betty J. Phillips.


The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts a $500,000 challenge grant to establish a Center for Southern Studies.

The challenge grants are intended to help institutions secure long-term support for their humanities programs and resources.

Over the past decade, Mercer’s Southern Studies Program has offered an interdisciplinary undergraduate major leading to a bachelor’s degree. A small group of faculty from the departments of history, literature and Southern studies teach courses on the Old South, the Civil War, the New South, African-American history, Southern literature and African-American literature, along with other topical courses.

The program hosts the annual Lamar Memorial Lecture Series, the nation’s most prestigious lecture series on Southern history and culture, which began in 1957. It presents the Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Literature, as well as a film series and lectures by high-profile scholars.

The $500,000 grant is to be matched by $1.5 million raised by the university as part of its recently launched Aspire capital campaign, ultimately establishing a $2 million endowment for the center.


Georgia College has named Joseph M. Peters as the new dean of the John H. Lounsbury College of Education.

Peters “brings both a breadth and depth of experiences needed to meet the challenges of the teaching profession,” said Kelli Brown, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Peters has worked in higher education in various capacities including his most recent position as dean of education at Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii. He also served as director of the School of Education at Northern Marianas College in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands and a professor in the School of Education at the University Of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida. During the 2007-2008 academic year, Peters was an American Council on Education Fellow.