Guest Summer Camps Arriving Sunday and Monday

Three returning residential summer groups move into Brenau housing Sunday and Monday, June 18-19.

Be on the lookout for participants of Camp Jam, alumna Danita Emma’s International Ballet Intensive and the #1 Basketball Camp on campus throughout the week. The International Ballet Intensive is a four-week program that ends with a public performance at Hosch Theatre on Friday, July 14.

Contact Danielle Miller at ddifede@brenau.edu with any questions.

Staff Chat: Mary Johnson, Learning Technology Specialist

Mary Johnson, learning technology specialist. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Mary Johnson, learning technology specialist. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

As a learning technology specialist on Brenau’s Information Technology team, Mary Johnson’s area of expertise is ever-changing.

Johnson started at Brenau in 2009 as a fieldwork assistant in the School of Occupational Therapy, keeping up with contracts and student records sent to fieldwork sites. “It was actually a lot of fun,” she said.

Two years later, she transferred to IT and became the campus administrator for Canvas.

“I’m the primary support person for that and all the other tools built onto that product,” Johnson explained. “Canvas is our online learning system available to any instructor that teaches a class here at Brenau and all the students in those classes.”

Mary Johnson, learning technology specialist. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Mary Johnson, learning technology specialist. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Johnson is a Gainesville native and Brenau graduate, and she worked for the City of Gainesville doing geographic information system (GIS) mapping before coming to work at her alma mater.

“It’s kind of an interesting story,” she said. “I was working there right as the economy took such a bad hit. When they downsized, I was able to move here because I was familiar with databases, and they wanted me to organize that sort of thing for the OT department.”

Johnson said her favorite part of her work is the variety and social aspect.

“I like the constant interaction with our students and our faculty,” she said. “You get to talk to somebody different just about every day.”

She has been married to her husband, Paul, for 17 years. They have two daughters: Kendyl, a junior at North Hall High School, and Koley, a third-grader at Mount Vernon.

“They are loads of fun to keep up with and chase around,” Johnson said.

Reminder: Junior Music Recital Friday, June 16

Gabrielle Wagner, left, performs with Amber Urso, right, in Brenau University’s opera workshop of “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Gabrielle Wagner will give her Junior Recital at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 16, in the Atrium of the Burd Center.

Her repertoire includes music by well-known classical composers Handel, Bellini and Schubert, as well as by American composer John Adams. However, the main theme of the vocal literature is the lullaby. Gabrielle’s theme reflects her new life as a mother, having given birth in March to a healthy baby boy. She is studying for a Bachelor of Arts in music, voice.

This concert is free and open to the public. Ben Leaptrott will be accompanying at the piano. Wagner will also be assisted by music major, Alyssa Stowers.

Recording Friday Vacation Hours

For payroll purposes, employees who are planning to take vacation on a Friday in the summer should report four hours of vacation on the weekly timesheet or absence request form.

Fitness Equipment for Sale

The Brenau Fitness Center in Gainesville has one upright bicycle, one stair stepper and  three ellipticals for sale. Interested?  Contact Gary Hatfield at 770.534.6183 or ghatfield@brenau.edu and make an offer.

Julia Zhu receives Design Award from ASID

Qingyuan Julia Zhu shows Brenau President Ed Schrader her honorable mention from the American Society of Interior Designers

Qingyuan “Julia” Zhu, a Master of Interior Design student, received an Honorable Mention in the Design Excellence Awards from the Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers for the “Best Commercial Design Concept” for her project in Commercial Office Studio.

“Her concept guided her design for the 7,000 square-foot facility,” noted Lynn M. Jones, chair of interior design and Zhu’s faculty member in the commercial design studio course. “Spatial development, office placement, ceiling design, lighting selections and even the color palette supported her client’s request for an interior embracing recent trends in commercial office layout to establish a highly cooperative environment, including sustainable characteristics.”

Zhu was thrilled by this award and pleased to show it to Brenau President Ed Schrader. Zhu is from Anhui Normal University and the first student to arrive on Brenau’s campus to spearhead Brenau’s collaboration with Anhui.

The Interior Design Department is honored to be a part of this international effort and thanks the many faculty, staff and administrators who have assisted Zhu in her educational efforts over the past two and a half years. Zhu, along with her classmates, will present their portfolios at the BFA/MID Portfolio Exhibition at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta from 2-4 p.m. Friday, August 11. More information will be forthcoming.

Congratulations, Julia!

Attention Swimmers: Pool Hours are Changing

A view of the Brenau University swimming pool inside the fitness center.

A view of the Brenau University swimming pool inside the fitness center.

Effective Saturday, July 1, the Brenau Fitness Center’s pool hours will change. The new hours will be:

  • Monday-Friday: 7-9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Monday-Thursday: 6-8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 1-5 p.m.
  • Sunday: 2-6 p.m.

Junior Music Recital Friday, June 16

Gabrielle Wagner, left, performs with Amber Urso, right, in Brenau University’s opera workshop of “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Gabrielle Wagner will give her Junior Recital at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 16, in the Atrium of the Burd Center.

Her repertoire includes music by well-known classical composers Handel, Bellini, and Schubert; as well as by American composer John Adams. However, the main theme of the vocal literature is the lullaby. Gabrielle’s theme reflects her new life as a mother, having given birth in March to a healthy baby boy. She is studying for a Bachelor of Arts in advanced music: voice.

This concert is free and open to the public. Ben Leaptrott will be accompanying at the piano. Wagner will also be assisted by music major, Alyssa Stowers.

Submit Your Recipes for the Brenau Cookbook

Do you have a favorite recipe that’s both delicious and nutritious?

Whether it’s an appetizer, main dish or dessert, a thirst-quenching beverage or a healthy smoothie, we would love to include it in a new Brenau cookbook sponsored by the Brenau Wellness Program.

Please submit up to five of your favorite healthy recipes by emailing Kelley Maddox at kmaddox@brenau.edu. Submissions will be accepted throughout the summer.

Dr. Amber Markmann Simmons Named Georgia English Teacher of the Year

Brenau alumna Dr. Amber Markmann Simmons, WC ’03 of Snellville, Georgia, was named Georgia English Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Council of Teachers of English. The award recognizes one language arts teacher each year for their work in the classroom and with colleagues on a local, state and national level. She teaches at Brookwood High School in Snellville.

Simmons will go on to represent Georgia at the National Council of Teachers of English High School Teacher of the Year competition Saturday, Nov. 18, during the NCTE Annual Convention in St. Louis, Missouri.