The Southern States Athletic Conference will hold a Mascot Challenge beginning Monday, Jan. 23, and all Brenau faculty, staff, students and alumni are encouraged to vote for H.J. the Golden Tiger.

The mascot challenge will determine a conference champion and the two mascots that will advance to the NAIA-SIDA Mascot Challenge, which will begin March 2.

All voting will occur on the SSAC Facebook and Twitter pages, @SSACsports.

During the “preliminaries,” the 10 mascots in the SSAC will be whittled down to eight with voting on the SSAC Facebook page beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 23, until 9 a.m. Wednesday Jan. 25. The eight remaining mascots will be seeded based on number of ‘likes’ their photo received in the Facebook voting. Please “like” H.J. on the SSACsports Facebook page beginning Monday, and encourage your friends to do the same.

Each quarterfinal, semifinal and final match up will be determined with Twitter polls at @SSACsports, with each poll staying up 24 hours. Quarterfinals will be Jan. 26-30, semifinals will be Feb. 1 and 2, and the finals will take place Feb. 3.

The top two mascots will advance to the NAIA-SIDA Mascot Challenge.

Please join us in showing support for our great mascot!

Julie Bingham, Brenau University admissions coordinator, was selected by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to march in the Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Jan. 20.

TAPS is a nonprofit that provides support to families and friends grieving the loss of a member of the armed forces. Bingham was chosen to represent her late husband, Spc. Elvis Bingham, along with others.

“To be chosen for something that is to me as momentous as this event, is just amazing,” Bingham said.

Bingham was interviewed on Brenau’s campus Wednesday by WSB-TV Atlanta. She told reporters that TAPS has been a blessing, giving her a network of people who have suffered a similar loss.

She described it as “an amazing club, but one you never want to join.” She and other members of TAPS are marching to help raise awareness of the need for greater mental health support for returning service men and women.

The inauguration will be particularly meaningful for Bingham, as it falls on her late husband’s birthday.

To watch her interview, go to http://www.wsbtv.com/video?videoId=485646833&videoVersion=1.0/.

Amanda Buchanan, a junior health sciences/pre-occupational therapy student, is offering her services to faculty and staff members who may be in need. She is available for babysitting, house-sitting, pet-sitting, house cleaning, dog walking, transportation assistance and any other errands. She is pet friendly and has lots of experience with children of all ages, as well as the special needs community. She can provide references if needed.

Email Amanda at abuchanan@tiger.brenau.edu if you are interested.

Lainey Kennedy Baby Sprinkle FlyerDrop in and celebrate the addition of another baby girl to the Brenau family! A baby sprinkle for Lainey Kennedy will be held at the Brenau Tea Room on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 4 p.m. Big sister Lillian has plenty to share, so rather than a shower, it’s just a sprinkle to show that we care. Not much is needed, just the basics will do, like diapers, wipes and an outfit or two.

They could use some Huggies newborn diapers, baby wipes, long-sleeved onesies (yellow, purple and green are favorites), newborn socks, brightly colored leg warmers and small receiving blankets. Baby’s room is yellow with purple accents.

The Sugarloaf Ballet’s Youth Concert Series will showcase Brenau University dance majors during a performance at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Infinite Energy Theater in Duluth.

The Department of Dance repertory dancers will perform guest choreographer Charlotte Boye-Christensen’s contemporary dance “Turf,” while college dancers who are members of the Gainesville Ballet Company will perform “Untitled,” a new neoclassical ballet choreographed by Peter Swan, Covington Regional Ballet’s co-artistic director and adjunct instructor of dance at Brenau. Dancers performing “Turf” will include Melinda Cassiday, Lauren Hughes, Kelsey Lyle, Taylor Simpson, Brianna Sterling and Asia Welch. The Brenau University dancers performing “Untitled” will be Susan De Witt, Annie Fox, Mary Rose Gibson, Sara Sharples, Allison Smyth and Megan Watkins.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Tickets are available at Sugarloaf Ballet or http://www.InfiniteEnergyCenter.com.

For more information call 770.682.5333, visit http://sugarloafballet.org or download the flyer at https://update.brenau.edu/wp-content/uploads/formidable/6/YCS-2017-Flyer.pdf

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors has selected Julie Bingham, of the Office of Admissions, to march in the Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC, this Friday, Jan. 20. She will be representing her fallen husband, Spc. Elvis Bingham, along with others.

Visit http://wjla.com/news/local/local-group-taps-prepares-to-march-in-presidential-inauguration-parade-for-1st-time to read more.

TAPS is a nonprofit that provides support to families and friends grieving the loss of a member of the armed forces.

On Thursday afternoon, Brenau students, faculty and staff members gathered in the lobby of the John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts to send off Dean of Students Valerie Simmons-Walston. The event featured emotional speeches from colleagues and friends and was capped off with a surprise Zumba flash mob.

Simmons-Walston, who served Brenau for 11 years, will be taking on a new challenge as the associate vice president for student affairs and director of residence life at the University of Toledo in Ohio.

Please join the School of Occupational Therapy on Friday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. at the Theatre on the Square in the Downtown Center for the Visiting Occupational Science Scholar Dr. Glen Gillen’s presentation, “Integrating Performance Based Cognitive and Perceptual Assessments to Promote Occupation Based Practice.”

Dr. Gillen is a professor at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is best known for his textbooks “Stroke Rehabilitation: A Function-Based Approach,” now in its fourth edition, and “Cognitive and Perceptual Rehabilitation: Optimizing Function.”

Attendees will have an opportunity to speak with Dr. Gillen at a reception immediately following the presentation.

For more information contact Carol Eggerding at ceggerding@brenau.edu.

View the PDF flyer at https://update.brenau.edu/wp-content/uploads/formidable/6/ot_scholar_Gillen2017_flyer-final.pdf.

Formal invitation to Alumnae Reunion WeekendWe hope you will join us for Alumnae Reunion Weekend and May Day, April 7-8. Brunch is complimentary for faculty and staff members, wearing their gold Brenau name tags. If there are other ticketed events you would like to attend, please visit brenau.edu/alum/arw/ to register securely online.

If you are an alumna and would like an alumna gift bag you must register online and purchase the $25 brunch ticket. Registration for alumnae is now open.

The stage tour of the Gainesville Theatre Alliance’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing” will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2, in UNG-Gainesville’s Ed Cabell Theatre. It will feature director and UNG professor Elisa Carlson and include cameos by set, costume and lighting designers showcasing the research and inspirations for creating new and vivid memories of the classic play.

“In Much Ado About Nothing,” lovers Hero and Claudio conspire to set a “lover’s trap” for Benedick, an arrogant confirmed bachelor, and Beatrice, his favorite sparring partner, while they look forward to their own wedding, just a week away. Other conspirators work to run the wedding plans off the rails and odd characters turn up to stick their stinky feet into the works, while patrons secretly listen and wonder how things can possibly get untangled.

While the stage tour is free, tickets for the public for each production range from $12 to $26 depending on seat location and can be purchased on the website, http://www.gainesvilletheatrealliance.org, or by calling the GTA Box Office at 678.717.3624, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Those with a Brenau ID can attend for free on Feb. 13, Feb. 15, Feb. 16, Feb. 21 and Feb. 22, with advanced reservations while supplies last. For the other nights of the production, faculty and staff members can purchase tickets for themselves and their immediate household for $5 each. Call the GTA Box Office for more details.