Brenau University mediation teams compete in Toronto, Canada

Brenau University placed eighth out of 30 mediation teams in at the 20th annual International Intercollegiate Mediation Tournament held Nov. 1-3 at the Osgoode School of Law at York University in Toronto, Canada.

The eighth place team consisted of Cierra Franklin, Jessica Jarrett and Keri Ashworth. The other Brenau team that competed included Chloe Ireland, Destiny Gaudlock and Bayley Blackmon. The team was able to travel to this international competition because of funding from a Malloy Foundation grant.

Brenau’s teams competed in the three preliminary rounds and advanced to the semifinal round in both mediation and advocacy. Their presence in the semifinals also earned Jessica Jarrett, Chloe Ireland and Bayley Blackmon winning individual awards in mediation and in advocacy.

Kenneth Frank, who coaches the mediation team, stated that he was very proud of the effort by the Brenau team as it successfully competed with teams from larger institutions such as Boston University.

Community workshop Mixed Media Essentials with Sara Oakley, Sept. 14

Join Sara Oakley, founder of Art Colony Georgia and BULLI instructor, in a free workshop where participants will explore the wonders of mixed media.

All skill levels are welcome. Most supplies will be provided, but participants will need to bring their own scissors, pencils and a small sketchpad. To register, contact Allison Lauricella at 770-534-6263 or ude.uanerb@alleciruala.

Sheral Page named interim director of the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing

Sheral PageSheral Page, assistant professor of nursing, has been named interim director of the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing.

Page has spent four years at Brenau and one year as chair of undergraduate studies in the nursing department. She also served as the dean of nursing at Gwinnett Technical College, where she worked for five years. In addition, Page has similar experience at Ventura Community College in Ventura, California.

Page earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of West Georgia and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Phoenix.

Brenau will launch a national search for a permanent director by the end of September to replace former director Dina Hewett. Hewett left the position Sept. 6 and will continue to teach part-time.

Author Jacquelyn Down Hall appearance and book signing Sept. 4

Eminent historian and best-selling author Jacquelyn Dowd Hall will be reading from her new book, “Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of America” at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, at the Quiet Zone in the Brenau Trustee Library.

Hall’s book tells the story of two of Brenau’s most famous — and infamous — alumnae, the Lumpkin sisters, Grace and Katharine.

A book signing and reception will follow. University Archives will also present an exhibition of campus life during the Lumpkin sisters’ years at Brenau. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Whitney Neveils at 770-534-6179 or ude.uanerb@ttecsuafw.

Newly-named North Hall Lawn available for reservations

The area between the Tea Room and Executive Suite is now named North Hall Lawn, per suggestions from administration, and the space is available for reservations.

If a faculty or staff member would like to rent the space, go to The space is under the Pearce/Bailey Complex in the Rentable Spaces view in EMS.

North Hall Lawn is centrally located, well-lit and has access to electricity, Tea Room refreshments, chairs, tables and restrooms.

Brenau named to Best in Southeast list by Princeton Review

We are very proud to share that for the 15th consecutive year, Brenau University was named to The Princeton Review’s “Best in the Southeast” section of its 2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region.

The feature placed Brenau in the top 22% of the nation’s 3,000 four-year colleges, and it considered colleges throughout the Southeast, Midwest, Northeast, West and international regions.

The methodology for the rankings includes building scores on a scale from 60-99. Brenau specifically excelled thanks to its high-quality academics — with a score of 87, esteemed and accessible professors — score of 83 — and student quality of life, which also scored 83. Factors in these ratings included how many hours students study outside of the classroom, the quality of students the school attracts, how happy students are with their lives outside of the classroom and more. The university also scored a perfect 99 in fire safety.

Students’ quality of life is measured through surveys, polling and feedback from Brenau students. The Brenau profile on the Princeton Review site includes student comments, including one that said Brenau professors are “very supportive and understanding and are always available when you need them,” and another said “they care about their students and want to help them succeed.” One student mentioned the family-like atmosphere by saying, “We are really big on getting to know people, especially incoming freshmen.”

Read more about the feature at

Condolences to Lisa Shaw, Kathy Little and their families

Weldon Spinks (Don) Gurley Jr., father of Kathy Little, Brenau’s office manager in the Psychology Department, and Lisa Shaw, assistant registrar in the Registrar’s Office, passed away Tuesday, June 4. He was 74.

The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. Friday, June 7 at Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel in Gainesville, Georgia.

Don was born on Oct. 6, 1944 in Macon, Georgia, to the late Weldon S. Gurley Sr. and Margery (Woodall) Gurley.

His wife, Judy, was the assistant to the president at Brenau under John S. Burd.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, his two daughters, and his grandchildren Lindsey Little, Hayden Little, and McKenna Shaw. Don is also survived by his sister, Gina Gaines.

Find the full obituary at

Center for the Arts & Design donates sock monkeys

Art & Design Department Chair and Director of The Center for the Arts & Design Claudia Wilburn presents Gainesville Police Department Officer Maricela Del Rio with sock monkeys made made by Brenau students faculty and staff. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Art & Design Department Chair and Director of the Center for the Arts & Design Claudia Wilburn presents Gainesville Police Department Officer Maricela Del Rio with sock monkeys made made by Brenau students, faculty and staff. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Claudia Wilburn, director of Brenau’s Center for the Arts & Design (CAD), found a way to comfort local children by making sock monkeys.

CAD and the Kappa Pi art honors society hosted a sock monkey workshop for faculty, staff, students and community members in January. Participants were encouraged to make two monkeys: one to keep and one to donate to the Gainesville Police Department.

On Thursday, May 23, Officer Maricela Del Rio picked up about 20 sock monkeys made during the workshop. The Gainesville Police Department is one of many departments that keep stuffed animals in their patrol cars to give to upset children to comfort them during situations such as car accidents or domestic calls.

Wilburn’s husband heard about the stuffed animal program a few years. She has been learning how to make sock monkeys, so she mixed the two together.

“One of the key missions of the Center for the Arts & Design is to build community,” Wilburn said. “It also builds a relationship with the GPD and Brenau. We hope to do something similar again in the future.”

Brenau students paint rain barrels for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper fundraiser


barrelStudents from Brenau’s Center for the Arts & Design (CAD) recently painted rain barrels that were sold at silent auction during Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival held Saturday, May 11, at the Brenau Downtown Center.

Members of Kappa Pi art honor society and Zeta Tau Alpha sorority helped paint the barrels, which featured a variety of themes.

The film festival, which was co-sponsored by Brenau, promotes grassroots environmental activism through art and film that illustrate Earth’s beauty, present the challenges facing the planet and highlight the community work around the world to protect our environment.

“Our supporters in the community really appreciate the work Brenau students do for us,” said Dale Caldwell, director of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Headwaters office in Gainesville. “It’s also very important to us and something we want to continue and expand upon in the future.”

Funds raised from the Wild and Scenic Film Festival support Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Neighborhood Water Watch program, a community-led effort to assess and improve water quality in urban streams while protecting human health in neighboring communities. To learn more about the program and view water quality data, go to

For more information and to sign up for the CAD newsletter, go to

CarFit event for older adults June 4

Brenau’s occupational therapy students will hold a community event for older adults called CarFit from 1:30-4 p.m. Tuesday, June 4 in front of the OT department on Chestnut Street.

CarFit is a national program sponsored by AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association. Brenau students will go through a 12-point checklist to assess the fit of the car to its driver. This includes checking mirror settings, seat belts, head rest heights and car controls. It is not an assessment of the driver’s ability to drive.

The assessment takes about 20 minutes.

If anyone is interested, please have them contact Helene Smith-Gabai at ude.uanerb@iabag-htimsh.

See the PDF flyer for more information on CarFit.