Faculty and Staff Presented with Service Awards


The way Dr. Christian Griggs teaches brings history to life, to the point students have been known to attend class in period costumes.

Griggs, an associate professor of history at Dalton State College, recently received the Dalton State Foundation’s Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.

After attending a conference, Griggs began using a new approach to teaching history at Dalton State. He uses Reacting to the Past, an interactive, role-playing game, based on historic events and characters.

“Placed in historic settings, students prepare for their role reading primary sources and learning how to make speeches, writing persuasively and mastering the historic period, learning lessons from history that still apply today,” said Dr. Pat Chute, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “This method of teaching has quickly proven to be very effective, evidenced by positive comments and most impressive, higher grades.”

“This class helped me speak, be bold, and form my own opinion and argument,” one student wrote in an evaluation.

Another wrote, “I will never be able to thank you enough for the influence you have had over me during my time at DSC. Your knowledge, teaching style, and terrible sense of humor were key to my success as a student in the history program. I have become a better student because of you.”

Others receiving Foundation Awards include: Dr. Jenny Crisp, associate professor of English, who received the Faculty Excellence in Professional Development and Research Award; Dr. Kelley Mahoney, associate professor of English, who received the Faculty Excellence in Service Award; Dr. Lorraine Gardiner, professor of Management Information Systems, who received the Barbara Shiffler Award; and Elizabeth Chadwick, administrative assistance in Academic Affairs, who received the Beth Burdick Service Excellence Award.

Crisp is innovative, not only in her area, but across other disciplines to help students be more successful. She is dedicated to individual scholarly growth and attends conferences often. She has given more than 20 presentations and speaking engagements at professional conferences, writes grants to benefit Dalton State, is a copy editor for the Council on Alcohol and Drugs and the Subterranean Press, and helps develop literacy programs.

“Words do not begin to capture the dedication and drive this individual applies to professional development,” wrote one colleague about Crisp. “Fully engaged in the classroom, accomplishing a breadth of achievements beyond regular duties, an individual who pursues and shares knowledge – encouraging and inspiring others, always for the greater good.”

Mahoney has a heart and passion for service, said Chute. She cares not only for the College but the community.

She serves on several committees on campus and off and is the editor of the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission Self-Study Report. She also sits on five Board of Regent Advisory committees and task forces, is a University System of Georgia mentor, and works in conflict resolution. She volunteers in the writing lab, advises students, and helps with orientation. Off campus she teaches students at Grace Presbyterian’s ESL program, mentors high school girls through Rock Bridge Community Church, tutors at Westside Middle School, and visits high schools as a guest speaker.

“Putting others first is a quality this nominee effortlessly possesses,” wrote a colleague about Mahoney. “Daily, and without hesitation. A beacon of light on the Dalton State Campus. Ever friendly, open and supportive, and graciously leading by example.”

Gardiner has an excellent record of teaching, research, and significant service in the Wright School of Business and the College community, said Dr. Marilyn Helms, dean of the WSOB.

“She is a perfect example that teaching really comes down to the relationship between the teacher and the student,” Helms said. “She is an excellent lecturer, skilled in bringing the business world and actual company projects into the classroom.”

Students have said Gardiner is available for help and responds quickly to email, she wants students to succeed, and has a method of teaching that involves several opportunities for hands-on learning, Helms said.

Chadwick is upbeat and positive, even when facing a challenge, said David Elrod, director of the Dalton State Foundation.

“She never shies away from offering assistance with any project and performs each task with a precision and focus that assures everyone it will be accomplished on time and correctly,” wrote one colleague about Chadwick. Other phrases used to describe her are “willingness to help others,” “makes it look effortless,” and “she tackles every challenge that comes her way and helps others do the same.”

Chadwick has served on staff council, is active in her church, and has served as an ambassador and advocate for literacy through the Reach Out and Read