A lot happened in Roadrunner Nation in 2019. From national recognitions, to campus improvements and new degrees, here's a look back at the stories that shaped the year.
1. A Commitment to Teaching
Out of 124 regional colleges listed, Dalton State ranked 15 on this years list for Best Undergraduate Teaching programs, with the Wright School of Business also listed on the Best Undergraduate Business Programs ranking. Dalton State's hands-on and more personal approach towards teaching, coupled with emphasizing experience before graduating is making Dalton State stand out among its peers.
2. Memorial Hall Re-opening
Fall semester started strong with the grand re-opening of Gignilliat Memorial Hall. The renovations added many great new resources for students. A great celebration was held, honoring Lamar and Ann Wright for their $5 million gift making the renovation possible. The Wright School of Business now bears their name. Mrs. Wright passed away in October and will be remembered forever here at Dalton State for the efforts she made to help this campus and its students.
3. New Degrees Offered
Several new opportunities were made available to Dalton State students this year through new degrees and programs. Among them is an Engineering Technology Degree designed with the help of regional experts, a Financial Technology Minor for students entering the world of ecommerce and a new agreement between Dalton State and UTC that will help those pursuing degrees in engineering and computer science by giving them a way to finish their programs without having to leave the area.
4. Graduation Rate Up
The graduation rate at Dalton State increased 4%, and it is showing no sign of slowing down. It is expected to continue rise as the college focuses on retaining students.
5. Happy 10th Birthday to the Gilmer Campus!
The Gilmer Campus celebrated 10 years this spring. Located in the heart of Ellijay, the Gilmer Campus is the only public college within an hours drive of Gilmer County, and it serves as an opportunity for students to gain access to higher education.
6. Mural on Campus
Roberts Library is now decorated by a new mural designed and painted by Chattanooga artist Kevin Bate. This beautiful piece of art shows all of the different pathways that a degree at Dalton State can lead to. It also features iconic Dalton State imagery, such as the bell tower, Rage the Roadrunner, turtles and more.
7. Voting Participation
Huge efforts have been being made at Dalton State towards student voting registration. Early in the year the school was recognized as a 'Voter Friendly Campus' due to its Campus Vote Project that led to 135 students registering. The voting rate on campus would go on to double this year with it now reaching 48 percent of all students, largely due to a student organization, S.A.V.E., and its Voter Registration Campus Takeover event. Dalton State ended the year being named a 'Golden Campus' due to its participation in the 2019 ALL IN Challenge and achievement of having 40-49 percent of the campus registered to vote.
8. Conservation Efforts
Dalton State is always focused on what can be done to help improve the community around us. Science and conservation efforts are a large part of those efforts. Some programs contributing this year, include genetically modifying plants to clean contaminated soil, taking part in a nationwide study of culverts, co-hosting a conservation symposium, taking part in the 25th Conasauga River Cleanup, hosting a conservation film screening and the addition of Dalton States second turtle conservation program.
9. $2.1 Million Grant
A $2.1 million grant was awarded by the Department of Education for Dalton State's status as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Dalton State is the only Hispanic Serving Institution in the state, and the addition of this grant will help improve support services for all students at the college.
10. Dalton Innovation Accelerator
The recently opened Dalton Innovation Accelerator (DIA) has already heavily integrated itself with Dalton State and is offering many exciting new opportunities to business students. Students can now take entrepreneurial classes at the DIA where they can work with local business leaders and get real world experience. The DIA had also partnered with the school this year for its PitchDIA competition in which local entrepreneurs pitched ideas in a Shark Tank like environment to a panel of local experts, including Dr. Marilyn Helms, dean of the Wright School of Business.
posted 12/16/2019 in Roadrunner Nation
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