Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Love Story Behind the Garden of the Coastal Plain

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 In 1916, after many years of courtship, Dan and Catharine Bland were married. As a wedding gift, Dan’s father gave the couple 60 acres of land to begin farming and creating a life for themselves. After the donation, Dan began his ventures as a dynamic farmer and environmentalist. Together, the couple grew plants, corn, pecans, peanuts, cotton and tobacco, among other crops. Dan completed his duties tending to the couple’s farm while Catharine tended to the couple’s chores, chickens, cows and hogs. Catharine stored food in an outside refrigerator, built by her innovative husband, which sat on a block of ice. Oftentimes, the couple’s neighbors would visit their home to buy milk, eggs and meat. In fact, the couple made a business out of selling their products to local farmers and community members.

After years of simplistic Southern living, Catharine Bland passed away in 1980. Dan Bland passed five years after his sweetheart. Before his death, he managed to donate the remaining 6.5 acres of his farm to the Georgia Southern College Foundation for use as a botanical garden. This was the birth of the Georgia Southern Botanical Garden, which opened its gates to the public in 1990. Since its establishment, the Garden has been a community resource by sponsoring educational tours, workshops and festivals.

Today, the flourishing Garden prides itself on preserving the Blands’ traditional values with their initiative to encourage people to be environmentally friendly. Although their mission is promoting sustainability and educating about the native plants and animals of the Coastal Plain, the Garden also aims to connect people to their pasts. Many of the plants Dan planted, like Magnolias and American Hollies, still thrive today. These flowers are a fundamental part of the Garden’s plant collection.

Kathy Tucker, the Garden’s Education Coordinator, has worked at the garden for X years. “I absolutely love what I do. I get to educate people about our past, while experiencing our future expansion,” said Tucker.

An often-overlooked gem, the Garden’s indescribable beauty is the perfect attraction for weddings, special events and a place of relaxation. Its rich pastime makes the garden a historical landmark one would be fortunate to experience.

Southern Company Blog Post (Assignment #10)

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After reading the Southern Company’s New Release, it reiterates what Mrs. Mallard has been saying about how quality of the content in a news release trumps format. The release is appealing because it highlights the long-standing history of the relationship between Alabama Power, The Birmingham City School System and The First Tee National School Program companies, which establishes credibility. To the reader, this says “we have partnered before and this is not new to us”. The fact that over 2.6 million children nationwide are participating in the program also reinforces the credibility. As a parent of a child participating in the First Tee National School Program, I would be confident that it would undoubtedly benefit my child.

The release is also a heart-warming piece to read and spark human interest. The fact that its release is based on a program that will benefit children’s physical education appeals to the reader’s emotion, and even makes you want to be a part of the experience.

GSU Magazine Blog Review (Assignment #4)

Article #1:

“Student Volunteers Train Future Guide Dogs on Campus” – by Sandra Bennett

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If you’ve ever been on GSU’s campus, you’ve seen your occasional fellow classmate with a guide dog from the Guide Dog Foundation (GDF). The GDF is connected to GSU because they have reached out to GSU for student volunteers. The article reveals that a college campus is an ideal place for puppy guide dogs to grow up because of all of the activity it exposes them to. I have always been curious about the dogs’ training processes.

The article is targeted towards GSU students. Although it is primarily informational, it also features a story about GSU Junior, Ariel Vipond, and her experience with the Guide Dog Foundation. Ariel’s story makes the article relatable to other GSU students, especially those interested in participating in the GDF’s program.

I believe this story “made the cut” because it is localized, it was written in everyday English, it engages the reader immediately and the lead is direct. In terms of news values, the article impacts GSU students and is a human interest piece. Proximity also comes into play because the program uses student volunteers on campus.

Besides the obvious reason of being able to train a puppy for the greater good of the visually impaired, I believe this article will be important to other undergraduate students because they can also get the community service hours that many of them need.

Article #2:

“Student Lands First U.S. State Department Internship”– by Sandra Bennett

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The article is a profile on Reilly McJury, a GSU student who currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland, working in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. As a GSU student, it is inspiring to read an article about Reilly’s successful internships. It makes me hopeful that I could have a similar opportunity and experience in my field of study.

The article is targeted towards GSU students. It was published to open students’ eyes about the unlimited possibilities for experience, even while in school. I believe this story “made the cut” because it is localized, it is an engaging profile to read and it has (indirect) impact on other GSU students. In terms of news values, the profile is a human interest piece.

I believe this article will be important to other undergraduate students because they can relate to Reilly. She is a regular girl from Carrollton, GA who has gotten the opportunity of a lifetime. It could happen to anyone. The article is also interesting to read because it focuses on Reilly’s current and past internships, as well as how she is showing her True Blue spirit while away from home.

Having read a bulk of the articles from the Spring 2013 issue, my suggestion for the Fall issue would be to keep the articles relatable to the students. The writers did a great job of that in this issue. I would suggest that they spotlight newsworthy campus events and important information regarding the Fall 2013 semester. It would also be a good idea to feature an article on success tips for the incoming freshmen. Students are likely their biggest target audience, so the magazine’s main goal should always be catering to our student needs to give us stories that impact us.