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Class Notes: Brenau interior design students to show works at High Museum
8 will have their work highlighted
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Eight graduating Brenau University students of interior design will have their work featured at the High Museum of Art this week.

Students earning a master of interior design and master of fine arts will have their work displayed in an exhibition Thursday from 3-5 p.m. at the High Museum’s Green Family Education Center. An awards presentation will begin at 4 p.m.

These students are graduating with a combined bachelor of fine arts and master of interior design degree, as well as students graduating with a master of fine arts in interior design.

“This year’s graduating class includes a variety of outstanding graduate studio projects,” said Lynn Jones, chair and professor of interior design at Brenau. “Retail, healthcare, hospitality, museum and corporate office design projects highlight the talent and diversity of our MID graduates. The MFA students have completed extensive research on a design for an educational building in rural Rwanda and research into multi-generational interior design firm dynamics. The projects are lively; the students engaged.”

The featured students are:

  • Abigayle Berryman from Jefferson
  • Amanda Dunahoo from Winder
  • Brittany Chunn-Jones from Buford
  • Jill Mansfield from Gainesville
  • Shelly Hughes from Marietta
  • LaJuana Gill from Nashville, Tenn.
  • Yanyu “Winona” Wang from Zhengzhou, China
  • Mengqiu “Autumn” Zhao from Zhengzhou, China

This is the seventh year of the exhibition in metro Atlanta and the fifth at the High Museum of Art.

The event is open to the public and includes free ticket admission to the High, but Brenau requests RSVPs be sent to Sally Conn at or by calling 770-534-6240.

Exploration academy ends its year with showcase

Students at North Hall Middle School’s Earhart-Edison Exploration Academy ended the school year with a bang.

E2 Academy students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program hosted a Digital Showcase evening for the community, where students gave a four-to six-minute presentation on topics of interest.

Topics covered included: Mexico City’s air pollution, deforestation of the Amazon, honey bees, history of chess, exploration of the Titanic and use of military drones.

Kathy Mellette, E2 Academy instructor, said the greatest number of students showed interest in topics relating to human health. Presentation subjects included: child abuse, obesity, Down syndrome, the left brain vs. the right brain, epilepsy, dreams and smoking’s effects on the body.

Mellette said students were encouraged to have a posterboard highlighting their research, with a digital component and artifacts or items of interest.

Some students chose subjects considered “special causes,” including human trafficking and animal abuse, and many of these students raised money alongside their project for such causes, including rising eighth-grader Ryan Thompson, who raised more than $250 for the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia and gave a presentation on spaying and neutering.

“We had cows at school, a rocket launching, and a cooking demonstration to a great project on happiness,” Mellette said. “Students in the sixth and seventh grades at Earhart-Edison Exploration Academy enjoyed sharing their passions with their parents, fellow students and community.”

McFarlin named North Georgia Technical College dean

After a two-year vacancy, there is a new dean for academic affairs at North Georgia Technical College.

Leslie McFarlin will begin in the position July 1. The college’s Academic Affairs Department is structured with three deans, though the department only had two for the last two years.

“I am very excited that Leslie will be stepping up to fill this role,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathie Ivester in a release. “She is tireless in her commitment to excellent instruction for all of our students, and her enthusiasm for new initiatives is contagious.”

McFarlin joined North Georgia Technical College in 2007 as a math instructor. Two years later, she helped lead the development of the Quality Enhancement Plan, as required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The QEP outlined an initiative for redesigning learning support mathematics that raised the bar for student accomplishments.

McFarlin also volunteered to participate in several college initiatives, including Complete College Georgia and Achieving the Dream.

She holds a bachelor’s in middle grade mathematics from Emmanuel College and a master’s in mathematics education from Piedmont College. She will teach through the summer session and assume her duties as a dean on July 1.

For more information about programs of study at North Georgia Technical College, call 706-754-7700 or visit

Kristen Oliver covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her: