Trail of Tears Meeting in Dahlonega

The next meeting of the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 10:30 AM at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, GA. The speaker will be GA TOTA board member Walter J. Knapp, instructor of Native American Culture and History at UNG. The topic will be “Successes and Challenges for Native Americans Today and in the Future”.

Please visit for directions to the university. The meeting will be held in the Adult Education building across from the main entrance to the campus between a pizza place and a Dairy Queen. The address is 82 College Circle Dr., Dahlonega, GA 30597.

The Trail of Tears Association was created to support the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail established by an act of Congress in 1987. The TOTA is dedicated to identifying and preserving sites associated with the removal of Native Americans from the Southeast. The Association consists of nine state chapters representing the nine states that the Cherokee, Creek and other tribes traveled through on their way to Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma).

Our meetings are free and open to the public. You need not have Native American ancestry to attend our meetings, just an interest and desire to learn more about this fascinating and tragic period in our country’s history. For more information about the TOTA, visit the National TOTA website at and the Georgia Chapter website at For questions about the March meeting, contact Tony Harris at

Piedmont’s Mellichamp and Schulte named to new international student exchange organization

Pictured from left at the organizational meeting of the German American Exchange in Munich are Rüdiger Lentz, Executive Director Aspen Institute Germany; Dr. James F. Mellichamp, President Piedmont College; Mathias Kaesebier, CMC Consulting Group, Munich; Monika Schulte Piedmont Professor of German; Dr. Christoph Rückel, Rückel& Collegen, Munich; Tina Hoefinghoff, Acatech Germany, Munich; Dr. Hans-Peter Soeder, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich; and Meike Zwingenberger, Amerikahaus, Munich.

A new partnership between governments and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic to promote internships in the U.S. for German students will include Piedmont College President Dr. James F. Mellichamp and Professor of German Monika Schulte.

The two recently traveled to Munich for a meeting with representatives from German universities and cultural institutions, the American Chamber of Commerce, the American Consul General, and a number of German businesses to form the new organizations, called the German American Exchange. Schulte was elected as an officer of the organization, while Mellichamp was appointed to the Board of Directors.

“For the past five years, Piedmont College has participated in a program through the German-American Chamber of Commerce to provide paid internships for Piedmont students at American companies in Germany,” Mellichamp said. “Our students have enjoyed placements with very distinguished firms such as Pfizer, Fresenius, Marriott, Avon, and others. These internships allow them to gain very important international business skills as well as an opportunity to broaden their understanding of German culture.”

Mellichamp said that “building on the success of this initial venture, it was determined that a separate organization might be developed to coordinate this program and to expand the program so that German students could have similar opportunities in the United States.” Initially the program will focus on internships in the Southeast U.S., he said.

Schulte said the Exchange program will allow German students to work with host companies in a business environment to gain a better insight into the U.S. economy. “For my students who have participated in internships in Germany, the positive effect is immediately evident,” she said. “They show improved language skills, discuss ambitious new career plans, and converse with a greater awareness of world issues.”

While the German American Exchange is still organizing, businesses that would like more information about the internship program can contact Schulte at

Piedmont College artist-in-residence Astolfi releases recordings of new piano compositions

Dr. Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi

New England-based PARMA Recordings on March 10 will release an album of new solo piano works by six modern composers, all performed by Piedmont College artist-in-residence Dr. Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi.

Astolfi said the album, titled “Wisconsin Soundscapes,” is the culmination of a collaborative project with the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, which resulted in the creation of six new works for piano by Geoffrey Gordon, Joseph Koykkar, Ryan Maguire, Joel Naumann, Yehuda Yannay, and Donald J. Young. The project was supported by the Wisconsin Arts Board and several institutions within the University of Wisconsin System. Dr. Ed Martin, Vice President of the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, served as the project manager.

“I am honored to have collaborated with the many people involved, including the six outstanding composers,” Astolfi said. “Each of the new pieces was based on a composer-chosen Wisconsin theme, which resulted in a wonderfully colorful and diverse variety of music.”

Originally from Canada, Astolfi has served on the music faculty at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and at Henderson State University. She also frequently serves as a piano clinician, coach, and master class instructor. An active member in various local, state, and national music associations, she currently serves on the governing board of PianoArts, a North American piano competition, festival, and fellowship organization.

The recordings can be ordered from Amazon and iTunes, or from Ravello Records at on the Ravello Records website.