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ACHE South Members Shine

A couple of our very own ACHE South members received well deserved honors during the ACHE International Conference in New Orleans this past October. Read more...

Let’s Shine the Spotlight on the South

Did you know that ACHE South members have won the most prestigious award given by the organization two years in a row? Susan Elkins won the Leadership Award in 2015 and Rick Osborn won in 2016! ACHE South has always been well represented at International Conferences. This past year, Susan continued her winning streak when her and her team at Palmetto College were presented with the Credit Programming award. Read more...

Newly Elected

Congratulations to James Shamlee for being elected to the ACHE Executive Board as a Director at Large. James is the Program Coordinator for GoArmyEd POC at the University of Alabama.

South Wins!

ACHE holds a scholarship drive during every annual conference. These funds are designated to be used for the grants and scholarships awarded to ACHE members. This year's goal of $3500 was met at the last minute with a rousing round of donations during the final minutes of the last general session. As hands went up with $20 bills, the region giving the most money shifted from Great Plains to West to Mid-Atlantic, South and back to Great Plains. In the end, South would not accept a loss and stepped up to donate the most funds. As Chair, Patti Spaniola was pleased to accept the award on South's behalf. Win-Win for everyone!

Business Meeting Update

During the South Business meeting during the ACHE Annual Conference, the bylaws were updated and changed to increase the number of members at large from 2 to 3 and to add 2 new committees, Past Chairs Advisory Council and Web Content Committee.

South Leads at ACHE Annual Conference

Special mention to Amy Johnson, Lisa Graves, Marilyn Read, James Shamlee, Rick Osborn, Lisa Schmidt, Brian Van Horn, Betsy Cunningham, and Patti Spaniola for serving on the ACHE Annual Conference Planning Committee. Amy Johnson served as Conference Co-Chair, Lisa Graves and Marilyn Read as on-site logistics, James Shamlee led the Fun’Raising efforts, Rick Osborn co-chaired the Proposals & Program Committee, Lisa Schmidt chaired the Awards committee and assisted with the First Timers program, Brian Van Horn led the First Timers program, Betsy Cunningham was the technology guru, and Patti Spaniola served as webmaster for the conference website. Thank you to all for representing the South region in serving ACHE.


Scholarship Opportunity

Do you want to attend the ACHE Annual Conference in New Orleans, but not sure if you can secure the funds? We want to help! South Region will sponsor two South region members to attend the Annual Conference October 17-19, 2016 by paying for the registration fee of $499.00. Simply fill out this form and tell us why you want to attend, how you will volunteer to help at the Annual Conference, and what South region committee you want to join for the next year. That's it!  Applications are due Monday, September 19, 2016. The executive board will review all the applications and a decision will be made in time to register by September 26.

Share Your Expertise

We are looking for volunteers to serve on committees for the upcoming year. Share your expertise, meet new people, and get involved with ACHE South. Email Patti Spaniola at to sign up or ask questions. We're looking forward to working with you!

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Conference Reporter
  • Membership Development
  • Awards
  • Long Range Planning
  • History and Traditions

Starfish Stories

Learn more about the "Starfish Story" and how ACHE South makes a difference.

Meet the 2016-17 Officers

Meet and interact with the 2016-17 ACHE South Officers. It's a strong group ready to serve ACHE South. Get in contact with them to offer ideas and volunteer for committees.


Thank you, University of South Carolina!

University of South Carolina served as hosts for the 2016 conference. What a terrific job they did! All the details were in place and expertly executed including a festive Low Country Boil for the conference dinner. Thank you for a terrific conference!

2016 Award Winners!!

ACHE South congratulates all the 2016 award winners. Learn more about our outstanding winners.


Contributing Sponsor

We appreciate ACEware for contributing to the conference. Check out all they have to offer in registration software solutions.


Thank you to session presiders!

Concurrent sessions run smoothly because we have volunteers presiding over each session making sure the technology works, the presenter is ready, and evaluations are distributed. We couldn’t do it without all these volunteers:

Susan Allen, Mary Bonhomme, Maria Cherjovsky, Megan Crawford, Betsy Cunningham, Andrea Failing, Lisa Graves, Jenny Hinely, Brandi Huskey, Amy Johnson, Brittney Jones, Kim McCoy, Dewayne Neely, Debbie Poweleit, April Rainbolt, Rhonda Robinson, Teresa Stephens, Valerie Taylor and Charles Young.

Thank You to Our Exhibitors!

We are pleased to announce the following Exhibitor Level Sponsors for the conference:

Fourth Dimension Partners
Career Educational Services
Kennedy & Company




Thank you to our Sponsors!

We are delighted to announce that Collegis Education is our overall conference sponsor for 2016! Be sure to drop by their booth and learn about all they have to offer Continuing Education units.

Mini Grant Update

According to last year's mini-grant recipient, Lori E. Thorp of St. Edward's University in Austin, TX, the St. Edward's Professional Scholars Series (STEPSS) offer high-quality continuing education programs in the city of Austin at no cost to residents. She used her ACHE mini-grant to offer new two topics in spring 2015, attracting more than 50 registrants. The titles of the new topics were: Self-Publishing Demystified and Documentaries that Make a Difference.


Award Winner!

ACHE South Chair Julie Shankle is a 2016 recipient of the Florida Institute of Technology Joan Bixby Award, which recognizes members of the Florida Tech community who enhance the climate for women's participation and development on campus. Shankle, Florida Tech's director of online learning, shares the award this year with T. Dwayne McCay, executive vice president, COO and incoming Florida Tech president; and Lorian Schweikert, marine biology graduate student. The three will be recognized with other award winners on March 17 at the annual Women Who Rock Awards luncheon, honoring Women's History Month. The event is hosted by weVENTURE, a central Florida-based organization launched at Florida Tech, which focuses on accelerating sustainable business growth for women entrepreneurs.

Elkins receives Leadership Award

ACHE South is very proud to announce that Dr. Susan Elkins, Chancellor, South Carolina Palmetto College at the University of South Carolina, was awarded the 2015 Leadership Award at ACHE International Conference held in St. Louis, MO in November. Dr. Elkins has served ACHE South as Chair and ACHE International on the Board of Directors. Learn more about Dr. Elkins in the Member Spotlight.

Schedule Finalized

The conference schedule is finalized and reflects all the keynote speakers and concurrent session presenters. Personalize your conference experience and chose your concurrent sessions today.

It’s Awards Season!

There's still time to nominate your colleagues, programs and faculty members for a job well done. Deadline submission has been extended to Friday, February 26. For answers to your questions, contact Dan Connell at or (606) 783-2612.

New Pathways to Leadership

The inaugural ACHE Emerging Leader Institute (ELI) will be held at Loyola University in Chicago, June 13-16, 2016. ELI is open to emerging Continuing Education leaders who are interested in pursuing a career in higher education. Participants will have the opportunity to meet leaders in higher education, network with other emerging leaders and sharpen their focus on available professional pathways to leadership in higher education. Applications are due by January 29, 2016.

UWF Explore Summer Camps

University of West Florida Explore Summer Camps had a great season! Our best new offering was the Mock Trial camp. UWF Legal Studies shared their beautiful and fully equipped mock trial courtroom so campers could have a realistic experience. Students learned from UWF professors and local lawyers in order to prepare for their mock trial on the last day of camp. The success of the mock trial camp, along with the campers’ excitement from using a “real” courtroom, inspired us to investigate UWF’s assets and into unique camp experiences for our future Argonauts.

Delta State = Okra Strong

Our hearts are heavy with the violent tragedy that has struck our ACHE South friends and family at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi when American History Professor Ethan Schmidt was shot and killed by his colleague, Shannon Lamb, who then committed suicide. We can hope in the power of community to heal our hearts as we send love, support, and caring to our Delta State friends. Marilyn Read, ACHE South Past Chair, wrote this note and wanted to share with the ACHE South family.

THANK YOU to each of you for reaching out to check on me this week. My Delta State family has gone through a senseless tragedy that should have NEVER happened. We all would like for our respective University’s to gain national attention, just NOT in this way. We have lost not only one colleague/friend but two, Dr. Ethan Schmidt, professor of History and Dr. Shannon Lamb, professor of Geography. I had the privilege to work directly with Ethan in our first year seminar class for freshman. On a personal note, Shannon was a high school classmate of mine. The Shannon that committed this senseless act, is not my childhood friend. Each family lost a father, a son, or a spouse in this tragedy. My heart hurts for both families left to deal with the aftermath.

My Delta State family is slowly healing, as we will be for quite some time.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers.  My department had a Chick-Fil-A Leadership Academy kickoff event scheduled yesterday for 650 high school students to be on our campus for this major food packing service project as part of their program. Of course, the event was cancelled because of everything that happened. However, we decided to utilize the two parts of the program we already had ready to go for the day…the dry good meal packing and hot lunch packing (to be distributed to area children groups/Salvation Army/law enforcement/emergency management). Our faculty/staff/students were given a 2 hour notice that we needed volunteers to pack non- perishable food boxes to be distributed in our state. We had over 170 volunteers that packed 101,000 dry good meals and 65 volunteers that packaged and delivered 2500 hot lunches in the local area. This is how WE started the healing process at Delta State.

Thanks again for your concern for myself and MY DSU. We are staying OKRA STRONG.

Elected to National Board

ACHE South is pleased to announce that two South members have been elected to the ACHE National Board. Amy Johnson, East Tennessee State University, and Patti Spaniola, University of West Florida, were elected as Directors at Large. They each will serve a 3 year term beginning November 2015. Congratulations, Amy and Patti! The South region looks forward to your leadership! Learn more about Amy and Patti.

Meaningful Planning Meeting in Charleston

The ACHE South conference planning committee met June 28 – 29, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina, to begin our work on next year’s spring conference to be held at the Francis Marion Hotel. As excited as we are to show you the art, architecture, style and flavors of the Holy City, it would be improper not to pause and acknowledge the sadness we shared with its citizens during our trip. Only days after the murders of 9 members of the Emanuel AME Church, we watched as mourners lined the street in reverent silence with sympathy for their neighbors. Throughout the city we saw banners and signs of support. Charleston is determined to set an example for us: an example of how to grieve without violence, how to be strong for one another and how to find their way forward together.

We all had felt that Charleston would be a great place for us to gather for the Spring Conference, but now we know Charleston is far more than a gracious host city. There are deep roots and strong bonds here. There is much more we can learn from this beautiful place and its vibrant people.

Mark your calendars and plan to join us in Charleston, April 18-20, 2016. Check back here for updates from the planning committee in the coming months.

For information about how to support Mother Emanuel Church see this website:

Successful Conference in NOLA!

ACHE South celebrated its roots with a successful conference held in New Orleans, Louisiana, site of the inaugural conference held in 1958 under the leadership of Ray Witte of Loyola University, New Orleans. Louisiana State University served as host and what a host they were! The 83 participants commented that it was a "Wonderful conference! Great people, great content" and "was extremely well planned". There were 3 keynote speakers, 22 concurrent sessions, networking opportunities, first timer activity, business meeting, 6 valuable sponsors, and an impromptu historical tour of the French Quarter. Thank you LSU and the conference planning committee for a superb experience!

New Officers for 2015-2016

Congratulations to ACHE South’s new officers for the coming year! 

Julie ShankleChair
Patti Spaniola - Chair-Elect
Joseph Allen - Treasurer
Vicki Berling - Secretary
Dewayne NeeleyMember-at-Large
Lisa Graves - Past Chair
Thank you to everyone for your service to ACHE South!

Congratulations to the 2015 Award Winners!

Distinguished Program Award - Certified Occupational Safety Specialist, Louisiana State University
Outstanding Faculty Award - Cindy Moss, Kennesaw State University
Mini-Grant Award - St. Edward's Professional Scholar Series, Lori, Eggleston Thorp, St. Edward's University
Joseph P. Goddard Scholarship - Meredith Singleton, Northern Kentucky University
Continuing Education Leadership Award - Barbara S. Calhoun, Kennesaw State University


As a member of Kentucky Commonwealth College, WKU, along with the University of Louisville, will join other institutions throughout the nation to participate in the Competency-Based Education Network, or C-BEN.

C-BEN is a national consortium of colleges and universities that work together to address shared challenges to designing, developing and scaling competency-based degree programs. It’s comprised of 34 institutions and public systems representing 82 campuses. Read more...

South Region Represents!South Region Represents!

The South Region was well represented at the ACHE Annual Conference held in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 27-29, 2014. Out of 278 attendees, 95 were from the South Region. Brian Van Horn (Murray State University), President of ACHE, enlisted many South ACHE members to serve on his conference planning committee:

Conference Co-Chairs: Vicki Berling (Northern Kentucky University) and Patti Spaniola (University of West Florida)
Day Chairs: Amy Johnson (East Tennessee State University), Lisa Graves (Louisiana State University) and Fred Varnado (University of Southern Mississippi)
Proposals Committee: Rick Osborne (East Tennessee State University)
Budget: Tammy McDaniel and Janeen Winters (both from Murray State University)
Assistant to the ACHE President: Lisa Schmidt (Murray State University)
Evaluations: Amy Johnson (ETSU) and Jonell Tobin (Moorehead State University)
First Timers Coordinators: Michelle McMillan (University of West Florida) and Laura Ricke (Western Kentucky University)
Social Media and Marketing: Kelsey Bourne and Natalie Thurmond (both from Murray State University)
Technology: Trevor Miller and Jack Smith (both from Murray State University)
Awards Committee: Mary Bonhomme, Chair (Florida Institute of Technology), Jeffery Alejandro, (East Carolina University), Lisa Schmidt and Brian Van Horn (both from Murray State University)

Annual Conference Award WinnersAnnual Conference Award Winners

Many members of the South Region were recognized at the Annual Conference. Be sure to congratulate all the winners listed below:

Leadership Award: Barbara Calhoun, Kennesaw State University
Marlowe Froke Outstanding Publication Award: Carol Kasworm, North Carolina State University
Crystal Marketing Award: Kennesaw State University
Older Adult Model Program Award: Jill Norburn, Rollins College

Annual Conference Program HighlightsAnnual Conference Program Highlights

Thank you to Murray State University for hosting the 2014 ACHE South Region Conference! Over 65 people descended into Nashville to learn new skills and network with colleagues. Nashville: A Sound Investment was true to its name as there were many speakers to glean interesting, pertinent, and thought-provoking information from.

Dr. Robbie Melton demonstrated so many new types of technology that the audience was spell-bound. From talking pajamas to contacts that read blood sugar levels to a mobile device that moved around the conference room, she had it all. She also let us know how all those fun devices can assist us in presenting quality education for our students. Phillip Van Hooser discussed leadership qualities and the importance of treating people well. His Five Lessons About the Way We Treat People was informative and thoughtful.

This year, the Leadership Panel comprised of Dr. Susan Elkins, Dr. Alana Hamilton and Dr. Paul Starkey. They each shared their career paths and how they were nurtured by the adult and continuing education field.

There were 15 concurrent session presented by leaders in ACHE South with interesting programs, marketing ideas, and leadership pointers.

2014 ACHE South Awards2014 ACHE South Awards

ACHE South was proud to present two awards during the Awards Luncheon.

The Distinguished Program Award: Non-Credit was awarded to Jill Norburn from Rollins College for the sTARS (SeniorTARS) Program. The sTARS Program was established to offer non-credit lifelong learning courses to residents 50 years of age and older in central Florida. The program enrolled 299 members and offered 28 classes in the first semester. Courses included topics in humanities, fitness, and other hobbies.

The Wayne Whelan Research Grant was awarded to Jie Ke from Jackson State University. The purpose of the study is to understand the motivations and aspirations of returning African American adult learners and gain perceptions of these students on effective classroom teaching. Congratulations to Jill and Jie!

New Officers InductedNew Officers Inducted

April 2014 marked a new year for ACHE South as new officers were inducted to serve until April 2015. All the current officers from Secretary to President served their terms well and will move forward in the rotation. Dan Lavit will now serve as Past President, Lisa Graves as Chair, and Julie Shankle as Chair-Elect. Joseph Allen will continue to serve as Treasurer. Two positions, Secretary and Member-at-Large, have new officers. Patti Spaniola was voted in as Secretary and Vicki Berling as Member-At-Large. Thank you for your service to ACHE South!

Get Involved!Get Involved!

Looking for way to hone your skills, work with colleagues from other institutions, and have fun while volunteering? Consider joining a committee that will do all of these things, plus help you advance the cause of Continuing Education. Contact Julie Shankle at for opportunities.