"Last Lecture" To Feature Renowned Entomologist Dr. James Adams At Dalton State

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Dr. James Adams shows off some of his personal collection of butterflies and moths. The popular biology professor will deliver his “Last Lecture” Thursday, Oct. 17, at Dalton State College.
Dr. James Adams shows off some of his personal collection of butterflies and moths. The popular biology professor will deliver his “Last Lecture” Thursday, Oct. 17, at Dalton State College.

James Adams was just two years old when he realized his fascination with anything creepy-crawly. From a very young age, Dr. Adams collected bug specimens, but it wasn’t until age nine or 10 that he truly became serious about his collection.

“My mom started me collecting – it took big time,” Dr. Adams said. “I didn’t collect baseball cards; I collected butterflies and moths.”

Dr. Adams, a professor of Biology at Dalton State College, will present “Why We Do What We Do: a Lepidopterist’s Perspective on Life” in a Last Lecture Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Goodroe Auditorium of Gignilliat Memorial Hall. The free program is open to the public.

"Last Lectures" give professors the opportunity to deliver an ultimate message to students and the public as if they were lecturing to them for the last time. Professors are chosen based on their classroom lecture style and ability to stimulate, inspire, and provoke thought and discussion. The popular lecture series was launched at Dalton State last year.

Dr. Adams will speak not only about not only his life-long love of bugs (specifically moths and butterflies) but also his passion for teaching and being a mentor for both budding entomologists and other students.  “I approach life by making it enjoyable for as many people as I can,” Dr. Adams asserts. “There are few professions in which you can touch as many lives as you can with teaching.”

A native of Liberty, Mo., Dr. Adams attended the University of Kansas, where he completed his doctoral work in Systematics & Ecology in 1990. During his time at the University of Kansas, he served as Curatorial Assistant for the university lepidoptera collection, the first person to focus on it in almost a century.

After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Adams arrived at Dalton State in the fall of 1990. Since then, he has taught Principals of Biology, Human Anatomy & Physiology, Evolution, Ecology, and Entomology. His approach to teaching is rooted in making biology accessible to all students: “I try to make sure to involve everybody in the class,” he said. “Lecturing is interactive—we’re having a conversation.”

Praised by both colleagues and students alike for his lively, engaging, hands-on approach to teaching, Dr. Adams still finds each class a learning experience for himself, as well. “I still learn something new when teaching a class,” he maintains. “The students make each class a new experience for me.” For his outstanding devotion to teaching, Dr. Adams was honored in 2012 with the Dalton State Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award.

“Why would a grown man be swinging a net at bugs? Why would a grown man be looking around lights at a gas station at night?” Dr. Adams asks. “Come find out what has motivated me to be interested in bugs since I was but two years old.”

Dr. Adams’ Last Lecture is sponsored by the College’s Fine Arts and Lecture Series and the Office of Student Life. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call 706 272-2985.

Coming Home: Adam Ware To Direct Dalton State's Bandy Heritage Center

Dr. Adam Ware, a sixth generation native of Northwest Georgia with roots stretching back to 1840, is returning to his hometown from Orlando, Fl. to lead Dalton State’s Bandy Heritage Center of Northwest Georgia, as its new director. Dr. Ware, a 2000 graduate of Dalton High School, currently serves as historian and research librarian for The Orange County Regional History Center ... (click for more)

Signal Centers And Tech Goes Home Partner To Help Students

The first graduation of Signal Centers’ families to complete the Tech Goes Home early childhood program will be on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Signal Center, 109 N. Germantown Road.  Students need access to internet, devices and apps to learn new skills and even complete homework. Children without access often quickly fall behind their peers, said officials.  The Tech ... (click for more)

Alexander Says Chickamauga Lock Construction Fully Funded For 4th Consecutive Year

Senator Lamar Alexander on Wednesday said the government funding bill will fully fund construction of Chickamauga Lock for the fourth consecutive year, providing up to $78 million – which is more than twice the amount of funding the project received last year.   Senator Alexander said he has made completion of Chickamauga Lock one of his top priorities as chairman ... (click for more)

Former Juvenile Court Magistrate Says Gay Marriage Is "Nothing You Put In Air Quotes"

A former magistrate at Juvenile Court, who claims she was fired by Judge Rob Philyaw because she is openly gay, said Wednesday that gay marriage "is nothing you put in air quotes." She referred to County Attorney Rheubin Taylor asking her about her ceremony in marrying another woman and raising his hands to form quote marks. Elizabeth Gentzler is suing Hamilton County, Judge ... (click for more)

Avoid Underage Drinking And Other Prom Drama

My high school prom took a dramatic turn when two guys got their tuxedo jackets mixed up. One of them belonged to my date, who kindly offered to keep my wallet in his pocket. That’s the jacket another young man mistakenly grabbed off the back of a chair before heading to an underage drinking party that got shut down by police well after midnight—as kids scattered in every direction.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Sheriff’s Request

Jim Hammond will talk to members of the Hamilton County School Board on Thursday afternoon and, just like any police officer in the United States, he will request that everybody “stay in their own lane.” Some school board members tend to believe they need to help decide the best methods of protecting our children. They believe this is one of the things they were elected to do in ... (click for more)