"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.

CHS Receives Environmental Program Recognition

Each year Tennessee schools are challenged to showcase their environmental efforts through the Good Sports Always Recycle program. "Please join us in congratulating this year’s winning schools for their environmental stewardship and recycling leadership among Tennessee’s schools," officials said.   The 2016 Good Sports Always RecycleTM winners are: Abintra Montessori ... (click for more)

Criminal Justice Speaker Series At Chattanooga State Welcomes Ray Krone Thursday Night

Ray Krone, the nation’s 100th Death Row exoneree and co-founder of Witness to Innocence will share his experience of wrongful convictions and discuss his efforts to abolish the death penalty tonight at 6 p.m. The presentation will take place in the Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) building, room C-30, on the main campus of Chattanooga State Community College, 4501 Amnicola ... (click for more)

School Board Chooses Charlotte Firm For Superintendent Search Firm; Lennon, Testerman Want To Keep Kelly

The County School Board on Thursday night voted 5-4 to choose a Charlotte, N.C., search firm to pick a new county school superintendent. Coleman Lew and Associates was selected over McPherson & Jacobson of Omaha. That vote came after board members Kathy Lennon and David Testerman started the session by saying they are very pleased with Interim Supt. Kirk Kelly and would ... (click for more)

Judge Finds Young Guilty Of Lesser Charge In Fatal Wreck On Highway 58

Judge Tom Greenholtz on Wednesday found William Henry Young guilty of a lesser charge in a fatal traffic accident on Highway 58. The judge, who heard the case without a jury, ruled the 56-year-old former TVA employee guilty of criminally negligent homicide. He had been charged with vehicular homicide. Sentencing will be in December. Judge Greenholtz dismissed charges ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Guess Who Backed Kelly?

Two weeks before the August election where three members of the Hamilton County School Board were angrily replaced, the organizer of what was called “a great way for the (challengers) to raise great money to help them run smart campaigns” made a bold statement. “I'm sure the current board is well-intentioned, but the results are not there," said Paul Brock. "Leadership matters ... (click for more)