"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.


Harris Taking Her Passion To Fort Valley State University

"Dr. Angela Harris has a passion for people." It was a phrase repeated several times during a reception to bid her farewell and good luck on her new job.  Dr. Harris - who worked at Dalton State for nearly 25 years, most recently as assistant vice president of enrollment services – is now serving as the vice president for student success and enrollment management at Fort ... (click for more)

Southern Honored For Promoting Workplace Health

Southern Adventist University has received the 2014 Governor’s Healthier Workplace award, part of the state's Healthier Tennessee initiative, for meeting all 32 of this program’s requirements and being an involved community advocate for wellness. The normal lifestyle on campus met many of the simple criteria for having a healthy workplace, including vegetarian meals and an alcohol- ... (click for more)

Linear Park Planned As Extension Of Walnut Street Bridge In Front Of Planned Boutique Hotel

A linear park that will be an extension of the Walnut Street Bridge public space is planned in front of a new boutique hotel at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way (Second Street). Mitch Patel of Vision Hospitality on Tuesday night told nearby residents that "the city pushed this idea of a linear park, and we agree that it is a great idea." He said the current situation in which ... (click for more)

Sharply-Divided City Council Approves Office Reorganization; Councilman Freeman Calls Move "Evil, Hellish"

A sharply-divided City Council on Tuesday voted 5-4 to completely reorganize the council office, leaving current staffers without a job down the road but with the option to reapply. Councilman Moses Freeman called the move "evil" and "hellish." He said, "We are punishing somebody on a personal level," though he said the office has been running smoothly. Saying the majority ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)