"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.


Lee Hosts Annual Ollie J. Lee Symposium

The Lee University Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences held its sixth annual Ollie J. Lee Symposium. Anthropology, psychology, and sociology students presented their original research at the event, held to honor Dr. Ollie J. Lee, Distinguished Professor of Sociology.  “The symposium is a spectacular venue through which many dedicated students present their culmination ... (click for more)

Lee University Partners With Tennessee Wesleyan For International Day Festivities

Students from Lee University joined with students from Tennessee Wesleyan University (TWU) this spring for the third annual International Day celebration in Athens, Tennessee.   Dr. Augustin Bocco, TWU’s director of Multicultural Affairs and Lee alum, headed up the event and invited Lee professor Dr. James Wilkins to participate.   Bocco, a native of Togo, Africa, ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke Pledges $6 Million For New Recreation Center At Avondale

Mayor Andy Berke announced Thursday that he plans to include $6 million in his upcoming budget for a new Recreation Center at Avondale. He said at a press conference at the current center on Dodson Avenue, "We want to make an investment in Avondale." Mayor Berke said the current center by Wilcox Boulevard was built in 1949 and last remodeled in 2002. The new center, which ... (click for more)

Developer Plans Single-Family Homes, Townhomes, Apartments, Retail On 7.5 Acres At South Broad Street

A developer is planning single-family homes, apartments, townhomes and retail on a 7.5-acre South Broad Street site. The development by South Broad LLC and DEW LLC is located within several blocks between South Broad Street, W. 26th Street, Long Street and W. 27th Street. It would include a 3-story U-shaped apartment building with ground floor retail at the north end of the ... (click for more)

Thankful For The Vital Role Teachers Played In My Life

Re: Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow Roy, I am especially appreciative of your poignant column written in tribute to teachers.  It made me tear up, as I have encountered both as a student and a career educator-- teachers like the second-grade teacher who said, "I wish you were my little girl" and teachers like Mrs. Poindexter.   My teachers have played such a vital ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Bad Ideas Never Work

When the Chattanooga City Council gave Kevin Muhammad, who is purportedly the “leader” of the Nation of Islam’s “Chattanooga chapter” or whatever it is, “the right” to speak for 20 anguished minutes on Monday night, everybody who heard about it could have told our city leaders it was “stinkin’ thinkin’.” My goodness, did you think he was going to read a sweet passage from the ... (click for more)