Top Cobb County leaders to speak at Kennesaw State University’s 82nd commencement ceremonies

State Sen. John Wiles and State Rep. Earl Ehrhart will be two of the three speakers slated to participate in Kennesaw State University’s graduation ceremonies Dec. 14 and 15. KSU Teacher of the Year Pam Cole is the third speaker. All three ceremonies will be held in the KSU Convocation Center on campus.

Georgia (Dec 5, 2006) — State Sen. John Wiles and State Rep. Earl Ehrhart will be two of the three speakers slated to participate in Kennesaw State University’s graduation ceremonies Dec. 14 and 15. KSU Teacher of the Year Pam Cole is the third speaker. All three ceremonies will be held in the KSU Convocation Center on campus.

John Wiles:
Wiles has diligently served the state and Cobb community for more than 20 years. He began his career as a prosecutor in the State Court Solicitor’s Office in 1984. He later served in the State House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. In his current position as state senator‚ Wiles is a member of the Higher Education Committee as well as chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee of Appropriations. He represents Senate District 37‚ which includes the northwest portion of Cobb County.

A champion of educational issues‚ Wiles has sponsored legislation that created the Georgia HERO College Scholarship in 2005. The scholarship provides financial assistance to National Guard members and reservists‚ as well as the children of those who have proudly served our country. Throughout his tenure as a lawmaker‚ Wiles has concentrated on child and teen issues‚ having been instrumental in the introduction and ultimate passing of a bill to safeguard mothers and newborn babies through insured hospital care.

Wiles’ civic involvement includes organizations like the Cobb Chamber of Commerce‚ Marietta Kiwanis and the Kennesaw Business Association. He also serves on the board of directors of the Acworth Business Association. Wiles‚ the managing partner of the law firm of Wiles & Wiles‚ holds professional membership with the Cobb County and American Bar Associations‚ State Bar of Georgia and the Florida Bar.

Wiles received his undergraduate degree in 1980 from George Washington University and his Juris Doctorate in 1983 from Stetson University where he served on the Law Review.

Wiles will speak at the commencement honoring graduates from the College of the Arts and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Earl Ehrhart:
Ehrhart‚ who was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1988‚ is the longest serving Republican in that capacity. He currently serves as chairman of the House Rules Committee and as a member of Appropriations‚ Banks and Banking‚ and State Institutions and Property.

Recently‚ Ehrhart received the “Champion of the Free Enterprise System Award” from the Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia. In 1990‚ the National Federation of Independent Business named him the “Guardian of Small Business” for his years of work for small businesses in Georgia. He has also received awards from Kennesaw State University‚ the Medical Association of Georgia‚ the Twenty−Second Air Force Reserve and the Georgia Federation of Young Republicans.

Ehrhart is an active member of the Cobb community‚ serving as a member of the West Cobb Rotary Club‚ the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce and the Honorary Commanders Association. He has also served on the Powder Springs Downtown Development Association‚ which led to the dynamic formation of the Powder Springs Square.

In addition to his governmental role‚ Ehrhart is senior vice president of the Facility Group Inc.‚ an architectural and engineering firm located in Smyrna‚ Ga. He graduated in 1980 with a B.A. in political science from the University of Georgia‚ where he was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha‚ the national political science honor society‚ and Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity.

Ehrhart will speak at the commencement for the College of Science and Mathematics and the Coles College of Business.

Pam Cole:
Cole is a professor of middle grades English education at KSU. Her experiences growing up in a poverty−stricken community in the Appalachian coalfields of southwestern Virginia instilled in her a passion for education and a desire to help others improve their lives. She came to the university in 1995 as an assistant professor shortly after earning her doctorate degree from Virginia Tech University.

Believing that literacy equals opportunity‚ Cole began coordinating KSU’s Annual Conference on Literature for Children and Adolescents in 1996. Today‚ hundreds of education majors and teachers gather annually at KSU to learn from the nation’s most renowned young adult authors and experts on young adult literature. The conference has placed Kennesaw State University on the map as one of the premier institutions for the study and dissemination of young adult literature.

Cole has served as vice−president of the Georgia Council of Teachers of English and as president of the International Reading Association’s Special Interest Group on Literature for the Adolescent Reader. She has earned numerous awards in her career‚ including the Georgia Council of Teachers of English Leadership Award‚ KSU’s Distinguished Teaching Award‚ KSU’s Distinguished Service Award and KSU’s Distinguished Professor Award. She is also a 2006 Georgia Board of Regents Teaching and Scholarship nominee and KSU’s 2006 nominee for an American Council on Education Fellowship.

She currently teaches English language arts and reading courses in the Bagwell College of Education for both undergraduate and graduate teacher candidates. She is also co−authoring a young adult literature textbook for McGraw−Hill Publishers that will be used nationwide in the training of middle grades and secondary English and reading teachers.

Cole will speak at the commencement matriculating graduates from the WellStar College of Health and Human Services and the Bagwell College of Education.

When:
Thursday‚ Dec. 14‚ 2 p.m.
Speaker: Earl Ehrhart
Graduates from the Coles College of Business and the College of Science and Mathematics will be honored.

Thursday‚ Dec. 14‚ 7 p.m.
Speaker: Pam Cole
Graduates from the WellStar College of Health and Human Services and the Bagwell College of Education will be honored.

Friday‚ Dec. 15‚ 10 a.m.
Speaker: John Wiles
Graduates from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of the Arts will be honored.

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Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population approaching 20‚000 from 132 countries. The third−largest university out of 35 institutions in the University System of Georgia‚ Kennesaw State offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate degrees‚ including a new doctorate in education.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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