Finding Greatness: Grace Adams-Square

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 12:00 AM
Categories: College of Arts and Sciences | Faculty/Staff | Finding Greatness | Pressroom

Dublin, GA


Grace Adams-Square of MGA’s political science faculty is known for her work that recognizes and honors the University’s students who are military veterans.

Full Name: Grace Arden Adams-Square.

Full Title: Assistant Professor of Political Science. Teaches American Government, Introduction to Political Science, Public Administration, Education Policy, Congress, State and Local Government, Presidents, Urban/Metro Studies, Women Studies, and Emergency Management.

Degrees: Bachelor’s and master’s in political science from Indiana University and West Virginia University; master’s in education from University of Toledo; doctorate work in political science and paralegal studies (certified) from Roosevelt University-Chicago, Illinois.

Describe your service to Middle Georgia State University and the community.

“Reaching out to our student veterans has been an ongoing commitment of mine since 2011. Initially, my service began as recognition to student veterans on Veterans Day. My efforts became further nuanced as more veterans were returning to the classroom while I was teaching on the Dublin Campus. The changing landscape made me realize that veterans needed effective support. Through my interaction with student veterans, I learned they experience numerous challenges while transitioning from military life to civilian life. Subsequently, I formed a partnership with the VA Hospital in Dublin. As time went on, I was tasked with the responsibility to teach ‘Perspectives on Diversity’ classes. Although the course material does not instruct faculty about student veterans, I was able to discern that student veterans are a distinct group with distinct challenges. I then created an avenue for particular student veterans to explore their military experiences. One of my classes was comprised of many student veterans, so I asked them if they would be willing to share what branch of the service they served in, how long they served, whether or not they served in combat, and why they chose MGA. They all agreed. My students and I had the most illuminating interaction as we listened to veterans who served in Vietnam, Desert Storm I and II, and in Afghanistan. I believe I helped them realize that MGA was mindful and supportive of student veterans.

“Next, I wanted to explore how to engage a larger audience of student veterans on all five campuses. I reached out to campus directors on each campus to aid in identifying student veterans. We chose one student veteran as the designated reporter for each campus. With these students, I was able to launch the student vet newsletter ‘Esprit de Corps’ published in Inside MGA which reached all five campuses. “After that, I made a conscious effort to determine how to interact and recognize female veterans. Women’s History Month in March provided the perfect opportunity. I invited women from multiple military services to participate in a program on the Dublin Campus. In attendance were female student veterans with no combat experience, a combat deployment without intense combat, and a combat deployment with intense combat exposure. Workshops provided an opportunity for socialization and shared experiences. Vendors attended to provide support services. I was later invited to present my involvement with student veterans at the American Society for Public Administration conference. My topic was; ‘Forming collaborations among colleges, universities and community to insure female veterans obtain outreach and adequate preparation for civilian life and the workforce.’

“Eventually, I was asked to teach American Government on the Cochran Campus. I took with me that same commitment to student veterans. With the help of some fantastic faculty and staff on that campus, I have been able to advance strong programming during Veterans Day to honor our veterans.

“As my work with student veterans will always be a mainstay at MGA, I do not want to exclude my service as advisor of the Multi-Cultural Association on the Dublin Campus. I have worked with an extraordinary and diverse groups of students. For more details, you will just have to join me for a cup of tea.”

What attracted you to a faculty position at Middle Georgia State University?

“I was hired by the former Middle Georgia College for a tenure-track position prior to the consolidation with Macon State, which formed what is now Middle Georgia State University. The philosophy of the institution complimented my philosophy of teaching: ‘Put students first.’ The former president outlined a three-part approach to teaching: 1) Accelerate high achieving students 2) Provide resources to those students who stand in need of additional services, and 3) Re-direct students in the first semester if they do not accomplish required academic goals and objectives. I was impressed with the college’s commitment to reach both performing and non-performing students. I felt confident I could bring my Midwest values and training from a Big 10 university and expertise from a Research 1 university to enhance the college’s mission. I have to admit that I was also attracted by the weather because I formally lived in Maryland.”

What do you like best about teaching at Middle Georgia State?

“The students. There is not a semester that goes by in which I do not learn something new from students. Interaction with students has enriched my teaching, enabling me to be flexible, not rigid in modifying my curriculum and syllabi. Quality of teaching is not lessened by these changes. As we continue on the frontier of new technology, it is important to be digitally engaged. Our students are major consumers of the digital world. I like that our library and IT department are helping us faculty members adapt to digital technologies so we can stay connected to our students.”

In your opinion, what does it take for students majoring in your discipline to be successful these days?

“Students who are majoring in political science need to be open-minded and well-informed about a world of rapidly developing economics, environment, demographics, and defense securities. A student that majors in political science will learn critical thinking and analytical skills. A political science major will learn the requisite tools needed to confront the challenges facing the current generation and future generations. MGA students in political science will graduate with a B.S. degree, having been exposed to a rigorous program that will make them competitive in graduate school, government, law, media/communication, and/or politics.”

What would students be surprised to learn about you?

"Students would be surprised to learn that I have set a goal to visit all 50 states. I have 13 more to go."