Skip to main content

Parent & Family Association

The Parent & Family Association is a dues-paying organization for parent, family members, and supporters of current Georgia Southern students. Contributions and membership dues finance the Parent & Family Association, covering membership benefits, scholarship awards, university sponsorships, and other expenses approved by the Family Council.

Membership is by email address:
One Year – $35 | Four Years – $125

Mission of the Parent & Family Association

  • Encourage mutual understanding and to facilitate communication between parents/families and the University.
  • Sponsor programs and services that meet the needs of parents and involve parents/families in the life of the University community.
  • Promote the development of the University and its students by supporting the Parents Fund and Georgia Southern Foundation.
  • Contribute to student persistence and academic success by promoting institutional loyalty in the entire family

Parent & Family Association By-Laws

Parent & Family Association brochure

Benefits of Membership

  • Parent & Family Association Scholarships – The scholarship application is available only to students of Association members.
  • Local & National Discounts – These include the University Store (nontextbook items), the Dining Commons, local restaurants, and hotel and car rental companies.
  • Family Weekend Discounts – There are discounts for all family events.
  • Family Wall Calendar – This full-color calendar contains important Georgia Southern dates and beautiful imagery.

Family Council

The Family Council is an active group of volunteers responsible for advising on Parent & Family Association programs and allocation of dues and donations revenue. They work closely with University administrators. We are always looking for enthusiastic family members to join the council and make a difference at Georgia Southern University!

  • Council members participate in the regularly scheduled monthly teleconference meetings. 
  • Council members attend the Fall and Spring face-to-face council meetings at family weekend events.
  • Council members volunteer at Georgia Southern events such as Operation Move‐In, Family Weekends, Admissions Recruitment Eagle Previews and Information Nights, and Admissions scholarship events.
  • Council members volunteer at summer SOAR (orientation) sessions. 

Devora Griffin

Devora Griffin is a Georgia Southern Alumna (M.S. Clinical Psychology ’96). She moved to Statesboro, GA 25 years ago to attend school and never left. Both of her children began at Georgia Southern for dual enrollment and decided to continue their education here. Devora joined the Parent & Family Association while on campus for SOAR in 2015, officially becoming a council member in 2016. She has been the Council’s Vice President, and is currently serving a second term as Council President. You may have met her at Open House or SOAR as she enjoys meeting future and current students and their parents. She would love for you to join her in volunteering.

Lori Oren
Vice President & Past President

Lori is a mother of 4 adult children and empty nester.  She first joined the Georgia Southern Parent & Family Association when her daughter entered her freshman year at Georgia Southern in 2013, and has remained after her graduation. Lori has served as President, Secretary, and presently serves as Treasurer on the Executive Council of the PFA. Originally from Massachusetts, Statesboro, Georgia has been home to Lori since 2002;  she loves living in Statesboro, with all the  affordances of art, sports, restaurants, and activities available due to the proximity to Georgia Southern.  Professionally, Lori is a teacher in the Bulloch County school system; teaching English as a Second Language to secondary students, and also works as a licensed WIDA facilitator.  In her free time, Lori is an avid crafter, and is renovating her home room by room. 

Jennifer Redman

Jen is a Surgical Planning Supervisor at Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Augusta in Augusta, GA. She currently lives in Grovetown, GA with her husband, Kevin. Jen grew up in Aiken, South Carolina and attended the University of South Carolina. She enjoys volunteering, especially with GS Family Council. In addition to the Council, she volunteers at church, the GS Alumni Association, and Southern Women’s Association. In her spare time, Jen loves to spend time outdoors working in the yard, but her favorite activity is spending time with her daughter in Statesboro!

Gregory Francisco
President Emeritus

Dr. Gregory Francisco lives in Evans, GA. With his wife Lauren.  He holds various degrees in Applied Science, Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, as well as a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and second Ph.D. in Moral Theology.  He is also a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Society of Scholars. “Dr. Greg” as he is most often referred to, has and continues to serve on numerous boards and policy councils such as Safe Kids, The Boy Scouts of America, The Family YMCA, the Federal Head Start Program, Easter Seals, and The Augusta Task Force for the Homeless to mention a few, as well as serving 4 years as President of our Parent and Family Association where he is now the President Emeritus and is the founder and Chairman of the Dr. Teresa E. Thompson Students’ Needs Endowment Fund which is committed for needs based scholarships.  Dr. Greg and Lauren have two sons, Gregory, II who is a graduate of Georgia Southern University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Jonathan who is a graduate of Georgia Southern University with a degree in Information Systems.  The Francisco’s also have a daughter-in-law Ruth who is married to Gregory, II and she also is a graduate of Georgia Southern University with a degree in Economics with a focus on International Business and a Minor in Information Systems and SAP.  The Francisco’s have been blessed with two granddaughter Sofia (2 ½) and Camila (2 months). 

Todd McCollum
Council Member

Todd is a Fire Medic Captain for DeKalb County Fire Rescue, currently in charge of Recruit Training. In addition, Todd works as a Paramedic at Piedmont Henry Emergency Room. He lives in Rex, GA. Todd attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. While attending SIU-C, Todd obtained a B.S. and Masters of Science in Education. Prior to his move to GA, he worked at East Carolina University and Virginia Commonwealth University in Intramural Recreational Sports.

Linda Clarkson
Past President

Linda Clarkson is a Georgia Southern Alumnus with her Double Eagle. She has her Masters and Specialist degree in Education. She has been a charter member of the Parent & Family Association since 2002. She was Volunteer of the Year. Linda has taught, substituted, and tutored for 30 years in a number of local schools. She lives in Daisy, Georgia. 

Jay Watrous
Council Member

A forestry professional with over 40 years experience,  Jay is actively retired and residing in Rome, Georgia with his wife Sherry. Jay serves on the Board of Directors of the UGA Norris Foundation, plays lead guitar in his church praise band and enjoys long road trips in their Camaro. Jay & Sherry’s daughter, Alyssa Watrous, a recent honor graduate of Georgia Southern University, is now pursuing a “Double Eagle.” She is enrolled in the Averitt College of Graduate Studies, pursuing a masters degree in History.

Mary Grace Thomas
Council Member

Mary Grace Thomas graduated from Georgia Southern in 1984 with her husband, Jeff. She lives in Lawrenceville, GA with their five children, who have all chosen to attend GS as well. Their youngest eagle will be a freshman this fall. Mary Grace has served on the PFA Council since 2017. After serving on various committees and school boards within her children’s grade and high schools, she is excited to volunteer at GS as an alumni and parent. Mary Grace is a child psychologist who has worked in the public schools and now, works in private practice serving preschool through college age students and their families.

Nicole Carter
Council Member

Nicole Carter graduated from Georgia Southern University in 1992 & 2002. She has been an educator in Hinesville, GA for 20 years at Waldo Pafford Elementary School. Nicole has served on the PFA council since 2016. She has two sons; one who is a recent graduate from the Department of Engineering and Computing at Georgia Southern and the other son is a rising junior at Georgia Southern. In her free time, Nicole enjoys reading and painting.

Kim Downes
Council Member

Kim Downes lives in Evans, GA. Her background is in healthcare marketing, public relations and event planning. After her son, Cade, was born, she became a stay-at-home mom and marketing consultant. Kim also has a daughter, Reagan, who is 15. Cade is an incoming freshmen majoring in Business. Kim’s husband, Michael, is a financial advisor and regional leader with Edward Jones Investments. Kim’s current “job” is working with her husband, planning region meetings/events, spouse activities and region family communications. She is very excited to be a part of the PFA council and is looking forward to meeting everyone and helping in any way she can! 

Melanie Nipper
Council Member

Amy Bobbitt
Council Member


Family volunteers help spread the word about what a great place Georgia Southern is!  You could help recruit a new student, answer questions from inquisitive family members about your experience, or mentor a current student pursuing a career in your field.

Admissions Recruitment Events – Speak with prospective students and their family members about Georgia Southern.  Families love to hear directly from you about what it’s like to be a family member of a Georgia Southern student!  Some events occur on-campus, but others might be right in your home town.

SOAR – Represent Family Programs during SOAR sessions. You will be able to mingle with incoming families and discuss the benefits of joining the Parent & Family Association.

Are you interested in volunteering? Email