Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

Stallings reports on life in desert

February 7, 2011 Comments off

By Christelle Vereb, Staff Writer

“I always thought he would end up the president,” said Max Stallings in regards to his father Dr. Jody Stallings, an associate professor of biology at Young Harris College.

Stallings departed for Kunduz, Afghanistan on Oct. 12, 2010.

While in Afghanistan, Stallings has been working through US AID, an agency of the US that focuses on helping countries in their developing stages.  Stallings works in a PRT, or a provincial reconstruction team. As part of a PRT team, Stallings is focusing on helping, along with shaping, communities in Afghanistan to trust and respect their governments.

While in Afghanistan Stallings keeps an updated blog of his activities and gives a firsthand account of his experiences. The blog can be accessed through YHC connect website, or at

Each post includes Dr. Stallings thoughts and experiences thus far in his work.

A snippet of Stallings’s post from December 15 reads, “In about two hours from now, I will be traveling to northern Afghanistan to establish myself in my “permanent” site in Kunduz province, in extreme north Afghanistan.  It will be a welcome relief to unpack my bags that have been following me around for the past 50 days or so while in training in Washington, DC, in Arlington, VA, in W. Va, and in Indianapolis.  I will live in a hooch. However, my 10×20 foot living quarters will be awesome: I will share this space with no one”.

In his absence, Dr. Stallings’s son Max Stallings, an athletic trainer for YHC athletic teams.“I went to school here, and graduated here. So, when I came back here to be an athletic trainer, I thought I would recognize the students and I thought they would recognize me. But instead everyone talks about my dad,” Stallings said jokingly. “But I like that everyone talks about him, it makes me think of my dad more often. And it makes me proud of him, because my dad is a great man. He loves his job here at Young Harris, and he loves his job he is doing now. It’s really great that even in his absence students still talk about him. That’s a good feeling; it shows how much of an impact he has on his student’s lives. ”

Dr. Stallings has been gone from YHC for almost 6 months now, and like his son, students are also waiting for his return.

A native of Hiawassee, sophomore communication major, Ellie Parton says “I was wondering where he was. I didn’t know until one of my friends informed me. I was looking forward to taking another class from him. I can’t wait till he returns to Young Harris so I can hear all about his experience.”

As students miss him, Dr. Stallings is also missing YHC and his students and co-workers.

“He really misses it here. The students have such a great impact on him. He can’t wait to return, but for now he is doing his job, which he is really good at,” said Max Stallings.

On his blog posted on Dec. 15, Stallings said he had “355 days left on this one year assignment.”  Until his time in Afghanistan is finished, students and faculty are counting and eagerly awaiting Dr. Stallings’s return to the YHC campus.