A NOTE FROM THE INTERIM PROVOST
Welcome back! I hope that you had time to rest and reflect this summer as we head into yet another dynamic year at Georgia State. I have much to share with you in this edition as we prepare for the beginning of classes for the 2022-23 academic year.
COVID-19 and the Fall Semester
While the pandemic continues, we are certainly in a different position than we were in March 2020, when no vaccines or therapeutics were available. Although the course of the pandemic is fluid and may change at any time, we continue to follow the expertise of our own public health professionals and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I want to make this clear: We will take appropriate action as needed, and the university continues to operate and revise https://covidinfo.gsu.edu/, which will be updated soon. We will also make sure to communicate any changes via campus email.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- We will continue to offer vaccinations and boosters on campus.
- The university will continue to communicate with students, faculty and staff about promotion of health and wellness, and the health and safety actions that we all can take – not just from COVID-19, but other infections such as the flu.
- This fall, COVID-19 will be treated similarly to other illnesses like the flu. This does not mean that we are discounting the seriousness of the disease – far from it, as other communicable diseases can put our health at risk. However, we will not use seating charts for in-person classes.
- As self-administered rapid testing has become widespread, case reporting numbers are not as good of indicators of trends as they used to be. The university will not track or report the number of COVID cases, but we will continue to monitor the situation and will take action accordingly.
- Online reporting forms which have served faculty and students during the pandemic will also serve us going into the fall:
- For instructors, the Temporary Change in Course Modality form can be used not just for COVID-19, but also for serious infections such as the flu. The form is available with directions at https://provost.gsu.edu/course-modality/. Please continue to use this form as needed, but always make sure to communicate with your department chair and your students.
- For students, the Dean of Students’ Office will continue to provide faculty with notifications when students file Professor Notification for Absences (PNAs). This notification indicates that the Dean of Students office has reviewed the documentation related to a student’s medical circumstances.
- o It is important that students understand that 1. PNAs are only for extended absences of a week or more, and 2. Must be submitted within one week after a student returns from an absence. We encourage you to include this information in course syllabi and review the information at https://deanofstudents.gsu.edu/student-assistance/#professor as you are crafting your course syllabi.
Academic Affairs Reorganization
Georgia State already has a national reputation for student success and innovative education, but we cannot stop there. This summer, we announced new leadership roles to advance academic programs, student success and opportunity, and faculty success, which went into place on July 1.
You can read much more about the roles these leaders will play in the news section below, but they are:
- Michael Galchinsky, Inaugural Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
- Lakeyta Bonnette-Bailey, interim Co-Director of the Center for the Advancement of Students and Alumni
- Kavita Pandit, Executive Coach and Senior Advisor to the Provost
- Jennifer Sherer, Executive Officer for Entrepreneurship
I want to thank all of them for their willingness to take on these roles. I also want to thank Sarah Cook, who as previously announced has taken on the permanent role as dean of the Honors College.
Departures & Arrivals
Kim Siegenthaler, Associate Provost for Online Strategies, has taken on a new academic leadership role at the City University of New York, and stepped down from her position effective Aug. 2. She now holds the role of Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Strategy and Operations at CUNY.
In her short two years at Georgia State, she made significant contributions to not only the university’s online offerings, but the support structure needed for enrollment, marketing, and successful online teaching and learning.
Units reporting to her are now reporting in the interim to Michael Galchinsky, Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs.
We’ve included more about her contributions below, but I want to reiterate my gratitude for hard work and dedication to Georgia State. Kim has been essential in ensuring student success regardless of modality, and I know that she will do well in her new role at CUNY.
While falling outside of the Provost’s Office and Academic Affairs, I would also like to welcome two new important leaders in the life of our university.
- Anthony Davis is the university’s new Associate Vice President for Student Engagement and Dean of Students (read more about him further down in this edition of the newsletter).
- L. Jared Abramson has joined Georgia State as our new Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (read more about him here).
Additionally, we are welcoming more than new 100 faculty to our ranks at the start of this academic year, and to our new faculty, I am looking forward to speaking with you at New Faculty Orientation later this week. You have joined an incredible, dynamic institution, and we are so glad you are part of the Panther Family.
And, I must also express my gratitude to our new and continuing department chairs at Georgia State, many of whom I had a chance to speak with at New Department Chair Orientation earlier this month. It is a demanding position but you are essential to our academic mission here at the university.
COACHE Update: Reporting on Cycle I, Preparing for the Next Cycle
The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) Faculty Satisfaction process which began in the fall 2019 semester has yielded results to address issues identified by faculty in the survey. In the event you missed it, I’m pleased to share with you our wrap-up report, which you can download here at the Provost’s Office website.
COACHE is based on a 3-year cycle, so we begin again this year. Faculty will hear more this semester, so keep an eye on your inbox. We will also update provost.gsu.edu/coache when we gear up for the next cycle; look for updates later this fall.
Strategic Planning Focus Groups
I want to join Nancy Kropf, senior vice president for strategic initiatives, in thanking everyone who participated in focus groups as part of the university’s strategic planning process. Your feedback in these groups, identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Georgia State in the years ahead is invaluable as we envision another successful decade. Keep an eye on your inbox for emails from the university for updates and visit strategic.gsu.edu for additional information under the section entitled “The Next Strategic Plan.”
There’s much more below, including information about faculty achievement and opportunities, progress in diversity, equity and inclusion, the university’s international excellence and outreach, university research, faculty profiles, and other news.
Since the beginning of this year, I have seen the depth and scale of everything that our faculty and staff do to contribute to who we are: an enterprising, urban research institution on the forefront of innovation. The work is complex and not easy. But I am incredibly grateful each day to be a part of this larger community that always strives toward excellence.
As always, I thank you for all that you do to make Georgia State a leader and innovator in student success, teaching, learning, research, scholarship and creativity. Best wishes to you for another productive, impactful academic year!
Nicolle Parsons-Pollard, Ph.D.
Interim Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- A Note from the Interim Provost
- Academic Affairs News
- Save the Date – Our Place, Our Time: President M. Brian Blake’s Investiture to be Held Friday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m.
- Faculty Achievements, Appointments & Award Opportunities
- Georgia State Police Chief Anthony Coleman Explains Emergency Versus Non-Emergency Situations
- Teaching & Learning News from CETLOE
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- International Initiatives, Outreach & Impact
- Engaged Research Competition
- Research Highlights
- State Farm Scholarships at Perimeter College Open Opportunities
- Meet Georgia State’s New Dean of Students
- Completion Grants Pioneered at Georgia State to Expand Statewide
- New Programs, Concentrations & Classes
- Misty Bentz: Using the James Webb Space Telescope for Extragalactic Research
- Lauren Sudeall: Center for Access to Justice
Academic Affairs News
ADVANCE-IMPACT: Increasing Women Faculty in STEM
Georgia State University has been awarded a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to launch a new initiative as part of its efforts to increase the recruitment, retention, engagement and support of women faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, especially for women from underrepresented racial and ethnic minority backgrounds.
Partnering with Florida International University (FIU), the new Georgia State initiative, ADVANCE-IMPACT (Intersectionality and Mentoring in the Professoriate for Advancement, Community and Transformation) is supported through NSF’s ADVANCE program to increase the representation and advancement of women in STEM careers and university leadership.
Among its activities, ADVANCE-IMPACT will adapt and implement the Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence (STRIDE) approach in collaboration with FIU. STRIDE is an empirically demonstrated approach to increase faculty diversity at many institutions through activities that institutionalize successful strategies, shown to improve diversity and excellence.
Other aims of ADVANCE-IMPACT include:
Leadership training to help counter factors that detract from a fair, equitable and welcoming workplace;
Offering a faculty mentoring program at all career levels promoting inclusivity, development, advancement and participation in leadership;
Assisting in the review of policies that promote best practices in diversity, equity and inclusion at an institutional level.
The new ADVANCE-IMPACT office will be located at the 75 Piedmont building. For more information, visit www.gsu.edu/advance.
Academic Affairs Reorganization
In case you missed it this summer: Interim Provost Nicolle Parsons-Pollard announced new leadership roles to advance academic programs, student success and opportunity, and faculty success, effective July 1.
Michael Galchinsky, formerly Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, is now the inaugural Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs.
In this role, Dr. Galchinsky’s responsibilities include, but are definitely not limited to, work with departments and colleges to facilitate the development of new academic degree programs, as well as modifications to existing programs. He will oversee the university’s continuing improvement initiatives in academic programs and will have continued oversight over the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. Dr. Galchinsky will also coordinate activities with organizations across the university related to the institution’s general education activities.
In the new structure, Erik Lauffer, currently Director of Institutional Research, serves as Interim Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness.
Lakeyta Bonnette-Bailey is now the interim Co-Director of the Center for the Advancement of Students and Alumni (CASA), previously serving as Pre-Ph.D. Faculty Associate for CASA.
In this role, Dr. Bonnette-Bailey’s responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, working with undergraduate, graduate and alumni students in their pursuit of graduate education, and the creation of innovative programming including lectures, workshops and symposia to assist students in their knowledge of graduate school and the admissions process. Additionally, Dr. Bonnette-Bailey will work to increase the number of summer research opportunities that are available for Georgia State students and alumni and continue working with students to enhance their research and analytic skills. She has also served as Graduate Director in the Department of Africana Studies.
Kavita Pandit, is now Executive Coach and Senior Advisor to the Provost.
In this role, Dr. Pandit will support Georgia State’s academic and administrative leaders in aligning their professional goals and workplace behaviors to achieve the results that are most important to the long-term success of their unit, the university and themselves. Over the past two years, she has provided leadership coaching to associate deans and department chairs and directors as part of her duties. In the coming year, she will additionally work with senior executive leaders to scale up the institutional impact of the coaching engagements.
Jennifer Sherer has succeeded Robin Morris (now a Regents’ Professor Emeritus) as Executive Officer for Entrepreneurship. In this role, she is responsible for the oversight of the university’s strategic efforts for student start-ups, campus activities centered around entrepreneurship, and related degree programs.
Additionally, as previously announced, Sarah Cook is now the permanent dean of the Honors College.
Our Progress on the COACHE Action Plan: Read the Report
A progress report is now available about results and activities in achieving the goals of the action plan developed as part of the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) Faculty Satisfaction survey process.
The highlights in this report reflect achievements as the university reaches the end of the three-year COACHE cycle, which will start again in the 2022-23 academic year.
You can download a PDF of the report here, or you can read the report on your screen by flipping through the document at this link on Issuu. Print copies are also available; contact [email protected] to make your request.
Read more about COACHE at this link. Updates about the new COACHE cycle will be posted there, through future issues of this newsletter, via campus email and through the Provost’s Office news feed.
Kim Siegenthaler Departs Georgia State
Kim Siegenthaler, formerly inaugural Associate Provost for Online Strategies at Georgia State, stepped down from the university Aug.2 and is now the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Strategy and Operations at the City University of New York.
In her two years at Georgia State, Siegenthaler had a significant impact on not only online offerings, but the support structure needed for enrollment, marketing, and successful online teaching and learning.
Coming on board with Georgia State during one of the worst parts of the COVID-19 pandemic, her work has been essential as the institution looked forward past coping with the immediate crisis. Under her leadership, the university founded Georgia State Online to direct the creation, implementation, marketing, and evaluation of innovative online programs that meet the needs of learners.
With her leadership, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning added “Online Education” to its portfolio – becoming CETLOE, a critical resource for instructors in best practices for face-to-face and online education and providing training, templates, and other resources for delivering quality courses.
Siegenthaler’s work has been critical in matters involving regulations and compliance, such as regular and substantive interaction as required by the U.S. Department of Education.
Additionally, under her direction and in collaboration with Dean Wade Weast, she co-led university efforts to ensure academic integrity and honesty, allowing Georgia State to maintain high standards and expectations of its students, regardless of the course modality.
As the university considers online programs and instructional support in its strategic vision for the decade ahead, in the interim, units currently reporting to the Associate Provost for Online Strategies will report to Michael Galchinsky, Inaugural Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs.
Save the Date – Our Place, Our Time: President M. Brian Blake’s Investiture to be Held Friday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m.
Save the date for Friday, September 16, at 1 p.m. for the Investiture Ceremony of Georgia State University’s eighth President, Dr. M. Brian Blake. The ceremony will be held at the new Convocation Center, 455 Capitol Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30312.
A week of events across the university’s campuses, themed “Our Place, Our Time,” is planned to highlight the university’s four strategic pillars of research and innovation, student success, college to careers and identity and placemaking.
For a list of Investiture Week Events and to RSVP for the ceremony, click the appropriate link below.
Faculty Achievements, Appointments & Award Opportunities
Regents’ Professors Named
The Office of the Provost is pleased to announce the appointment and reappointment of the following individuals as Regents’ Professors at Georgia State University:
- Didier Merlin, Regents’ Professor, Institute for Biomedical Sciences
- Xiaochun He, Regents’ Professor, Physics and Astronomy/ Computer Science, College of Arts and Sciences
- Mark Keil, Regents’ Professor/John B. Zellars Professor of Computer Information Systems, Computer Information Systems, J. Mack Robinson College of Business
- Paul Lombardo, Regents’ Professor/Bobby Lee Cook Professor of Law, Center for Law, Health & Society, College of Law
- Pamela Longobardi, Regents’ Professor, Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design, College of the Arts
- Rose Sevcik, Regents’ Professor, Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
- Jenny Yang, Regents’ Professor, Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
The standards to become a Regents’ Professor are very high. To be eligible for consideration, nominees for the Regents’ Professorship must hold the rank of full Professor, normally for at least 10 years.
Nominees must show sustained, and recent, significant achievement in scholarship with high national (and international, where appropriate) citation and recognition, exceeding what is expected for full Professors.
Regents’ Professors are expected to excel in formal instruction, dissemination of knowledge to national audiences, and to be successful and active in the mentoring of master’s and doctoral degree students.
They must also demonstrate substantial contributions in service to their academic discipline and to Georgia State as a whole, including a sustained record of significant positive involvement in the life of the institution.
A list of previous appointments is available here.
Faculty Success Program
Congratulations to members of the summer 2022 cohort of Georgia State participants in the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity’s (NCFDD) Faculty Success Program. You can learn more about them in a previous issue of this newsletter at this link.
We also want to recognize three faculty members who will participate in a specially-arranged cohort this fall:
- Renee Schatteman, Associate Professor, Department of English, College of Arts & Sciences
- Rose Rameau, Visiting Professor, College of Law
- Kelly Timmons, Associate Professor, College of Law
While FSP is not open to new participants at this time, to learn about open opportunities to participate in other faculty programs in the future, make sure to keep an eye on your inbox throughout the academic year.
New Faculty Award Categories and Future Nominations
Recognizing faculty excellence is vital to the university – in all areas of institutional life and in faculty duties. Georgia State is establishing two new awards this year to better highlight work of faculty in additional areas.
-The Mentoring Excellence Award will recognize a faculty member who has shown an outstanding dedication to the mentoring of other faculty members. As identified by the Collaborative on Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) faculty satisfaction survey and action plan, the award helps to fulfill the need to increase mentorship at Georgia State and to recognize excellence in this pursuit. The winner of this award will have demonstrated a commitment to fostering the intellectual, creative, scholarly and professional growth; shown a sustained commitment to a mentoring relationship resulting in career growth; and an overall history of service and mentorship to faculty.
-The Outstanding Administrator Award will honor a faculty administrator for their significant contributions to Georgia State, recognizing a demonstrated reputation for outstanding service to their unit or units and to the institution. The award recognizes exemplary leadership in building an environment which supports faculty excellence in distinction, collaboration, innovation and inclusion.
Keep an eye on your inbox for information coming this September about more specific award criteria and how to submit nominations for these and other university faculty awards.
Cirleen DeBlaere Appointed Faculty Associate for Professional Development for Faculty Affairs
The Office of Faculty Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Cirleen DeBlaere as Faculty Associate for Professional Development for Faculty Affairs.
Dr. DeBlaere is also an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program, and Senior Faculty Associate for The Graduate School. She is also a co-principal investigator on the ADVANCE-IMPACT program, aimed toward increasing women faculty in STEM, particularly women from underrepresented groups. (Read more in the section above in this newsletter.)
Among her duties in this role, she co-plans, develops, implements, manages, reviews, and evaluates customized professional development workshops, seminars, training, and other programs and activities.
Additionally, she is responsible for the management of awards and other appreciation programming, assisting in the development of programming in areas of faculty recruitment and retention, and for the providing of a broad range of delivery methods for professional development.
In her scholarship, Dr. DeBlaere examines the experiences of individuals with multiple and intersecting marginalized identities, with a particular emphasis on the experiences of women of color and sexual minority people of color. To date, her work has focused on the links of minority stressors (e.g., discrimination, prejudice, stigma) to mental health and potential intervening factors in these links. She also examines the role of cultural humility in clinical practice, supervision, and training. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.
Creative Media Industries Institute Adds India.Arie, Dianne Ashford as Artists-in-Residence
Two titans of the entertainment business are joining Georgia State this fall as the first female artists-in-residence at the Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII).
India.Arie is a four-time Grammy Award winner whose debut album, “Acoustic Soul,” went double platinum. She’s gone on to record seven studio albums that have sold a combined 10 million copies worldwide.
Dianne Ashford has more than 15 years of experience behind the camera as a film and television producer whose credits include “Ride Along” with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, and “Creed” with Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan.
They joined CMII this summer as artists-in-residence and, over the course of the next academic year, they will mentor students and share firsthand knowledge of their industries.
Since beginning her music career more than two decades ago, Arie has earned 23 GRAMMY nominations and four wins, including Best R&B Album for her sophomore release, “Voyage to India.”
Introduced to the film industry by friends in Atlanta making a movie, Ashford left St. Louis for Atlanta in 2001 after six years of working in computer information systems.
She soon found success as a producer and production manager, working in TV and film for the likes of HBOMax, Universal Pictures, Screen Gems, CNN, BET and TBS.
A member of the Producers Guild of America, Ashford has also taught and mentored aspiring film professionals for more than a decade through a course she developed on line producing, which covers budgeting, scheduling and other aspects of production.
Award-Winning Journalist Edvige Jean-François Appointed Inaugural Executive Director of the Center for Studies on Africa and Its Diaspora
Edvige Jean-François, an award-winning global journalist and producer, has been named as the inaugural executive director of the Center for Studies on Africa and Its Diaspora (CSAD) at Georgia State University.
Jean-François assumes the leadership position at CSAD, a key research and community outreach unit of the university’s College of Arts & Sciences, July 1. The center, which is focused on scholarship related to understanding the African diaspora and its contributions to our global society, was founded in 2020 by a group of interdisciplinary faculty members.
CSAD brings together faculty from a wide range of fields, including African American and Africana studies, business, digital media, education, public health, environmental studies, fine and creative arts, journalism, languages, law, technology, humanities, social sciences, and women’s, gender and sexuality studies.
As the inaugural executive director, Jean-François’ leadership portfolio will include establishing and fostering relationships with key community leaders and securing sustaining resources to promote the center’s mission. She will be responsible for overseeing collaborative programming that leverages Atlanta’s rich history and identity while being responsive to the needs of Georgia State’s diverse student body.
During her more than 20 years as a journalist and television producer, including covering the White House, Jean-François has traveled extensively while documenting the stories of people around the globe. Much of her work has focused on exploring developments in Africa and across the African diaspora, covering topics as wide-ranging as business and economics, geopolitics, natural disasters and crises, arts, culture, sciences and technology.
Georgia State Sociology Faculty, Alumni, Co-Edit & Write in Special Issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs, Prominently Featuring Atlanta
Georgia State University sociology faculty and Ph.D. alumni have co-edited a special edition of the Journal of Urban Affairs, featuring Atlanta prominently in an examination of the “Black Mecca” and the future of these cities/regions.
The print edition was released Aug. 1, and all articles are downloadable for free for the next month. It is Vol. 44, No. 6 and available through Taylor & Francis at https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ujua20/44/6?nav=tocList.
Professor Deirdre Oakley of the Department of Sociology, and Georgia State sociology alum Jonathan Grant, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at University of North Florida, co-edited the edition, and several of the co-authors in this edition are either alumni of the program or are currently in the Ph.D. program. They include:
-Barbara Combs (Ph.D. ’08), now chair of the sociology and criminal justice program at Clark Atlanta University.
-Tyler Gay, a current Ph.D. student at Georgia State and is a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Research Scholar, currently undertaking a yearlong fellowship at Atlanta’s Southern Center for Civil and Human Rights.
-Ifeanyi Ukpabi (Ph.D. ’22), who will become a postdoctoral fellow at the Community Innovation and Action Center, University of Missouri-St Louis. In this role, he will play a leading role in the St. Louis Metro area Anchor Action Network conducting a focused geographical study and intervention on several poverty-stricken Black neighborhoods in the metro region that will be bring employment and wealth building to these marginalized neighborhoods.
Articles in this special edition, Black Mecca Dilemmas: Prosperity, Political Power, and Poverty, relate to the framework of the concept of the Black Mecca, broadly characterized as a city or place with a dominant Black constituency that is influential in the local social, cultural, economic and political realms. The scholars seek to gain a more comprehensive understanding of these spaces, what they have been in the past, and what may be in their future – particularly focusing on Black Meccas in the southern United States such as Atlanta.
The Journal of Urban Affairs, one of the most prominent peer review urban studies journals, is a publication of the Urban Affairs Association (UAA). The UAA is an international professional organization for urban scholars, researchers and public service professionals; the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies is an institutional member of the organization.
Sarah Allen Gershon Appointed Director of WomenLead
Sarah Allen Gershon has been named the director of WomenLead at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business.
Gershon joined Georgia State University in 2008 where she is a faculty member in the Department of Political Science, and she holds the Ray and John Uttenhove WomenLead Professorship. Professor Gershon teaches courses on research methods, women in politics, and campaigns and elections. Her research focuses primarily on the experiences of women and racial and ethnic minorities in contemporary American politics. She has authored or co-authored more than 30 scholarly publications and book chapters in her career and received funding from several agencies, including the National Science Foundation. Professor Gershon has produced several books, including co-editing “Distinct Identities: Minority Women in U.S. Politics” and she is co-author of the ninth edition of the popular textbook “Approaching Democracy.” Her Bachelor of Arts is from Washington State University, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in Political Science are from Arizona State University.
In her new role, Gershon will be responsible for building the capacity and impact of WomenLead while continuing to improve the program’s reputation, quality, and influence. She will provide leadership and guidance for all aspects of the program – recruiting students, attracting faculty, providing academic leadership, and directing the programs and operations of WomenLead. She will collaborate with academic leaders and staff professionals to leverage existing relationships and engage with supporters, community partners, companies, industry organizations, and friends of WomenLead to identify new opportunities to build the program, increase its endowment, and create a pipeline of continuing support and access for students.
“Working with and learning from the dynamic students, faculty, staff, and community partners in WomenLead has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my professional career, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this program in a new way as the next director,” said Gershon. “As a result of the vision and efforts of Professor Nancy Mansfield, the program’s founding director, along with many other leaders at Georgia State and in the Atlanta community over the past eight years, the WomenLead program is poised to grow in new and exciting ways. I look forward to working with the WomenLead team and our many community partners to build on the program’s success and broaden our impact.”
“Georgia State’s mission includes fostering student success for all – not only in academics but also in students’ careers and achievement of their broader aspirations,” said Nicolle Parsons-Pollard, interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Georgia State. “WomenLead plays a key role in these efforts, developing and equipping students with the skills and encouragement they need to succeed. I am confident that Sarah will build upon the program’s achievements and contribute significantly to this effort across the university.”
“I am thrilled to see Sarah Gershon appointed as Director of WomenLead,” said Sara Rosen, dean of the Georgia State University’s College of Arts & Sciences. “Sarah is a seasoned instructor in the WomenLead program. The students benefit immensely from her dual expertise as a scholar of race and gender in American politics and as an academic leader focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I congratulate her on taking this next step in her leadership career.”
Launched in 2015 by the Robinson College of Business, WomenLead is a university-wide academic program offering for-credit courses that advance leadership by women in the world and empower students to aspire to and achieve leadership roles. The courses and experiential-based learning provide students with knowledge, college-to-career skills, and access to community leaders and partners. In 2018, WomenLead received the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Innovations that Inspire Award acknowledging the program’s commitment to closing the gender equity gap. To date, more than 1,300 students have taken the program, which is offered as WomenLead in Business, WomenLead in Entrepreneurship & Innovation, WomenLead in Policy & Politics, WomenLead in Science, and WomenLead in Technology.
“WomenLead’s impact at Georgia State can be seen through the students, faculty, and community leaders it has brought together,” said Richard Phillips, dean of the Robinson College, the university’s home of the WomenLead program. “Under Sarah’s leadership, that impact will accelerate in new and innovative ways.”
“WomenLead will embark on a new goal to expand and become the WomenLead Institute,” said Jaimie Hayes, senior director of development of the Robinson College. “Through our fundraising efforts, the WomenLead Institute will conduct research related to women’s barriers in the workplace, expand the WomenLead Accelerator at Perimeter College, and implement graduate-level programming.”
Originally published at the university News Hub here.
Georgia State Police Chief Anthony Coleman Explains Emergency Versus Non-Emergency Situations
Georgia State University Police Chief Anthony Coleman explains in this helpful new video below about what constitutes an emergency, when the police should be called, and when they should not be called – something especially helpful for instructors to know.
Teaching & Learning News from CETLOE
First Cohort of the Success Through Advancing Teaching Excellence (STATE) Summer Teaching Institute
Congratulations to the first cohort of the four-week Success Through Advancing Teaching Excellence (STATE) Summer Institute, designed to recognize and reward instructors who promote and use inclusive teaching practices across the university.
Development goals for STATE participants include:
- Advanced understanding of conditions that create learning balance.
- Familiarity with research-based practices designed to support all learners.
- Careful construction of course materials that illustrate instructor dedication to access and responsive pedagogy.
- Jacobus Boers, International Business, Robinson College of Business
- Casey Cater, History, College of Arts and Sciences
- Michael Diebert, English, Perimeter College
- Cyntoria Johnson, Criminal Justice, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
- Andrew Kelly, Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
- Ulrike Lahaise, Physical Science, Perimeter College
- Seth Lee, Nursing, Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions
- Marissa McNamara, English, Perimeter College
- Jennifer Meeks, Humanities, Perimeter College
- Jewels Morgan, Life & Earth Science, Perimeter College
- Glen Ross, Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
- Zachary Saylor, Institute for Biomedical Sciences
- Lisa Shannon, Africana Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
- Katy Sparrow, Geosciences, College of Arts and Sciences
- Tanya Zuk, Film, Media & Theatre, College of the Arts
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Georgia State: Ranking First Among Public Institutions in Sending the Most African American Students to Study Abroad
According to data provided by Open Doors, Georgia State University ranked first among public institutions in sending the most African American students to study abroad in 2018. Georgia State also ranked 11th among public institutions in sending the most racial and ethnic minority students to study abroad.
Open Doors data is collected from an annual online survey to U.S. higher education institutions and is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE). It’s regarded as the comprehensive information resource on U.S. students studying abroad and international students and scholars in the U.S.
The data reflects Georgia State’s role as a national model of inclusive excellence, which includes global education programs. In the 2018-19 academic year, 1,153 students studied abroad in 41 different countries and of those students, 49.8 percent were students of color and 36 percent were Black students.
“Experiential learning is a vital part of a Georgia State education. An essential piece of that is studying abroad, which shapes and broadens our students’ worldviews,” said Georgia State President M. Brian Blake. “I’m thrilled, and not surprised, that we’re leading the way in creating opportunities for our students to travel the world, learn from other cultures, and grow intellectually and professionally.”
An indispensable component to breaking barriers to studying abroad is financial support, and Georgia State’s institutional scholarships — primarily those supported by the International Education Fee — are critical to supporting students who may not initially consider a study abroad experience. In 2018-19, 935 students received more than $1 million in scholarships from the International Education Fee.
“I received the International Access Scholarship from Study Abroad Programs. Had it not been for this scholarship, I would have missed out on this opportunity,” said Nina Rasheed, a graduate student in the School of Public Health. “Many colleges do not offer study abroad for graduate students. To be able to study abroad in grad school, while also visiting Europe for the first time left me excited and a little nervous, but overall, extremely grateful for this opportunity and scholarship.”
The Free Passport Initiative (FPI), conceived by the Office of International Initiatives (OII) at the end of 2020 and implemented by Study Abroad Programs in collaboration with the Georgia State University Passport Office, has proven a successful program to attract underrepresented students to global travel.
Of the 1,035 students who received a passport through the initiative, 82 percent self-identified as non-white and 72 percent self-identified as Black. The FPI recently received the 2022 IIE Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education.
In 2019, Georgia State’s Office of International Initiatives collaborated with Georgia State’s African American Male Initiative (My Brother’s Keeper) to become one of 24 selected out of 115 applications to receive funding through the Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS) program.
The IDEAS grant focused on how to increase study abroad participation for Black male students and faculty. Data obtained from surveys and through the study abroad application software were used to inform outreach and marketing strategies and information sessions.
While the IDEAS grant has ended, Study Abroad Programs continues this work through their Black and African American Male Study Abroad Network, an initiative aimed to support Black men at Georgia State interested in studying abroad by providing them with resources, education, events and mentorship.
“The Open Doors ranking shows that we are on the right track in making global experiences accessible to all students, regardless of race, ethnicity or background,” said Dr. Wolfgang Schlör, associate provost for International Initiatives. “It also challenges us to redouble our efforts to achieve true equity in global education.”
Georgia State and the Office of International Initiatives continue to find ways to better support underrepresented students by using data-driven strategies, informative programming and scholarship opportunities that reflect the institution’s dedication to student success, regardless of background.
Elaine Guillot, Office of International Initiatives
Social Justice Summer & Upcoming University Signature Heritage Months
Georgia State’s Cultures, Communities & Inclusion programming celebrated Juneteenth, Pride Month, Caribbean American Heritage Month, important anniversaries and other observances throughout Social Justice Summer. You can take a look back at the fun by visiting the Instagram of Georgia State’s Multicultural Center at @MultiYouGSU.
The university is beginning a new year leading into its signature heritage and history months.
Heritage/History Months celebrate the customs, values, and traditions of different cultures, examining the issues and struggles of different communities as well as affirming their contributions to society. Heritage months are important in providing intentional space for teaching, learning and reflection. Each month, we celebrate the identities and histories of members of Georgia State’s global communities through vibrant performances, lectures, and activities that celebrate our rich cultural diversity and help us understand our shared history.
First on the calendar is 2022 Latinx Heritage Month this September. A number of fun activities are being planned, and will be announced in the upcoming Fall Semester DEI Newsletter, but mark your calendars now for the following:
- Civic Engagement Initiative: Food Drive – 9/1-9/30, Student Center East, Room 211
- Café con LASSO – 9/20, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m., Student Center East, Room 211
- Orgullo Latinx – 9/29, 12 to 3 p.m., Student Center East Ballroom
- Antojitos – Dates TBA, Student Center East, Room 211
The Latinx Heritage Month page at dei.gsu.edu will be updated later this August, and you’ll receive a campus email with additional event information.
International Initiatives, Outreach & Impact
2022 Georgia State International Education Award Winners
The International Education Awards recognize outstanding faculty, staff and students for their commitment to international education. Awards are given at the annual International Honorary Reception during International Education Week in November.
The Office of International Initiatives is pleased to announce the winners of the Georgia State International Education Awards.
Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement
Sheth International Alumni Award for Exceptional Achievement
Juan Luis Gomez Reino
Faculty Award for Global Engagement – Teaching, Service & Outreach
Faculty Award for Global Engagement – Research & Scholarship
Staff Award for Global Engagement
International Graduate Student of the Year
International Undergraduate Student of the Year
Study Abroad Student of the Year
Selection committees composed of individuals from across the university reviewed the nominations and decided award winners.
Each recipient’s record of outstanding international contributions and accomplishments was recognized as worthy of distinction and inspiring to the students, staff and faculty of Georgia State.
Visit the International Education Awards site for more information about the awards and recipients. Award winners will be honored at the invitation-only virtual International Honorary Reception on Monday, Nov. 7.
Georgia State University Awarded 2022 IIE Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education
Georgia State University was awarded a 2022 IIE Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education in the category of Widening Access for International Education for its Free Passport Initiative. This award from the Institute of International Education (IIE) recognizes the most innovative and successful models for developing and expanding international education in practice today. The IIE Heiskell Awards were created in 2001 to promote and honor the most outstanding initiatives being conducted in international higher education by IIENetwork members, particularly those that address a specific need, remove institutional barriers, and broaden the base of participation in international teaching and learning.
The IIE Heiskell Awards are named after Andrew Heiskell, a former chairman of Time Inc. and a member of the Executive Committee of IIE’s Board of Trustees. He was a renowned international and cultural philanthropist and a long-time supporter of international education. IIE is proud of continuing his outstanding legacy through the IIE Heiskell Awards and bestowing these awards on to IIENetwork members that demonstrate the power and longevity of international education through their innovative and impactful programs.
“We are honored by this recognition of the Free Passport Initiative at Georgia State through a Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education. The initiative was a bright spot for global engagement during a dark period for study abroad, and motivated Georgia State students to focus on post-pandemic international opportunities,” said Dr. Wolfgang Schlör, associate provost of International Initiatives.
The Free Passport Initiative was conceived by the Office of International Initiatives (OII) at the end of 2020 during the pandemic and implemented by Study Abroad Programs in collaboration with the Georgia State University Passport Office. OII recognized the need for an initiative that would maintain interest in study abroad and motivate students to continue taking steps to plan for their future international experience. The goals of the initiative were to dramatically increase the number and the diversity of Georgia State students with a valid U.S. passport, maintain interest in international experiences at a time when actual travel was not possible, and lay the groundwork for a robust rebound in study abroad participation after the pandemic, and it has achieved these aims.
The initiative was launched in February 2021, and to date more than 1,000 students have received a passport through the program.
“The Free Passport Initiative gave me the opportunity to receive my first-ever passport, which figuratively and literally opened up whole new worlds for me. I’m a film major. Inclusion is becoming a big part in the field of entertainment, so just having that ability to travel, meet, and learn from people all over the world will help do wonders in my budding career field and for general learning purposes,” said A.D. Bivines, a Georgia State film major.
This year’s winning initiatives and all programs that have been recognized to date are available on www.iie/org/HeiskellAwards.
Growing Georgia State’s International Outreach During a Global Shutdown
While many colleges and universities shut down or slowed their international initiatives during the pandemic, Georgia State University was able to maintain and grow its global footprint thanks to a diverse portfolio of programs and a core focus on equitable access.
It was no small feat for a university with a large, non-traditional student body, especially during a time of uncertainty and travel restrictions. But Georgia State was up to the task, having already built a study-abroad population recognized by the Institute for International Education as one of the most diverse in the country.
Facing diminished study-abroad opportunities, the Office of International Initiatives (OII) staff developed innovative programming to create sustained engagement with students across various demographics, using technology to generate exchanges and maintain interest in the moment while shifting the focus beyond the pandemic.
Learn more about OII’s achievements – including the Free Passport Initiative, Virtual Exchange, and the Global Scholars Distinction, at the Global Atlanta website through the link below.
Georgia State University is pleased to announce that Viviana Cortes, associate professor of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language, and Allen Fromherz, professor of Middle Eastern, Gulf, and Mediterranean History, have received Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program awards in applied linguistics and in history, respectively, for the 2022-23 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Cortes, who is also associate director for Intercultural Communication and English as a Second Language (ESL) at Georgia State’s Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Online Education (CETLOE), and Fromherz, who is also director of Georgia State’s Middle East Studies Center, are among over 800 U.S. citizens who will conduct research and/or teach abroad for the 2022-23 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.
Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs, and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad. As Fulbright Scholar alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed scholars, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 61 Nobel Prize laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 40 who have served as a head of state or government.
The faculty members plan to pursue the following research projects:
Cortes will travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil in the spring to conduct a study on the teaching of English for academic purposes (EAP) at the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo (UNIFESP). The study will focus on three different types of EAP programs: a reading comprehension program, an academic multi-skills program, and a program with English as a medium of instruction (EMI). The core of the study is to describe the effectiveness of these programs as perceived by students and faculty at the university.
Fromherz will conduct research this fall in partnership with his sponsor, Professor Bárbara Boloix-Gallardo, at the University of Granada, Spain. His topic is the life and times of the prolific writer, polymath, plague doctor, historian, general, and poet Lisan ad-Din ibn al-Khatib (d. 1374 C.E.). Ibn al-Khatib lived and worked in Granada’s famed Alhambra Palace, writing poetry that ornamented its walls.
“As an urban research university connected to a diverse, international city, we are honored and incredibly proud of our Fulbright faculty,” said Nicolle Parsons-Pollard, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The support through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program will allow them to engage in the research and scholarship that can only be accomplished through meaningful international collaborations.”
Georgia State is also welcoming its first-ever Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence. The Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence program allows U.S. colleges and universities to host academic professionals from outside of the U.S for up to a full academic year. These Fulbright Scholars-in-Residence may teach, develop curriculum, or study abroad and exchange partnerships, bringing a unique international touch to the institution.
Aline de Souza Pagnussat, associate professor and leader of the Research Group in Movement Analysis and Neuromuscular Rehabilitation (GNeR) at UFCSPA, the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre, Brazil, will join the Department of Physical Therapy in the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions in 2022-23. Read more at https://news.gsu.edu/2022/05/27/lewis-college-physical-therapy-to-host-georgia-states-first-fulbright-scholar-in-residence/.
“Whether abroad or here in Atlanta, the faculty supported by the Fulbright Program will truly increase international engagement and understanding at Georgia State,” Parsons-Pollard added. “I look forward to seeing the results of their collaborations and scholarly work.”
Separately from the faculty Fulbright U.S. Scholars and Scholars-in-Residence, the university also recently announced the selection of three students, with two alternates, for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The Student Program grants provide funding support for recent college graduates and current graduate students to live abroad while teaching English, conducting independent research, or studying at the graduate level.
The three selectees for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program will teach English abroad:
Daria Dozier, Colombia
Kristin Hemingway, Rwanda
Emily Wilson, Spain
Dylan Fisher, who is a semifinalist for a research grant in the Netherlands
Yasmina Dagher, who is a semifinalist to become an English teaching assistant in Belgium
More information about the students, including their majors, academic backgrounds and goals, is available at https://news.gsu.edu/2022/06/07/georgia-state-fulbright-winners-to-teach-english-in-colombia-rwanda-spain/.
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program.
For over 75 years, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants – chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential – with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to challenges facing our communities and our world. More than 800 U.S. scholars, artists, and professionals from all backgrounds teach or conduct research overseas through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program annually. Additionally, over 1,900 diverse U.S. students, artists, and early career professionals in more than 100 different fields of study receive Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants annually to study, teach English, and conduct research overseas.
In the United States, the Institute of International Education supports the implementation of the Fulbright U.S. Student and Scholar Programs on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, including conducting an annual competition for the scholarships.
For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright.
Georgia State Hosts Alumni Enrichment Institute for Mandela Washington Fellows
Georgia State University has welcomed 25 distinguished young professionals from 19 sub-Saharan African countries participating in the Alumni Enrichment Institute (AEI) for the Mandela Washington Fellows, a program created by the U.S. Department of State.
Georgia State is one of eight 2022 AEIs across the U.S. The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies (AYSPS) is hosting the fellows during their two-week stay. They arrived in Atlanta Friday, July 22, after a week in Washington, D.C., for orientation and workshops.
“Alumni Enrichment Institutes are a new opportunity for our 2021 fellowship alumni to collaborate with each other and with their counterparts in Atlanta, and to continue building the professional and leadership skills they developed last year,” said Program Director Sharon Hill, a clinical associate professor at AYSPS.
The AEI is a unique new leadership training program that allows 2021 alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) to engage in local site visits, community service projects, and cultural and social activities, many of which they’d missed during last year’s virtual program. In Atlanta, they will visit sites like the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, Invest Atlanta and Georgia State’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute. They will participate in community service projects with MedShare, the Andrew and Walter Young YMCA and the Multi-Agency Alliance for Children. They will also visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, the United Way and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
“We are honored to welcome these fellows to Atlanta, the Andrew Young School and Georgia State University,” said Dean Sally Wallace. “The program allows us to work with some of the most creative, game-changing young professionals from countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Their experiences here and in D.C. will enrich our mutual understanding of complex problems while we all forge and strengthen important networks of public management professionals, civic leaders, businessmen and women and social entrepreneurs eager to work together to make this world a better place.”
Since 2014, nearly 5,100 young African leaders have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship. The fellows, all between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplished leaders who have promoted innovation and positive impact in their communities and countries. The AYSPS hosted 125 fellows on campus from 2015 to 2019. During 2021’s online Mandela Washington Fellowship, AYSPS hosted 30 individuals virtually.
NOTE: The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. government and administered by IREX. Georgia State University is a sub-grantee of IREX and is implementing an Alumni Enrichment Institute as a part of the fellowship. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit www.mandelawashingtonfellowship.org.
Jennifer Giarratano, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
Top business leaders and trade officials from Belgium, led by Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid, visited Georgia State on June 6 for a firsthand look at the university’s cutting-edge game design and production facilities.
The Belgian Economic Mission to the United States toured the Creative Media Industries Institute in an event highlighting the video gaming industry in Belgium and Atlanta. Members of the delegation toured CMII’s advanced volumetric and motion-capture production studios, and Belgian gaming companies presented their industry’s work to Atlanta-based game makers.
The Belgian Economic Mission kicked off its seven-day visit to the U.S. in Atlanta on Sunday, with stops scheduled later this week in New York and Boston.
“Georgia is a world-class destination for all digital entertainment sectors with a dynamic community of artists, programmers and gamers,” Georgia State President M. Brian Blake said. “We’re creating the next generation of digital storytellers through emerging technology and making this technology accessible to all of our students. We are very happy to host these Belgian companies while mingling with some of our superstars from the gaming and esports world.”
CMII opened in 2017 offering game development, game design and media entrepreneurship degrees, and now serves more than 800 Georgia State students.
Widely regarded as the esports capital of the U.S., Atlanta hosts 39,000 gamers each year for the world’s largest digital festival — DreamHack — and the state of Georgia’s economic incentives and skilled workforce have attracted more than 50 of the world’s leading gaming companies and teams, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
With more than 12,000 workers directly and indirectly employed by gaming companies, the industry has had a $550 million economic impact on the state.
In Belgium, gaming is a €600 million market, according to GameInsdustry.biz. Jan Jambon, minister-president of the government of Flanders and Flemish minister for foreign policy, culture, digitization and facilities, noted Belgium is home to a rich variety of game companies and service providers, designing products for PC, console, mobile and streaming platforms.
“I am very proud that this is the first time ever that our growing video game industry is put in the spotlight during a Belgian economic mission,” Jambon said. “The choice of Atlanta for the location of this occasion seems more than logical to me for two important reasons. Atlanta is a mecca for games and developers — a hotbed for all digital entertainment sectors. Secondly, and very importantly, Flanders and Atlanta share the same goal. We want to bring more diversity into video games. This encounter between our two ecosystems will truly lead to future collaborations.”
During Monday’s event, CMII faculty demonstrated the institute’s advanced volumetric capture technology by creating an avatar of Princess Astrid, which was presented to her during a tour of the facility. Belgian female game developers also discussed diversity, equity and inclusion in the industry in a talk titled “Princesses Don’t Need Saving.”
At the conclusion of the visit, Blake met with representatives of two Belgian universities — Howest and Thomas More — to sign memoranda of cooperation aimed at strengthening scientific, technological and educational ties among the schools.
“This is the first international collaboration like this we’ve looked at here at CMII,” said Brennen S. Dicker, the institute’s executive director. “The end goal is to give students experiences overseas that will broaden their minds not only with the cultural experience, but show them how other universities and companies work outside the United States, specifically in gaming.”
Andrea Jones, Vice President, Public Relations & Marketing Communications. Watch a video of the visit at this link on the university News Hub.
Opportunity Coming Soon: The Engaged Research Competition
Watch your inbox for more details soon about the Engaged Research Competition. The Georgia Policy Labs is hosting the inaugural ERC, which will award funding to support engaged research with public or non-profit partners. These funds are intended to remove the structural barriers from conducting engaged research—namely, the longer time to publication when answering questions of practice, complications setting up data sharing agreements, and time spent building trust with a partner.
Details, eligibility and application information will be sent later this month.
Georgia State University Sets Research Funding Record With More Than $164 Million in Awards
Georgia State University faculty earned $164.2 million in research funding in fiscal year 2022, the highest total in university history.
This is the eighth consecutive year research awards have topped $100 million. This year’s record surpasses the previous high of $150 million set in fiscal year 2020 and is $22 million higher than the previous year’s total. In the past three years, externally funded research activity at the university has climbed 9.5 percent.
“This level of research activity is certainly a testament to our outstanding researchers at Georgia State,” said President M. Brian Blake. “The transformative work going on here continues to address the most complex problems of our time, and we continue to make significant breakthroughs that promise to collectively improve the lives of people from all backgrounds.”
Of the $164.2 million, $45.5 million came from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), $17.7 million from the U.S. Department of Education, $ 11.1 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and $6.5 million from the Georgia Department of Health and Human Services.
“The work of world-class researchers and faculty within the University System of Georgia not only enhances our mission of knowledge and learning but promotes economic success and prestige for the benefit of the state and all Georgians,” said Chancellor Sonny Perdue. “Georgia State University as one of our public research institutions plays a critical role in that effort, and I wholeheartedly congratulate President Blake and the university’s faculty and staff for having earned the most research funding ever in its history.”
Among the university’s top 20 grant recipients, more than half are women and 39 investigators brought in more than $1 million each.
The School of Public Health, the College of Education and Human Development, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and Perimeter College all set college funding records. The Georgia Health Policy Center also had a record year, earning $28.5 million in grant funding.
“This new record for research award funding represents the vast scope of discovery underway by our innovative faculty, staff and students,” said Tim Denning, vice president of Research and Economic Development. “As one of the fastest growing research universities in the nation, Georgia State continues to reach new heights with collaborative and interdisciplinary research, scholarship and creativity.”
The university experienced continued growth in funding for health and biomedical research. More than $33.1 million was awarded for research in the College of Arts & Sciences, $20.9 million in the School of Public Health, $18.3 million for university research centers, and $13.1 million went toward research in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences. These awards are complimented by additional investments through other health-related units.
Georgia State researchers are playing a critical role in pandemic response and prevention. With $52 million in federal funding, researchers at Georgia State and Emory University are establishing a groundbreaking new drug development center. The Antiviral Countermeasures Development Center center is one of nine new Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) centers around the country. Our faculty are also partnering with the University of Minnesota to establish the Midwest AViDD Center with more than $6 million in grant funding to build a pipeline of antiviral drugs.
“To earn grant funding is no small feat,” said Nicolle Parsons-Pollard, interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “It is a testament to the quality of our research and scholarly enterprise, and the dedication of our investigators to pursue innovative projects that address the challenges and opportunities of this century. The investments made now in Georgia State will surely yield numerous dividends for the health and prosperity for all in our society during the years ahead.”
Georgia State is one of 115 public and private universities in the Carnegie Foundation’s elite category of R1: Highest Research Activity. For the past four years, the university has been the highest-ranked institution without an engineering, medical or agricultural school in the NSF’s Higher Education Research and Development survey, a nationally recognized barometer of university research activity.
As one of the most diverse institutions in the country, Georgia State is uniquely positioned to address complex societal problems through a lens of equity and access. Georgia State is the only comprehensive Predominantly Black Institution (PBI) with R1 Carnegie Research Classification in the nation.
Noelle Toumey Reetz, Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development
New $52 Million Antiviral Drug Discovery Center Established By Georgia State and Emory University Researchers
A groundbreaking new drug development center aimed at preventing the next pandemic has been established at Georgia State University and Emory University with $52 million in federal funding.
The Antiviral Countermeasures Development Center (AC/DC) is one of nine Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Centers around the country being funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The new center is led and co-founded by researchers with a history of collaborating on successful antiviral drugs, including molnupiravir, one of the world’s first antiviral pills approved for use against SARS-CoV-2.
The AC/DC will be directed by Dr. Richard Plemper, director of the Center for Translational Antiviral Research and Distinguished University Professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State, and his Emory University research partner, Dr. George Painter, professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at Emory University School of Medicine, CEO of the Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE), and executive director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development.
The AViDD centers will conduct innovative, multidisciplinary research to develop candidate COVID-19 antivirals, especially those that can be taken in an outpatient setting, as well as antivirals targeting specific viral families with high potential to cause a pandemic in the future, NIH said in a statement.
The center will be based in Atlanta — a worldwide medical research hub and home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and have affiliate research partners, including experts in viral pathogens and drug development, across the country and in the Baltic nation of Estonia.
“Our rapidly expanding research enterprise more than doubled expenditures over the last decade, to nearly $200 million, and our aim is to continue that growth as we work to solve the most complex challenges of the 21st century,” Georgia State President M. Brian Blake said. “Partnerships like the AC/DC, which bring together the strengths of two renown institutions based here in Atlanta, are exactly what is needed to combat major public health threats like those we’ve experienced with COVID-19. This work will be a critical part of fighting the next pandemic.”
LaTina Emerson, Institute for Biomedical Sciences
Universal Influenza B Vaccine Induces Broad, Sustained Protection, Biomedical Sciences Researchers Find
A new universal flu vaccine protects against influenza B viruses, offering broad defense against different strains and improved immune protection, according to a new study by researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.
The double-layered protein nanoparticle vaccine, which is constructed with a stabilized portion of the influenza virus (the hemagglutinin (HA) stalk), induced broadly reactive immune responses and conferred robust and sustained cross-immune protection against influenza B virus strains of both lineages. The findings are published in the journal Biomaterials.
Influenza epidemics pose a major threat to public health, and type B influenza has coincided with several severe flu outbreaks. About one-fourth of clinical infection cases are caused by influenza B viruses each year. Influenza B viruses are sometimes the dominant circulating strains during influenza seasons, such as the 2019-20 U.S. flu season when influenza B caused more than 50 percent of the infections.
Influenza B has two lineages that are genetically distinct and trigger different immune responses. Seasonal flu vaccines are developed with one or both lineages of influenza B viruses, but they’re limited by the ability of circulating strains to escape the immune system or vaccination. These vaccines are often ineffective because the variable portion of the influenza virus (the HA head) evolves. As a result, seasonal influenza vaccines need to be reformulated and updated frequently. To overcome these limitations, a universal influenza vaccine containing conserved parts of the virus and providing substantial broad cross-protection against diverse virus strains is urgently needed.
“In this study, we generated structure-stabilized HA stalk antigens from influenza B and fabricated double-layered protein nanoparticles as universal influenza B vaccine candidates,” said Dr. Baozhong Wang, senior author of the study and Distinguished University Professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University. “We found that layered protein nanoparticles incorporated with structure-stabilized constant antigens have potential as a universal influenza vaccine with improved immune protective potency and breadth.”
The nanoparticle vaccine was tested in cell culture and in mice. Studies in cell culture found the protein nanoparticles were effectively taken up to activate dendritic cells, which are critical for inducing protective immune responses against pathogens. The vaccine was found to be safe, biocompatible, biodegradable and highly immunogenic in animals.
“Our next aim is to combine the influenza A nanoparticles from our previous study with the influenza B nanoparticles we have fabricated and tested here to create a multivalent universal influenza nanoparticle vaccine against both influenza A and B,” Wang said.
Co-authors of the study include Yufeng Song (first author), Wandi Zhu, Ye Wang, Lei Deng, Yao Ma, Chunhong Dong, Gilbert X. Gonzalez, Joo Kim, Lai Wei, Sang-Moo Kang and Bao-Zhong Wang of the Center for Inflammation, Immunity & Infection in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State. Deng is also affiliated with Hunan University in Changsha, China.
The study is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
To read the study, visit https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2022.121664.
LaTina Emerson, Institute for Biomedical Sciences
Study: Video Game Players Show Enhanced Brain Activity, Decision-Making Skills
Frequent players of video games show superior sensorimotor decision-making skills and enhanced activity in key regions of the brain as compared to non-players, according to a recent study by Georgia State University researchers.
The authors, who used functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) in the study, said the findings suggest that video games could be a useful tool for training in perceptual decision-making.
“Video games are played by the overwhelming majority of our youth more than three hours every week, but the beneficial effects on decision-making abilities and the brain are not exactly known,” said lead researcher Mukesh Dhamala, associate professor in Georgia State’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and the university’s Neuroscience Institute.
“Our work provides some answers on that,” Dhamala said. “Video game playing can effectively be used for training — for example, decision-making efficiency training and therapeutic interventions — once the relevant brain networks are identified.”
Dhamala was the adviser for Tim Jordan, the lead author of the paper, who offered a personal example of how such research could inform the use of video games for training the brain.
Jordan, who received a Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from Georgia State in 2021, had weak vision in one eye as a child. As part of a research study when he was about 5, he was asked to cover his good eye and play video games as a way to strengthen the vision in the weak one. Jordan credits video game training with helping him go from legally blind in one eye to building strong capacity for visual processing, allowing him to eventually play lacrosse and paintball. He is now a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA.
The Georgia State research project involved 47 college-age participants, with 28 categorized as regular video game players and 19 as non-players.
The subjects laid inside an FMRI machine with a mirror that allowed them to see a cue immediately followed by a display of moving dots. Participants were asked to press a button in their right or left hand to indicate the direction the dots were moving, or resist pressing either button if there was no directional movement.
The study found that video game players were faster and more accurate with their responses.
Analysis of the resulting brain scans found that the differences were correlated with enhanced activity in certain parts of the brain.
“These results indicate that video game playing potentially enhances several of the subprocesses for sensation, perception and mapping to action to improve decision-making skills,” the authors wrote. “These findings begin to illuminate how video game playing alters the brain in order to improve task performance and their potential implications for increasing task-specific activity.”
The study also notes there was no trade-off between speed and accuracy of response — the video game players were better on both measures.
“This lack of speed-accuracy trade-off would indicate video game playing as a good candidate for cognitive training as it pertains to decision-making,” the authors wrote.
The paper, “Video Game Players Have Improved Decision-Making Abilities and Enhanced Brain Activities,” was published in the journal Neuroimage: Reports.
Dynamic Neurological Condition Indicators Found by Advanced AI in Brain Imaging
New research by Georgia State University’s TReNDS Center may lead to early diagnosis of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and autism—in time to help prevent and more easily treat these disorders. In a new study published in Nature Scientific Reports a team of seven scientists from Georgia State built a sophisticated computer program that was able to comb through massive amounts of brain imaging data and discover novel patterns linked to mental health conditions. The brain imaging data came from scans using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which measures dynamic brain activity by detecting tiny changes in blood flow.
“We built artificial intelligence models to interpret the large amounts of information from fMRI,” said Sergey Plis, associate professor of computer science and neuroscience at Georgia State, and lead author on the study.
He compared this kind of dynamic imaging to a movie—as opposed to a snapshot such as an x-ray or, the more common structural MRI—and noted “the available data is so much larger, so much richer than a blood test or a regular MRI. But that’s the challenge—that huge amount of data is hard to interpret.”
In addition, fMRI’s on these specific conditions are expensive, and not easy to obtain. Using an artificial intelligence model, however, regular fMRI’s can be data mined. And those are available in large numbers.
“There are large datasets available in individuals without a known clinical disorder,” explains Vince Calhoun, Founding Director of the TReNDS Center, and one of the study’s authors. Using these large but unrelated available datasets improved the model’s performance on smaller specific datasets.
“New patterns emerged that we could definitively link to each of the three brain disorders,” Calhoun said.
The AI models were first trained on a dataset including over 10,000 individuals to learn to understand basic fMRI imaging and brain function. The researchers then used multi-site data sets of over 1200 individuals including those with autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
How does it work? It’s a bit like Facebook, YouTube or Amazon learning about you from your online behavior, and beginning to be able to predict future behavior, likes and dislikes. The computer software was even able to home in on the “moment” when the brain imaging data was most likely linked to the mental disorder in question.
To make these findings clinically useful, they will need to be applied before a disorder manifests.
“If we can find markers for and predict Alzheimer’s risk in a 40-year-old,” Calhoun said, “we might be able to do something about it.”
Similarly, if schizophrenia risks can be predicted before there are actual changes in brain structure, there may be ways to offer better or more effective treatments.
“Even if we know from other testing or family history that someone is at risk of a disorder such as Alzheimer’s, we are still unable to predict when exactly it will occur,” Calhoun said. “Brain imaging could narrow down that time window, by catching the relevant patterns when they do show up before clinical disease is apparent.”
“The vision is that we collect a large imaging dataset, our AI models pore over it, and show us what they learned about certain disorders,” Plis said. “We are building systems to discover new knowledge we could not discover on our own.”
“Our goal,” said Md Mahfuzur Rahman, first author on the study and a doctoral student in computer science at Georgia State, “is to bridge big worlds and big datasets with small worlds and disease-specific datasets and move towards markers relevant for clinical decisions.”
This study was supported by startup funds to SMP and in part by NIH grants R01EB006841, R01MH118695, RF1MH121885, and NSF 2112455.
Noelle Toumey Reetz, Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development
Grant-Funded Research Administration Internship to Build Pipeline for New Career Options
A first-of-its-kind program to create a career path in the field of research administration and identify strategies to attract talented workers is set to begin this fall at Georgia State University.
The new Access to Careers in Research Administration (ACRA) program will provide a college-to-career pathway for the recruitment of research administrators. Recognizing a need to develop a strong support network, a team of Georgia State research administrators devised the ACRA program and drafted the successful grant proposal to bring the project to life. The awardees are Candice Ferguson, associate director of research training, University Research Services & Administration; Kay Gilstrap, associate director of research support services, University Research Centers; and Kathleen Halley-Octa, director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects in the College of Education & Human Development.
Tim Denning, vice president for research and economic development at Georgia State, said the program is unique because it will offer new career options for students to consider.
“This program is especially valuable because there is a large pool of students who are interested in careers associated with research, but not necessarily in the traditional academic path, so this is a fantastic opportunity for them to get exposure to new opportunities,” Denning said.
The program is the first year-long, intensive, cohort-based internship in research administration in the nation, and the program is led by the first Georgia State research administrative staff to receive funding to conduct research.
“This new program combines two pivotal pieces of the university’s mission — advancing research and discovery, and preparing students for meaningful postgraduate careers,” said Georgia State President M. Brian Blake. “ACRA will address a critical gap in university research and provide a solid trajectory for the next generation of research administrators.”
The new program is being led by the Office of Research & Economic Development and The Graduate School at Georgia State. The research team was awarded an initial $12,000 grant from the National Council of University Research Administrators, a nonprofit organization that provides training and professional development to research administrators. Additional support for the program will be provided by the Office of Research and Economic Development.
“Universities across the country incessantly struggle to hire talented research administrators,” Ferguson said. “This is mostly because there is no clearly defined path from college to career. We are striving to lay a solid foundation for recruiting and training the next generation of the workforce.”
According to a 2019 survey by the International Network of Research Management Societies, more than half of U.S. research administrators are over the age of 45, and over the next 15 years, a majority of workers are expected to retire. This new internship will serve as a pilot program to train graduate students for a career in research administration, creating skilled workers who are ready to fill the gap.
Lisa Armistead, dean of The Graduate School, said the ACRA program benefits prospective workers as well as the research community as a whole.
“We are excited about this cutting-edge program and believe it has great potential to create career opportunities for our graduate students,” Armistead said.
Research administrators facilitate the link between research activities and outcomes and work to increase the effectiveness and productivity of institutional research by promoting the use of best practices in administration.
The program combines formal training with mentored, on-the-job experiences to build the research administration workforce of the future. Interns will engage with faculty, grants and contracts officers and others, and present a final project to complete the program.
The 36-week program will initially support up to four interns. Graduate students from across the university are encouraged to apply. Students will receive a stipend and tuition waiver as part of the program.
The program begins this fall.
Georgia State Gets $1.7M to Research Career-Tech Teacher Qualifications, Student Outcomes
The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences has awarded Georgia State University a $1.7 million grant to conduct a four-year study of the relationship between student outcomes and career and technical education (CTE), and teacher preparation and experience.
The research will also examine the challenges school districts face in recruiting and retaining qualified CTE teachers.
The project, “CTE Teacher Labor Markets, Attributes and Student Outcomes,” benefits from the strengths of an existing CTE policy research partnership, the Career & Technical Education Policy Exchange in the university’s Georgia Policy Labs. Principal investigator Daniel Kreisman, an associate professor of economics, leads the project along with Thomas Goldring (Georgia State), Roddy Theobald (American Institutes for Research), Celeste Carruthers (University of Tennessee) and Shaun Dougherty (Boston College).
“Every state in the country faces CTE teacher shortages and is trying to align with industry demands,” Kreisman said. “However, policy decisions are being made without a concrete understanding of what instructor skills, experience and certifications are critical to CTE student outcomes. Our research will fill this gap.”
The project will provide a comprehensive overview of CTE teachers and contextualize strategies for addressing CTE staffing. It will explore how student outcomes, such as test scores, college enrollment, employment and earnings, vary with these teacher characteristics. The research team will observe data across four states in a sample of more than 2 million unique students who took CTE coursework from more than 15,000 CTE teachers.
“We know a whole lot about the role K–12 teachers play in student learning,” Kreisman said. “We even have good insight into the challenges districts face in recruiting and retaining them. Yet, when it comes to CTE, we know next to nothing. Our research will provide detailed information the CTE field has sought for years.”
NOTE: This project is fully supported by an award (number R305A220172) totaling $1,699,991 through the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences.
Debra Bangasser Named Associate Director for the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Appointed as Inaugural GRA Distinguished Investigator
Debra Bangasser, an international expert on the mechanisms underlying stress-induced pathology, has been appointed as the new associate director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN) at Georgia State University, and will be the university’s first Distinguished Investigator with the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA).
Bangasser, who joins the university on Sept 1, will also serve as Professor of Neuroscience in the Neuroscience Institute (NI).
“We welcome Debra Bangasser as a major contributor to the basic and translational research community in Georgia and look forward to her efforts to build new collaborative projects across units within Georgia State as well as across other institutions in the region,” said Tim Denning, vice president of Research and Economic Development for Georgia State.
Bangasser’s research seeks to improve the understanding of the basic neuroscience mechanisms underlying stress in males and females and to foster the development of therapeutics that work well across sex. This research is fundamental because of the dramatic differences observed in many stress-related disorders, and the increasing evidence that existing therapies do not work equally well in men and women.
GRA Distinguished Investigators are recruited to Georgia’s research universities to advance exploration in a wide range of fields. The program provides seed funding and guidance to help university researchers move promising discoveries to the marketplace.
“We are fortunate to have recruited Dr. Bangasser to join the ranks of our cadre of rising stars in the GRA Distinguished Investigator Program,” said Susan Shows, president of the Georgia Research Alliance. “She has the proven ability to be an innovator in both basic and translational neuroscience research and she will be a strong leader in promoting collaborative and interdisciplinary research through her position in the CBN.”
Bangasser will play a leadership role in the interdisciplinary group of faculty and students that form the CBN. The CBN was established with funding from National Science Foundation (NSF) and from the GRA to conduct collaborative research, training and community outreach. In more than 20 years conducting research, the CBN has pioneered new approaches to “team” science with the development of research “collaboratories” to investigate how social factors can shape the structure and function of the brain.
She will also play a central role in the recently funded RISE initiative called the CBN Stress and Trauma Consortium. This interdisciplinary consortium will involve faculty, staff and students from different departments and colleges at Georgia State, as well as faculty from Grady Hospital and Emory University.
“Dr. Bangasser brings a strong commitment to excellence in research and training and a dedication to diversity” said Elliott Albers, director of CBN and Regents’ Professor of Neuroscience. “Her research focus on the neurobiology of stress and the role of the stress neuropeptide, corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) will complement and expand the CBN research portfolio. Her work demonstrating that CRF helps orchestrate the body’s response to stress has tremendous translational importance because high levels of CRF are found in people with stress-related disorders, such as major depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.”
Bangasser has been the director of the College of Liberal Arts Program in Neuroscience Systems, Behavior and Plasticity at Temple University, a faculty member in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, and in the Center for Substance Abuse at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.
Bangasser has received numerous prestigious awards from a variety of scientific organizations including the Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association and The Janett Rosenberg Trubatch Career Development Award from the Society for Neuroscience. Her work has also been recognized by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the Gordon Research Conferences, the Workshop on Steroid Hormones and Brain Function, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and a fellow of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society, and she has served on the editorial board of six top biomedical journals.
Daniel N. Cox, director of the Neuroscience Institute and the university-wide Brains & Behavior area of focus also welcomed the new appointment.
“Dr. Bangasser’s vigorous research program in the neurobiology of stress-induced pathologies significantly extends our resident research expertise and is highly synergistic with our core strengths in behavioral, cellular, molecular and systems neuroscience,” Cox said. “Dr. Bangasser’s record of excellence in teaching and mentoring provides a robust foundation for further advancing our dual missions of research and training in preparing the next generation of neuroscientists.”
Following a National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral fellowship, Bangasser received a five-year NIH grant “Pathway to Independence” that funded her transition from postdoctoral work to becoming an independent investigator at Temple University. This was immediately followed by a very prestigious five-year CAREER Award from NSF. She is currently the primary investigator on a large NSF grant, two NIH R01 and two NIH R21 grants. The impact of her publications is dramatically increasing each year with the number of citations of her work more than doubling in the last five years. She has also been recognized for her outstanding mentoring and instruction by the Presidential Faculty Teaching Award from Temple University in 2020.
The Georgia Research Alliance is a public-private partnership that supports the recruitment of outstanding scientists to Georgia universities, stimulating new discoveries and economic growth since 1990.
Noelle Toumey Reetz, Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development
State Farm Scholarships at Perimeter College Open Opportunities
Tucker High School senior Asma Mohamud couldn’t hide the shocked expression on her face.
“What? I got the State Farm® Scholarship?” she asked as her friends, seated around a table, laughed and giggled.
Halima Omar, who had just learned she’d also received the scholarship, was equally stunned.
“We’ve been friends since sixth grade,” Omar said as she and Mohamud embraced. “This is great news. We’ll be going to college together.”
Omar and Mohamud were among more than a dozen high school finalists for the Perimeter College State Farm Scholarship who found out they would receive the award during a surprise event.
Billed as a “dessert with the dean” activity for scholarship finalists, the event quickly turned celebratory as Perimeter College Interim Dean Cynthia Y. Lester made the unexpected announcement that all the finalists in attendance would receive the $4,000-a-year scholarship to attend Georgia State University’s Perimeter College.
“I have the best job every day,” Lester told the crowd. “Seeing students succeed makes it worthwhile. We want to invest in you, and we believe in you.”
Read more at the Georgia State News Hub through the link below.
Rebecca Rakoczy, Perimeter College
Meet Georgia State’s New Dean of Students
As a former student-athlete turned college administrator and education scholar, Anthony Davis brings a wealth of knowledge to his new role at Georgia State.
Since becoming associate vice president for Student Engagement and dean of students July 1, Davis has visited each of Georgia State’s campuses and begun meeting with faculty and staff in each community. And as the start of fall semester approaches, he’s ready to welcome Georgia State’s students to its campuses for the new academic year.
“At Georgia State we have a tremendous opportunity to pour into students and produce well-rounded people who will go on to become leaders in their respective communities and positive contributors to society as a whole,” Davis said. “I’m really passionate about working with people when they’re in transition, and that’s what really attracted me to higher education. I think about my experience as a college student, and how it helped me grow as a person, and I want to be able to pay it forward.”
The Office of the Dean of Students supports Georgia State students by connecting them to campus resources, facilitating the resolution of complaints and overseeing matters related to academic integrity and the student code of conduct. As dean of students, Davis will also oversee the Perimeter College student experience and the new area of Cultures, Communities and Inclusion. They are all subjects he’s familiar with as a professional and an academic.
Read more about Dean Davis at the University News Hub through the link below.
Andrea Jones, Vice President for Public Relations & Marketing Communications
Completion Grants Pioneered at Georgia State to Expand Statewide
When former Georgia State President Mark P. Becker donated to the university’s scholarship fund in 2011, he asked staff members to find a new, more creative way to support students in need.
The money seeded the creation of an innovative grant program that has now benefited more than 16,000 Georgia State students and is the basis for a new statewide need-based scholarship approved by lawmakers earlier this year.
Panther Retention Grants are micro-grants given to students at Georgia State who are on track to graduate but in danger of being dropped from their classes because of modest tuition shortfalls. Preference is given to students close to graduating. The grants top off at $2,500, though the average grant awarded is about $1,000.
The new statewide completion grant program created by House Bill 1435, which will be administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission, was developed with input from and data collected at Georgia State University. The state program closely mirrors the Panther Retention Grant, providing students in need who’ve completed 80 percent of their degree programs with up to $2,500 in financial aid.
The aim of the programs is to prevent students from dropping out because they’ve exhausted their eligibility for other aid, like the HOPE Scholarship or Pell Grant, and can’t otherwise cover the full cost of tuition.
Read more at the Georgia State News Hub through the link below.
Andrea Jones, Vice President for Public Relations & Marketing Communications
New Programs, Concentrations, Classes & Partnerships
Grady and Georgia State University Partner to Combat Nursing Shortage
Grady Health System and Georgia State University’s Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions announced a formal partnership that will expand the nursing education pipeline and strengthen nursing recruitment at Grady. The partnership enables a greater number of qualified students to fulfill their educational and career aspirations and addresses the critical nursing shortage at Grady, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation committed a combined $23.6 million to launch the joint nursing education program.
“We are grateful for the Woodruff Foundation’s remarkable support and thrilled to partner with Georgia State to prepare nurses who will thrive in today’s healthcare workforce,” said John Haupert, president and CEO, Grady Health System. “Grady will draw on our expertise as the state’s top teaching hospital to create a leading-edge clinical training experience for student nurses, helping us better attract dedicated professionals who will serve on the frontline of care for this community.”
Grady will become the primary clinical training site for Georgia State nursing students during the final two years of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program. Student nurses will benefit from exposure to Grady’s highly specialized clinical programs and receive hands-on instruction and mentoring from experienced staff nurses.
Both Georgia State and Grady will develop leading-edge simulation training and classroom space to support learning activities. The university will hire additional faculty, expand physical simulation lab space and establish a scholarship program for students committed to practicing at Grady following graduation. In addition, Georgia State will support nursing externships for undergraduate students.
“This partnership with Grady strongly supports two of the most impactful aspects of our university – student success and college to careers,” said M. Brian Blake, president of Georgia State University. “Nurses are critical to our overall well-being and this partnership ensures the success of Georgia State nursing students and guarantees a place to begin their careers.”
Grady will simultaneously launch a best practice professional development and nurse residency program to support new graduates transitioning to a clinical setting. The program will offer a continuum of skill-building and leadership training so that nurses have clear opportunities for professional progression, whether they are new or seasoned nursing team members.
“The pandemic has underscored how essential nurses are to providing quality care, and we must support them with continuous learning opportunities. This partnership demonstrates our shared commitment to elevating the nursing profession,” said Michelle Wallace, chief nursing officer, Grady Health System.
“The Woodruff gift is a game changer for undergraduate nursing education,” said Huanbiao Mo, dean of the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions. “I also want to thank the Grady leadership and our nursing faculty who made this partnership possible.”
About Grady Health System
Grady Health System is one of the largest safety net health systems in the nation. Grady consists of the 953-bed Grady Memorial Hospital, six neighborhood health centers, Crestview Health & Rehabilitation Center and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding, which is operated as a Children’s affiliate.
With its nationally acclaimed emergency services, Grady is Atlanta’s premier Level 1 trauma center – the metro area’s only nationally verified Level 1 center. Grady EMS serves as the 911 ambulance provider for the city of Atlanta, South Fulton County communities, and numerous counties across Georgia. It also operates the state’s first Mobile Stroke Unit, taking cutting-edge pre-hospital care directly to patients. Grady’s American Burn Association/American College of Surgeons verified Burn Center is one of only two in the state. And the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center is a Joint Commission designated Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center.
Other key services/distinctions include Grady’s Regional Perinatal Center with its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Georgia’s first Cancer Center for Excellence, The Avon Comprehensive Breast Center, the Georgia Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, and the Ponce de Leon Center – one of the top HIV/AIDS outpatient clinics in the country. Grady is one of an elite group of hospitals to earn the Baby-Friendly USA international recognition as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility. Grady has earned the prestigious Stage 7 on the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model – Georgia’s first adult acute care hospital to earn the highest rating for improving patient care and safety through health information technology.
Michael Rohling, University Advancement Communications
Georgia State’s Master of Public Policy Program Offers New Policy Analytics Concentration
The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies (AYSPS) at Georgia State University is offering a new policy analytics concentration in its Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree program. Designed to prepare students to work as analysts and managers in the public and nonprofit sectors, it launches in the fall semester.
With the initiative, the AYSPS joins just a handful of public affairs colleges across the country that offer data analytics concentrations in their MPP and Master of Public Administration programs. Students who choose this concentration will be prepared for positions as data analysts and managers, and other data-intensive roles in private, public and nonprofit organizations that need rapid-cycle analysis for policymaking and innovative service delivery.
“Policy analytics prepares students to apply the knowledge and skills of data analytics, a subject traditionally siloed in computer science or business programs, to inform policy choices in the public and nonprofit sectors,” said Cynthia Searcy, associate dean for academic innovation and strategy at the AYSPS. “Around the world, however, we’re seeing impressive growth opportunities for graduates with this knowledge and skillset.”
Labor market demand for graduates with a policy analytics concentration will be high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook indicates the fastest-growing occupations over the next 10 years in data science will be statisticians (35 percent), information security analysts (33 percent) and operations research analysts (25 percent), with many of those positions being in the public and nonprofit sectors, which account for 25 percent of all jobs in the U.S.
“This program aligns beautifully with one of three goals set forth in our Digital Landscape Initiative,” said Dean Sally Wallace. “Early on, we recognized demand for employees in policy analytics will be difficult to fill from computational science and analytics degree programs alone. Cynthia and her colleagues created a program to uniquely serve graduates who seek proficiency in data science techniques to better serve the public good.”
Georgia State students who earn an MPP with a concentration in policy analytics will learn to:
- Describe how emerging data sources and analytical techniques can be harnessed for the public sector.
- Collect, organize and analyze data using tools and techniques best applied for developing insights, predictive models and/or causal inference.
- Visualize and communicate the results of their analyses.
- Describe the social, political and ethical considerations of using data for political and economic benefit.
- Describe the value of transparency, data privacy and data security for the public sector.
“There exists a rich data science ecosystem that can be leveraged for things like open-source solutions to public problems or for accessing talent through contracts and partnerships,” Searcy said. “Our policy analytics grads will be trained to lead in this exciting area as technical experts and in managing this talent.”
Jennifer Giarratano, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
Women’s Philanthropy Network Supports New New Fundraising Series and Grant-Writing Class Open to All Georgia State Students
The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies recently received a grant from Georgia State University’s Women’s Philanthropy Network to fund a new year-long initiative aimed at empowering the next generation of community fundraisers through training and a new grant-writing course. It will launch in fall 2022.
The Women’s Philanthropy Network Fundraising Series will feature lectures from the Atlanta nonprofit community’s most influential and successful fundraisers and offer hands-on workshops for students to practice fundraising best practices through role play. Open to all undergraduate and graduate students across Georgia State’s Atlanta and Perimeter campuses, the series will help them learn more about fundraising as a career, raise funds for their research projects and seek internship opportunities at nonprofit development departments around the metro area. The grant-writing course — Gender, Generations and Grant Writing — will show students how to overcome obstacles in language, styling and phrasing to generate successful grants.
The demand exists. Georgia State’s Nonprofit Management graduate program ranks No. 9 in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. Its annual grant-writing course fills so quickly with graduates and public policy undergraduates pursuing concentrations or minors in nonprofit leadership, many interested students find themselves unable to enroll.
“We’ve built our nonprofit studies program around the needs of students seeking careers in the nonprofit sector, and we see great demand for a better understanding of nonprofit fundraising,” said Dean Sally Wallace. “This initiative will help them meet their goals while expanding the culture of philanthropy at Georgia State University and helping us strengthen our future pipeline of support.”
Wallace emphasized the vision of the Women’s Philanthropy Network in supporting learning focused on philanthropy that will be available to students in all majors across all Georgia State campuses.
“Increasingly, students seek to have an impact that’s broader in scope than their majors,” said Wallace. “We see this in those who participate in our campus wide initiatives, like the Social Action Alliance, and we expect to see high participation levels in our new fundraising series and grant-writing course. We are very grateful to the Women’s Philanthropy Network for funding this initiative.”
Jennifer Giarratano, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
Misty Bentz: Using the James Webb Space Telescope for Extragalactic Research
Thirteen billion years.
That’s the time it has taken the light from a far-off galaxy to travel to the giant aperture of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
The images revealed this summer from the JWST are awe-inspiring and stunning — and game-changing for the field of astronomy, said Misty Bentz. The Georgia State astronomy and physics professor already sees the possibilities for astronomers to understand the formation and life cycle of untold galaxies in deep space.
Bentz is principal investigator for a NASA Early Release Science Program involving astronomers from across the globe who will have early access to use the James Webb for observations.
Like Superman with X-ray vision, the infrared capabilities of the JWST have the ability to peer into dusky clouds of space and see galaxies and stars that were previously invisible to the Hubble’s mirrors.
The JWST also is opening the opportunity for Bentz and a team of scientists from across the globe to observe a supermassive black hole 60 million light years away. Bentz’s team is just one of 13 science groups worldwide to gain early access to the telescope.
The group will be looking at the activity surrounding a supermassive black hole and study the stars moving around the black hole itself, she said.
In December, the gigantic space telescope, controlled by scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, will point at the coordinates that Bentz and her team have requested. The telescope will then transmit the data it collects to a deep space radio transmission network on Earth.
Read an interview with Dr. Bentz and listen to an Arts & Sciences Matters podcast episode with her by selecting the appropriate link below.
– Rebecca Rakoczy
Center for Access to Justice
From the Georgia State Research Magazine
“What is ‘Access to Justice’?” asked a slide projected onto the screen behind associate professor Lauren Sudeall on day one of last fall’s Law 7006: Access to Justice: Law Reform. Speaking through a white KN95 mask, Sudeall asked students to brainstorm a definition.
“Access to justice is the … ability to remedy a legal matter in an honest and humane way,” offered one.
Another student piped up: “The ability of some person, regardless of status, to utilize legal systems and mechanisms in order to bring about a just remedy to a given legal injury.”
“Being empowered to navigate the legal system,” added a third.
Access to justice “can mean a lot of different things to different people,” Sudeall explained. As the director of the Center for Access to Justice, which she founded in 2016, she’s been facilitating discussions like these for more than five years. Sudeall’s mission is twofold: To shine a light on how people who don’t have legal assistance navigate the court system, and to expose the gap between how the law is taught and how it’s practiced.
The center’s work is divided into three focus areas: research, driven primarily by Sudeall’s investigations into how courts function; education, including an award-winning pro bono program and the Alternative Spring Break; and events, chiefly the annual State of the South conference on access to justice.
Read more about the work of Sudeall and Darcy Meals, the Director for the Center for Access to Justice, through the link below.
Noelle Toumey Reetz, Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development
Read Back Issues & Contact the Editor
News from the Office of the Provost is an e-newsletter highlighting news and activities in academic affairs at Georgia State University. For questions about the newsletter, email Jeremy Craig at [email protected].
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