A NOTE FROM THE PROVOST
I hope your semester is off to a great start as we continue to operate in a challenging environment. Amazingly, we have lived with the pandemic now for close to one year. Our social distancing and scheduling strategies to keep students, faculty and staff safe have been working as intended, and we are fortunate to have had no known transmission in our classrooms throughout fall semester. Although conditions continue to change rapidly, the vaccines now available provide hope that the end may be in sight.
To that end, we have been approved by the Georgia Department of Health as a provider for the Georgia State community and received our first shipment of the vaccine. An email was distributed on Jan. 29 notifying those who are eligible and providing instructions for securing an appointment. Georgia is currently in Phase 1A+, which limits the vaccine to first-responders, health care personnel, and those over the age of 65. (You can learn more about these phases at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.)
Once we are authorized to move to Phase 1B, all faculty and staff at Georgia State will be eligible for the vaccine as essential workers. We will keep you informed through campus emails and ahead.gsu.edu as new information emerges.
Our top priority this semester continues to be delivering the best educational experience possible to our students despite the pandemic. We are reviewing data from fall semester carefully to identify our students who are struggling and help them get back on track to degree progression. In an earlier email, I identified several resources CETLOE has developed for faculty, which you can find in this edition of the newsletter in case you missed it. I hope you will continue to engage in conversations with each other and your students to identify new strategies and interventions to engage them successfully.
We also continue to prioritize and highlight the work necessary to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment on campus. We have released our first progress report on the Action Plan created from the recommendations of the Task Force on Racial Equality. Although there is much work left to be done, the report reveals an engaged community across campus working to address discrimination and bias. Moreover, the Implementation Steering Committee, the group tasked with moving forward the agenda on faculty diversity, has issued a report on its continuing progress, which you can read here.
If you missed it, I hope that you will view a recording of the most recent Diversity Dialogue on Georgia State’s Role in the Future of Atlanta as an International City (cosponsored with the Center for Studies on Africa and Its Diaspora). I invite you to join us for the upcoming Groundbreaker Lecture (Feb. 11); and Perimeter College’s Mario Bennekin Black History Symposium (Feb. 15-19).
We are resuming the Women Inspire lecture series this spring, with our first 2021 virtual Women Inspire lecture on Feb. 24. Originally scheduled for last spring, Dr. Deirdre Oakley will review her findings of the social trends and women’s rights in Georgia in 1970 compared to today. It will be a fascinating look at how far we’ve come as a society, and how much further we have to go. You can learn more about the event and how to register below.
One issue that has become increasingly pressing as a result of the pandemic is ensuring academic integrity. The shift to remote learning and examinations unfortunately has resulted in an increase in academic dishonesty cases. To identify both why this is happening and possible solutions, I created an Ad Hoc Task Force on Academic Integrity, chaired by Dean Wade Weast and Associate Provost Kim Siegenthaler. The Task Force has already delivered a number of recommendations to me, and we are prioritizing our next steps. Look for an update with more information soon.
We have begun our formal the search for the next dean of the School of Public Health, and nominations are welcome at https://provost.gsu.edu/searches/public-health-dean/. Thanks to Interim Dean Rodney Lyn for his continued leadership during this time.
In the midst of everything, our faculty continue to inspire and amaze as always. Please take some time to read about a breakthrough innovation from IBMS in the fight against COVID (new drug suppresses transmission within 24 hours of taking it), efforts to expand free passports to all students for post-pandemic, in-person international experiences, an award to CETLOE from State Farm regarding digital literacy, a grant to diversify the economics profession, and highlights from our outstanding colleagues. In this time of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to acknowledge and appreciate the fantastic work taking place across campus.
In closing, thank you for your many efforts on behalf of the university, day in and day out. We are an incredibly resilient community, and we will continue to make progress during this difficult time on student success, research excellence, and impact on the communities we serve.
Wendy Hensel, J.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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- Resources for a Strong Start to Spring 2021
- Progress Report on the Action Plan
- Implementation Steering Committee Progress Report for the Next Generation of Faculty
- Oral Drug Blocks SARS-CoV-2 Transmission, Georgia State Biomedical Sciences Researchers Find
- International Initiatives Launches New Free Passport Campaign for Students
- In Case You Missed It: Diversity Dialogue 4 — Georgia State’s Role in the Future of Atlanta – an International City
- Groundbreaker Lecture
- Mario Bennekin Black History Symposium
- Women Inspire Feb. 24: The Status of Women in Georgia, 1970 and Today
- Nominations Welcome for the Permanent Dean of the School of Public Health
- State Farm Award to CETLOE Supports Digital Literacy Through Learning Community Development at Georgia State
- Andrew Young School Wins Grant to Increase Diversity & Inclusion in Economics
- Contribute to the John Lewis Memorial Scholarship
NEWS FROM THE NEXT GENERATION PROGRAM
- From Georgia State’s Research Magazine: Terrorism Expert John Horgan on the Continuing Threat of Political Extremism in the U.S.
READ PREVIOUS ISSUES
Resources for a Strong Start to Spring 2021
The Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning & Online Education (CETLOE) has created helpful resources for instructors to assist students in becoming better learners in a virtual environment this semester.
- Short videos for students on topics such as time management, organizational strategies, staying connected and academic integrity: Getting Ready to Learn Online – Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning & Online Education (CETLOE). These videos are also available on the iCollege homepage under Student Resources.
- Resources to help students become more adept at working within iCollege:
- iCollege Orientation video, For Students: iCollege Support – GSU Technology
- iCollege webinars, Student Webinars for Online Support – CETLOE (gsu.edu)
- iCollege features, Student Tools – CETLOE (gsu.edu)
Based on feedback from outstanding instructors across Georgia State as well as feedback from students about what they found helpful in their courses, some of the key suggestions include the following:
- Turn on tracking in iCollege. If you are not sure how to do so, you can access that information here: Knowledge Article View – Service Portal (service-now.com). Additional webinars for faculty on iCollege tools may be found at the CETLOE website.
- Create an introductory video to communicate key information about how your course fits within the major or lays a foundation for advanced courses. Clarify your expectations for participation in the class and indicate when you will be available for virtual office hours and the response time students should expect regarding their emails to you.
- Cover course expectations in the first academic session in more detail than in a typical face-to-face class. Explicitly discuss with students why logging in frequently is important to their success.
- Monitor student log-in as a means of checking attendance and follow up with students who are absent for a week.
- Incorporate weekly voluntary synchronous drop-in review sessions to increase student engagement with the instructor and instructor knowledge of the level of student engagement.
- Clarify how much time students will need to spend to do well for each assignment given.
- Ask students for feedback on the course regularly so that adjustments can be made in real time to meet their needs.
The Provost’s Office and CETLOE will provide ongoing opportunities for instructors to connect with each other to learn what is working well, and the Lessons Learned page on the CETLOE website provides a continuously updated wealth of information. Personalized assistance is available by visiting the CETLOE home page to schedule an online or in-person appointment.
Action Plan Progress Report for the Task Force for Racial Equality’s Recommendations
Georgia State has made significant progress on implementing the recommendations of the Task Force for Racial Equality through a comprehensive action plan to achieve a diverse, equitable and inclusive university environment.
The Provost’s Office first action plan progress report explains the actions that have been put into place through the end of the 2020 calendar year and what action-steps remain in progress. This progress report, and the action plan, are available for download on the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion website at https://dei.gsu.edu/about/task-force/action-plan/. Future progress reports will also be posted at the link.
The report covers actions taken by academic and administrative units across the university, from the colleges, schools, and institutes, to administrative units like the Georgia State Police Department, Student Affairs, and Human Resources.
Georgia State Police: GSUPD is in the process of reviewing and making changes to its standard operating procedures, including revising its use-of-force policy to prohibit chokeholds and neck restraints, implementing an internal affairs tracking system to provide early warning of bias, and providing officers with training for mental health first aid and crisis intervention. The university has also invested in a de-escalation/use of force simulator to train officers. GSUPD is working to shift the culture of policing at Georgia State to consider a broader range of responses to infractions. Minor offenses increasingly are referred to the Dean of Students or are otherwise mediated outside of criminal charges.
Student Affairs: Georgia State this past fall included a diversity, equity and inclusion module in its first-year experience courses taken by 2,500 students. This spring, the university’s Panther Involvement Network, a portal used for students to search for and participate in student organizations, is being revised to add a social justice pathway. This will allow students to organize their activities to document their focus on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion on a co-curricular transcript. Georgia State is also preparing to launch a student campus climate survey, expected for fall of this year.
Human Resources: Training to address numerous issues related to diversity, discrimination, and equity has expanded, including training as part of new employee orientation and to addressing hiring practices, discrimination, and cultural competency. Faculty and administrator search committee chairs undergo mandatory implicit bias training. This winter, HR will implement new software to help identify diverse talent at Georgia State for opportunities in leadership and will expand a pilot program to improve succession planning. The university continues to take steps to diversify Georgia State faculty through the Next Generation of Faculty initiative, and is using the results of a comprehensive faculty survey to improve strategies for diverse faculty recruitment, retention and engagement. Mentoring programs have started in the colleges, schools and institutes, and better tracking of hiring and retention is underway.
The Provost’s Office will update the university’s progress with a second report to be published after the end of the 2020-21 academic year.
Implementation Steering Committee for the Next Generation of Faculty Report Now Available
The latest report by the Implementation Steering Committee for the Next Generation of Faculty initiative is now available online at the Provost’s Office website at this link. The reports outline progress on the transformative efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in faculty recruitment and retention.
The ISC is tasked with providing advice and guidance on how to best implement the recommendations and best practices initiatives outlined in the original report by the Commission for the Next Generation of Faculty.
You can read the original Commission report and its transformative recommendations online at https://provost.gsu.edu/commission-report/#report.
The ISC’s next report will be published after the end of the spring semester.
Oral Drug Blocks Transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the Virus that Causes COVID-19, Georgia State Biomedical Sciences Researchers Find
Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection with a new antiviral drug, MK-4482/EIDD-2801 or Molnupiravir, completely suppresses virus transmission within 24 hours, researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University have discovered.
The group led by Dr. Richard Plemper, Distinguished University Professor at Georgia State, originally discovered that the drug is potent against influenza viruses.
“This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug to rapidly block SARS-CoV-2 transmission,” Dr. Plemper said. “MK-4482/EIDD-2801 could be game-changing.”
Interrupting widespread community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 until mass vaccination is available is paramount to managing COVID-19 and mitigating the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic.
Because the drug can be taken by mouth, treatment can be started early for a potentially three-fold benefit: inhibit patients’ progress to severe disease, shorten the infectious phase to ease the emotional and socioeconomic toll of prolonged patient isolation and rapidly silence local outbreaks.
The findings are published in Nature Microbiology. MK-4482/EIDD-2801 is in advanced phase II/III clinical trials against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
More information about the discovery is online at https://news.gsu.edu/2020/12/03/oral-drug-blocks-sars-cov-2-transmission-georgia-state-biomedical-sciences-researchers-find/. To read the study, visit https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-020-00835-2.
— LaTina Emerson, Director of Communications, Institute for Biomedical Sciences
International Initiatives Launches New Free Passport Campaign for Students
While travel currently is limited due to the pandemic, Georgia State is helping students prepare now to take advantage of future international opportunities and global citizenship through a new free passport campaign by the Office of International Initiatives.
This one-time opportunity for students through May 24 is available while funds last. To be eligible, students must:
- Be enrolled as a Georgia State University student at the time of application.
- Be a U.S. citizen and never have had or applied for a U.S. passport.
- Applied for the free passport (click here for more information)
- Complete the Study Abroad 101 quiz, after participating in a virtual Study Abroad 101 information session or watching the Study Abroad 101 video by May 24, 2021, available through the International Initiatives Study Abroad website (click here for more information).
Broadening access to passports lowers barriers for all students and prepares the way for post-pandemic access to infinite experiences around the world — whether traveling abroad to study a new culture, practicing a different language, or starting an international career.
To learn more about the initiative and how students can participate, visit https://mystudyabroad.gsu.edu/freepassport/.
In Case You Missed It — Diversity Dialogue 4: Georgia State University’s Role in the Future of Atlanta – An International City
A livestream recording of the Jan. 28 Diversity Dialogue, “Georgia State University’s Role in the Future of Atlanta – An International City,” is now available at Georgia State’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website.
The recording is available at https://dei.gsu.edu/diversity-dialogues/dialogue-4/.
Panelists examined Georgia State’s role in the future of Atlanta as an international city through a discussion of civil and human rights in Atlanta and Georgia State – past, present and future.
This dialogue was co-sponsored by the Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora, and the Office of the Provost.
Dr. Maurice J. Hobson (Moderator)
Associate Professor, African American Studies
Vice Chair of the Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora Advisory Board
Ms. Andrea Young
American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia
Mr. Ceasar C. Mitchell Jr.
Former Atlanta City Council President
Partner at Dentons
Dr. Collins Airhihenbuwa
Professor of Health Management & Policy
Global Research Against Non-communicable Disease
Georgia State School of Public Health
Dr. Curtis Byrd (Host)
Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The Diversity Dialogue series, part of the action plan to address the recommendations of the Task Force for Racial Equality, brings together the university community to discuss ways to eradicate structural racism.
The next Diversity Dialogue, “Vision for Georgia State and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Where Do We Go From Here?” is scheduled for April 7. Further information about this event will be sent via campus email closer to the event date.
For more about the Diversity Dialogue series, visit https://dei.gsu.edu/diversity-dialogues/.
Don’t Forget: The 2021 Virtual Groundbreaker Lecture on Feb. 11
Mark your calendar now for the 2021 Virtual Groundbreaker Lecture from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, with Dr. Peniel Joseph of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Joseph is the author of “The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.,” which reveals a more nuanced portrait of the men, who, despite markedly different backgrounds, inspired and pushed each other throughout their adult lives.
Dr. Joseph holds the Barbara Jordan Chair of in Ethics and Political Values and is also the founding director of the LBJ School’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD).
Through the Groundbreaker Lecture Series, the university honors those whose actions have created and continue to create significant change in the world, while fostering conversations to address ongoing issues and potential ways to meet these challenges.
Learn more and register for the livestream at https://provost.gsu.edu/groundbreaker-lecture/.
Mario Bennekin Black History Symposium to be Held Feb. 15-19
A popular annual symposium on Black history, organized by Georgia State University’s Perimeter College, has a new name: “The Mario Bennekin Black History Symposium.”
The event is scheduled for Feb. 15-19, 2021, in a virtual format.
The name change resulted from a fundraising campaign by the Bennekin family and the college to honor the late professor. That effort raised more than the $50,000 minimum required by the University System Board of Regents to name such an event.
Mario Bennekin was a history and political science professor at Perimeter who taught for 20 years and was instrumental in bringing the African-American Studies curriculum to the college. He was chair of the History and Political Science department when he died in 2019.
Following Bennekin’s death, faculty and staff from Perimeter’s departments of History and Political Science and Cultural & Behavioral Sciences championed the idea for a symposium to honor Bennekin, whose scholarship and teaching interests centered on the post-Civil War struggle of Black Americans, from the reconstruction era to the civil rights movement.
For more information, visit https://perimeter.gsu.edu/bennekin-symposium/.
— Kysa Anderson Daniels, Perimeter College
Women Inspire Feb. 24: “How Far Yet to Go Now? The Status of Women in Georgia, 1970 and Today”
The Office of the Provost invites you to the spring Women Inspire lecture, “How Far Yet to Go Now? The Status of Women in Georgia, 1970 and Today,” delivered by Professor Deirdre Oakley of the Department of Sociology. The lecture will take place virtually on Wednesday, February 24, from 1 pm to 2 pm.
This speaker series showcases distinctive women from Georgia State’s stellar faculty who make a difference and are eager to share their stories to empower others.
In her talk, Dr. Oakley will review findings of the social trends and women’s rights in Georgia in 1970 and today across multiple dimensions of women’s equality and well-being, including healthcare, family structure, education, employment and elected office. Her findings examine the state’s high maternal mortality rate, educational attainment for women and girls, labor participation, reproductive rights, childcare, and the increase of women holding elected office. Dr. Oakley will share policy recommendations that have the potential to improve the health, economic, political, and educational outcomes for Georgia’s women in the coming years.
Those interested in attending Dr. Oakley’s lecture should register by clicking here.
To learn more about Women Inspire and to view talks by past speakers, visit https://aofw.gsu.edu/women-inspire-speaker-series/.
Nominations Welcome for the Permanent Dean of the School of Public Health
The search committee for the next permanent dean of the School of Public Health welcomes the GSU community’s input in identifying appropriate candidates for the position.
A nomination form is available online at https://provost.gsu.edu/searches/public-health-dean/. A full position description with search firm contact information will be available soon, and a list of the search committee members is also available at this link.
Candidates will be recruited over the next few months, and the committee hopes to conduct virtual finalist presentations during the spring semester. Internal candidates are also welcome.
State Farm Award to CETLOE Supports Digital Literacy Through Learning Community Development at Georgia State
Georgia State University’s Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Online Education (CETLOE) has received a $48,000 award from State Farm to expand development of online learning communities focused on helping students obtain technology and career skills through project-based learning and mentorship.
The award will support professionally led virtual events, including a bootcamp on cloud-based programming and a series of workshops aimed at helping students identify and leverage career strengths. The award also funds extension of CETLOE’s Digital Learners to Leaders program.
The Digital Learners to Leaders program offers undergraduate coursework and events designed to inspire students, particularly those from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the technology industry, to strengthen their digital skills through problem solving, exposure to emerging technologies and guidance from a diverse set of technology professionals across Atlanta’s education, business, government and non-profit communities. In addition to undergraduate coursework, an online summer camp for middle and high school students introduces coding, digital creation and esports.
“As more student interactions have gone online due to the pandemic, CETLOE continues to adapt spaces for student community and learning. We’re excited to partner across campus and across industry to extend additional online offerings to help students connect and grow their aspirations and agency as problem solvers, leaders and technologists,” said Jackie Slaton, manager of learning community development at CETLOE.
“State Farm is committed to bridging the technology divide, and to do so we embrace partnering with organizations promoting advancements and broadening access to technology,” said Victor Montgomery, technology manager at State Farm.
— Cassie Wilcox, Director of Marketing and Communications, Instructional Innovation and Technology (IIT)
Andrew Young School Receives Grant to Increase Diversity and Inclusion in Economics
The Economics Department in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies has been awarded a $5,000 seed grant from the American Economic Association to increase diversity and inclusion in the economics profession.
Georgia State University is one of two universities to win this inaugural grant, presented virtually on January 4 at the 2021 awards ceremony of the American Economic Association.
Led by Georgia State’s Daniel Kreisman and Jonathan Smith, the initiative aims to recruit a more diverse economics Ph.D. student body and offer additional supports to encourage success throughout the program.
The funds will be used construct a pipeline of underrepresented minority undergraduates at Spelman College, Morehouse College and Georgia State, reducing barriers to entry into the doctoral program and providing financial support.
Contribute to the John Lewis Memorial Scholarship
In 2020, the Decatur First United Methodist Church endowed a scholarship to support Georgia State’s African American Male Initiative leadership development program. As a church located in the surrounding 5th Congressional District of the late, great civil rights leader and activist, John Lewis, the church wanted to honor Lewis’ life and legacy by endowing a scholarship at Georgia State University to nurture and support the next generation of civic leaders.
Donate to the John Lewis Memorial Scholarship by clicking here or the blue button below.
Learn more about how you can make financial contributions to a range of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at Georgia State by visiting https://dei.gsu.edu/act/donate/.
Georgia State’s Gholnescar Muhammad Works Towards Culturally Responsive Education
Dr. Gholnecsar Muhammad is an Associate Professor in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education at Georgia State. Her work is centered around culturally responsive education.
“Culturally responsive education is in response to students’ identities and the times we live in. It helps students with academic success, cultural competence, as well as social and political consciousness.”
Dr. Muhammad recently published a book titled Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy. It sold nearly 5,000 copies in the first six months. Her book, as well as her research, looks at 19th century Black literary societies. These groups came together to read and discuss literature, but they also had broader goals of improving conditions for humanity, as well as themselves.
Over the last ten years, Dr. Muhammad has looked through old documents from the 19th-century and collected data in order to determine these groups’ learning standards, their choice of texts, and their literary practices.
Black literary societies started in 1828 by young Black men. They organized around issues of math, science history and language. Their four main goals of the literary society were coming closer to self-hood and understanding their collective identity as Black people, to build skills, to foster intellect, and to hone their criticality to understand and navigate racism and oppression in society.
“They worked towards the betterment of social conditions for themselves, for Black people, and the betterment of humanity.”
Read the full profile by clicking here.
News from the Next Generation Program/Second Century Initiative
Georgia State’s Research Magazine: Terrorism Expert John Horgan on the Continuing Threat of Political Extremism in the U.S.
Distinguished University Professor John Horgan, head of the Violent Extremism Research Group at Georgia State, recently discussed with Georgia State University Research Magazine the dangerous slide toward extremism and political violence in the United States – something he and other researchers have sounded the alarm on even before the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
His book The Psychology of Terrorism is now in its second edition and published in more than a dozen languages worldwide. Dr. Horgan is affiliated with the Transcultural Conflict and Violence Initiative, an outgrowth of Georgia State’s earlier Second Century Initiative.
“It is an exceptionally dangerous time. The United States is in a very precarious spot right now. We’ve witnessed a steady erosion of democratic norms, with increased polarization and radicalization that has reached a boiling point. This, in a climate of both a real pandemic and a pandemic of misinformation, has created an explosive mixture of tension, anxiety and fear. All that was needed was for someone to point the most ardent supporters of President Trump in the right direction, and that directly culminated in the assault on the Capitol.
The country is now so polarized it will take years to heal. It will require positive, constructive leadership at many levels, bipartisan reconciliation and a very basic recognition that we came close to losing a sense of what it means to be a democracy. I don’t believe we realize just how perilous things are right now.”
To read the full article, visit the Georgia State University News Hub here.
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].
Previous issues are available by selecting the button below.