Earth and Space Science Faculty, Students Present at Conference in Knoxville

Faculty and students from the Department of Earth and Space Sciences recently presented the results of a number of ongoing research projects at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the Geological Society of America in Knoxville, TN.

Geosciences graduate student Austin Caughey presented the results of his thesis research with Dr. Diana Ortega-Ariza, “Sequence Stratigraphy and Depositional History of Middle-Mississippian Carbonates of the Southern Appalachians, Tuscumbia, AL.”

Dr. David Schwimmer presented the result of his research with coauthor William Montante, “Horseshoe Crabs as Mondern Analogs of Trilobites: Contrary Evidence from a Meraspid Cluster in the Upper Cambrian Conasauga Formation, Western Georgia.”

Dr. Clint Barineau presented the results of his research with CSU alumni David Gilbert and Joel Roop-Eckart, along with Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, student Sarang Agrawal, “Regional Strain in the Eastern Blue Ridge of Alabama: Implications for Interpretation of the Alexander City Fault”.

Dr. Clint Barineau presented the results of his research with colleagues at the U.S. Geological Survey and Florida State University, “Not Your Father’s Taconic Orogeny: Significance of an Iapetus-Facing, Laurentian Plate Ordovician Arc-Backarc System in the Southern Appalachians.”

In addition to student and faculty presenters, a group of seven earth space and science undergraduate and graduate students attended the conference to learn about the latest geological research being conducted across the southeastern U.S.

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Psychology Major Awarded Study Abroad Grant

Morgan Wilson, a sophomore majoring in psychology at Columbus State University, recently was awarded a study abroad grant worth $1,000 from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Wilson will use the grant to study abroad in Japan.

Wilson was one of 50 students nationwide to receive the award. The selection process for a study abroad grant is based on the applicant’s academic achievement, campus and community service, relation of travel to academic preparation and career goals, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and acceptance into a study abroad program. Each recipient will receive $1,000 to be applied toward travel abroad.

Established in 2001, the Study Abroad Grant Program has awarded more than $800,000 to undergraduate students. The grants are part of the Society’s robust award programs, which give $1.4 million each biennium to outstanding students and members through graduate fellowships, funding for post-baccalaureate development, member and chapter awards, and grants for local, national and international literacy initiatives.

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Geology Major Receives Scholarship

Chance Seckinger, a geology student at Columbus State University, recently received the William J. Frazier Scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year. Established in 2016, the scholarship honors long time earth and space sciences chair and professor of geology Dr. William “Bill” Frazier for his more than 40 years of service at Columbus State University.

Seckinger was selected from all applicants as best representing the qualities Dr. Frazier tried to instill in his students – a passion for learning coupled with a willingness to work very hard to succeed in academic endeavors.

The William J. Frazier Scholarship is open to any sophomore, junior, or senior majoring in Earth and Space Sciences at Columbus State University and is awarded in the spring of each year.

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Columbus State University to host Democratic Gubernatorial Debate on Tuesday

COLUMBUS, Ga. — A Democratic Gubernatorial Debate will be held on Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. in University Hall at Columbus State University. The debate, which will be televised live and open to the public, is part of an ongoing series of political forums hosted by Columbus State in partnership with WRBL-TV and PMB Broadcasting.

AFLAC and TSYS are sponsoring the series. Professors from CSU’s political science department, and reporters from WRBL will serve on panels questioning the candidates during the events. CSU communication students will assist in the production of the telecasts.

The first forum, a Republican Gubernatorial Debate, was held on Tuesday, March 6. A Columbus Mayoral Debate is scheduled for May 1. Events featuring any candidates involved in a run-off will be scheduled between the primary and run-off elections and the nominees of each party will be invited back for a Gubernatorial Debate in October.

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Columbus State University Focuses on Support for Military-Affiliated Students

Columbus State University recently launched its first ever Green Zone initiative to provide extra support for military-affiliated students – a group that makes up about 15% of CSU’s student body. With a $2,500 grant from the Aurora Foundation, CSU’s Military Enrollment department trained 14 faculty and staff on the unique issues and concerns faced by military-affiliated students.

“The Green Zone is all about building a community of advocates for students who are veterans, active duty, or military dependents,” said Susan Lovell, director of military enrollment. “This special group of students faces many unique challenges from obtaining VA education benefits to anticipating a possible deployment in the middle of a semester to simply adjusting to civilian life as a student. We want faculty and staff to be aware of these challenges, so they can help students overcome barriers to obtain academic and career success.”

CSU employees who underwent the Green Zone training were provided with a Green Zone sticker to hang on their door, so that military-affiliated students will recognize the person as an ally who is specially trained to support their needs. Additional trainings will be conducted in July and October to expand the network of Green Zone trained faculty and staff.

Nationwide, student veterans drop out of college at a rate of 88 percent. CSU’s military enrollment seeks to reduce that rate by providing a variety of services for military-affiliated students. Created in 2014, the department offers job opportunities, assistance with VA educational benefits, support for an active student veterans association, and a private military-affiliated student center complete with computers, printers, a small library and a lounge.

“The student center gives them their own space to connect with one another,” said Lovell. “We have students who can’t drive, so they will leave their lunch in our lounge refrigerator and use the computers to study in between classes. We have students who bring in used books to stock the mini-library, so their peers might not have to buy a book. It is a supportive community.”

Lovell continues to look for ways to meet the needs of CSU’s military-affiliated students. Recently she learned that some did not have suits for graduation or job interviews, so the department reached out to clothing businesses in the community for donations to create a “Suits for Vets” program.  Other initiatives include a special military orientation for new students in July, eight-week course offerings at Fort Benning, and a military-affiliated student advisory committee aimed at finding scholarship opportunities.

“They may not always admit they need help,” said Ray Watson, president of the CSU Student Veterans Association. “But any assistance we can give to our veterans is greatly appreciated.”

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Biology Department Students, Faculty Present at Conference

Faculty and students from Columbus State University’s biology department recently presented research at the annual Association of southeastern Biologists conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The following were recognized with awards for their work.

  • Best Microbiology paper ASB
    John Spencer, Rowan Pitts, Rachel Pearson and Lauren King
    The Effects of Antimicrobial Peptides WAM-1 and LL-37 on Multidrug Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Second Place Frank Brooks Award (BBB papers)
    Michael Sandak, Elizabeth Klar, John Calvert (Emory University), Brian Schwartz.
    Influence of Nerve Growth Factor Dosing Intervals on Muscular and Functional Regeneration in Mice After Acute Myocardial Injury
  • Honorable Mention Frank Brooks Award (BBB papers)
    Trevond Sellers, Elizabeth Klar and Kathleen Hughes
    Effect of Nerve Growth Factor on Cardiomyocyte Proliferation after Induction of Hypoxia
  • Honorable Mention David Johnson Award (BBB poster)
    John Hetzel and John Hanson
    From Trash to Treasure: Techniques for Reconstructing Mitochondrial Genomes from Highly Fragmented Historical DNA


The following projects completed by CSU faculty and staff were also presented at the conference.

  • Jeramy Belt, Amy Sibley, Elizabeth Klar and Michael Newbrey
    The influence of chronological age on the occurrence of intersex in Largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, in the Chattahoochee River drainage, Georgia.
  • Malina Rollins, Michael Newbrey, Elizabeth Klar, Jeramy Belt
    A comparison of the number of growth cessation marks in otoliths and centra of Largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides 
  • Amy Sibley, Elizabeth Klar, Jeramy Belt and Michael Newbrey
    Comparison of histopathological evaluation to assess the effects of pollution in two creeks of Columbus, GA using livers of Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). 
  • Devyn Seifert, Harlan Hendricks and Austin Strellner
    A survey of intestinal helminths of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) in West Central Georgia
  • Daniel Kim, Elizabeth Klar, and Julie Ballenger.
    Effect of pickling on the morphology of Cucumis Sativus
  • Rachel Pearson, Avianna Cliatt, Laronsia Cross, Joshua Hill, Joseph Gibson, Tevaris Haley, John Hetzel, Andrew Kumar, Elianna Largeman, Jennifer McMillion, Ekta Parab, Austin Strellner, Julie Wilson and Lauren King
    Effects of Fluoride Varnish and Sucrose on Cell Viability, pH, and Biofilm Formation of Streptococcus mutans
  • Mary Kathryn Wright and Clifton Ruehl
    Behavioral responses of physid snails to predators depends on predator diet
  • Frances Woolfolk, Michael Newbrey, Hugo Martín-Abad and John Maisey
    A new interpretation of chronological ages of Latimeria chalumnae and other coelacanths
  • Persia Tillman, Michael Newbrey, Clint Boyd and Todd Cook
    Comparison of age and growth biology of 34 million year old stingrays from North Dakota to the extant Dasyatis pastinaca
  • Kristina Lam, Jennifer Newbrey and Michael Newbrey
    Effects of Female Condition on the Reproductive Success of Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) Breeding in West-Central Georgia
  • Ashley Desensi and Julie Ballenger
    The effect of disturbance on vegetative community structure and diversity: A comparative survey



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CSU Servant Leadership Students Raise Funds for Warrior Outreach Community Center

Warrior Outreach in Fortson, Georgia, recently broke ground on a new community center for veterans, thanks to $15,000 in funding raised by Columbus State University’s Servant Leadership senior class.

“We decided on Warrior Outreach because we live in a large community of military, active, reserves, National Guard, and veterans from all branches,” said, Ellie Pippas, senior Servant Leadership student.  “CSU Servant Leadership has never had a senior project that has touched the lives of our military community, and Warrior Outreach’s mission hit close to home for our senior class. We love what Sam Rhodes and his wife stand for and their mission to help veterans and their families with their support, horses, and good company.”

Each year, seniors in Columbus State University’s Servant Leadership Program choose an organization to partner with to help make a positive impact on the community. This year, they hosted the third annual Uptown Tree Trail, with all profits from the event going towards Warrior Outreach’s new community center.

Construction for the community center began on Friday with a groundbreaking ceremony for its new community center at its future location on Warrior Outreach Ranch in Fortson. The Center provides activities for military families through equine therapy that help heal, build camaraderie and connect with resources. Their goal is to partner to help service members past, present, and future and their families.

Servant Leadership at CSU is a comprehensive program committed to developing future leaders who practice the servant leadership philosophy. Participants are given the opportunity to develop leadership skills through exciting and innovative leadership classes, hands-on modeling of leadership practices, participation in community service projects, and much more. Servant Leadership is created on a foundation of love and compassion, where power and authority are used to benefit the whole of an organization, encouraging individuals to grow and achieve autonomy.

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CSU Students to Pay Same Tuition for the 2018-2019 Academic Year

Columbus State University students, as well as all other students in the University System of Georgia, students will pay the same tuition for the 2018-2019 academic year as the current 2017-2018 academic year, after the Board of Regents set annual tuition rates for all 26 colleges and universities at a zero percent increase.

With the elimination or decrease in some fees at Columbus State University, the move means that overall costs of going to CSU could actually go down for some CSU students next year.

“We are grateful to Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly for their consistent support of public higher education in Georgia,” Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “We also recognize the critical need to keep our institutions affordable for students while providing a quality education. The board’s decision today maintains our commitment to keeping tuition increases to a minimum.”

The University System has been able to limit tuition increases to an average of 1.8 percent annually over the last five years and continues to offer some of the lowest tuition rates among peer public higher education systems. Out of the 16 states that make up the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), the USG remains the sixth lowest state in tuition and fees for four-year institutions.

The board also continues to ensure fees charged by USG institutions are kept to a minimum. Only nine of the USG’s 26 institutions will be allowed limited fee increases for the upcoming fiscal year, ranging from $3 to $31 per semester for a full-time, in-state undergraduate student.

Columbus State University is not among the universities where fees will increase, said CSU President Chris Markwood.

“We are very aware of the burden that college costs can put on students,” Markwood said. “I’m very pleased that CSU is addressing this by both decreasing costs and by raising scholarship dollars through our ongoing First Choice fund-raising campaign. The decision this week by the Board of Regents assures CSU’s standing as an institution that will be known for its quality and value.”

USG also is saving students $19 million a year with its free online textbook initiative called Affordable Learning Georgia. More than 219,300 students from across the system have benefited directly from the program, which has grown rapidly. Just two years ago, the University System was ranked No. 1 in the nation by national publisher OpenStax at Rice University for saving students the most money with free online textbooks.

Tuition rates for each institution can be found here:


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CSU Will Honor Three at Annual President’s Recognition Banquet Thursday

COLUMBUS — Columbus State University will honor an exceptional community partner, and its alumni association will present its most prestigious awards during CSU’s annual President’s Recognition Dinner Thursday night.

For the first award, CSU President Chris Markwood will present Superintendent David Lewis and the Muscogee County School District with the President’s Community Partnership Award.

Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. David Lewis, the school district has collaborated with CSU in six key areas:

  • Align university curriculum with what MCSD seeks for its teachers.
  • Collaborate on faculty development to promote more active learning.
  • Plan for the development of an urban lab school.
  • Begin planning for the transformation of school libraries into innovation and discovery centers.
  • Expand efforts to advance soft skills in PK-graduate education with MSCD and CSU.
  • Increase participation in Dual Enrollment programs


“CSU has a strong relationship with the Muscogee County School District for many years, but under Dr. Lewis’ leadership, our partnership is going to even greater heights,” Markwood said. “Dr. Lewis understands that education really is the great equalizer in today’s world. I admire the courage he has displayed while worked to spread this message. And he’s displayed great character and integrity while working to make this community a better place to work, live and learn.”

Another community member who had made a significant impact on this community is Rick Alexander, retired business owner of Alexander Electric. He will receive the Frank D. Brown Achievement & Leadership Excellence Award.

According to Dr. Linda Hadley, dean of the Turner College of Business, Alexander is a servant leader, has immaculate dependability, and seeks no personal credit for anything that he does. He has been a longtime support of Columbus State University, collaborating with President Emeritus Frank Brown, and serving for many years on the Turner College’s Business Advisory Council.

The third honoree at the President’s Recognition Banquet will be Dr. AJ Jain, who is receiving the Thomas Y. Whitley Distinguished Alumnus Award for his outstanding professional and personal achievements. Dr. Jain is a certified plastic surgeon in Columbus, GA, specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Jain has served as president of the Muscogee County Medical Society and as a delegate to the Medical Association of Georgia. As a Columbus State University graduate, he saw ways that he could assist in improving the University’s Pre-Medical Program to help it grow beyond all expectations. He has also been an advisor to the CSU’s competitive Premedical Studies Program and has mentored many of our students, said Jennifer Joyner, assistant vice president of alumni engagement & special events, and executive director of the CSU Alumni Association.

“This award is named for CSU’s first president. Dr. Whitley was a true pioneer in education and it is fitting we have named our distinguished alumnus award for this wonderful president,” Joyner said. “Dr. Jain joins a long list of CSU graduates who have brought great prestige to their alma mater.”

The dinner starts at 7 p.m. Thursday in CSU’s Cunningham Center.

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CSU McCullers Center’s First Annual Literary Festival to Bring Nationally Recognized Writers to Columbus

Columbus State University’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians is pleased to announce the first annual Carson McCullers Literary Festival to be held at CSU’s Bo Bartlett Center on April 20-21, 2018.

The festival, which is designed primarily as a celebration of creative writing for Georgia high school students, will feature public readings, master classes and student workshops conducted by nationally known writers and poets. Among the list of featured writers to hold readings are Brad Watson, recent winner of the Harper Lee Award; Jonathan S.E. Perkins, nationally recognized slam poet champion; and novelist and essayist Melissa Pritchard, whose work has been recognized by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and O, The Oprah Magazine.

The festival will also include an awards ceremony for the winners of the Carson McCullers Literary Awards.

For more information, please call (706) 565-1200 or visit

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CSU Tower Day Celebrates Undergraduate Research, Creative Endeavors

Columbus State University’s Tower Day was held on April 12. More than 200 presenters displayed their work as part of the symposium.

“Tower Day was truly a celebration of research and creative endeavors. I congratulate all who participated,” said Hannah Israel, associate professor and gallery director at CSU. “I would like to thank all the judges, volunteers, students, staff, and faculty who assisted in making Tower Day possible. I also would like to thank faculty for taking the extra time and interest in mentoring your students. A student-centered environment is an excellent academic formula.”

The following Tower Day awards recognized students and mentors for their work:

QEP We Solve It Scholarship Winner for Poster Exhibition
Not one more
Presenter: Peter Keres
Professor: Dr. Lydia Ray

Highest Award for Tower Day Presentation
Computer Science
A Bluetooth LE Security Investigation
Lead Presenter: Gabriel Bello
Mentor: Dr. Yesem Kurt Peker

Award of Excellence for the Tower Day Presentation
The Distribution and Host Preference of Cassytha liformis (Love Vine) of Andros Island, Bahamas
Lead Presenter: Abby Grace Moore
Co-Presenters: Ashley Murphy, Jaleesa DeJesus
and Jack Hovey
Mentor: Dr. Julie Ballenger and Dr. Daniel Holt

Award for Best Oral Presentation
Three-Dimensionally Printed Models for Blind and Visually Impaired Chemistry Students
Lead Presenter: Candice Tate
Mentors: Dr. Rajeev Dabke and Dr. Cindy Ticknor

Highest Award for Poster Presentation
Mechanism of Triazolium Salts on Breast Cancer Cells
Lead Presenter: Jared Bies
Mentor: Dr. Jonathan Meyers Chemistry

Award of Excellence for the Tower Day Poster Presentation
Comparison of age and growth biology of 34 million year old sting- rays from North Dakota to the extant Dasyatis
Lead Presenter: Persia Tillman
Mentor: Dr. Michael Newbrey Biology

Award for Best Poster Presentation
An Archaeological Approach to the Abercrombie Mound Re- mains (1RU61), Russel County, Alabama
Lead Presenter: Chance Seckinger
Co-Presenters: Emma Mccabe, Gabriel Hart, Michaela Mallett, Sabrina Rodgers and Valerie Parker
Mentor: Professor Danielle Neale
Earth & Space Science

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Associate Dean Gives Presentation at Georgia Educator Providers Conference

Dr. Sallie Averitt Miller, CSU Associate Dean for Assessment and Accreditation, recently gave a presentation at the Georgia Educator Providers (GEPP) Conference.

She co-presented with Dr. Paige Tompkins, from the University of Georgia, on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)’s  Standards 4 and 5. The two received approval from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) to follow-up on CAEP “common language” that can be used by all Georgia Educator Preparation Providers’ national annual reporting.

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CSU’s Kaleidoscope Event Features 240 Performers in One Breathtaking Show

Lights blink, the crowd quiets, and the show begins. The curtain unveils the wind orchestra, which delivers a Bernstein overture. Lights down. Attention turns left to a soloist performing an opera aria about a woman’s dream of love. Lights down. Next up is the brass quintet with contemporary music. The seamless concert continues for 80 minutes with no intermission and only a few seconds between each performance. It is a carefully constructed collage with nearly every instrument and genre imaginable – classical, jazz, a Romanian folk song, an African American spiritual – each appearing in a different corner of the auditorium.

That is just a glimpse at what you will find at the 2018 Columbus State University Schwob School of Music Kaleidoscope concert on April 14. The annual performance showcases the world-class CSU Schwob School of Music in its entirety for a show unlike any other.

“It is pure musical magic,” said Paul Hostetter, director of orchestral studies at CSU and the coordinator of Kaleidoscope. “We call it kaleidoscope, because it captures the wide variety of colors. It is a snapshot of the tremendous talent that we have at this school, as well as the extraordinary teachers.”

Planning Kaleidoscope isn’t easy. With 25 groups and soloists, 240 student performers, and more than 40 instruments including three large pianos, logistics can be a challenge. Hostetter explains that the preparation begins with a complex spreadsheet of each performance – a document that goes through eight or nine revisions. Many factors must be considered. Will there be enough time to set up trombone ensemble on the main stage between sets? How will the star flutist make it from her first appearance in the pit to her second performance in the balcony? Would it sound better if the string ensemble plays before the clarinet solo or the sax project?

“We have this great variety of music that we present. We are trying to get a sense of flow from beginning to end. Logistical and artistic needs are considered. Finally, we come upon a magic formula that goes really well,” said Hostetter.

In addition to the diversity of music, there is also a diversity of students at Kaleidoscope. Recognized globally as a leading school of music, CSU’s Schwob has attracted students from 20 countries.

“We have students who come from all backgrounds, economic and cultural. There are people who are rich, poor, black, and white. You’ll hear different languages being spoken back stage,” said Hostetter. “We all come together through the beauty of music. It is what binds us together.”

Kaleidoscope will begin at 7:30 p.m. on April 14 in the Bill Heard theatre at the RiverCenter. To purchase tickets, please visit

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CSU Student Wins National Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition

Eder Rivera, a Columbus State University senior majoring in music performance, was recently selected as a winner of the 2018 Yamaha Young Performing Artists (YYPA) competition. Rivera, a oboe player originally from Honduras, is one of only 11 musicians selected nationwide to earn the distinction in 2018.

“I’m glad to say that CSU prepared me for the competition through a highly competitive music program at the Schwob School of Music,” said Rivera. “Thanks to my world class professor, Dr. Susan Tommiewicz, I was able to prepare a very challenging repertoire that put me into the 2018 winner’s list of the Yamaha Young Performing Artists competition. I feel honored to represent CSU and the Schwob School of Music among the best music schools in the U.S. in such a prestigious competition.”

Rivera began his musical studies at the age of 13 at the Victoriano Lopez Music School in Honduras. There, he performed at the International Music Festival Concierto de Maestros with members of the Munich Philharmonic. Rivera has also performed in various masterclasses with Erin Hannigan, Dr. Giovanetti, Elizabeth Tiscione, Dr. Vigneau and Dr. Eurdice Alvarez, and in 2016, Rivera was chosen to perform in Kathryn Greenbank’s masterclass at the International Double Reed Society at the Schwob School of Music. Rivera has won many international prizes including first place in the Texas Double Reed Society Oboe Young Artist Competition 2016 and a bronze medal at the Jovenes Solistas competition in Honduras. He was named the state winner and regional honorable mention with Music Teachers National Association, and named one of the best young musicians of his generation in Honduras at the Musica para la Juventud.

Rivera and the other 2018 YYPA winners each receive an all-expense-paid trip to the YYPA Celebration Weekend, which will take place during the Music for All™ Summer Symposium, to be held at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, from June 25-30, 2018. There, the winners will attend workshops and clinics designed to help them launch a professional career, garner media exposure via the Internet and perform in front of thousands with international trumpet soloist and long-time Yamaha Performing Artist, Allen Vizzutti. The concert will be memorialized with a professional recording and photography, and winners will enjoy many other privileges, including services and support from Yamaha Artist Relations.

Rivera joins a pantheon of 300 talented musicians who have been previously recognized, including Ricardo Morales, principal clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Aaron Parks, acclaimed jazz pianist; Jasmine Choi, international flute soloist; Matt Prendergast, principal percussionist for the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra; and Carol Jantsch, Yamaha Performing Artist and principal tubist for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The annual program honors emerging 18- to 22-year-old artists for their extraordinary talents in jazz, classical and contemporary genres, and is conducted by the Band and Orchestral division of Yamaha Corporation of America, the world’s largest musical instrument manufacturer.

“For 30 years, the YYPA program has been a significant opportunity for young musicians who are embarking on a career as a professional musician, and one of the most visible ways that Yamaha offers unrivaled support for music education,” said John Wittmann, director of education and artist relations, Yamaha. “We are pleased to honor Eder at this early phase of his development as an artist and watch as he builds upon the YYPA legacy to lead a promising future.”

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Local Youth’s Science-Focused Art to be Unveiled at CSU’s Frank Brown Hall

Local students were recently commissioned to create art to solve a real-world problem, thanks to a project led by Dr. Megan Hallissey, Columbus State University assistant professor of middle grades education. Now the students will get to see their art unveiled at a special celebration on April 6.

The idea for the collaboration began with the need for art in CSU’s newly constructed Frank Brown Hall. A committee of CSU professors decided to enlist the help of local elementary and middle school students, giving them specific measurements and a science-focused mission to use sound-absorption materials. They also challenged the students to focus on the theme “What is Education?”.

“The students really took pride in their work and felt very special to be working on this for CSU,” said Melissa Niemi, a teacher at Richards Middle School. “They learned to be creative and express their thoughts in a way that they had not done before.”

Richards Middle School was one of eleven regional elementary and middle schools participating in the project. As the sponsor of the school’s Girls in Engineering in Math and Science (GEMS) club, Niemi oversaw two groups of middle school girls through the project. One group decided to focus on all the careers that are made possible through education, and the other used their art to highlight STEM. Niemi and many of the girls plan on attending the April 6 celebration.

“They are so excited and can’t wait to see the end result,” said Niemi.

Melissa Wilks, another participating teacher from Glenwood School in Phenix City, says her students are also excited. For their project, the group focused on the word “opportunity” and used pages from books as the material for the art. She says the project generated important discussions as the students tore pages, passed them around and responded to them.

“The students were thrilled to have been ‘commissioned’ to design an installation piece,” said Wilks. “Our pieces are perfectly imperfect, inspired by meaningful conversation and worthwhile reflection. I was so happy to be asked and to participate.”

The art will be displayed on the third floor of the teacher education section of Frank Brown Hall. Participating students, their parents, and members of the community are invited to celebrate on April 6 at a 5:30 p.m. reception in Frank Brown Hall, located at 1127 Broadway.  Refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres will be served with celebratory remarks from CSU President Dr. Chris Markwood and Muscogee County School District Superintendent Dr. David Lewis.

The art installation will also be included in Artbeat2018’s ARTWalk, which includes the Bo Bartlett Center, Corn Center, Gallery on Tenth, and the W.C. Bradley Co. Museum. Artbeat is a three-week collaborative celebration to display the role of the arts community in Columbus through various events and an art walk.


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Dr. Amanda Rees Receives Stand Alone Geographic Educator Award

Dr. Amanda Rees, CSU professor of geography has been awarded the 2018 Helen Ruth Aspaas SAGE Innovator Award. Named for one of the founding members of the Stand Alone Geographers Specialty Group (SAGE), the award recognizes outstanding and innovative stand alone geographic educators.

Rees joined CSU in 2005 as a lone geographer. Over the last 13 years she has established a geography minor and established the Columbus Community Geography Center that partners geography classes and community organizations to raise awareness about important community problems and resources, inform community and neighborhood planning processes, support community organizing, and empower communities to make positive change.

In 2014, Rees edited the e-book Thriving as a Stand-Alone Geographer: A Handbook in conjunction with the Association of American Geographers.  SAGE is part of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). Founded in 1904, the AAG is an international professional geography organization with over 10,000 members in 100 nations.

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CSU to Conduct Multi-Agency Emergency Management Exercise on Riverpark Campus

Columbus, Georgia—On Thursday, April 5, 2018, the Columbus State University Police Department, in conjunction with other city, county, and state entities, will be conducting an emergency management exercise on the Riverpark Campus. The exercise is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am, at the intersection of Broadway and 12th Street, and is designed to assess emergency response capabilities during a mass casualty event.

“This exercise is a part of CSU’s ongoing emergency management initiative and furthers our partnerships with other first responders when developing all-hazards emergency plans for our campuses” says Police Chief Mark Lott.

What the Public Needs to Know

  • Pursuant to the exercise, the CSU Police Department has been granted a permit for a temporary road closure. The southbound lane of Broadway from 12th Street to 11th Street will be closed to thru traffic from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.
  • As part of the exercise, Columbus State University will be testing Cougar Alert, the institution’s emergency notification system.

What the Media Needs to Know

  • Media representatives are invited to report on the exercise.
  • Lt. Brett Stanelle (CSU Emergency Management Coordinator) will be available on site after the exercise for on-camera interviews and select participants may be available after the exercise.
  • A multi-agency Command Center will be simulated at the Main Campus Columbus State University Police Department.




Greg Hudgison

Director of University Relations

Phone: (706) 507-8720


Lieutenant Brett Stanelle

CSU Police Emergency Management Coordinator

Phone: (706) 507-8911



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Columbus State University and Leadership Columbus to Host Career and College Fair

Columbus State University and Leadership Columbus will host a Career and College Fair for at-risk youth in the Multipurpose Room at the Recreation Center on April 3 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Co-sponsored by Leadership Columbus, the event will serve youth who participate in Empowered Youth of Columbus (EYC). EYC is an out of school program founded by CSU’s Continuing & Professional Education that provides meaningful training and activities for students through a network of public and private partnerships. The EYC has been working through a Dream Catcher curriculum with youth at The Club (a teen center sponsored by Boys & Girls Club of the Chattahoochee Valley). The College & Career fair will capitalize on the investment that is being made for these youth through the curriculum.

“We want youth in our community, regardless of background or economic status, to be empowered with the knowledge that they can be successful as they move forward to college or to other avenues of their adult life,” says Kristin Barker, Senior Operations Manager in CSU’s Continuing & Professional Education department and a member of Leadership Columbus.

The goals for the fair are to:

  • Expose middle and high school youth in our community to the full array of opportunities that exist as they enter high school and graduate to pursue higher education and a career in adulthood
  • Encourage middle and high school youth in Columbus, GA to begin preparing for post high school opportunities
  • Introduce the youth to resources that will help them prepare for post high school opportunities

Thirty-four vendors consisting of area business, arts organizations, city departments, and institutions of higher education will attend the fair to share information and inspiration with the youth.

“We hope that many of these vendors can provide some type of interactive moment withthe kids,” says Scott Sullivan, another member of the Leadership Columbus group. “This would be something like health care workers taking blood pressure or a photographer taking a photo.We want to show the kids all of the opportunities available for them including employment in a variety of industries.”

The group organizing this event includes five professionals attending the 2018 Leadership Columbus class and six youth attending the 2018 Youth Leadership of Columbus.

Please direct questions regarding this event to Kristin Barker at 706-507-8327.

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Department Earth and Space Sciences Receives Mini-Grants.

CSU professor of physics, Dr. Kim Shaw received a STEM Mini-Grant for $2,850 for her proposal, “Math Intervention Development to Promote Student Success in Physics Courses.”Dr. Shaw will work with a student assistant to develop a set of topic specific online tutorials for math concepts that physics students often find challenging. The goal of the project is to develop a free suite of materials that can be deployed in Cougarview/D2L to aid students in developing this important skill set and maximize student learning in CSU physics courses.

Four students from the department of earth and space sciences also recently received mini grants. They were awarded $225 from the Office of the Provost to help defray costs associated with their graduate/undergraduate research projects:

  • Austin Caughey (MS Natural Sciences – Geosciences track) for “Sequence Stratigraphy of Middle-Mississippian Carbonates of the Southern Appalachians: Tuscumbia Limestone and Fort Payne Chert”
  • Chance Seckinger (BS ESS – Geology track) for “Porosity and Permeability of Miocene (Puerto Rico), Pennsylvanian (Kansas), and Mississippian (Alabama) Carbonate Rocks”
  • Coral Torres (MS Natural Sciences – Geosciences track) for “Constraining The Coastal Plain Unconformity West Of The Lower Chattahoochee River Valley”
  • Jasmine Truitt (MS Natural Sciences – Geosciences track) for “Paleoclimate Studies on a Fall Line Cretaceous Paleosol”
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CSU Schwob Students Win National Awards

CSU Schwob School of Music students have received top prizes at this year’s national competition for the Music Teachers National Association. The finals of the competition were held over the past couple of days in Orlando, FL.

Natalya Klenovskaya won first place in the Young Artist String Division. Natalya is an Artist Diploma violin student of Prof. Sergiu Schwartz. She will be featured as soloist with the Schwob Philharmonic, playing the Shostakovich Violin Concerto, on April 29th.

Camron Bryant won second place in the Young Artist Brass Division. Camron is a sophomore horn student of Dr. Natalie Higgins.

Elizabeth Tsai won first place in the Senior Piano Duet DIvision, with her partner Yannie Tan. Elizabeth is a Woodruff Scholar and a student of Prof. Tatiana Muzanova.

Each participant won in the state and regional rounds to get to the finals. Susan Hoskins traveled to Orlando to serve as collaborative pianist for Camron and Natalya.


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