Regents Set Tuition for 2017-2018 Academic Year; Reduces Costs for Some On-line Courses

Course fees eliminated on more than 100 CSU courses

The Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia (USG) set tuition this week for the 2017-2018 academic year, keeping all 28 of the USG’s colleges and universities to a tuition increase of 2 percent.

By keeping the tuition increase to 2 percent for the 2017-2018 academic year following the zero percent increase for the current year (2016-2017), the University System has been able to limit tuition increases to an average of 2.2 percent annually over the last five years. The USG continues to offer some of the lowest tuition rates among peer state public higher education systems. Out of the 16 states that make up the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), the USG has now become the sixth lowest state in tuition and fees for four-year institutions.

At Columbus State, this change means undergraduate tuition will increase $3.47 from $174.20 per credit hour to $177.67 per credit hour. For in-state students enrolled in 15 hours, the total tuition will increase from $2,613 per semester to $2,665, an increase of $52.

Meanwhile, the Board continues to ensure fees and fee increases are kept to a minimum and used for the benefit of students. The USG has worked with each of the institutions to reduce the number of fee increases, which must demonstrate a clear need. In recent years, the number of approved mandatory fee increases from USG institutions has continued to decrease year-over-year. For example, the number of fee increases dropped from 67 in Fiscal Year 2012 down to 12 for the upcoming year, Fiscal Year 2018.

At Columbus State, the review of course fees led to the elimination of fees associated with 103 courses since the start of the 2016-17 academic year. Eliminating those course fees means a savings to CSU students that adds up to more than $300,000.

The University System also continues to focus on increasing accessibility through its online offerings. eCore, the USG’s online core curriculum, will decrease tuition to $159 per credit hour from $169.

The University System also provides free, open-source, on-line e-textbooks through the Affordable Learning Georgia initiative. Last year, the USG was ranked by national publisher OpenStax at Rice University as number one in the nation of any school or school system for saving students the most money by providing free textbooks worth more than $3.5 million in 2016.

Columbus State University has contributed to those savings. Since Spring 2015, 20 faculty and staff have participated in the open education initiative with an estimated cost avoidance of $458,979 for students.

“The University System of Georgia is committed to providing students an affordable, accessible and high quality college education,” said Shelley Nickel, executive vice chancellor for strategy and fiscal affairs. “Across the University System, we are working together to help make college affordable with the ultimate goal of student success.”

The University System has also implemented initiatives focused on helping students graduate in a shorter timeframe, and as a result, save money by avoiding extra semesters and unneeded classes. These initiatives include:

— Degree Roadmaps: Campus advisors are providing “degree roadmaps,” so students avoid spending time and money in courses that do not count toward their degree. Students have a clear path of which courses to take to earn their degrees.

— Full Course Loads: As part of the “15 to Finish” effort, campuses encourage students to take 15 credit hours per semester, thus shortening the time it takes to graduate.

— Proactive Advising: Institutions are also using an early-alert system to monitor students’ performance so that a low test grade may signal a counselor to provide additional support, such as tutoring, and help enable students to complete a class successfully.

Tuition rates for each institution can be found here.

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Top CSU Students, Faculty Awarded at Annual Honors Convocation


COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University handed out its highest annual academic awards Friday, April 14 during the 2017 Scholastic Honors Convocation held in Legacy Hall at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. Edward O’Donnell, associate professor of marketing in CSU’s Turner College of Business, was named CSU’s 2016-2017 Educator of the Year, a recognition awarded by the Student Government Association based on student body nominations. The Faculty Cup, the highest award granted to a CSU student, went to Amber Terrell, a senior mathematics and secondary education major.

EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR: Dr. Edward O’Donnell
Edward O’Donnell is an associate professor of marketing in CSU’s Turner College of Business. O’Donnell was CSU’s representative for the 2014 University System of Georgia Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award and the 2013 Scholarship of Teaching Award. In 2011, he received CSU’s Faculty Research and Scholarship Award. O’Donnell earned his master’s in accounting from the University of Akron and his doctorate in marketing from Kent State University. He recently directed an honors thesis which resulted in a peer-reviewed publication.

FACULTY CUP: Amber Terrell
Amber Terrell is a senior mathematics and secondary education major. Amber is the recipient of multiple awards, honors and scholarships, including CSU’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship, the Hallmark Cards/Hall Family Foundation Scholarship, and the TSYS Future Scholars Scholarship. Amber has served as member, vice president and president of WeTeach (the student organization of CSU’s UTeach program), and she regularly serves as a mentor for Live United Youth Council and as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, Relay for Life, and local elementary schools, among others. Amber graduates this May with honors. She is interested in teaching in high-needs school districts and serving as an advocate for active, hands-on learning in mathematics.

Amy Melton is a senior music education major. She was selected as one of 28 students in the University System of Georgia to be honored by the Georgia General Assembly during Academic Recognition Day 2017.

*Please report name misspellings to We apologize for any errors.


The following individuals were selected as the most deserving students to represent each department and were recognized verbally during the Scholastic Honors Convocation.

Department of Biology – Rachel Pearson
Department of Chemistry – Nicole Sikes
Department of Mathematics – Amber Terrell
Department of Modern & Classical Languages – Armando Fernandez
Department of Earth & Space Science – Nicholas Garcia
Department of Psychology – Amelia Barton
Department of History & Geography – Jane Mader
Department of English – Cailee Davis
Department of Politics, Philosophy and Public Administration – Hugrun Elvarsdottir
Department of Theatre – Constance Tolbert
Department of Communication – Madison Ullman
Schwob School of Music – John Rogler
Department of Art – Julianna Wells
Graduate Business Program – Richard Navratil
Department of Accounting & Finance – Kaitlyn Moye
Department of Marketing & Management – Kayla Forsythe
TSYS School of Computer Science – Marko Maksimovic
School of Nursing – Levie Jones
Department of Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science – April Jowers
Department of Teacher Education – Savannah Talley
Department of Counseling, Foundations and Leadership: Karen Hancock


Alicia Abosede
Jeremy Ackles
Carley Adam
Delores Anderson
Jacqueline Barragan
Scott Berson
Jared Bies
Alexis Cardona
Jesse David Chariton
Nathan DeMarco-Jacobson
Kate Duggarn
Myra Elder
E’Lexues Evans
Matthew Frye
Mary Gasson
Abby Gibbons
Eliana Gilbert
Tracee Guthrie
Kendrea Hardison
Bertram Harris
Roderick Jolivette
April Jowers
Taeler Klimp
Emilee Leslie
Teresa Mafnas
Madison Montgomery
Nathanael Morrison
Anthonia Okonkwo
Rachel Pearson
Jasmine Phillips
Columbia Renix
Lyndsay Richardson
Chelsey Rogers
Jabari Scott
Meagan Shelnut
Barbara Smith
Timothy Thompson
Hannah Turner
Michael Ward
Brian White
Lakedra White


Phi Kappa Phi

Bradford Allen
Leanna Allen
Justin Ambrozia
Jason Armstrong
Taylor Aspinwall
Ashley Bailey
Ginette Bartlett
Scott Berson
Joseph Boland
Michael Bourgeois
Amber Braswell
Carolyn Brewster
Sarah Brinson
John Brock
Jason Brown
Tyler Brown
Joshua Christian
Corey Collins
Meagan Corcoran
Melissa Crosby
Allison Dansby
Joseph Dean
Rachel DeGennaro
Jacquelyn DeLauder
Ashley Desensi
Sean Drop
Donna Duncan
Marnie Dutcher
Mikell Edwards
Myra Elder
Tracy English
Stephen Fields
Brandi Fine
Jodi Fraser
Mary Garcia
Abby Gibbons
Eliana Gilbert
Jacob Glover
Mary Godfrey
Jessica Griggs
Bertram Harris
Melanie Harris
Barbara Heusel
Rebecca Hinzman
Ashley Hobby
Jesse Hunt
Kendall Isaac
Emily Jackson
Tarra Jackson
Cherish Jordan
Venetia Jordan
Ryan Karasow
Daniel Kim
Douglas Kornacki
Christopher Lane
Tabitha Lawrence
Amy Lee
Andrew LeMarQuand
Robert Lewis
Kwanza Lippitt
Candie Lynch
Alexus Mack
Kelsey MacMinn
Jane Mader
Marko Maksimovic
Delarius Marshall
Joshua May
Ashley Meadows
Mitchell Messick
Teresa Mims
Brandon Mitchell
Melissa Mitchell
Ariel Mobley
Theresa Moran
Kerstin Motsch
Caroline Moyer
Demond Mullins
Ronald Mullis
Christine O’Brien
Christina Ogburn
Madelyn Ovdenk
Ekta Parab
Deidre Paris
Manuel Parrachavez
Cassidy Partain
Anisha Patel
Christina Pelletier
Ellie Pippas
Jeremiah Pitts
David Rathel
Alexis Riddle
Matthew Ropelewski
Lauren Rosenblatt
Danielle Royal
Sarah Russell
Sadie Santos
Koki Sato
Cynthia Scheuermann
Richard Sianoya
Brielle Sims
Andrea Skipor
Nicholas Spanolios
Stephanie Spear
William Stikes
Alexander Stodola
Hayley Tennyson
Dominique Thomas
Maryah Thompson
Hannah Turner
Corey Vernon
Susan Vogtner
Brian Waddy
Andrew Walsh
Lakedra White
Brianna Williams
Takesha Williams-Lynn
Audorian Willis
Kiana Willis
Kelly Wilson
Kimberley Woo
Kristin Youngquist
Jae Yu
Tammy Zitzelberger

Phi Beta Delta

Lori Benedict
Jacquelyn DeLauder
Marissa Grandberry
Darby High
Elizabeth Mason
Erica Mehl
Chelsey Rogers
Khristal Pace
Mary Petermann
Maryah Thompson
Emily Workman
Chase Worthey

Honoris Causa

Aliyah Anglin
Amelia Barton
Samantha Chase
Amber Colberg
Cailee Davis
Brandi Fine
Rachel Funk
Jessica Griggs
Katherine Holmes
Janell James
Comfort Johnson
Lauren Johnson
Emilee Leslie
Taylor Marks
Amy Melton
Anisha Patel
Dakota Reyes
Lauren Rosenblatt
Shaunquelle Sapp
Nicole Sikes
Charley Weaver
Julianna Wells


The following individuals are representatives of each division or discipline within a department and are recognized during department and college level ceremonies.

Honors College

Katherine Holmes – Interdisciplinary Studies
Julianna Wells – Scholarly Activities in Fine and Performing Arts
Cailee Davis – Scholarly Activities in Humanities
Amy Melton – Scholarly Activities in Professional Studies
Michael Rohly – Scholarly Activities in Science
Amelia Barton – Scholarly Activities in Social Science

College of the Arts

Julianna Wells – Studio Art
Kaitlyn Neill – Art History
Laszlo Olah – Art Education (undergraduate)
Howard Willis – Art Education (graduate)
Aliyah Anglin – Communication Student of the Year
Amy Melton and Jessica Griggs – Music Award
John Rogler – Presser Scholar
Allison Dansby – Theatre Arts
Indya Bussey – Theatre Arts Performance
Constance Tolbert – Theatre Arts Design & Technical
Zachary Glass – Theatre Arts Education

D. Abbott Turner College of Business

Jamie Zaic – Accounting
Maciej Kierkus – Finance
Jonathan Rodriguez – Management
Cheyenne Linander – General Business
Kayla Forsythe – Marketing
Brian White – Management Information Systems
Richard Navratil – Master of Business Administration
Chad Parker – Web MBA
Adrien Vakerics – Master of Science in Organizational Leadership
Marko Maksimovic – Applied Computer Science
Jacob Taylor – Games Programming Computer Science
Kevin Ferreira – Information Technology
Olivia Horace – Software Systems Computer Science
Sneha Gogineni – Applied Computer Science, M.S.
Justin Sewell – Computer Science Cybersecurity, M.S.

College of Education and Health Professions

Janae Carey – School Counseling
Brandi Dailey – Leadership Specialist
Kevin Smith – Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Joshua Riles – Early Childhood Education (undergraduate)
Lexus Houston – Middle Grades Education (undergraduate)
Marci Horne – English Education (undergraduate)
Alice Mendez – Spanish Education (undergraduate)
Amber Terrell – UTeach Mathematics Education (undergraduate)
Rebecca Moody – Secondary Science Education (graduate)
Lola Farley – Social Science Education (graduate)
Julee Fryer – Special Education (graduate)
Brooke Riley – Teacher Leadership (graduate)
Savannah Talley – Early Childhood Education (graduate)
Katelyn Pawlowski – Middle Grades Education (graduate)
Joshua Trowell – English Education (graduate)
Katelyn Clements – Secondary Mathematics (graduate)
Chloe Chambers – UTeach Science Education (undergraduate)
Jonathan Abbott – Social Science Education (undergraduate)
Shirin Felfeli – Special Education (undergraduate)
Cynthia Yocom – Curriculum & Instruction in Accomplished Teaching
Brandon Tutt – Health Science
Michael Ward – Health & Physical Education (undergraduate)
Lindsey Law Tees – Exercise Science (undergraduate)
April Jowers – Health & Physical Education (graduate)
Albert Carter Woolfolk – Exercise Science (graduate)
Julia Kimball – Outstanding Nursing BSN
Elizabeth Baker – Outstanding Nursing M.S.N.
Shelley Mickels – Outstanding Nursing R.N. – B.S.N.
Roberta Walters – Outstanding Nursing M.S.N. – F.S.P.

College of Letters and Sciences

Cailee Davis – English Literature
Jasmine Carter – English Professional Writing
Leah Vahjen – English Creative Writing
Armando Fernandez – Spanish Award
Hugrun Elvarsdottir – Outstanding Political Science
Brain Waddy – Master of Public Administration
Michael Bouorgeois – Mario Mion Political Science Honors Scholarship
Justin Briley – Philosophy
Michael Rohly – Cellular & Molecular Biology
Ambrionna Dallas – Biology Education
Rachel Pearson – George Stanton Biology
Joshua Rogers – Organismic Biology
William Woolfolk – Ecological & Evolutionary Biology
Zijie J. Lin – Outstanding Freshman Chemistry Major
Nicole Sikes – A.C.S. Organic Chemistry (undergraduate)
Sydney Brown – Excellence in Chemistry Research
Nicole Sikes – Outstanding Chemistry Major
Jacqueline McGurie – American Institute of Chemists (graduate)
John D. Gary – Outstanding Graduate Student
Jasen Neale – Geology
Shelby Brannen – Engineering
Brendon O’Keeffe – Astronomy
Nathan Rodeheaver – Physics
Sydney Barker – Environmental Science
Amber Terrell – Mathematics
Amelia Barton – Psychology

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CSU Student-Athletes to Host 5K Benefitting Make-A-Wish

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at Columbus State University will host a 5K race on Saturday, April 29 that will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The race will start at 9 a.m. from Cougar Court between the Lumpkin Center and the softball field on CSU’s main campus.

All proceeds from the race will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that arranges “wishes” for children with life-threatening medical conditions through 62 chapters across the United States.

Registration is now open online at Awards will be presented to the top three male and top three female runners. Registration is $20 before April 20. To be guaranteed a t-shirt, participants must register by April 20.

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Columbus Goes to Mars: Coca-Cola Space Science Center and Partners to Host NASA Community Day

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Special guests from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center are paying a visit to the Chattahoochee Valley on Saturday, May 6 to assist in Columbus’ greatest and most daring voyage yet.

“Columbus Goes to Mars” is a free community-wide, space-themed learning event hosted by Columbus State University’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center (CCSSC) in partnership with the Columbus Museum and the National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center.

“The NASA/KSC team is extremely excited to bring a piece of the inspirational work of exploration to Columbus, Georgia,” said Joshua Santora, program specialist at the NASA/KSC PX-E Education Office. “We are grateful to our collaborators and hosts and can’t wait to share America’s space programs with the people of Muscogee County.”

Friday, May 5: “Hidden Figures” at the National Infantry Museum
Panel discussion from 6-7 p.m. | Movie at 7:30 p.m.

On the evening of Friday, May 5, the National Infantry Museum will host a free, one-time-only screening of “Hidden Figures,” the Academy Award-nominated film based on the true story of a team of African-American female mathematicians who served a vital role at NASA during the early years of the US space program.

Before the film, at 6 p.m., a panel of experts will discuss their experiences working with the space program and their inspirations for pursuing a career in aeronautics. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission to both the panel discussion and the film is free. Concessions will be available for purchase during the event.

Saturday, May 6: “Columbus Goes to Mars,” 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Coca-Cola Space Science Center | The Columbus Museum | National Infantry Museum
Note: Activities at The Columbus Museum will conclude at 3 p.m.

Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 6, CCSSC, the Columbus Museum, and the National Infantry Museum will host family-friendly activities at all three locations, including:

— Expert presentations by engineers and educators from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
— Vesta mosaic art
— NASA’s PINK team robot
— “Humans in space” demonstrations
— Air rocket launches (supervised by the same people who launch real rockets into space)
— STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) presentations by local educators
— Professional teacher development workshops with NASA educators

“Columbus Goes to Mars” marks the first time NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has delivered their community day program outside of their home town of Titusville, Fla.

“We are honored that NASA’s Kennedy Space Center thought of Columbus first when deciding to take their annual community day outside of Titusville,” said Shawn Cruzen, executive director of CSU’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center. “I’m excited about the multiple speakers talking about careers in STEM-related fields, science demonstrations, and fun educational activities this event will bring to Columbus.”

Attendees are encouraged to visit all three locations for the full NASA experience. As an extra incentive, a limited-edition commemorative coin will be given to all participants who turn in a completed “passport” containing all three stamps from each location (while supplies last).

Please visit for a detailed schedule of events and activities. This page will be updated regularly with additional information. Please note that while all activities are free, some will require tickets for entry. Please e-mail with questions.

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Columbus State Finishes One Capital Project, Starts Another

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Only three days separate the opening of one Columbus State University facility and the groundbreaking for another. Here’s a quick look at the two new developments students, athletes, employees and residents can look forward to:

Cooper Creek Tennis Center
Ribbon-Cutting on Thursday, April 6, 5:30 p.m.
Columbus State University, the Columbus Regional Tennis Association (CORTA), and the Consolidated Government of Columbus officially opened new additions to the Cooper Creek Tennis Center, the new home of CSU’s men’s and women’s tennis programs, on Thursday, April 6. The $9.5 million project covers almost seven acres and includes a new clubhouse, 12 new hard courts, nine clay courts and four ‘quick start’ courts.

The entire expansion is dubbed the Judy and Roger Pearce Tennis Center in honor of Judy Pearce, CORTA’s executive director for more than 25 years, and Roger Pearce, a passionate tennis instructor and national level competitor. Together, the couple has “helped elevate the tennis community to one of national prominence,” according to a statement from CORTA.

LeNoir Hall Extension and Renovations
Groundbreaking on Monday, April 10, 11 a.m.
On Monday, April 10, Columbus State University officially began construction on the LeNoir Hall project that, when completed, will provide six new state-of-the-art science teaching laboratories and student study spaces.

The university has received $11.3 million in state appropriations for the design and construction of the building. An additional $2 million in state funding was approved by the legislature last month to help equip and furnish the facility. The new labs will better support graduate studies, expand opportunities for students in growing programs such as biology and pre-med, and greatly assist faculty members – some of whom are doing nationally recognized research.

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Crowdfunding Campaign Helps Raise $300K for Columbus State University

COLUMBUS, Ga. — A new method of making fundraising more social has proved successful at Columbus State University, helping to generate more than a quarter million dollars in support of the university’s First Choice comprehensive campaign.

CSU GIVES was the largest concentrated online fundraising campaign the university has ever sponsored. The key focus of the campaign, a 58-hour online fundraising drive, ran during CSU Homecoming last year (Nov. 9-12). Donations totaling almost $300,000 poured in before, during and after the drive, which doubled as a catchy celebration of the college’s founding year, 1958.


Plans are forming for yet another exciting homecoming week (Oct. 16-21), and CSU GIVES will return as part of the festivities. Participants can look forward to interacting with fellow alumni in real time on Give Campus, the national crowdfunding site through which CSU GIVES was managed.

“The purpose of this campaign was to encourage and engage friends, alumni and the community in a way that was more meaningful, within a time frame that was significant to CSU, and on a public platform that was more interactive,” said Ashley Lee, development coordinator for CSU.

All donations benefit the CSU Fund, which provides broad-based support for all institutional priorities and college-based programs, including student scholarships, academic programs, community outreach, student and faculty development, and opportunities for distinction. Donors also can designate their gifts for specific programs or purposes.

“Donors give because they believe in the people at CSU,” said Lee. “They believe in our mission, and they believe in the opportunities afforded to students that are only available at CSU. It’s not just another transaction. These donations are transformative.”

To donate to CSU’s First Choice campaign, visit

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CSU Agreement Streamlines Med School Enrollment

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) formally signed an articulation agreement Tuesday, March 28, that will guarantee admission to five students annually into VCOM’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program.

“This agreement begins a new era of opportunities for CSU students on their journey to becoming successful physicians,” said CSU President Chris Markwood. “The pathways provided by this agreement between CSU and VCOM will likely result in more newly-trained physicians returning to our communities to provide exceptional medical care.”

VCOM’s Chairman of the Board John Rocovich added, “Our goal is to provide a conduit to a top-notch educational facility that expands on the foundation laid by CSU’s program to produce successful physicians in medical school and beyond.”

To be eligible for the guaranteed acceptance program, students must have a GPA of 3.4 or higher after completing all required pre-medical coursework, required community service and health care volunteer hours. CSU students also will have access to an early acceptance program during their second year that will allow them to matriculate to VCOM contingent upon meeting the set standards and graduating from Columbus State University.

VCOM has medical school locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Alabama.

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CSU Celebrates Diversity Thursday with Judge Glenda Hatchett

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University’s seventh annual celebration of diversity and inclusion — the 2017 Diversity Forum — is set for next Thursday, March 30.

Presented by CSU’s Office of Diversity Programs and Services, the Diversity Forum is a day-long conference and evening banquet that showcases successes in inclusion on CSU’s campus and fosters discussions on a broad range of relevant issues — immigration, race, religion, sexuality, disability, poverty, and cultural competence — to discover best practices for a better future. Attendees will take part in inclusive active learning exercises that can be repeated in their own workplaces or with team or community group members.

“I am full of excitement and anticipation for CSU’s day of diversity,” said Johniqua Williams, development specialist for diversity programs at CSU. “We will have a full day of personal and professional development in the arena of inclusion and equity. We want participants to come ready to learn to work with diverse people and situations in the workplace or in the classroom.”

Judge Glenda Hatchett, a seasoned litigator with more than 30 years of experience as a judge, corporate lawyer, and corporate and nonprofit board member, is the evening’s keynote speaker. From 2000-2008, Hatchett presided over the two-time Emmy-nominated, nationally syndicated show, “Judge Hatchett.” In 2014, she founded The Hatchett Firm, a national law firm specializing in catastrophic accidents, wrongful deaths, medical malpractice, reputational and marketing risks, and product liability.

Hatchett is a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and Emory University School of Law, where she was an Earl Warren Scholar. She completed a prestigious federal clerkship in the United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia. She spent nearly 10 years as a senior attorney at Delta Air Lines, where she was the airline’s highest-ranking woman of color worldwide. Hatchett also was the first African-American Chief Presiding Judge of a state court in Georgia (Fulton County).

Hatchett is speaking during the Legacy Celebration, the evening portion of the Diversity Forum, which begins at 6 p.m. in CSU’s Lumpkin Center. The Diversity Conference will be held in CSU’s Cunningham Conference Center from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The Diversity Committee has worked hard to ensure that this year’s Diversity Forum is packed with quality speakers and facilitators,” said Williams. “To cap the day, we will celebrate those who are drum majors for justice, equality and inclusion within the university and local community.”

Tickets are $30 and include admission to both the conference and the Legacy Celebration. Tables are available for $240. For more information about the 2017 Diversity Forum or to purchase tickets online, visit or contact Johniqua Williams at 706-5078594 or


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New Exhibit Now Open at Coca-Cola Space Science Center

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center (CCSSC) opened a new exhibit experience Saturday, March 25 that promises visitors a taste of space.

“A Space Shuttle Odyssey” is an interactive space flight adventure. From the 27-seat Odyssey theatre, participants launch into space in seats that literally shake. During the 15-minute journey, ten high-definition displays from the front and above depict the Earth from orbit, the stars, flight data and more.

“A Space Shuttle Odyssey” was made possible by a $250,000 gift from WestRock.

“We are so grateful to have a partner like WestRock,” said Shawn Cruzen, executive director of CSU’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center. “Together, we are providing inspiration to the next generation of science explorers, as well as creating a richer history and cultural experience for the region and visitors.”

CSU’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center officially opened Odyssey to the public in true CCSSC fashion, with a celebration that included:

— “A Space Shuttle Odyssey” shows every 20 minutes;
— RED the Robot in action;
— Super Science demonstrations;
— Air Rocket construction and launches;
— Omnisphere Theatre shows;
— Solar observing; and
— Door prizes.


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Students, Public Invited to Submit Business Plans

Columbus State University’s Turner College of Business is planning to award $6,000 in prize money this year to the winners of the 2017 Business Plan Competition, which is open to all CSU students and Chattahoochee Valley residents.

Participants must submit a two-page plan describing the startup of a new, independent business by noon on April 11 to Kirk Heriot, CSU’s Crowley Chair of Entrepreneurship, at

For more information, visit

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Lady Cougars Win Southeast Region Title

COLUMBUS, Ga. — In front of more than 1,700 people, the fourth-ranked and top-seeded Columbus State University women’s basketball team captured the Southeast Region championship with an 86-75 win over 13th-ranked Lincoln Memorial on Monday night. The championship game was played inside the Lumpkin Center.

The victory was the third region championship in program history and the first since 2001. Columbus State (31-1) will now head to Columbus, Ohio for the national quarterfinals to begin Tuesday, March 21.

“I really felt like we finally put together a complete performance from start to finish tonight,” head coach Anita Howard said. “Lincoln Memorial is a great team and has been playing great basketball, but we played well on both ends of the floor.

“We have been checking off goals this season: Peach Belt Conference regular season champs, Peach Belt Conference Tournament champs, Southeast Region champs, and now we can focus on the ultimate goal of a national championship.”

A back-and-forth first quarter saw the Lady Cougars trail by four points early on. Tatiana Wayne dropped in a 3-pointer to spark a 10-2 stretch that gave CSU a 15-10 advantage.

As it would most of the night, Lincoln Memorial (28-5) had the answer as it knocked down a 3 of its own late in the quarter that brought the Railsplitters back within two, 17-15, after 10 minutes of play.

Columbus State continued its strong shooting night from the perimeter to start the second as Alexis Carter drained a pair sandwiched around one from Narshanda Malone. The second 3-ball from Carter gave the Lady Cougars their largest lead of the day at 27-20 two minutes into the second.

The lead spread out to as much as nine in the quarter, but LMU hung within striking distance scoring seven of the final 10 points to cut the CSU lead to 38-33 at halftime.

Lincoln Memorial continued to chop away at the lead, getting it down to two midway through the third. However, Columbus State had the answer each and every time.

Leading 51-47, Britteny Tatum connected on her only 3-pointer of the night and the Lady Cougars used it to fuel a 10-3 run to open up their first double-digit lead of the game at 61-50 after three.

LMU refused to go away though, getting the deficit down to six on three different occasions. Up 67-61, Jasmine Herndon grabbed a huge offensive rebound and stuck it back in to stem the Railsplitters’ momentum and CSU pulled away from there.

Columbus State led by as much as 17 coming down the home stretch on their way to the region title.

Alexis Carter ended the regional as the Most Outstanding Player following 25 points, 14 rebounds, six steals and six blocks on Monday night. Ashley Asouzu was 7-of-10 from the floor and finished with 18 points. Keyrra Gillespie added 11 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Asouzu and Gabby Williams were named to the All-Tournament team.

The Lady Cougars shot 42.2 percent (27-of-64) from the field, their highest total of the postseason. CSU knocked down 9-of-24 3-pointers and was 23-for-37 from the free throw line.

Lincoln Memorial ended the game at 35.4 percent (28-for-79) overall and 7-for-24 from outside.

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Theatre Rehearsal Hall Dedicated to Brennan

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University’s Department of Theatre renamed its rehearsal hall in memory of Hazel Hall Brennan, former chair of the Department of Theatre, during a ceremony held Friday, March 10 in the One Arsenal Building on CSU’s RiverPark campus.

“Hazel was a great mentor and a great friend to faculty and students alike,” said Larry Dooley, chair of CSU’s theatre department. “The department has seen tremendous growth in recent years, and much of that success is rooted in Hazel’s leadership early on. It is truly fitting that we name a much used and student-centered rehearsal space after her. She was always right there in the middle of student work.”

Hall joined CSU’s faculty in 1974, and served as chair of the theatre department from 1981 until her retirement in 2003. Her expertise as a director and teacher nurtured hundreds of students who have gone on to become teachers and working professionals in film, television and Broadway theatre. She was at her best and happiest in a rehearsal room.

Through this generous gift to the university from her husband John, the legacy of this inspiring leader will continue to impact future students, teachers and artists.

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New Program at CSU Makes Child Care More Affordable

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University has partnered with the University System of Georgia and a Georgia non-profit to provide students with financial assistance for quality child care, helping reduce a major barrier to college completion.

Columbus State University is one of three institutions participating in Boost, a child care subsidy plan for undergraduate students in their junior or senior years. Created by Quality Care for Children, the program pays up to $125 weekly for child care tuition for children enrolled in Quality Rated day care programs.

“The Boost program is a great opportunity for CSU to better serve our students,” said Lisa Shaw, director of CSU’s Academic Center for Excellence. “I am thrilled and honored to connect students with this program.”

Four student-families and five children benefitted from Boost last semester at the program’s inception. Five additional subsidies were awarded to students this semester. All qualifying students were emailed at the beginning of both semesters and applications were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

“The Boost Program took a big financial burden off my family,” said Sasha Hernandaz, a CSU nursing student. “With the help of this grant, I can focus on nursing school like I had originally wanted and not have to worry about working extra hours just to afford day care.”

Boost is a collaborative program between the USG and Quality Care for Children, an Atlanta-based non-profit organization that provides leadership training and resources for child care facilities while also assisting parents in finding affordable, Quality Rated child care.

Quality Rated is Georgia’s system to determine, improve, and communicate the quality of early education and school-age care programs. Similar to rating systems for restaurants and hotels, Quality Rated assigns one, two or three stars to programs that meet or exceed the minimum state requirements.

“We hope to address a need for temporary child care as well, so that students may pursue internships, travel abroad or student teach,” said Shaw. “Ultimately, we want to set these students and their families up for success in and out of the classroom.”

Fall applications for Boost at CSU will open in August. Qualifying students must be Pell Grant-eligible, have completed 60 or more credit hours, are enrolled full-time (12 or more credit hours), and have a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher.

Boost is also available at Clayton State University and Armstrong State University.

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Columbus State University to Host NCAA Southeast Regional

COLUMBUS, Ga. — For just the second time in program history, the Columbus State University women’s basketball team will host the NCAA regional tournament as the Lady Cougars were selected as the top seed in the Southeast Region Sunday night.

The 2017 NCAA Southeast Regional will be played March 10, 11 and 13 inside the Frank G. Lumpkin Center. Columbus State will play eighth-seeded Anderson at 5:30 p.m. on Friday night.

“We are honored to serve as host for the 2017 NCAA Southeast Regional tournament at the Lumpkin Center,” CSU Director of Athletics Todd Reeser said. “Our women’s basketball team has had an incredible season and now is the time for all of Columbus and CSU to come out and support their efforts. It is our goal to deliver a first-class experience for all fans and participants, as well as to showcase our great community.”

Columbus State earned the No. 1 seed after putting together a 28-1 record and capturing the Peach Belt Conference regular season title. The Lady Cougars added an exclamation point on Sunday with a 76-61 win over Lander in the PBC championship.

“We are excited to be the number one seed in the Southeast Region,” head coach Anita Howard stated. “Getting the top seed and serving as the host is a great reward for all of the hard work and effort our young ladies have put in this season.”

The NCAA Tournament selection is the 10th overall for the Lady Cougars and fourth straight. CSU has gotten to the second round of the tournament in each of the last two seasons.

Seven other teams will join Columbus State in the first women’s basketball regional in Columbus since 2001. Wingate, Lincoln Memorial, Limestone, Lander, Clayton State, King and Anderson make up the rest of the eight-team field.

“I am delighted to hear Columbus State University is hosting the NCAA Women’s Southeast Regional tournament,” Columbus State University President Dr. Chris Markwood added. “Being named a host not only speaks to the excellence of Cougar Athletics, but helps reaffirm the prestige of CSU, and is an economic benefit to the Columbus community.”

Play begins on Friday at noon in the Lumpkin Center. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for seniors, children and military.

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Women’s Basketball, Cheer Win Peach Belt Conference Championships


GREENWOOD, S.C. – The fourth-ranked Columbus State University women’s basketball team erased an 11-point halftime deficit and took home the Peach Belt Conference tournament title with a 76-61 victory over Lander on Sunday. The championship contest was played inside Horne Arena.

Five Lady Cougars finished in double figures led by Ashley Asouzu’s 16 points. The senior added 10 rebounds as well. Alexis Carter recorded a third straight double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Gabby Williams turned in 14 points, while Britteny Tatum tallied 13. Narshanda Malone came off the bench and scored 12.

Asouzu and Tatum were named to the All-PBC Tournament team, while Carter was the tournament Most Valuable Player.

With the victory, Columbus State earns the PBC’s automatic bid into the upcoming NCAA Southeast Regional.

“Lander dictated the game over the first 20 minutes,” head coach Anita Howard said. “We had a good talk at halftime and came out looking more like ourselves in the third quarter.

“This group has fought really hard this season and this is another step on the journey toward our ultimate goal.”

Behind 29 percent shooting, Columbus State (28-1) trailed 38-27 at the halftime break. The switch flipped starting the third quarter however, and the Lady Cougars stormed back.

Columbus State finished the game at 38.1 percent (24-of-63) from the field. The Lady Cougars were outstanding at the foul line, knocking down 25-of-30 attempts.

Lander was 33.9 percent (19-for-56) from the floor and 9-of-23 from the 3-point line.

The Columbus State University cheerleading program added two more championships to its ledger on Saturday at the annual Peach Belt Conference spirit competition. The competition was held inside Horne Arena at Lander University.

Columbus State took home the top spot in the Co-Ed competition as well as the All-Girl division.

The pair of titles gives the CSU program 19 conference championships under the guidance of head coach Jimbo Davis.

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Columbus State University Activates New iBeacon Technology to Aid Student Safety Efforts

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University has teamed up with Piper Networks to create another campus safety tool for students. The partners have deployed a network of wireless Bluetooth beacons across campus that can help students feel safer and more connected.

By utilizing Piper’s beacon technology and the free-to-download Piper app (available for iOS and Android devices), CSU students can now easily access University Police should they have a safety concern or want to report suspicious behavior. The app allows anyone to call campus police directly or text the police with their accurate location data based on the nearest iBeacon’s number.

“The Safe Campus program provides an easy way for officials to accurately and quickly dispatch assistance to the student, even if the student is not sure of their exact location,” said Mark Lott, interim chief of University Police. “This technology is another layer that we can add onto the many things we undertake on a daily basis to help our students and employees feel safe.”

Piper, a San Diego-based proximity and IoT solution provider, deployed more than 100 beacons at key locations across the main and RiverPark campus, and their coordinates are integrated into the University Police offices. Additional beacons are located on main campus that help keep students connected to campus happenings, sporting events and dining specials.

CSU joins the city of Columbus’ Safe City program, which uses a similar public safety solution from Piper. Columbus recently became the world’s most fully deployed iBeacon city with over 1,250 beacons and 85+ businesses and organizations using the Piper app to share messages that include simple text notifications, Piper-only specials, photos, videos, links to websites or social media, and even Apple Passes.

“The city of Columbus, GA and CSU campuses have so much to offer students, visitors and citizens,” said Robert Hanczor, Piper’s CEO. “Piper allows them to not only have a safer and more enhanced experience in real-time throughout the city, but the ‘History’ feature of the app means they can relive their experience at the end of the day by seeing what all they came into contact with and what they didn’t realize they missed.”


Piper Networks is an IoT solutions provider that specializes in proximity technology like iBeacons. They were one of the first companies to pursue BLE iBeacon technology and have since produced many first-to-market solutions for clients. They are unique in that their adaptable, multipurpose platform combines many of their competitor’s single-point solutions into one easy-to-use system that covers both sides of the proximity equation; smartphone beacon messaging and real-time asset tracking. Piper also develops custom mobile apps or integrates seamlessly with existing applications and infrastructure to help customers make cost effective business decisions. More information is available at

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Bean Joins CSU as Executive Director of Development for the College of the Arts

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Cameron Bean (BSEd ’07, MBA ’10) has been named the new executive director of development for Columbus State University’s College of the Arts, Honors College, Library, and Strategic Initiatives. He succeeds Rex Whiddon, who has been promoted to assistant vice president of leadership philanthropy and strategic initiatives.

“I am pleased to have Cameron join us as we continue our legacy of fostering and nurturing long-term, meaningful relationships among donors and prospective donors that contribute to the growth of the College of the Arts,” said Whiddon. “Cameron’s extensive knowledge of the arts and this community will make him a valuable member of our development team.”

Bean will be responsible for collaborating with a diverse group of stakeholders, including faculty, donors, department development officers and others in the solicitation of gifts and reporting back to those donors on the activity supported by their gifts.

“It is an honor to return to my alma mater, a major player in Columbus’ creative economy, to continue my career, which is dedicated to strengthening and advancing the Columbus community,” said Bean.

Bean previously served as executive director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and executive director of development for the Springer Opera House. He will begin his new position with CSU in April.

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Brown Receives 2017 Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award

COLUMBUS, Ga. –  Jennifer Brown, associate professor of educational foundations, has been awarded the 2017 Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Award by the University System of Georgia. Brown was presented the award and a check for $5,000 during the USG Foundation’s Regents’ Scholarship Gala in Atlanta on March 31.

The award encourages and supports the work of faculty members whose scholarship focuses on the instructional mission of the institution. A special Regents committee, composed of faculty and administrators from across the USG who are experienced in SOTL research, reviewed the nominations and determined the finalists.

“I have known Dr. Brown since she came to CSU in 2011 and have found her to be a consummate professional who conducts and applies research in a manner that improves student learning and the overall student experience,” said Tina Butcher, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs at CSU. “She is an outstanding faculty member and is greatly deserving of this recognition.”

The committee was particularly impressed with the wide dissemination of Brown’s tested instructional strategies, evaluations and assessments to her department, college, university and external audiences through forums, presentations and peer-reviewed publications. She also stood out because of her success in obtaining both internal and external funding for SOTL-related activities.

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Carson at 100: The McCullers Celebration

Columbus State University and a myriad of community partners celebrated the birthday centennial of noted author Carson McCullers on Sunday, Feb. 19 during a showcase event in the RiverCenter’s Bill Heard Theatre that included birthday cake, champagne, music, monologues, skits and the directorial debut of a new short film.

Community members gathered at the RiverCenter to honor Carson McCullers, who grew up in Columbus, Ga.
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Oxbow Meadows Hosts STEAM Day at Eddy Middle School

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University’s Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center took over Eddy Middle School’s seventh grade curriculum yesterday, Feb. 22, for STEAM Day.

All seventh graders rotated through five hour-long lessons taught by the staff of Oxbow Meadows, a CSU academic enrichment center. The lessons covered topics in taxonomy, robotics, microscopic inquiries, crime scene investigations and pollinators. Each lesson was designed to stimulate students’ interest in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and art) at an early age.

“Each activity tied into a specific science standard,” said Michael Dentzau, executive director of Oxbow Meadows. “This event offered fun, hands-on work set to get young minds excited to learn.”

Later that day, participants returned to Eddy Middle for “Science Night” with support from multiple CSU departments, including the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, CSU Math Collaborative, CSU Police, School of Nursing, and TSYS School of Computer Science. Free food was provided by Waffle House for all participating students and their families.

This was the second STEAM Day hosted by Oxbow Meadow. The center visited Baker Middle School (pictured above) on Oct. 26. Both STEAM Days were sponsored by Wells Fargo.

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