Double Standards Do Exist According to New Study Co-Authored by Business Professor

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Female faculty members hoping to advance to the highest ranks of academia face significant barriers due to male-dominated environments at colleges and universities, according to a new study co-authored by Frank Mixon, professor of economics in Columbus State University’s Turner College of Business.

“One of the striking findings is that female management professors exhibit, on average, the same degree of job mobility — captured by the number of prior academic appointments held — as their male counterparts, yet face a lower probability of holding a named (endowed) professorship,” said Mixon.

The study, published in the Journal of Management, suggests that a masculine-gendered environment dominates colleges of business, leading to shifting standards when it comes to the highest senior appointments in academe. While the data was collected in business schools throughout the United States, the researchers believe their results would be replicable in other academic settings and in other masculine-gendered environments, said Len Treviño, professor of management in FAU’s College of Business, who led the research team.

“We looked at lifetime productivity and found irrefutable evidence that, in line with double-standards theory, women have to do a lot more work than men to get similar rewards,” Treviño said. “It’s true there’s a double standard. We tested it.”

Mixon, Treviño and their fellow researchers Luis R. Gomez-Mejia at Arizona State University and David B. Balkin at the University of Colorado analyzed appointments to the rank of named professorship by gender via a sample of 511 management faculty at top American research universities with 10 or more years of experience since receiving their Ph.D. They found that women are less likely to be awarded named professorships and that they derive lower returns from their scholarly achievements when it comes to appointments to endowed chairs.

The research seems to show it’s not a conscious decision to make things tougher for female faculty, but women do face biases that are so deeply embedded in the processes followed by leading academic institutions that they may not even be noticed until they are eradicated. Treviño hopes that this study will help increase awareness of the problem.

“There has to be a conscious decision that this is not right and we have to change it,” Treviño said. “And you have to keep at it because people forget.”

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Octavia Spencer Announced as 2017 JBLF Keynote Speaker

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer has been added to the 2017 The Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum (JBLF) speaker lineup. The two-day event, August 28-29, hosted by the Leadership Institute at Columbus State University, brings the best and brightest minds in the world to Columbus. Spencer will be the keynote speaker for the Monday night dinner.

A veteran character actress and one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents, Spencer has become a familiar fixture on both television and the silver screen. Her critically acclaimed performance as Minny in DreamWork’s feature film “The Help” won her the 2012 Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, SAG Award and Broadcast Film Critic’s Choice Award among numerous other accolades.

The Leadership Institute is now accepting question submissions for Spencer. To submit your question, or for more information, click here.

Other guest speakers include Ron Clark, “America’s Educator” and best-selling author; Dan Rose, vice president of Partnerships, Facebook; John O’Leary, inspirational best-selling author; David Perdue, U.S. senator and former Fortune 500 CEO; Chris Conlee, author and lead pastor of Highpoint Church; and Eric Wesley, commanding general of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence.

Registration for the full conference is $529. Tables of eight are available for $4,200. Tickets and tables also are available to CSU departments, faculty and staff at a discounted rate of $499 per ticket and $3,900 per table. Register today.

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Criminal Justice Students Present Jail Survey Results

COLUMBUS, Ga. – A group of Columbus State University students in Steven Glassner’s criminal justice class recently presented their findings of an extensive survey of inmates currently housed in the Muscogee County Jail.

The students visited the jail and collected data from inmates as part of the Muscogee County Jail Project. The results of the survey will be used to address overcrowding in the correctional facility and to raise awareness of other concerns that might need to be addressed in the facility and in the court system.

Dennis Rome, dean of CSU’s College of Letters and Sciences, also attended the presentation, as did Superior Court Judge Gil McBride, attorney Katonga Wright, Columbus City Councilor “Pops” Barnes and members of the Muscogee County Jail Project Committee.

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CSU Worker Graduates in Building He Has Been Cleaning for Years

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Gary Freeman, 59, has been a custodian at Columbus State University for nine years. Recently promoted to a team leader, he is responsible for cleaning a variety of buildings around campus, including the Frank G. Lumpkin Center, home to CSU basketball games and other major events.

Friday night, the Lumpkin Center hosted a graduation ceremony for the College of Education and Health Professions. Gary was there on his usual shift until 1:30 a.m., cleaning up after a packed house.

Saturday, he was back in the Lumpkin Center.

But this time, he was there in a cap and gown, not his work uniform.

After working toward his degree one class at a time, when he had the time, Gary graduated on Saturday with a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a major in Management Information Systems.

“I consider it very special to graduate in the building that I have been cleaning for nine years,” he said shortly before walking across the stage and shaking the president’s hand.

Monday, he was back at work, proudly doing his rounds and humbly accepting hugs from co-workers. Still, he wanted to make sure his supervisor was OK with him taking a call on his cell phone about his degree since he was working.

He said it felt “great” to be a college graduate, and he was planning to send out resumes soon in the hopes of finding a job “in his field.”

“Gary is a great example to us all,” said Steve Morse, senior director of University Support Services, the division that encompasses custodial services at CSU. “Not only is he the kind of worker we want at CSU, he is a reminder of why we are all here at this university: to provide an environment where people can get a higher education that can improve their lives.”

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CSU and Albany Technical College Sign Articulation Agreement

ALBANY, Ga. – Columbus State University and Albany Technical College (ATC) signed an articulation agreement Monday, May 15, during a ceremony held on the ATC campus.

Academic programs in the new agreement include Accounting, Law Enforcement Technology, and Early Childhood Care and Education. ATC students in these programs would be eligible to transfer to CSU to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting, Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice, or Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd) in Early Childhood Education.

“We are excited to announce this agreement which begins a new era of opportunities for future CSU students from Albany Technical College on their journey to the next level of their education,” said CSU Interim Provost Tina Butcher. “We are committed to working with other educational institutions in the region to provide students with innovative programs to assist them in transitioning to a four-year institution and attaining degrees that prepare them for productive careers.”

Last fall, one Albany Tech associate degree graduate, Teraycia Lovett, continued her education at Columbus State. A Move On When Ready (MOWR) student from Dougherty High, Lovett earned her associate’s degree in electronics technology with a specialization in biomedical instrumentation. She is now a biology major at CSU and her career goal is to design prosthetics.

“This partnership signifies the strength of our institutions both in the Technical College System and the University System,” said Anthony O. Parker, president of Albany Technical College. “We look forward to the new partnership with Columbus State University.”

To be eligible for the transfer credit, ATC students must be in good academic standing and meet the appropriate admissions requirements to attend CSU.

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More than 1,000 Students Graduate During Ceremonies on Campus

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Students, families and friends of Columbus State University’s spring 2017 graduating class returned to campus over the weekend to celebrate during the institution’s 114th commencement ceremonies.

Commencement was moved back to the Frank G. Lumpkin Center and divided up by colleges to accommodate the growth of CSU’s graduating classes. CSU graduated more than 1,000 students on Friday and Saturday.

Among them was senior music education major Amy Melton, a third generation graduate of CSU’s Schwob School of Music. Melton’s mother, father and grandmother were all Schwob music education majors. Melton was CSU’s 2017 University System of Georgia (USG) Academic Recognition Day Award recipient, presented to the student who exemplifies outstanding academic achievement and success.

Melton celebrated her accomplishments on Saturday, May 13 at 3 p.m. with the rest of the graduates of the College of the Arts and CSU’s Turner College of Business. Students of CSU’s College of Education and Health Professions graduated Friday, May 12 at 5 p.m., and students of CSU’s College of Letters and Sciences graduated Saturday at 10 a.m.

College of Education and Health Professions | Friday, May 12, 5 p.m.

Col. (Retired) David Fivecoat delivered the keynote address to the graduates of CSU’s College of Education and Health Professions. During his 24 years of service in the Army, Fivecoat participated in contingency operations in Kosovo and Bosnia, three combat tours in Iraq, and a combat tour leading the 3rd Battalion,187 Infantry in Afghanistan. His final assignment was as the commander of Ranger School, the Army’s premier leadership school. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Military History from the United States Military Academy, a Master’s in Military Arts and Science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and a Master’s in National Security Strategy from the National War College. While in uniform, Fivecoat earned four Bronze Star medals, the Army Commendation Medal with V Device, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Ranger Tab and Master Parachutist wings.

College of Letters and Sciences | Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m.

City Manager Isaiah Hugley delivered the keynote address to the graduates of CSU’s College of Letters and Sciences. Hugley is a 1975 graduate of Spencer High School; a 1979 graduate of Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History/Pre Law; and a 1980 graduate of Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, where he received a Master’s of Public Policy and Public Administration. Hugley began his career at the Consolidated City/County Government as assistant director of the Department of Transportation/METRA in 1984. He was appointed director in 1988, deputy city manager in 1998, and city manager in 2005. Hugley is responsible for more than 3,000 employees and a budget of $270 million dollars. Isaiah is also an adjunct professor at CSU, where he teaches local government management.

College of the Arts and Turner College of Business | Saturday, May 13, 3 p.m.

CSU associate professor of marketing Edward O’Donnell delivered the keynote address to the graduates of CSU’s College of the Arts and Turner College of Business. O’Donnell has more than twelve years of program management and corporate turn-around experience in the aircraft and hydraulic industries. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Akron, where he also earned a Master’s of Accounting. He earned his Ph.D. in Marketing from Kent State University. O’Donnell was the recipient of CSU’s Faculty Research and Scholarship Award in 2011, the University System of Georgia Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching Award in 2013, CSU’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2014, and, most recently, was named CSU’s 2017 Educator of the Year.

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Columbus State University Takes Next Step to Help Homeless Students

COLUMBUS, Ga. — For many students, Columbus State University means studying, performing, researching and finding your way in the world. To others, such as Tearionia Miller, CSU means she finally has a home.

Miller, 20, enrolled at Columbus State University in 2015 as a first-year student, an aspiring artist, and a homeless youth. Before joining CSU, Miller and her mother were living in a homeless shelter. Before that, the pair resided in a friend’s two-bedroom trailer with six other occupants, mostly children; and, before that, they lived in a house without basic necessities.

“Where we lived, it had no lights, no water, no gas,” Miller explained. “It was just a shell.”

Then she came to CSU and met Lisa Shaw, director of CSU’s Academic Center for Excellence, students’ central resource for information on academic programs and student support services. With help from Shaw and a team of dedicated philanthropists from First Baptist Church Columbus, Miller found a place to live and work. She holds a steady work-study position in CSU’s Department of Art, and she is finishing her second year at CSU this month in pursuit of her Associates of Art.

Miller’s is not an isolated case. Homelessness impacts CSU and communities across the country. In Georgia, 37,791 homeless youth were enrolled in public schools in 2014-2015. Nationwide, the number of homeless students enrolled in public schools exceeded 1.2 million in 2014-2015. According to the Muscogee County School District’s website, 2.05% of enrolled students are homeless.

It was Miller’s story that spurred CSU to join Embark Georgia, a statewide network of postsecondary professionals and institutions that works to increase college access for fostered or homeless youth. Embark is a project based out of the JW Fanning Institute for Leadership Development at the University of Georgia.

To coincide with its new partnership, Columbus State University created a foundation account, aptly named “Embark,” to collect and distribute funds to current or aspiring CSU students living in transient situations. Funds will be used to purchase housing, food, clothing and other essential items so needy students may start or complete their degrees.

The account supports the network’s vision that: Any person who has experienced foster care and/or homelessness will have ample academic, financial, social, and emotional supports to access, navigate and complete a postsecondary education.

“These funds and donations not only help students finish their degrees, but they change lives, families’ lives, and potentially the lives of an entire community,” said Shaw, who has a background in social services.

Shaw was the first person Miller reached out to for help. Since the Embark account did not yet exist, Shaw worked with CSU’s Office of Financial Aid to secure more than $7,000 in scholarships, emergency funds and vouchers for Miller, which she used to purchase housing, a meal plan and textbooks.

CSU’s dedication to retention, progression and graduation has benefitted other students in need.

Delicia Wynn, a criminal justice major who graduated last December, was driving six hours daily from Valdosta to CSU and back to attend classes. CSU found $1,300 in emergency funds for temporary housing and a meal plan so Wynn could finish her last semester.

“All things are possible if you only believe,” said Wynn. “Ms. Lisa reached out to me after she heard the news, and she helped me in ways I couldn’t imagine. She was very encouraging and caring. As students, we all need that.”

“These students have the grit and the perseverance to finish their degrees,” said Shaw. “I’m cheering on the sidelines, giving them what they need to be successful.”

In addition to Embark, CSU has instituted the following programs or policies to help students in need complete their degrees:

— Student housing remains open during holiday breaks.
— CSU is one of three University System of Georgia partner institutions providing child care subsidies for undergraduates.”
— CSU has developed strong partnerships with community food and clothing banks so items are readily available for students.
— CSU faculty and staff are taught how to recognize students in need and recommend appropriate resources.

“Our campus resources are phenomenal,” said Shaw. “Many are willing to provide support quickly and effectively.”

Despite these campus resources, students in transient living situations are still in need of help, and many are unwilling to seek it to avoid being labeled “homeless.”

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, a federal law addressing the needs of homeless people, defines homeless children and youth as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.”

For Valarie Thompson, a CSU graduate currently pursuing her second degree in CSU’s Master of Public Administration program, “homeless” meant surfing her friends’ couches. For others, it means sleeping in a car.

“Homelessness does not have that someone-sleeping-in-the-street look,” said Thompson.

Thompson recently shared her story on Facebook after months of keeping friends and family in the dark.

“I didn’t want people to think I was a bad person,” she explained. “I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. I graduated in the top of my class in high school. I have a Bachelor of Arts in English, and I finished in four years – and, I am homeless.”

After years of struggling to find shelter for herself and her son, she is opening up to encourage other students to come forward and seek help.

“Don’t be ashamed,” she said. “You are not alone.”

Thompson plans to found a non-profit organization that provides financial and emotional support for children with craniofacial disorders when she graduates. She currently lives with her two-year-old son in an apartment that she rents from a CSU alumnus.

How to Donate

To donate to Embark, visit CSU’s online giving page. Under “Designate Your Gift,” use the drop-down menu to select “Embark Program.”

CSU employees may also give through one-time or recurring payroll deductions. For assistance, please contact Ashley Lee at 706 507 8945 or

If you are a homeless, transient or fostered student attending CSU or interested in attending CSU, please contact Lisa Shaw at 706-507-8787 or or visit for more information.

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Mixon’s Research Informed New California Law

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Research by Frank Mixon, professor of economics in Columbus State University’s Turner College of Business, was used in the creation of a new California law that protects students against bullying and mobbing, a group form of bullying.

The law mandates that universities and colleges in the California State University and University of California systems adopt and publish policies on harassment, intimidation and bullying in the rules and regulations governing student behavior, which, at a minimum, includes each campus’ website and any printed materials concerning student behavior.

By publishing policies on bullying, the California legislature is expecting they can be more easily practiced.

“This law will help if the policies that are published are followed,” said Mixon.


Mixon’s study, “An Economic Model of Workplace Mobbing in Academe,” published in 2012 in Economics of Education Review, examined the presence and implications of mobbing against a university professor by university administration. He used differential game theory to develop an economic model that predicts whether or not, or under what conditions, a faculty member might be forced to resign.

Mixon’s own experiences as a victim of mobbing at a former institution motivated the study, which he authored with João Ricardo Faria of the University of Texas at El Paso and Sean P. Salter of Middle Tennessee State University. After exposing a controversial administrative action, Mixon was saddled with an overly burdensome course schedule that included unnecessary travel to a campus more than 70 miles away. He was able to leave the institution quickly thanks to a curriculum vitae packed with current research that improved his career mobility. Others are not so lucky.

While Mixon’s research dealt exclusively with administration-on-faculty or faculty-on-faculty mobbing, his model can be easily adapted to understand student-on-student mobbing. His study was listed as a resource used to draft the California bill in 2015. The law (CA Educ Code § 66302) was approved last year, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Mixon is the director of the Center for Economic Education at CSU. He was recently recognized during CSU’s 2017 Faculty & Staff Recognition and Excellence Awards ceremony as the winner of CSU’s Teaching Excellence Award.

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CSU Holds Special Graduation Ceremony for Student-Athletes

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University held a special graduation ceremony Thursday afternoon for seven student-athletes who might not be able to participate in the university’s regular ceremonies because they will be competing in post-season tournaments.

CSU’s graduation ceremonies will be held on Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13. If things go as planned, CSU’s baseball team will be competing that weekend in their conference championship tournament, and CSU’s men’s and women’s tennis teams will be in Orlando in the NCAA Round of 16. It will be the Lady Cougars’ sixth straight appearance in the Round of 16 and the men’s first appearance since 2014.

When Director of Athletics Todd Reeser heard about the conflict, he and President Chris Markwood quickly huddled and found some free time this week when they could honor the student-athletes.

“This is a recognition of the ultimate of victories for these student-athletes,” Reeser said. “We did not want them to miss graduation. We wanted them to feel special.”

The ceremony was held in the Lumpkin Center, which will host CSU’s regular graduations later this month. The students wore caps and gowns and the graduation march music played from a nearby computer. The president and other senior administrators wore full academic regalia. They even had a commencement speaker: the 2016 Muscogee County School District Teacher of the Year, Stefan Lawrence. Lawrence is a two-time graduate of Columbus State University and used to be a starting guard on the CSU basketball team.

“We are so proud of our graduates and thankful you could be here today,” Markwood told the graduates, who were being watched by a room full of parents, coaches, friends and administrators. “One of the things I think is so special about graduation is that while it is an individual effort, it is also a team accomplishment. That is even more true today.”

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CSU’s Activ8 Summer Camps Voted Best by Muscogee Moms (and Dads)

COLUMBUS, Ga. — For the fourth time in five years, Columbus State University’s Activ8 Summer Camps were voted the best summer camp program in the 2017 Muscogee Moms Choice Awards.

Activ8 is listed as the “1st Choice” among local summer camps in the seventh annual Choice Awards sponsored by Muscogee Moms, a popular local guide for parents looking for family-friendly events and activities in Columbus, Phenix City, Fort Benning and Opelika. “2nd Choice” went to Brookstone Summer Campus. Camp Viking at St. Anne-Pacelli and Elite Dance Academy also were nominated.

“We are so proud to be voted Columbus’ number one summer camp,” said Susan Wirt, executive director of CSU’s Center for Continuing Education, which runs the Activ8 camps. “Activ8 is our way of encouraging younger community members to be lifelong learners. It’s all hands-on engagement and so much fun that campers don’t even know they are learning. Of course, our plan all along is to bring them to campus, get them excited about CSU, and plant the seed that ‘going to college’ is a great thing to do.”

Activ8 Summer Camps, for children ages 4-18, offer a variety of programs that encourage kids to have fun while learning about technology, mathematics, art, sports, dance, sewing and more. Programs are taught on campus and at CSU’s outreach centers, including the Coca-Cola Space Science Center and Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, and with the Columbus Regional Math Collaborative and the Schwob School of Music. Baseball, basketball, cheerleading, dance, golf, soccer, softball and tennis camps are offered in partnership with CSU Athletics.

Camps begin May 30 and run through August 4, usually from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Before Care (7-9 a.m.) and After Care (4-6 p.m.) are offered on CSU’s main campus to accommodate the schedules of working parents.

For more information, visit or contact Samantha Gurski at 706-507-8365 or

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CSU Names Mark Lott as University Police Chief

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University officials announced Monday that Mark Lott has been named CSU’s new police chief, a position he has held on an interim basis since last fall.

Lott has served as assistant chief with the Columbus State University Police Department since 2006. His experience, expertise, service to CSU, and the respect he has garnered within the department and across campus made it easy to appoint Lott to the chief’s position, said Gina Sheeks, CSU’s vice president for student affairs.

“Mark Lott has been preparing for this role since he stepped onto CSU’s campus,” said Sheeks, who serves as Lott’s supervisor. “After extensive conversations within the department, across campus and at the system level, it was clear Mark is the right person for this important role at CSU.”

Lott oversees a department that currently employees 24 sworn officers and 10 security personnel. He’s ultimately responsible for the safety of about 8,400 students, 800 employees, countless visitors and several off-campus outreach learning centers.

“Chief Lott is well respected in Columbus and throughout the state,” said CSU President Chris Markwood. “He understands that the safety of our campus and the CSU family is of the utmost importance.”

Lott is a 30-year law enforcement veteran with municipal, county and campus experience. Before coming to CSU in 2006, he was an investigator at the Troup County Sheriff’s Office and a deputy marshal with the Muscogee County Marshal’s Office. His previous campus policing experience includes stints at the University of Louisville and the University of Maryland at Baltimore.

He holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and a Master of Public Administration, both from Columbus State University. He also has earned his FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Certification and Command College Certification. Lott serves as an instructor at the regional police academy, with the Columbus Office of Homeland Security, at the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College and as an adjunct faculty member for CSU’s Department of Criminal Justice.

Lott has an extensive training record, including in areas such as crisis intervention, community policing, executive protection, police use of force, and homeland security.

“I am extremely excited about this opportunity,” Lott said. “I will continue to build on partnerships with the university and Columbus community, and I look forward to forging even stronger relationships between our department and CSU students, faculty and staff.”

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NASA Visits Columbus for First-Ever Community Day

COLUMBUS, Ga. — More than a dozen guests from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) took over Columbus on Saturday, May 6 for “Columbus Goes to Mars,” a free, community-wide event aimed at exploring science, space and careers at NASA.

Guests met NASA experts from America’s spaceport, participated in hands-on activities, and learned about the vast variety of careers available at NASA and in the STEAM fields (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics). This event marked the first time NASA’s Kennedy Space Center delivered their community day program outside of their home town of Titusville, Fla.

“The NASA/KSC team was 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.

Some of the NASA guests in attendance were:

— Joshua Santora, KSC program specialist
— Rex Engelhardt, launch services program mission manager
— Lois Kim, visual strategist at JPL
— Lesley Fletcher, KSC deputy education chief
— Kevin Villa, system safety engineer
— Weiping Yu, engineer and physicist
— Jonathan J. Serrano Otero, aerospace technologist

Presentations and activities were stationed at three local “launch” sites: CSU’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center, the National Infantry Museum, and the Columbus Museum, throughout the day. 

“We were 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 was excited about the multiple speakers talking about careers in STEM-related fields, science demonstrations, and fun educational activities this event brought to Columbus.”

Some of those educational activities included:

— 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

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Spring Swing Benefits CSU Dance Program

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University welcomed dance enthusiasts to Woodruff Park for an evening under the stars, complete with live music, food, beverages and lots of loose feet.

The second annual Spring Swing benefitting CSU’s dance minor program was held Saturday, April 29. All proceeds earned go directly to the university’s rapidly growing dance program, which now enrolls more than 150 students. The program is housed under CSU’s Department of Theatre in the College of the Arts.

Music was provided by The Shimmer Band, Atlanta’s premiere powerhouse show band. Dancers of all skill levels over the age of 16 were in attendance, and couples entered a dance contest for prizes.

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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.

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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 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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