Exercise Science Major Accepted into OT Master’s Program

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Diamond Evita Rashad, a junior exercise major from Columbus State University, has been notified of her acceptance into a Georgia Regents University health sciences program.

Rashad, originally from Savannah and a graduate of the Savannah Arts Academy, plans to pursue a Master of Health Science in Occupational Therapy at GRU. Currently a student in CSU’s Honors College, Rashad is also active in Enactus, Residence Life and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority’s Eta Iota chapter.

Rashad, who expects to enroll in the Augusta-based GRU next fall, plans to complete the six-semester OT master’s program in 2016, later pursuing a doctorate.

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Student Engagement Director Selected for Journal Editorial Board

McElveen_KimberlyCOLUMBUS, Ga. — Kimberly McElveen, senior director for student engagement at Columbus State University, has been selected to serve on the editorial board for the National Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice.

The journal is a publication of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, which was originally the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

McElveen, a South Carolina native, has been at Columbus State since 2007.

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CSU Earth and Space Sciences Students Present Research

A group of CSU Earth and Space Sciences faculty and undergraduate and graduate students recently presented the results of their research projects at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Section of the Geological Society of America in Blacksburg, Va.

The Geological Society of America is one of the largest professional geology societies in the world, and the annual meeting of the Southeastern Section attracts several hundred researchers each year. CSU had nine students and two faculty at the meeting, with undergraduate presentations by:

  • Jeannie Patrick: “Effective Use of a Low-cost Spiral Panning Machine for Zircon Separation”
  • Salvador Espinosa, Rylleigh Harstad and Ridge Smenner: “Mapping and Structural Analysis across Emuckfaw Group – Wedowee Group Contacts in the Eastern Blue Ridge of Alabama”
  • Salvador Espinosa (with co-author and CSU alumnus Austin Sagul): “Refining the Age, Petrology and Tectonic Setting of Paleozoic Plutons in the Eastern Blue Ridge of Alabama”

… and graduate student presentations by:

  • Daniel Black (with coauthor and CSU alumus Don Osborne): “Long-lived Upper Cretaceous Paleodrainage System in the U.S. Southwestern Georgia – Southeastern Alabama Region”
  • Chris Stanford: “Macro-Charcoal Analysis of Sediment Cores to Determine Fire Use Among Historic and Prehistoric Cultures, Chattahoochee River Valley, Eastern Alabama”

Links to all the presentations can be found at https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2014SE/webprogram/.

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CSU President Co-Authors Entrepreneurship Book’s Update

COLUMBUS, Ga.Columbus State University President Tim Mescon shares his breadth of knowledge about running a business in a recently published new edition of the book, Entrepreneurship Venture Initiation, Management, and Development.

Tim Mescon

Tim Mescon

The 472-page book, which represents a significant update from the 2008 first edition, is written in a detailed sequential form, taking entrepreneurs through the process of starting a venture through managing it and then on to developing it further. Within the text are tools designed to  enhance the student’s learning experience.

Published by M.E. Sharpe Inc. of London, the second edition’s co-authors with Mescon are George S. Vozikis, retired Reighard Chair of Management at  California State University-Fresno); Howard D. Feldman, executive director of the Executive MBA in Nonprofit Management Program at the Pamplin School of Business at the University of Portland; and newcomer Eric W. Liguori, assistant professor in the Craig School of Business at Fresno State University. Vozikis and Feldman worked with Mescon on the book’s first edition, which was published by Kennesaw State University Press.

The book can be purchased online from M.E. Sharpe and other vendors.

Before arriving at Columbus State in 2008, Mescon was dean for 18 years at the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw Wtate University, holding the Tony and Jack Dinos Eminent Scholar Chair of Entrepreneurship. He’s the co-author of four books.

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Sociology Professor Honored at CSU Diversity Conference

Dr. WakokoCOLUMBUS, Ga. — Florence Wakoko, an associate professor of sociology at Columbus State University, was presented with the inaugural Diversity Award during the recent third annual Conference on Diversity co-sponsored by CSU and the Columbus Mayor’s Commission on Unity, Diversity and Prosperity.

As outgoing chair of CSU’s Faculty Senate Committee on Diversity, Wakoko has watched the diversity conference grow steadily over the past three years, and she’s chiefly responsible for that, other organizers said.

“In the past ten years, CSU has made reasonable progress in recruiting minority students and notably African American students,” Wakoko said after the March 20 conference at CSU’s Cunningham Center. “Diversity initiatives and other scholarly endeavors that the university has taken on are great initiatives contributing to the success of these students.”

The theme of this year’s conference was “The Dream Lives: A Wake-Up Call; Perpetuating the Dream in a Climate of Haves and Have Nots.” Attended by more than 150 students, faculty and community leaders, the conference explored issues and obstacles facing Americans seeking equality in such areas as education and the justice system in pursuit of the American dream.

Among highlights were remarks by David Lewis, the new Muscogee County School District superintendent, who focused on poverty, equal opportunity and schooling, and his plans for revitalizing the Muscogee County school system.

Francys Johnson, president of the Georgia NAACP, spoke about stemming the increase in gun violence and legal reforms needed to resist the undermining of equal access to voting. He said efforts need to be stepped up to reduce high rates of minority incarceration, beginning with the problems associated with in-school suspension — particularly for African-American males.

Also participating in the event were historian Judy Purnell, a retired CSU professor; Nick Easton, CSU assistant professor of political science; Paula Adams, associate professor and head of user services for CSU Libraries, as well as chairman-elect of CSU’s Senate Committee on Diversity; attorney Barry Debrow; and Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.

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Columbus State Hosts Education Faculty from Throughout Georgia


CSU’s Sallie A. Miller, standing, works with Carla Tanguay, left, of Georgia State, and Tracy Elder, of the University of Georgia, on March 7.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Top Columbus State University education faculty hosted 15 of their colleagues from seven Georgia universities recently to discuss upcoming changes in teacher education requirements.

The March 7 event that brought together the education faculty responsible at their schools for assessment — making sure students meet those requirements — was organized and led by Barbara C. Buckner, dean of CSU’s College of Education and Health Professions, and Sallie A. Miller, associate dean for assessment and accreditation.

Participants are part of a task force currently working to align Georgia-mandated teacher assessments to national standards. The assessment directors also discussed and documented issues related to the three-year induction process that graduates must successfully complete to receive their professional teaching certificates.

The task force is expected to issue a full report of its findings.

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Updated: Columbus State Professor Shares Views on PBS’ `Secrets of the Dead’

church_warren1[Note update at end]

COLUMBUS, Ga. — A Columbus State University professor of anthropology and archaeology will offer his expertise in the form of commentary for an episode of the PBS series “Secrets of the Dead” airing at 10 p.m. Wednesday, April 2.

Warren Church, whose anthropology program is part of CSU’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences, said his contribution to the PBS series episode titled “Carthage’s Lost Warriors” was filmed last June in a New York City hotel room.

Wednesday’s episode explores the theory of German professor Hans Giffhorn that Carthaginians crossed the Atlantic 1,500 years before Christopher Columbus, landing first in South America. Giffhorn told Church that the CSU professor’s comments were included in the episode, which has already aired in Germany.

“It may be a brief appearance as I was clearly not on board with the show’s premise,” Church said.

Since joining Columbus State’s faculty in 1999, Church has conducted extensive research into the ancient Chachapoya people of the northern Andes in Peru. His research was featured in a June 2004 issue of National Geographic magazine. Since 2002, he’s also offered similar commentary for two History Channel specials and one for the National Geographic Channel, serving as an archaeological consultant for a BBC special.

Church holds anthropology degrees from Yale University and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Church said he didn’t have much information about the PBS episode, “but the trailer cover looks like something from Season 2 of Game of Thrones.”

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Update (Wednesday, April 2, 11:05 a.m.): Dr. Church was later made aware of a new trailer for tonight’s episode that happens to reference his nearly 25 years of research in the Andes and offers a snippet of his interview for the “Secrets of the Dead” episode. He said there’s growing consensus among archaeologists that the Kuelap people referenced in the trailer and the Chachapoya, who he has studied more extensively, “represent a culmination of 10,000 years of local indigenous cultural development in the Andes prior to back-to-back conquests by the Inca, followed by Spain.” Ninety percent of the population was apparently wiped out by conflict and disease, he said.

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Nursing Faculty Present at Georgia Association for Nursing Education Conference

School of Nursing faculty presented at the Georgia Association for Nursing Education conference this past weekend at Lake Lanier Islands Resort.  The presenters and their topics were:
  • Tammy Condrey and Dell Miller. Promoting Professionalism Utilizing Leadership University.
  • Sally Richter, Brittany Grissette, Elizabeth Frander and Lisa O’Steen. Birthing Babies Together: An Interdisciplinary Education Project.
  • Dona Ferguson. The Reciprocal Role: Faculty Fostering Student Creativity.
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CSU Professor’s Book Aims to Improve Economics Teaching


Dr. Franklin Mixon

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Even though he teaches economics, Columbus State University professor Franklin Mixon knows it’s a subject that most college students don’t embrace immediately.

His just-published book, “New Developments in Economic Education,” aims to help combat that problem.

Students “may or may not realize how important (economics) is to them right now at 18, 19 years old,” said Mixon, a professor in the Department of Accounting and Finance in CSU’s Turner College of Business. “It might just be a boring class to them at this point. (Essays in the book) offer unique ways of teaching economics.”

For example, one of the book’s contributors uses a Charles Dickens novel, “Bleak House,” as a setting to discuss entrepreneurship.

“Several of them use famous literature — Dickens and other people,” Mixon said. “They provide examples of where, in novels that famous writers have written, you can pick up things to teach economics with.”

Mixon teamed up with Richard J. Cebula, professor of finance at Jacksonville University in Florida, to edit the collection of 19 essays by nearly 30 economics professors from across the nation. Published by Edward Elgar Publishing, the 288-page book will be released in March.

Each of the book’s essays address a topic in teaching economics, with the overall goal of deepening students’ understanding of economic reasoning and providing tools to apply that knowledge and insight to real-world problems. Contributors discuss a broad range of techniques and strategies, from syllabus creation to effective classroom demonstrations to the use of literature and film in illustrating economic principles.

“It’s all about trying to reach today’s students,” Mixon said. “You have to try to dig around a little bit more than you did in the past just to maintain their interest — especially in a subject like economics.”

Mixon, who joined Columbus State in 2010, spent more than a year working on the book. “It was enjoyable to do,” he said. “I’ll do this again in the future.”

Mixon said he’s always on the lookout for ideas to help make economics easier to understand and more relevant to students. He’s previously published articles about how teachers can use movies, YouTube clips, books and sports to help students better understand economics.

“I’m always thinking that way when I’m watching television or movies,” he said. “If there’s any kind of economic content that I can write up and make interesting, I’m always on the hunt for that sort of stuff.”

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CSU Math Professor Publishes Scholarly Statistics Research

Dr. Madhu Bhandary

Dr. Madhu Bhandary

COLUMBUS, Ga. — A Columbus State University mathematics professor, Madhusudan Bhandary, has had two more articles accepted for publication in scholarly journals focusing on statistics.

These two articles bring to 27 the number of papers that Bhandary has had published in scholarly journals since joining CSU in 2006. He expects one article, “On confidence interval of a common autocorrelation coefficient for two populations in multivariate data when the errors are autocorrelated,” to be published later this year by the Journal of Statistics and Management Systems.

“Weather patterns throughout the year change month by month, and there is autocorrelation of the weather patterns from one month to the next month,” Bhandary said, referring to the mathematical tool for detecting repeating patterns.

That article deals with a method Bhandary has developed for determining the reliability of an estimate.

Also to be published this year, in the Journal of Modern Applied Statistical Methods, is Bhandary’s article titled “An alternative test for the equality of intraclass correlation coefficients under unequal family sizes for several populations.”

Intraclass correlation is a descriptive statistic that indicates how strongly units in the same group resemble each other. The intraclass correlation coefficient could help public health researchers correct for families of varying sizes in tracking health indicators such as blood pressure or cholesterol, Bhandary said.

He previously served on the faculty of North Dakota State University, the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta and the University of Wisconsin. He earned his Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Bhandary’s background has made him an expert in multivariate statistics, which encompasses simultaneous observation and analysis of multiple variables. His research often focuses on statistical applications related to signal processing, which is a major component of electrical engineering. Bhandary has also applied multivariate methodologies and analyses to research in such varied fields as medicine, management and education.

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Columbus State Professors Present at Washington Seminar on Korea

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Three Columbus State University professors will be special guests in Washington, D.C. next week as featured participants in a panel discussion toward North Korea-South Korea unification.

Korea expert Tom Dolan, chair of CSU’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration, will be joined by Kyle Christensen, an assistant professor in the department and director of CSU’s Social Research Center, and Kimberly Gill, also an assistant professor there and director of CSU’s Master of Public Administration program.

They will be featured speakers on Feb. 13 in a panel discussion at the Korea Economic Institute, a not-for-profit, educational organization affiliated with a Seoul research institute. Their presentation and discussion will focus on “South Korean Attitudes Toward the U.S. Rebalance to Asia and Korean Unification.”  The event will be live-streamed on the KEI website (keia.org) and may viewed online afterward.

The CSU faculty will take part in KEI’s Academic Paper Series program, where two reports will be presented, deliberated, and compared. First, Karl Friedhoff of the Asian Institute for Policy Studies will discuss his paper on the same topic. The CSU group will then share their latest research, which resulted from Dr. Dolan’s field work in South Korea and North Korea in 2012.

In 2012, Dolan visited South Korea to do public opinion research in the cities of Seoul, Incheon and Busan regarding unification. Because the surveys were written in Korean, translating and sorting the data took more time than usual.  “It was focused on attitudes South Koreans have on unification,” Dolan said. “About what they think the obstacles to unification are and particularly seeing if people of different ages have different opinions on it.”

Their paper will be distributed internationally to about 5,000 Korean policy followers, as well as the international audience expected to attend the panel discussion.

Dolan has worked with the KEI for almost five years. KEI’s president during Dolan’s initial visit was Ambassador Charles L. “Jack” Pritchard, former special envoy for negotiations with North Korea. Pritchard came to Columbus in September 2009 as the keynote speaker for CSU’s Hallock Lecture Series. Later, KEI’s academic director, Nicole Finnemann, helped Dolan with a 2010 course he was teaching on North Korea and the Six-Party Talks related to North Korea’s nuclear program.

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CSU Conducting Professor Creates Multimedia Textbook

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University’s Paul Hostetter is hoping instructors and students get a lot of mileage out of the hybrid textbook on orchestral conducting that he has authored.

The textbook, “OnMusic Conducting: Connect to the Sound,” is being published as a multimedia, online course guide by Connect4Education, which produces similar instructional material for the Web. The introductory course provides comprehensive training for conductors, using both face-to-face instruction and enhanced technological resources. As a hybrid text, materials appear online but can also be taught in the classroom. It’s written for college and university classes, but also — for the more ambitious — use in high schools.

“To my knowledge, it’s the first hybrid text of its kind,” said Hostetter, the Ethel Foley Distinguished Chair in Orchestral Activities for Columbus State’s Schwob School of Music.

The book is a long time coming for Hostetter. He spent last summer developing the course, although it actually had been on his mind for more than a decade because all textbooks he’d been using over the years had, in Hostetter’s eyes, a variety of limitations.

Hostetter said his greatest frustration before developing the course was his inability to deliver videos to students as part of an integrated approach. He’s solved that, he thinks, with his new multimedia course’s online portal.

“What we do is have them conduct compact arrangements of band, orchestral and choral repertoire,” Hostetter said. “While conducting, students are videotaped and then subsequently are able to view their work in a progressive format with slow motion and telestrators, much like what an Olympic athlete might use. This helps students focus more on making adjustments in their conducting technique rather than deal with other labor-intensive video delivery options.

“It’s very difficult for them to make adjustments in a highly visual medium unless they can review their work in detail,” he said. “This one element creates a seamless experience.”

Hostetter remembered — while teaching a music appreciation course for CSU — that he’d been using Connect4Education’s multimedia capabilities, which he was pleased with, also receiving positive feedback from students.

Because a branch of C4E has a Department of Defense contract for online training at Fort Benning, company CEO Dongsook Kim, on a visit to Columbus, wanted to meet Hostetter and thank him personally for his comments regarding the music appreciation course. Hostetter then pitched his concept for a hybrid course and asked if the company would be interested.

“She said, ‘Absolutely. We’d be interested,’” Hostetter said. He spent a day hammering out teaching specifics and the tools needed with Carlos Maldonado, C4E’s chief learning architect. One such tool would be one they developed called Acclaim, which allows uploading from any video format.

“It has slow-motion capabilities and arrows to point to people’s wrists, neck, shoulders or their face — to show them whatever it is you want them to correct,” he said. “This new tool is a really great solution in the effort to help students incorporate significant change in their physical delivery.”

Hostetter, then commissioned to author the text over a six-month period, went through the process of gathering and assembling all the information he’d accumulated throughout his academic and professional careers.

“There are many elements I’ve been thinking about for well over 10 years,” Hostetter said. “Things like left hand-right hand independence — something with which most conductors struggle. Score reading. Preparation. I think there are new ways to approach each that help students digest information more readily.”

Students have multiple opportunities to quiz themselves and review their work before participating in a graded event.

Hostetter used his fall conducting class  to test his text and has seen “excellent results.” Additionally, he’s shown it to colleagues and friends from various universities, conductors at the Pittsburgh and Spokane, Wash., symphonies and other professionals.

“People from all walks of academic and professional life have been reviewing the course, and the reviews have been extremely positive,” Hostetter said.

The textbook  became officially available in January, but he added that he feels most textbook adoptions are going to occur next fall.

“A nice thing about a hybrid text is when you publish it, you don’t have to wait a couple of years before you publish again,” Hostetter said.

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CSU Professor Recognized for Research on PIO-Journalist Relationships

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Christopher McCollough, a Columbus State University assistant professor of communication, has won recognition as author of the top 2014 paper in the Public Relations Division of one of the nation’s largest regional communication groups, the Southern States Communication Association.

McCollough, who joined CSU’s faculty in 2012, will present his Top Paper in Public Relations, “State Government Media Relations: Revisiting the “Adversarial” PIO-Journalist Relationship,” at the annual SSCA conference in New Orleans in April.

McCollough’s paper focuses on the working relationship between journalists and public information officers representing state agencies in three states, characteristics of agency PIOs that affect those relationships and strategies PIOs can employ to improve those relationships. McCollough conducted about 20 extensive interviews, divided almost evenly among PIOs and journalists, in researching the topic. The paper was part of a study that included 60 such interviews and three months of observation at 10 agencies within three states’ governments, which was the basis of research that led to his Ph.D. in mass communication and public affairs from Louisiana State University.

McCollough earned both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in communication from Virginia Tech. At CSU, McCollough helps coordinate the curriculum in CSU’s public relations degree concentration.

CSU’s Department of Communication, based in Carpenters Hall on CSU’s RiverPark campus, also offers conventional Bachelor of Arts degree tracks in mass media and communication studies, as well as an online three-year B.A. in communication with a civic leadership focus.

Founded in 1930, Southern States is one of the nation’s oldest communication associations, with 743 current members, mostly faculty at colleges and universities, conducting research in 21 divisions and interest groups.

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Competitions at CSU to Showcase Local Science Skills

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University’s Math and Science Learning Center is staging a pair of upcoming annual competitions that showcase the science skills of area students.

About 140 middle and high school students will compete in the Feb. 8-9 Columbus Regional Science Fair. Judging takes place 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, and the public is welcome to view entries, plus results, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday in the Elizabeth Bradley Turner Center. 

Separately, the Science Olympiad Regional Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 12 will involve teams from 10 middle schools competing to advance to the tournament’s state, then national finals. Columbus State professors and students will supervise 23 competitions from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. around main campus. The projects will involve biology, computers, chemistry and physics. A 4 p.m. awards ceremony in the Davidson Student Center auditorium will close the event.

While the Science Olympiad involves competitors conducting and demonstrating experiments, the science fair is an opportunity for students to display the results of completed research, through which they are directed to isolate problems and solve them within the framework of organized, logical thought and study. 

Science fair projects cover biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, medicine and physics. Judges will include CSU professors. Winners will be eligible to compete in the 63rd annual Georgia Science and Engineering Fair from March 31-April 2 in Athens.

Fair co-sponsors are CSU’s Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Muscogee County School District, Lance Inc., Casio Education, ETA/Cuisenaire, Ward’s Natural Science and Science Kit and Boreal Laboratories, Texas Instruments and Bayer MaterialScience.

For more information about the fair, contact learning center director Kimberly Shaw at 706-507-8460 or shaw_kimberly@ColumbusState.edu.

For more information on the Science Olympiad, also co-sponsored by Bayer MaterialScience, contact Jill Carroll at 706-565-7874 or carroll_jill@ColumbusState.edu or go to http://scienceolympiad.colstate.edu/.

CSU’s Math and Science Learning Center, http://mslc.colstate.edu/, is a community resource dedicated to enhancing the learning of math and science through curriculum development and best-practices training for college faculty as well as in-service and pre-service K-12 teachers. The center, located in University Hall,  also provides student tutoring and tutor training and seeks to support learning at all age levels.

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Notable Accomplishments, Activities of CSU Students, Faculty, Staff

Schwob School of Music freshman pianist Liliya Ugay of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is the Southern Division winner in the Music Teachers National Association Composition Competition in the Young Artist category. Ugay, a Woodruff Award recipient, studies piano with Alex Kobrin, CSU’s L. Rexford Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano, and composition with professor Fred Cohen. Her winning composition is under consideration for its category’s national award, which will be announced in mid February.

Senior accounting major Stephanie Parrish and senior nursing major Kate Walton have been selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of Women’s 2010 Scholar All-America Soccer Team. The CSU pair are part of the NSCA/Performance Subaru Women’s NCAA College Division Third Team, comprised of teams from Division II, Division III and NAIA. Parrish, from Lawrenceville, Ga., recorded 33 points on 13 goals and seven assists, and also was a Daktronics All-Southeast Region, NSCAA All-Region and All-Peach Belt Conference First Team Honoree. Walton, from Stone Mountain, Ga., this season registered 17 points on five goals and seven assists including three assists in a 5-0 win over North Georgia. The Lady Cougars ended the 2010 season with a 19-2-1 mark and reached the NCAA Tournament.

Army Reserve Specialist Allison Hubbart, a junior theatre major, received a 2010 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Army Reserve Components Achievement Award. The award recognizes enlisted soldiers from the Army Reserve in Georgia-based units and the Georgia Army National Guard for exemplary conduct, exemplary drills and training attendance, and leadership instructional ability. Hubbart, also a chaplain’s assistant, joined the Army in 2005, inspired by her brother’s 2003 deployment to Iraq as a U.S. Marine, the AJC reported.

Assistant Professor of History John Ellisor’s The Second Creek War: Interethnic Conflict and Collusion on a Collapsing Frontier has been published by the University of Nebraska Press. Ellisor’s book demonstrates how the federal government’s 1836 relocation of Creek Indians from present-day Alabama to Oklahoma transcended what’s been commonly regarded as a “minor police action.” The work was the subject of Ellisor’s Jan. 18 lecture and book-signing at the Columbus Public Library.

Interim Associate Provost and political science professor Greg Domin has been elected president of the Georgia Political Science Association for 2011. He also participated on a panel entitled Challenges and Opportunities for Mentoring Undergraduate Research: A Faculty Roundtable at the Jan. 6-8 Southern Political Science Association’s annual conference in New Orleans.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Joseph Rugutt presented a research poster during the Dec. 1-4 American Chemical Society Conference in New Orleans. The work was titled “Nobel Chemistry in Undergraduate Laboratory: Guided Inquiry Synthesis of Novel Crystalline Monomers for Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization Reactions.”

The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, an honor society recognizing high-achieving freshmen and sophomores, has inducted 31 CSU students with a 3.4 or higher GPA and a top 20 percent class ranking. The induction ceremony was held in CSU’s International House. Among the CSU inductees, NSCS CSU-chapter officers are President Claire Cho; Executive Vice President Brittany Butler, Secretary-Treasurer Catherine Powers, Vice President for Community Service Michael Anderson and Vice President of Public Relations Melita Boykin. English professor Carmen Skaggs is the chapter advisor. In a recent community service project, CSU chapter members participated in the regional initiative Operation Fluffy Pillow, collecting sheets, blankets, pillows, and towels for single, junior-enlisted soldiers returning from service overseas.

Gamma Lambda, Columbus State’s 40-member student chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association and Lambda Alpha Epsilon, this fall hosted the LAE Region 5 Conference at the Doubletree Hotel in Columbus. About 100 students from around the Southeast participated in academic testing, crime scene investigation, firearms shooting and physical agility. As hosts, the CSU students were not eligible to participate in the academic or CSI competitions. However, the following Gamma Lambda members, who trained with the International Marksmanship Team at Fort Benning, excelled in the firearms and physical agility events:
Laquita Williams – Physical Agility (36 and older), first
Freddie Connor – Physical Agility (26-35), first
Nick Simmons – Physical Agility (26-35), third
Kim Mahan, Beth White and Bryan Reynolds – Firearms (team), second
Jonathan Knight – Firearms (individual/professional), second
Bryan Reynolds – Firearms (individual/upper division), third, and Physical Agility (25 and younger), second

Marlena Mobley, Residence Life coordinator for Courtyard II, has received the Contribution to Campus Award from the Georgia Residence Hall Organization. The organization also named Residence Life graduate assistant Lindsey Saef as Graduate Student of the Year.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi selected Student Affairs Specialist Bernard McCrary for a $500 Love of Learning Award based on academic and related professional performance. McCrary developed CSU’s Projecting Hope program in conjunction with the University System of Georgia Board of Regents African-American Male Initiative.

CSU Continuing Education’s Activ8 program has been voted the best summer camp by local parents and caregivers in the 2011 Mom’s Choice Awards. The awards, covering service and goods providers for children ranging from health care to retail, are organized and presented by Muscogee Moms, a family resource organization serving the Chattahoochee Valley. Activ8 also has earned the 2009 Georgia Adult Education Association Outstanding Innovative Programming Award. For more information, go to http://www.activ8er.com/.

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Harvesting Opportunity: Undergraduates, Professors See More Chances for Research

Note: This article was originally published in the fall 2010 issue of Focus, Columbus State’s twice-a-year magazine.

By Greg Muraski

Studying animal specimens in a LeNoir Hall lab has frequently connected Akeeta Harris to her earliest memories of growing up on Chicago’s south side.

Her science teacher-grandfather’s “quirky activities,” such as freezing dead pet birds and fish and keeping small animals in jars, fascinated and inspired her. “By age 6, I was conducting science experiments and presenting them on tri-fold boards,” said the senior biology major.

Though a high-achiever in science through middle grades and high school, Harris said her college choice had little to do with academics. “I chose CSU simply for a change of scenery, along with persuasion from a friend from home who was here as a criminal justice major.”

Four years later, Harris is now reaping the benefits of that decision. After an admittedly slow start, she has excelled in taking advantage of high-level opportunities resulting from Columbus State’s growing commitment to stronger undergraduate research across disciplines.

Students, as well as professors, are mining external funding sources and newly conceived internal opportunities. Chemistry professor Joseph Rugutt has acquired National Science Foundation grants to support multiple projects, including a spring 2010 organic chemistry study through which Harris synthesized chalcones, an agent regarded as a potential breakthrough source in cancer research and the treatment of chronic illnesses.

Rugutt leveraged the project into an NSF-funded summer 2010 internship at the University of Illinois, where Harris studied gold nanoparticles as a means to detect mercury in drinking water.

Such lab experiences whetted Harris’ hunger for graduate study

in either of two fields. “As a biochemist, I want to continue experimenting with biosensors toward better detecting and treating environmental toxins and diseases like diabetes and HIV,” she said. “In public health, I want to improve my community by developing programs to promote health awareness and encourage minority youth to go to college.”

Harris’ aspiration reflects a recent statement on the national Council on Undergraduate Research website: “Shifting the current structure of the undergraduate experience could not only alter traditional ways of doing research, but also could help resolve the broken pipeline of scientists, promote the next generation of entrepreneurs and support a science-literate society.”

That shift is transpiring across CSU, thanks in part to the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity Grant Program

initiated in fall 2009 by CSU’s Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. In its initial year, the program yielded 42 grants of up to $300 each, which subsidized material and travel expenses.

Tower Day

Grant recipients also presented their faculty-supervised work among 177 undergrads and 87 projects presented as part of CSU’s inaugural Tower Day last April.

Faculty judges cited top entries ranging from physics to film history and English literature, demonstrating quality across disciplines.

Computer science professor Shamim Khan, who chairs CSU’s undergraduate research grant program, said momentum from Tower Day 2010 has increased the demand for, and availability of, awards being distributed this year.

Subsequently, math education professor Cindy Henning, who directs CSU’s Honors Program and Tower Day, plans to accommodate 250

participants for the second event,

set for April 12. She said the event — encompassing service learning project displays, musical performances, chemistry demonstrations and interactive art displays — proved to be a catalyst for students. “They worked very hard on their projects throughout the semester and took pride in the opportunity to display their results.”

Such pride tends to translate to academic self-confidence, said mathematics professor and former Provost Inessa Levi, who initiated the research grant program. “According to recent research, students who complete undergraduate research and creative activity projects with faculty are more likely to attend graduate or professional school and develop new, increased personal expectations about getting doctoral degrees,” she said. “This data is supportive of enhancing our student retention and graduation rates and empowering individual

students with marketable skills that are impressive to top employers and graduate schools.”

‘Faces of Andros’

The enterprising spirit among students played out in a spring 2010 study abroad trip to the Bahamas, where undergrads parlayed the trip’s base a study of diabetes on Andros Island to concurrent projects of personal interest.

Theatre major Melora Slotnik interviewed diabetes patients and recreated their stories in monologues, recorded by other CSU theatre students and presented as “Faces of Andros” at Tower Day with a slide show of images from the weeklong island study.

Meanwhile, chemistry/pre-dental major Eunhye “Claire” Cho, who participated in the monologue project, also conducted a parallel study on dental care. She documented a system in which island inhabitants typically have three opportunities per year to endure long lines to see a dentist, either visiting from Nassau or as part of a mission from the United States.

Biology professor Katey Hughes, who directed the trip, said Cho efficiently and resourcefully paralleled the main study, through which the group experienced a health care system based on nurse-operated clinics with scant resources. “They witnessed how incredibly resourceful, knowledgeable and proactive these nurses have to be in order to provide adequate care for a society whose only exposure to physicians is limited to visits from U.S.-based medical missions and periodic doctor visits from Nassau.”

Cho said the trip provided new insight in approaching, and communicating with people of different lifestyles and beliefs. “The projects transformed me as a scholar,” she said. “Despite the size of Andros, I experienced different cultures with varied histories and beliefs concerning medicine, based primarily on brewing bush teas from various local plants.”

New Urbanism

During a recent geography field study, Meredith Duke collected data at Seaside, Fla., for an independent undergraduate research project on “new urbanism” — a landscape architectural movement originating at Seaside, established about 30 years ago, and best-known as the setting for the 1998 film The Truman Show.

“Meredith is analyzing the changes in resort new urbanism over the last 30 years by looking at the way space has been used in three Florida panhandle communities: Seaside (1980s), Rosemary Beach (1990s), and Alys Beach (2000s),” said geography professor Amanda Rees, who organized the Florida trip with colleague Tim Hawthorne. “She’ll be asking what each development can tell us about the shifts in new urban thinking. This is something that I don’t think anyone else has explored, and I’m very excited to read her findings.”

Rees also said Duke will be applying for an internal grant to present her work this spring at the Association of American Geographers International Conference in Seattle. “We also are considering expanding her work for publication in a geography journal,” Rees said.

Capitalizing on the upswing of research activity, Columbus State is developing an undergraduate research journal with a faculty editorial board that will help attract an interdisciplinary readership.

Though Akeeta Harris will have moved on before she gets an opportunity to have her work published as a student here, she credits the university for setting her foundation for future success.

“The influence of my professors, like Dr. Rugutt and Dr. (Monica) Frazier, has shown me the true meaning of dedication and hard work — that patience, persistence and motivation are the key factors to seeing any project through, whether related to science research or any challenge in life.”

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This I Believe Producer, Co-Editor Dan Gediman to Speak at Columbus State

Dan GedimanCOLUMBUS, Ga. — Dan Gediman, executive producer of the nationally aired radio series This I Believe and co-editor of the best-selling book based on the series, will speak about the work 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19 in Columbus State University’s University Hall auditorium. The presentation is free and open to the public.

This I Believe originated as a five-minute CBS Radio program hosted by broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow from 1951-1955. Murrow recorded and aired essays read by famous and everyday people about their core beliefs and motivations in life.

Gediman, above right, helped reprise the program on National Public Radio in 2005 and co-edited the related 2006 book This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women. Some of the book’s 80 essays are originals from Murrow’s radio program with contributions  from the likes of Albert Einstein, Carl Sandberg, Arnold Toynbee and Helen Hayes. Contemporary contributors include Bill Gates, John McCain and Gloria Steinem.

A New York Times bestseller, the book also is the basis for a common reading this fall at CSU in all first-year seminar classes and in several English composition classes. Those students, along with other CSU students, will have an opportunity to ask Gediman about the project in a 3 p.m. workshop after the public lecture. A day earlier, Gediman will give a workshop for CSU faculty on using This I Believe as a teaching text. Sites will be announced for both workshops.

In addition to his involvement with This I Believe, Gediman was a reporter for public radio programs such as All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Jazz Profiles and This American Life. He also co-produced the public radio series 13 by Corwin and 50 Years After 14 August, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.

For more on Gediman’s CSU appearance, contact Terry Irvin, chair of CSU’s Department of Basic Studies at 706-565-4015 or e-mail irvin_terry@ColumbusState.edu.

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