Chief Mark Lott Appointed as VP of GACLEA

Columbus State University Chief of Police Mark Lott was recently appointed as Vice President of the Georgia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.

“Chief Lott is a true visionary and a friend to members of the association and all of law enforcement,” said Chief Ken Morgan of Fort Valley State University and president of GACLEA.

GACLEA represents the security and law enforcement administrations from more than 60 higher education institutions in Georgia. The organization is dedicated to promoting professional ideals and standards in the administration of campus security, public safety and law enforcement.

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CSU Honors College Student Wins Statewide Honors Research Conference

Gabriel Bello, a CSU junior majoring in computer science, received a first place state award last weekend. Bello’s paper “A Bluetooth LE Security Investigation” was recognized as the top natural science paper in the state at the Georgia Collegiate Honors Council Conference.

Bello’s paper reviewed the security and privacy features of three bluetooth low energy devices, which are commonly used as fitness trackers, heart rate sensors and Bluetooth keyboards. Bello found that two of the three devices implemented no security measures, and the third had substantial weaknesses to its design. The analysis showcased a large gap between recommended security features and implemented security features, revealing a hole through which user information can leak.

More than 40 papers were submitted to the conference. Other CSU Honors College attendees were Bobbie Bannerman, Valencia Coleman and Darby High.

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Two CSU Graduate Programs Receive Eight Year Accreditation

Two graduate programs at CSU’s College of Education and Health Professions were recently approved for accreditation through October 2025.

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) announced that CSU’s M.S. in clinical mental health counseling and M.Ed. in school counseling have both been approved for eight-year accreditation.

“Programs receiving accreditation for an eight-year period deserve to be commended for the work completed throughout the accreditation process. This is indeed a worthy achievement,” said Charles Gressard, PhD, Interim President and CEO of CACREP, in a letter announcing the decision.

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CSU Student-Athletes Excel in the Classroom

COLUMBUS – In addition to outstanding success on the field, Columbus State University student-athletes had a banner fall semester in the classroom.

Columbus State student-athletes combined for a 3.01 grade point average for the fall semester, the eighth consecutive semester with a GPA of 3.0 or better.

“Our student-athletes compete at a high level both in the classroom and on the field of play,” said Todd Reeser, Director of Athletics. “We are very proud of their fall academic success which reflects the effort, focus, and commitment of these outstanding young men and women.”

Below are some of the academic highlights from the fall.

  • 16 student-athletes recorded a 4.0 GPA
  • 117 student-athletes (54 percent) had a 3.0 GPA
  • Seven teams finished with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher: men’s tennis, women’s soccer, women’s cross country, women’s track & field, women’s golf, softball, women’s tennis
  • Men’s tennis posted the highest team GPA at 3.48
  • Women’s soccer had the second-highest GPA at 3.44
  • Men’s and women’s cross country along with women’s soccer combined to place 16 student-athletes on the Peach Belt Conference All-Academic Teams
  • Women’s soccer sophomore Riley Clark was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American
  • Women’s soccer players Hugrun Elvarsdottir and Brooke Nail were selected to the United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-South Region Team

Columbus State University features 13 NCAA sanctioned sports and two spirit programs that compete in the Peach Belt Conference. The Cougars are five-time PBC Commissioner’s Cup winners and have combined to win 101 PBC Championships and eight NCAA National Championships.

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CSU University Relations wins second consecutive CASE awards

Columbus State University’s alumni magazine garnered three new marketing and public relations awards by international organization Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) during the 2017-18 academic year.

University Relations’ publications specialist/editor Candace Dantes won Special Merit Awards in “Best Articles of the Year” and “Publications Writing” — first-time wins in these particular categories and a second consecutive CASE win for Dantes. The magazine editor previously won 2016-17’s Special Merit Award in “Magazine or Publication Rendering for Tablet of Mobile Technology.”

Team member and graphics specialist Joseph Melancon also won a Special Merit Award in “Illustration-Interior Spread,” which became a first-time win in this CASE category as well.

“It’s personal and professional validation to my work,” said Melancon, who has served as a visual artist in University Relations for the past five years. “I’m very hands-on with producing physical media that makes an impact. It’s more than a hobby, so for CASE to acknowledge my and Candace’s content together shows the future of where we can take marketing and public relations expression.”

Melancon and Dantes won in the Southeast District III CASE awards, which includes states Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.

Melancon illustrated one of the university’s most colorful alumni magazine cover stories: “Urban Innovators: CSU graduates instrumental to Uptown’s revitalization.”

To complement Melancon’s artwork, Dantes interviewed and profiled four of CSU’s progressive alumni and entrepreneurs who have successfully applied their majors to build lucrative brands within Columbus’ redeveloped commercial and governmental sectors.

“Anytime we can capitalize on sharing university success stories using engaging visuals, we do,” said Dantes, who has served as editor for the past three years. “It’s rewarding to know CASE recognized our creativity to storytelling.”


Click the categories below to read CSU’s award-winning content:


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CSU Economist Named to Scientific Committee of Academic Journal

CSU Turner College of Business economics professor, Frank Mixon, has been appointed to the scientific committee of the Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice.

JPFPC is widely considered to rank second among academic journals in the sub-field of public choice economics,” said Mixon. “This is a nice validation of the research program that I have developed over the years.”

In addition to being appointed to the scientific committee, Mixon’s article, co-authored with Shaw Bridges of Gettysburg College, will be published in the JPFPC in April. Titled “The Lighthouse in Economics: Colonial America’s Experience,” the article analyzes New England lighthouses and their funding sources.

The JPFPC, which has been in print for about 35 years, is edited by Emma Galli of the University of Rome in Italy and published by Bristol University Press in the United Kingdom.

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Tool Designed by Dean Reese is Implemented in U.K.

CSU Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Chip Reese, Ed.D. has become a leader in organizational response to persons of concern, and now his work is being implemented internationally. His model of a De-Escalation Decision Tree (D2T) was recently adapted by Dave Wilson at the University of Cumbria to be used in the United Kingdom.

“Persons of concern pose a potential risk to themselves and others, so it is crucial that organizations have a trained team and processes in place to handle these situations,” said Reese. “The D2T model brings together the necessary pieces, such as resources, faculty, and staff, with a methodology to better understand all the facts, evaluate, and act appropriately. I’m honored that the model will now be used in the U.K. to increase safety at the University of Cumbria.”

Reese serves on the advisory board of the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA), which brings together professionals from multiple disciplines who are engaged in behavioral intervention on school and college campuses and in workplaces. A former president of NaBITA, Reese first introduced D2T at the 2016 National Behavioral Intervention Teams Association Annual Conference in San Antonio.

Reese is currently serving as the Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Albany State University.

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Abby Gibbons to Study Abroad at the University of Oxford

Abby Gibbons, a senior majoring in history at Columbus State University, will study abroad at the University of Oxford this spring.

“Studying at the University of Oxford provides me with an opportunity to focus on my education on the specific period that I want to specialize in as a professional historian,” said Gibbons.

Gibbons received a $1,000 scholarship from Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and support from Kyle Spencer to cover her tuition at Oxford.

The Spencer family has provided generous support for CSU’s study abroad program at Oxford since the 1980s. In 2002, they funded CSU’s purchase of the Spencer House at Oxford, which has provided a home for more than 200 students and faculty members participating in study abroad programs at Oxford.


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2018 LEAD CSU Class Announced

The 2018 LEAD CSU class has been announced. The university-wide leadership fellowship program has accepted 16 faculty and staff members to participate in monthly sessions through 2018.

Developed in conjunction with CSU’s Leadership Institute, the Faculty Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and Staff Council, the program is designed to enhance professional development and build the skills and competencies needed to be an effective leader at CSU.

The following faculty and staff will participate in the 2018 LEAD CSU fellowship program.



Fab Guihong, Assistant Professor, Mathematics

Desiree Hicks Huffman, Assistant Professor, Nursing

Kirk Heriot, Professor, Management and Marketing

Mariko Izumi, Professor, Communication, Director of QEP

Lauren King, Assistant Professor, Biology

Lydia Ray, Associate Professor, Computer Science

Kimberly Shaw, Professor/Co-Director Uteach

Judith Livingston, Associate Professor and Chair, English



Viola Alexander, Director of Admissions Operations

David Bramlett, Director of Accounting

Thomas Justin Rice, GIS Coordinator, Campus Planning

Dana Larkin, Assistant Dean of Students

Brandon Lindley, Sr. Manager, IT Support Services, UITS

Stephanie Speer, Associate Registrar

Michael Wetherholt, Director of Sponsored Programs

Jean Partridge, Director of Student Advising-Field Experience, COEHP

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CSU Center of Online Learning Publishes Book Chapter

Amy Thornton, director for the Center of Online Learning, and Japheth Koech, e-learning specialist at the Center of Online Learning were recently published. Their book chapter, “Building an e-Learning Center from Ground-Up: The Challenges and Lessons Learned” was included in the “Educational Communications and Technology: Issues and Innovations” book series.

“We wrote this book chapter to highlight our lessons learned in establishing a new e-learning center as well as to offer a practical guide to assist other leaders in the field when looking to set up their own center to support e-learning,” said authors Thornton and Koech.

The Center of Online Learning (COOL) at CSU provides support for the design and development of online courses and programs. Staff are available to assist instructors with instructional design, course development, e-learning tools and applications, training, proctoring and course accessibility. Space is available for reservation including a recording room, training lab and rooms with SMART board and web conference technology.

For more information on the Center of Online Learning, visit the main office located in the Simon Schwob Memorial Library basement or the new satellite location on the RiverPark campus in Frank Brown Hall room 2022. The center can also be contacted at (706) 507-8699 or

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CSU Faculty, Staff Earn Emergency Response Certification

Columbus State University faculty and staff members recently graduated with their Community Emergency Response Team Certification.

The nine-week course prepares non-public safety individuals for both man-made and natural disasters. It is a nationwide program, sponsored locally by the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office. The course was coordinated by Captain Chuck Pickett.

Pictured are (left to right): Crystal Jones, Annie Carey, Janet Jamieson, Karen Kinard, Vanessa Hicks, Dominique Davis, Adrienne Craig, Cody Meshes, Dr. Neil Thomson, Patty Chappel, T.J. Rice, Saossan Maarouf, Amber Dees, Michael Wetherholt and Kim Rozycki. Other graduates not pictured were Keri Davis and Jessica Macon.

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CSU Faculty Help Veterans Transition to Civilian Careers

Columbus State University professors Dr. Kirk Heriot, Dr. Kevin Hurt and Dr. Laurence Marsh are helping veterans transition to civilian careers. As veterans themselves, the three teach classes at a two-day workshop called Boots2Business for active duty military members preparing to leave the military.

Part of the military’s Transition Assistance Program, Boots2Business offers eight modules on topics that range from opportunity recognition to writing a business plan. Heriot, Marsh, and Hurt are in their fourth year of teaching Boots2Business and have helped serve more than 200 service members through the program.

Sponsored by the local SCORE office, Boots2Business is restricted to veterans leaving active duty and offered monthly from January through November.

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CSU Associate Dean Speaks on Assessment at State Conference

Dr. Sallie Averitt Miller, Columbus State University Professor and Associate Dean for Assessment and Accreditation, was recently an invited assessment expert at the 2017 Georgia Professional Standards Commission Certification and Program Officials Conference at Middle Georgia State University in Macon.

Dr.  Miller, along with Dr. Susan Hagood of Thomas University, were invited guests selected to speak about the use of state provided valid and reliable assessments. They addressed questions on how Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Educators (GACE) data can be used to inform programs and enable candidates to inform induction.

Dr. Miller explained specifically how CSU allowed GACE access to all program coordinators and chairs, so they can monitor their department and program GACE data by test date, sub-test areas, and summary data. This process allows program coordinators to monitor the program subarea scores in GACE Test Level Summary Statistics for continuous program improvement.

“This is a very powerful tool,” said Dr. Miller. “For example: If the program average percentage correct begins to decline, for instance, the program percentage drops in, let’s say Early Childhood Education, Mathematics, Subarea I in “Understands and Applies Knowledge of Counting and Cardinality,” targeted adjustments can be made to improve the program.”

The GACE Program Admissions Assessment is used by CSU’s educator preparation initial certification programs to help ensure that applicants can read, write, and compute.  GACE Content assessments are intended to validate the program graduates’ level of content knowledge. The GACE Ethics assessment assists teachers and educational leaders to become familiar with, understand, and apply the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators, as well as comprehend and embrace the principles of ethical decision-making in an educational context (ETS, 2017).

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CSU Alumnus to Release Award-Winning Classical Music Album

CSU alumnus and violin lecturer, Boris Abramov, has partnered with internationally acclaimed cellist, Carmine Miranda, to produce a rare collection of

Beethoven and Mozart duets. The album, which has received two silver medals at the Global Music Awards, will be released on Nov. 10 by Navona Records.

“It is my debut record. This will be my introduction to the recording community, and that will be very special,” said Abramov. “At the same time, it was do

ne with Carmine – a close friend whom I respect very much.”

The album features a collection of duets for cello and violin that have never been done before. The artists decided to leave the album unedited to give it the feeling of a live performance, which Abramov describes as an “honest recording.”

Originally attracted to CSU’s Schwob School of Music to train under Sergiu Schwartz, Abramov holds three degrees from the university: a bachelor’s degree in music performance, artist’s diploma and a master’s degree. Abramov has since received several awards and prizes, including the National Winner of the 2008 Music Teachers National Association Competition for strings and a special prize at the 2009 Pablo de Sarasate International Competition in Pamplona, Spain.

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CSU School of Nursing Volunteers with Special Olympics

The Columbus State University School of Nursing recently partnered with Columbus Regional Health’s Community Care mobile health unit to provide physicals for athletes competing in the Special Olympics local and state games. Faculty and staff at the school’s family nurse practitioner program completed 13 physicals at Pop Austin Gym, where there is a therapeutic recreation program for individuals with disabilities.

“It is important for our community agencies to work together to improve the health of individuals,” said Tamara Condrey, Associate Director of the School of Nursing. “This was a great collaboration that we hope to continue as an annual event.”

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CSU Professor Promotes Global Dialogue through Theatre

Dr. Becky Becker, assistant director of the CSU Center for Global Engagement and professor of theatre, is encouraging global-dialogue through theatre. As editor of “Theatre Symposium: A Publication of the Southeastern Theatre Conference,” Becker recently completed volume 25 of the journal to explore the theme of “Cross-Cultural Dialogue on the Global Stage.”

“Volume 25 is an interesting look at the many ways practitioners can bring cross-cultural dialogue into theatre at a time we need it the most,” said Becker. “I’m always invested in ways to illuminate different cultures through theatre. This was an engaging way to see how others do that.”

Theatre Symposium is an annual weekend conference focusing on a single scholarly topic, chosen and organized by the editor. International attendees gather at the conference to present papers. Following the conference, scholars are invited to submit their papers for peer-review; six to eight papers are then selected for publication.  Becker is completing her two-year term as editor. In her first year, she organized volume 24 of the journal with the theme, “Theatre in Space.”

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Professor Published in Applied Linguistics Journal

Dr. Carolina Pelaez-Morales, Assistant Professor of TESOL and Writing at CSU, was recently published in the “Journal of Second Language Writing.”

Her article, “L2 writing scholarship in JSLW: An updated report of research published between 1992 and 2015,” analyzes 23 years of research to find publication trends, including the geographic and linguistic distribution of the scholarship, topics addressed, as well as methodological approaches used by researchers in the field of second language writing.

“It is an honor to be featured in one of the leading journals in applied linguistics,” said Dr. Pelaez-Morales. “I would not have been able to complete this project without the generous support from the CSU library.”

Her article is now available at

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Carnegie Fellowship Takes Sociology Professor to Tanzania, Uganda

Dr. Florence Wakoko-Studstill, Associate Professor of Sociology at CSU, was awarded a multi-institutional Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship that enabled her to lead a three-month seminar series in Uganda and Tanzania over the summer.

The fellowship is designed to support collaboration between US and Canada-based African born scholars and Sub-Saharan African universities for the development of graduate studies, curriculum, research and graduate student mentoring on theses and dissertation projects.

As part of the fellowship, Dr. Wakoko-Studstill spent two months at Makerere University in Uganda and another month at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania.  Her work included teaching courses in social research methods, Model African Union-One Health and grant writing.  She also helped organize the launch of the Women’s Leadership Academy, a five-day training course in July at Makerere University. The training was conducted under the auspices of the Higher Education Resource Services-East Africa, an organization which Dr. Wakoko-Studstill helped co-found in 2014 with support from the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, and the United States Agency for International Development consortia project titled “Capacity building in Integrated Management of Trans-Boundary Animal Diseases & Zoonoses.

Students who participated in Dr. Wakoko-Studstill’s seminars submitted a total of five grant proposals to USAID-Tanzania, and participated in a simulation called “Model African Union,” which emphasized strengthening leadership and cultural competencies in One Health programs.

Based on her African research, Dr. Wakoko-Studstill has co-authored eight articles accepted for publication in the Pan African Medical Journal, and has also helped lay the groundwork for establishing a Tanzania Higher Education Resource Services-East Africa country office and strengthened the newly established Center for Gender Studies at Sokoine University of Agriculture.

“These experiences have contributed greatly in enriching my teaching, and should prove to be enormous for CSU students and faculty,” said Dr. Wakoko-Studstill. “There are opportunities for collaborative research, curriculum development, and student engagement in multi-sectoral service learning projects in Tanzania and Uganda through the Carnegie and other Foundations.”

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Geology Professor to Lead Trip

Dr. Clint Barineau, Associate Professor of Geology at CSU’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences – along with colleagues from Florida State University – will lead the 2017 Georgia Geological Society’s annual field trip on Oct. 7 – 8.

The trip will focus on recent research developments on the evolution of the southern Appalachian Mountains, especially the first phase of mountain building during the Ordovician Period.  Headquartered in Carrollton, Georgia,  the field trip will take participants to notable outcrops in western Georgia as part of a discussion on the geologic history of the region.

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Dean Greer Selected for Fellowship

Dr. Deidre Greer, Dean of CSU’s College of Education and Health Professions, recently received the 2017 Impact Academy fellowship.

Dean Greer was one of 17 educational leaders across the country selected through a rigorous nomination and application process. Fellows in the year-long program will complete independent learning modules on their campuses and receive mentorship opportunities from fellowship coaches throughout the year.

The 2017 Impact Academy fellowship was launched in 2016 by Deans for Impact, an Austin,Texas-based nonprofit dedicated to improving teacher preparation.

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