CSUs Crop of New Faculty Encompasses Diverse Backgrounds

Learn more about all new CSU faculty

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Columbus State University opens the fall semester with 51 new professors on campus, including a former foreign policy director in the Pentagon and a former state education official nationally heralded as a classroom technology innovator.

Coming to CSU from the Georgia Department of Education is Mike Hall, who joins the College of Education as an educational leadership professor.

Formerly the deputy state superintendent of instructional technology, he recently was cited by the magazine Government Technology as one of the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in the U.S. for innovative technology projects. Among his accomplishments, he created the Georgia Virtual School that delivers, via Georgia Public Broadcasting, advanced placement courses to students in all Georgia high schools.

At CSU, Hall will direct another virtual school initiative one that will simulate various classroom scenarios for education majors from a specially designed lab in Jordan Hall.

Were delighted hes on board, said professor Tom Hackett, CSUs Educational Leadership chair. He will impact our students and faculty as one of the top school administrators in the state, along with his expertise in technology.

In addition to teaching the courses Strategic Planning and Human Growth and Development, Hall will draft an assessment of the colleges use of technology for recently hired dean, David Rock.

Meanwhile, the D. Abbott Turner College of Business welcomes a visiting lecturer in international business and economics, Joel Cassman, whose 25-year U.S. foreign-service career includes a 2003-05 stint as country director of eastern European policy for the Department of Defense at the Pentagon.

Retired this summer from the U.S. Department of State, Cassmans resume includes U.S. embassy assignments throughout Latin America where he advised U.S. companies in foreign operations, as well as foreign corporations operating in the United States. During his yearlong CSU appointment, he will teach economics and international business.

Cassmans arrival also complements the addition of another economist Andres Jauregi from Argentina. These additions are significant to our newly-approved international business minor and to our students who now are required to take at least one course in this area, said business Dean Linda Hadley.

Hadley also cited key roles for other, new business professors.

Kirk Heriot will serve as the Ray and Evelyn Crowley Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship a position created by a gift from the Crowleys to enhance entrepreneurship education for both business and non-business students.

In addition to teaching, Heriot will direct the planning of outreach initiatives including a CEO/entrepreneur speaker series and a business plan competition to attract prospective entrepreneurs among CSU students and the off-campus community. Hell also serve as the business colleges liaison to the soon-to-be operational small business incubator under the auspices of CSUs Cunningham Center.

Hadley said Jennifer Pitts, formerly a senior vice president and director of information technology at Aflac, adds technology and strategy expertise to the management department, while Robert Dunn (accounting), who has taught for Auburn and Georgia Tech, brings a wealth of corporate training experience that will be applied in a new training program designed for Aflac employees.

Collectively, the new-faculty class may be the largest for the start of an academic year since the early 1970s when CSU was transitioning from a two-year to a four-year institution, said George Stanton, vice president for Academic Affairs. Twenty-five of the new professors are filling newly created positions to help handle the student increase during the last decade, he added.

Among new positions are endowed chairs in the Schwob School of Music. Segui Schwartz is the William B. and Sue Marie Turner Distinguished Faculty Chair in violin, and Constantina Tsolainou is the Paul S. and Jean R. Amos Faculty Chair and director of choral activities.

The music school also will be home to the Elena Diaz-Verson Amos Eminent Scholar in Latin American Studies. This years appointee, Mexican-born pianist/composer Max Lifchitz, will teach Intro to Modern Latin America, on the main campus and open to non-music majors and Modernism and Nationalism: Latin American Masters, an upper-level course at the RiverCenter. He also will collaborate this fall with CSU students and faculty in performances of his own compositions (dates to be announced).

Lifchitz, chair of the University at Albany (NY.) music department, is an expert in the music of the leading Mexican composer, Carlos Chavez and founding director of the North/South Consonance Ensemble.