Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Georgia Student Named Rousseve Scholar at Xavier University of Louisiana

A Georgia student is among the thirty-one upperclassmen at Xavier University of Louisiana named as Rousseve Scholars for the 2008-09 academic year.

Selected as a Rousseve Scholar is Justin Frederick of Decatur,GA. Frederick is a senior engineering major and graduate of Druid Hills High School.

Students selected for the Rousseve Scholars program generally represent the top ten students in the sophomore, junior and senior classes based on their academic performance the preceding
two semesters. Each recipient receives a full tuition scholarship (valued at $13,700) and a book allowance.

Xavier University of Louisiana is the only Black Catholic university in the United States. It is a private, co-educational institution, founded by St. Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Xavier offers a comprehensive liberal arts program and professional programs, including 41 undergraduate majors, masters degree programs and a doctor of pharmacy program.

Classworks and NComputing Announce Partnership Extending Learning Opportunities

Classworks and NComputing Announce Partnership Extending Learning Opportunities for Students and Making Classroom Computing and Learning More Affordable As School Budgets Continue To Shrink

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Curriculum Advantage, Inc. today announced a partnership between Classworks, computer-based instruction in K-12 for English/Language Arts, Reading, Mathematics and Science, with NComputing, leaders in low-cost desktop virtualization software and hardware.

The partnership represents a commitment from both companies to help school districts maximize their use of technology by providing students increased computer access and instructional time with innovative, affordable solutions.

Research shows that increased engaged time in a quality learning environment helps students learn, and one of the biggest obstacles to providing needed time is lack of computer access. To overcome that challenge, many schools are investing in cost-saving hardware solutions, and using those savings to provide additional instructional resources to their students, making it possible for their technology dollars to have a direct impact on student achievement.

The NComputing solution is based on a simple fact: today's PCs are so powerful that the vast majority of applications only use a small fraction of the computer's capacity. NComputing's virtualization software and hardware tap this unused capacity so that it can be simultaneously shared by multiple users. Over 15,000 schools in 70 countries have used NComputing to slash their hardware costs as much as 70%. In addition, this technology is green helping our environment by creating lower volumes of e-waste and reducing energy consumption of computers by 90%.

NComputing provides a cost-effective way for more students to have access to computers as learning tools, said Melissa Sinunu, Curriculum Advantages COO. Working closely with NComputing to take advantage of the strengths of their platform and keep as many students engaged with digital learning as possible. While education budgets across the country are being stretched, this solution helps schools get closer to the goal of one to one computing and individualized instruction for all.

Classworks instructional software is already being implemented efficiently with NComputings hardware throughout the country, reinforcing the commitment to bring the best technology to educators and extend learning opportunities for students.

"NComputing is continually listening to our customers and adding new solutions to help meet their needs, said Stephen Dukker, NComputings chairman and CEO. "This is especially true in education, where educators are being forced to do more with less. They see virtualization as a way to accomplish that, and we already account for 5% of the US educational computing market. Classworks is a great partner because they add a critical instructional piece to the overall solution.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Opening up the ‘Pipeline’: College of Law Hosts Summer Camp

Jermaunte Lamar knows what kind of law he wants to practice.

“International corporate law,” the 15-year-old rising sophomore said after a recent discussion at the Georgia State University College of Law. “There’s so much that goes on in corporate law.”

Lamar is a student at the South Atlanta School of Law and Social Justice during the academic year, but for three weeks this summer, he is one of 26 high schoolers from across metro Atlanta participating in the Gate City Bar Association’s Second Annual Justice Robert Benham Law Camp.

The camp is a collaboration between the association, Georgia State’s College of Law and Clark Atlanta University’s Educational Talent Search Program. Its aim is to teach minority students the broad concepts of law and introduce them to the possibilities of a career in the legal profession – in other words, get them into the “pipeline” to attend law school.

“Our concern is making sure that we have folks that are entering law school so that they can become lawyers and enter the profession and help to foster diversity in the profession,” said Harold Franklin Jr. (J.D. ’99), a partner in the firm King & Spalding who helped start the camp in 2007.

The legal community has dealt with a lack of diversity for years. In 1986, the American Bar Association created its Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and adopted Goal IX, which has since been expanded to read: “To promote the full and equal participation in the legal profession by minorities, women and persons with disabilities.”

The Commission, which is now under the umbrella of the Bar’s Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity, said in a report released in February that while African Americans make up about 13 percent of the overall population, they represent only 4.2 percent of lawyers.

While the group did note a sharp decline in the overall number of members reporting their race or ethnicity in a survey, it also noted the “number of members who identify themselves as minorities continues in a general decline.”

To help reverse that trend, the Benham Law Camp, named for Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham, introduces attendees to the concepts of law through classroom presentations by faculty members and practicing professionals.

After a first-day discussion about precedent and common law, Michael Tillman Davis, the College of Law’s reference librarian, told students about his own career path, and how he decided, once in law school, that he didn’t want to be a lawyer after all.

But “I’m glad that I went to law school and got the degree because there are a lot of things I learned about the law, about society and about myself that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise,” he said.

Students in the camp also visit lawyers where they work, taking field trips to firms around Atlanta as well as local courts. The stops include one at the Georgia Supreme Court where students hear from Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears. During their third week, students do paid internships to get a flavor of what the working world is like.

“Students interact with people who look like them doing positive things and it shows them they can do it too,” said Cheryl George, the College of Law’s admissions director and one of the camp’s organizers.

Some students say their two weeks of classroom and field trip activities opens their eyes to areas of law they didn’t know existed. For others, it affirms their direction or pushes them along a new path.

“We got to meet a lot of people we wouldn’t normally get to meet and we got to tour a lot of places we wouldn’t normally have access to,” said Ameerah Mosley, a 16-year-old rising senior at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in McDonough.

At the end of the first two weeks of the camp, students participate in a mock trial exercise, putting what they’ve learned so far about the law to the test.

While some students act as jurors, others act as attorneys and witnesses. Fifteen-year-old Kelsi Dean, a rising sophomore at The Lovett School in Atlanta, last week played an attorney representing a father suing his ex-wife after his daughter found a gun in her mother’s home and shot her step-brother.

“I came into the program not knowing much about the law,” said Dean. “Now I have so many more options and I think I have a better understanding of what the profession is about.”

Her mother, Ruth Washington-Dean, said the law camp’s speakers have encouraged her daughter to concentrate on her studies to prepare for college and, later, law school.

“She comes home so enthused,” Washington-Dean said. “I owe all of them a personal thank you letter.”

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Georgia Southern University Receives $180,000 Two-Year Federal Grant to Enhance International Education

Georgia Southern University has received a two-year $180,000 Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand its focus on international teaching and learning both at home and abroad. The grant targets the segment of the student body that has not yet had the opportunity to experience international education.

The grant proposal was developed by Charles Crouch and John Steinberg, senior faculty in the Department of History. Their proposal includes four objectives:

-internationalization of the curriculum, beginning in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) and working its way across the University;
-enhancement of world languages competency (Language Across the Disciplines);
-faculty development seminars aimed at providing faculty with the skills needed to internationalize their courses;
-and outreach to the community and region including an Internationalization Speakers Bureau, made up of faculty experienced in internationalizing the curriculum and available to share their expertise with local K-12 schools.

Activities under the Title VI grant will take place collaboratively with the Global Citizens Initiative, a required First-Year Experience seminar that is expected to increase freshman interest and participation in international programs.

This grant builds on the success of Georgia Southern University’s Center for International Studies, established in 1990, and is the University’s second Title VI grant. The first was used to establish an Africana Studies Center which continues to be an active program. Georgia Southern is also parts of a seven-member USG consortium that recently received a Title VI grant to create a new, online degree program in Transatlantic Studies.

Interim VP of Academic Affairs Named at Gordon College

Ed Wheeler has been named Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs at Gordon College.

Wheeler was at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah for 21 years most recently serving as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

He earned his undergraduate degree, with honors, from Samford University and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He has been a mathematics professor for most of his career and is the author of several mathematics textbooks.

His wife, Claire, is a practicing clinical psychologist. The couple has two children, both of whom are educators, and one grandchild.

Wheeler said he decided to accept the one-year term at Gordon College to be closer to family members who live in the area and “to contribute in a small way to the excellent work that is being done at Gordon College.”

Wheeler replaces Robert Vaughan who is pursuing other opportunities in academia.

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Troops, Families Rack Up College Credits During Deployment

While 3rd Infantry Division was serving its third deployment to Iraq within five years, its soldiers set records amassing college credits during precious downtime between missions.

"Rock of the Marne" soldiers took more than 15,000 college classes during fiscal 2007 while deployed to Iraq as part of the surge force, reported Pam King, post education officer. That trend continued as the soldiers began returning to Fort Stewart in March. They've racked up an additional 11,000 college classes during the first two quarters of this fiscal year, King said.

Robin Ellert, chief of the post's online education program, pointed to the unmistakable trend in college enrollments, from 4,600 in fiscal 2003 to more than three times that level today.

"Our numbers have consistently jumped. There's a clear upward trend in the number of enrollments we're seeing," she said.

"There's a clear recognition that college is a way to get promoted -- both in the military and outside the military," she said.

And contrary to what some may expect, King said, many soldiers are finding deployments, when they're away from their families and home, to be the best opportunity to take classes.

"Education is a wonderful distraction, in a positive sense," she said. "Soldiers are able to -- for a minute -- escape where they are while doing something very positive for themselves, both mentally and for their career."

Thanks to the portal that went online in April 2006, educational services are just a few mouse clicks away. Soldiers at even the most remote outposts can log into the system, tap into the $4,500 in tuition assistance the Army offers every soldier every year, and work toward a degree at one of about 180 colleges, universities and technical schools represented.

Army Sgt. Anthony Wilfong, a platoon sergeant with 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, spent much of his downtime during his past deploying taking Army correspondence courses. All but four of his soldiers were signed up for some kind of classes during their 15 months in Iraq. "It beats the time you waste seeing the same movies over and over," he said.

Wilfong and his soldiers have been back at Fort Stewart for about three months and still are awaiting their vehicles' return. Meanwhile, they're squeezing in all the classes they can.

"I've got 12 years to go to retirement, and each credit course is worth one and a half promotion points," Wilfong said as he reviewed the offerings at Central Texas College. "I figure everything I take will help me in the long run."

Meanwhile, many military families pass time during their loved ones' deployments enrolled in college programs, too. Officials estimate close to 4,000 family members at Fort Stewart and nearby Hunter Army Airfield took classes through Army Continuing Education Services during fiscal 2007.

Many attend one of the five colleges represented at Fort Stewart: Savannah Technical College, Central Texas College, Columbia College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Webster University.

"It gives them a great mental diversion," King said. "Whether you're talking about soldiers or their families, you know when you're taking courses that you're bettering yourself and bettering your career opportunities."

The $10 million Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith Education Center, which opened its doors in December 2004 just outside the post's front gate, sends an unmistakable message that Fort Stewart values education, King said.

Army Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the 3rd Infantry Division commander and a big fan of educational services, promoted the new center based on the "Field of Dreams" concept, King explained. "The way he saw it, 'If you build it, they will come.'"

And to ensure soldiers do come, the Army Continuing Education Services staff distributes oversized paper checks at the start of every fiscal year for $4,500 to ensure soldiers don't forget about their annual tuition assistance benefit. "If you don't use it, you lose it," King said. "We want to make sure soldiers know it's available to them and encourage them to take advantage of it."

As they build their credentials, King said, soldiers enrolled in educational programs also are building their combat readiness and adaptability for unpredictable environments like Iraq.

"You train for certainty, but you educate for uncertainty," she said. "And regardless of what capabilities you have, the fact is, the brain is ultimately the most important battlefield weapon."

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Gwinnett County Public Schools and Southern Business Communications Launch Largest Known Classroom Technology Integration Program in the U.S.

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Southern Business Communications Group (SBCG), a premier audio visual and distance learning technology solution provider, and wholly-owned subsidiary of Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX), was recently awarded an AV bid contract to integrate technology in Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) elementary school classrooms. This project is part of the school districts three-part plan to provide classroom technology for students and teachers.

According to GCPS director of broadcast and distance learning, Greg LaHatte, this technology project is funded by recent voter approval of a $750M General Obligation (G.O.) Bond Referendum. Our citizens value public education. Through their vote, they have ensured that our students have the facilities and tools they need to be successful.

Under this contract, SBCG will integrate Gwinnett elementary classrooms with ceiling-mounted DLP projection systems, sound reinforcement technology, and wall-mounted system controls which allow teachers to power up and down, adjust volume, select equipment sources and automatically shut down the system at the end of day. Plans are underway to kick off the integration program with more than 1,000 classrooms in summer 2008. Completion of the 5,000+ classroom integrations is slated for January 2010.

Mr. LaHatte added, SBCG was awarded the contract through the countys RFP process and based on an evaluation of their capabilities to meet the systems needs. We also appreciate that SBCG is based in Gwinnett County.

Dan Boylan, president of SBCG commented, We understand firsthand the challenges of engaging and educating digital thinkers in grades K-12, after all we have been working with schools for over 25 years. And, we recognize the importance of becoming a partner with Gwinnett County Public Schools. Any AV company can be your vendor, but if you help your customer to make the proper selection, create an effective plan, design the integration around the plan, maintain and support your work, and do it right, then you have a real partner; especially when you understand the specific needs in education.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Clayton State School of Graduate Studies Holding Open House July 8

The Clayton State University School of Graduate Studies will be holding its next monthly informational Open House on Tuesday, July 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in room 201 of the University’s Harry S. Downs Center.

The Open House will give prospective graduate students a chance to learn more about the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Master of Business Administration, Master of Health Administration, and Master of Science in Nursing. The Clayton State School of Graduate Studies regularly holds open houses on the second Tuesday evening of each month.

The University is now accepting applications for all four of its graduate programs. Go to or call the School of Graduate Studies at (678) 466-4113. For directions to campus, go to

Georgia Tech Begins New Training Grant on Prosthetics and Orthotics

The School of Applied Physiology at the Georgia Institute of Technology will begin a new program in Prosthetics and Orthotics this fall aimed at bringing medical, engineering and life science professionals together. The training grant, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and Georgia Tech, will fund three fellowships per year for five years.

The first of its kind in Prosthetics and Orthotics, the program will focus on people who use prostheses and orthoses and how they learn to apply the specialized devices to enhance their physiologic function in the world. Researchers in this program are also interested in how to use signals recorded from the brain to control artificial limbs.

The School of Applied Physiology adds the training grant to its other degree offerings: an entry-level professional Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics and a doctorate in Applied Physiology.

Candidates interested in applying for the training grant should contact Dr. Robert Gregor, director of the Center for Human Movement Studies in the School of Applied Physiology, at 404-894-1028 or

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Georgia Tech Provost Supports Change in Ga. K-12 Math

Statement by Dr. Gary Schuster, Provost of the Georgia Institute of Technology, in support of a change in Georgia’s math curriculum:

I believe that working to make sure that every child has the opportunity to reach his or her educational potential is our obligation and a critical investment in Georgia’s future. A stronger mathematics curriculum that strikes a balance between concepts, skills and problem solving is a vital part of preparing our young people for the global economy of the 21st century. Georgia Tech continues to support mathematics education throughout the state with our Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC). CEISMC (pronounced “seismic") is committed to helping assure that K-12 students in Georgia receive the best possible preparation in science, mathematics and technology as they seek their place in the modern world.

New Program Gets an A

The Professional Development School program graduated its first class this spring and that achievement represents a unique collaboration between the University of West Georgia and the Carroll County School System.

The program, which began two years ago, serves as an alternate model for the undergraduate teacher education candidates in the UWG Early Childhood Education program.
The PDS program is a nation-wide trend that many universities are using, said Dr. John Ponder, assistant professor of early childhood and elementary education and director of the program for the upcoming academic year.

“Although actual PDS models vary somewhat by university, in theory, these models are designed to give students intense, authentic classroom experience throughout their program,” said Ponder. “We have been blessed to work with schools in our area that believe in the shared responsibility for training future teachers. Our dean, Dr. Kent Layton, has been very supportive of our efforts.”

Administrators and faculty from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the county school system spent two years developing a working model for training new teachers.
The training program has brought about a stronger partnership between the university and the county school system and has enhanced the professional development of teacher education candidates. Ashley Hardin graduated from the program in May and is now teaching at Roopville Elementary School.

“I felt very prepared when I interviewed for a job in February,” said Hardin. “From day one, we were in the classrooms four days a week. By the end of the first semester you know whether you are going to be a teacher or not. It’s a good program.”

In the PDS program, the education students spend four days a week in the classroom instead of the traditional two days at the school site through three semesters.

Dr. John vonEschenbach, professor of early childhood and elementary education and director of the first class, said what makes the program unique is the close relationship between UWG students, classroom teachers and children, school staff and professors.

“That creates a close relationship and when candidates move into their internship in the final semester of the program, they function as first year teachers,” said vonEschenbach. “A second significant feature is the relationship between public school faculty and university faculty. Within this model, public school teachers and university faculty collaborate and exchange their professional knowledge and skills as team members throughout the preparation of these prospective educators.”

The UWG College of Education uses Central, Roopville, Sharp Creek and Whitesburg Elementary Schools as the partner schools for the UWG students’ clinical experience. Throughout the four blocks or semesters in the classrooms, a majority of the professional education courses are taught at the public school sites by university faculty and school site coordinators.

This schedule has made all the difference, said Roopville Elementary School Principal Carolyn Waters.

“The university students are very fond of the program because they are in the classroom where the action really is,” said Waters, who is retiring this year. “They get to see a variety of teaching styles, which is very valuable. And the teachers love having them in the classroom. The students can mold themselves into the teacher they want to be.”

The PDS program has also implemented a systematic model to engage and empower parents and caregivers as instructional partners in the education of their children. An easy-to-use website for the parents provides information, instructional activities and resources to enhance education at home.

The COE enrollment numbers for elementary education majors this spring totaled 419 students as majors and 433 students who are pre-majors. West Georgia boasts the highest number of students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and specialist education courses in the state.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Debye Baird Honored as a Patriotic Employer

Clayton State Director of Client Support Services Debye Baird (McDonough) has been honored by the Department of Defense as a “Patriotic Employer.”

Baird was nominated for the award by Clayton State alumnus John A. Westbrook. Currently a sergeant in the 55th Combat Communications Squadron at Robins Air Force Base in Warner-Robins, Ga., following his December 2007 graduation from Clayton State, Westbrook worked for the University’s student help desk, “The HUB,” under Baird while he was a student at Clayton State. His narrative for Baird’s award reads in part…

“During the entire four years of working for Ms. Baird she would always give me time off of work to complete my military requirements as far as my two weeks a year and one weekend a month. Sometimes that small reserve commitment would require more than that two weeks, and every time that would happen she would always be very supportive of my military obligations. I had to deploy at the last minute in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Aviano AB in Italy. While I was gone foe three months Ms. Baird held my position and pay grade… when I came back she also made sure I received my annual pay raise.”

The Patriotic Employer award is presented by the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense organization. It is a staff group within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. ESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment.

Baird, along with approximately 100 other ESGR honorees, will be honored at a luncheon with Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue on Wednesday, June 25.

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New Degree's a Home Run

For those thinking of a new career, a promotion or preparing for a Ph.D. program, the University of West Georgia and the Department of Sociology and Criminology are stepping up to the plate with a new Master of Art degree in Criminology. The program offers the only graduate degree in the state that is designed as a comprehensive and broad based program in criminology.

Dr. Jane McCandless, professor of sociology and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology.

The new graduate degree program begins this fall at the Carrollton and Newnan campuses where classes are scheduled one evening each week. An Information Session will be presented Saturday, June 21, at 10 a.m. at the Newnan Center and registration is open with limited space at both locations.

Department Chair Dr. Jane McCandless, professor of sociology, and faculty spent several years developing the program.

“I am very happy that we are able to offer courses that lead to a Master’s degree in Criminology in Newnan and Carrollton,” said McCandless. “This program will be of great benefit to professionals in the field of criminology as well as the citizens of the state of Georgia.”

Candidates for the program include those who wish to have a career in federal law enforcement or the Georgia Bureau of Investigations; those who desire to move to upper level management in their current agency; those interested in court administrative positions and cabinet level positions and those who wish to pursue a Ph.D to teach or conduct research in the field.

The unique program differs from the Master of Art in Criminal Justice degrees offered by Albany State, Armstrong Atlantic, Clark Atlanta, Georgia State and Valdosta State Universities because its focus is not only on criminal justice.

Courses for the fall semester in Carrollton include Ethics and Criminal Justice, Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice, Principles of Criminology, Conflict and Resolution and Delinquency/Family and Community.

Courses for the fall semester at the Newnan campus cover Terrorism and Law Enforcement Leadership. Dr. David Jenks, associate professor of sociology and criminology, will be teaching a course in Newnan.

“The most exciting thing about this new degree program is that we will be able to provide students with the knowledge, skills and abilities they will need to become leaders in the field,” said Jenks. “Student and community response has been extremely positive. People have commented that the program is long overdue in this area and they welcome the opportunity to advance themselves in their current positions or prepare themselves for future careers.”
Surveys were sent to law enforcement and nonprofit agencies to gauge the interest of the communities in the program. Cathy Wright, director of the Newnan Center, said the response to the survey she sent to surrounding counties that included Troop and Fayette was unexpected.

“I was stunned,” said Wright. “We sent surveys to 137 agencies and we got back a good many responses, 102 in all. They were overwhelmingly positive. There is a real need out there.”
Prospective students must apply to the UWG Graduate School, which requires a Graduate Record Examination score of 800 or more, letters of recommendation, a 2.5 undergraduate grade point average and an autobiography. Provisional admission is possible and tuition rates are $158 plus fees.

Sheriff Terry Langley said he would be more than happy to put some of his employees in the degree program.

“It is like a light at the end of the tunnel for employees who hope to move up,” said Langley. “It takes a lot to get ahead and it would help with promotion. We are always looking for ways to educate and to train. I am certainly willing to encourage my employees to get into this program if they wanted to.”

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bibb, Hall, and Columbia County Schools Adopt Carnegie Learning’s Custom Georgia Math Programs

BusinessWire - Carnegie Learning, Inc., a leading publisher of research-based math curricula for middle schools, high schools, and the higher education market, announced today that the companys Georgia Math I & 2 programs have been purchased by three Georgia school districts -- Bibb, Hall, and Columbia County Schools. Carnegie Learnings customized Georgia Math curricula are designed, specifically, to meet new, more rigorous high school math requirements being implemented by the Georgia Department of Education beginning in fall 2008.

In November 2007, the Georgia State Board of Educations Learning Resources Advisory Committee recommended Carnegie Learnings integrated math curricula for use in Georgia, and districts across the state are currently selecting new math textbooks as part of the textbook adoption process. Bibb, Hall, and Columbia County Schools are three of many districts in Georgia purchasing Carnegie Learning textbooks and Professional Development services. Bibb and Hall Counties also purchased Carnegie Learnings Cognitive Tutor® software for Math Support, an intelligent software program that provides differentiated instruction by adapting the learning path to each students understanding of mathematical concepts.

"The changes in the Georgia Performance Standards will require a change in expectations for students, teachers, districts and the Georgia Department of Education, said Sharon Patterson, Superintendent, Bibb County School District. In responding to the changing expectation, the school system sought a math solution that was research-based around a collaborative teaching model. The Carnegie Learning approach seems to deliver the math curricula we need to meet the new challenges."

Carnegie Learnings Cognitive Tutor research is well supported in the Learning Processes subcommittee report of the recent National Math Advisory Panel report to the President and U.S. Secretary of Education, and is cited as an example of a curriculum that has strong evidence of effectiveness and is a model for applying basic research in the classroom.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

UWG Celebrates its Youngest Grad

The University of West Georgia made history when the youngest graduate in the University System of Georgia walked across the stage to receive his diploma.

Ajay Pillai, 17, earned a degree in biochemistry and will study at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta in the fall.

“Graduation was the most stunning day of my life,” said Ajay Pillai, who is a Warner Robins resident. “I grew up at West Georgia and I am so incredibly happy that I came to this university and that things occurred the way they did.”

After graduating eighth grade, Ajay Pillai enrolled at the Advanced Academy of Georgia on the UWG campus at the age of 13, the youngest student to do so. The academy is one of 12 residential programs for teens in the country that allows students to earn high school and college credit simultaneously.

Diane Darling, an Advanced Academy student who will graduate high school this month, met Ajay Pillai two years ago and became close friends.

“Ajay is ridiculously hard working and humble at the same time,” said Darling, 18. “I’m always in awe of how he handles everything.”

The quiet and unassuming student studied Honors College curriculum at UWG and holds the second highest number of honors courses, 19, in the history of the Honors College. But he still had time to play soccer, run five miles a day, practice piano and take up the guitar.

Don Wagner, dean of the Honors College and director of Special Programs, said Ajay Pillai left his mark on UWG.

“He is a remarkable human being, mature way beyond his years,” said Wagner. “He possesses excellent study habits and an extraordinary mind, and is a very nice person as well.

“I have known him since he entered the academy, and I have always been impressed with his social skills. In addition to his academic abilities, Ajay has the bearing and manners of an adult. He is a rare individual.”

Aruna Pillai, Ajay’s mother, said she should have brought Kleenex to the commencement ceremony. “It didn’t hit me until the president, Dr. Beheruz Sethna, began talking about Ajay and then I began bawling. I was not expecting that reaction. It was deep inside.”

One of Ajay Pillai’s biggest fans at the university is the president, who established the Advanced Academy and gained the USG Board of Regents approval to open the Honors College, the only one of its kind in Georgia.

“It has been my pleasure to get to know Ajay and assist him in what I know will be a spectacular career,” said Sethna. “I am glad that we have contributed to his growth, and that he will contribute to ours in the future, by virtue of his future accomplishments.”

Ajay Pillai’s summer vacation will not be a typical one. A long time volunteer in hospitals and clinics, he will work with his parents, who are physicians and own a practice in Warner Robins. The couple needed help in their office and put their son to work taking electrocardiograms and checking in patients.

“Normally, we have to train an employee for several weeks,” Aruna Pillai said. “Ajay picked it up in a day.”

His interest in medicine stems from his years of volunteer work at a hospital and medical clinics, his undergraduate research in the laboratories at West Georgia and working as a student research assistant with Dr. Satyanarayana Swamy-Mruthinti, professor of biology.
“I like having that contact with people and I am also interested in medicine,” said Pillai. “But, I haven’t decided what kind of medicine I am going into.”

Swamy-Mruthinti mentored Ajay Pillai for three years and got to know the student well.
“Rarely you come across a student who is intelligent, hardworking and has an intense desire to succeed, yet is modest and humble,” said Swamy-Mruthinit. “I am confident that he will make significant contributions to improve human health and well being."

Under normal circumstances, the M.D. and Ph.D program at the medical college requires seven years of study. Students entering the program complete the standard two-year preclinical program with many of the preclinical medical school courses also earning graduate credit for the student.

During the summer between the first and second years, Ajay Pillai will perform laboratory rotations at one of the four research campuses in Georgia. Choices for laboratory rotations are made by students in consultation with program advisers.

Following the preclinical years, students enter graduate training at one of the four graduate campus sites. Students are required to complete all of the normal doctorate requirements, including preliminary exams, thesis and defense.

For now, the youngest graduate in the university system will enjoy his summer saving up for an automobile, traveling and helping out in the family business.

“I so appreciate all of the people at West Georgia and want to thank everyone that helped me with my research, at the Advanced Academy and in the Honors College,” said Ajay Pillai in a recent interview. “They really helped me to do this and now I have a group of close friends that I’ve grown up with.”

Georgia Southern University Hosts Georgia Boys State and Georgia Girls State

More than 800 high school seniors from across the state are on Georgia Southern University’s campus beginning this week to take part in the weeklong Georgia Boys State and Georgia Girls State. From arrival to departure, they will be immersed in this annual interactive program that teaches the fundamental principles and procedures of city, county, and state government under the American system.

This year’s Boys State, sponsored by the American Legion, will take place June 8-14. It has been held at Georgia Southern University for nearly 30 years. Girls State, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, is scheduled for June 8-13. It has been held at the University for more than 10 years. While both groups meet at the Nessmith-Lane building, their instruction, their activities, and their events remain separate.

Special guests who will address gatherings of both Boys and Girls State include Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, Georgia Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox, Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker, James Donald, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections, and Rep. Jack Hill.

“We truly enjoy hosting Georgia Boys State and Georgia Girls State on the campus of Georgia Southern,” said Russell Keen, director of government relations for Georgia Southern University. “These outstanding young men and women not only have the opportunity to learn a lot about the political system, but get to live and learn at a University before they complete their high school education.”

During their week of instruction, participants in Boys and Girls State simulate a 51st state, using campaigning and elections to develop township, city, county, and state governments. While learning about the rights, privileges, and duties of citizenship, the students take part in legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies, and recreational programs. In addition to electing their local officials, they elect a Governor. Sponsors and invited officials interview potential candidates and select two student “senators” to represent the state at Boys and Girls Nation in Washington, D.C.

High school juniors are selected by their local American Legion Posts to attend Boys and Girls State in the summer between their junior and senior years, and in most cases, the students selected are in the top 10 percent of their school class. The sponsoring American Legion Post pays the costs for their students to participate. Attendance at Boys and Girls State becomes part of an individual’s permanent resume, and in some cases has led to future public office. During the week, approximately 100 of the students attending will successfully complete an Honors Test, which provides a basis for some of the achievement awards presented at the end of the week.

“I keep hearing about how young people are not interested in our future,” said Phil Youngblood, Boys State director. “When we select delegates to Georgia Boys State and Georgia Girls State and see what they have already accomplished, we know that our future is very bright. This week truly does become a ‘Week that Shapes a Lifetime,’ not only for the delegates, but the staff as well.”

Boys and Girls State could not exist without a dedicated group of volunteers to provide instruction and guidance for the week’s activities. American Legion members, law enforcement officers, veterans, city, county, and state officials, and school counselors. The housing, food, and other arrangements for the week are overseen by Georgia Southern’s Continuing Education Department under the direction of Deborah Champion.

Sallie Mae Affirms Commitment to Provide Federal Student Loan Access to All Students, All Schools

BUSINESS WIRE--Sallie Mae, the nations leading saving- and paying-for-college company, today reiterated its commitment to fund every eligible federal student loan application received from every student at every school for the upcoming academic year.

Some lenders have ceased lending to certain school types, such as two-year and proprietary institutions. We want students at those schools to know that we will lend to all students at all schools who need a federal loan to pay for college, just as we have for the last 35 years, said C.E. Andrews, president, Sallie Mae.

SLM Corporation (NYSE:SLM), commonly known as Sallie Mae, is the nations leading provider of saving- and paying-for-college programs. The company manages more than $169 billion in education loans and serves 10 million student and parent customers. Through its Upromise affiliates, the company also manages nearly $19 billion in 529 college-savings plans, and is a major, private source of college funding contributions in America with more than 8.5 million members and $425 million in member rewards. Sallie Mae and its subsidiaries offer debt management services as well as business and technical products to a range of business clients, including higher education institutions, student loan guarantors and state and federal agencies. More information is available at SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Governor Perdue Announces 57 New Master Teachers in Georgia

Governor Sonny Perdue today announced the names of 57 new teachers who have earned the “Master Teacher” certification designation based on appreciable gains they’ve facilitated in their students’ achievement.

“These 54 teachers join the nearly 300 Master Teachers before them who have clearly demonstrated their expertise in helping our children achieve at higher levels,” said Governor Perdue. “They are masters at inspiring students to learn, and I’m proud to recognize them for their outstanding work in one of our most honorable professions.”

Georgia’s Master Teacher Certification Program was championed by Governor Perdue during the 2005 legislation session and is coordinated by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC). It provides statewide recognition to certified public school teachers in Georgia who have at least three years of teaching experience and who consistently demonstrate instructional excellence through their students’ achievement.

Master Teacher certification qualifies teachers to earn a stipend for mentoring new teachers or serving as Academic Coaches who use instructional release time to promote effective professional development practices among colleagues and make recommendations to improve schools and student learning. In addition, Master Teachers are eligible to automatically renew their teaching certificates as long as they continue to qualify for Master Teacher status.

“The Georgia Professional Standards Commission is proud to administer this important certification program,” said Kelly Henson, Executive Secretary of the PSC. “We extend our heartiest congratulations to these teachers for this well-earned recognition.”

For more information on the Master Teacher program, please visit or send an email to
Below are the names of those teachers who have earned the “Master Teacher” Certification in 2008:

Atlanta Public Schools Pamela Renee Andrews
Atlanta Public Schools Adella Lenore Dixon
Atlanta Public Schools LaTrenda Shanane Willis
Baldwin County Donna B. Kirby
Berrien County Staci Rentz Jernigan
Bibb County Kristy French Graham
Candler County Monicca M. Bohannon
Cherokee County Deborah Lynn Kelly
Clarke County Summer Elizabeth Tuggle
Clayton County Linda F. Kight
Cobb County Susan Elaine Blackwell
Cobb County Dora Phillips Brown
Coffee County Angela Rigdon Anderson
Columbia County Sandra Kay Thompson
Cook County Marian Sabrina Lindsey
DeKalb County Leisa Taylor Berry
DeKalb County Jisu Song
Dodge County Angela Lynn Peacock
Effingham County Margaret Nicole Davis
Effingham County Teshewanda B. Shuman
Fulton County Danielle Ruth Arnold
Glynn County Yondla Kanae Clark
Glynn County Oatanisha Renee Dawson
Glynn County Brentsie Bobo Walker
Gwinnett County Sonjyia Faye Bryant
Gwinnett County Denise Trosky Buckelew
Gwinnett County Tamara Nicole Candis
Gwinnett County Melinda Nicholson Lewis
Gwinnett County William B. Lewis
Gwinnett County Kim Michelle White
Hall County Lela H. Whelchel
Henry County Anthony D. DiSario
Henry County Michelle Leigh Platson
Jefferson County Jeffrey C. Dent
Jones County Angela Carnes Bailey
Lamar County Tami Tyre Barnes
Lumpkin County Sabrina Grizzle
Lumpkin County Patricia Richmond
Lumpkin County Rita S. Truelove
McDuffie County Felicia R. Cullars
McDuffie County Sharon N. Turman
Muscogee County Staci Nicole Allen
Muscogee County Nakia Hunter Farley
Muscogee County Tanya Lawrence Kearse
Newton County Lynn House
Newton County Leamon Carroll Jourdan
Newton County Shundreia N. Neely
Newton County Jeanne Roxanne Rachels
Newton County Stephanie Demitra Tyler
Pierce County Martha Joi McCarthy
Pierce County John Ratliff
Polk County Cristi M. Gober
Polk County Dale Loyd Tuck
Putnam County Holly M. Parker
Thomaston-Upson County Jodie S. Day
Thomasville City Catherine M. Briggs
Walker County Chastity Leann Steadman

CRCT Results Show Progress

Student performance is rising and the achievement gap is closing in every area where the state's new curriculum has been implemented for more than one year.

The official statewide results of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) were released today and show improvement across the board on the 25 exams that have been aligned to the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) for two or three years.

"These results provide further proof that our teachers are doing a great job implementing our new curriculum and should be commended for their hard work," Superintendent Cox said. "It also shows that when you raise expectations, Georgia students will rise up and meet that higher bar in all areas."

Among the highlights of the report:

- Mathematics, grade 7: The pass rate was 80 percent, an increase of six points in one year.
- Science, grade 7: Seventy-five (75) percent of students passed the science CRCT, an increase of 12 points in two years.
- Reading, all grades: Eighty-seven (87) percent or more of students in all grades passed the reading CRCT and the pass rate increased in all areas.

Achievement Gap is Closing

Even as student achievement increased in all racial subgroups, the achievement gap between minority students and white students closed in all areas where the GPS has been in place for more than one year.

"Student achievement is improving for all of our students, but our African-American and Hispanic students are making substantial progress each year under our new standards," Superintendent Cox said. "We still have a long way to go, but I know if this trend continues, Georgia can be one of the first states in the union to erase the achievement gap."

Among the highlights of the score report:

- Reading, grade 4: The pass rates for African-American (81%) and Hispanic (83%) students have increased 11 points respectively in two years. The achievement gap has closed 8 points for each group.
- Mathematics, grade 7: The pass rates for African-American (70%) and Hispanic (77%) students increased 8 points respectively in one year. The achievement gap closed 5 points in each area.
- Science, grade 7: The pass rates for African-American (62%) and Hispanic (69%) students have increased 15 points and 16 points respectively in two years. The achievement gap has closed by 6 or more points.

Performance on New Tests

In 2008, there were eight CRCTs that were aligned to the GPS for the first time - mathematics in grades 3-5 and 8; science in grade 8 and social studies in grades 6-8.

The results of these tests are not comparable to last year, when the test was aligned to the old curriculum. In each case, the new test was more rigorous and required higher order thinking.

"These results give us a new, realistic baseline to work from," said Superintendent Cox. "We are holding our students to a higher standard so that when they get their diploma it will mean they are truly ready for the demands of the 21st century."

Seventy-two (72) percent of 5th graders and 62 percent of 8th graders passed the new GPS-aligned CRCT in mathematics. In science, about 60 percent of 8th graders passed the new CRCT.

"While these are not the type of results we have seen in the past, these pass rates are more in line with what we are seeing on national assessments," Superintendent Cox said.

"As a state, we must face the reality that our students need more advanced mathematics and science skills to be successful in the 21st century," she said. "If we don't raise standards in these and other core areas, we are doing a disservice to our students and our state."

The results of the grade 6 and 7 social studies exams were invalidated due to alignment issues on the test. Groups of educators and curriculum experts have made preliminary revisions to the curriculum in these areas. These revisions will be made available for public comment by the end of the week.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Isakson Announces U.S. Military Academy Appointees for 2008

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today proudly announced that 30 Georgia students whom he had nominated to the United States military academies have now received appointments to the prestigious schools.

“One of my favorite tasks each year is to nominate promising young leaders to our nation’s military academies,” Isakson said. “I know this year’s appointees will make Georgia and America proud.”

The annual nomination of young people to our nation’s military academies is the responsibility of each Member of Congress. Those nominees who are accepted into the academies are awarded full four-year scholarships, which are valued at approximately $350,000 each and include tuition, books, board, medical and dental care. Since his election to Congress in 1999, nearly 200 Isakson nominees have been accepted into U.S. military academies.

Isakson plans to host a reception for the students and their families this Sunday, June 8, at 2 p.m. in Atlanta. The reception will be held at the Georgian Club, 100 Galleria Parkway, Suite 1700, Atlanta, Ga., 30339.

The Isakson nominees who have been accepted by the Academies (listed with their current schools and hometowns) are:

U.S. Air Force Academy
David Adams - Campbell High School, Mableton
Donald Adkins - Tift County High School, Tifton
James Collins - Greater Atlanta Christian, Norcross
Jacob Fulton - Chapel Hill High School, Douglasville
James Hill - Fayette County High School, Fayetteville
Rachel Mittleman - Starr’s Mill High School, Peachtree City
Kevin Rosen – Dunwoody High School, Dunwoody

U.S. Military Academy
Thomas Carney - Woodward Academy, Peachtree City
Rachael Duval - Hebron Christian Academy, Auburn
Matthew Joiner - Collins Hill High School, Lawrenceville
Nathan Markette - Deerfield Windsor School, Albany
Jarrod Oliver - Buford High School, Buford
Colin Patrick - Norcross High School, Norcross
Timothy Schmidt - Home Schooled, Loganville
Jessica Sexauer - Adairsville High School, Cartersville
Jev Valles - Pope High School, Marietta

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
Michael Jeffers - St. Pius X, Atlanta
Mikhail Manalo - Brookwood High School, Lawrenceville
Bernard Underwood - Balboa Academy, Martinez

U.S. Naval Academy
James Brigham - Fellowship Christian School, Roswell
Michael Carothers - Greater Atlanta Christian, Flowery Branch
Tina Estrem - Union Grove High School, McDonough
Kyle Gentry - The Walker School, Woodstock
Paul Neidhardt - Brookwood High School, Lawrenceville
Daniel Perme - Blessed Trinity High School, Alpharetta
Robert Rountree - Tucker High School, Tucker
Hayden Van Dyke - Bremen High School, Villa Rica
Eric Von Behren - Camden County High School, Kingsland
Michael White - McIntosh High School, Peachtree City
Nathan Woodason - Northwest Whitfield, Dalton

Friday, June 6, 2008

GMOA to Host NEH Funded Picturing America Workshop for Teachers and Librarians

The Georgia Museum of Art will host a workshop for K-12 teachers and librarians who are participating in the National Endowment for the Humanities program Picturing America on July 22-24, thanks to a chairman’s grant from the NEH.

Picturing America, the latest initiative of the NEH We the People program, brings some of the most significant pieces of American art into classrooms throughout the nation. The program is free for teachers and librarians who apply. Participating institutions will receive a comprehensive package of 40 large high-quality images of American paintings, decorative arts and architecture, which paired with a teacher resource packet, will provide a catalyst for the study of the U.S.

To provide participants with further support in using the Picturing America materials, the Georgia Museum of Art has developed a three-day workshop that focuses on the images and themes in Picturing America and ties those works of art to objects from the museum’s permanent collection, as well as architecture and interiors in Athens.

Participants will hear lectures by the museum’s curators and humanities scholars. They will participate in gallery tours and educational sessions led by art educators and museum docents as well as tours of historic local sites and two private art collections. They also will receive museum publications related to the seminar topics to be used in the participants’ schools and libraries. The participants will work in teams to develop age-appropriate lesson plans using Picturing America. At the conclusion of the seminar, participants will receive two Professional Learning Units for their participation.

Through the funding provided by the NEH, the museum will offer an honorarium to each participant, as well as meals and travel expenses. Space is limited to 30 participants, and the deadline for registration is June 30. For more information about Picturing America, please visit For information on the Picturing America workshop, see or call 706/542-GMOA (4662).

Economic Impact of University System Reaches $11 Billion

An updated report offers confirmation that Georgia’s public university system continues to be one of the state’s key economic engines. Together, the 35 institutions of the University System of Georgia (USG) packed an economic impact totaling $11 billion on the state’s economy during Fiscal Year 2007.

The Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP), an initiative of the Board of Regents' Office of Economic Development, commissioned the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business to analyze data collected between July 1, 2006, and June 30, 2007, to calculate the University System’s FY2007 economic impact. This work updates a similar study conducted on FY2004 data that placed the University System’s economic impact at $9.7 billion. The first such study calculated the USG’s impact at $7.7 billion in FY1999.

In addition to the $11 billion in total impact generated by the University System in FY2007, the study determined that Georgia’s public higher education system is responsible for 106,267 full- and part-time jobs – 2.6 percent of all the jobs in the state or about one job in 39. Approximately 42 percent of these positions are on-campus jobs and 58 percent are positions in the private or public sectors that exist because of the presence in the community of USG institutions.

Locally, Clayton State University has an economic impact on its region (the Southern Crescent) of 1,737 jobs. Initial spending in the Southern Crescent generated by the University for FY2007 was just under $120 million and the output impact of the University was just under $184 million.

“All 35 of the University system’s institutions are economic engines in their communities and the state,” said study author Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of economic forecasting for the Selig Center. “The benefits they provide permeate both the private and public sectors of the communities that host the campuses. For each job created on a campus, there are 1.4 off-campus jobs that exist off-campus because of spending related to the college or university. These economic impacts demonstrate that continued emphasis on colleges and universities as a pillar of the state’s economy translates into jobs, higher incomes and greater production of goods and services for local households and businesses.”

Humphreys’ report quantifies the economic benefits that the University System of Georgia’s institutions convey to the communities in which they are located. He determined that $7.3 billion (66 percent) of the $11 billion in total economic impact was due to initial spending by USG institutions for salaries and fringe benefits, operating supplies and expenses, and other budgeted expenditures, as well as spending by the students who attended the institutions in FY2007. Re-spending – the multiplier effect of those dollars as they are spent again in the region – accounted for another $3.8 billion (34 percent). Researchers found that, on average, for every dollar of initial spending in a community by a University System institution, an additional 52 cents was generated for the local economy hosting a college or university.

The Selig Center’s research has its limitations – it neither quantifies the many long-term benefits that a higher-education institution imparts to its host community’s economic development nor does it measure intangible benefits, such as cultural opportunities, intellectual stimulation and volunteer work, to local residents. Spending by USG retirees who still live in the host communities and by visitors to USG institutions (such as those attending conferences or athletic events) is not measured, nor are additional sources of income for USG employees, such as consulting work, personal business activities and inheritances.
“Another important aspect of this study is that we have very detailed data across institutions that can be used for a wide range of planning purposes by the Board of Regents and other state and local agencies, as well as the private sector,” said Humphreys.

Seven institutions in the metro Atlanta area – Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Clayton State University, Kennesaw State University, Southern Polytechnic State University, Atlanta Metropolitan College and Georgia Perimeter College – accounted for almost $4.5 billion of the University System’s $11 billion total, and 40,700 jobs.

“This Economic Impact Report continues to be an invaluable study,” said Terry Durden, interim assistant vice chancellor of the University System’s Office of Economic Development. “It conclusively demonstrates that – beyond all the benefits colleges and universities offer communities through a more educated society, cultural opportunities and other activities – our campuses have an ongoing and powerful economic impact on communities large and small.”

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tours of Clayton State’s New Student Housing Now Available

Beginning on June 4, the Housing staff of Clayton State University started conducting daily tours on the University’s new student housing.

The tours are given on Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and are open to current Clayton State students, incoming students, parents, faculty and staff.

The tours include information about the facility, its amenities and features. The tour will also include the viewing a “model” suite that is identical to the ones where students will reside.

Tours begin at the Information Desk on the first floor of the James M. Baker University Center. Individuals seeking an opportunity to tour are encouraged to make a reservation by calling the Clayton State Housing Office at (678) 466-4663.

Summer Sizzling at Siegel Institute at KSU

The Siegel Institute at KSU has a sizzling line-up of seminars & events for you, your family, friends & associates that will make a difference in your life this summer!

JUNE 12: Journey to the Center of You Seminar
Want to move from a “career” to a “calling”? Discover universal principles that will unlock all that you are meant to be. 6:00 PM light refreshments, 6:30 – 9:00 PM seminar. $35 general admission; discount for KSU faculty, staff and students. More info:

JUNE 19-20: Professional Development Two-Day Seminar – Challenges of Ethics in the Work Place: Ethical Decision-Making
Dr. Lois Robley, Professor of Ethics, brings you this workshop as an opportunity to stretch your knowledge about the ethical challenges, dilemmas, and ethical decisions that leaders face, including: factors that influence sound judgments and that interfere with decision-making, logical fallacies, case studies, and much more. This two-day seminar includes IACET Continuing Education credits, breakfast, lunch, and materials. For complete information, the two-day agenda, and fees:

JULY 14: “Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is” by Pat Kern, Financial Representative, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. This is a free workshop to help you take charge and secure your financial future while you are busy achieving your goals. Discuss three steps to financial freedom; explore solutions for every stage of your life; get information about how to put your money where your heart is, and create a plan that’s right for you. Siegel Institute Learning Center, 6:30 – 8:00 PM.

AUGUST 12: “Navigating Party Politics” – A non-partisan event not to be missed before the upcoming national elections. Speakers will include The White House Project President Marie Wilson, leaders of Georgia and other southeastern U.S. parties, and more. The event will highlight how people overcome obstacles to move into leadership roles in politics and other fields. KSU Center, Room 400. Watch our website for updates on speakers, details, and tickets.

AUGUST 27-28: Professional Development Two-Day Seminar – Developing and Building an Ethical Culture
Dr. Tom Creely, Assistant Professor of Leadership, brings you this workshop as an opportunity to stretch your critical thinking skills about the ethical challenges you face as you lead your organization, including: an understanding of culture with a focus on diverse cultural influences; developing a plan for implementing an ethical culture in your organization, and much more. This two-day seminar includes IACET Continuing Education credits, breakfast, lunch, and materials.
For complete information, two-day agenda, and fees:

Give us a call for more information about KSU discounts, or for assistance with registration!


We also are offering an online 3-Week Module in Ethical Leadership with varying start dates, as well as a 9-week course for certification in Ethical Leadership Professional Development which will begin September 15, 2008. Visit for fees and registration information.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Two University of Georgia Students Among Nation’s Top Collegiate Journalists

GE Note: Kudos to these budding stars. We look forward to following your bright future in journalism.

Two University of Georgia students have been named to the inaugural UWIRE 100, a distinction which honors the nation’s top collegiate journalists.

Brian Hughes, a senior newspapers and political science major from Lawrenceville, and Samantha Promisloff, a speech communication major from North Potomac, Md., were selected for the group of 100 students who represent an elite crop of aspiring media professionals.

UWIRE, a free membership organization for college student media, made its selections from more than 500 nominations submitted by students and educators at 132 schools. A UWIRE panel evaluated each candidate based on demonstrated excellence in a field of collegiate journalism.

“This is journalism at its most pure,” said Ben French, vice president and general manager of UWIRE. “The 100 best student journalists in the country—hard workers, big thinkers and gifted storytellers—nominated by their peers and advisers for their potential to shape the media industry in the years ahead. Taken collectively, the 100 tell us something about the state of media today, and show us the faces who will be telling us the news in years to come.”

Hughes is a reporter at The Red & Black, UGA’s student newspaper, and senior in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Conrad Fink, Grady College professor of journalism, noted in his UWIRE nomination, “Brian Hughes is among the top 10 college journalists in the country, not top 100. I base this on 25 years of doing journalism and 26 teaching it. My awareness of his advanced skills arose after a couple semesters watching his reporting and writing and mentoring him within and outside my demanding courses.”

Ed Morales, adviser for The Red & Black, agreed with Fink’s assessment. “Brian Hughes is one of the better reporters I’ve come across, be it on a college campus or in the newsroom of a professional paper,” he noted. “The key to Brian’s prowess is tenacity. Brian never backs down from asking the tough question or spending hours finding the one document or fact that makes the project worthwhile.”

Promisloff graduated from UGA earlier this month and was a staff music writer and pop culture columnist for The Red & Black’s Variety section. Before graduating, she honed her skills as a correspondent for SPIN magazine’s website, working as the executive assistant at Athens’ renowned 40 Watt Club, and performing freelance publicity work for a range of local and national bands. In 2008, she covered the Coachella Music & Arts Festival for Paste magazine and presented the College Town Tour Guide of Athens via UWIRE and Billboard.

“I definitely caught the rock-writer bug sometime between buying my first issue of Rolling Stone in elementary school, seeing Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous for the first time a little later, and sealing my fate around the wee age of 15 when I scored a post-show interview with John Mayer for a school project completely by myself,” Promisloff said. Her future plans are to hopefully continue in rock journalism in Austin, Los Angeles or New York City.

In his UWIRE nomination, Morales said, “Reading a Sami story is like having a conversation with someone who never feels old or contrived. Breezy writing should be cherished, and Sami is a master at it.” Morales singled out a Promisloff column, which was essentially an obituary for the MTV Video Music Awards, as having just the right tinge of regret and anger—regret because of what it once meant and anger for what it had become.

The announcement of the UWIRE 100 is the culmination of a three month national search for the country’s top 100 collegiate journalists. The selected students have excelled in a particular journalism medium, have a proven commitment to the journalism field and have the potential to help revolutionize their industry. The UWIRE 100 students hail from 66 different schools, ranging from small liberal arts colleges to large state universities.

UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers seven undergraduate majors including advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see

By: Sherrie Whaley

Georgia Southern University Freshman Orientation Program Focuses on Transition to College

The transition from high school to college is not always an easy one. As young adults are faced with accepting the challenges of independence, many colleges and universities make that move easier with on-campus programs like SOAR, Georgia Southern University’s Student, Orientation, Advisement, and Registration program.

“We conduct eight two-day SOAR sessions for incoming freshmen,” says Georgia Southern University Admissions Director Susan Davies. “In each session, about 250 students, or about nine percent of the freshman class, come to campus prepared to get a taste of what university life will be like. They stay in a residence hall with other incoming students, meet their advisors, register for the first semester’s courses, and learn about Georgia Southern University’s history and traditions. Not only is the SOAR experience fun, it is, without a doubt, the best way to prepare for a successful freshman year.”

At Georgia Southern, the eight available SOAR sessions fill up fast, according to Davies. Right now, only the July 10-11 and July 14-15 sessions have openings for students who plan to attend Georgia Southern University.

Parents are invited to accompany their student to SOAR and attend sessions in a schedule parallel to that of their students. Each session provides parents with presentations about what their student’s first year will include, both academically and socially. Experienced staff and faculty are available to answer parents’ questions on anything from financial aid, housing, and scholarships to academic programs and personal safety.

“The emphasis on student success doesn’t stop when students come to campus for their first year,” says Chris Caplinger, director of the First-Year Experience Program at Georgia Southern. “At Georgia Southern University we greet students in small groups at “Conversations with Professors,” an academic welcome to their freshman year. We continue with a required freshman seminar that gives students the tools needed to succeed.”

“At Georgia Southern University, our goal is to convert high school graduates to successful freshmen, and those freshmen to successful graduates,” says Davies. “Attending SOAR will get incoming students started on the right track.”

To make a reservation for SOAR, visit
or call the Georgia Southern University Admissions Office at 912-478-5391.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Save Gas… Live on the Clayton State Campus

Here’s a riddle, one with hopefully a happy ending.

Which will come first… $5 a gallon gas, or the opening of Clayton State University’s new student housing?

Actually, there’s no guarantee that the price of gas will stop at the $5 mark. However, Clayton State’s first on-campus student housing is scheduled to open in August, with the building’s dedication set for Tuesday, Aug. 12 and the first students moving in on Thursday, Aug. 14.

After 39 years, Clayton State has become a residential campus, and just in time to save a bunch of students from burning up the contents of their wallets in their gas tanks. While the University’s student body has always drawn heavily from Clayton, Henry and Fayette counties, it still can take a good (or maybe bad) 30 minutes of driving to get to the Clayton State campus from McDonough. For that matter, it’s still 15 or 20 minutes from parts of Jonesboro and, if you should happen to live in Newnan or Jackson, well, get ready for 45 minutes to an hour on the road. Even at 30 miles per gallon, that’s $50 a week in gas when we hit the $5 standard. (Today, it’s “only” $40 a week.)

However, that will all be a thing of the past come Aug. 14 as 450 beds in the new student housing facility will become available to Clayton State students. Along with the also-soon-to-be-completed student activities center, the student housing is funded by a bond project with the Development Authority of Clayton County the issuing agency. The cost of the entire bond project for student housing and the student activities center is approximately $42 million, with $38 million of hard cost -- $21 million for the student housing and $17 million for the student activities center. The buildings are owned by Clayton State University Foundation Real Estate I LLC, and leased to the University System with the lease payments coming from housing rental for the student housing facility and student activities fees for the student activities center.

The student housing is the largest building on campus, with 451 beds in 108 units on four floors. Included in the building’s amenities are gigabit ethernet service (making this the only gigaplex residence hall in the state, as befitting Georgia’s first “Notebook University”), Wi-Fi service throughout the building, VOIP telephone service, a cafĂ©, lounge areas, a game room with a large screen HD TV, HD capable cable TV service in the suites, card entry into both the building and individual suites, a 24/7 Community Desk in the lobby, and 60 security cameras. The individual suites are fully-furnished and consist of four bedroom (every bedroom will have a hard-wired internet port as well), two bath suites with kitchenettes.

Tighter Residency Procedures Net Savings for Taxpayers

Only students who live in the county can attend Fayette County Schools. As a result of stricter student residency procedures to reinforce this rule, taxpayers have saved nearly $2 million over the last two years.

System-wide residency checks, prosecution of parents taking out false affidavits and centralized registration at the school system’s Welcome Center are measures the school system put into place last year to help thwart students attending county schools illegally.

The tougher system is working. After announcing the new procedures last year, the school system identified and withdrew 68 students who were living outside the county. This year, an additional 156 students have been removed since March 31 for not meeting residency requirements. At a cost of $8,317.86 per year to educate one child, the savings to taxpayers is $1,863,200.64.

“Our students are our number one priority and we want to assure the taxpayers of Fayette County that their tax revenues are being invested in those students who are legal residents of the county,” says Sam Sweat, assistant superintendent of school operations.

A total of 633 residency checks have been conducted for the 2007-2008 school year. Many residency checks are a result of teachers and principals reporting suspicions of students who might be living outside the county. Parents are vigilant as well about reporting possible out-of-county students to the Welcome Center. Often they will report seeing out-of-county car tags and will call the Welcome Center with tag numbers. However, it is not legal for law enforcement officials to run tag numbers when requested by the school system unless they have a cause as provided by law.

Since January 2007, all new students enrolling in the school system have been required to register at the Welcome Center located inside the LaFayette Educational Center. Streamlining the registration process has resulted in closer scrutiny of the required documents needed for registration. In order to prove residency, parents/guardians must provide a tax statement (a closing statement for new homeowners) or original signed lease agreement and a current gas or electric bill. All documents must contain the name and address of the parent/guardian. A complete listing of required documents can be reviewed online at

Although there are some out of-county residents with Fayette addresses, the trained staff at the Welcome Center is aware of these areas and is able to redirect parents to the appropriate school system to register their children.

“I estimate that we turn down about 100 people over the course of a year with Fayette addresses who live in other counties,” says Jamie Karol of the Welcome Center.

The center uses a computerized system called Edulog that is updated regularly with current Fayette County addresses. If an address is not in the system, then the Welcome Center does not register the student. A total of 4,752 new students have been enrolled at the Welcome Center from January 2007-March 2008.

In cases where appropriate residency documents cannot be produced, such as someone moving in with a resident in the county, an affidavit must be signed by both the parent/guardian of the student and the person with whom they are living. An affidavit is a sworn document and knowingly falsifying information on it is a felony. The board of education, in conjunction with Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard, seeks prosecution of individuals who provide false statements on affidavits. Approximately 20 cases of affidavit violations are now pending in the court system.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Education Policy Forum Planned Wednesday For Area School Board, State Legislative Candidates

WHAT/WHY: The Education Policy Forums are offered every election year for school board and state legislative candidates. The half-day session is a primer on education in Georgia. Presented by experts in several fields, the Forum is designed to give candidates a strong foundation on which to build their candidacy and, if elected, on which to make sound education decisions. Topics include: choices in education; early learning; education finance; governance and policymaking; school leadership; standards, assessments and accountability; student achievement; and teacher workforce. The information provided is based upon non-partisan research and is compiled in a Primer that covers each topic in-depth. All participants receive one of the resource books. This is the second of 12 sessions to be presented around Georgia in June.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 4, 12:30 – 4:45 p.m.

WHERE: Clayton State University, 2000 Clayton State Blvd., Technology Bldg., Room 222.

WHO: The sessions are sponsored and presented by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and the Georgia School Boards Assn. They are open to local school board and state legislative candidates as well as other candidates for office who feel the session would be beneficial to them in addressing education issues. Currently, there are 32 registrants (seven are Clayton County School Board candidates).