Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Joseph Sams School Announces 2008-2009 Board of Directors

The Joseph Sams School (www.josephsamsschool.org), a private, not-for-profit, special needs school in Fayetteville, Georgia, has restructured their Board of Directors to include an Executive Committee and a Board-at-Large; recruiting 13 new Board Members from across metro Atlanta and further outlying counties.

Dale Georgia, long time JSS Board Member and current Board President, is excited about the impact that the new Board of Directors will have in the continuing growth of the school’s student body and programs. “We have fully embraced the opportunity to welcome so many new Board Members from varying professions and diverse communities. Seven of the nine counties that we serve have representation through a Board Member, which will benefit both the school as well as respective counties represented. We could not be more pleased with the level of service each member has committed to provide the school.”

Georgia, explained the Board of Directors’ vision for the Joseph Sams School. “The Joseph Sams School has grown by leaps and bounds since its humble beginnings back in 1984 -- not only in numbers, but in program excellence as well. This Board would like to continue to focus on providing individualized education and progressive programs to each student while growing the school’s population and facilities to meet the needs of the increasing number of children with disabilities; it is critical that The Joseph Sams School effectively serve as many students as possible without jeopardizing the quality of our programs.”

The Joseph Sams School 2008-2009 Board of Directors are:

Executive Committee

Dale Georgia, President
Dave Sapp, Vice President
Jim Sams, M.D., Secretary
Commissioner Jack Smith, Treasurer
Anne Miller
Charles Coppolino
David Goodman, M.D.
Kelly Kallis
Ellen Nichol
Rod Robinson, M.D.

Board-at-Large
Scott Blackstock
Senator Ronnie Chance
Kay Deming, Esq.
Kevin Demmitt, PhD
Marie Dodd (ad hoc)
Maj. General Ted Mallory (ret) USAF
Arnold Martin
Doug Mickey
Representative Matt Ramsey, Esq.
Matthew Ralsten, M.D.
Rocky Roquemore
Brent Scarbrough
Jason Thompson, Esq.
Fred Turner, Esq.
Congressman Lynn Westmoreland
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Education Funding Forum: Navigating Through National, State and Local Challenges

Thursday, October 2, 2008
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church
206 Willowbend Road
Peachtree City

You are invited to attend the Education Funding Forum: Navigating through National, State and Local Challenges meeting, designed to provide the community an opportunity to gain a broad perspective on the complex issues of education funding from a very knowledgeable panel of key national, state and local speakers. The speakers each have particular expertise in Education Funding issues.

Moderator: Ms. Susanna Capelouto
News Director
Georgia Public Broadcasting

Speakers: Mr. Dennis Bega
Senior Policy Advisor
U.S. Department of Education

Representative Matt Ramsey
District 72 (Fayette County)
Georgia House of Representatives

Representative Jan Jones
District 46 (Northwest Fulton)
Vice-Chair – House Appropriations
Committee – Education
Georgia House of Representatives

Mr. Scott Austensen
Deputy Superintendent – Finance & Business
Georgia Department of Education

Ms. Erin Hames
Education Policy Advisor
Office of Governor Sonny Perdue

Dr. John DeCotis
Superintendent
Fayette County Board of Education

Sponsored by the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce

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Monday, September 29, 2008

West Georgia Announces School of Nursing

The University of West Georgia announces the establishment of a School of Nursing, effective September 2008. Since it became a program of study in 1974, nursing has been a department in the College of Arts and Sciences. With its dramatic growth in offerings and enrollment in the past few years, nursing can better serve its students, faculty and the community by its designation as an autonomous unit and separate school at UWG.

Dr. Thomas J. Hynes, provost for UWG, supported the new organizational structure as a means to enhance UWG’s efforts to provide nurses for the state of Georgia.

“Separate school status for nursing is timely as this structure will better prepare the university to assist our nursing program in its efforts to adapt to the changing environment of health care and the growing demand for nurses within that changing environment,” Hynes said.

Georgia and the United States are experiencing severe shortages of nurses providing direct patient care in the community; and colleges and universities are experiencing severe shortages in nursing faculty. In addition to providing quality nurses for the citizens of Georgia, recognition as a School of Nursing will increase UWG’s program visibility, and facilitate the recruitment and retention of high quality students and faculty members.

Dr. Kathryn Grams, formerly the chair of the Department of Nursing, has been named as the first dean of the new UWG School of Nursing, which offers Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Nursing and enrolls students on campuses in Carrollton, Dalton, Newnan and Rome.

“In the last academic year, 117 graduates received degrees in nursing with 99 percent of the pre-licensure graduates passing the national licensing exam on their first attempt,” Grams said. “This year, more than 325 students are enrolled in nursing courses and more than 800 have declared nursing as a major at UWG.”

All current degree programs are nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the BSN programs have full approval by the Georgia Board of Nursing.
Funding for a School of Nursing facility is on the capital request list for the University System of Georgia and it is hoped that funding for the design of the facility will be approved during the upcoming session of the General Assembly.

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UCB Scholarship Program Awards $300,000 to Students Living with Crohn's Disease

PRNewswire/ -- UCB today announced the winners of its third annual UCB Crohn's Scholarship program, which this year awarded a total of $300,000 in scholarships to 31 students diagnosed with Crohn's disease. The scholarship program was established to recognize individuals of all ages who demonstrate remarkable academic ambition and a passion to reach beyond the boundaries of their condition. This year there were 31 scholarship recipients, selected by a team of gastroenterologists from leading institutions across the country.

For people living with Crohn's disease, continuing education can be one of life's most difficult challenges. Due to the nature of the disease, which includes sudden flare ups and difficult symptoms, people with Crohn's often feel isolated and limited in what they can do. "The UCB Crohn's Scholarship program encourages individuals, who have risen above the stigmas attached to Crohn's disease, to continue pursuing their life long dreams and inspire others to feel confident in managing their own condition," said Dr. Marla Dubinsky, Director of the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and co-chair of the scholarship selection committee.

To date, the UCB Crohn's Scholarship Program has granted $720,000 in scholarships to people with Crohn's seeking higher education. This year's 31 winners were selected from a pool of more than 1,100 applicants from across the country and received one-time scholarships of up to $10,000 to help pursue their academic dreams. The 2008 winners represent 48 states and range in age from 18 to 52. All of the winners will be honored at an awards dinner on Saturday, October 4th, in Orlando, Florida.

James Lewis, 20, of Columbia, South Carolina was among the 31 scholarship winners. Now a sophomore at The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina, James was diagnosed with Crohn's disease as a freshman in high school. Although he has suffered a number of flare-ups since enrolling at The Citadel, James has managed to flourish within the school's rigid disciplinary system and intense military training regimen. In addition to being a member of the school's tennis team, James achieved Dean's List status his first semester, and the even higher honor of Gold Stars his second semester. In a school with an average dropout rate of 15 percent, James wrote in his application essay that although completing the first year of The Citadel would be a huge accomplishment for any college freshman, "managing Crohn's disease to accomplish this feat is what makes me most proud."

Tocombamaria Murphy, 34, of Shaker Heights, Ohio wrote in her personal statement, "Crohn's has become part of my life without my consent or foreknowledge; a boundary that sometimes causes me to pause, yet one that I will never allow to stop me." Years ago, Tocombamaria had put her dream of becoming a physician on hold to focus on raising her three children, ages 15, 8 and 6. Diagnosed with CD four years ago, Tocombamaria continues to battle the disease today, while working full time as an Immunization Outreach Worker. With the help of the scholarship, she hopes to become a certified nurse practitioner, to set the example for her children that it is possible to reach your goals, no matter how far off and no matter what the boundary may be.

"Each year, UCB is honored to recognize exceptional individuals who are an inspiration to everyone battling this disease," said David Robinson, Vice President and General Manager, Inflammation Business Unit, UCB. "All of this year's applicants showed perseverance in reaching beyond the boundaries of Crohn's and exemplified true determination, despite the many challenges. They are all extraordinary people, who will no doubt make their goals a reality."

Since the creation of the scholarship program in 2006, UCB has awarded scholarships to 74 outstanding individuals seeking higher education while living with Crohn's disease. UCB launched the scholarship pilot program in 2006 and awarded 12 recipients scholarships of up to $10,000 each. Beginning in 2007, UCB expanded the program and provided students with scholarships of up to $10,000 each to total $300,000. Select winner biographies and photographs can be found at www.CrohnsAndMe.com, an interactive Web site designed to connect people living with Crohn's disease and their supporters and empower them to live fully and be proactive in their care.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Clayton State Plans for Literary London 2009

One of Clayton State University’s more popular Study Abroad programs, Literary London, is already gearing up for 2009.

One of the University’s first study abroad programs to offer specific course credit to student participants, Literary London is led by Associate Professor of English Dr. Greg McNamara and is open to all Clayton State students, regardless of major.

Deposits are now being accepted for the 2009 Literary London Study Abroad, which is offered during Maymester and will depart on May 11, 2009, returning on May 25, 2009. The trip cost of $2750 includes airfare, accommodations, ground transportation in the UK, entrances to heritage sites, theatre admissions, and much more. Literary London is offered as the University’s ENGL 2200 course, and credit for the course can be applied to Area C1 of the Clayton State core requirements, although other arrangements are also possible.

“We will be staying in the Bayswater neighborhood of London, near Notting Hill, Kensington Gardens, and Hyde Park. Our hotel, Umi London, is a restored Victorian rowhouse with real international flair which attracts many student groups from the U.S. and abroad,” says McNamara. “This will be our third year using this hotel: the students seem to like it, and we have developed a good business relationship with them.”

Literary London provides more than classroom time – the program features daily field trips in and around London as well as some evening events, and students also have free time to explore the city and schedule weekend trips.

“This year we will have three scheduled excursions out of the city by train: one to Windsor Castle, where we will visit the collections and see the Queen's guard at work; one to Salisbury, where we will visit Salisbury Cathedral and Wilton House, the ancestral home of the Earl of Pembroke; and another trip which remains in the planning stages and will likely be a trip to the sea, which we've never done before on Literary London,” says McNamara.

Within London, students can expect to visit the British Museum and the British Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Gallery, St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and other major attractions, in addition to walks into distinctly literary neighborhoods like Bloomsbury and Holburn.

“We will be absolutely immersed in literary and cultural history every day, including exposure to rare books, manuscripts, and a diverse range of artifacts of world history and English history,” promises McNamara.

Nights out to the theatre are also a part of the Literary London package. The 2008 Literary London trip included entrances to Romeo and Juliet at the Globe, Pygmalion at the Old Vic, and Peter Gill's Small Change at the avant-garde Donmar Warehouse.

“It's a little too early to say which shows we'll see in 2009,” admits McNamara. “But we will see theatre classics in classic theatres and avant-garde and experimental theatre in avant-garde theatres. We will see high-quality performances.

“I am looking forward to Literary London 2009 and am confident that it will continue the successes of 2007 and 2008 while evolving into an increasingly scholarly and personalized experience as our we expand our contacts in London and find new opportunities to expose the students the most unique holdings in major collections while learning more about issues such as archival work, collections management, and curatorial practice.”

For more information on Literary London 2009, go to McNamara’s web page at www.a-s.clayton.edu/gmcnamar or contact John Parkerson, director of the Clayton State Office of International Programs at JohnParkerson@clayton.edu.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Georgia Schoolchildren Strike Gold with King Tut Exhibition Field Trip Assistance Initiative

PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to offset rising fuel prices that are a deterrent to school field trips, Georgia's State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox, along with organizers of "Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs," announced that $200,000 in fuel will be made available to Georgia schools to assist with classroom visits to the exhibition, and up to 10,000 students will receive free entrance. The initiative is being made possible through the support of RaceTrac Petroleum, the third largest private company in Georgia. RaceTrac operates more than 525 retail gasoline convenience stores in 12 southeastern states.

The U.S. premiere of the exhibition at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center will be presented by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University from November 15, 2008 to May 25, 2009. To further supplement classroom visits, a robust portfolio of educational content and lesson planning materials developed by the Carlos Museum is available for free at http://www.kingtut.org/ or http://www.carlos.emory.edu/teacher-programs.

According to a survey by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), released July 29, almost half of school districts nationwide are cutting back on field trips due to rising transportation costs.

"This is a perfect example of how the business community can support the education of children," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "The King Tut exhibit will allow students to see history and science firsthand, and this field trip would not be possible for most school districts without the generous support of RaceTrac and the exhibition organizers. This will truly be one of those remarkable field trips that students will remember for the rest of their lives, and I urge our educators across GA to take advantage of this opportunity that has the potential to benefit thousands of kids across the state."

All Georgia schools are eligible to participate in the fuel program on a first-come, first-served basis, which will benefit up to 80,000 students. Educators interested in participating in the program and receiving the fuel subsidy may do so by calling 866-52GROUP or visiting http://www.goldengasoffer.com/.

Participation in this program could possibly alleviate moratoriums on school bus availability in some local communities for field trips to this exhibition. Schools receiving free admittance will be designated by the Georgia Department of Education.

"We take our commitment to the community and local youth very seriously," said Allison Moran, senior vice president of operations for RaceTrac. "As one of Georgia's leading gasoline retailers, and with the current economic climate threatening school field trips, this assistance program is the perfect opportunity for us to give back to the community by providing local children with access to an invaluable educational experience."

"Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs" is the second National Geographic exhibition dedicated to the remarkable treasures of King Tutankhamun and ancient Egyptian royalty. The first exhibition, "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs," has drawn 5 million visitors during its U.S. and London engagements, and has been visited by 250,000 schoolchildren since opening in June 2005.

"We are indeed grateful to businesses like RaceTrac that are rallying much-needed resources to make Tutankhamun accessible to schoolchildren in Georgia," said Bonnie Speed, director of the Michael C. Carlos Museum. "It takes an engaged community to understand the cultural and social significance of this exhibition -- its power to kindle the imagination, build bridges across cultures and provide an unparalleled educational experience. We hope that school systems across Georgia will take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

"Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs" is organized by National Geographic, Arts and Exhibitions International (AEI) and AEG Exhibitions, with cooperation from the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt. Northern Trust is the presenting sponsor, and American Airlines is the official airline of the exhibition.

"Seeing artifacts from King Tut and other Valley of the Kings tombs is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said John Norman, president of Arts and Exhibitions International (AEI), one of the exhibition organizers. "We are committed to making every effort to ensure that this exhibition is accessible to students throughout the state, and RaceTrac's sponsorship helps make this possible."

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Premiering November 15, 2008 to May 25, 2009, at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, "Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs" will feature striking objects from some of the most important rulers throughout 2,000 years of ancient Egyptian history, from the 4th Dynasty into the Late Period (about 2600 B.C. -- 660 B.C.). Derived from a variety of contexts, including temples and royal and private tombs, many of these artifacts have never before visited the United States.

The exhibition will highlight more than 50 treasures from Tutankhamun's tomb and more than 70 artifacts representing other pharaohs and notables, along with the latest scientific research about King Tut. The storyline will focus on the splendor of the Egyptian pharaohs, their function in the earthly and divine worlds, and what kingship meant to the Egyptian people.

Four galleries devoted to King Tut will correspond to the four rooms of his nearly intact tomb where the treasures were discovered by British explorer Howard Carter in 1922. Legendary artifacts from the antechamber, the annex, the treasury and the burial chamber will include Tutankhamun's golden sandals, jewelry, furniture, weaponry and statuary.

For more information about the exhibition, visit http://www.kingtut.org/.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Emory Healthcare Opens New School of Medical Technology

Emory Healthcare is working to address the community's need for more medical technologists with the opening of its new School of Medical Technology (SMT), and welcomed its inaugural class on Sept. 4.

The Emory Healthcare School of Medical Technology (EHSMT) is a full-time, hospital-based program for applicants with a bachelor's degree (preferably in science) and an interest in laboratory science. Students will be awarded a certificate in medical technology after the completion of the 12-month program.

The initial class consists of seven students and a diverse group of instructors that include experienced medical technologists, pathologists and residents of Emory pathology and laboratory medicine.

"This is an exciting time for Emory as we work to fulfill our educational mission and answer the growing shortage of medical technologists," says John T. Fox, president and CEO of Emory Healthcare.

The program administrators include John D. Roback, MD, PhD, medical director; Marilea Grider, MS, MT (ASCP) program director; and Stacy Steward, MPH, MT (ASCP), laboratory education coordinator.

Currently, the United States is experiencing a labor shortage for medical technologists, with student enrollment in medical technology (MT) programs steadily declining.

EHSMT offers incoming students with a new financial assistance option. A 'service-cancelable' financial loan allows students to defer repayment while enrolled in good standing in the EHSMT and an option to cancel repayment in exchange for service work after graduation as described in the promissory note. The loan is designed to help students finance their education and to assist Emory Healthcare recruit and retain well-prepared professional medical technologists.

Emory is currently the only medical technology school in the Atlanta area and, according to Steward, the program is in the process of earning NAACLS accreditation. "Our initial application and preliminary report have been approved and we are in the process of developing our 'self-study' report," notes Steward. "After submitting the self-study report, a site-visit will be conducted by NAACLS representatives and a decision will be made regarding an award of accreditation. We fully anticipate receipt of accreditation."

Aside from Emory, there are currently only three other universities in the state that offer accreditation for medical technology: Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Armstrong University in Savannah, and Thomas University in Thomasville.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Clayton State Theater Majors Experience Huck Finn

Clayton State University Theater majors Susan Maddox (Rex, Ga.) and Kimberly McCloud (El Paso, Tx.), are getting hands on experience with their involvement in “Big River - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” a musical production of Theatrical Outfit, currently playing through Oct. 5 at the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St., Atlanta.

Both students became involved in theater at an early age.

“I've been involved with theater since pre-school. My first starring role was baby Jesus in our Christmas pageant,” says Maddox, who is part of the production crew for Big River. “I became really involved in theater in high school. My first experience in real theater was as an assistant director. Over the years I became more and more involved in technical theater which resulted in a job at the Clayton County Schools Performing Arts Center.

“I left theater for a couple of years to try my hand at photography. I came back to the performing arts center and transferred to Clayton State in 2005. My first experience with theater at Clayton State was in Introduction to Theater before the Theater major was created. I enjoyed all of the theater classes I took and the day the major was official I signed up.”

“I began doing some acting at my church,” says McCloud, who plays the role of Townsperson in the musical. “There was a lull of a few years between now and then. [Clayton State Theater Director] Phillip DePoy encouraged me to take it up once again during my participation in Acting I with him in fall 2004.”

Maddox and McCloud give the Clayton State theater program great praises and credit for the hands on experience they are receiving.

“There are many things I love about Clayton State's theatre program. The first is how tight knit and close we all are. The theater majors share many classes together and spend a lot of time in rehearsal so we get to know each other very well and we have quickly become a small family,” says Maddox. “I also love the fact that my professors have come directly from professional theater and send their students into Atlanta with opportunities and contacts. I am comforted in knowing that my professors are giving me information that will help me survive in a career that is notorious for its hardships. It makes the transition from school to work much less intimidating.”

“What I absolutely love about the Clayton State University theater program is the exposure to professionals in the Atlanta theatre community. Our study of the theatrical arts is not solely academic it is put into practice and exercised with artists who make their living doing what we dream and plan to do,” McCloud says. “Artists like Phillip DePoy, Shontelle Thrash, Patricia Henrizte, Hugh Adams, Jen Akin, Ken Yunker, Rochelle Barker, and Joan McCurdy come to the Clayton State University Theatre and generously work with students. It has been wonderful.”

Despite some of the challenges that students face, there are many rewards. As a result, both students have risen to the occasion by taking advantage of many opportunities.

“I'm glad to know that I'm heading in the right direction and I'm doing what I need to do to be successful. I feel that I have opportunities opening up to me and I'm very excited,” says Maddox. “My goal for the near future is to become a director in Atlanta. I also would like to go to graduate school at Sarah Lawrence in New York and work toward a Ph.D. in dramaturgy. My ultimate goal is to start my own theater company in North Georgia for school age kids to get them involved and excited about the arts.”

“The biggest reward is the feeling of confidence and destiny that has been cultivated in me while rehearsing and while waiting in the wings for my entrance when the house is packed. It is like a shock of electricity that stirs me to perform and tell whatever story I have to tell in that moment,” McCloud says. “I am graduating in December, and then starts the real working actor's job -- auditioning. The internship I have right now at Theatrical Outfit has put me in contact with people that I hope to work with and for in the future. Also, there are the Unified Auditions in the spring held by the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts. I'll be there with a large group of metro area actors and hopefuls to present myself to over 60 theaters for their consideration. So, the future looks bright.”

“Actress Jill Jane Clements called me yesterday with effusive praise for both of these students. I’m very proud of them. This is exactly what we want from this theater program: experience in the real world of theatre that most often translates to actual jobs,” adds DePoy.

For more information on “Big River - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” go to www.theatricaloutfit.org.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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Friday, September 19, 2008

Popular Online Contest Keeping Up Kids' Interest in Math

PRNewswire -- As national experts continue to decry the need for more science and math education, a fun math contest Web site at Columbus State University is doing its part to keep interest alive.

Hundreds of thousands of people from more than 213 different countries around the globe are finding their way to the brain-teaser site every month at www.colstate.edu/mathcontest . More than 564,000 hits were logged last year, and the counter is on track this year to double that mark.

The site also has reached the coveted No. 1 spot on Google when someone searches online for "math contest."

All this interest is inspiration for David Rock, dean of Columbus State University's College of Education and the man behind the math contest.

He has spent most of his career trying to change perceptions of math. Research has shown that combining math with technology helps the learning process. So when the Internet first hit the mainstream about a decade ago, Rock found a way to combine technology with learning.

And he made it fun. The questions are not just equations, but brain-teasers, mental slight-of-hands and real-life scenarios for different age levels.

"Too many of our kids lose interest in math as they become older," Rock said. "Perhaps it's because it's not cool or because they don't think it's relevant. But whatever the reason, we've got to do what we can to change that perception "

He and Doug Brumbaugh, a colleague at the University of Central Florida where he completed his graduate degrees and once taught as an instructor, created some online math contests long before Google or other Internet search engines went online. The pair didn't advertise or tell many about it, but people online found the site. Rock promised that everyone who answered correctly would have their name posted on the Web site.

"We never post the answers because we want it to be a teaching tool as well as a place where people have to think," Rock said. "Teachers know that if their student's name is on the site, they submitted the correct answer."

The idea took off and followed Rock as he became a professor and moved to new positions at other universities. At Columbus State University, Rock has collapsed all the math contests he's done into one mega online math contest site. He even talked the White House into including a math challenge on its Web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/kids/ .

CSU's math contest site features the Problem of the Week, plus Algebra in Action, Middle School Madness and Elementary Brain Teaser.

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News to Use in Fayetteville, Atlanta, Columbus, Peachtree City and all of Georgia

Georgia Aquarium Hosts Education Conference September 22-24

Education Conference for nonprofit organizations working with at-risk students
Georgia Aquarium
September 22-24, 2008

PRNewswire-USNewswire -- The Georgia Mentoring Partnership (GMP) and the Georgia Parental Information & Resource Center (GA PIRC), in partnership with Communities In Schools of Georgia, are conducting a joint conference to provide resources and help participants better serve at-risk students. The event is open to anyone who wants to learn more about mentoring, parent engagement and other dropout prevention strategies. Participants will learn how innovative ideas and techniques can help establish and maintain effective school- and community-based programs. Hot topics that are frequently in the news, with suggestions on how to manage, will also be discussed. Visit www.cisga.org for registration information.

Event topic highlights and speakers include:

Financial literacy for youth provided by the FDIC

Gang awareness, what to look for, and how to minimize it (including a separate session on the infamous most dangerous gang, MS-13 and its infiltration in the southeast)

Dr. Susan Weinberger, known nationally as "Dr Mentor"

Susan Taylor, former editor of Essence magazine and now with the National Cares Mentoring Movement

Ron Clark, founder of the Ron Clark Academy

CIS is the nation's largest dropout prevention organization. CIS partners with local school districts and community organizations to connect needed resources and services to kids and families. In Georgia, 50 CIS local affiliates and 29 Performance Learning Centers(R) provide services to nearly 135,000 students in 66 school systems. Key programs include mentoring, tutoring, parent education, literacy, after-school programs, youth leadership, and PLCs. PLCs are geared toward high school students who are not succeeding in the traditional school setting. Communities sponsoring CIS programs have seen an increase in their school graduation rates, a decrease in violence and disruptions, and an increase in attendance and academic achievement. For more information, visit HYPERLINK "http://www.cisga.org/" www.cisga.org or contact Catherine Broussard at 404-897-2955 (w) or 404-788-9044 (c).

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Clayton State Homecoming 2008... Welcome Home

The 2008/09 academic year at Clayton State University is off to a fast start in what is a historic year with the opening of Laker Hall and the Student Activities Center. In the spirit of opening the University’s first residential housing facility and first recreational center, Clayton State has set its schedule to officially set out the place mat and welcome alumni, students, faculty/staff and friends. This year’s theme will be: Homecoming 2008… Welcome Home.

Homecoming will be Saturday, Oct. 18, and like always, there will be activities and events planned, leading up to the Saturday soccer matches. The Clayton State women’s and men’s soccer teams will face off against Georgia Southwestern University. The men’s match begins at 1 p.m., followed by the women’s match at 3:30 p.m. In addition to the annual soccer matches, several other traditional homecoming events have been set.

Homecoming Saturday will once again start with a long-standing favorite, the Alumni Pancake Breakfast. The breakfast will begin at 9 a.m. in the Atrium of the Harry S. Downs Center and continue until 11 a.m. The event is free of charge to alumni, students, faculty/staff and friends of the University.

Later that morning, the Alumni Association, along with the support of various schools, colleges and departments has planned class reunions from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The reunions will be open to all respective graduates but focus on the following class years, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, and 2003.

After the soccer matches, the Clayton State women’s basketball program will be holding its annual Alumni basketball game, playing a 5:30 p.m. contest in the Athletics & Fitness Center. The crowning of the 2008 Homecoming Queen & King is also scheduled for Saturday, along with the announcement of the other Homecoming contest winners.

Last year, Takeeia Williams and Michael Ivie were named Queen and King. The HUB took home the “Homecoming Spirit” trophy for a campus department for the second year in a row, and the Teacher Education Club captured the “Spirit Award” for the top student organization. The Center for Academic Success received top honors for the “Door Decorating Contest.

The Clayton State University Foundation Town & Gown Golf Tournament will kick off Homecoming week on Monday, Oct. 13 at Crystal Lake Country Club in McDonough, GA.

The annual Door Decorating contest will also start on Monday with judging planned later in the week. Homecoming T-shirts will be available for purchase in the University Bookstore on Monday as well.

On Tuesday, Oct. 14, the Department of Recreation & Wellness will sponsor an Intramural Powder Puff Flag Football Tournament. The opening round of the tournament will begin at 7 p.m. immediately after the Clayton State women’s soccer match against Lenoir-Rhyne, which is slated for 5 p.m. on Laker Field.

Another first will take place on Thursday, Oct. 16, as Homecoming will welcome a Golf Cart Parade and Pep Rally to campus. The parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. and wind through campus, ending in the University Quad with a Pep Rally. The golf cart parade is open to both campus and student organizations.

Later on Thursday evening, the Campus Events Council will sponsor a Comedy Show for students. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Student Activities Center.

On Friday, it will be “Spirit Day” at Clayton State and students and faculty/staff are asked to wear school colors and “Paint the Campus Orange.” Atlanta area radio station HOT 107.9 will be on campus doing a live remote from the Student Activities Center from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Clayton State cheerleaders will also be on hand to rev up the event.

Clayton State intramurals will hold the championship game of the Powder Puff Flag Football Tournament at 5 p.m. Friday on Laker Field, while a Fraternity & Sorority Life Step Show is planned by Department of Campus Life from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. that evening in the Athletics & Fitness Center. The Alumni Association will be starting a new Homecoming tradition as well, hosting the “C” State Club Dinner.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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University of West Georgia Doubles MBA Enrollment

The Richards College of Business at the University of West Georgia doubled enrollment in their Master of Business Administration program this year with a total of 140 registered students.

According to Dr. Jon Anderson, associate dean and MBA director in the RCOB, the business administration degree plays a significant role in providing education for working managers in the West Georgia region.

“Through recent innovations in pedagogy, course scheduling and curriculum, the MBA is now more effective and accessible than in the past,” said Anderson. “These improvements have led to increased enrollments and a stronger influence on the business environment in West Georgia, Atlanta and other places in the world our graduates now work.”

The RCOB offers the MBA program at the Carrollton campus, the Newnan Center and through the Georgia WebMBA online program. MBA classes include learning how to communicate professionally in written and oral presentations, ethical decision-making and using technology effectively on the job.

The Carrollton and Newnan campuses offer the option of evening classes for the non-traditional students in either a full time or part time schedule. The Georgia WebMBA also offers a flexible schedule of round-the-clock access.

The RCOB is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), a distinction achieved by fewer than fifteen percent of business schools worldwide.

The business college is also one of approximately four percent of schools with separate AACSB accreditation for the accounting program and has received recognition from The Princeton Review as one of America’s Best Value Colleges in both 2007 and 2008.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Georgia State University Announces 2008 Bergeron Scholarship Recipients

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business today announced this year’s recipients of the Bergeron Women in Technology Leadership Scholarship. The 2008 recipients are Jessica Wrenn, senior; Melissa Lamoureux, senior; Kia Rainey, senior; Tamara Roper, junior; and Catherine Mickle, sophomore.

“We recognize the value of fostering women in technology to enhance the diversity of the industry’s leadership,” said Sandra Bergeron, chairman of the mentorship committee. Congratulations to our winners who will bring a wealth of talent and possibility to our field.”

The scholarship-mentorship program provides for a paid tuition award and a one-on-one mentorship relationship between each recipient and an individual leader from the technology industry. The program is funded through a $1 million endowment made by Sandra and Doug Bergeron to the university’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business.

“The Bergeron Scholarship recognizes significant academic achievement and creates a unique opportunity for the winners,” said Fenwick Huss, Dean of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business. “We are grateful to Sandra and Doug Bergeron for their foresight in establishing the funds that make the award possible.”

Sandra Bergeron, a graduate of Georgia State University, is one of the most highly regarded female technology leaders in Silicon Valley. Mrs. Bergeron currently serves as chairman of the board of TraceSecurity, Inc. and also serves as a director of ArcSight Inc., Qualys Inc., TriCipher Inc and is a Venture Advisor to Trident Capital. Mrs. Bergeron's national reputation as a computer security thought leader has earned her several distinctions. She has testified before Congress on how government and private industry can better prepare for virus attacks and has served on the Silicon Valley Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security and Technology.

Douglas Bergeron is the CEO and primary individual shareholder of VeriFone Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: PAY). Mr. Bergeron is also a member of the Listed Company Advisory Committee of NYSE Euronext.

VeriFone, based in San Jose, California, is the world’s largest provider of electronic payments systems and employs more than 300 high technology professionals in Georgia.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Georgia to Participate in National Readiness Effort

Georgia is one of eight states that will participate in a national collaborative effort aimed at increasing the number of students that graduate high school ready for college and careers.

Georgia was chosen to participate in the "College & Career-Ready Policy Institute," an effort supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and supported by a partnership of well-respected education policy groups including Achieve, the Data Quality Campaign, the Education Counsel, Jobs for the Future and the National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices.

The states were chosen through a competitive selection process based on their strong leadership and the state's commitment to a college- and career-readiness agenda that includes having strong academic standards and graduation requirements for all students.

"Georgia has demonstrated its commitment to preparing all students for college and the work force by implementing a more rigorous curriculum and a new set of graduation requirements," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "The College & Career-Ready Policy Institute will provide our state with unprecedented support as we seek to prepare our students for the 21st century. We are very excited to be a part of this unique collaboration."

Georgia joins Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Tennessee as part of the Institute.

The Institute will help states tackle the difficult, but essential, task of ensuring that their assessment and accountability systems are anchored in college- and career-readiness and that state education policies cohesively support this critical goal. Specifically, the Institute will assist states in:

- Developing goals for improving high school graduation, college- and career-readiness and post-secondary attainment rates;
- Putting in place a comprehensive state assessment system that is aligned with college- and career-ready standards and that measures student progress over time;
- Establishing a coherent system of accountability that makes college- and career-readiness a central priority and provides incentives for proper actions, promotes accurate judgments, and drives effective supports and interventions;
- Designing a statewide system of supports and interventions to assist low-performing districts and schools and ensure continuous improvement for all schools and districts around the state; and
- Providing educational options and supports to boost the achievement of low-income students and other at-risk groups.

Georgia's participation in the Institute will be led by the Alliance of Education Agency Heads, as well as members of the legislature and the business community. The Alliance of Education Agency Heads includes the leadership of the state's seven education agencies -- the Georgia Department of Education, the Governor's Office of Student Achievement, the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, the Georgia Student Finance Commission and the Department of Early Care and Learning.
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Peachtree City's Fine Honored as Georgia’s Assistant Principal of the Year

GE Note: Kudos to Ms. Fine for this very fine accomplishment!! Fayette County and Peachtree City are proud of you!

One assistant principal now has her very own school desk, complete with her name on it, thanks to Virco Manufacturing Corporation.

Lisa Fine of McIntosh High was presented with the desk in honor of her being named the state’s Assistant Principal of the Year by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals.

Competitors for the title are judged based on an application process where they answer questions about how they have achieved at least three successes in the areas of collaborative learning, curriculum, instruction and assessment and personalization.

As the state’s winner, Fine represented Georgia in the national competition, sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, earlier this year in Washington DC.

Virco presented Fine with her personalized school desk on September 16 to commemorate her achievement.

“Ms. Fine faced very tough competition to win this honor. This morning I was fortunate enough to be able to present her with this award from Virco Manufacturing,” says account representative Connie Joyce.

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Peachtree City Teacher Prepares For Weightless Flight October 7

The community can track Pakulski’s flight at www.flightaware.com. Enter Tail Number for G-Force One: N794AJ.

One teacher is literally going to throw her weight around to get students excited about science.

Tammy Pakulski, seventh grade science teacher at J. C. Booth Middle, has been selected to participate in the Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery Program where she will experience a zero gravity flight. The experience is comparable to what humans would encounter during space travel to the moon or Mars. It also mimics how astronauts train for space flights.

“I’ve always dreamed of being an astronaut and going into space. This flight brings me as close as I can get to that dream,” she says.

Here’s how it works. She will board a 727 aircraft named G-Force One at Hartsfield/Jackson International Airport on October 7. At 24,000 feet altitude, a specially trained pilot will pull the plane up to a 50 degrees ‘nose high’ then push it over the top at 31,500 feet to reach zero-gravity, leaving everyone and everything inside the plane weightless for 25-30 seconds. At a 45 degrees ‘nose low’, a gentle pullout will start allowing the participants to stabilize on the aircraft floor. The maneuver will be completed a total of 15 times giving participants about 6-7 minutes of weightless flight.

Pakulski completed a training workshop in August where she was fitted for her flight suit and given instructions on the commands she will need to know for when the plane comes out of the zero gravity environment.

“You don’t want to be in the middle of a flip when that happens,” she jokes.

She will conduct several of her own experiments during the flight. For one, she will demonstrate the affects of Lunar and Martian gravity on the human body by doing as many pushups as possible.

“It will be videotaped and shared with my students. This will be compared to by ability, or lack of, to do pushups on earth,” she says.

She will also wear a vest that contains probes to measure heart rate and acceleration. Her students will graph and analyze the data the probes collect.

Pakulski will work with a group of other teachers to conduct three formal experiments including testing the affects of zero gravity on the vortex produced inside a tornado tube and Newton’s third law of motion (action-reaction) using various toys such as clackers and slinkies.

The last experiment will demonstrate amazing feats of human strength. The teachers will conduct a teacher toss (tossing one teacher between two others), one-fingered pushups and count the number of somersaults that can be completed in 25 seconds.

Pakulski says she is excited about being able to demonstrate abstract concepts and bring the demonstrations back to her classroom so that students can visualize them, such as the affect of gravity on weight. She also says she hopes her experience will be an inspiration to her students.

“I want to inspire them to follow their dreams, pursue careers in science and technology and that getting an education is important. Education provides you with more opportunities,” she says.

The Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery program is designed to inspire students to pursue science and technical careers by inspiring their teachers first. Practicing classroom middle school teachers and future middle school teachers have the opportunity to participate in the hands-on science workshop.

“I am grateful to Northrop Grumman for providing this program for teachers and inspiring teachers to inspire their students. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I can’t wait for until October 7,” says Pakulski.

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'Because I Promised'

A promise to her grandson on his first birthday led Mary Stoklas back to the classroom as a student herself and on to the achievement of being named one of the best preschool education students in the nation.

Stoklas, who had a long career selling educational materials, is currently working towards an associate degree in early childhood education at Gwinnett Technical College. The grandmother of two recently earned a gold medal in the preschool teaching assistant division at the national SkillsUSA competition, held annually to recognize and encourage the achievements of technical education students.

"When my grandson turned one, I promised him that by the time he started kindergarten, grandma would have a college degree," says Stoklas.

It was admittedly a bit of a rocky start. "I pulled into – and out of – the parking lot at Gwinnett Tech four times before I even got out of the car," she remembers. Now starting her second year in the program, Stoklas is considered a star student by her instructors and younger peers. She is currently working in a private pre-school program while completing her degree.

"Mary is always a teacher. She helps others in class. She's the first one to explain things peer-to-peer," says Dr. Priscilla Smith, program director for early childhood education at Gwinnett Tech. "She's like a sponge – always looking for a better way to do things. She grasps ideas and gets excited about using them in the classroom."

"I had a wealth of life experience working with preschool children and in the education field, but this degree teaches me the actual theory and practice of teaching. It confirms what my instincts tell me to do," adds Stoklas.

Stoklas' win at nationals in the preschool teaching division completes a trifecta of excellence for Gwinnett Tech, marking the third year in a row that a Gwinnett Tech student has taken the gold medal in the preschool teaching category.

One of Gwinnett Tech's fastest growing programs, the early childhood education program is only in its fifth year. The program, its faculty and students have also been honored by Georgia Association on Young Children. Students in the two-year degree program combine classroom training with hands-on learning at the Hudgens Early Education Center on Gwinnett Tech's campus, a state-of-the-art preschool and childcare center open to the community.

Stoklas' path to the national SkillsUSA competition started with wins at the local and then state level. She was joined at nationals by several other state gold medal winners from Gwinnett Tech, including Kevin Ervin, cabinetmaking; Daniel Price, carpentry; Jesse Jones, CNC turning; and Anya Rice, photography. Three other GTC students were honored at the state SkilsUSA competition, including Do Nguyen, who received a silver metal in photography; Wilda Courney, who received a bronze metal in photography; and Riley Cook, who received a bronze metal in precision machining.For more information about any of Gwinnett Tech's more than 140 program options, contact 770-962-7580 or visit www.gwinnetttech.edu.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

ING Awards Over $240,000 to Innovative Educators Across the United States

GE Note: Congratulations to Kim R. Cummings, Jessica Finch and Angela Wiggins of
Heard County Elementary School, Franklin, GA and David Hedges of Woodland Elementary Charter, Sandy Springs, GA for their superb teaching programs. They are the Georgia 2008 recipients of the awards!

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Every day, teachers are asked to engage our children in science, math and language arts to cultivate their intellectual readiness to become future presidents, small-town doctors and global business leaders. Previous generations of educators have answered the call by way of traditional instruction. However, today's teachers must be able to demonstrate the real-life practicality and relevance of core curriculum subjects to a generation of new-media and electronic-gadget enthusiasts.

While reading from textbooks, working math problems on the chalkboard and listening to lectures still resonates with most students, innovative ideas that tap into technology and provide further hands-on learning are proving to be much more effective. All across America, teachers are coming up with ingenious ways to engage students, contend for their attention and prepare them for higher learning and to assume future leadership roles.

With enough funding, teachers committed to meeting today's challenge of engaging and educating Internet-savvy, "connected" students can turn their ideas into reality. ING, a global financial services company, has taken notice of the innovative ideas of these "unsung heroes" for more than a decade and is committed to recognizing and rewarding educators for their ingenuity.

The ING Unsung Heroes awards program recognizes Kindergarten through 12th grade educators nationwide for their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects and ability to positively influence the children they teach. Since honoring its first "unsung hero" in 1996, ING has awarded more than $3 million to nearly 1,300 educators across the United States.

ING today announced that after receiving more than 1,400 applications this year and choosing 100 initial $2,000 award winners, Robert Ostmann, a teacher at Laurel High School in Los Alamitos, Calif., has been selected to receive the top prize in the 2008 ING Unsung Heroes awards program. As the winner, Ostmann will receive an additional $25,000 for his "LifeWorks Studio" program.

Over the years, Robert Ostmann has worked relentlessly to keep Laurel High School students in school. His latest creative business ideas just might have what it takes to keep at-risk students in class, as well as prepare them for productive adult lives. His "LifeWorks Studio" program consists of two components: 1) a student-operated small business that contracts with parent groups at other district schools to videotape plays, concerts and other events to produce professional-quality DVDs for the schools to sell as fundraisers and 2) a public-service partnership between students and a regional hospice organization to film and produce "LifeStory" video memoirs of men and women nearing the end of their lives. LifeWorks Studios moves learning outside the conventional classroom model.

Running a community-based business gives students a chance to move beyond their limited world of school and friends to connect with the larger community. Interacting across generations and immersing themselves in the life stories of others will give students a unique perspective on the possibilities and challenges that life can throw their way. Over the school year, about 40 students will directly benefit by working in both the small business and the public service components of LifeWorks Studio. The project reinforces the Laurel High staff's commitment to keep their students in school and equip them to become productive citizens and lifelong learners in a technology-driven world. Ostmann resides in Los Alamitos.

"We are very proud of Bob for his excellent work with our students and his commitment to discovering innovative ideas to engage and prepare them for a bright future," said Gregory Franklin, superintendent, Los Alamitos Unified School District. "We appreciate companies like ING that are taking interest in education and offering resources to educators who are working hard every day to ensure students receive the best education available to them."

"ING is proud to recognize teachers across America like Robert Ostmann who are dedicated to motivating and inspiring school children to excel," said Dan Hanlon, senior vice president, Public Market Sales, ING U.S. Wealth Management. "Our company is committed to education, and funding programs that are making it easier for our youth to learn is an investment with a huge return -- preparing our youth for success in the future."

To learn about this year's winning projects, as well as those from previous years, visit the ING Unsung Heroes Web site at www.ing.com/us/unsungheroes. Applications for the 2009 ING Unsung Heroes awards are available on the Web site, or by calling 800.537.4180 or emailing ing@scholarshipamerica.org.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Sylvan Dell Publishing Awards Educational Resource Grants to Schools in Georgia

Children’s book publisher Sylvan Dell has passionately pursued its mission of “bringing science and math to children through literature.” Now, they are reaching out to schools and school districts nationwide with an unprecedented educational resource grant offer, and Georgia schools have already reaped the benefits.

The grant is for a free, one-year site license, providing unlimited access to all 35 Sylvan Dell eBooks, featuring flipviewer technology with selectable English and Spanish text and audio. The license can be used on all school computers and may be placed on secure school websites, enabling students and their families to log in and have access from their homes.

An easy online grant application is available at: www.SylvanDellPublishing.com/ResourceGrant.htm.

The rapid response in Georgia has been impressive. So far, the following schools in the state have been awarded the Sylvan Dell Publishing educational resource grant:

John Hope Elementary, Atlanta
Banks County Elementary School, Homer
Ben Hill Elementary School, Fitzgerald
Berrien Elementary, Nashville
Burke Elementary, Macon
Julia P. Bryant, Statesboro
Calhoun Elementary School, Calhoun
St. Mary's Elementary, St. Mary's
Carrollton Elementary, Carrollton
Joseph Knox Elementary, Canton
Whitehead Elementary, Athens
Kilpatrick Elementary, Jonesboro
Clinch County Primary School, Homerville
Big Shanty Elementary, Kennesaw
Eastside Elementary, Douglas
Sunset Elementary School, Moultrie
Grovetown Elementary, Grovetown
Cook Elementary School, Sparks
White Oak Elementary, Newnan
Black's Mill Elementary, Dawsonville
Beula Elementary, Douglasville
Marlow Learning Center, Guyton
Armuchee Elementary School, Rome
Cumming Elementary, Cumming
Hillside Elementary School, Roswell
St. Simons Elementary, St. Simons Island
Belwood Elementary School, Calhoun
Shiver School, Cairo
Union Point Elementary, Union Point
Level Grove Elementary, Cornelia
Ola Elementary, McDonough
Jefferson Academy, Jefferson
Jenkins County Elementary, Millen
Lyman Hall Elementary, Hinesville
Macon County, Oglethorpe
Hull-Sandford Elementary, Hull
Morgan County Primary School, Madison
Coker Elementary, Chatsworth
OES, Watkinsville
Oglethorpe County Primary School, Lexington
Jasper Elementary, Jasper
Northside Elementary, Cedartown
Holy Spirit Preperatory School, Atlanta
Terrell Academy, Dawson
Notre Dame, Duluth
Christian Heritage School, Dalton
Tattnall Square Academy, Macon
St. Peter Claver Regional Catholic School, Decatur
East Cobb Christian School, Marietta
Imagine Wesley International Academy, Atlanta
Chathan Academy, Savannah
St. John Nuemann Regional Catholic School, Lilburn
Mohammed Schools of Atlanta, Atlanta
Randolph County Elementary, Cuthbert
CJ Hicks Elementary School, Conyers
Thunderbold Elementary Marine Science Program, Savannah
Social Circle Elementary, Social Circle
Reidsville Elementary, Reidsville
Garrison-Pilcher, Thomasville
Omega Elementary School, Omega
Center Elementary, Waycross
Webster County Elementary, Preston
Antioch Elementary, Dalton

Sylvan Dell picture books with science, math and nature themes excite children’s imaginations through fun stories, vibrant artwork and a 3-5 page “For Creative Minds” educational section in the back of each book. But that is just the start…what really makes the books unique, is their tremendous amount of free, online educational material available for cross-curricular learning, including: 30-80 page Teaching Activities, Interactive Reading and Math Quizzes, and much more.

They have 57 authors and illustrators on the Sylvan Dell team and their 35 titles have been honored as nominees, finalists, or winners of more than 50 book awards. Sylvan Dell eBooks are wonderful for use with in-classroom projection or interactive whiteboards (Smartboards) and are ideal for Spanish language classes and ESL students at all grade levels.

The educational component has been a priority at Sylvan Dell from the beginning. “We hope that school district and school curriculum folks will take a hard look at our picture books and free online resources and appreciate that we are creating content and technologies to help them in the classroom,” says Sylvan Dell co-founder Lee German. “What we have created is a set of serious tools for teachers and parents to use to both entertain and teach their children. We don’t want to be just another picture book publisher. We want to be loved for our products and our commitment to excellence, and we want to be part of the education solution.”
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Renovations to Gordon College Alumni House to be Completed Soon

Photo: Fayetteville resident Don Neuner, who is president of the Gordon College Alumni Association, and Lynn Yates, alumni affairs coordinator, look over plans for the Alumni House on the Gordon College campus. Nearly 400 students from Fayette County attend Gordon College.

Gordon College alumni will soon have a place of their own to gather and visiting dignitaries will have a place to stay over night with the completion of the Alumni House on Stafford Avenue.

The Gordon College Foundation bought the home, which also includes an attached apartment, from the Coleman family in 2005.

The main house is being renovated to include an expanded kitchen and food preparation area, a dining room, living room and sitting room. The rear of the house will feature a large terraced deck which will include a food service area, enclosed restrooms and parking on the lower terraced area.

The Alumni Affairs office, which is currently in Lambdin Hall, will eventually be moved to an office on the main level of the house. Two more offices will be located upstairs.

The apartment is being updated and will include a sitting room area, small galley-type kitchen, guest bedroom and bathroom.

The construction is expected to be completed by early fall.

“We are so happy to have a building dedicated to hosting our alumni and special guests,” said Lynn Yates, Alumni Affairs coordinator. “It will be a beautiful place and ideal for our 2009 Alumni Weekend that we are already beginning to plan.”
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Dig Deep for Home Energy Savings

When it comes to energy conservation, home owners may have to dig deep to save money – literally. Recovering ground source heat to power home heating and air conditioning can save the average home owner hundreds of dollars annually.

Home owners will need an expertly installed ground source heat pump to make it all work – and Gwinnett Tech is now offering the state's only course to train and accredit professionals to install the system.

The Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) Accredited Installer Training will be offered for the first time by Gwinnett Tech's Continuing Education Division from Oct. 16 – 18, enabling heating and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals to offer a low maintenance, economical and environmentally-friendly alternative to their customers.

Although this technology is not new, current energy pricing and the fear of continued dependence on fossil fuels are driving efforts to utilize alternative and renewable energy sources, such as ground source heat. Ground source heat is clean, renewable and readily available.

The three-day workshop will be led by two Gwinnett Tech instructors accredited to teach this technology who have more than 50 years of combined experience. The course is designed for GSHP developers, architects, installers, HVAC contractors, trenching/drilling contractors, and others interested in this innovative technology.

Gwinnett Tech offers a hands-on approach to training made possible by access to two fully functional labs. Equipment and systems from multiple manufacturers are used so participants are familiar with a broad range of the products available.

Upon successful completion of the workshop, students are prepared to take the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) installer's exam to earn accreditation as an installer for GSHP systems. Participants that successfully complete this course and the exam will earn a three-year membership/accreditation with IGSHPA. The course cost of $898 includes the three-year membership fee, the final exam testing fee, the IGSHPA study guide, and the IGSHPA text book developed for this program.

For more information on the Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) Accredited Installer Training course, call 770-995-9697 or register online at www.GwinnettTech.edu/ce.
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Georgia Launches Hurricane Preparedness Website

GEORGIA HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEBSITE: http://www.gadoe.org/hurricane.aspx

With hurricane season upon us in full force, the Georgia Department of Education has launched a Hurricane Preparedness website for Georgia's schools.

The website contains information and links that will be helpful to schools as they prepare for the possibility of severe weather and the impact it could have on schools.

"As a state, we must be prepared for the impact that severe weather, like hurricanes, can have on our schools and school systems," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "This website will serve as a clearinghouse of information should schools have to cancel classes, take emergency safety precautions or enroll students evacuated from other areas of the state or the country."

The Hurricane Preparedness website will be updated as necessary and will remain live throughout the school year.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation Seeks Applicants for Its 2009 Class

PRNewswire/ -- The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, a non-profit organization created to support the higher education of deserving high school seniors in the United States, announces it is accepting scholarship applications now through October 31, 2008.

Each year, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation awards a total of $3 million in achievement-based four-year scholarships to 250 outstanding high school seniors from communities across the nation. The Foundation annually awards 200 Regional scholarships of $10,000 each and 50 National scholarships of $20,000 each. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation evaluates applicants on the basis of demonstrated leadership in academics, school, community and civic activities, as well as personal character and the motivation to serve and succeed.

Applications are available at http://www.coca-colascholars.org/ and must be completed online and submitted by October 31, 2008 of the student's senior year. Criteria for the application and frequently asked questions are also available on the website or by calling (800) 306-2653 for more information.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Program, which will mark its 21st year of awarding scholarships with the Scholars Class of 2009, is one of the most-recognized and respected corporate sponsored scholarships in America. The program was created in 1986 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Coca-Cola and to establish a legacy for the education of tomorrow's leaders through college scholarships. Including the 2008 Class of Coca-Cola Scholars, there are now more than 4,000 Coca-Cola Scholars who have benefited from $35 million in scholarship awards.

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Fayette Schools Earn Achievement Awards

Fayette’s elementary, middle and high schools have collectively received 30 awards from the Georgia Department of Education in recognition of their academic achievement.

The inaugural Superintendent’s Distinguished Achievement Awards honor schools that had the highest achievement and greatest improvement on state curriculum tests: the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT), the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) and the End-of-Course Test (EOCT).

All of Fayette’s awards were given in the “achievement” category. The top 10 schools in the state with the highest percentage of students scoring in the “exceeds” category in each honored subject area and grade level received achievement awards. The honored subjects and grade levels include Grades 1-8 Reading CRCT; Grades 2 and 6 English Language Arts CRCT; Grade 9 Literature EOCT; American Literature EOCT; English Language Arts and Reading GHSGT; Grades 1-8 Mathematics CRCT; Algebra I EOCT; Geometry EOCT; Mathematics GHSGT; Grades 4 and 8 Social Studies CRCT; U.S. History EOCT; Economics EOCT; Social Studies GHSGT; Grades 5-8 Science CRCT; Physical Science EOCT and Biology EOCT.

A total of six elementary and middle schools received achievement awards for performance on the CRCT:
Braelinn Elementary – Grade 2 Reading and Grade 2 Mathematics
Huddleston Elementary – Grade 2 English Language Arts and Grade 2 Mathematics
Kedron Elementary – Grade 2 Mathematics, Grade 3 Mathematics, Grade 4 Reading, Grade 4 Mathematics, Grade 4 Social Studies, Grade 5 Mathematics and Grade 5 Science
Peeples Elementary – Grade 4 Mathematics
Bennett’s Mill Middle – Grade 6 Science and Grade 7 Science
Rising Starr Middle – Grade 6 Reading, Grade 6 Mathematics, Grade 6 Science and Grade 7 Mathematics

Both McIntosh and Starr’s Mill high schools received achievement awards for performance on the EOCT:
McIntosh – Algebra I, Geometry, American Literature, Biology, Physical Science and Economics
Starr’s Mill – Physical Science and Economics

Again, both McIntosh and Starr’s Mill earned achievement awards for the GHSGT:

McIntosh – English Language Arts/Reading, Mathematics and Social Studies
Starr’s Mill – Mathematics
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Schools Awarded for Achievement, Improvement

State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox today announced the winners of the inaugural Superintendent's Distinguished Achievement Awards.

These awards honor schools that had the highest achievement and greatest improvement on state curriculum tests. A certificate has been sent to the winning schools acknowledging their achievements.

"It is so important to acknowledge the achievement and progress of our schools," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "These awards are just a token of our appreciation for the hard work that goes into teaching and supporting students every day. Congratulations to all the winners!"

The Superintendent's Distinguished Achievement Awards are based on the performance of students on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT), the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT) and the End-of-Course-Tests (EOCT). These awards acknowledge schools in two categories:

- IMPROVEMENT: The ten schools in each honored subject area and grade that had the greatest improvement in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards.
- ACHIEVEMENT: The ten schools in each honored subject area and grade that had the highest percentage of students score in the exceeds category.

Of the Improvement winners, Superintendent Cox said: "We have schools all over the state that are moving the needle quickly in all areas. This type of improvement doesn't happen in a vacuum -- it takes collaboration, dedication and focus."

Of the Achievement winners, Superintendent Cox said: "It is crucial that we recognize those schools that have large numbers of students showing the highest levels of achievement. These schools have high expectations for all of their students and their students are reaching -- and exceeding -- those expectations.”

The Superintendent's Distinguished Achievement Awards are being handed out in the following subjects and grades:

- READING and ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS: Grades 1-8 Reading CRCT; Grades 2 & 6 English Language Arts CRCT; 9th Grade Literature EOCT; American Literature EOCT; English Language Arts & Reading GHSGT
- MATHEMATICS: Grades 1-8 Mathematics CRCT; Algebra 1 EOCT; Geometry EOCT; Mathematics GHSGT
- SOCIAL STUDIES: Grades 4 & 8 CRCT; U.S. History EOCT; Economics EOCT; Social Studies GHSGT
- SCIENCE: Grades 5-8 CRCT; Physical Science EOCT; Biology EOCT

WINNING SCHOOLS CAN BE FOUND AT http://www.gadoe.org/pea_communications.aspx?ViewMode=1&obj=1674
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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Online Certificate in Geographic Information Systems Available from Johns Hopkins

Students anywhere in the world can now earn a certificate in geographic information systems by taking courses online from The Johns Hopkins University.

The online certificate, offered by the university's Environmental Sciences and Policy Program and endorsed by the Maryland Higher Education Commission in July, is opening for student enrollment in the fall 2008 semester.

Geographic information systems, or GIS, allow users to collect and interpret data that are displayed as maps, reports, and charts to reveal spatial relationships, patterns and trends.

"According to the Department of Labor's High-Growth Industry Initiative, geospatial technology is one of the top three fastest-growing industries," said John Boland, chair of the Environmental Sciences and Policy Program. "The job potential for people skilled in GIS is extraordinary, and the Johns Hopkins online certificate in GIS caters to this audience. All five courses are administered online, allowing professionals to earn the certificate on their time."

GIS has boomed in recent years because many industries can capitalize on this data-rich technology. Professionals in law enforcement, disaster planning, marketing, real estate, environmental management, telecommunications, public health, urban planning, and more are now realizing the advantages of adding GIS skills to their repertoire.

"The university is dedicated to a bold initiative of augmenting our existing on-site degree offerings with quality distance learning in a robust, interactive, and asynchronous online format," said Sarah Steinberg, associate dean of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "The success we've had with our Environmental Sciences and Policy Program reassured us that providing the certificate in GIS in the online platform as well was the right thing to do. And because the format is asynchronous, students can keep pace with their peers regardless of where they live."

Required Courses for the Online Certificate in GIS

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
In this course, students become familiar with GIS concepts and gain the experience necessary to appreciate the utility of GIS in decision-making. Topics covered include the fundamentals of cartography, geo-referencing, data structures, database design, project planning, and basic spatial data analysis. The course provides an overview of the capabilities of GIS software. Class time is divided between lectures and GIS exercises that reinforce critical concepts. Completion of a term project is part of the course.

Remote Sensing: Earth Observing Systems and Applications
This course introduces remote sensing as an important technology to further our understanding of Earth's land, atmospheric, and oceanic processes. Students study remote sensing science, techniques, and satellite technologies to become familiar with the types of information that can be obtained and how this information can be applied in the natural and social sciences. Applications include assessment of land cover and land use; mapping and analysis of natural resources; weather and climate studies; pollution detection and monitoring; disaster monitoring; and identification of oceanographic features.

Introduction to Spatial Analysis with GIS
This course introduces students to using statistical techniques for solving spatial problems. Students will learn to apply the principles of statistics to address the distribution and location of a variety of problems. Examples and assignments are drawn from many GIS applications: business, urban planning, security, public health, transportation and telecommunications. Topics include spatial sampling, measures of dispersion and central tendency in spatial analysis, and regression analysis applied to spatial data.

Advanced GIS Modeling (formerly Advanced GIS for Environmental Modeling)
This course moves beyond the fundamentals of GIS to explore application to problems in various sectors. Students review current research in the field, learn relevant modeling techniques, and utilize advanced software tools for analysis. The course involves the use and integration of a variety of data sources including maps, GPS, and satellite imagery. Specific GIS techniques in spatial analysis are introduced. The course builds on former GIS software experience. Students develop a significant GIS project over the course of the semester and present their findings at the end.

Development and Management of GIS Projects
This course teaches knowledge and skills for managing GIS projects, including technical, legal, ethical and institutional problems. Students will examine the institutional role of geographic information systems and technologies, explore key issues in organizational management of GIS projects (planning, staffing, budgeting), and develop skills to design and manage geospatial databases. Ethical and legal issues in data acquisition, sharing, and representation will also be discussed.

For more information about Johns Hopkins' online certificate in GIS, please contact:

Dr. Eileen McGurty
Associate Program Chair
Environmental Sciences & Policy Program and Certificate in GIS
(410) 516-7049

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

C.D. Moody Opens the Jim Wood Lecture Series at Clayton State

James M. “Jim” Wood, Jr., president of Jim Wood Associates, former owner/publisher of the Clayton News-Daily, and the only original member still serving on the Board of Trustees of Clayton State University Foundation, and his wife, Dr. Martha Wood, professor emerita of Mathematics at Clayton State, have joined with their family, friends and business associates to create an endowed fund for the Jim Wood Lecture Series for the Clayton State University AACSB-accredited School of Business.

On Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008, at noon in room 272 of the James M. Baker University Center, the Jim Wood Lecture Series officially kicks off with a visit from C.D. Moody, Jr., president and CEO of C.D. Moody Construction Company, Inc. Since its start in 1983, C.D. Moody Construction Company has grown from $1 million to more than $70 million in annual revenues. According to School of Business Dean Dr. Jacob Chacko, Moody’s presentation will typify the Wood Lecture Series, which will support the efforts of the School of Business to seek and obtain guest lecturers who are some of Georgia’s most celebrated business personalities.

“The School of Business sees the series as a means to forge bonds between Georgia’s business leaders and Clayton State students, while ensuring students gain insights into current business trends and corporate strategies,” says Chacko.

The Woods’ son, James Wood, III, a former student at Clayton State who serves as vice president of Business Services at AT&T, is the founder of and principal contributor to the Jim Wood Lecture Series endowment. However, according to Jim Wood, the Series is a good fit for the whole family.

“We wanted the students enrolled in the school to be able to talk and listen to individuals who have distinguished themselves in business,” he says. “It’s important that students realize that these successful people went through struggles just like themselves and have made a success of their professional life.”

Jim and James Wood already are recruiting and recommending additional guests for the lecture series. In October, the Series will offer lectures from Frank Argenbright, chairman of Air Serv Corporation, and Milton H. Jones, Jr., market president, Bank of America, Georgia.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding, comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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Mercer to Offer Free GMAT Course For Applicants to Two of Its Programs

Mercer University’s Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics will offer free GMAT prep courses for up to 40 qualified applicants to two of its most popular programs - the Master of Business Administration and its new Master of Accountancy program.

The course will run from 2 to 6 p.m. for four Saturdays, Sept. 6, 13, 20, and 27, in the Business and Education Building on Mercer’s Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus in Atlanta. The course will be held for applicants in time for second session of the fall semester, as well those seeking admission to the spring semester. The apply to the programs, contact Tracey M. Wofford, associate director of admissions, at (678) 547-6422 or wofford_tm@mercer.edu. For information about the GMAT prep course, or to register once application has been made to the graduate programs, contact Kaitlin David in the School of Business at david_kr@mercer.edu or (678) 547-6161.

Prospective students can visit the School’s Web site, www.mercer.edu/business and click the prep course link for registration information and to check future prep courses and dates.

The Stetson School of Business and Economics holds the highest level of accreditation available for business schools from AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Long a leader in business education in Atlanta with its evening MBA program, the School of Business launched this fall the Master of Accountancy. Both the MBA and MAcc are evening programs targeted toward the growing group of professionals in the Atlanta area in need of career-focused programs to help them succeed.

The Master of Accountancy degree will be offered over one calendar year. The degree is a 30-semester program comprised of 10 courses. The degree is intended to provide students with the knowledge and skills consistent with a professional graduate degree. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in public or private accounting and enable them to achieve career advancement in the accounting profession. While providing an in-depth study in basic areas of accounting, through its electives, it permits specialization in one of two emphases: public accounting (including tax and financial accounting) and international accounting (relevant to public and private accounting).

The Flexible MBA is a self-paced program that provides adults with the flexibility to attain an advanced business degree without interrupting their careers. Classes are held one evening per week in eight-week sessions, allowing students to complete their degrees along a timeline they design.

The course and materials will be available free of charge to the first 40 qualified individuals who register with the Atlanta Office of Admissions. To qualify, individuals must make application to the University’s Atlanta MBA or MAcc program and provide transcripts showing that they have previously earned a four-year degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 GPA. International applicants must also have achieved the minimum required TOEFL score for admission and provide an evaluation of any international transcripts showing equivalency to a U.S. four year degree.

For more information, visit the degree programs section of the Stetson School of Business Web page at www.mercer.edu/business. Additionally, online applications for all degree programs are available on the Web site through the “Application” link within each degree program's information page. To contact the Atlanta Office of Admissions for the School of Business, call Tracey M. Wofford, associate director of admissions, at (678) 547-6422 or e-mail wofford_tm@mercer.edu.

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New Online Master's Degree to Benefit Education

A new online master’s degree in teaching at the University of West Georgia will be available to students who wish to pursue a new career in math and science education.

Beginning in January 2009, the degree will be offered by UWG, Columbus State University and Kennesaw State University. Faculty from all three institutions, as well as faculty from Georgia Southern University and Valdosta State University, will teach the courses for the 39-semester hour program.

Georgia Southern and Valdosta State also will offer the degree in 2010. The institutions are able to offer the degree completely online by sharing faculty expertise and resources.

The degree is targeted to students with a bachelor’s degree in math and science or a related field and those who are already teaching and wish a certification in math or one of the sciences.

The online Master of Arts in teaching or MAT will offer degree seekers teacher certification in mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics and the earth/space sciences. Dr. Kim Metcalf, UWG Dean of the College of Education, said the program will appeal to a wide audience.

“UWG is committed to serving a broad community of learners through this program,” said Metcalf. “We believe this degree offers an opportunity to increase the number of mathematics and science teachers in Georgia while preparing them in a quality program.”

Applications for the MAT degree will be available on the Georgia ONmyLINE website, www.georgiaonmyline.org. Applicants will be asked to select a school as their home institution and that university will award the degree. The site offers easy access to online and distance-education offerings throughout the University System of Georgia.

Educators hope to boost the number and quality of Georgia’s math and science teachers while at the same time allow Georgians to save gas and time by avoiding the commute to campus.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The FBI is Looking for a Few Good Students


GE Note: This sounds like a blast! Don't wait to apply as the deadline is fast approaching.

Attention, undergraduate and graduate students: Interested in being part of the war on terror? Breaking up an international crime ring? Identifying criminals who exploit young children on the Internet? Working side-by-side with top-notch forensic experts to solve a violent crime?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then the FBI Honors Internship Program might be for you. This 10-week program offers students an insider’s view of FBI operations, from counterterrorism, cyber, counterintelligence, and fraud investigations…to vital support services like laboratory exams, fingerprint identification, and behavioral analysis. The program also provides an opportunity to explore a career with the FBI while working closely with our employees. We’re already accepting internship applications for the summer of 2009, and the deadline to apply is fast approaching—September 30, 2008.

What’s the application process?

  • Apply online.
  • Our field office closest to your school will then process your application, and the most competitive students will be interviewed. Names of top candidates will be sent on to our Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
  • Final decisions will be made in November; you’ll be notified soon afterwards if you made the cut.
  • We’ll conduct your background investigation.
  • Barring any problem with your investigation, you’ll be reporting for duty next summer at FBI Headquarters or another nearby facility.

To minimally qualify for the program, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA, be a U.S. citizen, pass a drug urinalysis screening and a polygraph, and have been absolutely drug-free for the past three years.

First-hand testimonials. If you make it through the application process, you’ll have the experience of a lifetime. But don’t take our word for it—read what some of our 2008 interns had to say:

  • Mia D., assigned to our Language Services operation, saw the vital role that linguists in the Bureau play in protecting the nation. As part of her duties, she “started the ball rolling on the processing of several potential new linguists who have language skills critical to the Bureau…I know that I helped to make a difference.”
  • Eric F., who worked with our International Operations folks, said he applied to the program because he wanted to “make a difference and serve my nation.” He said through his various summer assignments, which included meeting foreign representatives, he learned “how effective international liaison efforts help further the FBI’s mission.”
  • Mary C. spent her summer in our Cyber Division, where she learned how she could “play a role in helping to ensure the security of American citizens, and I look forward to doing so in some capacity, whether as an agent, linguist, or analyst after I have completed my graduate studies.”
  • Mark C., from our Inspection office, told us he not only had a better understanding of the Bureau after his 10 weeks with us, he also “had a deeper understanding of myself.” He added, “There is no other internship that provides such a meaningful experience.”
  • But perhaps Amanda D., who worked in our Intelligence Directorate, summed up the experience best: “Leaving work every day knowing that you have done something—however small—to protect the United States is a great feeling.
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