Friday, October 29, 2010

Recommendations Received For Bainbridge College Presidency

Regent Doreen Stiles Poitevint, chair of the Special Regents’ Committee for the presidential search at Bainbridge College in Bainbridge, Ga., and University System of Georgia (USG) Chief Operating Officer Robert Watts have announced the names of the three finalists for the Bainbridge College presidency.

A national search was launched to replace Bainbridge College President Thomas A. Wilkerson, who is retiring at the end of the year, after having served the University System in this capacity since 2005.

The recommended individuals are:

Dr. Neil Aspinwall, vice president of enrollment & student services at Waycross College in Waycross, GA., since 2007. During his service at Waycross College – an institution with 1,100 students – Aspinwall streamlined many of the admissions, financial aid, and student services functions in order to better meet the needs of a growing student population. He implemented the college’s first on-line advising system, first high school based dual enrollment program and first collegiate athletics program. He was instrumental in the creation of an on-site Teacher Education program and an on-site Early College program at two different high schools in the college’s service area. Aspinwall was appointed chair of a committee charged with a rebranding campaign which resulted in the introduction of new college logos, a redesigned website and new marketing strategy.

Since Aspinwall’s appointment, enrollment and retention are at their highest levels in the 34-year history of Waycross College. In 2010, he was instrumental in designing and creating the 3-year Graduation and Retention plan and assisted the college’s president in its presentation to the Board of Regents Graduation and Retention Committee. Prior to his arrival at Waycross College, Aspinwall served as vice president of economic development at Okefenokee Technical College, a member institution of the Technical College System of Georgia, from January 1999 to August 2007. While at Okefenokee Technical College, he played a key role in increasing enrollment and generating additional revenue for the College by working with business and industry, city and county governments, and local boards of education to implement new programs and services and establish new off-campus locations in all seven counties within the College’s service delivery area.

Aspinwall holds an Ed.D. in Educational Administration earned in 1999, an education specialist degree in 1994 and a master of education degree in 1992, both with a major in School Administration and Supervision. He earned a bachelor of science in education degree in Technology Education in 1986, all conferred by Georgia Southern University (formerly Georgia Southern College).

Dr. F. Gary Barnette, vice president for student affairs at Darton College in Albany, GA., since 2001. Initially hired as dean of students in 1994, Barnette was promoted to vice president in 2001, and, since June 2009, he has also served as interim vice president for academic affairs at Darton College. Prior to his arrival in Albany, Barnette served as vice president of student affairs at Lindsey Wilson College, a college of more than 1,200 students in Columbia, KY., from 1991 to 1994. Before that, he was the area coordinator for housing and residence life at Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS., from 1989 to 1991.

Barnette’s oversight of Student Affairs departments at Darton College includes Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar/records, Student Activities, Challenge Course Program, Disabled Student Services, Career Development Center, International Student Services, Minority Advising, Evening Operations, Counseling Services, and Student Housing. His responsibilities have also included enrollment management. During this time enrollment increased by 119% to over 5,800 students. Barnette designed, implemented, and currently oversees a comprehensive student success program and has worked with faculty to research retention and graduation data. This effort resulted in a comprehensive retention plan that was presented to the USG Board of Regents. He serves on the Regents Academic Affairs Committee and Regents Administrative Committee on Student Affairs for the USG.

Barnette holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education with emphasis in student development in higher education conferred in 1991 by Mississippi State University in Starkville, a master of science degree in Counseling and Human Development earned in 1988 from Troy University in Phenix City, AL., and a bachelor of science in Psychology earned in 1987 and conferred by Columbus State University in Columbus, GA.

Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, vice president for student success services, since 2006, at Cascadia Community College in Bothell, WA., an institution serving more than 3,300 students. Prior to his arrival in Bothell, Carvajal served as dean of student services at Independence Community College, a college of more than 1,100 students in Independence, KS., from 2003 to 2006. Before that, he was the associate dean of student services at Coker College in Hartsville, SC., from 1997 to 2003.

In his current role at Cascadia Community College, Carvajal led a college-wide transition to Strategic Enrollment Management that reached and surpassed enrollment goals, growing by 43% from fall 2006 to fall 2009. He had oversight of the organizational restructuring and a business process redesign of a one-stop student services center, including renovation of the facility, that dramatically improved services to students. Carvajal has served as an executive officer of the Washington State Student Services Commission and has served as a member of the College Budget Council, the Capital Projects Committee, the Cascadia Community College / UW - Bothell Co-Location Committee, and was a co-founder of the Strategic Enrollment Management Committee.

Carvajal holds a Ph.D. in educational administration with emphasis in higher education conferred in 2005 by The University of South Carolina in Columbia, a master of science degree in College Student Personnel Administration earned in 1995 from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a bachelor of science in Mass Communication/Sociology earned in 1993 and conferred by East Central University in Ada, OK.

The Board of Regents expects to name the next president of Bainbridge College at a future meeting.


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Financial Times ranks Robinson Executive MBA 26th in U.S., 78th worldwide

Rankings released by the Financial Times (FT) place the Executive MBA (EMBA) at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business 26th among U.S.-based programs and 78th worldwide.

The rankings, limited to the world’s top 100 programs, are based on program, student and faculty information such as alumni satisfaction and changes in their salaries, faculty and cohort diversity, thought leadership by faculty (research productivity), and international experiences in the program.

In faculty research productivity, based on the number of faculty publications in 45 international academic and practitioner journals, the Robinson College is 26th among U.S.-based programs and 46th worldwide.

The Robinson EMBA is 6th among U.S.-based programs and 33rd worldwide for international course experience, defined as coursework conducted outside the country in which the program is located. A hallmark of the Robinson College EMBA program is its international business residency. Each cohort travels to a host country for an intense immersion experience into business and culture. Past residencies have included study in China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Argentina, Spain, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece and the Netherlands.

According to Dean H. Fenwick Huss, “The FT rankings are indicative of the Robinson College’s stature as a leading resource for global executive education and our faculty’s leadership in advancing the theory and practice of international business.

"Noting that in 2010 the Robinson College was awarded a Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) and that Georgia State was awarded a Confucius Institute," Huss said. “Our ability to offer programs that advance the understanding of international business and global markets will continue to increase.”

Dave Forquer, assistant dean for executive programs, added, “Our position among the best EMBA programs in the world confirms that the Robinson College delivers on our promise to develop global business leaders."

The Robinson College Executive MBA is 17 months in duration. On average, students in the EMBA cohort possess more than 15 years of business experience. The program first made the Financial Times EMBA rankings in 2003 and has been on the list for seven of the past eight years.

For more information about Robinson’s EMBA program please visit http://robinson.gsu.edu/emba. 

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

State Graduation Rate Soars Above 80 Percent

The state of Georgia’s graduation rate rose to an all-time high of 80.8 percent in 2010 – an increase of two percentage points over last year, and more than 17 percentage points since 2003, when the graduation rate was 63.3 percent. Governor Sonny Perdue and State School Superintendent Brad Bryant announced the results October 26 while recognizing three schools throughout the state that saw their own graduation rates increase dramatically in recent years.

“There is nothing greater we can do for a young Georgian than encourage them to stay in school,” Governor Perdue said. “We did something no other state had even thought of – put a graduation coach in every middle and high school and focused their efforts on students at risk of dropping out. Even with our dramatic enrollment growth, 4,000 fewer students dropped out this year than in 2003.”

Governor Perdue set a goal of reaching the 80 percent rate by the time he left office. In 2003, 65,213 students received a high school diploma in Georgia. Last school year, 91,561 students graduated with a high school diploma, meaning 26,348 more students graduated with a full diploma this year than in 2003.

“Georgia’s children are our state’s most valuable resource and today’s announcement is a great testament to the efforts of parents and teachers who work tirelessly to ensure our students succeed,” said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. “Together we can continue to provide the tools and flexibility they need to ensure every Georgia student has the opportunity to achieve and gain the skills they need to compete in the 21st Century global economy.”

“Improving the graduation rate is the top education priority in the state of Georgia,” said Superintendent Bryant. “Our high school principals, teachers and students should take a lot of pride in the fact that more students than ever are graduating in Georgia. This is a testament to a lot of collaboration and hard work by our teachers and students.”

Graduation Rate Rises for All Students

All groups of students saw significant increases in their graduation rate in 2010. Georgia’s African-American students had a graduation rate of 75.8 percent, up more than 23 percentage points from 2003. The state’s Hispanic students had a graduation rate of 77.6 percent, up more than 29 percentage points from 2003. And Georgia’s economically-disadvantaged students raised their graduation rate to 76 percentage in 2010, up more than 24 percentage points from 2003.

“The improvement in our graduation rate is happening across the board for all students in every subgroup,” Superintendent Bryant added. “We are making steady progress and giving more students than ever the tools they need to be successful after high school.”

Governor Perdue and Superintendent Bryant presented the three schools with $3,000 grants towards graduation improvement programs, a plaque and t-shirts for the seniors and faculty members, all made possible by AT&T. The three schools were selected for their improved graduation rates and academics, including progress on End of Course Tests and postsecondary enrollment.

Graduation and Drop-out Statistics

School Year   Drop out Rate    # of Dropouts   # of graduates receiving regular education diplomas
2009-2010      3.56%                18,543                 91,561
2008-2009      3.8%                  19,942                 88,003
2007-2008      3.6%                  18,960                 83,517
2006-2007      4.1%                  21,100                 75,240
2005-2006      4.7%                  23,377                 72,429
2004-2005      5.0%                  24,289                 67,547
2003-2004      5.1%                  23,627                 65,124
2002-2003      5.5%                  22,861                 65,213

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Toyota TAPESTRY Program Now Accepting Entries for 21st Annual Science Grant Competition

/PRNewswire/ -- Celebrating its 21st anniversary, the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program, the largest science teacher grant program of its kind in the nation, is now accepting entries for the 2011-2012 program year.

Sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, (TMS) U.S.A., Inc., and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the program offers $10,000 grants to K-12 teachers for innovative science projects that enhance environmental science education in their school and/or district over a one-year period.

Fifty $10,000 grants totaling $500,000 will be awarded this year. Individual science teachers or a team of up to five teachers can submit proposals in the category of environmental science education. Subcategories from which applicants may choose include: biotic (all living factors) and abiotic (all non-living factors such as pollution, oil, energy, human interventions, water, soil, air, temperature, etc.)

"For 21 years Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers have provided thousands of teachers and students the opportunity to further explore the wonders of science. The focus on environmental science for this year's awards is important and will help both teachers and students to better understand and appreciate critical environmental issues that can and will have an impact on our nation's future," said Francis Eberle, NSTA executive director. "We greatly value our relationship with Toyota and applaud them for their commitment to science education."

The focus on environmental education is a shift from previous years when proposals also were accepted in the areas of physical science and integrating literacy and science. The emphasis closely reflects Toyota's global mission to work in cooperation with society by building relationships with those making environmental preservation a priority, and also aligns with the trend that NSTA has seen in the rising percentage of applications submitted to the environmental science education category.

"The new concentration of this year's Toyota TAPESTRY program allows us to maximize our ability to encourage solutions that lead to greener communities and greener technologies," said Jim Lentz, TMS president and chief operating officer. "Toyota is honored to be celebrating more than two decades of recognizing exceptional teachers who inspire students to form passionate connections with science. We look forward to enhancing environmental education as a result of our continued partnership with NSTA and America's educators."

A judging panel convened by the NSTA will select the award-winning projects based on several criteria, including the teachers' innovative approach to teaching science and their ability to create a stimulating, hands-on learning environment.

Applicants must either be an elementary teacher who teaches science in the classroom or a middle or high school science teacher, with a minimum of three years teaching experience. Applicants must be residents of one of the 50 states or a resident of Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, or the U.S. territories including American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For more information about the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program or to learn how to apply, visit http://www.nsta.org/pd/tapestry/. Applications must be submitted no later than February 23, 2011 to be considered.

Since the program's inception in 1990, Toyota TAPESTRY grants totaling more than $9.2 million have been awarded to science teachers across the country. More than 2,000 teachers have used those funds to develop and execute extraordinary programs that helped hundreds of thousands of students nationwide make real-world connections with science.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

State Graduation Rate Soars Above 80 Percent

Rate increases from 63 percent in 2003 to 80.8 percent

The state of Georgia’s graduation rate rose to an all-time high of 80.8 percent in 2010 – an increase of two percentage points over last year, and more than 17 percentage points since 2003, when the graduation rate was 63.3 percent. Governor Sonny Perdue and State School Superintendent Brad Bryant announced the results today while recognizing three schools throughout the state that saw their own graduation rates increase dramatically in recent years.

“There is nothing greater we can do for a young Georgian than encourage them to stay in school,” Governor Perdue said. “We did something no other state had even thought of – put a graduation coach in every middle and high school and focused their efforts on students at risk of dropping out. Even with our dramatic enrollment growth, 4,000 fewer students dropped out this year than in 2003.”

Governor Perdue set a goal of reaching the 80 percent rate by the time he left office. In 2003, 65,213 students received a high school diploma in Georgia. Last school year, 91,561 students graduated with a high school diploma, meaning 26,348 more students graduated with a full diploma this year than in 2003.

“Georgia’s children are our state’s most valuable resource and today’s announcement is a great testament to the efforts of parents and teachers who work tirelessly to ensure our students succeed,” said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. “Together we can continue to provide the tools and flexibility they need to ensure every Georgia student has the opportunity to achieve and gain the skills they need to compete in the 21st Century global economy.”

“Improving the graduation rate is the top education priority in the state of Georgia,” said Superintendent Bryant. “Our high school principals, teachers and students should take a lot of pride in the fact that more students than ever are graduating in Georgia. This is a testament to a lot of collaboration and hard work by our teachers and students.”

Graduation Rate Rises for All Students

All groups of students saw significant increases in their graduation rate in 2010. Georgia’s African-American students had a graduation rate of 75.8 percent, up more than 23 percentage points from 2003. The state’s Hispanic students had a graduation rate of 77.6 percent, up more than 29 percentage points from 2003. And Georgia’s economically-disadvantaged students raised their graduation rate to 76 percentage in 2010, up more than 24 percentage points from 2003.

“The improvement in our graduation rate is happening across the board for all students in every subgroup,” Superintendent Bryant added. “We are making steady progress and giving more students than ever the tools they need to be successful after high school.”

Governor Perdue and Superintendent Bryant presented the three schools with $3,000 grants towards graduation improvement programs, a plaque and t-shirts for the seniors and faculty members, all made possible by AT&T. The three schools were selected for their improved graduation rates and academics, including progress on End of Course Tests and postsecondary enrollment.

The progress in graduation rates at each high school visited today is below:

- North Hall High School - 74 percent in 2003 to over 94 percent this year.

- Eagle’s Landing High School - 74 percent in 2003 to over 90 percent this year

- Glynn Academy - 56 percent in 2004 to over 80 percent this year
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Sallie Mae Offers Advice to Help New College Grads Get an A+ in Student Loan Repayment

(BUSINESS WIRE)--While many new college graduates have already paid their first few months’ rent on a new apartment, deposited their first few paychecks from a new job, signed up to save in a 401(k), now comes time for another step in their adult financial life: paying back their student loan. Sallie Mae, the nation’s leading saving, planning, and paying for college company advises customers on responsible student loan management habits.

“Student loans offer payment flexibility, and our goal is to help our customers not only be successful in academia but after school as well.”

“Because of the loans I was granted from Sallie Mae, I graduated magna cum laude from New York University,” says Andi Dyal, now owner of a successful Miami-based events firm, ANJE Soirees. “At first I could only afford a small amount a month, but increased my payment significantly with each pay raise, new job and other financial opportunities that came my way. I am expecting my first child this January and wanted to make sure my college debts were paid off before I started saving for her college future.”

According to the College Board, two-thirds of bachelor’s degree recipients take out an average of $20,000 in student loans. A loan balance of this amount translates into an estimated monthly student loan payment of approximately $270.

“We are here to educate our customers on all options available to make their student loan payments better fit their budgets,” says William A. Smith Jr., customer service supervisor at Sallie Mae. “Student loans offer payment flexibility, and our goal is to help our customers not only be successful in academia but after school as well.”

Experts at Sallie Mae offer customers these tips for successfully paying student loans:

* Mark your calendar. Note when your new principal and interest payment begins—usually six months after graduation for both federal and private education loans. If you have a Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan, the good news is that you’ve already been making monthly interest payments while in school, and as a result, you graduated with significantly lower debt than if you had let accruing interest build up while in school. Plus, you’ve already established the habit of making monthly payments. If you want to change the day of the month your payment is due, send a message from your account at SallieMae.com or call Sallie Mae at (888) 272-5543.
* Budget for success. Financial experts advise that your total monthly debt to income ratio, including payments for student loans, credit cards, car loans, and housing—whether renting or buying—should be no more than 36 to 40 percent of your monthly gross income. If needed, consider how to cut back your other expenses or reach out to your student loan servicer to discuss another payment plan.
* Choose your payment plan. New graduates often have the option of arranging regular monthly payments or minimizing payments initially as they establish their careers. Sallie Mae’s repayment calculator can help you evaluate different payment plans. For example, federal student loans offer an income-based repayment plan, which can cap student loan payments at 15 percent of discretionary income. Different loans have different options, including some with loan forgiveness programs, so it’s important to call your loan servicer to explore the best option for you.
* Sign up for automatic debit. Enroll in automatic debit to help avoid late fees and save yourself the hassle of scrambling for stamps. Even better: Sallie Mae customers may qualify for an interest rate reduction depending on their loan type and disbursement date. For example, on loans of $20,000, a .25 percentage point lower rate could save as much as $500 over 10 years. Surprisingly, less than 20 percent of Sallie Mae customers who recently began loan repayment use automatic debit—don’t be one of them who misses out on the convenience and the possible savings.
* Sign up for Upromise to help pay off faster. Sallie Mae’s Upromise rewards service may help you pay off your student loans faster. Every time you make a qualifying purchase from hundreds of participating companies you can earn a percentage back in rewards that can be used to help pay down your student loan. For example, a freshman who borrowed student loans each year and earned $100 a year in rewards throughout college and during loan repayment could have reduced his student loan balance by nearly $2,000. Visit www.SallieMae.com/upromise to learn more about how to join.
* Reach out if you’re experiencing difficulty. Sallie Mae works with its customers to avoid default by offering options to lower monthly payments or even enabling customers to take a temporary break from payments.

Sallie Mae offers loan repayment tips via Twitter @SallieMae and Facebook at facebook.com/SallieMae.

SLM Corporation (NYSE:SLM), commonly known as Sallie Mae, is the nation’s leading saving, planning and paying for education company. Sallie Mae’s saving programs, planning resources and financing options have helped more than 31 million people make the investment in higher education. The company services $202 billion in education loans and serves 10 million student and parent customers. Its affiliate Upromise Investments, Inc., manages $27 billion in 529 college savings plans, and members of Upromise by Sallie Mae have earned more than $575 million in rewards to help pay for college. Sallie Mae offers services to a range of institutional clients, including colleges and universities, student loan guarantors and state and federal agencies. More information is available at www.SallieMae.com. SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

The Posse Foundation to Host Fundraiser Benefiting Public High School Students in Atlanta

/PRNewswire/ -- Posse Atlanta will host its second annual fundraiser 'The Power of 10' on Thursday, October 21, 2010, from 6:30–8:30 p.m. at the Capital City Club-Brookhaven in Atlanta. The event will honor Equifax Chairman & CEO Rick Smith for his record of accomplishment and commitment to philanthropy and youth education. The Posse Foundation President and Founder Deborah Bial will be in attendance along with Jeff Ubben, chair of The Posse Foundation National Board of Directors. Representatives from the corporate, civic, education and philanthropic communities will also attend. The Power of 10 will feature a short program with cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres.

"A leading focus for Equifax's philanthropic strategy includes hands-on engagement in youth education programs, with specific emphasis on disadvantaged groups," said Smith. "Organizations such as Posse are trailblazers that should be celebrated as role models of innovation. Their vision and focus on forging partnerships with corporations and academia have created an extraordinary initiative that provides our youth with every opportunity to succeed and take their rightful places as valued contributors and leaders in our workforce and communities. Equifax is honored to be recognized as a Posse partner."

Posse Atlanta opened its doors in 2007 and has since identified 87 students who have collectively won over $10 million in full-tuition scholarships from Bard College, Boston University and The College of Wooster. This year, Posse Atlanta is excited to add Brandeis University as a partner. In December 2010, Posse Atlanta will admit 40 more students into the program, with scholarships totaling over $5 million.

The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits and trains outstanding urban high school seniors and sends them to elite colleges and universities in multicultural, supportive teams— Posses—of 10 students. Since 1989, The Posse Foundation, which operates chapters in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Miami and Washington, D.C., has sent over 3,148 students to college. These students have won over $330 million in full-tuition, leadership, merit scholarships from Posse partner colleges and universities.

For more information about The Posse Foundation, please visit www.possefoundation.org.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

UGA promotes Northrop Grumman Scholarships for high schools for the 2011 TEAMS competition

First-time participating high schools have an opportunity to earn one of three Northrop Grumman Scholarships to cover registration fees for their teams to compete in the Junior Engineering Technical Society’s 2011 TEAMS competition to be hosted by the University of Georgia on February 23.
For the past two years, several teams of high school students from across Georgia have participated in the daylong competition at UGA. New participants can earn a scholarship to cover the $125 registration fee by registering and meeting a set of criteria.

“TEAMS, or Tests of Engineering, Aptitude, Mathematics and Science, brings math and science to life for students, fostering creativity, critical thinking, teamwork and problem solving,” said John Mativo, an assistant professor in the College of Education’s department of workforce education, leadership and social foundations, and a member of the UGA Faculty of Engineering, who is co-directing the competition.

The competition features high school students (grades 9-12) participating in teams of four to eight members, using real-world applications of math and science to solve some of today’s greatest engineering challenges. The TEAMS 2011 theme is “Smarter Energy. Cleaner Planet.” There are two parts: a 90-minute, 80 multiple choice question session and a 90-minute, open-ended, four-question session.

First-time participating teams seeking one of the Northrop Gruman Scholarships are required to register for the competition through the JETS-TEAMS website: www.jets.org/teams/and indicate that UGA is the team’s host. On the day of competition, the team’s school will be reimbursed the registration fee if it meets the criteria below and was notified as one of the three finalists.

1.This is the first time the school’s team has participated in the competition (new school).

2.The team is a new club in its respective school, such as Engineering/Science Club.

3.The distance the team traveled to UGA.

To earn a scholarship, teams must write a paragraph of approximately 500 words on why they should be considered for the Northrop Grumman Scholarship. Applications should be emailed to: Dr. John M Mativo at jmativo@uga.edu by Jan. 10, 2011.Selected teams will be notified by Jan. 20.

“The competition benefits students by showing them why math and science matter in the real world,” said Mativo. “Its academic rigor challenges students with new topics and new ideas. In addition, participants receive inside information about college scholarship and can win great prizes.”

Last year, participating teams—from Northside High School; Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology; The Academy of Richmond County; Cross Creek High School; Hephzibah High School; and Grayson High School—brought 64 students for competition.

Mativo is co-directing the competition with Chi Thai, an associate professor in the department of biological and agricultural engineering, and member of the faculty of engineering; and assisted by Nancy Vandergrift, a program coordinator with the UGA Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics initiative.

More than 14,000 students across the country participate annually in TEAMS competitions. Questions are aligned with national education standards. UGA is one of two sites hosting the competition in Georgia. The other site is the Atlanta University Center.

TEAMS competition site sponsors include: Harvard University, Itasca Community College, National Education Partnership Alliance, Shell and Starbucks.

More information about TEAMS, the UGA College of Education and Northrop Grumman is available at the following websites: www.jets.org/teams/, www.coe.uga.edu/ and www.northropgrumman.com/.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2010 Broad Prize Awarded to Gwinnett County Public Schools; Georgia District Wins $1 Million in Scholarships, Four Finalists Each Win $250,000

/PRNewswire/ -- The winner of the 2010 Broad Prize is Gwinnett County Public Schools outside Atlanta, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced today. As the winner of the largest education award in the country, Gwinnett County Public Schools will receive $1 million in college scholarships for its high school students. The four finalist school districts will each receive $250,000 in scholarships for their students.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined philanthropist Eli Broad at the Museum of Modern Art to announce the winner, which was selected by a bipartisan jury of eight prominent leaders from government, education, business and public service, including three former U.S. secretaries of education.

The $2 million Broad (rhymes with "road") Prize is an annual award that honors the five large urban school districts that demonstrate the strongest student achievement and improvement while narrowing achievement gaps between income and ethnic groups. The money goes directly to graduating high school seniors for college scholarships.

"Gwinnett County has demonstrated that an unwavering focus across a school system – by every member of the district and the community – can lead to steady student improvement and achievement," said Secretary Arne Duncan. "Districts across the country should look to Gwinnett County as an example of what is possible when adults put their interests aside and focus on students."

More than half of Gwinnett's students are African-American or Hispanic, and half are eligible for subsidized lunches.

The four finalists—Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina; Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland; and the Socorro Independent School District and the Ysleta Independent School District, both in Texas—will each receive $250,000 in college scholarships. Charlotte-Mecklenburg was previously a Broad Prize finalist in 2004, and Gwinnett County and Socorro were finalists last year. Montgomery County and Ysleta are first-time finalists.

"Gwinnett County's stable leadership and singular commitment to ensuring every student has the skills and knowledge to be successful in college and in life makes it a model for other districts around the country," said Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which awards The Broad Prize. "We congratulate the teachers, principals, administrators, parents and community members who collectively focus on high academic achievement for all students."

Among the reasons Gwinnett County stands out among the largest school districts in the country:

* Outperformed similar districts in Georgia . In 2009, Gwinnett County outperformed other districts in Georgia that serve students with similar family income levels in reading and math at all school levels (elementary, middle and high school).
* Narrowed achievement gaps. In 2009, achievement gaps between African-American and white students in Gwinnett County were among the smallest in Georgia in reading at all school levels and in elementary and middle school math. In addition, between 2006 and 2009, Gwinnett County narrowed achievement gaps between its Hispanic students and the state's white students in reading at all school levels and in middle and high school math.
* Achieved high SAT, ACT, AP participation rates. Between 2006 and 2009, participation rates rose for Gwinnett County's African-American and Hispanic students taking the SAT, ACT and Advanced Placement exams.
* Higher percentage of students performed at advanced levels. In 2009, a greater percentage of Gwinnett County's African-American, Hispanic and low-income students performed at the highest achievement levels on the state reading and math assessments at all school levels compared with their counterparts statewide.


Each year, 100 of the largest school districts in America that serve significant percentages of low-income and minority students are automatically eligible for The Broad Prize. Districts cannot apply for or be nominated for this award.

For a full electronic press kit, including additional student outcomes, policies and practices that made Gwinnett stand out among the largest districts in the country, as well as details on all the finalists, please visit www.broadprize.org.

The selection jury that chose this year's winner included:

* Henry Cisneros , executive chairman of CityView companies, former president of Univision and former U.S. secretary of housing and urban development
* James B. Hunt, Jr. , chairman of the board of the Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy and former governor of North Carolina
* Shirley Ann Jackson , president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and former chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
* Roderick Paige , former U.S. secretary of education
* Richard W. Riley , former U.S. secretary of education and former governor of South Carolina
* Donna Shalala , president of the University of Miami and former U.S. secretary of health and human services
* Margaret Spellings, executive vice president of the National Chamber Foundation and former U.S. secretary of education
* Andrew L. Stern, president emeritus of Service Employees International Union


The selection jury evaluated quantitative data on the finalists, consisting of publicly available student performance data compiled and analyzed by MPR Associates, Inc., a leading national education research consulting firm. In addition, the jury evaluated the five finalist districts' policies and practices, based on site visits, interviews with administrators, teachers, principals, parents, community leaders, school board members and union representatives and classroom observations. The site visits were conducted by a team of education practitioners led by RMC Research Corporation, an education consulting company.

Gwinnett County was selected as a finalist this past spring by a review board of 18 prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from leading universities, national education associations, think-tanks and foundations that evaluated publicly available student performance data.

Because Gwinnett County won this year's Broad Prize, its high school seniors who graduate in 2011 will be eligible for $1 million in college scholarships. Broad Prize scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate significant financial need and show a record of academic improvement during their high school career. Scholarship recipients who enroll in four-year colleges will receive up to $20,000 paid out over four years ($5,000 per year). Broad Prize scholars who enroll in two-year colleges will receive up to $5,000 scholarships paid out over two years ($2,500 per year). For more information, please visit: http://www.broadprize.org/scholarship_program/overview.html.

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a national venture philanthropy established by entrepreneur and philanthropist Eli Broad to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts. The Broad Foundation's education work is focused on dramatically improving K-12 public education through better governance, management, labor relations and competition. The Broad Foundation's Internet address is www.broadfoundation.org.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Alliance for Digital Equality Successfully Completes First Year of Learning Without Walls Program; Students Flourish

/PRNewswire/ -- The Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE), the leading voice for affordable broadband deployment in underserved communities, has successfully completed its first year in partnership with the Learning Without Walls program (LearningWOW), an initiative aimed at enhancing student performance, literacy, and self-esteem through the use of broadband technologies. As a result of this partnership, LearningWOW students flourished both inside and outside of the classroom, proving that access to mobile broadband services is critical for students to achieve their maximum potential.

One of ADE's implementations of LearningWOW is at North Clayton Middle School (Clayton County Public Schools) outside of Atlanta, GA. There were several notable impacts on students' achievement this past school year.

* LearningWOW Female Academy students had higher average Georgia CRCT scale scores than the district (reading, English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies) and in the state (reading, English Language Arts, science, and social studies).
* LearningWOW Male Academy students surpassed the district in English Language Arts.
* LearningWOW students also had higher average scale scores than a comparison group of male and female academy students (no laptops) on all five content area tests.
* LearningWOW students' 9-weeks grades for all content areas were also collected and compared with the 9-weeks grades for the Non-LearningWOW Male and Female Academy students. The LearningWOW Female Academy students had consistently higher averages in ELA, social studies, and science; and the LearningWOW Male Academy students had higher averages in mathematics.
* The LearningWOW male students had the best attendance rate in the school, 98%!


"The ADE is grateful for the participation and support of AT&T and Qualcomm's Wireless Reach initiative. The success we have achieved through this partnership clearly demonstrates what can happen when we deliver real-time solutions to communities who have far less than adequate access to mainstream broadband technology — in this case, public school students and their families based in one of the nation's most academically challenged school districts," said Alliance for Digital Equality Chairman Julius H. Hollis. "We believe that providing access to broadband technology will enhance the ability of these students to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, and we couldn't be more proud of the results that we are seeing in these truly talented students."

"Qualcomm is very proud to collaborate with AT&T and the ADE through our Wireless Reach initiative to help end digital illiteracy," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. "To see these exceptional students thrive as a result of this project reinforces our view that mobile broadband can aid in improving academic achievement."

The LearningWOW initiative in Clayton County, GA provided students with laptop computers enabled with Internet connectivity to extend access to the home. Teachers received formal coaching to incorporate technology into lesson plans. This one-to-one initiative focused on project based learning. Students were able to collaborate online with each other and with their teachers. Imagine students blogging daily about math. The blog became a tool for the teacher to know what to do the next day (review the lesson, move to the next lesson, or repeat the lesson).

"The entire North Clayton Middle School community is thrilled to be part of this innovative program to bring students the one-to-one instructional support they need to achieve their academic goals and lay the foundation for a successful learning experience," said Monika Wiley, principal of North Clayton Middle School. "We look forward to continuing to work with ADE and continued success through the LearningWOW program."

The LearningWOW program made tremendous accomplishments in its first year with positive data based research from an independent report, great student performance on Georgia's CRCT and positive student satisfaction and engagement. ADE is moving forward to secure public and private funding to expand the program. Additionally, a second school will participate this school year and experiment at a lower grade (4th) level. This first year has encouraged the ADE to continue to replicate this program in more schools in the state of Georgia and nationally.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

GSU featured in Princeton Review’s Best Law Schools

Georgia State University College of Law is one of the nation’s most outstanding law schools in the latest Princeton Review 2010 edition of “The Best 172 Law Schools.”

There are 663 students enrolled at the College of Law, and the majority of those students are full time. Upon graduation, 95 percent pass the bar exam on the first try. Of the 2009 graduates, 93 percent were employed within six months of graduation.

“We are pleased to recommend Georgia State College of Law ... as one of the best institutions they could attend to earn a law school degree,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review senior vice president of publishing. “We chose the 172 schools for this book based on our high opinion of their academic programs and offerings, as well as our review of institutional data we collect from the schools.”

Princeton Review also considers opinions of students who rate and report on their campus experiences at their schools, according to the survey.

“This accolade confirms what our students tell us – that we’re a law school of choice,” said College of Law Dean Steven J. Kaminshine. “We offer a great value, an unmatched faculty, and an experience that connects the classroom with the outside world.”

The College of Law, opened in 1982, offers an innovative curriculum and a variety of programs. Graduates of GSU’s law school have excellent placement rates, including many of the nation’s top law firms, though some choose public service. The average starting salary for graduates is $79,003 and many leave law school with minimal debt.

Quoting from students who responded to the questionnaire, the survey said, “The College of Law at Georgia State University offers a top-quality law school education. … GSU College of Law offers an incredible value to students, strong academic reputation with a low cost of attendance.”

It also said that professors are “amazing, diverse and open-minded.” One law student who responded to the survey said, “I am challenged every day by brilliant professors who make me think in ways I never thought possible.”

Others said that GSU’s location offers access to the Atlanta legal community with a prime spot in downtown Atlanta. Students can “walk to the 11th Circuit, Supreme Court and Northern District of Georgia courthouses,” the survey said.



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160 high school students attend ‘Vet School for a Day’ at UGA College of Veterinary Medicine

Some 280 people, including 160 high school students from throughout Georgia, visited the University of Georgia campus on Wednesday to attend the sixth annual Vet School for a Day, held at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The day began with a keynote address from Dr. Nina Marano (DVM ’84), who is chief of the Quarantine and Border Health Services Branch for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases. The division is charged with preventing and controlling the introduction of communicable diseases into U.S. borders. Marano, who also practices companion animal medicine, told students about the wide variety of careers available to people who attain a veterinary degree, and emphasized the important role veterinarians play in protecting public health by helping to maintain a healthy food supply and by monitoring diseases in wildlife.

In addition, the students toured the college’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, lunched with a panel of veterinary students to learn about their interests in veterinary medicine, and heard from a panel of faculty and staff who represented the many specialties in veterinary medicine. Students also learned about the high standards for admission to the college, and what they should study to be prepared for veterinary school.

“This event has grown exponentially since we first started it, from a group of 30 students and high school counselors to almost 300,” said Dr. K. Paige Carmichael, the college’s associate dean for academic affairs. “There were many great questions asked and the overwhelming feedback was that this had been a wonderful experience. The college welcomes the opportunity to showcase our profession to interested high school students and looks forward to seeing many of these bright young minds come through our doors in four years time.”

“Vet School for a Day” is sponsored by the David Forehand Foundation, created in memory of alumnus Dr. David Forehand (DVM ’76). Next year’s event will be held in September; the date will be announced in the spring.

The UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1946, is dedicated to training future veterinarians, to conducting research related to animal diseases, and to providing veterinary services for animals and their owners. Research efforts are aimed at enhancing the quality of life for animals and people, improving the productivity of poultry and livestock, and preserving a healthy interface between wildlife and people in the environment they share. The college enrolls 102 students each fall out of more than 550 who apply. For more information, see http://www.vet.uga.edu/.

The current UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital, built in 1979, serves more than 18,000 patients per year in one of the smallest teaching hospitals in the United States. The college is currently working to raise $15 million toward building a new Veterinary Medical Learning Center, which will include a new teaching hospital as well as classrooms and laboratories that will allow for the education of more veterinarians. The goal is to increase enrollment to 150 when the Veterinary Medical Learning Center is built. http://www.vet.uga.edu/giving/campaign.php.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Regents Adopt New Policies on Undocumented Students

A final report presented today to the Board of Regents finds that only 501 undocumented students – all paying out-of-state tuition – are among the 310,000 students enrolled in University System of Georgia (USG) institutions this fall. While the numbers are small, beginning in fall 2011, all applicants will undergo new steps designed to strengthen the ability of USG institutions to properly classify students for tuition purposes.

These steps are outlined in four recommendations by the Residency Verification Committee approved today by the Board of Regents. They will go into effect for the fall 2011 semester. These include:

The addition of language on all applications that outlines the legal penalties for “false swearing,” or knowingly providing incorrect information on the forms. USG officials indicate this will better educate individuals about the process of applying to college.

The addition of language on all applications that, for the first time, will require applicants to state whether they are seeking in-state tuition. This will help institutions in making a decision on whether or not additional residency verification is necessary.

A policy requirement that USG institutions verify the lawful presence in the United States of any applicant that is admitted. Students who note they are seeking in-state tuition will, if not applying for federal financial aid (which has its own stringent verification processes), be subject to additional verification by the institution.

A policy that any person not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible for admission to any USG institution which, for the two most recent academic years, did not admit all academically qualified applicants.

“We are an educational agency in the business of preparing individuals for careers requiring knowledge and skills; we are not in the immigration business, nor are we equipped to serve as the immigration authorities,” said Regent James Jolly, who chaired the Residency Verification Committee. “However, these new policies do strengthen our ability to ensure proper tuition classification for all students – a process and a commitment the System has undertaken and met since being formed in 1931.”

Jolly noted that the committee, formed by former Board Chair Robert Hatcher in June, sought to address three concerns: that the University System was being swamped by thousands of undocumented students, that Georgia taxpayers were subsidizing the education of these students through in-state tuition, and that undocumented students were taking seats in college from academically qualified Georgians.

“The review of all students over the summer by our institutions answers the first two concerns,” Jolly said in his report of the committee’s work to the regents. He said that the review found only 501 undocumented students enrolled in the system, with all paying out-of-state tuition, which is set at the full cost of instruction. “Every student paying out-of-state tuition actually covers more than the cost of instruction,” Jolly said.

“The fact that we have so few undocumented students and that at present, all are properly classified for tuition purposes, shows that our admissions departments are doing their job, and doing it quite well,” Jolly said. He said the review shows the USG’s admissions processes are quite strong, even prior to the implementation of the new recommendations approved by the board.

The third concern, that undocumented students deny seats to qualified Georgians, is addressed by the policy denying admission to undocumented students at institutions that have to turn away academically qualified, legal residents. “Only five institutions fall into this category, with 27 undocumented students enrolled this fall,” said Jolly. The five are Georgia College & State University, Medical College of Georgia, Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Georgia.

The committee’s work follows that of an audit on residency and tuition conducted by the Georgia State Audit Department two years ago. That audit found that the vast majority of students – both domestic and foreign – were properly classified for tuition purposes. However, USG institutions adopted more stringent guidelines for admissions procedures following that audit, and these new recommendations add yet another layer of verification.

The issue of undocumented students attending USG institutions jumped into the headlines this summer as part of the ongoing national and state discussion on illegal immigrants, sparked in Georgia by the case of an undocumented student at Kennesaw State University. Consequently the regents and Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. ordered an internal review process of USG admissions of both current and new students.

The Residency Verification Committee was formed and charged to oversee the review of student tuition classification and to develop and propose any needed recommendations to the full board. In addition to Jolly, other members of the committee were regents Larry R. Ellis, Felton Jenkins, William “Dink” NeSmith Jr., and Larry Walker; four USG presidents, including Dr. Mark Becker (Georgia State University), Dr. Virginia Carson (South Georgia College), Dr. Martha Nesbitt (Gainesville State College), and Dr. Lisa Rossbacher (Southern Polytechnic State University) and University System Office staff members John Fuchko, chief audit officer, Burns Newsome, vice chancellor, Legal Affairs and secretary to the board, Amanda Seals, executive director for Government Affairs and Mendi Spencer, chief of staff for Academic Affairs.

The University System follows current federal and state laws, which allows for undocumented individuals to be enrolled, if academically qualified. Such students cannot receive any federal or state benefits. In-state tuition, which is subsidized by the state, is such a benefit, and thus undocumented students must pay out-of-state tuition, which is set at least at the full cost of instruction.


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Atlanta Christian to Offer Major in Biology

Beginning this fall, Atlanta Christian College will offer a major in biology – the first natural science major at ACC. The College announced today that it had received approval from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to offer a biology program.

“The biology degree will serve as a launching pad for additional science degrees in the future,” said Dr. Kim Macenczak, vice president for academic affairs. Courses within the biology program encourage students to reflect on the relationship between the life sciences and the Christian faith, while honing skills in critical observation, analysis and precision.

“Plans are underway for study abroad programs for biology majors, as well as the use of venues in metro Atlanta for detailed study of the natural sciences,” Macenczak added.

Atlanta Christian’s new Department of Math and Science is chaired by Emory University graduate Dr. Dedra Woolfolk.

Atlanta Christian College’s mission is to educate students for Christ-centered service and leadership throughout the world. Founded in 1937, the College enrolls more than 900 students. The College’s board of trustees is currently in the process of selecting a new location for the main campus in order to accommodate further growth. Atlanta Christian College is affiliated with the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brown Mackie College - Atlanta Presents Education Day

‘Grow. Evolve. Become.’

Brown Mackie College – Atlanta will host Education Day, ‘Grow Your Mind. Evolve Your Life. Become Your Vision.’ on Saturday, October 23, 2010.

Prospective students will learn about targeted education for future careers, convenient “one course a month” day and evening schedules, and meet the president, faculty, staff, employers, students, and have the opportunity to tour classrooms and labs. Education Day is open to the public and there is no charge to attend.

To register online, visit brownmackie.edu/EducationDay.

Event: Brown Mackie College Education Day ‘Grow Your Life. Evolve Your Mind. Become Your Vision.’
Date: Saturday, October 23, 2010 TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Where: Brown Mackie College – Atlanta 4370 Peachtree Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30319

For additional information about Education Day at Brown Mackie College – Atlanta, contact Trey McCray (770) 510-4612 or visit http://www.brownmackie.edu/pr.aspx?ID=BMC2213.

Brown Mackie College – Atlanta is one of 25 school locations of the Brown Mackie College system of schools (www.brownmackie.edu), which is dedicated to providing educational programs that prepare students for entry-level positions in a competitive, rapidly-changing workplace. Brown Mackie College schools offer bachelor's degree, associate’s degree, certificate, and diploma programs in health sciences, business, information technology, legal studies and design technologies.

Erroll B. Davis Jr. Announces Plans to Retire as University System Head

University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. announced to the Board of Regents on October 7 his plans to retire at the end of his current contract year, June 30, 2011. Davis has served as chancellor of the System’s 35 colleges and universities since Feb. 2006.

In his announcement, Davis noted that he had made a number of commitments when the Board of Regents appointed him in Dec. 2005 as the System’s eleventh chancellor. He promised the board a five-year commitment to the job, which will be fulfilled in Feb. 2011 and he promised Gov. Sonny Perdue that he would continue as chancellor until the conclusion of Perdue’s term in Jan. 2011.

“The advent of a new governor does mean that the University System chancellor needs to establish a long-term working relationship in order to be effective. It is therefore appropriate that I step down at the end of my contract year and allow my successor to establish this necessary relationship,” Davis said. “The opportunity to lead this great system of public higher education has been a tremendous experience with both challenges and rewards. The System has certainly made great progress in its stated goal of educating more Georgians to higher levels than in the past.”

Board Chair Willis Potts, in response to Davis’ announcement, said, “Chancellor Davis has been and is an impressive individual who has brought to the University System an extremely high level of experience and ethical leadership. The regents, the presidents, the state and, above all, our students, have benefited from his outstanding stewardship.”

During Davis’ tenure the System has seen a jump in enrollment from 259,945 students in fall 2006 to a preliminary 310,361 students in fall 2010, an increase of 50,416 students, or 19.4 percent. The USG’s annual economic impact on Georgia has grown from $10.4 billion in FY06 to $12.7 billion in FY09 and the amount of dollars generated from research, grants and contracts has increased $75.5 million, from $831 million in FY06 to $906.5 million in FY08.

The University System has also undergone significant budget challenges during this period of enrollment growth, as the economic recession took a toll on state revenues. When Davis began, the USG had a total FY06 budget of $5 billion, including state appropriations of $1.8 billion. The FY11 budget totals $6.7 billion with $1.92 billion in state appropriations, which includes reductions in state funding in FY09, FY10 and FY11 of $630 million.

Despite the budget challenges, under Davis’ leadership, the System made a number of major changes in both its academic and operational structures that have followed the blueprint of the board-approved Strategic Plan adopted in 2007.

The System’s core curriculum was completely revised in 2009, which includes the gradual elimination of the Regents’ Test. In 2008 the board supported a major expansion of physician education through Georgia’s Health Sciences University in Athens, Savannah and Albany. A focus on increasing the numbers of other health professions graduates also has intensified under Davis’ watch.

Students have seen improvements in the area of student advising and planning, with the rollout this year of two-year course calendars.

Efforts to increase the numbers of students enrolling in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) were ramped up and the USG was cited for its achievements in increasing the numbers of K-12, particularly minority, teachers it produces.

Operationally, Davis has stressed the need to establish a risk management process throughout the USG and in 2008 the board approved a system-wide ethics policy for all USG employees. In addition, Davis established a system-level human resources function that has addressed rising health benefit costs and established an Executive Leadership Institute to identify and train emerging leaders within the System.

Issues such as philanthropic giving, campus safety and emergency planning and response and energy conservation have all been addressed through special presidential task forces created under Davis’ leadership.

The regents also approved a complete overhaul of the process by which key facilities needs are identified and prioritized for annual budget requests, which went into effect in FY08 and has attracted $1.067 billion in funding for facilities over the past four fiscal years. The board also approved a Shared Services Initiative that to date has consolidated payroll and financial systems.

Prior to being named chancellor, Davis served as chairman of the board of Alliant Energy Corporation from 2000-2005, after joining the company in 1998 as president and chief executive officer. Prior to the creation of Alliant Energy, Davis served as president and CEO of WPL Holdings, from 1990 to 1998. From 1978-1990, Davis rose through the senior management ranks at Wisconsin Power and Light Company, starting as vice president of finance and ending as CEO and president. His career also includes corporate finance positions at Xerox Corporation and Ford Motor Company.

Plans to select the next USG chancellor will be announced at a future date.


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GSU only Georgia institution to receive grant from new federal program to train more nurse practitioners

Georgia State's Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing has recently received a new federal grant to help train needed nurse practitioners who are an important part of the health care system.

The $831,600 grant from the Advanced Nursing Education Expansion program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will provide funds for students for up to two years to help reduce the financial burden of attending school full time, and will help increase graduation rates.

"This highly competitive grant will allow GSU to increase the number of primary care providers available to consumers," said Susan Kelley, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. "Because of the quality of care which nurse practitioners provide, the demand for their services has grown immensely."

"We are very excited to receive this grant," said Barbara Woodring, chair of the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing. "Nurse practitioners will be needed to aid in the health care system in the coming years. The Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing graduates one of the largest numbers of master's prepared nurse practitioners in the region, and the funding will go a long way in aiding our students."

The school of nursing is the only Georgia nursing school to receive a federal grant under this award program, which aims to train 600 advanced nursing professionals nationwide by 2015.

Since they were first trained in 1965, nurse practitioners have aided in the primary health care system, providing services similar to those of a doctor. They diagnose and treat a wide range of health problems, and also focus on health promotion, disease prevention, health education and counseling.

Because of their services, they help to lower the cost of patient care. According to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, there are about 14,000 of these professionals in the United States.

Georgia State's program has five areas of focus, including adult health, pediatrics, family health, women's health, and psychiatric/mental health. The federal grant covers all five areas of the program, and must be used for direct support such as tuition, fees and a small stipend for students to attend full time.

The Advanced Nursing Education Expansion program is part of $320 million in grants under the Affordable Care Act.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Newly Revised Concepts in Clinical Pharmacokinetics Web-Based Continuing Education Course Offered by the University of Georgia

/PRNewswire/ -- The newly revised Concepts in Clinical Pharmacokinetics, a web-based continuing education course, is available from the University of Georgia. Developed in cooperation with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and College of Pharmacy, the new Online Course is a continuing pharmacy education course on the fundamental principles of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and the elimination of drugs by the human body as well as clinical application, including case studies of commonly dosed drugs.

The new Concepts in Clinical Pharmacokinetics course is designed for clinical or health-system pharmacists, community pharmacists, consultant and compound pharmacists, matriculating professional pharmacy students and participants enrolled in a PharmD program, as well as others already working in the pharmaceutical industry.

"If you're looking to further your knowledge of pharmacokinetics or you're employed by a pharmacy school requiring a solution for matriculating professional students, then our course might be your solution," says Pamela Bracken, Department Head of Special Projects and Curriculum Development at the University of Georgia. "Our continuing education course, led by two of the textbook authors and online course facilitators, Dr. William Spruill and Dr. William Wade, is designed to help professionals and pharmacy students improve their knowledge of fundamental pharmacokinetic concepts."

Concepts in Clinical Pharmacokinetics course options include:

* Option 1: Application-Based, Web-Based Continuing Education Course
* Option 2: Practiced-Based Activity Certificate
* Option 3: Practice-Based Activity Certificate for Advanced Practitioners
* Option 4: Online Course for Pharmacy Schools


The new Concepts in Clinical Pharmacokinetics is a self-paced, self-study, online continuing pharmacy education program offering Interactive media to enhance a participant's learning experience. The comprehensive, state-of-the-art curriculum is divided into eleven modules and five Cases that include:

1. Introduction to Pharmacokinetics
2. Basic Pharmacokinetics
3. Half-life, Elimination Rate Constant and AUC
4. Intravenous Bolus Administration, Multiple Drug Administration, and Steady-State Average Concentrations
5. Relationships of Pharmacokinetic Parameters and Intravenous Intermittent and Continuous Infusions
6. Two-Compartment Models
7. Biopharmaceutics: Absorption
8. Drug Distribution and Protein Binding
9. Drug Elimination Processes
10. Nonlinear Processes
11. Pharmacokinetic Variation and Model Independent Relationships


Five Cases (Available in Option #2 and Option #3)

1. Aminoglycosides
2. Vancomycin
3. Theophylline
4. Phenytoin
5. Digoxin


The new course, based on the bestselling textbook of the same title, Concepts in Clinical Pharmacokinetics, 5th Edition, presented by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, is rich in multimedia elements that expand on the text and stimulate learning.

For more information on this program, visit www.georgiacenter.uga.edu/pharmacokinetics , or call Pam Bracken at +1-706-542-3537 or e-mail at Pam.Bracken@georgiacenter.uga.edu .

The University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education is a unit of the University of Georgia's Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach. The Georgia Center provides innovative lifelong learning opportunities through its continuing education programs. For more information, go to www.georgiacenter.uga.edu/ppd .

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Friday, October 8, 2010

New Doctoral Program in Cancer Biology Links Winship With Graduate School

A new interdisciplinary doctoral program in cancer biology will allow students with a primary interest in cancer research to train with faculty associated with Georgia’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center — the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

Emory University’s Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDBBS), a division of the Laney Graduate School, in partnership with Winship, is creating a new doctoral program in Cancer Biology and will begin accepting students in the spring of 2011 for fall enrollment.

The Cancer Biology graduate program will provide students with the ability to focus their course work and training specifically in all domains of cancer research. Although graduate students have been able to work in laboratories at Emory specializing in cancer, organizers expect the new program to expand training and research opportunities.

“There has been considerable interest in cancer among applicants to the GDBBS, yet no single program existed to capture students who have a primary interest in cancer research. Our goal is to recruit the brightest young scientists interested in cancer,” says Erwin Van Meir, PhD, professor of neurosurgery and hematology and medical oncology, and the program’s founding director.

Students will be able to tailor their training, addressing areas such as the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive cancer initiation and progression, or the more clinical and translational aspects of cancer therapeutics and drug discovery.

“The creation of a graduate program in cancer biology aligns with Winship’s strategic vision, which includes education of the next generation of cancer scientists,” says Walter Curran, MD, executive director of Winship. “This is an important program that will influence the field of cancer research in the years to come.”

Like other PhD training programs in the GDBBS, the Cancer Biology program stands outside a single departmental base. As such it will draw from a diverse base of Emory faculty with active research labs representing several departments within the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory College departments including Chemistry, Biology and Physics, and the nearby Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“It’s important to recognize that the Cancer Biology program will enhance and complement the other graduate programs within the GDBBS,” says Keith Wilkinson, professor of biochemistry and director of the GDBBS. “Because of its interdisciplinary approach and large number of training opportunities, the Cancer Biology program will fit well within the GDBBS.”

Lisa Tedesco, PhD, Laney Graduate School Dean, is enthusiastic about the new program. “The Cancer Biology program promises to be an outstanding area for doctoral student preparation, in its contributions to new science and new cures, with high impact in basic, translational and clinical research.”

The new program will initially accept six new students per year with matriculation starting in Fall 2011 and applications opening this month. The Cancer Biology program will represent the ninth PhD program within GDBBS, and the first new program in over a decade.

Paula Vertino, PhD, Emory professor of radiation oncology, will serve as director of graduate studies. Lawrence Boise, PhD, professor of hematology and medical oncology, will serve as director of recruitment.



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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

National Youth CyberPatriot Competition Draws in 575-plus Teams

/PRNewswire/ -- With just two days left before registration closes, CyberPatriot has more than 575 teams registered. This premier competition is the nation's largest and fastest-growing high school cyber defense challenge and is attracting educators across the country.

CyberPatriot is the one-of-a-kind national cyber security competition produced by the Air Force Association (AFA), a nonprofit organization headquartered near Washington, D.C. Its unique structure provides students hands-on learning while competing virtually against their peers. It also allows students to learn first hand about the cyber security field and introduce many to the idea of cyber security as a profession.

Forty-eight states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Japan and Korea are represented in this year's competition. Only Montana and Wyoming have yet to join.

Teams have registered from public, private, parochial and home schools in many states in the competition's Open Division. Additionally, Junior ROTC units of all Services and Civil Air Patrol squadrons are rapidly filling the All-Service Division in the two-track competition.

Teams of five, with an approved coach (usually a teacher), learn to defend computer networks from real-life computer threat scenarios. In the preliminaries, hundreds of teams compete online using software provided by CyberPatriot to competitively solve vulnerabilities in a network. The top teams then compete again in a series of online rounds to determine the finalists for an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. and the Championship Round at the Gaylord National Convention Center in April 2011.

"CyberPatriot gives young people an inside look at an exciting field that will be an important career path," said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot Commissioner. "Our competition is a great venue to educate high school students on cybersecurity through a competition that's also a lot of fun."

Coaches can learn more about CyberPatriot and sign up at www.uscyberpatriot.org. Information is also available from the CyberPatriot staff at info@uscyberpatriot.org.

CyberPatriot is presented by Northrop Grumman, with founding partners SAIC and the CIAS at the University of Texas-San Antonio.

The AFA is a 501(C)(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has over 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 120,000 members.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Atlanta Christian College Reaches 1,000 Students

Atlanta Christian College has once again set a new enrollment record, crossing the 1,000-student threshold for the first time in the College’s history. The most recent cohort in Access, Atlanta Christian’s adult and professional studies program, began classes in September, bringing total enrollment to 1,035 students.

The adult program isn’t the only one experiencing growth at Atlanta Christian. This year’s entering class of new traditional students represents a 13 percent increase over fall 2009, and the total number of traditional students is up four percent.

“We’re grateful for the continued growth of both our traditional and nontraditional programs,” said Atlanta Christian College President Dean Collins. “In these challenging economic times, we feel particularly blessed to have our highest enrollment in the history of the College.”

Collins continued, “I believe that our enrollment growth is a reflection of the desire of many students who want to study in an environment that is committed to both spiritual formation and solid academic preparation for lives of service to the church and the world.”

For more information on adult, traditional and dual enrollment programs at Atlanta Christian, visit the College’s web site at www.acc.edu.
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Waycross College and the University of Georgia form partnership

Waycross College students who wish to one day attend the University of Georgia now have a clear academic path to follow. The institutions recently signed two agreements that will ease the transfer of WC students into the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Agriscience and environmental systems degrees

The agreements establish formal options for students who earn an Associate of Science degree from WC to transfer directly into the UGA CAES Agricultural Education or Agriscience and Environmental Systems majors. Both majors are offered on the UGA campus in Tifton, Ga., just 70 miles west of Waycross. A student must complete the associate degree with a grade point average of 2.8 or higher.
Mark Van Den Hende, WC vice president for academic affairs, sees the new transfer agreements as another way for WC to fulfill its mission.

“Partnerships with other University System of Georgia institutions, like the University of Georgia, make attending Waycross College extraordinary,” he said. “Since our goal is to get students ready to transfer to a four-year college, partnerships streamline the process and guarantee that it fulfills our student-centered mission.”

Waycross graduates can stay in south Georgia for UGA degree

WC President David Palmer is pleased that WC graduates now have the opportunity to earn a UGA degree while staying close to home.

“Everyone agrees that the University of Georgia is one of our national flagship academic universities,” Palmer said. “While many of our graduates over the past 34 years have gone on from Waycross College to their junior and senior years in Athens, now we are directly linked to UGA. Students can earn a UGA four-year degree with only two years in Waycross and two years in Tifton – barely 75 miles from home. What an opportunity!”

UGA administrators are equally excited about the new venture.

“This agreement gives students as well as advisors a roadmap to follow,” said Joe West, assistant dean on the UGA Tifton campus. “If they follow that roadmap, take the proper courses and maintain standards, they will find a smooth transition to the University of Georgia Tifton campus. We are excited about this partnership with Waycross College as we reach out to our sister institutions in south Georgia by providing access to the University of Georgia.”

"We wanted to work with local community colleges to create a pathway from their program to ours,” said Joe Broder, CAES associate dean for academic affairs. “We want students to finish their Waycross degree, then come to Tifton. This way they're ready to be successful at UGA, and it’s a win-win for Waycross and UGA.”

Article by Jessica Green of the University of Georgia and Taylor Hereford of Waycross College.

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