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Georgia Southern faculty, staff gear up for fall semester

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Interim President Jean E. Bartels, Ph.D., RN, welcomes faculty and staff to the 2015 Fall Convocation at the Georgia Southern University Performing Arts Center.

Georgia Southern University faculty and staff members gathered together Wednesday morning at the Nessmith-Lane Conference Center to gear up for the fall semester during the University’s annual Fall Convocation.

Interim President Jean E. Bartels, Ph.D., RN, delivered her first State of the University address during the event, themed: Building History: Our Legacy of Progress, Pride and Promise. Included in her presentation were various accomplishments by faculty, staff, students and the University’s athletics teams from the previous academic year, along with information regarding new building projects on campus.

“The state of Georgia Southern is strong today, and it’s strong today because we deliver what we promise and we continue to promise,” Bartels said. “And most importantly, our state of the University is strong because we are all Georgia Southern University. We are all sustaining builders of this wonderful institution’s legacy.”

Bartels also offered three promises to faculty and staff for the coming year.

“First, we will continue to build history on our strong legacy of progress, pride and promise. We will take advantage of every opportunity that is afforded to us this year that will make us better and stronger. And we will maximize our resources for the betterment and benefit of all aspects of our collective enterprise,” she said.

In closing, Bartels asked those in attendance to remember one thing as they prepared for the coming year. “We face the future fortified with lessons we have learned from the past. It is today that we must create the world of our future. Welcome back to the Eagle Nation.”

Also during the event, Bartels and Interim Provost Diana Cone presented the Faculty Awards for Excellence. The winners were:

Award for Excellence in Instruction

Dr. Lina Bell Soares, College of Education
Dr. Linda A. Upchurch, College of Health and Human Sciences

Award for Excellence in Research/Creative Scholarly Activity

Dr. Weihua (Marshall) Ming, College of Science and Mathematics
Dr. Jian Zhang, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Award for Excellence in Service

Dr. Laura E. Agnich, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Dr. Darin H. Van Tassell, Center for International Studies

Also recognized were the 2014 Staff Council Merit Award Recipients, who received their awards at a ceremony held in January. Award of Merit nominees are employees who have improved the work environment, exhibited excellent customer service and shown true character and dedication to Georgia Southern’s mission. They were:

  • Ashlea Anderson, Center for Academic Technology Support
  • Harvey Billups, Custodial Services
  • Amanda Catron, Rural Health & Research Office
  • Sonya Chance, Center for Academic Technology Support
  • Patricia Eason, Custodial Services
  • Meg Heins, Residence Life
  • Alicia Spence, First-Year Experience
  • Lori Wiggins, The Center for Teaching and Learning

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 125-degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education.

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