Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern faculty continue excellence in 2015

Georgia Southern faculty excel in leadership, research and service, and many of these exceptional leaders have been recognized by Georgia Southern University and other organizations this semester.

Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology

Mike Jackson, Ph.D., P.E., chair and professor of Civil Engineering and Construction Management, demonstrated extraordinary leadership and outstanding service to the University System of Georgia community throughout the year. For this service, he was recognized as the silver winner of the 2015 Chancellor’s Service Excellence Leadership Award. Jackson’s nomination was among 275 nominations, and his win marks Georgia Southern’s sixth statewide customer service recognition award. In the 2014-15 academic year, Dr. Jackson incorporated a significant service learning component into the civil engineering and construction management programs.  The department promotes community immersion and experiential service learning projects as the central theme of a transformative educational experience.

College of Health and Human Sciences

Faculty from the University’s Nutrition and Food Science DPD program and the Department of Biology, Rebecca Black, M.S., R.D.N., Amy Jo Riggs, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., Laura Frost, Ph.D., and intern Crystal Kalaani were invited to present a poster session of their research at the National Kidney Foundation 2015 Clinical Meeting in Dallas, Texas. The research, funded by a Georgia Southern faculty development grant, focused on the usefulness of biochemical tests, anti-inflammatory markers (IL-10) and anthropometric measurements in delineating starvation-related malnutrition from chronic-disease related malnutrition in a population of medically stable, End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients undergoing hemodialysis. An abstract of the findings of the research was also published in the March 2015 edition of the Journal of Renal Nutrition.

The National Youth-At-Risk Center (NYAR) awarded a research grant to two Georgia Southern University professors for a study titled “The Impact of CrossFit Intervention for Youth-At-Risk at the Boys and Girls Club of Bulloch County.” In an effort to explore how an afterschool intervention program can impact middle school-aged youth who have been identified as being at-risk, Christina Gipson, Ph.D., assistant professor of Sport Management in the School of Health and Kinesiology, and Michael Moore, Ed.D., professor of Curriculum, Foundations and Reading in the College of Education, partnered with the Bulloch County Boys and Girls Club and CrossFit Boro. In addition, Glenn P. “Trey” Burdette III, Ed.D., associate professor of Coaching Education, and Charles “Hal” Wilson Jr., Ph.D., assistant professor of Coaching Education, added their expertise to form a solid research team for the program called Crossfit Boro Prepared for Anything – Youth Edition.

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Youssef Salhi, M.A., a lecturer in Arabic, was recently given the opportunity to participate in the Qatar Exchange Fellowship/Malone Fellowship. As one of just five professors from American universities selected, Salhi will travel to Qatar to meet with government officials, social and business leaders, educators, students, journalists and artists.

History professor Craig Roell, Ph.D., earned first place in the 2015 Presidio La Bahia Awards for his 2013 book Matamoros and the Texas Revolution. Roell earned $1,200 for his accomplishment and promotion of research into Texas heritage and Spanish Colonial influence.

Director of the Center for Irish Research & Teaching, Howard Keeley, Ph.D., received a $35,000 grant from the Irish State Department for the Wexford-Savannah Axis Heritage project, which will assist with establishing a high-quality online presence for the project. It will also allow Keeley and the student researchers associated with the Center to continue and deepen their research focused on this significant but under-researched transatlantic migration pathway between Wexford, a county in southeastern Ireland, and the port city of Savannah, Georgia. In the mid-19th century, a direct maritime link opened between. According to one estimate, by 1860 more than 56 percent of Savannah’s Irish-born population was from Wexford. These and other Irish immigrants became leaders in business, trade unionism, health care, education, and politics in Savannah and is one of the main reasons that the city now hosts the second largest St. Patrick’s Day festival in North America. The project is a unique collaboration between the University’s Center for Irish Research & Teaching and the Georgia Historical Society, as well as two Irish partners: the School of Humanities at Waterford Institute of Technology and the John F. Kennedy Trust.

Lisa A. Costello, Ph.D., has been named the new Director of Women and Gender Studies (WGST) by Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Curtis Ricker, D.A., and will begin her duties at the start of the spring semester. Costello has served over eight years in the University’s Department of Writing and Linguistics. She was promoted and tenured at the associate professor level in 2013, served as the interim director of the WGST Program in 2009 and has been a core faculty member of the program since her initial hire. Costello’s work is interdisciplinary, and her research intersects rhetoric and composition, gender studies and Holocaust studies. She is currently working on a book project about Holocaust memory and gender tentatively titled American Cultural Memory and the Holocaust: Per(Form)ing Gender.

College of Science and Mathematics

Royal Society B Journal picked up research by biology Professor Christine Bedore’s, Ph.D., this month. Duke University published “Camouflaged Cuttlefish Employ Electrical Stealth,” an article and video recognizing Bedore’s work.

Research by biology Professor Christian Cox, Ph.D., also was recently published. His work with “The metabolic cost of mounting an immune response in male brown anoles” made the cover of the Journal of Experimental Zoology volume 323 issue 10.

Geology Professors Robert Kelly Vance, Ph.D., James Reichard, Ph.D., and Fredrick Rich, Ph.D., received funding for their work in Hydrology, Investigation of the Shallow Hydrogeologic System on St. Catherine’s Island to Define Salt Water Intrusion Pathways and the Potential for Shallow-Deep Aquifer Communication, as one of seven new awards from the Georgia Sea Grant College Program.

Visiting scholar Natasha Rudenko produced a clinical manuscript in collaboration with Jim Oliver Jr. and Georgia Southern University that was recently accepted for publication by Clinical Microbiology and Infection. Their work will continue to have an impact on Lyme disease and the antibiotics used to treat it.

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. Visit


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