Around the Circle

Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Professor Elected President of Apha

Joseph Telfair, Dr.P.H., professor of public health practice and research has been named President-elect of the American Public Health Association (APHA). “My approach to, and practice of leadership is to utilize my knowledge, skills and experience to identify and take on roles that allow me to make the greatest contribution to public health,” said Telfair, who is also dual chair of the Department of Community Health and Health Policy and Management. He has nearly 31 years of experience as a clinician, community advocate, academic, evaluator, project director and researcher. Telfair is the Karl Peace Distinguished Professor of Public Health. As a 28-year member of APHA, Telfair has served in numerous leadership roles, including membership in the maternal and child health and social work sections, member and chair of the nominating committee, member of the executive board, finance committee, governance committee, strategic planning committee, social responsibility committee and on the membership development taskforce.

College of Science and Mathematics

Biology Professor Receives Grant

John Schenk, Ph.D., curator of the Georgia Southern Herbarium in the Department of Biology, received notification that his National Science Foundation (NSF) Biological Research Collections grant has been funded in the amount of $280,798. It will be used to integrate uncatalogued plants into the Herbarium. The Georgia Southern Herbarium is located in the Biological Sciences Building, and houses 21,000 cataloged specimen representing 236 families, 1,511 genera and 5,258 species of plants. In addition to the catalogued specimen, the herbarium houses 26,000 uncataloged specimens that represent local plant diversity — including many endangered species. The funded project will allow the Georgia Southern Herbarium to double its holdings over the next two years, a feat that is rarely accomplished in natural history collections. As the collections become catalogued, they will be accessible to students and researchers throughout the world.

College of Business Administration

Student Team Wins

A team of Georgia Southern students earned first place in the 2017 Student Challenge, a business case competition of the National Retail Federation (NRF) Student Association in which members demonstrate their creativity and business acumen to retail executives, sponsored by KPMG.

Jeffrey Licciardello, senior public relations major with a marketing minor; Kelsey Wertz, senior marketing and logistics major; William (Keller) Campbell, junior marketing and logistics major; and Alexis Montaño, junior marketing major with a management minor, worked together on the competition to create a 20-page pitch presentation, a mock website and a 90-second pitch video to convince STORY CEO and Founder, Rachel Shechtman, to bring their story to life through one of these themes: Travel, Sensory or Made in America. The proposal was created to provide an experience for the customer through selected merchandise, marketing approach, social media campaigns and curated events.

“This project has been our baby since May,” said Wertz. “We worked extremely hard on it, always editing, revising and bringing new ideas to the table to make it better.”

Kathleen Gruben, Ph.D., faculty advisor to the team, associate professor of marketing and director of the Center for Retail Studies at Georgia Southern, worked with the students every step of the way.

“The team of four was a dream team,” said Gruben. “Throughout the process, the team took all criticism as positive and adapted accordingly. They addressed every minute criticism the judges gave. They were bound and determined they would win.”

Georgia Southern’s team was one of three teams to make it to the final round, besting teams from the University of North Texas and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Each student will receive a $5,000 scholarship. — Taylor Ward

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Big Wins for Choral Groups

The Georgia Southern Chorale and the Southern Gentlemen both brought home victories in last summer’s international competition at the “Laurea Mundi Budapest” Festival of Choral Music in Budapest, Hungary. The Georgia Southern Chorale, directed by Shannon Jeffreys, D.M.A., won the Grand Prix in the mixed choir category and the spirituals category. David Langley, Ph.D., served as the assistant director. The Southern Gentlemen, directed by student Colin Harrison, won the open category in pop music and was invited to sing against the Georgia Southern Chorale in the Grand Prix.

Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology

CEIT Faculty Awarded Grants

Allen E. Paulson Chair of Renewable Energy Professor Valentin Soloiu, Ph.D., and Electrical Engineering Professor Rocio Alba-Flores, have been awarded a three-year grant of $524,706 by the National Science Foundation for their project titled, “ENgaging Educators in Renewable enerGY (ENERGY).” The grant advances the College’s goal of increasing the level of STEM education throughout Georgia. In addition, Department of Civil Engineering and Construction Management faculty members Myung Jeong, Ph.D., and Junan Shen, Ph.D., are the recipients of a $187,076 project by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). Their proposal, “Evaluation of Structural Integrity for a Foamed Asphalt Base Course with a High Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP) Content,” will last 18 months. The project will provide GDOT with an effective way to maximize the use of RAP and save natural resources and money.

College of Health and Human Sciences

Human Ecology Earns Three Awards

Two Georgia Southern faculty members and a student in the School of Human Ecology received national awards during the 107th American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Annual Conference and Expo in Bellevue, Washington. Junior Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design (FMAD) student, Kyler Arnold, received the award of Outstanding Undergraduate Research Scholarship for his research titled, “Apparel Product Development: From Visual Art Inspiration to Fashion Creation ‘Aðila.”’ Professor and School Chair, Cynthia Johnson, Ph.D., was honored by the Coordinating Council of Honor Societies as a leader in family and consumer sciences and was presented the Legend Award for her numerous leadership undertakings in the profession of child development and family relations. Youngjoo Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design Program, received the Best of Show Award in the juried showcase and exhibition

College of Education

New Approaches to Student Teaching

Early childhood education, special education and dual certification teacher candidates in the College of Education are piloting new approaches to student teaching, which maximize their experiences and learning at partnering schools. Yearlong teaching is an approach that places a student within the same partner school for both semesters of the student’s senior year, often allowing them to work with the same teacher. School partners participating in the pilot have provided positive feedback, as schools are getting more instruction for their students and the teacher candidates are becoming more integrated into the school. The second approach is a co-teaching model for teacher candidates during their field and clinical experiences. Rather than simply observing daily instruction, co-teaching is a planned effort to provide instruction from both the teacher and teacher candidate that can meet the needs of various student groups within the classroom. Models of the co-teaching approach include observing, assisting, station teaching, parallel teaching, alternative teaching, and team teaching. This approach is allowing COE’s teacher candidates to gain more valuable teaching experience alongside a skilled educator.

‘First 500’ Book Available

The Georgia Southern University First 500 refers to the first African-Americans to integrate the University from 1965 to 1985. Many of those alumni became doctors, lawyers, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, educators and other professionals. Twenty-one of these pioneers are sharing their memories of integrating Georgia Southern in the new book, In Our Own Words, coordinated by editor-in-chief William “Bill” Cary (’79), and editors Bernice Banks (’77) and Ulysee Mosley Jr. (’69). It is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and several other sites.