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Recent Achievements

April Shout Outs

Confucius Institute

On March 28, 2014 GRU launched the first Confucius Institute in the world affiliated with an academic health center focusing on Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) as an adjunctive and complimentary care modality. GRU will offer TCM educational programs for managing patients beginning in the Fall 2014 semester.

Match Day 2014

The fourth-year medical students at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University participated in Match Day 2014 on Friday, March 21. The overall match rate to first-year positions was 75 percent. The match rate for GRU was 97.5 percent well surpassing the national rate. Our students, both those in Augusta and those in Athens, performed exceptionally, said MCG Dean Peter F. Buckley. Students from Georgia¹s only public medical school continue to match with top programs, not only here in Georgia, but across the country. It is a testament to the high caliber of students we are privileged to recruit and educate and is integral to the success of the state¹s strategy to reduce its physician shortage.

PHI KAPPA PHI

Three faculty members – Drs. Rick Callan, Mohammed Elsalanty, and Kevin Plummer – and five students – Lauren Hughes (Class of 2015), Amir Lamei (Class of 2014), India Lamothe (Class of 2015), Bridget Lyons (Class of 2015), and Jason Strever (Class of 2014) – were inducted into GRU Chapter 324 of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at a ceremony Friday, March 28.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest, largest, and most selective all-discipline honor society. Since its founding in 1897, more than 1 million members have been initiated. The Society's mission is "To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others."

DENTISTRY

Dr. Keith Volkmann, Associate Professor in the Department of Oral Biology, was selected as the CDM's Outstanding Faculty of the Year for 2013-2014 and was given the award at the Spring Faculty Awards Assembly earlier this month. The award is presented annually to a member of the faculty who has exhibited outstanding and long-term service to both the College and GRU. It is the highest award given to faculty, and its criteria include, among other factors, the faculty member's balance of service in teaching, research, service, and clinical care, and the quality and quantity of research and its impact in bringing recognition to the College and University.

Dr. Volkmann was nominated by both the class of 2015 and the class of 2016 for the award. In their nomination summary, members of the class of 2015 said, "Dr. Volkmann has been an incredible student advocate and educator who emanates interprofessionalism, as seen through his multidisciplinary research. He has dedicated his career and years of service to excellence in teaching, research, and mentoring young dental professionals." Dr. Volkmann has been an outstanding role model for our students and other faculty during the 40 years he has served the College of Dental Medicine.

At its annual Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting in March, the Hinman Dental Society awarded scholarships to four CDM students, naming them “Hinman Scholars,” and recognizing them during a luncheon on Saturday, March 29th. The third-year students selected are: Allie Church, John Ensley, Ben Martin, and Ray Wallace. In addition to receiving the scholarship, the students were invited to the meeting to learn more about continuing education opportunities available to them even before they begin practicing dentistry.

The Hinman Dental Society has granted scholarships to dental students since 1986, adding dental hygiene students in 1989, laboratory technician students in 2003 and dental assisting students in 2005. Recipients are selected by the dean of each school’s dentistry, dental hygiene, laboratory technician and dental assisting departments and must be student members of the American Dental Association, as well as in the top 10 percent of their class.

RESEARCH

Lin Mei was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

NURSING

Responding to IOM recommendations to increase overall education of nurses and to increase to 80% the percentage of nurses with at least a BSN, GRU College of Nursing soon will have three “bridge programs” specially designed for registered nurses. The first of these the RN-BSN was re-launched in January providing easy access through online study. And next year, two licensed Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) programs will be reactivated – the RN-MSN (CNL) and the BSN-MSN (CNL). The first offers an accelerated master’s degree for diploma or associate degree nurses and the second is an accelerated program for licensed nurses leading to an advanced generalist degree with a focus on improving patient outcomes at the point of care.

Last spring, GRU College of Nursing administrators approved a five year plan designed to better coordinate efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the College. A first goal of the plan was to engage an advisory committee to develop strategies to advance this work. Following a call for nominees and volunteers, the committee was convened for its first meeting in February. “We are excited to be taking this important step and feel fortunate to be able to draw on the talents and expertise of these leaders," said Dean Lucy Marion. Current membership includes representatives from the College faculty and staff, the University, and the greater Augusta community.


Previous Achievements

RESEARCH

The Georgia Research Alliance made its “official” announcement a few weeks ago to the GRA board that Dr. Esteban Celis is the new GRA Eminent Scholar Whitaker Chair in Cancer Research at GRU. Neil Weintraub is the new Kupperman GRA Chair in Cardiovascular Research.

DENTISTRY

Our College of Dental Medicine has three collaborative proposals with the materials science group at Georgia Tech to provide 50K to Frank Tay, 60K to David Pashley, and 40K to Christopher Cutler. GRU funds were matched by Georgia Tech to support the folks on their end. Student exchange will be a key part of these grants.

DIVERSITY

  1. The American Association of Public Health Dentistry Student Chapter was formed – another step toward a strong public health movement/awareness by our students
  2. OKU Kappa Lambda’s chapter received the Chapter of the Year Award

Georgia Regents University received the 2013 INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education in Excellence Diversity Award. We are the only University System of Georgia institution to receive the honor this year. Fifty-six universities were recognized nationwide, and Emory University was the only other recipient in Georgia.

The GRU Office of Diversity and Inclusion has been selected to receive the 2014 Award for Diversity and Inclusion by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association. The award will be presented at the NCAA Convention Association Luncheon on Jan. 16 in San Diego, Calif.

ALLIED HEALTH

Our College of Allied Health Sciences recently hosted former U.S. Surgeon General and Director of the Centers for Disease Control Dr. David Satcher for a Dean’s Research Seminar Series presentation. Dr. Satcher spoke to an overflowing audience about health care leadership and targeting social determinants of health.

As health information management becomes ever more critical in the rapidly changing health care field, the GRU College of Allied Health Sciences was pleased to host the annual national meeting of the Consortium of Baccalaureate and Graduate Health Informatics and Information Management Educators March 6-7. The conference offers recommendations on education improvements to the American Health Information Management Association that will ultimately influence the development of electronic health records, information storage, and patient care.

The GRU College of Allied Health Sciences interprofessional initiative is poised for statewide, national expansion.

The inaugural Interdisciplinary Discharge Conference held in November challenged student teams from GRU Allied Health Sciences and Nursing programs to determine and coordinate a discharge plan for a virtual acute care facility patient, one with numerous medical conditions that would require intervention from multiple health care practitioners. The plans had to be culturally competent and patient- and family-centered and include an appropriate continuum of care placement, interventions, equipment, and community resources.

The conference is under development for expansion to other universities in the Southeast, with a goal of national participation by 2016.

MEDICINE/LIBRARY

GRU and MedEdPORTAL Publications have partnered to develop the Directory and Repository of Educational Assessment Measures (DREAM). DREAM’s mission is to achieve excellence in health sciences education by providing easy-to-locate, publicly accessible information about assessment instruments to health science educators, educational researchers, and program/curriculum evaluators.

The GRU DREAM Faculty are:

  • Christie Palladino, MD: Program Director and Associate Editor, DREAM; EII (Educational Innovation Institute) Educational Researcher and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • James Halbert, MS: Research Associate EII
  • Lara Stepleman, PhD: Associate Editor, DREAM; EII Co-director and Professor of Psychiatry & Health Behavior
  • Lance Evans, PhD: Associate Editor, DREAM; EII Educational Researcher and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  • Lindsay Blake, MLS: Clinical Librarian and Assistant Professor, Greenblatt Library
  • Kathy Davies, MLS: Chair, Research and Education Services, and Associate Professor, Greenblatt Library

Through the work of Dr. Paulette Harris, The National Education Association CLASS grant has approved the Literacy Center’s new initiative for NEA funding to begin in summer of 2014. This initiative is for a Chess for Children (ages 8 and above) literacy program based on research conducted in the United Kingdom and other international locations, which showed that student skills in critical thinking and reading greatly improve when they are taught to play chess. The NEA grant will provide chess sets and more for this initiative.

EDUCATION

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  • Dr. Rebecca Harper & Dr. Gordon Eisenman published “Bibliotherapy for Inclusion Classrooms” in  2013 South Carolina English Teacher, an academic journal published by South Carolina Council of Teachers of English, Columbia, S.C.
  • Dr. Nai-Cheng Kuo’s manuscript, "The perspectives of K-12 stakeholders involved in early implementation of response to intervention (RTI)," has been accepted by the Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (JAASEP). This journal is issued by the National Association of Special Education Teachers. 
  • Dr. Misato Yamaguchi presented “Fostering Globally and Multiculturally Aware Teachers through Online Self-Reflective Cultural Autobiography Activity” to the annual conference of the International Society for the Social Studies (ISSS) in Orlando, Fla., in February.
  • Dr. Misato Yamaguchi presented “Using Social Networking in Learning about The Great East Japan Earthquakes Global Citizens” to the annual conference of the International Society for the Social Studies (ISSS) in Orlando, Fla., in February.
  • Dr. Susan Edwards presented “Active Learning in the Middle Grades Education Classroom:  Engaging Teacher Education Students in Meaningful Discussions” at the Georgia Professors of Middle Level Education Conference in Columbus, Ga., in February. She also coordinated and led the Best Practices Session.
  • Dr. Stacie Pettit conducted a day-long training session on best practices in mathematics in February for the faculty at Terrace Manor Elementary.
  • Dr. Stacie Pettit’s paper, “Teachers’ and Students’ Beliefs about ELLs in Mainstream Mathematics Classrooms,” was published in the April edition of the Journal of Contemporary Research in Education.
  • Dr. Stacie Pettit  had published “Middle School Mathematics Teachers’ Beliefs about ELLs in Mainstream Mathematics Classrooms” in the Spring 2014 edition of the Sunshine State TESOL Journal.
  • Dr. Stacie Pettit presented “Integrating Best Practices for Teaching English Language Learners into Middle Grades Coursework” and “Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners in Content Area Classrooms: Strategies, Resources, and Assessment” at the Georgia Middle School Association Conference in February.
  • Dr. Nai-Cheng Kuo will host a Response to Intervention Workshop on April 28 for GRU students, GRU faculty, and faculty in our Partner School Network. RTI is a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs.
  • Two GRU alumni won New Teacher grants from Georgia Power. Read the complete article.

    Four graduate students presented at a research conference with Dr. Rebecca Harper on strategies to curb bullying. Read the complete article.

    Dr. Graeme Connolly and students Alex Walker and Gina Zagarella presented twice at the annual Georgia Association for Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance convention in Atlanta on Oct. 28. The three presented a lecture titled “Lessons Learned from Elite Coaches: Recommendations to Improve Your Coaching Practice,” and an activity session called “Improving Fitness IQ with Health-related Fitness Activities.”

    The GRU Department of Kinesiology has been hosting Prof. Zhu Congqing from Shanghai Normal University this semester. He has been observing classes and also observing the GRU men’s basketball team. His research interests are Physical Education Instruction and how basketball is coached at the university level.

    Dr. Drew Kemp gave three presentations in October at the annual meeting of the American Association of Teaching and Curriculum in Chicago, Ill.: “The De-intellectualization of the Teacher Rubrics and the Removal of Responsibility”; “The Spark that Makes Your Ideas Bright: Using Primetime Animation to Explore Social Justice and Place-based Education for Social Studies Education”; and “Conceptualizing Research in Education: Guiding Students Toward Making Connections for Focused Research Topics.”

    Kemp also had two journal articles published this year. “Preparing Pre-service Secondary Educators” (Conderman, G., Johnston-Rodriguez, S., Hartman, P., Kemp, D.) was published by Preventing School Failure. The journal is a peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to serving children and adolescents in general education, special education, and alternative education programs. “Promoting Philosophical Diversity: Exploring Racial Differences in Beliefs about the Purposes of Education” was published in the Journal of the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators.

    Drs. Beth Pedergraft and Judi Wilson presented together twice in September. The duo presented “All about Assessment” at the GRU Curriculum Design Academy and “What if They Don’t Want to Read?” at the Georgia Reading Forum, in Macon, Ga.

    Wilson presented “Preparing for Leadership” at the GRU New Faculty Orientation in August. She also presented “I can Handle the Kids, but What about the Parents?” at the Burke County School District’s New Teacher Induction Program in September. And in October, she presented “Building and Sustaining District and University Partnerships: Creative and Cost-effective Collaboration” at the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators Conference, in Jekyll Island, Ga.

    Dr. Laura Rychly presented “Exploring the Tensions Between Narrative Imagination and Official Knowledge Through ‘The Life of Pi,’” at the Curriculum & Pedagogy Conference in New Orleans, La., in June.

    Rychly also contributed a chapter, “Dr. Vera John-Steiner as a Key: Unlocking a Theory of Receptive Discourse” to the book “Constructing a Community of Thought: Letters on the Scholarship, Teaching, and Mentoring of Vera John-Steiner.”

    Dr. Juan Walker was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Library of Congress for “Theoretical Cognitive Principles Applied in a Social Studies Classroom.”

    Dr. Misato Yamaguchi had three articles published this year. “Developing a Global-Centered Worldview Beyond National Borders: Global Education as a Path for Effective Global Citizenship” was published in SangSaeng (Living Together), a publication of the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for Intentional Understanding. “Online Autobiographies and Discussions in Global and Multicultural Education: A Safe Place to Discuss Culture, Identity, Power & Privilege” was published in “From the Margins toward the Mainstream: Activities to Enhance Social Justice Awareness in Literacy Education and the Arts,” a publication of Rowan and Littlefield. “Using Social Networking in the Social Studies for Global Citizenship: Reflecting on the March 11, 2011, Disaster in Japan” was published in The Georgia Social Studies Journal, a peer-reviewed, online quarterly journal dedicated to a wide array of topics that benefit elementary and secondary social studies teachers and teacher educators.

    Dr. Yamaguchi also presented “An Effective Use of Personal Narratives: A Holistic Approach to Teaching about Hiroshima/Nagasaki and Peace” in October at the annual conference of the Georgia Council for Social Studies in Athens, Ga.

    MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA

    MCG alum, the late Dr. J. Harold Harrison, was listed among the 50 most generous donors of 2013 by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Dr. Harrison gave $66 million for student scholarship and faculty endowed chairs for his medical school. Not included in the ranking was a $10 million gift Dr. Harrison gave for the J. Harold Harrison MD Education Commons, which opens this summer as a new academic home for the medical school and as a site for interdisciplinary health sciences education. Dr. Harrison’s gift also made the top 10 gifts from individuals to hospitals or health organizations for 2013, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy

    MCG  ranked 66th out of 139 medical schools with $43.3 million in NIH funding in 2013, according to the annual ranking of National Institutes of Health funding of medical schools by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. In 2012, MCG ranked 71st out of 137 schools. The state’s public medical school has pretty consistently climbed the ranks in in the past dozen year, ranking 82nd in 2001.

    With a class size of 230 students, MCG is now ranked eighth among the nation’s medical schools in first-year enrollment and sixth among public medical schools, up from ninth and seventh respectively, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. In total enrollment, the ranking is 13th for all medical schools – up one spot from last year – and remains at 11th largest for public medical schools.

    The GRU/UGA Medical Partnership has been approved as a site that can provide and/or oversee residency training by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education.  Also, an internal medicine residency program, a joint effort of the partnership campus and St. Mary’s Health Care System, has received accreditation as one of the final steps toward creating Athens’s first residency program.  These movements to expand graduate medical education in concert with undergraduate medical education are made possible by the support of the University System of Georgia. Drs. Shelley Nuss and Jonathan Murrow from the Athens campus just got a grant from the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine for a regional GME Faculty Development Workshop Sept. 6 in Athens to support the USG effort to add more residency positions in Georgia by bringing more hospitals into residency training.

    NURSING

    Andrea Brooks-Tucker has been appointed the new Chief Nurse Executive at East Central Regional Hospital. She joins the staff through the ECRH-GRU Partnership established in 2009 with the MCG Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. The College of Nursing is an active member of this partnership, helping to build the hospital’s nursing workforce. At GRU, Brooks-Tucker also will serve as the Director of Mental Health Partnerships within the College of Nursing Academic Nursing Practice Unit and on the faculty in the Department of Biobehavioral Nursing. As ECRH Chief Nurse Executive, Brooks-Tucker will be a member of the hospital’s executive management team and have overall responsibility for the operation and performance of the nursing department.

    The GRU College of Nursing Healthy Grandparents Program was the featured program at the 2013 Celebrate Caregiving! event sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging. Two HGP participants were presented Rosalynn Carter Institute Certificates for their selection as Family Caregiver of the Year. The Healthy Grandparents Program was established at GRU's College of Nursing in 1999 to provide physical, emotional, and social support to grandparents and great-grandparents raising their grandchildren who are living in parent-absent homes. One of the program’s major events is the Annual HGP Christmas Party where HGP participants enjoy a catered meal, activities, and a special visit from Santa. Program staff invite College of Nursing employees and friends to “adopt a child” for whom they purchase gifts. The gifts are presented to each child by Santa during the party. This year, some 90 children will have a happier holiday because of the Healthy Grandparents Program.

    Dozens of children with dietary restrictions trick-or-treated for non-food items, including stickers, glow sticks, and other small toys, at the sixth annual Non-Food Halloween Festival at Georgia Regents University on Thursday, Oct. 31. Children on medically restricted diets were invited to participate in games, crafts, and a haunted house created by GRU nursing students. The free event was hosted by the GRU College of Nursing in collaboration with the CSRA Eos and Augusta Food Allergy support groups. This is the sixth year that the College of Nursing has hosted the festival. Read more | News Coverage: WAGT 26.

    PAMPLIN

    The great addition of Wycliffe Gordon to our Music faculty as Artist in Residence.

    Renowned jazz trombonist and international recording artist, composer, and arranger Wycliffe Gordon was presented with a visiting professorship in the Department of Music at Georgia Regents University on Nov. 12. Gordon’s visiting professorship begins in fall 2014. He will spend six weeks of each semester at GRU, working with students in a new Jazz Studies Track in the Bachelor of Music degree program.

    SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS

    Forty-eight Georgia Regents University biology majors who graduated in academic year 2012-13 took the Major Field Test, the exit exam used by the Department of Biological Sciences.

    Dr. Richard Griner, Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences, reported that the students' average overall score was 163.0, which ranks at the 92nd percentile compared to the national institutional mean from that year.

    The exam was taken by almost 33,000 students at 488 college and universities across the United States.

    "We are extremely proud of our students and faculty," said Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Gretchen Caughman. "Our program is rigorous, but the results speak for themselves. Our biology majors are better prepared than most in the nation. This program is successful not only in meeting its academic goals, but also as a pipeline to future career paths."

    Department of Counselor Education, Leadership, & Research

    1.       Several faculty and students from the Department of Counselor Education, Leadership, and Research presented and attended the 13th Cross-Cultural Counseling and Education Conference for Research, Action and Change in Savannah, Ga., in February.

    a.       Dr. Richard Deaner and student Summer Allen presented, “Reality TV: Bane or Cultural Bounty for Counselors in Training;" 

    b.      Dr. Darla Linville presented, “Creating an Inclusive Community for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer and Questioning Teens;”

    c.       Dr. Lenares-Solomon and student Tanya Lorenzi presented, “Analyzing the Role of the School Counselor in Combating Gender-Based Violence- specifically sex trafficking;"

    d.      Dr. Paulette Harris presented “Music Promoted Multicultural Understandings for Students in Juvenile Justice Settings."

    2.      The GRU Literacy Center received a $15,000 grant from the Creel-Harrison Foundation, which will be used for meeting technology needs related to the center’s goal of being certified as a national exemplary model.

    3.       Dr. Laura Wheat and counselor education graduate student Pam Fable have had a workshop accepted for the 18th Annual National Alliance for Grieving Children Symposium in Atlanta, GA. Their workshop, titled “From Shadow to Light: Supporting Grieving African American Youth Through Multiple Connectedness,” will be presented in June 2014.

    4.       On Feb. 1, Dr. Paulette Harris received the national Volunteer Award for her efforts – including fundraising - for USA Dance, a national ballroom dance education program-aimed at encouraging everyone to dance. Her role is to urge youth especially to learn to ballroom dance. They recently received a Target grant to involve middle graders in ballroom dance.

    5.       Dr. Paulette Harris and Dr. Sam Hardy participated in the High School U program by visiting Paul Knox Middle School in North Augusta as part of their Career Awareness program.

    6.       The GRU Literacy Center recently hosted Dr. Marie Carbo, of the National Reading Styles Institute, for the first step of evaluating the Literacy Center to become a National Reading Styles Exemplary Program.

    7.       Dr. Darla Linville volunteered at the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition GSA Summit on Feb. 15 at Agnes Scott College.

    8.       Dr. Darla Linville and Dr. Megan Buning have volunteered to judge senior boards at Lakeside High School in March.

    9.       Dr. Charles Jackson made two presentations in Baton Rouge, La. The first, with GRU Professor of Kinesiology Lurelia Hardy, was entitled “The Affordable Healthcare Act and Its Impact on African Americans." The second presentation was on charter schools: "Afrocentric and the growth in New Orleans.” He was also the moderator for the College Quiz Bowl held at Southern University.

    10.   Dr. Paulette Harris gave two presentations at the Eastern Educational Research Association conference in Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 19-22.

    Department of Kinesiology

    1.       The GRU Department of Kinesiology is hosting a series of Tai Chi classes through March 21. More than 130 students, faculty and staff have registered for the classes held at Christenberry Fieldhouse and the Kroc Center.

    2.       Professor Lurelia Hardy presented“The Affordable Healthcare Act and Its Impact on African Americans” at the Southern Conference on African American Studies at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., with Dr. Charles Jackson.

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