October 2017 Issue

Posted On October 16, 2017
Categories Our Community

Our Community

liz smith

EXLAB Manager Introduces
University Community To Makerspaces

When Liz Smith volunteered to help with marketing at a makerspace a few years ago, she had no idea she would learn to sew, mold thermoplastics and even how to make theater props using a 3D printer.

Smith is the new assistant manager of experiential learning labs for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). She helps students use the university’s new EXLAB makerspace to create projects in a collaborative space created and equipped to spark creativity and innovation.

“This is a place for people to improve themselves,” Smith said. “It’s a place where you don’t necessarily have to learn what you think you’re supposed to learn. Just because you’re a computer science major doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn sewing, painting or how to sculpt.”

The EXLAB opened Sept. 14 in room 200 of the Arts and Humanities building. On any given day, students can be found taking a host of student-led workshops, such as “Intro to Airbrushing” and “Sewing Basics.” Students, faculty and staff can also work on projects using a variety of specialty equipment, including 3D printers, laser cutters and computers equipped with virtual and augmented reality software.

“Makerspaces are changing the way we think things need to be made,” Smith said. “Things don’t need to be made by some specific business corporate entity. We can create a custom solution for a problem at home with a 3D printer.”

Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Smith got her bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in marketing from Georgia Gwinnett College.

She was introduced to makerspaces by a friend who needed her help improving business at the makerspace, Geekspace Gwinnett. Smith ended up volunteering there for more than three years, doing everything from marketing to painting and picking furniture.

“I loved it,” she said. “Now I get the privilege of continuing to grow here at the EXLAB. I can’t tell you how much of a dream job this is.”

As she helped Geekspace become successful, Smith says she became addicted to making and meeting other makers. She serves on the Board of Directors at Geekspace Gwinnett and is part of the Nation of Makers, a national nonprofit that helps support maker organizations through advocacy, resource sharing and the building of a community in the maker movement.

In summer 2016, she was among 175 makers invited to a National Makers Meeting at the White House.

“I really want makers at GSU to participate in the nationwide conversation,” she said. “I want other companies and entities to give us a problem and we can charge our students to build it better, make it faster or find a solution to whatever the problem is.”

Smith’s goal is to foster a sense of community at the EXLAB. For many, the lab will be a place to learn a new technology they are scared or intimidated by, as well as a space where they can brainstorm with students, build businesses or just work with other people they may have never met.

“Makerspaces are important because they force people to collaborate and essentially drive each other to innovate and try new things,” Smith said. “It’s all about getting people started on making. Then they get addicted and they want to improve their skillsets.”

Smith is excited about connecting the EXLAB with other makerspaces and showcasing student projects in the community. The EXLAB is welcoming students, faculty and staff to showcase their innovative and creative projects at Makers Faire Atlanta on Oct. 22.

“Makers are competitive and Maker Faire is like the greatest show (and tell) on Earth,” she said.

Smith hopes the resources available for makers continues to grow at Georgia State.

“I’m hoping this is just makerspace number one,” she said. “There’s such a need and there are so many people who don’t even know they’re makers yet and they are.”

News Briefs

footballplayerGeorgia State Celebrates Homecoming 2017
Georgia State celebrates Homecoming Oct. 16-21. Faculty and staff members are invited to participate in several Homecoming events, including the Homecoming Golf Cart Parade and Throwback Thursday on Thursday, Oct. 19. A blood drive will also be held at Veterans Memorial Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Visit GSU Homecoming Central for a full range of activities on all campuses leading up to the Oct. 21 Homecoming football game. Georgia State will play Troy University at 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 21 at Georgia State Stadium.

solarchargingtableThree Solar-Charging Umbrellas Installed On Atlanta Campus
The Georgia State community can now charge cell phones and laptops at three new outdoor solar-charging stations on the Atlanta Campus – two at the Urban Life plaza off Decatur Street and the other in the courtyard outside Dahlberg Hall.

The stations were proposed by the Study Abroad Programs office and the Student Center, then installed in mid-June with assistance from the Sustainability Initiatives Department.

“Georgia State students are continuously expressing interest in adding renewable energy options on campus,” said Jennifer Asman, sustainability initiatives program manager. “They realize the need to diversify our energy sources and lower our dependence on fossil fuels.”

The three EnerFusion Inc. solar-charging umbrellas, valued around $12,000 each, were paid for by the student sustainability fee.

The student sustainability fee provides money to staff, faculty and student groups working on sustainability projects. The Sustainability Initiatives Department hosts a call for proposals twice a year for faculty, staff and student groups to submit proposals on ways the mandatory $3 per semester fees could best serve the university. When a proposal to fund solar-charging umbrellas emerged at the 2016 funding meeting, the Sustainability Fee Committee unanimously voted for it.

As some of the first solar-charging stations on the Atlanta Campus the “doks” host four USB ports for laptops and Apple products. Android phones don’t require a charger. They can charge wirelessly on top of the table. The Dunwoody Campus already has two solar-charging stations.

According to information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, about 65 percent of U.S. electricity generation in 2016 was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, petroleum and other gases), roughly 20 percent came from nuclear energy and renewable energy sources accounted for 15 percent (solar, wind, hydropower).

While it may be difficult to determine the charging stations direct cost-savings on the Georgia State power bill, Asman says electricity will still be saved in some way. The main goal of the new charging stations is to expose the Georgia State community to renewable energy sources.

“Although the impact from these stations on campus energy costs is relatively small, this project is an important first step to raising awareness,” she said.

Asman notes that her department is considering purchasing additional umbrellas for Hurt Park in the future through the student sustainability fee to continue adding renewable energy sources to campus.

PantherDining plans to work this year with Sustainability Initiatives to introduce its latest sustainable project – using recycled cooking oil from the dining halls and converting it to biodiesel to be used by the Georgia State buses and other fleet vehicles on campus. Georgia State will be the first university in the state to use converted biodiesel from a dining hall to power its fleet vehicles.


doctorOpen Enrollment For 2018 Benefits Begins Oct. 30

The University System of Georgia (USG) will hold open enrollment for 2018 benefits beginning Monday, Oct. 30 through Friday, Nov. 10. The OneUSG Connect-Benefits website and Call Center will be open during this time for employees to enroll or make changes for the 2018 plan year.

Georgia State will host a Benefits Fair at two locations this year:
•Monday, Oct. 30 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Atlanta Campus – Sports Arena, 125 Decatur St.
•Friday, Nov. 3 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Clarkston Campus – Building C(G), Gymnasium

During the fair, employees will be able to meet vendors, learn about the changes for Plan Year 2018 and register to win giveaways. Benefits Fairs are taking place at all USG institutions. Check out the 2018 USG Benefits Fair Calendar for more dates and locations if you can’t attend the fairs at Georgia State.

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University System Of Georgia Provides System-Wide Employee Assistance Programs

The University System of Georgia (USG) has partnered with Espyr to provide a system-wide comprehensive external Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for USG institutions available at no cost to full-time and part-time USG employees and their family members. Espyr offers assessment, counseling and referral services for a wide range of issues. To contact Espyr, call 1-888-960-3305 anytime, 24/7. You can also confidentially request support at www.espyr.com using the password USGCARES. Georgia State employees and their family members can also contact Faculty and Staff Assistance (FASA), the internal Employee Assistance Program coordinated through the Office of Employee Development and Wellness Services. For more information about FASA, call 404-413-3342 or visit the website at http://employees.hr.gsu.edu/worklife-balance/faculty-and-staff-assistance/.

classroomGeorgia State Places in Top 100 in Law, Business and Economics In Times Higher Education Global University Rankings
Georgia State has been ranked by Times Higher Education of London among the top 100 best universities in the world to study law, business and economics. The university ranked 75th in law and 97th in business and economics in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The top 1,000 universities around the world were evaluated by the publication.

The universities evaluated represent no more than 5 percent of about 20,000 higher education institutions across the globe. Institutions are assessed based on multiple performance metrics, including teaching, research, knowledge transfer, research publication citations and international outlook.

Scoring for Georgia State’s ranking in 75th place in law was highest in teaching and publication citations. For business and economics, the institution’s strongest scores were in publication citations and research.

Times Higher Education is a weekly publication based in London, covering issues related to higher education across the globe. The publication has published its World University Rankings since 2004. For more about the rankings, visit https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2018/world-ranking.

newtoncampus width=Newton Campus Celebrates 10th Anniversary
The Newton Campus celebrates the campus’s 10-year anniversary at an event on Oct. 17. Since its opening in June 2007, the Newton campus has served 18,331 students who have taken at least one class on the campus. Many of those students continued on to graduate and receive their associate degrees.


The National Association of College and University Food Service (NACUFS) has recognized PantherDining as a leader in environmental stewardship for maximizing recycling efforts and minimizing waste in its dining facilities. Eclipsing hundreds of submissions from other NACUFS membership institutions, PantherDining was awarded the Bronze Sustainability Award in the category of waste management.

Mark Stockman of the College of Arts and Sciences is a co-recipient of a $2 million federal grant to develop miniaturized optical transistors and circuit elements using novel, atomically thin materials. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Jackie Lund, professor of kinesiology, was one of seven scholars across the country inducted into the National Academy of Kinesiology.

College of Education and Human Development faculty members Laura May, Cathy Amanti, Sue Kasun and Gary Bingham have received a five-year, $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition to prepare educators who work with bilingual students.

Jessica Scott, assistant professor in deaf education, was awarded a $35,000 Spencer Foundation grant for a project titled, “The role of early language and academic English in the reading comprehension of middle and high school deaf and hard of hearing students.”

Researchers at the School of Public Health are partnering with the American Cancer Society on a project to help colleges and universities across the United States develop and implement tobacco-free policies. Researchers Pamela Redmon and Amelia Jazwa will evaluate the effectiveness of the Tobacco-free Generation Campus Initiative by assessing tobacco use on participating campuses, the intentions to quit among students who use tobacco products, perceptions of anti-tobacco policies and their enforcement, among other issues.

Michael Eriksen, dean of the School of Public Health, and Jidong Huang, associate professor of health management and policy, will lead a project to develop cellphone messaging programs to help smokers kick the habit in China and Vietnam, countries where smoking rates among men are among the highest in the world. The researchers have received more than $1 million for the five-year project, titled “Cultural Adaptation and Evaluation of mHealth Interventions for Cessation in China and Vietnam.” The project is funded by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health.

Distinguished University Professor Ann-Margaret Esnard has been appointed the interim associate dean for research and strategic initiatives for the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Esnard will be involved in a number of initiatives, including implementing the school’s revised strategic plan, helping to grow the research activity and assisting with the budget.

Rajeev Dhawan, director of the Economic Forecasting Institute, has received an honorable mention for the accuracy of his forecast for the previous four quarters from the National Association for Business Economics. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago also recently recognized Dhawan for providing the best real gross domestic product forecast at its 2016 Automotive Outlook Symposium.

Jan Costello, undergraduate course coordinator of the Business Communication Program, recently met with Georgia elected officials and their aides to discuss adaptive learning, the use of online resources to aid learning.

John O’Kane, professor of practice in the Nonprofit Studies Program, has been invited to become a member of the Research Advisory Network (RAN) of the National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise. RAN is an international network of scholars and analysts whose research and practice inform the resource-related decision-making of nonprofit organizations. O’Kane also was elected to the Board of the Georgia Kiwanis Foundation.

Mirae Kim, assistant professor of public management and policy, won the inaugural Createquity Arts Research Prize for her research study, “Characteristics of Civically Engaged Nonprofit Arts Organizations: The Results of a National Survey.”

Natalie King, assistant professor of middle and secondary education, has been awarded a 2017 Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

Jacqueline Laures-Gore, associate professor of educational psychology, was named chair of the Brains and Behavior Interdisciplinary Committee in the Neuroscience Institute.

Sue Kasun, assistant professor of language education, has been awarded a nine-month Fulbright scholarship to conduct research and teach at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo in Pachuca, Mexico.

College of Education & Human Development faculty members Nicole Patton Terry, Gary Bingham and Kevin Fortner have received a $400,000 grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences to expand on their work assessing the state and quality of early education in Atlanta public schools.

Ashley Helvig, assistant professor of nursing, and co-investigator Melissa Faulkner have received a grant from the Georgia Center for Diabetes Translation Research for a study, A Sleep Intervention (SLEEP-Extend) for Young Adults At-Risk for Type 2 Diabetes.

Joyce King, the Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning and Leadership in the College of Education & Human Development, and Valora Richardson, manager of faculty development and support in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, are the co-principal investigators for a $50,000 grant the university from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities to advance university-community partnerships to boost student success.

Christina West, associate professor of ceramics and sculpture, has figural sculptures in a group exhibition titled “Anti-Reflet” at Galerie COA in Montreal.

Tyler Beard, part-time instructor of three-dimensional studies, has received a $4,000 Artist Project Grant through the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs in Atlanta, which will support the building of a sculpture library and publication for his solo show in May 2018 at Ernest G. Welch Galleries.

Jess Jones, assistant professor of textiles, was featured in the lifestyle design magazine, “Surface” with a six-page spread for her series, “Topoquilts,” which re-appropriates used textiles and addresses the uniqueness of Atlanta neighborhoods.

Ben Lee, part-time instructor of photography, was one of two winners of the Atlanta Photography Group Student Prize for photographic artists in Georgia.

Hollie Lifshey, assistant professor of trumpet, performed on the Concerto di Artisti Internazionali at the Interharmony International Music Festival in Acqui Terme, Italy. In addition to performing, Lifshey was one of the artist faculty for the InterHarmony Music Festival.

Greg Smith is the founding director of the newly named School of Film, Media & Theatre.

Ethan Tussey, assistant professor of film and media, is leading the Atlanta Mobile Music initiative that aims to connect citizens through their shared love of music. The program surveys MARTA commuters about the music they are listening to, culminating with a MARTA Five Points Station event in February 2018.

Daniel Ben Robin, associate professor of film, traveled to Portugal to present his new short film, “All the Leaves Are Brown,” at the prestigious Curtas Vila Do Conde International Film Festival, one of the top 10 film festivals for short films in the world.

Philip Lewis, professor of film and media, debuted his student-produced feature film, “Petra,” in Budapest, Hungary.

Nicole G. Iannarone, assistant clinical professor and director of the Investor Advocacy Clinic at the College of Law, has been appointed chair of the State Bar of Georgia’s Professionalism Committee.

Steven B. Bright, professor of practice at the College of Law, was honored with the Daily Report’s Attorney of the Year Award.

Patrick Parsons, research instructional services librarian in the College of Law, has been elected vice president/president elect of the Atlanta Law Libraries Association, a chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Jonathan Germann, digital services librarian at the College of Law, has been elected secretary-treasurer of the Computing Services Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries.

D. Michael Crenshaw, Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been appointed chair of the Board of Governors for the Astrophysical Research Consortium.

Anne Z. Murphy, associate professor and associate director of the Neuroscience Institute, received a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate pain management therapies for people aged 65 or older.

Andrew Butler, professor of physical therapy, had a research project on stroke telerobotic rehabilitation selected by the Secretary of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, David Shulkin, M.D., for inclusion in the book “Best Care Everywhere.” The book features 150 of the most innovative and transformative services available to veterans.

Mei-Lan Chen, assistant professor of nursing, has been named a manuscript reviewer for INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing, a refereed journal.

Fayron Epps, associate professor of nursing, was invited to be an early career reviewer on the Nursing & Related Clinical Sciences II study section held at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., in October.

Kimberly Hires, clinical assistant professor of nursing, has been named editor-in-chief of The Nightingale Magazine. Hires was also awarded a Faculty International Partnership Engagement Grant from the Office of International Initiatives. Along with the South African Task Force, she will develop an exchange program for graduate Lewis College students and faculty and will travel to South Africa in summer 2018.

Huanbiao Mo, chair and professor of nutrition, has been appointed associate editor of the journal Nutrition & Metabolism.