Digital Learners to Leaders Program Helps
Students Demonstrate 21st Century Professional Skills
One Saturday a month throughout the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters, a group of students from across Georgia State’s campuses gathered to learn technology skills from industry professionals.
The students, who are part of the Digital Learners to Leaders (DLL) program, are seeking two- and four- year degrees in dozens of different majors, but what they all have in common is a passion for using technology to solve problems and an interest in demonstrating the skills employers look for in today’s digital workplace.
“Digital experiential learning like that taught in the DLL program is a crucial piece of educating students to thrive in the world of the future while equipping them with the practical skills needed in the workplace of today,” said Phil Ventimiglia, Georgia State’s chief innovation officer. “The program complements what students learn in class by giving them opportunities to identify problems they care about and put what they learn into practice.”
The program, sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), is developing digital problem-solvers through experiential and project-based learning. Students in the co-curricular program attend sessions taught by Atlanta-area professionals from the education, business, government and non-profit sectors on topics such as ideation, computational thinking, project management and entrepreneurship. The students then work in groups to apply the skills they’ve learned to solve challenges they’ve identified using digitization and the “internet of things” (a growing network of Internet-connected everyday objects capable of collecting and processing data).
For example, DLL participants are using gamification to encourage recycling and combating food waste through networked recipe-sharing and donation. As they create their solutions, students leverage skills ranging from developing software to applying for patents.
Industry professionals are mentors and provide guidance on the feasibility of student projects, letting students direct their own learning, including testing ideas and making mistakes while building connections to a community of peers. This allows participants to demonstrate ‘soft’ skills such as communication, collaboration and problem solving, and at the same time improve their digital literacy.
“At a macro level, DLL also strives to encourage students from a variety of backgrounds to explore technology, including those from backgrounds underrepresented in the technology industry such as women and minority students as well as a cross-section of students from STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and non-STEM majors,” said Tiffany Green-Abdullah, DLL program coordinator and assistant director of learning community development at CETL.
While the aim of DLL is to help students prepare for professional opportunities, the program is also an example of programs being developed at the university to provide a richer student experience.
“CETL is dedicated to helping the university explore innovative educational methods,” said Julian Allen, senior director of learning innovations at CETL. “DLL is just one way we’re working to support new learning communities and integrating technology into the learning process. We welcome opportunities to work with faculty to find curricular as well as co-curricular opportunities to explore the concepts we’ve developed through DLL.”
The DLL program will begin accepting applications for the fall 2019 semester in March.
Georgia State Selected for New National Effort
to Develop Inclusive, Diverse STEM Faculty
Georgia State University is one of 15 universities selected to participate in a national three-year program to increase the diversity of its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) faculty through improved recruitment, hiring and retention practices.
The National Science Foundation-funded program, called “Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty,” promotes inclusive teaching practices and diversity. The program’s ultimate aim is to attract underrepresented students—women, members of minority racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds—into STEM programs, retain them and help them graduate and succeed in a modern workforce.
“As one of the most diverse research institutions in the nation, we are proud to have been selected for the inaugural cohort of universities in the Aspire Alliance,” said Lisa Armistead, associate provost for graduate programs at Georgia State. “Guided by a committee of Georgia State faculty and administrators, this program will contribute to a range of new and existing efforts in support of Georgia State’s strategic plan.”
The Aspire Alliance will provide participating institutions with comprehensive support and resources for institutional change that includes access to national partners who can offer concierge-style technical assistance. Aspire will also provide access to an institutional self-assessment for inclusive faculty hiring that the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) developed, a leadership institute to assist with professional development for existing faculty from underrepresented groups and a competitive funding program to foster new campus-based initiatives to diversify STEM faculty.
Participating universities will begin by completing the self-assessment of current practices and resources and then create an action plan for change, Armistead said.
“Our priorities include enhancing faculty preparation for inclusive teaching and mentoring and implementing new strategies to attract and retain diverse STEM faculty,” Armistead said.
The 14 other public research universities participating in the inaugural institutional change effort are: California State University, Northridge; Cleveland State University; Florida State University; Montana State University; Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis; University of California, Irvine; University of Central Florida; University of Houston; University of Illinois; University of Oregon; University of South Carolina; the University of Texas at San Antonio; University of Vermont; and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The Aspire Alliance, which is led by the APLU and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning, intends to select 50 more universities as part of two additional cohorts over the next two years.
Georgia State University Closes Achievement Gaps
In Graduation, Retention Rates At Perimeter College
The graduation rate at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College has more than doubled over the past three years and the rate of Perimeter students either successfully earning their associate degrees or transferring to bachelor’s degree programs is at a record 58 percent.
Perimeter College, which offers two-year associate degree programs, became part of Georgia State during consolidation with Georgia Perimeter College in 2016.
Since consolidation, Perimeter College’s three-year graduation rate has improved from 6.5 percent to 15 percent. The gap between the graduation rates of black and white students has been halved, and now white, Latino, and Pell Grant students all graduate at the same rate. The previous record for Perimeter students earning their associate degrees or transferring to bachelor’s degree programs was 51 percent.
At the outset of the consolidation process, the university wanted to find ways boost student success at Perimeter College campuses, just as it used innovative approaches at the Atlanta Campus.
One approach includes Freshman Learning Communities (FLCs). FLCs are groups of 25 first-year students enrolled together in the same set of four or five courses, as well as a university orientation course. Each FLC focuses on a specific career pathway such as business, education or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and exposes students to the nature of the field.
FLCs at Georgia State’s Atlanta Campus prior to the consolidation with Perimeter College have been part of Georgia State’s rise as a national leader in student success. Students enrolled in FLCs downtown have had higher retention and graduation rates, and higher GPAs. They graduate in less time and have retained the HOPE Scholarship at higher rates.
Perimeter students participating in FLCs during the fall 2018 semester had a higher retention rate into the spring 2019 semester by nearly 7 percentage points, had higher grade point averages at the end of the semester, took more credit hours and earned more credits toward their degrees.
“Perimeter students are very good candidates for the kind of benefits that come with learning communities,” said Timothy M. Renick, senior vice president for student success. “Nationally, first-generation college students drop out at higher rates during their first year, and one of the reasons they drop out is because they may feel that they don’t belong in college or fit in.”
At large institutions, the effect can be magnified, he said.
“Left up to chance, you could very well take four or five classes your first semester and never see the same face twice in any of your classes,” Renick said. “The learning communities help students build up a support system of friends, study partners and mentors.”
Thanks to Georgia State’s Learning, Income and Family Transformation (LIFT) program, supported by State Farm and the DeKalb County School System, the university piloted FLCs at the Perimeter campus in Decatur during the 2017-18 academic year.
Together with the program’s Summer Success Academy, Decatur LIFT participants in 2017-18 had a one-year retention rate 20 percentage points higher than non-participants and earned nearly 14 more credit hours over their first 12 months of college than their peers. As a result, FLCs were scaled up across all Perimeter campuses for the 2018-19 academic year.
“We weren’t surprised that the students in learning communities did better, because we were expecting that, but we were surprised by how much better they did,” Renick said. “The impacts were immediate and significant. We seem to be seeing the same encouraging outcomes that we see at the Atlanta Campus in the context of Perimeter campuses.”
For more about student success at Georgia State, visit https://success.gsu.edu.
Two Top Georgia State Administrators To Retire In Coming Months
Tom Lewis, senior advisor to the president, and Walter Massey, vice president for development and alumni affairs at Georgia State University, will retire in the coming months.
Lewis, who joined Georgia State in 1991 after serving as chief of staff in the office of Gov. Joe Frank Harris, will retire on June 30 and Massey, who joined the university in 2007 after 22 years at Florida State University, will retire at the end of August.
“As a vice president, senior vice president and senior advisor to the president over the past 28 years, Tom has been key to the success of the university’s government relations programs and activities,” said Georgia State President Mark Becker. “He has built valuable relationships at the Capitol and has long been a respected and trusted resource for the executive and legislative branches of the state and federal governments.”
Lewis has been active in civic affairs throughout his career. He has served the State of Georgia as a member and chairman of the board for the Jekyll Island Authority Commission and as chair of the Georgia Charter School Commission Foundation. Tom is on the board of directors of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Century Bank of Georgia, the Rollins Child Development Center and the Zell Miller Institute, and is chairman of the State Charter School Commission. Prior to joining the governor’s staff, Lewis was president of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, where he guided economic development during a critical period of the county’s growth. He also was executive director of the Georgia Franchise Practices Commission, where he developed new standards to regulate this fast-growing franchise industry.
Julie Kerlin, senior director of government and community affairs, will continue to lead the university’s government relations and community affairs office.
Massey has been vice president of development and alumni affairs and president of the Georgia State Foundation since 2009. He led the most successful capital campaign in the university’s history, the recently completed Burning Bright campaign, which raised more than $329 million and attracted more than 41,000 new donors for the university.
“Walter’s work will have an enduring impact on Georgia State,” Becker said. “His leadership has been a key to the fundraising success the university has enjoyed in recent years.”
He joined the university as associate vice president of development in 2007 after eight years as vice president of development services at Florida State University. Massey retired from Florida State, his alma mater, after 22 years in which he held a number of important development positions, including director of leadership gifts, director of major gifts and donor relations, and senior director for constituent fundraising. He began his career at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz.
The university will begin a national search for Massey’s successor.
Torrez Wilson, manager of the College of Arts and Sciences event center, was selected to present at the 39th annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Conference & Events Directors-International in March.
The Department of Respiratory Therapy has received the 2019-20 American Association for Respiratory Care Apex Recognition Award, which recognizes respiratory care departments that demonstrate high-quality care.
President Mark Becker ranked among the top 10 on the Great Value College list of 50 “U.S. Colleges with the Best Presidents.”
Mary Helen O’Connor wrote the digital book chapter, Teaching Refugee Students With the DALN . The Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN) essays teach students how to engage in video production and activism, value a wide range of literacy skills and revisit social media sites through a new lens. O’Connor is an assistant English professor on the Clarkston Campus and is the director of the Center for Community Engagement.
Thanks to a $300,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase, the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence officially initiated its CINEMA Project, which prepares local youth for careers in the film and entertainment industry in Georgia.
Jennifer McCoy, Distinguished University Professor of Political Science, has been awarded a fellowship from the Institute of Advanced Study to support a research residency with Central European University (Budapest, Hungary) in spring 2019.
Rashid Naim, principal senior lecturer of political science and faculty adviser to the Georgia State Model United Nations team, was recently appointed to the board of directors of the National Model United Nations (NMUN), the non-profit that oversees national NMUN competitions.
Elizabeth Beck, professor of social work, coauthored “The Homelessness Industry: A Critique of U.S. Social Policy,” published by Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Lisa Radtke Bliss, clinical professor and associate dean of experiential education and clinical programs in the College of Law, has been named a Fulbright Distinguished Chair, the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board have announced. Bliss will teach students enrolled in the Human Rights Clinic and the Patients’ Rights Clinic at Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic next fall.
Kristina Brezicha, assistant professor of educational leadership, recently published an article in the International Journal of Leadership in Education about teachers’ and principals’ perceptions of teachers’ involvement in decision-making, and teachers’ job satisfaction.
Nadia Behizadeh, associate professor of adolescent literacy, had a brief titled, “How to Improve American Schooling with Less High-Stakes Testing and More Investment in Teacher Development,” published on the Scholars Strategy Network website. The Scholars Strategy Network is a national organization that connects researchers with policymakers.
Erin Fuse Brown, professor of law, has received an award for the Best Antitrust and Mergers Article from the American Antitrust Institute for her article, “The Anti-Competitive Potential of Cross-Market Mergers in Health Care.” Brown co-authored the article with Jaime S. King.
College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) faculty Catherine Chang and Franco Dispenza, and CEHD counseling alumni C. Peeper McDonald and Caroline O’Hara, had their study published in the January 2019 issue of the Journal of Counseling & Development: “Multiracial Identity, Color-Blind Racial Ideology, and Discrimination: Professional Counseling Implications.”
Ai Leen Choo, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders, discussed the Academy Award-winning film “The King’s Speech” at the Emory Center for the Study of Human Health’s spring 2019 Voices film series.
Kimberly Cleveland, associate professor of art history, has been appointed a Faculty Fellow at Georgia State’s Humanities Research Center.
Andrea Curio, professor of law, was the co-principal investigator on a $50,000 grant from AccessLex Institute. The grant funds research about the LSAT and bar exam.
School of Music director, Nikitas Demos’ composition, “Frontlash,” is featured on the debut album “Unheard-of//Dialogues” by the New York-based Unheard-of//Ensemble.
Rajeev Dhawan, director of the Economic Forecasting Center, received the Certificate of Forecasting Excellence from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for the Best Change in Inventories Forecast in 2017. It’s his third award for forecasting accuracy at the Automotive Outlook Symposium.
Craig Drennen, associate professor of art and design, wrote an essay “Critique, Etc.” in ART PULSE magazine.
Antara Dutta, Maher Atteya and Jerry Poteat, professors of chemistry, are completing the e-book, “Chemistry: Learning by Doing,” a digital textbook for students enrolled in Perimeter’s Survey of Chemistry I course. A Textbook Transformation Grant funded the book project. Textbook Transformation grants are part of a USG initiative focused, in part, on reducing the costs of textbooks. This electronic book will use simulations, videos and interactive quizzes to teach chemistry.
Jill Frank, associate professor of photography and Jiha Moon, instructor of drawing and painting, are featured artists in Atlanta Contemporary’s 2019 Atlanta Biennial.
Photography faculty members Jill Frank, Joshua Dudley Greer, Kate Cunningham, Ben Bowden Lee, Jeremy Bolen and John Prince were included in the pop-up show “Split Vision” exhibition during Super Bowl weekend.
Ann-Margaret Esnard, associate dean for research and strategic initiatives, coauthored “Geospatial Applications for Climate Adaptation Planning,” published by Routledge Press.
Patrick Freer, professor of music education, served as a visiting professor at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg.
Ralph Gilbert, professor of art and design, has been selected for multiple nationally searched murals commissioned by Penn State Health, the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the Penn State College of Medicine.
Lynda Goodfellow has been named the senior associate dean for academic affairs for the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions.
Dan Immergluck, professor in the Urban Studies Institute, was named an influential education leader in Atlanta Magazine’s inaugural “Atlanta 500.”
Karen Johnston, assistant director for the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth, was awarded a grant by U..N-Habitat’s Urban Legislation Unit to conduct a land use planning survey for seven U.S. cities as part of a global research project to determine the impact planning systems have on sustainable urbanization.
Candace Kemp, professor in the Gerontology Institute, received a five-year $3.37 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to conduct research on the best ways to help assisted-living residents with dementia be optimally engaged in life. Kemp is joined on the project by co-investigators Elisabeth Burgess and Jennifer Craft Morgan of the Gerontology Institute, Fayron Epps in the School of Nursing, and Alexis Bender and Molly Perkins from Emory University.
Mirae Kim, assistant professor of public management and policy, received the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action’s 2018 Outstanding Article in the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly for “The Relationship of Nonprofit’s Financial Health to Program Outcomes: Empirical Evidence from Nonprofit Arts Organizations.”
“Economies of Scale,” an installation by Pam Longobardi, Distinguished University Professor, was included in an exhibition, “Plastic Entanglement: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials” at Smith College Museum of Art.
Kinsuk Maitra, professor and department chair of occupational therapy, has been appointed assistant dean of international initiatives for the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions. He will serve as the liaison to the Office of International Initiatives and lead the college’s international committee in developing international opportunities. Maitra will continue to serve as the academic chair of Occupational Therapy.
Huanbiao Mo has been named interim dean of the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions until a national search is completed.
Religious Studies associate professor Monique Moultrie’s book, “Passionate and Pious: Religious Media and Black Women’s Sexuality,” was selected Book of the Year by the Religious Communication Association.
Anita Nucci has been appointed interim chair of the Department of Nutrition. Nucci, who is the graduate program director, has been on faculty at Georgia State for about 10 years.
Deirdre Oakley, professor of sociology, and her editorial team of Georgia State graduate and undergraduate students have published the first issue of City & Community since the journal moved to Georgia State earlier this year. Oakley was named editor-in-chief in January. The issue features an article by sociology assistant professor Amy Spring. See the latest issue here.
Carlianne Patrick, assistant professor of economics, has received the Southern Political Science Association’s Artinian Award.
Ryan Rowberry, associate professor of law, has received an Aarhus University Foundation research grant in the amount of $7,000 to complete research on legal protections for Danish coastal cultural heritage.
David Sanchez, artist in-residence and Grammy Award-winner, performed “Carib” at the Kennedy Center.
Distinguished University Professor Tim Sass was among the nation’s top 200 Scholars–and the only scholar from a public university in Georgia–ranked in the Education Week blog, “The 2019 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings,” on Jan. 9.
Renee Schwartz, associate professor of middle and secondary education, and her doctoral students led a workshop on the nature of science at the Georgia Science Teachers Association’s 2019 conference at the Columbus Georgia Convention and Trade Center in Columbus, Ga.
Bruce A. Seaman, associate professor of economics, and professor emeritus Dennis R. Young co-edited the “Handbook of Research on Nonprofit Economics and Management, Second Edition,” published by Edward Elgar Publishing.
Laura Shannonhouse, assistant professor of counseling and psychological services, and College of Education and Human Development alumni Mary Chase Mize, Nikki Elston and Amanda Rumsey, have been selected as the co-recipients of the Chi Sigma Iota Outstanding Research Award.
Hang Shi, associate professor of biology, has received two four-year grants totaling almost $3 million from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to research the epigenetic mechanisms that may fuel obesity.
Regena Spratling has been named the associate dean and chief academic officer for the School of Nursing. Spratling is a tenured associate professor and has been on the Georgia State faculty since 2012.
Ruth Stanford, associate professor of sculpture, was featured in “Foot Traffic” at Creative Media Industries Institute and is showing “Lightbox” at Plough Gallery.
Ursula Thomas and Karen Wheel Carter co-authored a chapter in the book, “Navigating Micro-Aggressions Toward Women in Higher Education.” The pair wrote the chapter, “Claws and All: Women of Color and the Pitfalls of Dominant Culture Leadership.” Thomas—the book’s editor—is associate chair for cultural and behavioral sciences online and assistant professor of education at Perimeter College. Carter is associate dean for business administration, kinesiology and health, American sign language and dental hygiene.
Erin Tone, associate professor and associate chair of psychology, has been elected a Fellow of the Association for Psychology Science.
Robert Scott Thompson, professor of music technology, was a semi-finalist in the chamber music division of The American Prize. He was also nominated for the Schallwelle (Sound Wave) Prize in Germany.
Jonathan Todres, professor of law, has been appointed to the board of editors of a new peer review journal, the International Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy, and Practice.
Akinyele Umoja, professor and chair of African-American studies, was honored as an outstanding leader in the black community at the California State-L.A. Department of Pan-African Studies 5th annual Black Community Honors Dinner, which started a year-long celebration of that department’s 50th anniversary.
Sallie Vargis and George Vargis presented three different programs during fall 2018. In October, they presented “Contemporary Politics and the New Media” at the Indo-American Press Club’s 5th International Media Conference in Atlanta, and “Soft Power and India’s Public Diplomacy” at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Social Science Association in Orlando, Fla. In December, they presented, “Beginning of the Modern Age: Renaissance, Reformation and Voyages of Discovery” followed by a “Jeopardy” contest for students in 8th and 9th grades, at Vidyaniketan School, Chennai, India. Sallie Vargis is a professor of history and an associate chair of business and social science on the Newton Campus; George Vargis is chair of the Political Science Department on the Clarkston Campus.
Mary Beth Walker, associate provost for strategic initiatives and innovation, is now interim president of Georgia Gwinnett College. Walker was dean of the Andrew Young School from 2010 to 2017.
Baozhong Wang, associate professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences, has received a five-year, $3.86 million federal grant to develop a universal flu vaccine using a microneedle patch that will protect against any strain of the influenza virus.
Gangli Wang, professor of chemistry, has received a three-year, $485,263 grant from the Department of Energy to study how nanostructured materials, or materials with hollow structures on the nanometer scale, affect how other substances pass through them.
The College of Arts & Sciences has named Dan Deocampo associate dean for research, innovation and graduate studies.
The Department of Political Science has been awarded the Digital Learning Innovation Award by the Online Learning Consortium for its work using adaptive learning courseware to assess and improve individual students’ performance in an introductory class on global issues.
College of Education & Human Development faculty Joyce E. King, Janice B. Fournillier, Thais M. Council, Valora Richardson, Chike Akua, Natasha McClendon, Adrian N. Neely, Glenda Mason Chisholm, Tiffany Simpkins Russell, Fernanda Vieira da Silva Santos and Mikala Streeter, authored “Pedagogy For Partisanship: Research Training For Black Graduate Students In The Black Intellectual Tradition,” published in the January 2019 issue of the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.