School leaders will be missed
By SARAH LUNDGREN The Brunswick News
With presidents of both state colleges in Glynn County leaving June 30, the community is looking for their successors to continue the gains made at both institutions. Valerie Hepburn will leave College of Coastal Georgia to join the staff of the University System of Georgia, and then return to Glynn County in 2014 as executive director of Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation, a philanthropic foundation. Lorette Hoover will leave Altamaha Technical College to become president of Columbus Technical College at Columbus. “Both have been big supporters of our public schools, and we’ve worked together well,” said Howard Mann, Glynn County schools superintendent.
Morehead planning to shape future by flattening structure
Many of the new freshmen arriving on the University of Georgia’s campus will begin their college initiation by decorating and organizing their dorm rooms. For some, it may be hanging posters of Bob Marley, for others displaying a monogrammed duvet and matching pillows. The common goal is to create a comfortable space. In the same sense, UGA President-elect Jere Morehead is preparing for his first semester as president by creating an organizational structure that feels comfortable and efficient. Morehead intends to reorganize the senior administration organizational chart to increase the amount of people who report directly to the president. Essentially, the idea is to maximize communication by spreading out the chart, or the web of contact within the administration.
Daniel Wims, provost at Alabama A&M, finalist to be president at Fort Valley State
By Paul Gattis
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Another high-ranking university official may be leaving Huntsville to become a college president. Daniel Wims, the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Alabama A&M University, is one of four finalists to be the president at Fort Valley (Ga.) State University, according to the school’s website.
UGA College of Education to host conference on Moodle July 19
By UGA NEWS SERVICE
A one-day interactive conference about Moodle, a free learning management system that school systems can use for learning purposes, will be hosted by the University of Georgia College of Education July 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. The Southeast Moodle Mini Moot Learning Management System for K-12 Conference will focus on how schools systems can use the system for blended and online learning of common core standards, organizing a 1:1 initiative or flipping a classroom.
Dougherty Co. Comm. has busy agenda today
By Dave Miller
…On the education front, County Administrator Richard Crowdis and James Morgan, County Extension Coordinator will address a Recommendation to approve a revised Agreement with the Board of Regents on behalf of The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and the Fort Valley State University Cooperative Extension Service.
The nontraditional student
Adults re-enroll in college later in life
Two plus two doesn’t equal four anymore. At least that’s what Susan Hale, a nontraditional college student, believes now that she has gone back to school to finish her college degree with hopes of becoming a dental hygienist. The 46-year-old student, like many others, are gathering up their No. 2 pencils and notebooks, and heading back to finish their education at colleges and universities. Hale, …said she started school last year in the fall at Georgia Perimeter College, and is majoring in dental hygiene. Hale graduated from Jasper County Comprehensive High School in Monticello in 1985 and then continued her education at then Georgia College, now known as Georgia College and State University. …Husband and wife Justin and Alison Mullinax have a similar story, also deciding to continue their education after the traditional age. …However, when Alison became pregnant with the couples’ second son last year, he decided to start his college career. He began at Georgia Perimeter College in summer 2012 after being out of school for 14 years, and recently finished his first year of college. …Morgan said she started at Clayton State University, after she graduated from Heritage High. She received an associate’s degree and took time off.
A look at all the ways you’re being watched
By Kate Irby, Ali Watkins, Trevor Graff and Kevin Thibodeaux
McClatchy Washington Bureau
Someone is watching you. What you spend. Where you eat. Whom you call. Where you travel. What you Google. What you give to charity. Recent reports of government access to records from phone companies, Internet providers and credit card companies raise anew questions of just how much other people can know about you, especially in the age of the Internet and high technology… Among the applicants approved: the Arlington Police Department in Texas; California State University in Fresno; Canyon County Sheriff’s Office in Idaho; the city of Herington, Kan.; the Georgia Tech Research Institute;
GSU’s Institute of Public Health to become full-fledged school
Michael Hunter, Staff writer
Georgia State University’s Institute of Public Health will renamed the School of Public Health following the endorsement of the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the national accrediting body of such programs. The announcement by CEPH begins the two-year process necessary to gain accreditation as a school. GSU will become Atlanta’s first public university with a School of Public Health, which will be the university’s first new college in almost two decades.
GGC Awarded Grant to Support Female Students Interested in Technology
The seed grant will be used to develop a special “Women in IT” learning community.
By Joy L. Woodson
Georgia Gwinnett College has been awarded a seed grant to enhance the educational experience of women interested in technology. The $1,000 seed grant is provided through the National Center for Women & Information Technology, and it will be used to develop a “Women in IT” learning community at the college, college officials said in a press release. The main goal of the new learning community is to inform women about opportunities in information technology and to support female students interested in the field.
And the Emmy goes to … GSU
STATESBORO — Georgia Southern University has been recognized for broadcast excellence by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with a 2013 Emmy Award. GSU received the honor for Best Live Audio during the Southeast Emmy Awards in Atlanta on June 8. The award-winning video streaming production of a performance by the Georgia Southern Symphony was a collaborative partnership between the Center for Academic Technology Support (CATS) and the Georgia Southern Music Department.
A Brilliant Project That Will Completely Transform Atlanta Almost Didn’t Happen
Vivian Giang, provided by Business Insider
The Atlanta BeltLine is an idea that takes old, abandoned, early 19th century railroad tracks that were built before Atlanta was an actual city and transforms them into the most ambitious rails to trails, transit, parks and development project in the country. This is a massive project. How massive? The estimated $3 billion it will cost to complete the redevelopment plan that’ll form a loop around midtown and downtown Atlanta will make up 22 miles of rails, trails, greenspace and transit. It will include 45 different neighborhoods — home to 100,000 residents — and will provide transportation to some of the biggest employers in the area, including Piedmont Hospital. The project will include new MARTA (Atlanta’s transit system) stations, 1,300 acres of new and improved greenspace, 40 percent more parks, 5,600 units of affordable housing and 14-foot-wide paths connecting wealthy and lower-income areas within a two-to-four mile radius around the city. And it almost never happened. The project would have never become a reality if Ryan Gravel’s coworkers hadn’t told him that his master’s thesis from Georgia Tech was too “cool” to merely be an idea.
Using smartphone for driving data
Staff Writer-Atlanta Business Chronicle
One of the co-founders of Hughes Telematics is turning a challenge into opportunity with his new venture, Vehcon Inc. At Hughes, Fred Blumer led the development of In-Drive, a telematics device that State Farm, AAA and others use for usage-based insurance. A major challenge to adoption of hardware-based systems, such as In-Drive, is the cost of the devices that plug into a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics port. “There are a lot of companies that just don’t want to pay for and manage hardware systems,” Blumer said. Blumer’s new startup with co-founder Joe Fuller uses the ubiquitous smartphone to solve that pain-point. The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) Select company has developed technologies that allow sensor-packed smartphones to collect much of the data that hardware-based telematics systems monitor… “Vehcon has found a simpler and less expensive way to extract data from cars that is meaningful to insurance carriers,” said Merrick Furst, who advised the startup as part of Georgia Tech’s Flashpoint accelerator program.
Bacterium breaks down grass for biofuel
Jeanne Therese Andres
…A large team of researchers, led by Michael Adams at the University of Georgia, grew the thermophilic cellulose- and hemicellulose-utilising Caldicellulosiruptor bescii bacterium on switchgrass commonly found in North America. By exposing switchgrass to the microbe at around 80°C, Adam’s team found that C. bescii could solubilise a significant amount of the biomass – up to around 25% per 5-day treatment – including the problematic lignin.
Tampa Pest Control Company Discusses Study That Finds How Melanin is Used in Insects
Compound used as a immune system factor
TAMPA, Fla./PRNewswire-iReach/ — For humans, melanin determines one’s skin. The compound is a polymer, and also creates color in the eye and hair. Higher levels of melanin determines darker pigment for a person. For insects, however, melanin is a large portion of the entities immune defense system, as their blood darkens in response to pathogens. Scientists who study insects now have a refined model of just how an insect forms its melanin as an important factor for the research on such creatures. The ability to understand and control the creatures derives specifically from the knowledge learned through such studies. In the Journal of Biological Chemistry, University of Georgia entomologists have found the model scientists have been using up to this point are simply wrong. “For 50 years or so, people have been studying melanization in insects, and a model has been built as a way of understanding how it functions,” said Kevin Clark, an associate research scientist of entomology in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “They got a lot of things right, but some fundamental aspects have been ignored.”
Workforce report shows growth in key industry recruitment
Metro Atlanta Chamber released a workforce trends report that shows some revealing insight into online job posting trends and job recruitment in the metro Atlanta area. Overall, online job postings in metro Atlanta have grown 4.5 times faster than postings nationally in the areas of supply chain and logistics, technology and bioscience. There were also huge spikes in wireless mobility, digital media and health IT-related job postings from 2010-2012.
Hall County: A Magnet for Expanding German Firms
By Phil Bolton
Hall County, 60-plus miles northeast of Atlanta, has long been a magnet for international companies with 15 from Germany toping a list of 50 foreign firms operating there. Already dominant, two German-owned companies – Bitzer U.S. Inc. and ZF Industries Inc. – celebrated expansions earlier this month with a third – Atlanta Biologicals Inc. — to begin operations by the end of the year. In 2005, Bitzer U.S., a manufacturer of compressors for commercial refrigeration and air conditioning systems, opened a plant that has seen the demand for its products grow at a 35-percent compounded annual rate, according to its president, Peter Narreau.
Are female engineers still getting the short stick?
Paul Heney :
When I was in college, some twenty years ago, I went to an institute primarily focused on engineering (Georgia Tech). So it wasn’t surprising to hear guys constantly talk about “the ratio.” That would be the ratio of guys to girls, and it was always in the neighborhood of 4:1—not a happy statistic for a bunch of young college guys who were eager to party on the weekends. Today, I (perhaps naively) assume that things are better, and while male students still outnumber females in the engineering ranks, the ratio isn’t as lopsided it once was. News stories on programs aimed to attract young women into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degrees and careers come across my newsfeed on a pretty regular basis, and great organizations like the Society of Women Engineers do much to promote the great career opportunities.
Udacity And Georgia Tech Cross The Rubicon
Michael Horn, Contributor
“There are a few moments in my life I will never forget. Like the moment I proposed to my wife, Petra. … Today is one of those moments.” So wrote Udacity founder and CEO Sebastian Thrun upon announcing a new $6,600 master’s in computer science degree in partnership with Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech’s dean of computing Zvi Galil expressed similar glee when he said in an interview, “You know there is a revolution going on, right?” Hyperbole about disruptive innovation in higher education is rampant. Starting as a trickle of conversation a decade back and turning into a torrent today, innovation now dominates the ecosystem’s collective mindshare. Any time something new emerges, we at the Christensen Institute are inevitably asked, “Is this disruptive?”
Atlanta’s stature rising in Silicon Valley
During my recent trip to Silicon Valley, I met with the country’s leading venture capital firms to promote Atlanta as the technology center of the Southeast. Good news: Our city is rising in stature among Valley investors as a destination point for investment. Several promising Atlanta themes were presented during my meetings with these industry-leading VCs… 2. Employee talent and loyalty. Atlanta is recognized as having a pool of engineering talent thanks to Georgia Tech, and we are also touted for having a loyal and stable workforce. During my visit, a VC described the Valley as a “treasure hunt” for employees; if your current employer doesn’t wildly succeed, then you quickly move to the next one and the next, until you hopefully make your fortune. By contrast, Atlanta employees are seen as far more committed to their company’s success over the long term.
Moderated by Rick Badie
The essential economy
By Sam Zamarripa and Todd Stein
Immigration reform is vital to America’s economy. That simple reality is driving four Republican senators, some of whom are the most conservative members of Congress, to champion the immigration reform bill now being debated on the floor of the US Senate. Sen. Marco Rubio recently wrote that an immigration reform bill that includes bringing millions of undocumented aliens out of the underground economy “will improve the labor market, increase entrepreneurship and create jobs, leading to a net increase in economic growth.” For Georgia, the economic stakes are high because of what immigration reform could do to sustain and boost Georgia’s “Essential Economy,” defined by a recent report by Georgia Tech’s Innovation Services Group as the goods and services that are essential to our way of life and that have to be produced right here in Georgia. A significant percentage of the approximately 440,000 people in the state illegally makeup the workforce that drives Georgia’s essential economy.
Moderated by Rick Badie
Georgia farmers need immigration bill
By Zippy Duvall
While most Americans agree the current immigration system is a mess, nobody advocates doing nothing. But nothing is exactly what we’ll get if the U.S. Senate fails to pass its immigration reform bill, SB 744. Without Senate action, America will be stuck with its broken immigration system for the next several years. …A study released by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development showed that Georgia growers of seven major fruit and vegetable crops lost an estimated $140 million due to the labor shortage in the spring and summer of 2011. These crops represented nearly half the acreage available for harvest that spring, and had a total farm gate value of more than $670 million.
Would You Want a Robot to Give You a Sponge Bath?
By: Patrick Kiger
If you think healthcare is too impersonal and bureaucratic already, I’m guessing that you may not be too enthusiastic about a future in which intelligent machines take over much of the patient care, from changing the linens on your hospital bed to performing surgical procedures. Forget about Obamacare–we’re talking Robocare, and it’s probably inevitable, due to an aging population that in the future will have more patients and fewer workers… You’ll definitely notice, though, when a future caregiving robot provides you with bedside care, such as feeding, transferring you from a bed to a wheelchair, or assisting you in walking. And then there’s bathing. In 2010, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed Cody, a robotic nurse that is equipped with a laser range finger and a camera to guide the movements of a mechanical arm equipped with a washcloth. According to a university press release: “Cody lessens the burden of the nurses workload and saves the patient from the embarrassment of another human having to bathe them.” Here’s how it works.
Getting More Bang for the Buck in Higher Education
By LAURA D’ANDREA TYSON
Republicans and Democrats are hurtling toward another bipartisan standoff, this one over rival plans on the interest rates to be charged on subsidized federal loans to help students and their families pay for postsecondary education. Unless Congress can agree on a plan, the interest rate on new loans will double on July 1 to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent. While the interest rate on student loans is important, there are much bigger problems in the financing of higher education: soaring tuition costs, the exploding volume of total student debt and shockingly low college completion rates. Americans are spending unprecedented amounts, both privately and publicly, on higher education. What are the returns? Are there ways to get more bang for the buck on this substantial investment in the nation’s future work force?
The Answer Sheet By Valerie Strauss
How test scores can be deceiving
Consider this: On the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the test that is commonly referred to as “the nation’s report card,” Massachusetts students performed so well that the state ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Sounds good, right? Then consider this: Massachusetts ranks in the bottom tier of states in progress toward closing the achievement gap for black, Hispanic, and low-income students, and, in fact, has some of the widest gaps in the nation between white and Hispanic students.
Campus Crime Report
By David Galef
U of All People is a crime-free campus—or so the administration for years wanted you to believe. This past November, the assistant football coach’s assistant was found breaking into female students’ dorm rooms in Long Hall to secure what was later described as ladies’ footwear. But the crime was concealed until game season was over, after a losing record and shrinking budget would have forced the assistant’s assistant to leave, anyway.
When the campus police chief finally broke the news last month, many women students (and a few boyfriends) were outraged and marched on the campus security office. “Hell, no! We want accountability!” they chanted without rhyme or meter. In an effort to placate the protesters, the provost, who has a nasty habit of interfering with everything, has ordered campus police to fully disclose every incidence of crime on school grounds.
Common Core gets a public hearing
Submitted by Ben Nelms
A panel of local and statewide educators presented their viewpoints about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) at a June 10 community forum held at the Sams Auditorium in Fayetteville. As for the educational standards in place in state schools, there are teachers and parents advocating for the measures on both sides of the issue. Panelists during the meeting also responded to audience questions.
NGTC approved for Associate of Science in Nursing program
CLARKESVILLE – The Technical College System of Georgia State Board has approved the Associate of Science in Nursing Degree at the North Georgia Technical College (NGTC) Clarkesville Campus effective fall semester 2013. In addition, the program has receiveD initial approval from the Georgia State Board of Nursing.
GNTC’s Nursing program continues accreditation
Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Associate Degree Nursing program has been granted continued accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). Accreditation will continue until the next visit scheduled for fall 2015. “(NLNAC) accreditation shows that a program has met certain standards,” said GNTC’s Program Director of Associate Degree Nursing Ose Martinez. “It shows the public and prospective students that the education offered is of good quality.”
No Love for Accreditation
By Libby A. Nelson
WASHINGTON — To hear members of Congress tell it, reauthorizing the Higher Education Act is looming on the near horizon of the legislative agenda — even though most others here consider it a mirage that’s still years away. But when lawmakers do sit down to rewrite the law governing financial aid programs, accreditation will be under a particularly harsh spotlight. That was clear at a hearing Thursday of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s subcommittee on higher education and workforce training, where a panel featured two representatives of accrediting agencies and two critics of traditional accreditation.
In Report on Paying Foreign Recruiters, Admissions Panel All but Punts
By Karin Fischer
After almost two years, it came down to one word. In a split-the-difference report that attempts to mollify everyone but is likely to please no one, a commission named by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, or NACAC, has recommended that the organization change its policies to state that members “should not” pay commissions to international-student recruiters, from the current “may not.” If colleges opt to pay so-called incentive-based compensation, the report says, they should be transparent and have strict accountability requirements in place. Even the panel’s chairman, Philip A. Ballinger, said he and other members were not “married” to the report’s findings.
How to Fix America’s Dire College Math Problem
Math professor Barbara Lontz has created what may be the perfect college course for students lacking basic arithmetic knowledge. Lontz’s “Concept of Numbers” is a novel approach to basic arithmetic for the millions of college students who must take remedial math courses each year. More than 50 percent of students entering two-year colleges, and 20 percent of those at four-year schools, are placed in at least one remedial course, according to a 2012 study by Complete College America. “It’s a nationwide problem,” Lontz, a teacher at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, told TakePart. And one that needs to be solved if the United States is going to excel in STEM classes that President Obama has deemed critical in the 21st century.
New Data on the Racial Gap in Degree Attainments
The U.S. Department of Education has released preliminary statistics on the number of degrees earned at U.S. colleges and universities for the 2011-12 academic year. African Americans make up about 14 percent of all students enrolled in higher education but they are a far lower percentage of all degree earners. The data shows that African Americans received 307,469 degrees from four-year institutions in the 2011-12 academic year. This was 10.1 percent of all degrees earned at these institutions.
NSF Grants Reward Student Ideas for Improving Graduate Education
You’ll find no shortage of reports and ideas about how to reform graduate education — shorten time to degree, make options outside the professoriate more attractive, etc. Few of the proposals come from those with arguably the biggest stake in the results: graduate students themselves. But the National Science Foundation has sought to change that, with its Innovation in Graduate Education Challenge, which offered grad students awards for their ideas about strengthening graduate education and academic professional development.
New report shows improved pace of college attainment is still not enough to meet future workforce needs; massive racial achievement gaps continue
Lumina Foundation Announces 10 New Targets for Moving America Closer to Goal 2025
WASHINGTON, DC, June 13, 2013—As the demand for skilled workers continues to grow, a new report released today by Lumina Foundation shows that the rate of college attainment is steadily improving across America. Unfortunately, the pace of progress is far too modest to meet future workforce needs. The report also finds massive and ongoing gaps in educational achievement—gaps tied to race, income and other socioeconomic factors—that must be addressed. According to the report, A Stronger Nation through Higher Education, 38.7 percent of working-age Americans (ages 25-64) held a two- or four-year college degree in 2011—the most recent year for which data are available.
Half the United States’ most skilled workers don’t have a bachelor’s degree
By Tim Fernholz | Quartz
Think you need a college degree to be a skilled worker? Think again. With so much focus on staying competitive in global markets, jobs in the US bearing the STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—moniker are in high demand. A new attempt to evaluate how 26 million US STEM workers use these skills revealed that half didn’t need a bachelor’s degree.
NIH Is Pessimistic as It Counts Damage From Budget Cuts and Fears More
By Paul Basken
Leaders of the National Institutes of Health spoke in despairing terms on Thursday about its ability to prevent severe damage to university research, saying Congress seemed determined to inflict more financial pain on the NIH and the scientists it supports. The numbers and prognosis are “quite disheartening,” the NIH’s director, Francis S. Collins, told a semiannual meeting of his advisory committee, in Bethesda, Md. The NIH, with an annual budget of about $31-billion, already is losing $1.55-billion in the current fiscal year from the automatic governmentwide budget cuts, known as sequestration, that took effect in March, Dr. Collins said. That’s forced the NIH to withhold about 700 grants it planned to issue, and to cut the value of awarded grants by an average of 4.7 percent, agency officials said.
Justices, 9-0, Bar Patenting Human Genes
By ADAM LIPTAK
WASHINGTON — Human genes may not be patented, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday. The decision is likely to reduce the cost of genetic testing for some health risks, and it may discourage investment in some forms of genetic research. The case concerned patents held by Myriad Genetics, a Utah company, on genes that correlate with an increased risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The patents were challenged by scientists and doctors who said their research and ability to help patients had been frustrated. After the ruling, at least three companies and two university labs said that they would begin offering genetic testing in the field of breast cancer.
Academic Scientists Hail Supreme Court’s Rejection of Gene Patents
Court Says Human Genes Can’t Be Patented But Synthetics Can
How today’s Supreme Court ruling affects the biotech industry
Tenure’s Fourth Rail
By Colleen Flaherty
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Collegiality can be a dirty word in higher education — particularly in regard to tenure or promotion, where it frequently becomes a catchall for likability and other subjective qualities that some faculty advocates say can be used to punish departmental dissenters. But two researchers are trying – through data-based definitions and metrics – to sanitize collegiality enough for it to be a viable, fourth criterion in personnel decisions.
Judged by Unfair Standards?
By Colleen Flaherty
Many scholars are stunned that Georgetown University is denying tenure to Samer Shehata, widely seen as a significant figure in Arab studies. But there is no one theory about why he was denied a permanent spot within the university’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Some say he’s being punished for his politics, and his views on the Middle East in particular. Others blame the politics of political science, and say he’s being punished because his work is ethnographic and not full of the theory popular within the discipline. Whatever the reason, a fight is brewing.
Ed Tech Accessibility
By Ry Rivard
Disability rights advocates and book publishers are pushing for federal regulations to ensure higher education technology is accessible to tens of thousands of students with visual impairments.
A federal study in 2011 found college students with a range of disabilities face “unintended and nearly impenetrable barriers” thrown up by some new technology products. Now, the National Federation of the Blind is floating a draft bill designed to ensure students with disabilities are not left behind on college campuses by a wave of new technologies. The proposal has the support of other disability rights groups and the Association of American Publishers.