Who’s Who Sustainability
Atlanta Business Chronicle
Welcome to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s inaugural Sustainability Who’s Who list. In this section we highlight 50 men and women who are making strides in sustainability throughout metro Atlanta, including those working in the nonprofit, government, business, education and public-private partnership sectors. With help from industry experts, we looked for leaders in the many diverse aspects of sustainability, such as land use, conservation, urban planning, renewable energy, development, energy efficiency, green building, recycling, manufacturing, law, thought leadership/advocacy, and fundraising. We included individuals who are making their workplaces, businesses and communities operate in a more sustainable way, as well as those who are developing sustainable systems and technologies that will change the way we live in the future while conserving our precious natural resources. …Marilyn A. Brown, Georgia Tech, Professor, School of Public Policy, Career highlights: Brown leads the Climate and Energy Policy Lab at Georgia Tech. She is a national leader in the analysis and interpretation of energy futures.
Citibank backs phone-fraud detector Pindrop
Staff Writer-Atlanta Business Chronicle
One of the world’s largest financial institutions is betting on an Atlanta security startup to tackle phone fraud — a nearly $2 billion menace.
Citigroup Inc., through its corporate venture capital arm, recently co-invested $11 million in Pindrop Security, a Georgia Tech spinoff that aims to reinvent caller ID.
Ga. state archives to be moved July 1
ATLANTA (AP) — University System of Georgia officials say the state’s archive collection is being moved and a funding increase is expected to translate to an increase in service. Officials said Thursday that the archives will be moved from the Secretary of State’s office July 1 to the Board of Regents office, and the move comes with a $300,000 budget increase.
SACS continues Georgia Perimeter College sanction
By Laura Diamond
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia Perimeter College remains sanctioned by an accreditation agency because of concerns over financial instability and a lack of controls. The Southern Association of College and Schools voted Thursday to keep the college in “warning” status and review the situation in 12 months, spokeswoman Pamela Cravey said. It is the less serious of two possible sanctions. The college remains accredited. The group first sanctioned Georgia Perimeter in December, a move the college and leaders in the University System of Georgia expected because of the school’s recent $25 million budget shortfall.
Mixed results for Ga. in teacher training report
By The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) Just four teacher-training programs at Georgia’s college and universities earned high marks on a national survey released Tuesday looking at more than 1,000 programs across the country. The review by the National Council on Teacher Quality overall found colleges’ education programs are not adequately preparing future teachers and criticized their admission standards, training and value. The assessments faced criticism even before they were released and set off a debate on whom and what belong in teacher training programs. …In Georgia, five teaching programs received the lowest rating of no stars with a consumer alert designation. Those schools were Albany State, Armstrong Atlantic State, Augusta State (now known as Georgia Regents University Augusta), Columbus State and University of West Georgia.
Georgia Southern lands $360K National Science Foundation grant
STATESBORO—Valentin Soloiu, the Allen E. Paulson Chair of Renewable Energy at Georgia Southern University, has been awarded a $360,000 research for undergraduates grant from the National Science Foundation. The program, under Soloiu’s direction, will start next summer and be available to students across the country to explore solutions to energy problems. “This puts us in an extraordinary position to reach out to undergraduate engineering students nationally and help boost their interest in research with hands-on learning,” said Soloiu. “The program that I have designed will allow students to perform research on our campus, and they will work on formulating new biofuels, hybrid combustion technologies, renewable energy, automotive engineering and many other areas.” Georgia Southern will collaborate with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to recruit participants for the program.
Adolescent obesity influenced by both community, genetics
By UGA NEWS SERVICE
Genetic sensitivity and community adversity combine to increase the risk of obesity among adolescents, according to new research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health by University of Georgia researchers Kandauda Wickrama and Catherine Walker O’Neal. About 30 percent of adolescents are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Research has shown community stress does influence weight gain, so we expected adverse communities to lead to higher levels of BMI,” or body mass index, said O’Neal, a postdoctoral fellow in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences’ department of human development and family science. “But now we know that if you have this genetic sensitivity, you have an increased risk, and we know a little bit better who in that community is most at risk.”
Genetics, community contribute to adolescent obesity
Quantum Network Experiment Marks Major Milestone
By Tamarra Kemsley
The realization of a sophisticated quantum network took a giant leap forward when researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology announced that, through the use of ultra-cold atoms and pair of lasers operating at optical wavelengths, they were able to entangle light with an optical atomic coherence composed of interacting atoms in two different states. The discovery, according to the researchers, could pave the way for functional, multi-node quantum networks, considered the “holy grail” for security experts due to the fact that messages sent through them cannot be read without changing them.
U.T. heading dairy study in Southeast
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A six-state study will attempt to pinpoint the causes of the decline in the Southeastern U.S. dairy industry. The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is the lead institution for the study, funded by a $3 million grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Steve Oliver, assistant dean of UT AgResearch, said the Southeastern dairy industry is in serious trouble. …Leaders of the study also plan to develop both continuing education programs for current dairy farmers and providing undergraduate and graduate student education for long-term solutions in the region. Regional participants in the study include the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky, Mississippi State University and Virginia Tech.
The Philosophy of Distracted Driving: A New Theory
By KATE SWEENEY
A quick quiz: Which is safer? Driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone, or while using a hands-free device? If you answered “Neither,” then you’ve likely been paying attention to a number of studies in recent years—most recently, last week, from The University of Utah and AAA. These studies keep finding that that talking and texting impair driving whether a phone is hand-held or not. “Why are these things so distracting? Are they distracting in a different way, or are they distracting in the same way as, [say,] eating a hamburger?” But the question remains: Why is this the case? Here’s one possible answer, from an unusual source. Interview with Robert Rosenberger, who is a researcher at Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy.
Inside a MOOC in Progress
By Karen Head
Karen Head is an assistant professor in the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Literature, Media, and Communication, and director of the university’s Communication Center. She reports periodically on her group’s efforts to develop and offer a massive open online course in freshman composition.
After months of preparation, we finally started our MOOC, “First-Year Composition 2.0,” at Georgia Tech. We are now through the first few weeks of the eight-week course, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Veteran MOOC instructors warned me that the early weeks would be bumpy. The actual experience has often left me panicked—and worried that the course would not be successful. This is not like a traditional course, in which you have a day or two to deal with issues that come up in class. MOOC students expect immediate responses, and that means nearly 24/7 monitoring of the course.
For MBA Job Seekers, the Importance of Being Thankful
By Francesca Di Meglio
Proper etiquette never goes out of style, and it can help MBA students and alumni stand out when networking and looking for a job. Most full-time MBA students are beginning their summer internships now, and experts say good manners can help them secure an offer of employment. A simple and short thank-you note is the perfect way to follow up with a recruiter or supervisor, says Keith Bevans, global head of consultant recruiting at Bain & Co. “Anything you and the recruiter can do to continue the relationship beyond the 45 minutes you’ve spent together should be a priority for both of you,” he says. …Handwritten notes are so rare these days that they can really help a job candidate stand out. The career center at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business leaves notecards out for students to write messages to recruiters. Advisers suggest they send an e-mail in which they mention that a note will be arriving via snail mail, too.
The Best Data Out There
By Scott Smallwood
As we’ve started asking how to get better data about Ph.D. placement, we’ve heard from some universities that do, in fact, keep detailed records of what happens to their students. Check out the details at the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School. The site lists statistics for Michigan’s 108 Ph.D. programs, including admission rates, gender and racial breakdowns, and aggregate placement statistics for both one and five years after earning the Ph.D. Here’s a similar site for Northwestern University.
Local roles in global issues
Moderated by Rick Badie
Atlanta, home of research institutions and philanthropic corporations, plays a significant role in building a healthier, more secure world. Today, the president of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta writes about our city’s contributions in dealing with those issues, while Sen. Johnny Isakson notes regional efforts to address world hunger.
A healthy and secure world
By Wayne Lord
Atlanta has been a city of visionaries. In human rights, global commerce, air travel and logistics, it has been blessed with great leadership and bold risk-takers. Robert W. Woodruff, legendary leader of the Coca-Cola Co., had another great civic vision. He wanted Atlanta to be the home of world-class medical facilities. His initial strategic investments in the health-care complex at Emory University, and subsequent philanthropy made through the foundation that bears his name, enabled Atlanta to become a world-leading medical and bioscience center. The legacy continued with gifts of land and structures that brought the Centers for Disease Control and CARE USA to Atlanta. In tandem, the Carter Center began efforts to address the most acute diseases in some of the world’s most vulnerable places. …The Georgia Research Alliance was created to foster cutting-edge research and attract world-leading researchers. Emory, Georgia Tech, Morehouse, Georgia State and other institutions began to seek connections with one another and with the CDC, CARE and other non-profits to engage in research initiatives and projects in global health. To this powerful constellation, the Task Force for Global Health emerged as one of the most powerful coordinators of global health delivery in the world.
Professors Envision Using Google Glass in the Classroom
By Sara Grossman
New digital eyewear from Google, which features a built-in Webcam and the ability to display e-mail messages and other information, has sparked a mix of curiosity and skepticism in the popular press, but several professors are rushing to try it out in their teaching and research—and early reviews are mixed. Cynthia Johnston Turner, Cornell University’s director of wind ensembles, is among the academics who see possible ways to use the high-tech glasses in their instruction.
By Elizabeth H. Simmons and Ramón S. Barthelemy
When scientists talk about issues related to diversity or broadening participation in their disciplines, the focus is typically on supporting women, persons of color, or first-generation college students. However, scientists who identify as part of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community are also a minority within the scientific community and may, likewise, find themselves marginalized. Moreover, scientists who would like to make their disciplines more welcoming to LGBT colleagues may be uncertain about how to do so.
Get Schooled with Maureen Downey
Common Core, common politics: Can someone throw a bucket of water on Cobb board?
Can someone please fill a bucket with cold water and throw it on the Cobb County school board?
During a time of furloughs and larger classes, Cobb is considering squandering $2 million to redesign middle and middle and high school math books to eliminate all icons that reference the “Common Core Georgia Performance Standards.” The AJC reports that it’s one of three proposals by administrators to get the board past a political stalemate. Let me say it again: At a time when school districts are scouring under sofa cushions to find pennies to pay their bills, the Cobb Board of Education is weighing spending $2 million for a symbolic rejection of the Common Core State Standards.
Cobb board set to debate textbooks and Common Core
BY DAAREL BURNETTE II – THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
Cobb County’s school board is considering having middle and high school math books redesigned to eliminate all references to “Common Core Georgia Performance Standards.” That would cost taxpayers $2 million. It’s one of three proposals by administrators to get the board past a political stalemate on Georgia’s Common Core standards. The debate over math textbooks and other educational materials has pitted Cobb teachers and administrators against tea party members and other conservatives. The board is expected to consider the proposals Thursday.
Nursing degree cleared at NGTC
North Georgia Technical College Clarkesville Campus can begin offering an associate of science in nursing degree this fall.
Washington Think Tank Launches Center on Higher Education Reform
by Ronald Roach
In a move to strengthen its influence on higher education reform in the U.S., Washington think tank The American Enterprise Institute announced Thursday the launch of the Center on Higher Education Reform (CHER). The center, which is led by AEI resident scholar Andrew P. Kelly, is expected to “conduct independent, data-driven research and analysis designed to inform policymaking and shape the higher education reform conversation,” according to AEI. “AEI’s new Center on Higher Education Reform will lead the conversation about how we can make higher education work for all Americans, and to prepare American students to flourish in the decades to come,” AEI president Arthur Brooks said in a statement.
Lawmakers Attempt to Save Student Loan Deal
by Philip Elliott, Associated Press
WASHINGTON—A handful of senators struggled Thursday to hold together a bipartisan deal to keep student loan rates from doubling on July 1 while their colleagues traded political barbs with little more than a week to go before the deadline. Top White House officials, meanwhile, told lawmakers they were open to changes in President Barack Obama’s student loan proposal if a compromise could be reached that would win congressional approval. The behind-the-scenes negotiations were an attempt to head off a rate hike that Congress’ Joint Economic Committee estimated would cost the average student borrower an extra $2,600.
Online Quality Control
By Ry Rivard
As colleges and universities across the country move to start or expand online education, professors at Oregon State University worry their university isn’t doing enough to control quality at its longstanding and fast-growing online program. Administrators and faculty themselves do not have a firm understanding of how well online students are doing and may rely too heavily on adjuncts and graduate students to provide online instruction, according to some faculty representatives. There are also faculty complaints that the university pulled a bait-and-switch on professors when it changed how it paid online course instructors.
AAUP Has ‘Guarded Optimism’ About Shared Governance at U. of Virginia
By Jack Stripling
A year after the ouster and reinstatement of Teresa A. Sullivan as president of the University of Virginia, an investigative panel of the American Association of University Professors sees reason for “guarded optimism” about the state of shared governance on the campus. In a statement released on Thursday, the AAUP panel cited a change in leadership on the university’s Board of Visitors as a positive development. “The committee now concludes with guarded optimism about adherence to the principles of shared governance in the months ahead,” the statement reads. “We expect the association’s file on the case to be kept open until it can be said that our optimism was justified.”
Paine will remain under sanction by accrediting body
By Tracey McManus
Paine College will remain under sanction by its accrediting body for a second year after it failed to correct an array of financial deficiencies identified in 2012. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges voted Thursday to keep Paine on a warning sanction for another 12 months, finding that it is out of compliance with most of the same six standards for which it was initially placed on notice in June 2012.
Paine is in violation of standards related to managing financial resources, employing qualified staffers, being able to demonstrate financial stability, exercising control over finances, having control over sponsored research/external funding, and handling federal student financial aid, according to Belle Wheelan, the commission’s president.
South Carolina State Put on ‘Warning’ Status by Accreditation Agency
South Carolina State University, plagued for several years by turmoil in its administration and governance, was placed on “warning” status by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the major higher education accreditation agency for institutions across the South. SACS, which concluded its mid-year meeting Thursday in Charleston, S.C., cited the state-controlled Historically Black College with failure to meet eight key standards required for accreditation and gave the university 12 months to comply. Questions were raised about the university’s financial resources, financial controls, financial stability, board of governors conflicts of interest, governance in general, control of sponsored research and external funds and management of various federal programs for which SCSU has received federal funds.
Virginia, North Carolina Schools, Universities Partner to Provide STEM Opportunities to Minorities
by Vikki Conwell
A growing number of colleges and universities are gaining an edge on recruiting and retaining more minority students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by forming cross-campus partnerships. Through these partnerships, public, private and historically Black colleges exchange resources and best practices to implement programs focused on student support, academic enrichment and research skill development. Such alliances also allow schools to pursue grant money toward increasing enrollment among underrepresented groups.
India, China and the Press
By Scott Jaschik
TORONTO — In both India and China, developments in higher education receive substantial press attention, said panelists at a meeting here. But that attention doesn’t necessarily mean that the right issues are being explored, they said. “The question is how the media can move beyond the elites,” said Rahul Choudaha, director of research and strategic development at World Education Services. Choudaha spoke here at Worldviews 2013: Global Trends in Media and Higher Education, of which Inside Higher Ed was one of the organizing groups. In both India and China, readers are tremendously interested in higher education, but much of the coverage focuses on what Choudaha termed “the 1 percent,” those who go to the best Western or local universities.
Into the Lawyers’ Den
By Doug Lederman
PHILADELPHIA — John K. DiPaolo is a brave man.
College lawyers are far from thrilled with how DiPaolo’s employer — the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights — is regulating colleges’ handling of sexual harassment of students is an understatement.
Yet there DiPaolo was Thursday before a roomful of legal experts at the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, explaining the department’s recent actions and absorbing pointed yet generally polite pushback from those who believe the agency has overstepped its bounds in cracking down on perceived violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Push for a Class-Action Suit Could Alter College Athletics
By ZUSHA ELINSON
Lawyers for a former college basketball star argued in federal court in Oakland on Thursday that thousands of others should be able to join a lawsuit that could significantly alter college sports by allowing athletes to share in the billions they help generate for the National Collegiate Athletic Association. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken didn’t rule on whether the lawsuit, which pits former University of California Los Angeles standout Ed O’Bannon and others against the NCAA, should become a class-action suit. Ms. Wilken said that a ruling “might take me a while.”