USG eclips for April 18, 2019

University System News:


Savannah Morning News

Film and forensics positioned for growth at Georgia universities

By Ann Meyer

Jeff Stepakoff boasted of the Georgia Film Academy’s growth this year, while three Savannah State University seniors talked up the university’s facial reconstruction class at the Board of Regents April board meeting. What film and forensics have in common are growing industries pushing new demand for higher education training. Stepakoff, executive director of the film academy, which was launched in 2015 to provide training for Georgia’s film industry, has said it has expanded to 4,200 registrations today. To build the scope of the program, the film academy began several new classes this year. It first offered classes in 2016 at three partners and now it has 19 partners in the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia, Stepakoff said. … Another program with growing interest is forensic science, which at Savannah State University often includes an art component, said Cheryl Dozier, president of Savannah State University. Dozier, who is retiring at the end of June, thanked the Board of Regents for the eight years she has served the university. “This is one of our niche programs. It is very, very unique,” Dozier said about forensics and the facial reconstruction course. “When you combine the arts and science, we definitely know that we are able to move in the direction of full steam ahead,” she said. Karla Sue Marriott, assistant professor of chemistry at Savannah State and forensic science coordinator, said she became interested in forensics from watching shows like CSI when she was growing up.


Dalton Daily Citizen-News

Regents approve 2.5 percent tuition increase for Dalton State College


Tuition going up at some state colleges, universities


Tuition To Increase For University Of Georgia System Students


Tuition going up at some state colleges, universities



Georgia Southern students react to tuition increase

By Dal Cannady

Tuesday, the board over Georgia’s public universities voted to increase tuition. It means students at Georgia Southern and other schools in the system will have to pay more money each semester. The Board of Regents approved an increase of 2.5 percent for undergraduate students and three percent for those in grad school. It translates to about $68 dollars per semester for most students at Georgia Southern. News of next year’s increase drew mixed reactions from students we spoke to Wednesday. “I know a lot of my friends are struggling to pay tuition, so it definitely will affect some of them,” said Avery Persinger, GSU Freshman. University officials said the increase will help retain faculty and staff with raises to compete with other schools. Students on financial aid and grants aren’t sure yet if the increase will be covered or if it will come out of their pockets.


Savannah Morning News

GSU alum interrupts Regents to protest state policies

By Ann Meyer

Grey Qualls, who graduated in May 2018 from Georgia Southern University, returned to the Armstrong campus Wednesday to interrupt the Board of Regents meeting in protest of policies that force undocumented students to pay out-of-state tuition and ban them from the top public universities in the state. Qualls was escorted out of a board room in the Waters Health Profession Academics Building on Wednesday morning, but she was not arrested. Asked outside the building why she decided to protest at the meeting, Qualls said, “to stand in solidarity with our friends who are undocumented. Their right (to equal education) was revoked in 2010 by this Board of Regents.” “I’m letting people know, just letting people know,” said Qualls, who was joined by two other young adults outside. One held a “lift the ban” sign, but said he didn’t want his name used.


WGAU Radio


By: Camie Williams

Samantha Joye, an internationally recognized University of Georgia marine scientist who studies the complex interplay between microbes and large-scale ecological processes in the oceans, has been named Regents’ Professor, effective July 1. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the title Tuesday at its meeting in Savannah. Joye is Athletic Association Professor of Arts and Sciences in the department of marine sciences, part of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Regents’ Professorships are bestowed by the Board of Regents on faculty members whose scholarship or creative activity is recognized nationally and internationally as innovative and pace-setting.


Coastal Courier

GSU president embraces challenges head-on

Lainey Standiford

Staff Writer

As Georgia Southern University’s 14th president, Kyle Marrero doesn’t back down from a challenge, and moving forward into the position of a college president is no exception. Marrero, as GSU president, will work to help oversee three distinct campuses of GSU in Statesboro, Savannah and Hinesville. Marrero was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and grew up in New Mexico, he said. He attended school in Ohio and Michigan, and his first position was as an Assistant Associate Professor at Louisiana State University for 11 years, and after that, he moved to the University of West Florida as the Department Chair for the Center of Fine and Performing Arts, and then Vice-President for Advancement, he said. In 2013, Marrero became president of the University of West Georgia, and “that was my last gig as we like to say, before I came here,” Marrero said. Moving forward, Marrero believes that the opportunities for GSU’s Liberty campus are exponential, he said.


Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Medical marijuana oil sales signed into Georgia law

By Mark Niesse

Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday signed into law a bill to grow and sell medical marijuana in Georgia, a milestone for patients who are allowed to use the drug but had no way to buy it. The new law creates a new but limited marijuana industry in Georgia, with up to 9 acres of indoor growing space for cultivation of medical marijuana oil. The oil will then be sold to the state’s growing number of registered medical marijuana users — 9,500 so far, Georgia has allowed patients approved by a physician to possess cannabis oil since 2015, but until now, state law prohibited buying, selling or transporting the oil. Those restrictions forced patients and their families to buy the drug through the mail, by driving to other states or from friends. …The state government still needs to appoint members of an oversight board, create regulations and license up to six private companies to grow medical marijuana. Then seeds will have to be planted and harvested, and the government will have to approve dispensaries to sell the product. …The bill also calls for the University of Georgia and Fort Valley State University to seek licenses to produce and manufacture the oil. In addition, the oversight commission could try to obtain medical marijuana from other states.


Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

A new marijuana bill passed, but will Georgia universities start growing pot?

By Laura Corley

…The new law also closes a loophole in a 2015 law that, while allowing certain patients to possess the oil substance, banned growing, buying and selling it. In-state cultivation would make getting the oil easier for patients, though the federal prohibition would remain. Up to six private companies will be able to apply to grow cannabis, according to the law. It also gives state permission to grow and manufacture medical cannabis to two colleges: Fort Valley State University and the University of Georgia. The schools also may apply for federal licenses to become medical marijuana research schools. It is unclear what the new law could mean for Fort Valley State University. Asked whether the school would pursue plans to grow cannabis, university spokeswoman Teresa Southern said, “at this time we have no comment regarding this matter.” A University of Georgia spokesman referred comment to the University System of Georgia. Jen Ryan, spokeswoman for the system, said it is “reviewing the legislation and will work closely with the governor’s office, our institutions and other stakeholders regarding implementation of the law.”


Atlanta Business Chronicle

‘Heartbeat bill’ to test strength of Georgia’s film incentives

By Susanna Capelouto – WABE

Gov. Brian Kemp has said he will sign a controversial anti-abortion bill known as the “heartbeat bill,” despite threats from actors and directors saying they won’t film in Georgia if it becomes law. The push-back is testing the economic power of Georgia’s film industry, which has grown in recent years due to a generous tax credit program. It also didn’t take long for other states like Michigan, Illinois and New Jersey to send out signals that they’d welcome Georgia’s movie business. Outgoing Chicago Ram Emanuel even sent letters directly to movie studios touting his cities film infrastructure. So far no production has publicly signaled it would leave Georgia. But Joseph Chianese, who heads the incentives department for Entertainment Partners, which does financial services for the film industry, said movie makers do have choices.


Valdosta Daily Times

My Brother’s Keeper: Conference uplifts male youths

Conference uplifts male youths

By Amanda M. Usher

Sara Bodnar shed “happy” tears at the Pathway to Manhood: Boys to Men conference Saturday saying her only son, Joshua Bodnar, “got it.”  The mother-son duo attended the empowerment luncheon hosted in the Valdosta State University Magnolia Room by organizers Ingrid Harden and Bionca Ball where William “King” Hollis was the guest speaker. …Pathway to Manhood was largely sponsored by the African American Male Initiative Program at VSU, according to organizers. Dr. Tameka Hobbs, AAMI coordinator, said with negative stereotypes and outcomes for black men, her hope is that programs such as Pathway and AAMI will “turn some of that around.”


Marietta Daily Journal

Cartersville student earns university’s top computer science award


Christopher Clark of Cartersville was named the Outstanding Computer Science Undergraduate at Georgia Southwestern State University during its 2019 Student Recognition Ceremony recently in Americus. The faculty of the Department of Computer Science selects the winner of the award which recognizes an undergraduate student who has shown outstanding academic achievement and participation in school projects.


Columbus CEO

CSU Announces New Minor in Entrepreneurship and Small Business

Staff Report From Columbus CEO

Columbus State University recently announced a new minor in entrepreneurship and small business. As of July 1, 2019, any student at CSU – regardless of their major – may pursue the new minor. The minor is one of many CSU efforts to support and encourage entrepreneurship. Each year, the university hosts a business plan competition, in which students and community members can compete for an opportunity to win cash prizes. CSU also collaborates with the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce on ways to support entrepreneurs and currently hosts the Chamber’s StartUP Columbus program on CSU’s RiverPark campus.


Clayton News-Daily

BOC backs fire, EMT, police academies for high schoolers

by Robin Kemp

An innovative partnership between Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services, the Clayton County Police Department, Clayton County Public Schools and others will turn out high school seniors as trained emergency responders just a few credits shy of their associate degrees. The Clayton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously April 16 to establish the Clayton Public Safety Institute. The vote gives the green light to the planning process that will put the program in place. …Merkison and Police Chief Kevin Roberts have met with “colleagues” at the School Board and other agencies to sketch out the program, which targets high school students “who don’t have hope to go to college or don’t have a plan to go to college.” The program will offer high school students dual enrollment in college while they train as first responders. Successful candidates would graduate from high school three classes short of an associate’s degree and would be ready to go to work. …Requests for information as to which college would provide the associate degree credit were not answered by press time. However, Atlanta Technical College, which recently opened a satellite campus in Clayton County, does offer a fire science technology program with 2-semester firefighter certificates (estimated at $1,777 and $1,627), 4-semester fire science technology diplomas (estimated at $6,529) and 6-semester fire science technology degrees (estimated at $8,006), which are some of the lowest tuition prices in the state of Georgia. Atlanta Tech also offers similar programs in criminal justice technology. Clayton State University offers a bachelor of science in criminal justice and budget-minded dual-enrollment tuition rates. Those who later decide to continue their higher education also can seek different forms of financial aid from the college of their choice. …For details on dual enrollment for high school students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree, visit the University System of Georgia’s website at  To see which courses will transfer from Georgia’s 2-year colleges to its 4-year colleges, see


Forsyth County News

Hometown News: Forsyth County native helps UNG team impress at ROTC competition

From staff reports

Chris Bissett helped the University of North Georgia’s Ranger Challenge team finish third out of 49 teams from across the world at the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition at West Point held April 12-13. Ranger Challenge is the varsity sport of Army ROTC, and teams compete over two days against other schools from around the world in events such as patrol, marksmanship, weapons assembly, one-rope brigade, grenade assault course, Army Physical Fitness Test, land navigation, and a 20-kilometer road march. Bissett, a senior from Cumming pursuing a degree in international affairs, helped UNG finish ahead of 14 of West Point’s 16 teams, as well as teams from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, 15 other ROTC programs and 14 international military academies.


Rome News-Tribune

UNG finishes 3rd at Sandhurst Military Skills Competition

Staff reports

Experience proved beneficial for the University of North Georgia’s Ranger Challenge team in the 2019 Sandhurst Military Skills Competition, which Gordon Central graduate Nicholas Nesbitt competed at for the first time. With six of its 11 team members part of a group that finished fourth at Sandhurst in 2018, UNG was the top ROTC team for the second year in a row and third overall out of 49 teams in the event held Friday and Saturday in West Point, New York. UNG was the lone team not from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to finish in the top five. “This was a great team and a great outcome,” said Army Maj. Donovan Duke, an instructor in the Department of Military Science at UNG and coach of the Ranger Challenge Team. “The team really worked hard this past school year. They were ready.” UNG finished ahead of 14 of West Point’s 16 teams, as well as teams from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, 15 other ROTC programs and 14 international military academies.


Albany Herald

ABAC hosts Wildlife Society conclave

From Staff Reports

The Wildlife Society Southeastern Student Conclave is one of the most active and challenging wildlife-specific competitions in the world. College and university undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States compete for three days in a variety of physical, artistic and intellectual events. For the first time ever, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College recently hosted this most prestigious annual competition of wildlife minds. The University of Georgia was the overall 2019 conclave winner with the highest scores across all competitions. Mississippi State University finished second, followed by North Carolina State University, and Haywood (N.C) Community College.


Gwinnett Daily Post

Georgia Gwinnett College celebrates expanded, relocated microfarm

Isabel Hughes

March 21, 2013 was a cold, overcast day in Lawrenceville. Despite the weather, the Georgia Gwinnett College faculty, staff, students and administrators who gathered in a 1,000 square foot space just south of ‘I’ building were optimistic about what their fledgling microfarm could bring, both to the GGC campus and the greater Lawrenceville community. “People spoke about their hopes for the space and the opportunity for students to learn by serving the community,” said Paul Grant, an assistant professor of political science at GGC. “At GGC, we did not want to be one of those college institutions that had no connection to the community in terms of service; we wanted the city of Lawrenceville to see us as an active, contributing partner to the community.” In the half-decade since its creation, the microfarm has helped the college do just that, each year having expanded in size and scope to provide more and more opportunities for student-community engagement. Now, to further foster that growth, the microfarm has moved from its original location to a larger, more centralized space on the GGC campus, which was officially unveiled to the public during a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning.


Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Georj Lewis

GEORJ LEWIS has been appointed interim president at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. Prior to his new role, he was vice president for student affairs at Georgia Southern University.


Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Mary Beth Walker

MARY BETH WALKER has been appointed provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Northridge. Currently, she is interim president at Georgia Gwinnett College and associate provost for strategic initiatives and innovation at Georgia State University.



Teacher and college professor in Columbus share thoughts on Notre Dame Cathedral fire in Paris

By Olivia Gunn

Teachers and college professors in Columbus are sharing their thoughts on the catastrophic fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The fire happened Monday, April 15 and burned for hours, destroying the 850-year-old landmark. French President Emmanuel Macron is vowing to rebuild the historic cathedral better than ever. Daniela Brollo is a French teacher at St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School. She said she was in her French class when she heard the cathedral had gone up in flames. “I’m shocked and extremely sad for what happened, because it’s just a piece of art and a piece of history that has been destroyed. I’s very hard to replace things of our past,” said Brollo. Columbus State University art history professor, Claire McCoy, also spoke on the Notre Dame Cathedral fire. “For us, these works of art, these buildings is like seeing the home of a good friend burn,” said McCoy.


Henry County Times

Updates from latest BOC meeting

Monroe Roark

A budget cut for Henry County’s libraries was reversed to save the system from losing much more money from other sources. The vote by the Board of Commissioners at its April 2 regular meeting increased library system funding by $115,000. That amount is equal to the 5-percent cut in the fiscal year 2019 budget that was approved by the board last year. Officials warned the commissioners that if this action had not taken place, Georgia Public Library Service could immediately cancel the system’s eligibility for both state and federal grants, support service, and in-kind services due to being non-compliant with state requirements. The Board of Regents, which administers state and federal grants to public libraries, requires that local funding be equal to or more than the previous year with the lone exception that cuts are consistent with other county departments. Officials noted that there is no legal way in place for the library system to charge for service or generate its own revenue. “We are entirely tax-funded,” as one official put it.



Higher Education News:


Inside Higher Ed

The Future of Gen Ed

General education is under threat, but it’s worth the fight. Advocates share war and success stories at Inside Higher Ed event.

By Colleen Flaherty

General education is not simply filler for a student’s time in college beyond the major. Done well, gen ed can answer students’ questions about what college is, and why it matters. Gen ed is also a great American contribution to higher education, affording students the time and space for intellectual exploration, and teaching them to learn to think in different ways. Yet general education is under threat. Politicians question the value of it, specifically requirements that aren’t explicitly job oriented. Students don’t always get it. And creating and adopting a strong general education program demands much of already time- if not resource-strapped professors and their institutions. Is gen ed worth the fight? Speakers at Wednesday’s Inside Higher Ed Leadership Series event, The Future of Gen Ed, think so. The sold-out all-day meeting, held at Gallup’s headquarters here, featured conversations on why general education matters more than ever, along with data-driven arguments for gen ed. Other speakers offered thoughts on challenges and lessons learned in their own institutions’ gen ed reforms, and whether diversity should be a program requirement.