USG e-clips for April 20, 2021

University System News:


University of North Georgia teaches future educators about mental health   

By Tara Brolley, Anchor/Reporter

Dr. Linda Reece with the University of North Georgia was trained on how to spot mental health issues in the classroom and then taught 60 soon-to-be teachers how to do the same. “They’ll know the signs of depression, anxiety and substance abuse and how to approach a student,” Reece said. The goal of the training is to be able to teach education students how to recognize the problem. That would then allow them to direct students to the correct person, such as a counselor or another mental health professional.

Savannah CEO

Savannah State University Wins $20,000 in Home Depot’s Retool Your School Grant Program

Savannah State University (SSU) has been selected among one of 30 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to win its share of $1,000,000 from the Home Depot Retool Your School HBCU Grant Program. In its 12th year, the program aims to encourage and recognize innovative projects that contribute to the campuses of accredited HBCUs. Separated into three clusters based on student population, the top 10 HBCUs with the most votes per cluster received grants ranging from $20,000 to $75,000. SSU took ninth place in cluster 2, earning $20,000 for campus improvement and beautification projects.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tech grad Shane Kimbrough commanding next SpaceX mission

By Tim Darnell

A Georgia Tech graduate is commanding Thursday’s NASA and SpaceX mission to the International Space Station. R. Shane Kimbrough was selected by NASA in 2004. He completed his first spaceflight in 2008 on STS-126, where he spent almost 16 days on the mission to expand the crew living quarters to accommodate a six-member crew. During the mission, he performed two spacewalks.


UGA to establish national NIH-funded center to fight flu

By Michael Terrazas

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Georgia a contract to establish the Center for Influenza Disease and Emergence Research (CIDER). The contract will provide $1 million in first-year funding and is expected to be supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of NIH, for seven years and up to approximately $92 million. Scientists in the multi-institutional center will work to increase understanding of influenza virus emergence and infection in humans and animals while also making preparations to combat future outbreaks or pandemics.

Gwinnett Daily Post

Biggest HBCUs in America

Ellen Wulfhorst

StudySoup has compiled a list of the 20 largest historically Black colleges and universities in the nation, based on 2021 data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Each one on this list is a four-year institution, and the schools are ranked by the total student enrollment.

…#14. Albany State University

– Location: Albany, Georgia

– Total student enrollment: 6,122 (5,778 undergraduate students)

– 2020-2021 undergraduate tuition: $5,934 in-state, $16,656 out-of-state

– Campus setting: small city

Albany State University is one of 26 universities and colleges in the University System of Georgia. Along with supporting Black students and students of color, Albany State University emphasizes its efforts on behalf of adult and first-generation students, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and those from underserved populations.

Daily Record Announces Best Online Masters In Higher Education Degree Programs for 2021

… analyzed 195 schools, on a scale of 0 to 100, with only 54 making it to the final list for Online Masters In Higher Education Degree Programs. To access the complete ranking, please visit:

Columbus State University; Georgia Southern University; Valdosta State University

Valdosta Daily Times

From Blazer to Air Force academy

By Desiree Carver

Growing up in Puerto Rico, it was always a dream of Alex Sterns and his family to come to the States. Now, they have not only made it here, but Sterns will soon be wearing a uniform with great national pride. Raised by his grandparents, Sterns’ family knew they wanted him to have every opportunity possible and moved to Tampa, Fla., in 2016 so he’d be able to attend high school. For the academically focused Sterns, college offers with scholarships came pouring in but it was a chance encounter with an inspiring staffer that led him to Valdosta State University. …The man turned out to be Ryan Hogan, VSU director of admissions. Sterns said Hogan made him feel like family and each professor on campus truly cares about their students.

The Daily Citizen

Dalton Public Schools students to use PINES system

Ryan Anderson

Dalton Public Schools students will soon have access to the PINES system’s wealth of resource and entertainment materials. PINES (Public Information Network for Electronic Services) has more than 11 million books, DVDs, audiobooks and other items, Nick Sun, a director of school support for Dalton Public Schools, said during a Dalton Board of Education work session. “Hopefully (this process) will be completed in May so that (students) will be ready to begin use over the summer.” …PINES is Georgia’s “borderless library” system, allowing PINES card holders free access to materials in 300 library branches and affiliated service outlets throughout the state, according to the PINES website. PINES is a program of the Georgia Public Library Service, which is a unit of the University System of Georgia.

Athens Banner-Herald

UGA, Chess & Community launch partnership to boost STEM education in Clarke

The University of Georgia and Athens nonprofit Chess & Community have launched a new partnership that uses robotics to enhance STEM education for promising Clarke County students. Over the next three years, the university will provide financial assistance and on-campus space to support Pawn Accelerator — a community-centered robotics and chess program that educates students about the foundations of technology and innovation, nurturing skills that they will need for future careers in STEM fields, including literacy in robotics and engineering.

Southeast Ag Net

GCC Approves Research Funding

The Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) recently approved $745,094 in research for the 2022 crop year and an additional $42,050 for the 2021 crop year. “We had our board meeting on March 31 where we went through our research proposals. It’s about shy of a $50,000 increase for 2021 to 2022. We also put in some additional money for 2021,” says Taylor Sills, executive director for the GCC. “These researchers do a lot for our growers, whether it’s economics or plant physiology. We fund projects in a vast amount of disciplines in both Extension and research type of work. “The main thing is we want to fund work that has an impact to the grower over a long term.” University of Georgia researchers and Extension specialists will use the funding for 19 projects. These range from studying resistant weeds, to evaluating the economics of sustainable production and monitoring cotton leaf-roll dwarf virus.

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

How Did Institutions Spend COVID-19 Relief Funding?

by Sarah Wood

Last year, the effects of COVID-19 caused unemployment rates to increase and forced many businesses to shut their doors. For higher education institutions, the transition to virtual learning resulted in revenue loss and created more awareness around existing equity gaps. However, the passing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020 offered a temporary funding solution for individuals and industries. …At Georgia State University, two processes were developed to distribute the CARES Act funding. Students filled out an application to indicate their needs. More than 4,000 grants were given out over the last year. However, wanting to reach more students, the university used their existing data to automatically identify students who faced financial hardships. Using this method, more than 40,000 grants have now been administered to students. “We think that proactive approach to distributing CARES Act and subsequent federal aid has been critical in distributing the money more equitably and also eliminating equity gaps,” said Dr. Tim Renick, executive director of the National Institute for Student Success at Georgia State.


Local numbers show young adults hesitant to get vaccine

by: Chase Justice

As the Savannah area approaches one month since the addition of max vaccination sites, many have seen a significant drop-off in patients, especially for those in the 20-35 age range. “Even taking Johnson & Johnson out of the equation, we have plenty of vaccines in this area. We just need people who are willing to take it,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, director of the Coastal Health District. However, the number of young adults who have been vaccinated has remains relatively low. “Unfortunately, less than 8% of those age 20-24 have had at least one dose of the vaccine, and only 11-12% of those age 25-35. These are the age ranges where the most cases occur,” Davis added. These numbers are especially important, considering that young adults are more likely to spread the disease, even if they may be less at risk of seriously contracting COVID-19. Medical Director of Health and Services at Georgia Southern University Dr. Brian Deloach says he’s pleased with the response he’s seen thus far from students.


From Walmart to Walgreens: How to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia, South Carolina

A look at how to get the vaccine in Georgia and South Carolina, who is eligible, and also the latest numbers for how many people have been vaccinated in the states.

Graham Cawthon, Digital Media Manager

Wondering where you can make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia and South Carolina? You’re not alone.


Regardless of which state you’re in, try your medical professionals first: your local health department, local hospitals and pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS. But also keep an eye out for grocery stores and department stores that are offering the vaccine. Publix, Kroger, Ingles and now even Walmart and Sam’s Club have plans to roll out vaccine distribution in the area. In addition, Georgia has opened up several mass vaccine distribution sites throughout the state, including at Gulfstream Aerospace in Chatham County, at the Savannah Civic Center and at the Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern University.


Concerns of vaccine hesitancy as wait continues for final decision on Johnson & Johnson shots

According to the CDC, nearly 7 million Johnson and Johnson vaccines have been administered nationwide.

Author: 11Alive Staff

Johnson & Johnson vaccines are still paused in Georgia and across the country, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigate rare cases of people suffering blood clots. An advisory panel for the CDC is expected to meet again about it in exactly a week. Growing concerns lead towards vaccine hesitancy and conspiracy theories about the virus. Mark Tompkins, Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Georgia, said it’s best to pay attention to the factual data.

The Red & Black

OPINION: UGA should make electric cars more accessible on campus

Carson Barrett | Contributor

For students who live off-campus or need transportation outside of the University of Georgia’s 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekly bus schedule, commuting to school comes with a price and accessibility issues. UGA parking drama has been the subject of multiple memes and criticisms, many of which are mentioned in Overheard at UGA, a Facebook group. Students and faculty who drive electric vehicles face even greater obstacles. UGA should prioritize these problems in order to encourage sustainable personal transit as greener transportation initiatives gain traction.

WGAU Radio

UGA creates award for social justice

By Tim Bryant

The University of Georgia creates an award to honor UGA alumni who work for social justice: it will be called the Footsteps Award.

From UGA Today…

When Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Hamilton Holmes took their first steps onto the University of Georgia campus in 1961 as UGA’s first enrolled Black students, they opened the way for generations to follow in their footsteps. Mary Frances Early soon followed, becoming the first Black student to graduate from the University of Georgia. A new UGA award named for those momentous steps, the Footsteps Award, will recognize those UGA alumni who honor the legacy of Hunter-Gault, Holmes and Early through exemplary social justice work.

Other News:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Map: Coronavirus deaths and cases in Georgia (updated April 19)

An updated count of coronavirus deaths and cases reported across the state

CONFIRMED DEATHS: 17,241 | Deaths have been confirmed in every county. This figure does not include additional cases that the DPH reports as suspected COVID-19-related deaths. County is determined by the patient’s residence, when known, not by where they were treated.

CONFIRMED CASES: 869,590 | Cases have been confirmed in every county.

Higher Education News:

Inside Higher Ed

Cash for Shots

As colleges offer students freebies and financial incentives to get a COVID-19 vaccine, scholars and campus leaders are divided on whether paying students to get vaccinated is equitable — or ethical.

By Sara Weissman

Colleges are giving out a wide range of freebies — gift cards, T-shirts, free courses or hard cash — for students who can show proof of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. But decisions about whether to incentivize the vaccine and how to go about it are fraught with ethical questions for scholars and campus leaders.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Vaccination Dilemma

Should colleges mandate Covid-19 shots? Encourage? Incentivize? All of the above?

By Alexander C. Kafka

It’s clear: With students eager to get back on campus this fall and college leaders eager to have them, most institutions will try to provide an experience that’s something close to normal. It won’t look quite like it did before the Covid-19 pandemic, however. According to scores of college officials, masking will remain the norm at most campuses at least through the end of 2021. Social distancing will still be required, but might gradually be relaxed depending on infection rates. Students will continue to monitor themselves for symptoms and, at many colleges, record those data on apps. Where possible, they will live in less densely populated dorms. And many classes and activities will stay at least partly online. But whatever else colleges do right, if students, faculty, and staff members aren’t vaccinated in high enough numbers, institutions’ plans will crumble.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Here’s Who Was Hit Hardest by Higher Ed’s Pandemic-Driven Job Losses

By Dan Bauman

Since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March of 2020, institutions of higher education have shed a net total of at least 570,000 workers, according to preliminary, seasonally adjusted figures from the U.S. Labor Department. Put another way, for every nine workers employed in academe in February 2020, at least one had lost or left that job a year later. Mirroring trends in the larger economy, certain workers in higher education have endured a disproportionate share of the losses.