USG e-clips for April 21, 2021

University System News:


Augusta University preps for more students and campus growth for years to come

William Rioux

So far, 2021 has been a year of growth for Augusta University. With new programs, new buildings, new dorms, and more people, the question is: where will it all go? The goal is to get to 16,000 students by 2030, and the school says there’s a lot more to come. We spoke with several neighbors about the growing university, and they have been feeling the impact the most over here. They say cars line the street from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and it’s been getting worse year after year. Progress is being made on the new college of science and math building. AU President Dr. Brooks Keel says it’s a testament to the growth of the university.

The Red & Black

UGA orientation to offer optional in-person sessions

Sydney Dangremond | Breaking News Reporter

The University of Georgia will offer optional in-person new student orientation this summer beginning in June, according to the UGA new student orientation website. Single-day orientation sessions will work in conjunction with online UGA 101 modules to prepare incoming students for life at UGA. Last year’s orientation was conducted entirely online with incoming students logging onto Zoom rather than walking onto campus. This year’s orientation will be a hybrid model in an attempt to offer interested students a more hands-on transition to UGA.

The George-Anne

Students Sound Off On Fall Semester Start Change

Georgia Southern University to Start Fall term on a Wednesday

Jolie Nguyen, Staff Writer

On April 6, 2021, an email from Jennifer Wise, Director of Communications, University Communications & Marketing, was sent to all students of Georgia Southern University about a decision on changing the starting day for next semester, Fall 2021. According to the email, school will start on Wednesday, Aug. 11 2021 instead of Monday as usual. Planning for a full return on campus, school administration wants to develop more programs to enhance experiences of returning to campus for students. …Students have different opinions regarding the announcement. Answering the question whether the change would affect their ability to adjust to their schedule, many students do not think that it is an issue. “It won’t affect my schedule very much except for giving me more time to do other work not related to school,” said Michael Beke, a junior in music industry major. “I like the idea of starting on a Wednesday. The first day of the semester is always hard but being on a Monday is even harder. I think this will give students the time to get their books and other things together,” Hannah Hester said, a junior studying interior design. On the other hand, delaying the starting day might cause trouble for some students who are used to the old schedule.

Henry Herald

USG freezes tuition at Clayton State University for 2021-2022 year

From staff reports

The Board of Regents announced a tuition freeze for the 2021-2022 year at all University System of Georgia institutions. The freeze includes tuition at Clayton State University in Morrow. This is the second year in a row that the board has voted to approve no increase in tuition.

Forsyth County News

UNG’s physical therapy, MBA programs make U.S. News’ Best Graduate Schools list

Two University of North Georgia programs have been named to the U.S. News and World Report 2022 Best Graduate Schools list. UNG was one of four public universities in Georgia to make the list for its Doctor of Physical Therapy, and it was the ninth-best public university in Georgia among part-time MBA offerings.


Three CSU students help prepare meals at Valley Rescue Mission

By Olivia Gunn

Three Columbus State University (CSU) students are doing their part in helping the community. The students went to the Valley Rescue Mission to help prepare meals for people in need. The meals included hotdogs, a sandwich, chips, and other items. The students also had the opportunity to tour the facility to see how the Valley Rescue Mission operates on a daily basis. …The students added how important it is for people to donate time, money, clothes, food, and whatever they can donate.

Plant Engineering

Leveraging the 5G network to wirelessly power IoT devices

Turning 5G networks into a wireless power grid for Internet of Things (IoT) devices that need batteries to operate could eliminate them altogether down the road.

By Anne Wainscott-Sargent

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have uncovered an innovative way to tap into the over-capacity of 5G networks, turning them into “a wireless power grid” for powering Internet of Things (IoT) devices that today need batteries to operate. The Georgia Tech inventors have developed a flexible Rotman lens-based rectifying antenna (rectenna) system capable, for the first time, of millimeter-wave harvesting in the 28-GHz band. (The Rotman lens is key for beamforming networks and is frequently used in radar surveillance systems to see targets in multiple directions without physically moving the antenna system.)


AU research initiative looks for links between aging and inflammation

Tom Corwin, Augusta Chronicle

A far-reaching and ambitious new research initiative at Augusta University looking at chronic inflammation and age-related diseases could not only provide new insights but timely answers for a graying population in Georgia and across the country, officials said. AU President Brooks Keel announced the Inflamm-Aging and Brain Aging cross-discipline project as a three-year, $15 million investment focused on recruiting researchers investigating the role of chronic inflammation pathways and common ailments such as bone loss and Alzheimer’s disease. The 15-20 recruits would be not only for Medical College of Georgia but other schools such as Dental College of Georgia and the College of Science and Mathematics.

Marietta Daily Journal

Former KSU women’s coach Berenato named to Georgia Tech hall of fame

Staff reports

Former Kennesaw State and Georgia Tech women’s basketball coach Agnus Berenato is heading to the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. The school announced its class of 2021 class late Monday afternoon. Berenato is part of a class that also includes tennis player Irina Falconi, softball player Jen Yee, track and field athlete Alphonso Jordan, football players Travis Bell and Vance Walker, baseball player Derek Dietrich and basketball player James Forrest.

Wall Street Journal


Online College Worked Pre-Pandemic and Pre-Zvi Galil

His eight-year ‘experiment’ stands on the shoulders of innovators who have championed distance learning for more than 40 years.

Tunku Varadarajan credits Zvi Galil as a pioneer in online teaching, having launched an online degree program in 2014 at the Georgia Institute of Technology (“The Weekend Interview with Zvi Galil: The Man Who Made Online College Work,” April 3). Mr. Galil is later described as “an accomplished salesman” who “rattles off arresting figures.” As the current president of the University of Phoenix, which launched online degree programs in 1989 and was accredited in 1978, I welcome Mr. Galil to the actual pioneer’s club. His eight-year “experiment” stands on the shoulders of innovators who have championed distance learning for over 40 years. We have been making online college work way before the pandemic, serving working adult learners by allowing them to earn the degrees they need while balancing work and family obligations. That spans more than one million alumni who have found value in earning their diplomas online. They know better than anyone that quality online college works.


University Of Georgia: Student Bridges Cultures To Help Others Acclimate

Wisnu Pradana and ISL help international students transition to UGA during pandemic For international students, acclimating to the University of Georgia during the pandemic presented a unique challenge. Wisnu Pradana saw an opportunity. Through International Student Life, Pradana developed ISL Circles and revamped ISL’s Language Labs program to support and ease the transition for students who were new to UGA and the United States. Pradana, a Fulbright Scholar who came to UGA from Indonesia in 2017, had already participated in and benefited from ISL’s programs, but realized a missing piece as 2020 grew more challenging and confusing.


University Of Georgia: MEDLIFE At UGA Receives Top Student Organization Award

MEDLIFE at UGA was named “Organization of the Year” during the 20th Annual H. Gordon and Francis S. Davis Student Organization Achievement and Recognition Awards, given out April 6 at the Tate Student Center. The SOAR Awards celebrate the accomplishments of student organizations at the University of Georgia. MEDLIFE at UGA is a local chapter of an international nonprofit organization that seeks to provide medicine, education and development for low-income families. Each year, MEDLIFE at UGA offers more than 60 service opportunities to benefit the Athens community and fundraises for their partner communities abroad.


Georgia Southern, Savannah State will not require COVID vaccines

By WTOC Staff

While some Georgia colleges will mandate the COVID vaccine for a return to campus, Georgia Southern tells us they’re looking to the state. “As a system, we are going to rely on guidance that is provided from the Georgia Department of Public Health. That is where we started from and that’s what we will continue to do. So right now, we’re encouraging vaccines,” University Communications and Marketing Vice President John Lester said. While students are back on campus and in classes at Georgia Southern University, there are several safety precautions in place like masking and more. …Savannah State University was also asked if they would require the vaccine, and they said they would not, but are encouraging their campus community to be vaccinated before returning this fall. They too are hoping for a return to normal operations.

Henry Herald

Sen. Raphael Warnock slated as speaker for Clayton State spring commencement

From Staff Reports

Recently elected United States Senator Raphael Warnock is heading a lineup of speakers for Clayton State University’s commencement ceremonies on April 30 and May 1. Warnock joins Tony award-winning and Emmy-nominated Broadway and television director Kenny Leon, Clayton County Juvenile Court Chief Judge and Clayton State alumnus Steven Teske, and Sarah-Elizabeth Lanford Reed, a member of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, to celebrate and recognize the academic achievements of hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students.

Other News:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Map: Coronavirus deaths and cases in Georgia (updated April 20)

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

CONFIRMED DEATHS: 17,250 | 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: 870,517 | Cases have been confirmed in every county.

Higher Education News:

Inside Higher Ed

Infographic: 6 Factors Impacting Campus Counseling Centers

Students need mental health help but often don’t turn to their colleges and universities for support. Knowing where the challenges lie can help higher ed leaders figure out solutions.

By Melissa Ezarik

From finding ways to offer counseling sessions virtually to creating mental health and wellness content for broader student outreach, campus counseling centers have pivoted operations and sought innovative ways to help stressed students as the pandemic shut the country down and then lingered (and lingered some more). While higher ed institutions may have felt that they’ve gone all in on prioritizing mental health, the latest Student Voice survey on mental health services and supports points to problems with both image and execution. Conducted by Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse and presented by Kaplan, the survey captured the perceptions of 2,002 college students (mainly traditional aged, and all but 250 from four-year institutions) one year into life with COVID-19.

Inside Higher Ed

A Guilty Verdict, a Sigh of Relief

College presidents, student leaders, and scholars welcomed the outcome of the trial of Derek Chauvin even as they renewed their resolve to stem persistent racial inequities in higher education.

Greta Anderson and Sara Weissman

The conclusion of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty on murder and manslaughter charges for the killing of George Floyd, produced a sense of hope and relief among students, faculty members and college leaders across the country. After a year of anger and outrage, accusations and recrimination, bridge building and bridge burning, calls for accountability and promises of change — played out mostly remotely and on social media as Americans hunkered down while in the throes of the pandemic — the verdict Tuesday was largely viewed as a welcome development and a symbol of possibilities for positive change for the country — and perhaps on American college campuses. But while many people celebrated what they considered a just outcome, others were more philosophical, noting that the trial represented an important moment and not an all-encompassing milestone. Justice may have prevailed, they said, but much work remains to eradicate entrenched racial inequality in every aspect of American life, including in higher ed.

Inside Higher Ed

Test-Optional Admissions Yields Benefits

Major study finds that colleges gain Pell Grant recipients, minority students and women.

By Scott Jaschik

This year, just about every competitive college — and plenty of not-so-competitive ones — went test optional (or test blind) in admissions. The push was the result of the pandemic, of course, and many of the newly test-optional colleges are leaving open the possibility that they will stay test optional. They will just need research, they say, on the impact of their decisions. As it happens, last week a paper on the topic was published in the American Educational Research Journal. The paper, by Christopher T. Bennett, examined the impact of test-optional admissions on nearly 100 private colleges that adopted their policies between 2005-06 and 2015-16.

The Guardian

Rise in students asking to repeat year after campus shutdowns

Final exam worries grow with in-person teaching still banned at universities in England

Anxiety is mounting among students who are feeling underprepared for their final exams after more than 12 months of major disruption, with some universities reporting that more students than usual are asking to repeat the year.

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Questioning Our Questions About Faculty Diversity

by Constance Iloh

I was recently contacted by a news outlet to share thoughts about the lack of faculty diversity within the UC (University of California) system. This is the kind of opportunity I especially welcome because it allows me to discuss both my scholarly expertise and insights through experiences. However, on this particular occasion my excitement was soon met with other sentiments. I read the questions from the journalist. Uneasiness. I read them again. The uneasiness was then replaced with concern. The first question inquired how students can benefit from diverse and minority faculty. It was at this point I paused and realized I had nothing to type. I thought to myself: “How often are these questions asked regarding white faculty?” As I sat with my concern, what was clear was that white faculty are never asked to justify their existence in the collegiate ecosystem. Moreover, no one probes what benefits they bring to students in postsecondary education. I wondered why there is constantly a quest to rationalize the existence of a diverse professoriate. What more was needed to accept this and why is the converse never interrogated?