USG e-clips for April 28, 2021

University System News:

Athens Banner-Herald

UGA 2021 spring commencement to take place over multiple days

Stephanie Allen

University of Georgia graduates will get a spring commencement ceremony — but with COVID-19 modifications. UGA President Jere W. Morehead announced Friday that the university will have not one, but four ceremonies for the spring 2021 graduates — three undergraduate ceremonies and one ceremony for the masters, specialists and doctoral degrees. The decision to split up commencement into multiple days would be to comply with social distancing guidelines. Additionally, this year’s graduates will sit in the stands with their guests, and there will be no formal processional. ESPN reporter and UGA graduate Maria Taylor will be the commencement speaker.

Marietta Daily Journal

KSU’s president is on her way out. What do students want in a new administration?

By Thomas Hartwell

The timeline on a search for an interim president at Kennesaw State University is at this point unknown, as the school waits for the Board of Regents to resume its own search for a chancellor, according to university officials. KSU President Pamela Whitten announced earlier this month she will be stepping down as president of KSU and has accepted the position of president of Indiana University, effective July 1.

WGAU Radio

Trio of UGA faculty members is named to National Academy of Sciences

Moran, Robinson, Shepherd

By Sam Fahmy, UGA Today

Three distinguished faculty members at the University of Georgia have received one of the highest honors a scientist can earn, election to the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership and — with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine — provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations. The University of Georgia’s three newest National Academy of Sciences members are: Mary Ann Moran, Regents’ Professor in marine sciences; Gregory H. Robinson, UGA Foundation Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; Marshall Shepherd, Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences

Marietta Daily Journal

Kennesaw State chief diversity officer recognized as one of nation’s best

Kennesaw State University’s Sylvia Carey-Butler has been named one of the 2021 Top 100 Diversity Officers by the National Diversity Council for her contributions to providing an inclusive and equitable environment for KSU students, faculty and staff. Carey-Butler has led several initiatives since becoming KSU’s chief diversity officer in 2019, including overseeing the university’s Presidential Task Force on Race, establishing diversity liaisons in each of KSU’s academic colleges and implementing a team of student diversity ambassadors. The Top 100 Diversity Officers were recognized virtually during the National Diversity and Leadership Conference, the largest diversity and inclusion conference in the U.S.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Agency warns Georgia Regents against politicizing chancellor search

By Eric Stirgus, Greg Bluestein and Savannah Sicurella

A regional accrediting agency is raising concerns about the possibility that the Board of Regents could tap former Gov. Sonny Perdue as the next leader of the state’s university system. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges sent a letter to Regents chair Sachin Shailendra on Monday warning the system could be found “out of compliance” if the process of picking the next leader is politicized.

See also:

Mooresville Tribune, WABE

Accrediting agency asks about politics in Georgia search

Athens Banner-Herald

The Macon Telegraph

Questions raised about political pressure in search for new Georgia chancellor


Georgia Southern preparing for return to normal operations this fall

By Dal Cannady

Life at Georgia Southern University could look drastically different and more like pre-pandemic this fall. But how different we’re all waiting to see. Southern joined with other state schools earlier this year to announce intentions of returning to fully in-person classes come Fall semester. “That is both a strategy, and also a hope,” GSU President Dr. Kyle Marrero said. Dr. Marrero says they’re in constant communication with the state leaders as they formalize whether classes, housing, recreation and more return to pre-COVID status and how. “The University System of Georgia will direct us along each path to guidelines or protocols will be lifted, changed, etc. along that way,” Dr. Marrero said.


ABAC Offering Personal Campus Tours for Prospective Students

With COVID-19 guidelines in place, personal tours of the campus of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College for prospective students have become the rule rather than the exception. Before the pandemic, large group tours of ABAC’s campus in Tifton were commonplace.  Campus tours for individuals and families are now hosted by the ABAC Enrollment Management team and guided by the ABAC Ambassadors student leadership organization. …Kirkland said campus tours give prospective students the opportunity to visit one-on-one with a member of the Enrollment Management Team as well as ask questions of current students. Visitors see all aspects of campus including facilities such as the Donaldson Dining Hall, Thrash Wellness Center, and the Carlton Center.

The Brunswick News

College hosts first Unity Day to celebrate inclusivity

By Lauren McDonald

College of Coastal Georgia instituted a new tradition this week that aims to continue the college’s efforts to promote inclusivity on campus. CCGA’s student government association hosted Monday the college’s inaugural Unity Day, an event that highlighted the importance of working together despite differences.



by Maija Ehlinger

Two of Atlanta’s educational powerhouses are teaming up with other key stakeholders in the city to connect and grow the Southeast innovation community. The Southeast Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Growth Hub will be a two-year pilot program to provide critical resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners with minority backgrounds in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The hub will bring together Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), the Morehouse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (MIEC), PRENEURology Global and Atlanta’s MBDA Centers. Funding for the pilot will come from a $1.4 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Commerce MBDA. For Project Director Donna Ennis, the program sets out to create a “connected, blended ecosystem across the Southeast.”

The McDuffie Progress

UGA professor takes multidisciplinary approach in study of human digestion

By Austin Clark CAES News

Food engineering professor Fanbin Kong has dedicated his life to studying how our bodies process the food we eat. Through his current research, Kong is gaining insights into how some nonfood materials may assist in weight loss. … After completing his doctoral degree, Kong moved on to complete his post-doctoral research at the University of California, Davis, where he first focused on digestive studies and had the opportunity to build an artificial stomach model. Kong has continued this research direction at the University of Georgia and has received nearly $2 million in funded research to investigate human digestion as well as new food processing technologies. After Kong accepted an assistant professorship in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in 2011, his experience building an artificial stomach model led him to develop several new functional stomach and intestinal models that are integral to his research.

Tifton CEO

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Donates Spreader to ABAC Farm

The J.G. Woodroof Farm at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College continues to offer ABAC students the opportunities to operate top of the line equipment. Dr. Mark Kistler, Dean of the ABAC School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said the latest donation to the inventory of farm equipment is from Doyle Equipment Manufacturing for the use of a Doyle 5-ton mid-clearance spreader for one year.

The Financial

How to keep automated electric vehicles safe

by Scott Michaux

Researchers identify cybersecurity weaknesses that could threaten cars’ safety. Having your social media account hacked is a pain. Having your credit card account hacked can be devastating. Having your new electric vehicle hacked could be disastrous, University of Georgia notes. As the move toward automated electric cars accelerates, protecting the cybersecurity of these vehicles has become urgent. That’s why University of Georgia researchers are identifying weaknesses that could threaten the safety and efficiency of such vehicles. In a new paper published in the IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics, a UGA-led team provides the first comprehensive study on cyber-physical security of powertrain systems in connected and automated electric vehicles, or CAEVs.

AP News

Taking the spike out of COVID-19:

Its triangular spikes are what make coronavirus such a formidable foe. But they could also be its Achilles’ heel. Georgia College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. David Zoetewey and three students are working to expose this weakness and prevent the virus’ spear-like mechanism from harpooning into human cells. This research could someday result in a medicine that prevents coronavirus from attaching.

Other News:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

‘Return of freedom’: CDC says fully vaccinated can go outside without masks

By Tim Darnell

Masks still recommended for indoor gatherings, crowded outdoor events

Americans who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus don’t need to wear protective masks outdoors any longer, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. The CDC is continuing to recommend masks for indoor gatherings or crowded outdoor events. Masks are no longer required for such activities as outdoor walking, running, hiking or biking; small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends; small outdoor gatherings with a mixture of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people; and dining at outdoor restaurants with friends from other households. Fully vaccinated people can also attend “a crowded, outdoor event, like a live performance, parade, or sports event,” as long as they remain masked, according to the CDC. For most of the past year, the CDC had been advising Americans to wear masks outdoors if they are within six feet of each other. Over the weekend, the CDC updated its guidelines and recommendations for summer camps just weeks before many camps resume operations in mid-May.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Map: Coronavirus deaths and cases in Georgia (updated April 27)

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

CONFIRMED DEATHS: 17,425 | 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: 876,933 | Cases have been confirmed in every county.

Higher Education News:


U.S. College Enrollment Hits Two-Decade Low in 2020

By Alexandre Tanzi

U.S. college enrollment dropped to the lowest level in almost two decades last year, as the pandemic shut down schools and persuaded students to put their academic plans on hold rather than pay large sums to attend online-only classes. As of October, 62.7% of high school graduates in the class of 2020 were enrolled in colleges or universities, the smallest share since 2001 and down from 66.2% in 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Tuesday.

College Enrollment Plunges

The percentage of young Americans pursuing a college degree fell markedly last year as the pandemic forced many to alter plans


Republican Bill Would Bar Protesters From Receiving Student Loans And Financial Aid

Adam S. MinskySenior Contributor

Republicans in state legislatures across the country have filed a slew of bills targeting protesters following last summer’s massive, nationwide racial justice demonstrations. But one bill in particular is noteworthy for cutting off student loans and financial aid to college students.


Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Review: Should You Take Steps Now To Get Student Debt Cancelled Later?

Adam S. MinskySenior Contributor

As the Biden administration continues to evaluate options for enacting widespread student loan forgiveness, should you be doing anything now to maximize your potential future eligibility? Perhaps — but some actions may carry significant and lasting consequences. Here’s what to know.