USG e-clips for April 29, 2021

University System News:

Northwest Georgia News

Dana Nichols to serve as interim president at GHC

From staff reports

Georgia Highlands College’s chief academic officer and provost, Dana Nichols, has been named to serve as the college’s interim president, effective July 7. She will succeed President Don Green, who has accepted a position as president of Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Nichols has served in her current role since August 2018. As provost, she has been focused on retention and graduation efforts. Officials cited her strong commitment to student success strategies, creating new degree programs and certificates that complement local workforce needs and pursuing strategic scheduling across GHC’s five locations in Rome, Cartersville, Dallas, Douglasville and Marietta.


University Of Georgia: Giving Week Raises $2 Million For UGA

Donors answered the call to support many causes across the campus

More than 4,000 Bulldogs – alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends – united to raise over $2 million during the University of Georgia’s third annual Giving Week. Throughout the campaign—which began on G-Day, April 17, and ran through April 24—Coach Kirby Smart called all Dawgs to participate. “Mary Beth and I believe it’s important to give back to your alma mater,” Smart said. “I’ve witnessed firsthand how private support can change a life, and I believe it’s important for all Bulldogs to support the University of Georgia.” Bulldog Nation answered the call during Giving Week. Alumni and friends from 120 Georgia counties, 50 states and nine countries made gifts to support various areas of campus, including all 17 schools and colleges.


AU deal with food bank is a sign of shifting focus for shots

By Staff

Augusta University Health and Golden Harvest Food Bank are forming a partnership to help bring coronavirus vaccines to underserved communities. AU Health plans to bring its mobile vaccine units to Golden Harvest mobile markets, which are contactless drive-thru food distributions for those in need. The goal is to offer vaccinations to those who are in line to get food. It comes as the nation seems to be shifting its approach to vaccination.


Colleges prepare students to enter pandemic-troubled workforce

By Tradesha Woodard

COVID-19 has changed the work industry in more ways than one. Now, college students preparing to enter the workforce are facing new challenges. As more college students prepare to pour into the world of work, some of them are doubtful about adjusting to the new reality they’re facing. “It can’t just be an armchair click and submit,” Julie Goley said. “Students have not had the opportunity to do the person-to-person networking and the things that have typically been very viable for them in any job search in the past that are still very critical in a job search.” But some of our local colleges are preparing them for careers during an ongoing pandemic. Goley is the Director of Career Services at Augusta University and she says even though says some students have zoom fatigue. But it’s essential for them to learn how to approach job applications virtually.

Valdosta Daily Times

Investing in Research: VSU seeks clinical trials for med research

By Desiree Carver

When campuses halted research during the height of the pandemic, Dr. Thomas Manning and Jenu Thomas-Richardson continued their work at Valdosta State University – with exceptional results. For 20 years, Manning and his team have been working on developing cancer drugs, many of which entered clinical trials with the federal government. …They were able to get a patent on one drug and, last year, began working on a way to put it directly into the lungs via an inhalation technique. Then COVID-19, a viral infection in the lungs, hit. … Thomas-Richardson has been going into business conferences to raise funding. She and Manning have been featured in three publications and got more human data from a regional hospital in Mississippi where a doctor used their treatment for “compassionate use,” as a last resort. “From that, we are able to go into a later stage for our clinical trial. We have a collaborator with the Medical College of Georgia, who has agreed to host our clinical trials,” Thomas-Richardson said. “We are just currently looking to get funding which is why I’m going to these business competitions to raise awareness and get investors interested in potentially helping us get our treatment from the base level to the finished entire product and commercializing it.”

Atlanta Magazine

60 Voices: 2021 graduates of all ages on what they think of Atlanta—and their hopes for the future

“Atlanta has to set the example for the state of Georgia and for the South for how a community should be in the 21st century.”

BY Michele Cohen Marill

…Laura Zhang | 21, senior, industrial engineering major, Georgia Tech; …Chris Edwards | 43, MBA graduate at Clayton State University, and assistant plant manager, Hanson Aggregates, Lithonia


University Of Georgia: Cases Of COVID-19 At UGA Reach New Low

Cases of COVID-19 at the University of Georgia continue to decline as students complete the last full week of classes for the Spring Semester. Only 15 cases were reported last week—an all-time low since UGA began its testing program last August and a decrease of nearly 60 percent from the previous week.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

COVID-19: More high school seniors must pick a college without visiting

By Ty Tagami

Virtual tours help those who can’t travel, but some families insist on seeing campus

Online shopping got a boost from COVID-19, and that trend of buying without seeing in person has spilled over into far bigger decisions now being made by high school seniors. With student commitments mostly due by Saturday, some students face an unprecedented challenge to pick a well-fitting school without the benefit of a traditional campus tour. …Colleges have reacted by implementing virtual tours. Though imperfect, the online videos and talks have given more families more information than they used to have. …In one rural Georgia county, an organization funded by a state grant to increase postsecondary access for high-need students says the “total pivot” online has resulted in more contact with graduating seniors. Dawn Harrison, the Thomas County coordinator for GEAR UP, which is funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant, said the organization contracted with a company that provides virtual college tours. “I actually think we’re reaching more families due to the pandemic,” she said. One of them, De’Asia Daniels, still wishes she could have seen some of the more than two dozen colleges that accepted her. She said she probably could not have afforded the out-of-state costs at the University of California, Berkley or the University of Florida, and Howard University and Atlanta’s Spelman College were more expensive than the University of Georgia, even with financial aid. That helped with her decision.


Covid-19 pandemic ‘significantly increased’ insomnia in healthcare workers

The Covid-19 pandemic significantly increased insomnia in healthcare workers, a new study has found. Researchers from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University discovered that there was a 20 per cent rise in the sleep disorder amongst physicians, nurses, and practitioners. Acute insomnia disorder can last for weeks, and may develop into chronic insomnia, which affects sufferers for years. The highest rates of insomnia were in those healthcare workers who spent less time directly caring for patients, and study author Dr. Vaughn McCall called the ongoing health pandemic a “universal stress”.


Combating vaccine hesitancy in the south to reach herd immunity

by: Archith Seshadri

Doctors say the recent pause of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine could delay vaccine rollout efforts as the vaccine hesitancy could delay achieving herd immunity. The State’s health department says 56-thousand people per 100k have received at least one vaccine dose in Georgia, but Georgia still lags behind our states. From infections to injections, variants to vaccines, the race to normalcy is on. Roger MacArthur, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Augusta University said, “What we are seeing now in the military and younger populations is 30 and younger, many apparently if they get COVID-29 they won’t get a severe case.

The Red & Black

UGA students participate in worldwide community cleanup

Sophie Ralph | Contributor

As a part of the University of Georgia Office of Sustainability’s Earth Day programing, students and Athens community members participated in the Earth Day Global Community Cleanup on April 22-25. By the end of the weekend, students and Athens residents had collected 870 pieces of trash and recycling over 579 collection events. The most picked up items include plastics, cans and cigarettes. Due to inclement weather, the UGA Office of Sustainability’s scheduled cleanup was on Friday afternoon, where over a dozen students gathered to pick up trash and clean up campus.

Construction Magazine

Rebuilding The Historic UGA Tifton Campus Barn

By: Milner

The University of Georgia (UGA)-Tifton Campus lies within the heart of south Georgia agriculture, among the nation’s leading producers of peanuts, pecans, cotton, and soybeans. It’s home to the Coastal Plain Experiment Station—the research and extension arm that cares for crops on the coastal plain that serves as the backbone of the region’s economy—and the UGA-Tifton Campus Conference Center. While the university celebrated 100 years of agricultural progress last year, it now has even more to celebrate: the unveiling of the new iconic UGA-Tifton Campus Barn.

The Savannah Tribune

The 2021 Georgia General Assembly Legislative Session Concludes

Rep. Derek Mallow

The 2021 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly completed its business on Wednesday, March 31st and we officially adjourned Sine Die. Much was accomplished in the forty legislative days we had to work. In the two legislative days we had in the final week, we passed meaningful legislation that now heads to the Governor for his signature or veto. Much of our legislation that we considered this week were Senate bills that came over before crossover day ended or legislation that had been amended by one or both Houses, like the budget, and were in a reconciliation committee to work out the disagreements. One bill I eagerly supported was Senate Bill 107, legislation that created postsecondary education grants through the waiver of tuition and all fees for qualifying foster and adopted students by the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia

Other News:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Map: Coronavirus deaths and cases in Georgia (updated April 28)

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

CONFIRMED DEATHS: 17,486 | 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: 877,816 | Cases have been confirmed in every county.

Higher Education News:

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Undergraduate Enrollments This Spring See Steepest Drop Since Pandemic Began

By Audrey Williams June

New spring enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center show the steepest decline among undergraduates since the pandemic began. The data, which reflect enrollments through March 25, indicate that undergraduate attendance fell 5.9 percent compared with the same time last year. Overall enrollment this semester is down 4.2 percent from a year ago. While fewer undergraduates are enrolled in college this spring — particularly at community colleges, which saw an 11.3-percent decline from a year ago — graduate-student enrollment continued to grow. It’s up 4.4 percent from the previous year.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Biden’s Plan Would Make Community College Free. It Could Also Have Unintended Downsides.

By Katherine Mangan

President Biden’s plan to make two years of community college free, which could make college more affordable and accessible to millions of Americans, is being praised as a long-overdue step forward. But depending on how it’s structured, some experts also caution that it could end up hurting disadvantaged students by diverting them to colleges where they’re less likely to succeed, and that it could provide free tuition to those who can already afford it. The American Families Plan, which Biden unveiled on Wednesday and was expected to highlight in a speech before a joint session of Congress, includes $109 billion for two years of free community college, for “first-time students and workers wanting to reskill.” Democrats have been promoting the idea for years, and President Barack Obama proposed making community college free for millions in 2015. With their party narrowly controlling both the House and the Senate, as well as the presidency, the measure’s chances of passage are much stronger today than six years ago. Still, the costly proposal, which is a key feature of a $1.8-trillion economic-stimulus package, is likely to draw steep resistance from Republicans.

Inside Higher Ed

Biden Proposes Free Community College, Pell Expansion

President Biden wants $109 billion for two-year colleges, $80 billion addition for Pell Grants, $62 billion for retention and completion efforts, and $39 billion for two free years at minority-serving institutions for most students.

By Scott Jaschik

President Biden on Wednesday proposed a plan to make good on his promise for free community college — and much more for higher education. Included in his American Families Plan is:

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

NISOD’s Conference Highlights College Access

by Sarah Wood

In his speech to Congress Wednesday night, President Joe Biden announced the American Families Plan—a $1.8 trillion investment in free community college and universal preschool. Hours earlier, Dr. Martha Kanter, CEO of College Promise, addressed the proposal and the impact of free community college during the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s (NISOD) International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence. …Currently, over 65% of today’s jobs require more than a high school education. Despite this, 41% of young adults have an education beyond high school, according to Kanter. Affordability and access challenges such as tuition costs have created barriers to college enrollment and completion. From 1988 to 2018, there has been a 200% increase in four-year college tuition. Comparably, over the last 10 years, two-year institutions have increased by 34%, Kanter reported. To minimize cost barriers, initiatives such as College Promise were developed to provide students with affordable options to higher education. Since its establishment in 2015, it has expanded to 368 programs in 31 states and Washington D.C.

Inside Higher Ed

Should Pell Grants Cover 8-Week Programs? The Key Podcast

By Doug Lederman

The simmering debate over whether to let Pell Grants for needy students be used for training programs as short as eight weeks is the subject of this week’s episode of Inside Higher Ed’s news and analysis podcast, The Key. Monty Sullivan, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, and Amy Laitinen, director for higher education at New America, join Inside Higher Ed’s Doug Lederman to discuss the promise and potential pitfalls of short-term Pell — with a special focus on the potential impact on society’s most disadvantaged workers and learners.

Inside Higher Ed

1,400 4-Year Colleges Won’t Require SAT or ACT Next Year

By Scott Jaschik

At least 1,400 four-year colleges will not require the SAT or ACT next year, according to FairTest: the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. Many colleges went test optional or test blind this year amid the pandemic. FairTest estimates that 1,400 is 60 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges.