USG e-clips for March 1, 2022

University System News:

Athens CEO

CAES Generates Record-Setting $686.3 Million Annual Economic Impact in Georgia

Sam Fahmy, Jordan Powers for CAES News

A recent university-wide report authored by University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) economist Michael Adjemian has revealed that in 2021, CAES’ economic impact on the state of Georgia was the highest since UGA began publishing the annual report in 2015. CAES generated an economic impact of $686.3 million last year, divided between teaching ($241.3 million), research ($182.3 million) and outreach ($262.6 million) in the report. The total economic impact is the third-highest of any college or unit at UGA, which set a record with an annual economic impact of $7.4 billion in 2021.

Albany Herald

Georgia Rural Center receives $1.1 million in rescue plan funds

By Carlton Fletcher

Among the more than 100 projects awarded American Rescue Plan funding by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp last week were three projects coordinated by Georgia’s Rural Center and totaling more than $1.1 million. The projects are located in Parrott, Tifton and Warthen. “We are pleased and grateful to have received funding for these projects that will positively impact quality of life for people in these rural communities,” interim Director David Bridges said. …Similarly, in Tifton, ARP funding will be applied to the complete overhaul of the campus water system of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, including the construction of a new well and water tower. State Reps. Penny Houston, Sam Watson and Clay Pirkle, along with Sen. Carden Summers, contributed to the ABAC request.

Capitol Beat

Georgia Senate appropriators OK raises for state workers, teachers

by Dave Williams

The Georgia Senate’s budget-writing committee approved a $29.9 billion mid-year state budget Monday with raises for teachers and state employees and a $1.6 billion refund for Georgia taxpayers. The mid-year budget covering state spending through the end of June represents a $2.7 billion increase over the fiscal 2022 budget lawmakers adopted last spring. Gov. Brian Kemp and legislative leaders can afford to be generous this year as state tax revenues continue to bounce back from huge declines suffered during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic two years ago. “Georgia’s economy is resilient,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Blake Tillery, R-Vidalia. “Georgia’s economy has continued to grow.” The Senate panel put its stamp of approval on a $5,000 pay increase for state employees and a $2,000 raise for Georgia teachers Gov. Brian Kemp recommended in January. The increase for teachers completes the $5,000 raise Kemp promised on the campaign trail four years ago.

Valdosta Today

VSU’s Beta Alpha Psi offers free income tax assistance

The Valdosta State University chapter of Beta Alpha Psi recently kicked off its fourth year with the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. The IRS VITA Program assists various underserved populations, especially low- to moderate-income earners, by providing free federal tax return preparation and electronic filing. William Leader, president of Beta Alpha Psi, said that 15 VSU students — a mix of accounting and finance majors — volunteered their time to work with the IRS VITA Program this year. All of them passed tax law training that meets or exceeds IRS standards, including maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of all taxpayer information.

Columbus CEO

Deborah Kidder of the Turner College of Business at CSU, Working with Area Businesses

Dean of D. Abbott Turner College of Business at Columbus State University Deborah Kidder talks about the many different reasons you should consider partnering with the Turner College of Business.

Georgia Trend

Celebrating innovation in Georgia

by Kenna Simmons

New projects to help ensure clean hands and clean water won recognition from the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation, with the inaugural awards going to the Augusta Happy Hands Project and the Georgia Highlands College/Lake Allatoona Association Research Project. The Team The Happy Hands team won the PIN Community Award, given to a team whose makeup consists of a community or city and a researcher from a local college or university. For this group of Augusta University students and advisors, innovation meant gamifying hand hygiene. Using data showing that positive reinforcement – and specifically happy faces – can encourage good habits, the team decided to focus on hand sanitizer units after learning that hospital-acquired infections are often spread by healthcare workers’ germy hands.


Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College professor prepares lecture focusing on Ellis Island mural

The Albany Herald, Ga.

Elizabeth Medley will speak on “Rise of the Resistance: Immigrant Women’s Political Activism from Ellis Island to the Modern Era” in the second lecture of a three-part series at 6 p.m. on March 3 in Ernest Edwards Hall at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Medley’s lecture addresses a special mural exhibition titled “Coming to America — The Immigrant Experience Featuring the Lost Mural of Ellis Island,” which opened to the public in Edwards Hall on Jan. 18. Medley is an assistant professor in ABAC’s School of Arts and Sciences.


Several Ala. colleges waiving application fees this week

By Leonard Hall

Alabama high school students can apply to several colleges this week without fees as a part the state’s Spring 2022 College Application Campaign. State leaders say a key goal of this initiative is to increase the number of young people, especially first-generation and low-income students, pursuing college degrees. …The following colleges and universities have officially waived application fees from February 27 – March 5: University of West Georgia – Georgia

The Augusta Chronicle

Is financial stress affecting your work? Financial literacy proving crucial for wellness

Richard Franza (dean of Augusta University’s Hull College of Business.)

As regular readers of this column know, the one social media site I frequent is LinkedIn. While doing one of my regular networking visits to LinkedIn, I saw an article from the Society of Human Resource Management that was generating a significant amount of comments.  The article, written by Stephen Miller, is titled “Younger Workers Are Eager for Financial Wellness Health.” The article cited a financial wellness study of 3,000 adults in the fall of 2021 by insurance company TIAA, in which just 22% of Americans rated their financial wellness as high. However, among our youngest workers, Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012), only 12% rated their financial wellness as high. According to the article, there is clearly an appetite for employees to have their employers provide financial training to help improve and maintain their financial wellness, and this appetite is particularly strong among our youngest workers.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Who will lead the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day parade? Familiar name picked as grand marshal

By Will Peebles, Savannah Morning News

Savannah’s oldest tradition is back. After two years without a parade and one year without a grand marshal, the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee gathered at the Benedictine Gym on Sunday and named retired Chatham Tax Commissioner Danny Powers as the grand marshal for the 2022 parade. The post is the highest honor for Savannah’s Irish community, now in their 198th year of the tradition. Powers, a Savannah High School graduate, will serve as the public face for the parade committee at the events leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. …Fogarty said this year’s festival will include celebrations of the University of Georgia’s national championship win and the Atlanta Braves’ World Series title. Fogarty said the World Series trophy will be in town, though not carried through the parade. The Irish Minister of Justice Helen McEntee will be in Savannah as well as a group from County Wexford, Ireland. Fogarty said there’s even talk of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp coming down for the parade. …St. Patrick’s Day is Savannah’s biggest event of the year. Bolstered by nearly 200 years of tradition, the festival can attract as many as half a million people every year to the city, according to estimates from a 2018 Georgia Southern University study.

Griffin Daily News

Dream Chaser: Cruz one of GSU’s 40 Under 40

By Amanda M. Lumpkin, Managing Editor

Formerly of Griffin, Anthony Cruz, has been announced as a Georgia State University Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 honoree. Cruz, 37, is a music engineer who has climbed his way to the top after pivoting and pursuing his dream.

Athens CEO

Registration Open for UGA-Sponsored Precision Agriculture Workshops

Maria M. Lameiras

Registration is open through March 18 for the upcoming Utilizing Precision Ag Technology Workshop being presented by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and UGA Cooperative Extension on March 29 and 31. The workshops, which are free of charge, will cover topics in the rapidly growing field of precision agriculture. Faculty from UGA, Clemson University, University of Kentucky and University of Tennessee welcome producers to their presentations on precision planting, precision soil mapping and soil sampling, sustainability, and economics and decision-making.


UGA hosts marine conservation summit for Savannah youth

by Christian Felt

UGA hosted their 8th annual Savannah Youth Ocean Conservation Summit on Saturday. The event teaches middle school and high school students about the importance of protecting the ocean and marine life. The summit is funded by the UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant to protect the Georgia coastline.

Gwinnett Daily Post

Georgia Quality Cotton Awards handed out

From staff reports

The 2021 Georgia Quality Cotton Awards were presented at the recent 2022 Georgia Cotton Commission annual meeting. The awards are co-sponsored by the Georgia Cotton Commission and Bayer Crop Science/Deltapine and administered by the University of Georgia Cotton Team. Yangxuan Liu from the UGA Cotton Team conducted the analysis and presented the 2021 Georgia Quality Cotton awards at the annual meeting. The purpose of the awards is to recognize producers and ginners of high-quality cotton fiber and to identify their general management practices for the benefit of other growers. The producers and their gins received a plaque, and the winning producers received a $500 cash award. The UGA County Extension Agent for each winner was also recognized as they work closely with the farmers during the growing season.


New CDC Covid-19 Guidelines Reflect Change In Policy Objective, Not Science

John Drake Contributor (professor at the University of Georgia)

Last Friday, the CDC significantly loosened mask guidelines. After fifteen months of a policy that was focused on the level of transmission in a community, the new Covid-19 Community Levels framework deliberately shifts the focus from infection to illness. As reported by the Washington Post, some organizations are suggesting this change was made “because of the science”, i.e. because of new data. It was not. Rather, the change of policy reflects a changing policy objective. Most importantly, vaccines were not yet available in September 2020, when the first framework (called “Indicators of Community Transmission”) was adopted.

Georgia Recorder

Hinesville community braces for imminent Fort Stewart troop deployment

By: John McCosh And Ross Williams

A 2021 study by researchers at Georgia Southern University found that Fort Stewart accounted for just over $3 billion in economic output for the Hinesville metro area and brought about 23,000 jobs to the area, including more than 17,000 people directly employed to support its local operations. For family-owned businesses like Hinze’s, news of imminent deployments from Fort Stewart often spreads through the community by word of mouth among the service member’s family but is not shared with outsiders.



A Second Trump Term Would Not Have Stopped Putin From Invading Ukraine | Opinion

Nicholas Creel, Assistant Professor Of Business Law, Georgia College And State University

Several prominent Republicans are currently claiming that, were Donald Trump still president, Russia would have never dared to invade Ukraine. Not only does this sort of talk needlessly turn our foreign policy into a partisan issue, it is also resting on assertions that are offensively disconnected from reality. The core of this contention rests on the idea that Trump was a strong leader who Russian President Vladimir Putin would have never dared crossed. The notion that Trump would have shown so much strength as to have deterred Russian aggression requires that we forget both who Trump is and what he did as president. Even a cursory look at these two things will yield ample evidence which suggests that the former president would have been neither capable nor willing to do anything to stop Ukraine’s invasion. The only conceivable reason Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine under a second Trump term is that it very likely wouldn’t have been necessary—with such an obsequious president who was seemingly hellbent on undermining or even withdrawing the U.S. entirely from NATO.


Responding to the Russia attack

by: “The Means Report” Executive Producer

As Russia invades the Ukraine and the United States unleashes new sanctions on the communist country, The Means Report talks to Augusta University political scientist – Dr. Craig Albert – about what comes next and what impact we will possibly feel here at home. Brad Means: Dr. Albert, thanks for being with us. How are you? Dr. Craig Albert: I’m doing all right. Thank you for having me on. Brad Means: Absolutely, my first question to you is to just try to get you to settle a Facebook debate that’s being waged right now. Would this Russian invasion of Ukraine happen if Donald Trump was still in the white house?


Ukraine conflict causes cybersecurity concerns in the United States

By Hannah Cotter

Russia’s attacks on Ukraine are causing concerns about cybersecurity in the U.S. Last week, government officials warned businesses and local governments they should be vigilant against potential ransomware attacks considering some of the biggest cyberattacks against U.S. infrastructure in recent years have been linked to suspected Russian hackers. “Russia is facing a terrible situation where NATO, the EU, pretty much the entire world is ganged up against them,” says Dr. Craig Albert, a professor at Augusta University. “So one of the ways that they can try to position themselves better is for cybersecurity attacks. Not just cybersecurity attacks, but cyber-enabled influence operations as well. So the United States, NATO, pretty much anybody that’s gone against or who has sanctioned Russia in the past four days, should be on the lookout or be aware of potential attacks in the cyber domain from Russia.” But Albert says he doesn’t think Russia will attack the United States’ critical infrastructure due to the potential kinetic response.

Statesboro Herald

Death of 18-year-old at Freedom’s Landing accidental, says coroner

From staff reports

The shooting death of an 18-year-old, who was not a Georgia Southern University student, in the university’s Freedom’s Landing housing complex last Thursday afternoon was accidental, Bulloch County Coroner Jake Futch said Monday after receiving autopsy results from a GBI Crime Lab. Both the Statesboro Police Department and the Georgia Southern University police responded when Bulloch County 911 dispatched emergency services around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24. Officers found Kelsey Parrish, 18, since identified as from Swainsboro, with a single gunshot wound, according to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation media release. …When officers from more than one police agency responded Thursday, Georgia Southern University police had immediate jurisdiction, since Freedom’s Landing, at 211 Lanier Drive near Paulson Stadium, is part of the university campus.

Other News:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

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


CONFIRMED DEATHS: 29,726 | 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.

Higher Education News:


Extending a ladder of opportunity to immigrant students

By Guest Columnist AISHA YAQOOB MAHMOOD, executive director of Asian American Advocacy Fund

Society teaches us that education is the most powerful tool in providing people with the knowledge to better their lives. What if barrier upon barrier were put in front of this ladder of opportunity? This is the reality of many immigrant students who seek higher education. Immigrants looking to invest their talents and hard work at pursuing their own version of the American Dream have been pushed away. Progress is being made at Georgia’s state Legislature with House Bill 932, which would offer in-state tuition to refugees, special immigrants, and humanitarian parolees immediately upon arrival. Presently, they must abide by a one-year waiting period after settling in Georgia to establish residency and qualify for the lower in-state tuition rates. Additionally, Senate Bill 460 would extend in-state tuition to students with DACA status, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. While these bills are by no means a comprehensive solution to education inequities, if passed, they are a step forward. We can ensure that Georgia’s future is bright and that all communities thrive by advocating for legislation that affords all Georgia students the same opportunity to pursue an education at any university within the state of Georgia.

Inside Higher Ed

Students Stand With Ukraine

At campuses across the country, students are marching, waving blue-and-yellow flags, and raising funds and awareness to support Ukrainians as they fight back against the Russian invasion.

By Maria Carrasco

,,,Since Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine, more than 190 people have died due to missile strikes and attacks from Russian convoys, The Washington Post reported. But Ukrainians have fought back with surprising force, bolstered by international support. Colleges and universities have become a key bulwark in that fight. The leaders of a number of scholarly associations and research centers have spoken out against Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced Friday that it was ending its program in Russia with the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology. …At colleges and universities across the U.S., students, too, have joined in the antiwar effort, participating in rallies on and off campus. They wave blue-and-yellow flags and march with signs bearing messages such as “No war, save Ukraine” and “Stand with Ukraine.” Students have also taken up collections for organizations such as the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Revived Soldiers Ukraine fund.