Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Munson Puts Starr’s Mill High on the Radar at Blue Key Speech and Debate Tournament

Imagine walking into your office and being told that you have just 30 minutes to research and prepare a persuasive seven-minute speech on a particular topic. Well, if you were Molly Munson, you would not even break a sweat.

Molly, a student at Starr’s Mill High, was awarded second place in Extemporaneous Speaking at the 25th annual Blue Key Speech and Debate Tournament held last month at the University of Florida. She competed against 51 high school students from Georgia, Pennsylvania and Florida to win the coveted honor.

Before the tournament even started, Molly proved she could hold her own against some very competitive debaters. She was one of six students selected to participate in the annual Blue Key Round Robin that foreshadows the general tournament. Only the nation’s most skilled and accomplished student speakers are invited to participate.

After competing in five grueling rounds with a cross examination after each speech, Molly emerged victorious taking third place in the Mixed Extemporaneous Speaking division.

“She had the eventual winner, the current national champion, shaking in his boots. She has done the best of any Starr’s Mill student in the history of the school,” says Molly’s proud mother Sue Munson.

Nine students from Starr’s Mill, including Molly, participated in the tournament. Eric Bogert, Hannah Mattia, Martin Halicek and Jacob Nails competed in the Lincoln Douglas Debate and Aaron Ash, Noah Brunner, Lauren Mattia and Syneva Runyan were competitors in the Public Forum Debate.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Berry College Speakers Excel at Ohio State University

Five members of the Berry College forensics team combined for a strong finish at the annual “Holiday Frolic” forensics tournament hosted by the Ohio State University in early December.

Berry finished third overall behind Western Kentucky University and Ohio University. A total of 27 colleges and universities took part in the competition. All five Berry competitors won individual awards in the tournament and qualified for nationals in their events.

Individual award recipients included:

-Hope Stallings, a senior communication major, finished first in persuasive speaking, first in rhetorical criticism, second in poetry interpretation, fourth in dramatic duo interpretation (with Alex Middleton) and sixth in informative speaking. She is the daughter of Stan and Angela Nix of Ringgold, Ga.

-Joshua Roye, a sophomore sociology and anthropology major, was first in novice impromptu speaking, fourth in novice prose interpretation and top novice in informative speaking. He is the son of Tom and Gwendolyn Roye of Calhoun, Ga.

-Alex Middleton, a freshman communication major, was third in novice prose interpretation, fourth in dramatic duo interpretation (with Hope Stallings) and top novice in sports extemporaneous speaking. Alex is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Gene Middleton of Stone Mountain, Ga.

-Amanda Dean, a senior communication major, was sixth in after-dinner speaking and sixth in poetry interpretation. She is the daughter of John and Yevone Dean of Acworth, Ga.

-Thomas Yungerberg, a freshman communication major, was sixth in novice prose interpretation. He is the son of Steve and Linda Yungerberg of Canton, Ga.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Keith Brooking Nominated as Finalist for 2008 Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP

In November, the Atlanta Falcon’s own Keith Brooking was nominated by Home Depot as a finalist for the 2008 Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP. The Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP is a national program that recognizes players who are making a positive impact in their local communities through charitable programs and contributions.


Keith Brooking, a Coweta-County native whose mother raised numerous foster children, was selected for his years of work with Atlanta area foster children and children in need. His Keith Brooking Children's Foundation, a 501(c)3 public charity, is devoted to serving the needs of foster children and the agencies that serve them throughout metro Atlanta.

Keith was born and raised in Coweta County, Georgia, where he played football for East Coweta High School, and went on to play for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. He was drafted by the Falcons in the 1st round of the 1998 NFL draft. Since that time, Keith has been a 5 time Pro – Bowl selection, and distinguished himself as a leader both in the Falcon’s organization and the Georgia community. Keith Brooking is one of the few active NFL players who have played their entire football career (high school, college, professional) in the same state.

Keith founded the Keith Brooking Foundation in 2003 to serve the children of the metro Atlanta area. He was selected a two time Man of the Year by the Falcons due to his tireless work in the metro – Atlanta community. The Keith Brooking Foundation has quickly become famous through it’s Locker 56 program, a program designed to provide athletic shoes to children who cannot afford them. The program promotes good physical and mental health and improved fitness by encouraging children to keep their bodies active. Locker 56 has awarded over 1500 pairs of shoes since the program was funded, and continues to grow in reach.

“Keith’s involvement in his foundation is almost daily, even during football season. It’s well deserved recognition for a man who puts his community ahead of himself,” said Miranda Graham, Executive Director of the Keith Brooking Children's Foundation. She added, “We are encouraging the community to vote for Keith online as often as possible. Winning the award not only draws attention to Keith’s mission of helping our area foster children, but it also would award his Foundation a $25,000 donation to help support our children’s programs. That could make a big impact in the lives of many children in our community.”

Among over 1600 active roster NFL players, only 17 are nominated and 8 are chosen as finalists for the Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP program. The eight finalists will receive a $5,000 donation to the charity of their choice and are now in the running to be honored as The Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP. The national MVP winner will receive a $25,000 donation to the charity of his choice and will be recognized at an All-Star playground build project during the week leading up to Super Bowl XLIII.

The winner is determined by public vote, and a person can vote as often as they’d like. If you all can rally your network to vote, we can see to it that Keith is recognized for the work he does virtually every day in our community. All votes must be cast by December 31, 2008.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Two Georgia Tech Faculty Honored by the White House

Kim Cobb, assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in the College of Sciences, and Nick Feamster, assistant professor in the School of Computer Science and the Georgia Tech Information Security Center in the College of Computing, have been recognized as two of the nation’s top young scientists with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The ceremony was held today at the White House.

The PECASE program recognizes outstanding scientists and engineers who, early in their careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of knowledge. This Presidential Award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers beginning their careers.

“I’m delighted that the achievements and extraordinary potential of these two exceptional faculty members are being recognized by the National Science Foundation and by the President of the United States,” said Gary Schuster, interim president of the Georgia Tech. “This is outstanding news for them – a PECASE award and the accompanying support can have a lasting positive effect on a research career. And this is yet another indicator that Georgia Tech’s reputation is strong as a leading research institution. I am proud to serve at a university that has such dedicated and committed faculty members.”

Kim Cobb

Cobb’s research focuses on understanding climate change using geological archives such as corals and cave stalagmites. By reconstructing the climate from the past few decades to the last several millennia, Cobb aims to inform current climate models that help predict how changes might occur in the future.

“I’m happy that my climate change research seems to be a focus on the national stage,” said Cobb. “I hope that it serves to emphasize the importance of paleo-climate research in this field.”

She joined the faculty at Georgia Tech in 2004 after earning her Ph.D. in oceanography in 2002 from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and spending two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech.

“Models can only take you so far in seeing how the climate may change over the next few decades,” said Cobb. “In many cases, the data is too short, so the paleo-climate data is added to make a more complete record, so we can see how temperature and precipitation patterns respond to climate forcing.”

Cobb has spent time in the caves of Borneo, analyzing stalagmites in search of clues about the climate of the earth’s past. This month, she’s traveling to the Bahamas to take high-definition footage of coral reefs so they can be rendered in a 3D virtual environment.

The multidisciplinary research team, which also includes Frank Dellaert from Tech’s College of Computing and Brian Magerko from Tech’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, will also be using the hi-def images they take of the reef to create a virtual ecosystem that scientists can use to collaborate and share data.

“This current research has educational uses for schools and museums, but we can also use the technology to capture large tracts of the reef in detail so other scientists can see species diversity and coral health without having to spend the money to go there,” she said.

Feamster received his Ph.D. in computer science from MIT in 2005, and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT in 2000 and 2001, respectively. He joined the faculty at Georgia Tech in January 2006.

He is developing techniques, tools and systems to make it easier to manage and protect network operations. Networks, particularly communications networks, have become larger, more complex and virtually ubiquitous. This makes them more valuable to users, but also more vulnerable to problems and attacks.

“A lot of people have figured out that you can make a quick buck with spam or phishing attacks, and securing networks has become a really big problem,” Feamster said. “You have people out there who are not just trying to do damage or inflict harm to the network, but to make money.”

Much of Feamster’s current research focuses on making it easier for network operators and managers to do their jobs well. Network operators have to make the network highly available and secure at the same time, and that means monitoring network conditions, detecting problems that can be fixed and quickly taking steps to fix them. But when networks go down or suffer outside attacks, he says, operators often don’t have a complete picture of what happened and have to rely on anecdotal data gathered from individual users who have called a help line or reported a problem.

“If we could automate some of that and gather data from the edge of the network where the individual machines and users are and somehow push that information back into the network, it would help network operators figure out the problem and fix it faster,” he said.

Feamster also is working on solutions to unwanted network traffic—spam and phishing attacks. He says current fixes, such as applying spam filters based on words in an e-mail or the IP address of the sender’s computer, are too specific, and spammers have quickly figured out how to get around them. In his research, Feamster focuses on identifying some key and unchanging characteristics of spam so computer scientists can develop broader protections against it.

“The number of recipients is a good example,” he said. “If an e-mail has hundreds of recipients, there’s a good chance it’s spam. Also legitimate users of e-mail send messages that vary greatly in length, from one-liners to maybe several pages. The length of spam is almost always within a certain, limited range.”

Cobb and Feamster were nominated for the PECASE by the National Science Foundation. Eight federal departments and agencies annually nominate scientists and engineers at the start of their careers whose work shows exceptional promise for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge during the twenty-first century. Participating agencies award recipients up to five years of funding to further their research in support of critical government missions.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Northeast Georgia Residents Honored for Fire Prevention

Two northeast Georgia residents have been recognized for their efforts to prevent fire in their rural neighborhood. John Edwards and Don Wells, who live in the Wildcat Community that straddles Dawson and Pickens Counties, received the 2008 Firewise Leadership Award at a special ceremony in Tampa, Florida.

“Mr. Edwards and Mr. Wells were instrumental in leading their community to recognize its vulnerability to wildfire,” said Carolyn Sweatman, Georgia Forestry Commission’s Dawson/Forsyth Chief Ranger, who nominated the pair. “They implemented specific prevention techniques that earned them designation as a ‘Firewise U.S.A. Community,’ and this national award is the ‘Firewise’ organization’s highest honor.”

Sweatman explained that the Wildcat Community includes eight subdivisions totaling more than 2,000 homes on 10,000 acres. The community stretches across Sassafras Mountain, Monument Falls, and the Big Canoe area, and contains rugged, remote terrain that is not easily accessible for firefighting efforts.

In 2004, Edwards and Wells took action to institute proven fire prevention methods that resulted in the neighborhood’s official recognition as a ‘Firewise U.S.A. Community’ in 2007, she said. Those methods included coordination with local county commissioners and fire chiefs, the construction of a large water storage tank and lake, and
targeted public communication efforts.

“Mr. Wells’ and Mr. Edwards’ efforts to help protect their neighbors from the ravages of wildfire are exemplary,” said Sweatman. “They are true stewards of the environment and are richly deserving of this honor.”

There are 354 Firewise Communities in 37 states, including seven in Georgia. The Georgia Forestry Commission assists with implementation of the program statewide. For more information, contact your local GFC office or visit the Georgia Forestry Commission website at
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Dr. Steven Liu, Founder of Ingenious Med, Recognized as a Leading Hospitalist by the American College of Physicians

/PRNewswire/ -- Steven Liu, MD, practicing hospitalist and founder of Ingenious Med, Inc., was honored as a leading hospitalist by the American College of Physicians (ACP). The November issue of ACP Hospitalist, featured several top hospitalists and honor roll recipients.

A qualification based on dedication to cost savings, mentorship, improved workflow, safety and reporting, Liu was nominated for his outstanding achievements, innovation and dedication to the field of hospital medicine and technology.

Liu is the founder of Ingenious Med (IM) as well as the original creator of its flagship product, IM Practice Manager(TM) and currently leads IM as Chairman and Chief Medical Officer. Presently, Liu is the Director of Medical Informatics for the Hospital Medicine Unit at Emory University and the previous hospitalist director of one of Emory's hospitalist programs.

In addition to his lead hospitalist recognition, Liu was recently appointed to serve on the Practice Analysis Committee for the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), a position requiring expertise, leadership and education in the field of hospital medicine.

As a physician and innovator concerned with maximizing hospitalist practice performance and patient quality of care, Liu is certainly a top hospitalist and will surely do great things in 2009 as well.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Berry College Model U.N. Excels at Regional Conference

Twenty-four students representing Berry College’s Model United Nations club combined to win three awards at the November session of the 2008 Southern Regional United Nations Conference in Atlanta. More than 630 students participated in this conference, representing 73 Model U.N. countries.

Under the supervision of Dr. Kirsten Taylor, associate professor of government and international studies, the Berry students represented Nigeria and Cuba on several Model U.N. committees. They won two Position Paper Awards for their pre-conference preparation; additionally, first-year student Brin Enterkin won an honorable mention for her individual work as a delegate for the Commission on Sustainable Development.

“I am very proud of both the work that the club members put into preparing for the SRMUN Conference and their efforts to negotiate at the conference,” Dr. Taylor said. “This is a really dedicated group of students, and it’s a pleasure for me to work with them.”

Berry participants included:

-Celia Strickland, a senior international studies major, is the daughter of Byron and Arlene Strickland of Lakeland, Ga.

-Lynn Cherry, a freshman international studies major, is the daughter of Ms. Maria Corazon Cherry of Chatham, Ga.

-Dylan Tullos, a sophomore history major, is the son of Stanley and Marguerite Tullos of Valdosta, Ga.

-Hether Scheel, a junior government major, is the daughter of David and Tiffani Scheel of Jefferson, Ga.

-Justin Daley, a freshman dual-degree engineering major, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Winston Daley of Villa Rica, Ga.

-Joanna McDowell, a freshman government major, is the daughter of LCDR and Mrs. Marc McDowell of Bogart, Ga.

-Ralph Jennings, a freshman government major, is the son of Mr. Ralph Jennings Jr. of Atlanta, Ga.

-Derek Jones, a senior history and government major, is the son of Stanley and Marsha Jones of Lawrenceville, Ga.

-Kyle Johnson, a freshman, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Earnest Johnson of Kennesaw, Ga.

-Carina Brommet, a freshman, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Remco Brommet of Alpharetta, Ga.

-Taylor Smith, a junior international studies and English major, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Scott Smith of Peachtree City, Ga.

-Laura Smolley, a freshman communication major, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Smolley of Harlem, Ga.

-Amber Tucker, a junior government major, is the daughter of Percy and Ramona Walker of Chatsworth, Ga.

-Charly Edwards, a senior government major, is the daughter of Jeanie Welch of Rising Fawn, Ga.

-Taylor Jackson, a junior international studies major, is the son of Jeffrey and Lori Jackson of Atlanta, Ga.

-Stephen Lindley, a senior communication major, is the son of Gary and Patricia Lindley of Lookout Mountain, Ga.

-Brin Enterkin, a freshman psychology major, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Enterkin of Fayetteville, Ga.

-Christine Clolinger, a junior environmental science major, is the daughter of Debra Ann Clolinger of Mobile, Ala.

-Alisha Dosani, a freshman, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Malik Dosani of Lilburn, Ga.

-Jon Lariscey, a junior government major, is the son of Edward and Betty Lariscey of Ellabell, Ga.

-Cetoria Tomberlin, a junior English major, is the daughter of Donna Bradley of Thomasville, Ga.

-Megan Cipollini, a senior French major, is the daughter of Shelley and Liddon Dell of Palm Coast, Fla., and Dr. Martin Cipollini and Kathy Patrick of Rome, Ga.

-Sarah Kersting, a sophomore international studies major, is the daughter of Paul and Annette Kersting of Norcross, Ga.

-Lauren Wright, a sophomore communication major, is the daughter of William and Deborah Wright of Fayetteville, Ga.

Prepared by student writer Leah Ryan

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Georgia Museum of Art Curator Receives 2009 Georgia Museum Educator of the Year Award

he Georgia Art Education Association has selected Georgia Museum of Art curator Carissa DiCindio to receive the Georgia Museum Educator of the Year Award for 2009. DiCindio, associate curator of education at the Georgia Museum of Art, recently was honored at the awards banquet of the 2008 GAEA Fall Professional Learning Conference, "Art for All," in Athens.

DiCindio was nominated for her outstanding efforts in increasing public awareness of the importance of quality art education. The award recognizes one exceptional GAEA member for exemplary contributions, service and achievement at the state level.

"This award recognizes a high level of professional accomplishment and service by a dedicated museum educator," says GAEA president Kirby Meng. "Ms. DiCindio exemplifies the high quality of individuals involved in the field of art education today: leaders, teachers, students and advocates who give their very best to the profession. We are proud to recognize Carissa DiCindio."

GAEA's membership includes elementary-, secondary- and college-level art educators in public and private schools. GAEA promotes and maintains the highest possible degree of quality instruction in visual arts programs throughout the state of Georgia. GAEA is affiliated with the National Art Education Association, the largest professional association of art educators in the country.

DiCindio has been influential in reaching larger, more diverse audiences through her work with programs such as Family Day, Art Adventures, Just My Imagination, the "Picturing America" seminar and The Big Read. GMOA's education department will continue to sponsor these and many other events and exhibitions, including collaborations with the Lyndon House Arts Center and other businesses and organizations statewide, while the museum is under renovation.

The museum closed its gallery spaces on Nov. 3, in order to begin the construction of an additional wing and renovation of its present space. This period of expansion will begin in early spring of 2009 and continue until the museum reopens to the public in early 2011.

Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The Council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the Arch Foundation and the University of Georgia foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton Street, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, 30602. The museum's galleries are temporarily closed in preparation for construction of the museum's expansion. The Museum Shop and offices are currently still open. Museum shop hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4:45 p.m., Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4:45 p.m. and Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 8:45 p.m. For more information, see or call 706/542-GMOA (4662).

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

2009 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Three Fayette County High art students are among 30,000 nationwide to receive regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards from the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers.

Emily Donadeo, 12th grade; Elise Wheatley, 11th grade and Meredith Talley, 12th grade received awards for their art during the regional awards ceremony held at Georgia State University on December 6. Talley was awarded an Honorable Mention, Wheatley received a Silver Key and Donadeo was awarded the top prize, the Gold Key, and will have her work forwarded to New York City for the national competition.

The awards signify to parents, teachers, community and colleges that a student is an accomplished artist or writer. A panel of arts professionals reviews each work in the following areas: originality, technical skill and emergence of personal vision or voice.

It is estimated that over 100,000 students competed in regional competitions throughout the nation. Gold Key winners from each regional competition will compete nationally where approximately 1,000 students will awards; the winners will be announced this spring.

Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are the oldest, longest- running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teenagers in the United States. The program is open to students in grades 7-12.
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Sarah Garcia Chosen to Participate in U.S. Army All-American Marching Band

Sarah Garcia, a senior at Starr's Mill High School, has been chosen to participate in the second annual U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. Representatives of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl traveled to Fayetteville recently to announce Garcia's selection.
As a member of the All-American Marching Band, Garcia will participate in bowl game festivities and march in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl half-time show along with 96 other high school musicians from around the country. The bowl game will be broadcast live by NBC from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on January 3, 2009.
The senior clarinetist is the clarinet section leader of the Starr's Mill High School marching band and has been selected as a Georgia All-State Band member for 5 consecutive years. She is pictured with her parents, Anthony and Elaine Garcia, of Peachtree City.
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Award to Hispanics of Augusta

/PRNewswire/ -- On the 9th of this past October, HOLA successfully celebrated their first 2008 HOLA (Hispanic Outstanding Leadership Achievement) award ceremony at the Doubletree Hotel. With over 150 people in attendance, HOLA recognized the hard work of local leaders and their contribution to the well-being of the Hispanic community in the Central Savannah River Area.

Award recipients were the following:
1. Culture: Asociacion Cultural Hispanoamericana (ACHA)
2. Health: Nancy Shear
3. Education: Maria A. Mallar
4. Organization: Debra McKenzie - Small Business Development Center
5. Youth Leader: Gilbert Lewis
6. Hispanic Friendly Company: Coca-Cola Company
7. Religious Leader: Angel Maestre
8. Entrepreneur: Marilyn Mercado
9. Special Award (Journalist): Anibal Ibarra
10. Special Award (Courage and Determination): Orlando Perez

Volunteers from the Clinica Latina de Salud ALAS were recognized for their arduous labor. These volunteers are doctors, nurses, students, and translators who freely sacrifice their time every third Wednesday of each month in order to help others who need medical attention.

Special guests included Pedro Marin, State Representative, and Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials. These two honorable guests both gave speeches to those present that emphasized, using statistics, the impact of Hispanics in the state of Georgia and the importance of their participation in the electoral process. At the same time, HOLA Augusta Newspaper ( was recognized for its service and commitment to the community.

To culminate, the charismatic and talented Valencian Noelia Zanon took it upon herself to share, for the audience's enjoyment, her beautiful voice in a true artistic performance. Caribbean music and a dance concluded the night.

Without a doubt, the 2008 HOLA awards was able to set a precedent in providing the first event to recognize outstanding Hispanics in the city of Augusta and its neighboring areas.

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Georgia Tech Student Named One of Twelve Mitchell Scholars

Sarang Shah has been named one of 12 recipients of the George J. Mitchell Scholarship. This is the second consecutive year that a student from the Georgia Institute of Technology has been selected to receive this honor. The Mitchell Scholarships are awarded annually to 12 Americans under the age of 30 to pursue a year of post-graduate study at any university in Ireland.

Finalists for the award were interviewed the weekend of November 22-23 in Washington, D.C. Shah was chosen from a pool of 300 candidates and is among the 10th anniversary class of Mitchell Scholars

“Having the opportunity to study and research theoretical mathematical
physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and University
College Dublin will allow me to further pursue the fundamental
questions underlying how the universe works,” said Shah. “I intend to not only
research theoretical physics academically, but also to learn how to
educate the general public and policymakers about modern ideas and
research in theoretical physics.

Shah continued, “The Mitchell Scholarship is also known for fostering a close-knit community of scholars from a variety of fields of study. Being a member of such a community is a unique opportunity that will allow me to make the personal connections in Ireland and beyond to achieve my goals.”

A native of Acworth, Georgia, Shah is a physics and public policy major. Shah says these two fields fit together well for him.

“I have always been interested in understanding how the universe works, but at the same time I have been deeply concerned with the way society functions,” said Shah. “My sense of civic duty and helping my fellow human beings has led me to become involved in my community, study policy and politics, and also look for ways that my knowledge of physics can help me to understand public policy.”

During his four years at Georgia Tech, Shah has been active in a number of student initiatives geared toward environmental activism and political dialogue, including a campus-wide recycling program, a water conservation campaign and a Yellow Jacket Round Table designed to bring together student leaders to discuss and help resolve campus issues. He has also been a strong advocate in preserving free speech on campus, testifying before the State House Committee on Higher Education and authoring a resolution opposing a bill that would inhibit free speech. Shah is credited for his role in the defeat of the bill.

In addition to Shah’s political advocacy, he has conducted research in the field of theoretical neuroscience and developed textual analysis software to help map data. He will study mathematical physics at University College Dublin.

The Mitchell Scholarship is named for former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who spearheaded the historic Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which produced peace in Northern Ireland. The Mitchell Scholarship recognizes outstanding young Americans who exhibit the highest standards of academic excellence, leadership and community service.

Last year, Adam Tart was named Georgia Tech’s first Mitchell Scholar. He is now working on mobile and ubiquitous computing at University College Cork.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Georgia State Law Professor Appointed to CDC Ethics Subcommittee

If a pandemic flu fills hospital beds and ventilators become scarce, who gets first priority? Should individuals with certain kinds of diseases be prevented from traveling, even if their condition is managed by medication and they pose no risk to others?

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seeks answers to these and other ethical questions, it turns to its Advisory Committee to the Director and that committee’s subcommittee on ethics.

Georgia State University Associate Law Professor Leslie Wolf is the subcommittee’s newest member, and says the CDC is trying to think through these scenarios ahead of time so they’re prepared if the need arises.

“The idea is to give helpful guidance to people who are going to have to make these decisions,” Wolf said.

In general, the subcommittee is tasked with exploring ethical dilemmas in public health and making recommendations to the Advisory Committee to the Director, Julie Gerberding.

The subcommittee is made up of 11 members from across the country who serve four-year terms. Its members include well-known philosophers, public health professionals, doctors and medical ethicists who meet three times per year.

Wolf, who joined the College of Law in 2007 as a faculty member of the Center for Law, Health & Society, taught medical ethics and research ethics at the University of California, San Francisco. She served on the UCSF institutional review board and the advisory committee on stem cell research.

She said she hopes to translate her experience with the CDC’s ethics subcommittee to her work in the classroom.

“It’s a remarkable honor,” Wolf said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to work on some really interesting and challenging issues.”

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Melissa Boston Opens the Door for Future Clayton State Supply Chain Students

Clayton State University senior Melissa Boston, a Management major in the University’s School of Business, was selected to participate in the Council of Supply Chain Management Professional’s (CSCMP) annual conference in Denver. John Mascaritolo, director, Logistics Practices and assistant professor of Supply Chain Management in the School of Business, encouraged Boston’s involvement and says she has opened the door for future Clayton State students.

“Melissa was picked by me to submit the necessary documents to be reviewed for selection by the committee of officers of the Atlanta Roundtable of CSCMP,” says Mascaritolo in noting Boston’s success as a representative of Atlanta and Clayton State. “I felt Melissa had the qualities the organization was looking for in student representatives for the national conference. Melissa was reviewed among other students from local universities and was selected a one of four students that the local roundtable sent to the national conference in Denver.”

Boston in return accredits her involvement with CSCMP to Mascaritolo, and recalls some of the learning opportunities in the Supply Chain Management (SCM) field she had at the conference.

“As a student member, I had the honor to represent Clayton State University at the annual conference hosted in Denver,” she says. “During this conference I was able to connect with directors, vice presidents, managers and various associates in the SCM field to express my interest in their companies; and work hard during the conference.

“I had the opportunity to do informational interviews with directors of companies such as Welch's, and The Hershey Company in supply chain. The conference hosted many companies globally and I was able to work with many people while working at the conference.”

Boston did experience some challenges in networking with several companies.

“The most challenging portion was not being able to meet as many directors, vice presidents, managers and associates as you would have liked,” she says. “The conference was overwhelming for an individual to see so many professional supply chain and logistics managers from all companies worldwide in one location. It was so challenging for me to get the chance to meet as many of these professionals as I could.”

Still, the experience was extremely rewarding.

“The information on SCM was phenomenal. There were several beginner, intermediate, and advanced workshops to attend pertaining to logistics and which broadened my exposure of the industry,” says Boston. “Lastly, the networking opportunity was great advantage!”

Mascaritolo was proud of Boston’s ability to network with professionals.

“I know many of the people she met and spoke with, and all feedback to me was extremely positive,” he says. “Melissa made the officers of the Atlanta Roundtable very proud that our selection was a good one and she made me most proud in the way she represented Clayton State University.

“Melissa has shown that Clayton State University can compete with the bigger supply chain schools like Georgia Tech, Auburn University, the University of Tennessee, etc. She has opened the door for future Clayton State supply chain students with the industry.”

CSCMP is the preeminent worldwide professional association of supply chain management professionals. It provides leadership in developing, defining, understanding, and enhancing the logistics and supply chain management. CSCMP’s mission is to lead the evolving supply chain management profession by developing, advancing, and disseminating supply chain knowledge and research.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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Governor Perdue Recommends Chris Clark as DNR Commissioner

Governor Sonny Perdue recently announced that Chris Clark, Executive Director of the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA), is his recommended choice to succeed Noel Holcomb as Commissioner of DNR when Holcomb retires in April 2009. Commissioner Holcomb announced to the Board of Natural Resources his retirement plans at the September meeting of the DNR Board.

“Chris has demonstrated his talent and commitment to Georgia’s citizens during his tenure as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development and as Executive Director of GEFA,” said Governor Perdue. “I appreciate Commissioner Holcomb’s long service to this state, and I am confident Chris will continue the Department’s legacy of being a champion of preserving our most precious resources.”

Under the Georgia Constitution, the DNR Board appoints both the Commissioner and the Director of the Environmental Protection Division.

By making his recommendation to the Board now, Governor Perdue hopes to set the stage for a smooth transition given the state’s current budget challenges and the complexity of the programs and issues statutorily assigned to DNR and the Environmental Protection Division.

“While Commissioner Holcomb will continue to serve as DNR Commissioner until his effective retirement date, I expect Chris, Noel and Dr. Carol Couch will work closely together as DNR and EPD continue to manage our response to the ongoing drought, implement the Statewide Water Plan, find appropriate spending reductions and protect and preserve our state’s natural resources,” Governor Perdue said.

This will be the first time in the history of DNR that the department’s commissioner was not promoted from within the organization.

As Executive Director of GEFA, Clark has led a number of important initiatives since being appointed to that position in 2007. GEFA serves as the state environmental bank by providing financing for water and sewer infrastructure projects and is home to the State Energy Office. During his tenure, he served on the State Water Council and helped launch a new Water Supply Division at GEFA to assist communities with reservoirs development. Clark also led the creation of the Governor’s Energy Challenge which seeks to reduce energy use by state government by 15 percent, as well as the Conserve Georgia initiative which is the state’s conservation clearing house ( He also launched Georgia’s Energy Innovation Center that works to bring alternative energy projects to the state.

Additionally, he is Governor Perdue’s proxy on the Southern Growth Policy Board and represents Georgia as a commissioner on the Southeast Commission for Low-Level Radioactive Waste.

Prior to his appointment at GEFA, Clark served for four years as Deputy Commissioner of Global Commerce at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Among his highlights at GDEcD was the recruitment of a new Kia Motors manufacturing plant to West Point, Georgia.
Clark is a native of Fitzgerald, earning a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University, and a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia College and State University. Clark resides near Peachtree City in Fayette County with his wife Tiffany and son Christian.
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Monday, December 1, 2008

Speakers Shine in Music City

Six members of the Berry College forensics team claimed several individual awards and a second-place team finish during the Tennessee Porch Swing Tournament held in Nashville, Tenn., in mid-November.

A swing tournament is a special kind of speech competition consisting of two separate tournaments in one weekend. The first was hosted by Belmont University; the second was hosted by Carson-Newman College. Berry finished second overall in the Carson-Newman tournament, ahead of Clemson University, Florida State University and the University of Alabama. Five Berry competitors won individual awards and qualified for nationals in the two events.

Individual award recipients were as follows:

-Hope Stallings placed first in persuasive speaking, second in informative speaking, fourth in poetry interpretation and fifth in communication analysis at the Belmont tournament. She was first in persuasive speaking, first in informative speaking and first in rhetorical criticism at the Carson-Newman tournament. Hope, a junior communication major, is the daughter of Stan and Angela Nix of Ringgold, Ga.

-Amanda Dean placed fourth in persuasive speaking at the Belmont tournament and third in persuasive speaking at the Carson-Newman tournament. Amanda, a senior communication major, is the daughter of John and Yevone Dean of Acworth, Ga.

-Alex Middleton placed sixth in dramatic duo interpretation at the Belmont tournament and sixth in dramatic duo interpretation at the Carson-Newman tournament. Alex, a freshman communication major, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Middleton of Stone Mountain, Ga.

-Steven Walker was sixth in dramatic duo interpretation at the Belmont tournament and sixth in dramatic duo interpretation at the Carson-Newman tournament. Steven, a freshman communication major, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Walker of Lilburn, Ga.

-Joshua Roye placed fifth in editorial impromptu speaking, fifth in informative speaking, sixth in prose interpretation and was awarded top novice in informative speaking at the Carson-Newman tournament. Joshua, a sophomore dual sociology/anthropology and religion/philosophy major, is the son of Tom and Gwendolyn Roye of Calhoun, Ga.

Prepared by student writer Leah Ryan
Berry College

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Jenny McDowell Is Named Division III National Volleyball Coach of the Year

The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) has recognized Emory University’s Jenny McDowell for the Eagles’ national championship season by naming her as the National Division III Coach of the Year.

McDowell completed her 13th season at the helm of the Emory program by guiding the Eagles to their first-ever national championship. After defeating Colorado College and Southwestern in its first two NCAA contests, Emory topped the College of Saint Benedict in the NCAA Division III quarterfinals before edging Ohio Northern in five games in the semifinals. In the championship match, the Eagles prevailed over No. 4-ranked La Verne, 3-1, and closed out the team’s record at 36-5, establishing a school seasonal record for most victories.

McDowell was tabbed as the AVCA South Region Coach of the Year for the third time in her career, and, Emory’s final victory total marked the 10th time during her tenure that the Eagles finished a season with 30 or more victories. In addition, Emory qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the 13th consecutive year under her guidance where it advanced to the Round of 16 for the 11th time. McDowell subsequently directed the Eagles to the school’s second-ever berth to the Final Four (2003 was the other appearance).

Her career record now stands at 406-117 and she notched her 400th career win on Nov. 7 when Emory defeated Brandeis University during the University Athletic Association Championships. Emory was ranked No. 1 nationally in the final Bison/AVCA Division III Poll and the Eagles have been ranked among the nation’s top 20 teams in every weekly poll since the early stages of 1996.

McDowell saw three of her players earn All-America honors in 2008, senior Dani Huffman (San Diego, Calif.) and Alysse Meyer (Stockton, Calif.) both garnered first-team recognition while freshman Natalie Schonefeld (Louisville, Ky.) was a second-team selection. McDowell has coached a total of 16 players to 24 All-America berths during her career.

“I am honored to be selected by the AVCA for this award,” McDowell said. “I feel truly blessed to coach at one of the finest institutions in the country. This season was so special because of the seventeen young women who committed themselves completely to our journey of achieving a national championship.

“The success that we experienced could not have been accomplished without the incredible work of our amazing assistant coaches, Justin Hart, Amanda Metz and Eric Hawes, as well as the support of the Emory administration.”

The AVCA will formally present the Division III National Coach of the Year award to McDowell at the 2008 Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon in Omaha, Neb., on Thursday, Dec. 18. The luncheon is held in conjunction with the 2008 AVCA Annual Convention.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

UGA Honors Student Christina Faust Receives 2009-2010 George J. Mitchell Postgraduate Scholarship

Christina Faust, a University of Georgia Honors student from Athens, is one of 12 national recipients of the 2009-2010 George J. Mitchell Postgraduate Scholarship. She will use her fellowship to study immunology and global health at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Faust, who is pursuing a dual bachelor's/master's degree in ecology, was previously named a 2008 Truman Scholar and a 2008 Udall Scholar. The UGA senior, a graduate of Cedar Shoals High School, is the daughter of Lynn and the late Tim Faust, a former professor in UGA's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, and the granddaughter of Bob and Marian Olyha, also of Athens.

Faust was chosen from a pool of 300 candidates and is among the 10th anniversary class of Mitchell Scholars. She is the first Mitchell Scholarship recipient at UGA.

"Christina Faust is clearly one of the brightest stars in the UGA academic sky, and I am very proud of her," said UGA President Michael F. Adams. "She has demonstrated remarkable talent and the ability to master a variety of areas of study, characteristics which bode well for her future. I expect great things from Christina."

The Mitchell Postgraduate Scholarship, named in honor of the former U.S. senator who served as chairman of the historic peace negotiations in Northern Ireland in 1998, is a nationally competitive fellowship sponsored by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance for one-year of graduate study in any discipline offered by institutions in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The award promotes a spirit of community and global understanding through linking future American leaders with the island of Ireland.

"Many of our students impress me, but Christina Faust truly inspires me," said David S. Williams, director of UGA's Honors Program. "We need leaders who understand the delicate interwoven nature of our complicated ecosystems, and who can envision and articulate answers and approaches. Christina is a leader for our times, and I am extremely proud of her."

Faust's commitment and passion for a career in wildlife conservation has been reinforced through her undergraduate research experiences at UGA. She has combined her interests in infectious diseases research and the way ecosystems are affected by completing thesis research on the avian influenza virus through UGA's Odum School of Ecology with a related study through the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in UGA's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Faust was one of 12 students selected internationally to present at the International Wildlife Disease Association Conference in 2007. She also presented twice at UGA's spring undergraduate research symposium sponsored by the Honors Program's Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities. She has won several conference awards, including "Outstanding Master's Presentation" at the 2008 Graduate Student Symposium at UGA's Odum School of Ecology.

Faust, who is also the recipient of a Foundation Fellowship, UGA's premier undergraduate scholarship for academically outstanding students, has studied, volunteered and traveled to five continents. Her most recent trip took her to Nanjing, China where she spent three weeks at the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control. Faust is planning to participate in a study abroad program in Antarctica in December.

In addition to her research activities, Faust has been very active in extracurricular activities to promote recycling and other conservation efforts. She helped organize a recycling program with three student clubs during UGA's football home games this season, collecting about four tons of glass and plastic so far. Faust also holds leadership positions with the Go Green Alliance Council and the Sustainable Development Committee of the UGA Ecology Club.

"I am honored to receive the Mitchell Scholarship to continue my studies in Ireland," said Faust, who would also like to complete a Ph.D. in the ecology of infectious diseases. "I hope to approach wildlife health issues from sociological and environmental perspectives in order to develop the most sustainable and effective solutions to our planet's most pressing challenges."

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

UGA Odum School of Ecology Faculty Member Honored for Innovations after Age 6

Carl Jordan, senior research scientist at the University Of Georgia Odum School of Ecology, was recently designated as a 2008 Purpose Prize Fellow by Civic Ventures think tank. The Purpose Prize is awarded for people over 60 who are taking on society's biggest challenges.

"Dr. Jordan was named a fellow for restoring a worn-out cotton farm in the Georgia Piedmont into a center for research, education and outreach in organic and sustainable agriculture," said Marc Friedman, co-founder of the Purpose Prize program and author of Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life. "Purpose Prize Fellows such as Carl Jordan show that experience and innovation can go hand in hand, that inventiveness is not the sole province of the young."

For over 25 years, Jordan has studied the impact of conventional agriculture and forestry on the biodiversity of ecosystems throughout the world. His work at Spring Valley EcoFarms ( has put his research into practice, which has led to more environmentally - and economically - sound faming practices.

"Students with the agroecology lab from the University of Georgia have used the farm to broaden their knowledge of agriculture and the environment. Recognition from Civic Ventures hopefully will allow me to expand outreach to other members of the Athens and surrounding community," said Jordan.

Funding for the Purpose Prize from Civic Ventures ( comes from The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation. Additional funding for the Summit comes from the American Association of Retired Persons, Erickson Companies, the New York Life Foundation, Hewlett-Packard Company and Legacy Works.

With roots that date back to the 1950s, the UGA Odum School of Ecology offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a certification program. Founder Eugene P. Odum is recognized internationally as a pioneer of ecosystem ecology. The school is ranked tenth by U.S. News and World Report for its graduate program. The Odum School is the first standalone school of ecology in the world. For more information, see

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Georgia and North Carolina Teens Honored for Research in Biochemistry and Genetics in Nation's Premier High School Science Competition

/PRNewswire/ -- Research projects in Biochemistry and Genetics boasted top marks this evening for James Meixiong and the team of Sajith Wickramasekara and Andrew Guo in the Region Six Finals of the 2008 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the nation's premier high school science competition.

The Siemens Competition, a signature program of the Siemens Foundation, is administered by the College Board. Tonight's winners will receive thousands of dollars in college scholarships and be invited to compete at the National Finals in New York City, where the winners of six regional competitions across the United States will vie for scholarships ranging from $10,000 to the top prize of $100,000.

"These students have competed with some of the greatest young minds in our country, and are now on an amazing journey to the finals for the most coveted high school science prize in the nation," said James Whaley, President of the Siemens Foundation, based in Iselin, New Jersey. "The fact that we've experienced a record-setting year, including a 10 percent increase in both team and individual project submissions and more than a 16 percent increase in the number of registrations, makes their achievement even more commendable. We congratulate them on their hard work and look forward to welcoming them to the national event."

The students presented their research this weekend to a panel of judges from the Georgia Institute of Technology, host of the Siemens Competition Region Six Finals.

Individual Winner

James Meixiong, a senior at Lakeside High School in Evans, Georgia, won the individual category and a $3,000 college scholarship for his biochemistry research that took several approaches to address how the structure of mitochondria influences the cellular levels of two proteins, Bax and Bak. His project is titled Inhibition of Bax/Bak activation by mitochondrial fusion: a novel mechanism to block programmed cell death.

"The long term goals of Mr. Meixiong's research are to fully comprehend the complex integrated pathways that lead to apoptosis, or cell death, with the hope that a small molecule therapeutic could be designed to control apoptosis in diseased cells," said Dr. Raquel Lieberman, Assistant Professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "Mr. Meixiong used three different and technically challenging approaches and drew responses consistent with his hypothesis in each case, ultimately creating a shift in the way we think about controlling cell death for diseases such as Parkinson's, Muscular Dystrophy and Cancer."

Mr. Meixiong is the Team Captain of his school's Science Bowl and the Olympiad Team and also manages his school's swim team. He won the Department of Energy's Regional Science Bowl Competition in April 2008. Mr. Meixiong has won numerous medals at the State Science Olympiad Tournament, including a first place medal in Ecology. He heard about the Siemens Competition after a friend was named a Regional Finalist last year.

Mr. Meixiong is fluent in Chinese and is a member of a volunteer organization called Chinese School United Student Action. He spends his free time as a math tutor and a junior volunteer at the University Hospital of Augusta, Georgia. Both of his parents are research scientists at the Medical College of Georgia. His mentors for this project are Dr. Craig Brooks, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Medical College of Georgia and Dr. Zheng Dong, Professor at the Medical College of Georgia.

Team Winners

Sajith M. Wickramasekara and Andrew Y. Guo, both seniors at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, North Carolina, won the team category and will share a $6,000 scholarship for their research that has the potential to easily identify new chemotherapeutic drugs and greatly improve existing ones. The team's project combined traditional genetics with cutting edge computational modeling to streamline the gene discovery process. Their project is titled, A Functional Genomic Framework for Chemotherapeutic Drug Improvement and Identification.

"Mr. Wickramasekara and Mr. Guo's project was chosen because despite an enormous amount of research on cancer therapeutics, there is still a need to identify new genes to target for treatment," said Dr. Kostas Konstantinidis, Assistant Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the school of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "Their approach has the potential to identify novel treatments that could lead the way to personalized medicine in the future. The team had exceptional communication and coordination in executing their project."

Mr. Wickramasekara is the team leader and heard about the Siemens Competition in 2006 when seniors from his high school were selected as Regional Finalists. Mr. Wickramasekara has participated in various science competitions including the 2008 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the North Carolina State Science and Engineering Fair and the North Carolina Junior Science Humanities Symposium. He is an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America and dreams of one day owning his own biotech startup, specializing in personalized medicine.

Mr. Guo is a Science Olympiad winner and Co-Captain of the Science Bowl and the Quiz Bowl. He recently received First Place State Team in the Goldman Sachs National Economics Challenge. Mr. Guo is Co-Founder and Editor of the Student Journal of Research at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

The team worked on this project with the help of their mentor, Dr. Craig B. Bennett, Assistant Professor, Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. and their high school advisor, Dr. Myra Halpin, Dean of Science, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, NC.

Regional Finalists

Regional Finalists each received a $1,000 scholarship. In addition, the Siemens Foundation awards $2,000 per project to the high school of every Regional Finalist.

Regional Finalists in the individual category were:
-- Rohit Thummalapalli, American Heritage School, Plantation, FL
-- Alexander M. Kim, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and
Technology, Alexandria, VA
-- Agatha A. Cummings, Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge, TN
-- Varun Bansal, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology,
Alexandria, VA

Regional Finalists in the team category were:
-- Jonathan Wang and Jared V. Goodman, Oak Hall School, Gainesville, FL
-- Katherine S. Xue and Alborz Bejnood, Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge,
-- Ruowan Yan and Melissa H. Hou, duPont Manual High School, Louisville,

The Siemens Competition

The Siemens Competition was launched in 1998 to recognize America's best and brightest math and science students. In another record-setting year, 1,893 students registered to enter the Siemens Competition with a total of 1,205 projects submitted -- this includes an increase of more than 10 percent in team and individual project submissions and an increase of more than 16 percent in the number of registrations.

Entries are judged at the regional level by esteemed scientists at six leading research universities which host the regional competitions: California Institute of Technology. Carnegie Mellon University. Georgia Institute of Technology. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. University of Notre Dame. and The University of Texas at Austin.

Winners of the regional events are invited to compete at the National Finals at New York University in New York City, December 5 - December 8, 2008. Visit on December 8, 2008 at 9:30 am EST to view a live webcast of the National Finalist Award Presentation.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kaufman to be Honored by Labor and Employment Relations Association

Georgia State University Professor of Economics Bruce Kaufman will be honored early next year by the national Labor and Employment Relations Association for his lifetime of work in the field of human resources and industrial relations.

As one of the first five inductees into the group’s Association of Fellows, Kaufman joins leading industrial relations scholars in LERA’s hall of fame. The award will be presented at LERA’s annual conference in San Francisco on Jan. 4.

“The initial award winners were people we thought have made the biggest contribution to the field,” said Morris Kleiner, the AFL-CIO Chair in Labor Policy at the University of Minnesota and the chair of LERA’s award selection committee.

Kaufman, who has been at Georgia State for 31 years and plans to retire in 2009, spent his career studying industrial relations. He is perhaps best known for his work chronicling the history and development of industrial relations practices and human resource management. His most recent book is “Managing the Human Factor: The Early Years of Human Resource Management in American Industry” (Cornell University Press, 2008).

Kaufman is also the recipient of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies’ 2008 Teaching Award.

He says while some aspects of human resource management have changed over the past century, the basic principles are largely the same.

“You’re trying to get the best workers at the lowest cost you can and get more productivity,” said Kaufman, who is also a senior associate at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business’ W.T. Beebe Institute of Personnel and Employment Relations.

Other inductees into LERA’s Association of Fellows include:

Richard Freeman, the Herbert S. Ascherman Professor of Economics at Harvard, known for his work on unions.
Thomas Kochan, the George M. Bunker Professor of Management at MIT’s Institute for Work and Employment Research, known for work exploring the changing labor relations environment.
Francine Blau, the Frances Perkins Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Labor Economics at Cornell University. She’s known for work on gender discrimination in the U.S. and abroad.
Arne Kalleberg, the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kalleberg is also a past president of the American Sociological Association.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Georgia Tech's Kirk Bowman Named Professor of the Year

Kirk Bowman, associate professor at Georgia Tech, has been named the 2008 Georgia Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Bowman was selected from nearly 300 top professors in the United States.

“I am thrilled to be named the Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation,” said Bowman. “It validates my belief that research and teaching can be mutually reinforcing and positive sum.”

Bowman is a faculty member in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. He is also the program director for study abroad for Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica and Cuba.

“Dr. Bowman excites and inspires students to understand the politics, economics and cultures of other countries,” said Sue V. Rosser, dean of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. “We are very pleased that his work has been recognized. He is an asset to his students, a credit to our profession, to the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and to the Ivan Allen College.”

An expert in the politics of Latin America, Bowman is also a member of an interdisciplinary team researching conservation, economic development and drug discovery in Fiji.

He is the author of Militarization, Development and Democracy: The Perils of Praetorianism in Latin America. He is currently working on his next book, which explores national tourism policy in Latin America.

CASE and the Carnegie Foundation have been partners in offering Professor of the Year awards since 1981. TIAA-CREF, one of America’s leading financial services organizations and higher education’s premier retirement system, became the primary sponsor for the awards ceremony in 2000. Additional support for the program is provided by a number of higher education associations, including Phi Beta Kappa.

This year, there are winners in 44 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. CASE assembled two preliminary panels of judges to select finalists. The Carnegie Foundation then convened the third and final panel, which selected four national winners. CASE and Carnegie select state winners from top entries resulting from the judging process. Recipients were selected from faculty members nominated by colleges and universities throughout the country.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was founded in 1905 by Andrew Carnegie “to do all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of teaching.” The Foundation is the only advanced-study center for teachers in the world and the third-oldest foundation in the nation. Its nonprofit research activities are conducted by a small group of distinguished scholars.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the largest international association of education institutions, serving more than 3,400 universities, colleges, schools and related organizations in 61 countries. CASE is the leading resource for professional development, information and standards in the fields of educational fundraising, communications, marketing and alumni relations.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fayette County Whitewater’s InvenTeam on

The five Whitewater High students who won a $10,000 grant from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to make a prototype invention of a combined dehydrator/condenser have caught the attention of the Discovery Channel.

Their invention, aimed at dehydrating algae for use as biodiesel while simultaneously collecting purified water for drinking and other uses, is now featured on Discovery’s website as part of the channel’s sustainable news section. This will bring a lot of exposure to the students since almost six million people a day sign on to the website.

“This is really a honor for our students to be featured. People all over the world will know about their work and achievement,” says Carolyn Smith, one of the teachers working with the students on the invention.

The InvenTeam at Whitewater was one of only 16 high school teams across the country chosen to receive the Lemelson-MIT grant that will enable them to build a prototype of their idea and present it at a conference at MIT this spring. They are the first team in Fayette County to win a grant and only the second from Georgia.

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Twenty-two Named to Conference All-Academic Football Team

Twenty-two Shorter College Hawks football players were named to the All-Academic Conference team announced by the Mid-South Conference on Tuesday morning.

Eighty-nine football student-athletes earned academic conference honors from the conference. Shorter placed more athletes on this list than any other school in the MSC and it is the highest number that Shorter football has ever placed on the annual list.

To be honored as a member of the All-Conference Team, student-athletes must be a sophomore, junior or senior and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25.

"Since the beginning of the program, we have maintained that academics in the classroom is just as important as the things that happen on the field," said head coach Phil Jones. "I'm proud of these guys for their accomplishments and the influence they bring to this team."

Jackson Abercrombie, Kenneth James, Budd Keith, Zach Morrison, Will Oliver, and Jeremy Ruark have made the team for three consecutive years.

The players named All-Academic were:

Jackson Abercrombie
Bo Bearse
Spenser Bettis
Matt Broome
D.J. Cone
Derik Cooper
Josh Dorminy
Blake Ducatel
David Hall
Kenneth James
Curtis John
Bud Keith
Seth Lindsey
Zach Morrison
Will Oliver
Cameron Panther
Dustin Perry
Jeremy Ruark
Andrew Schrampfer
Will Wiggins
Ben Williams
Jared Williams

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IBT Holdings Honored by Women Presidents' Organization and Entrepreneur Magazine

/PRNewswire/ -- The Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) and Entrepreneur Magazine have announced that IBT Holdings has been named one of the Top 50 fastest-growing women-owned/led privately-owned businesses in North America.

Comprised of IBT Enterprises, Design Build Concepts and International Banking Technologies, IBT Holdings offers the complete continuum of solutions for the financial services and specialty retail industries. IBT Holdings companies provide customers with ground-up, storefront, and in-store design and construction services as well as retail consulting services.

"IBT Holdings' distinction as one of the country's fastest-growing companies is a testament to our company's prudent growth strategy," said Mylle Mangum, chairman of IBT Holdings. "Even amidst difficult economic times, we continue to help new and existing clients create engaging retail and customer experiences."

This is the second time the WPO and Entrepreneur have teamed up to create the Top 50 list. The WPO is the premier peer advisory organization for women. With more than 1,300 members and 82 chapters located in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Peru, the WPO has experienced rapid growth since its inception. Local WPO chapters are coordinated by professionally trained facilitators and meet monthly to share business expertise and experience in a confidential and collaborative setting.

"The fastest-growing businesses in the Top 50 are all rapidly building on existing success, and our ranking recognizes the accomplishments of these remarkable entrepreneurial women," said Marsha Firestone Ph.D., president and founder of the WPO. "The Top 50 list also shows the diversity of their business ventures, from IT consulting/engineering to industrial construction and advertising, as well as their important impact on the economies of their community."

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Southern Company Recognized as Military-Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs Magazine

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southern Company (NYSE:SO) has been named one of the nation's 50 most "military-friendly" employers for the third consecutive year by G.I. Jobs magazine, the nation's premier career guide for military job-seekers.

The honored companies were selected based on their assets dedicated to military hiring, the strength of their military recruiting efforts and their policies addressing National Guard and reserve service, among other criteria. Approximately 2,500 corporations with annual revenues of at least $1 billion were surveyed for this year's list.

"Southern Company is proud to be recognized by G.I. Jobs for the third consecutive year," said Alan Martin, executive vice president, Southern Company and president & CEO, Southern Company Services. "Military veterans fit well into our company culture because of their strong work ethic, advanced technical skills, adaptability and excellent leadership style -- all qualities we value at Southern Company."

G.I. Jobs helps provide training and career opportunities for veterans and those in transition from military to civilian employment. The 2008 list of military-friendly employers is featured in the December issue of the magazine.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

University of Georgia Student Honored for Essay

Eric S. Jenkins, a student at the University of Georgia, is the 2008 winner of the Donald P. Cushman Memorial Award. Jenkins’ paper, The Towers of Babble and the Passage of the USA Patriot Act, is the highest ranked student-authored paper at the 94th Annual Convention of the National Communication Association.

"I am excited to have my essay be highest ranked amongst all the student essays," said Jenkins. "This award is an honor."

The winning paper, a rhetorical analysis of Congressional debate on the USA Patriot Act (enacted just 45 days after September 11, 2001), demonstrates that the debate was dominated by a restricted "emergency" time frame and a restricted view of the public—limiting the potential for democratic deliberation. “Towers” makes an original contribution to a rhetorical theory of publics and public spheres and contributes to our understanding of a significant episode in American rhetorical history.

Eric S. Jenkins identifies an important problem: Conditions under which communicatively rational critique can fail even given pluralism. He insightfully discusses the central theoretic tradition addressing this issue, making significant progress in identifying and demonstrating the relevance of troubling limiting conditions for communicatively rational deliberation.

This award was created to honor Dr. Donald P. Cushman, an influential figure across the field of communication. The award is designed to recognize Dr. Cushman’s mentorship of students, which centered around excellence in scholarship, as well as their socialization as scholars in the communication discipline. The award honors the top-ranked student-authored paper from all NCA units that competitively rank papers for programming at the NCA Annual Convention

Jenkins accepts his award at the Annual Convention of the National Communication Association, the oldest and largest association dedicated to the communication discipline. This year’s convention is being held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, in San Diego, California and is bringing together over 5,500 communication scholars and professionals to help further the discipline.

Walter Curran Awarded Endowed Lawrence Davis Chair of Radiation Oncology

Walter Curran Jr., MD, has been awarded the inaugural Lawrence W. Davis Chair of Radiation Oncology in Emory University School of Medicine. Curran was presented the honor by Thomas J. Lawley, MD, dean of Emory's School of Medicine.

Curran is chairman of the department of radiation oncology, Emory’s School of Medicine, and medical director of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute.

Curran joined Emory in January 2008 from Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, where he served as professor and chair of the department of radiation oncology and clinical director for the Kimmel Cancer Center, also at Jefferson.

Currently, Curran is the group chairman and principal investigator of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, a National Cancer Institute-funded, international, multi-institutional cooperative group dedicated to advancing patient treatment and care through cooperative clinical trials and research.

Curran has been a principal investigator on numerous groundbreaking National Cancer Institute grants. He has authored or co-authored more than two hundred abstracts and scholarly papers, as well as several dozen presentations, reviews and book chapters. He is chair or co-chair of approximately 19 clinical protocols and a reviewer for 12 national and international journals.

The Lawrence W. Davis Chair of Radiation Oncology was established in October 2004. During his 17-year tenure as chair of Emory’s department, Davis has led radiation oncology in establishment of a residency program, a new Division of Cancer Biology to enhance research in the department and has grown the faculty to 26 members, including 16 radiation oncologists.

“Emory’s Department of Radiation Oncology has grown to international prominence under Dr. Davis’ guidance,” says Lawley. “We look forward to continuing and expanding upon this positive trajectory under Dr. Curran’s leadership.”
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MCG Honors City of Augusta and Augusta Housing Authority

The Medical College of Georgia presented President's Awards to the city of Augusta and the Augusta Housing Authority for their partnership in enabling the university's expansion in Augusta.

President Daniel W. Rahn presented the awards, which recognize exemplary service to the university's mission and are the highest honor MCG bestows, at the annual President's Dinner Nov. 15.

The Augusta Commission provided the University System of Georgia Board of Regents with $10 million in September to purchase the Gilbert Manor property from the Augusta Housing Authority for MCG's expansion.

"The recently completed transfer of the Gilbert Manor property to the Board of Regents and MCG could never have taken place except through the sustained efforts of the Augusta Housing Authority, members of the Augusta city leadership and our legislative delegation," said Dr. Rahn in presenting the awards. "This collaboration will enable MCG to expand its impact on health and to increase our economic impact in the Augusta region while also providing resources for renewed public housing.

"This award is presented in recognition of efforts to craft a significant partnership with MCG, for leadership in affecting a win-win opportunity for the residents of Gilbert Manor, the citizens of Augusta, the Medical College of Georgia and the greater community we all serve."

While all entities will benefit substantially from the partnership, the real winner in the long run will be Augusta, Dr. Rahn said.

“The successful collaborative efforts of the Augusta Housing Authority, city of Augusta and the Medical College of Georgia benefit the CSRA community as a whole, establish and increase the opportunity of employment through the expansion of MCG and ensure the development of much-needed affordable housing," said Jacob Oglesby, executive director of the Augusta Housing Authority.

“The partnership between the city and MCG as it continues its expansion locally should serve as a model for other communities," said Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver. "Our local government's historic investment in helping to grow the medical college, one of Augusta's primary economic engines, is both an investment in the health and wellness of our state and an investment in our city's future.”

The Gilbert Manor housing complex sits on a 15-acre, triangular plot contiguous to MCG and bordered by R.A. Dent Boulevard, Goss Lane and Spellman Street. The property will house a new School of Dentistry building.

Planning also is under way for expansion of School of Medicine facilities at the site and an Education Commons to be shared by the medical and dental schools.

Paula Hinely
Medical College of Georgia

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American InterContinental University Appoints Dr. Alan Drimmer Chief Executive Officer

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Governing Board of American InterContinental University (AIU) has appointed Dr. Alan Drimmer, age 47, Chief Executive Officer of American InterContinental University. Drimmer also continues in his role as President of AIU Online. AIU encompasses six campuses in the United States, including the online campus which provides education to over 15,000 students worldwide and one in London, England. AIU is a member of the Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ:CECO) network of colleges, universities and schools.

Drimmer joined CEC in 2004 and has been the President of AIU Online since 2005. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Academic Officer for AIU Online. Among his accomplishments, Drimmer led technology innovation initiatives for the online campus, putting AIU in the forefront of innovative online education. He directed the development of a student outcomes and satisfaction program that resulted in AIU Online achieving the highest student satisfaction scores of any campus in the CEC network. Drimmer also guided the University in accreditation matters, transforming the University’s culture and processes at all levels.

Before joining AIU, Drimmer led functions at several other proprietary education ventures including UNext/Cardean University, eCornell, and the Corporate Executive Board’s Learning and Development Roundtable. Drimmer was a management consultant in the Chicago office of McKinsey & Company, an official at the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan. He received his M.B.A from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his Bachelors, Masters and PhD from the University of Chicago. He was also a dissertation fellow at Harvard University’s John M. Olin Center for Strategic Studies and received Harvard College’s Derek Bok Undergraduate Teaching Award.

“Alan’s deep expertise in online education and management, as well as his international business experience, make him uniquely suited to lead an international university like AIU with a large and growing online education segment,” said Richard Perry, Chairman and a long-time member of the AIU Governing Board and a partner at the law firm of Wood & Perry in Georgia. “With Alan at the helm, the Governing Board is confident that the University will continue to produce innovations in curriculum, technology, and operations that improve student service and satisfaction.”

“As more options for online and blended learning continue to increase competition in the market, universities must not only provide first-rate curriculum and cutting-edge technology, but must ensure outstanding student support to maintain and grow the institution,” said Drimmer. “I am proud to lead an organization that has made student support and success a top priority, and I look forward to continuing to work with AIU faculty and administration to continually enhance our academics and the overall student experience.”

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Fayette County Superintendent Selected for Who’s Who

Fayette County School Superintendent John DeCotis has been selected as a candidate for inclusion in the 2008-2009 Honors Edition of the Cambridge Who’s Who Registry.

Inclusion in the registry is for individuals who have demonstrated leadership and achievement in their industry or occupation.

DeCotis was selected for the honor based on his knowledge and experience in education, demonstrated commitment to excellence and career advancement and enhancement. He will join 250,000 executives, professionals and entrepreneurs throughout the nation who are already part of the Who’s Who Registry.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

UGA Alternative Media Access Center Wins Honors

The Alternative Media Access Center, an initiative of the University System of Georgia and housed at the University of Georgia, has received the White Cane Award from the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia.

The award was presented on Oct. 25 at the NFB of Georgia’s annual Black Tie/White Cane Appreciation Banquet. AMAC received the award in recognition of its support for Braille textbooks on the post-secondary level and for promoting the independence of blind citizens of Georgia as they strive to become contributing, productive members of their communities.

Tamara Rorie, compliance manager and Braille production manager at the AMAC, accepted the award and plaque on behalf of AMAC. It was presented by Mary Fernandez who is a student at Emory University and one who benefits from the use of AMAC system services.

“The University System of Georgia has become a national leader in ensuring students receive equal access to their textbooks,” said Christopher Lee, director of AMAC.

More than 7,000 students challenged by learning disabilities, visual impairments, mobility problems and other disabilities attend the University System of Georgia’s 35 colleges and universities.

The Alternative Media Access Center is the nation’s first production, service, training and research initiative to offer a central hub for alternative media for those with print-related disabilities.

The new center, part of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, is funded by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents and membership fees.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hospice Advantage Fayetteville Recieves "Office of the Year" Award

Note: The Fayette Front Page has had opportunities to meet and get to know many of the wonderful people in the Fayetteville office. They are outstanding, caring individuals and they impressed us deeply. Congratulations! - FFP Staff

Hospice Advantage, Inc., a leading provider of hospice services, recently announced that their Fayetteville, GA office was the recipient of their “Office of the Year" Award.

Annually, HOSPICE ADVANTAGE recognizes one of their 24 offices throughout the seven States they serve that exemplify their vision of excellence. The winning office is chosen based on several quality indicators.

The company reviews satisfaction surveys from their past patients, families and referral sources, as well as staff retention rates and growth within their market. Ultimately, the office of the year is chosen because of their success in providing superior care, comfort and compassion to the patients, families and healthcare professionals they serve.

Owner, Rod Hildebrant states, “The Fayetteville office has seen tremendous growth in their market because of the commitment of each and every team member. Their dedication to enhance quality of life is apparent in every interaction with this team from the office personnel that answer the phone, to the nurse that is caring for our patients.”

Led by Administrator, Rebecca Folkes, the Hospice Advantage Fayetteville office is located on Yorktown Drive and has served hundreds of patients in the Southern Metro Atlanta area since 2006. Dr. Ferrol Sams III, with Piedmont Physicians Group in Fayetteville is acting Medical Director. Associate Medical Directors include Dr. Charlotte Grayson, Dr. Aaron Buice and Dr. Mike Oxford.

Hospice Advantage, GA offices are located in Athens, Fayetteville, Kennesaw and Norcross with plans to open in Ellijay and Macon in 2009. Hospice Advantage also has offices in AL, KS, MI, MO and WI.Hospice Advantage invites anyone seeking information about hospice help in the Greater Metro Atlanta area to call them at 800-307-8178.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Georgia Tech's Butera Named 2008 Jefferson Science Fellow

The U.S. Department of State has selected Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Robert Butera as one of seven Jefferson Science Fellows for 2008–2009. Butera will work full-time on a project with the State Department or the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) for the next year in Washington, D.C. Since the program’s inception in 2003, Butera is Georgia Tech’s first professor chosen as a Fellow.

Built on the premise that science, technology and engineering programs (STE) are integral to the foundations of modern society, the fellowship was established to foster partnerships between tenured scientists and engineers from U.S. academic institutions and offices within the State Department and USAID.

During his initial two-week visit to Washington, Butera said he and other Fellows were provided 21 two- to three-page project descriptions. After visiting the various offices sponsoring the projects, the Fellows decided amongst themselves their project selections.

“The projects were diverse, ranging from bureaus who wanted a technical person to be involved in science outreach, partnerships and/or serve as a ‘science officer’ for an entire region, to functional bureaus that serve specific tasks, such as international ocean agreements and climate change treaties.” Butera elected to work within the Office of Chemical and Biological Weapons Threat Reduction in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, “which is the lead policy office within the U.S. government for foreign policy issues related to chemical and biological agents.”

A week of American Association for the Advancement of Science workshops helped to acclimate the Fellows to the interaction of various government offices from a science and policy perspective. “Another topic of emphasis was contrasting the thinking and decision-making priorities [between] scientists and engineers and policy-makers, and how to bridge that gap,” he said.

But Butera’s work will not just provide him with more experience working on treaties and negotiations regarding the destruction and non-proliferation of weapons. His two “dual-use” projects will aid both his research and the Institute. “I chose the office and the projects because they directly relate to ongoing programs that exist at Georgia Tech.”

“One [project] involves collaborating with foreign counterparts to develop educational tools and professional awareness strategies related to defining, recognizing and solving dual-use issues that may arise in the course of biological research,” Butera said. “A second project involves working with other federal agencies to develop strategies for dealing with the dual-use issues that may arise from the de novo synthesis of gene sequences.”

With his past experience as graduate program director, Butera had to deal with export control rules impacting student visas. “My experience this year is directly relevant to all of these areas,” Butera said. “While I am officially representing the State Department in my position for the next year, I hope that my time can both provide input to these processes from an academic perspective, as well as serve as a resource to the relevant offices when I return to Tech.”

He also refers to his dealing with the Institute’s Office of Research Compliance as a bioengineering researcher. “I hope that my participation and my specific activities regarding dual-use biological research can help improve our campus-wide research ethics training, as well as contribute to the ongoing activities of the Sam Nunn Security Program and the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy.”

Butera’s research is primarily in the fields of neuroengineering, physiological modeling and real-time instrumentation. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Tech in 1991, and received his master’s (1994) and doctorate (1996) from Rice University in Houston. He has been a member of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty since 1999 after conducting postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. He also is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and the associate editor of the Journal of Theoretical Biology.

Originally funded by the Carnegie Corp. of New York and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Jefferson Science Fellows has been funded by the State Department since 2008. The program is administered by the Fellowships Office of the National Academies.

Jefferson Science fellowships are awarded by panelists selected from the National Academies. Nominations are limited to scientists, technologists and engineers with tenured faculty appointments at U.S. colleges or universities.

Nominees and applicants were chosen based upon the abilities to articulate science and technology issues to the general public; to quickly understand and discuss work and advancements outside their discipline areas; to maintain an open mind regarding public policy discussions at the State Department or USAID; and their “stature, recognition and experience” in the scientific or engineering community both in the United States and abroad.

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