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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