Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wagner Appointed to Presidential Commission

President Barack Obama has appointed Emory University President James W. Wagner as Vice Chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. In this position, Wagner and other members of the commission will advise the president on bioethical issues that may emerge from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology. The commission will work with the goal of identifying and promoting policies and practices that ensure scientific research, health care delivery, and technological innovation are conducted in an ethically responsible manner.

Wagner has championed the role of ethics in Emory’s mission by significantly enhancing the prominence of the university-wide Center for Ethics and including ethical engagement as a pillar of Emory’s strategic vision.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Fayette County School Employees Receive Psychology Advocacy Award

The Georgia Association of School Psychologists has recognized two Fayette County Public School employees for their efforts in encouraging the state to keep psychologists in public schools.

School Superintendent Dr. John DeCotis and Fayette County Alternative School principal Tim Carter were presented certificates of Excellence in Advocacy during a school system administrative meeting. Association president Deborah Crockett, who is also a school psychologist for the school system, surprised the two recipients with the awards.

“Last year when the state was considering removing school psychologists, I asked Dr. DeCotis and Mr. Carter to write letters of support emphasizing the value of school psychologists. Both of them did and we are still here thanks to their efforts,” says Crockett.

School psychologists are state and nationally certified professionals. They help students who are having learning, behavioral and emotional problems by conducting comprehensive psycho-educational assessments and interventions. They also serve the school system by consulting with teachers, parents and administrators, aiding them with information and recommendations; conduct research to help promote effective forms of learning, discipline and social interaction; and are liaisons and effective personnel in the event of a crisis, helping to alleviate the stressors and promote a healthy transition in the schools and community.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fayette County Excels For Exceptional Children

The Fayette County School System strives to ensure that all students receive the best education possible while arming them with the skills they will need to succeed in today’s competitive environment.

For the seventh year in a row since the award’s inception, the school system’s Exceptional Children’s program has been recognized for excellence in the education of students with disabilities by the Georgia Department of Education.

The Pacesetter Award, which was presented at the Georgia Council for Administrators of Special Education (GCASE), marks the school system as a leader in the state for outstanding efforts to improve the performance of students with disabilities. Fayette is the only school system in Georgia to have received the award seven consecutive years.

The award distinguishes excellence in six areas of achievement: decreasing the number of students who drop out, achieving a higher percentage of graduates with regular education diplomas, educating students in the least restrictive environment, transitioning students to their desired postsecondary outcomes, increasing the percentage of students who meet or exceed state achievement standards and reducing the gap in achievement between students with disabilities and their general education peers.

Director Chris Horton oversees Fayette’s Exceptional Children’s program.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Nation's Best Math and Science Students Earn Top High School Honors and Strive for $100,000 Scholarship

Kudos to those awesome students, Cassandra Buru and Jian Liu, of Northview High School, Johns Creek, GA, for making the finals!

/PRNewswire/ -- WHAT: Could tomorrow's Albert Einstein or Alexander Graham Bell currently be a student in high school? What did the next generation of innovators come up with this year? Find out when the regional finalists of the 2009 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology -- America's premier science research competition -- head to California Institute of Technology November 20 & 21. At stake is a $3,000 prize for one individual, $6,000 for one team, and an invitation to the National Finals in New York City for a shot at the $100,000 Grand Prize!

WHO: Fifteen whiz kids unveil graduate level research projects to a distinguished panel of university judges. Past Siemens Competition winners and Alumni have tackled some of the world's hardest and most pressing problems through math and science. Their feats include: invention of anti-bacterial coatings for medical devices, research of cures for drug-resistant Tuberculosis, exploring zebrafish spines for an inside look at bone growth, reinventing string theory, and developing a device to generate energy from ocean waves. What research will the Nation's brightest teen minds unveil this year?

The 2009 Siemens Competition regional finalists are:

Individual Finalists:
-- Alex Han, The Harker School, San Jose, CA
-- David Liu, Lynbrook High School, San Jose, CA
-- Tito Thomas, Troy High School, Fullerton, CA
-- Lynnelle Ye, Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto, CA
-- William Zhang, La Jolla High School, La Jolla, CA

Team Finalists:
-- Cassandra Buru and Jian Liu, Northview High School, Johns Creek, GA
-- William Han and Frank Zhao, Westview High School, Portland, OR
-- Ryan Lindeborg, Dana Hills High School, Dana Point, CA; and Andrew
James Swoboda, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and
Technology, Alexandria, VA
-- Samantha Piszkiewicz and Nicolai Doreng-Stearns, Laguna Beach High
School, Laguna Beach, CA
-- Katherine Wang and Sreetha Sidharthan, Interlake High School,
Bellevue, WA

WHERE: On the campus of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 20 - Dabney Lounge
9:45 am - 12:00pm: Students set up projects
5:00 pm - 6:15pm: Public viewing of projects
Saturday, Nov. 21 - Ramo Auditorium
9:00 am - 2:45 pm: Students present to judges

MORE: Want to be the first to find out who will head to the National Finals in New York?

Log into and follow Siemens Foundation on Twitter (http://twitter.com/SFoundation) on Saturday, November 21, 2009 between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm PST, when we announce the winners live!

The Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology is a signature program of the Siemens Foundation, which provides more than $7 million in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math in the United States. The Siemens Competition is administered by the College Board. More information can be found at www.siemens-foundation.org.

Winners of the regional events are invited to compete at the National Finals at New York University in New York City, December 3 - December 7, 2009. Visit www.siemens-foundation.org on December 7, 2009 at 9:30am EST to view a live webcast of the National Finalist Award Presentation.

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Siemens Semifinalist Named at Fayette County High

The Siemens Foundation has recognized a student at Fayette County High as being one of the brightest high school minds in the nation.

Sonika Reddy has been named a semifinalist in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. Her science project was among the 1,348 that were received for the 2009 competition and she was one of 318 students throughout the nation who were selected as semifinalists. Additionally, she is one of eight semifinalists from Georgia.

Sonika’s name recently appeared in a full-page, congratulatory advertisement in the October 29 edition of “USA Today.” Fayette County High has also received a banner to promote that they have a 2009-10 Siemens Competition Finalist at the school.

The Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology is the nation’s leading original research competition for high school students, awarding scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 in individual and team categories. The competition is administered annually by the College Board and is a signature program of the Siemens Foundation, the national leader in supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education with contributions surpassing $7 million each year.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Atlanta West Pentecostal Church Choir Named 'The Best Church Choir in America'

/PRNewswire/ -- Atlanta West Pentecostal Church Choir from Atlanta West Pentecostal Church won Verizon Wireless' How Sweet the Sound(TM) competition and has earned the title of "The Best Church Choir in America." During the grand finale, held on Nov. 7 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Atlanta West Pentecostal Church Choir walked away with not only the title, but a cash prize of $30,000.

The second annual How Sweet the Sound finale brought together the best church choirs from 11 cities across the nation. Gospel music celebrities, who added performances to the night's entertainment, judged and hosted the event. Returning for a second year, GRAMMY®-winning music legend Marvin Sapp helped judge the choirs along with GRAMMY Award-winning Gospel artist Dorinda Clark Cole and Gospel music legend Byron Cage. GRAMMY Award-winning songwriter, producer, arranger and music director Donald Lawrence served as emcee, and singer, songwriter, producer and actress Lisa Kimmey-Winans joined the How Sweet the Sound veterans as a co-host. The evening also featured special performances by the legendary Clark Sisters, Brother Hahz, Kurt Carr and special guest James Fortune. The Remnant Concert Choir from Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., was named runner-up and received a cash prize of $15,000.

"Now in its second year, How Sweet the Sound has been an opportunity to celebrate the unique ways music connects people within the community. We congratulate Atlanta West Pentecostal Church Choir and recognize the tremendous talent of all of the choirs that participated in this competition," said Sikita Grayson, director of customer service for Verizon Wireless. "We are delighted to be able to bring to the community such an uplifting event, and we have been inspired by the energy of the churches throughout the competition."

Atlanta West Pentecostal Church Choir plans to use the prize money to record a live CD in 2010. This will be their first recording. Brandon Frazier, music director for Atlanta West Pentecostal Church Choir said, "How Sweet the Sound does everything first class. It's been a once-in-a-lifetime experience participating and to win -- I'm still taking it in. It's an amazing feeling and has already opened so many doors for our choir."

Atlanta West Pentecostal Church Choir from Atlanta West Pentecostal Church additionally won the V CAST People's Choice Award and a $5,000 cash prize. During the grand finale, audience members were asked to text their votes for their favorite choir to help decide the Verizon Wireless V CAST People's Choice Award.

Verizon Wireless customers can download and watch video clips from the grand finale performances in the Music category on their V CAST-capable phones. For more information about the competition, visit www.howsweetthesound.com.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Clayton State Student Playwright's Work to be Featured at Fourth Annual New Play Read-A-Thon

Clayton State Theatre Director Phillip DePoy knows a good play when he reads one. So does the Process Theatre Company, which will be including Clayton State University Theatre major Kalani Fraser's one-act play, "Hydrangeas" in its Fourth Annual New Play Read-A-Thon.

The Read-A-Thon will be held on Sunday, Nov. 15 at Onstage Atlanta, 2597 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

While DePoy is understandably pleased at this honor for one of his students, he's not exactly surprised. Fraser, a resident of Fayetteville and a graduate of Fayette County High School, wrote "Hydrangeas" in DePoy's playwriting course.

"Kalani is one of our top three theatre majors, a great writer, and is currently working as our theatre company manager - a position of great responsibility -- and one of my favorite people," says DePoy. "This is a fantastic accomplishment for a young playwright and I'm very proud of her."

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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MAG Executive Receives AMA Achievement Award

David A. Cook, the executive director of the Medical Association of Georgia, received the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Medical Executive Meritorious Achievement Award during AMA’s Interim Meeting in Houston today. The award is given to a county, state or national medical specialty society executive who has provided exemplary and exceptional service that benefits and supports physicians in caring for their patients.

“Considering the deep and talented pool of candidates, this is a proud day for the Medical Association of Georgia,” says MAG President Gary C. Richter, M.D. “David Cook absolutely deserves this honor for what he’s done for patients and physicians in the state.”

Dr. Richter says Cook was instrumental in passing a comprehensive tort reform law in Georgia in 2005, which has resulted in a better practice environment for physicians in the state. Dr. Richter also says that Cook led the way in reforming the Certificate of Need (CON) system in Georgia to expand the definition of single specialty to general surgery in 2008, lowering physician costs and enhancing patient access to quality health care. Dr. Richter explains that MAG has employed an integrated legal advocacy program to effect change in the managed care arena under Cook’s leadership. And he says that Cook oversees a MAG program that has produced the equivalent of more than $30 million in third-party payer savings for physicians in Georgia in 2009.

“His work ethic and his dedication to the profession of medicine are unparalleled,” says MAG Immediate Past President M. Todd Williamson, M.D., who nominated Cook for the award. “The bottom line is that he has delivered exceptional value for physicians in Georgia.”

Joseph P. Bailey Jr., M.D., the chairman of MAG’s delegation to the AMA, believes that, “David Cook has an abiding interest in and dedication to medicine that is truly beyond what could ever be expected of a non-physician.”

Cook has been MAG’s executive director since 2001. With more than 6,000 members, MAG is the leading voice for physicians in Georgia. Go to www.mag.org for additional information.
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Clayton State Legal Studies Professor Wins Grand Award in Pearson-Prentice Hall Online Teaching Competition

Sheryne “Sherry” Richardson, assistant professor of Legal Studies in the Social Sciences Department of the College of Arts & Sciences at Clayton State University was recently recognized with a significant honor.

Richardson was named the Grand Award Winner of the Pearson-Prentice Hall Online Teaching Competition. The competition, hosted by the American Association of Paralegal Education, was held in Portland, Ore. The winning submission featured the instruction of agency law in a web-based environment. It included a two-part time-released discussion on posting, video introduction and conclusion, PowerPoint online streaming lectures, an instructional tutorial and animated characters of the professor and the parties to a case.

Richardson also notes that the services of the Clayton State Center for Instructional Development were instrumental in compiling the winning entry.

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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Starr's Mill Panther Pride Marching Band of Fayette County Racks Up Awards

The band programs in Fayette County's public schools are some of the best in the state, earning a host of local, regional and national awards.

The Starr’s Mill High Panther Pride Marching Band has had a very successful season this year, adding to the numerous honors that Fayette’s bands have received this year. The Panther Pride was named Grand Champions at the North Paulding Southern National Band Championship and earned High Score in Contest for the Visual Ensemble.

Locally, the band received the Greg Miller High Music Award at the Fayette County LaFayette Marching Invitational as well as second overall by four tenths of a point and Best in Class Band and Color Guard.

The marching band took more honors at the Lassiter High School Band Showcase winning Best in Class Music, advancing to the finals and receiving the highest music ensemble score in the competition.

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