Monday, September 27, 2010

Georgia Southern University Students Selected for Eagles in D.C. Congressional Internship

Georgia Southern University has selected two students to intern in Washington, D.C. during the fall 2010 semester, as part of the Eagles in D.C. Congressional Internship Program. Following a competitive application process, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management has selected Camille Daley from Kennesaw, Ga., and Joshua Combs from Dallas, Ga., to participate in the program.

“We are pleased that these two outstanding students have been selected to intern in our nation’s capital during the fall 2010 semester,” said Teresa Thompson, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management at Georgia Southern University. “The program provides students with a well-rounded educational opportunity to complement their traditional classroom learning while also allowing them to immerse themselves into a unique political, intellectual and cultural atmosphere. We are continuously expanding the Eagles in D.C. program and continue to explore new ways to showcase the quality of students that Georgia Southern University cultivates.”

Camille Daley, a junior history major from Kennesaw, Ga., will be interning in U.S. Congressman John Lewis’ office (http://johnlewis.house.gov). During the 2009-2010 academic year, Daley served as a Southern Ambassador, community leader at Centennial Place, vice president of administrative services for the National Residence Hall Honorary and was a consultant for the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement’s INSPIRE program. Daley has donated more than 350 hours of community involvement and service to the University.

Joshua Combs, a junior political science major from Dallas, Ga., was selected to intern with U.S. Congressman John Barrow’s office (http://barrow.house.gov) during the fall semester. During his two years at Georgia Southern, Combs has been active on campus and most recently volunteered his time as a judicial advocate for the Office of the Dean of Students. In addition to his campus activities, he is also a member of two honor societies.

While working in our nation's capital, Eagles in D.C. interns are also making progress towards earning a Georgia Southern University degree. Students are provided with housing and a cost of living stipend during their time in Washington, D.C., making it one of the University’s most popular internship programs. To be eligible to apply, students must have completed 48 hours in residence at Georgia Southern University by the start of the semester in which they wish to intern and also have a GPA of at least 3.0.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Amerigroup Foundation Honors Fulton County Women's Health Program's Karen Russell as a 'Healthy Hero'

/PRNewswire/ -- The Amerigroup Foundation today (September 23) announced that it is honoring Fulton County Women's Health Program Coordinator Karen Russell by designating her a "Healthy Hero."

Russell has spent the past 18 years helping others, especially women and children in need. For the past five years, she has worked with underinsured and uninsured women to provide information on health screenings and referrals for The Women's Health Program.

"Karen Russell demonstrates a commitment and a passion to improving the lives of women and children who simply need a little help," said John E. Littel, chairman of the Amerigroup Foundation. "She offers a tremendous example of the meaningful impact one person can make on a community. The Amerigroup Foundation is pleased to recognize and actively support her continuing efforts and achievements."

Russell has provided health care and social services for residents of Fulton County while working with special needs children for the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness. In the past, she has worked with Children 1st, Children's Medical Services and Babies Can't Wait to meet the needs of children and their families. She also has worked for six years as program manager with the Mental Health Program including CHOICES, a women's substance abuse inpatient residential facility.

Russell has been integral in health awareness campaigns, and she takes special interest in activities surrounding Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in January and Heart Month in February. She devotes time working on the National Women's Health Week Kick-Off Celebration in May and the Breast Cancer Awareness Month Celebration in October. With these events, Russell ensures that uninsured and underinsured female residents are invited and transported as her special guests.

"A lot of times, women who are underinsured or uninsured or are less privileged don't know about all the little tidbits out there that can help them take care of themselves," Russell said. "I want to make sure mammograms and self-exams are a regular occurrence, so I spend a good deal of my time getting the word out and educating them on the benefits."

When Russell is out in the community, she is a regular guest speaker at health fairs, churches, women's clubs and shelters.

To honor Russell's service, the Foundation presented a $1,000 contribution to The Breast Health Connections of Georgia at a ceremony Thursday morning at the Fulton County Health and Wellness Board of Health meeting. Breast cancer is the leading cancer among women in Georgia and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women. The Women's Health Program provides eligible women with Pap tests, breast exams, women's health education and mammogram referrals.

The Amerigroup Foundation periodically honors "Healthy Heroes" who have made a difference in the communities served by its corporate underwriter, Amerigroup Corporation, which administers publicly funded health care programs such as Medicaid and Medicare for state and federal governments. Amerigroup Community Care of Georgia offers health care services to 259,000 people enrolled in Medicaid in Georgia.

"I'm just so humbled by this experience," Russell said. "I just do what I do because I am so passionate about women's health care issues and about getting the word out to women in need."

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Amerigroup Foundation Honors Georgia State Sen. Lester Jackson as a 'Champion for Children'

/PRNewswire/ -- The Amerigroup Foundation today presented Georgia State Sen. Lester Jackson with its "Champion for Children" award for his tireless work and devotion to children's issues, both personally and legislatively.

The "Champion for Children" award is part of a national program by the Amerigroup Foundation to recognize outstanding public advocacy efforts by government and community leaders to improve the health and well-being of children across the country.

Sen. Jackson donated the $2,000 award to the Greenbriar Children's Center and the May Street YMCA of Savannah. Both organizations are devoted to the care of children, especially those going through difficult times.

"We are pleased to recognize Sen. Jackson for his positive impact on the youth in our community," said John E. Littel, chairman of the Amerigroup Foundation. "He shares our goal of building strong, healthy communities, while putting our children first."

Gena Taylor, executive director at the Greenbriar Children's Center, said Sen. Jackson has been instrumental in building and enhancing programs for children in the community.

"Sen. Jackson's donation to our center falls in line with his character," said Taylor. "His advocacy for children goes unmatched."

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Team Nutrena's Becky Holder Wins First Place in USEA American Eventing Championship

/PRNewswire/ -- Nutrena® brand horse feed congratulates Becky Holder and her horse, Courageous Comet, on winning the 2010 United States Equine Association (USEA) National Championship.

Holder and Courageous Comet finished the event with a score of 45.5 and also took home the title of Gold Cup Champion in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series. This is the second year the Nutrena® brand has sponsored Holder, and nutritionists worked closely with her to refine her feeding program.

"We are extremely proud of Becky and Courageous Comet," said Dan Limbaugh, Nutrena® brand consultant who works with Holder. "It was a tremendous event, and we're looking forward to continuing to work together to ensure Courageous Comet performs his best."

Fans can cheer on Holder at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky., Sept. 25-Oct. 10, as she and Courageous Comet have been named to the United States eventing squad. Throughout the Games, the Nutrena® brand will bring all the action to fans with daily updates on its blog, The Feed Room, at www.horsefeedblog.com.

A competitor in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Holder is originally from Mendota Heights, Minn. She now lives in Chattahoochee Hills, Ga. where she feeds Courageous Comet and her other horses Nutrena® SafeChoice®, a controlled-starch formula, and Nutrena® Life Design® Compete for peak performance.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Couple Finishes All Three State Park Challenges

Nat and Delene Broeckling of Bryan County are the first Georgians to complete all three recreation challenges sponsored by Georgia’s state park system. The couple earned bragging-rights t-shirts and the pride of knowing they completed the Canyon Climbers, Muddy Spokes and Park Paddlers clubs.

The Canyon Climbers Club entices hikers to complete trails at Amicalola Falls, Cloudland Canyon, Tallulah Gorge and Providence Canyon state parks, while the Muddy Spokes Club sends mountain bikers out to tackle 11 state parks. The Park Paddlers Club encourages canoers and kayakers to explore six of Georgia’s lakes and rivers, including George L. Smith State Park near Statesboro and Crooked River State Park in St. Marys.

Nat is a project engineer for Rayonier Performance Fibers in Jesup, and Delene owns Curves Fitness Center in Richmond Hill. Their daughter attends the University of Georgia. The couple moved from Whitehall, Arkansas in 2007 and decided that exploring state parks would be a good way to get acquainted with their new home.

“We have literally seen the landscapes and nature of Georgia from the ground up,” said Nat. “We have crossed the state hiking, biking and paddling, enjoyed breathtaking sights, and gained knowledge about the history of the state. Our experiences and memories will last a lifetime.”

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ State Parks Division created the Canyon Climbers, Muddy Spokes and Park Paddlers clubs to encourage people to exercise in the great outdoors. Many would agree that climbing a 1,000-foot canyon or biking a 12-mile trail is more adventurous and challenging than spending 30 minutes on a step machine.

“I think the park clubs are a great way to challenge residents to ‘Get out. Get dirty. Get fit’,” said Nat, in reference to the agency’s activity-inducing slogan.

Among their favorite paddles were Stephen C. Foster State Park in the Okefenokee Swamp and George L. Smith State Park near Statesboro.

“It was neat to paddle through the cypress trees at George L. Smith,” said Nat. “There’s a marked trail out in the lake, and you were in the middle of everything.”

To learn more about outdoor recreation at Georgia’s 48 state parks, call 770-389-7401 or visit www.GeorgiaStateParks.org. The website offers maps, photos and telephone numbers of each state park, as well as the recreation clubs.


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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Georgia Dog Owner Wins Dream Dog Park Contest

/PRNewswire/ -- For Atlanta-area resident Pat McNeely and his dog Koda, doggie dreams really can come true. Today, McNeely and his four-legged best friend were crowned Grand Prize Winner of the Beneful® WagWorld® Dream Dog Park Contest.

To celebrate the special relationships we have with our dogs, the first-of-its-kind contest invited dog owners across America to answer the question: If you had $500,000 to create the ultimate dream dog park for you and your best buddy, what would you do? In addition to submitting a video that showed the many creative ways they would create their dream dog park, contest entrants were asked to write a short essay explaining how the makeover of a neighborhood dog park would enhance their daily adventures with their dog.

McNeely's winning entry will help serve as inspiration for a $500,000 renovation of the Newtown Dog Park in Johns Creek, Ga. In addition, McNeely won $5,000 cash and a year's supply of Beneful® brand dog food. The Beneful WagWorld Dream Team, led by dog lover, design expert and television host Jason Cameron, will manage the transformation of the dog park to create a dream dog park for the entire Johns Creek community to enjoy. Also on the team is pet expert and bestselling author Arden Moore, who will help manage the renovation from the dog's point of view. Plans will be reviewed and approved by the City.

"We were amazed by the creativity and quality of the entries we received in this contest - dog owners really know how to dream big," said Cameron. "While we received many outstanding entries, Pat McNeely's entry rose to the top and I am excited to manage the transformation of his neighborhood dog park into the WagWorld Dream Dog Park for his entire community to enjoy."

At a hometown celebration event today in Johns Creek, Ga., Cameron unveiled a preliminary blueprint design for the dog park renovation in front of a local gathering that included: McNeely and Koda; Johns Creek city officials; Mayor Mike Bodker; and members of the local dog community. A climbing structure, plastic tunnels, a doggie splash pad, lots of grass and shade trees, and running trails are some of the exciting features that will be included in the Newtown Dog Park makeover.

The contest entries were narrowed down to 10 finalists by an independent judging panel based on the following criteria: creativity of the dream idea (60%); feasibility of bringing the idea to life (20%); and demonstration of how life is better together with your dog (20%). Cameron and Moore then judged the 10 finalists using the same criteria, with their judging accounting for 90% of the final total score. In addition, the public was invited to vote for their favorites among the 10 finalists with the voting rank accounting for the remaining 10% of the final score. The nine runners' up each received a year's supply of Beneful® brand dog food.

"The Beneful brand recognizes that life is better when we are with our best buddies and we are delighted that so many dog owners across the country wanted to share their dreams for the ultimate dog park," said Joe Chatman, Beneful brand manager. "Going to the dog park is a fun adventure for many dog owners and their four-legged friends, and for one lucky community this adventure just got even better."

The much-anticipated unveiling of the renovated Newtown Dog Park will take place in Spring 2011. For more information on the contest and winning entry, please visit benefuldreamdogpark.com.

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Habitat for Humanity to Honor Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter for 27 Years of Service at Oct. 4 Gala

/PRNewswire/ -- In observance of World Habitat Day, Habitat for Humanity International will honor former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter at Habitat for Humanity's "Thanks a Million! A salute to the life and service of our most famous volunteers -- Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter" Gala in Washington, D.C., at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium -- Monday, Oct. 4, 2010.

The evening will include a memorable celebration of the Carters' 27 years of service to Habitat and of their lifetime commitment to strengthening democracy and alleviating poverty. Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Frank Blake of The Home Depot, Andrew N. Liveris of Dow, and Larry Stone of Lowe's Corporation are gala co-chairs. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan will serve as the guest speaker.

The gala will kick-off Habitat for Humanity's 27th annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, where the Carters will lead 1,000 volunteers in a week of helping to build, renovate and repair 86 homes in six U.S. cities -- Washington, D.C.; Baltimore and Annapolis, Md.; Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.; and Birmingham, Ala. -- and actively demonstrate the pressing need for stable communities.

"It has been an honor for Rosalynn and me to work alongside so many dedicated Habitat volunteers and partner families over the years," said President Carter. "By joining together, we can build better communities and change lives around the world -- including our own."

President and Mrs. Carter became involved with Habitat for Humanity in 1984 when they led volunteers in New York City to help renovate a six-story building with 19 families in need of decent, affordable shelter. That experience planted the seed for Habitat's Carter Work Project, which has been an internationally-recognized event ever since.

"As tireless champions for social justice, the Carters have set an example of public service that we should all aspire to," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "We're grateful for their volunteerism and servant leadership, which has brought hope and stability to families worldwide."

The gala to honor the Carters will include a program and featured entertainment.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

University President Elected as a New Geological Society of America Fellow

/PRNewswire/ -- The Council of the Geological Society of America (GSA) has elected Southern Polytechnic State University President Dr. Lisa A. Rossbacher a new GSA Fellow.

The GSA is one of the largest and most prestigious organizations for professionals in geology and its recognition of Dr. Rossbacher's contribution to the discipline is a high honor. She will be recognized at the 2010 GSA Annual Meeting on October 30, 2010 in Denver.

GSA's mission is to be a leader in advancing the geosciences, enhancing the professional growth of its members, and promoting the geosciences in the service to humankind and stewardship of the Earth.

When Dr. Rossbacher was inaugurated as president of Southern Polytechnic State University in 1998, she was the first woman geologist to become a university president in North America.

She received a bachelor of science degree in geology from Dickinson College as well as a master of arts degree in geological sciences from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She also earned both a M.A. and Ph.D. in geological and geophysical science from Princeton University. Prior to moving to Cobb County, she held the position of Dean of the Faculty at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn.

She is the author of four books: Career Opportunities in Geology and the Earth Sciences; Recent Revolutions in Geology; Geomedia: A Guide for Geoscientists who meet the Press (with Rex Buchanan); Physical Geology: the Lab Manual (with geology faculty members at Princeton University and Whittier College).

Dr. Rossbacher was born and raised in Virginia. She is married to Dr. Dallas D. Rhodes, head of the Department of Geology and Geography at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga.

At Southern Polytechnic State University, students study the sciences and technologies in a unique, practical manner, as they pursue an education that is career-based and well balanced. SPSU is a residential, co-educational member of the University System of Georgia with approximately 5,200 students who study on the 198 acres of naturally wooded landscape in the historic and vibrant city of Marietta (just 20 minutes from downtown Atlanta). SPSU, through a fusion of technology with the liberal arts and sciences, creates a learning community that encourages thoughtful inquiry, diverse perspectives and strong preparation of our graduates to be leaders in an increasingly technological world.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Zoo Atlanta Awarded Grant from the Institute Of Museum and Library Services

Zoo Atlanta has received a prestigious grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to lead a multi-institutional effort to examine heart disease in great apes. The $92,000 grant represents an historic show of support for an area of ape health care that has until now been poorly understood by veterinarians.

Identified as a leading cause of death in great apes living in zoological settings, cardiovascular disease (CVD) requires advanced understanding of diagnosing, treating and monitoring affected individuals, as well as adapting techniques already in use for treatment of heart disease in humans and domestic animals. Under the leadership of Hayley Murphy, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services, the Zoo Atlanta Veterinary Team will use the one-year grant to design an innovative national program for investigating ape CVD and establishing state-of-the-art diagnostics, treatment and prevention. Additional partners are The University of Georgia (including Rita McManamon, DVM, one of the project’s principal investigators and former head veterinarian at Zoo Atlanta); Cleveland Metroparks Zoo; and more than 15 other zoos, universities and scientists.

“We are pleased and proud that IMLS saw the merit in a project that will have a positive impact on great apes in zoological collections throughout the world,” said Raymond King, President and CEO. “This is an important step forward that will allow experts from around the country to share knowledge and build on their individual strengths.”

Zoo Atlanta is a likely candidate for leadership in a great ape heart health initiative. The organization houses the nation’s largest collection of western lowland gorillas, with 23 individuals, as well as the largest zoological collection of orangutans in the U.S., currently with 11 individuals. Four of the Zoo’s great apes are over the age of 45.

“National Leadership Collaborative Planning Grants provide opportunities to conduct research and develop the framework to support future projects that have the potential to generate new tools, research, models, services, practices, or alliances that will positively impact museums, libraries, and the communities they serve. These projects encourage partnerships that address national issues of importance impacting education, scholarship, and public service and encourage the broad application of standards and models to improve professional practice,” said IMLS Acting Director Marsha L. Semmel.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, visit www.imls.gov.



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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter Wins State Tourism Award

Governor Sonny Perdue recognized the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter as the 2010 Tourism Champion Partner Agency. As Executive Director Ransom Moore accepted the award, it was noted that the Fairgrounds, in Perry, has attracted more than 15 million visitors since 1990 with an economic impact of more than $1 billion.

"We are extremely proud of this award," said James E. Sutherland, Chairman of the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority. "For 20 years, the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter has attracted Georgia's young agricultural exhibitors, horse and livestock show people, Fairgoers, and year-round building renters."

The Fairgrounds works with the Georgia Department of Economic Development's Tourism Division to encourage and enhance the tourism experience in Georgia.

"As part of our mission, the Fairgrounds attracts diverse events and activities which are entertaining, cultural, and educational in nature and also generate economic revenue for our state," Sutherland added.

Award recipients were nominated by the Georgia tourism industry. The Tourism Champion Award acknowledges the support and guidance given to the state's tourism industry by individuals and organizations who develop tourism opportunities across the state. Georgia's tourism industry ranks 8th in the nation and 2nd in the Southeast.

The Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter also is the proud recipient of the following:

Georgia National Fair
· 82 International Association of Fairs and Expositions awards for agricultural, competitive exhibits, and communications programs.
· 13 Southeast Tourism Society "Top 20" Event designations.
· 6 "Top 50 Fair" listings (Amusement Business and www.carnivalwarehouse.com).
· 1 "Special Events Directory and Events Business News Top 200 Event" award.
· 1 Southern Living's "Our Best 202 Things About the South First-Prize Fair."