Letters & Sciences College of Letters and Sciences Highlights Vol. 12 - Fall/Winter 2018-2019
New addition to LeNoir Hall unveiled and named for Saunders Family (page page 8) 8)
Successful Graduates Prove Impact of Premed Program (page 4)
Also In this Issue
Students Research Columbus’ Historic Carver Heights Neighborhood (page 7)
CSU Professor Explores Use of Algae to Treat Wastewater (page 12)
Alumni Award Recipient – 2 | New Scholarships – 3 | Student Spotlights – 4
Faculty Farewells – 5 | Community Partnerships – 6 | Faculty Spotlights – 11 | NSF Grant Received – back cover
Dean’s Welcome Our cover story is about the grand opening of the new addition to LeNoir Hall that will be known as the Saunders Center for Laboratory Sciences. Many thanks to our state legislators for their continued support of CSU initiatives. In addition to the support of our legislators, this project could Dr. Dennis Rome, not have happened COLS Dean. without the generosity of our private donors (see listing on page 10). A special thank you to the family of Gerald B. and Charlotte A. Saunders and our College Leadership Council member Kay Saunders for their generous donation to name the new addition. The new addition and the renovation of LeNoir Hall create a spirit of discovery. Higher education as we know it is ever evolving; specifically, there is a great need to meet the rapidly growing demands of science and technological careers in the global marketplace. Hence, this new facility will equip our students with the skills needed to meet these demands, and more importantly, to meet the demands of the most sought-after jobs in the region. In addition, the new center and its equipment will support students by: • Preparing them for upcoming technological innovations • Enhancing their problem-solving skills • Increasing their understanding of scientific concepts • Engaging them in real-world applications • Instilling creativity and innovation • Teaching teamwork, collaboration, and communication • Fostering a love of learning Innovative features of the Saunders Center include: integrated prep rooms to enable the set-up of labs without having to move equipment between the prep room and the classroom; ceiling-mounted hoods (vents to pull fumes from dissection specimens) for each table to greatly improve students’ experiences during dissections; movable tables to provide versatile lab setups; and designated storage for students’ personal items for security and safety. These and other improvements will contribute significantly to the success of our students. Thank you to our alumni and friends for all of your contributions and support. 2
Alumni News Alumnus Award Recognition This year, the CSU Alumni Association presented Mr. Thomas McKenna (B.A. Political Science ’88) with the Excellence in Alumni Achievement Award, which honors prominent alumni with records of exceptional career or personal achievement. The award was presented at the annual Alumni Awards Recognition Luncheon during homecoming. Mr. McKenna earned a Juris Doctor from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He joined Aflac’s Legal department in 1993. Since then, he has assumed progressively responsible management positions, including Deputy General Counsel in 2006 and his most recent role as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel in January 2012. In this position, he manages and directs the operations of the Aflac U.S. Legal division. In addition, he coordinates legal functions with Compliance and Governmental Relations, Internal Operations, Marketing, Claims and IT; maintains programs designed to reduce or eliminate legal risks for company operations; and provides legal counsel to management on a broad range of topics.
Tom McKenna (B.A. Political Science ’88), recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Alumni Achievement Award, stands with Alumni Association board member, David Hay (B.S. Business ’73), Alumni Association President, Ben Thames (B.B.A. Business ’97), and CSU President Chris Markwood.
Letters & Sciences Today Writer – Barbara Hunt (Hunt_Barbara@ColumbusState.edu) Editor & Circulation Coordinator – Jill Carroll (Carroll_Jill@ColumbusState.edu) Design & Layout – Shelby Kellin
Letters & Sciences Today
New Scholarships and Endowed Funds McCullers Center Benefits from New Endowment In December 2018, Dr. Thornton and Mrs. Sue Jordan made a generous contribution to establish an endowment to support the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, an outreach center of the College of Letters and Sciences. The Carson McCullers Center Endowment Fund will support programs, projects, and initiatives that will support the advancement of the McCullers Center, including the properties in Nyack, New York (McCullers’ adult home) and on Stark Avenue in Columbus, Georgia (McCullers’ childhood home). The McCullers Center is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Carson McCullers; to nurturing writers and musicians and educating young people; and to fostering literary, musical, artistic, and intellectual culture in the United States and abroad. Dr. Jordan taught English at CSU for a number of years and was especially interested in the life and works of Carson McCullers. He retired from CSU in 1994. He bought Dr. Thornton and Mrs. Sue Jordan McCullers’ childhood home when it came up for sale in 1997 and was a central figure recently established a new endowment to support the McCullers Center. in its transfer to the CSU Foundation and the establishment of the McCullers Center.
Georgia Power Foundation Endowed Scholarship A generous gift from the Georgia Power Foundation established the Georgia Power Foundation Endowed Scholarship in July 2018 to support eligible students in the College of Letters and Sciences and the Turner College of Business. This needs-based scholarship specifically targets undergraduate students majoring in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field or a program within the Turner College of Business, with preference for those students who have matriculated from Columbus Technical College. The first scholarship will be awarded in fall 2019.
Geotechnical & Environmental Consultants Scholarship Geotechnical & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (GEC), a Maconbased company with branches in Columbus and LaGrange that specializes in environmental and geotechnical consulting, has supported science events hosted by CSU for many years. The company is now providing an annually-funded scholarship to undergraduate STEM majors with financial need, with preference given to students in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences. The inaugural GEC Scholar is Jesse Hunt, a dual major in chemistry and biology who is very active on campus and aspires to become a physician.
The inaugural GEC Scholar, Jesse Hunt, recently met GEC Columbus branch manager, Jason Cooper, to thank him for her scholarship award.
The Virmani Family Endowed Scholarship
Neelam and Prem Virmani have made a generous contribution to establish the Virmani Family Endowed Scholarship for students in the College of Letters and Sciences.
Letters & Sciences Today
Prem (M.B.A. ‘82) and Neelam Virmani established the Virmani Family Endowed Scholarship for COLS majors in October 2018. This scholarship will support full-time undergraduate or graduate students with financial need. The Virmanis have been long-time supporters of the chemistry and premedical studies programs in the College of Letters and Sciences. Prem currently serves on CSU’s Foundation Board of Trustees and has taught an upper division beverage chemistry class at CSU. He served as the Senior VP Science and Research at Cott Beverages in Columbus, GA. Neelam was a software application developer at Aflac for more than 30 years prior to her retirement in 2017. 3
Student Spotlights All Competitive Premed Program Graduates Accepted to Med School Columbus State University’s first full cohort of graduates from the Competitive Premedical Studies Program are in medical school this fall. The program’s founder, Dr. Katey Hughes, announced earlier this year that all six graduates who applied to medical school were accepted. Another five graduates are preparing their applications for entry next year. “If you talk to students from all over the country, you would see students who are academically qualified to get into medical school, but along the way, life happened to them,” said Hughes. “I thought that there needed to be a better way to provide opportunities to our students that they wouldn’t get at any other university.” Recognizing a nationwide need for more support of premed students, Hughes created the unique CSU program in 2013 with support from CSU’s College of Letters and Sciences. A clinical volunteering program, fiveweek shadowing experience with local physicians, “physician coffee talks,” mentorships between upperclassmen and freshmen, MCAT preparation materials, scholarships, and field trips to nearby medical schools are among the many benefits students in the program receive to prepare them for their next step towards becoming a doctor.
Dr. Katey Hughes (center) points out features of the human brain to premed students Jared Bies and Jocelyn Cañedo.
The Saber Wins National Award Columbus State University’s collegiate student newspaper, The Saber, recently received its first Associated College Press Pacemaker Award. Known as the “college Pulitzer,” the Pacemaker is among the most prestigious student media awards in the country. Out of 37 newspapers that were nominated for the honor nationwide, The Saber was one of only 11 to receive the award, which judges university newspapers on excellence in specific areas such as coverage, writing, editing, design, and photography.
Saber staff at the Associated Collegiate Press awards event (from left to right): Kiley Anderson, Damaris Chavira, Luka Steele, Raylyn Ray, Cole Trahan, and Vivian Duncan.
Two CSU Students Receive Prestigious Internships Imagine working as an intern in the Georgia state legislature for a semester, receiving college credit for your efforts, and getting paid! Victoria McCullor and Dylan Fessler will be doing just that when their internships begin in January 2019. These CSU students were selected for two of the 35 internship slots that required letters of recommendation and an intensive interview at the State Capitol. McCullor, an Honors student, hopes to pursue a law degree. Fessler is an eight-year veteran of the Army and served in three combat tours. After a second placement interview, interns are assigned to offices in either the Georgia House of Representatives or the Georgia State Senate. According to the website of the Georgia Legislative Internship Program, “Each intern will serve a unique purpose…and have a multitude of different tasks to perform each day that may include legislative tracking, constituent services, media assistance, attendance at committee meetings, writing bill summaries” and more. While at the State Capitol, “interns will gain knowledge of how state government works, how the legislative process works, along with making lifelong career contacts and friendships.” This internship program is open to all majors; students must be either juniors or seniors. 4
CSU’s recipients of a Georgia Legislative Internship: Victoria McCullor is a senior from Savannah majoring in criminal justice; Dylan Fessler, a military veteran, is a junior studying sociology.
Letters & Sciences Today
Faculty Retirements & Obituaries Sad News – The Passing of Dr. Michael Bailey
Dr. Mike Bailey, former chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology.
Dr. Michael Preston Bailey, retired chair and professor of criminal justice, died Dec. 22, 2018, from an aggressive form of lymphoma. He proudly served in the United Sates Navy during the Vietnam War. Dr. Bailey worked for 28 years as a firearms instructor and as a Deputy Sheriff of the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office. He came to CSU in 2004, where he served as Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology from 2011- 2018. He retired in May 2018. Dr. Bailey earned three of his four degrees from Columbus State: his AAS in Criminal Justice in 1993, his BS in Criminal Justice in 1994, and his Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Justice Administration in 1996. He completed his Doctor of Public Administration from the University of Alabama in 2005. Over the years, Dr. Bailey served the university well by becoming Quality Matters certified, by developing new online courses for the major, and by teaching a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate level (including Cybercrime, Crime Scene Reconstruction, and Police Community Relations) for both CSU and the West Georgia Police Academy. Twice he was nominated for Educator of the Year (2006, 2009). Dr. Bailey is survived by his wife Lucy, his two children (Christopher and Adrianne), and four grandchildren. He will be fondly remembered as trustworthy, fair, compassionate, easy going and kind.
Dr. Nancy Moore – Retired After 49 Years of Teaching Assistant Professor of English Dr. Nancy Moore, who retired at the end of summer term 2018, began teaching for CSU part time in 1983 and full time in 1999. In addition to teaching a variety of core courses, she also taught her specialty areas of Tennessee Williams and Southern Literature. She describes herself as a “reluctant runner, an avid reader, and a forever learner.” A beloved teacher, Dr. Moore was a finalist multiple times for CSU’s Educator of the Year award. The time spent teaching at the university was only a fraction of her total teaching career of almost 49 years. She was inspired to become a teacher because of a speech therapist, Mrs. Mitchell, who helped her overcome stuttering, nervousness, and shyness. Following graduation from then-Columbus College in 1970 (in the first graduation class!), Dr. Moore taught at Baker High School while she completed her master’s degree in education at CSU and became a Teacher of the Year nominee four times of the seven years she taught at Baker. Between giving birth to three children (two girls and a boy), Dr. Moore went on to be one of the first female Infantry School instructors, teaching 250 college graduate officer cadets at a time. After winning “Instructor of the Year” from the Infantry School, she left that civil service position because she won a school board election in Harris County. From that position, she joined the Corporate Training Program at Total System Services (now TSYS). Dr. Moore was eventually promoted to Director of Corporate Training Design at Synovus, Dr. Nancy Moore, retired Assistant Professor of English. the parent company of TSYS at the time. Although she loved the work and the people there, she still longed to teach writing and literature, so she applied to the doctoral program in English at Georgia State University and was accepted. While finishing her Ph.D., Dr. Moore also began teaching full-time at CSU. She completed her Ph.D. at Georgia State University in 2003. Her dissertation director at GSU, Dr. Virginia Carr, had previously taught at CSU when Nancy was an undergraduate and had gained fame as the author of The Lonely Hunter, a biography of Carson McCullers. Failing eyesight caused Dr. Moore to retire earlier than she had planned, but she still edits for several local companies, writes short stories in the voice of a 78-year-old man named Will, and looks forward to teaching one or two occasional classes at CSU. What does she miss most about CSU? Being with students. What does she miss the least? Grading four sets of weekly essays! As a cancer survivor, Dr. Moore has decided to devote her free time to providing transportation to cancer patients who need assistance getting to doctors and treatment centers, and to sitting with people who have cancer and would like company. (Continued on page 13 Letters & Sciences Today
Community Partnerships Biology Students Work on Collaborative Projects with Community Partners Biology students are working with community partners on two collaborative projects. One project involves working with Georgia Power to control the invasive aquatic plant Hydrilla that chokes waterways. The second involves working with White Water Express and Nearly Native Nursery to conduct research on the Shoals Spider Lily. Hydrilla is the most extensive invasive water plant in the US. Millions of dollars are spent annually to slow the spread into unaffected waterways. Originally a plant used in aquariums, it was accidentally released in Florida waterways in the 1950s. Hydrilla now ranges from Florida to Canada along the east coast, Texas, and California. Chemical treatments are usually used to slow the spread, but those can have adverse effects on fish and other aquatic life. Drs. Clifton Ruehl and Julie Ballenger are working with Warren Wagner, Senior Land Management Specialist from Georgia Power, to study the infestation of Hydrilla in lakes Oliver and Harding. From this partnership four Biology senior research projects have developed. 1. Remmington (Remi) Hill is determining the effect of chemical treatment on Hydrilla tuber (seed) production. Since May 2018, she has collected tubers from the lake substrate at sites that have been chemically treated and sites that have not been treated. She collects tubers from 4 sites on Lake Oliver and 5 sites on Lake Harding. Tubers are collected, dried and weighed to assess mass at each site.
Remmington Hill (kneeling) and Patrick
2. From the tubers collected by Hill, Sterling Pitts has set up a mini mescosm study to Guthrie collecting tubers. assess the effects of water draw down and germination of the tubers. (A mescosm is an outdoor experimental system designed to examine the natural environment under controlled conditions.) Late fall/ early winter draw-downs may stimulate early germination of the tubers and cause subsequent die back of the plants due to winter exposure. This study might provide a non-chemical means for controlling the spread of Hydrilla. 3. James Kilgore is assessing nutrient storage in the treated and untreated tubers using a Scanning Electron Microscope. Chemical treatments may be most effective when the tubers have expended most of their energy growing thick mats that clog lakes and rivers. Kilgore is looking for evidence of that by analyzing nutrients like nitrogen, carbon, and potassium stored in the tubers each month; his findings will better guide Georgia Power in timing chemical treatments when needed. 4. Kristen Blount is looking at the treated and untreated tubers histologically to determine if there are changes at the cellular level in the tubers from month to month as well as from the different chemical treatments. This Hydrilla project has been funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service Aquatic Nuisance Species Grant program. For the second project – conducting research on the Shoals Spider Lily – Ashley Desensi, an M.S. student in the Natural Sciences Biology program, is studying genetic variations of the plants and, with the aid of others, trying to reintroduce this native species to the Chattahoochee River. Desensi’s thesis research is assessing morphological and genetic variation in Shoals Spider Lilies in West Central Georgia. She is collecting floral morphological information and leaf material for genetic analyses from nearby native populations. This information will provide an assessment of variations in the native populations. In addition, she will collect genetic information on a population of Shoals Spider Lilies that are being introduced into the Chattahoochee in the exposed rocky outcrops from below the Oliver Dam to the Synovus building in uptown Columbus. This effort to reintroduce the lilies began six years ago after the removal of the dams and establishment of the Close-up of Shoals Spider Lilies.
(Continued on page 7) Letters & Sciences Today
(Continued from page 6) White Water rafting course. Owners Jim and Debi Rodgers from Nearly Native Nursery partnered with Dan Gilbert, owner of White Water Express, to begin the process to reintroduce these plants into the Chattahoochee. Desensi and Dr. Ballenger, along with several volunteers, have spent several Sundays from May to September for the past three summers with guides from White Water Express moving slowly down the river and stopping on the rocky shoals to plant Shoals Lily seedlings. The vision of Nearly Native, White Water Express, and the Biology Department is that 10-15 years from now the city of Columbus will be able to enjoy these plants each spring when they display their showy and fragrant flowers.
Geography Students Publish Article about Carver Heights Recently, students of Dr. Amanda Rees studied the cultural history of Carver Heights, a Columbus neighborhood developed after World War II primarily to house African American soldiers who had VA loans to buy new houses. Dr. Rees’ students in Urban Geography GEOG 5105 (Fall 2018) and a previous cultural geography class uncovered a lot of local history in their investigation. Here is a synopsis of some of what they learned. • Because those VA loans specified that returning soldiers could only use loan money to buy new homes, not previously owned ones, an African American business leader, E. E. Farley, purchased 207 lots to develop the first African American suburb in Columbus. At the time Columbus was segregated and African Americans were subject to Jim Crow laws. There were virtually no new houses available for African Americans to buy. • Carver Heights extended from approximately Buena Vista Road on the south, Lawyers Lane on the west, and Lindsey Creek on the east. The northern boundary varied. • Five of the contiguous lots became a commercial center that included the Carver Heights Motel, a V-shaped, 12-room facility that allowed African American travelers and entertainers a place to rest in the segregated south. The Carver Heights Motel was advertised in the 1950s in The Negro Motorist Green-Book, a travel guide of hotel and restaurants for African Americans. • The motel’s commercial district also included a gas station, a grocery store, and a restaurant. • Most of the homes developed on the remaining lots were either 2-bedroom “small houses” or American Ranch homes. In addition, Farley built a few duplexes and one apartment complex. • Farley galvanized other local African American leaders to fund a new African American USO and to initiate the now-famous Tuskegee/Morehouse football game. • Carver Heights was the first of eight African American subdivisions within Columbus and symbolized the advancement of African Americans after WWII. In time, it became home not only to soldiers but to those from other walks of life, including teachers, ministers, mill and factory workers, small business owners, and hired help.
Picture courtesy of Creative Commons; copy scanned by New York Public library.
Under Dr. Rees’ watchful eye, students have documented and shared their findings in an article (pp. 4-5) in the November 2018 issue of Reflections, a publication of the Georgia African American Historic Preservation Network, available online at https://georgiashpo.org/reflections. Dr. Rees is Coordinator of the Columbus Community Geography Center and Professor of Geography in CSU’s Department of History and Geography.
Letters & Sciences Today
Cover Story Grand Opening and Naming of Spectacular LeNoir Hall Addition Columbus State University proudly unveiled the newly renovated and expanded LeNoir Hall at an official ribbon cutting ceremony in November 2018. About 100 students, faculty, staff, elected officials, donors, and friends gathered to celebrate the conclusion of the 15-month construction on the state-of-the-art science teaching facility. Renovations on the 22,000 square-foot building, as well as the construction of the 21,000 square foot addition, were backed by $13.3 million in state funding. Private donors added about $2 million in additional funds. (See page 10 for a listing of donors.) The new addition boasts six laboratories, two student lobby/meeting areas with views towards the Thomas Y. Whitley Clock Tower, three student study areas, and sophisticated science equipment. The first floor includes geology and environmental science labs; the second floor The view of the new addition to LeNoir Hall, now named the Saunders Center for Laboratory Sciences. features labs for microbiology and anatomy/physiology; and the third floor has physical chemistry and organic chemistry labs. The latter has 12 chemical vent hoods, which is triple the total number previously available, enabling more students to complete lab work during class time. The outdoor plaza at the main entrance to the addition will serve as a study and gathering area for students. Covered seating will be installed soon and will include outdoor charging stations, powered by solar panels on umbrella shades. (Continued on page 9)
New Science Addition Named in Recognition of Saunders Family’s Philanthropy The impressive new addition to LeNoir Hall has been named the Saunders Center for Laboratory Sciences, in recognition of a generous gift from the family of Gerald Benjamin and Charlotte Alexander Saunders. Gerald and Charlotte Saunders were known for their quiet philanthropy that helped shape CSU and many other educational and cultural institutions throughout the region. Mr. and Mrs. Saunders were active participants in the initiative to establish Columbus College, now CSU, in 1958. Mr. Saunders was a charter member of the CSU Foundation Board of Trustees and served as chair of the CSU Foundation from 1968 to 1969. Gerald and Charlotte’s children have continued their parents’ legacy of support for education and the arts. Together, the Saunders family has contributed approximately $4.5 million to CSU throughout its sixty-year history. When presented with an opportunity to do something significant for CSU during the First Choice Campaign, the family reviewed the ways in which they, as a group, have supported the various colleges. In their words, “we feel there is much to be gained from the pursuit of advanced scientific research and the promotion of 21st century techniques and procedures.” Coupled with their awareness of the world-class research being conducted in the College of Letters and Sciences, the family felt it was an easy decision to “support the construction of a facility that will bring our students to a level that is competitive with larger institutions and provide our faculty Members of the Saunders family, including (left-right) Charlotte Gunby, the facilities to move to the front of the pack in Glynn Dakin, Meg Poydasheff, Kay (Mrs. Richard) Saunders, Richard (Dicky) Saunders, and Merrill Rushin, toured the labs in the new Saunders Center regards to research.” for Laboratory Sciences.
Letters & Sciences Today
(Continued from page 8) The Saunders Center opened for classes in January 2019 and will serve both undergraduate and graduate studies, facilitating growth in the sciences. State representatives Calvin Smyre, Richard Smith and Rick Jasperse, chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, spoke during the grand opening event. Biology graduate student Ashley Desensi also gave remarks and welcomed guests to the grand opening. During her remarks, Desensi explained that she has “spent a great deal of my time as both an undergraduate and as a graduate student in LeNoir. This building has been more than just a building to me; it has been my second home.” She went on to say that, upon her arrival at CSU four years ago, “I did not know any of the professors or my fellow students. LeNoir Hall has served as a bridge, filling the gaps between myself and the others here at CSU. Within these walls, I have forged relationships with the wonderful faculty in the science departments and enhanced my knowledge and passion for biology.” LeNoir Hall was named for Dr. William “Bill” LeNoir, who served as acting president of Columbus College, now Columbus State University, twice during his 34-year career as a botany professor. LeNoir retired as dean emeritus in 1995. After the ribbon cutting was completed, guests toured the new addition and visited faculty and students in each lab, where displays and hands-on demonstrations could be viewed.
Rep. Calvin Smyre views microscopic algae specimens in environmental science professor Troy Keller’s display on converting algae into useful energy (biomethane).
Left: Dr. Dennis Rome, Dean, caught up with Jane LeNoir, widow of Bill LeNoir, during the grand opening.
Right: Rep. Richard Smith stands in the study area that is named in recognition of a personal donation that he made to the new facility.
Right: Rep. Rick Jasperse (left), chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, and Earth and Space Sciences senior Brendon O’Keeffe watch astronomy professor Rosa Williams’ electrostatic demonstration of a Van de Graaff generator.
Cover image: State legislators join CSU Foundation Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Emory Alexander, COLS Dean Dennis Rome, student Ashley Desensi, and President Chris Markwood to cut the ribbon to officially open the new addition to LeNoir Hall – the Saunders Center for Laboratory Sciences.
(Continued on page 10) Letters & Sciences Today
(Continued from page 9)
Donors to the Renovation and Addition to LeNoir Hall The College of Letters and Sciences would like to recognize the following lead donors for their contribution to support the laboratory science addition and renovations in LeNoir Hall: • • • • • • • • • •
Georgia Power Foundation Jean M. Hartin Anthony and Mary Jane Link Mildred Miller Fort Foundation Leonard J. Moore, M.D. Gerald B. and Charlotte A. Saunders Family Mary W. Schley, M.D. Representative Richard Smith Glenn D. Stokes Swift-Illges Foundation
Chemistry student Ansley Scott and chemistry lecturer Jaimie Gonzalez make liquid nitrogen ice cream for visitors to sample.
Premed students Chad Reynolds (left) and Noel Padinjattekara (right) explain the use of a laparoscopic trainer to visitors.
Left: Geology professor Diana Ortega-Ariza talks with COLS Leadership Council member Claudia Stephenson about rocks and minerals of Georgia.
Right: Earth and Space Science majors Devin Janeway and Cory Mitchell give hands-on physics demonstrations near a robotics display.
Letters & Sciences Today
Faculty Spotlights CSU Professor Publishes Research on Ancient Peruvian Settlements The year 2018 has been productive for CSU’s Dr. Warren Church with respect to research publications. Most notable is a new volume entitled, Qué fue Chachapoyas? Aproximaciones interdisciplinarias en el estudio de los Andes Nororientales del Perú (translated from Spanish, “What was Chachapoyas? Interdisciplinary Approaches in the Study of the Northeastern Peruvian Andes”), coedited with Dr. Anna Guengerich of Vanderbilt University in the Boletín de Arqueología series published by the Catholic University in Lima, Peru. Dr. Church, who received his Ph.D.
A separate edited volume, published almost simultaneously, and entitled, Parque Nacional del Rio Abiseo: Memoria Viva del Paisaje Cultural Andino Amazónico (translated from Spanish, “The Rio Abiseo National Park: Living Memory of an AndeanAmazon Cultural Landscape”) features two chapters authored by Church reporting on archaeological fieldwork conducted between 1985 and 2000 while at Yale, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and CSU. Dr. Church began his Peruvian research with a Fulbright Scholarship in 1985 in southern Chachapoyas where the Rio Abiseo National Park (RANP) protects endangered species and uninhabited tropical cloud forests on the steep eastern Andean slopes that drop into the Amazon The back of the Cien Nuevos Soles bill shows the Gran Pajaten, an archaeological complex in the northern Amazonian region of Peru in lowlands. He the basin of the Abiseo River. The Gran Pajaten, located at 2,850 meters began as the above sea level, is part of the Abiseo River National Park where Dr. only American Church has done most of his research. working in Chachapoyas, in Anthropology from Yale University, where a few “lost cities” were is Professor of Anthropology and considered anomalies. These cities Archaeology in the Department of exhibited monumental architecture Earth and Space Sciences. and were found in the mid-1960s. The edited volume was developed In 1990, Dr. Church’s recovery of from session papers presented at the a local developmental sequence 2015 annual meeting of the Society of archaeological remains dating of American Archaeology in San to 10,000 BC drastically altered Francisco. Dr. Church co-authored scholarly and popular perceptions of the introduction and conclusion Chachapoyas in Peru and abroad. chapters, and one of ten chapters Deforestation has since uncovered presenting new archaeological, hundreds of abandoned settlements ethnohistorical, and bioarcheological and cliff tombs. This second edited data and interpretations contributed volume includes new, unpublished by a growing number of international data from the park. specialists conducting research in Data from the park’s more renowned the Chachapoyas region of Peru’s sites excavated by Dr. Church was northeastern Andean tropical cloud presented by Peru’s National Institute forest. of Culture in 1992 to justify UNESCO’s Letters & Sciences Today
designation of the Rio Abiseo National Park as a World Heritage Cultural Site. In June 2004, Dr. Church’s grant support and research collaboration with Peruvian monument conservation experts was featured in National Geographic Magazine. He has also contributed expert public commentary for documentaries aired by the National Geographic Channel, the History Channel, the BBC and PBS, and has been quoted in news media including Smithsonian Magazine, New York Times, Chicago Tribute, and the L.A. Times. Dr. Church’s time is devoted to teaching at CSU while still conducting field research in the Chachapoyas region of Peru. Other recent collaborative publications (2017) by Dr. Church include “Exploring Imperial Expansion Using an Isotopic Analysis of Paleodietary and Paleomobility Indicators in Chachapoyas, Peru” (with three other scholars), and “A 2000-year History of Disturbance and Recovery at Laguna de los Condores, a Sacred Site in Peru’s Northeastern Cloud Forest” (with four other scholars).
Dr. Warren Church, Professor and Program Director for Anthropology, Department of Earth and Space Sciences.
Faculty Spotlights Going Green: Conducting Research on Sustainable Wastewater Treatment Technologies in New Zealand (2017-2018) By Troy A. Keller, Professor of Environmental Science (Department of Earth and Space Sciences) Sustainability is one of my core academic interests. During the academic year 2017-2018, I conducted research during my sabbatical on a sustainable approach to wastewater treatment. Since New Zealand is a leader in using algae to clean wastewater, I chose to work in New Zealand in order to collaborate on an algae wastewater research project with Dr. Rupert Craggs, principal scientist for aquatic pollution at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). Dr. Craggs is an internationally recognized leader in the field of wastewater treatment using algae. So you might wonder, why am I so interested in algae? And how are algae and wastewater related? Wastewater treatment facilities in the US and other highly developed countries (including New Zealand) discharge pollution that damages rivers, lakes and estuaries. Since only 30% of US wastewater is treated to remove nitrogen and phosphorus, we need to develop and use new technologies to protect the quality
of our freshwater resources. One promising solution uses algae to remove nutrients from wastewater. I have been inspired, as a stream ecologist, by the capacity of algae to absorb nutrients in streams and rivers. Algae are welladapted for use in wastewater treatment applications because they reproduce rapidly, use nutrients to grow, and thrive in Troy Keller’s collaborator, Dr. Rupert Craggs (Principle Scientist at NIWA), stands next to one of New Zealand’s innovative the harsh conditions wastewater treatment systems. typical of wastewater. treatment systems could be improved To conduct my by adding carbon dioxide. Why did research, I designed and built two I choose carbon dioxide? Algae, algal treatment floways at New like plants, photosynthesize to make Zealand’s National Institute of Water sugars. Photosynthesis requires and Atmospheric Sciences (NIWA) light, water, and carbon dioxide. I research center. (A floway is a shallow, hypothesized that algae in our highly flat, exposed surface on which algae productive floways deplete carbon grow.) I conducted experiments to dioxide faster than it is replenished determine if the efficiency of algal
This series of photos shows the construction process (left), completed floways (middle), and operation of the floways (right). The righthand photo shows the amount of algae that grew in the wastewater infused with carbon dioxide (the floway on the right) in only 9 days!
(Continued on page 13) 12
Letters & Sciences Today
(Continued from page 12)
Google Earth image of NIWAâ€™s research site (yellow boundary) located at Ruakura Agricultural Research Centre in New Zealand. The pollution research facility where Troy Keller worked is shown in purple.
by the atmosphere. If true, then algal growth would be hampered by a deficiency of carbon dioxide. This hypothesis was tested in experiments that compared the growth of algae in wastewater infused with air (the control) and carbon dioxide (treatment). The results revealed that carbon dioxide stimulated greater than 30% more algae and resulted in faster removal of phosphorus. As hypothesized, carbon dioxide improved algal productivity and
Troy Keller, Professor of Environmental Science, and his wife, Lisa, celebrated their completion of the 33.5-mile trek along the Milford Track (South Island, NZ).
increased nutrient removal efficiency. Using algae to treat wastewater is a more sustainable alternative to traditional treatment technologies. Not only do the algae clean our wastewater but they remove atmospheric carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, in the process. Additional research I am conducting with a colleague at the Pacific National Laboratory has confirmed that the algal biomass (a waste product) can be converted into useful energy
(biomethane). The results of these and other research projects suggest that algal wastewater treatment technologies can improve wastewater treatment and make carbon-neutral energy. The wonderful experiences I had living and conducting research in New Zealand made my sabbatical both academically rewarding and personally satisfying.
(Continued from page 5)
The Passing of Dr. Jeanne Dugas, Professor of Psychology Dr. Jeanne Lorraine Dugas passed away July 16, 2018, of complications from dementia. Dr. Dugas taught psychology at CSU for 31 years, starting in 1973 and retiring in 2004. Having earned her Ph.D. from the University of Alabama, she later completed two postdocs, one from the University of Kansas in cognition and the other from Georgia Tech in industrial-organizational psychology. She was a licensed psychologist in the state of Georgia with expertise in experimental research design and methodology, cognitive psychology, and test validation, among other areas. Dr. Dugas said that the best thing she ever did was the postdoc at Georgia Tech because it enabled her to become an analyzer of data sets, an endeavor she thoroughly enjoyed. Over the years at CSU, Dr. Dugas received seven grants, including three totaling $4.5 Million. In addition, she published seven articles and presented over 30 papers at conferences. She was active both in the local and state chapters of AAUP (American Association of University Dr. Jeanne Dugas, retired Professors), and she served as chair of the Muscogee County Democratic Party. She was a much Professor of Psychology. beloved professor, teaching such undergraduate and graduate courses as History of Psychology, Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior, and Women in Organizations.
Letters & Sciences Today
Faculty Spotlights Command College Gordon Hurley, Lecturer
New COLS Faculty
Gordon H. Hurley, Jr. served as an FBI Special Agent for over 30 years. For 28 years, he was an FBI Crisis Negotiator and, since 1998, he has been the Atlanta Division’s Crisis Negotiation Team Leader. He is an FBI Academy Adjunct Instructor and a Georgia POST Certified Instructor. Hurley also served multiple tours embedded with U.S. military units in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and other overseas duty stations in the fight against Al Qaeda and ISIS. As an FBI Resident Agent, he was assigned a broad range of investigative responsibilities including violent crimes, public corruption, and counterterrorism. Hurley has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy (FBINA 260th session). Prior to becoming an FBI Special Agent, he served with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa, FL. Hurley has over 40 years of law enforcement experience.
Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology Annice Yarber-Allen, Professor and Chair of Criminal Justice and Sociology Dr. Annice Yarber-Allen earned a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology from the University of Alabama (Birmingham) and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa). Her broad research interests include adolescent sexual behavior, sexual risk, gender, mental health, among others. She has published several articles and co-edited two books, Focus on Single Parent Families: Past, Present, and Future and What the Village Gave Me: Conceptualizations of Womanhood. Dr. Yarber-Allen has served twice as principal investigator for a NSF-funded effort to mentor underrepresented minorities and women via a five-week residential college preparation program designed to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the engineering profession. In 2014, she was a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad to implement the Summer Institute on the Welfare of Women of Belize project. She and her co-Project Director accompanied a group of twelve K-12 teachers and university faculty from across the U.S. to Belize to examine the socio-cultural and economic history and current status of women in Belize.
Department of English Allen Gee, Donald L. Jordan Endowed Professor in Creative Writing Dr. Allen Gee earned his B.A. in Secondary English Teaching from the University of New Hampshire, his M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, and his Ph.D. in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Houston. He’s the author of the essay collection, My Chinese-America, and is writer James Alan McPherson’s designated biographer. Dr. Gee is currently completing a novel, The Iron Road, which chronicles the lives of Chinese railroad workers building the Central Pacific line in 1866. From 2004-2018, he taught at Georgia College where he served as coordinator for the Creative Writing program’s undergraduate concentration and the M.F.A. program, as well as directed the college’s visiting writers series. He’s been the Editor of the literary journal Gulf Coast, Fiction Editor for the literary journal Arts & Letters, and is currently the Editor of the multicultural imprint 2040 Books. At CSU, Dr. Gee teaches various courses, and as the Donald L. Jordan Endowed Professor of Creative Writing, he’ll lead service trips abroad, run an annual national writing competition, and organize a writing conference to be held every two to three years.
Christopher Matthews, Temporary Lecturer of English Christopher J. Matthews is originally a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and came to Columbus by way of Fort Benning. He is a former student of The New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) and a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, where he majored in Art, and minored in Mass Communications. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Art from Xavier University of Louisiana in 1994. He is a writer, a visual artist who specializes in painting and drawing, a U.S. Army veteran, and a reservist with the U.S. Air Force. He earned Master’s degrees in Education at Columbus State University in 2006 and 2008 respectively, with concentrations in Art Education and in English Language Arts. He earned his Education Specialist degree in English from CSU in 2015.
Letters & Sciences Today
Faculty Spotlights New COLS Faculty
Department of History and Geography Bryan Banks, Assistant Professor of History
Dr. Bryan Banks earned his MA (2011) and Ph.D. (2014) in History from Florida State University. He specializes in French History, with special interests in the Enlightenment and French Revolution, as well as religious studies. Prior to Columbus State University, he was Assistant Professor of History at SUNY Adirondack. Most recently, he has published articles in French History and EighteenthCentury Studies. He is the co-editor of The French Revolution and Religion in Global Perspective: Freedom and Faith as well as the website on comparative revolutions, www.AgeofRevolutions. com. He is currently completing a monograph-length study on the cultural history of the Huguenot diaspora from the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) and the English Revolution (1688) through the French Revolution (1789). He joins the Department of History and Geography as Assistant Professor of European History. He teaches introductory courses in World History and advanced courses on Early Modern and Modern European History.
Department of Politics, Philosophy and Public Administration Saerim Kim, Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Saerim Kim earned her Ph.D. in public policy and administration at the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She received her Masterâ€™s degree in public policy from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University. Her primary research objective lies in studying the financial management of public resources and financial risk so that governments can continue to provide public services for sustainable communities in collaboration with the nonprofit sector. Her dissertation, entitled Three Essays on Financial Collaboration in the Government and Nonprofit Sectors, was selected for a doctoral fellowship by the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) in 2017. She also received ARNOVAâ€™s Emerging Scholar Award in 2016. Dr. Kim teaches public budgeting and financial management, introduction to public administration, and nonprofit management.
Department of Politics, Philosophy, Public Administration/Center for Global Engagement Humberto Caspa, Elena Diaz-Verson Amos Eminent Scholar in Latin American Studies Prof. Humberto Caspa grew up in Quime, a small town in the La Paz, Bolivia. He is the 2018 Elena Diaz-Verson Amos Eminent Scholar in Latin American Studies at CSU. Beginning in January 2012, he began a new journey in Colombia, teaching at the School of Law at Juan de Castellanos University after working at California universities for many years. His book on immigration, Terror in the Latino Barrio: The rise of the new right in local government (2008), gives some clues about the emergence of a new right-wing movement in U.S. politics. Since 2003, Prof. Caspa has been publishing weekly op-ed articles on current political and social issues in some of the most important U.S. Spanish newspapers, such as La Opinion of Los Angeles, El Diario of New York, and Nuevo Herald of Miami, among others. He has also appeared as a guest political analyst in both major Spanish television networks: Univision and Telemundo.
Department of Psychology Tiffany Berzins, Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Tiffany Berzins received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, with concentrations in Social Psychology and Quantitative Research Methods. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Social-Health Psychology program at Kent State University. Her training and interests lie in interpersonal relationships and behavioral medicine, particularly the roles of dyadic relationship processes (parental support, romantic partner undermining) and day-to-day health decisions (sustain exercise, drink less alcohol) in disease prevention and management. She is also interested in how contextual factors, such as military service and physical symptoms, affect family functioning and health outcomes. Dr. Berzins teaches courses in her content areas as well as research methods and analysis.
Letters & Sciences Today
4225 University Avenue, Columbus, GA 31907
Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Permit No. 10 Columbus, Georgia
CSU Receives $3 Million NSF Grant to Boost Minority Students Pursuing STEM Degrees By Dr. Monica Frazier Columbus State University has received a 5-year, $3 Million National Science Foundation grant to establish a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program. The goal of the newly establish LSAMP program is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities earning baccalaureate degrees and entering graduate STEM degree programs. The grant also establishes a new LSAMP alliance called the Southwestern Georgia STEM Pathways Alliance (SWGA-SPA) in which CSU serves as the lead institution. The SWGA-SPA members are Columbus State University, Columbus Technical College, Georgia Southwestern State University, South Georgia Technical College, Abraham Baldwin State College and Valdosta State University. Members of the alliance will work together to increase across all partner institutions the number of underrepresented minorities earning baccalaureate degrees in STEM. The alliance is aiming for a 25% increase by the end of the 5-year grant period. Dr. Monica Frazier, Associate Professor of Biology, will serve as the Director of the LSAMP SWGA-SPA and LSAMP program at CSU. Participants of the program will receive mentoring, tutoring, research experiences that includes presenting at a national LSAMP conference, GRE preparation and a stipend. In order to participate in this program, students must major in an LSAMP-approved STEM discipline, which includes the following: Biology, Chemistry, Dr. Monica Frazier, Associate Computer Science, Earth and Space Science, Information Technology, Professor of Biology, is directing and Mathematics. The SWGA-SPA LSAMP program will begin efforts to increase minority studentsâ€™ interest in STEM fields. accepting students in Spring 2019.
Letters & Sciences Today
Columbus State University‘s College of Letters and Sciences newsletter spotlights the achievements of students, faculty and alumni. Highligh...
Published on Feb 4, 2019
Columbus State University‘s College of Letters and Sciences newsletter spotlights the achievements of students, faculty and alumni. Highligh...