Page 1

Volume 1, Issue 3, March 2010

The GSO News

Medical College of Georgia Graduate Student Organization

Inside this Issue Fitness Initiative


Fitness initiative between MCG, GPI and local schools: ARE YOU FIT? Samuel Herberg

School of Graduate Studies comes forth to help the homeless 2

Nuuk, Greenland

Tasiilaq, Greenland

Stockholm, Sweden Bergen, Norway

St. Petersburg, Russia


MCG Graduate Students raise $1200 for Haiti relief efforts 3rd Annual GSO Sponsored Superbowl Party

Goose Bay, Newfoundland


Augusta, Maine

Barcelona, Spain

Washington, DC Augusta, Georgia


Herat, Afghanistan Lhasa, China Taj Mahal, India

Djibouti, Djibouti


Caracas, Venezula Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Year 1

Nairobi, Kenya

Year 2

Lilongwe, Malawi La Paz, Bolivia


Student: Joshua Bird


GSO Sponsored Spring Camping Trip


Recently you may have noticed fellow graduate students and faculty walking around with little devices attached to their belts or pants. Sometimes you can even see some of them going into a huddle and eagerly checking these mysterious clip-ons. So what are they doing? Did they take on shifts in the hospital and are constantly on call or is MCG preparing a ‘SWAT-team’ on campus? To disclose the secret – it’s none of the above. Instead, those mentioned individuals participate in the ‘I AM FIT’ research study being conducted by the Georgia Prevention Institute. Although this study is targeted at school-aged children and aims to determine the effects of increased physical activity,

Toamasina, Madagascar

Gabarone, Botswana

Year 4

Belo-Tsiribina, Madagascar Santiago, Chile Cape Town, South Africa

The GSO News

Armenia (Capitol)

Troy, Turkey Mediterranean Sea

Miami, Florida

Year 3

Student: Kelly Weidower

Paris, France

Melbourne, Australia Augusta, Australia

Tierra Del Fuego

Antarctica Antarctica

Design by Trudy Gove of the MCG VID department

in the form of walking, on blood pressure and body weight, MCG students are involved as controls and role models. Pedometers are worn by all study participants to measure steps taken with a goal of 10,000 steps, or five miles, per day.  The MCG-sponsored ‘I AM FIT’ project was developed by Denise Kornegay and Vernon Barnes, as a figurative ‘Walk Around the World in Four Years’ challenge.  Last year, as a pilot, six teams walked the distance through South America to Tierra del Fuego and this year the teams will walk the distance across Australia to Madagascar, from Cape Town, up the eastern coast of Africa to Djibouti. This

journey will continue in 20102011 as participants will walk through Asia, Europe, and Russia, and lastly in 2011-2012 the teams will walk the distance across Scandinavia, Greenland, Canada, and back down to Augusta, GA. The project is mainly intended to increase physical activity and to lower body weight and blood pressure. Therefore, participating high school students are screened pre and post program to evaluate the effectiveness of this fitness/ awareness program. The ‘I AM FIT’  fitness project is planned for the AR Johnson Health Science and Engineering …to“Fitness”, pg. 2 1

from “Fitness”, pg. 1 Magnet High School with Cross Creek High School, also located in Richmond County, serving as the demographically matched control school. Of note, ARJ is also incorporating the countries being walked through into their curriculum to provide an additional educational benefit for their students. The participants are organized by grade into walking teams and compete together with their teachers for combined steps walked per week over the course of 8 weeks (February 1 to March 26). The program culminates with an ‘Olympic Games’ in which friendly competition among teams revolves around fitness-based activities. This year two teams from MCG/GPI comprised of graduate, medical and dental students, post-doctoral

fellows, staff, and faculty members will also walk the 4,670 miles to reach Djibouti (or even further). Team goals are to try to beat last year’s numbers of 25,687,230 steps or 12,845 miles, that were reached by the 2009 MCG team in 16 weeks of walking. Of note, MCG has out-stepped all teams at ARJ for the past 2 years and therefore serve as a motivating factor to the students to ‘catch up’. Of scientific note, last year 37 of the 157 students evaluated were able to drop a collective 182 pounds. According to Dr. Barnes, those students also showed a statistically significant decrease in blood pressure, which can be important even at high school age, and moreover could have considerable effect on decreasing cardiovascular

disease risk at older ages. The question in the end remains, “How difficult can it be to walk 10,000 steps a day?” And believe it or not, on a normal day YOU might not be able to reach this goal that easily! Sounds provocative? Well, then just get yourself a pedometer and give it a shot because at the end of the day you also want to be able to say I AM FIT and maybe become a team member for next year’s leg! Happy walking. O

School of Graduate Studies comes forth to help the homeless this winter Colleen Carey

Homelessness can be defined as the condition and social classification of those individuals who lack a fixed, regular nighttime residence, most often due to the inability to maintain or pay for a suitable dwelling. The economic downturn of the past couple of years has increased the number of homeless dramatically, and has been particularly devastating to those living on the borderline of poverty, often forcing them out of their homes and onto the streets.

large cities. At first glance this may appear to be the case due to the increased population size, yet if we focus on Georgia, in addition to Atlanta both Athens and Augusta have been proven to have severe homeless problems. Throughout the Augusta and North Augusta communities there are numerous organizations that work to provide support for these individuals in attempts to get them back on their feet, however there is always more that can be done.

A general misconception by the society we all live in is that issues with homelessness occur only in

Being homeless in the winter can be life-threatening. This threat is due to hypothermia, a condition that

The GSO News

occurs when the body is loses more heat than it can produce. Because there is limited shelter space and warm sleeping arrangements for everyone, especially during the winter, it was our hope to be able to provide additional means of keeping people warm through the cold nights they spend on the street. In order to help the homeless stay warm this winter, the Graduate Student Organization, in collaboration with the ‘Support Downtown Augusta’ facebook page and the Riche Community to“Homeless”, pg. 3 2

The community-based donation drive resulted in collections not only here on campus, but at various drop off locations throughout the CSRA. In addition, some great businesses stepping up to help our cause. When all was said and done, approximately 125 blankets, 1000 energy bars (800 from BiLo alone!), 100 pairs of socks, 40 hats, and 30 coats & sweaters were collected. Of the blankets donated, approximately 25 were handmade by the women’s quilting group at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church; what a great way to show their care! Distribution of donated goods occurred throughout the month of January and excess supplies will be presented to the safe homes and shelters here in Augusta to be distributed to those in need. A big “THANKS!” to everyone who took the time to contribute, as we are sure it has been more than appreciated on those unseasonably cold nights here in Augusta. O

The GSO News

MCG graduate students raise $1200 for Haiti relief efforts… thus far! Moataz N. Elkasrawy

Just hours after the January 12th earthquake hit Haiti, the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) started organizing for an immediate response of emergency relief for those affected by the natural disaster. Haiti, which is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake near its capital of Port-au Prince, leaving an estimated 250,000 dead and 1,000,000 homeless. In the aftermath of this deadly earthquake, aid workers are facing countless critical medical needs for the millions, who have been affected by the widespread destruction. GSO, in its full capacity, mounted the “Relief for Haiti”  fundraising and awareness campaign, involving 22 graduate students from different programs who volunteered to help in many capacities. Campaign fliers were posted around campus and mass e-mails were sent out to all graduate students and faculty, offering to pick up donations any where on campus and introducing different ways by which everyone could help. Most importantly, volunteers actively engaged in direct conversation with donors providing updates about the situation in Haiti and asking for contributions in cash

or check. GSO also joined forces with graduate students from the Clinical Nurse Leader-Student Organization (CNL-SO) making the campaign more diverse and far-reaching. A total of $1000 was raised in the first ten days of the campaign. This effort was made in coordination with the American Red Cross-Augusta Chapter, making sure that all donations go directly and promptly to those affected by the earthquake. In addition, CNL-SO raised money for “Food for the Poor”, which will be used for purchasing specifically requested materials and distributing them through different churches and charity organizations operating in Haiti.   Philanthropy remains a cornerstone of GSO mission, and we are proud to be an integral part of the local, national, and international communities. Thank you to all the donors and volunteers. O

submitted by Moataz Elkasrawy

from “Homeless”, pg. 2 Group for The Well Church, spent the better half of December collecting donations of blankets and powerbars for the homeless here in Augusta. Claire Riche, the organizer of the donation drive, created a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community in a way that is only received with gratitude and thanks.

GSO President, Moataz Elkasrawy (left) & ARC Executive Director, Jennifer Pennington (right)


3rd Annual GSO Sponsored Super Bowl Party Samuel Herberg

Each year the culminating game of the American football season is the much anticipated Super Bowl. This year’s Super Bowl XLIV surely did not disappoint and became the most-watched TV program in U.S. history, with almost 107 million viewers, setting an all time ratings high and overthrowing the 27-year old record held by the final episode of “M*A*S*H”. Along with the game comes the anticipation also for the GSO sponsored Super Bowl party, again hosted at Shawn Elm’s house. Once again our fellow graduate student put in tremendous efforts to organize a BBQ for graduate students, friends & families, children and even dogs! Fortunately, the predicted rain held off allowing everyone to enjoy the superb assortment of meats and a great variety of sides.  Having had plenty to eat and eagerly anticipating the kick-off, guests then gathered to watch the game. Whether in the living room or outside around the warmth of a bonfire the game was enjoyed by all while chatting with old and newly made friends. The game ended with Saints fans sharing their excitement over New Orleans defeating the Indianapolis Colts by a final score of 31-17, and claiming their first ever Super Bowl win. However, the Saints’ win was celebrated by all in honor of the ongoing efforts of the city of New Orleans to recover from the …to“Superbowl”, pg. 6 The GSO News

Students enjoying the the indoor atmosphere and some outdoor grilling at the Super Bowl Party. Photography by Moataz Elkasrawy


Current Student Spotlight Paramita Pati

Kelly Wiedower is in her last year of the Clinical Nurse Leader program. The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Program is a sixteen month long program that focuses on the coordination of patient care. MCG began its CNL program in 2006, and it is the first and only type of CNL prelicensure program in the state of Georgia.  A satellite program was opened in Athens, GA in 2007.  About half of the course content is online, and students attend classes on campus at least two to three days a week.  Partner institutions with the CNL program include the Athens Regional Medical Center and St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens as well

Joshua Bird

photography by Moataz Elkasrawy

Jessica Osmond

The GSO News

as the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, GA and the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center here in Augusta. Kelly decided to attend MCG because of its CNL program. She currently lives in Athens, GA between Thursday and Sunday, and Monday through Wednesday she lives in Augusta. Kelly’s husband and three children reside in Athens. Her two daughters are aged eight and two, and her son is eleven months old. Kelly’s strategy to balance her busy life is “to study hard during the week Monday – Thursday and to live my life on the weekends enjoying time with my husband and kids.” Kelly enjoys running, and she just completed …to“Kelly”, pg. 6

Joshua Bird is a Medical Illustration student from West Des Moines, Iowa. Joshua came to MCG in 2009 after graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in Biological Illustration.  When asked why he wanted to be a medical illustrator, he replied, “I have always held a strong interest in science and medicine, but it has been my ability to draw and passion for art that have given me a way to express myself in a creative and meaningful way.  Visualizing complex technical information and translating it into an illustrated story is not always the easiest thing to accomplish, but the challenge to produce visual pieces that have the capacity to enlighten and educate

photography by Moataz Elkasrawy

Kelly Wiedower

In future issues the ‘Current Student Spotlight’ will continue to highlight current graduate students throughout each program in the School of Graduate Studies with regards to their current research and interests. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured please email us at with ‘Student Spotlight’ in the subject line.

is what drives me to become a medical illustrator.” Joshua chose MCG’s Medical Illustration Program because it integrates new technology into the program and because of other benefits, such as the quality of studio space and work environment. According to Joshua, one of the challenges faced by medical illustrators is “figuring out a way to visually present a subject in a new and fresh way that does not look like every other illustration on that particular subject you find in other texts. Developing an idea that works aesthetically and accurately presents the information needed …to“Josh”, pg. 6 5

from “Kelly”, pg. 5 her third marathon on Sunday, February 14 in Birmingham, AL and qualified for the Boston Marathon. She will be running the Boston Marathon next April.  Regarding her hobby, Kelly said , “Running reminds me that I have a life outside of school and it is a good stress reliever.”


When asked what her most rewarding experience has been since being at MCG, Kelly responded, “The most rewarding experience so far has been all my clinical experience that I have received so far, and meeting so many great people in my program.” In the future, she plans to work in one of the two hospitals in Athens next year, possibly in labor and delivery.  The GSO wishes her the best for the future! O from “Superbowl”, pg. 4 aftermath of hurricane Katrina in 2005. GSO would like to thank Shawn Elms for organizing and hosting another great event! We are all looking forward to next year’s party and the continuation of one of the most successful social events for all MCG graduate students. O Students around the grill Photography by Moataz Elkasrawy

The GSO News

from “Josh”, pg. 5 is particularly challenging.” He added, “But this is what the program is about.  This is what I am here to learn how to do.”  While at MCG, Joshua has found great value in being introduced to surgical procedures as part of his educational experience.  Swine surgery has been a significant learning tool for him in his first year in the program.  So far Joshua’s favorite medium is a combination of traditional graphite drawing and use of Photoshop to add color, but he is really looking forward to moving into 3D programs.

“Muscular Anatomy of the Neck”, a selfportrait anatomical illustration by Josh Bird done as part of MCG’s Medical Illustration program ©2009 Joshua Bird

Outside of the studio, Joshua has enjoyed participating in intramural sports with other MCG students. He also enjoys running and making beer in his spare time.  Currently, his future plans are focused on working hard in the remainder of his time at MCG so that he will be competitive for a good job upon graduation from the Medical Illustration Program. O



GSO Sponsored Spring CAMPING TRIP!

Friday March 26th- Sunday March 28th Magnolia Springs State Park

You don’t want to miss this! Watch your email for more details to come!

Contact Information

Newsletter Staff

GSO Officers


Layout Design


Michelle Reinke Facebook Group: Students of MCG GSO Email:

Chief Editor



Graduate Student Organization School of Graduate Studies Medical College of Georgia 1120 15th St. CJ 2201 Augusta, GA 30912-1500

The GSO News

Colleen Carey Moataz (Taz) Elkasrawy Samuel Herberg Jessica Osmond Paramita Pati

Moataz Elkasrawy Vice President

Samuel Herberg Secretary

Crista Royal Treasurer

Renee Bozard Social Chair

Colleen Carey 7

March 2010 - GSO News  

Volume 1, Issue 3

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you