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DREAM TEAM A unique take on the traditional book club has students imagining what they could become one day.

This Issue 14


We’ve reached a defining moment in Georgia State’s history. The university has become a national model for closing the achievement gap, and we’re driving the revitalization of downtown Atlanta. We’re lighting the way to a brighter future, but we need your help to get there.





02 His Words

14 The Dream Team

03 House

Two faculty scholars are keeping imaginations alive with their unique take on the traditional book club.

24 Support 26 The Family

20 Preventing Child Sex Trafficking Researchers team up in response to Atlanta's growing epidemic.

Find ways to give at


FALL 2016



His Words


We are creating new pathways to new students, extending our student body into the corporate world and pioneering new degree programs.



WE'RE NEARLY HALFWAY THROUGH ANOTHER ACADEMIC YEAR, and the College of Education & Human Development keeps growing. Indicative of our vibrant dynamism, we are creating new pathways to new students, extending our student body into the corporate world and pioneering new degree programs in learning technology, applied behavior analysis, and creative and innovative education. We’ve established corporate and community advisory boards for these programs to help us extend our reach into the community and increase the number of graduate students in our college. We also continue to enhance our support of teaching. In this issue, we highlight Johnathan Cohen, manager of our new Technology Innovation Learning Environment, and give you a glimpse at our newest research center, the Center for the Study of Stress, Trauma and Resilience. We also feature the literacy work Gertrude Tinker Sachs and Ewa McGrail are doing in Atlanta’s Seven Courts community.

This year, we exceeded $22 million in external funding for the first time. These funds provide support for projects such as hosting peer-assisted writing strategies; acquainting metro Atlanta youth with science, technology, engineering and mathematics; training school psychologists; working with U.S. history teachers; and conducting community programs such as After-School All-Stars Atlanta. Opportunities like these continue to challenge our students and faculty and advance our reputation. We hope you enjoy this issue of IN and the new season ahead of us.

Paul A. Alberto Dean and Regents’ Professor of Intellectual Disabilities

President, Georgia State University Mark P. Becker, Ph.D. Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Risa Palm, Ph.D. Dean Paul A. Alberto, Ph.D. Associate Dean of School, Community and International Partnerships Gwen Benson, Ph.D. Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Teacher Preparation Joyce Many, Ph.D. Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Walt Thompson, Ph.D. Editor Angela Turk Contributors H.M. Cauley, Lisa Frank, Claire Miller, Gracie Bonds Staples Creative Direction Renata Irving Graphic Design Lauren Harvill, Matt McCullin Illustrator Meg Ryan Flanigan Photographer Steve Thackston IN the College of Education & Human Development Magazine is an update on the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University. Send letters to the editor, and class notes and story ideas to: Angela Turk, College of Education & Human Development, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 3980, Atlanta, GA 30302-3980, Send address changes to: Georgia State University, Gifts and Records, P.O. Box 3963, Atlanta, GA 30302-3963, Fax: 404-413-3441, Georgia State University, a unit of the University System of Georgia, is an equal opportunity educational institution and an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. © 2016 Georgia State University 17CEHD40057


The College of Education & Human Development’s Learning Technologies Division recently created the Technology Innovation Learning Environment, a space where students can explore the latest in advanced manufacturing technologies (including 3-D printers, digital die cutters and laser cutters) and the teaching they support. Assistant professor Jonathan Cohen discussed the division’s plans for the space and how teachers can benefit from embracing this technology in their own classrooms. Q: HOW DID THE IDEA FOR THE TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION LEARNING ENVIRONMENT COME ABOUT? A: We wanted a space where our faculty and students could have access to the latest cutting-edge technologies. Right now, we’re focusing on so-called “maker technologies,” and these are ones that help us go from the digital world to the physical world and vice versa. So, for example, we have a lot of digital manufacturing technologies — like digital die cutters and 3-D printers — that take digital designs and turn them into physical objects. This is technology that has not yet filtered into school in ways that, say, computers or cameras have. But it’s coming, and I think it’s going to be happening within the next few years. And so by having this space here and bringing classes to it, I hope that we can prepare Georgia State students to be ready for this technology when it does move into the classroom. I’m doing some research right now to find out how many other colleges of education are doing this kind of thing with their students, and the answer is not many. So this really puts us on the cutting edge of this particular movement. continued FALL 2016


House Q & A continued

“Making can be a powerful way for students to learn and apply their knowledge, take ownership over their own learning and develop valuable, life-long skills.”



Q: HOW DO TEACHERS BENEFIT FROM EMBRACING MAKER TECHNOLOGY IN THEIR CLASSROOMS? A: There’s a rich tradition of making in K–12 classrooms. Think of all the projects and science experiments you’ve done in the past with Popsicle sticks and paper clips and hot glue. So the question would be, “Why do we need this technology?” This new technology allows us to build and extend on these activities and do some pretty amazing things. For example, I once taught a unit on aerodynamics, and I had students create wind turbines in order to apply what they’d learned about aerodynamics. We were able to 3-D print bases for the model wind turbines. We used the laser cutter to help us create some parts, and then the students used the digital die cutters to isolate and change individual variables on their turbine blades. Then they recorded how the changes to their wind turbine blades changed the amount of energy each turbine could create. And that’s something we couldn’t do without this technology because it gives us a degree of consistency over the variables and also allowed us to create some really rigid, sturdy objects. These tools can reduce or even eliminate the barriers that prevent students from being able to create physical and digital artifacts as part of their learning. Making can be a powerful way for students to learn and apply their knowledge, take ownership over their own learning and develop valuable, lifelong skills.

Puranik receives Presidential Early Career Award COLLEGE OF EDUCATION & HUMAN DEVELOPMENT (CEHD) ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR CYNTHIA PUR ANIK IS one of 105 researchers across the country named as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers. Puranik, who was at the University of Pittsburgh when she was nominated, focuses her research on understanding early writing development, including assessment and instruction of early writing skills. She explores basic theoretical and highly applied research pathways to address questions pertaining to children’s emergent and early conventional writing. Her research has been published in several journals, including the Early Childhood Research Quarterly; Journal of Experimental Child Psychology; Journal of Learning Disabilities; Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research; and Reading & Writing. “This award recognizes Dr. Puranik’s work at the forefront of research focused on improving children’s written language skills,” said Paul Alberto, CEHD dean. “Her scholarship adds to our college’s breadth and reputation in this field. All of her colleagues join in congratulating Cynthia on this award.” The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach.

GEORGIA STATE ESTABLISHES FIRST WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL INTRAMURAL PROGRAM College of Education & Human Development associate professor Deborah Shapiro, who has conducted extensive research on adapted physical education and disability sport, helped Georgia State’s Recreational Services establish the university’s first wheelchair basketball intramural program. The program, known as Pushing Panthers, began this spring with five teams of students and staff, some with and without physical disabilities. Pushing Panthers exposes the university community to adapted sports, encourages athletes of all skill levels and physical abilities to be active and part of a team, and allows

Shapiro to study the physical and mental health benefits of playing wheelchair basketball. As more adapted sports come to the university, more students with disabilities will have what Shapiro calls the “full university experience.” Even the National Collegiate Athletic Association has begun pushing for more programming for students with disabilities. “This opens the door for more students with disabilities to have access to the same opportunities to play and gain the same benefits from their academic experience as their peers without disabilities,” Shapiro said.




Over the last fiscal year, the college has seen $22 million in annual external funding that SUPPORTS FACULTY AND STUDENT RESEARCH.

After-School All-Stars Atlanta has received a four-year, $387,000 GRANT FROM THE ATLANTA FALCONS YOUTH FOUNDATION to support after-school and summer programs for young girls at 15 sites across metro Atlanta.


The college’s online master’s degree programs rank among the nation’s TOP 36, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 BEST ONLINE EDUCATION PROGRAMS.

CEHD ADDS TWO NEW MASTER’S PROGRAMS The College of Education & Human Development has created two new master’s programs for students interested in creative learning and applied behavior analysis. Beginning in 2017, the master of arts in creative and innovative education degree program will introduce students to foundational knowledge, promoting children’s creative learning while also offering students opportunities to build key business, organizational and content area skills. Graduates from this new program can pursue careers in the creative arts, business, nonprofits, PreK–12 education and community outreach programs — all of which offer opportunities for adults who want to inspire children’s creativity and innovative thinking. Starting this fall, the master of science in applied behavior analysis will help students meet the diverse behavioral needs of children and adults with various disabilities and augment the performance and satisfaction of employees in organizations and businesses. Graduates who successfully complete this program, which has been approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, can begin careers as consultants at residential treatment programs and school districts, behavioral auditors or clinical supervisors at residential, clinical or home-based programs. For more information about these programs, visit FALL 2016





The Science of BY H.M. CAULEY

Commit to avoiding language that will lead to dehumanization. Using language that embeds a moral judgment and exclusion has the potential to grease the wheels towards ideological arrogance.

Researchers are finding new ways to put humility under the microscope. Could Don Davis and his graduate students uncover the secret to loving, lasting relationships? While he’s not making any promises, Davis, an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling & Psychological Services, does believe the research of the Humility & the Advancement of Positive Psychology Interventions (HAPPI) lab may uncover strategies that will improve the quality of life for couples and singles. Investigators at the appropriately named HAPPI lab work on ways to evaluate and measure the roles humility and forgiveness play into an individual’s well-being. It’s an area that has captivated Davis since his undergraduate days at Yale. “I found a lot of psychology courses were trying to figure out how things work, but there were none on how to


Name what it is that makes you

integrate spirituality into counseling,” said Davis, a Kennesaw, Ga., native who went on to earn his graduate degree at Virginia Commonwealth University. “The topic of forgiveness was something I heard a lot of people talk about. It often came up in couples’ counseling amid conversations about repairing relationships after hurt. So I did my thesis on psychological and spiritual perspectives of forgiveness.” After arriving at Georgia State five years ago, Davis started the HAPPI lab to continue exploring forgiveness and humility. Instead of traditional methods of self-reporting, in which subjects rate their own capacities, Davis’s approach is to rely on more measurable factors. Since its inception, the lab has received six grants to fine-tune the research, including $200,000 from Georgia State that created

rooms with video cameras and heart-rate monitors that can record a subject’s stress levels. Davis has focused much of the work on couples and relationships. “We have couples come in and talk about an area of disagreement, and we try to assess humility by seeing how they react in situations that are difficult to be humble in,” he said. “We triangulate the self-reports with the partner reports and then have five researchers watch the videos.” Researchers also consider two sides of the humility definition. The first comes inside the subject; the second is “other oriented” where investigators “approach humility as a personality judgment measured by seeing how people act,” Davis said. The result may be an effective way to measure humility that can also

predict the likelihood of a couple’s relationship remaining stable. “We know humility can be linked to positive relationship outcomes of commitment and relationship satisfaction,” Davis said. While this study has clear connections to contemporary life, Davis doesn’t expect the secret to maintaining long-term relationships will be revealed any time soon. “The study we’re working on now will take some time,” he said. “We’ll follow the couples we’re working with for two years. But it will still be relevant. There are always challenges to how strong values and convictions can keep people from forming relationships. In trying to relate this interest to society, I don’t have a shortage of things to talk about.”

Pay attention to your

level of stress. When you are offended, it hurts, and it changes your thinking and how you engage with others.

feel morally superior to another person. Morality is “binding and blinding.” It connects us with others to share similar values, but it can also leave us with major limitations in our ability to treat others with respect as humans.

Ask questions that promote a stance of intellectual humility. For example, “What would it look like if I were wrong?” Assume that you may be wrong and that the person you are talking to might have the key to helping you clarify some of the limitations in your perspective.

Know when to hit

Release the need to be right. In

most relationships, people don’t enjoy relating in a way where there is a winner and a loser. Wisdom often comes from having the maturity to value different perspectives even if one does not adopt them.

the pause button. If a conversation shifts to a tone that feels hurtful or insulting, it is okay to suggest a break.

Consider the strongest and most

compelling version of the alternate perspective. We often talk about respecting other people’s perspectives. This ultimately means handling other people’s ideas with integrity, according them the same value we accord our own. Strong thinkers learn to value an honest and respectful opponent because that person has the potential to sharpen and refine their own ideas.

FALL 2016







OME DAYS DURING HIS COMMUTE TO GEORGIA STATE, KEN RICE COMES FACE TO FACE WITH THE SUBJECT HE STUDIES: STRESS. “On a good day, the drive takes an hour, but the other day, it took two,” said Rice, who holds the college’s Ken & Mary Matheny Endowed Professorship in the Department of Counseling & Psychological Services. “I could have gotten frustrated, but I would have still been stuck.” Alongside professor Jeff Ashby, Rice co-directs the Center for the Study of Stress, Trauma & Resilience, where researchers analyze how people cope with stressful situations. Opened last fall, the center grew out of conversations the two had with colleagues who were also studying stress. “We know that stress is at epidemic proportions,” said Ashby. “It has direct physiological effects, some of which undermine performance and health. We want to help people manage and even prevent a certain level of stress.” The center connects a broad range of scholars studying a myriad of stress-centered issues. “We thought a center would be helpful to develop some energy around collaboration and move some of the research into the community,” said Rice. “And with so many different people and topics, there are also a variety of methodological approaches. There’s not just one way we’re doing it.” One study brings subjects into a laboratory environment and exposes them to something potentially stressful — for example, the activity of public speaking. Rice’s own project studies perfectionists. “We hook them up to equipment that measures heart rate and blood pressure, and get them thinking about something that’s pretty stressful, usually around perfectionist expectations. Then we measure the effects of different interventions,” he said. Other researchers are delving into topics around refugees and their ability to cope with

the stress of upheaval and change, how people in Botswana are handling severe drought, and the stressful challenges of post-stroke victims with aphasia. Kinesiology & Health associate professor Rebecca Ellis is looking into what motivates people to increase and maintain physical activity. “Our main interest is to see if physical activity helps with stress,” said Ellis, who has a background in sport and exercise psychology. “Is it related to making yourself more self-compassionate? If you set a goal for losing weight or being active, and you miss one day, instead of just giving up, do you say, ‘It’s just one day. I can turn things around tomorrow’? From these sorts of data, we can put together a self-compassion intervention.” The practical applications of such studies are particularly important today, when people are subject to increasing numbers of stress factors that can lead to major health complications.

Develop a strong social support system. “It’s important to have deeper relationships rather than broader ones,” Rice said. “Someone may have 1,000 friends on Facebook but no deep, meaningful relationships — no one to talk to and decompress with.”

Deal with frustrations without taking them out on others. “Sometimes that means exercising, journaling or making a recording of whatever you’re upset about,” Rice said.

Try to solve problems that are solvable. “If you have a problem, and there is something you can do about it, you’ll be better off acting,” Rice said. “Even making the effort could make you feel better than just sitting with the problem.” However, some problems are not directly or immediately solvable or controllable. “To help reduce stress in these instances, try emotion-focused coping, such as simple breathing exercises, meditation or revising your expectations,” Rice said.

Avoid people who push your stress buttons. “But realize that in some work or family situations, you don’t have control,” Rice said. “So you might have to limit the amount of time you spend around people who are toxic. Just realize you don’t have to buy into things they want you to react to.”

“WE KNOW THAT STRESS IS AT EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS.” “There’s a broad interest in stress management and the potential for people to get better at it,” said Rice. “Sometimes that’s just knowing how to react to frustration. I know if I could get out of my car, move that semi out of the way (after an accident) and get people proper medical care, then we could all be on our way. I also know I can’t do that. But there may be a combination of cognitive and behavioral approaches that can help people become more aware of how their own thinking exacerbates the process.”

FALL 2016




FUSCO OFFERS ADVICE ON CHANGING CAREERS 1. Take chances. Embrace change. It’s never too late to pursue a career that brings you fulfillment. 2. Be willing to roll up your sleeves and get dirty. Changing careers can require major life adjustments. Great things can be accomplished with hard work and dedication. Many small steps can be taken to make the transition easier. For example, find side jobs while studying to change careers.



Stephen Fusco was a successful corporate lawyer for 12 years, working long hours but making a good salary. But something was terribly wrong. “I never felt I was making a difference in the world,” he admits. “I was just helping large companies make more money.” He reached a tipping point while working overtime on unfulfilling projects that offered little intellectual satisfaction. Simultaneously, he started coaching children with special needs at Georgia’s Special Olympics. “Everything converged, and I realized I wanted to have a more positive impact by helping people.” At age 37, he could either stay miserable or find happiness in a career he loved. He was willing “to do the hard work it takes to switch careers,” says a man with a 4.04 grade point average. Fusco recently graduated from the College of Education & Human Development with a master’s degree in behavioral and learning disabilities and began his Ph.D. in


the college this fall. After making ends meet working at Lululemon and Trader Joe’s, Fusco followed the advice of his Georgia State counselor and began teaching at Hillside Conant School as a special education instructor in 2014. “Within days, I fell in love with it,” he says. “I immediately knew this was the right place for me.” Two years later, he’s the special education lead teacher and is teaching high school math. “People have low expectations for those with disabilities,” Fusco says. Yet his students rose to the occasion when he pushed them to achieve more. Teaching children with disabilities requires instructors to adopt new approaches, repackage content and solve complex problems — similar to presenting information to a jury of 12 people, each with a different perspective. He was applying his legal skills but in more meaningful ways. Teaching has a lot of administrative responsibilities, especially with this population of students


where extra paperwork and data collection are required. But that’s easy for the former attorney accustomed to even more complex contracts and administrative detail. Regrets? “Not a single one,” Fusco says emphatically. Seeing his students shine is a powerful reward. “They’re incredible testaments to what it takes to work through hardships,” he says. Fusco experimented with yoga and meditation in the classroom and in daily group therapy sessions required at Hillside. Fascinated by the topic, Fusco has indicated his Ph.D. dissertation may test using meditation to overcome high anxiety often experienced around math testing. His dream job is developing new policies for teachers and administrators working with students with special needs. “Though I may not teach every day, I could be a fabulous coach to teachers. Helping these kids makes me want to get up every day,” he says.

3. Seize every opportunity to pursue experiences related to your personal interests. Every new experience is a networking opportunity that could lead to your next career. Be open to them. 4. Follow your dreams. Don’t limit yourself to a life that feels inauthentic. There is absolutely nothing stopping you from following your dreams. You can re-invent yourself at any time in your life.


FACULTY HIGHLIGHT Thirty College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) students were awarded Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant program provides up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete coursework needed to begin a career in teaching. Those students agree to serve as full-time teachers in high-need fields at schools serving low-income families for at least four academic years within eight years of graduation, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s website. “The TEACH Grant offers financial support for teacher candidates as they pursue a teaching career, which requires them to be in class and in schools working with their learners on a full-time basis. So, instead of taking on extra jobs to support themselves, this grant will free up their time so they can focus on the coursework and authentic teaching and learning experiences,” said Carla Tanguay, CEHD associate to the dean for clinical practice.


NO. 59

U.S. News & World Report ranks Georgia State University’s College of Education & Human Development at NO. 59 on its 2016 list of THE NATION’S BEST SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION.

The Department of Early Childhood & Elementary Education hosted 12 STUDENTS AND ONE FACULTY MEMBER from Korea’s Ewha Womans University this past spring.


The college’s chapter of CHI SIGMA IOTA , the international honors society for counselors in training, welcomed 40 NEW INDUCTEES and incoming elected officers this past April in its annual induction ceremony.

College of Education & Human Development professor Chara Bohan hosted a teacher institute this summer for 25 U.S. HISTORY TEACHERS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the institute, entitled “Courting Liberty: Slavery and Equality Under the Constitution, 1770–1870,” DISCUSSED SLAVERY AND EQUALITY as constitutional issues in early United States history.

Creating Healthy Spaces BY CLAIRE MILLER WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE CONSIDERED A HEALTHY CITY? Plenty of sidewalks and greenspace? Access to fresh produce? Low chronic disease levels? Walt Thompson, associate dean of the College of Education & Human Development, joined members of the American College of Sports Medicine’s American Fitness Index Advisory Board to consider these questions, analyze data from metropolitan areas across the U.S. and rank the top 50 healthiest cities each year. The annual American Fitness Index uses a wide range of factors to determine each city’s ranking. Criteria include preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease, access to parks and recreation facilities, and community resources and policies that support physical activity. “We look at two different sets of indicators which are then combined into one index score: personal health indicators, like health behaviors and chronic health problems, and community or environmental indicators, which look at things like access to primary health care, recreation facilities and how much we spend on parks,” Thompson explained. The city of Atlanta has moved up in the rankings over the last few years — reaching the No. 14 spot in 2015 — thanks to several initiatives, including the construction of the Atlanta Beltline, the renovation of city parks and the addition of bike lanes throughout the city. The fitness index rankings can serve as a springboard for teachers, community leaders and city residents to encourage mayors, city council members, and parks and recreation leaders to make significant changes within their environment. Those grassroots efforts can even begin in the classroom. Thompson suggests educators incorporate small changes into the day, such as structured physical activity before, during and after school or 10-minute movement breaks (often referred to as “brain breaks”) between classes. “Educators can, and do, have a significant impact on the health of children who grow up to be healthy adults,” he said. For more information about the index, including a community action guide to help with grassroots support for creating a healthy city, visit MOVING ON UP: ATLANTA Atlanta has made steady progress over the last 14th - 2015 & 2016 few years, earning 16th - 2014 its best American 21st - 2013 Fitness Index 21st - 2012 ranking in 2015. FALL 2016




Place Setting




Take a closer look at this corner of her office to see how Meyers puts her own creative touch on her work in the College of Education & Human Development.







Meyers leads an annual study abroad trip to Chengdu, the capital city of China’s Sichuan province, and has hosted numerous educators from China, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and other countries during their visits to Atlanta, giving all involved a broader, more global perspective on early childhood and elementary education. She collects art, photographs, books and figurines from her travels.



Many students visiting her office for the first time remark on the “Teaching Respect for Native Peoples” poster, which reminds students to think about how native cultures are represented (and misrepresented) in the classroom and society as a whole. Meyers is known for collecting and decorating her office with inspirational aphorisms such as “See beautiful,” “Be the change you want to see in the world,” and “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” She also often includes these quotes in syllabi and notes to students. Humbly tucked into her shelves, several awards acknowledge Meyers’s dedication to her craft as a teacher of teachers. She has received the Georgia Council for the Social Studies Outstanding Educator Award, the College of Education & Human Development’s Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, and the Honorary Educator of the Experimental Lab School Attached to Sichuan Normal University in Chengdu, among many more. Look closely, and you’ll even discover the citizenship award she earned in elementary school. Meyers is the creator and founder of Tiles for Social Justice, a project that supports teachers in exploring critical issues with young people. She coaches teachers in selecting and sharing children’s books and current events to spark discussions about fairness and equity in regard to civil rights, environment, gender and hunger. Discussions shift into research, and findings evolve into the creation of decorative tiles that convey messages for students to showcase in hopes of prompting others to think critically and creatively about social justice. To learn more, visit





To model hands-on learning and engagement practices within her methodology courses, Meyers collects historical artifacts and primary source documents — including a replica of Abraham Lincoln’s hat, a small wagon wheel and a Revolutionary War lantern — that she puts into “Mystery History” boxes, trunks or suitcases. She asks students to identify what the objects have in common, their purpose and their era.

6 1

Often bringing Play-Doh, paints and other art supplies with her to class, Meyers loves to incorporate visual arts into any subject. She also collaborates with the Alliance Theater to teach future and current educators about using drama to explore storytelling within literacy and social studies lessons. Thanks to her creative nature, she’s the program coordinator for a new graduate program, the Master of Arts in Creative & Innovative Education (MACIE), that encourages educators, entrepreneurs and artists to explore the development of children’s creative thinking.



As an artist scholar, Meyers collaborates across Atlanta’s theater and film communities. She has written plays for and acted in the Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival that takes place annually at Actor’s Express and has been an actor, set designer and assistant producer for Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre. Meyers has been a writer, assistant director, director, set designer, actor and producer for independent films, including the Atlanta 48-Hour Film Project, Project Twenty1: Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival, and Critical Crop Top.


For many years, Meyers and her therapy dog Sullivan visited thousands of classrooms where Sullivan acted as a teaching and motivational tool for young learners. For example, children who were too shy to read aloud with peers or adults would warm up to the Australian Shepherd and read in front of him. Teachers asked students to write stories about Sullivan’s adventures or even design an ideal doghouse for him. Meyers is a selection committee member for the Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, an annual reading list from the National Council for the Social Studies and the Children’s Book Council. The list contains the year’s best books written for elementary, middle and high school students in social studies classrooms. So it’s no surprise she always has stacks of picture books and novels to read and review.

10 FALL 2016







FALL 2016



“Research shows that youth appreciate comic books because they offer a rich reading experience through visuals, drawings and other art along with words and dialogue, often presenting information from different angles and viewpoints.”



On a Wednesday afternoon at Seven Courts Apartments, an affordable housing community on the western edge of Atlanta, Ewa McGrail reads aloud from her copy of Trent’s book and urges the small group of elementary and middle school children seated before her to share their reactions to the story set in the former Republic of Rhodesia. “How do the pictures on the cover connect to the story?” she asks next. McGrail points to the illustration of the young Rhodesian woman on the front of the book — who’s tightly gripping a piece of paper with both hands as three boys walk toward a school building in the background — and leads a discussion about how this picture reflects the woman’s dream of one day attending college in her village. It’s important for the group to make this connection because, in a few minutes, they’ll be exploring their own dreams and creating the covers for their dream journals.

NEIGHBORHOOD RESEARCHERS ADDRESS A NEED McGrail, an associate professor in the College of Education & Human Development, and Gertrude Tinker Sachs, chair of the college’s Department of Middle & Secondary Education, live a few blocks away from Seven Courts Apartments and have been working on a research project with the children there for more than three years. They were interested in how children in this community expressed themselves when discussing books they’ve read and stories they’ve created and illustrated. So instead of establishing a more traditional book club where attendees simply talk about the books they’ve read, McGrail and Tinker Sachs started a “comic book club” that invites students to create comic strips, drawings and digital stories in response to what they’re reading and discussing. Students at Seven Courts quickly embraced and expanded on the club’s premise, eagerly sharing their thoughts and stories through art, digital creations, and song and dance. It was then that McGrail and Tinker Sachs realized that the comic book club was much more than the name suggested. “Research shows that youth appreciate comic books because they offer a rich reading

experience through visuals, drawings and other art along with words and dialogue, often presenting information from different angles and viewpoints,” McGrail explains. “The creative products they develop during our reading sessions are performed, commented on and celebrated.” McGrail and Tinker Sachs develop themes for their sessions at Seven Courts and check out books from the local library that illustrate each theme. Oftentimes, these texts feature authors or characters with cultural, racial or ethnic backgrounds similar to the comic book club’s participants, who are predominantly African-American and Latino. The challenge with this work lies in creating a place where kids feel comfortable enough to express themselves and talk through the session’s theme while also developing their creative and critical literacy skills. It’s the same challenge educators face in classrooms every day, and one that researchers in the College of Education & Human Development are trying to understand and address better as they teach the next generation of teachers. “It’s only through creating this kind of space that we can start improving children’s self-confidence and improving their critical thinking, reading and writing skills,” Tinker Sachs says. “Children learn by exploring rich texts and having a space where they can have organic conversations where instructors are responsive to their needs.” McGrail and Tinker Sachs have conducted literacy-focused research in low-income communities in the past, but this project has brought them closest to home. “These kids are our neighbors. And the only difference between these children and those in other communities is a lack of opportunity to be creative,” Tinker Sachs says. “Now, these kids have much stronger ideas of who they are as readers and better potential to improve their literacy skills.”

HOW DOES THIS RESEARCH MAKE AN IMPACT? CiCi Lampkin, resident services coordinator at Seven Courts, coordinates classes on job readiness, budgeting, crisis prevention and other topics relevant to those living in this affordable housing complex. You can find her working in a four-

Ewa McGrail (center) and Gertrude Tinker Sachs (left) team up with Seven Courts Apartments services coordinator CiCi Lampkin (right) to teach children how to cherish their dreams and express themselves creatively.

bedroom apartment on the property that’s been transformed into a positive learning environment for McGrail, Tinker Sachs and the children at Seven Courts to work on their journals and create digital stories. Lampkin’s energy and passion for the children shines through right away as she shows off the dining and living room and two bedrooms she has equipped with tables, chairs and art supplies for the comic book club participants to use. She’s also designated one bedroom for parents and families who regularly volunteer their time with the club and turned the last bedroom into her office. Lampkin can tell the difference this space — and the comic book club as a whole — has made for the children and families she works with every day. “Through this club, our kids have grown socially and academically, and created a family bond,” she says. “To see these ladies come

every week and teach our children with so much passion, you know that there’s good in this world.” After reading and discussing “The Girl Who Buried Her Dreams in a Can,” Cynthia Prince’s son and daughter are quick to get started on their dream journal covers. They want to be a football player and a choreographer, respectively, and Prince is excited to see how their covers turn out. She volunteers her time with the club every week and has already noticed a change in her children since they began attending sessions with McGrail and Tinker Sachs. “They were always A and B students, but this has enhanced their vocabulary and helps them with public speaking,” Prince says. “It shows them that they’re important and they have a purpose right now.” Michelle Anderson’s daughter has been a participating club member since the beginning FALL 2016



“YMV” — 5th grade Favorite superhero: Red Arrow. Dream: Become a professional football player and own a business that provides food, clothes and shelter for the homeless. If he could have one superpower to help him achieve his dream, what would it be? Super speed to run down the football field faster.

“Keke” — 5th grade Favorite superhero: Batman. Dream: Become a chef and a singer. If she could have one superpower to help her achieve her dream, what would it be? The ability to sing high notes and cook any dish in the world.

and has seen similar gains in her literacy skills. Anderson also loves knowing her daughter is taking part in a safe after-school activity that encourages her creativity. “I think we should have more programs like this because they work for the kids — it keeps them out of trouble,” she says. “You know where your kids are, and you know they’re taken care of and they’re learning. I don’t have to worry. I know that she’s safe and she’s getting something out of it.” The club’s attendees, who use a club name of their own choosing while they’re in session, dream of becoming professional athletes, entrepreneurs, explorers and performers when they grow up. “I want to be a chef and a singer,” says a fifth grader who goes by Keke. “I like to cook because I like to help my mom out when she cooks. And my sister and I can sing. I’ve sung here before!” But they’re also very conscious of how they can use their dreams to help others. “My first dream is to become a professional football player, and my second dream is to create a business where I help the homeless have homes,” said YMV, another fifth grader in the group. “I would pay their rent and everything so they could live in a house and stay there. They’ll have everything they need. I don’t want to see anyone homeless without water or food.”



The comic book club has not only benefited the participating parents and kids, but it’s also brought the Seven Courts community together, as resident and volunteer Rikkilah Christian can attest. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve witnessed everything they’ve brought to the community,” she says. “The club allows these children, parents and the community as a whole to succeed. It teaches academics, social skills and how to be a family unit. It’s so important.” McGrail and Tinker Sachs take turns teaching, filming their sessions, and interviewing children and parents about their experiences. They’ve presented information about the comic book club at five education-focused IN MAGAZINE

conferences. Moving forward, they’re applying for additional grant funding and expanding their research with the hope of applying what they’ve learned thus far to more classrooms in the area. They’re welcomed warmly by Seven Courts residents when they arrive each week and have even been invited to social gatherings in the complex — meaningful reminders of the ripple effect the comic book club has made in this community. “Bringing change to the lives of our students, children and youth begins within the communities we work and live, McGrail says. “And on many occasions, we’ve had the opportunity to share stories with this community about their children’s successes in the comic book club and have invited their ideas for growth and support.”

“Nicki” — 5th grade Favorite superhero: Wonder Woman. Dream: Become an entrepreneur who owns a dance company. If she could have one superpower to help her achieve her dream, what would it be? The ability to help people improve without criticizing them. FALL 2016





WE HEAR ABOUT CHILDREN BEING FORCED INTO ALL SORTS OF SORDID THINGS, FROM STRIPPING TO PORNOGRAPHY, TO ALL-OUT TRAFFICKING FOR SEXUAL PURPOSES. EXPERTS SAY THE LATTER IS A PRETTY LUCRATIVE BUSINESS THAT’S SO COMMON NEWS ABOUT IT BARELY RATTLES US ANYMORE. But in 2005, when the FBI published a list of cities with significant sex trade in children, Ann Kruger was shocked. For one thing, Atlanta was on that list, and for another, a public health study published that same year noted the typical juvenile commercial sex victim in Atlanta was an African-American girl between the ages of 12 and 13. Kruger, an associate professor of educational psychology at the College of Education & Human Development (CEHD), turned to her colleague Joel Meyers, executive director of the university's Center for Research on School Safety,


School Climate and Classroom Management, which promotes basic and applied research and facilitates educational and outreach effort. “Do you know about this?” she asked him. He didn’t. In their own way, Meyers and Kruger had long worked on the prevention of social problems in school-aged children. They understand better than most that the way we care for our children, or fail to, is not only a reflection of our character and compass, but has direct consequences for the future of our society. When we don’t care for their well-being and turn a blind eye, we are just as guilty of harming them. It was time the two of them turned their attention to child sex trafficking. “One of the things that was striking was these children were being victimized in the shadows of our buildings,” Kruger said. Days later, she and Meyers called a meeting of university faculty and students who might have insight into the issue and who might be similarly moved to act. They invited Stephanie Davis, an adviser to then-Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. They also reached out to CEHD professor Walt Thompson, who was running an after-school program for middle schoolers

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Focus and who had firsthand knowledge of both the children and the schools they attended. Meyers and Kruger are prevention researchers. Instead of focusing on the outcome of commercial exploitation, they were curious about the issues young girls face growing up, what made them unsafe and what could be done to make things better. And so over the next several years, they set out to get to know over 70 African-American middle school girls who were participating in after-school programs located in low-income neighborhoods with high rates of crime associated with the commercial sex trade. What they found was as shocking as the FBI reports. The girls described problems trusting other people, including adults, daily encounters with aggression and violence, familiarity with prostitution, and sexual views of themselves and their future. The students with the most serious challenges were participating in an after-school program at a transitional housing center. Those girls reported witnessing aggression between adults at home, being physically and sexually abused by adult family members, being bullied and teased by their peers. They said they felt unsafe inside and outside their home, that they participated in risk-taking behaviors that elevate the probability of harm. They more than described sexual experiences that occurred as early as age 14, being pressured for sex by older boys and watching pornography with them. They described themselves in stereotypical fashion, focusing on the shape and size of body parts. And yes, some were preoccupied with complexion, favoring a Eurocentric concept of beauty. “Even children who were in afterschool programs had these sexualized scripts about being a teenage girl,”


Meyers said. “One middle school girl talked about having a ‘regular customer’ at a skating rink.” Given the preventive focus of Kruger and Meyers’ research, these girls were not actively involved in commercial sexual exploitation. However, these middle school girls used the language of the adult sex industry (“giving boys lap dances”) to describe their own activities with peers. Researchers said this activity demonstrated that the girls had internalized the sex culture surrounding them. Here’s why their findings, published recently in the journal School Psychology Forum, are so important. “When repeated, these experiences could normalize aggression and objectification and challenge the formation of a coherent, positive identity,” said Kruger, lead author of the study. “These threats to their well-being place them at risk for unhealthy consequences, including commercial sexual exploitation.” But here’s the good news: Kruger and Meyers didn’t just leave things the way they found them. They designed a curriculum that they hope will help girls develop decision-making skills, supportive and trusting relationships and a positive identity. The curriculum is student-centered and offered in a small group format. The CEHD's Center for Research on School Safety, School Climate and Classroom Management has been providing this service in Atlanta Public Schools continuously since 2009. “We’re trying to do things to strengthen them so that they’re less likely to be victimized,” Meyers said. “That preventive approach is very rare. Usually, if there’s something being done about commercial sexual exploitation, it’s after the fact.”

Reprinted with permission from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.









Source: Georgia Human Trafficking Fact Sheet compiled by the Center for Public Policy Studies, June 2013. For more information visit

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Support ADVICE FOR FUTURE PRINCIPALS “Look at how you interact with your colleagues and other adults. Being a principal is so much more than knowing instruction; you must have a level of emotional intelligence. Emotional quotient is necessary to direct people, take feedback and operate in a selfless manner.” — Frederico Rowe

(L – R): Frederico Rowe, Rhonda Ware and Curtiss Douglass

Principles for Principals BY CLAIRE MILLER WHEN FREDERICO ROWE FIRST BECAME A TEACHER, HE KNEW HE WANTED TO BECOME A PRINCIPAL. “I marveled at how the principal was able to be the ‘hero’ for all who entered through the school’s doors,” said Rowe, principal at Continental Colony Elementary School in Atlanta. “Many of my colleagues also needed the encouragement to understand that we were not simply teaching students. We were lifesavers and life changers. The role of the principal allows you to manage that work and see the school function from different perspectives.” Rowe is one of several College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) graduates who have taken leadership roles in Atlanta Public Schools (APS) and have joined the college’s new Principals Network. Established by the college’s Alumni Network, the Principals Network encourages CEHD alumni serving as principals to make meaningful connections with fellow school leaders, attend professional development sessions offered through the college’s Principals Center and share best practices. Rhonda Ware, an administrator and instruc-


tional leader for 21 years in a successful inner city school, hosted the first Alumni Principal Network Luncheon with APS principals at her school in 2014 and believes novice and veteran principals can learn from one another as a part of this network. “Even if you’ve been a practitioner for a while, it’s good to hear great ideas from people who have done exceptional things in schools,” she said. “Our work is really important, and it affects so many people—the local community, parents, business partners and universities. We do a lot, and I think that the Principals Network can support us and help us put all those pieces together.” Curtis Douglass, principal at North Atlanta High School, said the network has not only introduced him to others who face similar challenges but has also helped him recruit new teachers for his school. “I have gained and shared resources with other principals, and I have received leads on good teaching candidates through various networking opportunities,” he said. “Being a principal can be an isolating job, and a network allows us to share information, brainstorm, celebrate, laugh, vent and cry with our peers.”

IN MY OWN WORDS Distinguished faculty share the values that drive their work.

“You must have courage to lead a school. You must always think outside of the box and know that even though change is coming — things change often in school systems for a lot of reasons — you need to stay focused on what you know works well for children.” — Rhonda Ware

“Be the best teacher that you can be. Teach something that you love and inspire students to be successful. Then put yourself in a position where you can lead adults by becoming a department chair or a president of an alumni association or parent-teacher-student association. You should also let your own principal know your aspirations and have them serve as a mentor.” — Curtis Douglass

Are you a CEHD alumnus or alumna and a principal? Consider joining the Principals Network. Contact Elisa Tate at for more information.

For more information on the college’s endowed professorships, contact Chad Dillard, director of development, at 404-413-8132 or

Ken Rice

Joyce King

Kenneth & Mary Matheny Endowed Professor

Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning & Leadership

I have the privilege of being the Kenneth & Mary Matheny Endowed Professor. The position allows me to devote considerable time and effort to collaborating with colleagues and students to research risk and resilience factors associated with stress. If I may paraphrase something Ken Matheny once said, who is not in some way affected by stress? We also recently formed the Center for the Study of Stress, Trauma & Resilience to further advance stress-related science and outreach. I am humbled to be in a position named for Ken Matheny, the founding father of the Department of Counseling & Psychological Services, which is now celebrating its 50th year. He served Georgia State for 46 years, and any mention of his name conjures up memories of his generous spirit of support, sensitivity, thoughtful reflection and scholarly presence. I feel considerably honored to hold a position bearing the name of a person of such integrity, productivity and commitment.

Dr. Mays said, “Every man and woman is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive, and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done.” So for me, as holder of the Mays Endowed Chair, it is always rewarding when students tell me they are returning to the educational problem that first brought them to graduate school. As students complete courses and study education policy, they broaden their understanding and are better prepared to devise solution-oriented research plans. This is exactly what we hope for them. However, in my experience, the best foundation for learning — and for the perseverance a doctoral program requires — is an undaunted commitment to a burning issue that touches the heart. I encourage students in my research group to work collaboratively, share their hopeful visions and value the knowledge of others, including our community partners. They experience a culturally rich apprenticeship, creatively developing research informed by their own experience, interdisciplinary theory and respectful engagement with the communities we want our knowledge to serve.

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Joanna White (left) presents CEHD doctoral student Ashley Tolleson with the Joanna F. White Play Therapy Scholarship at the Honors Day ceremony earlier this year.

Why I Give JOANNA WHITE, ED.D., LPC, RPT-S, CPCS Professor Emerita, Department of Counseling and Psychological Services

AS A FORMER FACULTY MEMBER AND CHAIR IN THE DEPARTMENT OF COUNSELING & PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES, I enjoyed 24 meaningful and productive years in the College of Education & Human Development. I was able to achieve my goal of developing a nationally recognized play therapy training program. My focus on the emotional and social aspects of child development and learning were always encouraged and respected by my fellow faculty members and deans. As a result, countless graduates of the department are working in the fields of education and mental health with a strong background in understanding the “whole” child and providing developmentally appropriate counseling strategies for young children. Giving back to the institution that fostered my career and supported my students seems a natural next step in my relationship with the college. I very much appreciate my colleagues in the Department of Counseling & Psychological Services and the entire College of Education & Human Development. I hope that my gifts to the college will inspire new play therapists in training to engage in innovative research and practice that continue to improve the lives of children and families.



In appreciation of your support, we’d like to recognize those who have contributed $100 or more through gifts and pledges to College of Education & Human Development funds from July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016.

Jack F. and Jane M. Abel Justin and Laura Abbott Paul A. Alberto* Martha E. Alexander Mary W. Allen Gail S. Allen-Redmon Donna G. Andrews James M. Applefield Beverly J. Armento* Pablo M. Arrue Opel Askew Kristen J. Aycock Josette T. Bailey Sheldon D. Balbirer* Harold W. and Janie G. Banks Jacqueline P. Barnes Tracey A. Barnes M. Lea Barrett Graham M. and Marni A. Barrett Harwood and Carol M. Bartlett Gary S. Bauman John C. and Nancy E. Beane Gwen Benson Florence J. Bell Susan W. Bicksler Michael S. and Laura Bieze William and Linda B. Black* Jacqueline R. Blackwell* Colin E. and Jessica M. Blalock* Marvin Blase Steven A. and Cheryl R. Bloom F. Richard and Esti Blue Anita L. Blyth Edward and Lorene V. Bossong Toni W. and William Bowen Sonja Brantley Kathleen B. and Frank J. Burke Jacquelyne W. Burke Janet L. and Ronald L. Burns Lee R. Burson Greg and Sally C. Busko Joy M. Campbell Saul A. Carliner Todd M. Carter* Ann M. Cash Ray J. and Karen Cheponis Keith and Rochelle L. Clarke Homer and Joan G. Coker Lynn E. Coleman Marsha M. Combre Billy R. Cooper Mamie R. Crawford* Abigail N. Crawford Deborah P. Crockett* Curtis Crockett Jr.* Connie M. Cude John W. and Barbara Culbreath William L. and Catherine T. Curlette Reese E. Currie* Nisonda Curry Nathalie N. Dames Harry L. and Julie R. Dangel* Danny E. Darby Dianne W. and Daniel G. Davenport J. Narl Davidson and Edith M. Guyton* Edward and Eleanor A. Dearolph Robert E. Deluca

Sam F. Dennard Jr. Patsy J. Hilliard Charles D. Dillard Olivia J. Hodges Lisa D. and Rodney D. Dir Sandra C. Hofmann* George R. and Erin O. Dixon Bruce W. Smith and Dorothy R. Dorsey Kathleen P. Hollywood Judy Dorsey Davis Thomas G. and Judy Holzman Curtis W. and Capucina S. Douglass Frances M. Howard James M. Draper Floreine H. Hudson Shirley A. Duhart Cheryl Hunt-Clements Samuel B. Duke* and Bill Clements D. Nannette Dyas Rebecca L. Huss-Keeler and Terry Keeler* Robert C. and Patricia B. Eckberg Brian K. Jackson Susan H. and Robert V. Eckert* Bonnie Jackson Susan K. Effgen Estella H. Jackson Lisa A. Eickholdt Helen W. Jackson Virginia V. Ellis* William W. Jackson Judith M. Emerson Olga S. and Robert E. Jarrett* Emmanuel A. Enujioke Isabella T. Jenkins Morris M. and Lyn Burdette Evans Alfonso L. and Mrs. Mary M. Jessie Jill L. Fair Alice M. Johnson Scott H. Feathers Annette H. Johnson Bruce A. and Iris Z. Feinberg* Hiram D. and Barbara K. Johnston* Joseph R. Feinberg David G. and Vesta O. Jones* Elizabeth A. Field Margaret A. Jones* Alfreda S. Fields Brenda Jones Lewis and Foster Lewis Regina H. Finklin Dean H. Jordan Eleanor H. Finley* James R. and Sheila A. Kahrs Claire E. Flanagan Claire M. Keane Margaret M. Flores Walter M. and Adria N. Kimbrough Yuehong Chen Foley Nora C. King Gregory B. and Sharon B. Foster Gloria M. Kittel* Beverly J. Fountaine Ellen M. Knouse Marvin L. Fralish Jr.* Marie W. Kohlhaas Laura D. and George V. Fredrick Jr.* Raymond L. Krasneck Stacey Y. French-Lee Alan G. and Elise H. Krigline Lee J. and Joan M. Friedman* Wayne L. Sengstock Diane P. Frink and Cynthia J. Kuhlman* Courtney R. and Page T. Fritts Cynthia J. Landis Jim and Diane R. Garbo Amana M. Le Blanc John F. and Anne F. Gee Mary Gene M. and James H. Lee Richard and Phyllis W. Geoghegan Patricia G. and J. David Lindholm Mary Alice V. George Kent R. and Mary Elizabeth C. Logan Matthew D. and Liz Gillett* Judith L. Long Raymond A. and Jillian L. Giornelli* Joan M. and Gerald D. Lord* Joyce A. Goff Jacalyn L. Lund Dorothy C. Goodman Christine M. Lyman Grace S. Goodman Deborah P. Macon Daphne Greenberg Lisa P. Malik Rubye D. Griffin Geer* Jonna-Lynn K. Mandelbaum Loretta F. Harper and David H. Grubbs* Joyce E. Many and Steven A. Voelker F. Stuart and Kathleen C. Gulley* Pamela A. Martin James R. Gurley Kenneth B. and Mary A. Matheny* Janet A. Guyden Darell and Cinthia A. Mathis Janet E. Hackett James H. Maxey George and Carolyn T. Hall* Felicia M. and Rodney L. Mayfield* Frank G. and Ms. Nancy H. Hall Gwendolyn M. Mayfield Christopher E. and Regina D. Harden James M. McCarten* Stephen W. Harmon Mary Lou McCloskey and Joel W. Reed* Contina C. Harvey Donna M. McDonald Lucille W. Hayden* Rebecca C. McMullen Mary J. Heisner Paul and Johnnie P. McPhail Collistine L. Henderson Linda E. McSears Robert C. Hendrick Georgia H. McSwain and Susan L. Ogletree Alfred E. and Wilmer J. McWilliams Rachel H. Henning Jeanne P. Medina James M. and Sue W. Hess Clifford S. and O’Livia B. Meeks Shirley R. Hill James R. and Sharon M. Meredith

Michael and Theresa M. Metzler* Robert O. and J. Abbie Michael Tawana M. and Kenny Miller Jeremy B. and Christina C. Million* Andrew Milne and Michelle L. Brattain William and Frances R. Moon Benita H. and William Moore Kimberly J. Moore Jean C. Morris Stanley A. and Jane S. Mulaik Frankie C. Myrick John H. and Susan F. Neel* Joseph W. and Wanda G. Newman Dorris W. Niblett Stephen Nicholas Richard D. and Lynn B. Niedermayer Lynne and Glenn B. Ogden* Bernice A. Olsen Susan M. O’Neil Colleen M. O'Rourke Sandra L. Owen Pamela J. Page Linda Pak Bruner and W. Andrew Bruner Harold C. and Bettye B. Parker Marianne D. Parker Jeffrey D. Williams and Cheryl K. Paroo-Williams Courtney A. Pascual Sarah E. Patrick Peter J. and Linda W. Paul David Peterson* C. Sue Phelps Lorene C. Pilcher* Douglas S. and Ginger B. Pisik Donna Pittenger George A. and Victoria G. Pliagas Denise Poek Conley T. and Eleanor G. Poole Michael H. and Melody L. Popkin Knox D. Porter* S. Oberia Porter Rosalynne V. and William R. Price Dena H. Pyne Jerry J. and Usha Rackliffe Steven R. and Dolores B. Rader L. Allene Ranew Ralph and Jean D. Redding Jacquelyn A. Reid Richard and Candace S. Rhinehart Robert E. Rice Ronnell and Melanie Richards Vernon U. and Brenda Ritchie Pamela C. Rivers Michael H. and Roberta G. Rivner B. Sterling Roth Jeffrey C. and Deborah B. Rupp* Andrea L. Saad Patricia A. Salter Robert A. and Carol S. Sargent* Ruth R. Saxton Debra Schober-Peterson and Andrew Peterson Jarod M. Scott Jimmy L. Reaves and Adrienne L. Scott-Reaves Arthur and Joyce R. Serwitz

Stanley F. H. and Sherrie Shaheed Christine A. Shopa Warren C. and Bonnie B. Sides* Brenda U. and J. Gary Sirmons Mary P. Sjostrom Barbara Smith* Brenda D. and Richard W. Smith* E. Steven Smith H. Hilton Smith Larry T. Smith Richard M. and Lynne C. Smith* Frances M. Smoot Marilyn S. Snow Regina G. Speights Scott E. and Amilia Stephens Virginia L. and Daniel Stewart Gustav A. and Tavorn K. Strassburger Tina M. Strong Carla L. Tanguay Kenneth A. and Elisa M. Tate* Stephen and Monique D. Tavares Walter R. and Deon L. Thompson* Marcene R. Thornton Margaret P. and Albert A. Thrasher Rebecca S. Threat Mary R. Thurman Robert M. and Elinor P. Tollman Deborah N. Torbush James A. and Laura T. Trivette* Wendy K. Truvillion Diann M. and Mark A. Tyrrell James R. and Marjorie N. Waller Eddie L. Washington Rebecca E. Waugh Horace P. and Susan B. Webb* James E. and Jeanne B. Webb Betty J. Westmoreland Barbara I. Whitaker JoAnna F. and James H. White* Paul E. and Katherine S. White Naomi C. White Sophia T. Wicks Brad and Kay C. Wideman Stanley and E. Gail Wilkins Brian A. and Rhina Williams* Inward and Verdell F. Wilson S. Earl and Anne D. Wilson James C. and Mei-Ying Wu Joan T. Wynne Yali Zhao Marvin H. and Joan K. Zion *Dean's Society member. To join the Dean's Society, you must contribute $500 or more during the fiscal year to any College of Education & Human Development fund.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. We apologize for any errors or omissions. To report a problem with your listing, contact Chad Dillard, director of development, at 404-413-8132 or FALL 2016





Scott Godwin has developed surefire strategies for discovering purpose with exercise.


SCOTT GODWIN (M.S. ’01) CONNECTS EXERCISE TO MENTAL WELL-BEING IN HIS BOOK, “Movement and Meaning: Managing Stress & Building Mental Strength Through Exercise.” “I was able to change my own life and get out of the pattern of binge drinking, which I started in college. I get ‘high’ on movement instead,” he says. The National Institute of Mental Health reports 36.2 million Americans spent $57.5 billion in 2006 for care.* Godwin contends you can spend less by moving more. He explains, “Exercise is the only type of treatment which offers similar physiological benefits as drugs, builds self-efficacy and self-belief in the ability to change things, changes the structure of the brain and makes it stronger, and gives us a reason to get up in the morning.”

English has become an international language, often used for communication among diverse cultures. In many countries, courses and textbooks in medicine and engineering are only available in English. In the United States, new immigrants must learn English to succeed. Mary Lou McCloskey, an English language specialist who received her Ph.D. in educational leadership from Georgia State in 1982, has helped hundreds of teachers in 34 U.S. states and on five continents improve their English teaching and has developed numerous textbooks for English teachers and students. McCloskey is director of teacher education and curriculum design for Educo in Atlanta. Recent assignments have taken her to Egypt, Afghanistan and Kuwait. In Hungary, she worked with English teachers from across central and southern Europe in a program called Teaching Tolerance Through English, which brings together teachers and learners from warring countries of the former Yugoslavia to work, learn and play in harmony. Students and teachers learned English as they studied themes such as human rights, civil rights and conflict resolution. When we asked McCloskey if she had any advice for Georgia State students and alumni, she offered these insights gleaned from her accomplished career — strategies and paths she feels led to her own success.

SEEK OUT AMAZING MENTORS AND COLLEAGUES. Lorene Quay, her dissertation chair at Georgia State, and Scott Enright, fellow Georgia State professor and colleague, had tremendous influence on guiding McCloskey to her specialization, imparting skills she uses every day. WRITE. WRITE. WRITE. “Marco Polo wasn’t the only person who traveled the Silk Road to China,” McCloskey notes. “But he’s the one who wrote about it, securing his place in history.” Quay encouraged McCloskey to publish in national journals, and Enright collaborated on her first textbook. “Writing is how you can leave a legacy,” she says. GET PRACTICAL. Though she focuses on teacher development, McCloskey often spends time in classrooms with learners. Hands-on involvement is essential to inform both teacher education and curricula. SEE THE BEAUTY; SEE THE GOOD. Even when riding in an armored car in war-torn Afghanistan, she looks for the good and beauty of new places and in faces of local teachers and students eager to learn. JUST SAY YES. “Be open to new opportunities — even something you have never done before,” McCloskey advises. “Publish. Consult. Say, ‘Sure, I’ll write that chapter.’ These are the experiences that help you share what you have learned widely and make you grow.”

VOLUNTEER. As an early volunteer with Georgia’s Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, she helped organize the organization’s first southeast regional conference. She later joined the board and eventually became president of International Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, which boasts 15,000 members. For five years, she’s volunteered as English language specialist at the Global Village Project in Decatur, a safe haven for young refugee women whose education was interrupted by war. Each girl is assigned a mentor as she moves on to high school. Meh Sod Paw, a student from the Karen culture of Burma, was fortunate to be paired with McCloskey. The shy yet bright young student spoke no English when she arrived here from a Thai refugee camp. McCloskey marvels at her progress. Paw recently spoke at a TEDx conference, sharing her experiences as a refugee. She has also performed with theater and choral groups and joined Toastmasters to improve her public speaking. McCloskey proudly reports that Meh Sod Paw, a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar, started classes at Agnes Scott College this fall.“It’s remarkable to see how fast Meh Sod and others can learn in a safe, nurturing environment,” McCloskey says. The two friends have dinner at McCloskey’s home every week.

The Global Village Project's weekly book club at the Clarkston Community Library helps more than 40 students maintain their language and literacy skills.

FALL 2016


IN Magazine P.O. Box 3980, Atlanta, GA 30302-3980

The Moment Rita Broom-Ejemole and Prince Ejemole, who immigrated from Ghana and Nigeria, respectively, proudly watched their daughter, Alice (B.S.E. '16), graduate this past spring.

“My parents immigrated here two years before I was born, and they’re so excited that I’m graduating from college. Since I’m the first child to do so, I’m setting the stage for our family’s legacy here in the United States.”

IN Magazine - Fall 2016  

In this issue, we highlight Johnathan Cohen, manager of our new Technology Innovation Learning Environment, and give you a glimpse at our ne...

IN Magazine - Fall 2016  

In this issue, we highlight Johnathan Cohen, manager of our new Technology Innovation Learning Environment, and give you a glimpse at our ne...