Page 1

Kennesaw State University

Graduate College


Spring 2013

transform. elevate. lead.




Building Bridges for the Arts


Doctoral Journey: Personal Perspectives


STEM: Transforming Institutional Growth 14 M.S. in Integrated Biology 16 M.S. in Chemical Sciences 18 M.S. in Computer Science 20 M.S. in Applied Statistics

22 The Maya: Elevate Your Graduate Journey 28 Studying Abroad in Thailand: Financing Your Study Abroad Experience 30 Graduate Student Services Graduate Student Association 32 33 Graduate Library 34 University Place II 36 Juan Trejo on the Year of Peru 38 Alumni Kim Moulton: Transforming Her Classroom 39 Graduate Students of Conflict Mangement Engage with Cuban Society

Heather Cook


Tamara Hutto

42 Programs of Study



Letter from the Dean

Welcome to the second issue of the Graduate College Magazine.

In these pages you will find stories showcasing the exciting experiences that our graduate students and faculty are engaged in as they work to transform, elevate and lead. You will become familiar with how Kennesaw State University is transforming the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields at the graduate level through our four Master of Science programs. You can read about the journey our most recent graduates in the Doctor of Business Administration program went through to become leaders in their fields. And, you can hear about how the Maya Heritage Community Project is helping our graduate students elevate their studies by participating as graduate research assistants. These stories, as well as others highlighting study abroad experiences and alumni, should give you a snapshot of the wonderful experiences our graduate faculty are creating for our students so that they can gain experiences beyond the classroom. We look forward to hearing your feedback and your stories as you journey through graduate school. We hope you enjoy this issue!

Charles Amlaner, Jr.

Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College


Building Bridges for the Arts By Heather Cook Passionate words spill off the digital page in Amy Johnson’s blog, Artful Artsy Amy. By reading one post, it is evident that Johnson has a deep passion for the arts and for instilling that passion in her students. She writes of recent projects and of projects she’d like to do, of the wonders of teaching sixth to eighth graders, and of her experience as a teacher.

projects in which she has collaborated with her students, which reveals the array of personalities that she teaches. “Art is unlike any other school subject in that there is a highly emotional conversation between students and the teacher occurring at all times,” Johnson says.

“My students have so much to say about themselves, their world, and their future. It is very Johnson began her blog in 2009 as part of a project rewarding to be the person who helps a student find his/her voice.” Johnson teaches 6th, 7th, and in her Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Art 8th grade Art at Cooper Middle School, a Title I Education program at Kennesaw State University. The blog has stuck ever since and has become a school in the Cobb County School District. platform to share inspiration and collaborate on Johnson began KSU’s MAT in Art Education proart projects. Her blog is picture-rich and showcases gram during her fifth year of teaching and is now


a student in the Educational Specialist program. Her studies in the MAT program prepared her to pair teaching with research and provided a natural progression toward a Specialist degree. “I always tell people I entered the MAT Art Education program to earn a degree to make more money and came out wanting to be a scholar. I was taught to think less about the final grade and more about researching and creating content that is meaningful to both me and my immediate community.” Johnson plans to continue towards a doctorate upon graduation from the EdS program.

“Art is sometimes mysterious,” Johnson says. “It often gets relegated to the area of unnecessary in education, but nothing could be further from the truth. My plan is to find a way to help art educators build bridges to the rest of education so we can protect the arts as a necessary and highly valued part of the educational experience.” For more information on the MAT programs: You can checkout out Amy’s blog here:

“Art is sometimes mysterious.”


(From left to right) Drs. John Riggs, Ruben Boling, and Juanne Greene talk to us about their journeys through KSU’s DBA program.


DOCTORAL JOURNEY By Tamara Hutto Being able to complete a doctoral degree while working full time sounds a bit daunting, but that is exactly what KSU’s innovative Doctorate in Business Administration has set out to offer. The DBA is one of the few research doctorates to offer a non-traditional style program with an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation.

expertise of our faculty,” said the Director of the DBA program and KSU DBA alumni herself, Dr. Juanne Greene.

The program is designed to support seasoned professionals while they enhace their career flexibility and become distinguished experts in their field. Dr. Greene explained, “Whether it’s scheduled meetings with faculty to help you think through It is a full-time, cohort style program with a resi- a topic orimpromptu sessions to assist with techdency structure that allows students to attend nical challenges, the program seeks to provide as classes once a month on the weekends and online. much support as possible.” Dedicated full-time professionals work on their course work and dissertation in between trips to Since the DBA admitted its first cohort in 2009, campus, and they graduate in three to four years. applications have increased each year. The program is in demand by working professionals who The program also “exposes students to global want to enrich their career options while publishscholars who are external to KSU’s Coles College ing and contributing to theory and practice in of Business and have specific discipline and/or their respective fields of interest. methods of expertise that augment the skills and


Personal Perspectives

DBA candidates Carol Bishop (left) and Kim Honaker

It is often difficult for graduate students to balance personal, professional, and academic pursuits, but KSU’s DBA graduates all agree--KSU does a superb job of supporting its doctoral students all along the way. Once a month, students come to campus, some even fly and drive in from outside of Georgia. They spend time in class and engage with their classmates, faculty, and global scholars to enhance their learning beyond the classroom. The social and networking opportunities imbedded in the program add a significant personal dimension that is critical to balancing life while in a demanding doctoral program.

For more information on the DBA program, visit


Ruben Boling

”The first week was

their attempt to break us of our practitioner thought process and to mold us into scholarly thinkers.

Ruben Talks About His Application and Classroom Journey

A Forsyth county native, Dr. Ruben Boling received his Bachelor in Civil Engineering Technology from Southern Polytechnic State University and later earned his Master of Business Administration from the Georgia Institute of Technology. After working for several years in engineering and as a management consultant, he started looking into doctoral programs, but the full-time course loads and expectations of being a traditional doctoral student were not conducive to his family and work commitments at that time.

“The application process is set up to help you decide if you really want to pursue a DBA or not. Part of the process is writing a research proposal. It forces you to work very hard and work similar hours as in the program and ask similar questions of yourself in order to be successful. The process gives you an idea of what it is like to research your interests in-depth, while juggling your work and family life.”

He then started his own consulting firm and later built a specialty electronics company with a friend. Boling continued to be drawn to the idea of being a university professor. He found that if he wanted to teach at a university long term, he needed a doctoral degree. He caught wind of KSU’s DBA program and the fact that it was designed for working professionals like him. Knowing that he would be able to work and complete the program at the same time was what propelled Boling to finally pursue his DBA.

“The first day we started right away talking about theory. In the practitioner world, we know things happen in a certain way because we have experienced it. We did it for a living and did not consider the theory behind our actions. So it was a change of mind set. The first week was their attempt to break us of our practitioner thought process and to mold us into scholarly thinkers.”



DBA is very theory-oriented, so it forced us to step back and think about how we think.” Dr. John Riggs of Starke, Florida completed his Bachelor’s degree in Health Science Education at the University of Florida. He worked as an EMT for several years and later embarked on a career in pharmaceutical sales and marketing. When he first heard of plans for a DBA he was completing his Executive MBA at KSU in 2000. Later, after 20 years of working as an executive in the corporate world, he wanted to change careers, get into a classroom, and do research. Dr. Riggs is currently consulting, writing a book in sales management, collaborating with other scholars on various projects, and leading workshops for the business community in South Florida. He makes many speaking engagements around the country.

John Riggs

John Shares His Dissertation Journey “After considering many dissertation topics, Dr. Scott Widmier sat me down with a blank sheet of paper and asked a very basic question. ‘John, when in practice as a sales and marketing executive, what was one issue that impacted how you did your job?

Basically, what kept you up at night?’ That’s all it took. I immediately landed on a very interesting area of research in marketing and sales. Now, the process of writing the dissertation was very different. I


had to learn how to gather data, how to work with it, assess and evaluate it. The exciting part is that now I have three to five publications in the works that will be developed out of my dissertation research, which is extremely rewarding.”

Carols Speaks About Her Program Journey “KSU’s DBA program is a lot of hard work, but it is very much worth it—particularly if you want to teach at the college level. Although I knew it would help me teach, it really has had a great impact on my insight on the accounting field that I didn’t expect. My classroom is a much richer place now.

Carol Bishop Carol Bishop, originally from Albany, Georgia, is a Certified Public Accountant. She received her Bachelor of Accounting from Valdosta State University and her Master of Accounting from the University of Georgia. She has worked in the accounting field for 25 years in multiple capacities. After her children left for college, she wanted to start teaching. In 2006, she began teaching accounting courses at night at Albany State University. Later the next year, she started teaching at Georgia Southwestern State University. It was there that one of her colleagues encouraged her to pursue her DBA at KSU. A DBA was important for her because although she was already professionally qualified to teach in a business school, she was not academically qualified according to standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB.) As her colleague pointed out, if she wanted a career in higher education administration, she would need the academic credentials to go along with her work experience.


Also, the personal and professional contacts I made during the program made a big diffrence in my experince. Just last week I was on the phone with four classmates, each one for over an hour at a time. I found they are the people that really understand what I am going through. They are my support team. When I have a question, personal or professional, they are the ones I turn to. That is one of the things I have really enjoyed about this program.”


classroom is a much richer place now. ”


Transforming Institutional Growth

By Tamara Hutto On August 15, 2012, KSU’s President, Dr. Daniel Papp announced KSU’s Five Year Strategic Plan, which centers on a defining vision, “Kennesaw State University will be a nationally prominent university recognized for excellence in education, engagement, and innovation.” Part of Dr. Papp’s plan to achieve this is by way of supporting and expanding research and graduate programs at KSU. Escalating research is a relatively new objective for KSU, and with these strategic initiatives, much has been done and much is left to do to bring this vision to fruition. Dr. Charles Amlaner, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College explains, “We are constantly in a seeking mode for new sources of funding to support graduate education, but it is both exciting and daunting. It is exciting to look for new money, but daunting to realize if you don’t find it, ideas won’t get off the ground. It is fair to say we have many more good ideas then money to support them. We just have to align our good ideas with in-


dustry, state, and federal needs, as well as follow national and international trends in disciplines and research questions.” Advancement in this direction of graduate education, engagement, and innovation is already evident on campus: five new graduate programs were approved in the past two years; two major teaching and research infrastructures were erected: Prillaman Hall and the Lab Science building; from FY11 to FY12 the number of graduate assistants increased by more than 50%; and stipend budgets increased dramatically from $150,000 to $750,000. As word spreads about the exciting endeavors KSU graduate students, alumni, and faculty are engaging in, high-quality graduate applicants will continue to apply to KSU, more faculty will engage in graduate research, and and more students can immerse themselves in graduate study to become alumni who are capable of attaining their career goals.” later become alumni and capable of attaining their career goals.

The MSCS was designed to better meet the needs of students and the Computer Science industry. Even as far back as 2006 when the MSAS was established, the faculty uniquely structured the program to meet industry needs based off recommendations from their active advisory board. All four programs are advantageously structured to train professionals in their fields, giving them the skills and ability to take advantage of employment opportunities. Amlaner enthusiastically remarked, “As a professional scientist, I am excited when a graduate program in science gets approved. The fruits of graduate education are in solving the world’s problems. Kennesaw needed these programs. They are the next big steps in our graduate evolution to develop a solid set of degree programs based in the basic sciences.”

One of the defining characteristics of KSU’s graduate programs is that they are highly innovative. Graduate students at KSU are trained in programs of study that consider the expectations and needs of today and tomorrow’s job markets. The MSIB and the MSChS were designed as faculty in the Sciences Each program has its own unique characteristics. In witnessed an evolution in biological and chemical re- the next couple pages you can read about the programs and the people who behind them. search.


The Master in Intergrated Biology’s first cohort started classes this past Fall 2012

A major part of KSU’s progression in graduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is the addition of three master degree programs in Computer Science (MSCS), Integrative Biology (MSIB), and the Chemical Sciences (MSChS). These three new programs will join our already very successful M.S. in Applied Statistics (MSAS) program as the graduate offering through the College of Science and Mathematics. These additions have positioned KSU to strengthen STEM education and research beyond its undergraduate and teacher education programs.

The most unique aspect of the MSIB program is the fact that it is called “Integrative” Biology. ... it stems from the “recognition that big discoveries occur because scientists go outside of their sub-disciplines,” broadening their tools, methods, and concepts which results in crossdisciplinary, innovative research.


Master of Science

Integrative Biology Dr. Joseph Dirnberger (bottom), an aquatic ecologist, is the MSIB program coordinator and has been a biology professor at KSU since 1990. “I’ve had an interest in science since I was quite young,” Dirnberger explained, “I was attracted to biology by the pattern and complexity of living things. When I figured out that I could do biology and be outside on the water, I knew aquatic ecology was the thing for me.”

The MSIB will expose students to additional techniques and theories outside the scope of their subdiscipline in order to stimulate problem-solving skills from a multi-dimensional approach. For example, Eric Duncan, who is a part of the MSIB’s first cohort this past Fall 2012, plans to do research in his subdiscipline of plant ecology, while also approaching his research from a geographic information system (GIS) perspective.

Dirnberger received his PhD in 1988 from the University of Texas, where he spent much of his time doing research off the gulf coast. His dissertation explored how planktonic larval invertebrates settle onto seagrass blades, a topic that emerged because of his interest in the importance of this event on the subsequence distribution and abundance of later life stages.

There are seven MSIB students who make up the first MSIB cohort. Six of the seven are working as teaching assistants in lab sections of biology classes. They are responsible for running the lab and teaching undergraduate students. In exchange for this experience, students receive tuition waivers and stipends of $12,000 per year.

In the past decade, biologists have acknowledged that in order to keep up with the pace of modern biology research, the biological sciences needs to integrate perspectives between its subdisciplines, such as ecology and microbiology. At the same time, there needs to be an incorporation of perspectives across scientific disciplines, such as physics and chemistry. Scientific communities and organizations, such as the National Science Foundation, support this trend in interdisciplinary study. There is also a movement of prominent research universities, such as the University of California at Berkeley and Yale University, who are creating new departments in Integrative Biology in efforts to promote “this kind of integrative thinking,” noted Dirnberger.

For more information


Master of Science

Chemical Sciences The MS Chemical Sciences program is also an interdisciplinary graduate degree program that will prepare students for scientific research in any of the areas that span the traditional areas of chemistry and biochemistry as well as subjects at the interface between the traditional scientific disciplines. This thesis-based program will offer tracks in chemistry and biochemistry starting in Fall 2013. It includes a flexible program of study tailored to the student’s background and research interests. On-going research projects demonstrate the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature of the Chemical Sciences and include biochemistry, organometallic chemistry, astrochemistry, chemical biology, and materials science including nanochemistry. An graduate from this program will be positioned to enter a competitive Ph.D.-degree granting program with a clear understanding of the discipline and how to devise, plan, and execute a research program. This program also prepares graduates to enter the industrial workforce on a path to a higher

salary and enhanced career options compared to a B.S. degree. Faculty members in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at KSU are currently supported by on-going projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, Research Corporation, and the Petroleum Research Fund. The College of Science and Mathematics has excellent facilities including a 104,000 ft2 Science building and a new 73,500 ft2 Science Laboratory containing three floors of labs dedicated to research and office. - Teaching and Research Assistantships are available Teaching assistants will be expected to teach 2-3 sections of an undergraduate lab per semester, work with students in the tutoring center, and work with faculty members in the development of course materials Research assistants will work closely with faculty on research projects leading to their thesis development, and gain important experience developing, planning and completing a research project.

For more information visit



In addition to the choices of program models and study plans, the MSCS program incorporates state of the art distance learning technology. This important feature offers students a variety of class attendance options, making the program flexible for people who work full-time as they pursue their master’s degree.


Master of Science

Computer Science Another new addition to KSU’s STEM graduate programs is the MSCS. Dr. Ying Xie (left), who has been a computer science professor at KSU since 2005, is the MSCS program director. When first asked to describe the program, Xie simply said, “novel”. The program has a lot of unique features that blend theoretical foundations of computer science with state of the art computer technology.” Xie received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His dissertation explored the technological side of search engines. He continues to work towards building new models of information retrieval and language modeling technology. Data mining, bioinformatics, and computational intelligence are also his research areas of interest.

ees whose skills go beyond computer science. Picking up proficiencies in other disciplines, particularly in statistics and management, will give graduates of KSU’s MSCS program an edge over other computer science professionals in the job market. This program also offers flexible full-time, part-time, and an accelerated bachelor/master study plans. With only a two-month lead-time from the moment the Board of Regents approved the program to when the Fall 2012 semester started, the MSCS was able to competitively review applicants and admit eight highly-qualified students. Three of them received teaching assistantships which includes tuition waivers and monthly stipends. One of the graduate teaching assistants is working with Dr. Xie in the cloud computing lab toward building a “cloud platform that supports teaching, education, and research.” The lab is still in the beginning stages, but through the employment and efforts of graduate students, the lab’s progress will accelerate.

With three degree models, the MSCS program allows students to structure their degree to meet their needs. For those who want to focus on the research side, there is a thesis option. If one would rather explore a broader perspective of the field, they can choose the non-thesis option and pursue additional electives or participate in an internship, co-op, or study abroad The Computer Science department has hired opportunity. two new research and teaching faculty to support the MSCS and computing research: Dr. The third model allows students to incorpo- Hossain Shahriar in computing and software rate an interdisciplinary perspective by taking security, and Dr. Selena He in wireless netclasses within KSU’s M.S. in Applied Statis- working. tics and M.S. in Information Systems degree programs. This interdisciplinary model allows For more information visit students to meet industry demand for employ


Master of Science

Applied Statistics The MSAS program prepares students to use cutting-edge statistical methods to draw valid and meaningful inferences from business, industry, government, and health services data. Dr. Lewis VanBrackle (pictured below), is a professor of mathematics and statistics at KSU and the Director of the MSAS program. He explains, “statistics, especially applied statistics, is used to translate data into information to ultimately support and improve decision-making.” The program focuses on realworld applications and requires students to complete a comprehensive, applied project that is based on a problem from their work, co-op or internship, or research with a faculty member.

background in SAS gives our students an edge in the job market. We also emphasize communication. It is not enough to turn data into information, but our graduates must be able to communicate that information to their clients clearly and concisely.”

VanBrackle received his Master’s and PhD in Statistics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. VanBrackle was drawn to the field of statistics because, “Statistics is mathematical enough to be interesting to me and employable enough to make it worthwhile to study.” “In our program we have an emphasis on SAS statistical software,” said VanBrackle. “SAS is heavily used in businesses throughout the world, and a good

Many great success stories come from the alumni of the MSAS program. One of VanBrackle’s favorite stories is of an alumnus from Savannah, Georgia. “He started as an analyst at a marketing research firm here in Atlanta immediately after graduating in 2008 from our first graduating class,” said VanBrackle. “He moved up through the ranks to Senior Analyst, Statistical Consultant, and Senior Consultant. He is now the Vice-President of Analytics for a business analytics firm in Philadelphia. He accomplished all this in just four years! He applied his natural abilities, his work ethic, and the technical and communication skills we taught him to make himself into a real success.”

MSAS faculty members have PhD degrees in the fields of Statistics, Mathematics, Decision Science, Educational Psychology, Industrial Engineering, Biostatistics, and Epidemiology. Most MSAS faculty members have industrial or business experience in industries such as healthcare, credit, automotive, telecommunications, and electrical utilities.

For more information, visit


A remarkable feature of this program is its very active advisory board. It is made up of representatives from Atlanta Metro area businesses, industries, and government. “The advisory board meets with us regularly and helps us stay current with the needs of local employers,� said VanBrackle.


The Maya:

elevate Your graduate Jour

By Tamara Hutto

The Maya Heritage Community Project (MHCP)

at KSU sponsors four to five Graduate Assistants every semester. Under the guidance of Dr. Alan LeBaron (below), graduate students are able to engage in service learning while receiving tuition waivers and monthly stipends.


urney Most people associate Maya culture with the pre-Columbus Maya civilization and with images of astrology, calendars, mystical pyramids, and brutal human sacrifice. While the Maya have maintained their languages and many of their values and traditions, today’s Maya people are struggling with their place in modern society and how to accommodate without doing away with, and being ashamed of, their Maya heritage.

While working with and learning from the Maya, graduate students gain real world skills: “flexibility, creativity, the ability to be proactive, work in difficult situations and across different cultures” according to LeBaron. LeBaron describes the MHCP as an “opportunity to discover a people that many people do not know exist. This program is meant to connect students academically and methodologically with an engaged university program, which is achieved through a unique human interaction with the Maya. Our goal is not judgment or ideology, but it is a more intense, more profound level of university learning.”

The Maya people have endured Spanish conquests and colonization of the Americas, which has left them to be regarded as secondclass citizens and the subjects of racial prejudice. LeBaron explains “The Maya have been oppressed for the last 500 years.” Mayas first immigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s “primarily because the Civil War in Guatemala targeted and killed several hundred thousand Mayas in a decade. Government forces destroyed about 400 Maya villages, and approximately a million Maya were displaced, with hundreds of thousands fleeing to Mexico and eventually the United States.” Some of those who came to the U.S .in the 1980s and early 1990s were granted refugee status. Now that they are in the U.S., they often ignore their cultural practices for western ideas because they are learning to undervalue their culture in efforts to redefine themselves and better their opportunities, LeBaron explained. “What will happen to them as they rise out of poverty has been a long-time question.”


LeBaron is the MHCP Director and professor of History and Interdisciplinary Studies at KSU. Over the past decade, he has been instrumental in connecting graduate students from a wide variety of backgrounds to MHCP projects that benefit both the local Maya communities in Georgia, as well as across the nation. When first asked about how he originally got involved with the Maya people, he routinely explained that he was trained as a Latin American historian, and his dissertation was on U.S. relations with Guatemala. This goes to show that the endeavors and topics graduate students engross themselves in during graduate school can very well shape the paths and communities that are a part of their future careers.

projects, always striving to ensure graduate students are having a “living experience--meaning, personal interactions with the Maya people to one degree or another.” An example of a past assignment involved a student that assisted a Maya family with issues their child was experiencing in the public school system. A report was written about policy obstacles and recommendations for real world issues the Maya are facing in today’s society. Another example is the work done by LeBaron’s most recent Graduate Research Assistant (GRA). Mandy McGrew, who is now an alumni of the MA in American Studies, worked with LeBaron and the MHCP as a GRA for two and a half years while she worked on her Masters. She had been out of school for six years raising her two children when she decided she wanted to pursue her master’s degree. According to McGrew, she was “randomly assigned” to be LeBaron’s GRA because of her interest and background in history. “When I first heard about the Maya project, I was a little intimidated. I didn’t know anything about the Maya people. And I would be one of the only women working with a lot of older established Maya men – I didn’t know what to expect.”

LeBaron received his PhD in Latin American History from the University of Florida in 1988 and started working at KSU in 1991. The MHCP program stemmed from a class assignment LeBaron created for one of his History of Mexico classes. It “started as a small one day meeting with some local Maya to learn from them about their culture” stated LeBaron. As interest grew about the project, more students and faculty volunteered for the program. By 2004, it became a national engagement program hosting national Maya conferences. KSU hosted the Maya conferences from 2004 - 2007 and they continue to help organize yearly conferences in other parts of the USA. In 2007 the MHCP became an approved proj- She started out doing bibliographies and compiling ect connected to the United States Peace Corps, Paul recent books related to the Maya. Then she had the D. Coverdell Fellows Program. opportunity to meet and work with the Maya people on a documentary about Maya children speaking Over the years, graduate students increasingly work many different languages. “The kids really took to with LeBaron and the MHCP. He assesses their skills and academic goals to assign them to appropriate

“This program is meant to CONNECT students ...with an ENGAGED university program... through a unique human INTERACTION with the Maya.”


(Top to bottom) Maya Faith Ceremony taking place at a Maya conference in Los Angeles, Maya girls in Guatamala in the 1970s, Maya girls at a conference in Omaha NE, Mandy McGrew was a GRA, Mandy and Dr. LeBaron with some Maya from the community and events. Photographs provided by the Maya Heritage and Community Project.


me, and everyone was so sweet. It was so casual. I fit right in.” Although McGrew does not speak Spanish or any Maya languages, she worked closely with a Mayan interpreter, Gilberto, who volunteered his time to be a leader for his people.

awarded from Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, because they, too, saw a need for such a tool kit to help both the Maya and health care workers. This project tackles the larger issues of language and culture the Maya face as they try to assimilate to life in the U.S. These issues hold the Maya back from rising above their notoriously underprivileged history and making the best of their futures while maintaining healthy lifestyles. With the success of the tool kit, the MHCP plan to develop additional health care kits in the future.

Gilberto wanted to bring his people closer together, and he saw firsthand the difficulties they encountered. In his native country of Guatemala, he was a student leader and is relatively well educated. He moved to Georgia, and his wife later became pregnant. When it came time for their baby’s delivery, Gilberto and his wife found it very difficult to communicate with health care professionals, as his wife did not speak Although McGrew did not start out her master’s English. They did not know what what their options program with an interest in the Maya people or even were during their stay in the hospital. health care, she quickly adapted and became engaged with the program academically and personally. McAfter this experience, Gilberto voiced that there was Grew has already made two professional presentaa need for health care information, specifically pre- tions at a national and regional conference as a result natal care, to be translated into Mayan languages to of her work. She was also able to write her master assist others who are going through similar experi- thesis on her experience. ences. McGrew mentioned that there are many Maya women who are alone in the U.S., and when they go to Now that she has graduated, McGrew considers purthe hospital, they have no way to communicate their suing her PhD. “The Masters in American Studies needs. program is a serious academic endeavor,” McGrew said. “Although very challenging, I loved all my classContrary to common misconceptions, the Maya es, professors, and classmates. And now that I am people are not Latino or Hispanic—they are Na- thinking about PhD programs, they are willing and tive American. For more than 4,000 years, they have able to help me embark on that next journey.” lived in southern Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, and throughout Central America. They are one of the few “You have to have a dialogue with your fellow stuNative Americans who continue to primarily use their dents” McGrew advises. “Talk with your professor, native languages and practice their ancient culture. not to just get though the program, but because you There are more than 30 different Maya languages in can learn so much from their experiences.” use today with over 50 different dialects. Women tend to speak primarily their native language, but many of the men speak Spanish as well. Find out more information: Along with others, McGrew and Gilberto worked on MHCP a national Maya Health Care Tool Kit for health care MAST professionals. The project was funded by a contract


Staff. Faculty. Students. Alumni.

Work with your community


develop your resume 27

Studying Abroad in Thailand: Financing your study abroad experience

By Heather Cook From May 30 to June 13, Dr. Sutham Cobkit, Director of the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program, and a group of graduate and undergraduate students departed for a two-week trip to Thailand. The annual trip, which began in 2003, provides students with a close look of the Thai criminal justice system. Once in Thailand, the group stays in Bangkok, but has excursions to cities outside the capital, such as Nakorn Pathom, Kanchanaburi, and Chonburi. Cobkit noted that the group attended the prison, Police Academy, and Police Department. Students said the highlight of the trip was the halfhour elephant ride. Financial aid is available for the trip to Thailand and for other study abroad experiences through the Global Learning Scholarship, which is supported through the global learning fee. All students who have paid the global learning fee and who have enrolled in the study abroad program by that specific program’s deadline are eligible.


There is no application process for the scholarship as long as students apply for the study abroad program by the posted deadline. A minimum adjusted cumulative 3.0 graduate GPA is required for consideration. Scholarship recipients are required to provide five hours of volunteer service, which can take the form of essays or classroom visits. Another common way of funding study abroad trips is through personal fundraising. Students will compose what are called “beg letters� to send to relatives, friends, and coworkers asking for any denomination of money to help them fund their trip. Other times, students will research fundraisers on the internet to raise money. Studying abroad is financially doable through the use of the Global Learning Scholarship, various other scholarships, and through personal fundraising. If traveling and studying abroad is a passion of yours, don’t let finances be a hindrance.

For more information about the Global Learning Scholarship and the other scholarships Kennesaw offers, visit





Graduate school can be stressful and daunting but it can also be an exciting place where you find yourself immersing in subjects you care about. KSU has many resources exclusively for graduate students which aim to maximize time and efforts to assist with the stressful and fun parts of being a graduate student on campus.




Graduate Student Association

“Get involved in your graduate education by participating in activities and using resources that expand your learning. Try to create a balanced life between graduate studies and your social life.� ~Alexander Tai President of the GSA

By Heather Cook

The Graduate Student Association assists students throughout their college careers as they balance their studies, work, family, and social lives. Through networking events, guest lectures, student conferences, student socials, and community service activities, the GSA provides graduate students an integrated support system throughout their studies to graduation. Events are planned for this spring 2013 semester, such as a networking event at an Atlanta Hawks game.


Graduate Library By Mary Wilson, Graduate Librarian

The Graduate Library is located on the 3rd floor of the Sturgis Library. It is being developed to become Kennesaw State University’s primary research collection for social sciences, business, education, sciences, health sciences, and humanities. Dr. Randy Hinds and Dr. David Evans developed the concept of the Graduate Library, which is open to doctoral and master’s students and faculty, and all others, including all students, faculty, staff, and members of the public. The Graduate Library supports graduate-level study, and the Library holdings include books, government documents, and electronic resources. The Library offers a number of services designed to meet research needs, including research, circulation services, and interlibrary loans. The Graduate Librarians offer inclass, small-group, and individual instruction to facilitate academic inquiry. (From left to right) Jon Hansen, Dr. David Evans, Dr. Mary Wilson, and Dr. Linda Golian-Lui


University Place ii

“After spending so much time in class and then in the library burning the midnight oil, graduate students can take a short walk to arrive at their apartment conveniently located right here on campus.� Jeff Cooper, Director of Housing and Residence Life


By Heather Cook

University Place II, KSU’s latest addition to its on-campus housing, features a mature lifestyle, affording graduate students a new, state-of-the-art option. With Wi-Fi hotspots in every apartment, Wi-Fi connectivity outdoors in the amphitheater and courtyard, and a recently renovated computer lab, UP II provides graduate students with the necessary tools to succeed in their studies. The new housing is also allinclusive whose monthly rate includes all utilities, cable, and Internet. UP II is also furnished. An amphitheater is nestled at the center of UP II and serves as the venue for many exciting events, including painting classes, concerts, talent shows, and open mic nights. “Living on campus is about engaging not only with your peers, but with campus life. Many graduate students still desire to connect to their institution, and the ones that don’t, still want a quiet, but exciting, place to call home. Residence Life and University Place II afford those opportunities.” Jeff Cooper, Director of Housing and Residence Life


Juan Trejo On the Year of Peru

By Heather Cook

Juan Trejo, graduate student in the Master of Arts in American Studies program (right) worked on the Year of Peru with Dr. Ernesto Silva as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA). He summarized lectures from the visiting professors, interviewed students to see how the lectures improved their understanding of Peru and Latin America, and gave tours and brief lectures on the Machu Picchu exhibit. Trejo’s goal is to earn a Ph.D. in history, and his experience with the Year of Peru has contributed to his knowledge of Peru and Latin America.


“The greatest thing that I have received from being a GRA has been more knowledge, and that is the one thing that I can say I would never trade for anything else. In order to be a great person in this world, one has to understand this world. Working on the Year of Peru has improved my understanding of the world I live in.�- Juan Trejo


Alumni Kim Moulton: Transforming Her Classroom through the New Teacher's Grant By Heather Cook

Kim Moulton, graduate of KSU’s Master of Arts in Teaching in English, was the recipient for the Georgia Power New Teacher’s Grant this year. Darren Crovitz nominated Moulton for the award, who didn’t even hear about the grant until she won it. Moulton plans to use a portion of the funds for a document camera for her classroom. She is still brainstorming ideas for uses for the remaining funds. Other teachers have suggested using the money for iPads and for earning her gifted certification. Moulton said, “I completed my AP Language certification right after I graduated, and I plan to pursue my Gifted certification as soon as possible.”

Moulton (second from right) stands with her family after her graduate commencement.


Graduate Students of Conflict Mangement Engage with

Cuban Society

By Josh Azriel Cuba is a mysterious destination for many Americans. With the U.S. trade embargo in effect for 52 years and restrictions on travel, many Americans do not have a deep understanding about the island. Under U.S. law, only professors and students are allowed to visit the island for educational purposes, and Cuban relatives who live in the U.S. are allowed to visit and bring products and goods into Cuba.


Cuba was a semester long case study for this year’s Masters of Science in Conflict Management program (MSCM) cohort. They studied Cuban society, economics, and politics to learn about how these various conflicts begin and are potentially resolved. In November 2012, 14 students and three professors visited Cuba for seven days to meet various economic, legal, and social policy leaders, as well as everyday Cubans

trying to overcome economic challenges. This study abroad trip was an opportunity for graduate students to to hear and see for themselves how “truths and story-telling” emerge from the population. Before leaving for Cuba, the MSCM students met Cuban exiles who live in the Atlanta area. Students learned why they fled Cuba for more economic opportunities and to live in a free society. While in Cuba, the students met individuals who discussed the economic changes now underway in society. Graduate student also spoke with economists and attorneys who spoke about the new opportunities to own small businesses and to sell homes and cars. One of the conflicts at hand is mainly economic as Cubans struggle to earn enough money to buy food for their families. Cubans who work as doctors, nurses, teachers and other professions are paid by the state and earn their salary in one type of currency. This money is used to buy food and other goods. Tourists pay for the same products in a separate, stronger currency that buys more products. This tourism-oriented currency is highly valued by Cubans and they struggle to earn it so they can buy more food and medicine. Cuban families are given a ration card for a month’s worth of food including meats, vegetables, and rice. The money used to buy this food is based on the lesser state currency. Many Cubans we met complained that one month of food in reality sustains their families for just one week. Many Cubans supplement their rations by selling arts and crafts or operating ‘paladares’, restaurants, in their homes. In order to run these businesses, they receive money and goods from relatives who live abroad. As the students engaged with Havana community leaders, they met representatives from the Cuban Peace Council, leaders of the Martin Luther King Center, and an attorney with the UNJC, National Juridical Council, a Cuban le-


gal advisory group. These leaders talked about their groups’ projects in Havana and Cuban American relations including the impact the U.S. embargo has on Cuban economy and society. Beyond official meetings, informally MSCM students met local Havana residents as they explored the city. Also, the people-to -people contact incorporated into the trip created many learning benefits that can’t be measured. For example, one woman who owns a crafts shop in her home, gave a few students a personal tour of her house where they saw firsthand the family’s poor living conditions. Parts of the home had no roof, one sink for washing food and clothes, and needed many other repairs. She explained that by opening a crafts shop, she hopes to earn enough money to buy food beyond the monthly rations and repair her house. The conflict management tools and techniques students are trained in vary greatly from country to country. This study abroad trip to Cuba provided a unique personal insight into the issues of conflict management than any textbook could ever offer. *Josh Azriel is an Associate Professor and Director of the Journalism and Citizen Media program at Kennesaw State University. For more information visit:

Global Engagment Certificate Requirements ~Global Coursework (6 hours)~ There are many graduate courses in your program to satisfy this!

Resume Building

~Have you studied abroad ? ~Have you taken a foreign language? ~Do you have Intercultural work experience?

~Education abroad- (4 weeks)~ Undergraduate and Graduate experiences count! ~Foreign Language Proficiency~ Two years of foreign language in high school or two semesters at the college level ~Global Experiences Cross cultural teamwork, awareness, and community service

Then you are already more than half way to being able to earn this distinguished certificate to put on your resume!


Graduate Bagwell College of Education - Doctorate of Education - Educational Specialist - Master of Education - Master of Arts in Teaching Wellstar College of Health and Human Services - Doctorate of Nursing Science - Master of Applied Exercise and Health Science - Master of Science in Nursing - Master of Social Work College of Science and Mathematics - Master of Science in Computer Science - Master of Applied Statistics - Master of Science in Integrative Biology - Master of Science in Chemical Sciences Coles College of Business - Doctorate of Business Administration - Executive Master of Business Administration - Master of Accounting - Master of Business Administration - Master of Science in Information Systems Graduate Certificates - Leadership and Ethics - Information Security and Assurance - Creative Writing - Writing for International Audiences 42

Programs College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Master of Arts in American Studies - Master of Public Administration - Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Master of Arts in Professional Writing - Master of International Policy Management - Master of Science in Conflict Management - Master of Arts in Integrated Global Communications - Ph.D. in International Conflict Management

Apply today


“It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us escape, not from our own time — for we are bound by that — but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our time.” T.S. Eliot

Office of Graduate Admissions, 1000 Chastain Road, #9109 Kennesaw, Georgia 30144 Follow us 44

KSU Graduate College Magazine: Spring 2013  

KSU Graduate College Magazine, Second Edition, Spring 2013

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you