Monthly Highlights

The Co-Chairs of the GURC Posters at the Georgia State Capitol are pleased to announce that the first year's event was a great success. A special thank you to Johnny Grant and Holly Croft for their extensive contributions to this event. Thanks goes to Abigail Quick who served as a GC Ambassador for the event. There were 40 posters presented from 12 Georgia institutes of higher learning. Georgia College students Madeline Drive and Amelia Dubose (representing the Psychology Department) and Nick Palmer (representing the Physics Department) presented their research. The event drew positive comments from faculty, department chairs, visitors to the Capitol, and members of the State Senate and House of Representatives. The 2020 call for posters will begin in the fall semester 2019 for presentations in the spring of 2020. Watch the GC Front Page and the MURACE website for details.

GURC Co-Chair, Archivist and GC Ambassador, Mentors, and GC presenters at the 1st Annual GURC Posters at the Georgia State Capitol



Please read and share this White Paper by Joanne D. Altman (High Point University), Tsu-Ming Chiang (Georgia College & State University), Christian S. Hamann (Albright College), Huda Makhluf (National University), Virginia Peterson (Grand Valley State Unviersity), Sara E. Orel (Truman State University). White paper


Adam Weinberg gives recommendations for fostering such mentorship at your institution.

By  Adam Weinberg, President Denison University
February 25, 2019

"As a college president, I often sit down to talk with alumni, and the first thing they share is a story about how a relationship with a faculty member impacted their life. Faculty mentorship matters. In fact, the most recent Strada-Gallup Alumni Survey found that having a faculty mentor in college doubles the odds of a person being engaged professionally and thriving in their life.

At its core, faculty mentorship involves caring about, connecting with and catalyzing students. Mentorship by a faculty member focuses on building a relationship that reaches beyond academic planning. It includes helping students reflect upon and integrate their various learning experiences, as well as caring for and impacting students’ personal and professional growth. It is about helping students start a long process of becoming the architects of their lives.

On its most basic level, faculty mentorship is a relationship between a more experienced mentor and a less experienced student, where a faculty member focuses on the student’s academic, personal and professional growth. In doing so, a faculty member shares with the student the mentor’s expertise provides guidance and support and serves as a role model for the student. The goal is to help students develop the skills, values, habits, networks and experiences needed to achieve their own goals. A lot of the impact of mentorship comes from creating reflective moments that help students learn from their curricular, co-curricular and other experiences.

Mentorship also is fluid and, at its best, collaborative. As it may often entail guidance provided by a variety of people in a variety of roles, the group of potential mentors for any one student necessarily shifts over time. And yet, among the many mentors a student might have, a faculty mentor plays a special and powerful role.

This point is important and stands in contrast to the traditional model of the "one great mentor/guru" myth. Students often have a group, network or circle of people, each of whom provides specific forms of guidance.

Fostering Faculty Mentorship

Mentorship is organic. It occurs when the right relationships emerge at the right moment. Like all relational processes, the form and substance vary according to a range of factors. Faculty members are likely to mentor differently based on their own personal attributes, as well as their academic disciplines and departments. Faculty members may mentor differently at different times of their professional careers, too. And of course, how the mentor will vary based on the student whom they are trying to connect with and catalyze.

We can, however, foster the conditions under which mentorship is more likely to emerge: 1) when faculty members are focused on undergraduates and committed to teaching, 2) classes are small and interactive, and 3) students are able to get to know a range of faculty members.

To truly create an ecosystem of mentorship, other conditions are also important. For example, mentorship emerges more often when:

Students interact with faculty members around shared interests, especially intellectual and/or academic interests. Most mentorship occurs in office hours and labs, through undergraduate research opportunities and experiential components of courses, and other venues where students and faculty members have a chance to share their intellectual interests.
Interactions take place over a sustained period of time. Of course, a single conversation can be transformational for students. In some ways, we know that a single interaction with a faculty member can make a difference in a student’s experience. But most mentorship occurs as relationships develop. Faculty members get to know students, and students get to know faculty. Trust develops. Moments present themselves where faculty members can push students to reflect upon and evaluate their thinking. Learning unfolds.
There is a culture of mentorship, and students are encouraged to be open to it. Students have to do their part. Mentorship is not one-directional. The success of any mentoring relationship depends on the willingness of a person to be mentored. One of the interesting questions for me is: How do we help students learn how to be mentored or to take advantage of the mentoring opportunities they have in college?
Ongoing professional development efforts facilitate conversations about mentoring. We need venues to continually share data on our students, the issues they are facing and what we know about mentoring different students differently. As part of this work, we need to find ways for faculty members to interact with student development professionals on a more regular basis to trade information about our students and campus dynamics. We also need more venues in which to share best practices.

Colleges and universities can put these principles into practice in a variety of ways. Three great starting places are:

having small and interactive classes throughout a student’s experience;
offering high impact practices like first-year seminars, undergraduate research, off-campus excursions, and capstone experiences; and
encouraging faculty members who have interesting -- even outside-the-box -- ideas. At Denison University, that has included supporting a professor who wanted to start a fencing program and two faculty members who created a monthly mentoring group for women of color.

What Mentorship Is Not

Mentoring is not the same as friendship. It should be focused on some aspect, or multiple aspects, of a student’s academic success, personal growth, and professional launching. Unlike friendship, the value is contingent on the mentor’s ability to achieve a desired end -- which, in this case, is student development and success. Another way to put this is that advisers and mentors are intentional about helping students learn what they need to attain their personal and professional goals.

Mentorship is also not crisis management. Some of our students will face crises while in college, including health challenges, family issues and a range of other crises. Colleges need faculty members to help identify when students are in crisis, as well as to help students find the right person at the college who can help them manage the crisis.

In addition, a faculty member can’t be all things to a student. Ideally, students should have a network of mentors, because no one person can be an expert in all areas. Nor is it reasonable to expect that one person’s expertise will be relevant at all stages of a student’s experience.

The other interesting question is how mentorship differs from advising. There is a tendency to want to draw clear distinctions between faculty advising and mentorship. But that is unwise or, at least, not helpful in a practical sense. In some ways, advising and mentorship are different, as more traditional academic advising can be reduced to the task of helping students stay on track to graduate. But the best advising is a form of mentorship. Of course, faculty advisers often form relationships that evolve into mentoring relationships.

That said, not all advising relationships will become mentoring relationships. Mentorship depends on the existence of the right sort of relationship, and the creation of this relationship is organic and two-sided. We always want, need and expect faculty to be excellent advisers in the traditional sense and to be open to -- and perhaps excited about -- the possibility that those advising relationships will evolve into mentoring relationships. Stated differently, faculty members don’t play two distinct roles, adviser and mentor, but rather engage in relationships that develop in different ways or at different speeds. Some of those relationships stay at a stage where the faculty member’s role is best captured as an adviser, while others grow in ways that the role is best described as a mentor.

My experience as a faculty member, administrator and now president leads me to believe that creating a strong ecosystem of mentorship on our campuses is one of the most powerful things we could and should do to enhance undergraduate learning. We should put it front and center. In their wonderful book, How College Works, Daniel F. Chambliss, and Christopher G. Takacs state, “People, far more than programs, majors or classes, are decisive in students’ experience of college … A great mentor -- a trusted adult adviser, if one can be found, adds a tremendous advantage.”

In all the debates and conversations swirling around higher education about the value of what we do, I would urge us to talk more about mentorship. In particular, we should focus on the importance of faculty mentorship, and the role such mentoring plays in helping students develop the skills, values, habits, networks, and experiences needed to be the architects of their own lives."

Nine biology students will swarm the banks and wetlands of the Oconee River Greenway at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5. They'll collect various samples for an ongoing study on the impact of human activity on waterways from systems like Baldwin County’s wastewater treatment plant.
“We all need to drink water,” said Dr. Kalina Manoylov, aquatic ecologist and professor of biology. “Water has to be clean, without pollutants. Not only for humans, but for all aquatic organisms, including algae.”

Senior environmental science major Morgan Rasmussen collected algae samples recently at Oconee River.

Samples are collected along five river sites, starting below Sinclair Dam. The Greenway is above and below emissions from the wastewater treatment plant. That’s where researchers from Manoylov’s Applied Aquatic Ecology class are looking for the presence of chlorine used by wastewater industries.
Chlorine can break membranes and kill algae—which provide vital oxygen and food for insects and small fish.
“What happens here influences downstream in the Altamaha and coastal area, where we have different projects at Savannah River and Sapelo Island,” Manoylov said. “It’s all connected. So, we’re monitoring locally to make sure the region has clean surface water.”

Students have studied the river since 2010. They take samples in changing conditions to collect data for a funding proposal to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this spring, called “Clean Water of Baldwin County.” Manoylov is working collaboratively with Hydrologist and Associate Professor of Geology Dr. Samuel Mutiti, Theatre and DanceArtistic Chair Dr. Karen Berman and Marketing Professor Dr. Doreen Sams to create a public education outreach plan on water quality.
Dr. Mutiti instructs students on algae-collecting tools.

Mutiti’s students study the effects of wastewater on wetlands, as well as the depth and flow of Oconee River. Manoylov’s students are particularly interested in freshwater algae. Most are invisible to the naked eye—some so small you can fit 60,000 on a single pinhead. They’re supercritical for human existence, producing about half of all oxygen on Earth.
“Algae are 3.5 billion years old,” Manoylov said. “They turned this planet from a carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere to an oxygen-rich atmosphere. They’re fast growing too. So, they’re the perfect way to measure changes in the river.”
In addition to identifying algal species and their abundance—students measure river temperature, electrical currents and nutrients from agricultural sources and lawn runoff like nitrogen and phosphates.
“At Georgia College, we teach about real environmental problems—things people care about,” Manoylov said. “Students are learning standard research methods and how to evaluate data on something that’s really important to them and everybody: the water we drink.”
Marina Williams with an algae sample at Oconee River.

Please see attached photos and QUICK FACTS, as well as Front Page for more information.
For additional information and scheduling interviews, please call: 478-445-8668 / 478-508-2599. Or

Thank you Dr. Tina Holmes-Davis for giving sophomore Music Education undergraduate researcher an opportunity to present their COPLAC Digital Initiative research that is now part of a dynamic website. Dr. Sams, the Faculty Coordinator for MURACE, was at the presentation and encouraged these sophomores to submit abstracts for consideration for presentation at the Student Research Conference held at GC in 2019. She also encouraged the students to submit their research for consideration for the COPLAC Conference to be held on the GC campus in 2019. We at MURACE look forward to the continued great research and creative endeavors of these and other Music majors.

Undergraduate Researcher, Marissa Mayfield's presentation won the 2018 Best Poster Presentation in the Environmental and Engineering Division of the Society at the GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA


The work was co-authored: MAYFIELD, Marissa Louise, STEELE, Julia, MUTITI, Samuel, MUTITI, Christine and MANOYLOV, Kalina
Department of Biological and Environmental Science

Please join MURACE in congratulating Marissa for her great presentation and her co-authors for their great research endeavors.

Dr. Hasitha Mahabaduge undergraduate research students story goes national on the Council on Undergraduate Research  SOLAR

Javin is part of GCSU Early College and a member of the GC Undergraduate Research Circle -- for his story, click on the following link. JAVIN

Philanthropy News Digest - Link

After research that clearly indicated that Georgia was one of a few states that did not have a "Posters at the Capitol" each year, Ms. Lewis and Dr. Sams met with Johnny Grant, former State Senator for Milledgeville Georgia to gauge the potential interest of state legislators and possible political/logistical concerns. Mr. Gran was very receptive and provided great advice on non-partisan research topics. Ms. Lewis and Dr. Sams then approached the  GC Provost's Office about the prospect. It was recommended that GC could collaborate with other institutions to make the event happen. At the  October 2017 GURC (Annual Southeast Preeminent Regional Research & Creative Endeavors Conference) Ms. Lewis and Dr. Sams presented to the steering committee the prospect of member schools joining GC in creating a "Posters at the Capitol Day". The steering committee approved. The event will be a single day during the Georgia Legislative session each year. The GURC will meet November 2-3, 2018 to begin the process with a target beginning date of March 2019 for the first Posters at the Capitol event. In addition to outreach by the participating institutions, students will be given the resources to identify and personally invite their State Representatives (Georgia House has approximately 180 representatives, and Georgia Senate has 56). Dr. Sams, a CUR Councilor for the Social Sciences Division, has been asked to report at the meeting for the Division on 10/15/18 as to the progress toward making the Posters at the Capitol a reality. 


Sarah Penoyer (GC dual major in Marketing and MIS) and Breana Reynolds (GC undergrad MIS major), won the best paper award at IACIS, based on research from a directed study with Dr. Bryan Marshall. MURACE would like to congratulate these great undergraduate researchers and their mentor. (Source - Dean Young, College of Business)

MURACE funded Summer Physics Research students and their faculty (Mr. Nick Palmer and Mr. Nowsherwan Sultan mentored by Dr. Hasitha Mahabaduge)make the local news. WMAZ

MURACE welcomed the CUR Writing Institute facilitators and participants to the GC campus on July 12th with registration beginning at 1 p.m. through 4:30 p.m. The Writing Institute guests stayed in Bell Hall and enjoyed meals on campus. A BIG THANKS goes to Dr. Kelly Massey for identifying this opportunity and coordinating the planning and implementation of this event. Additionally, thank you goes to the CUR Councilors and the Center for Teaching and Learning for providing support in the planning and coordinating of this event.


Mentorsstudents and mentors working togetherfemale mentorstudents listening to speakertwo females and a male speakerstudents listening to speakerwomen on computer

Congratulations - Jonathan Mangrum

Honors - Economics and Political Science, will be a Boren Scholar, a nationally competitive award to study critical needs languages in regions vital to U.S. interests.

Congratulations Undergraduate Researchers - Southeast Regional COPLAC Undergraduate Research Conference

Please join us at MURACE in congratulating the mentors and their undergraduate researchers who will present at the Southeast Regional COPLAC Undergraduate Research Conference in Aiken South Carolina April 13-14, 2018.

  • Presenter: Rachel E. Brineman, "Sorption of Microorganisms from Aqueous Solutions Using Kaolin Products" Mentor - Dr. Andrei L. Barkovskii
  • Presenters: Jacob B. Deith and Rachel Nabors. "Georgia College Compost: Divert Dining Hall Food Waste from Landfills to the Garden" Mentors - Ms. Lori Strawder, Ms. Kristen Hitchcock, Dr. Samuel Mutiti, Dr. Christine Mutiti, and Dr. Allison VandeVoort
  • Presenter: Daniel Fall, "Does Test Anxiety Affect High School Grade Point Average?" Mentor - Dr. JJ Arias
  • Presenter: Matthew Graybill, "The Cancers that Killed the Confederacy: Southern Unionism, Dissent, and Desertion During the Civil War," Mentors - Dr. Craig Pascoe and Dr. James Welborn
  • Presenter: Judie Brooke, "Creating the Black Beast: Constructions of Black Masculinity in South Africa and the US" Mentors - Dr. Jameliah Shorter-Bourhanou and Dr. Sunita ManianAnna (Perri) Olton - Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and the Ukrainian People from 1917 to 1993, Mentor - Dr. Aran MacKinnon
  • Presenter: Cameron Skinner, "Wetland Delineation Using IRIS Tubes and Hydric Soil Properties in Central Georgia" Mentors - Dr. Allison VandeVoort, Christine Mutiti, and Samuel Mutiti
  • Presenter: Samantha Strickland, "Gender Insecurity: The Performance and Passing of Lily Bart in Edith Wharton's House of Mirth" Mentor - Dr. Katie Simon
  • Presenter: Nicholas Tedrick, "Religiosity and Gender: A Transnational Analysis of Religion's Effect on Gender Inequality" Mentor - Dr. Min Kim

STEAM not STEM Why Scientist Need Arts Training

The Conversation. com

At the recent Academy of Economics and Finance conference, eight GC female economics majors presented their research. Hannah Pasko (2nd from left) won Best Undergraduate Paper Award.

Congratulations all!


8 female presenters


 Kelley Quinn, Brooke Judie, and Brenna Harkins

Present at the 35th Annual Meeting of the Association of Global South Studies


Please join us at MURACE in congratulating Dr. Sunita Manian and her three mentees.

Dr. Sunita Manian's mentees Brenna Harkins, Brooke Judie, and Kelly Quinn successfully presented their work in Marrakech, Morocco, for the Association of Global South Studies Conference on December 14-16, 2017. This conference attracts scholars from Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. Presenting at this conference is a unique opportunity and privilege for Georgia College students.

All three mentees were first introduced to the conference in Dr. Manian's Interdisciplinary Explorations class. All three quickly engage in determining appropriate topics, researching them, and preparing their research for the conference under the supervision of Dr. Manian.

Presentations at the conference by Georgia College:

Brooke Judie's "Constructions of Black Masculinity: The US and South Africa." Brooke is a double major in Philosophy and Liberal Studies.

Brenna Harkins' "Gender and Migration: Migrant Women and Sex Work."  Brenna is a Liberal Studies major.

Kelley Quinn's " Revealing Islamophobia: Western Feminism and the Discourse on the Veil." Kelley is a Liberal Studies major.

Kelley Quinn's " Revealing Islamophobia: Western Feminism and the Discourse on the Veil."

Conference Photos


Conference 1peoplefour presentersmentors together

CUR Membership

If you are NOT a CUR member, NOW is a great time to join and it is free. Reach out to one of your CUR Councilors or to me for assistance. CUR Councilors are Drs. JJ Arias, Karen Berman, Tsu-Ming Chiang, Kelly Massey, Hasitha Mahabaduge, Doreen Sams and JF Yao

Dr. Doreen Sams
Faculty Coordinator MURACE & CUR Councilor


GC has a Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR) Enhanced Membership

I am pleased to announce that Georgia College has become an enhanced institutional member of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). CUR is a not-for-profit educational organization whose mission is to support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.

Georgia College has several elected CUR Councilors: 

  • Dr. Karen Berman (At Large)
  • Dr. Tsu Ming Chiang (Psychology)
  • Dr. Hasitha Mahabaduge (Physics)
  • Dr. Kelly Massey (Health Sciences)
  • Dr. Doreen Sams (Social Sciences) and GC Campus Liaison (CUR Contract Person)
  • Dr. JF Yao (Computer Science)

GC is an enhanced institutional member of CUR.  Please read below to learn what this membership offers GC faculty and students. If you any questions please reach out to one of the CUR Councilors or Dr. Sams, MURACE Faculty Coordinator at

One of the great benefits of a university becoming an enhanced member with CUR is that their faculty, staff, and students are eligible to join CUR as individual members at no cost. Below you will find information outlining some of the member benefits included in a CUR membership and instructions on how to join.

CUR Enhanced Institutional Member Benefits Highlights:

Access to

o   CUR’s Members-Only Website: This website contains information such as funding resources, annotated bibliographies on assessment and integrating research into the curriculum, webinar archives and undergraduate research celebration days at institutions across the country.  There is also a special section on Advocacy, which is prepared by Washington Partners, LLC, a firm that CUR has secured to provide research, guidance, support and counsel as CUR seeks to increase its national profile, activities and efficacy.

o   CUR’s Undergraduate Researchers Registry: The purpose of this registry is to facilitate matchmaking between undergraduates with research experience and a desire to pursue an advanced degree, and graduate schools seeking high-quality students who are well prepared for research. Currently, the Registry is open to students and graduate schools/employers in nearly all fields.

o   CUR Mentors: CUR has a mentor network that matches individuals seeking information about starting, sustaining or re-initiating undergraduate research programs to experienced, tenured CUR faculty. Those requesting mentors may be newly hired faculty as well as graduate students and post-doctoral scholars. Established faculty who are interested in starting or restarting a research program or moving in a new direction, may also request a mentor.