Provost Highlights, 2020-2021

Costas Spirou

Dear Colleagues,

Despite the many challenges we faced collectively as an institution this past year, our students, faculty, and staff members achieved new milestones for the university. We launched the John E. Sallstrom Honors College, the Andalusia Institute, and the Rural Studies Institute and their dedicated work truly demonstrated how Georgia College is home to so many creative leaders.

If there was one theme that was at the forefront for the university this year, it would have to be research activities by our faculty and students. From work done by our faculty directly related to the pandemic, like original Coronavirus research and maltreatment reporting during school closures, to Georgia College receiving the 2020 Campus-wide Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishments (AURA) and releasing the inaugural issue of a nationwide undergraduate research journal – these are just a few of the hallmarks of our success in this area. Undergraduate research, like discovering and naming a new amphipod, is one of the ways in which our students can engage in through GC Journeys – a program that expects every student participating in at least five transformative learning experiences during their time at Georgia College. It is an initiative that we're proud to announce was awarded the University System of Georgia's (USG) 2021 Regent's Momentum Year Award for Excellence in Teaching and Curricular Innovation.

In addition to these accomplishments, I would also like to share more stories of success below. We are so proud of what our faculty and students have been able to achieve this year.

I look forward to continued successes as we close out this academic year and prepare for Fall 2021.

Dr. Costas Spirou
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs 

Progress through Partnerships

Center for Health and Social Issues looks to improve quality of life in Oconee Heights neighborhood

Led by the efforts of Dr. Damian Francis, Georgia College’s Center for Health and Social Issues (CHSI) is working to address blight in one Milledgeville neighborhood with the goal of increasing the well-being of the people living there.

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Georgia College collaborates with three universities for students to pursue pharmacy school

With demand expected to increase for pharmacists in Southern healthcare settings like hospitals and clinics — Georgia College is pleased to announce a new accelerated Pathways Program for chemistry majors to transfer to one of three Doctor of Pharmacy schools in the United States.

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Georgia College professor and student name new species of amphipod

Leading the Way

Faculty Recognitions

Tsu-Ming Chiang, Ph.D.

Dr. Tsu-Ming Chiang

2021 Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Mentor Award Recipient
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The Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) is the Southeastern region’s premier organization for professional and academic Psychologists and it is affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA). Each year, the SEPA conducts a call for nominations for the SEPA Mentor Award as part of its annual meeting activities. The 2021 winner of the SEPA’s Mentor Award was Georgia College's Dr. Tsu-Ming Chiang

Hasitha Mahabaduge

Dr. Hasitha Mahabaduge

2020 Fellow of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
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Georgia College Physics Professor Dr. Hasitha Mahabaduge was named a 2020 Fellow of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSoTL). He was one of nine educators — and the only U.S. applicant — to receive the prestigious lifetime award.

Mahabaduge’s group is the second cohort to be awarded this honor, since the ISSoTL Fellowship was established in 2019. Its vision is “to empower communities of learners committed to scholarship, mentorship, leadership and engagement,” according to ISSoTL.

Picture of woman

Dr. Holley Roberts

Member of the State of Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC)
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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp appointed Dr. Holley Roberts, interim associate provost, to the Professional Standards Commission (PSC). She will serve on the Educator Preparation/Certification Committee, one of two standing committees that are a part of the commission. The Educator Preparation/Certification Committee receives and reviews items referred by the Educator Preparation Division relating to the status of PSC approved programs. The committee makes recommendations to the Commission for the approval, denial, or revocation of preparation programs; and monitors and advises the Commission on a variety of issues related to educator preparation.

Shaundra Walker

Dr. Shaundra Walker

2020 Demco Award Recipient
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Dr. Shaundra Walker, Director of the Ina Dillard Russell Library, has spent nearly 20 years in library systems in both academic and public spheres. As part of the Black Caucus American Library Association for 20 years, she also learned best practices in bringing communities into the library to both share and discover information. She recently won the 2020 Demco Award for her work in promoting African-Americans and other people of color in the library profession.


Best Paper Award for the Branding, Strategy and Research Track

Two marketing faculty members and two graduate students were recognized for the “Best Paper Award for the Branding, Strategy and Research Track” at the 2021 Spring Marketing Management Association (MMA) Conference.

Their research is titled “A Survey of Historical Marketing Influences on Artisan Vendors” and focuses on the historical perspective of what are known today as brand communities. An understudied $44-billion-dollar cottage industry in the U.S, the researchers examined the history of artisans, artisan vendors, and brand communities.

Georgia College faculty members and administrators presented on the development of the GC Journeys Program

Four Georgia College faculty members and administrators presented on the development of the GC Journeys Program in an Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) webinar March 4, 2021.

Drs. Costas Spirou, Jordan Cofer, Cynthia Alby, and Hasitha Mahabaduge were featured in a presentation titled “Building and Scaling an Institutional HIPs Initiative.”

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) survey showed that Georgia College seniors exceeded national peers

In 2020, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) survey showed that Georgia College seniors exceeded national peers in a variety of categories including “Collaborative Learning,” “Student-Faculty Interaction,” “Supportive Environment,” “Reflective & Integrated Learning” and “Discussions with Diverse Others.”

Honors College celebrates 50th anniversary

Since 1970, Georgia College nurtured and developed bright minds through its honors program. In time for its 50th Anniversary celebration in November of 2020, the program transformed into an Honors College — complete with its own dean and plans to make the honors experience even more dynamic for students.

The naming of the college after Dr. John E. Sallstrom was approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents in October. Sallstrom founded Georgia College's honors program.

The Graduate School sees all time record enrollment

For the fall 2020 semester, 1,268 students enrolled in graduate programs at the university — the largest number in history. That number has been steadily rising since fall 2016 when 868 students were enrolled. 

John H. Lounsbury College of Education receives highest ranking on Teacher Preparation Program Effectiveness Measures (PPEMs)

For the second consecutive year, the John H. Lounsbury College of Education received a level 4, the highest rating on the Teacher Preparation Program Effectiveness Measures (PPEMs) for 2021, published by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC).

Knowledge Box reaches milestone in downloads

Recently, the Knowledge Box reached an exciting milestone of 200,000 downloads. The Knowledge Box is Georgia College's institutional repository and has been accessed by researchers from across the globe.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded Georgia College a grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded Georgia College's Department of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy a $650,000 S-STEM grant, covering a five-year period.  It provides eligible incoming students up to $8,000 per year, a total of $32,000 over four years, as part of a multi-pronged approach designed to attract and retain chemistry and physics majors.

Georgia College sends 20 students to Grace Hopper Conference

Georgia College sponsored 20 students to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference in 2020. Named in honor of technology pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, it helps women across the globe gain the confidence to land successful careers with major corporations in an industry where they are the minority, while highlighting the contributions of women in the technology field.

During the 2020 campaign, Trax on the Trail catalogues over 8,000 songs

More than 8,000 songs are catalogued in the Trax on the Trail database from the 2016 and 2020 presidential campaign trails. There are podcast interviews with music and political experts, as well.

Since its inception in 2015, Trax on the Trail has been used by journalists nationwide and become an educational tool in classrooms.