College update: What’s new around campus

From new programs to new people, the colleges around campus have some exciting new changes for the faculty and students for the fall.

College of Allied Health Sciences

The College of Allied Health Sciences is excited about the new school year and what the college has to offer students, both returning and new. One of the big changes is the appointment of Dr. Abiodun Akinwuntan as Associate Dean for Research.

“Under Dr. Akinwuntan’s energetic leadership, our college has seen remarkable growth in research productivity, value, support, and financial sustainability,” said Dr. Andrew Balas, Dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences. “I am delighted to support the review committee’s unanimous decision to make his position permanent.”

Also a CAHS Advisory Board has been developed that will inform strategic planning for the college, including development and implementation of short- and long-term goals, community outreach and service, and to garner support for education and research.

Upcoming events:

  • Dean’s State of the College Address – Sept. 23
  • Allied Health Professions Week – Nov. 3-7
  • Dean’s Research Seminar Series (ongoing) – Mark Tarr, EVP/COO of HealthSouth, Aug. 28
  • White Coat Ceremony – Family Day, Oct. 11, for Medical Laboratory Imaging and Radiological Sciences, Physician Assistant, and Physical Therapy
  • Pinning Ceremony – Family Day, Oct. 11, for Occupational Therapy

New faces and people in new places include:

  • Ana Thompson named Department Chair in Dental Hygiene
  • Pam Kearney named Occupational Therapy Program Director
  • Director Mallory Lanier is the first faculty hired for the new Low Vision Rehabilitation Clinic
  • Director Amanda Behr with the Clinic for Prosthetic Restoration that is opening
College of Dental Medicine

As the College of Dental Medicine expands its class size from 80 current first-year students to 85 incoming freshmen this fall, it will hold classes in the brand-new Education Commons building, with its state-of-the-art simulation laboratory, two large flexible classrooms, a café, student lounge, and a variety of study environments to accommodate up to 300 students.

The College will educate 320 students total in all four classes – on the way to a goal of 400 total students by 2016. In the past 45 years, 2,254 DMDs have earned their degrees.

New Vice Dean Named

Dr. Kevin Frazier, Professor in the Department of Oral Rehabilitation and Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, has been appointed Vice Dean of the College of Dental Medicine, effective Aug. 11. Dr. Frazier currently teaches in the department and maintains a general practice in the Dental Associates clinic.

New Faculty

  • Dr. Maria Paula Gandolfi Paranhos, Instructor, Department of General Dentistry
  • Dr. Jeffrey Hodd, Assistant Professor, Department of General Dentistry
  • Dr. Amany Tawfik, Assistant Professor, Department of Oral Biology-Anatomy
College of Education

The College of Education is proud to announce five new certificate programs: Sport Coaching, Active Aging, Health Professions Educator, Advanced Counselor Education, and Advanced School Counseling, and we expect to launch our new EdD in 2015. The College’s Literacy Center has also gained national recognition from the National Reading Styles Institute. The Department of Kinesiology and Health Science has joined the American Kinesiology Association. We are leading the redesign of educator preparation programs with an innovative pilot program, in conjunction with Richmond County Schools, for teachers in training. To combat math illiteracy in girls and to introduce girls to college and career possibilities, Women in Philanthropy awarded the GRU Literacy Center a grant to host the Path 2 Math 4 Girls yearlong mathematics camp for girls in grades 5 to 8 in Richmond, Columbia, McDuffie, and Burke counties. Path 2 Math 4 Girls will begin Aug. 16 and run through March.

For the second year, the Georgia Regents University College of Education’s Instructional Resource Center will partner with the CSRA Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) to provide area media specialists with technology training, professional collaboration, and networking opportunities. Workshops will be Sept. 16, Nov. 18, and Feb. 10 from 9 a.m. to noon in University Hall, room 221, on the GRU Summerville Campus. The college will also host a Teaching With Primary Sources workshop, sponsored in part by Waynesburg University, on Oct. 11. The professional development workshop helps teachers use a rich reservoir of digitized primary source materials to design challenging, high-quality instruction.

New faculty

  • Cody Morris
  • Christopher (Chris) Mojock
  • Rebecca Stone
  • Dr. Margaux Brown
  • Dr. Kathryn Henderson
  • Dr. Megan Buning (as of Jan. 2014)
  • Dr. Denise Lenares-Solomon (as of Nov. 2013)
  • Nicoetta (Niki) Christodoulou
  • Mary (Molly) Quinn

Returning faculty, after a one-year leave of absence

  • Dr. Laura Russ
College of Nursing

After 70 years of excellence and innovation in academic nursing at GRU and legacies, we are embarking on an exciting journey into the College of Nursing’s eighth decade. This fall, we realize our largest enrollment to date with more than 800 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students taking classes online, here in Augusta and on our Athens campus. For the first three years, we will focus on building the next generation of faculty who will usher nursing education into the future. A cadre of technologically savvy teachers, researchers, and practitioners will embrace the best practices in classroom pedagogy to lead emerging trends in health care. Together, we will ensure the success of our “Eighth Decade” continuing in a tradition of excellence and with an eye toward innovation.

Dr. Annette Bourgault assumed the role of interim Assistant Dean for Assessment and Development on Aug. 1. The position will include developing competencies among all employees, initially working with new and seasoned faculty to assess and facilitate development of core teaching competencies.

New Faces

  • Dr. Elizabeth “Beth” NeSmith has been appointed Chair of the Department of Physiological and Technological Nursing.
  • Dr. Stephanie Wright has been appointed Director of the Clinical Nurse Leader Program.
  • Dr. Julie Zadinsky has been appointed Director of the PhD in Nursing Program.
  • Shena Gazaway joined the College of Nursing faculty as Instructor in the Department of Physiological and Technological Nursing.
  • Michael Stevenson joined the CON Office of Academic and Student Affairs as Administrator.

Upcoming events

  • White Coat Ceremony: Aug. 22 at 2 p.m., Christenberry Fieldhouse – Students entering the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science-Clinical Nurse Leader programs will be presented white coats to mark the beginning of their journey into nursing. Family and friends along with CON faculty and staff will be on hand to celebrate with the honorees.
  • State of the College Address: Oct. 3, 1 p.m. – EC-1210 – Dr. Marion will recap accomplishments of the last year and discuss recent developments and plans for the future of the College of Nursing.
  • 2014 CON Fall Convocation (end of fall semester – date/location TBA) – Will celebrate students completing their programs of study in December.
College of Science and Mathematics

The College of Science and Mathematics welcomes 29 freshmen into the Medical Scholars Program and four into the Dental Scholars Program. These programs attract outstanding students and afford them the opportunity to achieve their BS and MD or BS and DMD degrees in only seven years. In each instance, students will spend their first three years in pursuit of the Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology through the Department of Biological Sciences. The Department has recently hired Elizabeth Gorman to be the Program Manager. She will oversee all aspects of the undergraduate portion.

Coming up, the College will host a Welcome Dinner for the incoming freshman class of Medical and Dental Scholars in the JSAC Ballroom on Monday, Aug 25. And the Department of Chemistry and Physics is co-sponsoring a three-part seminar series titled “Materials Science Research Seminar Series Fall 2014.”

The college also welcomes five new research-intensive, tenure-track faculty:

Department of Biological Sciences

  • Dr. Jennifer Bradford — studies NF-kB signaling in breast cancer tumor-associated macrophage communication.

Department of Chemistry and Physics

  • Dr. Iryna Lebedyeva — primary research interest: identification and design of novel chemical entities in early drug discovery.
  • Dr. Theja De Silva — research focuses on developing mathematical models to understand the behavior of condensed matter materials.

Department of Mathematics

  • Eric Numfors — research interests: applied mathematics, mathematical biology & ecology, optimal control, mathematical modeling, immuno-epidemiology, eco-epidemiology, numerical analysis, ordinary & partial differential equations with applications to population and diseases.

Department of Psychological Sciences

  • Laurence Miller — research focus: use of behavioral, pharmacological, and neuroscience techniques to examine mechanisms that mediate the function of brain reward systems, with particular interest in drug abuse and pain.
Hull College of Business

The James M. Hull College of Business is kicking off the fall semester with three new faculty members: Dr. Michael Dugan, The Peter S. Knox III Distinguished Chair in Accounting; Dr. Kevin Cain, management; and Dr. Harley Eades, computer science.

Hull College has launched and begun recruiting students for the school’s first MBA option aimed specifically for graduates with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM. The STEM-MBA Option is a 15-month program focused on the management and commercialization of emerging industries in energy, biotechnology, health care, information, and manufacturing technologies.

The business school also has several events planned for the semester including its annual Accounting Week as well as the Russell A. Blanchard Lecturer in Ethics program being held Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. in the Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom. This year’s ethics speaker will be Cynthia Cooper, a best-selling author and former accounting executive at WorldCom who uncovered $9 billion in fraud in the company’s accounting books.

Medical College of Georgia

The Medical College of Georgia, the state’s public medical school, starts the new year with 230 new students – the nation’s eighth largest freshman medical school class – representing nine states and 47 Georgia counties.

“This is a bright, already accomplished, and well-rounded group of medical students, and we are so pleased to have them here,” said Dr. Peter F. Buckley, MCG Dean.

The Class of 2018 at MCG’s main campus in Augusta will be the first to learn in the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons, MCG’s new academic home as well as a state-of-the art facility for interprofessional and dental education. The Education Commons, which should be opening its doors to students in September, will provide a dynamic and eclectic learning environment that includes huge, 300-seat, two-story classrooms; small, intimate learning communities; and an exceptional simulation lab that gives students early, realistic patient experience.

The medical school also starts the new year with a new academic department: the Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine headed by neuroscientist Dr. Lin Mei. Also, in the last academic year, nearly 100 new faculty members have been recruited with a broad range of expertise from children’s heart defects to pulmonary biology to systemic fungal infections and immunology.

Students also have an unprecedented number of dual degree offerings. In addition to the longstanding MD/PhD, they can opt for an MD/MBA in collaboration with the Hull College of Business and an MD/MPH in collaboration with The Graduate School. The 40 freshmen at the Medical Partnership campus in Athens, a second, four-year campus in collaboration with the University of Georgia, have dual degree options available through UGA.

The college is also welcoming many exciting new faculty members including:

  • Dr. Jose A. Vazquez, who was named Chief of the Section of Infectious Diseases and is an expert in systemic fungal infections and bacterial infections.
  • Dr. Gurmukh Singh, who is a Professor of Pathology and is credited with the discovery of two genes in the lung.
  • Dr. W. Chris Sheils, who is a 1972 graduate of the Medical College and member of the Radiation Therapy Center.
  • Dr. Todd Burgbacher, who is the region’s first fellowship-trained emergency medical services physician and is now part of the first-response team managing the worst accidents and disasters in the Augusta area.

Coming up this semester, we have the MCG Alumni Association, Athens Regional Reception, on Aug. 28, the MCG Foundation 60th Anniversary Celebration on Sept. 6, and the White Coat Ceremony on Oct. 11.

Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

As always, Pamplin College is flush with activities and excitement in the new school year.

One of the big additions this year will be renowned jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon joining the Music Department as an Artist in Residence. He will also be fundamental in the college’s new Jazz Track being offered this year.

Also around the college, the Byrd Gallery will host an “Artist Activist” showcase, which opened Aug. 14 and focuses on women’s rights, race, poverty, LBGT rights, animal rights, war, environmental change, and the justice system. Events include a talk with artist Sue Coe on Aug. 28 at 5 p.m. and the opening reception at 6 p.m.

The Department of History, Anthropology, and Philosophy is pleased to welcome new faculty members to its ranks. Dr. Andrew Goss joined GRU this July as Chair of the Department. He is a historian of Asia, with a specialty in the history of science, whose research ranges from the history of the Dutch empire in Asia to the workings of the modern pharmaceutical business. The Department is also glad to welcome back Dr. Wendy Turner who, after a year as interim Chair of the Department of English and Foreign Languages, has returned to devote herself to researching and teaching about the history of medicine in Medieval Europe.

In the Political Science Department, the Center for Public Service and the Political Science Club have teamed up to offer TurboVote to GRU students. TurboVote makes it easier than ever to register. Oct. 6 is the last day to register. Students can go to and register online. The Department will be hosting a program the week of Sept. 22 on GRU internships in Washington, D.C., with the Office of Governmental Relations and Career Services. We placed five interns in D.C. this summer and will have one intern during fall 2014.

And in Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Social Work, Dr. Jessica Ziembroski is joining us as Director of Social Work. Also, Intimate Partner Violence will be taught as a cross-listed CRJU and PADM Graduate Class for the first time in the fall by Dr. Allison Foley. And Dr. Dave Hunt is teaching one of the Inquiry courses – Food for Sport: Connecting Culture, Sports, and Food.

The Graduate School

The Graduate School is looking forward to greeting new and returning graduate students at a Welcome Reception on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Under the leadership of Dean Watsky, The Graduate School has expanded to acquire an array of gifted faculty and new programs over the last year. Eighty-eight new faculty members were added to the eight colleges now included within The Graduate School.

The Graduate School continues to offer leadership and support to more than 20 master’s, doctoral, and specialist programs in biomedical research, biostatistics, business, nursing, kinesiology, public administration, medical illustration, and psychology. The school is looking forward to another great year and is continually impressed with the staff and faculty who pave the way for students. They lead by example as engaging instructors, mentors, and leaders in research and education. Each goes above and beyond to make The Graduate School at GRU truly “A Fit for Life.”