All posts by Danielle Harris

GRU senior offers advice to incoming freshmen

dottie ryan 2 new
Dottie Ryan

For incoming freshmen, college life can be a little intimidating . Especially for those first-year students adjusting to life away from home.

No need to worry, because  senior Early Childhood Education major Dottie Ryan shares five tips that can help freshmen have a successful  experience at Georgia Regents University.

  1. Get involved: Getting involved is the main thing that made this campus feel like home. So, rather than just going home alone, getting active allowed me to have a better experience my freshman year since I knew I would have sorority sisters and fellow orientation leaders to talk to on campus..


  1. Use your resources: Our campus has a lot of valuable and free resources including Career Services, the Writing Center, the Math Lab, and even the Instructional Resource Center. There is no point in waiting to receive a “C “on your first paper if you know that writing is not your strong suit. Go to the writing center before.


  1. Pay attention to things going on around campus: Make sure that you actually look at the signs posted on campus and do not forget to read the university-wide emails that are sent out. These things have valuable information that could drastically impact your semester. You do not want to be the student who forgets to pay for your tuition and then is dropped from all of your classes. Especially when there are signs everywhere.


  1. Get to know your professors: Not only will this help you if you need a question answered about your class, but professors are the number one resource for research opportunites, mentorships, internships, student jobs, scholarships and recommendation letters. By being more than just another face in the class, they will remember you and you will more than likely receive some much needed assistance in the future.


  1. Actually buy a parking decal: Even if you think you won’t need it, buy it. The first ticket may only be $25.00, but the fees increase each time. You have way too many other expenses during college than to worry about constantly paying parking tickets. Just pay $35.

Here are a few more pointers:

Click to enlarge.

GRU’s Week of Welcome features new mascot, baseball game and more

New and returning students at Georgia Regents University will  be greeted with a week filled with activities including  a free movie night, cosmic bowling, and even a ClubFest in Paradise.

GRU’s annual Week of Welcome will kick off on Sunday, Aug. 16, at 8:30 p.m. with a free screening of the Box Office hit “Pitch Perfect 2.” in the D. D. Douglas Barnard Jr. Amphitheatre on the Summerville Campus. In case of inclement weather, the movie will be shown in GRU’s Maxwell Theatre.

Although Monday, Aug. 17, marks the first day of classes,  it is also GRU Spirit Day. Employees and students are encouraged to show off their Jaguar pride by wearing GRU colors blue and gray throughout the day. Be sure to take a selfie and tag it to @GeorgiaRegents to enter your name in the drawing for a prize.

On Tuesday, Aug. 18, join GRU President Brooks Keel, GRU Athletics Director Clint Bryant, and officials from the GRU Student Government Association as they welcome the university’s new mascot Augustus.  Festivities will be held at 3p.m. in the Jaguar Student Activities Center Breezeway on the Summerville campus and, for those taking selfies with Augustus, be sure to use the hashtag “#Augustus.”

Other Week of Welcome activities include:

Sunday, Aug. 16

Movie Night. “Pitch Perfect 2”.  8:30 p.m., D. Douglas Barnard Jr. Amphitheatre, Summerville Campus. Admission is free. (Rain location: GRU Maxwell Theatre)


Monday, Aug. 17

First Day of Class and GRU Spirit Day.  All day event on the Summerville and Health Science Campuses.

Lemonade Brigade. 11:30 a.m.-1 :30 p.m., GRU Summerville and Health Sciences Campuses.


Tuesday, Aug. 18

Welcome party for Augustus. 3 p.m. Jaguar Student Activities Center Breezeway, Summerville Campus.

Welcome Back Class of 2018. 1-3 p.m., Jaguar Student Activities Center Patio, Summerville Campus.

Wellness Center Madness. 4:30- 7p.m., GRU Wellness Center, Health Sciences Campus.

GreenJackets Host Jaguars. Augusta GreenJackets vs. Savannah Sand Gnats. 7p.m., Lake Olmstead Stadium. The first 200 students with valid JagID admitted free. One guest per student admitted for $7.


Wednesday, Aug. 19

 ClubFest in Paradise. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., D. Douglas Barnard, Jr., Amphitheatre. (Rain location: Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom)

Meet the Greeks. Noon., D. Douglas Barnard, Jr., Amphitheatre. (Rain location: Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom)

Thursday, Aug. 20

Beyond the Wall and Huge poster sale. 10 a.m.- 6p.m., Outside of Bellevue Hall, Summerville Campus

Study Abroad 101. 2:30-3:30 p.m., Allgood Hall, E-156, Summerville Campus

I Chose…Diversity Mix & Mingle. 5:30 p.m., Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom

Friday, Aug. 21

GRU goes cosmic bowling. 11 p.m.-1 a.m., Brunswick National Lanes, 3067 Washington Rd. in Augusta, Ga.

Wednesday, Aug. 26

ClubFest in Paradise. 11:30 a.m-1 p.m., J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons lobby, Health Sciences Campus



4 tips to help your child’s transition to first grade

School is back in session and some parents may already be finding the move from kindergarten to first grade has turned out to be a big transition for their children. However, Dr. Beth Pendergraft, Early Childhood Coordinator in Georgia Regents University’s Department of Teacher Education, says it’s not too late to boost your child’s academic and emotional confidence.

“The sudden introduction of new skills and responsibilities of first grade can be an exciting yet stressful experience for both the child and their parents,” Pendergraft said. “However, if parents can remain positive and patient with their child along with keeping open communication with the teacher, it will help everyone get a good grip on this new journey.”

To help your child’s transition to first grade be a little easier, Dr. Pendergraft offers the following tips:

1. Talk about it. Talk to your child’s teacher to find out what skills will be taught throughout the school year and incorporate those concepts in a few of the daily routines with your family. In addition, spend time giving your child an idea of what they might expect in class including activities, tests and even the new friends they will make.

2. Food for thought. Research shows a connection between what your child eats and how well he or she performs in school. So feed your child’s brain by choosing nutritious foods that will help with their ability to focus and thrive academically. Be sure to also establish solid bedtime and morning routines to help your child adjust to this new change in their life.

3. Encourage independence. First grade is more than just reading, writing and doing math. This stage of your child’s development is about helping them discover how to be self-sufficient. As your child finishes one task, reward them for their efforts and encourage them to work on a new task. Always reinforce the “you can do it” approach.

4. Be involved. The life of a parent can be busy. But remember, being involved with your child’s life at school is just as important as being involved with them at home. So continue to communicate with your child’s teachers for curriculum updates and for details regarding his or her progress. You should also be aware of the lessons in case you want to include supplemental activities at home with your child.


GRU issues ‘all clear’

AUGUSTA, Ga.– Georgia Regents Medical Center was placed on lockdown this afternoon following an employee sighting of an individual believed to have a firearm. Hospital security immediately located the individual, who was identified as an off-duty security officer for an outside agency. It was determined that there was no security threat and an all clear was issued.

We take the safety of our patients and staff very seriously, and will use every precaution to ensure the medical center and our campuses remain safe environments.

For more information, contact the on-call media relations representative at 706-721-3893



 Georgia Regents University is one of four public comprehensive research universities in the state with nearly 10,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools, which include the Medical College of Georgia – the nation’s 13th-oldest medical school – the nationally-ranked Hull College of Business and Georgia’s only College of Dental Medicine. The clinical enterprise associated with the university includes the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center and the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia. GRU is a unit of the University System of Georgia and an equal opportunity institution.


Call for Diversity Award Nominations

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host their Fifth Annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit on Wednesday, Sept. 9. This year’s event will be held 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center.
As part of the program, GRU will present the 2015 Diversity Award to a person taking strides in promoting diversity, respect and inclusiveness at the university. If you would like to nominate someone for this award, visit Submission deadline is Aug. 14. For more information, call GRU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion at 706-721-9265 or go to

Asthma All-stars

Written by: Haley Hadden, Contributing writer and Media Relations Intern in GRU’s Division of Communications and Marketing

For the fourth year in a row, the Georgia Regents University Respiratory Therapy program is hosting the Augusta Area Asthma Camp, a free educational camp for children with asthma. However, this year, the Augusta GreenJackets baseball team is getting in on the action.

Gru Girl Scout Asthma Camp (21 of 105)The camp is funded by the W.G. Raoul Foundation and will be held July 20-24 at the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia’s Camp Tanglewood located 4687 Columbia Road in Augusta. According to Kitty Hernlen, Associate Professor in the GRU Respiratory Therapy Program, the camp is an interactive experience giving campers the chance to learn to how manage the asthma while being active and making new friends.

“We are expecting about 60 campers this year and we are grateful to have the support of the Augusta Greenjackets,” Hernlen said. “Many of the campers have told us that they enjoy the camp, because they don’t feel singled out or embarrassed about having asthma since everyone there has asthma.”

The meet and greet with the GreenJackets will be held Wednesday, July 22, at 10 am. Howev-er, during the weekend of July 25-26, campers will head to the Lake Olmstead Stadium to run the bases with the players and stand with the team for the national anthem before their game against the Delmarva Shorebirds.

Other camp activities include asthma management sessions, Gru Girl Scout Asthma Camp (51 of 105)swimming, hiking, and arts and crafts. Camp counselors and alumni of GRU’s Respiratory Therapy Program will be on hand to help monitor the campers for signs of asthma attacks.

For more information, contact Kitty Hernlen at 706-721-3554 or

Professor awarded literacy grant

paulette harris

Paulette Harris, Georgia Regents University’s Cree-Walker Professor of Education and director of GRU’s Literacy Center, has been awarded a 2015 Literacy Grant from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Harris is one of 14 recipients nationwide to receive the award.

The $2,450 grant will be used to support the Promoting Literacy through Puppet Plays project, which is a joint-effort program between the GRU Literacy Center, the GRU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi and three area childcare centers. The program is designed to build young children’s emergent literacy skills through dramatic play settings. As part of the program, children will engage in puppetry plays designed to enhance the development of early language skills including word recognition and vocabulary building.

The Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant program was established in 2003 to provide funding to Phi Kappa Phi chapters and active members for ongoing projects or new initiatives that reinforce part of the Society’s mission “to engage the community of scholars in service to others.” Drawing from a multi-disciplinary Society of students and scholars from large and small institutions, applicants are encouraged to consider literacy projects that have creative relevance to their disciplines and the needs of their communities.

In addition to literacy grants, Phi Kappa Phi’s robust award programs give more than $1 million each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, and member and chapter awards. To learn more about the award and grant programs, visit

About Phi Kappa Phi
Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi inducts approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni annually. The Society has chapters at more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. The Society’s mission is “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.” For more information, visit


10 Ways to Reduce Your Skin Cancer Risk

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Warmer days are here, encouraging outdoor activities such as swimming, walking, gardening, or even just being outside to soak up the sunshine. But exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is the leading cause of skin cancer, says Dr. Loretta Davis, Chief of Dermatology at Georgia Regents Medical Center and a Professor at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.

“It only takes a few minutes to apply sunscreen, and with today’s sprays, it can be applied in mere seconds. But, surprisingly, only about 30 percent of American adults use sun-protection measures,” said Davis.

To reduce your risk of being among the nearly 1 million people diagnosed with skin cancer this year, Davis recommends following these 10 sun safety precautions:


  1. Know your enemy. There are two types of UV light:  Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays.  UVA rays, which are constant throughout the day, penetrate deep into skin, producing the aging associated with chronic sun exposure such as skin sagging, loss of elasticity, pigment changes, deep wrinkles, and dry skin. UVB rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and are the cause of sunburn. Even on cloudy days, UVB rays can still burn your skin. Both UVA and UVB rays cause skin aging and increase risk of skin cancer.
  2. All complexions are susceptible. People with fair skin and blond or red hair may burn more easily and quickly, but those with darker skin must be protected too. Sun damage affects every skin type.
  3. Apply and reapply sunscreen. I recommend a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and has a Sun Protection Factor of at least 15.  SPF measures how long it takes sunscreen-protected skin to begin to burn, or turn red, as compared to unprotected skin. For instance, if it takes unprotected skin 10 minutes to burn, then skin protected with an SPF value of 15 will take 150 minutes, or two and a half hours, to burn. A recent report suggested routine use of SPF 70 to compensate for the fact that most adults do not use a thick enough coating of sunscreen. It is said that a “shot glass” of sunscreen is necessary to cover exposed areas of the body and most people do not use enough. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating, in which case a water-resistant variety should be used.
  4. Proper attire will help. When you can, wear protective, tightly woven clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt and pants.  Light colored, loosely woven clothing may only have an SPF of 2. Consider buying a few items of “sun protective clothing” which have advertised SPF or UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50+. This type of clothing is perfect for working in the yard and taking a walk on the beach, optimally early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Also, a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses are important for protecting the delicate skin on your face and your eyes. Be sure your sunglasses have UVA and UVB protection, which should filter at least 80 percent of the sun’s rays.
  5. Watch out for reflective surfaces.  Know that UV reflection from sand, water, and pavement cement can redirect up to 85 percent of the sun’s damaging rays. So, UV can damage the skin even when you are sitting in the shade of a big tree or under a beach umbrella.
  6. Protect little ones. Children are at risk, too. Keep newborns out of the sun. Minimize sun exposure and apply sunscreen to children 6 months and older who are outdoors. Most skin cancers occur in older adults, but skin damage from the sun begins at an early age. Therefore, protection should start in childhood to prevent skin cancer later in life.
  7. Know when to head for shade. If your shadow is shorter than you are, you’re more likely to get sunburn. This means the sun is near its zenith, or its highest – and hottest – point of the day. When your shadow is short, seek the shade or head indoors to better protect yourself during the most intense rays.
  8. Avoid Tanning Beds. If you love the look of tanned skin, find a good self-tanner not a tanning bed. Artificial UVA rays in tanning booths not only inflict the same type of skin and eye damage as the sun, but may be as much as 20 times stronger than natural sunlight.
  9. Know your skin. Examine your skin from head-to-toe monthly. If you see some change in your skin, have it checked immediately by your doctor. Early detection is important.
  10. Get an annual screening. See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.


“While a suntan may look attractive, it is actually your skin’s way of telling you it has been damaged by sun exposure,” said Davis.


The deeper the tan, the more your skin is fighting to protect itself from sun damage and skin cancer. Keep this in mind the next time you want to bask in the sun.


Dr. Davis is a highly sought-after speaker and an award-winning dermatologist who was been recognized as one of the top doctors in the country. She is a graduate of Miami University and The Ohio State College of Medicine.




Georgia Regents University is one of four public comprehensive research universities in the state with nearly 10,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools, which include the Medical College of Georgia – the nation’s 13th-oldest medical school – the nationally-ranked Hull College of Business and Georgia’s only College of Dental Medicine. The clinical enterprise associated with the university includes the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center and the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia. GRU is a unit of the University System of Georgia and an equal opportunity institution.

Augusta Economic Report, June 2015


In April, the Hull College of Business Augusta Leading Economic Index (LEI) returned to positive growth after last month’s blip. The LEI increased 0.8% from March. The index has increased 6.1% from April 2014.

I have been calculating the Augusta LEI and writing this report for five years. In that time Augusta has seen some tremendous growth (I believe they say this is correlation not causation!). Total employment has grown by 8 percent, with three major sectors contributing to that growth (leisure and hospitality, transportation and utilities, and health and education services). Retail and business and professional services, both large employers, have also seen decent growth.

If your industry does not appear on this list, it has underperformed the local average. The housing market has also continued to struggle: the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index for Augusta has fallen from 166.52 in the first quarter of 2010 to 155.22 in the first quarter of this year.


Category April 2010 April 2015 Growth
LEI (NSA) 109.8 137.0 24.8%
Employment 214,700 231,900 8.0%
Leisure and Hospitality employment 21,400 25,700 20.0%
Transportation and Utilities employment 6,200 7,300 17.7%
Health and Education Services employment 29,200 32,600 11.6%
Retail employment 24,700 26,700 8.0%
Business and Professional Services employment 30,700 33,000 7.5%
Unemployment rate (NSA) 9.0% 6.1% -32.2%
Average Weekly earnings $694.2 $853.10 22.9%

All data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and seasonally adjusted except where noted (NSA)


About the Index

The Augusta Leading Economic Index (Augusta LEI) is a monthly composite index that combines several national, regional, and local indicators into a single variable. Leading indexes combine variables that change before business cycle variables such as employment changes. Leading indexes may, therefore, indicate changes that could occur in the economy. Leading indexes are not forecasts or predictions about the future, but may signify future economic activity.

The Augusta LEI may provide local decision makers with timely information about future business cycle patterns in the Augusta area. The Augusta LEI uses economic indicators for the Augusta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes seven counties (i.e., Burke, Columbia, Lincoln, McDuffie, and Richmond counties in Georgia, and Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina).

The index also includes regional and national indicators to reflect that national trends affect the local economy. The index is constructed in the same way that the Conference Board constructs the Leading Economic Index for the United States.


About Simon Medcalfe
simon medcalfeDr. Simon Medcalfe is an Associate Professor of Finance and Director of the MBA program in the James M. Hull College of Business at Georgia Regents University. He holds a Ph.D. in business and economics from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and a Master of Science degree in finance from Leicester University in England. He has published academic articles in the areas of sports and health economics and economiceducation as well as contributing to labor economics and entrepreneurial finance textbooks.
He can be reached at

AVPs named in the Division of Enrollment and Student Affairs

AUGUSTA, Ga.- David Barron has been named Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services, and Dale Hartenburg has been named Assistant Vice President for Student Services in the Division of Enrollment and Student Services at Georgia Regents University.

“David Barron and Dale Hartenburg are passionate about GRU’s mission and we are delighted to have them a part of our leadership team,” said Dr. Mark Allen Poisel, Vice President for GRU’s Division of Enrollment and Student Affairs. “With their extensive background in enrollment and student affairs, I believe they have the qualities needed to strengthen our efforts in providing students with the programs and services they need for optimal success.”

David Barron

Barron, the Executive Director of Enrollment Management for Rogers State University, brings 18 years of higher education experience to GRU, including five years at Rogers State.

At RSU, Barron chaired the university’s Strategic Enrollment Planning Group and developed the institution’s first ever Strategic Plan for Enrollment Management. Through his recruiting initiatives, the university experienced record numbers in freshman retention, diversity, and applicant quality.

Prior to arriving at RSU, he spent five years at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences where he served in various leadership roles such as being the Acting Director of Admissions and Registrar as well as Director of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.

He is an award-winning speaker who has shared his work in enrollment management at conferences throughout the country and he has been featured on the lifestyle magazine show TULSA Live.

He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Theological and Historical Studies at Oral Roberts University.

dale hartenburg

Hartenburg joined GRU in 2002 as the Director of the university’s Wellness Center and, after five years in that position, he became the Director of Student and Auxiliary Services. In 2013, he was named Director of Student Services in which he managed a $5 million budget as well as developed strategic plans for new service facilities including housing, recreation, and dining.

With almost 20 years of experience in the field of student services, Hartenburg has conducted webinars and presented his research at conferences throughout the state.

He is a member of several professional organizations including the National Association for College Auxiliary Services and he currently serves as the basketball coach for Westminster Schools of Augusta.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University, a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University, and an Education Specialist degree from Georgia Southern University.



Georgia Regents University is one of four public comprehensive research universities in the state with nearly 10,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools, which include the Medical College of Georgia – the nation’s 13th-oldest medical school – the nationally-ranked Hull College of Business and Georgia’s only College of Dental Medicine. The clinical enterprise associated with the university includes the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center and the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia. GRU is a unit of the University System of Georgia and an equal opportunity institution.