All posts by Kelly Jasper

Welcome to Jagwire

Jagwire is a state-of-the-art, comprehensive news and information resource produced by the Division of Communications and Marketing.

Developed in response to a growing demand for daily content from both the university and health system, Jagwire is your one-stop shop for everything news at Georgia Regents University, soon to be Augusta University.

Want to know what’s new on our campuses? We’ve got you covered. What about the latest happenings from the world of health care? Not a problem.

Events? Stories? Breaking news? Jagwire has it all.

In addition, Jagwire also provides you with valuable employee resources, including the latest information on benefits and training opportunities as well as calendars tailored to your area of expertise.

Ready to get started? Take a moment to view the simple instructional video below, or explore on your own by clicking anywhere on the blue Jagwire banner above.

And before you go, take a second to bookmark our site on your desktop or mobile device or follow @AUG_JAGWIRE on Twitter.  That way, you’ll always be able to find the news you want, when you want it.

You spoke, and we listened. The future of workplace news is here.


The Division of Communications and Marketing

More Cubans migrate to the U.S.

Cuban migrants are flocking to the U.S., a trend experts attribute to fears that changing relations between the two countries could end America’s policy that permits residents of the island nation who reach the U.S. to remain here permanently.

Dr. Paolo Spadoni, a Cuba expert and assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Georgia Regents University, was quoted in a Sept. 20 article in the Wall Street Journal on the subject.

“There is sense of urgency to beat any change in U.S. immigration policy toward Cuba,” he said.

Read More: More Cubans migrate to the U.S.

Faculty art showcased in new GRU Byrd Gallery exhibit

Faculty in the Georgia Regents University Department of Art will present at the first exhibit of the academic year at The Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art opening Thursday, Aug. 27.

The Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art is a free art gallery open to the public on the Summerville campus of GRU. From Aug. 27 through Sept. 17, the space on the first floor of Washington Hall will feature works of art created by members of the GRU Department of Art faculty.

The GRU Annual Faculty Art Show 2015 is a unique opportunity to showcase the talents of GRU’s faculty, said Scott Thorp, chair of the Art Department and interim director of the gallery.

“With an expansive range of media exploration and artistic expression, these works reflect the inspiring creative abilities of our faculty,” Thorp said. “We’d like to invite the GRU community and Augusta community to join us for the opening, which includes a series of brief lectures and gallery reception. It’s a wonderful space and a hidden gem on GRU’s campus.”

Both events are open to the public. The artist talk featuring Kristen Casaletto, Brian Rust, Scott Thorp and Janice Williams M. Whiting is 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, in University Hall, room 170.  The opening reception is 6-7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 27, in the gallery.

For more information, see

GRU Explains the Confederate Flag debate

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The South Carolina legislature convened Monday to debate proposals to remove the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds.

Dr. John Hayes, an assistant professor of History at Georgia Regents University, teaches courses on the American South. In a new video, he discusses history’s role in the current controversy.

“The removal of the flag from Statehouse grounds in South Carolina would be symbolically very powerful,” Hayes said. “It’s a way of saying we’re coming to terms with a certain commemoration of the past that spoke for only half – maybe not even half – of the people of South Carolina and, as we confront that commemoration, this has no place going forward. Does that mean South Carolina has all of a sudden turned a corner and become a radically different state? By no means. But I think it’s an important small step in charting a better future, a future that includes all South Carolinians rather than only some.”

A rising scholar in Southern history, Hayes’ research focuses on religion in the late 19th and 20th century South. He has published chapters in edited collections, including Big River: Johnny Cash and the Currents of History; The Christ-Haunted South: Contextualizing Flannery O’Connor, and journal articles, such as The Evangelical Ethos and the Spirit of Capitalism; Recovering the Class-Conscious New South; From Christ-Haunted Region to Anomic Anyplace.

GRU, USG to launch national search for police chief

Augusta, Ga.  A national search will commence for a new Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police at Georgia Regents University.

GRU Police Chief William McBride will retire June 30. Major Gene Maxwell and Major Earnest Black will provide experienced leadership to the Public Safety Division while GRU works closely with the University System of Georgia’s Safety and Security Division to identify qualified candidates to serve in this important position.

As a growing comprehensive research university with nearly 10,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools, GRU will search for qualified candidates with experience serving undergraduate student populations. The university broke ground this spring on new residence halls to help attract and retain students. The new 724-bed student-housing complex will be located on the university’s Health Sciences campus, home of the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center and 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia. In an effort to conduct a thorough search for top candidates to lead the diverse needs of the campus community and academic medical center, no deadline has been set for completion of the search.

The Public Safety Division was established in 1973 to provide professional law enforcement to GRU campuses, hospitals, and clinics and is one of 31 police departments in the USG. In May, USG launched a system-wide campus safety initiative to improve training, education, implementation, tracking, and accountability. Key components include required training to help identify and prevent sexual violence and harassment, mental health education for public safety officers, and a new central website for campus crime reports.

The men and women of GRU’s Public Safety Division are dedicated to creating a safe and secure environment for education, research, service, and care in an effective, responsive, and professional manner. The Division includes the GRU Police Bureau, Key Control, and Vehicle Services. Learn more at

5 questions about hand sanitizer answered

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Hand sanitizers are more popular than ever – and so are myths about the products.

We get a lot of questions about hand sanitizers and their uses. Are they safe? Are they effective?” said Dr. Stephen Hsu, a Georgia Regents University researcher with a growing line of green tea products.

His start-up biotechnology and drug development company Camellix, LLC, uses green tea-derived technologies to treat dry mouth, dandruff, and cold sores with natural ingredients. Now, Hsu has turned his attention to creating a better hand sanitizer and lotion using compounds derived from green tea.

“People have come to expect that they can use a hand sanitizer to help protect themselves during cold and flu season,” said Hsu, Professor of Oral Biology, Oral Health & Diagnostic Sciences in the GRU College of Dental Medicine. “That’s true, but in reality, hand sanitizers have so much more potential.”

Hsu’s ProtecTeaV® EGCG Hand Sanitizer and EGCG Skin Lotion use a modified epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) compound derived from green tea because it’s got the potential to protect against an extensive range of deadly or debilitating viruses. The new hand sanitizer and lotion are available in pharmacies and online starting this summer. Here, Hsu tackles five common myths about hand sanitizers:

Myth #1: Hand sanitizers only prevent colds.

“Studies in a number of research journals show us that EGCG protects human cells from infection of HIV, herpes, norovirus, hepatitis B and C viruses, human papilloma virus, even Ebola, according to recently published antiviral research by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases ,” said Hsu, a recipient of the 2015 Georgia Bio Innovation Award. “The significance of this technology is the potential to save thousands, if not tens of thousands, of lives from a variety of viral infections.”

As a result of the research, Camellix plans to donate shipments of its new EGCG sanitizer and lotion to military personnel fighting the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

Myth #2: Hand sanitizers replace hand washing.

“Soap and water are still the best way to clean the skin. When they’re not available, hand sanitizers are a great option,” Hsu said. “Sanitizers work best when your hands aren’t overly dirty or greasy, so if it’s possible, you always want to wash or wipe down your hands first to remove visible grime.”

Myth # 3: All hand sanitizers are created equally.

Most sanitizers kill bacteria and some viruses with alcohol, which evaporates in about 20 seconds. “This is fine for immediate cleansing if applied correctly, but it is temporary,” Hsu said. “The key is to provide a long-lasting barrier against viruses. The unique ProtecTeaV® formulation provides a 2-hour barrier by combining alcohol with lipophilic EGCG, a compound patented by Georgia Regents University.”

Myth # 4: Sanitizers kill all bacteria and viruses.

Most bacteria can be killed by alcohol-based sanitizers, but in order to effectively kill viruses, the concentration of alcohol must be very high, or about 90 percent,, which is dangerously flammable.

“With norovirus, for example, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing hands with soap and water frequently to prevent infection instead of relying solely on alcohol-based sanitizers,” Hsu said. “The rabies and polio viruses are also resistant to alcohol. Compounds to kill these alcohol-resistant viruses are urgently needed. We believe EGCG, especially lipophilic EGCG, is an excellent candidate.”

Myth #5: There is no wrong way to use hand sanitizer.

“The sanitizer can’t do its job if it isn’t applied properly,” Hsu said. “Put a nickel-sized dollop of the product in the palm of one hand and rub hands together, until the surface of your hands and fingers are coated. Keep rubbing until dry. For the best results, wash and dry your hands before using hand sanitizer, then follow with lotion.”

About Dr. Stephen Hsu

Dr. Stephen Hsu, Professor of Oral Biology, Oral Health & Diagnostic Sciences in the College of Dental Medicine at Georgia Regents University, earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Wuhan University after a six-year forced labor experience in a rural farm in China.

After moving to the United States, he earned a Master of Arts degree in molecular biology from Montclair State University in New Jersey and a Ph.D. in cell biology and anatomy from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Dr. Stephen Hsu is founder of Camellix, LLC, which develops and markets products using green tea-derived technologies to treat dry mouth, dandruff, cold sores, and viral infections with natural ingredients. The products were developed and patented in the Georgia Regents University Life Sciences Business Development Center in the Office of Innovation Commercialization. Hsu joined GRU 1999 and serves as Course Director for both Nutrition and Biochemistry courses. He has joint appointments in the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, GRU Cancer Center, and VA Medical Center Augusta.

More information

Learn more about ProtecTeaV® EGCG Hand Sanitizer and Skin Lotion at or the GRU Office of Innovation Commercialization at




Four tips for safe Summer driving

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Drugs, drinking, distraction, and drowsiness are leading factors in motor vehicle crashes.

These risky behaviors result in thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries each year, according to the American Trauma Society, which recognizes May as National Trauma Awareness Month.

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Learn more at

“Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of trauma,” said Dr. Colville Ferdinand, Trauma Chief at Georgia Regents Medical Center, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center. “From the CDC we know that every two minutes someone is injured in a drunk driving crash. But it’s not just drinking and drugs. More than one in six fatal car crashes involves distracted driving, and it’s disproportionately affecting our young people.”

Too often, drivers underestimate the risk. With Memorial Day on May 25 kicking off the summer travel season, Ferdinand recommends sharing these tips with drivers, especially teens, in your family:

1)  The roads are crowded this time of year, so pay extra attention.

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the deadliest time of the year for teen drivers and their passengers. The 2015 Memorial Day forecast is expected to mark the highest travel volume for the holiday in 10 years, since 2005, according to AAA.

2)  Get some sleep before hitting the road.

In one study, 41 percent of drivers admitted they’ve fallen asleep behind the wheel. The cost? More than 100,000 crashes a year are the direct result of driver fatigue, according to an estimate from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Men ages 18 to 34 are the biggest offenders.

Sleeping less than six hours a night can double your risk of being involved in a crash. Those who sleep less than five hours a night increase their risk four or five times, according to the American Trauma Society.

3)  Stay the night or call a cab.

Today, there are more alternatives than ever. Call a cab or ride-sharing company. Stay the night. Plan your options before a night of drinking and take along a designated driver. Drugs other than alcohol, including marijuana and cocaine, are involved in more than one in five fatal crashes.

4)  Put down the phone.

Sending a text – or even glancing at an incoming message – takes a driver’s eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds, which is the equivalent of driving 55 mph down the length of a football field blindfolded.

“Distracted driving happens anytime you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off of driving,” Ferdinand said. “We see firsthand the injuries that result from those decisions. Interestingly, a full 80 percent of motorists say distracted driving is a serious threat to their safety, yet many of us still do it.”

More information

The American Trauma Society, in collaboration with the Society of Trauma Nurses, has more information about trauma prevention at


MCG alumnus Gingrey appointed to Health System Board

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Former U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Georgia Regents Health System.

Appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal, Gingrey represented Georgia’s 11th Congressional District from 2003 to 2015, founding the Congressional Doctors Caucus and serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He also served as a state senator and as chairman of the Marietta City School Board.

Gingrey, an Augusta native, graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School and moved to Atlanta to attend Georgia Tech. He returned to Augusta to attend the Medical College of Georgia, completing an internship at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and his residency at MCG. For more than 20 years, he ran a successful Obstetrics and Gynecology practice in Marietta. Gingrey belongs to Cobb County Medical Society, the Medical Association of Georgia, the Georgia Ob/Gyn Society and is a board-certified member of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Gingrey fills a spot on the board recently vacated by another MCG alumnus, Dr. J. Roy Rowland, who had served on the Health System Board since his appointment in June 2010.

Rowland is Medical Consultant for the Chief Executive Officer for Middle Georgia Community Mental Health Center. He previously practiced family medicine in Dublin, Georgia, for 28 years. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 12 years and in the Georgia House of Representatives for six years. A graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, he is a member of its Alumni Association and received the Association’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

“The Medical College of Georgia is very proud of the great leadership of our alumni, both at our institution and all across Georgia,” said Dr. Peter F. Buckley, MCG Dean; Interim Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Georgia Regents University; and Interim CEO, Georgia Regents Medical Center and Medical Associates. “Drs. Gingrey and Rowland are fantastic alumni and role models for all of us.”

The GRHS Board oversees the operations of Georgia Regents Medical Associates, Georgia Regents Medical Center, and the Children’s Hospital of Georgia.