All posts by Kelly Jasper

Wycliffe Gordon presented with visiting professorship

wycliffeRenowned jazz trombonist and international recording artist, composer, and arranger Wycliffe Gordon was presented with a visiting professorship in the Department of Music at Georgia Regents University during a Jazz Ensemble performance on Nov. 12.

Gordon performed with the Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Rob Foster, Professor of Music, at the Maxwell Theatre on the Summerville Campus. The formal announcement was made during the performance, said Dr. Angela Morgan, Chairwoman of the Department of Music.

“He’s an internationally renowned jazz musician, but the exciting thing is that he’s from right here in Augusta,” Morgan said.

Gordon was born in Waynesboro, Ga., and is a graduate of Augusta’s Butler High School. To date, he has released more than 20 records as a solo artist and tours regularly with the Wycliffe Gordon Quartet. He is a veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and teaches in the Jazz Arts Program at the Manhattan School of Music. From 2001-13, he was named “Trombonist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association eight times. In 2007, he received the ASCAP Foundation Vanguard Award for his work as a composer, instrumentalist, performer, and educator in the field of jazz.

Gordon’s visiting professorship begins in fall 2014. He will spend six weeks of each semester at GRU, working with students in a new Jazz Studies track in the Bachelor of Music degree program.

“Students will be able to concentrate their efforts in jazz to prepare them to be better jazz musicians,” Morgan said.

 

Wycliffe Gordon to be presented with visiting professorship

Wycliffe Gordon
Wycliffe Gordon

Augusta, Ga. – Renowned jazz trombonist and international recording artist, composer, and arranger Wycliffe Gordon will be presented with a visiting professorship in the Department of Music at Georgia Regents University when he takes the stage with the GRU Jazz Ensemble on Tuesday.

 Gordon will perform with the GRU Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Rob Foster, Professor of Music, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12, at the Maxwell Theatre, 2500 Walton Way. A formal announcement will be made during the performance, said Dr. Angela Morgan, Chair of the GRU Department of Music.

“He’s an internationally renowned Jazz musician, known all over the world, but the exciting thing is that he’s from right here in Augusta,” Morgan said.

Gordon was born in Waynesboro, Ga., and is a graduate of Augusta’s Butler High School. To date, he has released more than 20 records as a solo artist, and tours regularly with the Wycliffe Gordon Quartet. He is a former veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and currently teaches in the Jazz Arts Program at Manhattan School of Music. From 2001-13, he was named “Trombonist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association eight times. In 2007, he received the ASCAP Foundation Vanguard Award for his work as a composer, instrumentalist, performer, and educator in the field of jazz.

Gordon’s visiting professorship begins in fall 2014. He will spend six weeks of each semester at GRU, working with students in a new Jazz Studies Track in the Bachelor of Music degree program.

“Students will be able to concentrate their efforts in jazz to prepare them to be better jazz musicians,” Morgan said.

Tickets to Tuesday’s performance are $5 at the Maxwell Theatre Box Office. GRU students, faculty, and staff are admitted free with a valid JagCard.

GRU researcher’s business grows with new MighTeaFlow products for dry mouth

Augusta, Ga. – A trio of over-the-counter products with natural ingredients to combat dry mouth are the latest consumer products developed by Camellix, LLC, a start-up biotechnology and drug development company founded by Georgia Regents University researcher Dr. Stephen Hsu.

Dr. Stephen Hsu
Dr. Stephen Hsu

The formula for MighTeaFlow Organic Neutral pH Moisturizing Oral Rinse, Oral Spray, and Lozenge was developed at the GRU Life Sciences Business Development Center, a biobusiness incubator in the Office of Innovation Commercialization. They are the first products to be released by Camellix since graduating from the incubator on Oct. 1 and relocating to an office and warehouse in Evans, Ga.

“Camellix grew up here. They rapidly moved from a great idea to a range of innovative products,” said Dr. Christopher McKinney, Associate Vice President of Innovation Commercialization at GRU. “We’re very proud of the company. They’ve done some amazing work here.”

Camellix launched its first product, a natural chewing gum designed to relieve symptoms of dry mouth, in March 2012. The new oral rinse, spray, and lozenge build on the same green tea-derived technology developed for MighTeaFlow Dry Mouth Chewing Gum, said Hsu, Professor of Oral Biology in the GRU College of Dental Medicine.

“This is based on more than 10 years of study on the properties of these compounds. We realized we could develop natural products that can really benefit people with dry mouth. The award-winning formula actually protects salivary function and enhances salivary function. It protects and enhances,” Hsu said. “There’s no other product that can do that.”

The products harness the power of EGCG, a green tea polyphenol that suppresses the body’s inflammatory response, reduces oxidative stress, and protects against free radicals. The products also contain other botanic extracts, and the non-fermenting sugar alcohol Xylitol, which prevents cavities and has been approved by the FDA to help alleviate symptoms associated with dry mouth.

The alcohol-, sugar-, and saccharin-free rinse contain aloe vera, raspberry extract, calcium, and fluoride to soothe oral tissues and protect teeth. A neutral pH protects against tooth decay and enamel erosion caused by acidic products and bacteria.

“The MighTeaFlow products have natural antioxidants that can work to make the salivary cells healthier. We’re promoting a healthier pH, which is going to be in favor of mineralization. A low pH can actually damage enamel and induce sensitivity. Some oral rinses have a very low pH, which should be avoided by dry mouth patients,” Hsu said. “Our team looked at the pH and ingredients very carefully. We consulted with dental professionals—the dentists, the hygienists, and patients—to get to this formula that’s going to help people with dry mouth symptoms.”

Dry mouth is commonly experienced by diabetics, cancer patients, and people with auto-immune diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome. Dry mouth is also a side-effect of many prescription and over-the-counter medications. Without the protective effect of saliva, dry mouth patients are at a greater risk of tooth decay, erosion, gum disease, bad breath, chapped lips, sore throat, hoarseness, and other complications.

“Saliva is a buffer. It can actually neutralize acidic foods that come in, whatever you eat or drink. Dry mouth patients often have an acidic oral environment susceptible to bacteria growth,” Hsu said. “The purpose of our products is to increase your own saliva flow and to partially restore your salivary function. That’s the key difference between our technology and others. We want you to make more of your own saliva. Other products lubricate, but don’t make new saliva.”

Dr. Scott DeRossi, Chairman of Oral Health & Diagnostic Sciences, led a two-year clinical trial, funded by the International Association for Dental Research/GlaxoSmithKline Innovation in Oral Care Award. Results will be presented at an American Association for Dental Research meeting in March.

“This formula has been tested in our dental college,” Hsu said. “The results are very exciting and we’ll be announcing at a later date.”

For more information about Camellix, visit camellix.com. For more information about the GRU Life Sciences Business Development Center, visit gru.edu/oic.

GRU College of Nursing hosts Non-Food Halloween Festival

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Children trick-or-treat for non-food items at the sixth annual Non-Food Halloween Festival at Georgia Regents University.

Augusta, Ga. – Dozens of children with dietary restrictions trick-or-treated for non-food items, including stickers, glow sticks, and other small toys, at the sixth annual Non-Food Halloween Festival at Georgia Regents University on Thursday, Oct. 31.

Children on medically restricted diets were invited to participate in games, crafts, and a haunted house created by GRU nursing students. The free event was hosted by the GRU College of Nursing in collaboration with the CSRA Eos and Augusta Food Allergy support groups.

“There are a lot more kids involved each year,” said Allyn Fry, 14. Fry has Eosinophilic Esophagitis, an allergic inflammatory disease of the esophagus commonly treated with a strict elimination diet. He has been a part of the festival since he was 8. “It’s fun. We have games. Some things are better than candy.”

For more information about the GRU College of Nursing, visit gru.edu/nursing.

Halloween event offers trick-or-treating without the candy

Augusta, Ga. – A free Halloween festival for children with dietary restrictions will be held from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, on the fourth and fifth floors of the Georgia Regents University Health Sciences Building at 987 St. Sebastian Way.

The sixth annual Non-Food Halloween Festival is hosted by the GRU College of Nursing in collaboration with the CSRA Eos and Augusta Food Allergy support groups. Activities include games, crafts, a haunted house, and trick-or-treating for non-food items, including small toys and prizes.

The event targets children with restricted diets due to medical disorders, including food allergies, diabetes, and Eosinophilic and metabolic disorders, said Katy Slagle, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and founder of the festival. The inspiration for the festival came six years ago from the mother of a patient with Eosinophilic Esophagitis, an allergic inflammatory disease of the esophagus commonly treated with a strict elimination diet.

“Mom lamented that she didn’t know how they would ‘do’ Halloween that year. I quickly realized how many more kids and families must face a similar dilemma regarding Halloween,” Slagle said. “Halloween is a holiday truly geared toward children and fun, but is candy a necessity?  Why not have small toys or prizes instead of all the candy and sweets?”

The event is open to children with medically restricted diets and their siblings. Costumes are welcomed. For more information or to RSVP to the event, call the GRU College of Nursing at 706-721-2451.

 

College of Nursing forging a new identity

Dr. Lucy N. Marion
Dr. Lucy N. Marion

The College of Nursing is forging a new identity as “Georgia’s flagship nursing school,” Dr. Lucy N. Marion, Dean of the College of Nursing, said in her annual State of the College Address on Friday, Oct. 10.

“My purpose today is to tell the story of the college,” Marion said. “It’s gone through quite a lot over the last year.”

This semester, 185 students make up the inaugural class of GRU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program. Total fall 2013 enrollment in the College of Nursing is 796 students. More than half are pursing graduate programs of study.

“About a fourth of our students are in Athens,” Marion said. Another 60 are distance learners taking courses online.

Marion’s address, “Consolidation and Transition Forward,” was live streamed to campuses in Columbus and Athens.

“We’re a statewide organization,” Marion said.

The College of Nursing has teaching locations in 110 Georgia and 14 South Carolina cities and 370 Georgia and 29 South Carolina agencies and hospitals. Marion highlighted educational partnerships with entities across the state, including Emory Health System, The Medical Center of Central Georgia, and Columbus State, Clayton State, and Valdosta State universities.

The college hopes to encourage future growth by building on its reputation as a trailblazer, Marion said. At current growth rates, enrollment could reach 1,000 students by 2020.

“We’re very much trendsetters,” Marion said. “We were the first to have a Clinical Nurse Leader program in the state. We’re attracting new people to nursing.”

Fall 2013 enrollment in the CNL program, a second-degree, accelerated nursing program, is 189.

The college has undertaken a major push to increase the diversity of its student body and has several programs that focus on cross-cultural work, including international partnerships with China’s Jianghan University and a study abroad program in Peru.

“One of our goals is to increase our diversity,” Marion said. “We think it’s very good for the students, and good for us.”

The college is already making strides in racial and gender diversity. This fall, 15 percent of students in the College of Nursing are male.

“At one time, if five percent of your nursing student body were men, you were lucky,” Marion said.

In addition to the diversity initiative, Marion also highlighted other strategic priorities for the future, including faculty and staff development, new educational programs, accreditation, a new clinical program by Georgia Regents Nursing Associates, and the hiring of an associate dean for research.

Learn more about the College of Nursing at gru.edu/nursing.