Category Archives: Faculty & Staff

News about GRU and GRHealth faculty and staff

Under new management: The Confucius Institute moving forward

[Click here to read this story on Jagwire.]

Throughout history, few philosophers have ever matched the sheer greatness of Confucius.

Today, his name – if not his message – is universally known.

No other scholar has had a more pronounced or visible effect on Chinese education than “Master Kong” – the honorific by which he was known – and his teachings, referred to collectively as Confucianism, are even regarded as gospel by some.

It’s safe to say, then, that the name “Confucius” brings with it a great many positive connotations. But what can the land of his birth teach us?

A great deal, it turns out.

In March of 2014, GRU made history by becoming the first comprehensive academic health center to be affiliated with a Confucius Institute. A nonprofit, public institute for the study of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese language and culture, the Confucius Institute at GRU was created in partnership with the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, one of the oldest and most notable universities in China.

One of 400 such institutions across the globe, the Confucius Institute at GRU was the first in the Western Hemisphere to focus on teaching Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Now, under the direction of Cindi Chance, that focus is being magnified.

“Probably 20 years ago, people wouldn’t have accepted even basic Traditional Chinese Medicine in this country,” she said, examining the role of TCM in Western medicine. “Now, there are a lot of doctors who practice it. Many use it to control pain instead of medication.”

It seems almost unbelievable – using ancient medicinal practices to replace modern medicines. But in the future, the transition could save lives.

“In the U.S., we have too many folks who are on the streets because they’ve become addicted to pain medicine,” she said. “Unfortunately, some of those are veterans who come back with recurring pain and get so badly addicted that they can’t hold a job or look for work.”

It’s a tragic situation. However, it is also one Chance believes can be prevented through the use of TCM.

“Chinese medicine, which includes Tai Chi by the way, is more about preventive than corrective techniques,” she said.

While some patients do choose to undergo corrective TCM procedures (using acupuncture instead of anesthetic during surgery, for example), Chance said the focus of TCM is more about preventing or relieving pain before it starts. Things like eating healthy and exercising regularly, treatments Westerners would refer to as “holistic,” all fall under the umbrella of TCM. There’s no denying the prevalence of holistic medicine among newer generations.

That’s why the Confucius Institute is working on a certificate for students taking TCM courses.

“It’s in the works, but if it’s approved, it would show up on the transcripts of students who have taken TCM classes,” said Chance. “Hopefully, students would be able to practice that as doctors, but even if they don’t, just being able to understand that way of treating patients is a tremendous asset to a health care professional’s caregiving.”

But the Confucius Institute isn’t just about TCM, Chance cautioned. Medicine, she said, was only the beginning.

“It’s much broader than that. It’s about teaching, and it’s about culture. How do you marry those two and get the work, and the benefit, that you want for the university?”

It’s a perplexing question, and one with multiple answers.

One solution is the Moon Festival.

In Chinese culture, the Moon Festival is a traditional harvest festival held every year in anticipation of the fall equinox. The tradition began in imperial China sometime between the 16th and 10th century B.C., during the Shang dynasty. Since then, the festival has spread to Taiwan and Vietnam, with similar festivals held yearly in Korea and Japan.

Though the original purpose of the Moon Festival has been lost to time, the Confucius Institute’s Moon Festival closely mirrors our own Thanksgiving. The two-hour event will feature a parade for families and friends, as well as the chance to partake in an ancient Chinese tradition – the eating of moon cakes.

“Moon cakes are traditional Chinese pastries filled with bean curd,” Chance explained. “Normally, families would come together to make moon cakes, but we’ll have some on hand.”

Chance, an expert on Chinese culture and Southern sensibilities alike, said moon pies would also be available for those who were feeling a little less adventurous – something she completely understands.

“I’ve had them,” she said, chuckling. “They aren’t for me, personally.”

This year, the Confucius Institute’s Moon Festival will coincide with Confucius Institute Day – a celebration of all 400 Confucius Institutes globally. Both events will take place on Oct. 1.

But the Moon Festival isn’t the only way Chance intends to further the Confucius Institute’s unique mission.

“We’re in talks about hosting a Chinese New Year party,” she said. “We’re also going to be bringing in Chinese entertainers over the next couple of months, along with an expert martial artist who will be with us for two weeks.”

The Confucius Institute will also host an oncologist specializing in Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as performances from Chinese acrobats, Tai Chi masters and an operatic singing group.

Chance’s excitement about leading the Confucius Institute is palpable, but not altogether surprising. She has a long history with the world’s most populous nation.

“I’m new to the Institute, but I’m certainly not new to China,” she explained. “I started going in 1989, and I think the last time I went, last spring, was either my 15th or 16th visit.”

Chance, who lived in China for six months as a Fullbright scholar, said understanding our biggest economic competitor is a crucial part of living in today’s world – something most Americans take for granted.

“In some ways, we’re like most universities and communities,” she said. “We’re very ethnocentric; we’re not really interested in ‘going out,’ so to speak.”

In fact, that’s one of the reasons why the Hanban, the Chinese authority promoting the expansion of Chinese language and cultural understanding, puts so much emphasis on properly funding Confucius Institutes like the one at GRU. And no, that isn’t a misprint.

The Hanban directly funds Confucius Institute events.

“The Hanban is very generous about funding activities that we as an institution request,” said Chance. “We send in a budget every year saying this is what we’d like to do, so if there are other things that other faculty and programs are interested in relating to the Confucius Institute, we just need to put it in our budget.”

Chance said it’s a resource she hopes others will take advantage of moving forward.

In addition to funding Confucius institute events, the Hanban also offers opportunities for students and faculty to visit China. The cost of the entire trip, minus airfare, is covered by the Hanban, and in the case of students, these mini-scholarships can last up to two weeks or longer, depending on the circumstances.

One such group is heading to China next year.

“We’re going to be taking a group mostly of faculty and staff to China in the spring,” Chance said. “Hopefully, this will be some of the faculty and staff’s first time there. I think it’ll help us better understand China. I think it’ll help us understand our own country, too.”

Ultimately, that’s what it all comes down to, Chance said. Better understanding China to better understand ourselves.

“China isn’t a perfect country,” said Chance. “It has its faults – believe me, it has its faults – but so does our own. So does every nation. It’s about learning from those mistakes, and using that information to improve our own country and our own culture.”

To those who say otherwise, perhaps Confucius explained it best when he said:

“Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.”

GRU alumna takes a look at Southern living in her first novel

[Click here to read this story on Jagwire.]

Anna Schaeffer, Honors Program alumna and former CURS Summer Scholar, will join us to talk about turning her Honors thesis into her first published novel on Tuesday, Oct. 6 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Quad Wall Building on the Summerville campus.

Schaeffer holds a degree in English from GRU and was a finalist in the WestBow Press New Look Writing Contest.

Her first novel, titled “All of This,” follows the story of Sadie Franklin, a young woman making the (rather difficult) transition from living in Seattle to living in rural Georgia. Schaeffer describes Franklin as being “all about independence,” a trait that makes her forced adjustment to life in fictional Pecan Creek, Georgia, all the more troubling.

“All of This” is currently available for purchase from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Copies will also be available for purchase at the event.

Attendees are also invited to the “All of This” book release party on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 1-3 p.m. at the Book Tavern. The release party will feature a reading and signing, along with giveaways and a Q&A with the author herself.

Need to Know: Announcements – September 25

Announcements


H.I.T Hack Challenge
Would you like to participate in the H.I.T. Hack Challenge, the first annual hackathon for students to transform the future of health informatics? Come and be a part of a team of daring and innovative problem solvers and help come up with an idea that can change the Health Informatics landscape! The winning team will be invited to present at the Health IT Leadership Summit in Atlanta on November 3. Contact Dr. Gianluca De Leo at gdeleo@gru.edu before September 30.

Caught in the Act of Great Teaching!
Students, staff, and faculty are invited to nominate faculty members for a “Caught in the Act of Great Teaching Award.” We are looking to honor faculty for those acts, large or small that inspire students and exemplify teaching excellence. Nominations should be no more than 100 words and include the name of the instructor and a description of the nominating act. Send nominations to facultydevelopment@gru.edu.

Kinesiology professor brings cycling expertise to Augusta

[Click here to view this story on Jagwire.]

Cycling is a growing sport, expected to double in revenue in the next five years, according to an industry report by IBISWorld.

Dr. Amos Meyers, newly hired assistant professor of kinesiology in the GRU College of Education, hopes to encourage that interest here in Augusta.

“I study sports biomechanics. What equipment does an athlete use, and how can we change that to facilitate their movement? If they’re moving efficiently, does that translate to physiological efficiency?” Meyers said.

While the research theme is open to application, his dissertation concentrated on the connection between the shoe and the pedal in cycling. There are three points of contact on a bike – the hands, seat and feet. The first two are fairly static connections. The last requires a great deal of movement from the muscles and joints.

“There are so many variables you can change, and not a lot of research on what those changes should be,” Meyers said.

As a professor, Meyers brings a wealth of teaching experience at both the University of Miami and the University of Pittsburgh, along with coaching experience in cycling, rowing and swimming.

Meyers said that he had really good mentors in the classroom and wants to model for his students what was modeled for him. That includes effectiveness and enthusiasm for the subject and for research in his field.

“I love what I do,” he said. “And I love what the field does: It’s cool, it’s exciting, it’s important. I try to pass on that feeling to students.”

Meyers has a growing list of articles and conference presentations and has worked on three different research grants. He is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and USA Cycling. He also reviews articles for the Journal of Emerging Investigators, a journal dedicated to exposing middle and high schoolers to the academic publication process.

Meyers received his bachelor’s degree from Angelo State University, master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and doctoral degree from the University of Miami.

Don’t Believe Miss Liberty – A Talk with Edgar Heap of Birds

In the national conversation on racial inequity, one group is continuously left on the sideline-those who were here first. Given that Native Americans precedently inhabited America, one would think their inalienable rights should at least match those of any settlers. But as history demonstrates, they don’t.

To read more of Department of Art Chair Scott Thorp’s eye-opening interview with Cheyenne artist Edgar Heap of Birds in Art Pulse Magazine, click here.

Bleed for your Team: Fall Blood Update

[Click here to view this story on Jagwire.]

Fall has fallen and with it the end of the Bleed for your Team Blood Drive is fast approaching.

With only one week left to donate as much blood as they (safely) can, which team will give the most for residents of the CSRA?

When last we checked in on our college competitors, the College of Dental Medicine had edged out a slight lead over their Medical College of Georgia rivals.

Have the tables turned in favor of the Medical Masters since our last Bleed for your Team update? Or will Team Tooth prove once and for all that they are, in fact, the better bleeders?

Find out here.

 

Beat the Bug: Get your flu shot early

FluShotNo matter how the years come and go, flu season always seems to sneak up on us. This year, get the jump on the bug by getting your flu shot as early as possible. You (and your co-workers and classmates) will be glad you did.

To view a listing of flu shot clinics, see the schedule below:

 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Sept. 14 Sept. 15 Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Sept. 18
Open Flu season

 

 

Satellite Clinic

8:00am to 11:00am

 

 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Sept. 21 Sept. 22 Sept. 23 Sept. 24 Sept. 25
Georgia War Veteran’s Nursing Home

7 a.m.-
10 a.m.

Pharm. D

 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Sept. 28 Sept. 29 Sept. 30 Oct. 1 Oct. 2
Georgia War Veteran’s Nursing Home

7 a.m. – 10a.m.

Pharm. D

Satellite Clinic

Location BA1343

8 a.m. –
11 a.m.

Pharm. D

Annex

GRMA Benefits fair

8 a.m. –
10 a.m.

Pharm. D

Kick Off -Cafeteria

Terrace Dining

9 a.m. –
2 p.m.

 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Oct. 5 Oct. 6 Oct. 7 Oct. 8 Oct. 9
Satellite Clinic

Location BA1343

8 a.m. –
11 a.m.

Pharm D

 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Oct. 12 Oct.13 Oct. 14 Oct. 15 Oct. 16
Magnolia Room

Cafeteria

7 a.m. –
10 a.m.

Pharm D

 

Satellite Clinic

Location BA1343

8 a.m. –
11 a.m.

Pharm D

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Oct. 19 Oct. 20 Oct. 21 Oct. 22 Oct. 23
Satellite Clinic

Location BA1343

8 a.m –
11 a.m.

Pharm D

 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Oct. 26 Oct. 27 Oct. 28 Oct. 29 Oct. 30
Magnolia Room

Cafeteria

7 a.m. –
10 a.m.

Pharm D

 

Satellite Clinic

Location BA1343

8 a.m. –
11 a.m.

Pharm D

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Nov. 2 Nov. 3 Nov. 4 Nov. 5 Nov. 6
Magnolia Room

Cafeteria

7 a.m. –
10 a.m.

 

Satellite Clinic

Location BA1343

8 a.m. –
11 a.m.

Pharm D

 

 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Nov. 9 Nov. 10 Nov. 11 Nov. 12 Nov. 13
 

 

Satellite Clinic

Location BA1343

8 a.m. –
11 a.m.

Pharm D

 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Nov. 16 Nov. 17 Nov. 18 Nov. 19 Nov. 20
Magnolia Room

Cafeteria

8 a.m. –
11 a.m.

Pharm D

 

Satellite Clinic

Location BA1343

8 a.m. –
11 a.m.

Pharm D

 

Augusta University: FAQs

[Click here to view this story on Jagwire.]

To help ease the transition from Georgia Regents University to Augusta University, a site has been created at au.gru.edu that will serve as a landing page for all communications regarding the changeover.

Please frequent this site often to make sure you have the latest information about this process.

Here is a list of the most recently added FAQs:

Why was this name chosen?

Augusta University has always been a much-loved name choice for our institution, and selecting it is recognition of the critical partnership that exists between our institution and our local community. The energy and enthusiasm generated by this partnership will be instrumental as we build our reputation as a national leader in teaching, research, health care and service.

When does the name take effect?

When the Board of Regents said the change is “effective immediately,” they authorized us to immediately begin working on an implementation plan. After thoughtful discussion and careful planning to ensure a smooth transition, an official date will be announced that will likely be some months from now.

What do we call ourselves in the meantime?

We will be GRU until the effective date of the name change. In some areas, external rules direct our actions, but in other areas, we can begin to gradually transition to the new name, and we will communicate these decisions on the website au.gru.edu, which we encourage you to check often.

How does this impact our reputation nationally?

Dr. Keel and his administration understand that the enhancement of our reputation is a critical issue, and that questions and confusion, particularly from individuals outside Augusta, will need to be addressed. Whether we are called GRU or Augusta University, it is the stories about the great students we attract, the discoveries our researchers make, the exceptional teaching of our faculty, the compassionate healing done by our health care professionals and the service we provide to this great community that are at the heart of our story.

What do we do about logos and email signatures?

While we appreciate the enthusiasm so many have exhibited about the change to Augusta University, we would ask that individuals not create their own logos or signatures in the interim period. For the time being, please use “Georgia Regents University, soon to be Augusta University” in your email signatures and similar applications and use current GRU and GRHealth logos when needed until provided new ones.

Will we have the option of having dual diplomas?

That is one of the questions leaders will address. With previous name changes, students have been given the option to select a commemorative diploma in addition to their actual diploma. We expect to be able to do the same with this name change.

 

Last call to register for Innovation Summit 2015

If you want to turn your great idea into the next big thing in the marketplace, you have one last chance to register for the Innovation Summit 2015.

“We encourage anybody who wants to become a successful innovator to come to the Innovation Summit,” said Chris McKinney, associate vice president of Innovation Commercialization at GRU. “This is a great chance for you to learn from successful people who have already walked that path. It’s a path that you can walk, too.”

There’s no cost to attend the summit, as the event is fully sponsored by the Office of Innovation Commercialization, the Georgia Regents Research Institute and the Hull College of Business at Georgia Regents University and the Savannah River National Laboratory.

“We wanted to give back to the community not only by helping people become innovators but by also doing so for free,” McKinney said.

Experienced innovators speaking at the event will share trends, strategies and advice and can assist in transforming big ideas into great products and services. Key speakers include:

  • Retired Brig. Gen. Stewart Rodeheaver, owner and CEO of ViziTech USA, a company that develops 3-D and interactive and augmented reality technology for educational purposes. In 2012, ViziTech was named Georgia’s “Coolest Technology Company,” and Rodeheaver was chosen technology “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Technology Association of Georgia.
  • Jordan Eisenberg, founder and president of UrgentRx, a company that produces powdered medications that come in credit-card-sized packets. Eisenberg has extensive experience with innovation, including the creation of a web company with more than 100,000 users across the globe and collar stays that come in credit-card-sized wallet cards.

Innovation Summit 2015 also features more than a dozen “short takes” talks — brief and dynamic pitches of less than eight minutes each — highlighting innovations and routes to market taken by successful innovators. The summit will also have a shark tank with five companies pitching to investors right in front of the audience.

The summit will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 6 at the Salvation Army Kroc Center at 1833 Broad St. in Augusta. You must register in advance at http://gru.edu/oic/summit/ to attend the summit. Breakfast and lunch are included.

For more information, visit http://gru.edu/oic/summit/ or contact Rachel Solomon in the Office of Innovation Commercialization at RSolomon@gru.edu or (706) 721-0153.