Category Archives: Faculty & Staff

News about GRU and GRHealth faculty and staff

Faculty & Staff Service Recognition Breakfast ceremony to be held Aug. 26

A Faculty and Staff Service Recognition Breakfast will be held Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015 at the Christenberry Fieldhouse on the Forest Hills Campus.

The campus-wide Faculty and Staff Service Recognition Program serves to publicly recognize employees with five or more years of service to either Georgia Regents University or GRHealth, with honors awarded for every five-year increment of service.

At this event, faculty and staff with five, 10 and 15 years of service will be recognized, and the Faculty and Staff Recognition Service Program is thrilled to host an estimated 578 honorees.

There are three total Faculty and Staff Service Recognition functions annually, including two breakfast events for employees with five, 10 or 15 years of service, and a dinner event for employees with 20 or more years of service to either Georgia Regents University or GRHealth.

For more information about the Faculty and Staff Service Recognition Program or to R.S.V.P, please email or visit

The list of honorees receiving awards on Aug. 26 can be found here.


Dr. Caughman welcomes President Keel

Dear Colleagues,

In the days since Dr. Brooks Keel was officially named president of Georgia Regents University and CEO of GRHealth, we have all heard him communicate openly and eloquently how thrilled and honored he is to assume leadership of the institution where he earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees.

When he arrives on Monday, I know he will find faculty, students, staff and administrators who echo his enthusiasm and welcome him warmly home to Augusta.

It has been my privilege to lead this institution in the interim — an opportunity made even more meaningful as the first day of my interim service marked the 30th anniversary of my own arrival here on July 1, 1985, as an assistant professor of oral biology. I love that symmetry.

Over those 30 years, there’s no doubt that much has changed, but one thing remains ever the same: our steadfast commitment to delivering excellence in service to our students, patients and community.

A commitment Dr. Keel has made abundantly clear will be his top priority.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Keel on several occasions and have been impressed with his warmth, graciousness and keen intelligence. Over the past week, we have learned more about his impressive accomplishments as president of Georgia Southern, his accessible and engaged leadership approach, the genuine enjoyment he derives from personally engaging with students and faculty, and his vision for our university and health system.

All of which make me tremendously excited and optimistic for the future we will be able to create together. Please join me in welcoming President Keel.


Gretchen B. Caughman, Ph.D.
Interim President, Georgia Regents University
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Goldsleger appointed Morris Eminent Scholar in Art

3. Goldsleger_Azimuth_2012_mixed_media_on_linen_70_x_62_inches
Azimuth 2012, mixed media on linen, 70×62 inches, by Cheryl Goldsleger

Cheryl Goldsleger, whose art is exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, has been appointed Georgia Regents University’s Morris Eminent Scholar in Art.

Goldsleger’s drawings and paintings are featured in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the High Museum in Atlanta, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and other important public and private collections.

Her awards include two National Endowment for the Arts Artist Fellowships, a Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art Fellowship, a residency at the La Napoule Foundation in southern France and a US/France exchange fellowship at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris.

Her work has also been discussed in an extensive list of publications including Art in America, Artforum, Art News and The New York Observer.

“It is a great honor for me to have been named the Morris Eminent Scholar in Art,” said Goldsleger. “Georgia Regents University and the Morris Museum of Art are highly distinguished institutions and being affiliated with them as the Morris Eminent Scholar is a wonderful, unique opportunity.”

Goldsleger is known for her elegant encaustic paintings. Her commissioned mosaic, “Crossroads,” can be seen at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2013, she created a series of paintings, drawings, sculpture, and a series of six videos for The National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. The videos, based on medicine, engineering, mathematics, physics, astronomy, and nature, were created as a virtual companion piece to the exhibition.

Goldsleger earned her Master of Fine Arts from Washington University in St. Louis in 1975. Prior to that, she attended Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in Rome, and received her Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1973. Goldsleger has lived in Athens, Georgia since 1977. She taught previously at Georgia State University, Georgia Piedmont College and Western Carolina University.

“My creative research engages a spectrum of ideas that mesh with the humanities, the sciences and the medical research priorities of GRU,” she said. “I am excited and looking forward to getting involved with students, the university community at-large, the Morris Museum and the greater Augusta arts community in this position.”

For more information about Cheryl Goldsleger, please visit her website,

To watch the National Academy of Sciences video regarding medicine, click here.

To view a gallery of Goldsleger’s work, click here.

Davies uses Love of Learning grant to learn more about homicide

While the ABC television show “How to Get Away with Murder” may have racked up an impressive audience during its first season last year, Dr. Kim Davies’ Sociology of Murder class does a pretty good job of packing them in as well.

“Last time, it had around 100 students,” Davies said. “It’s the first time I let it get that big.”

It’s so popular, she said, because homicide is all around us. On the news. In the movies. On television.

“It’s everywhere in entertainment these days,” she said. “Students flock to that class.”

Recently, Davies received a $500 Love of Learning Award from Phi Kappa Phi honor society which, combined with the in-house Pamplin Professional Impact Fund, allowed her to go to the Homicide Research Working Group conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida. There, she presented a literature review on homicide survivors, who are family members of homicide victims.

“It’s the conference I prefer to go to over any other,” she said. “It’s a group of about 50 of us, and every session it’s everybody in the room. You can’t sneak out. We are all there weighing in on each other’s work and really helping each other.”

The feedback she received at the conference is helping her decide whether to pursue what is, for her, a new line of research.

“I thought I’d be gung-ho to get into this, but as I worked with it more, I began to wonder,” she said. “We always have to be careful about our subjects, but I just want to be really careful with these particular subjects. They’ve gone through a lot, and though I think I’m a kind human being and careful not to hurt anyone, I’m a sociologist, not a psychologist.”

In fact, one of the suggestions made at the conference was to add a psychologist to her research team to monitor the effects of her questioning, which is something she says actually meshes with the overall mission of the school.

“Any time we can mix whatever we’re studying with the health sciences campus, that’s logical for the university.”

Her interest in homicide stems from her master’s thesis, where she began by studying pornography from a women’s studies perspective. When the faculty member she was working with retired, she moved to studying homicide, and now she’s become an expert in the field, someone who is not only a department chair, but a leader in research.

She’s not just a leader in research, she’s an advocate for it.

“I think good teachers need to be good researchers, or at least need to be active in researching,” she said. “I think one of the things I bring to my teaching is my research. I think students find it fascinating when you bring up something you’ve done.”

And she speaks from experience. Davies has been here since 1996.

“I didn’t think I’d stay,” she admitted. “Like lots of people, you get a job and figure you’ll move around. But for me, one of the things that’s happened is that we have changed, and that’s allowed this job to continue to stay challenging and interesting. I’m in another institution, a more challenging institution, and I’m smiling. I think it’s great.”


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


Gretchen B. Caughman named Georgia Regents University Interim President

University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Hank Huckaby has named Dr. Gretchen B. Caughman as interim president of Georgia Regents University.

Caughman currently serves as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at GRU. She was appointed to vice president and provost Jan. 2013. Prior to the consolidation of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University, she was appointed interim provost of the Medical College of Georgia in Sept. 2010 and became executive vice president for academic affairs and provost of Georgia Health Sciences University in June 2011. She is also a professor in the College of Dental Medicine, the Medical College of Georgia (Medicine) and the Graduate School at GRU.

She will begin her new assignment on July 1, following the departure of President Ricardo Azziz.

“I’m very pleased to name Dr. Caughman as interim president of GRU,” said Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “She has a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to the success of Georgia Regents. Her appointment will allow for a successful transition as GRU prepares for the next phase of its success as Georgia’s premiere health sciences institution.”

During her tenure as provost at GRU, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion was established, the Division of Institutional Effectiveness was created, the Institute of Public and Preventive Health and GRU Leadership Academy were launched, and the newly formed Georgia Regents University was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. She recently launched the GRU Cyber Institute and currently serves as chair of the University System of Georgia system-wide Cybersecurity Initiative Consortium.

Caughman has had a long career serving higher education in Augusta, Ga. She began her career at the Medical College of Georgia (now a part of GRU) in 1985 as an assistant professor of oral biology with appointments as assistant professor in the Schools of Dentistry and Graduate Studies in 1988.

She has also had appointments as associate professor in cellular biology and anatomy in the School of Medicine, associate dean of the School of Graduate Studies, associate dean of graduate studies in the School of Medicine and dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Caughman received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Clemson University (South Carolina) and her Ph.D. in basic and clinical immunology and microbiology from the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston). She completed a three-year National Cancer Institute Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship in herpesvirology at the University of Mississippi (Jackson).

Lokeshwar named Chairwoman of MCG Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

VinataLokeshwarwebDr. Vinata B. Lokeshwar, Professor and Co-Director of Urology Research in the Departments of Urology and Cell Biology at the University of Miami-Miller School of Medicine, is the new Chairwoman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.

Lokeshwar also is one of two Directors of the Pilot and Collaborative Translational and Clinical Studies component of the Miami Clinical And Translational Science Institute, one of 61 translational centers in the nation funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

The cancer researcher, who studies the metastasis of prostate, bladder, and kidney cancer with the goal of better diagnosis and treatment, assumes her new duties at MCG in September.

“We are very pleased that Dr. Lokeshwar, an accomplished scientist, educator, and leader, will be joining the MCG team,” said Dr. Peter F. Buckley, Dean of the state’s public medical school; Interim Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Georgia Regents University; and Interim CEO, Georgia Regents Medical Center & Medical Associates.

“One of her many great strengths is that she is strongly committed to the tenet that great science, great education, really any great accomplishments require a great team and hard work and that the best leaders are ones who nurture and practice both. Her scientific expertise also is a terrific addition to our collaborative efforts to grow cancer research in our state where the cancer incidence exceeds the national rate and to our already strong urology program. Those attributes and many more make her a great fit for our medical school,” Buckley said.

The Dean thanked Dr. Shuang Huang for his service as interim Chair and Drs. Clinton Webb and Nita Maihle for co-chairing the national search.

Lokeshwar’s research has had continuous external funding for 18 years. She is currently Principal Investigator on three National Institutes of Health grants as well as two additional grants from the Women’s Cancer Association of the University of Miami to help develop a urine test for bladder cancer and pursue early diagnosis and new treatment for kidney cancer.

She is a past President of the Society for Basic Urologic Research; an ad hoc member of the Research Advocacy and NIH Relations workgroup of the American Urological Association Office of Research; and recently chaired the Bladder Cancer – Basic Research Session at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting two years in a row.

She is Senior Editor of the textbook, “Bladder Tumors: Molecular Aspects and Clinical Management,” Associate Editor of the journal Bladder, Consulting Editor of the journal Urologic Oncology, and a member of the editorial board of World Journal of Urology and Bladder Cancer.

She has mentored more than 30 graduate students, residents, fellows, and junior faculty. Recent educational honors include the 2015 Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Outstanding Mentor of the Year for Trainees. Urology residents at the Miller School of Medicine honored her with the 2011 Urology Teacher of the Year Award, and the American Urological Association honored her as a Female Leader in Urology that same year.

Lokeshwar earned a PhD from St. Louis University in Missouri and completed postdoctoral studies in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. During her postdoctoral work, she completed American Heart Association and National Cancer Institute fellowships. She joined the university’s faculty in 1994.

Chris Howell named Assistant Baseball Coach

HowellJoinsJagsThe GRU Augusta baseball team gained a new assistant coach in Chris Howell for the 2016 season, Head Coach Jason Eller announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Howell comes to Augusta and the CSRA after spending last season in the Peach Belt Conference as a top assistant at Young Harris College. In the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Howell enjoyed a stint at Middle Georgia State College as an assistant coach. Howell was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for the Knights during those two seasons and coached current GRU players Matthew Kuhlenberg, Cole Thompson, and Drew Taylor while with the MGA Knights.

“Coach Howell brings a pitching plan that is one of the best in the state of Georgia,” Head Coach Jason Eller said. “(Chris) is the ideal addition to the GRU baseball program as we continue to work our way onto the map”.

Howell began his coaching career at his alma mater Tiftarea Academy – a private school in Chula, Ga. During his four-year stint with the Panthers baseball program, Tiftarea won the 2009 GISA Class AA State Championship and was runner-up the following year. Howell garnered state coach of the year accolades in 2009 and Region 3-AA Coach of the Year honors in 2009 and 2010 while at Tiftarea.

“I’m excited to be a part of GRU Augusta and the direction of Coach Eller’s baseball program,” Howell said. “The unlimited resources and facilities brings passion to Augusta and that excites me.”

A native of Fitzgerald, Ga., Howell was a three-time, all-state and four-time, all-region player at Tiftarea before starting his college career at Pensacola Junior College. He pitched two years in the Panhandle Conference and furthered his career to the University of Tennessee where he pitched two years for the Vols. His career with the Vols ended strong by helping his team advance to the 2005 College World Series in Omaha, Neb., as a senior.

After college, Howell pitched two years professionally for the Los Angels of Anaheim organization. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Tennessee and an associate degree from Pensacola.

Spanish-English translators needed for farmworker’s health fair

The Costa Layman Health Fair celebrates its 10th anniversary from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. Friday, July 17, at Costa Layman Farms in Trenton, SC.

The Georgia Regents University College of Nursing is looking for volunteers to serve as Spanish-English translators for this year’s health fair. Any interested faculty, staff or students are encouraged to apply.

The Costa Layman Health Fair provides free health screenings for workers at Costa Layman Farms, one of the country’s largest perennial plant farms. In 2013, more than 300 workers received free health screenings, many of whom did not otherwise have access to health care.

“Every summer, GRU students, faculty, and alumni volunteer their time to make the health fair a success for Costa Layman employees,” said Debbie Layman, College of Nursing alumna and Georgia Health Sciences Foundation board member. “These volunteers are not only doing screenings, but facilitating research, communication, and logistics. Our volunteer translators are an invaluable part of navigating that process.”

If you are available to volunteer as a Spanish-English translator on July 17, or if you would like more information about volunteering, please contact Eileen Brandon at 706-825-4779 or

Greenspan elected Vice President-Elect, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

Dr. Bennett S. Greenspan, Professor in the Department of Radiology and Imaging at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, has been elected Vice President-Elect of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

Greenspan will serve as Vice President/President-Elect beginning June 2016 and as President in June 2017 of the 18,000-member international, scientific society of physicians, scientists, technologists, and other imaging professionals.

Greenspan has been a society member since 1981, served as an at-large member of its Board of Directors from 2007-13, and has served on its Academic Council since 2004, including two terms as President. His current responsibilities include serving on the Practice Standards, Quality Assurance, and Molecular Imaging Education Task Forces, and he is longtime Chair of the Procedure Guideline for Parathyroid Scintigraphy, a diagnostic test that uses a radioactive chemical.

He also served on the society’s Joint Government Relations Committee with the American College of Nuclear Physicians. Greenspan also recently completed a term as the society’s representative to the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Computed Tomography Laboratories and as Chair of the Committee on Councils and Centers. He is Scientific Program Chair for the 2015 annual meeting of the society’s Southeastern Chapter in October.

Other professional activities including serving on the board, and as a former President, of the American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine. He is an item writer for the American Board of Radiology’s written board exams and serves on the Board of Directors of the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board.  Greenspan is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago.