Category Archives: Faculty & Staff

News about GRU and GRHealth faculty and staff

GRU faculty and staff give big for IGRU

It’s safe to say GRU faculty and staff have more than risen to the challenge set forth by last year’s IGRU campaign.

So far, we have surpassed our goal of $325,000 by raising a total of $326,519.09 – a 24 percent increase in giving from this time last year.

On Friday, Sept. 11 faculty and staff celebrated that success with a sweet treat from Kona Ice. The Community portion of the campaign kicked off on Thursday, Sept. 17 with a luncheon at the Augusta Country Club and will continue through Oct. 9.

Still want to give? There are plenty of ways left to contribute. From now until the end of the IGRU campaign, you  can still make a gift at

You can also give by joining us at one of the following events:

GRUB for GRU  – Thursday, Sept. 24
IGRU Alumni BBQ & Celebration – Friday, Oct. 9
Jaguar Jaunt 5K – Saturday, Oct. 10

In the meantime, if you’re thinking about giving, enjoy this special message from President Brooks Keel.

CON Athens students take Day of Service on the road

Participants smile for the camera at “Jog Your Memory,” an important event in GRU Day of Service history.

If there were ever doubts about GRU students’ ability to lead, a group of nursing students put them to rest on Day of Service by hosting the university’s first student-led event – a 5k run for Alzheimer’s research titled “Jog Your Memory.”

But in addition to being the first student-led event in GRU Day of Service history, the 5k was also historic for another reason: those students attend classes at the College of Nursing’s campus in Athens.

Coincidentally, that’s also where the run was held.

Elizabeth Gay, the president of the Student Government Association at Athens, said the event was a truly communal effort.

“Ansley and I wanted to do something that both of our student groups could work together on,” said Gay, referring to Ansley Akin, president of the Georgia Regents Association of Nursing Students at the Athens campus. “We wanted to include the Athens community and raise money for an organization we all loved.”

Their solution? Fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association of America.

“We chose the Alzheimer’s Association of America partly because we had recently studied geriatrics,” said Gay. “But we also chose it because [Alzheimer’s] has affected many loved ones in many peoples’ lives.”

Akin, who worked previously in an Alzheimer’s care facility, said the choice was a much more personal one for her.

“My grandmother has dementia,” she said. “I just knew it was the organization I wanted to raise awareness for.”

After getting their event approved, Akin said the planning for “Jog Your Memory” took a great deal of time. Their first order of business, however, was something very straightforward: settling on the route.

“We chose to use the University of Georgia 5k route, because it was very well-known and safe and provided us with a police escort,” said Gay. “It also helped us incorporate the Athens community.”

“Jog Your Memory” T-shirts were a huge hit with participants.

After establishing their route, Akin said her team worked tirelessly throughout the month of February to design T-shirts and write letters to sponsors.

With the basics out of the way, Gay said the team moved on to settling the finer details. Over the summer, they picked up sponsors, planned water stations, filled goodie bags and hammered out how their registration would work. They made a website for early registration and reached out to students, faculty and community members alike about participating.

Led by Gay and Akin, the SGA and GRANS student executive board ran the registration, water and gift tables on the day of the event. They also documented each participant’s running time and awarded prizes to the first six participants to finish.

The reward for their efforts was an impressive turnout: 50 participants in total, who together raised almost $1250.

Dr. Julie Behr, assistant dean for the Athens campus, said the CONAT students’ exceptional accomplishment was “not surprising.”

“This is a very active, very dedicated group of students,” she said. “They work very hard to champion GRU’s mission statement and to give back to their community here in Athens.”

In response to a question about students hosting the first student-led event at a satellite campus, she joked that the term “satellite” was subjective.

“You know the original Department of Nursing was actually founded here in 1943,” she said. “It didn’t move to Augusta until 1956, so we joke that the campus there is really the satellite.”

All joking aside, though, she said she would encourage faculty at either campus to push their students to find something that “speaks to their heart,” and to pursue that as a future Day of Service opportunity. That, she said, was the key to Gay and Akin’s success.

Elizabeth Gay and Ansley Akin (front) pose with “Jog Your Memory” participants.

In the wake of that success, Gay said she and Akin are proud of their event’s participation and are very excited to leave a legacy that they hope will continue at the Athens campus. She also said she’d like to see students at other campuses take the same initiative.

“I would definitely encourage my classmates to lead their own day of service events,” she said. “It took a lot of planning and time, but watching people cross our finish line and seeing how much we were able to give back filled my heart with so much pride and joy.”

To all of their classmates and event participants in Athens, Gay and Akin would like to say thank you.

But they also have a special message for all of her GRU classmates.

“Our students are capable of achieving so many things,” Gay said. “I think it’s important for us to remember to always use our talents to give back.”

Committee continues search for Hull dean

The search continues for a new dean of the James M. Hull College of Business, and the mission is clear: find the right person for the job.

Finding someone who can not only perform the required duties of the position, but also live up to the impressive standard set by former dean Dr. Marc Miller, however, may prove difficult.

It is for that reason the search committee has reached out to Parker Executive Search, a leading global retained executive search firm with a proven record of filling executive positions with qualified individuals. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve heard it before – Parker Executive Search was the same firm that ran GRU’s latest presidential search.

“The Hull College of Business offers us a powerful presence in the Augusta community in terms of cultivating an understanding of healthy economic environments,” said Dr. Zach Kelehear, dean of the College of Education, who is chairing the search committee. “We are eager to find a person who understands scholarship, research and effective teaching as well as the significant space that the college occupies in the CSRA community.”

Earlier this year, Miller left his position as dean when he was named Georgia Regents University’s Director of Economic Development and Entrepreneurial Engagement.

In order to ensure the university finds the best individual for the job, the search committee is asking for your help in the form of recommendations. If you know of a candidate qualified for this position, please forward all recommendations to:

Jacob Anderson, Associate

Parker Executive Search

770-804-1996, ext. 111

A detailed explanation of what the position entails can be [found here].

Confucius Institute to host Moon Festival



People in the Augusta area may share in a taste of Chinese culture as Georgia Regents University celebrates the Moon Festival and Confucius Institute Day on Oct. 1.

“The Moon Festival and Confucius Institute Day will be a fun family event where people can learn a new tradition,” Confucius Institute Director Dr. Cindi Chance said. “It’s a unique way of celebrating family, and it’s very much like our American Thanksgiving.”

The free event will feature traditional Chinese music and dance, including the lion dance. The lion is an important Chinese legend, a symbol of power, majesty and courage, capable of warding off evil spirits. A Chinese lantern parade will traverse the Summerville campus.

People are encouraged to bring homemade lanterns to the parade and enter them in the lantern competition. Lanterns should be illuminated, but no flames are allowed. Judges will give $100 awards for biggest lantern, most creative and most culturally relevant. The best lantern out of these three will earn its maker a cultural gift.

People will also have a chance to taste Chinese moon cakes, and moon pies will be served.

“We will have one table that will have moon cakes and hot tea and another that will have moon pies and lemonade,” Chance said.

The Moon Festival and Confucius Institute Day celebration will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, at the D. Doug Bernard Jr. Amphitheatre on the Summerville campus. In case of rain, the festival will be held in the JSAC ballroom.

To register for the lantern contest, please e-mail Yilin Lou at The first 100 people who register will receive a free lantern and light. The first 200 will receive a free light.

5 ways to reduce your risk of gynecological cancer

AUGUSTA, Ga.-  According to the Center for Disease Control, more an 80,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer, and more than 25,000 will die from it. In response to this alarming statistic, September has been named Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month in an effort to help women become educated on the importance of early detection.


“Although all women are at risk for developing gynecological cancers, the rate increases with age,” said  Dr. Sharad Ghamande, Gynecologic Oncologist at the Georgia Regents University Cancer Center. “This is why it is important for women to pay attention to their body so they can know when something irregular is happening and maybe even recognize the symptoms of cancer.”


Gynecologic cancer refers to malignant growths in the ovaries, vagina, vulva, uterus, cervix, or fallopian tubes. In spite of the fact that there are no guaranteed ways to prevent gynecological cancers, Ghamande suggests the following tips to help reduce your risk.


  1. Pay attention to your body.  Talk to your doctor right away if you begin experiencing symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, bloating, pelvic pain or pressure for more than two weeks. There is a chance these symptoms may not be cancer, but the only way to know for sure is by going to your physician.
  2. Stay healthy. Eating a balanced diet and exercising not only helps reduce your chances of getting a gynecologic cancer, but it is beneficial for your overall health. In fact, maintaining a healthy weight and active life may lower your chances of getting certain gynecological cancers such as uterine and ovarian cancers.
  3. Get regular pap tests. Pap tests are one of the best ways doctors find precancerous changes on the cervix. It is recommended that all women aged 21 to 65 get this test done regularly or as directed by their doctor.
  4. Know your family history. In addition to having pap tests, be sure to share your family history with your doctor. If you or someone in your family has battled gynecological cancer, breast cancer, or have multiple relatives with colon cancer, you may consider having a genetic testing or counseling. This information will help you learn if you have an increased chance of developing the disease.
  5. Get vaccinated if appropriate. Researchers say the human papillomavirus can cause most cervical cancers as well as some vaginal and vulvar cancers. HPV vaccinations can protect against these types of cancers and it is recommended for 11 and 12 year-old girls. The vaccine may also be given to girls as early as nine years of age.


Dr. Ghamande has consistently been named to the Castle Connolly list of America’s Top Doctors – both in cancer and in gynecologic oncology – which puts him in the top 1 percent in his field nationwide. Ghamande is Professor and Chief of Gynecologic Oncology at GRU’s Medical College of Georgia and Associate Cancer Center Director at the GRU Cancer Center. His clinical and research interests include robotic surgery for gynecologic cancers and chemotherapy trials in recurrent ovarian cancer. Ghamande has worked with the National Cancer Institute-funded Georgia Gynecologic Oncology Group studying innovative ways to prevent and treat pelvic malignancies and is currently the principal investigator on the NCI-funded Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program.



Gala Concert to showcase student talent

Gala concert 1Enjoy an elaborate evening of young musical talent from the Georgia Regents University orchestra and the school’s choral, wind and opera and musical theater ensembles as the GRU Department of Music and Georgia Public Broadcasting present the annual Gala Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, in the Maxwell Theatre on the Summerville Campus.

A pre-concert reception will be held at 6 p.m. backstage at thegala concert 3 theatre. Tickets for the reception and concert are $20 per person or $35 for two people. Tickets for the concert only are free for
students with a valid ID and $15 for the general public. All proceeds from the event will go toward music scholarships for GRU students.

The Gala Concert is one of three events featured in the institution’s Classical Music Concert Series. Other programs include the Wycliffe and Friends Holiday Concert on Dec. 1 and Concerto Competition Winners’ Concert scheduled for April 21, 2016.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Maxwell Theatre Box Office at 706-667-4100 or visit

Grub for GRU on Sept. 24

Mark Your Calendars!

Thursday, September 24, 2015 is GRUB for GRU Day in Augusta.

Please make plans to eat at local participating restaurants on September 24 and 10% of all proceeds that day will be given back to our university as part of the IGRU campaign.

Get more info at

Participating Restaurants include:

Ø  PeachWave Frozen Yogurt

Ø  FatMan’s Café

Ø  Firehouse Subs (Walton Way)

Ø  Buffalo Wild Wings

Ø  Wild Wings Café

Ø  Yo Pizza

Ø  Belair Doughnuts

Ø  Subway (Central Ave)

Ø  Beamie’s at the River

Ø  Pita Pit

Ø  Farmhaus Burger

Ø  Craft & Vine

Ø  Sunrise Grill (North Augusta)

Ø  Village Deli

Ø  Mellow Mushroom (Downtown)

Ø  Shane’s Rib Shack

Ø  Soy Noodle House

Ø  Atlanta Bread Company

Ø  Wifesaver (Furys Ferry and North Leg Rd)

Ø  The Pizza Joint (Downtown)

We look forward to seeing everyone eating out this Thursday as we all GRUB for GRU!

Register now for the Jaguar Jaunt

Whether you’re training for a marathon, looking for competition or just interested in a family-friendly run, join us on Saturday, Oct. 10 for the 2015 Jaguar Jaunt 5K.

Part of the IGRU campaign, this run will help support the areas of greatest need within the Georgia Regents University system.

Race registration begins at 7 a.m. at the Maxwell House on the Summerville Campus. The race itself starts at 8 a.m.

GRU student registration is $15. For the rest of the community, registration is $25 before Oct. 4 and $30 from Oct.4 to race day. All forms of registration include a race t-shirt.

For more information, including a link to register online, visit the Jaguar Jaunt site by clicking here.

Dance Dash 5k swings into Augusta on Nov. 14

Dance Dash 2014 44The second annual Dance Dash 5k swings into Augusta on Nov. 14, and supporters are already on the move. But what should you know before lacing up your running shoes?

In its own words, Dance Dash describes itself as a 5k with a twist. In a way, that’s appropriate, because at any time Dance Dash might very well involve doing “The Twist.”

The hope is that Dance Dash participants will run (or walk) to raise money for their area’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospital wearing whatever ridiculous (but appropriate) costumes they can muster. Last year, a couple of notable superheroes raced next to a troupe of pink-tutu-wearing fairies while a gaggle of overdressed Santas cheered them on from behind. And those weren’t even the most imaginative competitors.

But the real craziness begins at the stops.

Every mile of Dance Dash (or three times total in a traditional 5k), participants will have a chance to learn a new dance move or routine.

Why, you ask? Because at the end of the race, Dance Dashers will be encouraged to join a giant flash mob dance party to celebrate their achievement.

Dance Dash 2014 49While fun and entertaining, the true magic of Dance Dash is that 100 percent of all funds raised go directly toward providing the best care possible for sick children in our community. And the best part is you can start giving today.

The process is simple.

First, register for yourself or create a team with your friends and coworkers. Know a group of people you’d like to run, walk or dance with? Have an awesome costume idea you’d like to show off? Then come out and Dance Dash.

Second, share your individual or team race page on Facebook and Twitter to let your other, non-Dash Dancing friends know that you’re competing. Remind them that if they won’t join you, then the least they can do is support you. With donations. For sick children.

And lastly, join us for Dance Dash Day at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, in front of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia in your best costume, craziest outfit and best attitude.

Individuals and teams can pick up their Dance Dash 5k packets from 3-7 p.m. on Nov. 13 or 7-9 a.m. on Nov. 14 in the CHOG lobby.

Dance Dash 2014 30From now until Oct. 10, registration is $10 off for all participants. GRU-affiliated participants can receive an additional discount by contacting Jessica Seigler at 706-446-0232 or at

Registration ends at noon on Nov. 13. To guarantee yourself an official Dance Dash T-shirt, though, you’ll need to register by 11:45 p.m. on Oct. 30.

Interested? Excited? Ready to dance to make the world a better place for children?
Then register for the second annual Dance Dash 5k by visiting

GRU hosts “Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy™ – Augusta, Georgia”

Georgia Regents University widened its already broad cancer focus Friday when it hosted the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer CME- and CNE-certified regional program “Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy – Augusta, Georgia.”

Organized by Dr. Esteban Celis, GRU professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dr. Samir N. Khleif, director of the GRU Cancer Center, and Dr. Zihai Li, chair of the department of Microbiology & Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina, the one-day conference was part of a series of “Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy” regional programs presented by leading cancer authorities across the country.

Designed specifically for members of the traditional cancer immunotherapy treatment team, these programs provide an understanding of basic immunology principles in the clinical application and management of cancer immunotherapy.

During presentations, emerging drugs and concepts in the cancer immunotherapy field are also typically discussed.

The event continues until 4 p.m. in the Health Sciences Building, Room 1204. A list of panels can be found here.

In hosting this event, the GRU Cancer Center has once again propelled Augusta into the ranks of other prestigious cancer research destinations across the United States, sharing the spotlight with cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles and Princeton, New Jersey.

Earlier this month, The GRU Cancer Center made another big splash when The Community Foundation for the CSRA donor-advised fund Press On donated $2.5 million to fund pediatric cancer research and treatment at GRU. To read more about that donation, click here.