Tag Archives: Roman Cibirka

New programs at GRU offer tuition and student fee discount to military students

New initiatives at Georgia Regents University will provide military students with a reduction in tuition and student fees.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has approved GRU’s participation in the department’s Yellow Ribbon Program, an educational access program for veterans established by the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008.
Through this program, the university and the VA will match each other dollar-for-dollar to provide veterans and eligible dependents with funds to cover all or a portion of their educational costs not already covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. In addition to this, military students will also be exempt for paying the rate for out-of-state tuition.
“Our university is committed to providing a military friendly, quality education for our active duty service members and veterans,” said Roman Cibirka, Vice Provost for Georgia Regents University. “We are grateful for this opportunity to participate in a program that will reduce financial burdens and help enhance their higher education experience at GRU.”
The university also has received authorization to waive all mandatory fees, such as technology, transportation, and wellness, for active duty military beginning this fall, including the Special Institutional Fee.
Carol Giardina, Director of GRU’s Office of Military and Veterans Services, says the waiver of mandatory fees is a win-win for both the university and Fort Gordon, because this enables GRU to serve a larger number of active duty military students.
“We honor the sacrifices our military has made for our country and we are pleased to be working with Fort Gordon in providing our military with the educational assistance that will help them on their journey of becoming some of our nation’s most exceptional leaders and adaptive thinkers,” said Giardina.
For additional information on GRU’s Office of Military and Veteran Services, visit gru.edu/military

GRU named a 2014 Military Friendly School

GRU ROTC CommissioningGeorgia Regents University has been recognized as a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media, a global military media firm. GRU ranks among the top 15 percent of institutions in the country doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus. “Providing our military students and families with the support they need to succeed academically is essential,” said Roman Cibirka, Vice Provost at GRU. “We are extremely honored to have been recognized for our efforts.”

GRU’s military-friendly initiatives include the development of GRU’s Military Resource Center, a one-stop shop for service members who wish to enroll at the university. The center assists military members, veterans, and their family members in processing veterans affairs benefits and helps them transition into the college environment. The center will hold its grand opening at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, in Washington Hall, room 233, on the Summerville Campus.

“To have been selected as a military-friendly school is truly an honor, and we continually strive to expand and improve our services to our military, our veterans, and their families,” said Carol Giardina, Director of GRU’s Office of Military and Veterans Services.

Victory Media, a veteran-owned business and publisher of G.I. Jobs and the Guide to Military Friendly Schools, surveyed more than 12,000 schools for this research. For the complete list of Military Friendly Schools, go to militaryfriendlyschools.com.

GRU establishes Confucius Institute with Shanghai University

Georgia Regents University has been awarded a Confucius Institute, in partnership with Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, by the Hanban in Beijing, China.

The mission of the GRU Confucius Institute is twofold, first to offer Chinese language, culture and arts to the university and community. The Chinese community has a long and storied history in Augusta with its first Chinese immigrants digging the Augusta Canal in the late 1870’s. Bringing this type of cultural benefit adds to this Augusta heritage. Secondly, because the GRU Confucius Institute is distinctive in this hemisphere of the world by offering studies in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it will promote learning and knowledge for practitioners, as well as deeper cultural understanding and patient centered benefits of Chinese Traditional Medicine in Health Professions therapies at local, regional, and national levels, said GRU Vice Provost Roman Cibirka.

“This is an exciting time for Georgia Regents University,” said GRU President Ricardo Azziz. “It is an honor to be selected as a Confucius Institute partner. While we have a history of strong relationships with Chinese institutions through our research investigators, we have never formalized them to the degree we are today. We are establishing the Confucius Institute to develop more formal ties and a closer working relationship with universities in China. The institute will also provide a tremendous cultural benefit to the local Chinese community, many of whom are students, faculty and staff on the GRU campus, and expose the entire Augusta area to the rich Chinese heritage.”

“The Confucius Institute is aligned with the Board of Regents’ strategic plan to globalize education and Georgia Regents University’s strategic plan,” Cibirka said. “It will be an integral part of the university’s globalization efforts. The institute will continue GRU’s footpath to achieve several organizational goals, such as becoming an internationally recognized leader in education, research, discovery, and scholarship by capitalizing on global partnerships.  These partnerships can enhance strategic areas of academic enrichment, research growth in biomedicine and the health services, as well as provide crucial wellness service to the local and global communities.”

Shanghai University of TCM, founded in 1956, is one of the first four colleges and universities of TCM established after the People’s Republic of China was founded. The university is located in the Scientific Research and Education Zone, ZhangJiang High-tech Park, Pudong New Area. It has 7,448 students, including over 1,000 short-term students from over 30 countries such as Japan, Korea, Russia, France, England, America, Germany and Italy who study at the university each year, and more than 600 specialists and professors.

The GRU Confucius Institute is premised on creating a highly visible and sustainable Confucius Institute with three distinct goals: 1) establish a comprehensive academic center for advancing the study of Chinese language and culture, 2) enhance multicultural awareness through a Chinese language and cultures program aimed at youth through adults in the broad Augusta community, and 3) provide Chinese language and culture instruction targeted to health professionals. These goals will showcase the GRU Confucius Institute as an international, one-of a kind resource center linked with an academic health center.  The SUTCM-GRU partnership will also develop a museum showcasing TCM exhibits.  A GRU Confucius Institute grand opening will be in approximately six months.

Dr. Joe Tsien, Co-Director of the Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute at Medical College of Georgia and MCG Professor of Neurology, will serve as the founding Director of the GRU Confucius Institute.

“The successful application and in a record time is a clear testimony to the visionary leadership and enormous strength of this great university and our Chinese partnership university,” Tsien said. “With close to almost 400 Confucius Institutes established to date world-wide, we are very proud that GRU receives this high distinction to be the very first Confucius Institute in North and South America to have the specialty education and training in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  This fits so well with the University’s roles in seeking excellence in education and research, including in the emerging area of alternative medicine.”

GRU will receive matching funds from the Confucius Headquarter, known as Hanban, from Beijing of the People’s Republic of China.

Gary Tom, President of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, echoes the views of Dr. Ray Rufo, Past President of the CCBA, about the local benefits of the new GRU Confucius Institute.

“On behalf of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, we would like to extend our congratulations and appreciation to Dr. Azziz and his leadership team in pursuing and obtaining a Confucius Institute designation for GRU,” Tom said. “Augusta’s Chinese community has always taken pride in being an active member of our community, sharing our culture and maintaining our traditions.  We are ecstatic that the Confucius Institute will be available to provide more robust and diverse resources to the community.  We are excited about what the Confucius Institute means for GRU and its academic programs. We are equally excited about the opportunities and benefits that the Confucius Institute will bring to our educational, business, and cultural community, and we are extremely excited in what this means for our own children in the Chinese community to help them better learn about their rich heritage.”

GRU Fit aims for better health

Project Fit participants discuss the programs.
Project Fit participants discuss the programs.

Over the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 35.7 percent of U.S. adults are obese. The economic consequences of obesity are severe. The “GRU Fit” project is aimed at addressing this important public health problem. GRU Fit is a competitive walking program encouraging greater awareness of fitness and health and is intended to increase physical activity, lower body weight and blood pressure.

Established by Vice Provost Dr. Roman Cibirka and spearheaded by Dr. Vernon Barnes of the Georgia Prevention Institute and Dr. Brenda Seago, Director of University Libraries, GRU Fit has been initially launched for staff in selected departments including University Libraries, Enrollment Management, Admissions, Area Health Education Center, Financial Aid, Office of Global Affairs, PACE, and the Office of the Registrar.
Project fit 1

GRU Fit participants receive a pedometer and are given a daily walking distance as well as  optional stress reduction modules sessions. Participating staff in these initial departments are split into teams and will compete for combined distance (steps) walked per week as measured by pedometers. Nearly 100 employees have signed-up to participate in this eight week program.

Optional health and wellness modules will be provided throughout the program, including: (1) Easy Yoga for beginners, (2) Introduction to Transcendental Meditation, (3) Introduction to stress reduction, (4) nutrition tips by a dietician, and (5) group walks around campus. In addition to endorsement from the Office of the Provost, the GRU Fit project has support from the Statewide AHEC Network Program Office.

New mobile apps

A new mobile app suite has been launched for iPhones and Android devices that could make life a little easier for students, staff and faculty.

The suite offers approximately 10 apps and is free to download.

Apps included are:

  • Video: A GRU video repository
  • Places: Locations of campus sites
  • Map: Locations of campus sites relative to your current location using GPS
  • News: A continually updated source of GRU news
  • Images: A continually updated GRU photo repository
  • Events: A continually updated list of GRU current events
  • Directory: Names and contact information of people on campus
  • Athletics: Jaguar sports action with real-time score updates
  • Help: Basic campus information and answers to commonly asked questions
  • iPhone exclusive – Tours: This app is only on iPhone-compatible devices, allowing people walking around campus to take a guided tour

The password to access parts of the app is mcgeek2010.

“Students and faculty are increasingly high end users of mobile devices and they are today’s digital Swiss army knifes,” GRU Vice President of Instruction and Enrollment Management Roman Cibirka said. “They are akin to the Swiss army knife in that they provide ubiquitous total resource solutions in life, so why not put education and university resources in their palms through these devices.”

Cibirka also said that they are not done working in new mediums, but that this is just the start.

“My continued vision for mobile applications for GRU is to create highly effective and exciting resource and education tools to enhance the total student experience,” he said.