A message from the Provost

Higher education is built on the foundation of relationships. From the moment a student decides to go to college, it is our job as a university to foster a connection that will last throughout the student's academic career.

Thank you to al who attended the Conversations with the Provost sessions. These sessions are a great way to engage with faculty and staff alike and clear the lines of communication amongst ourselves. At an October session of Conversations with the Provost, we engaged in a healthy discussion of how instructors can check up on students during their courses. Some of the best practices were shared amongst the group, and even after the discussion was over, people were still considering the points brought up. That's why in this issue you'll find a featured article on instructors and how they can impact a student's mental health in positive ways.

It's a complex time to be an instructor. Between online instruction, face to face instruction, and the demands of life today, both students and instructors are feeling the pressures of society more than ever. It's hard for students and instructors to engage and create a dynamic when both are exhausted, but there are ways to overcome this on our end. One way instructors can improve is utilizing reflective teaching.

As you know, reflective teaching is dedicating time to evaluating one's own performance as an instructor. It can be a critique from an evaluation, a peer review of a particular lesson, or anything that helps one analyze his or her performance as an educator. No one in the world is perfect, so taking a deeper look into the best practices to improve ourselves is never a bad idea.

I'm thankful for every student, every staff member, every faculty member, and every part of of our Eagle Nation. It's important to keep all of this in mind as the semester winds down, and we enter the holidays. We're all Eagles, and we're all in this together.


Instructors: A student's first line of defense

The instructor-student relationship can be an important line of defense to students’ mental health.

An ever-evolving student body means that faculty need to be constantly changing tactics to not just communicate with students but create a necessary connection. This connection should foster a relationship throughout the course that not only promotes learning but serves as an important line of defense should a student need it.

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There are many successes on our campus in which we can take pride. This section highlights the impressive accomplishments throughout our academic institution. If you have an accolade or achievement, please send it to Mary Kate Allen at [email protected] to be included in the next newsletter.

Department of Biology’s Dr. Chris Cutler has published four journal articles in the last 10 months and gave two presentations at the recent International Congress on the Biology of Fish’ in Montpellier, France, entitled “The role of aquaporins (AQPs) in the dogfish (Squalus acanthias): AQP3-2 and other AQPs” and “UT-based urea transport in the dogfish (Squalus acanthias): a tale of three antibodies”. He was also recently invited to become an Associate Editor of ‘Frontiers in Physiology’ journal, section ‘Aquatic Physiology’.

Georgia Southern University graduate student, Mark O'dell has won the 2022 Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Graduate Level. Mark's project, "Benevolent Burials: Charitable Organizations Represented in Savannah's Laurel Grove Cemeteries," was selected by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) to receive this honor.

Drs. Karin Fisher and Alex Reyes in the College of Education successfully piloted the first cohort of COE students to visit Wexford, Ireland for a study abroad experience. They hosted five students in four different courses along with other university faculty and students. They set up an experimental learning program at an Irish elementary school where they planned and taught over 175 students to play American baseball over three days.

Dr. Janel Smith from College of Education launched Eagle Outfitters on the Armstrong Campus. Eagle Outfitters has kicked off with numerous shopping dates for education students in August, September, and October. Thirty-eight students have shopped for a total of 338 items in this kick off semester. Eagle Outfitters is coming soon to Statesboro campus.

Two University Libraries employees were selected to participate in the American Library Association's 2023 Emerging Leaders Program. The program recipients are Lee Bareford, the new faculty member who is the Head of the Learning Commons; and staff member Kelli-Anne Gecawich, a recent graduate with a master's degree in Library Sciences, at the Lane Library. This competitive program selects only 50 participants each year from a nation-wide pool of candidates. Kelli-Anne and Lee will take part in leadership workshops during the annual LibLearnX Conference in New Orleans from January 26-30, 2023 and then collaborate in groups over the next five months on special projects that will be presented at ALA's annual conference in Chicago, June 22-27, 2023. In addition to being selected to participate in the Emerging Leaders program, Kelli-Anne and Lee were also awarded sponsorship by the American College of Research Libraries and the Georgia Library Association respectively, to cover conference expenses.

Dr. Chuck Hodges of the College of Education won the 2022 John Curry Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Educational Communications and Technology Division of Emerging Learning Technologies. The award is for outstanding leadership, service, mentorship, and professional practice that goes above and beyond in its scope and dedication to the Division of Emerging Learning Technologies and its members. He also presented the paper "Preparing K-12 Teachers for the Reality of an Increased Need for Online and Blended Learning" with Dr. Michael Barbour (Touro University California) and Dr. Richard E. Ferdig (Kent State University) at the 2022 SITE Interactive conference, October 5-6, 2022. The paper will appear in the peer-reviewed conference proceedings soon.

Department of Literature's Dr. Amanda Konkle was elected to a three-year term as President of the Literature/Film Association on October 21 at the Literature/Film Association Conference.

College of Education's Dr. Ming Fang He received the 2022 Arc Award from the Curriculum and Pedagogy Group, which recognizes mid/late career scholars who have made significant contributions to the fields of curriculum and pedagogy. The Curriculum and Pedagogy Group is a gathering of diverse individuals seeking academic enrichment and professional engagement who are committed to educational reform and social change. They seek to create a space in which to advance the ideals of progressive curriculum and democratic leadership in education through dialogue and action and to bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds—including academic workers, graduate students, school and district administrators, PreK-12 teachers, and many more cultural and educational workers from community groups and organizations—who hope to analyze, interrogate, and develop theories and practices for educational change and social justice. Curriculum and Pedagogy Group currently provides three venues through which they push for change: an annual conference, a peer-reviewed journal, and an edited book series.

Dr. Ming Fang He and Dr. Sabrina Ross (also from College of Education) were part of a collaboration to publish an edited volume in their field of curriculum studies.

World Languages and Cultures is celebrating the French faculty: Drs. Martha Hughes, Olga Amarie, Brad Holley, Virginie Ems-Bleneau, Clara Krug, David Seaman, and Jean-Paul Carton. They are the recipient of the International Student Advocate Award-Faculty or Staff, Office of International Student Admissions and Program Office, for their passion, dedication, and excellent execution as organizers of French Week. This year French Week will take place November 7-10.

College of Education's Dr. Alesia Moldavan presented "Exploring Racial Bias in Early Childhood Special Education and Mathematics" with colleagues Annie George-Puskar (Fordham University) and Monica Gonzalez (East Carolina University) at the joint Division for Early Childhood and the 38th Annual International Conference on Young Children with Disabilities and Their Families (Sept. 29, Chicago, IL).

An interview and artwork by Betty Foy Sanders College of Art's Bridget Conn have been printed in the recently-released textbook "The Experimental Darkroom" by Christina Z. Anderson. Published by Routledge, this book focuses on new ways to use analog photographic materials, with Conn's work being featured in a four-page spread in the Contemporary Experimental Artists chapter.

Dr. Pamela Bourland-Davis of Communication Arts is serving on the Commission for Public Relations Education and was named as co-chair of the research committee, which creates the public relations educational standards report. In this role, she also serves on the CPRE Steering Committee.

Communication Arts is also celebrating Professor Matthew Hashiguchi’s documentary, The Only Doctor. It was invited to take part in the Sundance Producers Intensive, with the Sundance Institute, in October.

Department of History's Professor Michael Van Wagenen and Prof. Joseph Ostraff, Chair of the Department of Art at Brigham Young University, received a $14,000 grant for a project titled “Family Portraits.” In the spring, Van Wagenen’s Family History class will work remotely with Ostraff’s senior BFA students to interpret their family histories through painting, sculpture, and film. The project will culminate in April with the BYU students coming to Statesboro to meet their GSU partners and install their exhibit at the Rosengart Art Gallery.

Department of Literature's Dr. Kendra R. Parker was featured on the NPR podcast It’s Been a Minute to talk about her literary expertise on Black vampires.

Dr. Olivia Carr Edenfield of the Department of Literature served as Conference Director for the American Literature Association Symposium “The Historical Imagination in American Literature,” Santa Fe, NM, October 27-29.

Graduate student in the Master of Science in Sports Medicine program Joseph Vondrasek has been named the recipient of the National Strength and Conditioning Association's (NSCA) Graduate Research Grant for 2022. Vondrasek was selected by the NSCA Foundation Grant Committee after a thorough evaluation process. The $7,500 grant will assist Vondrasek in buying research supplies and equipment for blood specimen analysis and monetary incentive to those participating in the research.

"The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you."

― BB King

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