Latest News

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to sponsor part-time faculty conference

Campus Green Generic Image of Kennesaw Hall

Adjunct professors to convene for national conference in Atlanta

KENNESAW, Ga. (May 5, 2016) — Part-time faculty from colleges and universities across the nation will gather in Atlanta this June for the Symposium for Part-time, Adjunct and Contingent Education (SPACE), the first conference targeted specifically to the teaching and scholarship of adjunct faculty.

The one-day conference, sponsored by Kennesaw State University’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, is designed to give faculty who teach part-time the opportunity to present their teaching innovations as well as their original scholarship or creative activity to their peers.

According to U.S. Department of Education, part-time faculty make up the majority of the academic workforce, with more than 1.3 million part-time and contingent faculty teaching in U.S. higher education today. More than half of all instructors in higher education today teach part-time or on a limited term contract.

“While Kennesaw State has committed significant resources to part-time faculty, nationally low pay and few benefits continue to be a problem for adjuncts,” said Mandy McGrew, a faculty fellow for part-time faculty support and a part-time instructor in American Studies at Kennesaw State. “Often, non-tenure-track faculty members lack opportunity to attend conferences, present their research and talk about teaching.” 

The inaugural conference will provide faculty development training and opportunities to network with other contingent educators, as well as highlight the work that part-time faculty are doing both inside and outside of the classroom.

To emphasize the role of adjunct faculty beyond classroom teaching, conference participants are able to share their work in discipline-specific presentations on academic research, scholarly papers, creative projects and studies, in a peer-reviewed, professional setting.

McGrew, who organized the conference, is an advocate for part-time and contingent faculty, and wants to see adjunct faculty have the same opportunities for professional growth as their full-time colleagues.

“This is a chance to spotlight their achievements to the world, especially as some of them prepare for full-time academic employment,” said McGrew.

The keynote address, “Expanding the Scholarly Conversation on the New Faculty Majority and Contingent Faculty Work,” will be delivered by Kennesaw State associate professor of English Letizia Guglielmo and Georgia State professor and chair of English Lynee Lewis-Gaillet, who have recently published a book on contingent faculty opportunities.

The conference will be held June 18 at the Crown Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta, and is open to all non-permanent faculty members from any higher education institution. For more information or to register, visit

# # #


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering nearly 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 33,000 students from over 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.


Rita Bailey named dean of Kennesaw State Honors College

Rita Bailey

Illinois State assistant provost will bring experience in honors, international studies programs

KENNESAW, Ga. (May 4, 2016) — Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp has named Rita Bailey as dean of the Honors College, effective July 1.

Bailey currently is assistant provost for the Office of International Studies and Programs, the English Language Institute and the Honors Program at Illinois State University. Along with managing those programs, she serves as provost liaison to the University Curriculum Committee and assists with faculty/staff and student diversity initiatives.

“Rita Bailey’s leadership experience and distinguished scholarship will help advance the Honors College into national and international spotlights,” said Ken Harmon, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Kennesaw State. “Dr. Bailey is an accomplished researcher, devoted teacher and impressive leader who is deeply dedicated to students and faculty and committed to the continued progress and growth of the College.”

Bailey was selected as dean after a nationwide search chaired by Jon Preston, KSU’s faculty executive assistant to the president. During the search, Becky Rutherfoord served as interim dean, and she will return to the College of Computing and Software Engineering faculty.

Prior to her academic roles, Bailey worked as a hospital- and school-based speech-language pathologist, a pediatric dysphagia specialist, hospital administrator and special-education administrator and consultant in multiple educational settings. She joined the faculty at Illinois State in 2002 and rose to administrative posts of increasing responsibility over the past 14 years.

Bailey serves on Illinois State’s Inclusive Community Response Team, the University Accreditation Team and Reaccreditation Task Force, and the Student Behavior Intervention Team. She also coordinates the activities of the Administrator-in-Residence program and oversees the International Strategic Plan Implementation Team.

“I am thrilled to be joining Kennesaw State University,” Bailey said. “After visiting campus and meeting with faculty, staff, administration and students, I realized that this is indeed a very special place. KSU is an institution that is clearly on the rise, and I am looking forward to making a positive contribution to the University and its students as dean of the Honors College.”

Bailey is an accomplished grant writer, as 25 of the grant proposals she has written or contributed to have been awarded a total of $941,000 in funding for higher education initiatives. She also has authored or co-authored nearly 40 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and other published materials.

Bailey earned an Ed.D. in special education, her third degree from Illinois State University following her master’s degree in speech pathology and bachelor’s degree in speech pathology/audiology.

Kennesaw State’s Honors College provides a community within the University to academically talented, highly motivated students who enjoy lively discussion, creative expression and intellectual challenge. The program offers small honors sections of core courses and interdisciplinary honors seminars, where students focus on deep understanding within an innovative curriculum.


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering nearly 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 33,000 students from over 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.


— Paul Floeckher

Professors recognized for teaching excellence by University System of Georgia

Margaret Baldwin and Vanessa Slinger-Friedman
Margaret Baldwin and Vanessa Slinger-Friedman among six recognized at 12th annual gala
KENNESAW, Ga. (May 3, 2016) — Two Kennesaw State University professors were among six University System of Georgia faculty members honored as the 2016 recipients of the Felton Jenkins Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award, during the annual Regents’ Scholarship Gala on April 29, at the St. Regis Hotel Atlanta.
Margaret Baldwin, senior lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, won the 2016 Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award for Regional and State Universities. Vanessa Slinger-Friedman, associate professor of geography in the Department of Geography and Anthropology, won the 2016 Regents’ Award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, which refers to the presentation and publication of research findings on the art and science of teaching or pedagogy.
“These awards are a great honor for the professors and Kennesaw State University,” said Ken Harmon, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Kennesaw State faculty have a long history of being recognized by the Board of Regents for excellence in teaching and for the scholarship of teaching and learning.”
Baldwin earned a master’s of fine arts in theatre arts (playwriting) from the University of Iowa. A native of Atlanta, she has produced her plays and ensemble theatre works throughout the U.S., including her most recent play, “Night Blooms,” which received its world premiere at Horizon Theatre Company in Atlanta, in 2010. Other recent works, including “Monkey King” were commissioned and produced by the KSU Department of Theatre, Performance Studies and Dance. Funded in part by the Coca-Cola Foundation, “Monkey King,” ad adaption of Chinese folktales, traveled to China for a festival at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Several KSU dancers flew to Shanghai for the performance.

“I am honored and thrilled to receive this award and to see this testament to the power of theatre, and the arts in general, as sites for engaged and embodied learning,” she said. “In the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, and across the College of the Arts, we routinely employ teaching practices seen as essential to prepare students for successful work and civic life beyond college: hands-on learning, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, global perspectives and community engagement.”

Baldwin said the award is also meaningful to her personally because its namesake, Felton Jenkins Jr., was a close family friend.

“It’s especially gratifying to be honored as part of his legacy,” she said.

Slinger-Friedman obtained her M.A. in Latin American Studies and Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Florida. Her work has included a World Bank sponsored study in Mexico and El Salvador of Vetiver grass technology for soil erosion control, the use of an agroforestry system for Amazonian urban resettlement in Acre, Brazil, and the use of ecotourism on Dominica, W.I., for economic development and nature preservation. Her other research interests include innovative pedagogy in geography and online teaching.

“I am extremely excited and honored to have received the 2016 Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award from The Board of Regent’s,” she said. “It was a proud moment for me to represent my department and Kennesaw State University at the Regents’ Scholarship Gala. This award recognizes a portion of my work at KSU over the past 15 years, and I share the award with my research and publishing co-collaborators.”  

The 12th annual Regents’ Scholarship Gala raised more than $1.3 million to promote, support and provide need-based scholarships for students at the University System of Georgia’s 29 institutions.

Previous Kennesaw State professors receiving top teaching honors include psychology professor Pam Marek (2014);Tom Pusateri associate director of Kennesaw State’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) and a professor of psychology (2011), Sabine Smith, an associate professor of German (2011); Karen Robinson, theater and performance studies (2010); Matthew Laposata, environmental science (2009); Mary Garner, mathematics and math education (2008); and Randolph Smith, psychology (2007).
## #
Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 32,000 students from 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.

Kennesaw State’s Commencement will graduate almost 3,000 students


Spring Commencement will be held at the Kennesaw Campus on May 10 and 11

KENNESAW, Ga. (May 2, 2016) — Kennesaw State University, which was recently classified as a Carnegie doctoral research institution, will hold five graduation ceremonies in the KSU Convocation Center on the Kennesaw Campus, beginning with Commencement on Tuesday, May 10, at 10 a.m. Almost 3,000 students will graduate on May 10 and 11. The University, the 45th largest public university in the country, graduates approximately 5,600 students each year during fall, spring and summer commencements. 


Speaker: Brian Kemp, Georgia Secretary of State

Michael J. Coles College of Business and College of Science and Mathematics – 10 a.m.

Brian Kemp has been Georgia Secretary of State since January 2010. Among the office’s responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting secure, accessible and fair elections, the registration of corporations, the oversight and regulation of securities and the administration of professional license holders. He served in the Georgia State Senate from 2002 to 2006. Kemp served in committee leadership roles, including Chair of Public Safety & Homeland Security and Vice-Chair of Higher Education. He is the owner of Kemp Properties, a small business specializing in real estate investments and property management. Kemp earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Georgia.

(click here for downloadable photo of Brian Kemp)

Speaker: Thomas Currin, dean of the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Kennesaw State University

College of Architecture and Construction Management, College of Computing and Software Engineering, and Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology – 3 p.m.

With more than 40 years of consulting and teaching expertise, Currin’s career has included the analysis and design of numerous transportation projects throughout the east coast. After completing his undergraduate civil engineering degree at University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth in 1972, Currin served in the United States Army. He earned a Master of Civil Engineering at North Carolina State University – Raleigh and then obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in civil engineering specializing in traffic engineering from the University of Connecticut. While teaching, Currin has served as an evaluator and commissioner of ABET, the primary accreditation agency for engineering in the United States.

(click here for downloadable photo of Thomas Currin)

Speaker: Belle Wheelan, president, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Graduate College – 7 p.m.

Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, is the first African-American and the first woman in this capacity. Her 40-year career includes the roles of faculty member, college president and Secretary of Education. Wheelan received her bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in Texas (1972) with a double major in psychology and sociology; her master’s degree from Louisiana State University (1974) in developmental educational psychology; and her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin (1984) in educational administration with a special concentration in community college leadership.

(click here for downloadable photo of Belle Wheelan)


Speaker: Kim Menefee, senior vice president, WellStar Health System

College of the Arts, Leland and Clarice C. Bagwell College of Education, WellStar College of Health and Human Services, and University College – 10 a.m.

Kim Menefee is senior vice president of Strategic Community Development for WellStar Health System, the largest health system in Georgia and one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in the Southeast. In her more than 20-year career at WellStar, she has served in a variety of leadership capacities, leading brand development and marketing initiatives, lobbying and government relations efforts, community programming, development of a customer service initiative and physician liaison team. She is an active community leader and past Chair of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. Menefee received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia.

(click here for downloadable photo of Kim Menefee)

Speaker: Rep. Ed Setzler, Georgia General Assembly

College of Humanities and Social Sciences – 3 p.m.

Rep. Ed Setzler has served northwest Cobb County in the Georgia House of Representatives since 2005. Setzler serves as the chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology and is a member of the Judiciary Noncivil, Education, Transportation, Appropriations, and Rules Committees. He served from 2011-2013 as the chairman of the 19-member Cobb legislative delegation and has served as a subcommittee chairman on the Judiciary Noncivil Committee since 2011. Setzler serves on the advisory committee for Kennesaw State’s Department of Political Science. A graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School, he earned a B.S. in physics from Furman University in 1992 and served as a U.S. Army officer for nine years.

(click here for downloadable photo of Ed Setzler)

Kennesaw State University Convocation Center, 1000 Chastain Road, Kennesaw, Ga., 30144

For directions and campus map:

For more information, please go to


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering nearly 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 33,000 students from over 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country. 






Kennesaw State University develops first incubator company

Kennesaw State University’s Jonathan McMurry, associate vice president for research, is a co-founder of New Echota Biotechnology

New Echota Biotechnology the newest startup for innovative biotech research

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 29, 2016) —New Echota Biotechnology, Kennesaw State University’s first incubator company, is the brainchild of Kennesaw State University faculty and is supported by the KSU Research and Service Foundation Inc. (KSURSF). It is developing new technology that could prove helpful in the fight against cancer and other diseases.

Kennesaw State’s Jonathan McMurry, associate vice president for research, is a co-founder of New Echota Biotechnology, which has filed for several patents related to a research project to develop novel cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) capable of carrying other molecular ‘cargos’ into living cells.

“New Echota may be the first company, but we’re certainly not the last,” said McMurry. “The coming years will increasingly see KSU-developed technologies contribute to economic development and the betterment of humanity.”

McMurry’s research team, composed of KSU faculty and students, developed CPPs that could lead to new medical treatments ranging from improving cosmetic procedures to helping fight cancer.

A professor of biochemistry and the former associate dean for research in the College of Science and Mathematics, McMurry is an accomplished and federally funded researcher, with grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health (NIH). He also mentors colleagues in the task of applying for grants. As the AVP for Research, McMurry uses his experience to grow KSU's research community, as well as its intellectual property portfolio.

“Universities are increasingly serving as platforms for startups,” said McMurry. “Although many people may not think of Kennesaw State as a ‘research university,’ there is a surprisingly vibrant and growing research culture here.”

Kennesaw State is ranked as a doctoral research institution with moderate research activity — designated “R3” — in The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Learning 2015 update. The University was previously classified among larger Master’s Colleges and Universities or “M1” institutions.

McMurry credited KSURSF with supporting the initial steps in forming the company and helping to secure patents. KSURSF, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation, serves Kennesaw State as a University System of Georgia-approved cooperative organization. McMurry said he hopes other Kennesaw State faculty and students will follow his company’s lead and work with KSURSF to develop their intellectual properties and take steps to commercialize them.

New Echota receives grant funding from the NIH Small Business Innovation Research program. The Georgia Research Alliance has also supported development of the business through their GRA Ventures Fund.

The late John Salerno, who was the Neel Distinguished Chair of Biotechnology at Kennesaw State prior to his death this past December, was a co-founder of New Echota.

# # #


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering nearly 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 33,000 students from over 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country. 

Kennesaw State president praises progress, looks ahead to more

KSU State of the University 2016

Papp touts work toward becoming ‘world-class institution’ in annual State of the University address

Click here for a transcript of Dr. Papp's speech.

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 26, 2016) — A great deal has been accomplished in the 15 months since the consolidation of Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University — but much more work and progress is ahead, President Daniel S. Papp told faculty and staff in his annual State of the University address.

In his speech, given on April 25 and April 26 at the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses, Papp outlined the strategic steps Kennesaw State will take in the coming year. He also shared several successes from the past year, including a record enrollment of 33,400 students, more than 5,600 students earning degrees since the consolidation, and Kennesaw State’s classification as a Carnegie doctoral research institution.

“This University is on its way to becoming exactly what the Board of Regents, the people of Georgia and we ourselves expect KSU to be — a world-class academic institution,” Papp said. “Our University, our students, our faculty and our staff are increasingly being recognized and appreciated for the high quality of everything being done at KSU.”

That includes meeting two key objectives the Regents set for the consolidation of Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State. The first is that in the current and upcoming budgets, the University is redirecting funds from administrative functions and putting them toward research, scholarship, infrastructure improvements and instruction and education — including adding more faculty members and advisors. The budget also includes no tuition increase in 2017, Papp said.

The second objective being met is Kennesaw State’s increase in the percentage of students it retains and graduates. Combining extra-curricular and co-curricular activities in the consolidation has afforded students more opportunities, according to Papp.

“New U students have a broader selection of activities from which to choose and with which to engage,” he said. “As a result, KSU’s retention, progression and graduation rates over the next few years should climb.”

As research takes on a larger role at Kennesaw State, the University could top $11 million in external research funding this year, Papp said. Fundraising also is on the rise, as two of the three largest personal gifts in KSU history have been given in the past year.

However, Papp noted, “much remains to be done so we can realize our full potential.” He outlined six major tasks the “new Kennesaw State” must complete:

• Strategic plan — A 42-person committee is in the midst of developing goals, objectives, mission statements and action steps for a five-year strategic plan to begin in 2017. The committee will gather feedback from the campus community in the fall and submit the finalized plan to the Board of Regents in December 2016.

• New master plan — “This project will envision and lay the foundation for the physical future of both KSU campuses going out as far as 2045,” Papp said. Town hall-style meetings have been held on campus, and additional ones will be scheduled prior to the plan’s completion at the end of this year.

• Branding and marketing project — Kennesaw State is teaming with a consulting firm to develop branding and marketing initiatives that will be rolled out next year. “This project will determine what the University must do to heighten local, regional and national public awareness of, and appreciation for, the new KSU,” Papp said.

• Capital campaign — A combination of those first three initiatives will help Kennesaw State plan and launch its next fundraising campaign, according to Papp. A “first-rate fundraising team” will identify the University’s greatest needs and begin the comprehensive capital campaign within the year, he said.

• Reaccreditation — Kennesaw State must submit a report in 2018 for reaccreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools — as required every 10 years — in preparation for the 2019 visit by the SACS reaccreditation team. “This might seem like it’s a long time away, but given how much work must be done, it’s not,” Papp said. Kennesaw State’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness already is compiling the report, which Papp assured “will be massive.” He added, “The report must provide detailed documentation of the extent to which KSU complies with each of the 88 items in SACS’ principles of accreditation. Many of those 88 items have multiple parts.”

• Quality Enhancement Plan — As part of the reaccreditation process, Kennesaw State must develop and submit a Quality Enhancement Plan “to create a campus-wide program that will enhance student learning,” Papp explained. The selection committee received several proposals and selected “engaging in transformative learning” as KSU’s new core QEP, he said.

“From my perspective, the good news is this — more and more students want to come to KSU,” Papp said. “In research, scholarship and creative activity, our reputation and productivity are growing.”


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering nearly 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 33,000 students from over 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.


— Paul Floeckher

Photo by David Caselli

Play by Design exhibit opens at Bentley Rare Book Gallery

Attendees were invited to participate in a crowdsourced book, "Cat's Big Day"

"Friends of the Bentley" created to help fund new museum

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 22, 2016)— Bentley Rare Book Gallery Curator Emeritus Bob Williams remembers well the day he met “Babar the Little Elephant.” He was seven years old, the sun was shining through the windows of his elementary school library and he was sitting in a little red chair at a little red table.

Williams shared those memories as part of the opening reception April 21, for “Play by Design: The World of Children’s Books,” the newest interactive exhibition of the Bentley Rare Book Gallery at Kennesaw State University. He also performed a live reading of “Babar’s Museum of Art,” accompanied by music from the Kazanetti String Quartet.

“All of us have stories and books from our childhood that we hold dear to our hearts,” Williams said.

The exhibit, which runs through Dec. 16, explores the design, history and imagination of childhood books.

“With this exhibit, we hope to help people think about children’s books in a different way,” said Julia Skinner, rare books curator. “This exhibit looks at different elements of children’s books like the illustrations and typography, outside the story.”

The event featured a raffle, an opportunity for guests to participate in the making of a crowdsourced children’s book, “Cat’s Big Day,” and a book drive for Big Shanty Intermediate School’s Media Center.

“We’ve been thinking of this idea for over six years, and I’m happy we can finally share it with you,” said Tamara Livingston, executive director of Museums, Archives and Rare Books. “I think everyone of us has a favorite book from the past that we carry with us into the future.”

In addition to the opening of the exhibition, organizers announced the creation of the “Friends of the Bentley” program to support the rare book gallery, and the creation of the Bentley Museum opening in spring 2017.

By Jennifer Hafer

Photo: Jennifer Hafer

Kennesaw State University designated a ‘Purple Heart University’

Purple Heart ceremony.jpg

First University System of Georgia institution to be honored

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 21, 2016) — In a ceremony on the Kennesaw Campus Green today, Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp signed a proclamation in recognition of the school’s “Purple Heart Designated University” status. Kennesaw State is the first University System of Georgia institution to achieve the distinction by The Military Order of the Purple Heart.

In bestowing this honor on Kennesaw State, The Military Order of the Purple Heart recognized the University for “its outstanding service to military and veteran students and families.” More than 2,000 veterans and family members are enrolled at KSU, including 1,100 who receive VA benefits.

“On a college campus,” Papp said, “we deeply appreciate what the American military has provided for this country – among other things, the ability to say what we want, read what we want, think what we want and debate what we want – without fear of political retribution or social retribution.”

Georgia National Guard Spc. Kit Lowe, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient, presented Papp with a flag emblazoned with the Purple Heart emblem and the words “honoring America’s combat wounded veterans.” Papp announced that Kennesaw State will observe Purple Heart Day annually on April 21, when the Purple Heart flag will fly on both the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses.

The Purple Heart is the oldest military award and is earned when military personnel are wounded or killed while serving during combat. Brig. Gen. Thomas Carden Jr., Commanding General of the Georgia Army National Guard, was the guest speaker at the ceremony.

“Dr. Papp and the entire staff here at Kennesaw State University have made this university a leader in reaching out to veterans and those currently serving,” Carden said.

During the Purple Heart Ceremony, the University’s Office of Military and Veterans Services rededicated a memorial to Purple Heart recipient Army 1st Lt. Jonathan “J.P.” Walsh, a 2008 Kennesaw State graduate who lost his life in action on April 22, 2012, while serving with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan.

In 2012, KSU planted an Autumn Flame Red Maple dedicated to Walsh’s memory on the east side of the Campus Green. A permanent stone marker with a plaque has been added under his tree.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart was formed in 1931 and remains the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization composed strictly of combat veterans.

# # #

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering nearly 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 33,000 students from over 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.


— Robert Godlewski

Photo by David Caselli 


Awards highlight diversity and inclusion at Kennesaw State

2016 Prez Diversity Awards present 2.jpg

University among eight nationally honored for commitment; seven individuals recognized for excellence

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 21, 2016)INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education,presented itsHigher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award and new “Diversity Champions” honor to Kennesaw State University Wednesday in a ceremony that also recognized seven students, faculty and staff members for their contributions to creating an inclusive campus climate.

The awards were presented at the 2015-2016 Presidential Diversity Awards ceremony, an event that annually highlights the University’s continued growth in its diverse population and its efforts to create a campus climate of respect and inclusiveness.

Kennesaw State was one of eight institutions nationally to be named to INSIGHT Into Diversity’s 2016 inaugural class of “Diversity Champions,” joining Columbia University, Penn State, Rochester Institute of Technology, Florida State, University of Central Florida, Texas Tech and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Last September, Kennesaw State was one of 92 institutions in a pool of 5,000 applicants designated to receive a HEED Award.

In presenting the awards to Kennesaw State President Daniel S. Papp, magazine owner and publisher Lenore Pearlstein noted that Kennesaw State ranked in the “very top tier” of HEED Award recipients. She cited the University’s numerous recruitment and retention programs for underrepresented students and the hiring of a vice provost to ensure that they graduate; the intentional increase of faculty, staff and students with disabilities and veterans; programs to retain diverse faculty, including the launch this fall of a diversity faculty fellows program; and presidential diversity commissions.

“Known for visionary leadership, “Diversity Champions” are institutions that set the standard for thousands of other campuses by developing successful strategies and programs that serve as a model of excellence for all institutions of higher education,” said Pearlstein, who was joined by co-owner and co-publisher Holly Mendelson. 

President Papp joined Erik Malewski, Kennesaw State’s chief diversity officer, to present the 2016 Presidential Diversity Awards to students, faculty and staff members who have demonstrated excellence in areas represented by six University presidential commissions: Disability Strategies and Resources; Gender and Work Life Issues, GLBTIQ Initiatives; Racial and Ethnic Dialogue; Sustainability; and Veterans Affairs.

“The Presidential Diversity Awards pay tribute to the principles of diversity, equity, transparency and shared governance at Kennesaw State,” Malewski said. “These individuals have been nominated by their peers because they exemplify the presidential commissions that work to create a comfortable campus climate and help to achieve the important institutional goals of diversity and inclusion.”

2015-2016 Presidential Diversity Award Winners

Karyn Alme - Carol J. Pope Award for Distinction (Presidential Commission on Disability Strategies and Resources) Alme, senior lecturer of environmental sciences, always goes above and beyond the call of duty for all students but especially those with disabilities, according to her nomination, which noted that she is the mother of a hearing-impaired student, so she understands the importance of creating an inclusive, accessible and respectful classroom for all students. “She tries to teach all students to advocate for themselves but will always be there to provide support,” her nomination stated. “She teaches some of the future educators of Georgia, and she is a shining example of how we should treat students with disabilities.” 

Nancy Reichert - Outstanding Contribution Award  (Presidential Commission on Gender and Work Life Issues) In her role as leader of the Women’s Initiative in Academic Affairs at Southern Polytechnic State University, Reichert, associate professor of English, helped create a positive environment for women on the campus in order to better retain women students. “With the small number of women on the campus, such an initiative was sorely needed and long overdue,” her nomination stated. “Dr. Reichert worked tirelessly … to get as many women involved in campus life as possible through committees and activities, and used her blog,Women, Work, and Academics to highlight the stories and achievements of female students, staff, and faculty.”

Robert Sherer - Teresa M. Joyce Award for Excellence (Presidential Commission on GLBTIQ Initiatives) As professor of art and noted artist, Sherer has achieved many distinctions, but his enduring contributions to creating a supportive environment for the LGBTIQ community at Kennesaw State and in metro Atlanta have been ongoing since he moved to the area in 1979. “He has created opportunities for his students to participate in nearly 20 professional and charitable activities focused on diversity and inclusion, including the AIDS Survival Project, Art Care, Embracing Difference and the Georgia Equality Project. This work has helped them understand how service and diversity intersect in ways that impact and change our community.”

Judy Brown Allen - R.O.H. Social Justice Award (Presidential Commission on Racial and Ethnic Dialogue) Allen, senior lecturer of sociology, has helped provide scholarships and other financial resources, personal assistance, counseling and her own time and money to ensure that all students, regardless of race or social status, receive the same opportunities to succeed, her nomination stated. “She consistently goes out of her way to support the success of underrepresented students. She is a breathing example of what it means to strive for social justice.” 

Ramona Devonish - R.O.H. Social Justice Award (Presidential Commission on Racial and Ethnic Dialogue) A graduate student, Devonish combined the duties of peer advisor for International Affairs and Political Science in order to increase the availability of student peer advisors who represent varying viewpoints. Her nomination stated: “As the current president, and new president-elect of the Graduate Student Association… Ramona worked diligently to build a diverse executive board by attracting students representing various racial, ethnic, and identity groups as well as officers from both campuses of the newly consolidated University.

John Anderson - R.C. Paul Excellence in Sustainability Award(Presidential Commission on Sustainability) Anderson, assistant vice president for Facilities Services, has been a strong advocate for sustainable practices and environmentally sound campus planning at Kennesaw State. “He also has been a proponent of sustainability education… He does an outstanding job of quietly convincing diverse groups to see the value in following the most sustainable approach to campus projects,” his nomination stated.

Bob Mattox - Mattox Award for Excellence in Service and Leadership(Presidential Commission on Veterans Affairs) Mattox, associate vice president and director of Student Success Services, received dual nominations for the first award named in his honor. “His personal interest in student veteran concerns is what ultimately led to the establishment of the Veterans Resource Center and the hiring of the first Director of Military & Veteran Services at a university in the state of Georgia, here at KSU. This was the catalyst to creating an all-inclusive environment for the veteran community at KSU,” according to one of the nominations.




KSU team tops the sales chart


Coles College of Business team wins prestigious sales competition

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 8, 2016) — Each year, Kennesaw State University hosts the premier sales competition in the world. This year, KSU also took home the overall team champion trophy.

Kennesaw State won the team championship at the 2016 National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC), hosted April 1-4 by the Center for Professional Selling in the Michael J. Coles College of Business. More than 500 students from 67 undergraduate universities and eight graduate universities, including schools from Europe and Canada, participated in the role-play sales-call competition and exclusive career fair at the KSU Convocation Center.

Along with Kennesaw State winning the team championship, two Coles College of Business students finished in the top five in the individual competition. Matt McCleskey took fourth place and Sarah Burch tied for fifth among 134 competitors.

“We are very proud of Matt McCleskey and Sarah Burch as well as the other eight members of the KSU sales competition team for winning the national team title,” said Dr. Terry Loe, founder of the NCSC and director of the KSU Center for Professional Selling. “They all worked tirelessly and selflessly over the past several months, with several of them having worked for more than a year in preparing to compete. They epitomize the kind of attitude and work ethic that Kennesaw State University and the Coles College of Business strive to instill in all of our students.”

“I could not be more humbled and honored to have been chosen to represent my team and our program,” Burch said. “The sales education and competition opportunities that we’ve had thus far have proven to be crucial to the success we will find in our coming careers.”

The NCSC gives students hands-on training selling an actual product to a client. Fortune 500 company representatives act as judges and buyers while networking with students from the best sales programs in the world.

Students compete through several elimination rounds of 20-minute mock sales calls, with the championship round being broadcast to an audience of students, faculty and corporate sponsors. A panel of faculty and corporate executives judge each round in real-time, providing students detailed scores and written feedback to improve their skills.

“The National Collegiate Sales Competition provides substantial value to companies seeking to hire quality salespeople, and the NCSC has filled this need over the past 18 years for hundreds of sales organizations,” Loe said. “There are very few events that provide this type of venue for companies to preview the highest-level sales candidates during one weekend.”

For more information on the NCSC, or how to become involved, visit

Photo: Matt McCleskey and Sarah Burch show Kennesaw State's trophy for winning the NCSC team championship.

# # #

Syndicate content