Keisha Hoerrner

KSU's Keisha Hoerrner discusses importance of first year of college

Name of Publication: 
WABE 90.1 FM
Excerpt of Article: 

Appearing on WABE's "Closer Look" program, University College Dean Keisha Hoerrner discussed the importance of the first year of college, its potential pitfalls and what Kennesaw State is doing to help first-year students achieve academic success.

Kennesaw State is one of 44 universities – and the only one in Georgia – selected by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) to help set the course for first-year academic success among college students nationally. This initiative is geared especially to low-income, first-generation and minority students.

In 12 of the last 13 years, U.S. News and World Report has recognized Kennesaw State as having one of the best first-year programs in the country. KSU's award-winning Thrive program helps qualified incoming first-year students to maintain the HOPE scholarship.

Click here to listen to the entire segment, starting at the 41:36 mark:

New dean named for Kennesaw State’s University College

University College Dean Keisha Hoerrner

Keisha Hoerrner brings more than 20 years of higher education experience to position

Click here for a downloadable photo of Keisha Hoerrner 

KENNESAW, Ga.  (April 17, 2015) — Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp has named Keisha Hoerrner dean of University College, effective immediately. Hoerrner has been serving as interim dean of the college since January 2014. 

Prior to her appointment as interim dean, Hoerrner served as associate dean of University College, department chair of First-Year Programs, assistant department chair of University Studies and director of learning communities. She is a professor of communication and previously held a faculty position in communication at Louisiana State. She joined the Kennesaw State faculty full-time in 2000.

During Hoerrner’s tenure as interim dean, she advocated for the restructure of academic support initiatives and brought First-Year and Undeclared Advising Services, as well as Orientation and Transition programs, under the charge of the College.  She also oversaw the redesign of the bachelor’s degree in Integrative Studies and worked to launch the master’s degree in First-Year Studies, the College’s first online graduate degree program.

“Keisha has been a tremendous contributor to University College and Kennesaw State,” said Ken Harmon, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Kennesaw State. “Her commitment to drive new initiatives and innovative programs that benefit our first-year students’ experience has been instrumental to the growth of University College. Along with her leadership and wealth of knowledge, her vision and dedication will continue to propel the College into national and international spotlights.”

Hoerrner was selected as dean after a nationwide search chaired by Val Whittlesey, associate vice president for academic affairs. 

“I am truly honored to be selected as dean and look forward to working with my colleagues in University College to enhance the learning experiences of both undergraduate and graduate students within the new Kennesaw State University,” said Hoerrner. “It is humbling and a bit surreal to transition from being an undergraduate at Kennesaw College to being a member of the faculty and now dean of one of the university’s degree-granting colleges. This institution is very special to me, and I am thrilled to serve it in this capacity.”

Hoerrner has been published in numerous journals within her discipline and in areas relevant to University College such as learning communities, first-year programs, and trends affecting students in higher education. In 2013, Hoerrner was named one of the nation’s 10 Outstanding First-Year Advocates by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina.  

She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Kennesaw State, and a master’s degree in journalism and Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Georgia.


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. 



Child Soldiers, Charity and Sudan: Why Peace Matters to Emmanuel Jal

Name of Publication: 
Huffington Post
Excerpt of Article: 


Posted: 04/ 4/2012 11:38 am 

He told his story in the 2008 documentary "War Child" (and in his 2009 autobiography of the same name), but Emmanuel Jal's journey from child soldier in the Sudanese People's Liberation Army to international music star wasn't complete until the Republic of South Sudan became an independent country and one of the 193 member states of the United Nations in July, 2011.

"I have a South Sudanese passport now. I am a citizen," Jal told me with a smile.

Yet, even as the performer visited Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC last week to support his nonprofit Gua Africa and the We Want Peace campaign with events organized by partner organization Mothering Across Continents, there was the sense that Jal's work to bring peace to his homeland may never be finished.         ...

During his recent visit to the U.S., Jal spoke to students at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte and Kennesaw State University (KSU) outside of Atlanta about peace waging.

Kennesaw State Associate Dean Keisha Hoerrner brought Jal to campus "to share his story of survival and his message of peace."

While at KSU, Jal participated in a March 31 attempt to set a Guinness World Record for creating the largest human peace sign (masterminded by KSU student Jessie Blowers), which, though unsuccessful in its final numbers, served as an inter-generational peace rally and garnered attention from many media outlets. A spirited music performance by Jal followed.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, the event was the perfect antidote to the troubling news coming out of South Sudan, says Hoerrner.

"Jal's lyric, 'We want peace, and we're going to get it' sounds simple," she says. "But it is a powerful message of determination to ensure that we work together to engage in the hard work and the difficult decisions to bring peace to our world." 




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