Kennesaw State University

Career field of dreams

Ryan Coe

KSU alum Ryan Coe has big-league eye for talent

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sept. 12, 2016) — Ryan Coe spends his days scouting baseball players he hopes will have the same type of success in professional baseball that he enjoyed at Kennesaw State.

The best defense against Russian hackers may be our low-tech elections

Name of Publication: 
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Excerpt of Article: 

Political Insider Blog

Author: Jim Galloway  10:10 pm Sep. 7, 2016


Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that they aren’t out to get you. But by the same token, just because they’re out to get you doesn’t mean you need to be paranoid.

Donald Trump had already set us on a dark conspiracy pathway this election season, when he announced in August that the only way he could lose Pennsylvania was “if, in certain sections of the state, they cheat.”

The system, the Republican presidential candidate has testified repeatedly, is rigged.

Now comes the news that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies have launched an inquiry into what they think is a covert Russian operation to sow public distrust in the November presidential election. ...

“People seemed to be freaking out because their votes were being counted by a computer,” said Cathy Cox, who as secretary of state pushed for the upgrade. She’s now president of Young Harris College. ...

That said, you can count Merle King among those who decline to panic when that targeting is expanded to election data. King is executive director of the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University, which oversees the operation of the state’s voting machines and the ballots programmed within.

He has been more than frustrated these last few weeks. “It often takes me half an hour to explain why a 20-second sound bite is incorrect,” he said. “That’s a part of the challenge.”

King divides attempts to undermine the U.S. election system into three categories:

— Efforts to discredit the winner. That’s where Trump’s comments fall. “Though ‘loser talk’ usually doesn’t happen til after the election,” King said. ...

— Then there are efforts to disrupt elections – not the voting process itself, but the all of the systems associated with balloting. Voting registration and records, and election-night reporting – the kind of stuff foreshadowed by hacks in Illinois and Arizona. ...

— And then there are attempts to alter the outcomes of elections. Possible? Perhaps. Probable – especially at a national level? No. ...


Why In The World Are Peaches Fuzzy, Anyway?

Name of Publication: 
Huffington Post
Excerpt of Article: 

 Julie R. Thomson Senior Editor, Taste, The Huffington Post     9/07/2016 06:01 am ET

If you’ve never been a fan of the fuzz on peaches, you should know its existence is intentional. While the fuzz isn’t meant to deter us humans from eating the fruit, it is a type of protection for the peach.

While no one knows exactly what the peach fuzz does, it’s believed that the fuzz acts as a defense mechanism to protect a peach’s delicate skin from excess moisture which can cause premature rot. The latest from the series How Does It Grow explains it in the video above.

Some also believe that the fuzz can act as an irritant to certain insects. Tom Okie, assistant professor of history at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, writes that the fuzz is thought to keep the plum curculio from laying their eggs in the flesh. If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by the fuzz on the peaches found at a farmers market, you can see how this theory could hold true (though it should be noted that peaches are still susceptible to some bugs). ...


Paperless voting could fuel 'rigged' election claims

Name of Publication: 
Excerpt of Article: 

Voters in four competitive states will cast ballots in November on electronic machines that leave no paper trail — a lapse that threatens to sow distrust about a presidential election in which supporters of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have raised fears about hackers tampering with the outcome.

The most glaring potential trouble spots include Pennsylvania, where the vast majority of counties still use ATM-style touchscreen voting machines without the paper backups that critics around the country began demanding more than a decade ago. It’s also a state where Trump and his supporters have warned that Democrats might “rig” the election to put Clinton in the White House, a claim they could use to attack her legitimacy if she wins.

Similar paperless machines are used heavily in Georgia, where the presidential race appears unusually close, and to a much smaller extent in Virginia and Florida, both of which are phasing them out. Florida has almost entirely abandoned the electronic machines following a number of elections that raised red flags, including a close 2006 congressional race in which Democrats charged that as many as 16,000 votes went missing.

This time, in a year marked by charges that Russian-linked hackers have breached Democratic Party organizations and state election offices, the lack of a paper ballot record in key states poses two potential risks to public confidence in the U.S. electoral system: It creates the danger that someone could alter the results in ways that are nearly impossible to detect, security experts say, with no hard-copy record that would allow a manual recount. ...

Paper records aren’t the only way to verify a vote total, said Merle King, a professor of information systems at Kennesaw State University who runs the school’s election center, which handles the logistics and auditing of Georgia’s elections.

“There is this notion that without paper there can be no meaningful audit. That’s an interesting assertion, but I believe it’s inherently incorrect,” King said, insisting that the state’s electronic tallies are reliable. ...

Also in:

The Tribune, "Fear and hacking on the campaign trail: Will the vote be secure?"

Newsmax, "Paperless Voting Triggers Hacking Concerns"









Kennesaw State receives national award for diversity and inclusion initiatives

HEED_logo2016 crop.jpg

University honored with a HEED Award for second year

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sept. 1, 2016)INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, has once again awarded Kennesaw State University its Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Last year, the publication awarded Kennesaw State its first HEED award. In April 2016, the University also was named among eight institutions nationally to INSIGHT Into Diversity’s inaugural class of “Diversity Champions” for setting the standard for metropolitan comprehensive universities.  

As a 2016 HEED recipient, Kennesaw State will be featured, along with 82 other recipients, in the November 2016 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“Receiving a second HEED award acknowledges the strides Kennesaw State is making towards the university’s strategic goal of enhancing the collegiate experience and fostering a welcoming, diverse and inclusive environment,” said Erik Malewski, Kennesaw State’s chief diversity officer. “Our progress builds on a longtime institutional commitment and follows a natural progression of refining our approaches through assessments, planning and restructuring. The work of six presidential commissions to assist with this growth is unparalleled. We look forward to even greater progress as the work of our new Center for Diversity Leadership and Engagement and first faculty Diversity Fellows gets underway.

Eligibility for the HEED Award requires completion of a comprehensive application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion.

“We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “Our process is rigorous and our standards are high. We look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus.”


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. 


About INSIGHT Into Diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the largest and oldest diversity publication in higher education. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as profiles of best practices and exemplary programs. Readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at

Kennesaw State’s new diversity center appoints first fellows

Kennesaw Hall Crowded.JPG

10 faculty members will do research and engagement projects to advance University’s diversity focus

KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug. 30, 2016)— Kennesaw State University’s recently created Center for Diversity Leadership and Engagement announced the appointment of 10 Diversity Fellows — faculty members who will conduct research and engage with the campus and local communities on diversity-related issues. 

The fellows, who begin work this fall, are appointed to do research in five of the University’s six priority areas of focus within diversity — disability, gender, GLBTIQ, race/ethnicity and sustainability — through spring 2017. No fellows were appointed in the veterans’ priority area.

The fellows program represents the first initiative of the new Center, which launched in spring 2016 to support engaged scholarship by faculty from all disciplines on issues pertaining to the six priority areas and their intersections with other areas of the University.

“Both the Center and the Diversity Fellows program reflect Kennesaw State’s commitment to its strategic goal of enhancing the collegiate experience and fostering a welcoming, diverse and inclusive environment,” said Erik Malewski, the University’s chief diversity officer. “At their core, the Center and the Fellows program represent a commitment to rigorous scholarship and community engagement that positively impacts the campus, region and the state.”

Kennesaw State’s 2016-2017 Diversity Fellows are:

·       Joya Hicks, associate professor of special education, will utilize the Universal Design for Learning Lab (UDLL) to assist Kennesaw State in fulfilling its commitment to provide equal access to curriculum and instruction for students with disabilities. (Disability Fellow)

·       Heidi Scherer, assistant professor of criminal justice, will focus on gaining a greater understanding of why persons with disabilities reported lower perceptions of campus climate, identifying barriers to success or inclusion on campus, raising awareness of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and providing resources and materials on disability best practices (Disability Fellow)

·       Roxanne Donovan, professor of psychology, will implement a mentoring program for Faculty Women of Color (FWOC) to increase research productivity, connection, and well-being, all factors associated with career success, retention, and promotion of FWOC. (Gender Fellow)

·       Gail Markle, assistant professor of sociology, will conduct a study to develop understanding of how women experience gender microaggressions while at KSU, using the data to develop a campus event to increase awareness and reduce the occurrence of gender microaggressions on campus.(Gender Fellow)

·       Kat Gray, lecturer of English, will conduct a short longitudinal study of the rhetoric students use when asked to engage with communities that may be unfamiliar to them, and create a sequence of English classes that encourages collaboration and considered thought towards those with different experiences. (GLBTIQ Fellow)

·       Daniel Farr, lecturer of sociology, will develop training programs for new faculty/staff and admission counselors on topics of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression diversity, improving Kennesaw State’s score in the Campus Pride Index. (GLBTIQ Fellow)

·       Darlene Rodriguez, assistant professor of social work and human services, will use data and stakeholders to establish a Civic Engagement Academy (CEA) for increased immigrant orientation and integration to Georgia and the U.S. (Race/Ethnicity Fellow)

·       Seneca Vaught, associate professor of history and interdisciplinary studies, will research best practices for improving the campus climate by “centering” anti-racism at Kennesaw State, develop a series of case studies based on oral interviews and host public workshops with campus and community stakeholders using insights from the collected data. (Race/Ethnicity Fellow)

·       Pegah Zamani, associate professor of architecture, will concentrate on the critical role of the ecological construction and passive environmental design strategies in energy-efficient designs around Kennesaw State to underline the gap between theoretical design and actual performance of sustainable architectural systems across campus. (Sustainability Fellow)

·       Roneisha Worthy, assistant professor of civil engineering, will utilize the ecoPartner Program to reduce the ecological footprint of the campus and surrounding communities and implement this values-based engagement model to equip faculty, staff and students with the necessary tools to become environmental sustainability change agents in their colleges, departments, dormitories, and/or student/social organizations. (Sustainability Fellow)

Fellows will spend five to 10 hours per week conducting research, participating in professional development and engaging with one another and the campus and external community. As with all scholarship produced through the Center, the fellows’ projects are designed to raise awareness, foster engagement, and encourage discussion on the University’s diversity priority areas.

Malewski described the fellows’ application process as “competitive,” an indication of Kennesaw State faculty members’ desire to help shape the campus environment.

“Based on the number and quality of submissions in response to the Center’s call for proposals focused on engaged scholarship on issues of diversity and inclusion, I think we can look forward to a number of high-impact, data-driven initiatives that will add to the campus culture and build community,” Malewski said.  


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.

Dark money helped fund Tim Lee's re-election bid in Cobb

Name of Publication: 
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Excerpt of Article: 

Posted: 2:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Tim Lee’s contentious battle to retain his job as chairman of the Cobb County Commission attracted more than $143,000 in secret money that was used in a failed attempt to influence voters and keep him in office, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis has found.

The so-called dark money came from a non-profit social-welfare organization that is not required to disclose its donor list, meaning voters had no way of knowing who was behind the positive messages about the chairman and the negative advertising about his opponent, retired Marine Col. Mike Boyce.

While instances of undisclosed donations are still rare in Georgia’s county politics, dark money is playing a greater role in state and local elections — where it has more power to mislead voters or malign opponents because of the lower overall levels of fundraising in those races, experts say.

The 2016 Cobb primary illustrates how anonymous political contributions, which have become the norm in national politics, can be converted into campaign spending in a local election. ...

Dark money growing in local politics

Dark money has flooded presidential and congressional races since2010, following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case that allowed issue advocacy groups to spend money in political campaigns.

study published last month by New York University’s Brennan Center For Justice found dark money’s influence is growing in local politics, too. In a study of six states, not including Georgia, Brennan found a 38-percent increase of dark money in local and state races since 2004.

The study’s authors said dark money poses “special dangers” at the state and local levels because “sources often harbour a narrow, direct economic interest” in the result. ...

Lee’s messaging suffered credibility issues even without voters knowing all the sources of money, said Kerwin Swint, chairman of Kennesaw State’s Political Science Department.

The chairman’s image was inextricable linked to Cobb’s business establishment, even before he pushed through the $400 million public investment in SunTrust Park, which became the centerpiece of Boyce’s grass-roots campaign. And Lee favored other controversial big-ticket projects, like the $500 million bus rapid transit proposal, that conflicted with many of the county’s rank-and-file conservatives.

“You have to be a credible messenger, and a lot of people by this time didn’t think Tim Lee was,” Swint said. “Some of the personal things, the name calling … didn’t resonate.” ...

Russian Masterworks

Soloist Robert Henry

KSU Symphony Orchestra concert helps usher in “The Year of Russia”

KENNESAW, Ga. (August, 29, 2016)— The first two events at the top of the bill for Kennesaw State University’s 2016-17 annual country study —“The Year of Russia” — set the stage for a yearlong examination of a land of vast complexity, diversity and cultural heritage.

Has Fox News Hit Its Ceiling?

Name of Publication: 
Politico Magazine
Excerpt of Article: 

Now that the monster Roger Ailes has been slain and the palace that he built, Fox News Channel, has been revealed to be a catacomb of sexual harassment chambers built to satisfy the old goat, a power shift is taking place ahead of schedule at the company. The shift was inevitable as the 76-year-old executive was going to retire or expire in the coming years, and the 85-year-old primary owner of the channel, Rupert Murdoch, is likewise reaching the end of his actuarial limit. Soon, control of the insanely profitable ($1.5 billion a year) channel will fall to Murdoch's empowered heirs, sons James and Lachlan, and with it will come the opportunity to rethink how to position the conservative TV audience’s guiding spirit. Will they seize the opportunity? ...

But for all the success Fox News Channel has reaped, it may have hit its ceiling. ...

“I do think the Fox formula, as incredibly successful as it’s been, will change in the next few years,” says Ailes biographer Kerwin Swint, a professor of political science at Kennesaw State University. “And that’s because it has to. The media landscape changes, and media habits and culture moves on. It seems to me as if Fox has already become less overtly partisan in its coverage, if not its commentary. Megyn Kelly deserves a lot of the credit for that.”

Swint points to the network’s aging audience, which at 68 is the highest among the cable news networks, and is also 98 percent white. “With Ailes gone, they have lost their spiritual father. They will need a new identity. I think James Murdoch has quite a different vision for Fox than Ailes had. But he will move slowly, his father will insist on maintaining the ‘brand.’ And if Trump loses in November, which is quite likely, Fox management will have some decisions to make about their direction, similar in some ways to the Republican Party: ‘What does the future look like?’”

Exposed at a new battle in an ancient war

Name of Publication: 
The Times
Excerpt of Article: 

By JOHN DeSANTIS Senior Staff Writer​

For the past month a Houma website and related Facebook page have garnered unexpected attention, fueled in large part by a resulting criminal investigation, with seizures of laptops and cell phones.

The closely-watched drama, now playing out in a Louisiana appeals court, is not unique to Terrebonne Parish, however. Interviews with law professors, free speech advocates and law enforcement officials show the controversy as a mere tile in a mosaic of conflicts between citizens and public officials. What was once a battle between scribes’ pens and officials’ swords has morphed into a war between keyboards and the power to jail or otherwise sanction.

Expert observers appear to agree that both the critics and those criticized are, however, wading in new waters that rise over the heads of those on both sides, resulting in abuse of powers each holds.

“Police powers are being used against media, in particular citizen media activists who like to tweet and Facebook,” said Joshua Azriel, a communications professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. “You have the woman who takes out her cell phone at an open Republican political event and gets arrested. In Georgia there is a court case related to a judge who had a blogger arrested. Officials are literally uncomfortable with the fact that all of us can hold media in our hands.”

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