Kennesaw State University

Grab a Beer, Explore the Globe

Name of Publication: 
National Geographic
Excerpt of Article: 

by April Fulton

Beer is the third most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water and tea. Many of us love it but don’t give much thought to where it originated, how it has changed with the migration and climate of its creators and how much it drives economies today.

Take two beer-loving geographers and a crazy idea to educate people about their favorite beverage, and you’ve got the makings of a book about global spatial relationships, as seen through beer goggles. Appropriately, the book was born as a sketch on the back of a cocktail napkin.

Mark Patterson and Nancy Hoalst-Pullen, a.k.a. The Beer Doctors on Facebook and Twitter, are geographers from Kennesaw State University in Georgia. They published an academic book called The Geography of Beer last March, and have since turned it into a course and a study abroad program. Hoalst-Pullen will be giving a TED talk on using beer to expand geographic literacy later this month. ...

Social entrepreneur says students have role in bolstering economic development


Greg Van Kirk delivers annual Pathways to Peace lecture

Today’s study abroad programs provide ample opportunity for students to become engaged with efforts to alleviate poverty, according to Greg Van Kirk, the investment banker-turned-Peace Corps volunteer who pioneered methods to help entrepreneurs in rural Latin American communities create sustainable businesses.

Van Kirk spoke to an overflow audience attending the annual Pathways to Peace lecture held Feb. 24 at Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business.   

As co-founder and president of Social Entrepreneur Corps, Van Kirk collaborates with institutions and organizations — Kennesaw State among them — to develop international internship programs in Guatemala, Ecuador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The programs support the development of entrepreneurial approaches to meeting the needs of rural communities. To date, 40 Kennesaw State students have worked with the organization in Guatemala and another 20 students have enrolled to work there during summer 2015.

“As a Peace Corps volunteer myself, it’s been a real pleasure to have students come down as kindred spirits and work together to create holistic and comprehensive solutions for the marginalized communities we serve,” Van Kirk said. “It’s going to take a team effort to alleviate poverty.”

Van Kirk shared some of the things he has learned while creating a successful model for providing “entrepreneurial solutions.”

“If you want to do something to help a community, write down all the things that annoy you about it,” he said. “That’s what you should do something about.”

As a “gringo” in a small Guatemalan village, Van Kirk said he became the de facto tour guide, and everyone asked him where to go when they arrived. Since there was no gathering place, Van Kirk opened the town’s first restaurant with assistance from partners and local residents. When he noticed that most people cooked inside their two-room adobe houses on fires in the ground, he donated a cook stove to one family, which “made a big difference.” That led to work with locals to develop a company to make and sell cook stoves.

That was the beginning of Van Kirk’s development of the MicroConsignment Model (MCM), a method of providing first-time access to life-saving technologies, products and services for isolated villagers through innovative entrepreneurial solutions that are locally-owned, managed and profitable, and therefore sustainable.

“This is not relief work,” Van Kirk said. “We’re devising new ways to innovate and brings these things to the community in ways that are scalable. We’re working to get smart people to come down and get involved so we can scale these entrepreneurial solutions up to larger and more communities.”

Even so, social entrepreneurship represents a shift in paradigm from the traditional business model, Van Kirk explained. “It creates access where there was none, a sense of agency or self-efficacy and control, and empowerment through which people do things they never thought of doing.”

For most businesses, success is primarily measured by profit — by how much they earn, he said. “If you ask what success looks like to social entrepreneurs, that’s not what drives them. You’re taking on the traditional entrepreneurial characteristics and measuring yourself by how much you’ve increased social impact.”

Another distinction of social entrepreneurship is the range of entities that might provide solutions to the challenges or lack of access within a community, including individuals, businesses, governments, nonprofits, charities or any of these working together in partnership. 

Social entrepreneurs are guided in their decision-making by a set of core values, Van Kirk said. These include: do no harm; innovate; be endurable, appropriate, dignified, inclusive, resilient, scalable and system-changing.  

Van Kirk urged students to make a few calculations before committing to the work of social entrepreneurship. 

“You must be self aware and know what your situation is — your strengths, weaknesses, what you’re willing to do and to give up,” he said, adding that the work also requires students to have empathy-triggering understanding; to be curious about the history, ecosystems, current practices, desires, capabilities and needs of the people; and be willing to commit “to go the extra mile and give 110 percent.”

The Pathways to Peace lecture series is produced through a collaboration among Kennesaw State’s Coles College of Business, University Collegeand College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Sponsors include the American Democracy Project, the University’s Peace Studies Programand ENACTUS.


—   Sabbaye McGriff

Photo by Anthony Stalcup


'He was more than I could live with': Jury watches video of teen confessing to killing father

Name of Publication: 
Excerpt of Article: 

By Brian Amaral  February 07, 2015 at 8:18 AM, updated February 07, 2015 at 12:16 PM

John Mahoney was done lying about who shot his father. 

After nearly four hours of interrogation, Mahoney, then 19, finally began to crack. It was just hours after he'd killed Jerry Mahoney, a beloved Piscataway police officer, at their township home the morning of Dec. 27, 2007

"Any time I did something wrong it was an excuse for him to hit me, God help me if I tried to fight back," Mahoney told Shawn Raypach of the Piscataway Police Department and Eleazar Ricardo of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office after finally confessing. "He was more than I could live with." 

Jurors in John Mahoney's murder trial watched the taped confession Tuesday and Wednesday as prosecutors sought to convince them that John Mahoney was a remorseless killer motivated by hatred and greed.

Mahoney's attorney, William Fetky, team has not denied that John Mahoney shot and killed Jerry Mahoney. Instead, they're arguing that the shooting was an act of self-defense by a young man whose father had subjected him to years of physical and psychological abuse. In the taped interrogation, Mahoney becomes more expansive about the abuse he says he suffered as he got closer to confessing to killing his father. 

For several hours during his interrogation, though, Mahoney kept up an unlikely ruse. Mahoney had told police that a stranger had broken into the home, shot Jerry Mahoney, and then shot John Mahoney in the arm during a brief struggle. The man was average height, average build, unremarkable, and fled out the back door.  ...

"It's not uncommon for the act to take place when the parent is in a compromised situation, like asleep, or lying down," said Jeffrey L. Helms, a professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia and the author of a study on the topic, in an interview with NJ Advance Media. "Children are no physical match for their parents, and their fear is so great."

Auschwitz liberation's 70th anniversary focuses on survivors

Name of Publication: 
CBC News
Excerpt of Article: 

A record 1.5 million people visited former Nazi death camp in 2014

By Aleksandra Sagan, CBC News Posted: Jan 25, 2015 5:00 AM ET

As the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazis' most notorious concentration camp approaches, historians are grappling with how to preserve the memory of Auschwitz and the Holocaust.

No one knows how many of the survivors remain alive today, but it's a group that is dwindling as age takes its toll.


To mark the liberation's anniversary, about 300 former Auschwitz prisoners are travelling to Oświęcim, Poland, to pay tribute on Jan. 27 at Birkenau's Gate of Death, the unloading ramp at the camp's rail entrance.

"In 10 years, during the 80th anniversary, we'll not have this opportunity," says Pawel Sawicki, a press officer for the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Ten years ago, he explains, 1,500 survivors commemorated the 60th anniversary.

About 1.1 million people who passed under the camp's infamous sign "Arbeit macht frei" (one translation reads "Work will set you free") between 1940 and 1945 never left, many of them murdered in the camp's gas chambers. Only some 200,000 are believed to have survived that fate.

The Red Army freed 7,000 of these survivors from Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945. 

In the days before liberation, the Nazis had removed nearly 60,000 others, forcing them to march to other camps. Some were later liberated at other concentration camps. A small number of survivors escaped, while others only stayed at Auschwitz temporarily before being relocated to nearby labour camps....

Preservation a 'huge challenge'

These survivor stories will be the focus of the anniversary, which won't include any political speeches, Sawicki says.

When all the survivors have died, the opportunity to hear them tell their stories and to ask them questions will be gone as well. Then, the physical structures of Auschwitz and other concentration camps will be the only remaining witnesses, says Catherine Lewis, a history professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, who also runs its Museum of History and Holocaust Education.

​"In some ways, the buildings, the barracks, the bunk beds, the toilets are all kind of a silent witness to this historical moment," she says.

That idea propels the extensive preservation efforts at Auschwitz, she says. ...

Mayor Reed blasts critics over firing backlash

Name of Publication: 
Excerpt of Article: 

Posted: 7:01 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16, 2015


Atlanta’s Mayor is firing back on social media to people criticizing his termination of the former fire chief.

Mayor Kasim Reed fired Kelvin Cochran after Cochran wrote and distributed a book critical of homosexuals.

“Most of the tweets, emails and petitions are not from people I represent, not from people from Atlanta. And the overwhelming are not from Georgia,” Reed told Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston.
Reed is known for speaking his mind. In one tweet, he silenced a man who criticized his decision tweeting, “And you should keep your ignorance, range and intolerance in Houston, where it appears that you live.”
To Clink M. Kelly, the mayor tweeted, “And you are living proof that people offer uninformed opinions on matters they know nothing about. Enjoy Charleston.”

Reed told Huddleston he is not about to change his mind about his decision to fire Cochran.
“I think in Atlanta, the home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we welcome robust debate and differences of opinion,” said Reed.

Political experts say Reed may have gone too far in his tweets.

“Sometimes the mayor’s tone has gotten in the way of his message. He does have a temper,” said Professor Kerwin Swint with the Kennesaw State University Political Science Department.


He said Twitter could come back to haunt Reed politically.


“Twitter is a very dangerous medium, and you have to be very careful about what you say and how you say it,” said Swint.

Barry Loudermilk: Backlash "intensity" unexpected

Name of Publication: 
Bartow Neighbor
Excerpt of Article: 
by Hilary Butschek
January 13, 2015 11:39 AM

The day after voting to re-elect Speaker John Boehner, U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R–Cassville, said he did not expect the “intensity” of the backlash against his vote. 

Loudermilk denied flip-flopping on a campaign promise to elect new leadership, saying he voted against Boehner last November during a vote to determine the Republican nominee for speaker.

“Nobody stood up to challenge John Boehner [in November],” Loudermilk said. “Even without a challenge I cast a ‘no’ vote because I thought we needed something different. There’s no cameras there, so I had nothing to gain. It was not a grandstand. It was truly a principled vote that I thought we needed new leadership. [Tuesday] was not the time to have that fight — that was back in November.”

Loudermilk was one of the 216 votes that saw Boehner re-elected speaker Jan. 6. Twenty-five Republicans voted for other candidates or voted present. Runner-up Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., received 164 votes.

During his campaign, Loudermilk said he signed a pledge that he “would vote against the speaker at the earliest opportunity or the first opportunity to do so” — and he said he did. ...

That pledge wasn’t a “core principle” of his campaign, but it was mentioned, and many of his constituents have misconceptions about his Jan. 6 vote for Boehner, Loudermilk said Jan. 7. 

Loudermilk said he had no other choice but to vote for Boehner. ...

Loudermilk said his staff has been reading comments from Facebook and answering phones about the vote all day and he understands why some are blasting him for allegedly going back on his word.

“I truly understand why they’re upset. I’m upset that that’s the choice that I had to make yesterday,” Loudermilk said.

Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University, said the Loudermilk camp should not worry about the negative comments swarming this week; it will blow over soon.

“I think they did the only thing they could do under the circumstances, so I don’t think it will hurt him or any Republican at all down the line,” Swint said. ...


Boomers Striking Gold as YA Authors

Name of Publication: 
Next Avenue/Twin Cities Public Television
Excerpt of Article: 

By Stephen L. Antczak | January 12, YA (Young Adult) books are consistently among the biggest bestsellers. In Nielsen’s latest annual list of top-selling books, eight of the Top 10 titles in 2014 were YA, including No. 1: the paperback version of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. What you might not realize, though, is that many authors penning successful YA series aren’t young — they’re boomers.

 Suzanne Collins (the Hunger Games trilogy) is 52. Rick Riordan, creator of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, is 50. Chris Crutcher, author of Period 8Deadline and Angry Management, is 68. Roxanne Longstreet Conrad, who writes the popular Morganville Vampires series as Rachel Caine, is 52. ...

Bryan Gillis, Associate Professor of English Education and Literacy at Kennesaw State University and director of the upcoming 24th KSU Conference on Literature for Children and Young Adults doesn’t see a difference between YA writers of different generations.


“Good writers, regardless of when they were born, pull not only from past and present experiences but also from their imaginations,” says Gillis. “I don't believe that one's imagination or experiences are bound by a birthdate.”

Georgia Town is Case Study in Immigration Debate

Name of Publication: 
Wall Street Journal
Excerpt of Article: 

DALTON, Ga.— Charles Carmical doesn’t like President Barack Obama ’s politics and doesn’t endorse his recent move to enable millions of illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. But, the furniture-store owner acknowledges, it might be good for his bottom line. 

“If these people make more money and feel stability, it will help my business,” said Mr. Carmical, standing in his Dalton Auctions showroom on South Dixie Highway.

Illegal immigration has changed the face of this northern Georgia town. Mexicans and Central Americans flocked here by the thousands in the 1990s to toil in the mills that earned Dalton the nickname “carpet capital of the world.” Now, the large concentration of undocumented people in this conservative corner of a conservative state will make it a powerful case study for the impact of Mr. Obama’s program as it rolls out in 2015. ...

As the immigrant population swelled, local schools established English language-learning programs. Soccer began to rival football in popularity. Many locals tried their first tacos and burritos as Mexican restaurants opened.

Some area residents were uneasy with the newcomers. But the reaction was more muted than might have been expected in such a conservative area, said Randall Patton, a Kennesaw State University historian who has published two books about the carpet industry. In a 2003 book, Mr. Patton quoted Shaw Industries’ executive Charles Parham, now deceased, saying, “The Hispanics have been a salvation of our carpet industry.” 

“Mill owners tend to be rock-ribbed Republicans, but business trumps politics,” Mr. Patton said. ...


White voters dominated Georgia’s election last month

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

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