Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University recognized as an innovator for its “Farm-to-Fit” program

Campus Green Generic Image of Kennesaw Hall

Kennesaw State University recognized as an innovator for its “Farm-to-Fit” program

Culinary and Hospitality Services nominated for second consecutive year by National Restaurant Association

KENNESAW, Ga. (March 14, 2014) — Kennesaw State University’s Culinary and Hospitality Services has been named one of three finalists for the 2014 Operator Innovation Awards in Health and Nutrition by the National Restaurant Association (NRA). The nomination comes one year after the University was named “2013 Innovator of the Year” by the organization.  

Last year, Kennesaw State received the Operator Innovation Award for Sustainability for its “Farm-to-Campus-to-Farm” program. The University went on to claim the top prize — Innovator of the Year — the first time an educational institution had been selected to receive the prestigious industry award, besting organizations including Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and the U.S. Air Force.

“We are honored to be nominated for the OI awards this year, and especially proud to receive the nomination two years in a row,” said Gary Coltek, director of Culinary and Hospitality Services, which manages all food service operations at Kennesaw State. “The college and university food service sector is trending toward more traditional restaurant practice; the NRA is an excellent resource for information and is helping to raise awareness of the positive changes in campus dining.”

In naming the University’s “Farm-To-Fit” program as a finalist in this year’s competition, the NRA cited: “This campus dining program encompasses all aspects of healthy living, starting with the nutritional improvement of food grown on campus farms by increasing their nutrient-density, to thoughtful menu creation and preparation, to programming designed to encourage healthy lifestyle choices.”

The Operator Innovation Award winners are selected by an independent panel of foodservice operator experts from across the industry. This is the third annual award program. Three finalists in five distinct categories – Marketing, Health and Nutrition, Menu Development, Sustainability and Technology – will be brought to Chicago for the 2014 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in May. The winners in each category will be announced at a celebration gala on May 17.

This recognition is the latest in a string of accolades for Kennesaw State’s Culinary and Hospitality Services. In 2013, it received the prestigious Loyal E. Horton Award for Residential Dining Concepts from the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS). In addition, the University was ranked fourth by in its 2013 Best College Dining Halls list and eighth by the Daily Meal is its 2013 list of 60 Best Colleges for Food in America.

The National Restaurant Association is the largest foodservice trade association in the world, supporting nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses. The NRA represent and advocate for foodservice industry interests with state, local and national policymakers, provide tools and systems that help members achieve significantly better operating results, offer networking, education and research resources.

For more information about Kennesaw State University’s Culinary and Hospitality Services, click here:

Tensions rise over access to local government

Name of Publication:
Excerpt of Article: 

It was a chilling crime and, even with a quick arrest, disturbing questions lingered.

of Associated Press

Derrick Thompson called 911 in the coastal Maine city of Biddeford to report that he was being threatened. Police checked out the complaint, decided it was a civil matter and left the scene. Three minutes later, the teenager and his girlfriend were shot dead.

In a state averaging 25 murders a year, the case was clearly of public interest and the police officers were doing the public's business. But answering questions about their handling of the call took a lawsuit, an appeal and 11 months after state prosecutors turned down the Portland Press Herald's request for 911 transcripts.

The faceoff was eventually settled in the newspaper's favor by Maine's top court. But editors, advocates and academics say such situations reflect increasing difficulty getting access to information from statehouses and city halls across the country, as officials broadly interpret exemptions in laws requiring openness.

Tensions between government officials, journalists and watchdog groups are a constant in American life. But while it can be difficult to measure change, observers are troubled by what they see as declining transparency that some say may be abetted by public apathy. Government's swing away from openness began with post-Sept. 11 security worries, they say, and has been fueled more recently by officials' concerns about individual privacy, changes in technology and opaque laws on campaign finance. ...

At the same time, researchers say journalists are finding it more difficult to obtain information from government through Freedom of Information requests. And, in a survey of more than 450 state and local reporters to be released this week, an overwhelming majority said that public information officers for agencies they cover are increasingly restricting access to officials and imposing other controls limiting their ability to report on government.

"The problem is pervasive," said Carolyn Carlson, a professor of communication at Kennesaw State University, outside Atlanta, who conducted the survey. "I think it's a problem for reporters as well as for the public. It means that reporters can't tell the story that they want to be able to tell them about their government."

Those findings are echoed in the anecdotal experience of newsroom leaders surveyed recently by the Associated Press Media Editors. Of the 37 who responded, two-thirds said that over the last five years the governments they cover had become less cooperative in providing access to records, meetings and officials. ...

Incumbents’ financial advantage + friendly redistricting = long odds for challengers

Name of Publication: 
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Excerpt of Article: 

  Posted: 12:00 a.m. Saturday, March 8, 2014


The crowds began gathering early Monday in the Capitol’s expansive lobby, and they didn’t stop filing in until four days later. By the week’s end, hundreds of candidates had qualified for political office. And for most incumbents, a cakewalk awaits to another term.

Qualifying week brought a cascade of candidates with their eyes on November. But despite hundreds of offices up for grabs, most candidates face no opposition. Redrawn political districts have etched out safe zones for most incumbents. And those who have managed to get elected wield an almost insurmountable financial advantage.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis found that incumbent state lawmakers together have roughly $11 million in campaign cash ready to unload against anyone with the temerity to mount a challenge. A fund aimed at protecting House incumbents has raised an additional $762,000.

That may help explain why only about one-third of incumbents seeking re-election in the Legislature face opponents.

The challenges only stiffen for those seeking higher offices. Republicans, who won every statewide post four years ago, have amassed nearly $8.5 million to maintain their foothold. All told, statewide and legislative incumbents have raised nearly $20 million to protect their offices. 

The lack of competitive down-ticket races is a perennial one. The Republican majority in the Legislature redrew the political lines after the 2010 census, making most districts virtually unwinnable by Democrats. Meanwhile, minority Democratic districts were reworked to make them largely impossible for a Republican to prevail.

The perks of incumbency, and the campaign cash that goes along with it, only complicate a would-be challenger’s strategy. ...

A ‘security blanket’ for officeholders

Analysts point to several reasons for the lack of challenges. Redistricting and financial advantages have surely given incumbents a “security blanket,” but the media attention on marquee races at the top of the ticket also doesn’t help, said Kerwin Swint, a Kennesaw State University political analyst.

“Legislative races are taking a back seat to all the statewide activity this year — the open U.S. Senate seat and the governor’s race,” said Swint, a former political operative who studies campaign rhetoric. “That can sometimes drain the fundraising pool, as well as party commitments and other resources.”

The Black Woman

From left, Roxanne Donovan and Griselda Thomas co-teach interdisciplinary course on the black woman.

History and contemporary life connected in interdisciplinary course

At a recent weekly meeting of a course called “The Black Woman,” one of the 30 students seated in the wide class circle prefaced her response to the professor’s query by saying, “I really love this class.”

She moved seamlessly from her unsolicited comment to the matter at hand:  How have stereotypical images of black women such as that of the welfare queen become entrenched in the culture and how are they harmful to black women?

Led to Service

Rev. Young fields audience questions read by Shekesa McLaurin of the KSU African American Student Alliance.

Throughout his career as a pastor, civil rights strategist with Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, as a U.S. congressman, U.N. ambassador, mayor of Atlanta, co-chair of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games and leader in organizations working for human rights and economic empowerment, the Rev. Andrew Young acknowledged the hand of God at work.

From Romania, With Love

2013 Roman Diplomacy dc 10-XL.jpg

The government of Romania, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presented Kennesaw State a “150 Years of Romanian Diplomacy” Honorary Award to recognize the role of the 2011-2012 “Year of Romania” in promoting the country’s values and culture abroad.

Handel hopes 2010 bid leads to 2014 victory

Name of Publication: 
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Excerpt of Article: 

(Subscription required to link to full article) 

Handel hopes 2010 bid leads to 2014 victory

Karen Handel says she learned a valuable lesson from her 2010 bid for governor.

“Yeah,” she said. “Don’t lose.”

The former Georgia secretary of state lost by 2,500 votes in a Republican primary runoff to now-Gov. Nathan Deal.

The loss stung. But now, Handel believes her experience will help her in the race for the U.S. Senate. Seven candidates are vying for the GOP nomination for the seat now held by fellow Republican Saxby Chambliss, who plans to retire when his term ends in 2014. The field includes three sitting congressmen and a business executive who is a cousin to former Gov. Sonny Perdue.

But Handel is the only candidate who has won, or even run for, statewide office, which is largely an advantage. She is well known to Republican primary voters, nearly 300,000 of whom voted for her in 2010. She has worked to maintain her statewide network of supporters. And in the time between campaigns she also managed to shore up support among anti-abortion activists, a sizable contingent of the GOP base.

Yet, a question about her 2010 campaign lingers. She struggled to raise money then, and the trend continues in the Senate race.

 ...  --    ... Thus far in the Senate race, Handel has maintained her sharp edge. She’s lambasted Broun, Gingrey and Kingston as double-dealers on Obamacare, saying they stood to benefit from special congressional perks in the law.

“Only in Washington can congressmen campaign against Obamacare — while receiving special treatment and thousands in taxpayer subsidies that the rest of us don’t get,” she said in a radio ad released in September.

That message — that she’s the outsider facing veteran politicians — is smart, said Kerwin Swint, a Kennesaw State University political scientist.

“She’s trying to carve out a niche for herself, that non-incumbent candidate,” he said. “The one not tarnished by holding public office.”

But, Swint said, the challenges of fundraising will be significant, and she’ll likely face questions about 2010.

“She might have to defend how she ran that runoff against Nathan Deal, which was a winnable runoff,” he said. ...




KSU students pitch TV, movie ideas in film studies class

Name of Publication: 
The Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 
by Rachel Gray
December 09, 2013 12:23 AM
KENNESAW — Before yelling “lights, camera, action,” rounds of writing, editing and critique are given to even the shortest of scripts, which is the lesson students learned in a local film class this semester.

On Thursday, 25 undergraduate students at Kennesaw State University presented their final script ideas to demonstrate everything they were taught in Film 3105, “Fundamentals of Writing for Film and Television.”

Jeffrey Stepakoff, who is credited on 36 television episodes and 14 series, said he came to KSU seven years ago to build a program in the English department, with a concentration in film studies.

Every semester, Stepakoff’s classes fill up within an hour of registration opening, and the waitlist is full before each semester begins.

“The interest in film and television is explosive,” Stepakoff said.

Film 3105 is designed to give students the principles of storytelling, specifically through visual media, Stepakoff said.

The course’s syllabus touts the class as “essential for those who intend to work in any field that uses story, such as actors, playwrights, agents, development executives, directors, editors and writers in non-visual fields, like novelists.”

The listed reading for the course includes the screenplays of “Moonstruck,” “Silence of the Lambs” and “Notting Hill,” as well as the pilot script for “Hill Street Blues” and the “Friends” episode “The One Where Ross Finds Out.” The listed viewing assignments include the movies “When Harry Met Sally,” “Roman Holiday” and “Almost Famous.”

The final story board projects were “beat sheets,” or condensed outlines, for feature films, one-hour dramas or two half-hour sitcoms.

During Thursday’s critiques, Stepakoff asked students what the major event was in each script.

Stepakoff said audiences in the past used to take their time for a story to develop, but now the action often begins when the opening credits start, demanding that writers go up a level in intensity.

“Why is no one getting up to go to the bathroom during his movie?” Stepakoff asked. ...

Beyond the Wall: Outsider Art Goes Inside

Name of Publication: 
NY (New York) Arts Magazine
Excerpt of Article: 

This past October, famed UK street artist Banksy spent a month in New York City, leaving behind 31 provocative works in public spaces scattered throughout the city’s five boroughs. Each new piece threw the press and public deeper into the kind of frenzy usually reserved for pop culture events like a new Harry Potter book or Miley Cyrus’s latest fashion curveball. Art news, by comparison, tends to be more austere.

Yet by the time Banksy left a small mural on the Lower East Side, featuring a stencil of galloping stallions in steampunk goggles who looked like the four horses of the apocalypse, the piece found itself quickly surrounded by barbed-wire. Its property owners apparently realized the value of the work by the sheer traffic it drew. The Post made it headline news. The Times and CNN were not far behind. ...

Street art has, in fact, become increasingly romanticized and highly collectible over the last decade. Many of the genre’s artists have fallen under the larger umbrella of “outsider” art by virtue of their anti-establishment sensibility, especially in graffiti circles, where the artists tend to be self-taught. Those like Banksy have come to represent hope for a more open-door policy at the institutional level for artists working outside the system.  ...

Fascination with artists on the outside comes largely from the special hermeneutic codes and non-textbook discourse their works embody, which often catch us off-guard. Early in the 20th century, French artist Jean Dubuffet championed art brut—works he saw being made outside the boundaries of the established art culture, such as those by insane asylum inmates and children. ...

One of the most talked about subjects in this debate is Henry Darger, a custodial worker who lived in relative reclusion in Chicago and whose thousands of drawings and narrative writings were only discovered after his death in 1976. Darger’s first (posthumous) exhibit came quickly and his work has since been on display in every major art capital of the world. The fact that he worked in such untraditional, “non-painterly” ways—for example, he traced many of his images from comic strips and coloring books—and that his art was meant to illustrate the novels he wrote, may complicate Darger’s place among his contemporaries. Though it seems more that his exclusion has to do with his non-engagement of the art establishment while still living. For now, Darger remains largely relegated to the world of folk art.

“The ‘folk art’ label,” insists Jim Elledge, author of Henry Darger, Throwaway Boy: The Tragic Life of an Outsider Artist. “allows us to marginalize him as a naïve, uneducated country bumpkin, although Darger was none of these.” Elledge is a writing professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, a poet and a champion of the LGBT community in American arts. According to Elledge’s book, Darger was physically and sexually abused as a child, eventually labeled “feeble-minded” by the state and bounced around foster homes before he was unleashed as an adult to survive amidst Chicago’s Near West Side, then its very worst vice district.     ...

Streaming Suicide

Name of Publication: 
Inside Higher Education
Excerpt of Article: 
December 3, 2013

A student at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, found a disturbing use for social media on Saturday: broadcasting his own suicide attempt to hundreds of viewers. Student counselors and mental health experts decried the act as exhibitionism, saying it could cause a ripple effect among students thinking about suicide.

“Tonight I will be ending my own life,” a user going by the pseudonym “Stephen” announced on the imageboard 4chan on Saturday night. “I’ve been spending the last hour making the preparations and I’m ready to go through with it.... All that I request is for you guys to link me to a site where I am able to stream it for you guys, then I will gladly fulfill my promise.”

Members of 4chan complied with his request, creating a temporary video chat room on that soon filled to its maximum occupancy of 200 viewers.

The thread has since been removed, but not before snippets were was saved to a screenshot

Since it was founded in 2003 to discuss Japanese anime and comics, 4chan has cultivated a bizarre and, more often than not, offensive subculture that has flourished under the protection of online anonymity. In particular, its “Random” section, known as /b/, regularly features gore and porn alongside the latest Internet memes. The site has a strong following among college students.

Stephen has been identified by some 4chan users, but Inside Higher Ed is not using his name out of concern for his health. He claimed to have been a regular poster on 4chan since 2004. In 4chan terms, he was an “oldfag” (a longtime user) preparing to “an hero” (take his own life). Stephen studies criminal justice and public policy at the University of Guelph, according to his Facebook profile. The profile references the same “doge” meme involving a Shiba Inu that Stephen used as a nickname during his broadcast: “LOLdoge.”

Footage from the suicide attempt is still available on the video site LiveLeak. In the video, Stephen is seen setting a fire in a corner of his dorm room in in Dundas Hall, East Residence. As smoke begins to fill the room, Stephen crawls under his bed. The frame grows steadily darker over the next 30 minutes until firefighters carrying flashlights burst into the room, locate Stephen, then carry his motionless body away.

The university has urged its students not to view or share the footage, but the story about the suicide attempt, first reported by The Daily Dot, hit dozens of websites by Monday afternoon. Student counseling professionals said the media attention could undermine the broader issue of suicide prevention among college students. ...

Others said the live broadcast goes well beyond a cry for help. Josh E. Gunn, president of the American College Counseling Association, said streaming the suicide attempt in some ways downplays its severity.

“With a lot of people who attempt suicide, there is some level of ambivalence about it,” said Gunn, director of counseling and psychological services at Kennesaw State University. “This draw to have people watch it overpowered a strong instinct in humans for life.” ...




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