Kennesaw State University

Will Georgia become a swing state?

Name of Publication: 
FOX 5 News
Excerpt of Article: 

Posted: Nov 14, 2012 4:09 PM EST Updated: Nov 14, 2012 5:56 PM EST

Marietta Housing Authority historical records to be archived at Kennesaw State University


Records reflect changes in society and housing policy since 1938

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Nov. 16, 2012) — Photographs, minutes of meetings, blueprints and other Marietta Housing Authority (MHA) records will soon be housed at Kennesaw State University’s Department of Museums, Archives and Rare Books.

Raymond C. Buday, the executive director of the MHA, and Tamara Livingston, the associate director of the department, have signed a deed of gift that will transfer the materials to the University.

“We are very proud and honored that the Marietta Housing Authority has entrusted Kennesaw State University with this very important task of preserving its history and making it available for students, historians and researchers,” Livingston said.

“The decision to designate the University Archives as the repository for the Marietta Housing Authority historical records is an act based on trust in Kennesaw State’s ability to provide good stewardship, coupled with a deep understanding of the importance of preserving the historical record,” she said. “We view the signing of the deed of gift as the beginning of a long-term partnership.”

Laura Drummond, principal at the Atlanta Preservation and Planning Services, will write a history of the MHA using the archives.

The collaboration began with a letter from Tom Scott, Kennesaw State professor emeritus of history, to Buday in 2010. Buday then approached Scott about working together to preserve the records. The discussions have been going on since April 2011. The deed of gift was signed at the KSU Center on Nov. 15.

“I look forward to the day when all these records and all these articles are all organized,” Buday said.

“If you think we are turning over a bunch of records that have to do with buildings and brick structures and plans, you would be mistaken. It is a rich, rich history with interesting events and occasions,” he said.

The record of the first organizing meeting for the MHA was written in graceful script in a log book that belonged to the St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. in July 1938. The first officers met at the offices of the Brumby Chair Co.  Decades of providing housing for low-income residents followed and reflected changes in society and in housing policy from public housing to urban renewal to Section 8 housing vouchers. The MHA currently provides housing for senior citizens and assists first-time homebuyers, among other services.

--Yolanda Rodriguez


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.


Kennesaw State to expand global footprint to Italy with permanent educational site

Piazza Grande in La Fortezza  of Montepulciano

Board of Regents approves rental in historic Montepulciano for growing study-abroad programs

KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov. 16, 2012) — Kennesaw State University will open its first permanent international education site in Montepulciano, Italy, enabling the expansion of the study-abroad programs the university has conducted in that historic Tuscan city for the past 15 years.   

Under the rental agreement approved this week by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State will occupy 4,000 square feet in the soon-to-be restored and renovated historic Fortezza Poliziana beginning in fall 2014. Funding for the $520,000, 25-year agreement will be provided by private donations and the Kennesaw State University Foundation.

“This represents a major milestone for Kennesaw State’s international initiatives and our commitment to providing students high-quality, global learning opportunities,” said KSU President Daniel S. Papp. “Not only have we found a long-term home for one of our fastest-growing study-abroad programs, we are expanding the Kennesaw State brand internationally—an exciting development as we approach the university’s 50thanniversary.”

This week, Kennesaw State also earned the distinction of being named among the top campuses in the nation for student participation in study-abroad programs.  The Institute of International Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, annually publishes the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange.  The just-released 2012 report ranked KSU 8thamong the country’s top 40 master’s degree-granting institutions in study-abroad participation. During the 2010-2011 academic year, 734 Kennesaw State students studied abroad.

Kennesaw State’s study-abroad programs in Montepulciano have grown from serving eight students in
1998, to 76 in 2011.  Nearly 1,100 students and faculty have participated in study-abroad programs in Montepulciano since the program began. Participants include Kennesaw State’s students and faculty, as well as students and faculty from other University System of Georgia institutions with whom KSU partners. 

To date, Kennesaw State officials have rented four classrooms in an unused wing of an elementary school outside of Montepulciano’s city walls to provide the program’s offerings. The Montepulciano study-abroad programs typically include courses in art, history, literature, Italian and political science, through two regularly scheduled five-week summer sessions and occasional shorter fall sessions.  An intensive, 12-week foreign language program also is scheduled to begin in fall 2013.

When finalized, the agreement will provide space in the Fortezza Poliziana for five classrooms, a program office, residential quarters for the program director, and a teaching kitchen for a proposed culinary program. The new facility will allow the program to offer longer, regularly scheduled fall sessions, shorter sessions during the May and August mini-mesters, as well as short-term courses during December.

Thomas H. Keene, Kennesaw State professor of history and a study-abroad program director in Montepulciano, is ecstatic about the plans and prospects for the new space. “The classrooms in the Fortezza will be a massive upgrade and will offer considerable advantages, including the safety and security of being in the central city,” Keene stated.

The development of the rental agreement followed a visit to Kennesaw State University’s Georgia campus last February by officials of the City of Montepulciano and representatives of a consortium of more than 80 wine producers — the Consorzio Del Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano. The visit resulted in a resolution to complete negotiations with the University and the Kennesaw State University Foundation to provide the financial incentive to undertake the renovation and restoration of the Fortezza.  The rental agreement is the catalyst that will launch the project to restore the historic 18thcentury fortress. 

When the project is completed, Kennesaw State and the wine consortium will each occupy most of an entire floor with common spaces reserved for public events, conferences and exhibitions, including those staged by Kennesaw State’s study-abroad faculty and students.

“We are honored to be a part of this historic partnership that will provide a phenomenal setting for our students to learn and engage globally, with the added benefit of witnessing our partners in this endeavor restore an important historical landmark in Italy’s beautiful Tuscan region,” said Papp.

Currently, University officials are considering proposals for a Great Books Honors Program in Montepulciano; as well as a program of non-credit short courses in art — painting, drawing, photography, print-making — and in Italian cooking, wine-tasting and art history, among others.

“The programming possibilities for this site are virtually limitless,” said Keene, who has co-ordinated KSU’s Montepulciano effort from the very beginning.  “It presents a great opportunity to attract even more students to study abroad, and also allows us to offer these incredible learning experiences to our alumni and the larger community.”

--Sabbaye McGriff


UGA and Kennesaw among the top U.S. campuses for study abroad; Georgia ranks 12th for international students here

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

Interesting data today on international students attending college in the U.S. and American students going abroad to study.

The stats are from the 2012 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, published annually by the Institute of International Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The report notes that the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by six percent to a record high of 764,495 in the 2011/12 academic year, driven by an increase in Chinese students.

At the same time, U.S. students studying abroad increased by one percent. Among the top 40 doctoral institutions, University of Georgia ranks 12th in the nation, sending 2,079 students abroad to study in 2010-2011. In that same category, the top five campuses for sending students abroad are New York University, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Texas, Austin

Among the top 40 master’s institutions, Kennesaw State University ranks 8th, sending 734 students to study abroad. The top five schools in that category are Elon University, James Madison University, Appalachian State University, Villanova University and Arcadia University 

Senators lament Romney’s loss

Name of Publication: 
Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 
by Jon Gillooly
November 07, 2012 03:33 AM
MARIETTA — U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Moultrie) and Johnny Isakson (R-east Cobb) were not in the highest of spirits when reached a little after 10 p.m. Tuesday.

“The country continues to be a very much divided America,” said Chambliss, who watched the returns from his hometown in Moultrie. “We’ve got to figure out a way to solve our problems that don’t move us down the road of a socialist America, that we figure out some way to make sure that true American values are still represented in the policies that come out of Washington, but with a President Obama, that’s going to be very, very difficult.”

Obama’s victory, Chambliss said, “shows that conservatives have got a lot of work to do. We still have a strong voice. We’re still going to have in excess of 40 members in the Senate, but we’ve got to figure out a way to move Hispanics and move all the minorities in the direction of Republican values.”

Chambliss attributed Obama’s victory to his ability to paint Romney as an elitist early in the race. ...

Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University who specializes in elections, weighed in at about quarter to 11 p.m., saying he assumed Obama would win.

“An Obama win means that a majority of Americans are comfortable with sluggish economic growth, high unemployment and higher taxes,” Swint said. “It also means that most Americans are not particularly concerned with the money spent in the stimulus program, the auto bailouts and Obamacare. This election means that a majority do not hold President Obama responsible for the tough times we are experiencing as a country. Evidently, most are not ready to give up on him. His performance has not been great, but it has been ‘good enough.’”

Swint said Obama’s approval rating of 49 percent is about where George W. Bush’s was in 2004 and is about 10 points higher than the approval ratings of previous incumbents who were defeated for re-election (Carter in 1980, Bush in 1992).

“The President will look at this as a major victory,” Swint said. “Republicans will have to regroup. In the short term, the President will have to negotiate an agreement with Congress over the financial future of the country. Look for both sides to search for areas of agreement to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that the country could face in the next two years. John Boehner once again becomes the face of the national Republican Party and its highest-ranking elected official.”

False Political Statements: Often Illegal but Rarely Punished

Name of Publication: 
Wall Street Journal
Excerpt of Article: 

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer recently teed up an interesting question: why don’t more political candidates get thrown in jail for making false statements on the stump?

Well, you say, there exist no laws against stretching the truth on the campaign trail. Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong. According to the Plain Dealer, in Ohio, as well as in 19 other states, it’s a crime to make false statements about your opponent in an election campaign.

Said Robert Smith, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University and leading researcher on ethics laws and commissions, to the Plain-Dealer: “It has become more prevalent and more characteristic of political campaigns to play footloose and fancy-free with the facts.”

In Ohio, a violation of the law is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Okay, so why don’t we see more politicians hauled off to answer for their half-truths? 

Ballot issues an easy fix; redistricting causes some confusion

Name of Publication: 
Rome News-Tribune
Excerpt of Article: 

by Diane Wagner, staff writer  

Floyd County elections officials said Monday that measures are in place to keep the ballot mix-ups reported last week from reoccurring.

But they’re asking voters to tell a pollworker if they think there’s a problem — before the vote is cast. ...

Merle King, executive director of the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University, said the ballots are correct. The room for error is in how local registrars assign a ballot to a voter.

“The problem is that it’s not all automated,” he said. “If you register to vote or move, some human set of eyes has to put you in a district.”

King, McDonald and Billups all said that voters have a responsibility to ensure they get the right ballot combination of federal, state and local races, but agreed that’s not always easy to know after a redistricting.


The Mud Is Flung Despite State Laws Barring Political Lies; Does First Amendment Offer Protection?

Name of Publication: 
ABA Journal
Excerpt of Article: 

Posted Oct 31, 2012 5:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss 

In Ohio, making a false or misleading statement in a political campaign is a misdemeanor that could bring a sentence of up to six months in jail.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer checked to see how many alleged violations led to prosecutions in the last decade. The answer: None.

Prosecutions can’t occur without a referral by the Ohio Elections Commission. There were no referrals in the last decade, and only a handful since executive director Philip Richter joined the commission in the mid-1990s. The board does make findings at an administrative level, however.

"Prosecutors have a very difficult job and should be prosecuting criminals,” Richter told the Plain Dealer, “not chasing after false statements in campaign materials in our opinion, unless it's particularly egregious."

Ohio is one of 20 states with laws barring false or misleading statements in political campaigns, the story says. Yet Kennesaw State University political science professor Robert Smith said he's seeing more misleading statements. "It has become more prevalent and more characteristic of political campaigns to play footloose and fancy-free with the facts," he told the Plain Dealer. 



In an emergency, are you ready?

If the worst happens during Hurricane Sandy’s assault on the northeastern United States, the damage could be the equivalent of a nuclear attack, said retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré during a visit to Kennesaw State University on Oct. 29.

At least 15 million people would be without power, the financial system would be shut down not for days, but for weeks, and the most vulnerable populations – the elderly, disabled and poor – would be left on their own. Key to helping others is being prepared and ready for an emergency.

“Hopefully the worst case scenario will not happen and this storm will start to weaken and become another event in our rear view mirror,” said Honoré, who led the recovery efforts in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi following hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina the country has become better prepared for such emergencies. Among the changes that have happened since then: increased funding to the Department of Homeland Security; better cooperation among federal, state and local agencies; and the reorganization of the military so that rescue and recovery efforts are better coordinated.

But key to surviving an emergency is making sure that people are trained to help themselves and to lend a hand where it is needed.

“We have an obligation to take care of those who can’t take care of themselves,” Honoré said. “That’s a moral responsibility.”

Honoré challenged the Kennesaw State students to take life-saving training that will ready them for immediate emergencies.

“The other thing you can do is, what? End poverty,” Honoré said. “We won’t get really close to limiting our exposure to natural disasters or manmade disasters unless we deal with poverty.”

The challenge of the current generation of college students is to solve the problems that leave populations vulnerable. Opportunities to do that abound, he said. The world needs small, reliable and inexpensive power generators. It needs devices that would prevent the spread of disease by detecting illness in one person or a group of people. It needs computer apps that could tell users if food and water are safe.

Previous generations fought for independence, for civil rights, to contain Communism and end terrorism.

“What you have to worry about on your watch is how do you deal with the expanding global population,” he said.

Honoré arrived on campus following an appearance on CNN in downtown Atlanta. He returned to the CNN studios for an afternoon appearance after speaking and signing books. The three-star general retired in 2008 after 37 years of military service. His mission now is to create a culture of preparedness in the United States. Honoré’s most recent book is “Leadership in the New Normal.”

Honoré’s was speech was hosted by the Department of First-Year Programs, the Kennesaw State University Alumni Association, Kennesaw State University Student Life and the Emergency Preparedness Learning Community.

-Yolanda Rodriguez


VIDEO: U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston faces political novice Lesli Messinger in 1st Congressional District

Name of Publication: 
Savannah Morning News
Excerpt of Article: 
Posted: October 28, 2012 - 12:29am  |  Updated: October 28, 2012 - 9:08am 

When U.S. Rep. Lindsay Thomas retired in 1992, the “smart money” was on fellow Democrat Barbara Christmas to replace him.

The New York Times glowingly portrayed the St. Marys school principal as heiress-apparent in South Georgia’s 1st Congressional District.

But on Nov. 3, Republican Jack Kingston, a Savannah insurance man and state House member, took 58 percent of the vote.

With a record of voting conservative and a knack for pleasing constituents, Kingston has barely looked back.

He’s shepherded legislation to promote deepening of Savannah’s harbor and to fund projects at the district’s four major military bases.

Twice he’s had no challenger for re-election, and when he’s had one, has always drawn at least 66 percent of the vote.

This year, Lesli Messinger, a Skidaway Island businesswoman and first-time candidate, is trying to block his way to an 11th term.

Messinger, who moved to Georgia from New Jersey about four years ago, beat Nathan Russo of St. Simons Island in the Democratic primary.

She’s running in a district that still tilts toward the GOP even after the rest of Democrat-friendly Savannah was added last year. 

Courting the middle class

Long active in school-related groups, Messinger, 57, is a vigorous supporter of President Barack Obama. She bills herself as a champion of the middle class, which she says Kingston has betrayed.

She says Kingston perennially wins re-election by “default” because no Democrat steps up to give him a real challenge.

“I am bringing it, however,” she said.

But that doesn’t have experts on state politics on the edges of their chairs.

“I don’t see how,” said Kennesaw State University political scientist Kerwin Swint when asked whether there might be an upset.

On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the best, Swint rated her chances as a “two or a three” at most.

He cited name recognition, the political makeup of the 1st and — at least as much as anything else — money. 

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