Kennesaw State University

Supporters propose better, more representative Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative

Name of Publication: 
The Augusta Chronicle
Excerpt of Article: 
Sunday, March 17, 2013 5:17 PM
Last updated Tuesday, March 19, 2013 2:06 AM
 
In almost three months without the Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative, supporters say the city center has returned to a trashy, leaf-strewn area incompatible with a vibrant downtown.

Alex Wier, whose design studio bought and remodeled a building in the 900 block of Broad Street, said the sidewalks seem dirtier than those he saw recently in New York City.

“Leaves everywhere,” Wier said. “A billion cigarette butts and broken glass, where tourists come and families walk.”

His partner at Wier-Stewart, Daniel Stewart, provided one of the 116 signatures presented in support of Clean Augusta at an Augusta Commission meeting in December at which the group rejected renewing a special purpose tax district.

Under Georgia laws allowing the creation of business (or community) improvement districts, more than half of property-owning entities – or the owners of more than half the district's assessed value – must consent to the tax. ...

The Clean Augusta board, which met rarely during its first term, wants to address the commission's concerns about its management in an effort to have the district renewed, said board member Natalie McLeod, who has bought and renovated historic buildings in the district. ...

New bylaws will permit any property owner to be nominated and elected to the board, instead of requiring the presence of the largest property owners, McLeod said.

Lack of citizen participation and involvement is the major management problem faced by improvement districts, according to Kennesaw State University professor Andrew Ewoh, who studied 13 of the districts in metro Atlanta with graduate student Kristin Rome.

“The expectation here is that the inclusion of citizen participation will serve as an added level of legitimacy, which will provide the buy-in commitment from residents for long-term sustainability of public-private partnerships,” Ewoh and Rome wrote.

Mental-Health Breakdown: When Harvard Fails Its Students

Name of Publication: 
The Daily Beast
Excerpt of Article: 

 After a schizophrenic student said the school failed to help her, calls for reform have escalated. But can colleges realistically both educate and heal? Eliza Shapiro investigates.
 

What should Harvard students get for $57,950 a year?

It’s a question that has rattled America’s most elite college and other top-tier institutions in the wake of a scathing op-ed published last month in the Harvard Crimson by a student struggling with schizophrenia.

According to the article, which was written anonymously and has received more than 4,500 Facebook likes, Harvard’s mental health services repeatedly failed to care for the student, leaving the student suicidal.

In one example, the student told a counselor about hearing voices and was encouraged “to drink chamomile tea and to practice breathing exercises to cope with stress.”

“Where else can I go?” the student wrote. “I am too sick regularly to be in class; how can I hold a job? I decided to stay as I fight for treatment. Harvard may not be willing to pay for treatment, but at least as a student I hope that they are too afraid of bad publicity to let me die should I need hospitalization.”

In the weeks since the piece was published, an occasional conversation about mental health at America’s most elite university—intensified by three apparent suicides in the last year—appears to be coalescing into a movement. At its core is the question of whether students paying record-high tuition rates can expect to get both a great education and top-notch mental-health care at a time in their lives when they are most susceptible to everything from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia. ...

Other elite schools have been forced to rethink their approaches to mental health in the wake of high-profile suicides. After a freshman jumped to her death on the first night of college at Columbia this fall, students formed a version of Harvard’s mental health liaisons, working to better connect students with counselors. Students at NYU recently accused that school of failing to build a “comprehensive infrastructure for support,” even as the school erected aluminum screens in the library. In the past decade, three NYU students have committed suicide by jumping off the library’s top floor. ...

Mental health experts say part of the problem for schools is that there is generally more demand than supply. Some 2.2 million students across the country sought professional counseling assistance during the past year, according to 2012 survey data from the American College Counseling Association, and there often aren’t enough therapists to fill that need. Harvard, for example, says its counselor-to-student ratio is 1:750, and that’s compared to a national average of 1:1,600.

Also, many of these students enter school having never seen a shrink before, and may have unrealistic expectations of what a therapist will do for them, says Josh Gunn, director of counseling and psychological services at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. “I have students who come in here, sit down, and ask, ‘So are you going to help me or not?’ They want help by the end of the hour. I say, ‘Yeah, I can, but your expectations are different from the reality of how this works. It’s a process.’”

 

 

 

2011 redistricting led to latest battle for Fulton County

Name of Publication: 
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Excerpt of Article: 

Posted: 12:30 p.m. Monday, March 18, 2013

By Johnny Edwards and David Wickert

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It’s a 20-mile drive from state Sen. Mike Crane’s home in Newnan to the farthest southern reaches of Fulton County.

But Crane and other non-Fulton Republicans are playing a big role in a debate over the county’s future. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution review found more than a third of the people representing Fulton in the General Assembly live outside the county. That’s far more than the proportion of out-of-county lawmakers representing Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett.

And it’s no accident. In 2011 Republicans redrew legislative boundaries to gain control of Fulton’s delegation. Now Georgia’s largest county, where most residents are minorities and where Democratic President Barack Obama won 64 percent of the vote in November, has a white Republican majority in the General Assembly.

That majority plans to make big changes to a county government that has endured botched elections, jail overcrowding and complaints about dubious tax liens. Republicans say the county also spends too much money and is unresponsive to their constituents.

Among other things, Republicans have introduced bills to cut deeply into the county’s property tax revenue, to make it easier to fire employees and to redraw County Commission districts in a way that gives Republicans a chance at winning a majority. ...

None of it would have been possible without the redistricting that allowed Republicans to gain control of Fulton’s legislative delegation.

Though state law leaves much of the governance of the county to the locally elected Board of Commissioners, Fulton’s legislative delegation can dictate some of the details and limit the commission’s power through bills called “local legislation.”

Until this year, Democrats held a 14-8 majority of Fulton County’s seats in the House and a 4-3 majority in the Senate. But in 2011 the Republican-controlled Legislature redrew House and Senate districts across the state based on 2010 census data.

Now Republicans enjoy a 13-12 edge in Fulton County House seats and a 7-4 majority in the Senate. To accomplish that, they extended districts into Fulton that previously had not included the county.

As a result, 13 of 36 state legislators whose districts now include a piece of Fulton live elsewhere. Four live in Cobb County. Two each live in DeKalb, Gwinnett and Fayette counties. Others live in Cherokee, Coweta and Forsyth. Eleven of the 13 lawmakers who live outside Fulton are Republicans.

“It just seemed like it was a goal to have a (Republican) majority there, and they’re obviously making use of that majority now,” said Kennesaw State University political scientist Kerwin Swint, a redistricting expert.

 

Schools urged to devote more attention to early childhood development

Name of Publication: 
Ghana Web
Excerpt of Article: 

Regional News of Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Heads of educational institutions, teachers and other stakeholders in the education sector have been called upon to dedicate much more attention to early childhood development and education in the country.

In this vein, the University of Cape Coast (UCC) has decided to establish a research fund which would enable both tutors and students embark on research projects to address issues on early childhood development in Ghana.

Professor Domwini Kuupole, Vice-Chancellor of UCC made the call on Monday when he met a twelve-member delegation known as the “Faculty Learning Community” from the Kennesaw State University (KSU) in the United State of America (USA), led by the President of KSU, its Vice-Provost as well as Professors and Heads of Departments, at Cape Coast.

The visit was part of KSU’s ‘Year of Ghana’ programme which is celebrated in the School where students of KSU study and get to know more about the culture and other aspects of Ghana. ...

Dr Daniel Papp, President of KSU, said some projects were underway between his University and UCC which include exchange programmes among both students and lecturers and gave the assurance that the relationship between them would be strengthened and maintained.

Dr Ikechukwu Ujeke, a Professor in early childhood education at KSU, said there was the need for students to be taught what they need to know in schools in order for them not to be left wanting when they go out to find jobs after completion of school.

Dr Samuel Abaidoo, Coordinator of the ‘Year of Ghana’ programme, explained that a whole academic year is dedicated towards this programme where Ghanaian tutors and traditional leaders among others give talks and lectures to students at KSU to enable them have a better knowledge and understanding of Ghana.
 

Immigration: Kennesaw State University Faculty Experts

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With the new national focus on immigration reform, Kennesaw State University faculty members are available to provide analysis and perspectives on issues and topics related to immigration.  These scholars can provide pertinent historical analysis, as well as insights into issues of public policy and the intersection of  state, federal and constitutional law; regional and social impact; labor, education and immigrant communities.

Is Gov. Deal vulnerable in 2014 election hunt?

Name of Publication: 
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Excerpt of Article: 

Posted: 6:36 a.m. Thursday, March 7, 2013

By Greg Bluestein

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Democrats are more focused on trying to seize a vacant U.S. Senate seat next year than mustering a candidate for governor. And tea party groups aren’t planning yet to launch a conservative challenge to Gov. Nathan Deal.

Deal is quietly beginning to prepare for re-election in 2014 for a second term. The 70-year-old has kept a packed schedule and has more than $800,000 in campaign cash on hand. What he doesn’t have yet is an opponent.

Recent poll figures have raised questions about whether Deal could be vulnerable. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll in December showed he held a 51 percent approval rating, but two recent surveys — one from a GOP-aligned firm and another from a Democratic-leaning pollster — show those numbers slipping below 40 percent.

The governor’s office isn’t sounding alarms. Deal’s strategists say internal polling is showing solid numbers, and that attention toward the governor’s accomplishments will only sharpen as his re-election nears. Expect voters to hear about job creation efforts, cost-cutting criminal justice changes and the HOPE scholarship overhaul in the run-up to 2014. ...

The poll figures could be a reflection of a troubled economy and the lingering effect of the ethics allegations from the 2010 campaign, when Deal faced questions over a meeting with state officials about his auto salvage business, said Kerwin Swint, a Kennesaw State University political scientist. But he said Deal’s incumbency still makes him the “overwhelming favorite” against potential challengers such as Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and U.S. Rep. John Barrow.

“Beating him in the primary is hopeless, and the tea party groups understand that. And the Democrats just aren’t ready. Kasim Reed knows better than to try,” Swint said. “Representative Barrow would be abandoning his hard-fought seat for a Don Quixote campaign. And there really isn’t anyone else that would have a good shot.”

Say What? Mandatory Mandarin Chinese in Bibb County Schools

Name of Publication: 
GPB Prime Time Lawmakers
Excerpt of Article: 

Ken Jin, director of the Confucius Institute at Kennesaw State University was interviewed as part of a panel discussing the CI's Mandarin instruction program in the Bibb County schools.  The panel discussion, hosted by Scott Slade, was aired on GPB's Prime Time Lawmakers.  Appearing on the panel with Jin were Eric Spears, director of International Studies at Mercer University, and Jane Drennan, deputy superintendent of teaching and learning for Bibb County Schools. 

View the segment at the link above.

KSU dedicates juvenile justice program center

Name of Publication: 
Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 
by Lindsay Field
February 28, 2013 12:04 AM
 
It was fitting that Kennesaw State University’s Center for Sustainable Journalism, which focuses on juvenile justice issues, dedicated its new facility Wednesday morning.

Georgia first lady Sandra Deal, who attended the ceremony, chose February as the month when she and Gov. Nathan Deal would concentrate on juvenile justice problems.

The couple has been working together to help rewrite the juvenile justice code, which was established in 1971.

“We have a lot of problems to work on with our juvenile justice system,” she told a crowd of more than 30.

The center’s focus since opening a little over two years ago has been to collect any and all information on the topic and disseminate it nationally, Deal said.

“I think by sharing this information, we improve the lives of all our children, and that’s our goal in the first place, and I think you also make a good name for Kennesaw State,” she said. “We appreciate your efforts in this direction.”

The Center for Sustainable Journalism was moved from the KSU College of Humanities and Social Sciences building to a new location off Big Shanty Road just west of the university. ...

Leonard Witt, the program’s executive director and a journalism professor at KSU, said they were outgrowing their space and with the financial support from the university were able to afford the $450,000 renovation to expand to 2,700 square feet.

“I’m extremely pleased to dedicate this space,” Witt said. “This whole idea wouldn’t happen without Kennesaw State.”


 

Broun claims parallel to Ron Paul’s voting record

Name of Publication: 
Atlanta Journal Constitution/Politifact Georgia
Excerpt of Article: 

Says that except for foreign policy, Ron Paul’s voting record and his voting record are virtually identical.

Paul Broun on Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 in a fundraiser letter

Outspoken Georgia Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Broun announced earlier this month his intentions to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss.

Since announcing, Broun has been careful to publicly present himself as a collegial congressman. In public comments, Broun has touted his willingness to work with more liberal lawmakers to solve some of the country’s biggest problems. This is a far cry from Broun’s typical fiery demeanor and anti-Obama rhetoric that has come to symbolize his congressional leadership.

In a fundraiser letter that surfaced recently, Broun went back to his roots. The four-page letter includes a rant against President Barack Obama and other Democratic leaders for "running roughshod" over the Constitution. In the letter, Broun makes a point of emphatically laying out his conservative beliefs and voting record. He also calls other conservatives like former Florida congressman Allen West and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky his friends.

Broun also aligns himself with Rand Paul’s father, former Texas congressman and Libertarian Ron Paul: "Truth be told," Broun says in the letter, "except for foreign policy, Ron Paul’s voting record and mine are virtually identical."

Politicians frequently align themselves with other party favorites, with varying results. PolitiFact Georgia examined whether Broun was correct about his voting record, and similarity to Ron Paul. ...

"Paul has this image of being conservative, so it’s not surprising that they would agree on many things except foreign policy," said Kennesaw State University professor Kerwin Swint. "On foreign policy, Paul is to the left of Obama."
 

 

Give AP Credit Where Credit Is Due

Name of Publication: 
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Excerpt of Article: 

A few years ago, I chaired a group of high-school and college English teachers charged by the College Board with reviewing and revising the standards for its "AP English Literature and Composition" course, one of 34 Advanced Placement offerings for secondary-school students who want to take advanced classes.

Ours was a deliberate, two-year process. For instance, we examined the results of a curriculum survey of college English departments that asked about the contents and skills taught in their first-year English-literature courses. If enough colleges regarded something as important—say, the ability to analyze metaphors in a poem—we incorporated it into the standards.

Other fields do the same. Maureen A. McCarthy, a professor of psychology at Kennesaw State University, co-chairs the AP Psychology Development Committee, which uses a curriculum survey that includes questions about preferred textbooks in introductory college classes. For the test, she told me, "Each item is carefully analyzed to ensure that the content is representative of the curriculum, and we verify that the content is present in multiple texts." ...

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