Kennesaw State University

National Press Club address a first for KSU communications professor

Name of Publication: 
Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 

KENNESAW — Kennesaw State University Assistant Professor of Communication Carolyn Carlson will be in Washington, D.C., next month to speak on the practices of government public affairs officers and the implications for press freedoms. Carlson, a longtime reporter and editor for The Associated Press, will discuss two recent surveys that explore the relationship between government affairs officers and reporters during a panel discussion assembled by the National Press Club’s Press Freedom Committee. It will be the first time a Kennesaw State professor speaks at a press club event. Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - National Press Club address a first for KSU communications professor

KSU Summer Science Academy inspires budding scientists

Middle and high school students learn lab techniques, conduct experiments

KENNESAW, Ga. — Metro Atlanta middle and high school students donned white lab coats, conducted experiments and waited eagerly for results this summer at Kennesaw State University’s Summer Science Academy.

At the academy 20 high school and 25 middle school students were introduced to basic techniques in biology, biotechnology, computer simulation and visualization technology.

“The academy is designed to prepare the students for the rigors of college-level studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),” said Army Lester, a professor of biology and the director of the program.

Participation in the academy is free for students. It is funded with grants from the Georgia Space Consortium-NASA and the National Science Foundation/Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation. The Department of Biology and Physics provided materials and supplies.

Kennesaw State undergraduates, known as STEM Scholars, worked with the students. The middle schoolers learned basic science and math concepts in simulations designed to get them excited about the subjects at an early age. The high school curriculum targeted high-achieving students who are interested in STEM subjects and intend to take advanced placement courses. The academy exposed them to laboratory techniques and developed their research skills.

For many, it was an eye-opening experience. “You have to be careful, so that you don’t contaminate your material,” said Genora Littlejohn, 14. “It’s been a fun experience. I’ve learned a lot of new things.”

Juan Mora, who obtained his master’s in teaching science at Kennesaw State in 2011, serves as the liaison between Kennesaw State and the Cobb County School District. He writes the curriculum for the Summer Science Academy and hopes to pass on the excitement to the next generation of science scholars.

“I’m a science nerd. I just fell in love with biology. It’s amazing,” said Mora, who teaches biology at South Cobb High School. “Once I started learning about biology, there was a moment when I realized that every organism — plants, bacteria, humans — we are all the same in the sense that we make the same stuff. The proteins that we make are coded with the same code.”

Getting students excited and interested in the fields at an early age is crucial for the U.S.  According to international surveys, the nation lags behind China and India in math and science, said Premila Achar, an associate professor of biology and co-director of the program.

The Summer Science Academy also helps Kennesaw State’s STEM Scholars develop their leadership and mentoring skills, which are essential for today’s marketplace. “The program creates a unique relationship between pre-college and college students,” Achar said.

Sarah North, an assistant professor in computer science and outreach coordinator of the academy, said she hopes to involve as many of Kennesaw State’s STEM Scholars as possible in the program.

Barr leads candidates in race for House seat

Name of Publication: 
The Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 
by Jon Gillooly
July 21, 2013 12:29 AM

MARIETTA — Campaign filings in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey for Georgia’s 11th District show former Congressman Bob Barr in the lead, although Cobb GOP Chairman Joe Dendy said it’s too early to make anything of the numbers.

“It does, however, look like we can expect a very competitive four-way race,” Dendy said.

Barr reported total receipts of $251,782, followed by state Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Buckhead), who reported $172,898. Marietta businesswoman Tricia Pridemore reported $143,254 and state Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville) reported $97,174.

Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University, said the numbers are good for Lindsey and Pridemore.

“Barr’s fundraising numbers are expected given his national profile,” Swint said. “I expect this to be a dogfight all the way to next June.”
 

Big Data Career Switch: 4 Key Points

Name of Publication: 
Information Week
Excerpt of Article: 

Looking to retool your skillset to land a job in data science? Beware these issues as you consider university programs.

By Jennifer Priestley

The U.S. has an employment problem. There are too many jobs and not enough workers … in data science. You've probably seen the headlines: Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century, In a Data Deluge, Companies Seek to Fill a New Role, Geeks Wanted -- Big Data Firms Push Data Scientist Development. But if you graduated from college more than five years ago and you're not in a data science position right now, you probably don't have the skills that are required to apply for most of these positions. "Fair enough," I hear you saying. "I can retool my skillset … there are lots of programs in data science to choose from." Yes, but…

Kennesaw State receives $40,000 AT&T contribution to boost student success

ATT Check Presentation dc 40.jpg

Contact: Yolanda Rodriguez, yolanda@kennesaw.edu, 770-499-3057

Peer learning support and mobile app to help students master gateway math courses

KENNESAW, Ga. (July 11, 2013) — The Kennesaw State University Foundation has received a $40,000 contribution from AT&T that will help undergraduates pass difficult-to-master math courses with the aid of peer learning assistants and for the development of a mobile application connecting them to study networks.

The AT&T contribution will help the College of Science and Mathematics' Kennesaw Community Learning for Undergraduate Engagement (K-CLUE) project, which is designed to boost retention, progression and graduation rates.

Through the K-CLUE project, the College will hire students as learning assistants to help peers in lower division pre-calculus and calculus courses — gateways to all the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. These courses are considered predictors of student success in the overall curriculum and have among the highest withdrawal rates at the University. Ultimately, the College would like to use learning assistants in sections of other gateway courses, including general chemistry, general biology and general physics.

“We want to thank AT&T for partnering with us in this initiative,” said Mark Anderson, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. “The College is committed to advancing student success and engagement in the STEM disciplines. We also want to expose students to careers as STEM educators. AT&T’s contribution will help us achieve these goals.”

Initially, the new project will provide students in the targeted courses access to learning assistants, which Anderson said has been shown to increase student success rates. He cited a recent Kennesaw State study that found a 15 percent increase in the pass rates of sections of a general chemistry course that used learning assistants.

Anderson underscored the University’s emphasis on community and engagement, which play a role in learning.  “What we are doing is creating a class community, a university community and extending that to the broader Cobb County, metro Atlanta and Georgia community. It’s important to emphasize to students that they have a responsibility not only for their own learning, but for each other’s learning,” he said. “It’s appropriate that AT&T is sponsoring this because AT&T is known for innovation as well as community and outreach."

The AT&T contribution will also enable the development of a mobile application, dubbed KSU Study Buddy, which will permit students to use social media to create study networks, reinforcing the importance of community to the learning process. Additionally, the College will be able to use peer mentors for outreach activities with area high schools to increase interest in learning mathematics. The contribution will also permit the College to establish a more robust advising strategy using a network of trained peer advisors to help undergraduates successfully navigate the STEM curriculum.

AT&T has a historical philanthropic focus on supporting education and helping students succeed in school, the workforce and in life, said Don Barbour, regional director for AT&T Georgia.

“Investing in our communities is part of AT&T’s core values,” Barbour said. “I want to thank Kennesaw State University Daniel S. Papp, College of Science and Mathematics Dean Mark Anderson, Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee and other leaders in Cobb County and across Georgia who have worked hard to create a welcoming economic environment that helps companies like AT&T invest in our state, create jobs and contribute to worthy endeavors like this.”

In 2008, AT&T launched its Aspire program to help confront the high school dropout crisis and ensure that students graduate prepared for the challenges of higher education and the workforce. Through Aspire, the company has contributed more than $5 million in Georgia.

“Helping more students succeed in the high-demand STEM disciplines is very important for our county and all of Georgia,” said Tim Lee, chairman of the Cobb County Commission. “Cobb County is home to a diverse range of industries including information technology, software development, aeronautics and biosciences and there are great jobs and opportunities right here for students with the right skills.”

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About AT&T

AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services.

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 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 University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,600 students from more than 130 countries.

Kennesaw State names new executive director of global initiatives

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Notre Dame’s Lance Askildson to become the University’s senior international officer

 Click here for downloadable photo

KENNESAW, Ga. (May 30, 2013) — Kennesaw State University, a nationally recognized leader in comprehensive campus internationalization, has named Lance Askildson, Notre Dame’s first assistant provost of internationalization, to head the University’s Institute for  Global Initiatives. 

 Askildson, a scholar of applied linguistics and second language acquisition and founding director of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Languages & Cultures, will join Kennesaw State as the senior international officer July 1. He replaces Barry Morris, vice provost for strategic initiatives, who has served as interim IGI director since 2011.

 “We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Lance Askildson’s stature and experience to provide strategic leadership for IGI,” said W. Ken Harmon, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Kennesaw State. “We have made considerable strides in developing global components across our curriculum and increasing study abroad opportunities for students, as well as research and other collaborative options abroad for faculty. Lance can help us maintain existing global strategic partnerships and develop new ones.”

 At Notre Dame, Askildson works in more than 30 countries around the world developing international studies programs and internationalization initiatives. In his role at Kennesaw State, he will oversee all IGI units, including the Education Abroad Office, Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies, Center for African and African Diaspora Studies, Global Engagement Programs and Global Admissions. He also will work closely with each of the university’s eight colleges and a variety of campus units to achieve goals related to global learning and engagement. 

Askildson, who holds a Ph.D. in second language acquisition from the University of Arizona, also has been appointed an associate professor of English at Kennesaw State and will begin teaching courses on English language and linguistics in the fall. Bilingual in English and French, he earned a master’s in multilingual/multicultural education and TESOL from Florida State University and a B.A. in history/French language and linguistics from the University of Minnesota.

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 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 University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,600 students from more than 130 countries.

Mothers on meth: New book highlights family struggles in the suburbs

Name of Publication: 
Deseret News
Excerpt of Article: 

Published: Friday, May 24 2013 11:40 p.m. MDT

A few weeks ago, Kandice Spencer went to Southern California with her two boys and their dad, Waymon. The beach was chilly, Disneyland was fun, but the big hit for the boys, ages 8 and 9, was Universal Studios. A routine family vacation.

But things were not always so routine for this family. Just six years ago, Spencer, now 42, was hooked on meth, writing bad checks and losing custody of her children. Waymon was also dealing and using, and the kids were headed for foster care.

Early in her meth use, Spencer actually thought that the drug was helping her be a better mom. “Initially it makes you feel like you're more effective, only because it gives you more energy. You don't go through the same cycle going to work, coming home, cleaning house and feeling tired. You feel like you have a lot more energy to get things done."

The paradox of the supermom on meth is quite familiar to Miriam Boeri, a sociology professor at Kennesaw State University, whose new book deals with suburban women on meth.

Part gripping reality show, part academic tome, "Women on Ice" shows how women in the Atlanta suburbs get into meth, how some get out, and the dangers that dog them along the way.

More than 12 million Americans have tried methamphetamine, and 1.5 million are regular users, according to federal estimates, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported. While the precise data is elusive, usage is actually more widespread in rural than urban locations, and the suburbs have long been on the front lines.

Boeri found meth all over the multiple Atlanta suburbs she studied, noting that the housing patterns intermingled low-income trailer parks with high-end developments.

In researching her book, she interviewed 65 women — from college-age social users to middle-class or struggling working-class moms just trying to hold things together.

 

 

Diner's Journal: What We’re Reading

Name of Publication: 
New York Times (and other coverage)
Excerpt of Article: 

Kennesaw State University: This small university in Kennesaw, Ga. has been named “Innovator of the Year” by the National Restaurant Association, beating out the Walt Disney Parks and the United States Air Force, among others, for the title. The group cited the university’s “robust organic ‘Farm-to-Campus-to-Farm’ program, water reclamation, aerobic digestion, composting/recycling programs, oil-to-biodiesel conversion” and more. — Julia Moskin

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 More coverage ...

The Sacramento Bee

Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year

Marking the first time ever that a higher education institution has been selected for such recognition, the nation's top food industry professional association has named Kennesaw State University its "Innovator of the Year." The award was bestowed on Saturday in Chicago at "Destination: Celebration," the 2013 National Restaurant Association, Hotel-Motel Show. The "Innovator of the Year" was selected from the winners of five categories of award recipients, representing: Food Safety, Health & Nutrition, Menu Development, Sustainability, and Technology. Kennesaw State's culinary program also took the top honor in the "Sustainability" category, winning the "Operator Innovation Award for Sustainability."

(Also in:Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, Reuters; Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, PR Newswire; Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, Digital Journal; Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, EIN Presswire; Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, Finanz Nachrichten;  Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, Individual.com; Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, CBS Atlanta; Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, WFIE-TV Kentucky; Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, WOIO-TV Cleveland; Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, ABC News 4 Charleston; Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, KVVU-TV Las Vegas; Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, KCAU-TV Iowa; Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, KAZ-TV Phoenix; Kennesaw State named National Restaurant Association's Innovator of the Year, KLTV East Texas; and many more)

 Food Service Equipment and Supplies

NRA Announces Winners of 2nd Annual Operator Innovations Awards

The National Restaurant Association announced the winners of its second annual Operator Innovations Awards, with Kennesaw State University taking home the prestigious Innovator of the Year award … The University's 5,000 guest/day dining operation incorporates a comprehensive, closed-loop waste management program through a variety of efforts including an organic "Farm-to-Campus-to-Farm" program, water reclamation, aerobic digestion, composting/recycling programs, oil-to-biodiesel conversion and more to significantly reduce costs, minimize environmental impact and qualify the facility for a LEED Gold certification.

(Also in: NRA Names Restaurant Innovators, Hospitality Technology; Sustainability program earns top Operator Innovations award, QSR Web; NRA Announces 2nd Annual Operator Innovations Awards, Food Product Design)

Isakson under pressure: GOP eyes senator on immigration vote

Name of Publication: 
Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 
by Jon Gillooly
May 12, 2013 12:21 AM | 1359 views | 6  | 2  |  | 

As Congress takes up a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) has come under pressure from a divided Republican Party on how he will vote on the topic.

“He is under pressure from both sides,” said Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University. “The stalwarts that don’t want any kind of immigration package or the others who say we’ve got to do something, so he’s just kind of caught in the middle a little bit.”

When asked Friday about how he intends to vote on the bill, Isakson said, “We’re not going to prejudge what the final version is going to be until it’s marked up, debated and amended — so any question that precludes that process taking place is premature.”

A pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants who are already here is going to be highly controversial in certain key circles of the Republican Party, Swint said.

“The tea party and others are going to resist anything like that tooth-and-nail. They’re going to fight it tooth-and-nail, and that’s the kind of pressure that he’s under,” Swint said. “He’s a smart guy. He’s a reasonable guy, and I think he knows that the Republican Party is at a real crossroads, and they’ve got to do something, but doing something comes at a cost, and a lot of people on the right are going to say doing anything like that is unacceptable. You know, it’s ‘selling out’ or ‘giving up’ or whatever you call it.”

But, at the same time, the Republican Party must start winning at least a portion of Hispanic and female votes if it wants to be competitive, Swint said.

 

Blacks, Latinos, Asians bent on breaking glass ceiling of Gwinnett County politics

Name of Publication: 
The Atlanta Voice
Excerpt of Article: 

Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013 11:50 am | Updated: 7:11 pm, Fri May 3, 2013.

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners is all white. The Gwinnett County School Board is all white. So are the judges elected to Gwinnett County’s State and Superior Courts.

 The lack of diversity in county politics has many Gwinnettians asking why, in this day and age, nonwhites have been unable to penetrate the glass ceiling. Gwinnett is Georgia’s most diverse county with a melting pot of more than 842,000 people, according to the U.S. Census. ...

Diversity hasn’t translated into political power for the county’s growing African American and immigrant communities. Minorities in Gwinnett have been hard hit by unemployment, crime, and the fallout of failing schools, which in Gwinnett serve mostly low-income African American, Asian and Hispanic students, statistics show. Two-thirds of those living in poverty in Gwinnett are nonwhite.

But minorities in Gwinnett frustrated with county politics want change now.

A movement is growing to improve the plight of diverse communities that are struggling for economic opportunities and political representation. A network of African-American, Asian and Hispanic community leaders are working to make sure future county boards are more reflective of diverse neighborhoods they represent. They see numbers as their greatest strength and are building allegiances with each other to gain political clout.

One group, Gwinnett Citizens-United, a political action committee launched by a coalition of African-American pastors, has signed up more than 4,000 people pledging to become politically active in upcoming races by either voting, running for office or contributing to campaigns. The nonpartisan group will offer a platform to those candidates that support minority community issues. Members include a network of black church congregations and Hispanic community leaders. The group also is reaching out to Asians.

“Democracy works best when people feel that they are represented,” said Kerwin Swint, professor of Political Science at Kennesaw State University. “Unfortunately, what happens in local politics is the old guard hangs on as long as it can. They have an advantage a lot of time with campaign contributions and business networks that keep electing the same people. It may take time for others to break through.”

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