Kennesaw State University

University System of Georgia honors Kennesaw State professor for teaching excellence

Pam Marek

Pam Marek among top teachers receiving 2014 Regents’ Award

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Oct. 22, 2014) — Kennesaw State University psychology professor Pam Marek is among three recipients of the University System of Georgia’s 2014 Regents’ Award for Excellence in Teaching, the state’s most prestigious honor for higher education teachers.

Marek will receive the Felton Jenkins Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award at a ceremony in March along with two other recipients of the teaching excellence award. She was recognized for her strengths in teaching and working with students in advisement, mentoring, and undergraduate research.  Her professional development and scholarship of teaching and learning were also cited. 

“This award is indeed a major milestone in my career and a further inspiration to continue my involvement in the scholarship of teaching and learning,” Marek said. “As a teacher, my overarching goals are to expand students’ minds in ways that encourage questioning and increase understanding of multiple perspectives in the context of a supportive, learner-centered environment. I also aim to reinforce and develop the reading, writing, and quantitative skills that are an integral part of higher education.” 

Marek earned her master’s and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Florida. Prior to joining Kennesaw State’s faculty in 2005, she taught at St. Michael's College in Vermont and at Anderson College in South Carolina. She serves as an associate editor for Teaching of Psychology and regularly participates in presentations at teaching-related conferences, such as the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology and the Southeastern Conference on the Teaching of Psychology.

In conjunction with students and colleagues, she has published research related to materialistic values, affluence cues, and the work ethic, in journals including Journal of Economic Psychology, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Personality and Individual Differences, and Individual Differences Research. Sheis a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Southeastern Psychological Association.

The USG annually presents Regents’ excellence awards to faculty members from among its 31 member institutions. In addition to the three 2014 teaching excellence awards, honors are also presented to two faculty members for excellence in the scholarship of teaching and learning and for online teaching excellence. An annual award also is presented to one outstanding program systemwide. Marek was among 30 faculty members nominated for the 2014 individual faculty awards.

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of nearly 26,000 from 130 countries.


Kennesaw State Students Learn History, Significance of the Hijab

Name of Publication: 
GPB News
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Updated: 19 hours ago.

Students at Kennesaw State University spent two days last week learning about the history and significance of the Hijab. Students also had the chance to wear the Muslim headscarf. 

This was part of the school's Year of Arabian Peninsula program. The initiative aims to cultivate a deeper appreciation for and understanding of the history and cultures in that area through a series of events, lectures and activities. 

GPB's Rickey Bevington spoke with Kennesaw students Caitlin Syfrett, who helped lead the event, and Ferdos Hashem, who's the president of Kennesaw's Muslim Student Association. ...

Note: Story includes audio of  the interview

Cobb politicos: Holder controversial, partisan AG

Name of Publication: 
The Marietta Daily Journal
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by Ricky Leroux
September 27, 2014 04:00 AM | 1744 views |

MARIETTA — Cobb officials and politicos are mixed on the impact Attorney General Eric Holder has had on the country. Holder announced his resignation this week. 

Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University, said Holder has been more political in his responses to issues while in office than his predecessors, which has resulted in some criticism.

“I think he’s going to be looked at as a very partisan attorney general, someone who tried to help his president, Barack Obama, move forward on issues like gay rights, civil rights (and) voting rights. … But (he) encountered significant opposition and a fair amount of controversy,” Swint said. 

Swint said he’s not implying Holder has done anything inappropriate, just that he was more willing than most attorneys general to engage in politics.

“He’s been one of our more controversial attorneys general,” he said. “He’s had some successes; he’s had his share of politicized fights over issues, over process with Congress. I’m sure Republicans won’t miss him, but Democrats will, I’m sure.”

As Swint predicted, Cobb residents had very different opinions on Holder, depending on their party. ...


On one side Georgia voter registration probe a big deal, on the other not so much

Name of Publication: 
Athens Banner-Herald
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ATLANTA | Beyond the headlines and campaign rhetoric, the state’s investigation into possible irregularities by a Democratic-leaning group’s efforts to register blacks, Asians and Hispanics to vote has many facets, and not all are yet known.

The investigation into the New Georgia Project began in early May, when local registrars started reporting to the Secretary of State’s Elections Division that voters had complained of intimidation and that documents turned in by the group appeared suspicious. In all, officials in 13 counties so far — from Effingham and Toombs in the southeast to Coweta and Gwinnett in the northwest — have submitted suspicious documents to state investigators.

Since Secretary of State Brian Kemp is a Republican, Democrats and officials of the New Georgia Project have alleged in the media that the investigation is a GOP attempt at minority voter suppression. But many of the complaints that triggered the probe originated in Democrat-controlled counties like Muscogee, DeKalb and Fulton. ...

Because one of New Georgia’s leaders is state Rep. Stacey Abrams, an advisor to Michelle Nunn’s campaign for the U.S. Senate and the state House Democratic leader, at least one GOP operative has said repeatedly that Nunn is tied to the scandal.

“Michelle Nunn’s direct ties to the state voter registration fraud investigation run deep,” said Leslie Shedd, spokeswoman for the Georgia Republican Party’s Georgia Victory initiative.

But no direct evidence of Nunn’s involvement has surfaced other than her association with Abrams. Nunn’s campaign has its own voter-registration effort in conjunction with the Democratic Party of Georgia and Jason Carter’s campaign for governor.

Neither side is not above political gamesmanship, according to Kerwin Swint, a former political operative who is now a political science professor at Kennesaw State University.

“Both parties are trying to position themselves to win the turnout game,” he said.

Kemp, like other Republicans, is trying to counter registration gains Democrats have made in recent years, Swint said.

“Stacey Abrams claims her efforts are nonpartisan, though they are clearly partisan. They are trying to register as many Democrats as possible,” he said. “Brian Kemp claims he is simply trying to uphold the law, yet there is no doubt his efforts also have a partisan intent.” ...


Carter has a point on uncollected taxes, but context missing

Name of Publication: 
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Posted: 3:19 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, 2014

By Nancy Badertscher and April Hunt 

Education eats up the largest share of the state budget, so it only makes sense that it’s consuming much of the debate in the neck-and-neck governor’s race.

Nathan Deal, the Republican incumbent, says his efforts to grow jobs and the economy have paid off for schools. His education track record also includes work for passage of a 2012 charter school amendment and a bipartisan deal to shore up the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship and pre-k programs.

His challenger, Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter of Atlanta, contends that Deal has shortchanged Georgia’s children. He’s most critical of $1 billion-a-year-plus austerity cuts to education recommended by Deal in the first three of his four state budgets.

Carter, who voted for those three budgets, is promising that, if he’s elected, he will increase education spending through a three-pronged approach that involves growing the economy, cutting government waste and going after tax cheats. ...

Georgia made probably its biggest push to go after tax cheats when Sonny Perdue was governor and Bart Graham was revenue commissioner.

“This is a messier process than (Carter) is suggesting,” said Barbara Neuby, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University who specializes in public budgeting and finance. “There is no automatic money that comes in once letters go out.”

That’s because collection would be handled through regulatory enforcement. The same laws that give state agencies broad powers to enforce taxation give people the right to appeal, Neuby said.

KSU’s Papp invites all to Year of Arabian Peninsula

Name of Publication: 
Marietta Daily Journal
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by Jon Gillooly
September 21, 2014 04:00 AM | 1779 views | 3 3 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KENNESAW — Every year, Kennesaw State University picks a country or region to study and this year KSU President Dan Papp invites the public to attend a yearlong series of events about the Arabian Peninsula. 

Papp said the “Year of” program, now in its 31st year, began under former KSU President Betty Siegel. 

“She was — still is — someone who thinks that if you are educated, you need to know about things beyond the American shore, so that’s why she started it up,” Papp said. 

The Year of the Arabian Peninsula studies seven countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. 

Students and teachers gathered Thursday to hear Gabriel Said, professor of Islamic Studies and Theology at the University of Notre Dame, lecture on the origins of Islam. 

Mary Scannavino of Kennesaw, a Sprayberry High School graduate majoring in world history at KSU, said she enjoyed the talk. 

“What was most interesting to me was the different debates on how the Quran was written and what it really means,” she said. “I think that it’s the same with every text — that everyone reads it differently.”

Last year, KSU studied Japan and the year before, Ghana. Scannavino said she was pleased this year’s selection was the Arabian Peninsula. ...


Truth Test: Donations to Deal campaign by appointees

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Note: View the first of a political fact-checking series called "Truth Test" with CBS46 Anchor Scott Light and featuring students in the Kennesaw State University "Political Fact Checking" class with Andrew Peiper, associate professor of political science. The second "segment of "Truth Test" airs Thursday, Sept 25, during the 11 p.m. newscast.  It will take on statements that President Barack Obama has abused his exective power.

Culture Fest

arabian Peninsula 2.jpg

Year of the Arabian Peninsula festival celebrates regional arts and cuisine

The line never diminished in front the table where Saloua Lahlousat sat for three straight hours creating ornately beautiful henna paintings on hands and wrists; nor did her smile and the obvious joy she derives from making people happy with her art.  

Consular Connect

German Consul General Christoph Sander

German diplomat’s visit kicks off new outreach to Atlanta-based foreign consulates

German Consul General Christoph Sander spoke to a group of Kennesaw State Ph.D. students Sept. 17 about his country’s role in Europe’s economic and political future. The event was the first of several planned visits to the campus by members of the Atlanta consular corps under the University’s new “Consular Connect” program.

Testing Truth

CBS46 News anchor Scott Light, right, tapes first "Truth Test" with T.J.Wilkes , Lauren Parkinson and Andy Pieper.

Special topics course teams with CBS46 News to check veracity of political claims

Is an official for Gov. Nathan Deal’s re-election campaign telling the truth when he asserts that the Governor’s record of appointing his campaign donors to important state boards is consistent with the historical trend of previous Georgia governors?

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