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Georgia Southern University

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As the campus goes quiet until the summer term begins, it’s a great time to reflect on the academic year, which always passes too quickly. This has been a tremendous year of student achievement, faculty scholarship and staff excellence at Georgia Southern, and all of you share in the great accomplishments we’ve made.

In the last year, SACSCOC reaffirmed the University’s accreditation through the year 2025 with no recommendations, a gratifying confirmation of our high-quality academics. In addition, we experienced the largest increase in retention rate in the school’s history — 82% of students are not only enrolling at Georgia Southern, they’re staying here. The University welcomed its first class of the new manufacturing engineering program this fall, and kicked off the only program of its kind in the southeast. And our Eagles football team brought in the spring semester with a historic win in the GoDaddy Bowl, our first bowl appearance and win in school history.

What a year we’ve experienced, and what a privilege it has been to serve as the interim president of the Greatest University in America.

Thank you all for the work you do!

Jean E. Bartels, Ph.D., RN
Interim President​
Twitter: @PresBartels

More than 3,300 students receive degrees from Georgia Southern during Spring 2016 Commencement


On May 6 and 7, Georgia Southern University held its annual spring commencement ceremonies for graduate and undergraduate students at Hanner Fieldhouse and Allen E. Paulson Stadium. More than 3,300 doctoral, master’s, specialist and bachelor’s degrees from the University’s eight colleges were conferred during two separate ceremonies.

Commencement speakers for this year’s ceremonies were Stephen Harmon, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Learning Technologies Division in the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University, and Carol H. Burrell, president and CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System.


Like mother, like son

mothersonBeckie Lee May and her son Austin May both received degrees during Spring commencement earlier this month. Beckie, a math teacher in Walton County, received her Education Specialist degree and Austin, who will begin work as a software developer for AT&T in June, received his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science.

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Education professors present seminar in South Korea

Eunbae Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor and Lucy Santos Green, Ed.D., associate professor in the Department of Leadership, Technology and Human Development at Georgia Southern, led a faculty development seminar at Sahmyook University in Seoul, South Korea in April.

Their presentations focused on “flipped learning” and “student-centered learning,” both of which suggest that the digital age is shifting education from a teacher-centered model to a student-centered model, where a student directs his or her own learning. Sahmyook University has implemented 25 flipped learning courses since fall 2014, and plans to launch a massive open online course (MOOC) in the near future.

The Korean media covered the presentations extensively, and the professors were featured on several news stations in the area.

Retirees ceremony honors 54 retiring faculty and staff


Georgia Southern honored 54 retiring faculty and staff at the annual Retirees Recognition Ceremony last month at the Builders of the University Terrace. Among the retirees were staff with 30 years or more of service: Susan Nelson (L), 25Live functional administration in Information Technology Services, who served for 36 years; Ken Southwell (C), technical support specialist in the Center for Academic Technology Support, who served for 30 years; and Janet O’Brien (R), director of the Academic Success Center, who served for 33 years.


Staff Council Picnic highlights


More than 500 members of the Georgia Southern professional and support staff gathered at the M.C. Anderson Pavilion on May 12, for the Staff Council Picnic. Staff members from around the campus enjoyed good food and friends as they celebrated the work and accomplishments of this year. In addition, the council announced the winners of the Staff Council Dependent Scholarship and Book Award, which benefit staff members and dependents pursuing degrees at Georgia Southern. Justin Willoughby, staff assistant in the Registrar’s Office, won the Staff Council Book Award. Alicia Durden won the Staff Council Dependent Scholarship.

Camp RAD to receive assistance through Faculty Service Award


The Faculty Service Committee has presented a faculty service award to Katy Gregg, Ph.D., assistant professor with the School of Human Ecology, Gavin Colquitt, Ed.D., associate professor in the School of Health and Kinesiology; and Ashley Colquitt, Ph.D., associate professor in Community Health Behavior and Education. The award will be used to provide support staff, a student camp coordinator and materials to operate Camp RAD: Recreation for Adolescents with Disabilities.


Olivia Edenfield, Ph.D. named Professor of the Year for 2016

Olivia-EdenfieldOlivia Carr Edenfield, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Literature and Philosophy, was presented with the Wells/Warren Professor of the Year Award at the Georgia Southern University 2016 Honors Day Convocation held at the Performing Arts Center last month.

A second-generation Georgia Southern University graduate and Statesboro native, Edenfield (‘82) attended school at Marvin Pittman Laboratory School and Statesboro High School before earning her undergraduate degree in English at the University. Her parents, Paul Carr (‘56) and Rose Watkins Carr (‘57), graduates from Georgia Teachers College, passed along their love of teaching to Edenfield.


Georgia Southern unveils electric vehicle charging station


Georgia Southern continued the celebration of No Impact Week with the unveiling of the University’s first electric vehicle (EV) charging station located at the Office of Parking and Transportation. The dual-head EV charging station will provide students, faculty, staff and the general public with an accessible charging station, free of charge, that provides a complete charge of two electric vehicles in less than four hours. Electric vehicles were available for viewing and test drives at the event.


Upcoming Events

May 24
UPB Movie – “Zoolander 2”

May 30
Memorial Day Holiday – Campus Closed

June 22
UPB Outdoor Movie – “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”

For a full list of upcoming events, visit the Campus Calendar.

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The President’s Newsletter

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Statesboro, GA 30458
Copyright © 2016
Georgia Southern University

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Last updated: 5/18/2016

Office of the President • PO Box 8033 Statesboro, GA 30460 • 912-478-5211