Office of the President
Georgia Southern University

March 2015

president's newsletter header
As president of Georgia Southern University, part of my job is to share what we are all about. I have the opportunity to talk to many people and I always make a point to share what we are up to at Georgia Southern. I talk about what we are doing for and with our students, what new programs we have, and what an impact we have on the state of Georgia and beyond. I get the privilege to tell the Georgia Southern story to as many people as will listen. And believe me, I am passionate about telling our story! There is so much to be proud of at Georgia Southern. From the exceptional faculty and students, the dedicated staff, the beautiful campus and the winning teams, this truly is the Greatest University in America and I am honored to be able to share our story with the world.

And in this edition of the newsletter, I will tell you about just a few of the stories of the hard-working men and women that make up this great institution. Committed, passionate about succeeding in an out of the classroom while making a difference in the world, they are a shining example of the greatness that is Georgia Southern, the Eagle Nation.


Brooks A. Keel, Ph.D.

Twitter: @PresKeel

Legislative Notes

The Governor’s budget recommendations for Georgia Southern University have passed the Georgia House of Representatives and now move to the Senate for its approval. The $33.6 million for a multipurpose interdisciplinary classroom and $1 million for our operating budget to help build a world-class manufacturing engineering program will continue to help us expand upon our role of graduating students who are prepared to enter an ever-changing workforce. If given the opportunity to extend appreciation to Gov. Nathan Deal and members of the General Assembly for their support of Georgia Southern University, please thank them on our behalf.

Faculty and Staff Highlights

The latest Faculty Spotlight Video highlights Criminal Justice Professor Bryan Miller

The Faculty Spotlight video series is produced by the Marketing and Communications office along with the Media Development Center. The series showcases faculty members inside and outside the classroom, highlighting their research and impact on students and community.

The Institute for Coastal Plain Science received grant from the Coral Reef Conservation Program


Dr. Daniel Gleason has received three years of funding for the project titled, “Investigating how coral recruitment and juvenile survivorship varies along the Florida Reef Tract.” Read more.

Dr. Danda B. Rawat Wins Sustainability Grant to Design Green Networks at Georgia Southern

Read more.

Two Professors Among the “Most Awarded” in the State

Diana-Sturges-1 Maurer_Trent has recognized two College of Health and Human Sciences professors as among the most awarded in the state. Dr. Diana Sturges of the School of Health and Kinesiology and Dr. Trent Maurer from Child and Family Development in the School of Human Ecology were listed as among Georgia’s top professors. The website takes into consideration professors’ awards from the past five years, along with online student ranking numbers from the professor rating sites RateMyProfessor, RateMyTeachers and Uloop, to determine the “ultimate list” of top professors in Georgia.

Study Looks at Impact of Physical Activity on Stress Tolerance


A collaborative study including Dr. Helen Bland, professor of Community Health Behavior and Education quantifies the impact of physical activity on stress tolerance in college students. College students are assaulted by numerous and constant personal, educational, and social stressors. Stress experience by millennial college students can be crippling. The purpose of this study was to quantify the impact of physical activity associated behaviors and exercise types significantly associated with high stress tolerance (HST) among college students. This study demonstrated the positive protective impact of physical activity behaviors and exercise on stress tolerance among college students. Read more.

Jessica Hines’ Photos featured in the Huffington Post

Read more.

Counseling Center’s Monica Williams Receives National Award

I am pleased to announce that Monica Williams, licensed psychologist and practicum coordinator in the Counseling Center has received the Counseling and Psychological Services Early Career Achievement Award from the Commission for Counseling and Psychological Services – College Student Educators International.

Monica received this prestigious award at the ACPA Awards reception on March 6 during the ACPA Annual Convention in Tampa.

On behalf of the president’s office and all of us at Georgia Southern, congratulations Monica!

Want to learn more about what our faculty is doing? Visit the Faculty Highlights section on the newsroom.


National Archery Championships Held at Georgia Southern


Campus Recreation & Intramurals hosted the Southeast section of the United States Collegiate Archery (USCA) Indoor National Championships Feb. 28 through March 2. Georgia Southern was one of eight sites across the country. 93 archers from seven schools competed at the Recreation Activity Center (RAC) to vie for All-American and National Champion titles. There are four classes of competition, Basic Bow, Bow Hunter, Recurve and Compound for both male and female shooters.

Southern Eagles Archery, the Georgia Southern archery club had seven out of eight members place in the top three of their respective class in the Southeast. Three Georgia Southern students claimed National Titles at USCA (United States Collegiate Archery) Indoor Championships. They are:

​Cassandra Pelton – Women’s Recurve​ Bow National Champion

Ashley Hayden- Women’s Basic Bow National Champion

Daniel Allen – third place in Men’s Basic Bow

Way to go Eagles!


Congratulations to Azell Francis (’14), the Georgia Southern University Student Government Association (SGA) president! This outstanding young leader has been awarded the 2015 Regent Willis J. Potts Student Advisory Council Leadership Award.

Francis is the fifth recipient of the Potts Leadership Award, and the second consecutive recipient from Georgia Southern. Garrett Green, former University SGA president, received the same honor last year. Way to go Azell!


Georgia Southern Alumnus named President of Gulfstream

Mark L. Burns will take over as president of Gulfstream Aerospace on July 1, 2015. Burns earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Southern in 1983. He joined Gulfstream that same year and has served as vice president of customer support and vice president of completions engineering and most recently, president of product support.

New Division of External Affairs

Effective March 1, Vice President for Government Relations and Community Engagement Russell Keen was appointed to lead a newly formed Division of External Affairs. This new division will include University Protocol, Government Relations and Community Engagement as well as Marketing and Communications. The Marketing and Communications office was formerly within the Division of University Advancement.

The creation of the Division of External Affairs will bring greater efficiency and collaboration to the efforts of communicating the Georgia Southern story. Under Russell’s leadership, we are well positioned to manage the growing reach we have as a university to our community and the state of Georgia.

The Office of Marketing and Communications, now part of the Division of External Affairs will continue to provide marketing, public relations, website, photography and advertising services to the University community and remain the point of contact for the University brand and media relations.

Recent Events

Be Healthy Georgia Festival

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle hosted the fifth annual Be Healthy Georgia Festival and Family Fun Run on Saturday, March 7. The day began at Liberty Plaza at the Georgia State Capitol and included the Atlanta Track Club’s Kilometer Kids Family Fun Run and Kids Dash followed by more fun and games in Dole’s Family Fit City.

Georgia Southern University was represented by GUS, as well as alumni, students and friends of the University. Thank you to everyone who participated.

HoliFest – Indian Festival of Colors

Upcoming Events

March 11-14

Sun Belt Basketball Playoffs, New Orleans

March 17

St. Patricks Day Parade in Savannah
The 191st Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Tuesday, March 17 at 10:15 a.m. More than 300,000 people are expected to attend. This is Georgia Southern’s sixth year in a row to have a float in the parade. This year, country music artist and Georgia Southern alumnus Jared Wade (’03) will be performing while GUS, our cheerleaders, and First Lady Tammie Schalue and I will be cheering him on. Be sure to watch for the Georgia Southern float at the parade!

March 24

Archie Manning, former National Football League player and the National Football Foundation’s College Hall of Fame member to speak at 7 p.m.

The event is a part of the University’s Leadership Lecture Series, developed to expose students to insights from world-class leaders.

March 28

Final Undergraduate Admissions Open House
Our last undergraduate Open House of the year will take place on Saturday, March 28 at Hanner Fieldhouse and the Russell Student Union from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. We are expecting more than 1,000 student attendees plus family members!

April 6 and 9

Red Flag Campaign

The Red Flag Campaign is a public awareness campaign designed to address domestic violence, dating violence and the promotion of prevention of both on college campuses. The Office of Health Education will educate students on how to identify “red flags.”

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

Mailing Address:
The President’s Newsletter

1850 Southern Drive
Statesboro, GA 30458
Copyright © 2015
Georgia Southern University

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Last updated: 4/6/2018

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