It’s hard to believe that the fall semester has already come to an end. Earlier today, many of us were in regalia cheering on a graduating class of more than 1,000 students, when it seems like the August convocation was only last week. I am so proud of our graduating students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college and now earn a college degree. There is so much to celebrate here at Georgia State.
When we come back in January, the college will be in full strategic planning mode. The college’s existing strategic plan will expire at the end of this academic year. Other factors, including the college’s leadership transition and the creation of the new College of the Arts, make this an opportune time for us to think strategically about our future.
The first step will be to form five working groups aligned with the five main goals of the university strategic plan. These are, briefly: 1) undergraduate, 2) graduate, 3) research, 4) cities, and 5) global. Each working group will develop recommendations to address each broad goal, with specific and explicit action steps. Diversity will be a central guiding principle across every goal, and will be reflected in the membership of the working groups. Each group will have 10-15 members, including faculty, students and staff to bring unique perspectives and expertise to the planning process.
Everyone’s participation is valued. Throughout the next semester, we will seek input from various stakeholder groups and the larger college community through focused surveys and town hall-style meetings. Once my office shapes a draft plan based on the recommendations from the working groups, we will again seek feedback as part of the vetting process in August. I will present a draft of the proposed plan to the full faculty for a vote during fall semester 2017.
The final plan will guide the college for the next five years. It will be your plan. I look forward to working with you on this exciting project and most of all look forward to seeing the great ideas that will come of the discussions in the spring. Look for a survey asking for input on our biggest strengths and weaknesses in February. Your participation is critical to our success!
Until then, I wish all of you a very happy holiday season! Enjoy the well-deserved break.
Diane Belcher, professor and chair of applied linguistics, received a Fulbright Senior Specialist award this year to give lectures on second language writing and English for academic purposes at Chinese universities in Shanghai, Nanjing, and Beijing.
Samantha Terris Parks, lecturer in the Department of Biology, was named 2016 Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education Spotlight Author for the American Society of Microbiology.
Jelena Subotic, associate professor of political science, was awarded a fellowship to participate in the 2017 Jack and Anita Hess Seminar for Faculty, "Gender and Sexuality in the Holocaust," at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
Kathryn McClymond, professor and chair of religious studies, was elected to the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Religion as Program Unit Director. This three-year position oversees the program units and annual meeting for the organization, which has over 10,000 members.
Megan Sinnott, associate professor in the Institute for Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, received a Fulbright Specialist Award this year in collaboration with the Research Institute of Languages and Cultures of Asia at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand.
Congratulations to this year’s Dean’s Early Career Award recipients: Assistant Professors Monique Moultrie of Religious Studies, Julia Gaffield of History, and Suazette Reid Mooring of Chemistry. Find out more about the outstanding work these three junior faculty members are doing here.
Faculty Publication Highlights
Lucy Pickering, Eric Friginal, associate professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics and ESL, and Shelley Staples (eds.), Talking at Work: Corpus-based Explorations of Workplace Discourse (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016).
Friginal’s co-edited volume offers original corpus research in a range of workplace contexts including office-based settings, call center interactions and healthcare communication, using a range of qualitative and quantitative analytic approaches including Conversation Analysis, Linguistic Profiling and Register Analysis.
Yi Pan, Regents’ Professor of computer science and interim chair of biology, et. al., Multiple Biological Sequence Alignment: Scoring Functions, Algorithms and Evaluation (Wiley, 2016).
Pan and co-authors describe both traditional and modern approaches in biological sequence alignment and homology search in this contribution to the Wiley series in Bioinformatics. Pan is co-editor of the series.
Ghulam Nadri, associate professor of history, The Political Economy of Indigo in India, 1580-1930: A Global Perspective (BRILL, 2016).
Nadri shows convincingly that the growth or decline in indigo production and trade in India was a part of the global processes of production, trade, and consumption and that indigo as a global commodity was embedded in the politics of empire and colonial expansion.
Jared Poley, professor of history, The Devil’s Riches: A Modern History of Greed (Spektrum: Publications of the German Studies Association, 2016).
Poley offers a fresh take on an old topic, arguing that greed was experienced as a moral phenomenon and deployed to make sense of an unjust world. Focusing specifically on the interrelated themes of religion, economics, and health, Poley shows how evolving ideas about greed became formative elements of the modern experience.
Rose Sevcik, Regents' Professor in the Department of Psychology, and MaryAnn Romski, Regents’ Professor of communication disorders (eds.), Communication interventions for individuals with severe disabilities: Exploring research challenges and opportunities (Paul H. Brookes, 2016).
Sevcik’s and Romski’s authoritative research volume on communication interventions for people with severe disabilities investigates the effectiveness of today's interventions, synthesizes evidence from current studies, and identifies urgent research directions for the future.
Wendy Simonds, professor of sociology, Hospital Land USA: Sociological Adventures in Medicalization (Routledge, 2016).
Simonds analyzes the wide-reaching powers of medicalization, the dynamic processes by which medical authorities, institutions, and ideologies impact our everyday life. She documents her own Hospital Land adventures and draws on a wide range of U.S. cultural representations in order to urge critical thinking about conventional notions of care, health, embodiment, identity, suffering, and mortality.
Eric R. Wright, professor and chair of sociology, and Neal Carnes (eds.), Understanding the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States: The Role of Syndemics in the Production of Health Disparities (Springer, 2016)
Wright’s co-edited volume examines the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. using the concept of “syndemics” to contextualize the risk of subpopulations that experience disproportionately high rates of HIV and/or AIDS. The book considers the disparities in HIV/AIDS in relation to social aspects, risk behavior and critical illness comorbidities.
Erin Ruel, professor of sociology, et. al., The Practice of Survey Research (SAGE Publications, 2016)
Ruel and co-authors explain survey design, implementation, data analysis, and continuing data management, including how to effectively incorporate the latest technology. In addition to helping students develop a complete understanding of survey research from start to finish, the authors also address the challenges and issues of specific disciplines.
Mindy Stombler, principal senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology, and Amanda Jungels (eds.), Focus on Social Problems: A Contemporary Reader (Oxford University Press, 2016).
This work teaches students how social problems are defined and constructed. Each chapter opens with an interview of a social-change activist doing work related to the chapter's featured social problem, giving students an opportunity to envision themselves as agents of social change.
Elena Del Rio Parra, professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Materia Médica: Rareza, Singularidad y Accidente en la España Temprano-Moderna (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).
Materia médica explores the intersection of the sciences and humanities in Spanish sixteenth and seventeenth century representations of the extraordinary. Archival evidence broadens the spectrum of these texts, and cases are frequently compared to similar instances in disciplines such as theology, literature, and the law.
Gladys Francis (ed.), assistant professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Amour, Sexe, Genre et Trauma dans la Caraïbe Francophone. (L’Harmattan, 2016).
Researchers, writers and artists address the taboo space that is the suffering body, its sexuality and complex constructions of identity in this collection. The essays explore the writing of provocation, injury, and the representation of the suffering body and desire in the work of Jacqueline Beaugé-Rosier, Jocelyne Béroard, Nicole Cage-Florentiny, Maryse Condé, Gerty Dambury, Fabienne Kanor, Lénablou, Gisèle Pineau, and Simone Schwarz-Bart.
Paula Garrett-Rucks, assistant professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Intercultural Competence in Instructed Language Learning: Bridging Theory and Practice (Information Age Publishing, 2016).
Garrett-Rucks' book informs instructed language learning and teaching by bridging developmental theories from the fields of intercultural competence with second language pedagogies, particularly communicative language teaching (CLT) and literacy-based approaches. The book earned Garrett-Rucks the 2016 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Nelson Brooks Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Culture.
Fernando Reati, professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, and Margherita Cannavacciuolo (eds.), De la Cercanía Emocional a la Distancia Histórica. (Re)presentaciones del Terrorismo de Estado 40 Años Después. (Prometeo Libros, 2016).
Susan Hildebrandt and Peter Swanson, associate professor of foreign language education in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Understanding the World Language edTPA: Research-based policy and practice (Information Age Publishing, 2016).
Swanson and co-author Hildebrandt describe edTPA and how it became a national trend to assess beginning teacher ability. In addition to giving a critical analysis of world language edTPA, the book provides readers with a much-needed guide to inducting teacher candidates into the new portfolio requirements, while helping higher education faculty make appropriate curricular changes to accommodate edTPA.
Schuppe, E.R., T.K. Solomon-Lane, D. S. Pradhan, K. Thonkulpitak and M. S. Grober. “Ancestral androgenic differentiation pathways are repurposed during the evolution of adult sexual plasticity.” Evolution and Development. 18 (5-6), 285-296.
Matthew Grober, associate professor in the Department of Biology, published multiple papers with his graduate students in Evolution and Development this year. Their photograph of a male, juvenile, and female blue-banded goby (Lythrypnus dali), is featured on the cover. Gobies utilize a highly conserved androgen pathway to sexually differentiate the genitalia early in life. This pathway is recaptured during adult sex change to alter genital morphology.
Joseph I. Terranova, Zhimin Song, Tony E. Larkin II, Nathan Hardcastle, Alisa Norvelle, Ansa Riaz, and H. Elliott Albers. “Serotonin and arginine-vasopressin mediate sex differences in the regulation of dominance and aggression by the social brain.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 15 November 2016, 113 (46), 13233-13238.
A team of researchers led by Elliott Albers, director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience and Regents’ Professor of neuroscience, and graduate student Joseph Terranova has discovered that serotonin (5-HT) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) act in opposite ways in males and females to influence aggression and dominance. Because dominance and aggressiveness have been linked to stress resistance, these findings may influence the development of more effective gender-specific treatment strategies for stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.
Avanti Gokhale, Cortnie Hartwig, Amanda H. Freeman, Ravi Das, Stephanie A. Zlatic, Rachel Vistein, Amelia Burch, Guillemette Carrot, Arielle F. Lewis, Sheldon Nelms, Dion K. Dickman, Manojkumar A. Puthenveedu, Daniel N. Cox and Victor Faundez. “Defects Identifies the Arp2/3 Actin Polymerization Complex to Function Downstream of the Schizophrenia Susceptibility Factor Dysbindin at the Synapse.” Journal of Neuroscience. 7 December 2016, 36 (49), 12393-12411.
The article made the cover of the Journal of Neuroscience, with an image captured at Georgia State. The image shows the dendritic arbor of a Drosophila class-IV (C-IV) da sensory neuron. The terminal branches of these dendrites are enriched in actin, and they are sensitive to mutations in the schizophrenia susceptibility gene dysbindin (dysb) and subunits of the Arp2/3 actin polymerization complex.
Heather N. Turner, Kevin Armengol, Atit A. Patel, Nathaniel J. Himmel, Luis Sullivan, Srividya Chandramouli Iyer1, Surajit Bhattacharya, Eswar Prasad R. Iyer, Christian Landry, Michael J. Galkocorrespondence, and Daniel N. Cox. “The TRP Channels Pkd2, NompC, and Trpm Act in Cold-Sensing Neurons to Mediate Unique Aversive Behaviors to Noxious Cold in Drosophila.” Current Biology. 5 December 2016, 26 (23), 3116-3128.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Cox has discovered that the fruit fly, Drosophilia melanogaster, has cold-sensing neurons that when activated drive specific, aversive behaviors to damaging cold. The article establishes the fruit fly as an important genetic and behavioral model for unraveling the cellular and molecular bases of damaging cold perception.
Özçalışkan, Ş., Lucero, C., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2016). “Is seeing gesture necessary to gesture like a native speaker?” Psychological Science, 27 (5), 737-747.
This article on the relationship between language and gesture received significant media attention this year. The results suggest that speech is the source of cross-linguistic differences in gesture, in that gestures produced with speech “carry the imprint of the language that they accompany even in the absence of access to native gesture patterns.” The research was covered by Psychology Today, Science Daily, and media outlets around the world.
Brennan Collins (PI), senior academic professional in the Department of English and associate director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, “GSU Next Generation Humanities Ph.D. Planning Grant.” National Endowment for the Humanities, $25,000.
Jeremy Diem (PI), associate professor in the Department of Geosciences, “Georgia Geographic Alliance.” National Geographic Education Foundation, $27,500.
Sarah Brosnan (GSU PI), associate professor of psychology, philosophy and neuroscience, “IBSS-L: Inequity aversion, individual decision-making and the emergence of collective behavior.” National Science Foundation, $900,000 ($33,821 GSU).
Chris Henrich (GSU PI), professor and chair of psychology, “Comprehensive School Safety in Atlanta Public Schools.” WestEd, $91,329 GSU.
Tricia King (GSU PI), professor of psychology, “Genetic and neuroimaging predictors of sleep and neurocognitive radiotoxicity in long-term survivors of pediatric brain tumors.” Children’s Health Care of Atlanta Center for Neurosciences Research, $50,000 GSU.
Deirdre Oakley and Erin Ruel (GSU Co-PIs), professors in the Department of Sociology, “Interrupting Place-based Inequality: Building Sustainable Communities through Shared Equity Homeownership.” National Science Foundation, $516,000 ($87,703 GSU).
Eric R. Wright (PI), professor and chair of sociology, “Estimating the Prevalence of Trafficking Among Homeless and Runaway Youth Ages 14-25 In Metro Atlanta.” National Institute of Justice, $499,905.
Peter Lindsay, associate professor of philosophy, wrote in The Conversation about his philosophical critique of libertarian economics. More
Lindsay is also a contributor to the website The Hill, where he also published pieces on the gulf between Democratic and Republican understandings of political issues (More) and on the death penalty (More).
Daniel N. Cox, associate professor of Neuroscience, was mentioned in Life Science Daily for his work on the neuronal mechanisms underpinning the perception of cold in fruit flies. More
Chris Cornelison, a post-doctoral researcher in Biology, was quoted in a CBC story about his innovative use of live bacteria in treating a deadly fungal disease in bats. More
Sarah Cook, associate professor of psychology and associate dean of the Honors College, published a piece in The Conversation evaluating the incidence of rape and sexual harassment in the US. More
The Moultrie Observer ran a picture of fifth-graders at Cox Elementary learning about DNA from the Bio-Bus program. More
Faith Johnson, a B.A. and M.A. psychology alumna, was just named the first black female district attorney for Dallas County, TX. More