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UNG president invests in faculty and staff development, innovation projects

Fac/staff awards 2014
From left to right: Jeff Marker, Gina Reed, Joanna Kim and Warren Caputo were among dozens of faculty and staff recognized for their dedication and achievement during the 2014 Faculty-Staff Awards Ceremonies, held on UNG's Dahlonega, Gainesville and Oconee campuses.

In continuation of an internal grants program created in 2013 to encourage innovation and the pursuit of scholarly and creative activities, University of North Georgia (UNG) President Bonita C. Jacobs has presented awards valued at more than $300,000 to fund 32 faculty and staff proposals for professional development and research projects.

The grants, along with other awards, were announced at the university's annual Faculty-Staff Awards Ceremonies held in recent weeks. There were 99 applications for the Presidential Semester Scholar Awards, Presidential Summer Scholar Awards, and Presidential Innovation Awards.

"This past year's projects resulted in significant professional development experiences around the globe, research, authored books and presentations to professional organizations," Jacobs said. "The impact on our faculty and staff, and, in turn, on our students, has been incredibly meaningful and has moved us forward in a number of ways."

Presidential Semester Scholar Awards provide up to $25,000 to six tenured or tenure-track faculty members to support focused and meaningful research as well as scholarly and creative activities. The recipients are:

  • Diana Edelman-Young, English: "Conceiving the Gothic: The Literature of the Reproductive Crisis (1760-1831)"
  • Ahmad Ghafarian, computer science and information systems: "Forensics Examination of the Privacy of Portable Web Browsers"
  • Craig Greathouse, political science and international affairs: "Strategic Culture, Concept, Theory, and Comparison: Examining the Differences Between the United States and the European Union in Terms of the Use of Force"
  • Katayoun Mobasher, chemistry and biochemistry: "Develop an Interactive Web-Based Geological Field Guide and Data-Base for Georgia"
  • Yong Wei, computer science and information systems: "Para-spinal Muscle Segmentation in CT Images for Spine Surgeons"
  • Trey Wilson, political science and international affairs: "Desegregating Differently in the Deep South:  How Two Similar Georgia Women's Colleges Dissimilarly Broke the Color Barrier"

Presidential Summer Scholar Awards sponsor six projects up to $10,000 each and are granted to tenured or tenure-track faculty members conducting meaningful research and scholarly and creative activities. This year's recipients are:

  • Diana Edelman-Young, English: "Chapter Two: Gothic Medicine in Conceiving the Gothic Literature of the Reproductive Crisis (1760-1831)"
  • Esther Morgan Ellis, music: "Unearthing the Roots of Community Singing: May Garrettson Evans and the Peabody Preparatory Division in Baltimore (1915-1916)"
  • Kyounghye Kwon, English: "Deolmi or Korean Traditional Puppet Theatre: Indigenous Memory Then and Now"
  • Sara Mason, sociology and human services: "Selling Black History: Multicultural Tourism and the Shaping of Place"
  • Wendy Kurant Rollins, English: "Mary Boykin Chesnut: Formulation of Femininity"
  • Yong Wei, computer science and information systems: "Para-spinal Muscle Segmentation in CT Images for Spine Surgeons"

Presidential Innovation Awards fund 20 projects of up to $5,000 each to support faculty and staff development and to provide opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations among colleagues, individual pursuits focused on innovations, or partnerships that promote implementation of best practice models. The recipients are:

  • Jennifer Bennett, student disability services: "First-Year Foundation and Peer Mentoring Program"
  • Minsu Kim and Thinh Kieu, math: "WebWork for Improving Teaching and Learning Quality in Mathematics"
  • Jim Shimkus, English: "Writing Fellows Program Pilot"
  • Gloria Bennett, English: "The Southern Literary Festival"
  • Katayoun Mobasher, chemistry and biochemistry, and Jeff Turk, Institute for Environmental and Spatial Analysis: "Developing an Interactive Web-Based Field Guide and Data-Base for Studying and Teaching Geology and Geomechanical Engineering"
  • Sarah Dean and Emily Cook, academic advising: "Peer Advisor Program Planning"
  • Melba Horton, biology: "UNG for a Sustainable Lake Sidney Lanier: A Public Service Advertisement Production"
  • Karen Redding, English, and Jonathan Barefield, library: "Embedded Academic Support Experience"
  • Kathryn Parrish, nursing: "Leadership Development Program for Simulation Educators"
  • Richard Byers and Eugene VanSickle, history, anthropology and philosophy, and Bryson Payne, computer science and information systems: "Building New Ways to Display, Embed, and Learn Content: The UNG eBook Widget Project"
  • Benjamin Garner, management and marketing: "Flipping the Class with Video Interviews"
  • Deborah Dunphy, nursing: "Innovation in Graduate Program Clinical Simulation at UNG Through Integrating Best Practices in Debriefing"
  • Steven Lloyd, psychological science, and Ryan Shanks, biology: "Student-focused Research into the Genetic Basis of Increased Susceptibility to Addiction after Exposure to Adolescent ADHD Drugs"
  • Sarah Dunn, music: "Implementing GoPro Cameras in the Assessment of Drum Corps Rehearsal Methods and Performances"
  • Nancy Dalman, biology: "Sapelo Island Geechee Red Pea Project"
  • Alison Alhadeff and Terrie Millard, physical therapy, and Jon Mehlferber, visual arts: "3D Printing Exploration, Development, and Refinement of Low Cost Adaptive Devices for Disabled Children to Participate in Extracurricular Activities"
  • Sarah Formica, physics: "A Peer Undergraduate Mentor Program to Increase Student Retention and Provide Significant Learning Experiences for First-Year and Upper-Class Physics Majors"
  • Eric Huddleston and Jim Konzelman, chemistry and biochemistry: "Developing Scholars: Transforming Students into Instructors"
  • Mimi Fortune, Cara Ray, Stacie Rowley, Lindsay Bailer and Gicorey Keys, student affairs: "Women's Leadership Initiative"
  • Stacy Lin, English, and Jamie Mitchem and Zac Miller, Institute of Environmental and Spatial Analysis: "Developing Literary Cartography Methodologies and Pedagogies at UNG"

Richard Byers, associate professor of history, received the Distinguished Teaching Award for his strong focus on teaching and learning and his sustained and documented impact on student learning both in and out of the classroom. As the recipient of this award, Byers will be the UNG nominee for the University System of Georgia Regents' Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Kathy Martin, Anna Gillespie and Melinda Maxwell were recognized as the Staff Council Staff Members of the Year for the Gainesville, Oconee and Dahlonega campuses, respectively. Each was selected as a staff member of the month during the 2013-14 academic year and nominated for the award based on dedication to the university and commitment to excellence.

The Eleanor Crawford Award, named in honor of the first employee hired when then-Gainesville Junior College was established and given for extraordinary loyalty, dedication and service to the university, fellow employees and students, was awarded to Suzanne McCarter on the Dahlonega Campus, Susan Smith on the Gainesville Campus and Tim Aldridge on the Oconee Campus.

Also, 73 employees were recognized for outstanding customer service with the North Star Award.

Other awards were based in the five categories of campus-based engagement, learning, leadership and teaching.

Faculty members who were granted promotions and tenure were also recognized, as were other faculty and staff members with various awards. Please click here for the list.

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