SPSU social business team one step closer to winning $50K in start-up funds
The SPSU Social Business Team was one of two winners in a statewide Social Business Workshop held on March 3, the latest in a series of competitions leading up to a grand prize of $50,000 in start-up funding for the chosen business. SPSU competed with Fort Valley State University, Gainesville State College, Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia State University and Valdosta State University during the workshop. Each team was mentored by a small group of venture capitalists before making a presentation to and answering questions from the entire assembly.
Team members at this stage included SPSU alumna Sonal Doshi, who obtained a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) this winter and is now the controller of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, Fred Arnold, an MBA student, Chris Estrada (MBA), Becky Stringer (MBA) and Joelle Day, who graduated this winter with an MSA.
Doshi and Arnold presented the team’s business plan for an organization called Restoration Trust that would enable women to escape abusive relationships by providing them with small, low-interest “microloans” to help them secure housing, additional education and employment. The team determined that homelessness is a big problem for victims of domestic abuse, often leading them to return to their abusers. There are no microloan programs serving this population in Georgia.
“I am very proud of our students for all the extremely hard work they’ve put into this project,” said Dr. Donald Ariail, associate professor of accounting, who has been advising the team along with Dr. Greg Quinet, assistant professor of management, Dr. Joyce McGriff, associate professor of marketing, and Dr. Sandra Vasa-Sideris, professor of management. Working on their own time with no course credit, the group has put in well over 200 hours on Restoration Trust.
Until now, the SPSU team has been competing with other schools in the University System of Georgia, but that is about to change. On April 5-6, SPSU and the other winner of the March 3 competition, Georgia Gwinnett College, will be pitted against 20-25 entrepreneurs from around the region for a spot in a 10-week entrepreneurial training program by Village Capital-Atlanta, leading up to a June competition at which Village Capital will award the $50,000.
The groups participating in the March 3 workshop presented the top six out of 38 business plans showcased last October during the Georgia Social Business and Microcredit Forum, a statewide social business plan competition hosted by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The SPSU team took first place in that competition.
Dawn Ramsey honored for her work with Future City Competition
Future City is a national competition for teams of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students, each of which must present its vision of a future city that addresses design and infrastructure challenges. The regional winner goes on to compete at the national level.
The statewide competition has been held at SPSU since 2006. Ramsey has been the Future City Competition Georgia regional coordinator and a member of GEA’s E-Week Committee since 2007. More than 140 teams participated in the Jan. 21 competition and over 600 volunteers assisted as mentors, judges, time keepers, etc.
New assistant lab manager for CSE
Sweatland is a freshly minted SPSU alumnus (Bachelor of Science in Information Technology). Prior to graduation, he worked as a student lab assistant. Dr. Han Reichgelt, dean of CSE, says that he has “no doubt that Ron will enable CSE to further improve its lab operations and the support it gives its students.”
Sweatland, a Navy vet, is also involved with the SPSU Soldiers 2 Scholars initiative, which helps members of the military service make the transition to civilian life by means of earning a college degree.
Dr. Rossbacher presenting at Dalton State College
The 2012 Dicksie Bradley Bandy Memorial Colloquium, “Old Frontiers, New Frontiers: Women in Higher Education in Georgia,” will feature four scholars from University System of Georgia institutions, including Dr. Sandra Stone, who served as interim director of SPSU’s Applied Research Center in late 2008 and is now vice president for academic affairs at Dalton State.
They will discuss the history of education for women in the Progressive Era, participation by women in Georgia Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs, the situations facing women in Georgia’s higher education system today, and the life of Berry College founder Martha Berry. For more information about the event, go to www.bandyheritagecenter.org
NECA chapter gears up for Green Energy Challenge
This year’s challenge required each team to select a facility on its campus and conduct an energy audit of the building’s power and lighting systems. Then team members must design and propose a retrofit for both systems. Each entry will be judged by the ELECTRI (The Foundation for Electrical Construction Inc.) international jury which consists of contractors and industry partners.
Eight students will represent SPSU in the challenge with Dr. John Mench, senior lecturer in the Construction Management Department, as their faculty advisor. The team is doing an energy audit of the W. Clair Harris Textile Center (Building M).
The SPSU NECA chapter is affiliated with the Atlanta chapter and will represent both Atlanta and Georgia in this national competition.
Recent faculty activities
• Dr. Jon Preston, program coordinator for SPSU’s degree program in computer game design and development, has received approximately $4,800 in graphics hardware donations from NVIDIA, the world leader in visual computing technologies. Dr. Preston received the donation for his work with the National Science Foundation/Technical Committee on Parallel Computing Curriculum to develop curriculum for parallel computing. The donated graphics cards will be used in courses in gaming and parallel computing within the School of Computing and Software Engineering.
• Dr. Gerald Pierce, a part-time faculty member in the Department of Social and International Studies, recently presented a paper at the Missouri Valley History Conference. “The Dakota Rough Riders, 3D U.S. Volunteer Cavalry in the Spanish-American War,” describes the experiences of one of three U.S. Volunteer Cavalry regiments mobilized for the war.
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Volume 5, Issue 12