Regent Stelling to deliver commencement address
This is the largest fall graduation in SPSU history, with 383 degrees to be handed out to candidates. The School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering Technology and Management will award degrees to their graduates at a ceremony that begins at 10 a.m. The 2 p.m. program will award degrees to graduates of the School of Architecture and Construction Management, the School of Computing and Software Engineering and the School of Engineering.
Take special note of the gowns the degree candidates will be wearing – each is made out of 29 recycled plastic bottles but feels like soft polyester to the touch. Everything about the gowns is recyclable, and after the ceremony, graduates can deposit them in a collection box. SPSU’s fall graduates will keep more than 11,000 plastic bottles out of landfills by wearing these gowns.
Regent Stelling began his banking career with Synovus, a financial services company with $31 billion in assets based in Columbus, in 2006 when the firm purchased Riverside Bancshares, Inc., and merged with Bank of North Georgia, headquartered in Alpharetta. He rose from president and CEO of the combined banks to his current position in 2009 and was named chairman of the Synovus Board of Directors in 2011.
A Georgia native, Regent Stelling is currently a member of the board of directors of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, where he served as chairman in 2008. He is also a board member of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, where he served as interim president from 1994-1995 and chairman in 1998 and 2006.
Regent Stelling earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in banking and finance from UGA and attended the Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University.
SPSUTeach receives major gift from AT&T
The gift will enable SPSU students seeking teacher certification in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics to use this equipment to develop lessons for under-achieving students.
The mission of SPSUTeach is to prepare students to teach curricula for grades 6 to 12 in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). SPSU teacher candidates earn degrees in their chosen fields along with a teaching certificate. This means SPSUTeach is increasing the number of students entering the university’s STEM programs, which ultimately will increase the number of college graduates ready to embark on STEM-related careers.
“The computers and other equipment funded by this gift will enable us to prepare strong teacher candidates with instructional skills that integrate technology into the classroom,” said SPSU President Lisa A. Rossbacher. “Graduates will be prepared to teach in Title I schools and pursue careers in high-needs schools, thereby enabling a broader spectrum of middle and high school students to gain access to the STEM pipeline.”
“I want to thank Southern Polytechnic State University for launching this program to provide a sharp focus on STEM education for our students,” said State Rep. Earl Ehrhart. “Preparing our young people for high-skill/high-wage jobs is critical for the economic health of our community and our state.”
“AT&T is proud to support Southern Polytechnic State University,” said Don Barbour, regional director of AT&T Georgia. “The importance of STEM education can’t be underestimated as we build tomorrow’s workforce.”
Public meeting to kick off new initiative
Representatives from the city of Marietta and the two universities will hold a public information meeting on Thurs., Dec. 13, from 4-6 p.m. at the Life University Center for Chiropractic Education (CCE) Building, Room 149.
Speakers will discuss the study’s initial findings including the area’s design, land use, transportation and market conditions and trends. The meeting is the first of four that will be held to receive public feedback about the study.
The purpose of the Marietta University Enhancement District Livable Centers Initiative (MU2 LCI) study is to develop a plan for making the area in Marietta’s Green Tech Corridor that includes the universities, the Cobb Community Transit (CCT) bus terminal and its neighboring park-and-ride lot a more well-balanced activity center where people of all ages can live, work, study and play. A community-supported vision for the area and a five-year implementation plan will result.
The study is a joint initiative of the city of Marietta, Life University and SPSU and is funded through the Atlanta Regional Commission’s LCI program.
Signs leading to the meeting will be posted on the Life University campus. For more information, contact Kyethea Clark, senior urban planner for the city of Marietta, at 770-794-5668.
Stuff-a-Bus and Toys for Tots campaigns under way
The Social and Community Building Committee has once again teamed up with Cobb Christmas and the Cobb County Department of Transportation (CCT) to make Christmas special for needy Cobb County families via Stuff-a-Bus. The university is also partnering with the U.S. Marine Corps to brighten local children’s holidays through Toys for Tots.
The Society of Physics Students (SPS) will collect donations deposited in the Stuff-a-Bus containers located in various departments around campus beginning at 2 p.m. this Fri., Dec. 7. Donations will also be accepted at the Faculty/Staff Holiday Luncheon on Mon., Dec. 10, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., after which committee members will stuff a CCT bus with the collected items in the parking lot closest to the Student Center and Administration Building.
Speaking of stuffing, it has become an annual SPSU tradition to fill President Lisa A. Rossbacher’s office suite with stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes for donation to the Toys for Tots campaign. Dr. Rossbacher’s passion for teddy bears started this campus-wide tradition in 1999.
In recent years, the bounty has expanded to include a variety of stuffed animals and other toys. To date, SPSU has contributed well over 1,200 toys to Toys for Tots. The President’s Office will continue to accept any and all donations until Dec. 12.
The organizers of both campaigns are seeking only new, unwrapped items.
Recent faculty publications
• Dr. Iraj Omidvar, an associate professor in the English, Technical Communication, and Media Arts (ETCMA) department, took part in an expert panel organized by the Middle East Institute at Georgia State University in early November. The panel topic was “America’s future in a dynamic region: The Muslim world and the U.S. election.” Dr. Omidvar’s talk was on the “Unraveling of the ideological promises of the 1979 revolution in Iran after the 2009 presidential election.”
• Dr. Mikhail Melnik, an associate professor of economics, was recently quoted in an election-related article, “Who’s middle class? It depends,” in the Buffalo (N.Y.) News. Dr. Melnik formerly taught at Niagara (N.Y.) University and is one of the economists surveyed by Bloomberg on a monthly basis.
Alum named YMCA Volunteer of Year
Willett, who is the principal of Willett Engineering Company, helped create the Pioneers Club, a group for those who have been members of the Decatur Y for 24 years or longer. He serves as board chair of the Decatur Y and is an active participant in the organization’s annual campaign that provides under-served youth the opportunity to participate in Y programs such as academic enrichment and youth sports.
“The Y is universal. All are welcome, and there is no agenda,” said Willett. “I especially enjoy raising money for the annual campaign, knowing that it’s allowing the community to take part. Being part of an organization like this is wonderful.”
Soccer season ends at NAIA quarterfinals
Lindsey Wilson ranked first nationally in the NAIA coaches’ polls during the tournament.
This was SPSU’s second consecutive appearance in the quarterfinals. Congratulations on making it to this elite level of play, team.
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Volume 5, Issue 45