SPSU Construction Management department to hold 11th annual banquet
SPSU’s Construction Management (CM) department will hold its annual Construction Industry Advisory Board (CIAB) Banquet at the Cobb Galleria on Sept. 27. The dinner raises money for scholarships and the advancement of Georgia’s largest accredited construction program.
SPSU offers both bachelor and master of science degrees in construction management, as well as certificates in project management, land development and specialty construction.
“The tremendous amount of support that I was able to receive through the CIAB Scholarship proved to be invaluable in preparing me for success in the construction industry,” said Trent Anderson, who graduated on Aug. 4 and is employed with general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie. “The CIAB Scholarship allowed me to focus my efforts on participation in CM competition teams, rather than having to find alternatives to financing my education.”
Anderson was captain of the SPSU team that placed first in the 2012 National Mechanical Contractors Association of America Competition. “These competitions have significantly increased my knowledge and awareness of the industry and have helped to supplement the excellent education that I have received in the construction management program at SPSU,” he added.
The annual CIAB Banquet also serves as a key networking and recruiting opportunity for the SPSU undergraduates and graduate students, general contractors, subcontractors and construction vendors who attend.
This year, the evening will include “A look into the Georgia economy” by Dr. Roger Tutterow, professor of economics at Mercer University’s Atlanta campus, as well as cocktails and a silent auction. For tickets to the fundraiser, contact Event Committee Chairman Eric James at 678-636-0148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
VP’s Corner: Office of Advancement
“PolyDay fundraising effort a first for SPSU”
This fall brings something new to the campus – a fundraising initiative called PolyDay. The campus community will participate through the annual Faculty-Staff Campaign, but many faculty and staff members will also be canvassing the local community, personally soliciting gifts from more than 2,000 businesses throughout September. On Oct. 8, we will celebrate the culmination of this fundraising effort with a very special evening event that we hope everyone involved will attend.
Being a polytechnic institution makes SPSU a natural partner for industry and a community partner for Marietta and Cobb County. SPSU educates a large number of Cobb County students, has a $198 million economic impact on our community, serves as resource for Marietta and Cobb County schools, and acts as an economic development stimulus for the local government and the Cobb Chamber. Because of these benefits to our community, we will be asking Marietta and Cobb County businesses and individuals to help financially support the university with their gifts.
The advancement office is recruiting campus volunteers to make personal visits to assigned businesses. If you would like to volunteer for this important effort, or if you have a current relationship with a company that can open doors in our fundraising efforts, please contact Cheryl Martinez, development officer for Corporate and Foundation Relations, at email@example.com or ext. 3295.
More details about PolyDay will be forthcoming shortly. We are looking forward to this exciting new venture in fundraising at SPSU, and I hope you will all want to be part of it.
Departmental changes now official
With the new fiscal year and the start of the fall semester, SPSU has new academic departments and reorganized an existing one into two new departments.
The School of Engineering, which was given school status last winter, has restructured into three official departments:
• Electrical and Mechatronics Engineering (Prof. Lance Crimm, chair);
• Systems and Mechanical Engineering (Dr. Renee Butler, chair); and
• Civil and Construction Engineering (Prof. Sam Beadles, chair).
Also, the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Physics has been divided into the Department of Biology and Chemistry (Dr. Mark Sugalski, chair) and the Department of Physics (Dr. Phil Patterson, chair).
Collaborative project unites diverse group of researchers
The Strength of Materials Virtual Lab Research Team has been busy during 2011-12 with a project that has linked the computer science, computer game design and development, media arts and engineering programs in order to enhance creative and collaborative learning experiences.
The team consists of Dr. Jon Preston of Computer Science and Software Engineering; Dr. Wasim Barham of Civil and Construction Engineering; Dr. James Werner of English, Technical Communications and Media Arts; computer science major Yu Feng and technical writing and communications major Nathan Atkins.
Together, team members created a computer game-based virtual strength of materials lab for civil engineering students.
During the spring semester, Dr. Preston presented a paper at the 2012 Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. The paper was titled, “Using digital games to improve access and learning.”
Dr. Werner presented a paper on “Art’s autonomy in new media collaborations” at the Virtual Extents: Practices of Research and Teaching in Contemporary Creative Arts Symposium at University College Falmouth in Cornwall, England.
In June, the team staged a half-day workshop, “Game-based virtual strength of materials laboratory for civil engineering students,” at the 2012 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference in San Antonio.
And finally, Dr. Barham presented a paper, “Using a virtual gaming environment in strength of materials laboratory,” in mid-June at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) International Conference on Computing in Civil Engineering in Clearwater, Fla.
For more information about the project, visit the Strength of Materials Virtual Laboratory website.
Recent faculty activities
• Matthew Weand, an assistant professor in the Biology and Chemistry department, and Megan Chapman, an SPSU Honors Scholar who earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in May, traveled to Portland, Ore., in early August to present their research project at the 2012 Annual Conference of the Ecological Society of America. Their research showed that between 1974 and 2010, pine trees in Atlanta’s Fernbank Forest experienced decreased growth rates in years when ozone levels increased. Dr. Weand and Chapman determined that the trees in Fernbank Forest are among Atlanta’s oldest – some species are as old as 250 years. This research suggests that air pollution may be threatening the health of these trees.
Welcome, new faculty members!
SPSU welcomed 20 new faculty members to campus this fall, many of whom have impressive credentials. Below is the third and final installment of faculty bios, provided by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs:
School of Arts and Sciences
Donna Colebeck is not new to SPSU, having worked as an adjunct professor here since 2003. Now she has been hired as a full-time lecturer in English, Technical Communication and Media Arts (specializing in fine arts). She has an M.F.A. in fine arts from Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology. Previously, she also taught at Kennesaw State University and was director of the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art.
Laura Beth Daws is an assistant professor in English, Technical Communication and Media Arts (with a specialty in communications). She has a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Kentucky, in Lexington, and an M.A. in communication from Auburn (Ala.) University. Beginning in 2009, she served as associate professor of communications and Honors Program director at Georgia Highlands College, in Rome.
Daniel Ferreira is an assistant professor in Biology and Chemistry (with a specialty in environmental science). He has a Ph.D. in soil science (specializing in soil chemistry) as well as an M.S. in geological sciences from the University of Connecticut, in Storrs.
Brian Gridley is a full-time temporary faculty member in Social and International Studies. He is a Ph.D. in political science candidate at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, and has an M.A. in American history from Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tenn. He previously taught at SPSU on a part-time basis.
Marcia Hesser is a lecturer in Biology and Chemistry (with a specialty in animal physiology). She has a Ph.D. in animal and veterinary sciences as well as an M.S. in animal physiology, both from Clemson (S.C.) University. She has previously taught as an adjunct instructor at Chattahoochee Technical College, in Marietta.
Yang Kang is a lecturer in Mathematics. He has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Irvine. He previously served for three years as a visiting research instructor at Michigan State University, in Lansing.
Cassandra Mathious is a master teacher in the Education program. She has an Ed.S. in curriculum and instruction from Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tenn., and an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Central Michigan University, in Mount Pleasant. She taught for 18 years at Marietta Middle School, where she was the Acceleration Academy coordinator and math department chair.
Leigh Sharma is an assistant professor in Social and International Studies (specializing in psychology). She has a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, and served as a postdoctoral fellow in the area of substance abuse in the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, in Lake City, Fla.
Claudia Spiro is an assistant professor in Mathematics (specializing in mathematics education). She has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.A.T. in mathematics education from Tufts University, Medford, Mass., and an M.S. in mathematics from California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena. She has previously taught as an adjunct professor for ITT Technical College in Wilmington, Mass., at Nashua (N.H.) Community College and at Manchester (Conn.) Community College. She also was an online instructor for the University of Phoenix in Nashua, N.H., and taught mathematics for eight years in the public schools of both Nashua and Buffalo, N.Y.
Erin Sutherland is an assistant professor in Physics (specializing in science education). She has an Ed.D. in science education from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.. She previously taught: mathematics at Huntsville (Ala.) High School; mathematics and physics at Catholic High School in Huntsville (Ala.); and physics and physical science at Sparkman High School in Toney, Ala. She has additional teaching experience at Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Ala.
Tsai-Tien Tseng is an assistant professor in Biology and Chemistry (with a specialty in biotechnology). He has a Ph.D. in biophysics and computational biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.S. in biology from the University of California at San Diego. He was a postdoctoral research associate at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, and a senior research associate at Clark Atlanta University, in Atlanta.
Have news to share?
If your department has an upcoming event or other news to share with the campus community, please send an e-mail with all the pertinent information to Diane Payne (firstname.lastname@example.org). To be considered for use in a specific issue of the SPSU Hornet’s Nest, a news item must be submitted no less than four weeks before the date of the issue.
Volume 5, Issue 33
Sept. 5, 2012
Wed., Sept. 5
• Scholarship at SPSU (brown-bag lunch): Dr. Adeel Khalid, assistant professor in Systems Engineering, will present his research on “APSS
– Autonomous Patrol and Surveillance System challenges and solutions,” 12 p.m., H-202
Fri., Sept. 7
• Leadership Development Reading Group (open to all faculty and staff members) meets to discuss the first two chapters of “Switch: How to change things when change is hard” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, 12 p.m., A-213
• Georgia Game Jam, 48 hours of non-stop game design and development sponsored by the School of Computing and Software Engineering and Arke Systems, 5 p.m., Fri., Sept. 7, through 6 p.m., Sun, Sept. 9., J Building, go to Game Jam to register ($25)
Mon., Sept. 10
• International Film Series: “Seven Samurai” (Japan), presented by SPSU Registrar Steve Hamrick
• Rec Center Brown Bag Lunch and Learn: Are you hungry? What to eat before and after exercise, 1-1:30 p.m., Recreation & Wellness Center
• Soccer Hornets vs. Tennessee Temple University, 5 p.m., Nuesoft Technologies Field
Wed., Sept. 12
• Holocaust survivor Henry Birnbrey from the William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum will give a presentation open to all SPSU faculty, staff and students that is sponsored by the Cross-Cultural Committee, 12-1:15 p.m., Student Center Ballroom
Mon., Sept. 17
• Constitution Day lecture by Carl Snook, Social and International Studies department, “Immigration reform in the American federal system: The Supremacy Clause and state immigration enforcement,” 12 p.m., Design II Auditorium