The GSO News
Inside this Issue
Volume 4, Issue 2, Jan 2013
What does the consolidation mean for the COGS?
Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University
have consolidated to become Georgia Regents University. This merger
became effective starting January 9, 2013 and has stirred public
interest across the educational community especially in the
Southeastern region of United States. However this has left most
us students wondering, Now what does the consolidation mean for
the College of the Graduate Studies (COGS) (besides the change in
our email address, of course)? For this purpose, the GSO has
reviewed and compiled information from multiple resources including
an interview with the current SGA President, Caitlin Madigan,
President Azzizs posts, and local newspapers to paint readers with
a realistic picture.
The most obvious and common worry for the most us students is
impact this merger on our graduate student community. As Caitlin
stated in the last SGA meeting, graduate students would expect to
see an increase in fees every semester. However we must remind
ourselves that the higher fees have resulted in several more
Happy New Year to faculty, staff, and students from the College
of Graduate Studies! We welcome our new students in all programs of
graduate study that matriculated in 2012 and hope that your
academic experience has been enriching and productive. We also
welcome new faculty members appointed recently to the College of
Graduate Studies and wish you well as you endeavor to train the
next generation of young scholars in your field of study. 2013
be an exciting time of transition for the College as we witness
the consolidation of two fine universities! Opportunities
abound for students to augment their graduate education as
liberal arts and health sciences programs expand. Oneof our most
exciting annual events, Graduate Research Day, will take
place this year on March 22, 2013. This event features
outstanding research from pre- and post-doctoral fellows. It offers
an excellent opportunity to learn of the exciting research
initiatives on campus. Dr. Shu Chien Professor of Bioengineering
and Medicine, University of California, San Diego will deliver the
keynote address Career Development: A Case History and General
Thoughts. Please mark your calendars for a day that promises to be
most invigorating. As we reflect upon the year that has just
passed, I would like to acknowledge the manifold contributions
of Dr. Patricia Cameron for her exceptional service to the College
of Graduate Studies, who in addition to her many duties as Vice
Dean, also has served as our key liaison to facilitate a successful
Special thanks also to Dr. Michael Brands for his tireless
efforts in directing the Biomedical Sciences PhD program. Finally,
heartfelt thanks to our terrific
staff colleagues Marvis, Emily, Linda, Donna and Rhonda for
their efforts in overseeing daily operations. Best wishes for a
healthy and productive 2013! -Dr. Sylvia Smith
Dr. Kevin Frazier.................................2Student:
Alumni: Brandon Hall, Ph.D............5Alumni: John Copland,
Ph.D............5Ticker Trot 5
Welcoming the New Year
Nicole Yiew, Namita Hattangady
continued on page 7...
f the G
GRU Graduate Student Organization
The GSO News
Dr. Kevin Frazier serves as the Chief Student Affairs Officer on
is the key advisor to the President and Provost on all matters
relating to student life and activities. In addition, Dr. Frazier
is also heavily involved in student life; he personally counsels
student, campus organizations and is responsible for student
regulations, activities, as well as student growth outside the
classroom. The GSO News therefore decided to reach out to Dr.
Frazier to learn about him, his contributions, and explore reasons
behind his passion in assisting students. Dr. Frazier moved to
Augusta from Gainesville, Florida to teach in the GRU College of
Dental Medicine starting in January 1995. Prior to joining GRU, Dr.
a high achiever at the University of
Florida (UF); he secured a double major- a B.A. in Anthropology
in Zoology, after which he joined UF
College of Dentistry. As a student, Dr. Frazier was extremely
challenged by the requirements associated with a college double
major and his dental education.
The encouragement that he received from a few key faculty
members at his school made a huge difference and gave him the
strength to persevere and occasionally excel in spite of tough
conditions. In some ways, Dr. Frazier tries to repay those that
helped him the past, by supporting current students. Dr. Frazier
recalls one of his most memorable experiences as working with the
Student Government Association to launch the service and leadership
honor society- Alpha Upsilon Phi in 2008. Every spring the society
honor an interdisciplinary group of graduating
seniors for their service and leadership activities on behalf of
their colleges, our university, and the community.
As every journey is made of flowers
and thorns, one of the most challenging aspects of Dr. Fraziers
duty is to encourage students, whose academic performance suffers
due to their substantial involvement with extra-
GHSU Team Trialnet raises money to Bring Home the CureColleen
continued on page 8...
GHSU Team Trialnet stepped out again this year for the
Augusta/Aiken Walk to Cure Diabetes in support of the Juvenile
Diabetes Research Foundation. Numerous fundraising events were held
to help us reach our goal of over $7,000 raised here on campus. Our
team kicked off the year with a Silent Auction back in June, with
generous prizes/gifts donated from businesses all over the
From there, a bowling tournament was held at the bowling alley
on Washington road- and many of the families of Type 1 Diabetics
from the area came out and participated! We once again held our
Crazy Sneakers Zumbathon and had our annual bake sale in the annex
too. Additional new events this year included a softball tournament
playing on the
continued on page 8...
Dr. Kevin Frazier Nicole Yiew
f the G
Photographed by Colleen Carey
The GSO News
The Photography Interest Group was recently started by a group
medical students when they learned about the lack of such
organization on the GRU campus. The group was established to bring
together students and faculty who share a passion for photography
and use the club as an opportunity to fundraise for a local
charity. This year, the club has chosen to donate all the funds
the Childrens Medical Center (CMC).
They have already had the chance to photograph the new medical
education groundbreaking ceremony and various departmental
Christmas parties to kick start the fundraising. We encourage
students to participate if they are interested in helping the
community or in refining their photography skills.
Although initiated by medical students, the group welcomes
students from all disciplines. For more information, please contact
Paul at [email protected] or Duane [email protected]
Student Spotlight: Margaret Summers
Margaret Summers is a second year student in the Masters in
Physician Assistant (PA) Science Program. She is native to
Covington, GA and made the firm decision to come to GRU due to
caliber of the PA program and the close proximity of the
university campus to her family. Despite being in a demanding
course, Margaret has made her mark on campus through her
involvement in extra curricular activities. She is currently the
student ambassador in her program and was a trainee of the Student
Leadership Institute in 2012.
As graduation is fast approaching, Margarets plan for the future
is to simply find a job that she loves in a city
that she cherishes. When asked about
her strategy to survive in Augusta, Margaret responds Besides
studying, I try to do something for myself once a day, whether it
be reading, exercising, cooking, or going out. Augusta has great
dining places if you are up for exploring.
Margaret encourages current students to make friends and do not
be afraid to seek help from fellow students or faculty members when
needed. Margaret also advises students to often remind themselves
about how lucky they are and how many people would love to be in
their shoes. As I thought about Margarets advice, I realized how
often we find ourselves thinking that the grass
is greener on the other side of the fence.
In the words of the wise classical book writer, Robert Fulghum,
Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it
is watered. Margaret can be contacted [email protected]
for further questions or advice. The GSO thanks Margaret for
sharing her story with us and wishes her the very best in her
continued on page 8...
Photographed by Duane Jurma
Photographed by Colleen Carey
The GSO News
Colleen Carey5th year Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. student. Colleen
recently became engaged to her long time boyfriend, Phil Davis. A
September 2013 wedding is to be held in the Adirondack Mountains in
Namita Hattangady5th year Biomedical Sciences graduate student.
Namita was awarded the 2012 Endocrine Societys Presidential Poster
Award in recognition of research contributions to the field of
at the Endocrine Conference 2012 at Houston, TX, for her poster
titled Novel Genetic Mechanisms for Primary Aldosteronism.
Lani Hold2nd year Family Nurse Practitioner student. Lani is
planning to tie the knot with her sweetheart, Justin Hendrix, on
Paramita Pati5th year Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. student.
Paramita was awarded the AHA Predoctoral Fellowship and the Armand
Karow Award from the Pharmacology & Toxicology Department in
Shuiqing Qiu4th year Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. student. Shuiqing
has been granted an AHA Predoctoral Fellowship to support 2 years
of her graduate study.
Buvana Ravishankar4th year Biomedical Sciences Ph.D.student.
Buvana made the year 2012 a year of excellence; she has earned a
first author publication in the prestigious
journal PNAS; she also presented her
work in a poster and an oral session as well as received an
abstract award at the American Association of Immunologists
meeting; Buvana was granted the Rasmussen Award for Excellence in
Molecular Medicine, been nominated for Whos Who Among Students in
American Universities and Colleges, and is now working on a
co-authored review article for the Journal Cellular and Molecular
Juilee Rege5th year Biomedical Sciences Ph.D.student. Juilee
achieved international success by securing a Young Researchers
Award at the 15th International Congress on Hormonal Steroids and
Student News and AchievementsWarmest Congrats Fellow Students!
We are proud and happy for you!
continued on page 6...
The GSO News 5
Dr. Brandon J. Hall grew up in Aiken, South Carolina. Familiar
with the reputation of GRUs biomedical research program, he decided
the Pharmacology department as a graduate student. He initally
pursued his research work under the expert mentorship of Dr. Jerry
Buccafusco; but upon Dr. Buccafuscos untimely passing, he completed
his thesis under the guidance of Dr. Alvin Terry. He investigated
the prospect of treating drug addiction via mechanisms involving
use-dependent antagonism of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.
Dr. Hall derived his inspiration from his profound interest in
translational research, especially on drug development. In
addition, the introduction to behavioral research at the Small
Animal Behavior Core further ignited Dr. Halls interest for
science. He received a travel award to the
Southeastern Pharmacology Societys annual meeting. He also
received an Excellence in Research Award for Graduate Research Day
two years in a row. By the end of his student career, Dr. Hall had
a solid publication record with three first author publications
his research, and he also co-authored a review paper. Dr. Hall
is currently a postdoctoral associate with Dr. Ed Levin at Duke
University, North Carolina.
Apart from being an avid reader, Dr. Hall enjoys strolling in
and playing golf. Dr. Hall considers GRU as one big extended
family. He believes that GRU has provided him the opportunity to
meet people from various backgrounds while developing networks
Alumni SpotlightDr. Brandon Hall
continued on pg. 9...
continued on pg. 9...
Dr John Alton Copland III is an alumnus of Georgia Reagents
University. He was invited and honored as one of seven
distinguished alumni at GRUs homecoming in April 2012. The GSO used
this opportunity to talk to the very humble and approachable Dr.
Copland about his journey in attaining
excellence in science. Dr. Copland has valuable advice for
students and some wonderful stories about his time at GRU. We hope
to communicate some highlights of this interview.
Dr. Copland was born in Calhoun and raised in Columbus, Georgia.
the Ph.D. Program at the then Medical College of Georgia (MCG)
under the Department of Endocrinology and Physiology. Dr. Copland
trained under the renowned Dr. Virendra Mahesh in the field of
exploring the antitumor activity in breast cancer of a novel
compound with anti-estrogenic activity. After graduating from MCG
in 1993 with several honors and strong publications, Dr. Copland is
now an associate professor in Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo
Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. He has had an illustrious career,
securing several grants from a variety of funding sources. His
laboratory focuses on discovering new genes and signaling pathways
by cancer cells, with the long term goal of potentially
identifying novel molecular targeted drugs that could cure cancer
or it turn cancer into a chronic disease.
Speaking fondly about his good times at MCG, Dr. Copland
reminisced about several interesting experiences and his strategies
to survive graduate school within the then tight stipend of
$8500/year. By befriending Augustans, he learned and performed odd
as cutting grass, painting and roofing
houses, pouring concrete driveways and putting in French drains
to pay the bills. He even learned to make his own
furniture from a neighbor! Dr Copland credits these experiences
to helping him to grow up and become mature.
His advice to students is focus first
and foremost on your education. He elaborates saying that this
is also the time in a students life to push him/herself to academic
and scientific excellence. He
advices students, Push yourself to study and be prepared for
tests and to participate in lectures and especially seminars. Set a
goal to ask one question for every seminar that you attend. Get to
Alumni SpotlightDr. John Alton CoplandNamita Hattangady
Obtained from Dr. Halls website
Photo courtesy of the GRU website
The GSO News
Cancer, Kanazawa, Japan and was also an invited seminar speaker
at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai,
Erin ScottMD/Ph.D. student. Erin has been rewarded for her
outstanding performance by receiving the Junior Investigator Travel
Award to attend the 2013 International Stroke Conference and having
two papers accepted for publication in the journal Steroids and
Brain Research, respectively. Last but not least, Erin and her
Carson, celebrated the birth of their lovely daughter, Ehlana
Orin Scott, on November 30th; she weighed 6 lb. 11 oz. and was 20
Nicole Yiew2nd year Biomedical Sciences Ph.D.student. Nicole is
a finalist for the
2013 Water and Electrolyte Homeostasis Section Predoctoral
Research Recognition Award at the upcoming Experimental Biology
2013 conference in Boston.
Margaret Zimmerman3rd year Biomedical Sciences Ph.D.student.
Still early in her career, Margaret has already accomplished much.
Margaret secured an AHA Predoctoral Fellowship last July, was the
lead author of an article accepted by the American Journal of
Hypertension, received the GHSU Faculty and Spouse Club Scholarship
as well as earned the Physiology Chair Fellowship. With the latter,
Margaret is looking forward to attending the APS Professional
Skills Workshop! Finally, Margaret is the finalist for 2013 Water
Homeostasis Section Predoctoral Research Recognition Award in
the upcoming Experimental Biology conference in Boston.
Student News and Achievements continued from pg. 4...
Valentine Card Sale benefitting the
Wounded Warrior Project
Give back by buying your
sweetheart a Medical Valentines Day Card!
On sale Feb. 7-14th in the student center and terrace dining
Cheaper than Hallmark, and more funny too!
Sponsored by the Medical Illustration Department
The GSO News 7
Consolidation continued from pg. 1... opportunities for
students, including admittance to the Jaguar Student Activities
Center (JSAC) located on the Summerville Campus. In an interview
conducted by Metro Spirit, the Summerville campus Athletic
Director, Mr. Clint Bryant, suggested that the merger would
favorably impact student life. Mr. Bryant listed several possible
new sports including rowing, swimming and diving, lacrosse, and
GRU has also provided a much needed convenience between the two
campuses. With the additional transportation fee of $35 annually,
the University has effectively introduced the GRU Jaguar Express
Bus - a bus that shuttles students between both campuses every 15
minutes of each schooling day. The Augusta Chronicle highlighted
that the bus ride will be useful for students who have classes on
both campuses and students from the Summerville campus who wishes
to utilize the wellness center on the Health Sciences campus. So if
you are seeking some extra-curricular training at the Summerville
campus such as singing, dancing, or even learning a new language,
just hop onto the Jaguar
Express Bus! The bus runs from 7 A.M. to 10 P.M. Monday through
Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. The bus makes stops at
the University Hall on the
Summerville campus and the old Dental School Building on the
Health Sciences campus.
On the Health Sciences campus, we may witness the possibility of
yet another new cancer research building. According to President
Azziz, there will be a proposal to construct a $100 Million Cancer
Research Building. In its fiscal
year 2014 budget request, the Board of Regents voted to include
in bond funding for this construction project. Quoting President
building, if funded by the legislature, will eventually serve as
the cornerstone for a new Comprehensive Cancer Center complex as we
move to become host to Georgias 2nd National Cancer Institute
(NCI)-designated Cancer Center.
The formation of GRU has also rekindled the proposal to narrow
Laney-Walker Boulevard from four lanes to two to ensure public
safety. As in the past, this proposal has sparked a public outcry
among not only GRU employees and students, but also the local
Augustans. According to Augusta Chronicle, Vanessa Merriweather,
the owner of Sew Sister on Laney-Walker, said she wanted to see
more statistical evidence of how a narrower road would calm
believes that hiring crossing guards and improving crosswalks
would improve safety and keep the road the same. More discussions
are expected on this issue. The GSO hopes to keep students posted
on any outcomes of this debate in the next GSO Newsletter
Whether for improving our biodata or for the true love for
teaching, the most obvious change that students hope for, is an
increase in teaching opportunities. The GSO explored this potential
change in graduate student responsibility. Caitlins response to
this query is, We dont have student teaching opportunities
available immediately, but I would venture to say its a real
possibility in the near future. Therefore, graduate students may be
involved in fostering the development of younger minds on the GRU
campus someday. With the establishment of student organizations
like the Community Education Outreach (CEO), this path is already
in the making! While students must be cautioned about biting more
than they can chew, in Mark Twains words It is noble to teach
oneself, but still nobler to teach others. So, lets cross our
fingers, and hope for
Thus, overall, we hope to see several improvements such as
improved transportation, better athletic facilities, a safer
walking campus, and a hope for teaching opportunities at the small
cost of higher fees. The COGS sure faces a bittersweet (but mostly
sweet) transformation, as we make the journey
towards forming a consolidated GRU administration. So, fasten
your seat-belts and enjoy the ride! Keep reading
the GSO news for further updates on this epoch making event in
the history of GRU.
Photo provided by Emly Rose Bennett
The GSO News 8
JDRF continued from pg. 2...
curricular activities, to give up a leadership role. It is
always tough because it involves something that the students are
fully invested in.
One of Dr. Fraziers most significant
contributions to GRU is being the co-founder of the Student
Leadership Institute (SLI). The idea sparked after attending a
one-year long leadership program with the American Dental Education
Association. Dr. Frazier enjoyed learning and applying
leadership skills so he decided that our students should have
this chance as well.
As the growing importance of leadership abilities in our
society, the old-fashioned way of only studying and working hard
does not guarantee students success anymore. Dr. Fraziers advice to
students is, Learn about
your personality preferences, read about leadership, study other
leaders and observe them in action, and look for chances to
practice leading. The authors that Dr. Frazier have found useful
include Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner and John C. Maxwell, and Mike
Krzyzewski. According to Dr. Frazier, one of the most common themes
of leadership is influencing others: Each
and every day we are influenced by
others and we in turn influence others.
Understanding how we can best influence others for the common
is the most essential responsibility of leadership. Dr Frazier
has been an invaluable part of this school and a source of
inspiration to many students.
The GSO thanks Dr. Frazier for sharing his experiences and for
providing valuable insights to our readers on leadership.
Dr. Frazier continued from pg. 2...
2012 walk theme of bringing home a cure, a month long car wash
campaign at Sparkle Express Car Wash, and a dining give back night
at Red Robin in Evans.
Each event was a huge success in helping us to meet and exceed
our fundraising from last year. Fundraising efforts were celebrated
at the walk itself which was held at Savannah Rapids Pavilion on
Saturday November 3rd. Thanks to all who participated in the many
events and to those who helped to support through donations.
Famous American middle and long distance runner Steve
Prefontaine once said what kind of crazy nut would spend two or
three hours a day just running? before his running legacy and
legendary status had even begun. If you concur with Pres early-life
thoughts but still need to work off those extra pounds from
Christmas, or have a new years resolution to exercise more that has
failed to materialize to this point, Christina Torres and her merry
gang of volunteers have the event for you.
In accordance with GRUs Graduate Student Organization (GSO), the
annual Ticker Trot 5km to benefit the
American Heart Association is being
held on March 16th. The Ticker Trot 5km is an out-and-back race
on the Canal near the humane society entrance (Milledge Rd and
Lakeshore Loop junction). It costs $25 to enter and is open to all
GRU students, staff, and faculty, as well as the public. Many GRU
graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty receive
generous sponsorship from the American Heart Association.
Therefore, running and participating is the least we can do to show
If running is absolutely not your thing, and you would rather
contribute to this great cause as a volunteer, contact Christina
Torres ([email protected]) and you will be allocated a race day or
pre-race day responsibility. However, if you want to evaluate how
your new years resolution is going, or just want
some inspiration of working towards a physical goal, this event
is for you. Pre famously said to give anything less than your best
is to sacrifice the gift and
hereby, in the only way Pre knew how, the challenge is
Ticker Trot 5 KMCam McCarthy
Logo design by Brittany King
The GSO News 9
Dr. Copland continued from pg. 5... Dr. Hall continued from pg.
your mentor(s) and advisory committee members professionally and
personally. These are guides that help you move forward
professionally and importantly show you the very human side of
science. Dr Copland also suggests that there should be a balance to
prevent a burnout. Students should therefore keep time aside to
develop some outside interests that allow you to de-stress and
relax. Overall, it is important to take active social roles
remembering not to sacrifice your academic excellence.
With regard to training in research, Dr Copland advises, Do not
be discouraged by apparent failures. They are incredible learning
experiences. Be patient with yourself. Create clear goals and
strategies for attaining your
goals. Vet the goals with your mentor and fellow graduate
students. Often we do not get needed information critical for our
success. Always remember that you, in the end, are responsible for
your success, not your mentor and not your teachers.
It was a delight talking to Dr Copland and, while constraint of
space prevents the GSO from writing about the entire interview, Dr
Copland would be very happy to talk to students. He can be
contacted with any questions on guidance at [email protected]
edu. The GSO would like to thank Dr Copland for his time and for
sharing his refreshing and inspiring life experiences.
that enabled him to steer his career in desired direction.
Citing golden words of Dr. Buccafusco, You cant rush science, he
advises current students to be patient, diligent and respectful
towards people who have the potential to influence their
Brandons passion towards his work is a source of inspiration for
students. He exemplifies dedication through his
continual achievements of his goals over the years. The Graduate
Student Organization is enormously grateful to Brandon for sharing
his story and we wish him the very best in his professional
The GSO News 10
Facebook Group AddressStudents of GHSU GSO Graduate Student
Organization College of Graduate StudiesEmail Georgia Regents
[email protected] 1120 15th St. CJ 2201 Augusta, GA
Co-Editors in ChiefNicole Yiew Namita Hattangady
EditorsColleen Carey Simarjot PablaCam McCarthy Duane JuamaDr.
Layout DesignEllen Davis Jamie Rippke