Thursday, June 28, 2012

Aimee Copeland preparing for release from hospital

by Winston Jones/Times-Georgian

Aimee Copeland is staying in close touch with her Carrollton friends and often calls and talks for longer than an hour, according to Gary Duke, owner of Sunnyside Cafe where she once worked.

She is expected to be released soon from the Augusta hospital where she has been since early May.

“She sounds strong and in reasonably good spirits,” Duke said Tuesday. “I understand she may be out of the hospital and into rehab within the next week or two.”

Copeland, who has been battling a rare, flesh-eating disease, is preparing to be released from the hospital after nearly two months. Her father, Andy Copeland, told The Associated Press that his 24-year-old daughter plans to transfer Monday from Doctors Hospital in Augusta to an inpatient rehabilitation center. Andy Copeland says she will spend several weeks there learning to move herself after having her left leg, right foot and both hands amputated.

Read more: Times-Georgian - Aimee Copeland preparing for release from hospital

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

UWG Artists: A Presence in the Peachtree Road Race

No matter who wins this year’s AJC Peachtree Road Race, the University of West Georgia will have a presence in the race. The winner of the t-shirt design contest will be announced July 4, the day of the race, and three of the school’s art students are among the five finalists.

But designs by two other UWG artists are already part of the Peachtree event. Race volunteers will wear Holly Berndt’s peach-hued design. T-shirts bearing Kyler Hembree’s road sign design will be on sale during the 2012 Peachtree Health and Fitness Expo on July 1 and 2 at the Georgia World Congress Center.       

“I’m proud of what the students have done,” said Clint Samples, associate professor of art, who uses the contest as a teaching tool in his Digital Media for Artists class. “This is a huge accomplishment. We are holding our own against professionals in the Atlanta area.”

His students have been contenders in the design contest for four consecutive years. Two, in 2011 and 2010, have won it. Last year, designs by two of Samples’ students were also selected for other events related to the road race – the expo and the Atlanta Track Club’s In-Training for Peachtree program. In 2009 a design submitted by Samples was used for the expo t-shirt.

For this year’s contest Berndt, 23, took Samples advice to paint first. She painted the peach and the swoop of color below it by hand, scanning it into her computer later. Berndt used Photoshop for the skyline and overlaid the letters with the colors from her painting.

“I wasn’t expecting to win anything,” said Berndt, an art education major who graduated this spring. She will begin teaching at Staley Middle School in Sumter County this fall.

“They want you to be different and I tried to make mine different. I wanted it to be pretty – something that someone would want to wear,” Berndt said.

Hembree created her design when she took Sample’s class last year. The art education major, who graduated in 2011, is teaching at South Paulding Middle School. She recently opened Local Color, an art studio offering classes for children and adults, on Main Street in Villa Rica. 

The call from the Atlanta Track Club “was totally out of the blue,” said Hembree, 28.

Hembree started her design with a montage of road signs. “I wanted to do stuff that you would see on the road.”

But she decided the look was too cluttered and simplified the design, creating one red, white and blue sign instead. She used a Sharpie marker to write “Peachtree” and added a stem and leaf to the top of the sign. “To give it that Peachtree look,” she said.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

UWG Receives Funding for Complete College Georgia Initiative

Ongoing work by Georgia's public colleges and universities to increase college completion rates will get a boost in the upcoming year with $72.5 million in new funds. Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly fully funded the University System's enrollment formula, and as a result, all 35 institutions will receive new funding to strengthen programs serving the system’s almost 320,000 students.
The University of West Georgia will receive $900,000 for new faculty positions in an effort to promote retention, progression and graduation as its share of this funding.
The funding will help UWG’s efforts under the state’s Complete College Georgia Initiative, that addresses the gap between the numbers of Georgians who have some type of college degree and what the needs of the workforce will be in 2020 — just eight years away.
By then 60 percent of the jobs in Georgia will require some form of a college education, such as a certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree. Today, only 42 percent of the state’s young adults have continued their education beyond high school. College completion is an imperative for a prosperous future in Georgia.
UWG’s need for funding was identified after a yearlong study of retention, progression and graduation by UWG’s Presidential Special Commission. The commission issued 60 recommendations. Of these, five were identified for immediate implementation. Others will follow by order of priority.
Thus, the $900,000 will be used in the following ways:
  • New faculty to fill backlog courses. These are courses where demand far exceeds supply, creating a backlog, and potential barrier to timely graduation. These courses include: Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Biological Diversity, Spanish and Psychology.
  • Hire faculty to increase the number of seats in Core Curriculum courses, for example, English, Mass Communication, Art, Sociology, Foreign Languages and Economics.
  • Fully fund Graduate Teaching Assistants for the Ph.D. program in Psychology. This will enable highly qualified doctoral students to teach core classes in Psychology, thus increasing core curriculum seats.