The past week has been one of those weeks where I have had the extreme good fortune to connect with Georgia State alumni who are making huge contributions in the world. Some of these connections were face-to-face meetings, and others were electronic. In each case it has been uplifting to see how a GSU education has changed and shaped lives.
Kaye Chon (BS in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration, 1984) is Chair Professor of Hotel and Tourism Management and Director of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Professor Chon, recognized worldwide as a leading scholar in his field, has authored or edited 10 books and has published more than 200 papers in academic and professional journals.
Vicki Escarra (BS in Psychology, 1977) is President and CEO of Feeding America, a nationwide hunger-relief charity that provides food to Americans in need through a network of more than 200 food banks. Prior to joining Feeding America, Escarra worked for Delta Air Lines for more than 30 years, serving in multiple roles including Chief Customer Service Officer and Chief Marketing Officer.
Haoxing Xu (Ph D in Biological Sciences, 2001) is an Assistant Professor in the University of Michigan’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, and recently he was named by President Obama to receive a Presidential Early Career Award. These awards are "the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers."
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I extend my sincere thanks to each and every one of you for making Georgia State University a truly special institution. Through the contributions being made by alumni like Kaye, Vicki, and Haoxing we see how GSU provides the foundation for making extraordinary contributions to the world. That foundation does not happen by accident; It is because GSU faculty, staff and students are committed to making a difference. Thank you.
Mark your calendar: On December 17, the final workday of 2010, I invite faculty, staff and students to attend a holiday drop-in in the Student Center atrium. The event runs from 2 to 4 p.m. and refreshments will be served. The Georgia State School of Music will provide holiday themed music. This will be a nice way end the year among the GSU community, and I look forward to seeing you there. Look for a video invitation/reminder a few days prior to the event.
Mark P. Becker
GSU celebrates International Ed. Week
A group of Georgia State University students will share their study abroad experiences during International Education Week on campus Nov. 15-19. The annual event is a joint initiative of the U.S. departments of State and Education to celebrate the benefits of international education. A highlight of the week is the 10th year of the Crossing Paths, Crossing Cultures International Photo Competition at 5 p.m. Nov. 16 in the Student Center Ball Room.
GSU receives diversity award
Georgia State University was recently recognized as a role model for diversity by Minority Access Inc. during its 11th National Role Models Conference, one of the nation’s first and most prestigious disparities conferences. The university earned the honor for its ability to successfully recruit, retain and produce underrepresented biomedical and other scientific researchers.
Yi Pan, chair of the Department of Computer Science, won a 2010 IBM Faculty Award valued at $24,000. The IBM Faculty Awards program is an international competition designed to encourage collaboration between IBM researchers and faculty members at leading universities. The program also promotes courseware development and curriculum innovation in areas of interest to IBM.
Josh Russell, associate professor of English and co-director of the Creative Writing Program, recently published his second novel, My Bright Midnight (Louisiana State University Press). My Bright Midnight earned Russell a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Prose. Russell was recently interviewed about the book, writing, and teaching at GSU, on Bob Edwards Weekend, and the book has been praised in Vanity Fair and elsewhere.
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