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Winter Break

Please note: @aascu will take a holiday break. The newsletter will return January 14, 2015.
Have a safe and wonderful holiday!


AASCU President Muriel Howard
Writes About Public Higher Education and the Completion Challenge.
Read HuffPo commentary

AASCU Announces Collaboration with APLU, AACC
to Improve College Completion
Read news release

President to Presidents Lecture
F. King Alexander Speaks to the Public University and the
Common Good. Read the speech



California State University, Fresno
In response to concerns about food insecurity among college students, California State University, Fresno has launched the Student Cupboard, a food and hygiene pantry where students can receive free food and hygiene projects for themselves and members of their family. The Cupboard is one component of a multi-part Food Security Project at Fresno State. Read more

Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana University of Pennsylvania is in the pilot phase of the Women’s Diary Archive Project, a program to create a central online repository for digital scans and coded indices of manuscript diaries written by women during the 19th and 20th centuries. The pilot phase centers on 1) developing an online repository for rare manuscript diary holdings from the special collections of IUP and nearby historical archives, and 2) building relationships with regional archives in the Appalachian/Allegheny region as the next step in expanding the project. Read more

Texas Woman's University
Texas Woman's University has partnered with the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) to provide opportunities in service to graduate students in health care, social work, law, education and other fields. Read more

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

  • The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey signed an agreement on Dec. 3, 2014 to become a member of the American Honors Transfer Network, which helps academically talented domestic and international students at select community colleges transition to four-year schools. Read more
  • The Wetlands Institute of Stone Harbor, NJ and The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Galloway, NJ on December 3, 2014 agreed to collaborate on a wide variety of educational and research programs using the facilities of both institutions. The two institutions will work together to expand undergraduate and graduate degree programs and professional training courses, seminars, student teaching opportunities and internships. Read more

University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida (UCF) and the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division signed an agreement that will give UCF students more opportunities in the cutting-edge field of simulation and modeling while providing a boost to the industry locally. UCF President John C. Hitt and Capt. Wes Naylor, commanding officer of the Naval Air Warfare Center, signed the agreement during the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference. Read more

University of North Georgia
When the George E. Coleman Sr. Planetarium at the University of North Georgia's Dahlonega Campus resumes public shows in January, a new DigiStar 5 Full Dome Digital Planetarium Projector will allow visitors to view an accurate depiction of the night skies from planets millions of miles away. The new system can accurately depict the sky from a planet orbiting a star thousands of light years away. Read more

West Chester University (Pa.)
West Chester University President Greg Weisenstein and Guizhou University (China) Vice President Wu Cinan signed a memorandum of understanding that extends a partnership between the two universities. The three-year MOU paves the way for additional exchanges and collaborations including a new faculty/student exchange with Guizhou in early 2015, and hosting 10 to 12 Guizhou University students at West Chester for the first and second summer sessions in 2015. Read more

Winthrop University (S.C.)
A Winthrop University biology class has used the fall semester to study the ripple effects caused by the Ebola virus. Spread through direct contact with blood and body fluids of a person infected by and already showing symptoms of Ebola, the disease is not spread through the air, water, food or mosquitoes. Since Ebola has reached the U.S., the Winthrop students have observed how rumors or inaccurate information spreads. Read more



Worth Noting

President’s 2014 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
Several AASCU members were recognized in one of four categories of the President’s 2014 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Go here to check out the honorees and their programs.
Read more



Grants and Gifts

Angelo State University (Texas)
Christine Lamberson and Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, faculty in Angelo State University’s History Department, have been awarded a three-year, $99,982 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to preserve the experiences of West Texas military veterans and their families from World War I to the present and to examine how those experiences have changed or remained the same over the past century. Read more

California State University, East Bay
Cal State East Bay has received $2 million from the National Science Foundation to develop much needed tools that will help schools in California and other states to implement the Next Generation Science Standards adopted last year. Read more

California State University, Fresno

  • California State University, Fresno was awarded a five-year, $2.87 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education to create a blue ribbon online graduate campus that will expand access to graduate education for Hispanic, low-income and first-generation students. Read more
  • Five of California’s top agricultural lenders pledged their continued support for the Farm Credit Multicultural Scholars in Agriculture program at California State University, Fresno. The program's endowment now stands at $495,000 in commitments. Through the program, Fresno State agriculture students will mentor high school students interested in pursuing careers in agricultural sciences and technology. Read more

Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Jeffery Larkin, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Department of Biology faculty, received a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in the amount of $214,659 for his project, “Delivery Farm Bill Programs Supporting Bog Turtle and Golden-Winged Warbler in Pennsylvania.” Read more

Salisbury University (Md.)
Two Salisbury University professors, Randall Groth of Education Specialties and Jennifer Bergner of Mathematics and Computer Science, have earned a $260,606 National Science Foundation grant for a three-year summer research site related to math education. Their PATHWAYS (Preparing Aspiring Teachers to Hypothesize Ways to Assist Young Students) initiative is SU’s second NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates site since 2012. Read more

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Lisa Rosner, Distinguished Professor of History, was recently awarded a $99,837 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to develop a video game about the early history of smallpox vaccination. Rosner is working with colleagues from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and with Eduweb, a developer of digital learning games, to create the educational video game, The Pox Hunter, as part of the project, “A 3D Strategy Game for the History of Medicine.” Read more

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

  • The Arkansas Science and Technology Authority is providing more than $46,500 in grant funding to a UALR professor of physics who hopes to improve on a solar cell material as a stable source of sustainable energy. The award will support the research of Alan Thomas into a solar cell material called cuprous oxide (Cu2O), an abundant, nontoxic, stable material that poses many benefits as the country moves toward a sustainable energy future. Thomas is especially focused on applications regarding atomic layer deposition, a nanotechnology that enables ultra-thin films of solar cell materials such as Cu20 to be deposited in a precisely controlled manner. Read more
  • The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received a $1.4 million bequest to benefit its School of Mass Communication from the family trust of Dan and Johnnie Winn, two radio pioneers in Arkansas. Read more

University of Northern Iowa
Jody Stone, professor of curriculum and instruction and science education, was awarded a three-year Math-Science Partnership federal grant, administered through the Iowa Department of Education, for her project "eSTEM Waterloo." The purpose of the grant is to implement new science units consistent with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in grades three through five in Waterloo elementary schools. Read more

University of South Carolina Upstate
The University of South Carolina Upstate will increase student success as a result of being awarded a $2.2 million Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant by the U.S. Department of Education. The funds will be distributed over a span of five years, beginning Oct. 1. Read more

Western Carolina University
A research project that involves Western Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Sciences and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians is examining the relationship between mental health issues, such as depression, and the management and control of diabetes. The multiyear project is funded by a $268,700 federal grant from the United South and Eastern Tribes’ Native American Research Centers for Health. Read more

Winthrop University (S.C.)
Highlights of Winthrop University’s Nov. 14-15 Homecoming & Reunion Weekend included a $100,000 check presentation by the Class of 1964 in honor of its 50th reunion. The class endowed an alumni programing fund, a scholarship and commissioned the “Metamorphosis” sculpture along Scholars Walk, which was dedicated earlier in the day. Read more



Awards and Honors

Black Hills State University (S.D.)

  • Deb Henriksen, director of student financial aid and coordinator of student financial services at Black Hills State University, received the Ron Smout Award for Teaching and Mentoring at the Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (RMASFAA) Banquet in October. The award is presented to a recipient from the RMASFAA’s eight-state region that has provided mentoring and encouragement to financial aid professionals for several years. Read more
  • A photograph of two boys playing in a fountain in Seattle taken by Steve Babbitt, professor of mass communication, was selected for the 17th Annual Friends of Friends Photography exhibit and auction in New York City. The exhibit and auction is a fundraiser for the Friends Without a Border, which provides medical care to children in Southeast Asia. This fundraiser allows Babbitt’s photograph to be exhibited with several well-known photographers including Annie Leibovitz, Irving Penn and Elliot Erwitt. Read more

Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Usree Bhattacharya, a faculty member in the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Department of English, has been selected as a Concha Delgado Gaitan CAE Presidential Fellow for 2014-2015. The fellowship is administered by the Council on Anthropology and Education (CAE), a section of the American Anthropological Association. Read more

Southeast Missouri State University
Dieter Jedan, professor and chair emeritus of Global Cultures and Languages at Southeast Missouri State University, recently was knighted with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Consul General Herbert Quelle presented the award Nov. 11 on behalf of Federal President Joachim Gauck at a ceremony at the Chicago Consulate. Established in 1951, the Order of Merit is the highest honor the Federal Republic of Germany awards to recipients for political, economic, social and spiritual service. Read more

University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Alexandru S. Biris, director and chief scientist of the UALR Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences (CINS), is among the inaugural class of Arkansas research fellows named by the Arkansas Research Alliance. Read more

University of Central Florida
Journalism professor Kimberly Voss has earned national recognition for her work and research in identifying the under-recognized women in food journalism at a time when there were “women’s pages” in newspapers. The Association of Food Journalists chose Voss to receive its first Carol DeMasters Service to Food Journalism Award for her book, “The Food Section: Newspaper, Women and the Culinary Community.” Voss’ book details more than 60 women journalists from the 1940s to the early 1970s and the struggles they faced in a male-dominated industry. Read more

University of Central Oklahoma

  • The University of Central Oklahoma’s Reach Higher degree completion program has been named the recipient of the 2014 Malcolm Knowles Award for Outstanding Adult Education Program by the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE). The program, a statewide collaboration of nine regional universities, helps adult learners earn degrees and aims to increase the number of college-educated workers in Oklahoma. The award was established in the name of Malcolm S. Knowles for his distinguished contribution to theory and practice in the field of adult education, which began in 1935. Read more
  • The U.S. State Department recently confirmed UCO Executive Director of Global Affairs Dennis Dunham, Ph.D., as Honorary Consul to Oklahoma for Korea. Korea remains a special place for Dunham dating back to his two years of service for the Peace Corps in the country. Dunham said, “Oklahoma and Koreans have much in common and together I know we will discover new partnerships which will strengthen us both.” Ambassador Park Suk-Bum, the Korean Consulate General in Houston, nominated Dunham for the position earlier this year. The U.S. State Department confirmed the appointment in November. Read more

Winthrop University (S.C.)
A special partnership between the Winthrop University Richard W. Riley College of Education and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) has garnered national recognition for its positive impact on students. The Council of the Great City Colleges of Education, an affiliate of the Council of Great City Schools headquartered in Washington, D.C., recently awarded Winthrop and CMS with the prestigious 2014 Dr. Shirley S. Schwartz Urban Education Impact Award. The award recognizes an outstanding partnership between a university and urban school district that has positively and significantly impacted student learning. Read more




Black Hills State University (S.D.)

  • Black Hills State University business student, Samantha Johnson, recently received a $7,000 scholarship from Zonta International, a worldwide organization of business professionals working to advance the status of women. Johnson is one of 12 students worldwide to receive the Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship. The scholarship “helps women pursue undergraduate and master’s degrees in business management and overcome gender barriers from the classroom to the boardroom,” according to the Zonta International website. Read more
  • Michaela Stroup is fueling her passion for politics and knack for leadership into a prestigious political program in the nation’s capital. A political science major from Pierre, she was accepted into The George Washington University’s Semester in Washington Politics (SIWP), as a participant in the Native American Political Leadership Program (NAPLP) for the spring semester. The NAPLP is a full scholarship program for Native American, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian students who want to take part in Washington Politics for a semester. Stroup, who is a member of the Lower Brule Sioux tribe, was chosen for her academic abilities, leadership potential and passion for politics. Read more
  • The Black Hills State University Enactus Team recently presented its fifth Facebook for Retirees seminar, in partnership with the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO). Ten community members attended the seminar, which taught individuals the basics of creating and maintaining a Facebook account to stay in touch with family and friends online. Students offered one-on-one help to seniors and assisted them in creating or accessing Facebook accounts via computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Read more
  • Leonard Austin, professor in the Black Hills State University School of Education, recently published his third book titled “Essentials of Educational Psychology: Theories and Ideas About How Students Learn.” Written for future classroom teachers and administrators, Austin’s book unravels the complexity of student learning with the purpose of helping aspiring teachers understand and apply basic concepts in their classrooms. Read more
  • Patricia Simpson, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, was elected to the board of governors of The Renaissance Group, a national consortium to prepare American education professionals. As one of more than 30 mid-to-large size university members, BHSU helps to further The Renaissance Group’s goals of promoting exemplary practices, partnerships and leadership that ensure high levels of teaching and learning for all of America’s schools. A hallmark of a The Renaissance Group member is the university’s commitment to the preparation of educators as an all-campus responsibility, in collaboration with local pre-kindergarten through grade 12 (P-12) school districts. Read more

California State University, Fresno
California State University, Fresno senior Gavin Baird is among 31 students nationwide awarded the prestigious Marshall Scholarship that will enable him to study in the United Kingdom next year. The highly competitive Marshall Scholarship is a British government-financed program that selects scholars from across the United States to study in England and serve as ambassadors for relations between the two countries. Read more

California State University, Northridge

  • It’s not every day that an eighth grader like Alan Mendez of Oliver Wendell Holmes Middle School says, “I want to be an experimental physicist when I grow up.” Mendez and his classmates last year took part in “The New Journal of Student Abstracts” created by California State University, Northridge biology professor Steven Oppenheimer, who specializes in cancer research. The journal is designed to spark the scientific imagination in K-12 students. Read more
  • Stephanie Hoston’s senior film project was selected for an honor from the Directors Guild of America (DGA). Hoston had won the Jury Award for Best African American Student Filmmaker in the 2014 DGA Student Film Awards in the west region for her film, “Diana Leigh.” She was the only undergraduate filmmaker to receive recognition from the guild. Read more
  • California State University, Northridge has a new eText Initiative, a movement to collect electronically published works by CSUN professors for their students for classroom use. Some of the materials are even available to the general public in the iTunes bookstore. The effort has put CSUN on the cutting edge of education, and for a small percentage of the cost for students relative to previous course materials. Read more

Georgia College

  • Junior Keri Spetzer will be working alongside Professor of Physics and Astronomy Arash Bodaghee who secured $20,000 in funding from NASA for research. The research, in collaboration with Potsdam Observatory in Berlin and the California Institute of Technology, will explore the relationship between massive stars and their fuel sources of black holes and neutron stars. Read more
  • Senior Bri Neves worked with award-winning composer David Hamilton to write lyrics for a new song. Neves’ poem “When the Cold Awakens” is the fifth movement and title of Hamilton’s new multi movement piece, which had its world premiere at the Georgia College Holiday Concert in early December. Read more

Northwest Missouri State University
For the third consecutive year, Northwest Missouri State University achieved all five benchmarks within the state of Missouri’s performance-based funding model. As a result, Northwest will receive 100 percent of the funding appropriated to the University within the state’s FY16 budget. Read more

Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Students in the French program ranked second nationally in a “Language Practice Goes Global” contest. The contest was sponsored by the language learning social network "WeSpeke." A total of 625 classes across the United States using to practice languages and share cultures with native speakers in over 22 countries entered the competition. Read more

Millersville University of Pennsylvania

  • Students at Millersville University donated $1,000 to The Mix at Arbor Place, a non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the spiritual, social/emotional, academic and physical needs of Lancaster’s inner-city youth. The money was raised through several interactive fundraisers, which will help purchase new books for underprivileged children in Lancaster. Read more
  • Millersville’s technology education students competed against nine other schools at the Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association/Eastern Regional Conference (TECCA) this November in Virginia Beach, Va. The students placed in seven out of nine competitions at the conference. Read more

Slippery Rock University (Pa.)
The Slippery Rock University archives served up the materials needed to help baseball writer Steve Rice hit a home run with his online biography of New York Yankees pitcher James Robert "Bob" Shawkey. The right-hander, who played for the Yankees from 1915-1927, pitched for the Slippery Rock State Normal School baseball team in 1910. Read more

Southeast Missouri State University
Southeast Missouri State University student Justin Robinson appeared on a taping of the “Steve Harvey” show to surprise and thank Cedric “The Entertainer” Kyles for the scholarship he was awarded through Cedric’s charitable foundation. Cedric, a Southeast alumnus, was on the Steve Harvey Show to promote his new movie. As a surprise, Harvey took the opportunity to promote Cedric’s charitable foundation as well, inviting Robinson to appear as one of Cedric’s scholarship recipients. Read more

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
When a Fort Smith resident named Myrtle needed renovations to her home, 40 students from a University of Arkansas - Fort Smith student organization answered the call. Read more

University of Arkansas at Little Rock
UALR public history graduate student Hattie Felton is the curator of “Capturing Early Arkansas in Depth,” an exhibit focused on the state’s stereographic images. She says the photos provide a great historical tour through the state. Read more

University of Central Florida
A UCF engineering team that specializes in keeping computer hardware safe from malicious attacks is among the two best in the nation, continuing UCF’s national bragging rights in computer security. The UCF Hardware Security Team took second place in November’s Embedded Security Challenge of the 11th annual Cyber Security Awareness Week Conference in New York, featuring the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of computer security education challenges. Read more

University of Central Oklahoma
UCO Vice President for Public Affairs Mark Kinders was the 2014 chair of the National Task Force on Higher Education Government Relations and presided over the 21st annual Higher Education Government Relations Conference Dec. 3-5 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Kinders is the first person from an Oklahoma institution to chair the conference and the task force that organizes it. The conference focuses on prevailing public policy trends at the state and federal level that can assist or inhibit the ability to serve students and is attended by public policy advocates, leaders in higher education, state and federal policymakers, and others with a vested interest in postsecondary education. Read more

University of Houston-Downtown
Despite becoming a mother at 15 and overcoming two tumors before age 21, failure was never an option for Crisia Morales, a soon-to-be graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). The first in her family to earn a college degree, Morales' educational journey—which will culminate at UHD's December commencement—is a model of tenacity for undergraduates. Read more

University of Illinois Springfield
College-bound students rate the University of Illinois Springfield’s website among the best in the nation for the ability to find information easily. That’s according a new report from the National Research Center for College & University Admissions (NRCCUA). Read more

University of West Florida
Joseph Smith, a junior international studies and finance major, was recently named the recipient of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which awards up to $5,000 to fund a study abroad experience. Smith will study abroad in Morocco during the Spring 2015 semester through the International Studies Abroad program. Read more

West Chester University (Pa.)
West Chester University junior Megan Hess was named an Everyday Young Hero by Youth Service America (YSA), an international leader in the youth service movement. Hess earned this national recognition for her role as Bringing Hope Home WCU Chapter president and for hosting a Halloween costume 5K run, raising money to help a local single mother pay her bills while undergoing cancer treatment. Read more

Western Illinois University
In an effort to help reverse the "selfie culture" and shift the focus to doing something good in the world for others, a group of graduate students in Western's college student personnel (CSP) program started the "WIUnselfie" movement on the Macomb campus. Read more

Winthrop University (S.C.)
The 48-hour Winthrop THANKSgiving Challenge raised $33,687 in support of student scholarships. The holiday-themed endeavor garnered 517 gifts, surpassing the challenge goal of 480 gifts in 48 hours. All gifts support the Winthrop Stands Initiative, which focuses on granting more students access to the exemplary Winthrop education. Read more