Category: Franklin College

Computer Health and Security Fair


PowerBook-165cComputer viruses and malware are no joke - today or any other day. Viruses routinely result in billions of dollars of lost productivity and lost network operation time.

Today and tomorrow, our own Office of Information Technology, partnering with EITS, will offer free laptop security check ups for the university community:

Two departments at the University of Georgia will host the spring Computer Health and Security Fair April 1-2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the second floor lobby of the Miller Learning Center.

UGA students, faculty and staff are invited to bring their personal laptops for free security checks during the two-day event.

Technical volunteers will provide free virus and malware removal, and offer security consultations and checkups to ensure that laptops are using the latest and most secure software and plug-ins.


"Partnering with EITS on the Computer Health and Security Fair creates an excellent opportunity for faculty and staff in Franklin College to have technical professionals perform security checkups on their personal laptops," said Christine Miller, assistant dean and IT executive director for Franklin College

Come on down, open of your laptop and say, "Ahhh."

Malmberg named University Professor


malmberg_russell head shotA singular, annual UGA honor announced for Franklin College associate dean Russell Malmberg:

University Professor, an honor bestowed on faculty who have had a significant impact on the University of Georgia in addition to fulfilling their normal academic responsibilities.

The honor was first awarded in 1974, and no more than one University Professor can be named in any year.


He has helped grow the university's Integrated Life Sciences program, which allows first-year graduate students to rotate among faculty in participating departments and defer their choice of a major professor until the end of their first year. The program has allowed the university to recruit talented graduate students in areas where it has significant strengths-such as developmental biology and vaccine research-but no formal departments. It also has fostered collaboration among faculty by connecting them through interdisciplinary groups. The program, which began in 2009, has grown to include 11 departments from four colleges and will recruit 50 students annually beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year.

Malmberg helped develop the university's Intensive English Program, which helps international students improve their English skills prior to entering graduate school. The IEP began as a summer program in 2010 with funding from the Provost's Office and has since become a self-sustaining, profit-generating enterprise that attracts students from UGA and institutions worldwide. This year, it began operating as a year-round program. 

The IEP is really work beyond the call of duty, yet incredibly important for many of the top students UGA attracts. It is the duty of those in higher education leadership positions to identify the challenges facing students (and faculty) and to find solutions. That atmosphere creates the dynamic that is the higher ed learning environment itself. People are important. Problem-solving leaders are crucial. Congratulations Dr. Malmberg for the recognition of your work and thank you for making our campus the place that it is.


Stokes interim president of FSU


stokes headshotHuge congratulations to the former dean of the Franklin College, Garnett Stokes, who was tapped to be the interim president at Florida State University, effective April 1.

An alumna and former UGA faculty member in the department of psychology, Stokes became Franklin College dean in 2004. She accepted the position of Provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at FSU in 2011.


Faculty in the Media, February 2014


Franklin College faculty continue to be quoted and to share their wide range of expertise across a variety of media of platforms. A sample from the past month:

Atlanta Council President Ceasar Mitchell joins American Meteorological Society President J. Marshall Shepherd during the 94th AMS Annual Meeting in Atlanta

AMS conferece also covered by the Red & Black

Shepherd was also a featured guest on the CBS Sunday morning program Face the Nation on February 16

Atlanta Journal Constitution column on Atlanta's botched response to the January snow quoted Shepherd

Broad cross-section of research by Franklin faculty members featured in a special section feature in the Athens Banner Herald, from obesity to bioenergy to cancer to global diseases 

A project to map the human brain led by associate professor of computer science Tianming Liu, in partnership with Duke University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, could help in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia

Grant to study a single-celled organism off the coast of Georgia, led by Distinguished Research Professor Tim Hollibaugh, in an article by the Associated Press

CBC Radio interviewed Chris Abin, a Ph.D. student in microbiology, about the discovery of a poison-breathing bacteria that may one day become a useful tool for industry and environmental protection

Washington Post blog quoted in full an open letter to President Obama from associate professor of Spanish Dana Bultman regarding K-12 education reform and its effect on classroom teachers, including her husband

Associate professor of history Stephen Mihm writes about embaattled hedge fund SAC Capital Avisors in his column

Mihm remembers the late folk musician Pete Seeger, an “accidental entrepreneur and unwitting capitalist” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via Bloomberg)

Henry “Fritz” Schaefer is ranked 38th most influential scientist in the world by

The Red & Black covers the extensive record of statewdie digs in the department of archeology 

Associate professor of geography John Knox penned an Op-ed in the Athens Banner Herald, Open House an opportunity to see the Truth about Clarke County Schools

Kudos, January 2014


With the New Year arrives awards, acknowledgments and congratulations to UGA faculty, staff, students and alumni for their many accomplishments. A sampling of these starts with this very cool use of the internet on Friday, January 10. The White House hosted a panel discussion on the the 'Polar Vortex' featuring our very own J. Marshall Shepherd and host of other climate and weather luminaries:

WetheGeek hangout

Archived video of the discussion is here

Kudos, December 2013


As always, our faculty continue to distinguish themselves with major career accomplishments, bringing great honor to UGA and the Franklin College. Recent honors and awards include:

Debra Mohnen, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and Robert A. Scott, professor of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology and associate vice president for research, were named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

$10m NIH grant to Center for Biomedical Glycomics


Glycocalix slide photo digitizedGlycobiology is very complex science - the study the structures, biosynthesis and biology of the sugar chains, or glycans, that are essential components in all living things. Glycans have been the focus of much attention by UGA researchers recently, and now glycobiology is at the center of big new NIH grant to another team of Franklin College researchers:

Researchers at the University of Georgia have received a five-year, $10.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support the National Center for Biomedical Glycomics, a consortium of UGA faculty and staff working to develop new technologies for the analysis of glycans.

Glycans are sugar molecules that coat the surface of every living cell. Once thought to be relatively unimportant, scientists now recognize that glycans play critical roles in cell regulation, human health and disease progression.

"This is a big piece of the human disease pie that science is only beginning to explore," said Michael Pierce, NCBG principal investigator and member of UGA's Complex Carbohydrate Research Center. "The tide is starting to turn, and researchers are beginning to appreciate how important these sugar molecules are, so our glycomics center exists to develop the technologies and tools to investigate these critical structures."

Our understanding of basic science and its impact on human health continues to grow, and we are indebted to the teams of UGA researchers and the university, which has made interdisciplinary research a reality by developing the facilities for it to thrive. And again, the federal funding mechanisms play such an important role in this work, incentiving work in basic science research that can potentially benefit the widest population, work that itself might be left on the table for generations in a private-sector R & D environment. This process of discovery itself is a complex system, but this consortium is a terrific signal that it is working.

Image: Glycocalix bei Bacillus Anthracis, courtesy of the National Institutes of Health, via Wikimedia Commons.

Faculty Research Clusters in the Humanities


In continuing with our Humanities Week theme, today the Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at UGA launches its new Faculty Research Clusters initiative with a reception at 4 p.m. in the Russell Building Special Collections Libraries:

The program supports groups of University of Georgia faculty who are organized to address large-scale humanities and arts questions in partnership with colleagues from allied departments, colleges, centers, and institutes.

UGA President Jere Morehead and Vice President David Lee are scheduled to give remarks at the event. Willson Center Director Nicholas Allen, Franklin Professor of English in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, will introduce the directors of the six clusters.

"The arts and humanities are a vital component of a well-rounded education,” Morehead said. “The Willson Center and its new Research Clusters will play an important role in highlighting these disciplines on the UGA campus and in attracting research funding, a critical goal of my administration.”

The clusters will support work in the following areas:

  • Athens Music Project (Susan Thomas, co-director, associate professor, Hugh Hodgson School of Music and Institute for Women's Studies; Jean Kidula, co-director, associate professor, Hugh Hodgson School of Music and African Studies Institute)
  • Digital Humanities Lab (Stephen Berry, co-director, Amanda and Greg Gregory Professor in the Civil War Era, department of history; Bill Kretzschmar, co-director, Harry and Jane Willson Professor in Humanities, department of English; Claudio Saunt, co-director, Richard B. Russell Professor in American History, department of history)
  • EcoFocus Film Initiative (Sara Beresford, Director)
  • Ideas for Creative Exploration (ICE) (David Z. Saltz, executive director, associate professor and head, department of theatre and film studies; Mark Callahan, artistic director, senior academic professional, Lamar Dodd School of Art, and Willson Center associate academic director for innovation in the arts)
  • International Modernism (Jed Rasula, director, Helen S. Lanier Distinguished Professor, Department of English)
  • Neuroimaging, Movie Trailers, and Spectator Cognition (Tianming Liu, co-director; assistant professor, department of computer science; Richard Neupert, Wheatley Professor of the Arts and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Theatre and Film Studies; L. Stephen Miller, co-director, professor, department of psychology)

Our thanks to President Morehead and Vice President for Research David Lee for supporting this important initiative.

August Kudos



head shots of one female and two male faculty

Here are just a few of the terrific honors recently received by Franklin College faculty and students (plus one from an alumnus).



Senior associate dean Hugh Ruppersburg was named interim vice provost for academic ­affairs and began the new position on Aug 1. Earlier this year, Ruppersburg was named University Professor, an honor bestowed electively on UGA faculty who have had a significant impact on the university in addition to fulfilling their normal academic responsibilities.

Gregory H. Robinson, Franklin Professor and Distinguished Research Professor of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed the UGA Foundation Distinguished Professor in Chemistry. Approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia at its May meeting, the special appointment became effective in August.

Lillian Eby, professor of psychology, has been appointed director of the William A. and Barbara R. Owens Institute for Behavioral Research. She succeeds Stephen Beach, Distinguished Research Professor in the university's clinical psychology program, who has served as the institute's director since 2003.

J. Marshall Shepherd, professor of geography and research meteorologist, has been appointed the inaugural Athletic Association Professor in the Social Sciences by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Barbara A. Biesecker, professor and head of the department of communication studies is the recipient of the 2013 Frances Merritt Award winner, a lifetime achievement award from the Communication Research and Theory Network, a service of the National Communication Association.


Emily Kane, a PhD in the English department, has been named as a 2013 ACLS Public Fellow. Kane joins a cohort of 20 Public Fellows who will take up two-year assignments at one of a diverse set of partnering host organizations in government and the non-profit sector, including Amnesty International, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and the Digital Public Library of America. Kane was appointed as Program Officer for the Center for Global Education, Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Another PhD in English, Matthew Nye, was selected as the sixth winner of the Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency and Book Prize for his manuscript, Pile and Bloom.

And congratulations to alumnus Jonathan Grant (AB ’76, English). His novel about Forsyth County’s history, Brambleman, a, recently won the Benjamin Franklin award for popular fiction from the Independent Book Publishers Association during ceremonies in New York City during Book Expo America. link

Park Hall Monitor


park_hall_exterior, with studentsFinding our what's going on with English department faculty like Ron Miller and Esra Santesso, along with news from students and staff, in the new issue of the Park Hall Monitor.