Spring semester off to a great start with announcement of 2017 Presidential Awards

Despite this past weekend’s snowy weather, spring semester is off to a great start. I am pleased to share the following announcements with you.

UNG observes MLK Day

Next week, UNG will join the nation in celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.  This will clearly provide us an opportunity to celebrate his tremendous contributions to our nation. Our celebration is a time to remember and to move forward with what we can individually do to promote peace and justice.

Note that UNG will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16 for MLK Day. I encourage you to consider participating in the many service opportunities available in our communities, certainly during this time and hopefully throughout the year as time permits.

Later in the week – Jan. 17 in Gainesville and Jan. 19 in Dahlonega, UNG will host two presentations of The Movement: 50 Years of Love and Struggle. Written and performed by Emmy Award-winner Ron Jones, The Movement highlights many of the political, social, and cultural markers since the passage of The Voting Rights Act of 1965. This opportunity is brought to UNG by Sheila Caldwell, advisor to the president on diversity. I appreciate her efforts and that of UNG’s Diversity Council to promote cultural awareness and understanding at UNG. This makes us all stronger and enhances our campus communities.


2017 Presidential Awards

Since launching the Presidential Initiative Awards program in 2013, I have awarded about $780,000 in support of more than 125 professional development, research and innovation projects across our campuses. These awards are a key investment in UNG faculty and staff, and the knowledge and expertise gained, the improved practices, and the resulting initiatives have significantly enhanced the educational experience of our students. This year’s awards represent a new investment of $255,000, and I know the selected proposals will further contribute to academic excellence and student success at UNG. Please join me in congratulating the 2017 award recipients and I encourage you to review their outstanding proposals in the attached document.

Presidential Semester Incentive Awards

Recipients receive a full semester release from teaching and service, plus funding support of up to $12,000 each.

  • Brian Corrigan
  • Kristin Kelly
  • Katayoun Mobasher
  • Yong Wei

Presidential Summer Incentive Awards

Projects receive up to $10,000 each to support focused and meaningful research, or scholarship and creative activities during summer 2017.

  • Gina Childers
  • Ahmad Ghafarian
  • Michael Gove
  • Alexandra Kraft
  • Peijie Mao
  • Esther Morgan-Ellis
  • Sudhanshu Panda and Dr. Jeff Turk
  • Clay Rowell
  • Robert H. Scott
  • Redahegn Sileshi
  • Stanislaw Solnik
  • Yanfei Zhu

Presidential Innovation Awards

Projects receive up to $5,000 each to support full-time faculty and staff members in interdisciplinary and/or cross-functional collaborations or individual pursuits focused on innovations and partnerships to promote implementation of best practice models.

  • Tamirat Abegaz
  • Brent Allison
  • Lindsay Bailey and Mallory Rodriguez
  • Chris Bell
  • Tanya Bennett and Jennifer Graff
  • Sheila Caldwell
  • Bikash Das, Jerry Graveman and Selcuk Koyuncu
  • Jessica Gomolak
  • Bonnie Holmes and Mariana Stone
  • Susan Hurley
  • Kasey Jordan
  • Minsu Kim
  • Evan Lampert and Steve Pearson
  • Bobbi Larson
  • Rosaria Meek and Michael Kemling
  • Clarke Miller
  • Sudhanshu Panda
  • Andrea Perez Mukdsi
  • Patrice Prince
  • Vincent Prior, Diana Barrett and Nathan Cheesman
  • Mallory Rodriguez, Emily Sparrow, Nathan Cheesman, Geovani Ayala, Michelle Eaton, Vincent Prior, Diana Barrett, and Darcy Hayes
  • Davison Sangweme, Erin McIntosh and Dr. Evan Lampert
  • Jim Shimkus and Anita Turlington

Best wishes for a successful semester!


Bonita C. Jacobs, Ph.D.


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