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Article Posted April 30, 2012

Featured - University System Foundation Contributes to REACH Scholarship at Excellence Awards
(L to R) Regent Emeritus Elridge McMillan, Regent Don Leebern, Award Recipient Dr. Betty Siegel, Foundation Chair Ken Bernard, USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby

University System Foundation Contributes to REACH Scholarship at Excellence Awards

The University System of Georgia Foundation has signed on to Gov. Nathan Deal’s new Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) scholarship program with a $50,000 contribution. The Foundation’s support joins that of twelve USG colleges and universities that previously pledged funds for REACH.

The check was presented on March 31 during the Foundation’s annual Regents’ Salute to Education awards dinner, which is now in its eighth year of raising funds for student scholarships and honoring distinguished alumni and faculty. Funds raised through this event go directly to provide scholarships for students to attend all USG institutions and to support the mission of the University System of Georgia.

“With this tremendous contribution, the donors to the University System of Georgia Foundation will make a difference in the lives of many young Georgians,” said Gov. Nathan Deal of the gift from the USG Foundation. “REACH scholars have achieved academically and have maintained high standards of conduct. These are students who have done everything right, but whose families need a little extra help to afford college. This will pay dividends to our state for years to come.”

The REACH program, launched by the governor in February is a needs-based scholarship funded by private dollars. The program provides low-income students with mentors in middle school and assists them with completing middle school and graduating from high school and college. In addition to the USG Foundation support, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Southern University, the University of Georgia, Columbus State University, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta State University, East Georgia College, Georgia College & State University, Southern Polytechnic State University, Georgia Highlands College, Dalton State College and Georgia State University have pledged funds as well.

“Private funding for higher education is critically important to student access, achievement and completion,” said USG Foundation Chairman Ken Bernard. “A more educated Georgia is vital to the future of her people, our common economic prosperity, and conditions we leave for Georgia’s future. Therefore, it is imperative that we continue to foster a positive relationship between private funding and higher education.”

In addition to the REACH contribution, the annual event also recognized Dr. Betty Siegel, former president of Kennesaw State University, with the Elridge McMillan Award for her lifetime work in supporting higher education. McMillan served on the Board of Regents for 34 years and was the initial recipient of the award, which subsequently was named in his honor.

Five other individuals will be recognized at the event with the Felton Jenkins Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award and three with the Regents’ Hall of Fame Alumni Award.

Siegel, distinguished chair of the Siegel Institute for Leadership, Ethics & Character and president emeritus at Kennesaw State University, was the first woman to lead an institution in the University System of Georgia. Siegel served as the president of Kennesaw State for 25 years and lead the institution’s growth from 4,000 students with 15 undergrad degrees to an institution with more than 18,000 students offering 55 graduate and undergraduate degree programs.

Since her retirement, Dr. Siegel has served as an advisor and consultant in the private, public and non-profit sectors. She recently launched a non-profit foundation for global ethical leadership.

The following USG faculty members were presented with The Felton Jenkins Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award in two categories, the Regents’ Teaching Excellence Awards and the Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Awards:

Regents’ Teaching Excellence Awards

Dr. Sybilla Beckmann, a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics at the University of Georgia. Beckmann is nationally recognized for her innovative approach to preparing elementary school mathematics teachers. Through her book Mathematics for Elementary Teachers and involvement in national and professional organizations, she has led substantial reform in mathematics education.

Dr. Jessica Damian, assistant professor of English at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC). Damian is praised by GGC officials for her efforts to increase student success in college through mentoring and her work with the Organization of Latin American Students.

Dr. Mulatu Lemma, professor of mathematics at Savannah State University. Lemma is admired by his students for the way he values and celebrates them. His dedication is demonstrated by his community outreach, “early warning system” and involvement of students in his research.

Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Awards

Dr. Michael Metzler, a professor in the kinesiology and health department at Georgia State University. Metzler has authored nine books and published in many top journals. His colleagues note the national and international impact of his research on effective instructional models in physical education.

Dr. Thomas Pusateri, a professor of psychology at Kennesaw State University. Pusateri focuses on the teaching of psychology and the field of program-level student learning assessment. He is a nationally recognized leader in his field and has held leadership positions in the Society for the Teaching of Psychology.

The following USG alumni were acknowledged with the Regents’ Hall of Fame Alumni Awards:

Ms. Pamela Cross, alumna of Atlanta Metropolitan College (AMC). Cross is honored for her significant contributions to the greater Atlanta community and her support for AMC as a member of the AMC Foundation Board of Directors. She has secured funds from the Wachovia Foundation and chaired AMC’s largest fundraising activity for the past three years.

Dr. E. Daniel and Mrs. Cameron C. DeLoach, alumni of Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU). The DeLoaches have shown their tireless support to GHSU through volunteerism, philanthropy and alumni engagement. They have also helped build a new culture of alumni philanthropy through conceptualizing a team of fundraising “champions” across the state.

Dr. Karl Peace, alumnus of Georgia Southern University. Peace was the first in his family to go to college, graduating from Georgia Southern in 1963. He contributes financially and with his time to his alma mater as a senior research scientist and director of the Center for Biostatistics.

More than 800 individuals representing the USG’s 35 institutions, supporters, donors, alumni, businesses attended the event, held in Atlanta at the Marriott Marquis. In addition to hearing from the governor, the attendees also will hear from USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby, Regent Don Leebern and USG Foundation Chair Ken Bernard. Among the crowd will be state elected officials, including the governor, members of the Board of Regents and presidents from the USG’s colleges and universities.

The University System of Georgia Foundation supports the primary goal of the University System of Georgia and its 35 colleges and universities to ensure access to academic excellence and educational opportunities for all Georgians.

Posted by Sonja Roberts
Published in: On Campus, Board of Regents

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