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Arts & Science Spring Events

January 17

A&S Faculty Meeting
Bailey science center auditorium, 3:30 p.m.

January 23

Health Care Reform Panel– A&S Lecture Series
Bailey Science Center Auditorium; room 1011 at 6:30 p.m.


A group of five panelists discuss the changes in the new healthcare reform.


Our feature panelists will be announcing and discussing the latest health policies being conducted or implemented within our region. Health care reforms often attempt to give more care to residents, provide financial aid or decrease medical costs, and increase access to hospital or medical centers. The nation’s evolving healthcare system leads many to question and how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act affects them and their health care. With that in mind, Valdosta State University’s College of Arts and Sciences begins its Spring Lecture Series with a panel discussion titled “Healthcare Reform."

The discussion will feature several experts in the areas of health care, public policy and employee benefits. The event is free and open to the community.

Dr. Mary Eleanor Wickersham, College of Coastal Georgia assistant professor of business and public affairs, will present an overview of the upcoming changes in health care policies and the importance of health care to economic vitality. Randy Sauls, chief executive officer of South Georgia Medical Center, will address the implications of health care reform for hospitals and Dr. Myron Faircloth, assistant professor in the VSU College of Nursing, will focus on the implications of health care reform and the growing need for nurses and nurse practitioners.

“Virtually every person in the U.S. will be affected in some way by healthcare reform,” said Wickersham. “I think the most important reason to attend this event is to understand how reform will affect individuals, families, friends and employers.”

To discuss reform from an employer’s standpoint, Barbara Barrett and Ewelina Sparks, of Langdale Industries, will discuss innovative ways that companies are managing health care benefits for employees.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes a mandate that requires everyone to purchase insurance or pay a penalty. Larger employers are required to provide coverage. Smaller employers may receive tax benefits for offering insurance. People from 100 to 400 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible for subsidies for insurance purchased on the exchange. The mandate is set to become effective Jan. 1, 2014.


Please read below to learn more about our guest speakers:

The Five Panelists:

Mr. Randy Sauls CEO, South Georgia Regional Medical Center


Randy Sauls CEO of South Georgia Regional Medical CenterMr. Sauls dedicated his career to expand high quality healthcare in our region, education, and local workforce development.Despite his position, he continued to support the Cancer Coalition (as one of the founding partner) and became recognized as a Fellow of the American Collage of Healthcare Executives. Before being promoted to CEO of South Georgia Medical Center in 2011, he graduated with a M.B.A. in business administration from Albany State and the paramedic program at Valdosta Tech.

Dr. Myron Faircloth, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Valdosta State University


Dr. Myron Faircloth, Instructor in the College of Nursing at Valdosta State UniversityEven being appointed to the Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Health Insurance Benefits, Dr. Faircloth continued to strived as an active participant at G & G Family Medicine MD, PC. He also obtained his Georgia Board of Nursing-license, certificate that emitted him as a registered nurse anywhere in Georgia. In 2011, he graduated with a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Georgia Southern University and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Valdosta State University.

Dr. Mary Eleanor Wickersham, Assistant Professor, School of Business and Public Affairs, College of Coastal Georgia


Dr. Mary Eleanor Wickersham an asistant professor in the school of business and publick affairs at the College of Coastal GeorgiaDr. Wickersham offered her teaching skills as an assistant professor in public affairs and school of business at the College of Coastal Georgia. Between 2010-2012, she assisted in teaching in the Public Administration Program of the Department of Political Science at Valdosta State University. She also provided guidance and advise to former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Health and Human Services Policy Advisor (2008-2010). She obtained her Doctor of Public Administration from Valdosta State University after receiving her Master of Arts in public affairs, with concentrations in ethics and public policy, from Georgia College and State University.

Ms. Barbara Barrett, General Manager for TLC Benefit Solutions, Inc., Langdale Industries


Ms. Barbara Barrett is a general manager for TLC Benefit Solutions, Inc., at Langdale IndustriesAs the General Manager for TLC Benefit Solutions, Inc., Ms. Barrett handled her responsibilities in human resources, management of the self-insured Workers' Compensation, and health and dental benefit plans. She also served on several boards: the Georgia Self-Insured Association, Children's Advocacy Center and Lowndes County. For education, she graduated from Valdosta State University and the Leadership Lowndes program, trained in paralegal practices, and other management courses.

Ms. Ewelina Sparks, Compliance Officer at TLC Benefit Solutions, Langale Industries


Ewelina Sparks is a compliance officer at TLC Benefit Solutions at Langdale IndustriesCertified in Human Resources (PHR), Ms. Sparks continued to serve as a Compliance Officer at TLC Benefit Solutions, Inc., the health benefits management arm of Langdale Industries, Inc. in Valdosta. She maintained responsiblilities for ensuring compliance with HIPAA, ERISA, and other applicable laws relative to Langdale’s self-insured and self-administered Health and Dental plans. As committed herself to pursue a Doctorate in Public Administration and write her dissertation on the impact of the PPACA on employers and employees, she graduated with a Master of Sciences in Sociology and a Bachelor of Arts from Valdosta State University.

February 19

The Particle that Changed Everything - A&S Lecture Series 
Bailey Science Center Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.

This month, the College of Arts and Sciences Spring Lecture Series features Physicist Harrison Prosper, the Kirby W. Kemper Professor of Physics at Florida State University, speaking on “The Particle that Changed Everything.” Dr. Prosper will discuss exactly how the Higgs boson’s discovery could signal an evolution in how we understand life and our universe. The Higgs boson has been making headlines since last summer. On July 4th, scientists announced they had discovered a previously unknown particle suspected to be the Higgs boson. Prosper will discuss the significance of this discovery on Tuesday.

The idea of the Higgs boson “god particle” first came about in 1964 when Peter Higgs and five other physicists developed a theory to explain how electrons and other particles acquire mass. Their groundbreaking research resulted in what we now refer to as the Standard Model which explains strong force, electromagnetic force, and the basic building blocks of matter. However, the theory does not explain gravity. After almost five decades, the Higgs boson has become a hot topic once again—this time because the theory of its existence could possibly be confirmed. 

Prosper, along with other respected physicists in the field, consider the Higgs boson an “elementary” particle. Its discovery could explain certain forces of nature that have thus far been deemed a mystery. Prosper believes this “god particle” is what gives substance to all other particles, giving even subatomic particles (such as protons and neutrons) mass. If this is proven true, our understanding of the how the universe and how it works will expand.

With the initiative to confirm that the Higgs boson does exist, Prosper has collaborated with other renowned physicists at CERN, a multinational research center in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN houses the world’s biggest, most advanced particle accelerator: the ten billion dollar Large Hadron Collider. The machine is capable of producing the data needed to confirm that the Higgs boson does, in fact, exist. Prosper will talk about how this is possible, what this discovery means for the future of physics and our understanding of life, and why its discovery is so significant. 

Lectures are free to the public. For more information about the event or the lecture series, contact the College of Arts and Sciences at (229) 333-5699.

Please read below to learn more about our guest speaker:

Dr. Harrison Prosper, Kirby W. Kemper Professor of Physics, Florida State University Dr. Harrison Prosper stands before a camera.

Dr. Prosper pursues his research in high energy, cosmology, physics, advanced analysis methods and Bayesian statistics. While he currently serves as a professor in Florida State University, he also makes multiple appearances as a guest speaker at local and out-of-state conferences. He actively participated in many collaborations like CMS Collaboration at CERN. In 1980, he graduated with a Ph.D in Experimental Physics from Manchester University.

Watch the TEDxFSU video  


February 21

A&S Spring Colloquia
The Second Anniversary Event of the Great East Japan
Earthquake on March 11, 2011
“Earthquake and Tsunami Effects and Disaster Social Work for Community Recovery:
Support from Outsiders and Expectations of Medical Social Workers ”

University Center Theatre, 7:00 P.M.


Drs. Kaoru Umezaki
Department of Social Work, Saitama Prefectural University, Japan;

Hanae Kanno
Division of Social Work, VSU;

Donald Thieme
Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences, VSU

March 5

A&S Spring Colloquia
"Social Problems Represented in the Hispanic Literatures"
University Center Theater, 7:00 p.m.

Student Presenters:
Marcus Mundy, Heather Soto, and Yannik Gil  

Department of Modern and Classical Languages

Faculty Sponsor:

Dr. Grazyna Walczak

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Student/Faculty Fall Colloquia 2012

VSU faculty and students represented their research in the Union Center Theatre.
All presentations were held at 7:00 p.m.

September 25

“Molecular Cryptology: Hiding Information
in Molecules and Nanostructures”

Drs. Thomas Manning and David Monetti

Sponsored by:

Departments of Chemistry and Psychology

October 2
“Lessons from Abroad: VSU Students' Perspectives on Studying, Learning, and Living Abroad”

Students Participating in Roundtable Discussion: Anna Zuern and Clandra Newson (Spain),
Holly Smith (Ireland),
Natalie Tanner (Germany),
Santaria Rome (Fiji), Megan Day (London),
and Jennifer Stakich (Czech Republic)
Ms. Irina McClellan
Sponsored by:
Center for International Programs

October 11
“A Guide to Collecting, Authenticating and Exhibiting Antique Printed Artifacts”

Student Presenter: Andrew Tatler-Burgess
Ms. Deborah S. Davis
Sponsored by:
Honors College and Odum Library

October 24
“Doing Research in Argentina: The Disappeared”

Student Presenter: Kathy Williams

“Afro-Argentinean Myths”

Student Presenter: Kenneth McLaurin

“Issues in Foreign Language Education”

Student Presenter: Elanor Paschal
Faculty Sponsors:
Drs. Ericka Parra and Ransom Gladwin
Department of Modern and Classical Languages

October 30
“Methodology and the Georgia Senior Women Project”
Drs. Catherine Oglesby, Kate Warner
and Martha Laughlin
History and Marriage and Family Therapy

November 13
“2012 Presidential Election Roundtable: Perspectives from Political Science and the Media”
Drs. Mandi Bailey and Steve Nawara
Department of Political Science
Chris Beckham;
Black Crow Media,
and Greg Gullberg,
Moderator: Dr. James LaPlant

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The events for this year have been unfortunately unrecorded.

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Spring events

February 10

“From Whence We Came: Valdosta History & Culture”

Dr. James Alexander,
Magnolia Room, 7:00 p.m.

The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crucade for America

Dr. Douglas Brinkley
Whitehead Auditorium, 8:00 p.m.

February 11

"Discussions about Study Abroad Experiences"

Students Participating in Roundtable Discussion:
T.A. Danner (Belize),
Kristin Morrison (Czech Republic),
Chris Parker (China),
Matt Schmidt (China and Italy)
and Kelley Simms (Peru)

Sponsored by: Undergraduate Research Council

Moderator: Dr. Randy Gladwin
Union Center Theatre, 7:00 p.m.

February 15

“Suppressed Silenced and Shunned:
The Story of the Pink Triangle Prisoners
in Hitler’s Reich”

Dr. Susan Eischeid
Hugh C. Bailey Room 1011, 6:30 p.m.

February 19

“Our Journey from Galileo to the Cosmos”

Dr. Martha Leake
Planetarium, Nevins Hall 3004,
7:30 & 8:45 p.m.

February 22, 23 & 25

Film: Pink Triangle Prisoners

Hugh C. Bailey Room 1011, 6:30 p.m.

February 23

"The Sankofa African American Museum on Wheels"

Magnolia Rooms I & II, 11:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

February 26

"Fifteenth Annual Mathematics
Technology Conference "

(free for VSU students-see registration form)

April 15 & 16

"Undergraduate Research Symposium"

Hugh C. Bailey Atrium and Room 1011

April 23

“1910: an Unaccountable Freak”

Dr. Kenneth Rumstay
Planetarium, Nevins Hall 3004,
7:30 & 8:45 p.m.

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Undergraduate Research Symposium held April

The Spring 2009 Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Arts and Sciences concluded in March 2009. Faculty members sponsor and guide student researchers in this annual event. This event has grown tremendously as participation of faculty sponors and student interest has increased significantly over the past few years.

This year thirteen cash prizes of $100 or $50 were awarded to student researchers selected by the judging committee. About 135 certificates of participation were presented by Department Heads in Arts and Sciences on awards night.

If you are interested in pursuing a research topic, you may need to approach a faculty member and ask if they would sponsor your research idea. Many projects start this way. Alternatively, other faculty members ask students to participate in their ongoing research. Some student presenters have been even been recognized by being published in a refereed journal along with their faculty sponsor.

Undergraduate Research
Poster Session

Students discussing their research projects with others at the Center for Undergraduate Research Symposium
Students discuss their research projects with others at the Undergraduate Research Symposium held in Bailey Science Center Atrium. (Spring 08)

Undergraduate Research
Panel Discussion and Oral Presentation

Oral Presentation and Panel Discussion held in BC 1011

Student presentation and panel discussion group. (Spring 08)

A&S Appreciation Day

Drs Walker and Harper Honored

A&S Appreciation Day was held April 30, 2009. Two retiring faculty members and 300 A&S employees were recognized for their service to Valdosta State University. Dr. Hil Harper and Dr. Sandra Walker were presented with a retirement photograph.

Dr. Sandra Walker

Dr. Walker accepting retirement photograph
Dr. Walker honored for service at Valdosta State University A&S Appreciation Day (April 30, 2009).

A and S Faculty and Staff in Tent for food and recogniton

Food and Fun at A&S Appreciation day

Dr. Hil Harper

Hil Harper holding retirement photograph

Dr. Harper honored for service at Valdosta State University A&S Appreciation Day (April 30, 2009).

faculty and staff feasting at appreciation day

Food and Fun at A&S Appreciation day 

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