NewsLetter
Ivan Allen College


EVENTS

Ivan Allen College Website

New Associate Dean and Assistant Dean Begin Duties
Professor John ToneIn January, John Tone, Professor, History, Technology, and Society, became the new Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies. He will provide assistance with the development of new undergraduate majors, minors, and certificates and collaborate with the Office of Undergraduate Research to improve research opportunities for IAC undergraduates. Key areas of focus for FY 08 will include implementation and enhancement of current undergraduate recruiting activities as well as continuing development of the College recruiting strategy.

Associate Professor Peter BreckePeter Brecke, Associate Professor, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs (INTA), also began his duties in January as the new Assistant Dean for Information Technology. Brecke will be responsible for hiring, supervising, and training the IT staff. In addition, he will define College and School IT needs while coordinating with the Office of Information Technology management; continuing development of the enterprise structure for IAC IT. Brecke also intends to pursue staff retention activities, including mentoring, on-going training, restructuring of responsibilities to allow senior staff to mentor new staff as well as addressing new mobility requirements for laptops and personal digital assistants.

Honor's Program Spends a Semester in the City
Greg NoblesGregory Nobles, Professor, School of History, Technology, and Society (HTS) and Director, Georgia Tech Honors Program, along with Andrea Ashmore, GT's Director of Institute Partnerships, are teaching a new course, HTS 2803, this spring called "Semester in the City: Engaging English Avenue." The primary objectives of this course are "to understand the community on its own terms, but also study it within the larger context of the city of Atlanta, and to find ways to work on some do-able and sustainable service project(s) that will bring us into partnership with the people of the neighborhood," say Nobles.

The course will be offered as a special topics course in the GT Honors Program, and will have a limited enrollment of around twenty first- and second-year Honors Program students. The emphasis will be on promoting intellectual Students cleaning up English Avenueinquiry and active engagement on the part of the students, featuring both reading (including books by two Tech authors, Ron Bayor of HTS and Larry Keating of City Planning) and written work (both analytical essays and reflective journal entries), along with working with the leadership in the community.

The students will also develop projects, either individual or group, that will be useful to the community and have substantial intellectual weight to be worthy of academic credit. Both Nobles and Ashmore anticipate a connection of the undergraduate students in this course with the masters-level students working with Harley Etienne, joint Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy and College of Architecture, who will be teaching a design studio course focusing on the English Avenue community.

Boston Appears on Nightly Business Report
Danny BostonThomas (Danny) Boston, Professor, School of Economics, will be featured on the PBS show Nightly Business Report as part of a special production for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, and will air nationally on January 21. In addition, Boston assisted in the development of questions for the Democratic Presidential Debate, moderated by Demorris Walker, National Program Director of the 100 Black Men of America and the National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The debate was televised on MSNBC on Tuesday, January 15.

On December 7th, 2007, he gave the keynote address at the Annual Convention of the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council. Boston gave the keynote address at the First Annual Black Business Congress, which was held at Morehouse College on December 6th, 2007. In October 2007, a report he prepared for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation entitled, "Increasing the Capacity of the Nation's Small Disadvantaged Businesses," was released publicly. The report provides recommendations that are being used by the U.S. House and Senate Small Business Committees to revise regulations affecting small disadvantaged businesses that contract with the Federal Government.

Three Poets Featured at McEver Poetry Reading
H. Bruce McEverPoetry@Tech presents the H. Bruce McEver Poetry Reading on February 7, featuring Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Opal Moore, and Bruce McEver. Bosselaar is the author of three books of poetry, one which won the Isabella Gardner Prize for Poetry for 2001. Moore chairs the English department at Spelman College and has published short stories and essays in several journals and anthologies, and collaborated on projects with visual artists, musicians, and filmmakers as well. H. Bruce McEver ('66), founder and former president of Berkshire Capital Corporation, is a published poet in his own right. At Tech, he has endowed both the McEver Visiting Chair in Writing and the McEver Program for Engineering and the Liberal Arts.
Berry Moderates Stem Cell Research Conference
Roberta BerryRoberta Berry, Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and Health Law faculty fellow at Georgia State's College of Law, was the moderator and a speaker at the Stem Cell Research Conference, Stem Cell Research: Understanding the Controversies, held on Thursday, January 10, at Georgia State University. Aaron D. Levine, Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy, was also a speaker at the conference presenting, "Assessing the Influence of State Stem Cell Policies on Scientists’ Careers."

"Stem cell science is promising and advancing, but often controversial," says Berry. "Some kinds of stem cell research raise ethical, religious, legal and policy issues about which people disagree. We conceived of the conference as a way to foster understanding of the controversies," she said.

School of Modern Languages Hosts German Consul General
Bettina Cothran and Katja WeberBettina Cothran, Professor, School of Modern Languages and Katja Weber, Associate Professor, INTA, are teaching a seminar on the European Union (EU) presenting Dr. Lutz Goergens, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany and former Deputy Head of Unit, European Parliamentary Affairs, Federal Foreign Office Bonn (1993 -1997).

The seminar, entitled, The European Union at 50; Current Issues and Challenges, will be held on Tuesday, February 5th, at 1:30 in the Swann building, room #106. Goergens will speak about the EU from an insider's point of view, focusing on current issues facing the EU, such as structural reforms, and the debate about taking on new member states. The lecture will be in German and is open to all students and faculty.

The Sci Fi Lab on WREK Radio
Sci Fi LabThe Sci Fi Lab, a monthly radio show dedicated to "the best in everything science fiction," broadcasts the third Sunday of each month from 7-9 pm. Future shows will address such issues as science fiction writing, science fiction film, and environmentalism in science fiction. Three additional air dates are scheduled for January 20th, February 17th, and March 16th, starting at 7:00 pm.

The program is produced by the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture (LCC) and WREK 91.1, Georgia Tech’s student-run radio station. The Sci Fi Lab is an extension of LCC professor Lisa Yaszek's Science Fiction Laboratory and is staffed by Georgia Tech students and alumni. Previous shows exploring science fiction at Georgia Tech, science fiction fans, and science fiction music are available at LCC's Creative Projects website.

Faculty Profile - Tibor Besedes
Tibor BesedesTibor Besedes, a newly appointed Assistant Professor in the School of Economics, received his BS in Economics from Texas Christian University, MA and PhD in Economics from Rutgers University. His primary area of scholarly interest is international trade. In particular, he is examining how differences in the duration of trade relationships translate into aggregate export growth, thereby identifying areas where developing countries lag behind developed ones. Another area of interest covers social networks, especially the links created among universities co-authorship networks.

Besedes is currently involved in an experimental project that examines how individuals make decisions when they are presented with complex choices. The project was motivated by the difficulties that senior citizens report attempting to choose a prescription drug coverage under Medicare Part D. The goal of the project is to understand whether or not these individuals are able to choose the best option for them, and how that ability changes when more options and more cards options are provided.

Results to date show that, as the choice set becomes more complicated, the ability to find the best option deteriorates commensurate with education and age, among other factors. Researchers are trying to understand the rate of error-making and how to devise ways in which decision-making can be improved. This project, now in its final stages, is funded by a National Institutes of Health grant ($360,000), and involves economists at Vanderbilt University, University of Arkansas, and Louisiana State University in addition to Georgia Tech.

Besedes hopes to use these research projects in future classes he will teach at Georgia Tech and to present the results of these projects in articles and at various domestic and international conferences. When he's not writing, he says he also enjoys reading about history, watching and playing sports, and traveling.

Student Profile - Liam Rattray
Liam RattrayLiam Rattray, Sophomore in the School of Public Policy, was awarded a President's Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) for Fall 2007 for his paper entitled, "The Effects of Urban Placemaking on Food Consciousness: Bringing a Local Farmer's Market to Georgia Tech." His PURA project involved phenomenology, food sustainability, place making, community development, and new media technologies, and led to his starting and coordinating the Georgia Tech Sustainable Food Project. Currently, students involved in this project are operating two programs: a campus supported agriculture program with over 30 registered participants, and a campus community gardening program with a 13 member steering committee.

In 2007, he was also awarded the national NASA SEMAA Next Generation Pioneer Award of $5000 for teaching and work he has done relating to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education in the past.

Rattray has been invited by Public Broadcasting Atlanta (PBA) to work with their New Media Department and IBM on their latest online social networking portal for a three-day design consultation. Subsequently, he was recognized by the PBA Board of Directors for his input. In addition, he is excited about serving as Communications Director for the fledgling Georgia Tech environmental organization, Students Organizing for Sustainability.