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Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

August 2009 Issue Newsletter Archives >

Research

NSF Awards Melkers $1.18 Million to Study Women in Science

Associate Professor Julia Melkers (Public Policy) has been awarded $1.18 million by the National Science Foundation to examine factors that account for the low representation of women in most science disciplines.  More to come on this project in the September newsletter.

Goldberg Awarded $550K by Department of Education

Assistant Professor Stuart Goldberg (Modern Languages) has been awarded $556,988 by the US Department of Education to develop song-based advanced course materials to teach Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian language and culture.  Read more about this project in the News section.

Noteworthy Press

Rosser Introduced as SFSU Provost

San Francisco State University is introducing former Ivan Allen College Dean Sue V. Rosser as their new Provost through their “State of Mind” ad in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Boston on CNN says Recession is Over

In an interview on CNN August 14, School of Economics Professor Danny Boston discussed indicators confirming that the recession is over.  Click here to view the segment.

June 15, 2009 - September 11, 2009
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
August 25, 2009
Klaus Advanced Computing - Room 1116
11:00 AM
August 27, 2009
Ivan Allen College Faculty/Staff Opening Meeting
DM Smith Building, Lecture Room 105
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
September 21, 2009 - September 23, 2009
GTRI Conference Center
8:00 AM
September 25, 2009
Habersham Building, 781 Marietta Street
3:00 PM
October 8, 2009
GT Barnes & Noble Bookstore
6:00 PM

News

All news

Maintaining Momentum: Interim Dean Ken Knoespel

A young woman entering the Ivan Allen College asked me how our courses would challenge her. It turned out that she had perfect SAT scores – both math and verbal – and wondered if her work in the college would challenge “both sides of her brain.” 

Her query speaks to part of what is distinct about this College - this is exactly the place where we challenge both sides of the brain bringing them together to engage our curiosity and creativity. Because of that, we have a major role at Georgia Tech in building an ethos that integrates disciplines which were often separate in previous generations. 

I wanted to highlight this as we begin this new academic year. It underscores the opportunities before us born of a decade of extraordinary growth and accomplishments. It also reveals the urgency of maintaining momentum in the face of the economic downturn.
 
We are all concerned about budget cuts and furloughs. While budget issues require our vigilance, I want to emphasize our commitment to our students and the scholarship and research through which we engage them. We will do our utmost to maintain the strength of our work and its impact at Georgia Tech and institutions around the world.
 
In the coming months, Georgia Tech undertakes a 25-year strategic planning initiative. Some faculty and staff will serve on the Steering Committee for Strategic Planning; I encourage all of you to participate, helping to define more precisely what it means to think of Georgia Tech as “a technological university of the 21st century” and, in turn, shaping the College’s role as the center of the Institute. 
 
I also urge everyone to participate in the dean’s search by sending recommendations for possible candidates to the Search Committee.
 
As we are facing the loss of our colleague, Ski Hilenski, who was Development officer for the College, we carry forward the important work he began - the Ivan Allen College Initiative. You will hear more about the initiative in the near future.
 
I look forward to working with each of you this year to continue our momentum forward.
 
Kenneth J. Knoespel, Interim Dean
Ivan Allen College
 

Search for New Dean Announced

The President and the Provost of Georgia Tech have announced a nationwide search for a new dean of the Ivan Allen College who can lead the College to continued prominence and accomplishment. The new dean will be a successor to Dean Sue V. Rosser who departed the Ivan Allen College this summer to assume the position of Provost at San Francisco State University.

The Search Committee met in late July. Candidate development will take place throughout August, September, and October. Off-site candidate interviews are expected to occur in early November, with campus interviews in November and December. It is anticipated that selection, negotiation, and the announcement of a new dean will come in January.

Members of the Dean Search Committee

Chair: Doug Allen - Professor and Associate Dean, College of Architecture

Co-Chair: Marilyn Brown - Professor, School of Public Policy

Inman Allen - President, Ivan Allen Company, member of the Ivan Allen College Development Council

Jane Ammons - Associate Dean of Engineering for Faculty Affairs and Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Rebecca Burnett - Professor, School of Literature, Communication, and Culture

Bettina Cothran - Professor of German, School of Modern Languages

Shannon Dobranski, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, School of Literature, Communication, and Culture

Marta Garcia - Assistant Vice President, Development, Georgia Tech

Seymour Goodman - Professor, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the College of Computing and Co-Director of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center

Tina Lambert - Director of Finance Administration, Ivan Allen College

Nathan Moon – graduate student in the School of History, Technology and Society

Nancy Nersessian - Regents' Professor, School of Interactive Computing and School of Public Policy

Georgianna Nutt – undergraduate student, Global Economics and Modern Languages major

Ruth Uwaifo, Assistant Professor, School of Economics

William Winders – Associate Professor, School of History, Technology, and Society.

Ex-officio member: Jennifer Herazy - Office of the Provost, Georgia Tech

The search for a new dean of the College is being supported by R. William Funk & Associates of Dallas, Texas. While applications and nominations will be accepted until a new Dean is selected, interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials to the address below by October 15 to assure optimal consideration.

R. William Funk & Associates
100 Highland Park Village, Suite 200
Dallas, Texas 75205

Nominations: bill.funk@rwilliamfunk.com
Candidates: krisha.creal@rwilliamfunk.com

Fax: 214/295-3312

Position Description

Dean Search Ad

In Remembrance of Ferdinand A. “Ski” Hilenski

Atlanta (July 31, 2009) — Ferdinand A. “Ski” Hilenski, II, Director of Development for the Ivan Allen College, died Wednesday, July 29, 2009 from sudden complications due to a lengthy struggle with cancer. He was 62 years old.

Ferdinand A. (Ski) Hilenski, II

Ski enjoyed a long and immensely successful career at Tech. He was Director of Development and Public Relations for the College of Architecture from 1993 to 1999. In 2000, he became the founding development officer for the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. Imaginative and intrepid, Ski shaped the fledging College’s development profile mining unconventional sources of funding. In a remarkable tour de force during the last decade, he raised more than $35 million and secured the College’s endowment in perpetuity. At the time of his death, he led Georgia Tech academic units in the current funding campaign with commitments totaling 85% of the goal for the College.

Ski received his AB in English and Philosophy from Pfeiffer College (1969), and an MA (1970) and PhD (1974) in English Literature from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He was a FIPSE/Mina Shaughnessy Post-doctoral Fellow at the Harvard School of Education in 1983-4, and a Fulbright Research Fellow to the United Kingdom in 1993. He contributed to numerous scholarly articles and authored and/or edited two books including The CASE Handbook for the Unit Advancement Officer.

Prior to Georgia Tech, Ski worked in development for the UT College of Liberal Arts and served as Associate Dean for Grants and Development for the College of Liberal Arts at the University of South Carolina. Throughout his career, he was active as a teacher and lecturer and in university governance.

Born January 1, 1947 in Key West, Florida, Ski had travelled widely and lived in Morocco and Britain. He loved Georgia Tech and described his work here as “his therapy.” Many on campus remember the bow-tie clad Ski as the first person to reach out to them. He had extensive knowledge of Georgia Tech’s history and delighted in welcoming new colleagues with his (self-described) “Polish tours”. He was widely regarded as one of the most caring, collaborative, and determined individuals in our midst.

Ski Hilenski is survived by his wife, Lu, a daughter, Cate Hilenski, and a son Jesse Hilenski.

Memorial Service for Ski Hilenski
Saturday, August 22
3:00pm
Atlanta Friends Meeting
701 W. Howard Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers that Ski be honored by donations through the Georgia Tech Foundation to The Hilenski Memorial Fund. The fund will enrich the Ivan Allen College Initiative - the project on which Ski was working at the time of his death and which he viewed as the most important professional achievement of his life.

Georgia Tech Foundation
Hilenski Memorial Fund
760 Spring Street, NW
Atlanta, GA, 30308.

Boston Briefs Congress on Creating Low-Income Housing

Atlanta (July 29, 2009) — School of Economics professor Thomas "Danny" Boston briefed the U.S. House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity about low-income housing. During his testimony on Tuesday, July 28, 2009, Boston told House Subcommittee members that quality neighborhoods improve self-sufficiency. His full briefing is included in this article.

Thomas (Danny) Boston

Boston has conducted landmark research on the effects of revitalization on public housing. His full briefing follows:

The Honorable Maxine Waters, Chairwoman
House Committee on Financial Services
Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity

RE: Testimony of Thomas D Boston, Prof. of Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA. 30332

To Honorable Chairwoman Maxine Waters and the Members of the House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, I am deeply honored to have been asked to share my research findings with this distinguished Subcommittee. One of the most important challenges our nation faces is the pressing need to provide quality affordable housing to low-income families.

Honorable Chairwoman, your invitation letter asks me to answer eight questions that primarily pertain to my research on the Atlanta Housing Authority. Therefore, I will confine my testimony to those questions, and do so within the time allotted me.

Let me start by stating that my research concludes that environment matters! When low-income housing assisted families are given access to quality affordable housing in neighborhoods of greater opportunity, their self-sufficiency increases significantly.

Describe my public housing research.

I have mainly focused on how mixed-income revitalization, Housing Choice Vouchers and public housing have affected family self-sufficiency. I have examined longitudinally the administrative records of 20,000 AHA assisted families between 1995 and 2007. Under a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, I have also examined longitudinally 26,000 families who received public housing assistance from the Chicago Housing Authority between 1999 and 2007.

I have attempted to answer the following questions: Did families relocate to better neighborhoods when the housing projects they lived in were demolished? Did they lose housing assistance? Did mixed-income developments or vouchers improve self-sufficiency in comparison to public housing projects? From a benefit-cost standpoint, did mixed-income-revitalization improve social welfare? Finally, did the school performance of 3rd and 5th grade students improve if their families used vouchers or lived in mixed-income developments?

Describe Atlanta's transformation efforts.

Between 1995 and 2007, AHA fully constructed 13 new mixed-income developments””more than any other Public Housing Authority in the country. In 1995, AHA provided housing assistance to 16,345 families; 47% of whom lived in housing projects and 33% used vouchers. By 2007, AHA provided housing assistance to 17,111 families; 15% of whom lived in housing projects and 59% used vouchers. (Note that these percentages exclude elderly housing).

What are the rescreening policies of AHA and what percentage of original public housing residents moved back into redevelop communities?

Rescreening is handled by Private Development Companies that manage the mixed-income housing. I must defer the details of that process to the managers of AHA. I cannot speak authoritatively on it.

My research has found that in Atlanta, 21.4% of the still active original families moved back into mixed-income developments and 60.7% used vouchers. I have also found through numerous focus group interviews that the large percentage of families who remain on vouchers do so primarily by choice. Also, my statistical research in Atlanta found that mixed-income revitalization did not cause families to lose housing assistance.

In what way have I updated my 2005 article in the Journal of the American Planning Association?

The 2005 analysis investigated three housing projects that were demolished and revitalized. More recently, I have examined six housing projects and extended the analysis through 2007. I have also examined the school performance of elementary kids whose families receive housing assistance, conducted a benefit-cost analysis of mixed-income revitalization of six public housing developments and looked at whether voucher recipients have increased violent crime in receiving communities.

The outcomes are as follows:

-Families who relocated from public housing projects moved to much better neighborhoods.
The employment rates of work eligible adults increased from 21% in 1995 (when most families lived in housing projects) to 53% in 2007 (when most families had moved away from housing projects).
-On nationally standardized tests, kids whose families lived in projects scored in the 29th percentile, those whose families used vouchers scored in the 35th percentile and those whose families lived in mixed-income housing scored in the 43rd percentile.
-Violent crime was not significantly correlated with the percent of families in census tracts who used vouchers. It was highly correlated with the poverty rate.
-Finally, the net social benefit of revitalizing six housing projects was $123 million per development; the benefit to cost ratio was 1.6 to 1.

Distinguished Committee Members let me end by stating that to a great extent, the rebirth of intown neighborhoods in Atlanta has accompanied the mixed-income revitalization of public housing projects. In my opinion, this rebirth would not have occurred in its absence. Secondly, my research in Atlanta has demonstrated conclusively the self-sufficiency of low-income families can improve significantly if we provide them access to quality affordable housing in neighborhoods where the opportunities for upward mobility are greater. Thank you kindly.

New Economics PhD is Only Program of Its Kind

Atlanta (August 12, 2009) — On August 1, 2009 the School of Economics began accepting applications for a new PhD in Economics, the only program of its kind in the country. The new PhD uniquely focuses on the globalization and innovation issues that interconnect three key fields of economics: environmental economics, industrial organization, and international economics. It is the sixth PhD program offered within the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the PhD last year recognizing state and national need for economists who are highly trained with those specializations and who share the themes of globalization and innovation as a common language.

Many global advances and challenges lie at the intersection of the three fields. International economics encompasses economic characteristics and the rationale for the international flow of goods, services, labor, capital, and technology. Industrial organization includes analysis of the structure of industries and markets that determine business strategies for pricing, production, location, and product and process innovation, along with the regulatory and antitrust policies that constrain firms’ behaviors. Polluting activities and resource depletion associated with consumption and production of market and non-market participants form the main areas of study in environmental economics. The program will prepare students to analyze the interrelated effects that these forces exert in a global and technological environment. Applied econometrics is also emphasized.

School of Economics Chair Patrick McCarthy and Professor Emilson Silva were instrumental in developing the new PhD. The program is expected to create new synergies and enhance existing relationships between the School of Economics and other Schools and Colleges within Georgia Tech.

ROTC Welcomes Commanding Officers Kirby and Fritchle

Atlanta (August 12, 2009) — The Georgia Tech ROTC Navy and Army units welcome two new commanding officers this month; Captain Stephen H. Kirby assumes command of the ROTC Navy unit, and Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Fritchle heads the Army unit.

Captain Stephen H. Kirby

The Naval ROTC at Georgia Tech welcomes Captain Stephen H. Kirby as its new Commanding Officer. Kirby, a graduate of Loyola University, was commissioned through the Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1982 and received his Naval Flight Officer Wings that same year. He has flown over 3300 hours in the EA-6B and A-6E aircraft, accumulating over 600 carrier landings. His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), the Air Medal (3 Strike/Flight), the Navy Commendation Medal (5 awards) and the Navy Achievement Medal.

Captain Kirby is a graduate of the Naval War College, Newport, RI and the Canadian Forces College, Toronto, Ontario. He has deployed in many significant missions including Operations Desert Shield, Northern Watch, and Enduring Freedom. In the past decade, he has fulfilled assignments as Head of Aviation Commander Assignments at Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee, as Command Naval Aviation Schools Command, NAS Pensacola, and most recently as Chief of Staff for Commander, Carrier Strike Group Eight.

Lieutenant Colonel Anthony “Tony” Fritchle

Lieutenant Colonel Anthony “Tony” Fritchle, comes to Georgia Tech from assignment in Iraq. He officially assumed command of the Georgia Tech Army ROTC Program on July 8, 2009.

Fritchle began his Army career as an enlisted soldier in the Infantry in 1985. He commissioned as an officer in 1992 and since has held numerous company/battalion officer positions both in combat and in training. He holds an MA in Military and Operational Art from the Air Force Command and Staff University, has taught at the Army's premiere leadership school, Ranger School, and instructed as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at North Georgia College and the State University’s Reserve Officer Training program. His operational leadership includes one tour in Alaska, two tours with the 75th Rangers in Savannah, GA, two tours in the Republic of South Korea, and most recently he commanded a Brigade Combat Advisor Team in Baghdad, Iraq.

Lieutenant Colonel Fritchle’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (5), Army Commendation Medal (3), and Army Achievement Medal (5), Iraq Campaign Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and has earned the Expert Infantry Badge and Ranger Tab. He is also a Master Parachutist.

Former GTROTC Navy Commanding Officer, Wayne Radloff retires this month. GT Army ROTC Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Nathaniel Farmer now commands the Army’s Pine Bluff Chemical Activity unit in Arkansas.

Bogost Tells BOR that Game Design Graduates will be In Demand

Atlanta (August 12, 2009) — Ian Bogost, Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture recently spoke before the Board of Regents (BOR) of the University System of Georgia about the rapidly expanding use of computer games. He told Board members that graduates who are trained in computer game development and design are poised for a variety of careers in many different sectors.

Ian Bogost

BOR members contacted Georgia Tech requesting a presentation on computer game development and design following their review of a new Bachelor’s degree in the field for Southern Polytechnic State University.

Bogost explained how computer games are rapidly moving beyond their inception as entertainment for teenage boys. Game-type products are targeting new audiences in industries such as tourism and exercise. They are also being used for marketing, training, discourse, simulations, edutainment, and many other novel applications, and in industries such as publicity, journalism, arts, education, documentaries, therapy, music, corporate, and advertising. Bogost noted that with games being applied to so many new uses and across so many industries, game knowledge (such as that provided by Georgia Tech's Digital Media program) will become advantageous as part of one’s professional expertise.

Modern Languages Awarded DOE Funds to Innovate Song-based Coursework

Atlanta (August 14, 2009) — The School of Modern Languages (ML) within the Ivan Allen College continues to break new ground in preparing Georgia Tech graduates to be effective in global social, business, and political contexts. Assistant Professor Stuart Goldberg has received $556,989 from the U.S. Department of Education to develop advanced/intermediate course materials using song-based content to teach Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian language and culture. The new course materials will enhance the impact of the School’s distinctive Applied Language and Intercultural Studies curriculum. It will also provide a teaching model for other universities.

Stuart Goldberg

The 3-year International Research and Studies (IRS) Instructional Materials grant responds to the critical need for upper level course materials in the less-commonly-taught languages. According to the Modern Language faculty working on the project, songs illustrate the culture of a given speech community. They also reflect the emotions, biases, and language of that community and thus become a lens to view the target culture from many angles and in many layers. Songs force students to listen, engage, and focus on detail. Because of their memorability, they create a learning experience that has staying power. At the same time, they present excellent material to stretch the crucial skills of listening comprehension, culture knowledge, and cross-cultural reflection.

Goldberg will be joined in the project, which begins in Fall, 2009, by Dr. Rajaa Aquil (Arabic-speaking culture and song), Dr. Paul Foster (Chinese culture and song) and Dr. Rumiko Shinzato-Simonds (Japanese culture and song). Course materials will be presented through a specially designed computer interface enabling delivery of a rich web of content/context surrounding a carefully chosen corpus of songs. In advanced classes in the less-commonly taught languages, typically comprised of students with widely varied language experience, this approach will allow for active participation by baseline advanced students and deep, but guided exploration of cultural context by more fluent students.

Kosal Book Informs Debate on Security Implications of Nanotechnology

Atlanta (August 12, 2009) — The pursuit of the minutely small — nanotechnology — is thriving in academia, in the private sector, and in global state science and technology programs. In her new book, Nanotechnology for Chemical and Biological Defense (Springer 2009), Margaret E. Kosal (Assistant Professor, Sam Nunn of International Affairs) focuses on the security implications of nanotechnology and emerging science.

Margaret E. Kosal

Kosal aims to better enable an informed national debate and to affect international dialogue on the role and impact of nanotechnology and emerging science on national defense and homeland security. She combines original research with the findings of an interdisciplinary, defense-oriented workshop she chaired to explore current realities and the potential for transformational breakthroughs in nanotechnology-based chemical and biological defense countermeasures and to also identify research directions in basic and applied science. Security implications, both for traditional nonproliferation regimes and for misuse by non-state actors, are also considered.

Throughout, the emphasis is on revolutionary rather than evolutionary science and technology. This work intentionally straddles between technical disciplines and social sciences making it truly interdisciplinary. Ideas and work from across the experimental and theoretical physical and life sciences and engineering are included and integrated with insights from the social sciences.

HTS’ Bier Unveils the Status of Women Under Islam

Atlanta (August 17, 2009) — New work by School of History, Technology, and Society Assistant Professor, Laura Bier explores debates about the status of women in the modern Middle East and their implications for contemporary gender politics. Through an exploration of the secular modernization of Egypt during the 1950s and 1960s, Bier argues that what may appear to be a regression in the status of women under contemporary Islamitization are actually manifestations of a non-secular modernity.

Laura Bier

Bier, a social and cultural historian who specializes in post-colonial Egyptian history, is in the final stages of a new book Fashioning the Egyptian Woman: Feminisms, Modernity and the State in Postcolonial Egypt 1923-1967. Her works examines how debates about the “liberation of women” in Egypt were linked to the development of a secular nation-state. While doing research, she found that state modernization politicized many aspects of Egyptian women’s everyday lives—what they wore, how they organized their homes, how they related to male co-workers, how they behaved in public space. She notes that the ‘unveiled women’ was an important symbol of the progressive promise of secular modernization for a state trying to overcome its long history of colonialism and Western domination.

Bier contends that calls for the re-Islamization of society in contemporary Egypt are not the result of a failed program of modernization, but in many ways a manifestation of its successes. Many of today’s Islamic feminists in Egypt were women who came of age during the 50s and 60s. They were the beneficiaries of new opportunities offered to women by the modernizing state including access to higher education, the expansion of the work force and political participation. Talking with hijab-wrapped Egyptian women of that generation, Bier found that many of them have photographs of themselves and their female relatives wearing mini-skirts and swim suits.

In its attempt to counter the pervasive social and political effects of secularist state projects, today’s Islamization has not abandoned the advancements of women, but rather attempts to prescribe ways that ordinary Muslims can live within a modern society within an Islamic framework. While proponents of Islamization in Egypt condemn certain aspects of secularization like unveiling as un-Islamic, other things which historically are products of secular modernity, like girls education and the importance of love and affection as a basis for marriage, are viewed as eminently compatible with Islamic values.

“What is important about this work,” says Bier, “is that helps show that the gender politics of Islamism have important continuities with the gender politics of secular nationalism.”

Bier’s work joins a growing and vibrant body of work on women and nationalism in colonial and post-colonial Egypt. It is the first study to explore gender over the entire breadth of the presidency of Gamal Abdel Nasser, a pivotal moment in the development of the Egyptian nation-state.

Fox Presents at Japan Science Forum

Atlanta (August 13, 2009) — Mary Frank Fox, Professor in the School of Public Policy, presented her research on "Women in Academic Science in the United States" at the in June 2009 Science Forum of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Fox was selected to present social science perspectives on women in science for the U.S.

Mary Frank Fox

In her presentation, Fox focused upon 1) the ways that key social-organizational features of academic work (patterns of speaking about research; ratings of human and material resources; and departmental climate) are consequential for significant status in science and engineering, 2) the ways in which experiences with these features vary for women and men faculty, and 3) ways that institutional practices and policies, reflecting these features, may be improved toward greater equity for the full participation and status of both women and men in academic science and engineering.

The JSPS is the major Japanese funding and policy setting agency for science. The Forum brought together researchers and policy makers to highlight how gender is a key issue for scientific advancement in the U.S., Japan, Scandinavia, and throughout the world. The invited audience represented governmental, scientific, and international communities.

Faculty Profile — Anne Pollock - on Healthcare, Race, Heart Disease

Atlanta (August 13, 2009) — A conversation with Anne Pollock ranges widely from how the American medical system came in to being and how it might have taken a different path, to why the first drug marketed by race failed; from the weakening business model for big pharmaceuticals, to why southerners are less healthy than northerners; and why we fear cancer when the odds of being killed by heart disease are much greater. These reveal the scope of her research on biomedicine and culture.

Anne Pollock

Pollock, an Assistant Professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture, holds a PhD in the history and social study of science from MIT. She came to Georgia Tech in Fall 2008 after a year as a guest lecturer with the Rice University department of anthropology. Her interests center on the intersection of medical technologies and diagnostics with differentiated identities in the United States.

“The statistics of a disease don’t capture how people feel about a disease. What interests me is how diseases become embroiled in larger stories about who we are - as Americans, and then also by categories like race, gender, and sexuality.”

Pollock’s current works focus on pharmaceuticals, race, and heart disease. She has completed a book manuscript Medicating Race: Heart Disease and Durable Preoccupations with Difference. The book examines race and cardiovascular disease in the 21st century and offers a new view of how early cardiologists understood diseases of modernity, the famous (and on-going) Framingham Heart Study, and both generic and branded drugs that have become enrolled in arguments about distinctly African American heart disease.

Pollock is excited about the range of possibilities for health research that are available across Georgia Tech and Atlanta. She has found colleagues with allied research interests at Emory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Racism and Health Working Group, and Morehouse and the Association of Black Cardiologists. She is currently teaching students in Science, Technology, and Culture (STAC) and is looking forward to teaching the popular Biomedicine and Culture again in the Spring.

“Studying disease and society is exciting because it is relevant to larger debates. Bringing in history and social theory is an opportunity to push that conversation beyond common sense, to broaden the perspectives of students and hopefully far beyond.”

Public Policy Student Combines Disciplines to Become “Change Agent"

Atlanta (August 12, 2009) — Misty Guard has been “in the trenches” and observed first-hand how policy can fall apart in the real world. Guard obtained a BS in biology with specialization in ecology, and a Minor in environmental science from Purdue University. She then spent four years as a biologist consultant for Terracon Consultants, Inc., a year as an environmental regulatory compliance specialist for The Home Depot, and is currently a freelance consultant for ERS Global working with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. She found herself and the businesses she has worked for dealing with regulatory requirements that were difficult to implement.

Misty Guard

The disconnect between policy regulations and implementation inspired Guard to undertake an ambitious program of study at Georgia Tech: a program that is preparing her to be a change agent for how international environmental policy and business regulations are approached.

“If the regulation isn’t realistic, the policy won’t move forward,” says Guard. She’s interested in tackling the problem at the highest level. “I believe policy processes should transcend governmental regulations. They should consider the international climate, global political stance, international business arena, inter-generational policy choices, and sustainability.”

Guard is studying three areas of specialization: public management, environmental policy, and science & technology policy. Part of what attracted Guard to the Ivan Allen College School of Public Policy was the extensive opportunity for international experience. Professor Philip Shapira and advisor Associate Professor Gordon Kingsley have helped Guard ensure that her coursework led to eligibility for an invitation to participate in the PRIME (Policies for Research and Innovation in the Move towards the European Research Area) international exchange program in Spring 2010.

Guard is considering thesis topics on dry cleaning regulation, cap and trade regulation or a consumer sustainability database. She is also seeking to amplify her Public Policy master’s with an MBA Dual-Degree through the Georgia Tech School of Management. Ultimately, she hopes to combine theoretical academic work with practical business knowledge and experience to effect dynamic policy development.

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The Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts College at Georgia Tech is recognized internationally for integrating the academic rigor, research, and professional emphases of technology and science, with the humanities and social sciences. Comprised of six schools, we offer nine undergraduate degrees, six master's degrees, and five doctoral degrees. Learn More

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