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March 2014


President Rossbacher recently approved Dr Jeff Chastine’s promotion to full professor with tenure.  The promotion is a reflection of Jeff’s contribution to CSE and SPSU and is well deserved.

I know you will all join me in congratulating Jeff.


The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at VNR VJIET (Vallurupalli Nageswara Rao Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology), one of the most prestigious institutions in Hyderabad, India, recently invited Dr Chih-Chen Hung to join the advisory board of its Centre of Excellence for Data Science. This invitation reflects Dr Hung’s continuing research excellence, and he deserves our congratulations for this recognition of his outstanding work.


President Lisa Rossbacher recently announced that she will be stepping down as president of Southern Polytechnic State University to become President of Humboldt Sate University, the northernmost campus in the 23-campus Cal State System, with 8,100 students. The University is known for its focus on sustainability and the environment, as well as being a regional center for the arts; some of its best-known programs include majors in art, wildlife, botany, geology, and oceanography (with the only oceanographic research vessel for undergraduate research in the country). 

Following President Rossbacher into a President’s position elsewhere is Dr Zvi Szafran, our current Vice-President for Academic Affairs (VPAA).  The State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor Nancy Zimpher has recommended that Dr Szafran will appointed as the next president of SUNY Canton in northern New York.  SUNY Canton has a mission similar to that of SPSU, with a focus on career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs, and quality, hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service. 

Both President Rossbacher and VPAA Szafran have made tremendous contributions to SPSU, and I wholeheartedly congratulate them both on their new positions and wish them all the best.


The SPSU Speech Team, which is mentored by Professor Misty York from the Department of English, Technical Communication, and Media Arts, recently placed second in a state wide competition.  The team consisted of physics major Logan Britt, a physics major, mechatronics major Peter Desio, architecture major Ayana Reyes-Howell, mechanical engineering major Nathan Highsmith, civil engineering major Trevor Polston, systems engineering major Chris Gilbert, business major Tajruba Khan, and Josh van Meter, who is a computer game design major.

Congratulations to all.


SPSU hosted the Georgia Science Olympiad tournament for middle and high-school students on Sat., March 22.   Science Olympiad is a nationally recognized program for enhancing science education and interest in science. At the Georgia event, a total of 720 competitors comprised 48 teams of up to 15 students apiece. The teams faced off in 23 different age-specific events that emphasize doing and applying science for a chance to advance to the national competition.

More than 300 schools in Georgia have Science Olympiad programs, making Georgia’s program the eighth largest in the country. The event is co-directed by Prof. Lance Crimm, chair of the Department of Electrical and Mechatronics Engineering, and Prof. Susan VandeVen of the Department of Information Technology.

I wanted to express my appreciation to Professors Crimm and VandeVen for being willing to take on this additional responsibility at a time where consolidation is occupying a lot of our time.


Thanks to the effort of Dr Becky LeFebvre of the Department of Social and International Studies, SPSU will host a panel on “The Internet Under Crisis Conditions: Behind the Scenes at at 9/1″ on April 4.  The event will feature three panelists who had senior leadership positions at CNN at 9/11, namely Monty Mullig, who was senior VP of internet technology, Bill LeFebvre, who was technology fellow and infrastructure expert, and Simit Shah, who was Director of Web Development.  The panel will discuss the policies, obstacles, challenges, and successes in keeping the web site available as web traffic to the site peaked to an all-time high.

The panel, which is open to all, will run from 12:00 until 1:00 and will take place in Q-202.


If you see something in this update that you want to comment on, please send me an email at or call me on 678-915-7399678-915-7399. Also, if you know of somebody who might be interested in receiving the Dean's updates, please ask them to send me an email. We will gladly add them to our mailing list. If you prefer not to receive the Dean's updates, please let me know as well.

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Han Reichgelt
Dean, School of Computing and Software Engineering

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