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2012 Highlights



  • November 28, 2012: SPSU Adds M.S. Degree in Civil Engineering.
  • November 14, 2012: Construction Management Banquet Raises $57,000 for Scholarships.
  • November 14, 2012: SPSU Mock Presidential Debate Foreshadows Real Election.
  • November 14, 2012: Aerospace Engineering Program Acquires Flight Simulator.
  • November 7, 2012: Kai Qian (Computer Science and Software Engineering) Receives NSF Grant to Develop Mobile Computing Security Course.


  • October 10, 2012: Thomas Nisley (Political Science) and Students to Present at Georgia Political Science Association.
  • October 10, 2012: Deidra Hodges (Electrical and Mechatronics Engineering) Selected as SPSU Teacher of the Year.
  • October 3, 2012: Architecture and Computer Game Design and Development Programs Collaborate on Mars Simulation Project.


  • September 26, 2012: ABET Reaccredits SPSU's Computer Science and Information Technology Degree Programs.
  • September 26, 2012: SPSU Has Nation's 1st Accredited Computer Game Design and Development Degree Program; Nation's 21st Accredited Software Engineering Program.
  • September 12, 2012: Former Dean Bill Barnes (Architecture and Construction Management) Remembered.
  • September 12, 2012: KIA Donates Cars to SPSU Engineering Program.
  • September 5, 2012: Diverse Faculty Join Together to Develop Virtual Strength of Materials Lab.


  • August 29, 2012: School of Computing and Software Engineering Hosts Georgia Game Jam.
  • August 29, 2012: Simin Nasseri (Mechanical Engineering Technology) Honored for Work by Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
  • August 22, 2012: R. Glenn Allen Posthumously Honored by International Society of Automation.
  • August 8, 2012: Ying Wang (Electrical and Mechatronics Engineering) and Robotics Research Club Present at IEEE Conferences.
  • August 1, 2012: M.A. Karim (Civil and Construction Management) Receives 6-Week Appointment with Army Corps of Engineers.
  • August 1, 2012: Construction Management Department Earns International Facilities Management Association Accreditation.


  • July 25, 2012:  Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Active at ASEE Conference.
  • July 25, 2012:  Construction Begins on Solar-Panels and Greenhouse.
  • July 18, 2012:  Jeff Orr Leads Student Group to China.
  • July 18, 2012:  Kai Qian (Computer Science and Software Engineering) and Students Present at ACM Conference.
  • July 11, 2012:  Engineering Technology Programs at SPSU Rank High Nationally.


  • June 27, 2012:  Mechanical Engineering Technology Faculty Design Statue for Novelis.
  • June 27, 2012:  Richard Cole Appointed Interim Dean of Architecture and Construction Management.
  • June 20, 2012:  Dean Han Reichgelt (Computing and Software Engineering) Helps Shape 3rd International Workshop on Combinations of Intelligent Methods and Applications.
  • June 13, 2012:  Dean Bill Barnes (Architecture and Construction Management) Retires.


  • May 9, 2012: Social and International Studies Faculty Contribute to Award-Winning Essay Collection.
  • May 2, 2012: Center For Advanced Engineering Materials and Education Receives Electron Microscope.


  • April 25, 2012:  SPSU Faculty Help Develop Morehouse School of Medicine  Video on Blood Pressure Monitoring and Management.
  • April 25, 2012:  Center For Nuclear Studies Receives $435,000 Grant From NRC.
  • April 25, 2012:  Civil Engineering Technology Department Hosts Visiting Professor From Turkey.
  • April 18, 2012:  Sung-Hee Kim (Civil Engineering) Receives $57,000 GDOT Grant For Pavement Research.
  • April 18, 2012:  New Science Labs Open in Building E.
  • April 11, 2012:  Memorial Service Planned for Mechatronics Engineering Professor R. Glenn Allen.
  • April 04, 2012:  Meighan Dillon (Mathematics) Selected For Fulbright Specialists Award.


  • March 28, 2012: Dawn Ramsey Honored For Work With Future Cities Competition.
  • March 21, 2012: Nuclear Program Receives $50,000 Software Donation.
  • March 21, 2012: Web-BS in Information Technology Chosen As Top 20 Best Buys.
  • March 14, 2012: Beth Stutzmann (ETCMA) and Donald Ariail (Accounting) Named Governor's Teaching Fellows.


  • February 29, 2012: Thomas Rotnem, Professor of Political Science, Delivers Teacher of the Year Lecture.
  • February 22, 2012: SPSU and Purdue University Explore Engineering Technology Education Collaboration.
  • February 15, 2012: Two Irish Fulbright Scholars Visit SPSU.
  • February 8, 2012: School of Computing and Software Engineering Opens New Data Center.
  • February 8, 2012: SPSU Students Win Both Engineering Student of the Year and Engineering Technology Student of the Year at Georgia Engineering Alliance.
  • February 1, 2012: Ava Werner to Exhibit At "Love and Commercialism" group exhibit at 2 Rules Fine Art Gallery, Marietta.
  • February 1, 2012:  Siemens Supports SPSU's Mechatronics Program with Grant and Equipment.


  • January 25, 2012: SPSU's M.S. in Information Technology Program Ranked Tops by US News and World Report.
  • January 18, 2012: SPSU to Work with Morehouse School of Medicine on Healthcare Information Technology.


Recent Publications and Activities by SPSU Faculty

  • SPSU President Lisa A. Rossbacher and Julie Newell, chair of the Social and International Studies department, co-authored an article in the November issue of Women in Higher Education. The article is titled “Forget work/life balance, it’s about dynamic equilibrium – think like a river.”
  • Iraj Omidvar, associate professor in the English, Technical Communication, and Media Arts (ETCMA) department, took part in an expert panel organized by the Middle East Institute at Georgia State University in early November. The panel topic was “America’s future in a dynamic region: The Muslim world and the U.S. election.” Dr. Omidvar’s talk was on the “Unraveling of the ideological promises of the 1979 revolution in Iran after the 2009 presidential election.”
  • Mikhail Melnik, associate professor of economics, was recently quoted in an election-related article, “Who’s middle class? It depends,” in the Buffalo (N.Y.) News. Dr. Melnik formerly taught at Niagara (N.Y.) University and is one of the economists surveyed by Bloomberg on a monthly basis.
  • David Stone, director of educational support and online learning in the Office of Faculty Support and Development, has been selected the chair-elect of the Regent’s Administrative Committee on Distance Education. He will begin his term as chair in the fall of 2013. Dr. Stone just completed his Ph.D. in instructional technology at Georgia State University.
  • Sam Conn, CIO, and Han Reichgelt, dean of the School of Computing and Software Engineering, presented a paper, “Cloud computing in support of applied learning: A baseline study of infrastructure design at Southern Polytechnic State University,” during the Information Systems Educators Conference in New Orleans earlier this month.
  • Four SPSU faculty members and a former member are co-authors of an executive interview published in the Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship. Business administration professors Don Ariail, Sandra Vasa-Sideris, Greg Quinet and former business administration professor Joyce McGriff collaborated in conducting and submitting the interview for publication. The piece is titled, “Social business entrepreneurship: A conversation with 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Muhammad Yunus.” The team interviewed Dr. Yunus in person prior to last fall’s Social Business Competition at Georgia Tech, which SPSU won.
  • Khalid Siddiqi, chair of the Construction Management (CM) department, and Timothy Coleman, who received his master of science in CM this past May, had a paper published in the Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Construction in Developing Countries Advancing Civil, Architectural and Construction Engineering & Management. The conference was held in Bangkok, Thailand, July 4-6. The paper, “Pitfalls in estimating for siding for large projects,” addresses the concerns of subcontractors involved in large-scale siding projects.
  • Don Ariail, associate professor and accounting program coordinator, co-authored a paper in Volume 16 of the journal Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting. The name of his paper is “Ethical predispositions of certified public accountants: A study of gender differences.”
  • Al Churella, associate professor in Social and International Studies, authored a history book, “The Pennsylvania Railroad, volume 1: Building an empire, 1846-1917,” that will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press on Oct. 15.“Mining a treasure trove of archival material, Albert Churella has produced a monumental history of a singularly important institution,” wrote a fellow historian who reviewed the volume. “This work will be an invaluable resource, not only for railroad historians and those interested in the Pennsylvania Railroad and the regions it served [but also] for all students of American industrial history.” A “masterful account, certain to become the authoritative history of the Pennsylvania Railroad,” said another reviewer of the 976-page tome. To read more about the book, go to University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Christina Scherrer, associate professor of industrial engineering technology, and Dr. Adeel Khalid, assistant professor of systems engineering, are working together on a research contract supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They are developing mathematical models of the transmission dynamics of tuberculosis in healthcare settings to assess the impact and costs of various infection-control interventions and strategies. SPSU received $30,000 for this project which will be completed this semester.
  • Donald Ariail, coordinator for the Master of Science in Accounting program, and Shannon Shumate, coordinator for the Bachelor of Science in Accounting, have been awarded the international designation of chartered global management accountant (CGMA). The CGMA is a prestigious designation in management accounting awarded through a partnership between the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Dr. Ariail has a doctorate in accounting and holds the professional designations of certified public accountant (CPA), certified in financial forensics (CFF) and certified valuation analyst (CVA). Prof. Shumate holds a master’s degree in accounting and is a CPA.
  • Lourdes Abellera, assistant professor in the Civil Engineering Technology department, has been named a member of the program committee at the 20th Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The conference – Nov. 6-9 in Redondo Beach, Calif. – will provide a forum for original research contributions covering all conceptual, design and implementation aspects of GIS, including applications, user interfaces, visualization, data storage and query processing, and indexing.
  • Matthew Weand, assistant professor in the Biology and Chemistry department, and Megan Chapman, an SPSU Honors Scholar who earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in May, traveled to Portland, Ore., in early August to present their research project at the 2012 Annual Conference of the Ecological Society of America. Their research showed that between 1974 and 2010, pine trees in Atlanta’s Fernbank Forest experienced decreased growth rates in years when ozone levels increased. Dr. Weand and Chapman determined that the trees in Fernbank Forest are among Atlanta’s oldest – some species are as old as 250 years. This research suggests that air pollution may be threatening the health of these trees.
  • Tom Rotnem is serving as president of the Georgia Political Science Association (GPSA), the second largest statewide political science association in the country. He was elected to the position in the fall of 2011 and will serve through the end of 2012. The GPSA issues awards for outstanding papers and service to the organization and holds an annual fall conference in Savannah, in conjunction with the Criminal Justice Association of Georgia.
  • M. A. Karim, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, authored an article in the April 2012 issue of Environmental Technology titled “Enhancement of electrokinetic decontamination with EDTA.”
  • Lourdes V. Abellera, assistant professor of surveying and mapping in the Civil Engineering Technology department, recently gave a talk on “Groundwater Modeling with Geographic Information Systems (GIS)” at a meeting of the Georgia Ground Water Association. The Water Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey in Atlanta hosted the program.
  • Chih-Cheng Hung, coordinator of the Master of Science in Computer Science Program, coauthored a paper published in the February 2012 issue of Optical Engineering. The article was titled, “A Fast Weighted K-View-Voting Algorithm for Image Texture Classification.”
  • Several faculty members delivered presentations during a Surveying and Mapping Society of Georgia (SAMSOG) Annual Technical Seminar held on the SPSU campus.  Lourdes Abellera of the Civil Engineering Technology Department gave a talk on “Water Resources Modeling Using Geographic Information Systems.”  Fatih Oncul, John Lee and Dan Branham, all of CET, joined Wasim Barham of Civil Engineering and Pavan Meadati of the Construction Management Department to give a joint presentation on the SPSU Rubble House project entitled “Deformation/Displacement Measurement Using 3-D Laser Scanning.”
  • A paper co-authored by business administration professors  Muhammad Obeidat and Donald Ariail, along with recent graduate Guy Fondjo (MBA), won the Research Award presented at the 2012 International Academy of Business and Public Administration Disciplines (IABPAD) Conference held in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 2-5. Their paper, titled “Professor Attributes: A Comparison Study of U.S. and Cameroon Business Student Perceptions,” was presented by Dr. Obeidat.
  •  Jon Preston, program coordinator for SPSU’s degree program in computer game design and development, has received approximately $4,800 in graphics hardware donations from NVIDIA, the world leader in visual computing technologies. Dr. Preston received the donation for his work with the National Science Foundation/Technical Committee on Parallel Computing Curriculum to develop curriculum for parallel computing. The donated graphics cards will be used in courses in gaming and parallel computing within the School of Computing and Software Engineering.
  • Gerald Pierce, a part-time faculty member in the Department of Social and International Studies, recently presented a paper at the Missouri Valley History Conference. “The Dakota Rough Riders, 3D U.S. Volunteer Cavalry in the Spanish-American War,” describes the experiences of one of three U.S. Volunteer Cavalry regiments mobilized for the war.
  • Han Reichgelt, dean of the School of Computing and Software Engineering, has been invited to become a member of the advisory board for the Georgia Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (GA-HITREC) at Morehouse School of Medicine. GA-HITREC is a federally funded program that assists Georgia health care providers in selecting, successfully implementing and getting meaningful use out of certified electronic health record systems in order to improve clinical outcomes and the quality of care provided to patients. The advisory board, composed primarily of physicians, helps provide the center’s director with strategic direction.
  • C.C. Hung, professor of computer science and software engineering, gave a keynote address at the 2011 (international Conference on Applied and Computational Mathematics late last year at the Gokaraju Rangaraju Institute of Engineering and Technology in Hydrabad, India. Dr. Hung’s address was on “Computational Intelligence in Remote Sensing Image Analysis: Silicon-Based vs. Nature-Inspired Algorithms.”
  • Ying Wang, assistant professor in mechatronics engineering, had two articles published recently in prestigious journals. “Vision-based grasping using mobile robots and nonlinear model predictive control” appeared in the January 2012 issue of the International Journal of Control and Intelligent Systems. “Multi-robot cooperative transportation of objects using machine learning” appeared in the December 2011issue of the International Journal of Robotics and Automation. In addition, Dr. Wang has been invited to join the program committee planning the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 9th World Congress on Intelligent Control and Automation. 
  • Laura Palmer, assistant professor in the Master of Science in Information Design and Communication program, has had her second article in recent months published in Intercom, the magazine of the Society for Technical Communication. “What’s Data Got to Do with It? Information Architecture and Analytics” is featured in the latest issue. In it, Dr. Palmer provides an overview of information architecture and analytics, compares the two, breaks down data and websites and encourages the reader to learn more about analytics.
  • Lourdes V. Abellera, assistant professor of surveying and mapping in the Civil Engineering Technology Department, was invited to review the book “Introduction to 3-D Data: Modeling with ArcGIS 3-D Analyst and Google Earth” by K. Heather Kennedy. Dr. Abellera’s book review was published in the January issue of the international journal Mathematical Geosciences. This is the third review she has had published in a highly regarded journal such as the Journal of the American Water Resources Association.
  • Donald Ariail, associate professor of accounting, has co-authored his second teaching novel in the guise of a fast-paced murder mystery. “The Ultimate Rip-Off: A Taxing Tale,” published by Carolina Academic Press follows in the steps of his 2011 “Costly Reflections in a Midas Mirror” by weaving accounting and tax material into the plot. Dr. Ariail co-authored both books with Dr. Larry Crumbley of Louisiana State University.
  • Christina Scherrer, assistant professor in industrial engineering technology, has co-authored two papers recently accepted for publication. “A Specialized Column Generation Approach for a Vehicle Routing Problem with Demand Allocation” will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the Operational Research Society, and “The Stop and Drop Problem: Applications of Vehicle Routing to the Food Bank Vehicle Routing” will appear in Annals of Operations Research.
  • Jeffrey Greene, assistant professor of professional writing, and Laura Palmer, assistant professor of information design and communication, have had an article, “It’s All in the Game: Technical Communication’s Role in Game Documentation,” published in Intercom, the magazine of the Society for Technical Communication.
  • M.A. Karim, assistant professor of civil and construction engineering, coauthored a paper, “Effect of the Secondary Electrode Configuration in Removing Metal Contaminants from Soils by the CEHIXM Process,” that appeared in the international journal Soil and Sediment Contaminants in late 2011.
  • Bill Diong, associate professor of electrical engineering in the Division of Engineering, traveled to Pittsburgh, Pa., in November to present his research on the dynamic response of Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs), at the International Conference on Power and Energy Systems and Applications.
  • Sung-Hee (Sonny) Kim and Sam Beadles in the Civil and Construction Engineering Program recently published a technical paper based on research conducted in collaboration with the Korean Highway CorporationThe paper, “Flexible Pavement Analysis Considering Temperature Profile and Anisotropy Behavior in Hot Mix Asphalt Layer,” was published in the Open Journal of Civil Engineering, Vol. 1, No. 2.
  • Two faculty members from the School of Computing & Software Engineering coauthored papers published in the proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery’s recent Research in Applied Computation Symposium in Miami. Edward Jung and Chih Cheng Hung wrote with two external colleagues, “A Unified Design Method Utilizing Decomposability and Composability for Secure Systems.”
  • Ming Yang, an associate professor in the Department of Information Technology, coauthored a paper, “Optimization of Power Allocation in Multimedia Wireless Sensor Networks,” published in the proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent Networks and Computing, held in Bangkok, Thailand in December 2011.


Outstanding Faculty Awards

Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2012 Outstanding Faculty Awards:
• Marianne Holdzkom (Social and International Studies)
Kisa Ranasinghe (Physics)
• Deidra Hodges (Electrical Engineering)
• Laura Palmer (English, Technical Communication and Media Arts



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