Ivan Allen College

Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn Receives Honorary Degree

At the Georgia Institute of Technology’s 230th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 3, at the Georgia Dome, former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn received an honorary degree from the Institute.  In presenting the award, President G. Wayne Clough said that, as Senator, Nunn became “one of our nation’s most respected and visionary experts on national defense and security.”  

Nunn, who attended Georgia Tech from 1956-1959,  joined the Georgia Tech faculty as a distinguished professor after he retired from the Senate in 1997, allowing the Institute “to name our newly created School of International Affairs for him,” Clough said.  “Since then, the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs has more than doubled in size and become the home of the biennial Sam Nunn Bank of America Policy Forum.  Other initiatives like the Sam Nunn Security Fellows Program also enable Georgia Tech to educate the next generation of national and international security policy advisors.”

A native of Perry, Georgia, Nunn began his academic career at Georgia Tech, “where he was more interested in the Freshman Cake Race than the arms race,” Clough said.  “He won the Cake Race, and we’d like to think he learned something about winning from that experience, because in 28 years of elected political office, he never lost a campaign.”

After receiving his law degree from Emory University, he began his political career, defeating “a crowd of veterans to be elected to the United States Senate at the tender age of 34,” Clough said.  As chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he was a guiding force in reshaping American policy toward Eastern Europe in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

His crowning achievement was the Nunn-Lugar Act, which “provided incentives to the former Soviet republics to dismantle their nuclear arsenals and other weapons of mass destruction.”  This effort has been so effective and successful that scholars have hailed it as “the most significant congressional achievement in nuclear affairs since the dawn of the nuclear age.

Since his retirement from the U.S. Senate in 1996, Clough said that Nunn “has continued to crusade against the dangers of terrorism and nuclear weapons.  Together with fellow Georgian and CNN founder Ted Turner, he established the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.  He also chairs the board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.”

In his response, Nunn said that “never in my wildest dreams did I think it would take me 52 years to receive a degree.  At the end of my junior year, I realized that three years of law school would be much easier than passing the two remaining courses in mechanical drawing,” so he “dropped into law school, descended in to the practice of law, and finally sank into the depths of politics. 

“To complete my life’s story, after leaving the United States Senate in 1997, I decided to return to Georgia Tech once I discovered—much to my delight—that you had dropped mechanical drawing and added women.”  He went on to say that “You graduates already know that Georgia Tech is one of the toughest schools in the country.  In the years ahead, you will find that it is one of the most highly regarded in the world.”

“One thought for our graduates,” he concluded.  “Technology and science are outrunning the world of law, governance, international cooperation, and religion.  Bridges must be made between the world of science and technology and the world of human relations.  Your Georgia Tech education will give you opportunities not only to ‘cash in’, but opportunities to build these bridges. I urge you to do so.”
Nunn’s honorary degree citation reads, “To all whom these presents may come, Greeting:  Whereas Sam Nunn has been recognized as a guiding force in the reshaping of American international policy following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and continues to be one of the nation’s most respected voices in international affairs and defense, now therefore, We, under the authority vested in us, do hereby confer the degree of honorary Doctor of Philosophy with all the rights, privileges, and honors thereunto appertaining.”


IAC Graduates Over 150 Students at Spring Commencements

This spring Ivan Allen College celebrated the graduation of nearly 200 students at the Institute’s two commencement ceremonies held April 23 at the Ferst Center for the Arts for the doctoral degree candidates and on May 3 at the Georgia Dome for bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates. Combined, Ivan Allen College conferred a total of 159 degrees:110 BS degrees; 44 MS degrees; 5 PhDs.

Altogether the two ceremonies featured more than 2,300 Tech graduates. A total of 135 Ph.D. candidates received degrees at the April 23 ceremony, and approximately 1,500 bachelor’s degrees and more than 750 master’s degrees were conferred at the May 3 ceremony.  Two honorary degrees also were presented, one to former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (see article above), and the other to Dean Kamen, founder and president of DEKA Research and Development Corp.  Read more at http://www.gatech.edu/newsroom/release.html?id=1854

Commencement photo gallery: http://www.gatech.edu/gallery/v/commencement/spring2008/

IAC Majors Elected to Head Student Government Association

Two students in the School of Public Policy, undergraduate major Nick Wellkamp and Master’s student Aaron Fowler, have been elected Undergraduate and Graduate Presidents respectively of the Student Government Association 2008-2009. 

Read more at  http://www.nique.net/nique/article/357.

Semester’s End Presents an Opportunity for ‘Thank You’

At the end of spring semester, hundreds of students used a new website called “Thank a Teacher” and hosted by the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning’s (CETL) to honor the many Ivan Allen College faculty and TAs whom they have found to be especially helpful.  Recipients of “Thank a Teacher” notes receive a letter, a certificate, and invitations to participate in campus events that honor teaching such as Celebrating Teaching Day (March 11) and Dean Griffin Day (April 16).  

And how did instructors react to hearing from students?  Matthew Hild, a History, Technology and Society part-time instructor, responded with enthusiasm.  “It’s nice to know that students appreciate your efforts.  Sometimes in large classes in particular, it’s hard to know if you’re really getting across to students, so it’s encouraging to receive some positive feedback.”

When students say thanks, faculty often realize that they have done well handling the difficulties inherent to teaching—such as focusing on what students need or making tough decisions about standards and grades.  “Georgia Tech students are bright and easily inspired,” said International Affairs Associate Professor Kirk Bowman.  “If I can give the students my full and enthusiastic attention during class and office hours, students take notice … and I am thrilled to receive their notes.”  Read more at
http://www.whistle.gatech.edu/archives/08/may/05/thanks.shtml &

Brown Speaks at First Georgia Climate Change Summit

On Tuesday, May 6, Dr. Marilyn Brown, professor of public policy, spoke as a panelist at the first Georgia Climate Summit, hosted by the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems and held on the Georgia Tech campus.  The Summit was a one-day public event on the issues facing Georgia associated with climate change.  The author of  EnergyBuzz (http://www.gatech.edu/energybuzz/), a new quarterly Georgia Tech Energy Sustainability Index blog where she shares energy insights, Brown commented on the topics of energy efficiency and conservation for the panel on Economic Impacts and Mitigation.

Designed as an annual event, the objective of the Summit is to open a statewide dialogue on the challenges of climate change, its impacts on Georgia, and opportunities for success now and in the future.  The Conference also highlighted how state and local governments, businesses and industries, and other leaders from the public and private sector are already reacting to the challenges and opportunities associated with climate change.  Read more at
http://climatesummit.gatech.edu/ & http://www.macon.com/198/story/343826.html.

Legal Affinity Group for Alumni Launched

GT alumni have established a new Legal Affinity Group for all Georgia Tech alumni in the legal profession.  Designed in part to provide support for The Pre-Law Program in the School of Public Policy, which offers a minor and certificate in Law, Science, & Technology, the Group hosted its first event, a luncheon, on May 7 at the Alumni House.

Read more at gatech.law.alumni@gmail.com.

LCC Digital Media Faculty Receive Wide Coverage
Members of the Digital Media faculty in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture (LCC) continue to receive wide coverage in both the professional and popular media. 

Linda Zimmer, president and CEO of MarCom:Interactive, reports extensively in her blog (April 27) on the Business Communicators of Second Life: Cultures of Virtual Worlds conference at UC-Irvine.  Some “30 ethnographic researchers gathered at to present their studies of just what we avatars are doing inside virtual worlds,” she writes.  Among the presentations she highlights was that of Celia Pearce, assistant professor at Georgia Tech, who “showed us how the artifacts from one world ported over to another through recreation of the old world in the new, transforming both the place and the narrative of the new, joined community.” Read more at http://freshtakes.typepad.com/sl_communicators/2008/04/cultures-of-vir.html

In her April 28 blog, Anne Galloway of Carnegie-Mellon writes extensively of her Atlanta visit with Carl DiSalvo, now an assistant professor at Georgia Tech, whom she reports first meeting as a Ph.D. student there.  She also talks about “the amazing grad students” she met at Tech.  “They appear to work in a much more driven and stream-lined university environment than mine,” she writes.  While she has “some reservations about this educational model, there's no doubt that good people are getting some good work done there.”   Read more at http://www.purselipsquarejaw.org/2008/04/computing-culture-at-georgia-tech.php

DeSalvo also was featured in a Pittsburg City Paper article (May 15) focusing on his work in “using advanced technologies in the context of neighborhood activism."  One of the architects of the Lawrenceville Neighborhood Networks program in suburban Atlanta, DeSalvo says that, from the start, the project “was focused on trying to work specifically with neighborhoods, with real-world neighborhoods, so, not online communities."  He says that he and his team went to the community without an agenda; after several brainstorming sessions, the neighborhood decided to focus on using technology to document dangerous drivers and air quality.  Read more at http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A46595

The LCC faculty member most cited continues to be Ian Bogost, who celebrated his recent promotion to Associate Professor (with tenure) this spring in the April 16 entry of his personal blog. (Read more at http://www.bogost.com/blog/tenure.shtml.)  As part of his widely-read and highly influential column in Gamasutra, the online sister publication to the print magazine Game Developer, he began a series of entries that looks at “'texture' in games - connecting the virtual to the real via rumble and physical simulation, from Hard Drivin' to Rez.”  (Read more at http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3652/persuasive_games_texture.php?print=1.)
MSNBC (May 8) also quoted his column on the supposed violent impact of videogames on players, and NPR’s Heather Chaplin interviewed him at length on All Things Considered (April 14), commenting on the videogame industry’s unwillingness to confront “the issues they should be confronting,” especially politics. (Read or hear more at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24528625/ & http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89631345.)

In addition to his column, Bogost penned a couple of articles for the Guardian in the UK, one on the lack of hoopla at the recent release of the videogame Grand Theft Auto IV (May 5) and another on the untapped potential for advertising in videogames (Read more at http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/may/01/gamesweek & http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/apr/30/games.advertising/print.)
He later (May 5) commented further on the advertising potential of videogames on the industry blog Kotaku.com.  Read more at http://kotaku.com/386953/ian-bogost-on-advertising-in-games.

Women of Color Ace Electrical Engineering

Cheryl Leggon, associate professor in the School of Public Policy, recently reported on DiversityCareers.com (April 24) that “At last count women made up only 8 percent of the [Electrical Engineering] workforce.  Women of color account for just a fraction of those, but it’s a vibrant fraction.” Leggon feels that educational attention must shift from tracking the number of advanced degrees women earn to advancing the careers of women with technical degrees. “We want to make sure that programs and policies aimed at increasing the participation of women in science are based on research,” she says.  For example, research has shown that, while many upper-middle-class and upper-class white women report that their families discouraged technical careers, “African American women’s careers have historically been viewed as important contributions and beneficial to the family.”  Read more at

Nuclear Security Discussed as Georgia’s Energy Capacity Set to Increase

Sue Rosser, Ivan Allen Jr. Dean of Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech, told GlobalAtlanta (April 14) that the biennial Sam Nunn Policy Forum, sponsored by Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp., provides an opportunity for public and private sector officials to discuss pressing issues facing the country.  Focusing on the fossil fuel and carbon emissions crises, the most recent Forum held in March called for numerous alternative energy options and the necessity of keeping dangerous materials away from terrorists made nuclear energy an obvious focus for event organizers.  Read more at http://stories.globalatlanta.com/2008stories/016115.html.

Faculty & Staff Honors and Awards
A round-up of kudos and awards received by IAC faculty and staff in 2007-08: 

* Richard Barke, associate professor of public policy - Outstanding Service Award.

* Jay Bolter, Professor, School of Literature, Communication, and Culture - the Impact Award from the Graphics, Visualization & Usability Center (GVU) at Georgia Tech

* Kirk Bowman, Associate Professor, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs - 2007 Georgia Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award.

* Dan Breznitz, joint Assistant Professor, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs (INTA) and the School of Public Policy (SPP) - Alfred P. Sloan Industry Studies Fellow, with a grant of $45,000.  His new book, Innovation and the State, also received the 2008 Don Price award as the best book in science, technology and policy by the American Political Science Association (APSA),

* Marilyn A. Brown, professor of Public Policy - a Nobel Laureate designate, one of three GT faculty members who were a part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 jointly with Al Gore.

* Carol Colatrella, professor of Literature, Communication, and Culture (LCC) - Geoffrey Eicholz Teaching Award for excellence in teaching core courses, which provides winners with an annual salary supplement of $5,000 for three years.

* Thomas H. Crawford, associate professor of Literature, Communication and Culture (LCC) -  the 2008 Don Bratcher Human Relations Award

* Ken Knoespel, LCC Chair and professor - recognized for 25 years of distinguished service to the Institute.

* John Krige, the Melvin Kranzberg Professor of History of Technology - recognized as an outstanding doctoral thesis advisor. 

* Cheryl Leggon, associate professor of Public Policy – named a Fellow of The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for her research in advancing the knowledge of underrepresentation at the intersection of gender, ethnicity, and class, and in illuminating academic career pathways.

* Greg Nobles, professor of History, Technology, and Society and Director of the GT Honors Program – recipient of the Ivan Allen Legacy faculty award, and recognized for 25 years of distinguished service to the Institute.

* John Tone, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Professor, School of History, Technology, and Society - his book, War and Genocide in Cuba, received the 2008 Distinguished Book award in non-American history by The Society for Military History.

Student and Alumni Awards
A round-up of kudos and awards received by IAC students and alumni in 2007-08: 

* Richard "Reeve" Ingle (Spanish minor) - 2007 Student of the Year by the Cooperative Education Division of the American Society of Engineering Education (CED – ASEE).
* Amanda Meng (Global Economics/Modern Languages) - The Ivan Allen Legacy undergraduate student award
* Jackson Jarrell Pair (BS INTA '97 and MS Human Computer Interaction '99) - The Ivan Allen Legacy alumnus award

Five Ivan Allen College students won President's Undergraduate Research Awards (PURA) for Spring 2008.
* Stephanie Solis Artavia (HTS)
* Christopher Cassidy (LCC)
* Halley Espy (INTA)
* Naihobe Gonzalez (ECON)
* Betsy Gooch (LCC)

Eleven Ivan Allen College students won President's Undergraduate Research Awards (PURA) for Fall 2007.
* Matt Bufford (INTA)
* Kathryn Farmer (HTS)
* Siwan Liu (INTA)
* Michael Moreland (INTA)
* Leyna Palmer (HTS)
* Kathryn Pratt (INTA)
* Andrea Preininger (LCC)
* Liam Rattray (PUPBP)
* John Swisshelm (LCC)

The School of History, Technology, and Society (HTS) has announced the establishment of three new student awards and recipients have already been selected for two of them.
* Chris McGahey received the Walter B. Jones Fellowship Funds award Graduate student, which includes a $2000 stipend for dissertation support.
* Kristi Miller received The Radio Club of American Foundation Award of $1,500, which is awarded to the best student in the History of Technology.
* Elizabeth Burnett, Stephen Brincks, and Clay Karwisch each won Slotkin awards for $1000, which are given HTS juniors and seniors with the highest GPA.  

Student Honors Program Awards 2008
Many Ivan Allen College students received awards at the Student Honors Luncheon. 
* Ashley Bliss (EIA) - Michael J. Williams Award for Excellence in Scholarship
* Stephen Brincks (HTS) - Bernard P. Bellon Prize in Historical Studies
* Margaret Burgess (PUBP/ECON) - Mollie Newton Award for Excellence in Economics
* Tashard Choice (HTS) - Total Person Award
* Meagan Clem (INTA) - 1996 Olympic Envoy Program Legacy Award
* Joshua Denney (IAML) - Outstanding Senior in the School of Modern Languages
* Naihobe Gonzales (EIA) - Georgia Tech Women's Forum Scholarship

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