The Collaboratory

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The Collaboratory Living Learning Community

Designed for forward-thinking students who have a passion to impact their world, The Collaboratory Living and Learning community is a “laboratory” where students will collaborate with peers to explore creative solutions to challenges facing our world – hunger, access to education, clean drinking water, poverty, and more.  Housed in Eagle Village and sponsored by the Office of Leadership & Community Engagement, Collaboratory students will spend the year exploring teamwork, collaboration, and creative approaches to solving wicked problems in the LLC-designated courses of FYE 1220: Collaboration & Creative Problem-Solving and FYE 1410: Exploring Wicked Problems and putting those skills into practice. Students will participate in a beginning of the year team building retreat as well as a variety of community service and cultural activities throughout the year.  In addition, student “House Teams” will plan and coordinate dinners with faculty, social and service activities, and intramural teams for the living and learning community.

Leadership and Community Engagement Executive Director Dr. Todd Deal said, “The Collaboratory is an exciting new venture for us. Our objective is to help students build a strong community while developing their creative problem solving and teamwork skills. In so doing, our hope is to enhance retention of students not only into the sophomore year, but into the junior year and beyond as they engage in tackling problems that matter to them and through which they will develop the leadership capabilities and creative thinking skills that are valued by graduate & professional schools and by employers.”

IA Service in Savannah



The International Ambassadors, sponsored by the Office of Admissions, ended the academic year by volunteering at America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia.  The IAs assisted in packing over 1,500 grocery bags of food to be distributed to low-income seniors throughout our local region.

International Ambassadors are a select group of international students who are actively involved in the life of Georgia Southern. The International Ambassadors participate in many events throughout the year, serving numerous campus departments as well as prospective students and families from across the globe.

Phi Kappa Theta Honors

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Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society has recognized 40 top colleges and universities as members of the inaugural Excellence in Community College Transfer Honor Roll, which identifies the top four-year colleges and universities for creating dynamic pathways to support community college transfer.

Applications were judged based on engagement, collaboration, impact and achievements related to the transfer of community college students as well as partnerships, support, admissions outreach, scholarships/financial aid, student engagement opportunities and institutional priorities.

Georgia Southern University will be acknowledged with the “Transfer Honor Roll” designation at Phi Theta Kappa’s 2016 annual convention in National Harbor, Maryland April 7-9. Phi Theta Kappa will also be releasing a study regarding transfer success based on the information provided in Honor Roll applications.

According to Phi Theta Kappa’s President and CEO, Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, 92% of Phi Theta Kappa members complete an associate degree or transfer.  “With a 92% student success rate, Phi Theta Kappa members have a proven track record of success. Our members transfer at a much higher rate (72%) than the traditional community college student (29%),” Tincher-Ladner said. “In order to ensure their continued success, the Transfer Honor Roll Program identifies colleges and universities that understand the unique needs of community college transfer students and applauds the dynamic pathways these colleges have created to continue fostering student success at the four-year college.”

Phi Theta Kappa is the oldest, largest and most prestigious honor society recognizing students pursuing two-year degrees. Phi Theta Kappa is made up of more than 3 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations.  Georgia Southern’s chapter is coordinated by Neal Richardson, Associate Director in the Office of Admissions.

From the March, 24, 2016 Phi Theta Kappa Press Release.  It has been edited for length and clarity.

Counseling Center Staff Appointed to National Committee


Dr. Mark Perez-Lopez, Associate Director of Georgia Southern’s Counseling Center, was recently selected from a large national pool of applicants to serve on the Advisory Committee to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH).  The center coordinates the largest, most comprehensive annual survey of collegiate mental health services in the field from over 350 colleges and universities and 100,000 clients (  It is regularly quoted in all levels of news and research publications.

In response to his appointment, Dr Perez Lopez said, “It is a great honor and responsibility to be selected for this position.  It will provide the opportunity to learn and contribute to the ever growing field of research in college student mental health.  I am excited to represent Georgia Southern University in this endeavor.”

A Presidential Opportunity

President Barack Obama has departure photos taken with Glorie Chiza, PPO, in the Oval Office, Dec. 4, 2015. Attending are: Anastasie Lubala, mother; Sebastien Chiza, brother; Ruben Chiza, brother; Deborah Chiza, sister; Jonathan Chiza, brother; Alika Chiza, sister; Lola Chiza, sister, age 11. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)This photograph is provided by THE WHITE HOUSE as a courtesy and may be printed by the subject(s) in the photograph for personal use only. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not otherwise be reproduced, disseminated or broadcast, without the written permission of the White House Photo Office. This photograph may not be used in any commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

President Barack Obama has departure photos taken with Glorie Chiza, PPO, in the Oval Office, Dec. 4, 2015.  Attending are: Anastasie Lubala, mother; Sebastien Chiza, brother; Ruben Chiza, brother; Deborah Chiza, sister; Jonathan Chiza, brother; Alika Chiza, sister; Lola Chiza, sister. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza).

On December 4th, Georgia Southern University student Jonathan Chiza, 3rd year Information Systems major, and his family had the privilege of going to the White House and meeting President Barack Obama. Jonathan’s older brother Glorie Chiza worked in the Presidential Personnel Office and had the opportunity to bring his whole family to take departure photos with President Obama.

“The opportunity to meet President Obama meant a lot for my family, because in March of 2015 our father passed away. Our father relocated from Democratic Republic of the Congo to the U.S. in 1997 on the U.S. State Department Diversity Lottery Visa Program and worked 3 jobs to make this moment a possibility. He gave up a successful career, his comfort, and his health to give my siblings and I access to a better education and career opportunities. Although he didn’t get a chance to be in this picture, I am confident that he is proud of us.”

Jonathan Chiza will be spending Spring 2016 in Atlanta as an IT intern with Norfolk Southern. On campus, he has been involved in multiple organizations such as Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Student Government Association, and African Student Association just to name a few. Chiza has also been working on-campus as a Career Educator in the Office of Career Services and was the first freshman be hired for the position.

“I love helping other student with their resume, cover letter, and really just making their dreams come true.”

His freshman year he made the “Georgia Southern’s Career Service Kid President” video to help promote all the great things Career Service offers.

“Once I graduate from GSU I plan on becoming an Information Systems Consultant and one day become a CIO (Chief Information Officer) of a Fortune 100 company. I also want to continue to make my parents very proud!”

Current and front page photos are courtesy of Pete Souza, White House Photo Office.

Vice President of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management • PO Box 8063 • Phone (912) 478-5256