Office of Research & Economic Development
Supporting research, scholarship and creative activity


Georgia Southern Examines Control of the Public Health IT Physical Infrastructure

chester_kelley_6332_med-214x300Based on a nationally representative survey of 324 local health departments (LHDs), this study examined the current status of LHDs’ control of informatics infrastructure (vs. control by the state health agency, city/county information technology (IT) department, or someone else). The 2015 Informatics capacity and Needs Assessment Survey was conducted by Dr. Gulzar Shah, Associate Dean for Research at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, on behalf of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).

The study shows that majority of the control of the LHD informatics infrastructure resides in external entities rather than LHDs. IT system security had the least amount of LHD control, with only 12.8% within each LHD program and 21.4% within a central department of the LHD. Similar patterns existed for control of data quality, with 13.9% within each LHD program and 20.3% within a central department of the LHD. shah_gulzar-1-200x300The type of governance structure of the LHD was significantly associated with the control of infrastructure. Despite improvements in IT infrastructure in public health, there is still much that can be done to improve the adoption of IT in local health departments, by better understanding the impact of governance and control structures of IT physical infrastructure. Additional research is needed to determine best practices in IT governance and control of IT physical infrastructure for public health.
The study titled “Control of the Public Health IT Physical Infrastructure: Findings From the 2015 Informatics Capacity and Needs Assessment Survey,” was published online ahead of print in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.

Dr. Kelley Chester, Principal at C3 Informatics, LLC and alumni of the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University (JPHCOPH) was the lead author and Dr. Gulzar Shah, Associate Dean for Research at JPHCOPH was one of the co-authors.


This article was originally published on October 18, 2016 and can be found here.

Faculty, students, alumni present at American Therapeutic Recreation Association Conference

img_0199-edit-550x413Fifteen undergraduate recreation and tourism management students with the School of Human Ecology along with associate professor Brent Wolfe, Ph.D., attended the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, from Sept. 10-13.

In addition to the faculty and students, eight Georgia Southern alumni from the Recreation and Tourism Management Program were present at the conference. Not only did the faculty, students and alumni attend the conference but they were active participants.

Alumni Erica Teilhaber (’16) and Madison Monk (’16) presented their honors research thesis titled, “Examining the myth of the clinical vs. community discussion in recreational therapy,” at the research symposium and were co-presenters with Wolfe on another presentation titled “Quality of life and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities: A qualitative examination of a camp experience implementing recreational therapy services.”

Teilhaber and Monk were the only undergraduate students selected through the blind review process to have their work presented and they were the only non-Ph.D. students to present their research at the Annual Conference.

During the four-day event, students Marvin Beecher, Richard Spector, Anna Battestello and Roger Currier participated in both a team and individual trivia competition where recreational therapy content questions were asked. Georgia Southern students placed first in the team event in addition to Spector placing first and Currier placing second in the individual competition.

Georgia Southern University’s Recreation and Tourism Management Program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions (COAPRT). For more information on the Recreation and Tourism Management program please visit the website

This article was originally posted on October 11, 2016 and can be found here.

Georgia Southern M.S. Degrees Ranked Nationally

Two master of science (M.S.) programs within the College of Health and Human Sciences have received national rankings.

The M.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Coaching Education and the M.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sport and Exercise Psychology degree programs were ranked by Sports Management Degree Hub and Online Psychology Degrees, respectively.

Georgia Southern’s M.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Coaching Education degree has been ranked second nationally on Sports Management Degree Hub’s list of 15 Best Online Coaching Education Degree Programs.

The M.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Coaching Education degree is a fully online graduate program designed for experienced coaches and those preparing to enter the field. It offers courses in performance enhancement, coaching administration, athletic training and coaching effectiveness, and the program can be completed in four semesters.

The program’s curriculum follows National Coaching Standards for Level 5 Coaching Status. A three-fold metric was used to examine the program’s affordability, flexibility and academic prestige of its parent institution.

In addition, Georgia Southern’s M.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sport and Exercise Psychology degree has been ranked 18th in the nation by Online Psychology Degrees, and was the only program in Georgia to be ranked.

The M.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sport and Exercise Psychology degree is designed for students interested in applied work and/or research in the sport and exercise psychology discipline.

The 36 credit hour program provides students with a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum that aligns with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology requirement for certification.

To be considered for the ranking, factors such as the average annual cost of graduate attendance, college ranking, number of degree options or areas of specialization, accreditation and grading process were examined.

This article was originally posted on October 14, 2016 and can be found here.

TEDx coming to Georgia Southern


TEDx, an interactive program of local, self-organized events that brings communities together to share a TED-like experience, will be bringing its program to Georgia Southern in October.

This year’s theme is “Connecting Creatively” and was created to get people interacting and networking with each other in creative ways in order to solve complicated issues in today’s society.

John Banter, Associate Director of the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement, hopes students take away something vital from the TEDx event.

“It is my hope in establishing this event to spread the ‘ideas worth sharing’ from right here at Georgia Southern University,” Banter said. “I hope the creative ideas being shared at TedxGeorgiaSouthernU spark deep conversation and develop new opportunities for collaboration on campus.”

The TEDx program has made its way to different colleges across the country including the University of Iowa and Florida State College of Jacksonville. The program has also made its way to different countries, including India and Australia.

Maya Varner, sophomore early education major, is hopeful that the topic of conversation will include discussions on the current news stories regarding police brutality and diversity.

“I think it would be great to discuss the many current events that have been going on in the world,” Varner said. “With so much going on in the world, it would be interesting to see what would come out that type of event would come out of that.”

Autumn Bailey, freshman undeclared, said that the TEDx event will give students a better understanding on the world.57f5a18cc9983-image

“It seems like a very informative type seminar,” Bailey said. “I think it will be able get people to open their minds and understand situations from a different perspective.”

TedxGeorgiaSouthernU will be held Friday, Oct. 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre at the Center for Art and Theatre. Registration for the event is $30 for students, $50 for faculty/staff and $75 for general admission.

To register for the event, log on to

This article was originally posted to The George Anne on October 6, 2016 and was authored by Taisha White. The original article can be found here.

CECM Professors win grant from GDOT

gdot_logoThe Georgia Department of Transportation has awarded a $187,076 project to Myung Jeong (PI), assistant professor, and Junan Shen (Co-PI), professor, both in the Department of Civil Engineering & Construction Management.  Dr. Jeong’s and Dr. Shen’s proposal, “Evaluation of Structural Integrity for a Foamed Asphalt Base Course with a High Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP) Content,” will last 18 months.  The project will provide GDOT with an effective way to maximize the use of RAP and save natural resources and money.


This article was originally posted on October 12, 2016 and can be found here.

Office of Vice President for Research and Economic Development • P.O. Box 8140, Statesboro, GA 30458 • (912) 478-8641 •