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


GSU Members Receive Research Funding


The Office of Research Services & Sponsored Programs at Georgia Southern University would like to congratulate the following GSU faculty and/or staff members.

Congratulations to:

Dr. Myung Goo Jeong, with the Department of Civil Engineering & Construction Management, who received external research funding from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Dr. Matthew J. Horst, with the Shooting Sports Education Center, who received external research funding from the Easton Foundation.

Dr. Dominique Halaby, with the Department of Business Research & Economic Development, who received external research funding from the Development Authority of Burke County.

Dr. Gregory Chamblee, with the Department of Teaching and Learning, who received external research funding from the Georgia Department of Education.

Dr. Stuart Tedders, with the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, who received external research funding from the Ware County Board of Health.

Dr. Francisco Cubas Suazo, with the Department of Civil Engineering & Construction Mgmt., who received external research funding from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Dr. Brian Koehler, with the College of Science & Mathematics, who received external research funding from the Board of Regents.

Miss Florence Brown, with the Multicultural Student Center, who received external research funding from the Board of Regents.

Dr. Dominique Halaby, with the Office of Business Research and Economic Development, who received external research funding from the Camden Partnership Inc.

Dr. James Roberts, with the Department of Biology, who received external research funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Georgia Southern Partners with NYU in Study of the association of Perceived and Actual Overweight on School Absenteeism

hendricks-hall-250x167Excess body weight has been reported to be associated with excessive school absenteeism (ESA), but less is known about the association with perceived body weight. The study objective was to assess the relative influence of perceived and measured weight status on school attendance.

We used the data from 3113 adolescents age 12–19 years who were interviewed as a part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), 2003–2008. Body weight and height were measured during the physical examination, while self-perceived body weight and the number of school days missed was assessed. Missing one or more days per school month (nine days per school year) was defined as, and indicative of, experiencing Excessive School Absenteeism (ESA).

ESA was reported from 12.31 (SE = 0.89) % of adolescents. The highest prevalence occurred among healthy weight adolescents who erroneously self-perceived as overweight [21.6 (4.77) %], two times higher than adolescents with obesity who self-perceived as “just right weight” [10.3 (2.87) %]. The adjusted prevalence ratio (PR) of ESA for healthy weight adolescents who erroneously self-perceived as “overweight” was 1.91 (95%CI = 1.10–3.32) compared to healthy weight peers who correctly self-perceived as “just right” (reference group). The PRs were 0.99 (0.48–2.06) and 1.41 (0.86–2.32) respectively for adolescents with obesity who believed that their body weight was “just right” or “overweight”. No significant differences were observed between boys and girls, young (12–15 years) and older adolescents (16–19 years).

In Conclusion, perceived overweight rather than actual overweight is significantly associated ESA among adolescents.

Perceived not actual overweight is associated with excessive school absenteeism among U.S. adolescents,” was published in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice.

Dr. Andrew Hansen, Assistant Professor of Community Health and Behavior Education, Ms. Ashley Hill, alumni, and Dr. Jian Zhang, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health Georgia Southern University were co-authors in this study. Dr. Dustin Duncan, Assistant Professor in the department of population health at the NYU School of Medicine was the lead author.

This article was originally posted on November 29, 2016 and can be found here.

Georgia Southern’s sustainability efforts featured in The Princeton Review’s ‘Guide to 361 Green Colleges: 2016 Edition’


For the sixth year in a row, Georgia Southern University is listed among The Princeton Review’sGuide to 361 Green Colleges, which recognizes the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges.

The Princeton Review chose the schools for this seventh annual edition of its “green guide” based on data from the company’s 2015-16 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges across the U.S. Georgia Southern’s most recent sustainability efforts include solar-powered utility cart charging stations, bottle-filling stations in multiple campus locations, tree plantings, bioswale enhancements, Eagle Creek rehabilitation and more.

Lissa Leege, director of the Center for Sustainability at the University, says the great work is the result of hard work, and students’ willingness to contribute to these efforts through sustainability fees.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for our commitment to sustainability again this year as we know how critical it is for universities to model sustainable behavior for the broader community and for our students who will go on to make important decisions in the future,” said Leege. “Georgia Southern’s success in sustainability is thanks to a great team of faculty, staff and students working to make our facilities greener, providing sustainability education and research opportunities, and helping to implement changes that make it easier to make sustainable choices.”

In addition, the University offers a concentration in Environmental Sustainability and an online Sustainability Advisor Certificate, and the Center for Sustainability has taken the lead to promote engaging and inspiring programs and education resources for the campus and local communities. The Center partners with a variety of departments, including biology, health, kinesiology, and the offices of Leadership and Community Engagement and Wellness, which strengthens Georgia Southern’s commitment to produce and support sustainable solutions that reduce negative impacts on the environment.

The $10 student sustainability fees, approved in fall 2012 by a 75 percent student majority vote and approved by the Board of Regents in April 2013, have provided grants for advances across the campus. These funds have not only provided the funds for valuable sustainability projects, they have also allowed the Center to sponsor the Green Eagle Awards to recognize proven leaders on campus, educational opportunities to raise awareness for students, and “No Impact Week,” to raise awareness campus-wide. Other campus activities include a farmer’s market, a pallet challenge, RecycleMania, a campus garden and composting, tailgate recycling and residence hall recycling incentive programs, and Solo® cup recycling.

The Center also sponsors community-wide events to raise sustainability awareness in Statesboro and Bulloch County. In October, the Center hosted GreenFest on the courthouse lawn in Statesboro, which featured more than 40 vendors and exhibitors and a varied schedule of workshops, and activities for all ages. On Nov. 7, the Center will host the Environmental Community Cinema showcasing the award-winning documentary Tapped.” Other programs include an after-school garden program, a partnership with Bulloch County Parks and Recreation.

“We strongly recommend Georgia Southern University and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally-minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges,” said The Princeton Review’s Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher.

Franek noted the growing interest the company has seen among college-bound students in green colleges. “Among more than 10,000 teens and parents who participated in our 2016 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 61 percent told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the college.”  (A complete report on that survey is at

The profiles in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 361 Green Colleges provide information about each school’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid, and student body stats. They also include “Green Facts” about the schools with details on the availability of transportation alternatives at the schools and the percentage of the school food budgets spent on local/organic food.


This article was originally posted on November 6, 2016 and can be found here.

Georgia Southern participates in International Fraud Awareness Week

auditser10583_fraud-preventionemail-488x600Georgia Southern University will participate in International Fraud Awareness Week, Nov.13 – 19, 2016. It is part of an effort by the University System of Georgia to promote an ethical culture and to bring awareness to the common and uncommon instances of fraud or ethical violations within the campus community.

“Georgia Southern University recognizes that an ethical, efficient and effective work environment is essential to our continued success in accomplishing our mission,” said Jaimie Hebert, Ph.D., University president. “Fraud directly impacts our stewardship responsibilities, as well as the well-being of our campus community.”

Throughout the week, the campus community will receive video messages from President Jaimie Hebert, Ph.D., and such offices as Human Resources, IT Security, Legal Affairs, and Audit and Advisory Services on stewardship, prevention, integrity, responsibility, inspiration, and trust.

“Companies and organizations that work to build and maintain ethical workplace cultures are more financially successful and have more motivated and more productive employees,” said Chief Audit Officer for Audit and Advisory Services Jana Briley,. “Organizations that build an ethical workplace culture consistently outperform organizations that do not.”

In addition to video messaging, posters and digital signage will be visible across campus and all faculty and staff will receive a tip card with reporting information.

For more information on Fraud Awareness Week, or to report a fraud or ethical violation, visit or call 1-877-516-3445. Members of the public are also encouraged to report.

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

Touch Light Innovations named winner of Georgia Southern College of Business’ BIG Pitch competition

img_3907Touch Light Innovations has been named the winner of the second annual BIG Pitch Competition, hosted by Georgia Southern University’s Business Innovation Group (BIG) in conjunction with Ocean Exchange.

Touch Light Innovations, a startup invented by Swarnav Pujari, a student at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is pioneering in harvesting ambient energy to power daily use tools and create a green environment. Their flagship product, Power Pad, is a low-profile device that sits beneath any moderate-to-heavy foot traffic location. Each step a passerby takes on the Power Pad generates up to 10 watt-mins of power.

“The BIG Pitch event showcased young professionals who are challenging cross-industry status-quo through very disruptive ideas, technologies and business models,” said Dr. Bartosz Wojszczyk, a judge on the panel. “The winner, Touch Light Innovations, is a great example of how ‘a single step idea’ can revolutionize access to energy through day to day activities. We could have only one winner, but all presented technologies deserve our highest praise.”

By targeting the commercial building market space in city locations, Touch Light Innovations is able to offer a clean technology product that is designed for city-like environments. This product is estimated to save an average commercial building up to $80,000 per year on electrical bills and increase real estate value by 7 percent each year. The Power Pad has been tested at a Westchester Knicks game as well as in a New York High School for one month.

“Ocean Exchange is insanely good. Fostering change and putting you in uncomfortable situations is something people don’t always like. Disruptive technology delivers change, always creating something new and advancing development for the future,” said Pujari of Touch Light Innovations. “The BIG Pitch competition seeks different innovations in all fields. I really enjoyed it because those are the values I hold in my heart and harness in the company.”

Other teams included Reservoir from the University of Georgia; BioCellection and RevoLOOtion from the University of Pennsylvania; Wavve Stream from the University of Houston; Renewal Mill and Catalytic Electrolysis for Sustainable Fuel Generation from Wastewater from Yale University; and Antibiotic Resistance from the Sea from Valdosta State University.

“This year’s BIG Pitch finalists were remarkably strong,” said Allen C. Amason, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business. “They were innovative, thoughtful, prepared, articulate, but most of all, they were the sorts of people who are going to make a positive difference in this world. And so, we were very proud of all of them and very proud to invest in them.”

BIG Pitch facilitates the adoption of undergraduate and graduate innovations that improve economies, health and the environment. BIG Pitch is part of the Business Innovation Group in the Georgia Southern College of Business and partners with Ocean Exchange.

For more information on the BIG Pitch Competition, the Ocean Exchange or Georgia Southern University entrepreneurship programs, please contact Millicent Pitts, CEO of Ocean Exchange, at 912-257-0209 or email at; Dominique Halaby, D.P.A., director of BIG, at 912-478-2733 or email at; or Steve Stewart, Ph.D., assistant professor of management/entrepreneurship at 912-478-8594 or email


This article was originally posted on November 15, 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 •