Two seniors at Mercer University have been awarded Fulbright grants.
Hannah Vann, 22, from Rome, received a Fulbright English teaching assistantship in Indonesia. In addition to teaching English for 20 hours a week, she will research Muslim women’s rights activists in the country, non-governmental organizations that work with women’s issues and the women’s movement.
“I really connect to the issues as a woman,” said Vann, a women’s and gender studies major. “I’m very fortunate and many privileges I now receive are not available to people in the rest of the world, particularly women. It’s important for me to work to help other women achieve their own goals.”
During her time at Mercer, she co-founded the Sex Trafficking Opposition Project in 2008. Last spring, Vann said she helped organize a conference against sex trafficking with 900 attendees from Mercer and the state, as well as some from as far away as California.
She has also pushed to bring more resources for women’s services on campus, volunteered with Crisis Line and Safe House of Middle Georgia, served as a resident adviser, English tutor and teaching assistant.
During college, she participated in Mercer on Mission in Kenya and has also previously been to Central America.
Kathryn Doornbos, 22, of Brasstown, N.C., received a Fulbright research grant to study tick-borne illnesses at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand.
Doornbos, a biology major, wants to earn a doctorate in microbiology to do research and ultimately return to the classroom as a college professor. Doornbos, who has a 3.7 GPA, will begin her postgraduate work at the University of Alabama-Birmingham once she returns to the country.
Doornbos has also been actively involved in various service projects at Mercer.
She adapted a program created by artists in her hometown called Mercer Empty Bowls, which fostered support among the artistic community in Macon to assist local hunger-fighting agencies. The program raised about $3,000 in 2008 and even more in 2009, she said.
She also served on the executive committee for the school’s Caring For Creation conference, coordinating the event’s service day by getting more than 500 Mercer students into the community to work on environmentally oriented projects.
Lake Joy Elementary principal shaves head for fundraiser
Students at Lake Joy Elementary watched principal Doug Rizer get his head shaved Friday afternoon.
At Lake Joy Elementary, 90 percent of students participated in the Boosterthon Fun Run, where students gather pledges to run laps to raise money for instructional courses and materials. The program also promotes fitness and character development in the students, Rizer said.
The Fun Run event was held Wednesday.
While the exact amount raised was not available Friday afternoon, Rizer said the students raised at least $20,000. The top student was third-grader Jackson Davies, who raised $772.
The five students who raised the most money were charged with the task of shaving Rizer’s head. Rizer said he did so because of the high student participation rate. Shaving his head was a way to give students incentive to participate and help their school long-term, said Rizer, who did the same while principal at Quail Run Elementary.
“Hair grows back,” he said. “In a few weeks or a month, you can’t tell, but we’ll have the money for a year and a half. With the way the budgets are cut and the economic times we’re in, it’s an easy sacrifice.”
Middle Georgia Tech offering styling discounts
Middle Georgia Technical College’s cosmetology department is offering a discount on styling appointments through May, according to a news release.
Evening cosmetology students are offering a free styling appointment with the purchase of another. The free style must of equal or lesser value. Clients must be at least 15 years old.
The appointments can be made at 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, open from 6-9 p.m. To schedule, call (478) 988-6913.
Middle Georgia Tech’s cosmetology department is at the Warner Robins campus in Room B106 in the B Building.
Schools across country losing teaching jobs
A recent national survey shows 82 percent of school districts will cut education jobs in 2010-11 and more than half of school districts will implement hiring freezes.
The American Association of School Administrators released this month its latest economic impact study in which 1,479 members in 49 states responded, representing 11 percent of the nation’s school districts.
The survey respondents indicated 27,516 education jobs will be eliminated in 2010-11, which starts July 1. Of that, 14,878 will be teaching jobs.
Nationally, the AASA predicts 275,000 education jobs are on the chopping block for the coming school year as a result of the recession, declining state tax revenues and ailing school system budgets.
Central High School student newspaper reaps awards
Central High School’s student newspaper, The Central Post, garnered an overall superior rating at the Georgia Scholastic Press Association awards ceremony held this month in Athens.
Student staff member Nicole de Groot took two first-place awards in political cartoons, and Suliman Somani was recognized for best sports writing. Fifty awards were presented out of an entry pool of 1,300 contestants, with the Post winning four, according to a news release from the school. The student newspaper paper scored superior in 23 out of 25 categories.
Boys and Girls Club to gain funding
The Taco Bell Foundation for Teens announced in April they will give $1.8 million to 250 Boys & Girls Clubs and youth-serving organizations across the country to help teens stay in school and graduate.
In the Macon area, more than $17,000 is being awarded to three local organizations to help serve 1,140 teens through career and community service activities and education support, according to a news release.
Boys & Girls Club of Central Georgia will get $7,500 for fighting world hunger at home. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Georgia Heartlands Inc. will get $5,000 for introduction to night jobs and careers and the Boys & Girls Club of Middle Georgia Region will get $5,000 for academic success and mentoring.
Georgia among top in states for preschool
The State of Preschool 2009 report showed that Georgia ranked third nationally in the percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool. The state also met eight of 10 quality benchmarks, but barely ranked in the top half of states on spending per child, according to a news release.
Georgia made it to the top 10 list overall.
Oklahoma was rated as the overall leader followed by Arkansas, West Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Louisiana and Tennessee.
“However, declines in real funding per child since 2002 threaten Georgia’s Bright from the Start’s place in the top 10,” said W. Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University and report author.
Barnett warned that preschool-age children across the country are feeling the impact of the recession as states cut back on early education programs. Nationally, the report showed that the average amount states spent per child, when adjusted for inflation, declined from $4,179 to $4,143 in 2009.
The report ranks all states on enrollment in state-funded preschool programs, the amount states spent per child, and how many of NIEER’s 10 quality benchmarks a state met. More than 1.2 million children attended state-funded preschool education nationally.
Compiled by Telegraph staff writers Andrea Castillo, Julie Hubbard and Phillip Ramati.