Fort Valley State University  

Annual Grantsmanship Institute Training Conference

GITC Announcement


The Grantsmanship Institute and Training Conference (GITC) is Fort Valley State University’s signature 1-day Proposal Writing, Research Administration and Networking Training Conference. Participants network with federal agency program officers and private foundation representatives while they learn the finer points of grant writing, strategies that make a proposal or application more competitive, ethical research administration practices, pre & post award compliance, program fidelity, as well as, stewardship.

Would you like to improve your grant writing skills?

Do you want to learn proven tips to increase your chances of getting funded?

Do you wish you knew what the reviewers look for and how to make your application stand out?

Then plan to attend the FVSU Fall 2014 GITC!

This year’s tentative agenda include:

  • Engaging the World Anew
  • International Research & Technology Transfer
  • Promoting Educational Excellence Abroad
  • Compliance
  • Success in Foundation Funding
  • Proposal Mock Review

GITC is open to the Fort Valley State University faculty, staff and students, regional universities, community and faith-based organizational representatives. The training conference is from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM, includes a networking lunch. Reserve your seat today! Call Doris Nyaga, Pre-Award Coordinator, (478) 822-1063.

  • Thursday, November 13, 2014
    8:00am – 8:50am
    9:00am – 9:50am
    Opening Plenary
    Dr. Melody L. Carter
    Welcome Remarks
    Dr. Ivelaw L. Griffith
    Introduction of Keynote Speaker
    Lisa Wilson
    Keynote Address
    "Engaging the World Anew"
    Ronald Blakely
    Dr. Jessica Bailey
    10:00am - 11:15am
    General Session:
    "International Research & Technology Transfer"
    Greg King, Amrit Bart, Doug Podall
    11:20am – 12:05pm
    General Session:
    "Promoting Educational Excellence Abroad"
    Gary Barrett, Eric Abdullateef
    12:15pm – 1:25pm
    Luncheon Speaker
    Shelley Reeves
    1:45pm – 2:25pm
    General Session:
    Lynn Hobbs, Doris Nyaga, Joyce Johnson
    2:35pm – 3:15pm
    General Session:
    "An Overview of the Georgia Humanities Council"
    Arden Williams
    3:25pm – 4:30pm
    General Session:
    "Proposal Mock Review"
    Jacques Surrency, Nirmal Joshee, Erika Styles
  • Wildcat

    Arden Williams, Senior Program Officer, Georgia Humanities Council

    Arden started work at the Georgia Humanities Council in 2005. She is senior program officer overseeing the grant program, and coordinating the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program of traveling exhibitions in Georgia.

    She holds a B.A. in history and an M.A. with a public history concentration from the University of W. Georgia where she studied under Ann McCleary. She is also a PHD candidate in the public history program at Georgia State University.

    Previously Arden worked for the National Archives – Southeast Region, presenting educational programs within the community, working with genealogists and directing the student interns. She was also an adjunct professor at Clayton State University, teaching “Introduction to Public History”.

    She considers all of her recent work her second career as she spent over 20 years at Delta Air Lines. The last part of her career at Delta was spent in the training department- instructing flight attendants and updating training manuals.

    Arden lives in Coweta County, with her husband Tom, sometimes present son Danny, a merchant mariner, and their dog, Jake.


    Gary Barrett, Deputy Director, USAID ASHA

    Gary Barrett is the Deputy Director and Senior Program Advisor of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA), USAID’s only office dedicated to public diplomacy objects. ASHA’s mandate is to provide assistance to strengthen overseas institutions in promoting American ideas and practices to foster mutual understanding and cooperation.

    Mr. Barrett served as both a Senior Program Advisor and Senior Field Program Manager for the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in Afghanistan. While there, he helped to manage programs in both the South and Southwest of the country. During this assignment he worked to provided strategic direction to ISAF, local government, and US government officials responsible for stabilization efforts in the region and provided funding to institutional partner to implement programs that addressed sources of instability on the local level.

    From 2007 until mid-2008, Mr. Barrett was seconded to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) as the Head of Office for the UN Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC) in South Sudan. There he and his team coordinated the logistics of United Nations humanitarian assistance to South Sudan and also worked to professionalize the newly created Government of South Sudan Ministry of Transportation and Roads. His team also provided technical assistance and recommendations on the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).

    From 1998 to 2007, and again in 2009 Mr. Barrett worked for the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance in the Disaster Assistance Support Program (DASP), where he provided essential technical support in disaster response management, planning, operations, preparedness, and prevention.

    Before joining US government in 1997 as a civilian, Mr. Barrett served in the U.S. Marine Corps and attended graduate school at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

    Mr. Barrett holds a Master’s degree from Yale University, Bachelor’s de- gree from Morehouse College, and a Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance from Fordham University.


    Shelley Reeves, Program Specialist, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education

    Shelley Reeves, M.A., is a Rehabilitation Program Specialist with the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) within the Department of Education. She works in the Research Sciences Division of NIDRR, where in addition to managing the Americans with Disabilities Act National Network program, she is also responsible for its Section 21 Capacity-Building Program for Underserved Populations. Her involvement with this program has afforded her the opportunity to develop research priorities and monitor research grants on the topic of outcome disparities related to disability and race. She has also recently worked to redesign and implement this research and research capacity-building program to further promote the participation of minority-serving educational institutions in the field of disability and rehabilitation research. Her broad outreach responsibilities for this capacity-building program provide her the opportunity to foster and shape a new generation of researchers who are engaged in disability and rehabilitation research at minority-serving institutions. Her background spans across several areas, including directing a post-secondary disability support program, providing vocational rehabilitation services, directing employment training programs for individuals with disabilities, and developing family education programs.


    Greg King, Director of Strategic Partnerships-Georgia Tech; Director of Economic Development-Board of Regents, USG

    Greg King serves as the Director of Strategic Partnership and Economic Development at Georgia Tech. At Tech he develops partnerships that include providing insight and ease of access to the innovations, new technologies and startup ventures developed and supported by Georgia Tech. Greg assists companies in the development and operation of innovation, research or technology centers with a university partner. He supports economic development by representing the unique elements of Georgia Tech to companies looking to relocate or expand in the state.

    In addition to his work at Georgia Tech, Greg has a joint appointment as the Director of Economic Development for the Board of Regents, University System of Georgia. He provides direction and coordination across the 31 campuses in order to provide economic development support to the state. As Director he develops campus teams that match USG resources to the research, education and talent needs of companies that are considering investment in Georgia.

    Prior to these roles he led Business Development and Strategic Initiatives within Georgia Tech's Economic Development Institute (EDI) where he developed a multi-agency business retention program targeting high growth companies in the state. The partnership was cited among other programs in the US as a notable practice and innovative approach to business retention. Greg also led EDI’s Community and Technology Services Group which helped local communities develop their capacity for technology based economic development. As an officer in the United States Navy, Greg's experience spanned over 20 years and includes a wide range of demanding executive, staff and operational assignments worldwide.

    Greg earned his Bachelors of Science in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech and a Master's in Economics from the University of Oklahoma. He was also selected by the US and German Fulbright Commission as a Fulbright Scholar where he has explored higher education best practices focusing on university-industry collaboration, commercialization and economic development. He is a certified economic developer (CEcD) through the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).


    Amrit Bart, Professor, Assistant Dean, International Affairs & Director for Global Programs, University of Georgia

    Amrit Bart is a faculty member in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) of the University of Georgia, Athens. He leads the Office of Global Programs as a Director and an Assistant Dean of the College. He has enjoyed a long international career starting in Asia with his first USAID assignment in Indonesia in 1988 as an ‘International Agricultural Education/Research Advisor’. Diversification of International education and quality services continues as one of the areas of his interest.

    Aquatic sciences, aquaculture, genetic conservation of aquatic species are other areas of his expertise. Over the course of his professional career he has developed and managed numerous development and research projects in Asia, Central and North America, served on policy and technical panels and delivered keynote presentations to international conferences. He has supervised and graduated a large number of doctoral and masters students currently holding leadership positions in many parts of the world and has published extensively. He has been teaching and supervising as well as leading research/development projects focused primarily in Asia. After completing 17 years of service in Asia at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand and Vietnam, he has recently returned to the US to lead the Global Initiative of the University of Georgia in Athens. He lives outside of Athens with his wife and two children.


    Ron Blakely, Associate Director, White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

    Mr. Blakely currently serves as an Associate Director, White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Mr. Blakely joined the White House Initiative staff in 2007. His primary duties involve worked with Federal Agencies, HBCU Presidents and Sponsored Program Officials on procurement, contracting and program issues.

    He served as the Department of the Army’s HBCU/MI Program Manager in the Army Small Business Office for 10 years, where he developed highly successful HBCU/MI initiatives that consistently exceeded the Army contracting goal.

    He has worked closely with federal agencies, HBCU advocacy groups and private sector organizations to implementing policies and programs that increase federal funding to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

    Mr. Blakely previously served as an EEO Manager at the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Rights with responsibilities for the Affirmative Employment and Special Emphasis Programs. He created EPA’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program with the support of senior managers and significant input from HBCU presidents. The HBCU Program focused on Research and Development, Faculty Fellowships, Internships and Equipment Transfer Programs.

    He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work at Tuskegee and Master’s of Arts in Human Resources Management, Pepperdine Universities and a Certificate in Contracting and Procurement from the University of Virginia.

    Mr. Blakely retired from the USAF Reserves in 2000 as a Lt. Col. He is an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and a 33° Prince Hall Mason. He currently resides in Prince George’s County, Maryland with his wife and daughter.


    Doug Podoll, Director of International Education, University System of Georgia

    Since 2008, Doug Podoll has served as the Director for Global Human Resources at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition to support services for overseas programs, Podoll’s group was responsible for faculty immigration affairs and foreign national tax compliance. He has been in international education and development for 30 years, working primarily in traditional international student and scholar services and study abroad.

    Podoll went to Georgia Tech from Georgia State University where he served as the Director for International Student and Scholar Services for ten years. In addition to his duties at Georgia State, Doug served as Chair of Region VII (Southeastern US) for NAFSA: Association for International Educators and was a 2004 graduate of the NAFSA Executive Leadership Development Program. During those years, Doug contributed to NAFSA’s International Student Handbook and IRS publications on the taxation of foreign students and scholars as well as a member of trainer corps and a leader of workshops in areas ranging from intercultural communication to institutional tax compliance.

    Podoll’s work overseas ranges from authoring and leading the development of the first MBA program in Romania through a $2.7 million USAID grant, university and rural development in Indonesia—also funded through USAID, study abroad in Mexico, and the Peace Corps in Cote d’Ivoire. His previous work experience in US higher education ranges from top research universities such as the University of Washington and the University of Texas at Austin to state regional institutions such as the University of Central Arkansas and the University of North Texas.

    A native of Stanton, Nebraska, Podoll received an interdisciplinary doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction, International Communication, and Asian Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s in College Student Personnel from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, and his bachelor’s in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

  • Greg King
    Director of Strategic Partnerships-Georgia Tech; Director of Economic Development-Board of Regents, USG

    Amrit Bart
    Professor, Assistant Dean, International Affairs & Director for Global Programs, University of Georgia

    Doug Podoll
    Director of International Education, University System of Georgia

    Gary Barrett
    Deputy Director, USAID ASHA

    Shelley Reeves
    Program Specialist, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education

    Arden Williams
    Senior Program Officer, Georgia Humanities Council


  • Directions to Fort Valley State University


    Fort Valley State University is located approximately 100 miles south of the Atlanta Airport. Shuttle transportation is available from the airport to local hotels in Warner Robins, GA through Groome Transportation. Their fees to Warner Robins GA Groome Transportation Station are:

    One-way trip: $38.00/person
    Roundtrip: $76.00/person

    There is an additional $5.00 fee for drop off and $5.00 fee for pick up from select hotels.

    Please arrange your transportation directly at the Groome Transportation website:


    Below is a list of hotels with a negotiated rate for conference attendees.
    Fort Valley State University will provide complimentary transportation from the five listed hotels to the conference and back to the hotel in the morning and evening respectively.

    Hampton Inn and Suites
    4000 Watson Blvd., Warner Robins, Georgia 31093
    Rate: Approximately $129.00 + Tax/Night
    TEL: 1-478-953-9443

    Country Inn & Suites
    220 Margie Dr, Warner Robins, Georgia 31088
    Rate: Approximately $93.00 + Tax/night
    TEL: 1-478-971-1699

    Quality Inn and Suites
    4080 Watson Boulevard, Warner Robins, Georgia 31093
    Rate: Approximately $89 + Tax/night
    TEL: 1-478-333-6920

    Hilton Garden Inn
    207 Willie Lee Pkwy, Warner Robins, Georgia 31093
    Rate: Approximately $139.00 + Tax/night
    TEL: 1-478-971-1550

    Candlewood Inn and Suites
    110 Willie Lee Parkway, Warner Robins, Georgia 31088
    Rate: Approximately $93 + Tax/night
    TEL: 1-478-333-6850


  • Doris Nyaga
    Pre-Award Coordinator
    (478) 822-1063
1005 State University Drive • Fort Valley, GA 31030 • 478-827-FVSU

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