FVSU to celebrate faculty research

September 13, 2013 –On Fort Valley State University’s campus, faculty members produce award-winning academic research that is highly regarded by national and international organizations.

This year alone, FVSU professors have earned several distinguished awards. The Council for International Exchange of Scholars named two university professors—Dr. George Mbata and Dr. Peter Dumbaya—as Fulbright Scholars for the research they respectively conducted on nontoxic ways to treat pests on peanut crops, and the impact of war violence on Sierra Leone’s women. The Georgia Association of Historiansalso gave Dr. Christine Lutz, an FVSU associate professors of history, its top prize—the 2013 Warren Spencer Award—for an article she wrote on African-American leaders’ views about Africans and Asians in the 20th century. Other campus researchers are producing pioneering studies on raising goats, examining medicinal uses for the Steviaplant and improving aquaculture techniques for fish farmers.

Next week, FVSU will spotlight outstanding faculty researchers during its inaugural Celebration of Scholarship Day on Friday, Sept. 20, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the C.W. Pettigrew Center, rooms 102-104.

According to the Celebration of Scholarship Day committee chair, Dr. Ian Toppin, who is also the director of the offices of enhancing critical thinking and the center for teaching and learning, FVSU President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith created the occasion to highlight faculty research and serve as a counterpart to Research Day.

“Dr. Griffith not only wants to recognize scholarship, he also wants to promote it,” saidToppin. “Research Day is primarily concentrated on student research; while, Celebration of Scholarship Day is focused on faculty research. We started this occasion to recognize the outstanding research that our faculty is conducting on campus.”

Toppin also believes that the event will give the FVSU faculty a chance to showcase their research with their peers.

“It is hard for people to know what you are doing, unless you show them,” said Toppin. “So, this event is an opportunity to show the world the kind of research FVSU faculty are doing on campus. We will recognize those who are doing [research], and perhaps, it will spur others to get involved in scholarship as well.

Toppin explained that “Scholarship Day” will only feature research that is published in refereed or peer-reviewed journals. In addition, the event will recognize creative works produced by FVSU professors that were featured at other institutions.

According to Toppin the response to the new scholarship day initiative has been overwhelmingly positive. More than 50 professors have already made 70 submissions for inclusion.

During a recognition ceremony, two outstanding scholars, selected by FVSU college deans, will receive awards, and faculty excellence in teaching and service awards will also be presented. Following the luncheon, guests are encouraged to meet professors and view researchers’ scholarly works.

Toppin believes that the day will also have a positive impact on FVSU students.

“We hope that students will see the level of activity that their professors are involved with, and that this will become tangible evidence of the type of work that they too can get involved with,” said the organizer. “We often bring people in to become examples for our students, and quite often the examples that they need are right here and they may never have known it. We’re hopeful that this spurs them on to do better things.”

For more information about the event, call Dr. Ian Toppin, (478) 825-6991 ortoppini@fvsu.edu.




Christina D. Milton, writer

Fort Valley State University

Office of Marketing and Communications

(478) 822-7589, miltonc@fvsu.edu