McBEE INSTITUTE NEWSLETTER
Adam and Bryan Hearn flanking their parents Jim Hearn and Marsha Davis
Dear Graduates and Friends,
Those of you who know our interim director Jim Hearn will appreciate how he prefers to avoid the spotlight. Nevertheless, this month, we celebrated a generous gift made in his honor by his wife Marsha Davis. Dean Davis has established the James C. Hearn Jr. Lectureship in Higher Education. Her endowed gift provides annual funding to support a seminar or lecture by an esteemed researcher in higher education. We look forward to hosting our first Hearn Lecturer next year.
As the faculty and staff welcomed new students, we also marked some exciting milestones at the McBee Institute. We acknowledged achievements at the student awards and recognition luncheon, administered comprehensive exams to our Ph.D. students, received dissertation drafts from members of the Ed.D. cohort, convened a productive session with our McBee Institute Fellows, met with international partners, launched our first GTF session with a new cohort, and sent our annual McBee Report magazine to the printer.
Fueled by the enthusiasm and energy of our students, the Institute's faculty and staff are ready for a promising academic year. We hope you'll stay connected as we plan for the Institute's 60th anniversary in 2024.
NSF CAREER Award Launches New Project
Professor Krystal L. Williams, received a prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award of over $600,000 to examine undergraduate academic and career-related outcomes among Black women pursuing degrees in computer science.
McBee Institute Director Search Committee Formed
An eight-member university committee has been appointed to begin the search for candidates for the position of Director of the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education. This search is supported by the UGA Search Group.
Faculty, staff, students, or community members who wish to nominate candidates for consideration are invited to contact Michael Luthi, director of the UGA Search Group, at email@example.com or 706-542-1837.
The position announcement will be posted soon on UGA Jobs and various other professional venues.
Other ongoing searches:
2023-24 Student Award Recipients
Ananya Malik studies the impacts on and connections between history, policy, and inequality, particularly how universities have been tools for perpetuating opportunity disparities. She joins Professor Timothy Cain’s investigations of student activism and marginalized populations in higher education.
Hunter Jones studies the effects of inequity in higher education, specifically the phenomena of perfectionism and battle fatigue experienced by some Black students. Hunter joins projects led by Professor Amy Stich that examine college opportunity and success relative to social class and race.
Thomas G. Dyer Outstanding Dissertation Award
Alex Monday examines the reproduction of status through academic publishing. His dissertation promises to be influential, both for its focus on the field and for its implications for larger discussions around the production and dissemination of social-scientific knowledge.
Zell and Shirley Miller Fellowship
Emily Chen-Bendle has masterfully taken the difficult step from consuming and synthesizing immense amounts of information to now producing original, high impact scholarship at a level that is beyond her academic years. Her current work advances nuance in our understanding of student success drivers.
Libby V. Morris Leadership Award
Jillian Morn has a special ability to bring life to her studies and demonstrate their relevance to communities of policy, practice, and research. She displays a commitment not only to rigorous analysis, but also to honoring students’ stories and experiences. She is a research scientist at the University of Washington.
J. Douglas Toma Excellence in Scholarship and Service Award
Renni Turpin has uniquely positioned herself as someone with strengths in both advanced quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Her leadership and involvement on various committees within the Institute and in professional organizations are equally impressive.
Naomi Norman Leads Governor's Teaching Fellows
Dr. Naomi Norman joined the McBee Institute in August 2023 as the director of the Governor's Teaching Fellows program. She previously served UGA as an associate vice president for instruction.
While at OVPI, she oversaw many of UGA’s student success initiatives, including the First-Year Odyssey Seminar program and the Active Learning QEP design and implementation team.
Read more about our GTF program
Join Us for These Upcoming Fall Events
Incoming doctoral students met for orientation on August 15.
Fall Potluck- Tuesday, October 3, 5:15-6:30 at Normal Bar (1345 Prince Ave., Athens). An informal gathering of McBee faculty, staff, students, and graduates. RSVP
Homecoming Ice Cream on the Lawn- Friday, November 3, 3:30-4:30 Meigs Hall. Celebrating the Bulldawgs and fall weather with our GCAC advisers.
ASHE Welcome Reception, Wednesday, November 15, 7:00-9:00 in Minneapolis. If you are attending ASHE, stop by and connect with us!
- Winter WonderLights Graduation & Holiday Celebration at the State Botanical Gardens (2450 S. Milledge Ave., Athens). More details coming soon.
Keep up with our upcoming events
Recent Publications by McBee Faculty, Students, and Graduates
Rachel Burns found that policies on access to financial assistance vary widely across the country and within states by institution and type of degree. In this SHEEO report, she noted that college affordability is directly linked to student persistence and success.
Timothy R. Cain tracked the role of academic labor unions in higher education change in a book chapter published in the Research Handbook on the Transformation of Higher Education (Edward Elgar, 2023).
Ben Cecil helped to compile ACE's 2023 edition of The American College President. For this 9th iteration of the survey, the team collected new data on the support networks available to the presidents.
With the Third Way, Cecil also coauthored a report that ranks postsecondary institutions by the economic mobility of their graduates.
Kanler Cumbass co-authored a report on the ways that lawmakers across the U.S. seek to legislate higher education's role in students' economic mobility and the overall economic well being of states.
Anthony P. Jones chaired a NASFAA task force on student loan repayment that produced a report and toolkit to help borrowers and institutions prepare to restart loan payments.
Amy Stich, George Spencer, Brionna Johnson, and Sean Baser identified obstacles to statewide education policy implementation in a study of Georgia's Option B initiative.
Greg Wolniak, Emily Chen-Bendle, and Jennifer Tackett found lower leadership aspirations among female college students in “Exploring Gender Differences in Leadership Aspirations: A Four-Year Longitudinal Study of College Students From Adverse Backgrounds” in AERA Open.
If we missed any news, please let us know. We love sharing your successes!
Catch up on other research news
If you aren't already a supporter of the McBee Institute, our 60th anniversary is a great time to join your peers.
A recurring gift of $50 each month grows to $600 a year. Call or email if you have questions about our funds or would like to explore new opportunities for McBee students.
Your gift is important to us and helps support important opportunities for students and faculty alike, including seminars, travel support, and events that augment the classroom experience.