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Johnson Awarded the GAFCS Leader Award

L to R: Karen Jones, President, Dr. Johnson, Arlena Fitts Winfrey, VP Awards and Recognition

During the 2017 Georgia Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (GAFCS) Annual Conference in Athens, GA, on March 31, Cynthia Johnson, Ph.D., was awarded the GAFCS Leader Award for her significant contributions to the field of family and consumer science (FCS) through her involvement in the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS).

Johnson has served as a professor of child and family development and school chair for the School of Human Ecology (SHE) in the College of Health and Human Sciences since 2012.

Johnson was recommended for the Leader Award due to her extensive background in program development and the leadership roles she has upheld throughout her career. “Former faculty, and other FCS administrators know of my dedication, commitment and contribution to the field, and those are the individuals who supported the recommendations,” stated Johnson.

In addition, Johnson was recognized nationally in 2016 as a FCS legend by AAFCS for establishing the first national doctoral program in medical family therapy and for her work in child and family relations.

The Leader Award was presented to Johnson by Karen Jones, GAFCS President, and Arlene Fitts Winfrey, VP Awards and Recognition.

Neuwar Named GAYC Student of the Year



Salena Neuwar and GAYC President Courtney May

Senior child and family development major Salena Neuwar was named the 2016 Georgia Association on Young Children (GAYC) Student of the Year at the Together for Children Conference for her outstanding work as a student and the positive impact she has made in her field of study.

To be considered for the award, Neuwar had to be a GAYC member, a student studying child development or a related field, considered an outstanding student in her program and be nominated by an instructor in higher education.

In addition to the GAYC Student of the Year Award, Neuwar has been honored with the Betty Lane Family and Consumer Science Award, the Georgia Southern Honors Program scholarship and the Susie Frances Whitener scholarship.

In between studying and working, Neuwar enjoys working with children. She has volunteered in Costa Rica, where she worked with local children in an educational setting, and South Africa, where she worked at a school for children with disabilities through an adaptive surfing program.

“My time with the adaptive surfing program was about building relationships and enabling the children to do something they enjoy which improves their overall well-being,” said Neuwar.

With her degree, Neuwar plans to continue to work with the early intervention program Babies Can’t Wait of the Coastal District where she is currently interning; she then plans to attend graduate school. Ultimately, she would like to work for Babies Can’t Wait as an occupational therapist.

“I am glad that I was recognized for my academics, but most importantly my volunteering and passion that I have for all the children I work with,” said Neuwar. “I hope to be able to grow with the families and children I service in my new career in early intervention.”

In addition to Neuwar, three other students in the College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS) presented research at the GAYC conference. Kristin Gauthier presented “Technology in early childhood classrooms.” Rebecca Mertins and Nicole Sheahan presented “Visual schedules in early childhood classrooms.” Mertins, Sheahan and Neuwar all worked under the guidance of Katy Gregg, Ph.D., associate professor of child and family development, and Gauthier worked under the guidance of  Dina Walker-DeVose, Ph.D., assistant professor of child and family development.

For more information about the CHHS, visit

RN to BSN Program Ranked Nationally

Georgia Southern University’s School of Nursing’s RN to BSN program was recently named one of the best online RN-BSN programs in the United States by

The University’s RN to BSN program was ranked in the top 50 in the nation for the Best Online RN to BSN Nursing Programs out of more than 250 schools in the country.

“As the new program director, I am very proud that our RN to BSN program was recognized as one of the 50 Best RN to BSN online programs in the nation,” stated Sheri K. Carey, DNP, APRN, PCNS-BC, CCRN. is the leading online resource for online degrees and bases its rankings on the quality of the nursing program, types of courses the program provides, strength of faculty scholarship, awards received by the school, and the ranking and reputation of the school.

“This external affirmation is the result of the dedication and commitment shown by our faculty,” Carey said. “Through their efforts, ongoing quality in the program has been assured.”

The RN to BSN program housed in the College of Health and Human Sciences is a fully online program designed exclusively for individuals who are currently registered nurses who wish to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Specifically designed for the working registered nurse, the program provides the flexibility that allows both full-time and part-time enrollment.

The baccalaureate degree in nursing/masters degree in nursing/ Doctor of Nursing/ and post-graduate APRN certificate at Georgia Southern University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( All prelicensure programs are fully approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing. Georgia Southern University is accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Anderson Serves as Visiting Professor at Australian University

Kathryn Anderson, Ph.D., ARNP, PMHCNS-BC, LMFT, professor in the School of Nursing, was appointed visiting professor at Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Perth, Australia, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 10.

During this time, Anderson provided consultation to ECU faculty and led lectures on how faculty can help facilitate ECU’s goal of implementing curriculum on family care into their undergraduate to doctoral education programs. She also helped faculty become more comfortable having a family nursing, or care of families, focus in their curriculum.

“I participated in numerous individual research consultations with faculty, participated in a manuscript writing retreat and lead a ‘Next Steps in Research’ session,” Anderson said. “I was able to collaborate with other faculty and begin discussions to link common research projects between ECU faculty and Georgia Southern faculty. We have begun working together to develop an interdisciplinary proposal for a multi-site international project focused on providing family-centered care when dealing with chronic illness.”

Anderson was chosen by ECU’s director of research based on her longstanding work in implementing family nursing and research work in families with chronic illness.

In addition, Anderson provided several one- to two-hour research-focused presentations to include how to work with and analyze family data sets, designing intervention studies with families, addressing concerns of families dealing with chronic illness, and involving undergraduate students in international research.

She provided guest lectureships and programming planning workshops at the local hospital, Joondalup Hospital, to advanced practice nurses, nurses and other health professionals and staff at newly emerging primary care agencies.

“Both settings focused on including families in patient care, providing family-focused health care, educational needs of staff and how to transform agencies/units/nurses to adopt a family focus in care,” said Anderson.

She also provided the opportunity for mentorship while on the ECU campus, and continues to work with ECU to set up collaborative international practice and research efforts.

Gregg Services Pivotal Role with GAYC

Katy Gregg, Ph.D., associate professor of child and family development in the School of Human Ecology has been selected as the president-elect for the Georgia Association on Young Children (GAYC) beginning January 2017. After serving one year as president-elect, Gregg will serve an additional two years as the president and one year as the past president.

The GAYC supports the education and development of children ages birth to eight in Georgia by encouraging and supporting healthy development in children by collaborating with others to increase public awareness of the importance of early childhood education and improving the quality of programs offered to young children.

Gregg has been a member of the GAYC board since 2014 and was nominated and voted on by GAYC members for the role as president-elect. During the election process, Gregg presented her ideas to the membership at the GAYC Annual Members meeting this past September.

In her role, she will lead the board and executive committee in fulfilling their strategic plan and adhering to GAYC’s mission. As president, Gregg will serve as a representative on state boards related to early childhood professions and meet with the state Department of Early Care and Learning three times a year. Additionally, Gregg will meet with the board four time a year and separately with the executive committee four time a year.

“It is an honor to represent GAYC in this capacity,” stated Gregg. As president-elect, president and last president, Gregg’s goals are “to spread the messages of GAYC to a wider audience so all early childhood professionals in Georgia are familiar with GAYC’s work and want to join the organization, to ensure the board listens to the needs of the current membership to provide them with the best professional development opportunities and to grow GAYC’s communication with the membership and use GAYC as amplifier to update Georgia’s hardest working professionals on the current trends in early childhood.”