Several departmental faculty spent considerable portions of their holiday break completing book manuscripts to meet contract deadlines. Leonard Teel finished first full draft work on the book he presented in the doctoral proseminar last fall, which focuses on the American journalists who received medals from Fidel Castro given their coverage of the Cuban Revolution. Shawn Powers and Michael Jablonski finished work on a book headed to the University of Illinois Press, which examines the international political economic issues surrounding Internet policymaking. And Hongmei Li completed work on a book she is preparing on Chinese consumer culture. Congratulations to all for their good work. And Greg Lisby completed an almost complete overhaul of his book on Georgia press law – the new edition, the 7th, needed a major update given the sweep of major statewide legal developments.
The GSU debate team has recently returned from Texas, where our top students were competing in a two-tournament swing affectionately referred to as the Texas Two-Step. The first half of the swing took place at the University of Texas, Dallas. Both the GSU varsity debate team competing at that tournament qualified for the elimination debates, something, that hasn’t happened at a major national tournament in several years. The team of Jacob Nails and Clay Stewart won four of their seven preliminary debates, and lost in the first elimination round to a strong team from the University of Texas at Austin. The team of John Finch and Luke Floyd won six of their seven preliminary debates, and then went on two defeat teams from the University of Missouri Kansas City and Dartmouth in the elimination rounds before finally losing in quarterfinals. Luke was named the second speaker out of 134 debaters at the tournament, while Johns was the seventh speaker. This was a major breakthrough performance for both teams, who also had a successful second tournament at the University of North Texas tournament, the second “step” of the swing. A great deal of credit goes to graduate assistant coach Nick Sciullo and GSU debate alumnus Erik Mathis, who coached the teams while Joe Bellon was out of the country. Erik was helping out as a volunteer coach, which is a testament to the strong ties the debate team has created among GSU alums.