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Faculty Experts Directory

Georgia Southern University’s faculty experts in Savannah, Statesboro and Hinesville have extensive knowledge on a variety of current topics.

To add your name to the faculty expert database, contact the Communication Officer for your college.

To connect with a faculty expert for a story, contact Jennifer Wise, Director of Communications, at 912-478-2301.

Expert Spotlights

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Turning the City Green! Georgia Southern celebrates Savannah's 200th St. Patrick's Day Parade

Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the largest in America, right behind New York City and Chicago. Comprised of Irish heritage, marching bands, traditional dancers and elaborate floats, people come to Savannah from all over the world to participate in the local parade. And as the city looks to commemorate the 200th St. Patrick’s Day Celebration this year, Dr. Howard Keeley, the director of Georgia Southern University's Center for Irish Research, is a crucial member of the global Irish community. Notably, he said the fact that St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are still prevalent and evolving come down to several things. Firstly- he says that people with Irish heritage in Savannah have such a hyper-local pride. There were three main neighborhoods the Irish settled in- East Savannah, Yamacraw, and Frogtown - and a lot of local Irish people now can trace their lineage back to one of those neighborhoods. He also says that Irish immigrants were received very well into the Savannah community unlike in some other places, such as the Northeast. That cultural integration has allowed Irish pride to be woven into the fabric of Savannah and he says that Irish people also love to share their heritage with others. So, it’s only natural that St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have continued on for this long. ”It’s the Irish and everybody else. There’s a phrase that has come into being, I think it was coined by the Irish government, but when you think about the phrase it makes so much sense. And that is ‘affinity diaspora’, so diaspora referring to the Irish that live abroad, but affinity meaning anyone can be Irish. That you align with certain values that Ireland wants to stand for, values of inclusion, values of cultural vibrancy, and you know, Ireland is welcoming,” said Keeley. Keeley was recently in the news for receiving the 2023 Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad from the Government of Ireland. It is the highest honor the country of Ireland can give to a person who is a non-resident. This will be an exciting event, and if you're looking to speak to Howard Keeley simply click on his icon now or contact Georgia Southern's Director of Communications Jennifer Wise at to arrange an interview today.

Dr. Howard Keeley

March 11, 2024

2 min

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Georgia Southern University launches ‘Together We Soar’ Campaign

Georgia Southern University proudly announces the launch of its comprehensive campaign, “Together We Soar: The Campaign for Georgia Southern University.” This transformative initiative aims to elevate the University’s impact on students, faculty, research, athletics, and the communities it serves. Georgia Southern, renowned for its majestic campuses adorned with southern live oaks and towering pines, symbolizes not just American freedom but also the promise, achievement and boundless potential of its students. The University’s trajectory is on the rise, reaching for greater heights in education and community impact. Central to this momentum is the unwavering support from alumni, friends and the community. Publicly launched last Friday evening, Together We Soar: The Campaign for Georgia Southern University aims to raise $125 million by 2026. More than $86 million has already been secured. Dr. Kyle Marrero, President of Georgia Southern, expressed his gratitude and vision for the University. “Georgia Southern is on the move, in motion, and soaring to new heights. The ‘Together We Soar’ campaign—fueled by the generous support of our alumni, friends, and partners—will ensure our ability to drive innovation, develop talent, transform lives, and propel the economic development of a growing region.” (L-R) Georgia Southern President Kyle Marrero, Vice President for University Advancement Trip Addison, Deputy Athletics Director of Development Davis Hendrickson, Executive Director of Development Julie Gerbsch, Director of Alumni Relations Ava Edwards, and University Campaign Co-chair Leonard Bevill on stage at the Oct. 20 launch event for Together We Soar: The Campaign for Georgia Southern University. The campaign has identified four primary objectives: Empower Student Success: The campaign aims to stimulate learning by recruiting high-achieving students, increasing student access, and promoting inclusive excellence and career readiness. Advance Teaching and Public Impact Research: The focus is on meeting regional economic needs, increasing faculty expertise, and enhancing research capacity. Elevate Athletics: The campaign seeks to attract and retain elite student-athletes, provide top-notch facilities, and boost the Competitive Excellence Fund. Enrich Campuses and Community Vibrancy: The goal is to improve the communities surrounding the campuses and teach about local wildlife, among other initiatives. Campaign co-chairs Mike Sanders and Leonard Bevill shared their excitement for the campaign and what it will mean for Georgia Southern. “I could not be more excited about Georgia Southern and its possibilities. Opportunities abound for our University and the Together We Soar Campaign is the catalyst. It is time to do ‘more with more.’” - Mike Sanders “‘Together We Soar’ is spot on. From across campus to athletics and throughout our community, we’re perfectly aligned and equipped to launch to historic heights. I’m very blessed and excited to be involved.” Leonard Bevill The campaign also highlights the significant economic impact of Georgia Southern, with a regional economic contribution of $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022. The University plays a critical role in the economic growth and transformation of Southeast Georgia. Marrero said Georgia Southern invites all its supporters, alumni and the community to join this transformative journey. With collective support, there’s no limit to how high Georgia Southern can soar. For more information or to contribute to the “Together We Soar” campaign, visit

November 21, 2023

3 min

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Georgia Southern receives $1.5M grant from U.S. Army medical research and development to enhance soldier performance and readiness

The Georgia Southern University Soldier Performance and Readiness (SPAR) program received a $1.5 million, two-year grant from the Department of Defense’s U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC). The grant will expand Georgia’s Southern research and programming capacity in injury prevention techniques that ensure force readiness for the Army. “Through this large-scale research study, Georgia Southern doctoral students have opportunities to be involved in the research process and work directly with soldiers,” said Nancy Henderson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. “Additionally, the grant will fund graduate assistant positions in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.” USAMRDC’s mission is to provide solutions to medical problems for American service members at home and abroad, as well as to the public at large. The scope of this effort and the priorities attached to specific projects are influenced by changes in military and civilian medical science and technology, operational requirements, military threat assessments and national defense strategies. Extramural research and development programs play a vital role in the fulfillment of the objectives established by the organization. Research and development funded through this are intended to benefit both military and civilian medical practices. “The grant investigates different physical training programs to identify those practices that best prevent non-combat injuries,” said Henderson. “Faculty on the research team will seek to advance the body of literature by determining the best educational models to educate soldiers on injury-prevention topics.” This is the first time that Georgia Southern will act as lead investigator on a collaborative research project with an Army research institute. However, SPAR has long been involved in multiple branches of research with community impact. “Georgia Southern has several initiatives underway to help improve the health, fitness and performance of military service members, law enforcement personnel and firefighting and rescue personnel,” said Joseph Kardouni, Ph.D., director of the Tactical Performance Group. “The Tactical Athlete Certificate (TAC) program is one of these initiatives that teaches service members exercise fundamentals to help mitigate training-related injuries. The funding coming through Medical Research and Development Command will improve evidence-based teaching methods and inform similar efforts to teach service members within this field. Leaders from health and human performance programs within the Army understand the importance of leveraging partnerships with academic institutions to work toward improving the quality of life, health and occupational performance of soldiers.” Faculty and students in the DPT program have educated soldiers on injury prevention topics since 2016 and this grant further provides students with the opportunity to assess effectiveness while learning how to improve educational methods with military service members. “This research is an important next step in delivering on the promise of the SPAR program and Georgia Southern’s close working relationship with Army research partners,” said Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development Christopher Curtis, Ph.D. Curtis also noted that funding was made possible by the advocacy of U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter and the strong support of Georgia’s legislative delegation in Washington D.C. Interested in learning more or looking to talk with Nancy Henderson? Simply click on her icon now or Contact Georgia Southern's Director of Communications Jennifer Wise at to arrange an interview today.

Nancy Henderson

November 17, 2023

3 min

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Experts Center

Our experts are available to respond to qualified inquiries from journalists, conference organizers and more. Expert profiles below contain detailed biographical information and media files to help you find the most relevant expert for your needs. Use the search bar to refine your search by name, expertise or affiliation. On Deadline?: If you are a journalist please inform us of deadline requests and we will respond promptly.


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Karelle Aiken

Associate Professor

Professor Aiken specializes in organic chemistry

Synthetic Organic Chemistry Organic Chemistry

Allen C. Amason

Dean of the Parker College of Business

Dr. Amason’s research focuses on strategic decision-making and the role of top management in the strategy process.

Strategic Decision Making Strategic Management

Omid Ardakani

Assistant Professor

Professor Ardakani researches econometrics, financial and monetary economics

Computational Statistics Financial Economics Econometrics Monetary Economics

Asli Aslan

Assistant Professor

Dr. Asli Aslan specializes in Environmental Health Sciences

Watershed Management Wastewater Treatment Global Environmental Health Environmental Molecular Microbiology Environmental Health Sciences

Yoris Au

Chair and Associate Professor

Yoris Au has a unique blend of technical, managerial and academic experiences in industry, consulting and academia

Cyber Security Operating Systems Security Telecommunication Systems Big Data & Analytics Information Systems Economics

Barry Balleck

Professor and Chair, Political Science and International Studies

Barry Balleck's research interests include human rights issues and the rhetoric of international relations.

Model United Nations Political Psychology International Studies American Foreign Policy International Organizations

Lorenza Beati

Curator of the U.S. National Tick Collection, Associate Professor

Lorenza Beati's research focuses on the study of the taxonomy, evolutionary relationships, and population genetics of arthropods.

Hard-Ticks Ecology of the Swiss Alps Systematic Biology Arthropod Diversity Population Genetics of Arthropods

Don Berecz

Center for Forensic Studies in Accounting and Business

Don Berecz has participated in undercover operations, foreign counterintelligence matters, and recruiting for the FBI

Forensic Interviews and Interrogation Forensic Accounting White Collar Crime Criminal Investigations Fraud Examination

Prakash Bhoi

Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Prakash Bhoi is an expert in hydrocarbon, jet fuels, advanced biofuels, and biopower.

Hydrocarbon & Jet Fuels Advanced Biofuels & Biopower

Kwabena Boakye

Assistant Professor

Professor Boakye's research interest includes quality improvement, service innovation, and applied statistics

IT Post-Adoption Quality Management Service Operations

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Last updated: 4/30/2024