Four employees receive GSU Staff Scholarships for education

President Becker recognizes efforts to pursue degrees

Four Georgia State University staff members got a financial boost this month for their personal pursuit of further education when GSU’s Staff Council awarded them scholarships.

Funded through the GSU Foundation, the GSU Staff Scholarships will help these employees pay for fees, books and other expenses related to their degree programs. The scholarship augments the Tuition Assistance Program, which allows full time University System employees the chance to study and earn a college degree for undergraduate and graduate level programs.

President Mark Becker congratulated the four winners – marketing and public relations manager Kara Cooper, business manager Grace Dorsey, senior administrative coordinator and payroll specialist LaTanya Frierson and administrative specialist Lisa Shepard – at this month’s Staff Council meeting. He presented each recipient with a certificate recognizing their investment in their own education and GSU’s investment in them.

“Although it is often difficult to manage work, school and family, I understand that my sacrifice is well worth the reward,” said Frierson, who is pursuing an associate’s degree with her sights set on a masters.

“I hope to continue on to receive my Ph.D. so that I can continue my research in HIV/AIDS to better the minority population,” said Dorsey, who is pursuing a master’s in public health. One of her research projects focused on helping adolescents through the collaboration of doctors, health departments, treatment centers and educators.

Staff Council works to facilitate communication of staff issues among all sectors of the university, and advises the university president and other campus administrators on other matters that have a major effect on staff. Staff Council plays an important role in shaping the policies and procedures of the university as they relate to staff.

Staff scholarships are given twice a year based on the availability of resources. They range in amount up to $400. The GSU Employee Scholarship fund is supported by donations made to the GSU Foundation by staff, faculty, students and other donors. Donations can be made online by directing your donation to #02965 GSU Employee Scholarships.

Here is a closer look at the recipients and their educational goals:

Kara Keene Cooper
Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Rialto Center for the Arts

My goal is to play a key role in the strategic planning and community economic development efforts to address the issues that we are currently facing as a city and region. I would like to dedicate myself to working with others to bring the region together to find creative solutions today for tomorrow’s problems. The masters of public policy degree in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies is allowing me to learn the tactics, gain the historical knowledge and receive the tools I need to effect real change in our region.

Grace Dorsey
Business Manager I, Alumni Association

My main area of interest within public health is in the prevention sciences as it pertains to HIV/AIDS and the minority population. My desire is to help reduce and eventually eliminate the public health disparities that exist, thereby creating a healthier population for the future. I believe that a master’s in public health at GSU will help provide me with the knowledge and resources that I need to be successful and advance my career to the next level.

LaTanya “Tanya” Frierson
Senior Administrative Coordinator/Payroll Specialist, Payroll Benefits and HRIS

After attaining my associate of science degree in education from Georgia Perimeter College, I anticipate continuing my studies at GSU’s College of Education bachelor of arts in middle grade education. My goal is to teach middle school language arts and social studies in the Atlanta area. My plan is to teach and then move into school administration after completion of my master’s degree. As a parent of two young girls, I value education and instill in them the same value. That is why I want to be an educator. I have always been positively impacted by teachers in my life from elementary to high school. I intend to have the same impact on the students I teach.

Lisa Shepard
Academic Administrative Specialist, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Public Management and Policy Department

I have been at GSU since 2001 and always knew that I wanted to pursue my master’s degree. In the four years I have been in my position, my duties have evolved so I am now more involved in assisting students. This includes helping with registration and scheduling issues, hiring graduate research assistants and planning student-focused departmental events. The information that I am learning in my graduate program toward a master’s degree in higher education administration is helping me with the knowledge and skills that I will need to be successful as I progress in my career. My goal is to move into a university-level administrator position and ultimately to work for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

—By Michelle Hiskey; Contact Kim Cretors, (404) 413-3424