Friday, May 1, 2015

New Student Housing Complex

AUGUSTA, GA (PR) – Georgia Regents University broke ground today on two new residence halls through a partnership with the University System of Georgia and Corvias Campus Living.

Laney-Walker Enhancement Project

Georgia Regents University will begin construction on the section of Laney-Walker Boulevard that runs through its Health Sciences Campus on May 11. The project is expected to take six to eight months to complete.

“The project is intended to make the roadway safer for the estimated 8,500 students, staff, and faculty who cross it daily, and it will beautify the streetscape,” said GRU Director of Construction Daniel Merrell.

Beginning May 4, detour signs will be placed at the intersections of 15th Street and R.A. Dent Boulevard where they cross Laney-Walker, and signs will remain at those locations for the duration of the project.

Access will be maintained to the university’s Student Center, Kelly Administration Building, Central Distribution Warehouse, Cancer Center, and other affected locations along this corridor.

“Motorists entering these areas will be directed by signage and flagmen,” Merrell said.

The project involves reducing the number of traffic lanes from four to two and adding raised crosswalks, bike lanes on both sides of the street, and a landscape feature to improve storm water runoff.

Laney-Walker serves as a connector for the academic, research, and clinical operations housed on GRU’s Health Sciences Campus, and is a central thoroughfare for those working and attending classes in the new College of Dental Medicine building and the J. Harold Harrison, MD Education Commons.

Campus Life

“Campus life and residence hall living are vital contributors to a successful educational experience. This new housing complex, the result of a unique public-private partnership between the University System of Georgia and Corvias Campus Living, ushers in an exciting new era of residence life at GRU. When completed, in addition to providing quality, safe, and affordable housing for our students, it will provide expanded opportunities for enriching campus engagement and will elevate the student experience at GRU to an entirely new level,” said GRU President Ricardo Azziz.

As part of the project, existing facilities with a combined 220 beds will be replaced with a 97,000-square-foot undergraduate residence hall with 413 beds, and a 172,000-square-foot graduate residence hall with 310 beds. The undergraduate residence will consist of two-bedroom suites, while the graduate residence will consist of studio and one-bedroom apartments.

GRU is one of nine institutions in the University System benefitting from the $548-million agreement with Corvias Campus Living. The Public-Private Partnership designates Corvias as the developer of 3,733 new beds and the manager of 6,195 existing beds of on-campus housing with the University System for the next 65 years. The partnership is the first time a state higher education system has privatized residence hall living.

“The University System is always looking for ways to keep student housing costs down and affordable to students,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Real Estate and Facilities Susan Ridley. “This innovative approach does just that while providing state-of-the-art student spaces.”

“Today we break ground on the new student housing that will accommodate and transform Georgia Regents University. This project will help shape a sense of community with on-campus residencies. We’re very excited to help implement that transformation here in Augusta,” said Corvias Campus Living Portfolio Director Jimmy Scott.

Demolition of existing facilities will begin in May, with residence halls scheduled to open in fall 2016.

5 Student Loan Tips for Graduates

Whether you are just entering college or graduating, the thought of paying back student loans can be daunting. But don’t panic; Paula Stribling, Interim Director of Georgia Regents University’s Office of Student Financial Aid, offers the following tips to help students  Navigate the world of student loans.

1. Evaluate your loan options. Federal and private education loans are options for financing your education, but consider using federal assistance before choosing a private education loan. Federal loans offer numerous repayment plans, affordable interest rates, and loan forgiveness programs. Whereas, private loan programs may offer fixed interest rates and may have limited deferment or loan forgiveness options.

2. Borrow only what you need. Most universities will offer you an estimated cost of how much you should borrow, but you do not have to accept the full amount. Set a budget and stick to it. Do your best to live frugally, and try not to borrow to support expensive habits.

 3. Keep tabs on your borrowing. It is important to keep track of the balance and repayment status of each of your student loans. One of the best tools to monitor your loan activity is the National Student Loan Database System at You can use this site to view the balance and the repayment status on your federal student loans. If you have a private student loan, be sure to monitor your billing statements, or contact the school if you are unable to locate your loan records.

  4. Know your repayment options. If you want to pay off more than one student loan, start with the one with the highest interest rate.  If you find it difficult to make standard payments on your loan, consider other options such as income-driven repayment plans. These programs can help cap your monthly payments reasonable to your income and, depending on the plan, debt can be forgiven after 25 years. You can also keep tabs on your repayments by using the repayment estimator tool on  

 5. Search for alternative funding. Although student loans are available to offset your college expenses, continue searching for scholarships and check to see if your employer offers tuition assistance programs.

National Nurse Week

Nursing student diversity is on the rise, says Dr. Faye Hargrove, chair of the College of Nursing Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee at Georgia Regents University.

A diverse nursing workforce is key to providing culturally sensitive patient care. It’s why the GRU College of Nursing Dean Lucy Marion and Multicultural Affairs Coordinator Melissa Johnson-Bates recruited a dedicated committee to advise college leadership on how to best attract and retain students, faculty, and staff from under-represented groups in nursing. Hargrove, Chief Development Officer at the Family YMCA of Greater Augusta, brings expert leadership to the team.

Since its inception in February 2014, the college’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee has reviewed a five-year diversity and inclusion plan, participated in and promoted training, analyzed student and employee demographic data, and made recommendations for recruitment, programming, and processes. This year, one of their most significant contributions has been to propose guidelines for a nursing curriculum that includes cultural competency development for all new nursing students.

“Our diverse community deserves the best caregivers we can provide, ” Hargrove said. “Real information about diversity and inclusion isn’t always intuitive. You have to educate yourself and make the effort, which is what the College of Nursing is doing. We’re looking at everything. It’s not just race and ethnicity. It’s age and gender and religion and lifestyle and so many other things that make the difference in providing quality patient care.”

From May 6-12, GRU and GRHealth will celebrate nurses as part of National Nurses Week. Events include a gala for nurses, and free webinars sponsored by the American Nurses Association and National Black Nurses Association. April is also Diversity Awareness Month at GRU. The month, designated by the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, encourages the exploration of cultures and differing perspectives.

Hargrove, a personal development coach and team trainer for corporations and clients across the United States, is a published author and civic leader active in various organizations. She is a founding member of Women in Philanthropy of the Central Savannah River Area and also serves on the Boards of Directors for the Community Foundation of the CSRA, the First Tee of Augusta, and the United Way of the CSRA.

Hargrove is an alumna of the University of Georgia. She has previously served as CEO of Hargrove Leadership Services, as a faculty member in the School of Business at Georgia College and State University, as the Head of the School of Business Administration and Economics at the University of South Carolina Aiken, and as Vice President for Student Development at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C. 

She periodically teaches non-profit management and strategic planning for non-profit organizations in the Masters in Public Administration program at GRU. 

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