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Class Notes: UNG selects chief research officer
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The University of North Georgia has a new head of research and engagement.

Dr. Andy Novobilski was hired as associate provost for research and engagement and chief research officer, effective last Thursday.

Patricia Donat, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said Novobilski will work to enhance the quality of research and academic engagement.

“UNG, as an engaged university, seeks to better the lives of both the students that attend and the communities it resides in,” Novobilski said. “As a first-generation college graduate, I know firsthand the tremendous impact an institution such as UNG can have on the future success of its students, and I want to be of service to that mission. Serving as UNG’s associate provost for research and engagement will allow me to contribute to the manner in which our students, staff, and faculty engage, support, and learn with the community at-large.”

Novobilski will be based on the university’s Gainesville campus. His initial priority will be to seek input from faculty, staff and students.

President Bonita Jacobs designated this year as “The Year of Engagement,” a mission Novobilski will help serve.

Parents have another week to complete survey

Parents with children in Georgia public schools are asked to give input back to the state on their child’s education.

The Georgia Department of Education is asking parents to complete the “Georgia Parent Survey,” an online questionnaire regarding the educational climate of their child’s school.

Climate in this case refers to a school’s quality, character, values, relationships and interactions, and, according to the department, it has a direct effect on a student’s ability to learn and develop healthily.

Data from the survey will be used to calculate the “School Climate Star Rating” on the College and Career Ready Performance Index. The star rating will also include results from the Georgia Student Health Survey II and the Georgia School Personnel Survey.

The survey has 20 questions, and responses are anonymous. Parents have until Jan. 31 and can find the survey at

Gainesville Middle School students take virtual field trip

Sixth-graders at Gainesville Middle School took a field trip to Arizona without having to leave the classroom.

The sixth-grade team led by Stacy MacLeish participated in a virtual field trip to a copper mine in Arizona. Students were able to interact with and ask questions to representatives from the mine.

The exercise met a sixth-grade science standard requiring students to investigate the Earth’s surface formation, according to a release. Students also wrote essays that will be sent to the mine and to an environmental agency of their choice.

“This experience is a wonderful example of how our teachers are using technology to reach outside their classroom walls, providing real-world examples of how standards are relevant, and helping students make connections between content areas,” the release read.

Kristen Oliver covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:


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