Lecture Series Features Samudzi

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Advanced Academy at the University of West Georgia will host the annual Julian C. Stanley Distinguished Lecture Series on Friday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Food Services Building (Z-6). The keynote speaker for the event is Dr. Cleo Samudzi, dean of the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing. The event is free and the community is invited to attend.

The Advanced Academy at the University of West Georgia will host the annual Julian C. Stanley Distinguished Lecture Series on Friday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Food Services Building (Z-6). The keynote speaker for the event is Dr. Cleo Samudzi, dean of the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing. The event is free and the community is invited to attend.Samudzi, will present “Life Sciences: A Personal Reflection” and share his experiences as an educator and advocate of gifted programs and as the dean of a residential high school university program similar to West Georgia’s Advanced Academy. Samudzi is the founding director of the Honors Program at Northwest Missouri State University.

“Our keynote speaker, Dr. Samudzi, is an expert in gifted education,” said Dr. Michael Hester, assistant dean of the Honors College at UWG. “Although our programs differ in structure, our missions are very similar in promoting the advancement of gifted students in a collegiate environment.”

Samudzi has worked with the Missouri Department of Higher Education as a senior associate for Academic Affairs and Planning with responsibilities that included academic program evaluation.

He went on to serve as the Commissioner’s Associate for Life Sciences at the department and directed the Improving Teacher Quality Professional Development program.

Before joining the department, Samudzi was a professor at numerous colleges and universities in several states, including time as a professor of biochemistry and chemistry at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He also researched as an associate scientist in molecular pharmacology at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland.

Samudzi holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Dakota Wesleyan University and a master’s and doctorate in biological sciences and x-ray crystallography from the University of Pittsburg.

Samudzi’s presentation will be preceded by the induction of the Academy’s Board of Trustees’ new members, Elaine Davis, philanthropist and wife of the University System of Georgia’s Chancellor Erroll B. Davis, and Yong Suh, Academy alumnus and international financial analyst.

Sandra Dunson will be recognized as the new Advanced Academy Advisory Board Chair replacing Dr. Nancy Robinson.

“We are excited to welcome the new board members, including Yong Suh,” said Hester. “He is an Advanced Academy alumni whose world-renowned success is proof that the Academy is producing the leaders of tomorrow.”

The Advanced Academy is UWG’s residential, early-entrance-to-college program for gifted students. Students in this program may take university level classes for both high school and university credit.

The program is the brainchild of UWG President Beheruz Sethna who had previously worked with early entrance programs in two states and began West Georgia’s own accelerated academic program in 1995.  The Advanced Academy is one of 17 residential gifted high school programs in the country and the only facility in Georgia.

The lecture series is an annual event honoring Dr. Julian Stanley, who was known for his dedicated research on the education of gifted children. Born in East Point in 1918, Stanley graduated from the West Georgia Junior College. He attended Harvard University, where he received his doctorate in education in 1950.

The Julian C. Stanley Memorial Scholarship fund was created in his name to provide financial assistance to students who qualify for the Advanced Academy of Georgia.

Stanley has been instrumental in designing programs for the academically gifted throughout the United States, including the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University, the Duke Talent Identification Program, the Texas Academy of Math and Science and the Advanced Academy.

One of Georgia’s first gifted students, Stanley graduated from West Georgia in 1936 at the age of 18. In 1972, he introduced a talent search to identify, challenge and reward academically gifted youth.

For more information on the Advanced Academy of Georgia, visit www.advancedacademy.org or call 678-839-6249.