Faculty

The College of Arts and Sciences has more than 600 regular faculty members. This section provides information about faculty policies, organizations, news, upcoming events and deadlines, and more.

  • Maria Mackas Program:  PhD in Literary Studies, Department of English Previous Education: BA in Journalism, University of Georgia (1977) and MA in Literary Studies, Georgia State University(2017) Research/Professional Interest:  The immigrant experience in literature What inspired you to attend Georgia State? For many years, I have wanted to be a teacher. I started working with young people at my church in the late 1990s, and realized it was my passion. I helped lead a trip to El Salvador to build a school, and to the Yakima Indian Nation in Washington State to rehab homes. Working side by side with young people changed me profoundly. My grandmother was a teacher who touched many lives – including mine – and I want to follow in her footsteps. This, coupled with my life-long love of literature, led to my decision to earn a Master’s, and now a PhD. I knew Georgia State catered to non-traditional students, and that it was the place for me because I work full-time, and I’m older. GSU has been the perfect choice – I cannot imagine a more supportive, encouraging environment. How has studying abroad impacted your personal, professional, and/or academic goals? Thanks to study abroad (I’ll be going on my fourth trip during spring break in March 2019), I’ve been able to earn credits in flexible, accommodating ways. But it’s much more than that: I’ve formed connections with people who love the same things I love: reading, writing, and learning. You really get to know people when you’re with them 24/7. Honestly, I thought I would feel weird because I’m old. But I’ve not just been accepted, I’ve been embraced. The brilliant young people I’ve gotten to know are not just my classmates, they’re my friends. We share dinners, lunches – we text and talk. They have made me truly believe age doesn’t matter. Also, learning from our guides in other countries has helped me learn so much about our country; for example, last year, in Scotland, the overwhelming national pride and solidarity made me painfully aware of the destructive divisiveness in today’s America. Also, I’ve become fascinated and drawn to immigrant populations, and am researching the immigrant experience in literature as I work toward my dissertation. What are some of the benefits of going to school after gaining experience in the work force? So many! I am not afraid to ask stupid questions in class. As an undergraduate, I didn’t want to sound dumb, but now I don’t care. My main objective is to learn, and I’m not concerned about what my classmates or my professors think of me. Also, having run my corporate communications business for more than 30 years, I’m accustomed to managing my time, juggling many tasks, meeting deadlines, and burning the midnight oil. Mainly though, I appreciate school so much more now. I’m not just trying to get by – I’m savoring every class. What are some of the challenges? As the main breadwinner in our family, going to school while continuing to run my business has been tough. I pretty much have had to work seven days a week, with lots of late nights and early mornings, since I started grad school in Fall 2014. My career has been successful by any measure, but I want more: I want to give back, through teaching. That’s what keeps me going. Can you speak a little about your MA thesis and the paper that evolved into your thesis? I have always loved Willa Cather’s work and was excited to re-read My Ántonia in Dr. Audrey Goodman’s Fall 2015 Modern American Fiction class. A paper I wrote in that class – about the tenebraic qualities of Cather’s writing, and art’s profound influence on her work – evolved into my thesis. I was awarded the 2016 Louis Owens Award by the Western Literature Association for that paper.
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  • Kallol Kumar Bhattacharyya Program: Master’s Program in Gerontology  Previous Education: Medical Graduate (Family Physician) from Kolkata, India How did you become interested in Gerontology? In my professional practice, the majority of my patients were older adults suffering from chronic diseases, and a large number had dementia. They were mostly neglected and helpless. As a clinician, I was serving the poor in India with dedication, but coming towards the midpoint of my career, I realized that as just a clinician I can’t make major changes in society. I want to have the education needed to reach beyond medical model treatments and give older adults a complete management that maximizes their life while living with dementia. This is why I took the chance to come to the United States and in many ways, have just begun to learn the subject gerontology. What do you hope to do with your degree? I’m particularly focused on person-centered care and taking a leadership role in the management of dementia, for both the care receiver and the care partner. I’m also interested in some alternative therapeutic interventions on Alzheimer’s and related dementias with cross-cultural experiences. What made you decide to attend Georgia State University? I selected Georgia State because I’ve been influenced by the way this state is undergoing a revolutionary progress in the management of aging and dementia. In selecting Georgia State University, I’ve been influenced by the way their research programs are addressed. Also, the availability of public transport, the comfortable weather, and pre-admission encouragement from Georgia State people influenced me a lot in my decision making. How has being an international student impacted your educational journey? Being a doctor, I always wanted to create a new pathway to help older adults and people living with dementia. Therefore, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in gerontology at Georgia State University. This step was a huge gamble for me, as I’m a family man and I did not have that much in savings to support us during this educational program. But, I have a strong desire to experience graduate school in the United States, and a motivation towards professional responsibility for older adults, so I took that risk. What challenges have you faced adapting to a new culture and environment? I’m a medical doctor practicing for nearly two decades in India, so this was initially a big problem to adjust to the transition from a physician’s life to a student’s life. Georgia State’s multicultural environment helped me a lot in this transition. But still today, the U.S. medical system is a complex structure for me. What does your family like about Atlanta? My son is very much enjoying his elementary school here, and we are enjoying MARTA and the comfortable weather of Atlanta. There are plenty of places for a short weekend tour also. What class have you enjoyed most? Why? The class I’ve enjoyed most so far was the seminar in gerontology. On one hand, I got an overview of the subject through this class, and on the other hand, the way our instructor Professor Burgess (Director, Gerontology Institute) guided us in the class was totally a new experience for me. It was an involving class in both ways, as I’ve shared many thoughts from Indian culture and tradition (and realized Indian traditional culture is still under-represented to the Western world in many issues). What is your advice to other international students considering Georgia State? In my opinion, there are many more options to start, adjust, and lead a comfortable life in Atlanta (the students coming with family also), and the Georgia State multicultural environment (including staff, students and professors) make it easier to feel that we’re not very far from our home.
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Faculty Information Reporting: Each year in the late fall, Arts and Sciences faculty submit an updated CV and a summary of their research, teaching and service for the last year.
Faculty Awards: Arts and Sciences has four annual faculty awards for senior faculty, junior faculty, teaching, and faculty diversity.
Faculty Review Services: These policies govern promotion, tenure and review policies and processes for tenure-track and non-tenure-eligible faculty.
Research Support Services: The college supports research through pre- and post-award services and access to internal and external funding opportunities.
[College Committees: Faculty members serve on a wide range of college committees on topics like the curriculum and bylaws.
[University Research Administration Services: The university provides central research services.