AMERICUS (Jan. 30, 2013)—With the beginning of a new year brings new resolution, a new semester and a brand new building. Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) is pleased to announce that the Rosalynn Carter Health and Human Sciences Complex’s second phase (Carter II) is now finished providing a 35,000 square foot home to the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI), the Psychology and Sociology (Psych/Soc.) Department and lab space for nursing science courses. The move is now complete.With funding from the state approved in Fiscal Year 2011, the state-of-the-art complex is a welcome addition to campus. The former residence of the Psych/Soc. Department is a modular building that was constructed in 1968 for the School of Education. When they moved to the Education Center in 1990, the modular building or “MOD” was expected to be a temporary home for Psych/Soc. The faculty and staff in this department welcome this move.
“The relocation of the Department of Psychology and Sociology is significant because it will make our day to day operations more efficient,” said Charles Huffman, Ph.D., department chair. “Students will have greater opportunities to work on research projects with faculty; we will have access to an adequate computer lab to teach our statistics courses; and classes will be held in larger classrooms which enhances the learning environment for students and faculty.”
The Psych/Soc. Department is the largest in GSW’s College of Arts and Sciences with 170 psychology majors and 40 sociology majors. Students have been looking forward to more space, better equipment and an overall improved study environment.
“When I started here at GSW, my first thought when I saw the Psychology/Sociology Building was that GSW didn’t take this program very seriously,” said psychology major Carrie Smith. “This new building shows me that GSW does consider our department one of merit.”
“The new space in Phase II is much needed and opens the door for significant growth in the programs housed there,” said President Kendall Blanchard. “The new Complex has become a reality after years of planning and lobbying for state funding. I am grateful to the many people who worked hard to make that funding possible, but am especially grateful to Representative Mike Cheokas and former Senator George Hooks who is now a member of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.”
Having been named in honor of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the Health and Human Sciences Complex will also be home to the RCI.
Through research, education and training, the RCI promotes the mental health and well being of individuals, families and professional caregivers; encourages effective caregiving practices; builds public awareness of caregiving needs; and advances public and social policies that enhance caring communities.
“The growth of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving over the past three years has resulted in a critical need for increased office and classroom space,” said Leisa Easom, Ph.D., RCI executive director. “Our new training classroom will enable us to host training sessions, and our new resource library, which houses books and other printed information on caregiving, will be open and available for individuals navigating their caregiving journey.”
Kerri Post, daughter of RCI board member Betty Pope, generously donated her time and librarian knowledge and skills to catalogue the books for the new Rosalynn Carter Resource Library.
A tribute display to Carter and her work in the mental health arena was completed in December and is located in the atrium of the nursing building. A statue of Carter is currently under construction and will be placed in the front of the Complex.
Once the move is complete, SOWEGA CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) will take over the RCI’s present location on the corner of Wheatley Street and Simmons Street.
In all, this two-phase project cost an estimated $15 million and is located adjacent to GSW’s Education Center and the Wheatley Administration Building on Glessner Street. Phase one constructed a 46,000 square foot, classroom and clinical space for the School of Nursing and Health Center. A ribbon cutting ceremony for Carter II is scheduled for May 2013.