Most of Mercer’s students left campus for the summer, so here’s all you need to know about what went down before the fall semester.
The Connell Student Center was closed from July 21-28 in order to remove traces of asbestos from the exterior windows’ glazing compound. Asbestos is a silicate mineral often used in construction.
During this closing, dining and mail services were disrupted. Mail services were handed over to auxiliary services, and the Fresh Food Company served out of the Farmer’s Market location instead of the cafeteria.
“We will be stabilizing it in a few places and painting over it to encapsulate it,” said Associate Vice President of Facilities at Mercer’s Physical Plant, Russell Vallo.
He said the building was closed in an effort to limit exterior traffic and as a general safety precaution.
NEW GRANT FOR THE CENTER FOR COLLABORATIVE JOURNALISM
The Knight Foundation awarded Mercer’s Center for Collaborative Journalism $2 million on July 25 to fund the school, equipment needs and Macon-centric journalistic opportunities.
“With this grant, the Center will establish a community engagement desk that will explore new ways to engage audiences and keep them motivated and interested in the news that really matters to them,” said Tim Regan-Porter, director of the CCJ.
From this funding, the CCJ secured a partnership with local television outlet 13WMAZ, where students will work with professional reporters on community centered stories.
WMAZ is joining the present partners including The Macon Telegraph and Georgia Public Broadcasting.
In addition, several students will be attending the Online News Association conference in Washington D.C. over fall break.
NEW DIRECTOR OF CAREER COUNSELING
Terri Walker will serve as the new director of career counseling at the Medical School of Mercer University, according to Mercer’s recent news article. She was appointed to the position by the dean of the medical school, Dr. Jean R. Summer, in June.
Walker received a master’s from Troy University in public administration. She attended Columbia College and majored in public affairs for her undergraduate degree.
She has worked for Mercer since 2008, and her job as director of career counseling requires her to help both existing and graduated students of Mercer with guidance in employment and higher education.
“Additionally, Walker will serve as a liaison to rural communities and hospitals that have positions available or are actively recruiting graduates,” said Mercer’s news release.
NEW SCIENCE BUILDING
The Spearman C. Godsey Science Center is on track to be finished in December, bringing an end to the construction by the Plunkett parking lot that’s been in progress since May 2016.
The increasing number of students enrolled in Mercer’s STEM programs will be accommodated through the construction of this building, which completes a new science quadrangle that is connected with the School of Medicine, School of Engineering and the Willet Science Center.
According to Mercer’s website, the Spearman C. Godsey Science Center will have 32 faculty-student research labs and 28 teaching labs, in addition to offices and classrooms.
From renovations to grants, Mercer University had an eventful summer.
Editor's note: This story was updated August 26, 2017 to clarify Terri Walker's title.