University staff development awards, Johnston, Hayaska

Hayasaka, Johnston (J.D. ’08) Receive Staff Development Awards

Cassie Hayasaka, administrative specialist, and Karen Marie Johnston (J.D. ’08), assistant director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth, are among the first recipients of a Georgia State University Staff Training and Development Fund award.  The Staff Training and Development Committee awarded each with funds to support their professional development aspirations and help Georgia State achieve its strategic goals.

Hayasaka is using her $2,500 grant to attend workshops about departmental research administration at the National Council of University Research Administrators annual meeting in Washington, D.C. She also will purchase resources to support compliance and award management research at Georgia State Law.

“Unlike central offices where individuals generally specialize in one area of research administration, the departmental administrator must have an informed knowledge of both pre- and post-award functions,” Hayasaka says. “We are uniquely situated within the context of the sponsored project and are intimately involved at the transactional level with all facets of the administration process.”

Hayasaka will apply what she learns at the workshops and use the additional purchased resources to help further develop skilled administrators throughout Georgia State Law to serve as “in house” resources to faculty seeking to obtain sponsored funding.

Johnston’s award of $1,600 helped cover part of her expenses to participate in the Study Space VII Program, Beyond Affordable Housing: An Interdisciplinary Multinational Approach to Adequate Housing Options, in Barcelona, Spain, on May 5-9. Study Space is an intensive workshop that brings together scholars, government representatives and private sector professionals to develop solutions to legal, social and policy challenges in urban areas.

This year’s program focused on affordable housing and homelessness. Barcelona served as a case study because nearly 25 percent of the population is out of work, evictions are at an all-time high and the number of homeless people has increased by 32 percent since the 2007.

As a participant, Johnston explored barriers to affordable housing, such as zoning and land use laws, protection from forced eviction, housing discrimination, redevelopment of low-profitability spaces and homelessness.

“The knowledge gained from the program will be applicable to tackling these urban challenges in any metropolitan city around the world,” Johnston says. “At the end of the workshop, participants will write a research article for the Journal of Land Use Law and the Environment (Revista de Derecho urbanístico y medio ambiente).”

Johnston feels that her involvement with the program will help Georgia State Law further cultivate relationships that can translate into study abroad programs for students, future study space programs, and visiting lecturers for the interdisciplinary comparative course, International Perspectives on Urban Law and Policy.

“We also will be able to leverage our contacts to help recruit students for our future LLM program and develop partnerships for comparative research projects,” Johnston says.

Read the Saporta Report Thought Leaders blog that Johnston contributed to about the trip.

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