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Dr. Roscoe Williams speaks during the ceremony to name the JSAC ballroom in his honor. Williams was the first African American hired at Augusta College in a professional capacity. [Michael Holahan/Augusta University]

What’s happening at Augusta University? Week of Jan. 10-16

This week at Augusta University, the Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence honors care partners, evidence is found that could protect aging bones and Dr. Roscoe Williams will help honor Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK celebration will feature Augusta University pioneer

Dr. Roscoe Williams will be the keynote speaker for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. tri-college birthday celebration at noon Friday, Jan. 14 in the Maxwell Theatre. Augusta University, Augusta Technical College and Paine College have partnered to host the celebration. Williams was the first African American faculty or staff to be hired at Augusta College in 1970 and retired as the dean of students after 27 years.

“Dr. Roscoe Williams is a living legend within our community. His trailblazing journey is so relevant to what Dr. King stood for and we’re truly blessed to feature him as our keynote for this year’s celebration,” said Dr. Garrett Green, director of Multicultural Student Engagement.

Healthy bones at center of new MCG study

While many drugs we take can weaken our bones, as well as aging, scientists at the Medical College of Georgia have found a new target to help protect them. Dr. Meghan E. McGee-Lawrence, a biomedical engineer in the Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy said they are finding that in aging bone, the mineralocorticoid receptor, better known for its role in blood pressure regulation, is a key factor in bone health. Drugs that block the receptor, like hypertension medications, may help protect bone cells.

“We want to know what would cause bone cells to change which receptors they are expressing and how they are responding to these. But there are a lot of things that happen with aging. We know inflammation changes with aging, so there are a lot of different cues that could cause these things to change,” said McGee-Lawrence.

Care partners recognized for helping those with Parkinson’s disease

The Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University has recognized three care partners for their extraordinary acts of sacrifice and commitment. Joyce Stump, Brenda Boozer, and Kelly Spain have been honored by the COE.

“You don’t give up your life because of the Parkinson’s. As each change developed, your thought process has to go along with the changes,” said Stump. The MCG COE has all the resources needed to help patients and their care partner navigate Parkinson’s disease.

Interview opportunities are available for these story ideas. Call 706-522-3023 to schedule an interview. Check out the Augusta University Expert Center to view our list of experts who can help with story ideas.

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Written by
Kevin Faigle

Kevin Faigle is Media Relations Specialist at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at

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Written by Kevin Faigle

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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