Clayton State University has signed an agreement for faculty and student exchanges and joint research with Georgian American University in Tbilisi, capital of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
Atlantan Kenneth Cutshaw co-founded Georgian American five years ago with a Georgian graduate student at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Helen Jamarjashvili.
“We’re very pleased to have a relationship with an established university such as Clayton State,” Mr. Cutshaw told GlobalAtlanta.
Mr. Cutshaw, who holds the title of vice president of Georgian American, is also India’s honorary consul in Atlanta and vice president and general counsel of Atlanta-based Church’s Chicken. He travels to Tbilisi at least twice annually for his university work.
Georgian American, a private university with an enrollment of about 800, tries to provide its students a global educational experience, with classes taught in English, said Mr. Cutshaw. It graduated its first class of students in 2009 with degrees in business and law.
Georgian American has relationships with universities throughout the world, in countries such as Australia, Germany, France and Great Britain, Mr. Cutshaw said. “We’ve been very pleased with what this brings to the student experience,” he added.
The agreement with Clayton State is the latest in a growing number of connections between Atlanta and the nation of Georgia, which gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Tbilisi has been a sister city of Atlanta since 1998. Georgia State and Emory University have academic programs with universities in Georgia. In 1998, Bijan Fazlollahi, professor of international business at Georgia State’s Robinson College of Business, helped start the Caucasus School of Business in Tbilisi. Georgian First Lady Sandra Saakashvili, who visited Atlanta in September, taught French at the Caucasus school from 2003 to 2007. The University of Georgia has worked in the nation of Georgia for 12 years, helping establish the Georgian Institute for Public Affairs.
Last summer, the nation of Georgia named Atlanta attorney John Hall its honorary consul for the Southeast U.S.
One of Atlanta’s best-known Georgians is Zaza Pachulia, a center for the Atlanta Hawks, who last summer purchased Eno restaurant in Midtown, which he renamed Eno by Zaza.
Georgia has a population of about 4.6 million and a gross domestic product, the value of all its goods and services, of about $21.6 billion, which ranks it 117th in the world, just below Albania and above Gabon, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Clayton State is located in Morrow about 15 miles south of Atlanta and has an enrollment of about 6,000.
Last month, John Parkerson, director of international programs at Clayton State, along with faculty members Susan Rashid Horn of the English department and Augustine Ayuk of the political science department, traveled to India to visit Birla College and Chandibai Himathmal Mansukhani College, both part of the University of Mumbai system.
Clayton State has partnerships with both colleges and is trying to expand the relationships, Mr. Parkerson told GlobalAtlanta.
“Clayton State has one of the fastest-growing international education programs in the University System of Georgia,” Mr. Parkerson said.
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