Kaitlin Fruechting

Kaitlin Fruechting

194 Telephone St, Thomson, GA 30824



Published Stories

Augusta University pops up at the

Parkinson’s Walk

About 50 members of the Augusta University community helped make up the estimated 400 walkers that answered the call for movement by participating in the CSRA Parkinson’s Support Group’s 17th Annual People of Parkinson's Walk.

The People of Parkinson's Walk, or the POP Walk, took place on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the First Baptist Church of Augusta.

The university entered four teams, which included physical therapy students, faculty from the Department of Physical Therapy, and staff from the Movement Disorders Program at Augusta University.

“In our training, we learn the importance of movement especially for Parkinson’s patients,” said Katie Magoni, a second-year student of physical therapy. “We all wanted to show our support!”

The walkers included family members, friends, healthcare providers, and Parkinson's patients. While the course was two miles, the ultimate goal was to help every Parkinson’s patient complete at least one lap equaling a quarter mile.

The donations pledged and collected at the event brought in more than $39,000. The sponsors of the POP Walk are still calculating donations.

“The purpose of the walk was to provide grant money for ongoing research, to provide literature, resources and support to the public, and to establish new exercise programs suitable for Parkinson’s patients,” said Mary Ann Navarro, board member of the CSRA Parkinson’s Support Group.

The local support group recognized Drs. Mohan Wakade, Raymond Chong and John Morgan before the POP Walk. Chong and Wakade are professors and researchers within the Department of Physical Therapy. Morgan treats patients alongside a team of physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists in the Movement Disorder Program at AU.

Joe Kelley, vice president of the Parkinson’s Support Group, awarded the three doctors a grant totaling $13,000 to continue their research on Parkinson’s disease. The awarded grant money was provided by the local support group.

To help promote the importance of movement among people living with Parkinson’s disease, demonstrations in various low impact activities were held before the walk. Rick Pukis, instructor of tai chi and assistant professor in communication at AU, lead a demonstration in tai chi.

“Tai chi is an excellent, low impact exercise for individuals who have Parkinson’s and other movement disorders,” said Pukis. “Tai Chi keeps the energy flowing.”

Some walkers participated in the exercises, but others took advantage of the available information provided by Augusta University’s Movement Disorders Program. The university’s information booth provided the public with literature on the disorder, an explanation of the current treatment and ongoing research at AU and the available support programs.

Dr. John Morgan, a neurologist and member of Augusta University’s Movement Disorders Program, spoke with participants and welcomed questions regarding concerns.

“Events such as this unite us all,” Morgan said. “It is a day of positivity as everyone can feel the support of family, friends, doctors, and researchers.”

Augusta University dances the night away

Dancing is fun and can bring joy to everyone. However, for a cause it is so much more. Jaguar Miracle and the Augusta University chapter of Alpha Delta Pi brought the Miracle Children of Augusta University into the spotlight at the Miracle Network Dance Marathon on Oct. 28 in the JSAC Ballroom.

Kids, parents, and students alike danced six hours to raise money for the children’s hospital in Augusta. At the top of each hour, the music and dancing stopped, every took a knee, and a miracle child was introduced.

Sophomore student Will McCoy introduced the first child of the evening event. The cause is near and dear to McCoy’s heart as he too is a miracle child having survived Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

“The most important thing is to help kids realize it is going to get better,” said McCoy.

Reese, 6, took the stage and melted the hearts of the crowd. Everyone could see his happy nature on stage and later as he put his singing skills to the test to serenade the crowd.

His mother Ashley Smith spoke not only of his hospitalizations but also of how he remained happy and social. Reese has overcome six birth defects, has received a kidney transplant and has had over 50 surgeries.

“Hang in there,” is the advice that Smith would give to any parent whose child is sick.

With each hour, children were introduced creating awareness and showing the determination the kids have. The Miracle Children included Reese, Avery, Isabella, Lyrik and Abby. Throughout the six-hour event over $16,000 was raised proving that the first annual Miracle Network Dance Marathon was a success.

While dancing is fun, the cause matter and makes the difference.

“I just love that you are dancing and having fun for those that cannot always get up and dance for themselves,” said Katy Hodges, an event volunteer.

CIA director says “cybersecurity is critical" at Cyber Georgia 2016

The digital age creates a world of opportunity, innovation, and progress. However, risks are inevitable and accompany these rewards. The risks within the digital age are centered around cybersecurity.

Augusta has become a center for cyber following the opening of Cyber Institute at Augusta University, the Army’s Cyber Academy at Ft. Gordon and the overall growth of NSA Georgia.

CIA Director John Brennan recognized the progress Augusta is making and the direction in which the city is heading concerning cybersecurity. Director Brennan spoke at 3rd Annual Cyber Georgia event on Oct. 13 at the Harrison Education Commons Building on Augusta University's Health Science campus.

“Cyber Security is aptly described as our nation’s new and uncharted frontier,” said Brennen.

In order to reach and cross the new frontier, a stronger cooperation of information sharing must exist to educate and protect against cyber threats. With a more open system of information sharing within industry, academia and government, not only can potential threats be recognized but also gaps within security can be filled.

“Cyber security affects us all,” said Brennan. “It is really something that we all need to work on together.”

Cyber security affects everyone from the individual level to the private sector and within the government itself. Each level must take the initiative to educate and protect themselves from potential threats. Entities threatening cyber security from the outside or even within our own systems include nation states, hacktivists, and script kiddies.

“Terrorism is not going anywhere,” said Brennan. “Everyone must understand the constant risks.”

In addition, to delivering the first keynote address, CIA Director Brennan sat with Senator Saxby Chambliss for a fireside chat concerning cybersecurity. Each reinforced his own stance and answered questions from the audience. While the director is not a fan of the television show “Homeland” he expressed his passion for his job and his desire to continue.

Director Brennan warned against American’s willingness to share personal and financial information. He described how people are generally willing to give up such information but still are reluctant to government oversight and protection.

While he is not a fan of “Homeland” he may be a Rolling Stones fan. In order to protect ourselves we must give up some freedoms. So he may agree with Mick Jagger in that “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need.”

As it becomes ever clearer that cybersecurity is critical, should Americans be open to possible governmental oversight to protect from inevitable and constant risks?


Iron Man 70.3 Augusta 2016

An estimated 3000 people participated in the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta on September 26, 2016. The race included a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run. For the first time in eight years, the event had met non-wetsuit conditions with weather at 70 degrees. Participants at the event were from 47 states and 47 countries.

Jaguar Basketball

Senior basketball player Keshun Sherrill made the 2000th point of his career on Wednesday, Jan. 18, in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) game against the Saints of Flagler College. Sherrill scored 20 of the 89 points in the home game at the Christenberry Fieldhouse. The Augusta University men’s basketball team came out on top with a final score of 84-49.


Arts in the Heart 2016

The 36th Annual Arts in the Heart Festival hosted an estimated 80,000 people in Augusta, Ga., on Sept. 16-18. People gathered together in celebration of art, food and culture.

Military Demonstration

Paratroopers performed a demonstration as part of the opening ceremony for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta on September 26, 2016.

First Annual Miss Augusta University Pagent



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