Fall 11 - UGAGS Magazine
The Fall 11 edition of The University of Georgia Graduate School Magazine features Carolyn Humphrey, Praveen Kolar, Meghan Goyer, Michael Burriss, Philip Juras, and Leadership Programs at UGA.
Graduate School m a g a z i n e The University of Georgia Fall 2011 nanCy eveLyn Fa l l 2 011 Co n t e n ts 1 Letter from the Dean 2 Carolyn Humphrey 8 Praveen Kolar 16 Meghan Goyer 22 Michael Burriss 30 Philip Juras 37 Leadership Programs 38 List of Donors �2011 by the University of Georgia. no part of this publication may be reproduced in any way without the written permission of the editor. m e s s a g e f ro m Dean Maureen Grasso In 1957, sputnik was the catalyst that launched us into the "race for space"--the new frontier. today, the global economy is the catalyst--only this time we are racing to conquer a new frontier, the galaxy of innovation. our boundaries in graduate education at the University of Georgia are everexpanding. We endeavor to out-educate and out-innovate competing institutions through strategic education and research. We know this: in order to solve "wickedly" complex global problems we face, our focus must be innovative and interdisciplinary. Within seven years, the labor market will shift. By 2018, the Bureau of Labor statistics says more jobs will require people with advanced degrees. the competitiveness of future generations (our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren) depends upon innovation: those with the knowledge, creativity, and critical thinking skills to tackle "wickedly" advanced problems. the path to innovation is brilliantly varied. In the case of Praveen Kolar, his work with a UGa mentor has led to a stunning innovation with bio-wastes. In addition, Praveen addresses the critical issue of food harvesting and production. Praveen hits the treadmill for mental renewal. another scholar, Meghan Goyer, finds that a trapeze workout liberates her thinking. artist and landscape architect Philip Juras literally plays with fire--ashes litter his canvas during controlled burns. each of them shares a common interest in interdisciplinary research. these stories only begin to explore transformative discoveries being made by our students and alumni and none were via traditional pathways--these are explorers of a new frontier. Please join me in pulling the envelope out and making a gift to support our graduate students. you can make a difference for students whose innovative work is improving the quality of our lives. say "yes" to the importance of graduate education. say "yes" to the University of Georgia. say "yes" to our graduate students. Maureen Grasso Dean 2 www.grad.uga.edu Carolyn Humphrey on Helping uGa leaders emerge, One Difference at a Time If you ask psychologist and trainer Carolyn HumpHrey, who works with the Consulting psychology Group in Charlotte, about leadership qualities, she talks about passion and self-awareness. She says leadership traits originate "from something you're passionate about. These are opportunities for leadership." The mastery of "self, action and relationships" is a powerful tool for future leaders. By CyntHIa aDaMs PHotos By nanCy eveLyn W hat do psychological tests and square watermelons have to teach about innovation? Carolyn Humphrey sips a cup of coffee and smiles broadly. Plenty, she says. Humphrey, a psychological consultant, is a Charlotte-based mother and mental athlete who teaches ways to become more mentally agile and leadership savvy. she has done this since her days as a young post-doc on the UGa campus. today, she either rocks 80s music or tunes into national Public Radio whenever she carpools her three children to school and soccer events. Ideas come to Humphrey in the van, while sitting in the bleachers at games, or working at her favorite coffee shop in the course of her work for various clients, including UGa's Fanning Institute and the Graduate school. Wherever she goes, she observes people, and cocks an ear for insights into behavioral traits and cultural trends. she reads and is a lifelong learner as well as educator and trainer. "I'm reading (Martin e. P. seligman's) Positive Psychology, and Malcom Gladwell's new book, Outliers, about an overly busy, breathless world," she says, observing the morning traffic in downtown Charlotte, n.C., through a coffee shop window. "our default behavior in crisis mode grows even bigger. How to help people reflect on this?" HelpinG leaders develop For the past seven years, Humphrey has been moderating annual leadership "ReMAininG RelevAnt in my mind means that we must challenge ourselves to push our learning further-- we cannot rest on what we think we know or on our formal education--we have to find ways to continually be open to learning from a variety of avenues." UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 3 At the Emerging Leaders Program: "my goal at the end of the day is to have participants walk out the door with the ability to experiment with ways to enhance their leadership abilities. one of the biggest motivators for change is gaining insight into how you impact others--both positively and negatively." training retreats for promising graduate students held in the mountains of northern Georgia at the Unicoi state Lodge. the emerging Leaders program is sponsored by the Graduate school. the two-day professional development retreat is designed for invited master's and doctoral students seeking to gain or strengthen leadership capabilities. "Dean Maureen Grasso gives this group at the emerging Leaders Program a slice of this process," says Humphrey. "It helps them to understand: How do I impact others? What do I do well? What do I do not so well? Companies are looking for this. How do you work with others? How do you deal with conflict on a larger scale? How do you appreciate differences, with your skills and abilities?" the training is an essential, not a luxury, she says. "Funding organizations who focus on academia know this. For example, UsDa, who funds grants for Colleges of agriculture among others, is now requiring that grants be founded on collaborative efforts or they will not be considered." Humphrey has been doing this work long enough to understand the essential aspect of the training and sums it up: "My goal at the end of the day is to have participants walk out the door with the ability to experiment with ways to enhance their leadership abilities. one of the biggest motivators for change is gaining insight into how you impact others--both positively and negatively." this is no small thing. It has definite impact upon careers, say alumni like Praveen Kolar. Kolar, shown at right, says that while the University gave him research and scientific skills, the workshop taught him how to present himself--a critical tool for a scholar who came from a vastly different culture. Back home in India, "the Cv speaks for itself," he explains. "at the emerging Leaders Conference, they are trying to train them to adjust to the american way of working." For Kolar, this meant overcoming a long-held cultural value--modesty is a virtue and self-promotion is often frowned upon. In the United states, self-advocacy and self-promotion are expected. Kolar attended the emerging Leaders Program as a doctoral student in 2007, and has participated since as a presenter. He is now an assistant professor at n.C. state University. "Dr. Daniel Feldman gave a lecture on `How to sell your skills," and another on how to develop your resume. I learned resume skills and networking, and even today, I'm in touch with people I met there." this is only one of the ways that Kolar benefited professionally from the leadership program. (see p. 8, The Sweet Smell of Bio.) "I think she (Dean Grasso) is doing a fantastic job. I would love to attend the conference every single day. I wanted students to ask me questions (at the program). I told one student that a Cv will only get you in the door. People want to hire people they want to work with--this is the difference. the best person may not be the right person. 4 www.grad.uga.edu What is the good of hiring me if I have 100 publication credits, bring in grant money, but cannot work with others?" Can leadership be taught? "I believe so," says Dean Maureen Grasso, who attended a similar program while a graduate student herself. "We have only a few days over fall break to expose students to a process that could illuminate the future for them. selfawareness is a process. We are able to give them a set of tools, contacts and relationships that they can deploy from this time forward." Kolar says there are leaders whose emergence is stimulated by adversity rather than training. He points to the example of Mahatma Gandhi. "Gandhi was a successful lawyer, but he became a leader." Gandhi's personality topology could have predicted this, Humphrey would argue. silos, ivory Towers, and disrupTive innovaTion the Myers-Briggs type Indicator, or MBtI, is one tool which Humphrey uses to shine a light upon the various aspects of human personalities and interrelationships. this understanding leads to a deeper knowledge of self and others, explaining how preferences can be linked to motivations and possibly behaviors. Lacking this, Humphrey says, if you don't have awareness, you may not know how you are impacting others which relates significantly to your effectiveness as a team member or a leader. Carolyn Humphrey, left, guiding UGa students through a leadership exercise in the fall of 2010. Humphrey teaches how various personality topologies affect achievement. "Competition can set you up in silos." Humphrey inculcates the idea that relationships provide a much larger sphere of influence. "I don't think it's about not digging deep--it's about digging wider--with the world's complexity now you cannot go it alone anymore. Innovation and problem solving require collaboration and thinking beyond the boundaries of our own domain," she says. "our program equips these students to move outside the `silo' that Carolyn warns about and work across disciplines. For some students, the program is the first and only time they will have ever done this," says Grasso. Humphrey says unprecedented advances in transportation, communication and technology have "melded us together across the globe in ways that were unheard of 25 years ago--these trends have led to new social imperatives. Unfortunately, universities can be risk-adverse. they can rely on traditions and cling to the ivory tower mentality and there have not been a lot of incentives to change that. However, many who have their eye on higher education predict that some type of `disruptive innovation' will cause the kind of earth moving changes that will finally challenge the silos and move higher education into a more flexible and collaborative enterprise." What does Humphrey mean by a disruptive innovation? "It's an abrupt departure from the status quo. a good example of this "I don't think it's about not digging deep--it's about digging wider--with the world's complexity now you cannot go it alone anymore. Innovation and problem solving require collaboration and thinking beyond the boundaries of our own domain," says Humphrey. UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 5 a favorite quote of Carolyn Humphrey's is etched in stone in a downtown park in Charlotte: "Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone Kindness in another's trouble, Courage in your own." --aDaM LInDsay GoRDon "Maureen's work at the leadership program plants the seed. Myers-Briggs may not be life changing, but it does reveal ideas around `What's good, what's not so good?' in the way we communicate and lead. organizations are starting to hire based upon your ability to navigate relationships." is when cell phones hit the market. anyone who invested in pay phones was out of luck! traditional universities are competing with more flexible, technologically savvy enterprises such as the University of Phoenix. so, there is a real opportunity for the ivory tower to be more innovative in how it operates-- and a big part of that will be breaking out of the silos!" International students must not only compete academically, but read a cultural landscape without a map in hand. Graduates of the emerging Leaders Program, like Kolar, feel they were handed an essential coda. "I try to help people develop their strengths. Many are already global citizens, but how to harness this? How to leverage it? to move us beyond working where we are?" asks Humphrey. "How do we develop students and faculty to expand upon our understandings and be open to learn more, versus being only concerned with competition?" With the test results from the MBtI in hand before the attendees arrive, Humphrey has a clear sense of each participant's preferences around such leadership essentials as information gathering and decision-making. 6 www.grad.uga.edu iT's an oval-waTerMelon world--or is iT? Humphrey believes in mental conditioning, likening it to racing. she calls mental conditioning sprint challenges, which require you to do something in a focused way over a short period of time until you figure it out or see progress and become more mentally agile. "I came up with the idea of sprint challenges, to help people not feel so overwhelmed with the leadership development process--almost anyone can commit to something for a short time if it promises a positive result," she explains. the clich� "thinking outside the box" is hackneyed. But mental agility is an idea that has roots in newer research, such as that of positive psychology. Certain psychological strengths, including a positive attitude, can be taught and learned, according to psychologist Martin seligman. turning conventional thought into a mental challenge, or sprint, can be nurtured with mental exercise. thinking how to work within a box helped Japanese innovators come up with ideas like square watermelons, Humphrey explains. yes, square watermelons, which are more easily stored in the refrigerator than oval shaped watermelons. true, nobody had actually seen a square watermelon before, but this didn't stop innovators from changing Mother nature's age-old design. Humphrey thinks that if watermelons can change, we can, too. Change is difficult, she explains, and humans are almost hard-wired to resist it. But innovators do not. they overcome this innate resistance to tackle changemaking ideas head-on. there are many famous figures that re-shaped conventional approaches, handing us valuable keys to innovation, says Humphrey: Galileo, Da vinci, Picasso, edison, Ford, tesla, Watson, Coltrane, Disney, and the team of Myers-Briggs. Myers-Briggs? the decades-old evaluative test reveals ways that innovation is tied to preferences. Understanding this is key. Listening and observing is an important way to discern the best way to understand other's communication preferences. "We have to have an ability to relate to other people, to work collaboratively and globally. to understand how someone sitting in a conference room at Wachovia Bank has to relate to a client�say, Wal-Mart. Myers-Briggs helps them understand how," explains Humphrey. she reviews the test during the two-day leadership program. not quite household names, admittedly, but the mother-daughter team of Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs applied Carl Jung's psychological types mid-century in a critical new way. their self inventory became a research tool which morphed into the book The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, published in 1962. Millions have since taken the assessment test, and it is still used in revealing key differences in temperament both individually and organization-wide. the MBtI helps disparate teams work in complementary ways, Humphrey says, and lends insights into our personal lives. the test is a gateway to deepen self-knowledge. selfknowledge fulfills the famous dictum to "know thyself" in order to reach self-actualization. Psychologist abraham Maslow taught that self-actualization is the precursor to living fully and creatively. THe new norMal: who takes the time to know themselves? "the key question isn't `What fosters creativity?' but `why in God's name isn't everyone creative?'," asked Maslow. "Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be not why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? We have got to abandon that sense of amazement in the face of creativity, as if it were a miracle if anybody created anything." Creativity of all types requires selfknowledge. "In a breathless world, there is little time for reflection," admits Humphrey. "a key characteristic of a leader is their ability to understand how to impact people, change when needed, be open to feedback, and constant learning. anything that I do, if I reflect upon that, have self-awareness, I am open to other ways of being." younger leaders are naturally nimble-minded. How do those over age 30 remain relevant and gain a fresh perspective on this new normal? Humphrey says time may be on their side. "the advantage leaders over 30 have is that they have had an opportunity to develop ranges of behaviors that may be outside of their natural preferences," Humphrey replies in an e-mail. "MBtI research suggests that the more experience people have, the more flexible they may become with doing things that are not always comfortable for them, because they know they need to in order to be effective." she adds: "those who came of age before this century have the wisdom of perspective!" go to www.meyersbriggs.org for more on Meyers-Briggs www.ippanetwork.org to learn more about the International Positive Psychology association read the following lIST of SkIllS for a more positive life and a greater ability to lead others. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. AccoRdinG to positive psychologist seligman, who wrote Flourish, a New Theory of Positive Psychology, these are the virtues that enable us to be better individually, collectively, and personally: WIsDoM anD KnoWLeDGe: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective, innovation CoURaGe: bravery, persistence, integrity, vitality HUManIty: love, kindness, social intelligence JUstICe: citizenship, fairness, leadership teMPeRanCe: forgiveness and mercy, humility, prudence, self control tRansCenDenCe: appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humor, spirituality UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 7 The sweet smell of By CyntHIa aDaMs PHotos By nanCy eveLyn Praveen Kolar likes to brown bag most days, and brings a vegetarian meal from home. Just before his lunchtime, a pungent smell emanates from a small glass beaker in a north Carolina laboratory--the sort of smell that makes you ignore your growling stomach. Kolar moves rapidly around the lab, barely noticing, before catching the expression upon a nonscientist's face and saying, "oh, yes. the sulfide--pig wastes" he explains. It is the unmistakable smell of animal effluent. "It's very strong," Kolar admits. the non-scientist resists the urge to clamp both nostrils shut. Kolar's research with University of Georgia professor James Kastner, his mentor, has led to a patent-pending process that could put an end to that agricultural stench, cheaply and efficiently. the two developed a catalytic process that can remove 70 percent of the smell from rendering plants. Publications in the popular and academic press across Georgia and north Carolina have anticipated its release since it was announced in 2009. He holds a faculty position at n.C. state in Raleigh in biological and agricultural engineering. to be Praveen Kolar, means accepting certain articles of faith: faith in the idea that with hard work and industry, things can be made far better. even the stench of pig wastes. this belief has propelled Kolar to become a standout in a nation of strong, even stellar, competitors back in India and here in the U.s. K olar today has a young son and a new life and mission. He is fascinated by alternative energy processes, research possibilities and teaching. "Heterogeneous catalysis," he says thoughtfully, his dark eyes shining. In the foreseeable future, he would like to lead a multi-school effort to achieve a biomass energy initiative. "I want to see the day we don't buy fuel!" He has an open, relaxed face and relates to others well, and it is easily forgotten that only nine years ago Kolar was in India with his architect wife, Chandrika Patwri, in a city teeming with millions of citizens. "still, this is small relative to the population," Kolar reminds. He worked in aquaculture and shrimp farming at navayuga exports in the city of Balasore in Bhubaneswar, south of Calcutta. "In India, they wanted someone who could design an effective farm; wanted somebody who could advise concerning water quality for healthy shrimps. When you put a lot of feed in the pond and feed the shrimp, half of that isn't consumed (instead, falling to the pond floor). the food that isn't consumed causes algae blooms. We showed them how to handle problems associated with this." Kolar taught farmers about safer seafood processing and practices to keep the shrimp bacteria free. "the shrimp culture is very profitable...I've seen people become millionaires within a four-month period. Where the shrimp grow are brackish (waterlogged) lands where you cannot do anything, but when people saw the potential for money, they changed from rice to shrimp farms. that year, 1998, 8 www.grad.uga.edu pRAveen kolAR'S woRk addresses what happens to the significant waste in traditional methods of food harvesting and production. "I am concerned with waste management research. you can see the connection. We are focusing on taking wastes from restaurants, then using the aquaculture wastes like the carbon-rich shrimp shells. the shells from shellfish are a catalyst to convert oil into biodiesel. it'S AlMoSt fRee." we had a disease and the whole thing crashed. all those farmers who were farming before were left nowhere. they couldn't farm the fields for rice, as they were contaminated." Kolar worked with farmers to reduce the number of shrimp produced to make the farming industry sustainable. "as an engineer, I told them, you can get a lot of money in one year, or a little for a longer period (by lowering the density)." Kolar also addressed water and air quality as well as waste management in shrimping practices. "tiny small farmers--it's very hard to control them across India. this is a seasonal business. the harvest occurs from october to December. that's when you see tons and tons of shrimps coming in. We processed them and sold them. In that time, it's hard to check who does what. now the packaging is marked so we can trace it." He watched as shrimp were farmed, giving bucket loads away to friends and family. as a vegetarian, he has never once tasted the shellfish he worked to make safer and better. "after that, it became routine in five years. I knew what I would do in March, what would be happening in July--the same old things at the office. My wife said, `Let's do something else.' I wanted to teach, and in a good school in India, you have to have a PhD. I saw online that Louisiana state had a good aquaculture program, and started reading for the test of english as a Foreign Language and GRe." Kolar was accepted. yet his experience as an adult student in the U.s. was completely different from life as an established engineer in India. "When I came to Louisiana in 2002, I came alone. My wife came four months after she got the visa. We are both here, strangers. We had a house in India. now we have an apartment." But, Kolar reminded himself, "I wanted to be a teacher, that's why I came to the U.s." at that time, no one had equivalent graduate education facilities and programs outside the U.s. now, he says, others do, including China. Re-established in Louisiana, he soon found himself again working in aquaculture and in familiar research territory. His studies were straightforward. now, the former civil engineer worked with oyster farming and processing and obtained a UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 9 second master's degree at LsU in aqua engineering. at LsU, he realized again that with current fishing practices, farmed seafood was the only way to meet the world demand. "this is where the answers have to come. everything will be gone soon the way we are fishing." He contemplated the food supply of the future. there is tremendous, lamentable waste in the current approach to fishing, Kolar says. He gives the example of a typical shrimper. "the person who gets a pound of shrimp has to discard about 10 pounds of inedible species--crabs, starfish and other creatures," Kolar explains. the inedible seafood that is sorted from fishing nets dies within 30-40 minutes. that is either dumped back into the sea, or else dried and brought back to shore for use as fish meal or fertilizer. While still working with oyster processing in the Gulf, Kolar attended a conference in Fayetteville, arkansas. "I met Drs. Bill tollner, Mark eiteman and Brahm verma, all from UGa." a series of serendipitous connections made Kolar feel UGa was the best place for further doctoral study, "because I worked with aquaculture and biological filtration with nitrogen. I saw a professor using waste materials to enhance chemical reactions, using coal fly ash and converting the waste materials into 10 www.grad.uga.edu a sIMPLe CaRBon FILteR: think of it. It would mean that farming and residential communities could live harmoniously--a particular bonus for communities who support sustainable practices and the locavore movement, promoting locally produced food and livestock. a catalyst." Kolar was interested in catalytic processes. He was persuaded to begin doctoral studies at UGa, even over his wife's protests. (When would he stop seeking degrees, she questioned?) Kolar completed a doctorate in biological and agricultural engineering at UGa in 2008. steadily, too, Kolar's work life developed into convergent interests in biomass and green technologies. He addresses what happens to the significant waste in traditional methods of food harvesting and production. "I am concerned with waste management research. you can see the connection. We are focusing on taking wastes from restaurants, then using the aquaculture wastes like the carbon-rich shrimp shells. the shells from shellfish are a catalyst to convert oil into biodiesel. It's almost free." MovinG Forward today, settled near north Carolina's Research triangle area, life is good. sujay, Kolar's son, is a three-year-old, fascinated by trains. His wife is a stay-athome mother. Kolar buys his son treats before coming home each afternoon. His son is already bi-lingual, and echos his father's greeting, "Honey, I'm home."on a return trip to India, Kolar's wife marveled at the fact that Indian UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 11 Kolar drives a Honda, yet he likes to envision a future that is no lonGeR dRiven by fossil fuels. While doing five-mile treadmill runs, Kolar plots his next project, such as adding solar panels to his roof. and american culture looked much more alike: there, too, people drove cars everywhere and loved McDonald's fast food. then there is the thing that brought him to the U.s. to begin with--education. "I love teaching," he says earnestly. He wants to inspire american students to enter graduate study, something he says is frequently bypassed in favor of entering the workforce and paying off student debts. Kolar believes he can help transform this by making the classroom a place of transformative experience and insight. Kolar tackles becoming a better teacher the way he tackles everything else: believing in the competitive spirit. now Kolar goes after refinements in his teaching approaches, attending workshops and staying close to his students for feedback. He hones his teaching skills. He attends the UGa emerging Leaders Program as a speaker now, and offers students encouragement and insight. (He was himself in the audience in 2007 when a doctoral student at UGa.) "Praveen is a valued presenter with emerging Leaders," says Dean Maureen Grasso. "He is able to share his experience of becoming a professor, offering insights and encouragements to students considering an academic position after graduation." assistant Dean Judy Milton says Kolar is a distinguished alumnus and that she enjoys having him return as a presenter. "Praveen shares his career and academic experiences," says Milton. "that is valuable knowledge." "sharing is something he is inclined towards--it is part of his natural questioning, his give-and-take style," Milton adds. today, Kolar has five graduate students working with him in at the nCsU lab. one of his students is a doctoral student. Kolar's own research is varied and significant: In addition to biomass research, he wants to alter poultry and hog farming's impact on the environment by alleviating the vile odors that are inherent in both operations. His professor at UGa, Kastner, worked with Kolar on research that has led to a patent application for a filter. their discovery will mean a simple end to the stench from swine and poultry rendering operations and facilities, something now mandated in several states. the carbon filter is affordable and works, Kolar says. this filter also means residential communities and farm operations can peacefully co-exist, odor-free. a simple carbon filter: think of it. It would mean that farming and residential communities could live harmoniously--a particular bonus for communities who support sustainable practices and the locavore movement, promoting locally produced food and livestock. "this research doesn't stink," quipped the headline in an n.C. state publication. 12 www.grad.uga.edu UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 13 "tHeIR DIsCoveRy [Kolar's odor filter] will mean a simple end to the stench from swine and poultry rendering operations and facilities, something now mandated in several states." --JaMes KastneR, UGa PRoFessoR QuesTioninG Minds "on the last day of instruction, I tell students they can ask me anything," Kolar says. "the most surprising question asked was, `Why did you come here?'" Kolar replies that his reason was simple, "everybody used to know that everything innovative started here in the U.s.," he says. yet he enjoys questions and wishes students would be openly questioning and challenging. and so a game ensues: who would he invite to the ideal dinner party, living or dead, and why? Kolar answers: Mahatma Gandhi. He adds Bill Gates, President Barack obama, Mother teresa, Indira Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister P. v. narasimha Rao, and Richard Felder (an educational consultant). these are people of passionate interests, which provided opportunities for leadership, he says. Perhaps being passionate, being questioning, is the very source of leadership, of innovation. Kolar wants to keep adding to the dinner party question. He ponders who would dominate the conversation (he guesses Mahatma Gandhi) and who would pose the best questions. Questions, after all, are the key. "I want my students to have an intelligent debate. I want them to keep asking me questions." go to www.bae.ncsu.edu/people/ faculty/pkolar/ 14 www.grad.uga.edu The Changing Dynamic of Graduate Scholarship O n a harsh winter morning in Raleigh, n.C., there are few comforts to be had apart from a steaming cup of tea. the temperatures dip and storms have iced over the n.C. state University Weaver Laboratories where Praveen Kolar works, but he adapts with a cheerful smile and rubs his hands. He wears jeans with a neat plaid shirt and blue jacket. the man from India's fabled "City of Pearls", Hyderabad, lives in Raleigh-- which, on a winter's morning, becomes a sparkling city of icicles. the city is as sluggish as a cold-blooded animal. He glances outside. "athens all but shut down," a friend has told Kolar. UGa and athens, where Kolar played cricket on a local team and made great friendships, is far from his home place-- roughly 9,000 miles, in fact. scholarship has brought him to the states. It has taken him far in his life thus far. In India, Kolar was established in his career as an aquaculturalist with two technical degrees. In 1995, he won the Gate competition, which paid him to do graduate study in his chosen field of civil engineering, something nearly unheard of at the prestigious Indian Institutes of technology (IIt). this fact is buried at the bottom of his resume. "Maybe 100,000 plus compete for it," Kolar says. "the syllabus is (solely) civil engineering; if I take the sats or GRes, it's math, english, writing skills." the Graduate aptitude test in engineering (Gate) is an all-India examination, overseen by eight scientific and technological bodies on behalf of the Indian government. Gate is the precursor to entry into government-sponsored technical programs. In order to prepare themselves for the intensity of the examination, students begin pre-dawn cram sessions while primary students. Both children and parents are screened to determine if students are academically suited to continue before they reach middle school. those who do get the nod have many hurdles remaining before getting the top prize: admission to IIt. Competition for admission is so intense, and the futures of its graduates so promising that the CBs program, 60 Minutes, did a segment on IIt. "Brainpower may well be the biggest Indian export of all," mused newscaster Leslie stahl. Many of IIt's graduates, like Kolar, come to the United states afterwards--for further graduate studies. Many remain. IIt is to engineering what nasa is to space travel. Many are called; few are chosen. those who fail to get into IIt go to the Ivy Leagues in the United states as a consolation prize. stahl described Kolar's alma mater as MIt, Harvard and Princeton rolled into one--minus the pretty campus. IIt has been infused with cash by the California-based co-founder, vinod Khosla, of sUn Microsystems. yet the school is austere, and dormitory rooms so spartan that the students provide their own mattresses. "at IIt we had a table, chair, a bed, but no mattress. no air conditioning. But it's exciting," says Kolar. "all those excellent brains go to IIt!" yet Kolar doesn't reveal any of this until questioned. Ranjana Clark, an executive with PayPal in san Jose, grew up in new Delhi. Her brother-in-law, anjan Chatterjee, attended engineering school at IIt in the 1970s. she has two MBa degrees, including one from Duke University. "IIt is veRy tough to get into," Clark says. Chatterjee concurs. "I would agree with Ranjana," he says. after IIt, Kolar took his degrees in civil engineering and then made a u-turn. He studied aquaculture and biological and agricultural engineering, earning a second master's degree at LsU and a doctorate from UGa. He is uncertain if americans would take to a program like IIt's. "the rigor could be adopted. But I don't think the current system (here) supports rigor. If I have my way (as a teacher) they (students) will be so busy that when they graduate they will have a clear path. the vigor has to be brought out. I've seen education in other countries." For america to compete effectively against places such as India and China, who invest heavily in education and technology, Kolar believes our educational emphasis must be math, science and critical thinking. as a teacher, he has the goal of shaping brighter, competitive future minds. go to www.cbsnews.com/sections/60minutes and search the program archives for the segment: "imported from india" UP in the PHoto taKen at oPen aIR stUDIo neaR atHens Goyer became a student of yoga: She painted. She studied. Then she started trapeze work. Goyer struck a healthy balance between the body and mind. 16 www.grad.uga.edu how meghan goyer found her passion By CyntHIa aDaMs PHotos By nanCy eveLyn AIR hen a large group of German academicians once wrote a book disputing einstein's theories, einstein replied: "If I were wrong, one professor would have been enough." einstein boldly demonstrated the importance of finding one's own path, no matter how bizarre it appeared. He eschewed convention, famously retorting,"I have no special gift; I am only passionately curious." Religious studies scholar Meghan Goyer appears to share the essential trait of curiosity--unfettered and passionately curious about and above the world. she has grabbed the brass ring--which just happens to be at the end of a trapeze rope. and now this multifaceted student describes how experimenting with various outlets, from art to trapeze work, have helped clarify her mind and release her own inner truth. Like others featured in this issue, Goyer is a past participant in the emerging Leaders Program. she completed her graduate degree in religious studies this year. Becoming happily absorbed, writer Martha Beck states, is the starting point of innovation. the idea of being allabsorbed by an activity is sometimes called "flow"--an optimal state of mind allowing us to access our creative subconscious selves. For many, an avocation is where we discover this phenomenon. "yoga and trapeze and ritual are all about flow," says Goyer. In her case, yoga studies and aerial work on a trapeze have had a dramatic effect. the air up there, she says, is very fine and rare indeed--a place of the wonderful unknown, a place of discovery and joy. Goyer, who earned a master's in religious studies this year, is a Double Dawg who discovered these passions in adulthood. When she was younger, she once watched her father assume a yoga pose in the living room and burst into laughter. Goyer was a teenager--a time when our adolescent self is more selfconscious than trusting--especially of the subconscious. "We were at a lake in alabama," remembers Goyer. "Dad read about yoga and wanted to try it. He sat down in a yoga pose and we started laughing. I had a funny start with it." Her own experience with yoga wouldn't occur until 2006. yet her father, a Presbyterian minister in atlanta, was demonstrating open-mindedness to his daughter, something which stayed with her. Goyer had a flexible body and a mind full of questions. today, she assumes yoga poses like a lithe human question mark, and performs "aerial dance" on a single point trapeze. these pursuits are one means of accessing more creative ways of being in the world, psychologists explain. inspiraTion, innovaTion � a Mind/Body ConneCTion? Carolyn Humphrey met Goyer last fall at the emerging Leaders Program. Humphrey, who works with the Consulting Psychology Group in Charlotte, believes creativity originates "from something you're passionate about." When this passionate response occurs, it is ideally bound up with a personal evolution, one which concerns "the mastery of self, action and relationships." that golden trifecta, Humphrey explains, provides grounding and a deeper opportunity for the gifted. Unleashing a curiosity that gets squelched too often-- Goyer kept exploring. Her father led the way by his own example. "I'm so appreciative about that," she says. w UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 17 inculcated with the value of possessing a questioning mind since childhood, she and a friend signed up for volunteer trips to work in a Rwandan school. Goyer found herself drawn to the classroom even while painting, doing photography, and working during an academic hiatus. Goyer was a gymnast until middle school, then explored lacrosse, drama and amateur dance in high school. "I took a beginner's ballet class my senior year!" she played college lacrosse at UGa. In 2005, Goyer was an undergraduate at UGa studying eastern religion. "Cal Clements visited the class to teach us yoga, in order to offer an embodied exploration of a practice we were studying intellectually. I took multiple classes under Professor Kai Reidel and became friends with Cal (the founder of Rubber soul yoga Revolution in athens). He hadn't opened a studio yet, but I came to a class he led in the Founders Garden. It was my first experience of yoga." then Goyer bumped into a painful wall--inwardly, she wrestled with depression. Her artist mother had died when Goyer was 16. "I didn't get into yoga hardcore until 2007/2008, during the school year. I had been depressed and thought, maybe I should try yoga. I started going a lot, and seriously thank yoga for helping me get out of that place." emotional doors began to fly open for Goyer. she made enormous strides towards self-governance through yoga. the practice and discipline moved her beyond depression. "I think it was the waking up, getting out of my head and into my body and finding the energy to go forth." Goyer managed the Loft art supply in athens during one summer. "I learned about every material and had so much fun working with different media." Meanwhile, she studied religion, painted, and reconnected with a love of photography. the problem wasn't that she didn't find things to be passionate about--the problem was she had found so many things to be passionate about. With undergraduate school completed in 2008, Goyer took an important year off after spending five years pursuing options at UGa. During that year she painted. then, she attended a trapeze and aerial dance performance and signed up for a class at Canopy studio in athens. trapeze work seemed the antithesis of the earth-bound principles of yoga. that was when Goyer truly started to fly. airs aBove THe Ground... Goyer discovered yet another passion: flying through space. "It was exhilarating. We didn't do tricks at the beginning, but being on the trapeze was so awesome." Here, old gymnastics, yoga, dance and even lacrosse skills came to bear. "It's called aerial dance, on a single point trapeze," she explains. "It's different than a circus trapeze." the initial phase concerned building strength, which came easily given Goyer's physical pursuits. "once we developed that, we moved into the creative side-- transitions and energies you bring to it. We explored that, working in groups of two and individually." "Grab a pen and make a list of every time you remember being utterly, happily absorbed in an activity, no matter how odd."--Martha Beck, writer 18 www.grad.uga.edu UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 19 "It's paRadoxIcal that I do trapeze and that I do yoga," says Goyer. "Yoga is centered upon being grounded. MeGHan GoyeR Goyer developed greater strength as she contorted and pushed her body through the air. she also gathered other strengths. she discovered it was more and more comfortable to inhabit her own life as well. "I realized I was super passionate about creativity, and becoming comfortable in your own body and being able to access your creativity in your own body," she explains. "(But) I think creativity comes from some (different) kind of comfort. It is your brain connecting things in a new way. If you have walls up, I don't know-- there's some neurological function that influences this. I was comfortable, and that energy would flow and I would be aware of it, and let myself be open. I realized the importance of the process of becoming comfortable." Meanwhile, Goyer's open mind also reflected the experience of what Humphrey calls "flow". two important things happened. "Which were both big parts of that year off for me," she writes by e-mail. Goyer, in experimenting with her personal identity, shaved her head. she explains that she did not want hair, a physical attribute, to identify her. then, Goyer made her first trip to Rwanda, working and living at a boys' school for six weeks. Later, she returned to Rwanda. "on the second trip, we did art therapy work with the boys." afterward, Goyer returned to athens and began applying to graduate schools. "I ended up studying at UGa for lots of reasons." employing the same self-questioning she always used, Goyer confronted herself: "okay, now you're going to grad school. What are you interested in?" "I was sitting in on two classes in religion because I'm a big old nerd. My prof, Carolyn Medine asked, `When are you coming into the department?' It hadn't occurred to me that it was a possibility." again, more questions than answers flowed. GoinG wiTH THe eBB and Flow... Medine's comment stayed with Goyer. yet, post Rwanda, she toyed with becoming an art therapist. "the reason I did not land on art therapy was because I felt it was too narrow and I would get bored without a wider range of stimulation and skills." Goyer was conflicted. "Mom was an artist, and she returned to art school when I was growing up." she struggled for clarity, bumping up against this emotional scar tissue: "Was I doing art because of my Mom or because that was what I wanted to do?" Meanwhile, Goyer had been painting so much she had enough pieces to assemble a show. "I ritually honored my experience of learning," she says. "I had my own exit show at Walker's downtown." that exit provided Goyer with the closure needed. Goyer deliberately pulled away to reflect. she used yoga and the trapeze for outlets. she realized the answer with stunned recognition. It was as if taken from a Joseph Campbell tutorial on the power of myth and meaning-making--something that became a phenomenon when Campbell and broadcaster Bill Moyer discussed it in a 1980s television series. Goyer's paintings. at top, Because of Amanda. Work below is untitled. the answer was a single word: "Ritual." that word illumined Goyer's next steps. she started to explore ritual through religious studies, an inter-disciplinary program. Ritual seems oppositional to innovation and creativity, but Goyer disagrees. "We have to be innovative--looking outside of where you expect a formal ritual to be." on riTual, MeaninG and HealinG... Goyer's research addressed how the structure of ritual can be used intentionally. "What that means is, at the least it requires reverence for something wholly other, intention, and some kind of self-reflection," Goyer explains. she finds a more comfortable spot, crosses her legs and smiles. next, Goyer would like to explore opening a business integrating mind-body and health. she might incorporate massage therapy and nutrition into the business model. If the concept is broad enough, 20 www.grad.uga.edu inter-disciplinary enough, she smiles, it will keep her engaged. "I am a pilgrim on the path," Goyer says. "Just pay attention; it's the first step to everything." the path, she explains, could take you almost anywhere. even straight up in the air on a flying trapeze. "I think creativity comes from some (different) kind of comfort. It is your brain connecting things In a new waY. UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 21 nanCy eveLyn 22 www.grad.uga.edu A MODERN P I LG R I M Like others featured within this issue, MichAel BURRiSS attended the Graduate school's 2010 emerging Leaders Program. While there, the doctoral student mentioned his many pilgrimages to undertake the walk known worldwide as El Camino de Santiago. this is his story. By CyntHIa aDaMs M ichael Burriss, a romance languages doctoral student, interweaves research with real-life experiences found along the fabled european routes of El Camino de Santiago, known as "the Way of st. James." "the traditional starting point in spain, which is where most people start their trek, is a town called Roncesvalles. or, you can start one step further on the French side at saint Jean Pied du Port," says Burriss. the pre-Christian route still undertaken by tourists, pilgrims, cyclists and hikers year-round, was popularized during the time of st. James, whose remains are enshrined in the main cathedral at the pilgrimage end point of santiago de Compostela. the route and ritual of the Camino are embedded with myth and symbolism. those who walk the Camino carry a document called a credencial, bearing the stamps of stops along the destination point. "It is customary for pilgrims to visit the Pilgrim's office of the archdiocese of santiago upon completion of the pilgrimage to obtain the Compostela," says Carlos Mentley, who has led student studies to spain. "In order to earn the Compostela, the archdiocese requires that pilgrims 1) carry a `Credencial del Peregrino' and produce it, stamped and dated; 2) have walked or ridden on horseback the last 100 kilometers (62 miles) to santiago, or cycled the last 200 kilometers; and 3) declared a spiritual or religious motivation for the pilgrimage. (there is a different certificate for those making the journey for other reasons.)" a spiritual motivation is called "pietatis causa," says Mentley. Burriss has completed 1,500 miles leading to santiago. now, he plots his fourth walk after completing his doctoral studies. a MoDeRn PILGRIM Before the Camino, since the age of 13, Burriss owned a dual translation Bible in spanish and english. the book BURRiSS enteRS into a warping of time and culture by walking the walk--500 or more miles in the ancient footsteps of others-- along El Camino de Santiago, an ancient path through spain. the long treks strip away the noise of modern life of those journeying to its conclusion. UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 23 Because the path undertaken offers a MUlti-SenSoRy, cRoSS-cUltURAl iMMeRSion expeRience, and because there are multiple route options of varying difficulty, these walks attract language scholars like Burriss, but a wide assortment of types. Fellow pilgrims on the routes of the Camino include adventurers, retirees, educators and historians as well as those who do it as spiritual quest. awakened a love of romance languages and a love of books in Burriss. "It is one of the reasons I got interested in spanish and how I learned the language. It is the book I would run with from a fire." He now has a library of nearly 900 volumes he has built up, given to him as gifts and his own acquisitions, so this signifies how valuable the particular book is. a scholar from young adulthood, Burriss has also placed himself outside the boundaries of ordinary scholarship for a deeper understanding. Burriss' feet-first experiences are a page out of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. the route to santiago threads itself through his research today. "I am studying this overall theme--does narration create reality, or does reality create narration in the narrative works of spanish writer Javier Cercas?" asks Burriss, whose research area is historical fiction. the boundaries between the realities of Burriss' own life and his work are deliberately thin. the teacher and student is drawn to immersion experience, powerfully demonstrated by his having completed a 500-mile pilgrimage route across spain three times. "I first became familiar with the "Nothing I've done is without this (experience). Nothing is impossible now." --MICHaeL BURRIss 24 www.grad.uga.edu El Camino de Santiago as a teenager," he says. In the years since, the Camino has changed his world view--and his narrative. Burriss, a fit-looking and youthful 26-year-old, grins, then coughs spasmodically as he fends off a cold. He says he struggles to define the experience of stepping outside the boundaries of his own culture and identity to undertake this ancient odyssey. arguably, the walk across spain, his quest, creates its own narration when he leaves the familiar behind him in the U.s. "I kind of create a blank slate. We had to keep journals (when I was a young student). I have them still!" Burriss has hard evidence that sojourners have not gone the way of dusty Chaucerian pilgrims. Rather, undertaking a pilgrimage is done by thousands annually. Routes lacing throughout the americas and europe are still in heavy usage. In the past 20 years there has been a resurgence of interest among contemporary pilgrims, a term that once meant "stranger," says Mentley. "During the Middle ages, the word gained a more precise meaning related to the pilgrimage to Compostela." those who walk these famous routes are sometimes interested in it as a physical challenge or a crosscultural and novel travel experience. others view the Camino as a path to self-knowledge, or spiritual epiphany. In the course of the various routes of the Camino, sojourners experience a transformative journey across time and cultures. Before his presidency, John adams unexpectedly journeyed a portion of the Camino in 1779. according to his journals, the badly damaged ship which he had sailed for europe in began taking on water, and was finally abandoned in a spanish port. adams' party, including two of his sons, decided to set off by PHotos PP 25-29 CoURtesy oF MICHaeL BURRIs, KaItLyn FUGeL anD CaRLos MentLey Mentley has walked thousands of miles along the Camino and inspired students to do the same. Before he takes students, he requires them to do test walks of 15-25 kilometer hikes in full gear to assess their readiness for the challenge. mules and wagons overland across spain for France. the route taken for much of his journey included the Camino. adams encountered pilgrims along the way. "there are a great number of pilgrims who visit it every year, from France, spain, Italy and other parts of europe, many of them on foot," adams observed. the politician described the arduous experiences his party encountered on the Camino with mixed emotions, sometimes bitter at the deprivation, but regretted never seeing the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. adams continued on the Camino Frances en route to Paris. the journey is still considered an exercise in endurance and self-denial or self-revelation, depending upon the point of view. "InUnDateD WItH stoRIes" Burriss was a very thin high school kid the first time he walked El Camino with his father. He was definitely a physical lightweight, but drawn to weighty experiences and physical challenges as a runner. "I didn't need to lose weight, but there are people who do it as a diet," he says. "I was 15 the first time I went to spain. In 2002-2003, I did the El Camino de Santiago the first time." as an 18-year-old, Burriss walked the route in 2006 while an undergraduate at erskine College. In 2009, he participated in a program offered through Lander University. Carlos Mentley, the leader, was doing research on the Camino that summer. Mentley, a professor at Lander University, says "as you walk the pilgrimage route, you pass through cities and towns and villages that still give you the feel of the Middle ages... People make this pilgrimage for any number of reasons. It may be out of their love for walking; out of their love for history, art and architecture; or out of desire to take a spiritual journey and deepen their faith." Mentley has walked thousands of miles along the Camino and inspired students to do the same. Before he takes students, he requires them to do test walks of 15-25 kilometer hikes in full gear to assess their readiness for the challenge. Burriss will complete his doctorate at UGa in 2012. then he is ready for an older challenge: to walk the Camino, he says. again. UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 25 "I definitely intend to repeat. I plan on graduating with my Ph.D. in the next year and I would love to take a group of students from wherever I teach. Personally, I would love to do the Camino again in the winter--the most difficult time due to the snow and cold--it is the best time, because there are far less people walking the trail and there is a better chance you will find room in the albergues." From the outset, pilgrims carry a credencial, a sort of passport and map. "It is given to you at the beginning of the pilgrimage and you get it stamped along the way at albergues," says Burriss. the pilgrims place themselves in the care of volunteers at Camino-dedicated hostels called albergues, which are federally or privately run. the federal ones tend to be austere. they are staffed by volunteers called hospitaleros. at the hostels, volunteers offer the pilgrims acogida (literally meaning food, a prayer or a story, and medical treatment). Burriss once went five days without heat or hot water for showers. there may not be room at the albergue. there may be no food. What Burriss and Mentley stress is simply, "What happens is what was meant to be." Burriss, 26, has undertaken this pilgrimage three times over the past eight years with various individuals. He does it without an iPod or headphones, but with everything he requires for the arduous journey strapped to his back. Burriss seeks the real experience, stripped of modern distractions. the Camino has come to define him personally and to inform his scholarly work, he explains. one mile at a time. "the journey is itself the destination," Mentley says. "you think it's going to be this-- classroom experience--you have this notion and hear about epiphanies and life-changing experiences; I thought it would be this WoW! at kilometer 560 (348 miles) it will happen. But it didn't suddenly happen. you went over there, walking, preparing, having great conversations in beautiful places; you meet hundreds of people. you are inundated with stories." Burriss' journey meant thousands of footsteps on blistered feet, with 30 pounds strapped to his back. It meant nights spent without heat and cold water showers in spartan hostels shivering in a sleeping bag. "It was winter the first time, and we left the day after Christmas. the route was 500-something miles. the winter was hard. We averaged the longest day of 25-26 miles." He sometimes did more, logging as much as 30 miles in a day. trudging a well-worn path across varying landscapes, thousands of pilgrims like Burriss have done this annually, yearround, walking the Camino for at least eight centuries. Dante's narrator in the Divine Comedy refers to the Camino. those Burriss meets come from various departure points around the globe. "you can do all kinds of routes," he says. "I met a guy from China and a guy from Rome, people from all over "the journey is itself the destination." --CaRLos MentLey 26 www.grad.uga.edu pilGRiMAGe RoUteS cAn oRiGinAte fRoM hoMe, or other points of origin in France or spain, yet all culminate at the city of santiago de Compostela. "even if you can only do a portion of the walk and never reach santiago, if you do it fully and truly, you will have reached your goal," says Burriss' mentor, Carlos Mentley. "Getting to the refuge on time to find a bed, or getting to santiago will not really get you what you came for. so enjoy the walk, and take the time to be present in whatever you are doing, or it may pass you by." europe, Germany, there are these trails extending all the way throughout europe." Fluent in spanish and Italian and competent in German, Burriss easily befriends fellow sojourners. today, however, Burriss is distinctly american, shod in tennis shoes and khakis, cutting across UGa's north Campus wearing a daypack. Given the opportunity, he tells others that a pilgrimage may be just the thing needed to clarify their minds of modern life. "the pilgrim mind is a result, because, somehow you are going to start to reflect on your life." Burriss describes what the Camino demands. "We had a 50-liter pack with pants, socks, underwear, shirts. We took Woolite and did laundry in the sink. If it didn't dry overnight it sun dried the next day. If you have coffee and muffins, you go out at 6:00 or 6:30 a.m. We never left later than 7:00 a.m." Food is simple fare, and Burriss is surprised at how little he requires. some days the walkers stop for a coffee with milk and pastry in the mornings, foregoing early breakfast at the albergues for precious rest. "We would get a half of a baguette and add cheese for lunch. We had the platypus for water. you're walking; the views are amazing." He felt sated by a simple diet and rhythm of life on the Camino. When Burriss arrived at the next destination, he shucked off his pack. "you have a piece of fruit, water, leave your stuff, and walk around the town. the best feeling is when you take your hiking shoes off." the relentless routine was affordable and satisfying, Burriss adds. "We ate around 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. and had the menu de Pellegrino, the pilgrim's dinner--always baked meat, fish, chicken, dessert, wine and bread for $10." In his case, a simplified routine led to an abundance of something seldom found: time for reflection. "the Camino teaches you: tHIs Is enoUGH. We take everything to excess. We cannibalize everything. We threaten and don't include people." "the Camino is about a process of letting go," agrees Mentley. "Letting go of stuff that weighed down the pack, which might be useful if...letting go of stuff which weighed down my mind even though it felt familiar and comforting, like being attached to certain images of myself and others. Letting go of anything unnecessary, such as habitual and unconscious patterns of behavior, or judgments about right and wrong. not that I don't fall into the same traps again and again, but I am more aware of them." yet Burriss repeats that it is unnecessary to approach a pilgrimage as spiritual exercise--it is enough to approach it as a very long walk. "the mesata is a trail disappearing into the horizon for 200 miles and it extends through a large part of spain. you walk it for eight hours a day. I tried to walk by myself. no music, no iPods. I had sporadic thoughts, but the life-changing experience is the Camino itself," Burriss says. "one of the things that happens is UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 27 "At journey's end, pilgrims bid one another a special good-bye. `Ultreia'--the pilgrim farewell on el Camino de Santiago. --MICHaeL BURRIss `one more hill' with a 30-pound pack," Burriss says and groans. "Is this the last hill? yeah...but there would be one more hill! It was a metaphor for the trip. nothing is insurmountable. We are capable of great good, great evil. every decision I make goes back to it. nothing I've done is without this (experience). nothing is impossible now." In 2010, Burriss became certified as a hospitalero, receiving government training in a spanish mountain town. He learned the fundamentals of operating an albergues. He took instruction in cooking, cleaning and first aid. He learned how to support the walkers in their endeavors and more about the history of the Camino. Burriss agreed to be placed wherever the spanish government sees fit when he returns. How has this--the Camino--affected Burriss? "the hardest thing is to articulate it," says the well-read researcher. tHe yeLLoW aRRoW He has written about his experiences on the Camino. Burriss contributed an essay to Internet sites concerning the pilgrimage. He recommends one written by a former professor and her son titled, Following the Yellow Arrow. "there's an El Camino canon, fictional works, contemporary spanish literature--all that deals with El Camino. I once gave a presentation on the Knights templar (who have been popularized in popular fiction and films recently) and there was always a threat of bandits." Chaucer springs to mind, again. so do elder hostels and retirees. the walkers who undertake the Camino for religious reasons receive a certificate at the end during mass at the cathedral. "emilio estevez directed a movie called The Way about the Camino. In the film, he met people who had lost someone, who are grieving. He met someone from Rome whose family member was sick, seeking a blessing," says Burriss. the search for benediction and redemption along this journey is one that Burriss says "some date to the 8th century and some to the 12th." according to Mentley, some of the contemporary pilgrims head to points in France, such as arles, tours, Le Puyen-velay, or vezelay. some head to the Pyrenees. at journey's end, pilgrims bid one another a special good-bye. "Ultreia-- the pilgrim farewell on the El Camino de Santiago," says Burriss. go to the StoRy of el cAMino In the americas, El Camino and El Camino Real have multiple references. at least portions of the trails are still navigable and intact. In California, El Camino refers to the California Mission trail. this trail connected the state's forts (presidios) and stations (estancias) with spanish missions or asistencias, and towns, or pueblos. there are numerous other caminos, including one known as El Camino Real de los Tejas, which connected Louisiana and texas, and another that connected Mexico City to santa Fe. In Mexico, El Camino Real connected various colonial cities whereas one route connected Mexico with Guatemala. yet another connected Panama City with Portobello. www.caminosantiago decompostela.com www.americanpilgrims.com/ camino/history.html 28 www.grad.uga.edu Burriss these pictures are "crossing over into the province of asturias," writes Burriss. "the markers and arrows point the way to the trail." UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 nan Cy eve Lyn 29 painter of a lost world: revisiting the past contained within philip Juras' landscape s By CyntHIa aDaMs PHotos By nanCy eveLyn It is one thing for a landscape artist to depict places as they are. It is another for an artist to recapture what once was. this is where Philip Juras frequently works, in the lost, sometimes ghostly terrains of the south. "the great majority of my work is of existing remnant landscapes," he says. Juras is haunted by the way things were and so he reconstructs them with painstaking research. He saves the places and sites we have lost in the american south on canvas-- images nearly unrecognizable as the known world today--a world so visibly altered, Juras becomes its ghostly conservator. "only a few are places that no longer exist," he corrects. "Perhaps that makes me more a conservator of relics than ghosts. they all do require understanding and degrees of research." Juras' work is what writer Janisse Ray calls "omitted truths never to be known, lost to time, unwitnessed, untold unrecorded. Re-creation requires the ability to fill in spaces. to draw from words. to see ghosts..." 30 www.grad.uga.edu PHILIP JURas he MAy pRefeR A Bike to A cAR, howeveR... Juras is moving fast and getting faster, thanks to recent art shows this year at telfair Museum in savannah, a subsequent one at the Morris Museum of art in augusta this summer and another at Wofford College in spartanburg, s.C. Wielding a brush, he is following the tracks of William Bartram, perhaps the best known american naturalist of the 18th-century, notable for his documentation of the pre-settlement southeastern states in his famous 1791 publication known as The Travels. "Bartram was not actually a landscape artist," explains Juras. "He was more of a scientific illustrator, drawing specimens like flowers and birds. I think a comparison might be better made between my paintings and the places Bartram wrote about rather than his drawings. or an artist comparison could be made between the work I am doing and the work of Hudson River school painters of the 19th century." With both a BFa (1990) in drawing and painting and a master of landscape architecture (1997), Juras' work is informed by his graduate studies, something he heavily credits. Bartram is one influence, among others. "Juras is more interested in the larger scale of landscape, informed by an understanding of the ecosystems he is painting," Dorinda Dallmeyer wrote in an essay in Juras' new exhibit book. Published by telfair books and distributed by the UGa press, The Southern Frontier: Landscapes Inspired by Bartram's Travels presents over 60 of Juras' paintings. In 2009, Dallmeyer was working on an anthology of essays by southern nature writers inspired by William Bartram. she recalls seeing posters for an exhibition called "a Pleasant territory" and thought to herself, "nice UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 31 landscapes." only later did the names William Bartram and Philip Juras fully register. Dallmeyer went straight back to the gallery. "Here were these magnificent landscapes--some nearly seven feet wide--all inspired by Bartram's travels. Plus the explanatory notes were beautifully written. I went to UGa librarian Rene shoemaker and asked, `Who is Philip Juras and how do I get in touch with him?'" after making contact, they became friends. Dorinda, who directs the environmental ethics certificate program at UGa, also became a collector. "Most of the landscapes appearing in the anthology and in the telfair Museum exhibition catalog were painted since Philip and I first crossed paths. For me it has been such a thrill to see Philip's ideas and fieldwork metamorphose into visions of the southern frontier, to answer the question so many of us have: `What did this landscape I now live in look like centuries ago?'" Juras currently has over 90 paintings on display. With his studio nearly empty, he checks out inspiring places, sometimes tipped off by friends like Dallmeyer. on a recent drive to savannah, they took a detour. "I took Philip to the outskirts of Milledgeville PHILIP JURas to look at a pretty unlikely place: an old gully being reclaimed by trees," says Dallmeyer. "What makes this place special is that it was first described by sir Charles Lyell, the eminent British geologist, during his visit to america in 1843. Lyell was fascinated at how rapidly erosion had taken place just twenty years after the forests were cleared for agriculture. this place was so significant to Lyell that the gully was the only engraving included in the entire second volume of his journal. now that Philip knows its location, I expect the gully will make a new appearance, this time on canvas." Juras considers this. "It`s such an unnatural and disturbed site, I'm not sure how I'd approach it," he says uncertainly. "But it is a great example of how the region has changed, so it deserves further exploration." Mostly, inspiration for Juras comes courtesy of Mother nature, or is ushered into his consciousness by music. When painting in the rustic studio behind his downtown athens home, Juras likes caffeinated music with a high tempo. "anything from ella Fitzgerald to the talking Heads and the Beatles. I love the dissonant brass of stan Kenton's orchestra." He also likes local music, including Five eight and the Modern skirts. "Painting is a high-energy endeavor, a sort of battle to both lose and maintain control at the same time. the music really helps." so does time in the field, especially with a fire approaching when he paints as fast as possible. He volunteers with the Georgia Department of natural Resources' prescribed fire program, and gets an adrenalin jolt doing field painting in broad strokes on site at controlled burns. Fire is a large theme in the work Juras does--after settlement, much of the south transformed into what he described as a patchwork of pine plantations. the suppression of fires meant a suppression of selfrenewing grassy woodlands. He has written that field paintings are a "reality check--an orientation to The Southern Frontier: Landscapes Inspired by Bartram's Travels presents over 60 of Juras' paintings. the works offer glimpses of the pRe-SettleMent SoUtheRn wildeRneSS as late 18th-century naturalist William Bartram would have experienced it during his famed travels through the region. 32 www.grad.uga.edu PHILIP JURas the colors, textures and atmosphere of the lived experience of a landscape." StRip-MAllS And pARkinG lotS-- not whAt JeffeRSon hAd in Mind Juras once delivered a UGa lecture titled: "Behind the Scenes: a Landscape Painter Drinks Science Kool-Aid," sponsored by the department of geology and the environmental ethics certificate program. there are confounding aspects of the artist. His easy smile makes him seem completely accessible. yet there is a marked intensity. "I try not to take myself too seriously, but I am quite serious about what I am doing--both the work of painting and the effort to send a conservation message," he says in an e-mail. as a schoolboy, Juras imagined interpreting the modern world to a mythic figure like thomas Jefferson. all of it would bear explaining--the paucity of urban planning and conservation-- the disregard for the natural world. "I used to imagine if Jefferson was alive, and I had to drive him around, how to explain it?" He hopes his paintings drive something real: an interest in others, a desire to share what Juras described as the ecological underpinnings of his subject matter. Ghosts of those underpinnings whisper from many places, especially when Juras observes rustling grasses, or a lonely river. "today it's difficult, and at times impossible, to find natural landscapes in the south that William Bartram would recognize," Juras has written. His idea of refreshment is simple: time in the wilderness. Juras celebrated his april birthday in the oconee national Forest. He lucked up and found some morels. "they are the Georgia that Juras would have us know is at times elegantly raw. He avoids sentimentality, but there is beauty nonetheless. Painting from his book, top left page and a field study shown above. UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 33 "pAintinG iS A hiGh-eneRGy endeAvoR, a sort of battle to both lose and maintain control at the same time," Juras says. since returning to athens in 2000 with his wife, Beth Gavrilles, Juras has worked steadily to capture in oil on canvas the natural landscapes of the pre-settlement south. super hard to see," he says. yet he saw. Juras shifts to avoid a shaft of light which illuminates his hazel eyes. He has a shock of brown hair, which is neatly trimmed, and wears jeans and a casual jacket. His bike is just outside, in view. He can jump on the bike and easily disappear within a group of students on the athens streets, like a shadow play or a ghost. Here, then not. the man who can see the ghosts of old landscapes can also become one whenever he wishes. "An incoMplete pictURe..." "I wanted to understand the south that I grew up in but the more I learned the more I found the south to be a radically changed landscape. I wanted a more complete picture," says Juras. a few years after art school, he attended the Cullowhee native Plant Conference with his mother, agnes. Darrel Morrison, a landscape architect at UGa, and fire ecologist Cecil Frost were both at the Cullowhee conference. "Darrel is the reason I went into landscape architecture and is part of the reason I focus so much on the plant communities of the southeast in my current work." Frost vividly depicted the Piedmont as a fairly grassy, open landscape, once experiencing frequent low-intensity fires. "this was not how I imagined the virgin forest," Juras recalls. Frost's lecture influenced the thesis Juras wrote four years later. the artist and fire ecologist reconnected two years ago. "I have not seen Philip since the talk that he mentioned," Frost writes by e-mail. "I did see one of his paintings in a magazine and thought of contacting him. now I will. My undergraduate degree was in art and I always wanted to be a landscape painter but got into fire ecology instead (I think of what I do as painting the landscape with fire). What a compliment, to have supplied some of the inspiration for a magnificent landscape artist like Philip!" While a graduate student, Juras took all of Morrison's classes--some twice. this is possibly why the painted throats of the white-topped pitcher plants, which Juras calls "the lovely carnivore," are offered up in such a beguiling way. these details--unexpected and dewy witchgrass--a chalky stalk arising from milky waters--enchant the viewer just as they did Bartram. Juras knows exactly what he has seen and he shows us. the ARt of Re-cReAtion "to re-create requires a brilliant magician...as if he traveled alongside Bartram, carrying a box of paints and a leather tube of rolled-up canvas, making sure that the work was not swept away in river crossings or lost on horseback. the painter was given the eyes of Bartram," marvels Ray in the essay "the affected Heart of Philip Juras". Juras chews his lip. "Mostly, I want people to think I'm not too serious and even a bit lazy," he jokes. He inscribes his new book, Philip Juras: The Southern Frontier, Landscapes Inspired by Bartram's Travels with this: "Just think, if I didn't grow up in the suburbs of augusta, always looking elsewhere for the nature I couldn't find in the neighborhood, these paintings would probably all be of barns, lighthouses, and puppies!" sarah Ross, president of the Wormsloe Foundation in savannah, is grateful. "Philip is uniquely qualified and exceptionally talented. His academic background, with a BFa in painting and drawing and a MLa, provide the knowledge and structure for his landscape compositions, which are accurately rendered historically and ecologically. Philip's innate talent is brought to life by his steadfast work ethic. His paintings are not just important; they are, in the true sense of the word, treasures." Juras says, "What I am doing now with art is structured, like my thesis," he explains."My work is to engage, compel, to tell you a story, the experience of place," he says. BecoMinG An ARtiSt the artist likes experiencing where few explore, pressing into places of discovery. after high school in 1985, he flew to Quebec and rode his bicycle back home to augusta. "It was a lonely trip, but I met all kinds of people on the 34 www.grad.uga.edu DoRInDa DaLLMeyeR UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 35 theRe iS deliBeRAte AlcheMy in the works Juras produces--and a desire to provide inspiration for the viewer. Juras says, "I paint to share my passion for experiencing places, particularly natural places. the idea is to allow the viewer to expeRience And cARe about a place the way I do...to get them to care about it and then want to conserve it." road and found that kindness comes from all sorts." In the fall of 1988, Juras studied art in Cortona, Italy, and met his wife. "Beth holds an MFa in drawing and painting from UGa," he says. since Cortona, they have returned to europe to tour around by bike. the small paintings that they both do on these trips "are like personal postcards" he says, ones they keep for themselves. after the postcards are completed, Juras returns to Bartram's trail. there is ample material in this lost world. "If the world seems unfair or beyond our understanding," wrote essayist alain de Bottom in The Art of Travel, "sublime places suggest that it is not surprising that things should be thus. We are the playthings of the forces that laid out the oceans and chiseled the mountains. sublime places gently move us to acknowledge limitations that we might otherwise encounter with anxiety or anger in the ordinary flow of events...it is the vast spaces of nature that perhaps provide us with the finest, the most respectful reminder of all that exceeds us." Juras says his paintings, "have their own life to live now, hopefully telling someone the story of the way things used to be and making them fall in love with nature...the idea is to allow the viewer to experience and care about a place the way I do...and then want them to conserve it." the shining rocks, the old growth oaks, the serpentine outcrops, the rocks and shoals--the white-topped pitcher plants, cane brakes and haunting last light of Dawho River--these ghostly and haunting remnants of sublime places occupy Juras' canvases now. If de Bottom is right, they will speak of both the natural forces that chiseled the mountains, and the backhoes that have ravaged them. go to www.philipjuras.com painTinG a ConTrolled Burn iT's a lovely THinG to walk along, dripping fire from a torch filled with a mix of diesel and gasoline and then look back to see a line of crackling fire creeping into the burn unit. of course now they let me paint on prescribed fires as much as actually help light them. When I volunteer as a fire"lighter" with the Ga DnR and the nature Conservancy, I get to help set fire to some of the most beautiful and ecologically sensitive natural places in the state. It always depends on what the ecological goals are as to how interesting the effects of the fire will be, and it's rare that I get to see anything scary, but it's always beautiful and on occasion rather exciting. once, while painting a live fire under the watchful eye of DnR ecologist/fire boss shan Cammack, a major wind shift meant that I had roughly 60 seconds to pick up my easel and move out before eight-foot flames engulfed the longleaf pine needles and wiregrass I'd been standing in (this is Georgia's most flammable natural environment). But no problem, my protective fire gear and training pulled me through, and the little ten minute painting came out fine with ashes nicely stuck to the wet paint. there are so many compelling aspects to a fire-dependent environment that call to me. the fire itself of course, and fantastic effects like the bizarre colors of shadow and light as the great smoke plume passes in front of the sun, but nothing is as compelling and delightful as the gorgeous lush green landscape that re-emerges phoenix-like not long after the burn. It's so amazing to think that the very aesthetics that I'm so enchanted with, not to mention the rare species and rich ecology, are completely dependent on being frequently set on fire. What could be a better focus for this landscape painter? you can be sure there will be more paintings on this subject. --Philip Juras 36 www.grad.uga.edu how leadership programs inspire innovation, leadership and fulfillment in THe Fall oF 2004, Dean Maureen Grasso instituted a professional development experience (then called the Future Leaders Program and now known as the emerging Leaders Program). It was an experience that she and her staff felt was needed for promising leaders among UGa graduate students. "the doctoral and master's students needed to know leadership skills before stepping into their professions," she says. Grasso assembled a team to direct the first leadership development workshop during fall break. the Graduate school worked with psychologist Carolyn Humphrey, and hosted 31 graduate students at a retreat in Forest Hills, Georgia. "It is the fact that the program is inter-disciplinary which excited students the most," Grasso says. "Connections made during this experience remain long after the students' year in the program," she adds. now in its eighth year, the program focuses upon personal leadership development, according to Judy Milton, who has a long-term involvement. "Participants identify leadership strengths and opportunities, interact with UGa graduates to learn about future career possibilities, and make connections with other students from programs across campus." among those attending that first workshop was Letha J. Mosley, 47 at the time. Mosley, a non-traditional student had left behind a career in occupational therapy. since the 2004 program, Mosley earned a doctorate and secured a faculty position at the University of Central arkansas in Conway. Praveen Kolar (see p.8) is another alumnus of emerging Leaders. "We are very happy that Praveen Kolar, a successful alumnus, has taken the time to return," says Milton. "He is able to share his experiences as a new professor." Kolar also contributes insights from his job search and beyond, she adds. "He gives the students great tips for finding the right academic position and shares his `insider' knowledge�information in which future academics are always interested." In discussing the contributions of those who have been through the program, Grasso observed, "these workshop alums are going to look back and say the University of Georgia planted the seed of leadership with me. that's going to be the legacy--the value of big picture thinking. the graduates pay it forward." In 1970, Grasso had attended a similar workshop when a student at the University of tennessee. "the program awakened me to new possibilities," she says. Immediately after the first workshop, Mosley said she gained more than leadership skills. she discovered "past graduates and entrepreneurs who have actually become leaders right out of college." Her roommate at the workshop remains a close friend and confidant. nanCy eveLyn UGA Graduate School Magazine f A l l 2 011 37 "tHe ILLIteRate of the 21st-century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who --aLvIn toFFeR, author of Future Shock cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." Graduate school donors the Graduate school gratefully acknowledges all who have made a financial commitment to graduate education at the University of Georgia--from alumni to corporate sponsors to faculty and friends. By supporting graduate students, you are enabling research and creative works that affect so many facets of our lives. you are investing in our future and our children's future, as well as our nation's economy and security you are also contributing to undergraduate education, enhancing our workforce and advancing discoveries that benefit us all. nanCy eveLyn Dean's List of Donors to the University of Georgia Graduate School July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2011 GraduaTe CluB ($500 - $999) akers-Bruckner, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Wise H. Batten Jr. Dr. and Mrs. George R. Biederman Jr. Drs. Judy K. and James v. Bruckner Ms. Mary Frances early Dr. Mary arnold erlanger Mr. and Mrs. James W. Godbee Mrs. Donna Leigh Jackins Drs. Uechai M. and Jirawan s. Jitthavech Dr. and Mrs. Larry R. Johnson Kay H. and Burke C. Jones Dr. young Woong Park Mr. Jeffrey William Pferd Dr. William a. Person Dr. and Mrs. Paul G. 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Kim Dr. and Mrs. David a. Knauft Dr. tetsujiro Matsuhashi Mr. and Mrs. John F. McMullan Mr. arthur Benjamin Mohor Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Leonard e. oliver Mr. Russell tallman Quarterman Dr. sangram singh sisodia and Dr. Diane van Hoof-sisodia Mr. and Mrs. Jason a. smith Dr. John edward stewart II verizon vitamin Derivatives, Inc. Ms. Marvine Rider Wanamaker Dr. Lawrence Jeff Wheeler 38 www.grad.uga.edu foRd cAlhoUn earned three degrees from UGA in microbiology. He shared his thoughts about supporting philanthropic gifts to the Graduate school: "Indifferent high school students from rural south Georgia seldom progress to an adult life of exciting opportunities in science, technology, and business. UGa's commitment to providing an environment of academic access and support of inquisitive minds gave me those opportunities. our country no longer has the same faith in the value of education and supports it far less. this is to the detriment to our children, our economy, and our national destiny. 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E0158 the University of Georgia Graduate school 320 east Clayton street, suite 400 athens, Georgia 30602-4401 (706) 425-3111 GRaDUate sCHooL aDMInIstRatIon Maureen Grasso Dean Melissa Barry assistant Dean Judy Milton assistant Dean The Graduate school at the university of Georgia has been enhancing learning environments and inspiring scholarly endeavors since its formal establishment in 1910. through our professional development programs and funding opportunities, we promote excellence in graduate education in all disciplines. editor/writer Cynthia adams design Julie sanders photo editor nancy evelyn Tonia Gantt Business Tom wilfong Development nonPRoFIt oRG. U.s. PostaGe PaID atLanta, Ga PeRMIt 2295 the Graduate School Magazine was awarded a Case award of excellence for the southeast District this year. this publication was printed by generous gifts from verizon ACHIEVING LOFT: What makes people more innovative? Room to dream, to play and to make mistakes. "the point is to develop the childlike desire for recognition," said einstein, "and to guide the child over to important fields for society." Will Evelyn, graduate student of the future, here and on the cover. anDReW Rosen now! go visit us online at www.grad.uga.edu `George' by nick Helton view this noble, bigger-than-life DaWG sculpture in person at 2636 W. Broad street., athens, Ga Dirty Jobs Discovery Channel's Mike Rowe explored the job of termite research with doctorial candidate su yee Lim and professor Brian Forschler this year. Lim and her professor were featured in our summer 2010 issue. careers where this is unexpected. David Leonhardt, a columnist for The New York Times, delivers the fortunate news that "the returns from a degree have soared. three decades ago, full-time workers with a bachelor's degree made 40 percent more than those with only a high-school diploma. Last year, the gap reached 83 percent." Source: Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University College by the Numbers The case for higher education has never been stronger--boosting income even in