STANSBURY'S VISION FOR WILD WILLY: DRONE RACER
A L U M N I
WHEN ART MEETS SCIENCE
M A G A Z I N E VOLUME
93 NO.3 THE
PIONEER How Academy Award-winning alumnus Brian Whited has forever changed the way Disney makes its animated movies
GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 92 NO.2 2016
From left to right: Frank Haren, F. Evan Haren, DeLane Parker Haren, Parker Haren, and Molly Babb Haren.
“At Christmas, our family reads aloud letters from our scholarship recipients. What a gift!” — DeLane Parker Haren, IM 1977, and F. Evan Haren Jr., CE 1977 For Evan and DeLane Haren, Georgia Tech is truly a family
endowment through a retirement plan beneficiary designation.
The scholarship provides support for undergraduates in the
Evan, a native of Etowah, Tennessee, followed in the footsteps of his father, Frank E. Haren Sr., ME 1954, and in turn was followed by his brother, J. Skyler Haren, CE 1980, to the Institute.
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering who are from southeast Tennessee and who face financial need. For many years Evan has served as president of the Haren
DeLane, who hails from Lavonia, Georgia, was a majorette with
Construction Company, founded in 1939 by his grandfather and
the Yellow Jackets Marching Band, and her younger brother,
based in Etowah. DeLane has devoted her life to taking care of
Charles R. “Rusty” Parker, IE 1980, is also a proud alumnus.
her three children (daughter Adrienne is an alumna of Auburn
The Georgia Tech tradition has continued into the next
University) and being a homemaker, while also being active in
generation with Evan and DeLane’s two sons, Frank E. Haren III, CE 2006, and Parker C. Haren, CE 2014, and Parker’s wife, Molly Babb Haren, PUBP 2013. Just as surely as Tech is woven into the fabric of the Haren
the Keith Memorial United Methodist Church. The motivation behind their philanthropy was simple. “It is important to us that deserving students have the opportunities and encouragement that our children had in order to reach their
family, so too is the tradition of giving back. Evan and DeLane
academic goals,” the Harens explained. And it resonates on a
have supported Roll Call for 39 consecutive years, and in 2010
deeply personal level for them. “At Christmas, our family reads
they established The Haren Family Scholarship Endowment
aloud letters from our scholarship recipients. What a gift!”
Fund with an outright gift. Later, when working on their estate plans, they significantly increased their commitment to the
Founders’ Council is the honorary society recognizing donors who have made estate or life-income gifts of $25,000 or more for the support of Georgia Tech. For more information, please contact: 404.894.4678 • firstname.lastname@example.org • gatech.giftplans.org
Online & On-site
CONTINUE YOUR SUCCESS STORY
PUBLISHER’S LETTER That’s Entertainment? A COUPLE MONTHS AGO, I watched a TV event on ESPN—along with hundreds of thousands of other viewers—that challenged my perception of what entertainment could be. The Drone Racing League Championship was being held in London, and one of the finalists was a 21-year-old Georgia Tech aerospace engineering student named Nick Willard, aka “Wild Willy.” He and his quad-copter drones competed in a dazzling (and dizzying) series of matches that pitted his racing skills against five of the world’s best. It took me a while to wrap my brain around exactly what I was seeing—each heat lasts not much more than a minute— but once I figured out the basics of these crazy aerial battles, I was completely enthralled. Our very own Wild Willy fared well in the tournament, netting third place overall. But this wasn’t his first taste of drone racing excellence. Earlier this spring, Willard helped a Yellow Jacket drone team win the national collegiate title (see page 22). Meanwhile, elsewhere on campus, hundreds of students participate and thrive in another relatively new area of entertainment—eSports (see page 40). Like drone racing, eSports is a rapidly growing piece of the entertainment pie, not only in terms of viewership, but also in revenue (and corporate sponsorships). What is eSports? It’s competitive gaming, where individuals and teams tackle a seemingly unlimited assortment of videogame titles—roleplaying game League of Legends is perhaps the best known—in front of virtual crowds online or in packed arenas worldwide. In 2016, a team of Tech students made it to the semifinals of the collegiate League of Legends Championship, and other teams have excelled globally over the years in games like Overwatch and StarCraft. Both drone racing and eSports lie at the intersection of technology and entertainment, and it’s no surprise that Georgia Tech flourishes there. After all, Tech flourishes pretty much at every intersection
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of technology, be it with medicine, education, manufacturing, energy, defense and many others. In this issue of the Alumni Magazine, we are going to drill down to show how Tech alumni, students and faculty have carved fascinating and unusual paths into the entertainment industry. For instance, you can read how alumnus Brian Whited, CS 03, MS CS 05, PhD 09, developed a revolutionary animation system for Disney and won an Academy Award this year for his innovation (see page 52). Or take stock of what’s happening on Tech campus to encourage unbridled creativity, from our robust Arts@Tech programs (page 44) to new degrees offered in computational media and music technology (page 16). You’ll also find out why your alma mater is popping up more frequently as a shooting location for films and TV shows (page 12), how the current Georgia Tech Marching Band—now the largest it’s ever been—compares to bands of yore (page 102), and how Ian Eyre, ME 95, built a career as a movie stuntman (page 38). Sports, too, can be considered entertainment, and we interviewed Athletic Director Todd Stansbury, IM 84, to share his wholly unique story of how he first came to Tech as a football player—and then came back decades later to help shape the current generation of Yellow Jacket student-athletes. As always, you’ll find Tech and the Alumni Magazine at the corner of technology and everything else. We hope you enjoy this issue! Go Jackets!
JOSEPH P. IRWIN, IM 80 PRESIDENT & CEO GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine Vol. 93, No. 3 PUBLISHER Joseph P. Irwin, IM 80 VP MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Dawn Churi EDITOR Roger Slavens ASSISTANT EDITOR Melissa Fralick DESIGNER Joshua Baker | joshbkr.com COPY EDITOR Rebecca Bowen STUDENT ASSISTANT Christine St. Jean EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE David Bottoms, Mgt 01, Chair Andrea L. Laliberte, IE 82, MS IE 84, Past Chair Bird Blitch, IE 97, Chair-Elect/ Vice Chair of Roll Call Sheri Prucka, EE 82, MS EE 84, Vice Chair of Finance Jeni Bogdan, Mgt 89, MS MOT 96, Member at Large Shan Pesaru, CmpE 05, Member at Large Tyler Townsend, IE 98, Member at Large Brent Zelnak, Mgt 94, Member at Large Joseph P. Irwin, IM 80, President & CEO BOARD OF TRUSTEES Michelle Adkins, IM 83; Dorothy B. Autin, ChE 80; Lee A. Baker, IE 90; Carlos Barroso, ChE 80; Trevor Boehm, ME 99, MS ME 04; Rita Breen, Psy 90, MS IE 92; Julian A. Brown III, Mgt 97; Frank T. Campos, EE 80, MS MoT 96; Catherine C. Davidson, Mgt 89; Samuel L. Gude III, MBA 08; Julie E. Hall, Phys 99; Scott Hall, ME 96; Cathy P. Hill, EE 84; Lara O’Connor Hodgson, AE 93; Tim Holman, MS EE 88, PhD EE 94; Keith Jackson, Mgt 88; Ronald L. Johnson, MS OR 85; Plez A. Joyner, EE 89; Garrett S. Langley, EE 09; Mark E. Ligler, ME 76; Robert D. Martin, IE 69; George R. Mason, IE 92; Angela Mitchell, PTCH 04; Alex Muñoz, Mgt 88; Thomas J. O’Brien, IE 81; Blake Patton, IE 93; Amy H. Phuong, IA 05, MBA 14; William J. Ready, MatE 94, MS MetE 97, PhD MSE 00; Bert Reeves, Mgt 00; John W. Simmons Jr., EE 88; Mayson T. Spellman, Mgt 05; Jocelyn M. Stargel, IE 82, MS IE 86; James F. Stovall IV, CS 01; Kristen M. Thorvig, STC 98; David P. Touwsma, IE 97; Brian Tyson, EE 10 ADVERTISING Betsy Maddox (404) 894-0751 email@example.com GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI MAGAZINE (ISSN: 1061-9747) is published quarterly by the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313. Periodical postage paid in Atlanta and additional mailing offices. © 2016 Georgia Tech Alumni Association POSTMASTER Send address changes to: Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313. TELEPHONE Georgia Tech Alumni Association (404) 894-2391
TABLE OF CONTENTS D E PA RT M E N T S
SAY YES TO THE DRESS
Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more than meets the eye with this artistic creation, which incorporates hidden, interactive technologies.
ART MEETS SCIENCE
Yellow Jackets are melding technology and design to push the boundaries of what it means to be an artist.
What started out as PhD research for alumnus Brian Whited led to an important advancement in animation for Disney.
From movies to music to monster trucks, these Georgia Tech alumni and students are following their creative passions.
On the Cover: Animation stills provided by Walt Disney Animation Studios. Film reel art courtesy of Getty Images.
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D E PA RT M E N T S
Six top pilots, including Tech’s own Wild Willy, competed in this year’s Drone Racing League world championship in London.
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Courtesy of the Drone Racing League
TABLE OF CONTENTS
10 Around Campus
32 In the World
12 Campus Cameos Georgia Tech has made several guest appearances in recent films and TV shows. 14 Adventures Ahead A conversation with Tech’s new College of Engineering dean Steve McLaughlin. 16 Making Some Big Noise Learn more about Tech’s new bachelor of science in music technology program. 18 Talk of Tech 22 Ten Questions Tech student Nick Willard is one of the world’s best professional drone racers.
34 Bring Out Your Geeks See photos of Georgia Tech students, faculty and staff decked out at Dragon Con. 36 Dollars & Sense Vernon Strickland, TextE 98, lays down some entertainment law. 38 Movie Daredevil Ian Eyre, ME 95, knows how to pull out all the stunts. 40 Video Game Changers Tech students and alumni play an integral role in the up-and-coming world of eSports.
The latest news and views from Georgia Tech
24 On the Field
The scoop on Tech’s studentathletes and alumni 26 Yellow Jacket Once Again Todd Stansbury, IM 84, has returned to the Institute to take his dream job as Georgia Tech’s athletic director.
Ramblin’ Wrecks generating buzz beyond the Institute
68 Alumni House
All about what’s going on at 190 North Avenue 70 Leading the Way The Alumni Association welcomes new leaders to its Board of Trustees. 74 Alumni Travel Explore the world with fellow Yellow Jackets in 2018. 82 Ramblin’ Roll 90 In Memoriam
102 Tech History
Memories and artifacts of Tech’s storied past 102 Marching to its Own Beat A look at the Yellow Jacket Marching Band’s growth and change over the decades. 106 Time Machine
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FEEDBACK AFFECTION FOR ADLER I enjoyed reading the “Brand New Age of Learning” issue of the Alumni Magazine (Summer 2017, Vol. 93 No. 3), especially the profile of Dr. Phil Adler. As I read about Dr. Adler, I relived the trepidation felt when he called on me in class. I never swore about him, like some may have, but the concepts I learned in his classes stayed with me through graduate school. I was fortunate to be in his “telephone” class, at the Robins Air Force Base Resident Center. It was a joint Tech/University of Georgia master’s program. All of the other students opted for the UGA degree, because Tech required a thesis. I became the first Tech graduate from a distance learning program, and the third of four generations to teach at Tech—ranging from my grandfather, Dean Floyd Field, to my youngest daughter, who tutored Bobby Cremins’ basketball players. WILLARD M. (MIKE) FIELD, IM 66, MS IM 71 MARTIN, GA.
I would like to add my voice to the chorus of former students who agree with me that Dr. Adler was absolutely the best professor that I ever had the pleasure of having in my academic career. He was a terrific teacher who imparted lessons that were academic, as well as life lessons, and had a tremendous impact on my success both professionally and personally. I graduated with an industrial management degree from Tech and went on to work in the financial fields and obtained my MBA. I also was a fashion model in New York and Paris and later I went back to law school to become an immigration attorney, in addition to being a wife and mother during this time. From a woman’s perspective, I feel that Dr. Adler prepared me for success in life as a person—he treated every student exactly the same. Dr. Adler remains such a large influence and outstanding figure in my life. I am so lucky to have been among the Tech students who got to experience firsthand
his very intense, exciting and memorable tutelage—and survived and flourished as a result of it! SUSAN SCOVILLE MORRIS, IM 84, WINTER PARK, FLA.
DROWNPROOFING DISCUSSIONS In the fall of 1950, I was a 17-year-old freshman from Canton, Ga.—and I was frightened, intimidated and overwhelmed by everything I was soon to face at Georgia Tech. But topping the list of things I feared was the Drownproofing/physical training course. I had heard about having your wrists and ankles tied together and then being forced to jump into the pool and then treading water for the next 45 minutes. I came to Tech as a non-swimmer, but I wasn’t alone. All of us non-swimmers were told we would take the course the following spring. That quarter, Life magazine—perhaps the most important publication of that era—decided to cover the course and Tech held a special demonstration for the publication’s editors. While some students treaded water for the full 12 hours, I was not nearly that successful—but I managed to last three hours (not bad). I had much success at Georgia Tech and later in life. But, to this day, one of my proudest accomplishments is earning a “C” grade in Drownproofing/PT 101. What a tremendous boost for that 17-year-old kid’s confidence and self-esteem. I love Georgia Tech and all that it did for me. RAY H. PETTIT, EE 54, MS EE 60 FORMER PROFESSOR OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING LAS VEGAS, NEV.
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I couldn’t help but notice that you published three letters about Tech’s “infamous” Drownproofing course in the last issue. This topic always gets letters for as long a s I ca n r e m e m ber—you have even published mine before. Yet, with sadness I realize that one day all of us who experienced this amazing course will be gone and no Tech alumnus will know what the heck it was. Perhaps whoever administers the Institute should consider what was and is lost. The techniques are still well known and not difficult to teach. BILL BROCKMAN, MGT 73 ATLANTA
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! Just read the latest issue (Summer 2017, Vol. 93 No. 2) of the Alumni Magazine from cover to cover. It was a great issue—packed with great stories. I also really liked the “Back Page” letter from Provost Rafael Bras about Tech’s commitment to innovative learning. I can’t remember seeing this placement before, but it was a good way to give a campus leader a voice without losing the magazine’s editorial vision. A job well done by the magazine team. AL TRUJILLO, AE 81 PRESIDENT OF THE GEORGIA TECH FOUNDATION ATLANTA
The Alumni Magazine keeps getting better and better! I don’t know how you guys do it, but each issue seems to outdo the last one. Thank you! JACK FAUSSEMAGNE, IM 65 ATLANTA
Want to get in touch? Send letters to: Editor, Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Share your personal news, birth and wedding announcements (with photos!), out-and-about snapshots and in memoriam notices at gtalumni.org/magazine.
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at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center
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No wonder it’s the ofﬁcial meeting facility of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association! From small meeting rooms to large-scale conference facilities, the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center offers purpose-built space to suit your company’s needs. Featuring flexible room arrangements, a continuous refreshment service, dedicated event and technical support from start to finish, and more – the GLC is ideal for your next business event. Schedule your personal tour today!
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Thousands of Georgia Tech students, faculty and staff were treated to quite a show on the first day of the fall semester, as the Atlanta campus provided a 97 percent totality view of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. The College of Sciences added to the experience by providing free eclipse glasses and a galaxyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth of educational programs and events to celebrate the occasion.
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BY ROGER SLAVENS
Thanks to Atlanta’s booming film industry, Georgia Tech has made a number of guest appearances in recent movies and TV shows. BEN AFFLECK AND ANNA KENDRICK. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams. These movie stars and others have set foot on the grounds of Ma Tech in recent years to film scenes for major Hollywood productions such as The Accountant, The Internship and Trouble with the Curve. O ve r t h i s t i m e , t h e Georgia f ilm industry has grown enormously to become one of the most popular filming locations in the world, with movie and TV shoots in the state generating $9.5 billion in economic impact this past fiscal year. Location scouts are constantly on the lookout for spaces to fit the bill for a wide variety of scenes, and spots at Tech have filled in as everything from generic office spaces to the stately White House. The biggest production to dominate campus was the buddy comedy The Internship, which in the summer of 2012 took Clough Commons and turned it and other nearby locations (including the grounds of the Klaus Advanced Computing Building) into a facsimile of Google headquarters for a few weeks. The movie told the story
of two down-on-their-luck salesmen (Vaughn and Wilson) who find a loophole that allows them to participate in Google’s internship program alongside young college students. “The filming of The Internship was a wonderful opportunity for our students, faculty and staff,” says Howard Wertheimer, Arch 81, M Arch 85, the Institute’s assistant vice president of capital planning and space management. “We all got a glimpse behind the scenes of what it takes to produce a major motion picture— in terms of time, set design, logistics,
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ROLLING AND FLYING SWARM ROBOTS reside in the Institute’s new Robotarium
equipment, lighting, technology, security, food service and the like. And I even got to be an extra in a scene with Rose Byrne.” However, Wertheimer says that the location shoot was also a lesson in how disruptive filming on campus can be. “We learned that we need to respect the priority use of academic facilities for their primary function of teaching and learning,” he says. “Filming movies and TV shows can be very chaotic for students, faculty and staff, so now we carefully evaluate all requests to film at Tech.”
RATIO OF WOMEN in Tech’s 2017 freshman class
The Institute regularly receives a few calls a week from location managers seeking to film scenes on campus, ranging from local advertising spots to big movie productions, says Lisa Grovenstein, Tech’s assistant vice president of news and campus communications. “We have to turn most of them down,” she says. “Academic and research facilities are generally off limits most of the school year, and occasionally we even have to deny requests based on the content of the screenplays. Institute Communications reviews scripts of scenes before any agreement is finalized to make sure they’re appropriate and don’t cast Georgia Tech in a negative light.” If there’s one true star of campus, it’s the Historic Academy of Medicine building—formerly the home of the Medical Association of Atlanta that was gifted to the Institute in 2008. Situated on the corner of 7th Street and West Peachtree Street in Midtown, it’s a non-academic building that’s used as an event space, which means filming there doesn’t disrupt the campus at large. What location managers particularly love about the building is that it’s an easy shoe-in for the White House and other governmental buildings. It boasts classic Doric columns, marble floors and a stunning rotunda that features a chandelier that was once used in the movie Gone with the Wind. The Academy building has been showcased in a number of recent productions, including the award-winning drama Selma, about Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous protest march, starring David Oyelowo; HBO’s Confirmation, about Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, starring Kerry Washington; a few scenes in The Accountant and the Discovery Channel’s 8-part miniseries Manhunt: Unabomber; and the recently released biographical spy thrillers American Made, starring Tom Cruise; and Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, starring Liam Neeson. The sporting facilities of the Georgia Tech Athletics Association provide other popular spots for filming. Russ Chandler Stadium was used for scenes in Trouble with the Curve and Disney’s Million Dollar Arm, and McCamish Pavilion was used in the Starz TV show Survivor’s Remorse. Other recent productions to come to campus include the horror flick Rings and kid’s comedy Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, the (now-canceled) Fox TV show Constantine (at Brittain Dining Hall), and the TV movie remake of Robin Cook’s Coma (at the Campus Recreation Center). “It’s a lot of fun for our students, faculty, staff and alumni to see Tech featured in movies and TV programs, but it’s also a lot of work,” Grovenstein says.
GEORGIA TECH’S economic impact on the state of Georgia
TECH FRESHMAN spent their first weekend as college students volunteering
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BY MICHAEL BAXTER
Tech’s new College of Engineering Dean Steve McLaughlin shares the goals and challenges of shaping tomorrow’s “helluva engineer.” THE NEW DEAN of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering is a world traveler with a sense of adventure. And an entrepreneur who admits he’s more mathematical than mechanical. And a believer in the critical role engineers must play to make life better for others. And a coffee enthusiast who might well be roasting java beans for a living if he weren’t leading the nation’s largest engineering school. The Alumni Magazine recently caught up with Steve McLaughlin, a long-time Tech faculty member and former Steve W. Chaddick Chair of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, to capture his thoughts about his new role leading the bright future of the College of Engineering.
you know, they built Georgia Tech a building. So before study abroad became trendy in higher education, we had a strong program overseas. WE READ THAT 5 PERCENT OF ENGINEERING STUDENTS NATIONWIDE STUDY ABROAD. BUT IN THE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, IT’S ABOUT 50 PERCENT. WHY IS THAT? I’d love for it to be 100 percent. International experience is one of the most profound experiences our students can have. Before joining our
WHAT’S ONE THING ALUMNI MIGHT BE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOU? I once spent three days on safari in the middle of nowhere, in an area 50 miles by 50 miles. It was a totally transformational experience. YOU’RE NO STRANGER TO WORLD TRAVEL. YOU WERE GEORGIA TECH’S FIRST VICE PROVOST FOR INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES. Georgia Tech got an early start in international education back in the 1980s. The mayor of Metz, France, wanted to turn that city into a knowledge-based economy. Next thing
YOU’VE ALSO CHAMPIONED STUDENT ENTREPRENEURSHIP. WHY WAS STARTING TECH’S CREATE-X SO IMPORTANT TO HELP STUDENTS LAUNCH THEIR OWN COMPANIES? Students today know they need to take control of their own careers. They have to create their own jobs. So they
GETTING TO KNOW STEVE MCLAUGHLIN HOMETOWNS: Pittsburgh,
Pa. and Rochester, N.Y.
wireless communications, data storage, holder of 36 U.S. patents
Electrical Engineering, Northwestern University; MS Engineering, Princeton; PhD, University of Michigan PRIVATESECTOREXPERIENCE: Eastman Kodak, Bell
Three start-up companies FACULTY: School of
Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech (1996 – present)
Labs, Booz Allen Hamilton
CHAIR: School of
RESEARCH: Coding and
Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech (2012-17)
signal processing for
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study abroad program, many students have not traveled much. It’s a little scary to them. Fifteen weeks later, they’re completely different people—so much more confident.
TOTALITY OF THE SOLAR ECLIPSE viewed on campus by students on Aug. 21
International Initiatives, Georgia Tech (2007-12) National Order of Merit (France, 2011) HEROES: Pittsburgh
Pirates legend Roberto Clemente and genius mathematician Claude Shannon FAMILY: Wife Mary and
NEW STUDENTS in this year’s freshman class Nick Burchell
district. I loved teaching, so I went and got a PhD, thinking I was going to be a teacher at a university. But then I discovered I also enjoyed research, and things took off from there. WHAT MOST PREPARED YOU TO BECOME DEAN? I see myself as a people person. I draw energy from people. A perfect day is away from email, talking to people, hearing their story. So many people who have Georgia Tech in their past have such interesting stories. I also love complex problems. SO WHAT’S THE MOST COMPLEX PROBLEM IN HIGHER EDUCATION TODAY? No question, it’s access and affordability. Think about those who don’t have access to what students have at Georgia Tech. Our students are already technologically literate when they arrive. They come out technological superstars. But what about the other 99.99 percent who don’t have immediate access to tech? Do we play a role in helping them become more technologically skilled? I would say yes. WHERE DO YOU SEE THE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING HEADED IN THE FUTURE?
come here, and they think maybe they can start a company. So we pour gas on any embers that are glowing.
our 10-year goal is 300 student startups every year.
AS DEAN, DO YOU PLAN TO EXPAND THE PROGRAM?
YOU SPENT SOME TIME IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR—HOW DID YOU END UP IN HIGHER ED?
Absolutely. For fall semester, we had 185 student teams apply to be one of 30 new companies. Each selected team gets $20,000, free legal help and mentorship. We’ll soon be able to expand to 100 student companies, and
While I was working for [consulting firm] Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington in the 1980s, a friend brought me to this after-school tutoring program for inner-city kids. That led me to take a year off to teach math in the
ATLANTA UNITED MATCHES held at Bobby Dodd Stadium
MILES DRIVEN BY five Tech students to deliver an ambulance to Mongolia
In the last eight or 10 years, we’ve made a lot of progress in areas where we’re no longer the fast follower; in many areas we’re now the leader. We’ll continue to build on our strengths, especially basic research. There are some big things on the horizon we’re involved in, like stem cell manufacturing, cyber-security and others. We’ll also continue to develop our strong relationship with Emory University. NEW ADVENTURES AHEAD, THEN? The unexpected is what’s next. I’m incredibly lucky. I get paid to do something for a living that I would do for free.
TEAMS OF STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS participating in this year’s Startup Launch at Georgia Tech
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Making Some Big Noise BY ANN HOEVEL, STC 98
At Georgia Tech, students don’t just play music—they design the instruments and tools to create it. EVERYTHING SOUNDED THE WAY the Couch Building should sound on the first day of fall semester. Students were tuning their instruments. Oftrepeated musical phrases murmured with frustration from the practice rooms. Every once in a while, the playback of a digital project added to the cacophony. But the School of Music faculty and staff knew things were about to change dramatically, says Chris Moore, coordinator of Tech’s new bachelor’s of science in music technology program (BSMT). The School of Music already offers master’s and doctorate programs in music technology, one of only a handful of schools in the United States to do so. In just its first year, the undergraduate major grew from 12 students to 40. “And the transfers are still coming in,” Moore says. As one of the most popular new degree programs on campus, it’s also one of the most challenging. Along with a digital portfolio—it’s the only major that requires a portfolio for admission at Georgia Tech—prospective BSMT students must showcase a skillset for creating music and technology in tandem. “I have to put out this disclaimer,” Moore says. “You’re not going to be the next big hip-hop producer by joining BSMT. We’re not pushing students into music production. We teach them how to create the tools that musicians, music producers and music consumers will use in the next five to 10 years.”
Christopher Moore (seated on chair, center) leads Tech’s new undergraduate degree in music technology.
Music technologists will create technologies that fundamentally change the way humans experience music, Moore says. “The way we consume music is mainly by listening to recorded music, so we naturally associate recording and technology.” But at Tech, he adds, it’s also natural to get a little nerdier than that. BSMT majors get to geek out with their highly accomplished schoolmates at the graduate level, Moore says. So far, music technology grad students have worked on projects ranging from digital music distribution, acoustics, audio content analysis and technologies for STEAM classrooms,
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to prosthetic robot drumming arms and artificial intelligence. “The graduates of our Master of Science in Music Technology program are working for Google, Apple, Microsoft, Dolby, Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, the list goes on,” Moore says. “Music technologists are finding a wealth of employment opportunities.” “My degree is in percussion performance,” says Moore, who is also the director of the Georgia Tech Marching Band. “I spent six years learning how to play the Marimba. Guess how many jobs there are for that?” This year’s BSMT class includes a diverse group of musicians with all
music fundamentals, audio technology and programming. In their junior year, the students begin working on project studios and choose from one of five academic tracks: mechanical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, industrial design, computer science or general music technology. “About 60 percent of our undergraduates are in the ‘general’ focus right now, because they don’t know yet if they want to build robots or speakers or listening environments,” Moore says. By their senior year, BSMT students will join Georgia Tech’s Capstone tradition. The first of the BSMT transfer students are expected to participate in the fall 2018 Capstone. And after that, BSMT students can choose to continue on and pursue a graduate degree in music technology from Tech or “get out” and begin shaping the rapidly growing music technology industry. “Who’s to say that one of our graduates wouldn’t become Beyonce’s sound engineer,” adds Moore. “But they’ll have way more musical tools and applications at their disposal than most people looking for that kind of gig.”
“The graduates of our Master of Science in Music Technology program are working for Google, Apple, Microsoft, Dolby, Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, the list goes on,” Moore says. “Music technologists are finding a wealth of employment opportunities.” types of backgrounds and interests, he says. All of them are required to join one of Georgia Tech’s instrument or vocal ensembles—even students who perform esoteric, cultural or digital music. “I’m putting one of our digital performers in the pep band, and he’ll DJ the Tech basketball games,” Moore says. “It’s my hope that the BSMT students will bring more of their technological skills and interests to our ensembles.” BSMT students spend their first two years learning
3 YOUNG ALUMNI IN TUNE WITH TECHNOLOGY
MASON BRETAN, MS MT 13, PHD MT 17 Bretan was the first student to graduate from Tech’s PhD in music technology program. His primary interests in his research include intelligent music systems, artificial intelligence and human-robotic interaction (HRI). As a graduate student, he worked with Shimon, the intelligent marimba playing robot, touring and demonstrating how HRI can extend to music in venues around the world, including at the Kennedy Center and on NBC’s Today show. He is now working at Huawei Technologies in San Francisco, focusing on developing new ways to combine robotics and musicianship through a project that is still under wraps.
LEA IKKACHE, MS MT 17 While at Tech, Lea Ikkache co-founded the Women in Music Technology student group, and won the 2017 Graduate Woman of Distinction award from Georgia Tech’s Women’s Leadership Conference while earning her master’s degree. Her research included work on a third robotic arm for drumming, as well as for Earsketch, a program that combines computer programming with music as an educational tool. Since graduating, she works full time as a community manager for Earsketch, which is used in schools in all 50 states and in over 100 countries worldwide.
TYLER WHITE, MS MT 17 Tyler White was the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology’s Robotic Musicianship group graduate research assistant between 2015 and 2017. His primary focus in research was designing wearable robotic systems for shared control between robotic and human interactions when making music. Additionally, he specialized in circuit and PCB design, firmware, embedded systems and sensor fusions. He now works for Bose Corporation in Boston as a noise management system engineer, designing the next generation of sound systems for automobiles everywhere.
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TALK OF TECH
Robots for Everyone GEORGIA TECH recently opened the Robotarium, a $2.5 million lab funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Office of Naval Research. The 725-square-foot facility houses nearly 100 rolling and flying swarm robots that are accessible to anyone. Researchers from around the globe can write their own computer programs, upload them, then get the results as the Georgia Tech machines carry out the commands. Faculty member Magnus Egerstedt’s team also sends video evidence of the experiment. Egerstedt says the concept is easy: robots for everyone. “Building and maintaining a world-class, multi-robot lab is too expensive for a large number of current and budding roboticists. It creates a steep barrier for entry into our field,” says Egerstedt, the Julian T. Hightower Chair in Systems and Controls and a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “We need to provide more access in order to continue creating the next generation of robots and robot-assisted technologies. The Robotarium will allow that at an unprecedented scale.” No other university has such a facility. It’s located in the Van Leer Building in the heart of Georgia Tech’s campus. Motion capture cameras cling from the ceiling and peer down at the lab’s
centerpiece: a white, bowl-shaped arena that looks like a 12-by-14-foot hockey rink. That’s where up to 80 palm-sized, rolling robots scoot around the surface. They automatically activate when given a program from someone in the room or a remote coder in a different state or country. Once it finishes the experiment, the swarm autonomously returns to wireless charging slots on the edge of the rink and waits to be activated for its next mission. The lab is currently set up for 3-Dprinted rolling machines. At other times,
autonomous quadcopters the size of small dinner plates will whiz through the air for remote flying experiments. (A retractable net will keep them from slamming into walls or people if things unexpectedly get out of control.) And a large window allows curious onlookers to watch the organized chaos. “The Robotarium is a terrarium for robots,” Egerstedt says. “We wanted to create a space where anyone, at any time of the day or night, can walk past the lab and see robots in action. Too many robot labs are hidden away behind closed doors.” —JASON MADERER
CREATING THE NEXT: REIMAGINED LIBRARY PROJECT UNDERWAY THE PRICE GILBERT LIBRARY RENEWAL PROJECT, known on campus as Library Next, began its first major phase of construction in late July. This phase will focus on the renovation of the tower and includes the removal of the connecting bridge, stairs and walkways between the two library buildings. Construction is expected to finish in fall 2018,
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at which time the tower portion of the project will reopen and function as the main library, while Price Gilbert undergoes its renovation. The entire Library renewal project is scheduled to be completed and fully open in early 2020. Learn more about the full scope of the project and what to expect at librarynext. gatech.edu.
TALK OF TECH HELPING CASSINI TAKE ITS FINAL PLUNGE WHEN THE CASSINI SPACEC R A F T P LU N G E D I N TO SATURN on Sept. 15 to end a nearly two-decade mission, Georgia Tech PhD student Michael Staab, MS AE 15, had a front row seat—almost literally the driver’s seat. Staab works as a Cassini spacecraft flight controller at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California while pursuing his aerospace engineering doctoral degree through Tech’s distance-learning program. He was one of only three people authorized to tell the machine what to do and where to go as it orbited Saturn. Staab has controlled the bus-sized spacecraft since January 2016, when he was given the keys to NASA’s flagship Saturn mission. He logged more than 1,200 hours at the Cassini flight console and his commands have directed the spacecraft
around Saturn 62 times, hurled it through the planet’s rings and soared Cassini around Saturn’s moons. Although Cassini technically dove into the planet because of a gravitational nudge by Saturn’s moon Titan—and because the spacecraft was finally out of fuel—Staab was the one who sent the background sequence code that sent it on its fateful plunge.—JASON MADERER
CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS—WITHOUT THE INTERNET STORMS LIKE HURRICANES HARVEY AND IRMA, along with other natural disasters, bring with them lots of uncertainty—where will they go, how much damage will they cause? But, what is certain is that no matter where they strike, natural disasters knock out power. And no power means no internet for thousands of people in affected areas. However, researchers at Georgia Tech are proposing a new way of gathering and sharing information during natural disasters that
does not rely on the internet. Using computing power built into mobile phones, routers and other hardware to create a network, emergency managers and first responders will be able to share and act on information gathered from people impacted by hurricanes, tornados, floods and other disasters. “Increasingly, data gathered from passive and active sensors that people carry with them, such as their mobile phones, is being used to inform situational awareness in a variety of settings,” says Kishore Ramachandran, a
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professor of computer science at Tech. “In this way, humans are providing beneficial social sensing services,” Ramachandran says. “However, current social sensing services depend on internet connectivity since the services are deployed on central cloud platforms.” In a paper presented earlier this year, the Georgia Tech research team detailed how it may be possible to access these centralized services using a decentralized network that leverages the growing amount of computing power at the “edge” of the internet. This ability will give a huge advantage to first responders. In a flooded area, for example, search and rescue personnel using a geo-distributed network would be able to continuously ping enabled phones, sensors and other devices in an area to determine their exact locations. The data is used to create density maps of people in that search region. These maps are then used to prioritize and guide emergency response teams.—BEN SNEDEKER
A FACULTY MEMBER’S VISION FULFILLED Communications lab dedicated to legendary Tech educator Helen Naugle. WHEN HELEN NAUGLE ARRIVED on Georgia Tech’s campus in 1962, she was one of only two women on faculty serving a nearly all-male student body. A scholar of 18th-century English literature, Naugle started as an instructor in the English department. Early on, she observed a crucial stumbling block to student success—a general lack of skill in communications—so she set out to address the issue. Naugle worked tirelessly in her courses to improve her students’ ability to communicate effectively in the technical and business worlds. She co-opted an empty classroom for tutoring students in writing and taught an advanced speech course. By 1979, she directed a writing lab offering help in everything from remedial one-on-one assistance to how to craft resumes and letters of application. During her tenure at Tech, Naugle earned numerous teaching awards and was a four-time recipient of the Class of 1940 W. Roane Beard Outstanding Teacher Award. She led the Regents Exam Committee and delivered Tech’s 1978 commencement address. Generations of students flourished under her teaching and mentoring. However, Naugle’s ultimate dream to create a robust communication resource center was not to happen during her lifetime. Still, the path she paved for extracurricular learning in writing, speech and presentation has
resounded through the decades. Finally, in 2011, the type of facility she had envisioned opened in the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons as the Communication Center. Its seeds at Tech, planted nearly 40 years prior by Naugle, were discovered by Executive Director Karen Head while researching the origins of writing centers in American universities during the 1970s. Then Head had a chance encounter with Naugle’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Gadsby, PhD Chem 04, who earned her degree at Tech before Naugle passed away in 2009. “Dr. Gadsby and I were at the same table during a celebration for the College of Sciences,” Head says. “She told me that her grandmother had been a professor of English here, and this turned out to be Professor Naugle, whom I’d recently discovered as an early innovator of writing centers. Naugle’s legacy at Georgia Tech was meant to be remembered.” Buoyed by this encounter, the Naugle family established an endowment in her name, and on Aug. 11—her birthday—the Communication Center was formally dedicated as the Helen H. Naugle CommLab in tribute to her work. “I am grateful to see my grandmother’s initial vision for one of the first university writing centers to have expanded and be flourishing today through the continued leadership of
Karen Head,” says Gadsby, the head of product development and clinical at Kimberly-Clark. “I believe my grandmother would be very proud to see this facility and its offerings to support students.” As part of the innovative Clough Educational Learning Commons, the Naugle CommLab boasts a prime location on campus, with state-of-the-art technology and strong support from Institute administrators. Tech students get to benefit from all the bells and whistles, including smart boards, video-capture and video-conferencing equipment, computer stations, scanners, iPads and even a 3-D printer. And they also can take advantage of the CommLab’s ability to provide the very best in tutoring. “It’s everything that writing center directors wish for but rarely have,” Head says.—REBECCA KEANE
TECH NO. 1 IN STATE, NO. 33 OVERALL IN WORLD RANKINGS THE WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKINGS released in September by The Times Higher Education show Georgia Tech continues to rank No. 33, matching its highest position and remaining No. 1 among the state of Georgia’s academic institutions. The World University Rankings 2018 lists the best global universities and are the
only international university performance tables to judge world-class universities across all of their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The prestigious rankings use 13 performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons available.
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Go Drone Racer, Go
BY TONY REHAGEN
Aerospace engineering student Nick Willard ranks among the world’s best professional drone pilots. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) EVER SINCE HE WAS A KID growing up in Lexington, Ky., Nick Willard has been obsessed with flying. He used to build model rockets and airplanes, and when he enrolled at Tech four years ago, he saw the aerospace engineering program as a natural fit for his passion. Along the way, Willard discovered quad-propeller drones, and his airborne ambition fully took off. Now the 21-year-old Willard races professionally, touring the world as “Wild Willy”—a standout personality in the Drone Racing League. He also recently led Georgia Tech to the national championship in collegiate drone racing. We caught up with the fourth-year Yellow Jacket and asked him what he sees behind those FPV goggles.
“Right now, I’m just trying to finish up school and work toward a full-time drone career. If it doesn’t work out, then I’ll still have a top-notch degree from Georgia Tech, which isn’t so bad,” Willard says.
1. WHERE DID THE NAME “WILD WILLY” COME FROM?
You have full freedom in three dimensions. It’s just like being a bird—flying
[laughs] At my first big drone race, we had a super early call time and I’d had way too much coffee and was acting all hyper. One of my friends just coined the term. 2. WHAT GETS YOU AMPED UP ABOUT DRONE RACING?
The Drone Racing League’s 2017 Allianz World Championship was held indoors at the Alexandra Palace in London.
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around untethered. I’ve been interested in flying since I was a little kid. Now I can do it without actually getting into an airplane and risk killing myself. In many ways, it’s better than actually flying, because you can do anything. 3. THAT’S AS LONG AS YOUR DRONE REMAINS IN ONE PIECE. Yeah, racing is really hard on gear. In the big races, you’re pushing yourself to max capacity and about 90 mph. If you hit another quad or a steel pole at that speed, just dust is left. I recently got back from a race and only had two functioning drones out of about 14—but enough parts to build about 10 more. 4. DOES IT GET EXPENSIVE TO RACE? It’s a relatively expensive sport compared to baseball or basketball. But it’s a relatively inexpensive hobby, compared to guns or cars. If you wanted to hop in from nothing and have a completely professional setup, it’d take $1,000 to $1,500. Now if you start racing professionally, you’ll have to bring two to three drones to a race with the knowledge that they will all probably get totally destroyed … It’s a deep rabbit hole to go down.
Courtesy of the Drone Racing League
percent of the time, you crash on the ground. But every now and then, I’ll get stuck really high up in a tree somewhere. Usually we throw water bottles at it. Sometimes you can go full throttle and they’ll unstick themselves. I’ve also become a pretty decent tree climber. And if all else fails we call Luis. 7. LUIS? WHO’S LUIS? He’s an arborist in Atlanta that we call sometimes. He gets cats out of trees for $50. This man can climb anything. 8. WHAT SORT OF REACTION DO YOU GET FROM PEOPLE YOU ENCOUNTER IN PUBLIC? It’s about 50-50. Half the time people have never heard of drone racing and they think it’s super cool. The other half is like, “Why are you spying on me?” Yeah, I’m spying on you with this thing that is as loud as a jet engine. There are still a lot of people with the misconception that anything remotely piloted is either a bomb or a spy tool. 9. EVEN AT GEORGIA TECH? I used to fly on campus a lot. Then the Georgia Tech Police Department, spurred by FAA regulations, changed their drone policy. It’s difficult to get permission to fly on campus anymore. 10. SO WHAT’S YOUR FUTURE IN DRONE RACING? At this point, the drone industry is accelerating so fast, it’s difficult to plan. Right now, I’m just trying to finish up school and work toward a full-time drone career. If it doesn’t work This year, Nick Willard helped Tech win the national collegiate drone racing title and finished third in the pro DRL world championship. out, then I’ll still have a top5. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COOLEST that looked like Rainbow Road from notch aerospace engineering degree PLACES YOU’VE FLOWN? Mario Kart. There was an LED track from Georgia Tech, which isn’t so bad. We flew through an abandoned mothrough the Miami Dolphins stadium. Ideally I’d find some way to merge the torcycle factory in Munich. Last year, In New Orleans, we did “Mardi Gras two, doing leading-edge drone work, the Drone League Champions race [in World,” where we raced in a warehouse but it’s tough because even though which Willard finished in third place] around stored parade floats. the drones themselves are very techie, was held inside Alexandra Palace in the actual piloting aspect is more of an London. They built this giant 3-D track 6. DO YOU EVER LOSE A DRONE? Ninety art form.
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On the Field
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A HEART-POUNDING OPENER
Though the Yellow Jackets football team fell just short of winning the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Tennessee—held in front of a sold-out crowd at Atlanta’s brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium— the squad showed promise for the future. Junior QB TaQuon Marshall, starting his first collegiate game, racked up 249 yards rushing and five touchdowns to nearly rally Tech to a double-overtime victory against the top 25-ranked Volunteers.
Austin Foote/Georgia Tech Athletics
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ON THE FIELD
Yellow Jacket Once Again
D BY BILL CHASTAIN, IM 79
Todd Stansbury, IM 84, came to Georgia Tech as a student-athlete more than 25 years ago and returned to take his dream job as athletic director. DESTINY AND A 40-YARD DASH TIME of 4.35 seconds brought Todd Stansbury to Georgia Tech in 1980. And it was destiny that brought Stansbury back to his alma mater—some 22 years after leaving Tech to embark on a lengthy “walkabout”—to become the ninth athletic director in the Institute’s history last November. You can call the Canadian native Tech to the core. He stood out as a linebacker and special teamer on the football team, “got out” of the Institute with a bachelor’s degree and spent a serious stint as the Yellow Jackets’ assistant athletic director for academics before going elsewhere to make his bones. Now he’s come full circle to the place that’s held a special spot in his heart since he was a 12-year-old boy. SPRING BREAK IN FLORIDA WITH BIG Z Flash back to 1974 at the Hawaiian Inn in Daytona Beach, Fla. Canadian tourists crowded by the pool, as feisty Georgia Tech football players cavorted during their spring break vacation. Somehow the odd mix worked and the two factions got along famously. Scott Zolke, in particular, stood out among the rabble of Tech players. Fashioning a wealth of blonde, frizzy hair, the defensive back from Chicago possessed an engaging smile along with a mischievous nature that fueled anticipation among onlookers about what he would do next. Big Z, as he was called, never disappointed. He claims to have joined a beauty pageant at the pool, ridden a tricycle off the high-dive clad in a diaper and smashed a garbage can off his
forehead. That last one cost him a few stitches. Sitting poolside and taking all of it in, Stansbury—who was somewhat reserved for a kid of only a dozen years—grew fascinated with Zolke. “Scott was definitely the leader of the gang,” Stansbury says. “I’d never witnessed anything like it. Most adults haven’t witnessed anything like that. In fact, he was such a hit that the hotel would bring him a mic poolside and he would literally put on a comedy show for the entire afternoon.” His parents also fell for the Big Z’s undeniable charms. He encouraged Stansbury’s family to take a side trip to Atlanta on their way back home to Oakville, Canada, a suburb 24 miles south of Toronto. Spring football practice was underway on The Flats with Coach Pepper Rodgers running the show. “I asked them, ‘Why don’t you guys just ride up 75, and stop in Atlanta, come to practice?’” Zolke says. “They did and they met Pepper, and we all went to dinner together.” Once Stansbury returned home, his love for hockey gave way to a renewed passion for football. The possibility of playing for Georgia Tech had been seared in his dreams. Zolke, IM 76, nurtured that desire by becoming a de facto member of the family. He accepted an invitation to visit them that summer, and he stayed, and stayed, and stayed. “They made the mistake of inviting me to come up and meet them in Canada over that summer,” Zolke says. “I went up the end of June for a weekend. And somehow ended up staying three weeks. My mother called them and apologized profusely, telling them to call the U.S. embassy and just put him on a train and ship him back to Chicago.” TRADING HOCKEY FOR FOOTBALL Playing hockey in Canada is one thing. Playing football is quite another, making the idea of getting a football scholarship to Georgia Tech, much less any other college in the
DAYS THE GEORGIA TECH WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM spent on tour in Italy this summer
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SEASON OF GEORGIA TECH FOOTBALL, which began Sept. 4 at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game
United States, look ludicrous. Then Stansbury attended the Mountain All-Sports Camp in Brevard, N.C., prior to his sophomore year of high school and ran a 4.35 time in the 40yard dash. “That changed everything,” Stansbury says. Suddenly, the kid from Toronto had become relevant, and on the radar for colleges to recruit for football. Since he’d already surrendered his heart to the Gold and White, he signed on the dotted line when Pepper Rodgers offered him a scholarship. Tim Horton’s gave way to The Varsity, dollars supplanted loonies, and Stansbury’s life would be forever changed after arriving at Tech in the fall of 1980. However, Rodgers got fired prior to Stansbury’s freshman season and Bill Curry took over as Tech’s coach.
THE TECH RECORD FOR STOLEN BASES IN SOFTBALL, still held by new Head Coach Aileen Morales, Mgt 09
“Todd’s great attribute was he was fast,” Curry says. “He was good on special teams and could tackle. But he just didn’t have the size and the heft to play full time.” Stansbury started Tech as a running back and finished as a middle linebacker. Also in 1980, Homer Rice became Tech’s athletic director and would implement Georgia Tech’s Total Person Program, which provided training for student athletes to prepare them for life after sports. Stansbury embraced the program, which was later adopted by the NCAA. “Todd was certainly a kind person,” Rice says. “He was very intelligent. He just had something about him you liked. You could tell he was different from a lot of the others. He was one you wanted to see do well.” Stansbury played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League after his time as a student-athlete at Tech wound down, then returned to the Institute to graduate with his bachelor’s in industrial management in 1984. Football seemed to have run its course in his life, and he went to work as a credit manager for Citizens and Southern National Bank in Atlanta. Stansbury might still be a banker today had Scott Zolke not turned him in another direction for the second time in his life. Zolke became a lawyer after graduating from Tech, but returned to work for the athletic department as an academic advisor. In 1988, he decided it was time to move on, prompting him to think about his replacement. Stansbury came to mind. Since Rice already had a relationship with Stansbury, the transition from banker to academic advisor for football went smoothly. “I never thought about this as a career until Scott decided to leave athletics to pursue his law career and called me to ask me if I’d be interested in taking over for him,” Stansbury says. A CALL TO SEE THE WORLD During that period, from 1988-1995, Stansbury earned his master’s degree in sports administration at Georgia State, became a U.S. citizen and got promoted to assistant AD for academics. All the while, a yearning to see the world percolated within him after traveling abroad during summer vacations.
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ON THE FIELD “I’d go somewhere in Europe and just kind of drop into one city and backpack my way to wherever I was flying out of,” Stansbury says. “I kept meeting these Australians. I’d ask them how long they’d been traveling. And they say, ‘About two years, and I’ve got three more to go.’ I’m like, ‘I want to do that when I grow up.’ So that just kind of planted the seed.” When Stansbury married Karen Hammond from Easley, S.C., in February of 1995, the couple figured if they didn’t take time to travel the world then, they might never do so. Within a month after their wedding, they were en route to London, England, to kick off an 18-month pilgrimage that covered five continents. “I owned a home at the time,” Stansbury says. “We pretty much sold everything we had and just really planned on sticking to a strict budget. Which meant youth hostels. We traveled like locals wherever we were. No Marriott points on that.” They visited the Berlin Wall, toured the Taj Mahal, sailed Australia’s Whitsunday Islands, traveled to Pokhara, Nepal, to hike the Annapurna Circuit, and listened to the roar of lions while in Tanzania. Stansbury was 34 when he left for his trip, and considered to be on the fast track for bigger roles within sports administration given the high graduation rates achieved while he worked at Tech. He returned to the U.S. enriched and worldly, but also unemployed. Initially, he worked at his brother-in-law’s computer networking company. Months later, he landed a job as the associate athletic director at the University of Houston, and his progression in sports administration resumed.
The ultimate goal for Tech should be “knocking on the door across the board in all sports,” according to Stansbury. “If we’re relevant in the ACC, that makes you relevant nationally.”
THE ROAD BACK TO TECH Stansbury left Houston in 2000 to become director of athletics at East Tennessee State, where he remained until 2002 when he accepted the executive associate AD job at Oregon State. He stayed in Corvallis for nine years before moving to the University of Central Florida in 2012 to begin a three-year run as the school’s AD before returning to Corvallis in 2015 as Oregon State’s AD, a stint that proved to be short-lived due to the Tech job becoming available. Leaving Oregon State after one year on the job didn’t sit well with him, but his heart told him he needed to return to Atlanta—it was his dream job.
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Some have wondered why Tech didn’t hire Stansbury in 2012 rather than Mike Bobinski. “One could argue that we should have hired him instead of Bobinski,” says Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson. “But Bobinski had been head of the NCAA Basketball Selection Committee. He had been an AD. Todd had never really been an AD save for a year. So, he was a much different candidate at the time. “When his name surfaced the second time, he had a lot of experience, a lot of success and he was a Yellow Jacket,” Peterson says. “He had a lot of other characteristics I viewed as very positive. And things moved pretty quickly with him.” The announcement of Stansbury’s hiring came on Sept. 22. He officially began on Nov. 28. “The one thing about Georgia Tech is the Institute is all about integrity,” Rice says. “And Todd is integrity plus. We’re fortunate he’s here. He has the qualifications to be one of the best ADs in the country.”
STRIVING FOR GREATNESS Challenges awaited Stansbury’s arrival. Fortunately for his peace of mind and perspective, he’d learned from his other stops that every school has challenges. One of the biggest ones that Tech faces in athletics is “competing against some pretty big powers, and it’s not just the ACC,” Stansbury says. “The SEC is right here, too.” And not just for top athletes—for top student-athletes. “Day in and day out, we have to compete against the best, for everything,” Stansbury says. “And you’re going to be compared against the best for everything. I think Georgia Tech is a unique place because of the academic profile of the institution. Coming in, I knew we had to do it our own way.” Stansbury knew that Tech trying to compete against, say, Clemson, using the standard intercollegiate athletics model, “probably wasn’t going to work very well.” That’s because there are things many programs can do that Tech can’t do, he says. “We have to flip that thinking and look at it as what can we do that they can’t do. Looking at our overall brand, none of our competitors can offer what the Institute offers in terms of the whole student-athlete experience.” From Stansbury’s viewpoint, Tech simply has no peers. “Because academic institutions that look like ours are typically not trying to play intercollegiate athletics at this level,” he says. “And our athletic peers certainly don’t look like Georgia Tech academically.” Stansbury believes Tech’s assets must be leveraged to attract the student-athletes who want the total package of competitiveness. “We need to continue to be innovators in positioning all that Tech offers, which plays to who we are DNA-wise anyways,” Stansbury says. “We need to find new ways to tout the Institute, our location and our stellar track record, which is bolstered by the fact we’re surrounded by incredibly successful alums who are willing to help us.” Stansbury doesn’t believe there’s a school that holds a candle to Tech when it comes to the broad-based success of the Institute’s alumni. “That also includes the success of our former student athletes,” Stansbury says. “What I want to do as we refine our brand message is tell the stories of what our student athletes go on and end up doing. Those stories are pretty remarkable.” Can Georgia Tech truly be great athletically? “Yes,” he says. “The expectations we have for this place is you have to swing for the fence. I think it’s hard for our alumni to embrace that athletics should be anything else but great, because the Institute has always stood for pushing its students to be better than what they think is possible.” The ultimate goal for Tech should be “knocking on the door across the board in all sports,” according to Stansbury. “If we’re relevant in the ACC, that makes you relevant nationally,” he says. “And as we learned in 1990 [when UPI recognized the Tech football team as NCAA National Champions], if you put yourself in a position that when the ball bounces your way, you can take advantage of it—then anything is possible.”
GEORGIA TECH AS THE GO-TO FOR ATHLETICS INNOVATION ESTABLISHING A STRONGER BRAND is at the heart and center of Athletic Director Todd Stansbury’s grand vision for Georgia Tech athletics, and he has a clear idea about the path that needs to be followed to achieve this goal. He sees the Tech brand moving forward in large part by the student-athletes, who matriculate through an enlightened program and to real-world success after their Tech experience. To help them find that success, Stansbury will rely heavily on his old playbook with a few revisions. Homer Rice’s Total Person Program helped establish Stansbury’s guiding principles. Being a disciple of the former AD’s program has allowed him to expand what was cuttingedge in the 1980s to create more business specific programming. “At the core of what I want to do is really try to build pipelines to industry for our student-athletes,” Stansbury says. “To make sure that our programming helps them to become market ready. As we refine our brand, I want to elevate the stories of what our student-athletes go on to do beyond Tech. Those stories are pretty remarkable.” Striking a new apparel deal ranked high on Stansbury’s agenda once he began his new position last fall. Having a deal click into place once Tech’s contract with Russell Athletic expired in June of 2018 became a priority. That led to a search to find a new apparel provider that included Adidas, Under Armour and Nike. From that process, Tech and Adidas reached an agreement in August on a six-year deal. The partnership with Adidas brings
along the hope that having a more popular manufacturer, who is aligned with Tech’s goals and brand, will create a platform to reinforce and heighten the brand. On another front, Stansbury has created an “ideation” team that acts like an in-house ad agency that’s dedicated to defining and promoting the Georgia Tech athletics brand to fans and recruits on a local, regional and national level. “You want the message to resonate with people, who will start to identify Georgia Tech as a place with incredible studentathletes, who find success after they get out,” Stansbury says. Looking further up the road to outside-the-box ideas, Stansbury speaks of making “Georgia Tech athletics the center of sport innovation” by creating a climate for innovation where anybody with a sports-specific idea—new methods of training, new gear, etc.—will want to approach Tech about becoming partners to develop that idea. “In my mind, I see us becoming somewhat of a test kitchen for sport innovation, a hub that joins in with what Georgia Tech is already doing with startups in Tech Square and pockets of Atlanta,” Stansbury says, noting that Tech athletes would play an integral role in the pursuit. “That’s something we can do at Tech that separates us from everyone else. Because we’re not only competing in athletics at the highest level, but also we have some of the greatest researchers in the world and we’re located in one of the world’s up-and-coming innovation hubs in Atlanta.” —BILL CHASTAIN, IM 79
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ON THE FIELD NOAH’S (SHOOTING) ARC TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL SOPHOMORE STANDOUT JOSH OKOGIE stepped into the future this summer. After every shot he took, he was counseled aloud by a high-tech system named “Noah”—not unlike Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa—which tracks every shot’s entry angle and depth, front-to-back and left-toright, down to a gnat’s tail. Truth be told, the new system in the Zelnak Practice Facility sounds exactly like HAL, the onboard computer spaceship brain that costarred in Stanley Kubrick’s epic film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Make or miss, after each shot, there came monotone audio: “46 … 45 … 44 … 48 …” The sophomore reacted to the number, and not because a timekeeper lost track. Rather, Okogie was compelled to dial down after clanking the last one because 48 degrees is a tad steep an entry angle for a basketball meant to pass through a basket. The target angle—according to extensive research by the founders of Tech basketball’s new practice toy—is just shy of 45 degrees. Reams of data back that up, and Okogie respects that, although he’s not a big fan of the audio and usually doesn’t turn it on. “I like to just shoot however many shots I
shoot and I’ll come back later and look at my progress, see whether I’m shooting left or right, see how my arc is, see how my depth is doing and adjust from there,” Okogie says. “I like it a lot.” Noah has been around a while, yet where it was simple in its early days while measuring only the arc on free throws, it now measures all shots from all spots in multiple ways. The computer sees everything through video equipment stationed 13 feet above the rim. Audio on or off, the data from each player’s shooting session is downloaded to his phone and the computers of each member of the Tech coaching staff. As trends show up, objective data accumulates, and that often resonates with players more than subjective comments made by coaches. Noah can change the coaches, too. “A swish [shot] is not ideal [in terms of
technological evaluation],” says Tech assistant Eric Reveno who has pushed this project with head coach Josh Pastner. “The shot that just nicks the back of the rim is the perfect shot.” “I’ve read enough to believe it. The other thing that helps is I think coaches generally have a greater affinity toward a high-arcing shot than we should. The science doesn’t support that.” Noah has become popular in the NBA, where nearly half the 30 teams have it in place, as well as about three dozen NCAA Division I programs and a few hundred high school teams.— MATT WINKELJOHN
TECH STAR MORALES RETURNS TO COACH SOFTBALL TEAM AILEEN MORALES, one of the most decorated student-athletes in Georgia Tech softball history and a former successful assistant coach at her alma mater, was named the program’s sixth head coach. “For nine seasons, Aileen was a major part of the most successful stretch in Georgia Tech softball history, first as a student-athlete, then as an assistant coach,” says Todd Stansbury, Tech’s athletic director. “I am confident that she is the right person to lead our program back to the national prominence that it has enjoyed for much of this millennium.” In her nine seasons as a student-athlete (2005-08) and assistant coach (2009-13) at Tech, Morales helped lead the Yellow Jackets to four Atlantic Coast Conference
regular-season championships (2005, 2009-11), four ACC Tournament titles (2005, 2009-10, 2012), eight NCAA regionals (2005-12) and an NCAA Super Regional (2009). The Jackets averaged 43 wins per season during her nine years with the program. “It is an honor to return to The Flats, where my heart has always been,” says Morales, Mgt 09. “With great passion, I will work to build our Yellow Jacket program back to ACC and national prominence. I look forward to
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developing our student-athletes to achieve excellence in the classroom, on the field and in life.” Since leaving her alma mater following the 2013 campaign, she has added four seasons as a successful head coach to her resume, first at Young Harris College (2014-15) and most recently at Radford University (2016-17). As a Tech student-athlete, Morales was a three-time all-ACC honoree as a middle infielder, earning first-team accolades as a junior and senior in 2007 and 2008, and was also a threetime all-region selection. She remains the Yellow Jackets’ all-time leader in games played (265), starts (265), at-bats (850) and stolen bases (154), and ranks among the program’s top 10 in runs, hits, doubles and triples.
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In the World
D.I.Y. DIANA PRINCE For her fourth go at Dragon Con, Atlantaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual fantasy and sci-fi convention, artist and UX designer Jasmine Mackey, STC 14, created this stunning Wonder Woman outfit after consulting YouTube videos from more seasoned cosplayers for tips and inspiration. Mackey says sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only recently started making armor pieces like these that set her Amazonian princess look apart.
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IN THE WORLD
Bring Out Your Geeks BY ROGER SLAVENS
Atlanta’s Dragon Con, a fan-driven festival of all things fantasy and sci-fi, has long been fueled by the Georgia Tech community. THIS PAST LABOR DAY WEEKEND, swarms of Tech alumni, faculty, staff and students descended upon downtown Atlanta to participate in the Southeast’s biggest convention devoted to pop culture fandom—just like they do every year. Not only did Tech’s young-atheart dream up and dress up in elaborate cosplay as their favorite heroes, villains and kooky sidekicks, but they also served as expert panelists for seminars on everything from the search for life beyond earth to virtual reality gaming. And, unsurprisingly, it was Yellow Jacket volunteers who led the way in keeping the day-today IT operations of Dragon Con running smoothly. That’s a particularly tall task given the more than 3,500 hours of comic books, film, TV, costuming, art, gaming and music programming that ran across four days and multiple venues to serve a record of 80,000plus attendees. “Quite simply, Dragon Con wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of Georgia Tech, its people and their expertise for the past 31 years,” says Pat Henry, Dragon Con co-founder and president-CEO. The following images showcase just a small sample of the Georgia Tech faction who let their geek flags fly at this year’s convention.
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1. HERO IN A BOX Mike Nualla, Arch 93, was one of about a dozen mere mortals who donned a unique superhero outfit made of cardboard, hot glue and house paint for Dragon Con. While this Flash—part of the Box Heroes team, created by Atlantan Stephen Larkworthy—is undeniably cool, we don’t think he’s as fast as the original version. 2. PROPULSIVE PANELIST Andy Dykes, AE 04
(upper left), served on seven different expert panels at Dragon Con. They ranged from “Behind the Scenes of Commercial Space,” which tapped into his professional experience flying commercial satellites for Intelsat in McLean, Va., to the pure fun of “Evil Geniuses Just Want to Improve the World.” This was Dykes’ eighth Dragon Con, and one thing he’s learned over the years is that “despite all my education, reading, research and job
experience, there is always someone else worth listening to and learning from.” 3. R2-D2 AS AN ELIZABETHAN DRESS Aaron Lanterman, professor of electrical and computer engineering, helped his wife, Joyce, create an Elizabethan interpretation of R2-D2 that she calls Liz2-D2. Electronics sewed into the hat play a randomly chosen R2-D2 sound effect through stereo speakers hidden in the brim
while turning on pairs of red and blue LEDs. 4. MASTER OF MARVEL Excelsior! Iconic comic creator Stan Lee, who previously announced his retirement from the convention circuit, made his third and perhaps final Dragon Con appearance. In addition to leading a panel discussion and meeting with fans, Lee served as the Grand Marshal for the annual Dragon Con parade.
Thousands of fans—including hundreds of Tech students and alumni— lined the route down Peachtree Street to see all the cool costumes. 5. RAH RAH FOR BUZZRA Dressed as Bee with her Puppycat in arm (from the animated web series), Ashlee Gardner, communications manager for the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, checks out
the latest incarnation of Buzzra. This Buzz-on-astick has been a Georgia Tech Dragon Con mascot for some years now, and often gets high-tech updates from inspired staff and students. 6. SPOILER ALERT! Spot-on reproductions aren’t the only costumes revered at Dragon Con. Visual puns and other humorous creations, like this “Game of Thrones Spoiler” created by Jim
Peliksza, ICS 86, are equally admired (and often much easier to wear!). 7. DRAMA KINGS DramaTech alumni Tejas Kotak, EnvE 14, MS INTA 16, (left) and Tamil Periasamy, AE 07, look sharp as occult detective John Constantine and Alexander Hamilton, respectively. 8. I.T., NOT STEPHEN KING’S “IT” Faculty member Bill
Leahy, MS CS 99 (pictured right) helps lead Dragon Con’s Tech Ops mission to keep the convention’s technology systems running smoothly. Convention goer Winston Pewin, BME 09, was excited to see his former computer science instructor at the festival. 9. RIDDLE ME THIS Douglas Abrams, CM 13, took a classy, retro spin on one of Batman’s biggest foes, The Riddler.
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DOLLARS & SENSE
Laying Down the (Entertainment) Law
O BY ROGER SLAVENS
Vernon Strickland, TextE 98, helps artists and corporations draft contracts, protect creative rights and litigate disputes.
OVER THE COURSE OF HIS LIFE, Vernon Strickland has enjoyed m a ny b r u s h e s with fame, first getting a taste of the limelight as an extra on The Cosby Show as a young teenager and then enjoying a brief stint as a professional football player for the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants. But it was Strickland’s passion for the law that ultimately cemented his connection with the entertainment world. He has leveraged his knowledge and familiarity with show business in building a career representing artists and companies in litigation over everything from contracts and labor disputes to intellectual property rights. Recently, his interest in entertainment law has become much more personal as the acting career of his 8-year-old son, Drake, has taken off. The Alumni Magazine recently sat down with Strickland, who is an attorney for the law firm of Wargo French in Atlanta, about what it takes to work on the legal side of the music, movie and TV industries. HOW DID YOU BECOME A LAWYER? My interest in the law began in high
school, when I had a class called “You and the Law,” where attorneys would come in and teach us about various legal issues and the practice of law. However, I had already been accepted at Georgia Tech to study engineering, and my guidance counselor told me that there were already too many lawyers in the world and not enough work for them. So I went to Georgia Tech and earned my degree in textile and fiber engineering while playing football for the Yellow Jackets, joining the team first as a walk-on sixth-string linebacker and eventually earning a scholarship and becoming a team captain. After graduating from Georgia Tech, I had a brief opportunity to play professional ball for the San Francisco 49ers, and one time found myself talking to [Hall of Fame quarterback] Steve Young on a return flight from a game about what he did during the offseason. He told me he was taking the bar exam. It surprised me, but then I realized that maybe I should be doing the same. Later on, after my NFL career fizzled, I worked as a mechanical engineer for a couple of years and then applied to law school, enrolled at Mercer University and realized that the law was the right fit for me. AND THE ENTERTAINMENT SIDE OF IT? I’m primarily a litigator, and I have experience in a number of different aspects of law, including employment
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law, financial services and intellectual property. But I have always been passionate about arts and entertainment, and had been involved in it one way or another most of my life. When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with leukemia and the prognosis for survival wasn’t great. An organization called Dreams Come True, similar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, asked me what dream I wanted to come true. I asked to be on The Cosby Show, which was one of my favorite TV programs at the time, and I was allowed to appear in an episode as an extra. Being on the set was thrilling. I also performed in school plays, and even sang in a male vocalist group. I kept my connections in the entertainment and sports world, and with the strong music industry in Atlanta, and recently the growing movie scene, it was just something I felt comfortable with and wanted to pursue. WHAT EXACTLY DOES AN ENTERTAINMENT LAWYER DO? HOW IS IT DIFFERENT THAN BEING AN AGENT? It’s an agent’s job to look for job opportunities for the artists, their clients, and to negotiate the dollar amount. They earn their money with the percentages on the back end of the final deal. But it’s lawyers that go in and capture all the nitty-gritty details for the contracts and make sure the artists and their work are protected. I’ve helped draft and review contracts, but I’ve also
rap music in particular— where there’s often a significant amount of money at stake because of a multitude of income streams from songs. ARE YOU PRIMARILY INVOLVED IN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND COPYRIGHT ISSUES? Employment law is also a big part of entertainment law. For example, my 8-year-old son is an actor, and he did a major, national commercial a couple of years ago. However, the advertising agency that produced the commercial failed to pay him and the rest of the talent involved. So I got involved, representing my son, the three other actors and their talent agency. I issued a demand letter—which gave them a short fuse to act—and I was able to get prompt payment. SPEAKING OF YOUR SON, DRAKE’S CAREER AS AN ACTOR TAKES YOUR JOB IN ENTERTAINMENT LAW INTO A WHOLE NEW, VERY PERSONAL LEVEL, DOESN’T IT?
been involved with intellectual property and copyright issues. For instance, early on I was fortunate enough to represent Coca-Cola on a dispute over a popular song the company was using in a marketing campaign. There are a lot of opportunities to represent both companies and artists in terms of who owns the rights to creative works and who gets paid for their use. ANY EXAMPLES OF HOW YOU’VE PROTECTED YOUNG ARTISTS FROM COMPANIES LOOKING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM? Years ago, I got called into a case involving a popular teen rap artist by the name of Soulja Boy. He had a dispute with his former manager that dealt with the copyright issues of his songs—essentially how the revenues
and royalties should be divided between them. Unfortunately, he didn’t fully understand everything that was in his contract. After all, he was just a kid from Mississippi who posted his songs on YouTube and MySpace and became a viral phenomenon. Then people from a management company flew in, pulled up in a big limo and offered him a big deal on the spot. They brought their own printer—and their own attorney—and printed out the contract and he signed it without representation. He didn’t understand how the business works, all the clauses in the contract, and when he found out that he didn’t own his own publishing rights, he got upset—and rightfully so. I helped represent him in court and we were able to negotiate a fairer deal. Such cases are common in the music business—and in
My wife works as his manager, and I handle all the legal issues that come with it. He’s mostly done work in commercials and shorts until now. He recently landed a principal role on a new CW Network military drama called Valor, which premieres this fall [Oct. 9 at 9 p.m. EST]. He plays the son of one of the soldiers on this particular series. One fortunate part about this opportunity is that the series is shot here in Atlanta, so there have been minimal interruptions with Drake’s schooling and other activities. His contracts are done on a per-episode basis, and I’ve been involved in making sure he’s getting a good deal and he’s protected. He’s learning the business side of acting at an early age, how to approach auditions and the like (not dissimilar from new graduates learning how to go on interviews). But overall we’re treating acting as a hobby for him, just one part of his young life. He plays youth sports. He goes to public school like other kids his age. I hope he has success, but it’s more important for us that he has a normal, balanced childhood.
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ON THE JOB
Pulling Out All the Stunts
T BY BRIAN HUDGINS
Ian Eyre, ME 95, has been a movie daredevil since his undergraduate days.
THE EDGAR WRIGHT-HELMED Baby Driver proved to be not only one of the most critically acclaimed films of the summer, but also a thrilling homage to the city of Atlanta. The movie is built around a few tightly choreographed automobile chase scenes through downtown streets and across metro area highways—where Tech alumnus Ian Eyre, ME 95, had a frontseat view to the motorized mayhem in his role as a stunt driver. One of the reasons that Baby Driver is so effective as an action film, Eyre says, is because the filmmakers are able to put the stars right into the middle of a dangerous scene. In one set piece, an SUV spins out, and the nose of the vehicle gets trapped underneath an 18-wheeler. Eyre was driving one of the cars in the traffic pattern during that high-speed chase, where lead actors Jamie Foxx and Ansel Elgort appear to be in mortal peril. This is a far cry from what Eyre expected his career to be while studying mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech in the early 1990s. But one day he found out that the movie RoboCop 3 was filming near campus, and he wanted to see what being on the set of a Hollywood film production would be like. After getting some advice from a film student at Georgia State and making a few phone calls, he took his first step toward breaking into show business. “They were doing a stunt where they were crashing a jeep on North Avenue heading west under Marietta Street,” he says. “I called a Georgia film hotline number and got the name of the extras casting lady.” As a student, Eyre had no detailed resume or professional headshots. He submitted a
Polaroid of himself with his contact information on the back to the casting director. A few weeks later, one of the extras canceled and Eyre was in. “I wasn’t looking to be part of the cast or crew,” Eyre says. “But shooting a shotgun during a riot scene turned out to be way more interesting than studying.” After his small taste of being on the set of RoboCop 3, he was hooked—but he knew he wanted to be more than an extra. “I wanted to put all my hobbies and interests to work,” he says. “The watching-water-boil moments are tolerable the more responsibility you have.” His mechanical knowhow, relative fearlessness and natural athleticism drew him to stunt work. His first real credit was in the TV show Due South as a stunt double, where he leapt around fire escapes and even jumped an alley two stories high. “If you happen to look like one of the actors in a show or movie, you might earn a lot of regular gigs,” says Eyre, who with his lanky frame has done stunt double work for actors like Matthew Lillard and Michael Gross. “But if not, there’s still plenty of opportunities to perform stunts in the background or among the faceless masses of the typical action movie, such as cops in squad cars or evil henchmen.” During his nearly 25-year career, Eyre has been involved in dozens of movie and TV productions, including blockbusters such as The Hunger Games, AMC’s The Walking Dead, The Accountant and HBO’s Westworld, as a stunt performer, rigger or coordinator. He also spent many years in mechanical and pyrotechnic effects.
“I wasn’t looking to be part of the cast or crew,” Eyre says. “But shooting a shotgun during a riot scene turned out to be way more interesting than studying.”
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built something of a specialty in creating and executing stunts with vehicles, including the fabrication of an electric camera motorcycle with fellow Yellow Jacket and mechanical engineer Wayne Yawn, ME 95. “I can say I regularly apply my Tech education in structural and materials engineering in helping to make movie magic,” Eyre says. “That ranges from setting up car chases and crashes to rigging up people to fly through the air (either on purpose or as they’re thrown from an explosion) to building temporary structures for stunt use. I work to make the action look good on camera—and to make it look realistic—and then move on to the next stunt.” Like many crew in the filmmaking business, Eyre works as a freelancer who moves from project to project—which means he can pick and choose what he works on and when. And l i ke m a ny b e h i n d - t h e scenes contributors, during his free time he focuses on writing screenplays and directing short films with the hopes that he can some day earn a more prominent spot in the credits of a major production. He’s long played a critical part in creating the physiIn addition to working as a stuntman in dozens of productions, Tech alumnus Ian Eyre is also an aspiring filmmaker. cality of films; now he longs to contribute to their emoHis lessons in problem solving at Tech not only includtional and intellectual aspects. “After all, most people’s ed engineering study in the classroom, but valuable hours favorite movies are the ones that have ideas that stick with spent involved with GT Motorsports. In fact, Eyre has since them beyond the action and the plot,” he says.
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IN THE WORLD
T BY ROGER SLAVENS
Tech alumni and students are thriving as video game players, team owners and developers in the rising world of eSports. TRADITIONAL SPORTS such as football, soccer, baseball and basketball still represent a good chunk of the world’s attention and spending on entertainment. But these popular pastimes are faced with a relatively new, up-andcoming contender that may surprise you: competitive, professional video gaming. Also known as eSports, the industry boasts revenues that are expected to reach $696 million in 2017, a year-on-year growth of 41.3 percent, according to market analysis firm Newzoo. Much of this money will come from marketers— both endemic (like Sony) and non-endemic (Monster Energy Drink)—who will spend a total of $517 million this year, including an estimated $155 million on advertising, $266 million on sponsorships and $95 million on media rights. Game publishers will invest another $116 million on partnership deals with tournament organizers, and consumers will spend $64 million on live show tickets and merchandising. What’s more, the eSports industry is expected to more than double in size to $1.5 billion by 2020. This is not going over to your friend’s house, sitting on their couch and boredly watching others play Donkey Kong while you wait your turn. This is millions of fans watching the best gamers in the world play online—usually for free on streaming platforms such as Twitch or YouTube—and then forking over hundreds of dollars to attend tournaments to see eSports teams battle it out live in sold-out arenas. FROM COCA-COLA TO TEAM ENVY The parallels between eSports and traditional sports may appear a stretch, but they’re not, says John Brock III, ChE 70, MS ChE 71, Hon PhD 16.
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“When I was a kid, I went outside and played basketball or football and then followed the pros,” says Brock III, the retired CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises who is a strategic advisor and investor in Team Envy, one of the largest and most successful eSports organizations in the world. “It’s exactly the same thing with professional gaming. Today’s young people grow up spending a lot of their time playing video games and they want to follow and root for the best players in the world.” Brock says he was surprised and a bit skeptical when his son, John Brock IV, introduced him to the concept of eSports nearly two years ago. “He was interested in investing in (and then ultimately becoming a co-owner of) Team Envy, and asked me to join him,” Brock III says. “As an engineer, I had to look at the data first—but it quickly became very clear just from the trends in audience and revenue that eSports was a very real, very fast-growing phenomenon.” Team Envy fields teams in eight different games, including League of Legends (multiplayer fantasy battle arena game), Overwatch (multiplayer sci-fi first-person shooter), Call of Duty (realistic war FPS) and others. In addition to employing players from across the globe, Team Envy also supports the players with coaches, trainers and facilities so they can better hone their performance, Brock IV says. “Teams like ours generate revenue in many different ways, from prize money won at tournaments to player appearance fees to merchandising,” says Brock IV, now Team Envy’s chief business officer. “But we make the most money from our sponsors. Marketers want to build brand awareness with 18-35 year olds, and there’s probably no better way to reach them today.” What’s tricky for team owners, players and fans alike is that each eSport is run completely differently. “The game publishers like Activision Blizzard or Riot Games or metro Atlanta’s own Hi-Rez Studios own the games and the intellectual property that go with them,” Brock III says. “They set the rules on who can compete and how individuals and team owners can make money. There’s no independent governing body involved like the NCAA or NFL.” Interestingly, Activision Blizzard, which publishes Overwatch, is creating a franchise league system for teams that’s
(Top) Crowds filled the Cobb Energy Centre for the 2017 Hi-Rez Expo to see the SMITE and Paladins tournaments in person. (HRX). (Lower left) A member of Team Envy concentrates during a match. (Lower right) A Georgia Tech student team won first place in a League of Legends tournament at this year’s DreamHack Atlanta.
not unlike the NFL, charging teams a franchise fee and then placing one in each of 12 different cities around the world and having them build home arenas. As announced in late September, an eight-figure investment from the Hirsch Interactive Group enabled Team Envy to be awarded one of those franchises in the Dallas market. Activison Blizzard intends to expand the league up to a total of 28 cities, almost as many as in the NFL. THE GAME PUBLISHER’S POINT OF VIEW Hi-Rez Studios is among the videogame developers that bet on eSports early and won big. Based in Alpharetta, Ga., the company specializes in free-to-play multiplayer online games—as opposed to most others that require gamers to buy titles for $50 to $60 a pop—and publishes popular titles SMITE: Battleground of the Gods (third-person, mythological battle arena game) and Paladins: Champions of the Realm (team-based, hero shooter). “Hi-Rez generates its revenues mainly from in-game micro transactions,” says Mike Dudgeon, EE 89, MS EE 90, the chief technology officer at Hi-Rez and a former Georgia state
Courtesy of Hi-Rez Studios, Team Envy and Georgia Tech Esports
legislator. “Players can spend real money to enhance their characters’ in-game appearance, or they can earn in-game currency to do the same. But what we don’t do is allow players to buy upgrades that will affect gameplay—we want to keep it fair and balanced with players earning their skills.” Dudgeon, who has been with the developer for 10 years, says that Hi-Rez was one of the first publishers to create their own studio for streaming games worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “We have about a couple dozen people working full time in our eSports department, including color analysts and play-by-play announcers who enhance our streaming broadcasts of online matches,” he says. Every year, Hi-Rez hosts the Hi-Rez Expo (HRX) in Atlanta at the Cobb Energy Centre. A four-day convention for gamers and fans, HRX boasts three high-profile eSports tournaments: the SMITE World Championship, the SMITE Console World Championship and the Paladins HRX Invitational. “We sell out to a capacity crowd of 3,000, charging each $125 for a four-day pass,” says Andy Anderson, IE 97, Hi-Rez’s director of marketing. “The prize money is $1 million for the SMITE tournament winning team, and $250,000 for Paladins.”
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arts@tech Enjoy the Arts on Campus this fall!
Georgia Tech Faculty & Staff Art Show September 14
Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra
Joined by Jun-Ching Lin, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra September 28 DramaTech Presents
By Caleigh Derreberry September 29-October 6 Arts@Tech Season
Spanish Harlem Orchestra October 13
ACCelerate Creativity and Innovation Festival
with Georgia Tech Participants National Museum of American History Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC October 13-15 Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Marching Band
Surround Sound October 20
October 27 DramaTech Presents
Dead Man’s Cell Phone By Sarah Ruhl November 3-18
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy November 4
RAIIN Dance Theater
by Georgia Tech’s Raianna Brown November 17 Arts@Tech Season
Moscow Ballet: Great Russian Nutcracker November 26, 2017
details and more events at
The company looks at eSports as a grassroots marketing effort that gives the games a huge profile and increases its player base, Anderson says. “On top of that, many of our online tournaments are open tournaments and they’re offered regionally around the globe,” he says. “That means anyone can compete and aspire to move up the ranks.” In addition to professional gaming, Hi-Rez has also been very supportive of collegiate eSports leagues. “Georgia State fields a SMITE team through the National Association of Collegiate ESports (NACE), as well as a Paladins team in the Georgia ESports League (GEL),” Anderson says. “Yellow Jacket teams have also been very competitive in Hi-Rez Studios’ games, including fielding an impressive SMITE team at DreamHack Atlanta this summer.” Some universities across the country have even started to offer collegiate scholarships to eSports athletes, recruiting them just like they’d recruit a star football player, he says. “We’ve been working with the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents to see if they’d be interested in moving in that direction,” he says. A NEW BREED OF STUDENT-ATHLETES Thousands of Georgia Tech students play video games, hundreds compete in eSports on various levels, and a few dozen participate on teams in official collegiate leagues for a variety of games. This summer, the Georgia Tech League of Legends student team won first place at DreamHack Atlanta 2017’s regional tournament. In 2016, a different iteration of the team advanced to the semifinals of the national collegiate championship. And LoL is just one of many games in which Tech teams have built some serious cred. “Tech first got noticed in the world of eSports in the early 2000s by a team that fielded some of the top recognized players in the world in StarCraft: Brood War,” says Albert Lee, president of Georgia Tech Esports. The student organization has supported the Institute’s ever-growing community of eSports gamers and fans since those early days. “Our hundreds of members are constantly working to build Tech’s reputation as one of the top universities in the world in competitive video gaming,” he says. Most students who compete do so from their dorms, apartments and other spaces they can find that have the resources to support the technical demands, Lee says. His hope is that someday soon, Georgia Tech administrators will step up—like those at some other top gaming schools have—and officially embrace eSports by supporting student competitive gaming through programmatic and financial resources. “Ideally, I’d like eSports to be part of the athletics department, complete with high-tech facilities geared for gaming and eventually even scholarships offered for student gamers,” Lee says. Athletic Director Todd Stansbury, IM 84, is well aware of the rise of eSports and its challenges and opportunities. “It’s no surprise that Tech would excel in competitive video gaming,” Stansbury says. “At the Athletic Association, we are closely monitoring how other universities are approaching it. If and when we move to officially support it, we will do it the Tech way.”
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SCIENCE STORIES BY MELISSA FRALICK
Georgia Tech students, faculty and researchers use technology and unexpected collaborations to push the boundaries of what it means to be an artist and entertainer.
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Designer Dress Artists and researchers at Georgia Tech collaborated to create Le Monstre, a hightech, high-design garment that incorporates sensors, lights and conductive threads for interactive performances.
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W WHAT DO YOU CALL SOMETHING THAT’S EQUAL PARTS SCIENCE AND ART? In this particular case: Le Monstre. The psychedelic costume with a proper name and personality of its own is a hybrid of not only texture and pattern, but sensors, lights and conductive threads, born from a true collaboration between researchers from Georgia Tech and a visiting artist on campus. Le Monstre was the product of a GVU Center seed grant that brought together
artists and technologists to create a unique interdisciplinary project. The creative processes of choreography and computing and design came together to inform the garment, which was ultimately incorporated into an interactive dance performance. There is a widely held perception that the arts and sciences are totally separate pursuits. But Madison Cario, the director of Tech’s Office of the Arts, is leading the charge to change that on campus. “We are creating the next, and the next is going to reintegrate science and technology and arts,” Cario says. Back in 2010, officials at Georgia Tech came together to discuss ways to infuse more arts throughout campus and smooth the edges of a modern, world-class institute that could feel, at times, austere. At the time, there were extracurricular clubs
“THERE WAS THIS IDEA—AND IT’S FOLKLORE—THAT THERE’S NO ART ON THIS CAMPUS,” CARIO SAYS. “BUT I CAN TELL YOU, THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN ART ON THIS CAMPUS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE.”
for students to explore their interests in drama or music. And The Ferst Center for the Arts provided a solid, if not traditional, lineup of annual professional performances on campus. But that was it. As part of the Institute’s strategic planning process, officials created a task force for the arts to make a set of recommendations.“The motivation was really to engage the creativity of our students that is normally expressed in engineering and science,” says Provost Rafael Bras. “What we want to do with the arts initiative is integrate the thinking of creative arts with engineering, and to get the left and right sides of the brain working together.” The initiative publicly kicked off in 2013 with a temporary exhibit of 15 sculptures installed throughout campus. An Arts Advisory Board, composed of alumni and friends of Tech, and an Arts Council for faculty and staff, were established to pull more stakeholders into the mix. Georgia Tech established for the first time an Office of the Arts, and hired Cario as its director. But Georgia Tech is not your average institution, and neither is its arts program. In all areas, the Office of the Arts is highlighting the ways art intersects with science, engineering and design. Cario, whose varied background includes electrical engineering, environmental science and lighting design for
A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO CREATIVITY GEORGIA TECH ADMINISTRATORS are working together to bring new programming and opportunities for students to explore arts and creative practices on campus. Arts Director Madison Cario explains the threepronged strategic plan Tech is using to achieve this goal. 1. Activate. Tech is using art to activate students, faculty
and staff. In 2013, Tech kicked off its new arts initiative with a 15-sculpture exhibit installed across various locations on campus. The public art was such a hit that at the end of the exhibit, members of Georgia Tech’s Arts Advisory Board purchased eight of the pieces for permanent display. The Office of the Arts is also sponsoring interactive activities like a recent
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collective storytelling campaign, in which students were asked to write on a card what makes them feel safe. The thousands of responses collected will be used to create an original piece of art. Planting visual and interactive art throughout campus is meant to inspire joy and provide a respite in a high-stress environment like Georgia Tech. “We’re changing
the way we think about art and how we engage with it every day,” Cairo says. “We activate not just the campus, but our hearts and minds.” 2. Engage. Art and creativity are also making their way into the Georgia Tech curriculum in unexpected ways. The Office of the Arts was awarded a $206,000 grant to bring together artists,
performing arts, says she was drawn to Georgia Tech because of the rich creativity and innovative spirit among students and faculty. “There was this idea—and it’s folklore—that there’s no art on this campus,” Cario says. “But I can tell you, there has always been art on this campus, and always will be. A lot of our job is to uncover and celebrate and push out what’s already happening here.” A NEW KIND OF YELLOW JACKET Raianna Brown is a student working to prove that you don’t have to choose: You can be both a performer and an engineer. For the fifth year industrial engineering major, the dream of being a professional dancer and choreographer is just as big as her ambition to pursue a career in humanitarian logistics. Brown grew up in a Yellow Jacket family. Both parents went to Tech. Her two sisters majored in industrial engineering at Tech, and she always wanted to be an engineer, too. But when it came time for college, Brown wasn’t so sure. “I didn’t want to go to Georgia Tech at first because I couldn’t study dance and engineering,” she says. Equally committed to both fields, Brown figured out a way to make it work. Together with officials at Georgia Tech, Brown devised a way to dual enroll at Emory University, where she could study dance. She’s now the trailblazer for a new course of study to be called the Innovative Arts and Technology Program, which would allow students like her to RAIIN Dance Theater, a professional dance company co-founded by Georgia Tech student Raianna Brown, will perform at the Ferst Center for the Arts on Nov. 17.
students and faculty to infuse the curriculum, teaching and research with creative practice. Cario says this doesn’t mean forcing electrical engineering students to learn how to paint, but rather to explore how painting, or the creative practice of painting, could inform problem-solving within engineering. The program will be expanded to include 12 artists in the coming year, to be embedded within courses you
wouldn’t expect, like differential equations. “We’re taking the perspective of an artist and their practice and having that influence schoolwork here,” Cario says. 3. Produce. Making stuff. It’s what Yellow Jackets do best. The Made@GT initiative seeks to take projects created on campus in the areas of science, engineering, art and design and fully produce them as artistic products. Cario says these
projects will be developed and staged at Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts before traveling to other venues. Take, for example, a robot developed in Georgia Tech’s music technology program. Known as Shimon, the robot can play the marimba and even compose music. Shimon has appeared on the Today show and is preparing to go on tour. “We’re creating a new revenue model for the Office of the Arts,” Cario says. “The
wonderful thing about this is we get to support work made from the ground up here by our faculty and our students. It gets to be presented on stage here as part of our professional series, and then it gets to tour, so when it leaves here, it’s going around the country to other universities but also to other main stages and showing off the real talents of Georgia Tech—showing off the technology, but also the artistry. We’re super excited about that.”
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of movement and influences of social justice within art. The performance, which will take place at the Ferst Center for the Arts on Nov. 17, is the only Georgia Tech student performance to be selected for this year’s professional series.
Renowned guitarist Kaki King (top), and high-energy performance group Siro-A (bottom), are among the performers selected for the Ferst Center’s 2017-2018 Professional Artists Series who use innovative technological elements in their shows.
carve their own paths by studying arts while also working toward a degree at Georgia Tech that would allow them to innovate within their chosen fields. Brown says she’s met her fair share of skeptics who doubt how realistic it is to study engineering and dance at the same time. But she says both require problem solving in different ways. “I try not to force a melding of my areas of study. But my involvement in engineering and passion for the arts complement each other really well,” Brown says. “I’m constantly using new knowledge gained in one field to improve the other. It’s a positive feedback loop.” For her capstone design project at Tech, Brown is combining her work in engineering and dance. One thing that has always bothered her about
dance performances is that changes of scenery, which take place in the dark as people manually move sets, can take the viewer out of the moment, reducing the “efficiency” of the performance. So she partnered with the School of Industrial Design to create an engineered set that would make scene changes more seamless. The large set, made to resemble Atlanta’s iconic Krog Street Tunnel, is designed for greater ease of movement by the dancers. The set also integrates technology through its use of projection mapping research conducted in GT Labs. The new set will be used during a performance by RAIIN Dance Theater, the professional dance company Brown cofounded. Brown is the artistic director for the company’s original production, called in Human, which explores the intricacies
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S.E.A.D.S. OF CHANGE The technological aspects of Brown’s work align with Cario’s vision of bringing more performers to the Ferst Center who marry elements of science, engineering, art and design (SEAD). Other shows scheduled for the Ferst Center’s 2017-18 Professional Series include Kaki King, a guitarist who projects images onto a specially-designed instrument; SiroA, a Japanese performance group that uses heavy visual effects; and Nufonia Must Fall, a story about a robot in love featuring puppets, film and a live string quartet. Around 15 students work behind-thescenes in the Ferst Center’s box office and support the performances as ushers, assist with event set-up and tear-down, and sell concessions. While booking innovative performances at the Ferst Center, the Office of the Arts is also working to promote work being made at Georgia Tech by students, faculty and staff. “We certainly bring in things, but there already is so much magic here,” Cario says. Four projects created at Georgia Tech were selected for the inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival in Washington, D.C., in October. The festival will feature projects from each ACC university with a specific focus on science, engineering, arts and design. Among the projects headed to the Smithsonian is Le Monstre. Clint Zeagler, ID 04, and Laura Levy, MS Bio 09, MS Psy 15, led a team of researchers from Georgia Tech’s Interactive Media Technology Center and the Wearable Computing Center. Together, they worked with Katherine Helen Fisher, a Los Angelesbased performer, choreographer and filmmaker as well as a former resident
TECH CREATIVITY ON DISPLAY FOUR STUDENT AND FACULTY PROJECTS from Georgia Tech have been selected for display at the first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival this fall in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 13-15. The festival, which will be held at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, celebrates the arts, design, creativity and innovation and their interdependence with science and engineering. CHECK OUT THESE INCREDIBLE INTERDISCIPLINARY CREATIONS: 1. LE MONSTRE
Le Monstre is more than an eye-catching costume. With its bright colors and wild textures, this colorful piece of wearable computing was created at Georgia Tech as a partnership between the Interactive Media Technology Center, the Wearable Computing Center, and the Office of the Arts. Former artist-inresidence Katherine Helen Fisher collaborated with a team led by Clint Zeagler, ID 04, and Laura Levy, MS Bio 09, MS Psy 15, to design a costume that could be worn in an interactive performance piece. Embedded in the fibers are conductive threads, sensors and LED lights—all responsive to touch. 2. LUMIN AI This 15-foot-tall geodesic dome presents the opportunity for mere mortals to dance with artificial intelligence. Lined with custom-made panels for projection mapping, users inside this 3-D
shadow theater space will see their own avatar mirror their movements upon the dome’s surface as they dance. An AI character learns how to dance by paying attention to which moves the current user is doing and when. The project is a collaboration led by Brian Magerko, associate professor in the School of Literature, Media and Communication. 3. RIB CAGE The Rib Cage is an electro-acoustic instrument that incorporates robotics. The performer plays a percussive tune on the “ribs,” while the robotics within the “spine” listen and react to the user’s performance and style. The instrument can be played with a violin bow, mallet—or even a hair comb—and depending on the object used, generates different sounds. Created by graduate student Takumi Ogata, the Rib Cage won second place in the 2017 Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition at Georgia Tech. 4. PH571 PH571 is a high-performance hybrid vehicle created by an interdisciplinary team of six undergraduate students working together as part of their senior capstone design project. A multidisciplinary team majoring in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science created a versatile vehicle that could excel in three distinctly different uses: urban commuting, long-range travel and performance driving.
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artist at Georgia Tech. “We looked at how could we not only support her, but be creative together,” Zeagler says. They devised a garment that included touch sensors, stretch sensors, distance sensors and accelerometers, designed to be responsive to touch. For example, touching the conductive threads in Le Monstre’s fluffy yarn pom poms could change the lighting, video and sound during a performance. “When they came up and touched the garment, everything changed. Their physical touch created a change,” Zeagler says. The collaboration provided Le Monstre incorporates elements such as stretch sensors that play audio files when pulled.
DIVERSE DIVERSIONS There are so many organizations and clubs on campus that let students explore arts and entertainment through theatre, music, dance, poetry and more. Here’s a sample of what’s available to Yellow Jackets looking to flex their creative muscles. DRAMATECH THEATER Founded in 1947, DramaTech is the oldest continually running theater in Atlanta. DramaTech puts on a variety of performances. The Main Stage Shows are full-length, large-scale productions performed in DramaTech’s home, the Dean James E. Dull Theater, located within the Ferst Center for the Arts. Variety Shows are made in partnership with arts organizations and students across Georgia Tech to showcase their talents in a two-night blowout in the Dean Dull Theatre. Studio Shows are smaller in scale, but still use big ideas and technology. DramaTech’s improvisational comedy troupe, called Let’s Try This!, performs regularly throughout the year. Some of these shows are in DramaTech’s theatre, but many take place in various locations around campus. DramaTech’s newly added Tap Troupe teaches students tap dancing lingo, steps and routines. 50 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | Volume 93 No. 3 2017
ERATO is Georgia Tech’s journal of arts and literature, publishing poetry, short stories, plays and artwork submitted by students and faculty. The staff is responsible for reviewing and rating all submissions. Erato is published once per year. Throughout the year, Erato sponsors open mics and art galleries where students can share their writings and artwork with others. The group also sponsors art workshops. GLEE CLUB The Georgia Tech Glee Club formed as an all-male singing group in 1906, making it the oldest student organization on campus. Composed of graduate and undergraduate students, the members of the group represent all of the Institute’s colleges. In recent years, the Glee Club has performed at prestigious events both at Tech and throughout the Atlanta community, and has traveled to locations such as New York City, Hawaii and the United Kingdom, spreading far and wide what it means to be a Ramblin’ Wreck and a helluva engineer.
4.33@TECH A podcast about the sounds that define Georgia Tech and its communities. AMATEUR RADIO CLUB Operating a VHF repeater and a shack containing an assortment of HF, VHF and UHF gear. ART MATTERS A student-led organization at Tech that strives to create a more cohesive arts community on campus. BALLROOM DANCE CLUB A student-led club dedicated to promoting social and competitive ballroom dancing. BLUEPRINT The studentproduced yearbook of the Georgia Tech community. BUZZSTUDIOS Dedicated to offering Tech students an opportunity to create independent films, music videos and commercials through hands-on experiences. CAMPUS MOVIEFEST Students make five-minute films in a period of one week and compete against films from over 30 participating colleges and universities.
opportunities for those in different disciplines to learn from each other. “It was an opportunity for the engineers to work on something where there’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer. It can be very freeing for them, but also very stressful,” Zeagler says. “On the other hand, for the artists, it’s refreshing for them to see us working in a steady, methodical way to reach a solution.” CREATIVITY THRIVES HERE Last year, Georgia Tech conducted an experiment. It didn’t involve circuits or microbes, but rather a few upright pianos
left at several prominent locations around campus, such as the entrance to the Clough Undergraduate Learning Center. Like magnets, the pianos drew students to sit down and play impromptu concerts, their hands arching furiously in complicated chords up and down the keys. Cario was impressed, but not surprised, to observe the pianos unearth so many gifted musicians. She says it’s no coincidence that a campus full of math whizzes would also excel at music. “When we placed pianos around, we found that we had a large number of extremely talented musicians,” she says.
CHAMBER CHOIR An auditioned vocal ensemble performing challenging choral music under the direction of Dr. Jerry Ulrich.
students, faculty and the campus community to discuss and explore issues, practice cultural awareness and embrace diversity.
DANCE ASSOCIATION: SWING DANCE CLUB A student organization bringing music, special events and workshops once a month to Tech students and Atlanta.
PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB Develop skills and promote the art of photography to the outside community.
DANCETECH Multi-genre dance organization performing on and off campus in philanthropic and traditional events throughout the year. GOURD VISUAL ARTISTS Bringing artists and art enthusiasts together to explore art and sketch, paint and sculpt out their ideas. INFINITE HARMONY Georgia Tech’s co-ed a capella group. MAKERS CLUB The Invention Studio is a student-run maker space open to all students and staffed by prototyping instructors and student volunteers. NORTH AVENUE REVIEW Georgia Tech’s free speech magazine challenges
QURBANI Georgia Tech’s all-male Bollywood Fusion dance team performs for on- and off-campus events throughout the city of Atlanta to share a taste of Indian culture. RAMBLIN’ RAAS Georgia Tech’s first and only competitive Garba-Raas team that competes nationally and strives to show their passion for dance and the Indian culture. SALSA CLUB Brings classes, dance parties, nightlife, performance and competitions to the Georgia Tech community interested in club-style Latin dancing. SYMPATHETIC VIBRATIONS An all-male a capella group with 12-15 members.
“Which we knew. We knew the numbers. Over 50 percent of our students come with a music background.” With the rigorous workload at Georgia Tech, many students are tempted to set aside their hobbies to focus on their classwork. But Georgia Tech’s Provost Rafael Bras says that creating space for the arts on campus can enrich the educational experience for students. “What arts show us is to look at the world in a variety of angles—to not look at things linearly,” Bras says. “Good art is always a little out of the box. That, I think, is very important to Georgia Tech and its students.”
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Tech’s full orchestra, as well as Chamber Strings, an intermediate string orchestra. T-BOOK Given to all freshmen at convocation, it provides an overview of the Georgia Tech history, traditions, alumni, spirit and athletics. THE TECHNIQUE Georgia Tech’s student newspaper. TEKSTYLES A breakdance club and community of freestyle dancers who promote the Atlanta hip-hop dance community at Tech. UNDER THE COUCH Georgia Tech’s student-run, all-ages concert venue. Free shows for Tech students. $5 shows for everyone else. All kinds of music. WREK RADIO An entirely student-managed, operated and engineered radio station of Georgia Tech, broadcasting continually on 91.1 FM. YELLOW JACKETS MARCHING BAND One of the oldest in the country with more than 370 members. (See full story on Page 102.)
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STROKE OF LUCK STROKE OF GENIUS BY ROGER SLAVENS
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Alumnus Brian Whited turned his doctoral research in medical imaging at Georgia Tech into a breakthrough drawing system that’s been used on every one of Disney Animation’s films since 2010’s Tangled. Meander, as his software is called, was first employed as an internal mark-up tool that directors could use to review and clean up animated scenes. Eventually, Meander morphed into an inspired way for filmmakers to layer hand-drawn, 2-D effects onto computer-generated frames, giving Oscar-winning short films like Paperman and Feast—and spirited segments of the full-length movie Moana—their one-of-a-kind feel. This year, Whited was given an Academy Award for his innovation’s profound impact on the animation industry. Read on to follow his journey. Volume 93 No. 3 2017 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | 53
S SOMEWHERE BETWEEN A STROKE OF LUCK AND A STROKE OF GENIUS, Brian Whited, CS 03, MS CS 05, PhD CS 09, went from building medical imaging applications at Georgia Tech to working with top animators at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
“The vice president of research at Disney at the time, Joe Marks, saw a paper that my PhD advisor Jarek Rossignac and I originally submitted to a journal that was ultimately rejected,” Whited says. “Our research had to do with morphing between 2-D images and shapes to show what was ‘in between’ as you moved from one to the other, which could be helpful in surgery or other medical imaging applications.” Marks came across this research by searching online—Disney is famous for looking for new ideas from all industries—and he quickly sought Whited out. He thought the algorithms and the approaches taken could be used to more smoothly move between frames of 2-D animation. “I never thought what I was working on at the time could be used in animation or any kind of art, for that matter,” Whited says. He then visited Whited at Tech to see his research in person, and offered him an internship at Disney Animation,
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where Whited got to apply his “in-betweening” (as this interpolation is called in the industry) ideas on some animation sequences of the movie The Princess and the Frog. “Once I arrived at Disney, I started seeing how my skills and research could be relevant to animation, and all the things that you could do in this industry,” Whited says. “I knew immediately that this was where I wanted to be.” When he returned to Tech, Whited told Rossignac, a professor in the School of Interactive Computing, that he wanted to wrap up his doctoral studies and push for graduation the next year so he could join Disney full time. “I finished my thesis and convinced my bosses at Disney that they wanted to bring me back,” Whited says. It was one of the best decisions that he and his supervisors ever made. TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE Computers don’t like drawing curves. They prefer nice, straight lines. And
Tech alumnus Brian Whited at Walt Disney Animation Studios
old-school animators don’t like to draw with digital devices. They prefer pen (or pencil) on paper—lots and lots of paper. These were two distinctly different, yet related problems that Whited, as a Disney software engineer, originally tried to address in designing a system to improve the animation process. Now about those curves. “One of my specializations at Georgia Tech was computational geometry, with a focus on curves but also surfaces and other shapes,” Whited says. “Medical
images are generally flat, 2-D images, but they’re taken of a 3-D subject—an organ, some tissue, a cross-section of a human being. A medical image can become more useful if you can take those 2-D images and calculate the curves and contours that exist between them and visualize what you’re looking for in 3-D.” In-betweening is the geometric word for this morphing or interpolation between images, and historically computers have trouble calculating and drawing these curves, Whited says. That’s what his Tech research was trying to improve. In animation, this interpolation is needed to move from one drawing to the next, and the smoother it is—less jaggy in CGI terms—the better it generally is. “So that’s what I was originally hired to do,” Whited says. “Come up with an improved way to handle that morphing of drawn frames.” At the time, Disney’s animation was primarily hand drawn. “The animators were all drawing on paper, and it was identified as a big bottleneck in production because it can be a tedious process,” Whited says. “Disney was experimental with having all of the drawing done digitally, but there weren’t any off-theshelf tools available at the time that the artists were happy with. None of the software packages were really targeted for the high-quality feature animation that Disney produces. They were more geared for quick-turnaround TV animation and things like that.” Additionally, there wasn’t a drawing application in existence at the time that really respected the hand of the artist, Whited says. “So, as I was developing this inbetweening tool, I also wanted it to
“It’s tedious work and it doesn’t require a lot of artistic interpretation, so why not have the computer do it and allow artists to spend their time on the more creative aspects of their craft?” Whited asks.
recreate, as close as possible, the experience of drawing on paper—which was very difficult to do given the hardware limitations of drawing tablets and pens,” he says. “Additionally, the system had to take the drawings and represent them as geometry.” In Whited’s software, which became known as Meander, every stroke became a rendered curve. “It looks like it was drawn with a pencil, but underneath it, it’s still just geometry,” he says. “And Meander stores that geometry with the hope that the system can do more advanced computational things with it later in the animation process, such as automating some of the interpolation between drawings. The reason why Disney is so concerned with in-betweening is because it can be very time consuming. “We have these very incredibly talented artists drawing lines between lines, connecting the frames, as accurately as possible. It’s tedious work and it doesn’t require a lot of artistic interpretation. So, why not have the computer do it and allow artists to spend their time on the more creative aspects of their craft?” This was the original goal of Whited’s software engineering work: to develop a system that artists would like to use, to push their work beyond what was possible with drawing on paper, while also making the animation process speedier and more efficient. MEANDERING BEYOND EXPECTATIONS About a year into the development of Meander, the Disney animators liked what they saw from it and asked Whited to customize it as an internal review tool for animated sequences. “During the course of making a film, the directors and animation supervisors like to take frequent and early looks at how things are going,” Whited says. “They’ll sit in a room together and play a scene, and they’ll want to provide feedback to the animators. With Meander, they could mark-up their notes and suggestions for revisions right on top of the frames.” The first time Meander was used for this purpose was for the production of the 2010 feature film Tangled, a broad re-imagining of the classic Rapunzel fairy tale. “And it’s been used on
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every Disney animated movie since,” says Whited, “and even more so today than ever before, as all departments, including animation and special effects and modeling, now like to handle reviews with the tool so they can give direct, specific feedback to artists.” However, Meander would soon prove it had much more to offer Disney animators. Director John Kahrs and his team came to Whited for ideas when they were developing an animated short called Paperman. “At that time, I had been working on a project at Disney’s research lab in Zurich, Switzerland,” Whited says. “I was exploring the ways in-between drawings could add some rough texture to clean, computer-generated drawings. Kahrs knew he wanted Paperman to look different than anything Disney had done before. He liked the idea of a more roughly drawn animation, where you could really see the hand of the artist in the final frame. But he didn’t want to draw everything by scratch because it would take too long given the painterly style he was targeting.” So, with Whited’s help, Kahrs’ team figured out a way to create the animation for Paperman first in CGI, but then also
didn’t know how it would turn out.” To make it happen, Whited spent months adding capabilities to Meander so it could deliver the results desired for Paperman. “I had to develop several tools to assist in the in-betweening process while trying to make sure the paint strokes were stable over time—not flickering or adding visual noise,” he says. “I was working to the very end of the production, as new ideas would come along that would help the process every step of the way.” Paperman, which tells a clever story of how an officer worker unwittingly enlists a fleet of paper airplanes to help him meet the girl of his dreams, proved to be a resounding success due to its simple and stylish animation. In fact, it won the Oscar for best animated short film in 2012. That wouldn’t be the last Academy Award in which Whited played a critical role. “I think what Meander added to Paperman stylistically was in the details,” Whited says. “For example, one of the things you really notice is a subtlety and power in the facial expressions, which are especially important since the characters don’t speak in the short. The rough pen strokes added a completely new, paint-
“One of the things you really notice is a subtlety and power in the facial expressions, which are especially important since the characters don’t speak in the short,” Whited says. “The rough pen strokes added a completely new, painterly dimension that no other Disney animated movie had before.” using Meander to layer hand-drawn effects on top. “We had a whole fleet of animators to handcraft the look of every frame, giving it a truly special look and feel,” Whited says. “It really was a fascinating process because everybody was learning as we did—we
erly dimension that no other Disney animated movie had before.” Other projects that put the system’s hand-drawn techniques into effect were the Oscar-winning short film Feast and the full-length feature Moana. On the latter, Meander was specifically used to do shot
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planning and its flat, 2-D artistic effects are on display during the scene where the demigod Maui croons the humorous LinManuel Miranda song “You’re Welcome.” HAIR “TONIC” AND OTHER PROJECTS After production wrapped on Paperman, Whited moved on to another project, called Tonic, to build a system to make it easier to create and model hairstyles. “The process for authoring hair had been a very manual, labor-intensive process,” he says. “Hair is very complex, and Disney needed a way to abstract that down to give artists better ways to manipulate it so they weren’t touching every hair on a character’s head.” With a feature called Frozen on the horizon—which would ultimately showcase some fabulous coifs for its main characters Elsa and Anna—Whited was charged with developing a new tool to make some Disney magic happen once again. And, once again, it all came back to curves. “Geometrically speaking, animated hair is ultimately curves in 3-D,” Whited says. “For Tonic, I borrowed a lot of inspiration from Meander in the way I handled and dealt with editing curves in 2-D.” This time, however, in addition to working directly with the artists to develop the tool, Whited became a hair-groom artist himself so he could try out and refine Tonic from their point of view. “As a software engineer, I would always test the applications to see how they worked, but I didn’t use them eight to 10 hours a day, every day, like an artist would,” he says. “Creating a few hairstyles for some of the background characters and going through that long artistic process gave me a better idea of what the artists needed. And it made me realize that the tools I build for them aren’t just about doing a job, but also about making it a good experience for them, making them happy.” Just like Meander, Tonic—and a related tool called Quicksilver—are used extensively in Disney animated productions today. Work on Meander development continues, but instead of adding new tools, the focus is transforming it from a
standalone application into a library that can be integrated across a variety of animation tools and platforms. “We call it Meander Kit, and it now fully runs on Linux and Mac and iOS,” Whited says. “When Apple introduced their new iPad Pro models, with the pencil for drawing, it’s been a great fit. Disney wants our story artists to be able to draw on mobile devices like the iPad.” With Meander now so flexible, even Pixar—Disney’s sister 3-D animation studio—has started using the kit as a part of its drawing systems.
Brian Whited first helped animators on Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, and his Meander animation system has been used behind-the-scenes on every one of the studio’s movies since Tangled. Meanwhile, Meander played a major role in the look-and-feel of the Oscar-winning short Paperman (top), and its impact can also be seen in Moana and Feast.
I’D LIKE TO THANK THE ACADEMY … Earlier this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestowed Brian Whited with an Academy Award for his creation of Meander and its impact on the animation industry. It was Disney’s first Sci-Tech award since 2001. “I never in a million years would have believed that I would be working in the movie industry, let alone be given such a special honor,” Whited says. “And to think it’s all because of my interest in computational geometry.” Like a true Yellow Jacket, Whited is not one to rest on his laurels. He’s constantly dreaming about what he can do next to optimize tools that draw artistic intent out of an animator’s mind and onto the big screen. “A lot of the tools that are still being used for animation today were first designed in the 1980s, when there wasn’t much computing power,” he says. “Now that we have all of this computing capability, I think we should be taking a step back and questioning why we do the things the way we do. There have to be better ways—and better interfaces than a mouse and a keyboard. For example, we should be taking more advantage of virtual and augmented reality technologies and other specialized hardware.” Whited has already shifted a few long-standing movie animation paradigms. There’s no reason to believe that this Georgia Tech alumnus can’t change more.
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Hollywood Wizards Avg. Rating on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB)
Number of Ratings 200,000 10 400,000 600,000 800,000 1,000,000
Avg. Rating 5
Finding Nemo 11
The Matrix Revolutions
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
Stuart Little 2
Home On The Range
My Favorite Martian 4 1995 1. Babe (1995) Jerome Solomon 2. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995) Jerome Solomon 3. Mulan (1998) Heather Pritchett & Thomas Meyer 4. A Bug’s Life (1998) Wayne Wooten 5. Toy Story 2 (1999) Wayne Wooten 6. Tarzan (1999) Thomas Meyer 7. My Favorite Martian (1999) Deborah Carlson 8. The Emperor’s New
Groove (2000) Thomas Meyer 9. Fantasia 2000 (2000) Heather Pritchett & Thomas Meyer 10. The Patriot (2000) Deborah Carlson 11. Monsters, Inc. (2001) Wayne Wooten 12. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) Thomas Meyer 13. Lilo & Stitch (2002) Thomas Meyer 14. Treasure Planet (2002) Thomas Meyer
15. Stuart Little 2 (2002) Deborah Carlson 16. Finding Nemo (2003) Susan Fisher Fong & Wayne Wooten 17. The Matrix Reloaded (2003) Deborah Carlson & Ray Haleblian 18. The Matrix Revolutions (2003) Ray Haleblian 19. The Incredibles (2004) Susan Fisher Fong & Wayne Wooten 20. The Aviator (2004) Ray Haleblian 21. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
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Ray Haleblian 22. Shrek 2 (2004) Jerome Solomon 23. The Polar Express (2004) Deborah Carlson & Ray Haleblian 24. Home on the Range (2004) Heather Pritchett & Thomas Meyer 25. Madagascar (2005) Jerome Solomon 26. Chicken Little (2005) Heather Pritchett 27. Cars (2006) Susan Fisher Fong & Wayne Wooten
28. Open Season (2006) Ray Haleblian 29. The Ant Bully (2006) Mark T. Carlson 30. Ratatouille (2007) Susan Fisher Fong & Wayne Wooten 31. Meet the Robinsons (2007) Heather Pritchett 32. Surf’s Up (2007) Deborah Carlson 33. WALL·E (2008) Susan Fisher Fong & Wayne Wooten 34. Kung Fu Panda (2008) Mark T. Carlson
35. Bolt (2008) Heather Pritchett & Mark T. Carlson 36. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) Mark T. Carlson 37. Up (2009) Susan Fisher Fong & Wayne Wooten 38. Avatar (2009) Jerome Solomon 39. The Princess and the Frog (2009) Brian Whited 40. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (2009) Deborah Carlson
Films Have Won Academy Awards
Films Have Been Nominated
See the full, interactive version of this visualization at http://gvu.gatech.edu/hollywood-wizards
Represents films with contributions from Georgia Tech alumni with credits on IMDB.com.
Game of Thrones, S7 80 74
30 38 34 39
48 49 50
Men in Black 3
For more than 20 years, Georgia Tech alumni have contributed to creating some of Hollywood’s most iconic animated and genre films. Those included here have more than 80 movies, TV series and video games to their credit. Yellow Jackets Brian Whited and James O’Brien each have earned an Academy Award for Technical Achievement.
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Gulliver’s Travels 2006
41. Merry Madagascar (2009) Mark T. Carlson 42. Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) Mark T. Carlson 43. 2012 (2009) Deborah Carlson 44. Toy Story 3 (2010) Susan Fisher Fong & Wayne Wooten 45. How to Train Your Dragon (2010) Mark T. Carlson 46. Tangled (2010) Heather Pritchett 47. Megamind (2010) Mark T. Carlson
48. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010) Ray Haleblian 49. Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010) Mark T. Carlson 50. Scared Shrekless (2010) Mark T. Carlson 51. Hereafter (2010) Deborah Carlson 52. Shrek Forever After (2010) Mark T. Carlson 53. Gulliver’s Travels (2010) Deborah Carlson 54. Kung Fu Panda 2
(2011) Mark T. Carlson 55. Real Steel (2011) Ray Haleblian 56. Puss in Boots (2011) Mark T. Carlson 57. Cars 2 (2011) Susan Fisher Fong & Wayne Wooten 58. Happy Feet Two (2011) Deborah Carlson 59. Green Lantern (2011) Deborah Carlson 60. Paperman (2012) Brian Whited 61. Wreck-It Ralph (2012) Heather Pritchett &
Data Analysis: GVU Center at Georgia Tech Source: IMDB
Ray Haleblian 62. Rise of the Guardians (2012) Mark T. Carlson 63. Brave (2012) Susan Fisher Fong & Wayne Wooten 64. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012) Mark T. Carlson 65. Men in Black 3 (2012) Deborah Carlson 66. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) Deborah Carlson 67. Frozen (2013) Heather Pritchett &
Brian Whited 68. Monsters University (2013) Wayne Wooten 69. The Croods (2013) Mark T. Carlson 70. Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Deborah Carlson 71. Big Hero 6 (2014) Ray Haleblian 72. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Deborah Carlson 73. Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) Deborah Carlson 74. Fallout 4 (2015)
Mark T. Carlson 75. Inside Out (2015) Wayne Wooten 76. The Good Dinosaur (2015) Wayne Wooten 77. Moana (2016) Deborah Carlson & Brian Whited 78. Finding Dory (2016) Wayne Wooten 79. Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) Deborah Carlson 80. Game of Thrones, S7 (2017) Deborah Carlson 81.Power Rangers (2017) Deborah Carlson
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ENTERTAINERS BEHIND THE SCENES & IN THE SPOTLIGHT While most students may come to Georgia Tech to pursue studies in science and technology and business, that doesn’t mean they can’t also follow their creative and artistic passions—or their yearnings for the limelight. Meet nine remarkable Yellow Jackets who are making their mark in the entertainment world, from award-winning filmmakers and bestselling authors to up-and-coming musicians and even a record-breaking monster truck driver.
BY ROGER SLAVENS
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NAGESH KUKUNOOR, BOLLYWOOD DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, SCREENWRITER & ACTOR MS CHE 91
AFTER “GETTING OUT” OF GEORGIA TECH, Kukunoor worked as an environmental engineer in Texas and Atlanta for a number of years before quitting his job to make movies. In 1998, he wrote, produced, financed and starred in his first film,
Hyderabad Blues, a romantic comedy that explored the culture shock of returning to India after spending many years in the United States. It became one of the most successful indie movies ever made in his home country, and catapulted his career as a Bollywood
filmmaker. His productions have received several international awards, including two Indian National Film Awards. His most recent film, Dhanak (Rainbow), was named the Best Children’s Film at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in 2016.
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KATHRYN VON GREY, MUSICIAN & MEMBER OF ALT-ROCK TRIO VON GREY COMPUTER SCIENCE STUDENT
ONE OF THREE CLASSICALLY TRAINED MUSICIANS and sisters in the ethereal indie band Von Grey, Kathryn (above left) somehow keeps up with her music commitments as she continues her studies at Tech. The trio has played
nearly 500 live shows, including national TV appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman and the Conan O’Brien Show. Most recently, Von Grey has released two singles, “Poison in the Water” and “6AM” in anticipation of releasing a
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six-song EP album, Trinity, this November and going on tour. The eldest of the three sisters, the ravenhaired Kathryn plays both cello and mandolin on the tracks, and also lends her vocals.
NICOLE JORDAN, ROMANCE NOVELIST NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR Nicole Jordan is the nom de plume for Anne Bushyhead, CE 76, who has written more than 30 historical romance novels and has seven million books in print.
Her latest work, My Fair Lover, was released in August and earned a Best Book of the Month nod by Amazon and a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Before she began her writing career, Bushyhead grew up as
an Army brat and attended high school in Germany. She went on to earn her civil engineering degree from Tech and spent eight years as a manufacturing manager, making disposable diapers and toilet tissue.
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GUY PRIMUS, ENTERTAINMENT ENTREPRENEUR IE 92, MS IE 95
PRIMUS HAS BEEN INVOLVED in the entertainment business for decades, holding such roles as director of digital media for Starbucks, vice president of strategy and planning for Blue Flame (the ad agency founded by Sean “Diddy”Combs) and COO of Overbrook Entertainment (Will Smith’s film and TV production company). In 2014, along with three other Hollywood veterans and creative consultant Steven Spielberg, he co-founded The Virtual Reality Company, for which he serves as CEO. The company has taken the lead in creating and distributing cinematic-quality VR content, and recently unveiled its first VR-animated series, called Raising a Ruckus.
STAND-UP COMIC, ACTOR, AUTHOR & TV PERSONALITY CLS 80
BORN AND RAISED IN ATLANTA, Foxworthy briefly attended Georgia Tech (we still lay claim to him) before pursuing a career as a stand-up comic. And you don’t have to be a redneck to realize that he probably made the right choice. Nearly 30 years later, Foxworthy has become one of the most popular comedians in the world—and certifiably the single largest comedy-recording artist in the world. He’s parlayed his folksy sense of humor and nice-guy appeal into an extended career as a TV actor and game show host, as well as a best-selling author of comedy and children’s books. 64 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | Volume 93 No. 3 2017
VIVEK MADDALA, MUSIC COMPOSER, PRODUCER & PERFORMER MADDALA IS AN AWARD-WINNING MUSICCOMPOSERfor dozens of theater, dance and film productions, including indie movies Kaboom and Highway, and the documentary American Revolutionary. He’s also a
multi-instrumentalist performer who has collaborated with many recording artists around the globe. Turner Classic Movies has called upon Maddala to create the scores for a number of silent film restorations, including
Greta Garbo’s The Mysterious Lady. And, most recently, he’s written the music for Warner Bros. Animation’s reboot of The Tom and Jerry Show, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award.
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ROSALEE RAMER, PROFESSIONAL MONSTER TRUCK DRIVER MECHANICAL ENGINEERING STUDENT
RAMER APPROACHES A FULL SLATE of engineering classes at Tech just like she approaches the Monster Jam Tour— without fear. She joined the sport’s top circuit right after she turned 18, in the process becoming the youngest professional
female monster truck driver ever. Ramer, inspired by her father and fellow monster truck operator, Kelvin, has been jockeying her 5-ton rig, Wildflower, against the best of the best on the Monster Jam tour since 2015. This past spring, at the World Finals,
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she finished seventh out of 32 trucks in the freestyle competition. Somehow, Ramer has also been able to score top grades in her studies despite having to jet off from campus many weekends each semester to perform in shows across the country.
JUSTIN O’NEAL MILLER, MOTION PICTURE ART DIRECTOR ARCH 05
MILLER GAVE UP HIS CAREER as an architect to pursue his love of movies—and with Atlanta’s booming film industry, he didn’t have to move to Hollywood to do it. Starting as a set designer, Miller paid his dues and has since moved his way up to becoming a full-fledged art director. He’s worked on many big productions, such as The Walking Dead, The Hunger Games, Marvel’s Ant-Man and, most recently, Baby Driver and American Made. Between movie projects, Miller writes and directs his own short films with the hope of taking his career to yet another level.
ALI FOREMAN, TV SHOW PRODUCTION ASSISTANT CM 17
FOREMAN LANDED A NUMBER OF PRIME INTERNSHIPS during her time at Tech, but none quite like her last with CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In this role, she helped Alist celebrities prepare for their guest appearances, wrangled two dozen puppies for a pet adoption segment, and even sometimes stood in as an actor on set with Colbert—that is, when she wasn’t fetching coffee and doing
some web development. (Her degree is computational media.) When her internship wrapped up this August, Foreman thought she might have to go find a real job. But then she was asked to stay on and work for Colbert on a new, super-secret project set to premiere in January 2018. She can’t say much about it, except for that it’s sure to be “terrific” and some people might even call it “yuge.” Stay tuned. Volume 93 No. 3 2017 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | 67
Alumni House RECRUITING TOMORROW'S ALUMNI The Student Alumni Association (SAA) kicked off the school year with its annual event geared to sign up new members (nearly 2,100 in a single day) and show students the benefits of connecting with alumni and giving back to the Institute. For just $10 in annual dues, members get access to programs like Mentor Jackets, Expert Jackets, Speed Networking and much moreâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not to mention lots of free food and swagâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;while their money goes to support Roll Call and a special campus initiative they can vote on at the end of the year.
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Leading the Way The Alumni Association welcomes new members and appoints the executive committee for the FY18 Board of Trustees BY MELISSA FRALICK
THE GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI ASSOCIATION is proud to welcome the newest leaders to the Board of Trustees. On July 1, 12 new trustees joined the 45-member board, which meets quarterly to oversee the direction and further the mission of the Alumni Association. Members of the Executive Committee have also started working in their new leadership roles for the fiscal year. Read on to learn more about the Yellow Jackets who are working hard to keep our incredible alumni network in tip-top shape.
MEET THE CHAIRMAN DAVID BOTTOMS, MGT 01, is now chair of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Before stepping into the Association’s top leadership role, Bottoms served as vice chair of Roll Call and vice chair of finance. But
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS AT LARGE JENI BOGDAN, MGT 89, MS MOT 96, is executive vice president of Primoris Energy Services. She is serving the second year of her two-year term as an at-large member of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s Executive Committee. Bogdan lives in Suwannee, Ga. TYLER TOWNSEND, IE 98, is vice president of investments for Townsend Wealth
his relationship with the Alumni Association stretches back to his time on campus, when he supported the Alumni House staff as a student. “David Bottoms is a terrific leader for our Association,” says Joe Irwin, IM 80, president and CEO of the Alumni Association. “He brings not only great, thoughtful passion about Georgia Tech, but he also cares about the role that the Association plays in the life of the Institute and our alumni.” Bottoms is senior vice president of benefits at The Bottoms Group and a principal of TBX Benefit Partners, a subsidiary of The Bottoms Group focused exclusively on the employee benefit needs of employers with more than 5,000 employees. Bottoms is also a member of the Scheller College of Business Advisory Board, and a past chair of the Georgia Tech Young Alumni Council. In 2014,
Management. Townsend is active in the Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s Columbus Network and was named an Outstanding Young Alumnus in 2012. He is serving the second year of his two-year term as an at-large member of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s Executive Committee. Townsend lives in Columbus, Ga. SHAN PESARU, CMPE 05, is the owner of Sharp Hue Web Design. He will join the Executive Committee for a two-year term as an at-large member. Pesaru, who lives in
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David Bottoms, Mgt 01
he received the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award at the Gold & White Honors Gala.
Atlanta, is active in Mentor Jackets and is a past President of the Young Alumni Council. He was selected as an Outstanding Young Alumnus in 2015. BRENT ZELNAK, MGT 94, is president of ZP Enterprises. He will join the Executive Committee for a two-year term as an at-large member. Zelnak, who lives in Atlanta, has been active in Mentor Jackets and recently served on the Scheller College of Business Advisory Board.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS BIRD BLITCH, IE 97, is now vice chair of Roll Call, Georgia Tech’s annual fund. He previously served the Association as vice chair of finance. Blitch is the CEO of PatientCo in Atlanta. He was named the 2010 Outstanding Young Alumnus and was part of Georgia Tech’s Council of Outstanding Young Engineers in 2005. While a student at Tech, Blitch was president of the Student Foundation and a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. SHERI PRUCKA, EE 82, MS EE 84, is now vice chair of finance. Prucka joins the rotation of Executive Committee permanent members and will become
NEW ASSOCIATION TRUSTEES MICHELLE ADKINS, IM 83, is an active member of the Georgia Tech Black Alumni Organization. She is also affiliated with the Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity and the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Adkins lives in Miami Beach, Fla. CARLOS BARROSO, CHE 80, is senior vice president for global research and development at Campbell Soup Co. He is a member of the Hispanic Alumni Network and the Chemical Engineering Advisory Board. He was named as one of the College of Engineering’s Distinguished Alumni in 2003 and is a past member of the Engineering Advisory Board. Barroso lives in Dallas, Texas. TREVOR BOEHM, ME 99, MS ME 04, is the owner of Gulf Coast Containers in Mobile, Ala. Boehm is past president of the Mobile Georgia Tech Alumni Network. At
Bird Blitch, IE 97
Sheri Prucka, EE 82, MS EE 84
Andrea Laliberte, IE 82, MS IE 84
chair of the Alumni Association in fiscal year 2020. Prucka lives in Park City, Utah. She is the former president and founding partner of Prucka Engineering Inc. Prucka is on the Electrical Engineering Advisory Board and is a past member of the Georgia Tech Foundation Board and the Biomedical Engi-
neering Advisory Board. ANDREA LALIBERTE, IE 82, MS IE 84 is now the past chair of the Association, having served as chair last fiscal year. Laliberte is a retired senior vice president of distribution for Coach Inc. Since 2013, Laliberte has served as the Edenfield Executive in Residence at
Georgia Tech’s Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering. Laliberte also serves as a n ex officio trustee of the Georgia Tech Foundation Board and as an emeritus member of the ISyE Advisory Board. She was named a Distinguished Alumna by the College of Engineering in 2008.
Tech, he was a co-op student and a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
KEITH JACKSON, MGT 88, is vice president of human resources at AT&T in Atlanta. He is a member of the Scheller College of Business Advisory Board and a member of the Mentor Jackets program. As a student, Jackson was in the Sigma Chi fraternity and participated in student government.
BLAKE PATTON, IE 93, is a managing partner of Tech Square Ventures in Atlanta. He is a member of the Scheller College of Business TI:GER Advisory Board. Patton is also a past member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board and the Council of Outstanding Engineers.
ANGELAMITCHELL,PTCH04, is senior engineer of research and development at Halyard Health Inc. in Atlanta. She is a current mentor in the Mentor Jackets program. As a student, Mitchell was a President's Scholar and a member of the Ramblin' Reck Club. She was a co-op student, a member of the Student Foundation Board and the ODK Leadership Honor Society and a student ambassador.
BERT REEVES, MGT 00, is an attorney and a representative in the Georgia General Assembly. As a student, Reeves was a member of the Ramblin' Reck Club and the ODK Leadership Honor Society. He was a co-op student and a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.
RITA BREEN, PSY 90, MS IE 92, is executive director of the Georgia Power Foundation and lives in Marietta, Ga. She was co-chair of the Gold & White Honors Sponsorship Committee. At Tech, Breen was a co-op student and a member of the ODK Leadership Honor Society, Alpha Chi Omega social sorority, and the Collegiate Panhellenic Council. SCOTT HALL, ME 96, is president and CEO of HUNTER Technical Resources in Atlanta. Hall is a twotime co-chair of the Gold & White Honors Gala Sponsorship Committee. As a student, Hall was active in the Sigma Nu fraternity. TIM HOLMAN, MS EE 88, PHD EE 94, is a research associate professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Holman is active in the Mentor Jackets program. At Tech, he was a co-op student and a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.
ALEX MUÑOZ, MGT 88, is a management consultant and owner of CSR LLC in Atlanta. Muñoz was chair of the Gold & White Honors Gala Auction Committee in 2015. He is a member of the Hispanic Alumni Network and was part of his 25th class reunion committee. Muñoz is past president of the Georgia Tech Atlanta Intown Alumni Network.
BRIAN TYSON, EE 10, is a bulk system planning engineer with Georgia Transmission Corp. in Atlanta. He serves on the Executive Committee of Tech’s Young Alumni Council, is a member of the Georgia Tech Black Alumni Organization, and is active in Mentor Jackets. As a student, Tyson was a member of the Ramblin' Reck Club, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and ANAK.
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Houston Network Contributes to Harvey Relief Efforts BY MELISSA FRALICK
THE HOUSTON, TEXAS, COMMUNITY is still reeling after Hurricane Harvey left unprecedented flooding and damage in its path. Following the storm, the Houston Georgia Tech Alumni Network got to work quickly to support their fellow Texans by planning fundraisers and events to support the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. "After the tragic flooding that affected the Houston community due to Hurricane Harvey, many of our alumni immediately reached out wanting to help,” says Kate Tyler, MS CE 09, president of the Houston Georgia Tech Alumni Network. “After what happened with Harvey, it was so incredibly uplifting to see our Tech family come together with the larger Houston community and give back financially and through service.” With 3,000 alumni in the area, the Houston network is one of Georgia Tech’s largest. On Saturday, Sept. 9, approximately 60 people came out to Eureka Heights Brewing Co. to watch the Yellow Jackets play the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. In addition to raising spirits, the network’s first game watching party of the season doubled as an opportunity to raise money for hurricane relief efforts. The funds raised were donated to the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a fund set up by the mayor of Houston to support residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. Tyler
Alumni in Houston watched Tech football, raised money and volunteered for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
says the network plans to continue collecting donations through the remainder of the football season. At a different event on Sept. 10, 20 volunteers went to the Houston Food Bank to volunteer and help sort donations.
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They also helped out by putting together meals for those in need. Our hearts are with our fellow Yellow Jackets working to rebuild their communities in the aftermath of all recent storms.
The Leadership Circle is the cornerstone of Roll Call Georgia Tech’s Fund for Excellence
Georgia Tech’s commitment to education has produced tremendous success and leadership giving plays a key role in academic programming, research, and student support such as our mentoring programs. “The Georgia Tech experience became the foundation for my professional success and some of my greatest friends and memories. It is my privilege to invest in the institution and in current and future Yellow Jackets, to give back a little of what we gained.” - Betsy Wallace, ARCH 96 Former GTAA Board Member Mentor
“Your gift to Roll Call makes a huge impact on the education that future generations of Yellow Jackets receive. Having donors who give back at the Leadership Circle level is crucial to helping Georgia Tech always stay one step ahead of the game.” - Ria Banerjee, BA 16 Former SAA President Mentee
BURDELL SOCIETY PHOENIX CLUB TRADITIONS CLUB TOWER CLUB CORNERSTONE CLUB
a gift of $25,000 $10,000 - $24,999 $5,000 - $9,999 $2,500 - $4,999 $1,000 - $2,499
Please send your gift or pledge to: ROLL CALL, GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 190 North Avenue | Atlanta, Georgia 30313 or call (404)Volume 894-0778 93 No. 3 2017 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | 73 www.gtalumni.org/giving
Want to Get Away?
FEATURED TOURS AND CRUISES
BY ROGER SLAVENS
The Alumni Association offers 47 opportunities to explore the world with fellow Yellow Jackets in 2018. THE GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI TRAVEL PROGRAM has partnered with some of the top tour operators in the travel industry to offer a record 47 group trips next year—from leisurely European river sailings to exciting expeditions of more exotic lands—specifically designed for Yellow Jacket travelers. The lineup of tours includes many new destinations and itineraries, as well as the beloved favorites alumni ask us to bring back time and again—including four trips geared for young alumni and a whopping 22 cruises. Take a look at what’s on deck: Our schedule is filled with bucket-list trips and offerings you might never have considered before. But be sure to act soon before your tour is sold out!
Tanzania Migration Safari Jan. 24 – Feb. 4, Orbridge
Israel Feb. 10 – 19, AHI Travel
France: Village Life in Dordogne May 17 – 25, Gohagan
Italy: Amalfi Coast Alumni Campus Abroad, April 24 – May 2, AHI Travel 74 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | Volume 93 No. 3 2017
National Parks & Lodges of the Old West June 7 – 16, Orbridge
Machu Picchu to the Galapagos April 24 – May 9, Odysseys Unlimited
Easy Company: England to the Eagle’s Nest May 27 – June 8, WW II Museum Travel
Kentucky Derby May 2 – 6, Sports & Entertainment Travel
Polar Bears & Beluga Whales July 15 – 21, Orbridge
Nordic Magnificence July 29 – Aug. 8, AHI Travel
England: Cambridge, Oxford, Cotswolds July 6 – 14, Gohagan
Cape Cod & The Islands Aug. 19 – 25, Premier World Discovery Volume 93 No. 3 2017 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | 75
Imperial Splendors of Russia Aug. 29 – Sept. 7, AHI Travel
France: Reims Alumni Campus Abroad, Sept. 18 – 26, AHI Travel
Exploring Australia & New Zealand Sept. 19 – Oct. 10, Odysseys Unlimited
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Oct. 5 – 8, Sports & Entertainment Travel
YOUNG ALUMNI TOURS
Alpine Countries & Oktoberfest Oct. 1 – 9, Premier World Discovery
The Ryder Cup Sept. 24 – Oct. 1, PrimeSport Destination Dubai Young Alumni Program April 28 – May 4 , AESU Alumni World Travel
Thanksgiving in New York Nov. 21-25, Beyond Group Travel
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Essential Europe Student & Young Alumni Program May 15 – June 1, AESU Alumni World Travel
Ireland: Hops, Grains & Slaínte Young Alumni Program July 1 – 7, AESU Alumni World Travel Discover Spain Young Alumni Program Aug. 26 – Sept. 1, AESU Alumni World Travel
CRUISE CONTROL: TOURS ON LAKES, RIVERS & SEAS
Sparkling South Pacific Aboard the Oceania Marina, Feb. 25 – March 7, Go Next
Gateway to Sunshine Aboard the Oceania Marina, April 6 – 22, Go Next
European Serenade Aboard the Oceania Riviera, May 16 – 25, Go Next
Discover Southeast Alaska Aboard the Admiralty Dream, Aug. 3 – 10, Orbridge
Baja California & the Sea of Cortez Aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird, March 2 – 10, Lindblad Expeditions
Columbia & Snake Rivers Aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion April 18 – 24, Lindblad Expeditions
Isle of Enchantment Aboard the Oceania Nautica, June 7 – 18, Go Next
The Majestic Great Lakes Aboard the M/V VIctory II Aug. 14 – 23, Go Next
Romance of the Mekong Aboard the RV Mekong Navigator, March 13 – 28 AHI Travel
Journey Along the Elbe Aboard the Elbe Princesse, April 26 – May 7, AHI Travel
Cruise the Rhine – Family Aboard the MS Amadeus Silver II, July 11 – 19, AHI Travel
European Coastal Civilizations, Aboard the M.S. Le Boreal, Sept. 4 – 13, Gohagan
Radiant Rhythms Aboard the Oceania Sirena, March 20 – April 2, Go Next Classic China & the Yangtze April 3 – April 16, Odysseys Unlimited
Southern Grandeur Aboard the American Queen, April 29 – May 7, Go Next Cruise the Heart of Europe Aboard the MS Amadeus Silver, May 9 – 24, AHI Travel
Breathtaking Bordeaux Aboard the Scenic Diamond, July 16 – 24, Go Next Affluence of Culture Aboard the Oceania Nautica, July 17 – 30, Go Next
Rivieras & Islands Aboard the M.S. Le Boreal, Sept. 26 – Oct. 4, Gohagan Wonders of Peru & Amazon Cruise Aboard the Delfin III, Oct. 4 – 15, AHI Travel Pathways of the Peninsula Aboard the Oceania Marina, Oct. 15 – 26, Go Next
Ready to Travel? Call Director of Travel Martin Ludwig at (404) 894-0758. You can also email him at email@example.com or check out the Georgia Tech Alumni Association website at www.gtalumni.org/travel throughout the year. The tours and dates listed above are subject to change and revision. Alternate dates may be available on some programs and additional tours may be added. If you do not see the tour of your choice on the list, please contact us.
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Come Back to Ma Tech 2017 Georgia Tech Homecoming and Reunion Weekend—Oct. 19-21 GEORGIA TECH’S HOMECOMING & REUNION WEEKEND is right around the corner. There are so many great events planned that you’ll stay entertained on campus all weekend long. There will be old favorites to look forward to, like the annual Ramblin’ Reck Parade, and new programs such as the Traditions Presentation, where you’ll learn about what life was like at Tech 100 years ago. The weekend is all about reconnecting with your alma mater. Spend time with old friends, meet current students, take a picture on Tech Lawn, and soak up the scenery from your seat in Bobby Dodd Stadium as the Yellow Jackets take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. You’ll be proud to see how Georgia Tech is continuing to improve and educate the brilliant thinkers and makers of tomorrow.
EDUCATIONAL EVENTS 2017 Homecoming Welcome Reception and Keynote Presentation When: Thursday, Oct. 19 from 6:30 - 8 p.m. Where: Georgia Tech Global Learning Center Who: R. Shane Kimbrough, MS OR 98 The recent International Space Station commander will share his experiences in space and how Georgia Tech impacted his career as a NASA astronaut. Student Panel: Student Life at Tech Today When: Friday, Oct. 20 from 10 - 11 a.m.
Where: Georgia Tech Global Learning Center Hear about life at Tech today from current students and share your own memories and advice with them in a fun, interactive discussion designed to connect alumni back to Ma Tech. Traditions Presentation: 100 Years Ago at Georgia Tech When: Friday, Oct. 20 from 11:30 a.m. -12:45 p.m. Where: Georgia Tech Global Learning Center Learn about the year 1917 at the Georgia School of Technology: An Aviation School was created to support America’s fight in the Great War, legendary coach John Heisman led the Yellow
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Jackets to a National Championship and more. Join Tech’s historian and storyteller Marilyn Somers to hear more tales of “derring-do” on the battlefront and on The Flats. President’s Update When: Friday Oct. 20 from 1 - 2 p.m. Where: Georgia Tech Global Learning Center President G. P. “Bud” Peterson will share his annual update on the Institute’s global, regional and local impact as well as the many exciting things happening around campus. Faculty Feature: Dr. Sy Goodman When: Friday, Oct. 20 from 2:15
- 3:15 p.m. Where: Georgia Tech Global Learning Center As a Regents Professor and professor of international affairs and computing in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Goodman's research includes the impact of science and technology on war. Campus Walking and Bus Tours When: Friday, Oct. 20 from 3:30 - 5 p.m. Where: Georgia Tech Global Learning Center Join the Georgia Tech Student Ambassadors on a tour around campus highlighting famous Tech landmarks, as well as new additions.
CLASS REUNIONS 50th Reunion: Class of 1967 When: Friday, Oct. 20, 6:30 – 10 p.m. Where: Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center Reminisce at a party including a cocktail reception, live band, dinner and induction into the Old Gold Society. 40th Reunion: Class of 1977 When: Friday, Oct. 20, 7 - 10 p.m. Where: The Roger A. and Helen B. Krone Engineered Biosystems Building Enjoy a night of cocktails, food and live music by Banks and Shane.
25th Reunion: Class of 1992 When: Saturday, Oct. 21, 2.5 hours prior to kickoff Where: Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s Basil Garden Enjoy music, game day swag, a barbecue buffet and open bar at a private tailgate party. Families are welcome. Old Gold Reunion When: Saturday, Oct. 21, immediately post-game or 9:30 a.m. if game is 5 p.m. or later. Where: Georgia Tech Alumni Association If you graduated in 1967 or prior, you are invited to be part of a great Homecoming Tradition: The Old Gold Society Reunion. Hors d’oeuvres and a full bar will be served.
HOMECOMING GAMEDAY EVENTS Ramblin’ Reck Parade When: Saturday, Oct. 21, time TBA Where: Fowler Street Check out this year’s parade of classic cars and engineering oddities. This Tech tradition is a must-see before kick-off. Ramblin’ Wreck Rally Tailgate When: Saturday, Oct. 21, 2.5 hours prior to kickoff Where: Tech Tower Lawn
Pick up free Georgia Tech swag to wear to the game, have your picture taken with the Ramblin’ Wreck and enjoy live music by The Mustangs. Buzz and the Georgia Tech Band and cheerleaders will keep spirits high for a true Tech tailgate experience. Homecoming Game: Georgia Tech vs. Wake Forest When: Saturday, Oct. 21, time TBA Where: Bobby Dodd Stadium
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GTSF Foundation and Student Leader Both Named No. 1 in Nation BY MELISSA FRALICK
THE GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI ASSOCIATION'S student programs and leaders have once again proven that they are the best in the nation. At the Aug. 5 Conference of CASE ASAP—the Council for Advancement and Support of Education Affiliated Student Advancement Programs—Georgia Tech took home two impressive awards. Weatherly Langsett, BA 17, was named the national Outstanding Student Leader. Langsett, a recent graduate, is the former president and CEO of the Georgia Tech Student Foundation. Julie Palmer, the Alumni Association’s senior manager of student organizations and adviser to the Foundation, says the award was well deserved. “It was truly inspiring watching Weatherly’s passion for the Georgia Tech Student Foundation spread to the various roles she held within the organization and witnessing the impact she had on her fellow students,” Palmer says. “She is an exceptional leader because she is hard-working and humble, and knows how to motivate her peers to reach their goals.” Langsett joined the Georgia Tech Student Foundation during her second year as a general member of the Development Committee. She then served as a Development Committee director and later as a member at large. During her time as Development Committee
Weatherly Langsett (sixth from left) led the Georgia Tech Student Foundation to a record year.
director, the number of student donors reached a record high. Student leaders from Georgia Tech are consistently recognized for their dedication, passion and intelligence. Langsett is the third Georgia Tech student in a row to win this prestigious national honor, and the sixth within seven years. Her organization, the Georgia Tech Student Foundation, was also recognized as the top organization in the country with the Outstanding Student Organization Award. The Student Foundation was established in 1986 with a $100,000 donation
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by J. Erskine Love Jr., ME 49. The only condition Love placed on his endowment was that it be managed completely by students. This was the beginning of the Georgia Tech Student Foundation, and in the years since, the endowment has grown to approximately $1.2 million under the stewardship of the Foundation’s student leaders. Today, the Student Foundation continues to promote the spirit of philanthropy among students, educate members about investing and finance, and allocate funds to student organizations on campus.
Sinha Helping to Shape Canadian Energy Future APOORV SINHA, CHBE 10, was named a fellow of Your Energy Future, a Canadian policy and leadership development program. Sinha is one of 16 participants travelling around Canada to learn about the diversity of the country’s energy sector and the implications of the global transition toward clean energy sources. They will develop strategies for Canada’s success by talking to and learning from leaders in business, academia and policy. The program is delivered by the Public Policy Forum in partnership with Action Canada. Sinha is the founder and CEO of a carbon capture and utilization technology startup, Carbon Upcycling Technologies, which is commercializing a process to convert CO2 emissions into performance-enhancing fillers for concrete, plastics, pharmaceuticals and batteries. Sinha is also the research manager for zEroCor Technologies, a Calgary-based oilfield service and technology development firm. As Research Manager, he manages over 15 active projects for zEroCor Technologies in collaboration with 10 universities. Sinha is a member of the Energy Futures Lab, a 2016 Leading
1960s Norman Davenport Askins, Arch 66, received the Board of Directors Award from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art as part of its 2017 Arthur Ross Awards for Excellence in the Classical Tradition. Askins established his practice, Norman Davenport Askins Architect, in Atlanta in 1977. Now in his 40th year of private practice, Askins has specialized in a range of services including historic preservation, period residences, vacation cottages as well as plantations, and additions to existing homes. In 2014,
Change delegate, a Clean50 Emerging Leader 2016, and serves on the ACTia (Alberta Cleantech Industrial Alliance) Board of Directors. In 2010, Sinha co-founded TOHL, a humanitarian logistics startup with headquarters in Atlanta, which has conducted water infrastructure projects in Chile and Kenya, and is expanding operations in Nigeria. TOHL has been featured on BBC, Forbes Magazine, Calgary Herald and on the Daily Planet on Discovery Channel.
“Inspired by Tradition: The Architecture of Norman Davenport Askins” was published, highlighting the work of his practice. Carl McNair Jr., AE 63, received the lifetime achievement award from Shippensburg University. The award recognizes lifelong career achievement and personal commitment to a field of endeavor for the benefit of the community and society. McNair is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College. During his time there, he also attended Shippensburg University as a graduate student in the Public Administration program. McNair retired from his most recent position at Air Methods Corporation in 2016.
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Sonny Seals, IM 65, received the Roger K. Warlick Local History Achievement Award for his book, Historic Rural Churches of Georgia. It is the book’s second award on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society. Named after former Georgia Historical Society President Roger K. Warlick, this award honors the efforts of affiliate chapters that excel in the field of public history. The mission of “Historic Rural Churches of Georgia” hinges on the public history aspect of creating an online community where interested people can communicate and contribute to the local history surrounding these historic church communities.
MOORE NAMED ECE ASSOCIATE CHAIR FOR UNDERGRADUATE AFFAIRS ELLIOT MOORE II, EE 98, MS EE 99, PHD ECE 03, has been appointed as associate chair for undergraduate affairs in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Moore joined the ECE faculty in August 2004, after completing his PhD at Georgia Tech. As an alumnus, he is very aware of the challenge and reward of earning a Georgia Tech degree. Moore is highly involved in enhancing education through experiential programs and technology in the classroom. From 2007-2012, he directed an NSF REU site known as CREATE (Collaborative Research Experiences in Advanced Technology and Engineering), which provided 10 weeks of funding for over 50 undergraduate students to do research with faculty at the Savannah campus. In 2014, Moore became the director and PI of the TIES (Transfer Initiatives for Engineering Scholars) program, which provides need-based scholarships for transfer students from two- and four-year schools. For the last two years, he has directed a Vertically Integrated Projects program team that creates mobile apps in assessment and therapy for persons suffering from neurological disorders such as aphasia. As one of the lead instructors for ECE 2026–Introduction to Signal Processing, Moore initiated the use of clicker technology to improve engagement in larger classes, and he worked to integrate tablet PC technology and software into classroom pedagogy at both the Atlanta and Savannah campuses. Throughout his career, Moore has served on both the ECE undergraduate and graduate committees and in K-12 outreach activities, and he is the current faculty
1970s B.C. Killough IE 74, was selected for the 2017 South Carolina Super Lawyers list. Killough was recognized for his expertise in intellectual property. Each year, no more than 5 percent of the more than 10,000 lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive the Super Lawyers honor. Yorkman Lowe, ME 73, is a volunteer tour guide for Trails & Rails, a partnership between the National Park Service and Amtrak, which educates travelers on the heritage and natural resources of a specific region while traveling by rail. Lowe volunteers on the train from San Jose to San Luis Obispo, Calif., sharing information about the 21 California missions founded by Spanish missionaries from 1769 to 1823.
advisor of the IEEE student branch. Moore has participated in numerous Institutelevel committees focused on educational matters, most recently as a member of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and as chair of the Student Grievance Committee. He received the ECE Outreach Award in 2010, was named a Hesburgh Teaching Award Fellow in 2014, and received the ECE Richard M. Bass/Eta Kappa Nu Outstanding Teacher Award this past spring. Moore conducts research on digital speech processing theory and analysis in the classification of human vocal patterns for determining speaker demographics, characteristics and state. He received both the NSF CAREER Award (2006) and the NSF PECASE Award (2007) for his work in this area, where he has graduated six PhD students and advised 18 undergraduate researchers. Moore has been the associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Education since 2009 and was a participant in the National Academy of Engineering/ Frontiers on Engineering Education in 2014.
Michael P. Merovich, CE 74, has retired from his position as Chief Engineer of Munroe Inc. Merovich has worked in the engineering field since his co-op assignments in 1969. Merovich and his wife, Fran, recently took a vacation to Hawaii to celebrate the milestone.
1980s R. G. “Kelly” Caldwell Jr., EE 88, received two awards from the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. Caldwell was named the winner of the 2017 Frank G. Berlin Sr. Small Business Award, and his business, Caldwell Trust Company, received the Top Honor Small Business of the Year Award. Caldwell is the CEO, president and co-founder of Caldwell Trust Company. Caldwell Trust Company provides a full range of fiduciary services to individuals as well as management of retirement plans for employers. Jeffrey R. Kuester, EE 89, has been recognized by Intellectual Asset Management among its IAM Patent 1000 list of leading patent attorneys for 2017. The list recognizes individuals
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Elliott Inducted into Municipal Government Hall of Fame JIM ELLIOTT, IM 79, has been inducted into the Municipal Government Hall of Fame by the Georgia Municipal Association . Elliot has served as the city attorney for Warner Robins, Ga. for 32 years. The Hall of Fame honors municipal officials who exemplify the best in public service, and who, throughout their careers, have made extraordinary contributions to their communities and Georgia’s cities. Elliott began working for Warner Robins in 1985 and throughout his career has served eight mayors and numerous council members. During his tenure, he has played a vital role in virtually every project, program and initiative completed in the city. Current and past mayors and council members have long entrusted him with critical projects that contribute to the betterment of the city and its residents. He currently serves as a member of GMA’s Legislative Policy Council and GMA’s Federal Policy Council. In
and firms that play a strategic role in developing and implementing patent solutions locally and internationally. This is the fourth time that Kuester has received this distinguished honor. Kuester co-chairs the patent and intellectual property groups at Taylor English Duma LLP. He has extensive experience counseling businesses on their trademarks, copyrights and other intellectual property issues, including litigation, preparation and counseling. Gregory J. Owens, IM 82, chairman and CEO of IronPlanet, was named a finalist for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Award in Northern California. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to
1990-1991, he served as president of the GMA City Attorneys’ Section and a member of the GMA Board of Directors in this capacity. Other pa s t i nvo lve m e n t i n GMA includes serving as chair of a GMA Task Force on Municipal Judges and Law Enforcement Officer Training, and as a member of GMA’s retirement and insurance boards. His commitment to local government law is further evident through his service as chair of the Local Government Law section for the State Bar of Georgia, and the Southeast regional vice president for the International Municipal Lawyers’ Association.
their businesses and communities. Owens was selected as a finalist by a panel of independent judges. IronPlanet is a leading online marketplace for selling and buying used equipment and other durable assets. Owens serves on the Georgia Tech President's Advisory Board as well as the Scheller College of Business Advisory Board.
founding president of Reynolds Plantation, a residential resort community at Lake Oconee, and has established two medical enterprises, United Surgery Center Partners and Cowles Clinic in Greensboro. Reynolds previously served on the board of directors of the Georgia System of Technical Colleges for 13 years, most recently as chairman.
Harold Reynolds, IE 92, has been elected by his peers to serve a two-year term as an at large member on the board of directors of the Georgia Bankers Association. Reynolds is chairman and CEO of BankSouth. Reynolds joined the bank as a director in 1984 and was named chairman and CEO in 1993. Reynolds was inducted into the Council of Outstanding Young Engineers in 1998. Reynolds was the
Lenny Richoux, AE 89, has been promoted to commander of the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command. The JECC provides the Department of Defense with a rapid activation alert force composed of Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps service members stationed at Norfolk Station in Virginia and MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. Prior to taking command in Norfolk, Richoux served as the 18th Air Force vice
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Yellow Jackets on the Move Another benefit from the Georgia Tech Alumni Association Preferential YELLOW JACKET treatment * * * * * * *
Minimum of a 55% discount on all interstate relocations. Free Full-Value Coverage up to $50,000. 15% discount on all Georgia and Florida intrastate moves. Guaranteed on time pick-up and delivery. Personalized attention from start to finish. Top rated drivers will be assigned to all Yellow Jacket shipments. Sanitized air-ride vans.
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RAMBLIN' ROLL OWEN SELECTED FOR FORD FELLOWSHIP
Shane Bailey, IE 02, now works in quality analytics, strategy and customer care for Home Depot Private Brands.
JACK OWEN, MS ECE 14, is an engineer for Ford Motor Co. who has been selected for the company’s inaugural 30 Under 30 program. The Ford Motor Co.’s 30 Under 30 fellows are 30 diverse U.S. employees, under the age of 30, selected from more than 300 competitive applications across the country. They take time away from their jobs as Ford engineers, financial, marketing and IT professionals to not only learn what it takes to run a charity, but also how to develop strategies to help nonprofits connect with younger generations who represent a future donor and volunteer base.
commander at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Richoux is a command pilot who primarily flew the C-17 and KC-135 aircraft. The general has commanded at the wing and squadron levels and also deployed in support of multiple combat operations, including Kosovo, Central and Southwest Asia. Johnny S. Smith, IM 81, has been elected by his peers in Georgia to serve a two-year term on the board of directors of the Georgia Bankers Association. Smith is president and CEO of Newton Federal Bank, Covington. Smith began his banking career in 1992 as a controller. He has held the roles of secretary/ treasurer, vice president and senior vice president. Smith has previously served on the Newton County Board of Education and on the board of Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce. Smith is a member of the Rotary Club of Covington where he has served as president, and he is chairman of the Rotary Club of Covington Foundation Board of Directors. Eileen Webb, ChE 84, has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Entrepreneurs Assembly in Reno, Nev. Her company, Accreditation Preparation LLC, helps university engineering programs around the world prepare for ABET accreditation.
1990s Brian N. Brogdon, ChE 92, has been named a TAPPI Fellow. TAPPI is the leading association for the worldwide pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and converting industries. Fellow is an honorary title bestowed upon a very small percentage of TAPPI’s membership. It is given to individuals who have made extraordinary technical or service contributions to the industry and the Association. Brogdon is the owner and president of Future Bridge Consulting Service. Brian Frank, Mgt 90, has been named to Barron’s annual list of America’s Top 100 Financial Advisors. Frank is a managing director, wealth management and private wealth advisor in Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s Buckhead office.
2000s Benjamin Bales, EE 12, is the CTO and cofounder of QbitLogic. QbitLogic received funding from DARPA; was selected as a finalist in the SXSW Lockheed Martin HeloPitch; and was selected as the No.1 choice in the preliminary judging round to be one of the finalists in the 2017 Atlanta Startup Battle.
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Jennifer Hinkel, IA 03, announced that her musical play, “Adulting for Beginners,” was selected to be performed as part of Musical Cafe's 2017 Spring Showcase in Berkeley, Calif. Per Holtze, Mgt 01, was honored with the Deen Day Sanders Service to Mankind Award. Dana Hutcherson, ME 00, was featured in the April edition of Spaceport Magazine for her contributions as part of a team of engineers leading space flight development at NASA. Hutcherson is the deputy manager of systems engineering and integration for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Alexandra Thomas, IA 07, completed her doctorate in education at Teachers College, Columbia University with a focus on curriculum and teaching in May 2017. She works for the Center for Technology and School Change at Teachers College, Columbia University as a professional development specialist and curriculum designer.
2010s James Michael Barazesh, EnvE 12, EAS 12, completed his PhD in environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in May 2017. Katrina Lawrence, CE 10, has been awarded the 2017 Community Outreach and Service Award by The Philadelphia Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Lawrence is a senior projects implementation coordinator with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission in Center City Philadelphia. The award recognizes her diligent outreach efforts to introduce students to engineering. As part of this effort, she has visited nearly 2,000 students in Philadelphiaarea schools over the past two years.
The Wealth Manager Alumni Are Buzzing About JOHN A. HANSON, CFA 11 Industrial Engineering PH: 404-822-1370 email@example.com
1. Miranda B. Williams, IE 12, and Daniel Marshall Williams ChBE 13, were married on May 14 at Disney World. Miranda is senior director of operations for Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. Daniel is Business Solutions Manager, IT for Tesoro Corporation. The couple lives in Owasso, Okla. 2. Spencer Klagstad, AE 12, and Laura Hughey, PTFE 13, MS PO 15, were married on May 27 in Marietta, Ga. Laura is a prosthetist and Spencer is an aerospace engineer. The couple lives in Dayton, Ohio.
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Experience Excellence Encounter Creativity Embrace Peace of Mind
Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center â&#x20AC;Ś where innovative meetings thrive 800 Spring Street, NW Atlanta, Georgia 30308 (404) 838-2060 firstname.lastname@example.org
RAMBLIN' ROLL BIRTHS
1. Greg Popowitz, ME 02, and wife Ashley welcomed Eli on Oct. 20, 2016. Eli joins big brother Noah. Greg is a patent attorney for Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. The family lives in Cooper City, Fla., and are active in the local alumni network. 2. Cheryl Watts LaFoy, IE 02, and husband Matthew welcomed son Connor James on March 3. He joins brother Mason, 2. Cheryl is the vice president of business and event operations for the WNBA's Atlanta Dream. The family lives in Smyrna, Ga. 3. David Bottoms, Mgt 01, and
wife Brittney welcomed daughter Elizabeth Grace Bottoms on June 19. The family lives in Marietta, Ga. David is the chair of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. 4. Gena Scott, CE 01, and Michael Scott, CE 06, MS CE 07, welcomed daughter Sunshine Grace Scott on Oct. 21. She joins big brothers Theo and Inman. Sunshine is the granddaughter of Mike Wilder, CE 69, MS CE 71 and Rhonda Wilder, who worked in Tech's chemistry department. 5 . Kristin Echerd, Chem 07, and Lee Echerd, Bio 07,
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welcomed twin girls, Charlotte Raye and Catherine Nell, on May 24. Kristin is a lab manager at Eastman Chemical, and Lee is an engineer for ARES Corporation. The family, including big sister Madeline, resides in League City, Texas. 6. Chris Nichols ChE, 95, and Ginger (Wilde) Nichols, ChE 00, had their fourth child, Asher Alden Nichols, on May 25. They live in Spaldwick, England, where Chris is on staff with Club Beyond, of Young Life Military, where he ministers to teenagers of American military stationed overseas.
7. Victor Jaworski, ME 07, and wife Casenya Groner welcomed son Lincoln Theodore Atticus Jaworski on May 6. The Family lives in Providence, R.I. 8. Lesley Rose, IE 06, and husband, Chris, welcomed son Brendan Paul Rose on March 26. Brendan joins big sister, Amelia, who was born in 2014. They are an Air Force family, with Chris on active duty, and currently live in Los Angeles. 9. Ashar Naseer, MOT 17, and wife Javeria Ashar welcomed son Nyle Ashar on Sept. 10. The family lives in Duluth, Ga.
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Robert Harbin Ledbetter Sr. Entrepreneur and Philanthropist IM 58, of Rome, Ga., on May 10. LEDBETTER WAS A SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR who helped to bring professional sports to the city of Atlanta. After earning his degree from Georgia Tech, Ledbetter began his military career by serving his country as a lieutenant in the U. S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga. Upon his return to Rome, Ledbetter joined his father's company and built a successful career in highway construction, mining and real estate development, serving as president of Ledbetter Brothers Inc. and vice president of L.B.I. Quarries Inc. A determined entrepreneur, Ledbetter was co-founder of First Rome Bank and Georgia State Bank of Rome, both ultimately acquired by Regions Financial. He served on the Board of Directors of Echota Realty Company, Shorter Realty Company, Chesapeake International and numerous real estate partnerships. Ledbetter was a former owner of the Atlanta Flames and Atlanta Hawks professional sports teams, and also served on the boards of Omni Coliseum Promotions Inc. and the Atlanta-Fulton County Management Co. In 1988, he formed R. H. Ledbetter Properties Inc. (now R.H.
1930s Harry Martin Lange, ME 39, of Birmingham, Ala., on May 6. Engineering Department, American Cast Iron Pipe Company. Army Air Corps (Lt. Col.).
1940s Vincent â&#x20AC;&#x153;Vinceâ&#x20AC;? Ambrosio, IE 48, of Sarasota, Fla., on June 14. WWII. William L. "Bill" Beat, EE 48, of Toledo, Ohio, on May 29. Naval Electronics Technician First Class Navy, WWII. Electric Autolite Company. Toledo Edison Company.
Ledbetter Properties LLC) to develop and manage commercial real estate investments, which currently total some 2 million square feet in the Southeast. Ledbetter has served and participated in a number of civic and business organizations including Georgians for Better Transportation, Rome-Floyd Industrial Development Commission, Rome Rotary Club, Georgia Highway Contractors Association, Georgia Asphalt Paving Association, American Road Builders Association, and National Asphalt Paving Association and International Council of Shopping Centers. Ledbetter was appointed to the Georgia Tech Alumni Association Board of Trustees and to Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business Advisory Board. Also at Tech, Ledbetter established the Robert H. Ledbetter, Sr. Professor of the Practice of Real Estate Development at the Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business.
Charles E. Bennett, Jr., EE 42, of Wilmington, N.C., on June 8. Managing engineer, Western Electric Co. Consultant, state of North Carolina. Richard Keith Cason, IM 49, of Lutz, Fla., on June 4. Army. WWII. Patrick L. "Pat" De Sena, ChE 45, of Fairview, N.J., on April 12. Manhattan Project and Volunteer Ordnance Works. Hugh E. Hardaway, Sr., EE 43, of Tallahassee, Fla., on April 24. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. U.S. Army Signal Corps in the Pacific Theater, WWII. W. I. "Bill" Haring, AE 46, of Austin, Texas, on
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June 21. Marine Corps. WWII. Engineer, inventor, hospice chaplain. Harry W. Hicks, Cls 47, of Peachtree City, Ga., on May 8. Navy ROTC. Furniture manufacturer's representative. Real estate developer. Citrus grower. Fifty year Roll Call donor. N. A. Jacobs Jr., Arch 48, of Gainesville, Ga., on May 20. Navy Naval aviator. Distinguished Citizen Award in 2014. Ewell Calvin Johnson, EE 47, of Tampa, Fla., on April 22. Research engineer, Bendix Corporation director, Bendix Research Laboratories. Vice president for research and development, Gould Inc. Outstanding Young Engineer,
Engineering Society of Detroit. Outstanding Young Alumnus, Georgia Tech. Outstanding Michigan Inventor, Michigan Patent Law Association. President, Vincent Processes Inc. Vice president for engineering, UBC Inc. Georgia Tech Engineering Hall of Fame, 2004. Hugh J. Lynch, IM 49, of Alexandria, Va., on Nov. 20. Army (Col.). WWII. Military District of Washington Purple Heart. Bronze Star. Legions of Merit. Mount Vernon Realty. LouisPerlis,IE47,ofCordele,Ga.,onMay13.Radio technician, Navy. WWII. The Fair Store. Entrepreneur. President, Fitzgerald Hebrew Congregation. Joseph R. Reagin, Jr., Cls 49, of Savannah, Ga., on June 18. Navy. WWII. Business owner. Dallas Ryle Jr., AE 49, of Marietta, Ga., on March 30. Army. Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. Convair Aircraft Company. Flight sciences, advanced design groups, aerodynamics engineer and vice president of engineering, Lockheed-Georgia. Awarded “Honor Roll of Inventors” certificate from Lockheed-Georgia for three airplane designs. Frank J Schay, ChE 49, of Knoxville, Tenn., on April 25. WWII. Army Air Corps. Research and development, Reynolds Metals Co. William "Bill" Smith, Jr., Phys 47, of Tallahassee, Fla., on May 4. Air Force. Korean War. Robert Irving "Bob" Uhl, ME 47, of Decatur, Ga., onJune11. SigmaChifraternity.G.I.Private1stClass. Director of engineering for WestPoint Pepperell. John Van Norden Barker, IM 49, of Simpsonville, S.C., on June 24. WWII. Purple Heart. Founder, Barker Air & Hydraulics Inc. P. Daniel Yates Jr., IM 41, of Atlanta, on May 12. Army. WWII. Founder, Yates Insurance Agency Associated. General Contractors of Georgia's Skill, Integrity and Responsibility Award. Georgia Highway Contractors Association's Extraordinary Contribution Award.
1950s Eugene Clifton Alford, Phys 55, of Atlanta, on April 17. Sigma Chi fraternity. Hughes Aircraft Co.
WILLIAM WOODS COTTERMAN PROFESSOR AND TRAVELER WILLIAM WOODS COTTERMAN, IM 58, MS IM 63, OF NORCROSS, GA., ON MAY 25. Cotterman spread knowledge of computer information systems knowledge in Atlanta and around the world. Cotterman was an appointee to the U.S. Naval Academy, and went on to serve in the Naval Reserve. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial management from Georgia Tech. After receiving his Doctor of Philosophy from Georgia State University, he went on to found the school’s Computer Information Systems Department and serve as its first full-time chairman. He also served as professor and chair emeritus of Computer Information Systems at Georgia State University. Cotterman wrote seven books and a number of articles on information systems-related subjects as well as one book of historical non-fiction. He worked in many countries in the Middle East and lived in the area for three years. In 1973, he took a leave of absence to
Robert Richard Allen, AE 52, of Sandy Springs, Ga., on June 19. Naval aviator, Navy. Korean War. Commander. Delta Airlines. International sales manager, Lockheed International. Daughter: Vicky Schell, IM 79. Wilbur E “Bill” Baker Jr., IM 52, of Suwanee, Ga., on June 23. Naval aviation radioman, Navy. WWII. Director of sales, Lockheed Martin. Rollin Bud L. Bauchspies, Jr., CE 53, of Neptune Beach, Fla., on April 22. Naval Aviator, Navy (Capt.). Brantly Mercer Callaway Jr., Chem 50, of Marietta, Ga., on July 3. WWII. Chemist and plant manager, North Chemical Co. American
work in Kuwait on an input-output analysis of the economy that led to the establishment of Kuwait's national accounts. While in the Middle East, he also worked with USIA, United Nations Development Programme, National Science Foundation, and American University in Beirut Services Corporation, in addition to private companies. President Jimmy Carter appointed him to a committee on White House Information Systems to analyze and make recommendations on the use of computers and information technology within the Executive Office of the President. Cotterman continued to study Arabic and remained an ardent traveler. Since 1990, he had volunteered with Hospice Atlanta, was a member of the Appalachian Trail Club, and a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, serving as a regional representative from 1976-80. Bill and his wife Kenneth were active supporters of the Task Force of the Homeless.
Chemical Society. American Association of Textile Chemistry. Son: William “Bill” Callaway, CE 80. Jerry Clayton Clark, ChE 52, of Spring, Texas, on April 17. IT management positions at chemical, petroleum and gas pipeline companies. Jesse Marvin Cleveland Jr., Chem 51, of Boulder, Colo., on May 16. Author, "The Chemistry of Plutonium." C. W. "Mike" Carmichael, IM 51, of Woodstock, Ga., on June 7. Navy aviation machinists mate 1st class. Building Contractor, Greater Atlanta area.
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IN MEMORIAM ALECK C. BOND
AERONAUTICAL ENGINEER AE 43, MS AE 48, OF TEMPLE, TEXAS, ON SEPT. 9, 2015. Bond had a distinguished career in the aerospace industry, where he made significant contributions to manned spaceflight at NASA. Bond grew up in Pensacola, Fla., where he excelled in math and science and was intensely interested in airplanes. He followed his passion to Georgia Tech, where he studied aeronautical engineering, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1943. He took a job with Bell Aircraft Corporation in Marietta, Ga., where he worked as a wing design engineer for the B-29 Bomber. Bond was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps for about a year and was honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1946. He then returned to Tech and earned his master’s degree. In 1948, he married Anastasia Marinos of Atlanta. Together,
John Cartwright Cook IV, IM 58, of Stamford, Conn., on April 25. Airline pilot. Naval Aviator, Navy (Lt.). Pan Am. Delta Airlines. Dr. Jerome Cleveland Cox, IM 53, of Macon, Ga., on June 8. Dean of student teaching, Valdosta State College. Assistant superintendent, Valdosta City Schools. Superintendent, Ware County Schools. Principal, Don C. Faith Middle School. Founder, Child Life Academy. Tully James Dawson, IE 59, of Ft. Myers, Fla., on June 13. Coca-Cola Co. Charles Eugene "Gene" Dunn Jr., IE 57, of Hilton Head Island, S.C., on April 20. Air Force ROTC. Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. Air Force. Mobil. Son: Charles Eugene “Chuck” Dunn III, IE 84.
they had two daughters. I n 1958 , h e was invited to become a part of NASA, where he was asked to help design a n d d e ve l o p the heat shield for the Mercury Spacecraft. Over his long career, Bond received a number of special awards and certificates for his work and accomplishments in the Manned Space Programs, including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Apollo Achievement Award and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. After retiring from NASA in 1982, Bond continued to work as a aerospace consultant, and in 1983, he joined Eagle Engineering and served as a director for 11 years.
Thomas Ellis Foster, IE 51, of Huntsville, Ala., on May4.USNavyAirForce.WWII.AsiaPacificTheater. Charles Frank Hollberg III, IM 56, of Senoia, Ga., on June 11. Kappa Alpha fraternity. Navy ROTC. Supply officer, USS Bryce Canyon. William "Bill" Kirk Howard, IE 52, of Ormond Beach, Fla., on June 10. Plant manager, Century Mills. Air Force (1st Lt.). Eugene Horne Jr., IM 50, of Blue Ridge, Ga., on Dec. 10, 2016. Georgia Tech football team manager. Kappa Alpha Fraternity. U.S. Army (1st Lt.). Korean War. Sales engineer, Ziegler Tools. Sons: Bill Horne; ICS 77; Dan Horne, IE 82. Willard Hill Lariscy Jr., IM 51, of Sylvania, Ga., on April 19. Army (Lt.). WWII. Mayor
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president, First District Mayors' Association. President and COO, Screven Oil Mill and Sylvania Peanut Company. President and COO, Possum Eddy Hardware and Building Supply Company. President, Georgia, Florida and Alabama Peanut Shellers Association. Son: Willard Hill Lariscy III, Arch 89, M Arch 92. Bung-Chung "B.C." Lee, MS ME 56, of Springfield, Ill., on March 29. Professor of mechanical and civil engineering, University of Evansville. Stanford "Stan" Mangham Sr., ME 50, of Moody, Ala., on June 14. Navy, WWII. Owner, Mangham Associates. Professional sales engineer. Andrew A. Marinos, IM 50, of Atlanta, on May 1. WWII. Aerial gunner, Army Air Corps. Vice president in corporate lending, First National Bank of Atlanta. John Michael McGinnis, IM 58, of Kenner, La., on May 10. Georgia Tech football. SEC track. Insurance business. Marvin Lavern McKee, EE 58, of Tullahoma, Tenn., on July 4. Instrumentation engineer, Propulsion Wind Tunnel Facility; Deputy general manager, Flight Dynamics Operations and Maintenance contract, Arnold Engineering Development Center. ARO. Calspan. Vice president, Micro Craft. AEDC Fellow. President, district governor, Tullahoma Lions Club. Industrial Board of Coffee County. Chair, Park Development Committee. Director of Aerospace Industries Division, Life Fellow, Instrument Society of America. James J Mullen, ChE 57, of Victoria, Texas, on June 5. Patent and trademark attorney, Shell Oil and Celanese Corporation. William Samuel Patrick, MS IM 59, of Fayetteville, Ga., on May 25. Navy. WWII. American Campaign Medal. World War II Victory Medal. Vice president of student services, Georgia State University. U.S. Army Reserve (Lt. Col.). Meritorious Service Medal.
Marvin H. Shoob Respected Judge Cls 46, of Atlanta on June 12. SHOOB WAS A LONG-TIME FEDERAL JUDGE WITH A REPUTATION FOR FAIRNESS. He grew up in Savannah, Ga., and graduated from Savannah High School. Shoob was an engineering student at Georgia Tech when his education was interrupted by World War II. The U.S. Army sent him to Virginia Military Institute, where he was elected president of the student body, and then he fought in the European campaign. Serving in the U.S. Army infantry, he was lost behind enemy lines in Germany and presumed dead due to his one notable character flaw: a poor sense of direction. He was later awarded the Bronze Star for valor. After the war, Shoob attended the University of Georgia Law School under the GI Bill, graduating second in his class in 1948. Settling in Atlanta, he married the love of his life, the former Janice Paradies. In 1949, he began practicing law at the firm of Nall & Miller. Eventually, he partnered with James P. McLain to begin the law firm that became known as Shoob, McClain, Merritt & Lyle. As a young Atlanta attorney, he was active in the Democratic Party of Georgia, and in the 1960s, he was
Albert O. “Al” Serenati, ME 51, of Irondequoit, N.Y., on Nov. 7, 2016. Army. Air Force. WWII. Eastman Kodak. Eastman Theater volunteer. Henry Tillman Snead, ME 58, of Boca Grande, Fla., on April 30. Kappa Alpha fraternity. General Electric Co. engineering. Marketing and sales of nuclear and fossil power generation equipment. Reserve Officer, Army (Capt.). Thomas Rhoades Marschall, IE 69, of Stone Mountain, Ga., on April 21. Air Force. Planning Department, Federal Reserve. Co-founder, Integrated Staffing Solutions, LLC. Robert Jubilee Stephenson, CE 54, of Greensboro, Ga., on April 25. Navy ROTC. U.S. Army. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division Laboratory. Son: Kent Stephenson, CE 77. Robert Wayne “Bob” Stroud, MS Chem 54, of Chattanooga, Tenn., on April 27. Army. Army
treasurer of the Fulton County Democratic Party and a delegate to the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Continuing in state politics, he served as finance chair for Sen. Sam Nunn in his first campaign for the U.S. Senate, leading to a lifelong friendship. In 1979, he was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to serve as a federal judge in the Northern District of Georgia. He served in that position for the next 37 years, retiring in 2016 at the age of 93. In 1993, he was honored with the Atlanta Bar Association's Logan E. Bleckley Award, and in 2015, he was recognized as a "Lifetime Achiever" by the Fulton County Daily Report, Atlanta's legal newspaper. In 2007, he received the Charles Weltner Profile in Courage Award from the Georgia First Amendment Foundation. He also received the Tradition of Excellence Award from the State Bar of Georgia.
Chemical Center. Licensed pilot. Son: Robert Stroud Jr., MS EE 80. William B. Wall, GE 51, of Aiken, S.C., on June 16. Navy. WWII. Mechanical and structural engineer. Thomas B. Williams, Jr., CE 51, of Lakeland, Fla., on May 28. WWII. Army. Resident engineer, M.D.P. Works. Superintendent, Water Department in Taunton, Mass.
1960s Howard Berry, MS InfoSci 68, of Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., on April 15. Member, MENSA. Pi Mu Epsilon and Sigma Iota Epsilon honor societies. Air Force. Tampa Electric Co. Kenneth Earl Brandenburg, Arch 61, of Chattanooga, Tenn., on April 9. Navy (Lt.). Navy Commendation Medal. Architect, Derthick &
Henley. The Ken Brandenburg Award. Howard Stanley Brewer, EE 63, of Byron, Ga., on June 20. Electronics engineer, RAFB. W. Francis Judson Carter, ME 60, of Marietta, Ga., on March 25. Army. Lockheed Georgia Co. John Maurice Clark, CE 69, of Tampa, Fla., on May 12. Sigma Chi fraternity. ROTC. Army (2nd Lt.). Army Commendation Medal. Bronze Star. Brother: Robert J. Clark Jr., CE 61. Thomas Fisher Craft Jr., MS NE 65, PhD NE 69, of Decatur, Ga., on June 15. Author and coauthor, scientific papers and reports. American Chemical Society. American Nuclear Society. Health Physics Society. Georgia Academy of Science. American Water Works Association. Water and Pollution Control Federation. Thomas Gerald Hancock, Chem 65, of Sarasota, Fla., on April 24. Air Force (Capt.).
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James R. Cumberpatch Aviator and Businessman
AE 49, MS AE 50, of Harwood, Md., on April 28. CUMBERPATCH HAD A LONG AND VARIED CAREER in the military and private industry. He followed in the footsteps of his father, a career Army Air Corps officer, and attended the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. He graduated as part of the “D-Day Class” on June 6, 1944. After graduation, he was trained to fly B-24 bombers and later sent to B-29 combat crew training as an airplane commander. He was assigned to the 93rd Bombardment Squadron on Guam, where shortly after his arrival in July 1945, the War in the Pacific ended. When he returned to the U.S., Cumberpatch attended Georgia Tech, where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautical engineering. In 1953, he graduated from the Jet Fighter Command Gunnery School at Nellis AFB, was promoted to major, and served in Korea. Returning stateside, he attended and graduated from the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell AFB, Ala, in 1955. From 1960-63 he was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force as an Air Force liaison officer with members of the U. S. Congress. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1963, and served at the
Pentagon. In 1964, he was promoted to colonel and was the director, command secretariat of the Air Force Systems Command at Andrews Air Force Base. He served in that position until he retired from active duty in 1968. He was awarded the Army Commendation Ribbon and three Air Force Commendation Medals. After retiring from the Air Force, he worked as a production manager for Garrett AiResearch in Torrance, Calif. Next, he became executive vice president of Program Control Corporation. He then founded Decision Technology Corporation, a project management consulting firm. He personally conducted several hundred seminars across the world to a wide range of clients. He was an avid railroader, always building layouts and tinkering with 027 gauge Lionel model trains. He is survived by his children and grandchildren.
William Murphy Jones Jr., EE 60, of Pine Bluff, Ark., on April 25. Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. AP&L. Electrical engineer, ESCOM.
Russell Wayne Parker, MS EE 62, of El Paso, Texas, on May 29. Army Air Defense Artillery (Col.). Professor, UTEP.
Samuel M. Long Jr., ME 64, MS InfoSci 66, of Downingtown, Pa., on May 15. Navy (Lt. Cmdr.). Supt., Computer Process Controls.
Rex Bartlett Simms, MS EE 64, of Atlanta, on April 30. Southern A&E Engineering.
Don Clay Marcum Jr., AE 62, of Salisbury, Md., on June 11. Aerospace Engineer, NASA. John Michael McGinnis, IM 58, of Kenner, La., on May 10. Georgia Tech football and track. Semi-professional baseball player. Insurance business, INA. Joe E. Miller Sr., IM 60, of Warner Robins, Ga., on May 21. Air Force (Lt. Col).
John F. Smallwood, EE 64, of Charlotte, N.C., on June 8. U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Johanna S. Starr, ChE 61, of Edgefield, S.C., on June 13. Chemical Engineer. Sister: Fredricke Starr, ChE 61. Paul W. Painter Jr., IM 68, of Savannah, Ga., on May 27. Georgia Tech football. President, Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Navy Officer Candidate School, Newport, Rhode Island. Co-founder, Ellis,
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Painter, Ratterree & Adams LLP. Jackie Wolfe, IM 65, of Atlanta, on May 22. Member, Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Georgia Tech football. James F. Wyatt Jr., IM 68, of Powder Springs, Ga., on July 9. Navy. Sales, vice president, Aircond Corporation.
1970s William “Bill” D. Billard, CE 79, of Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on April 23. Professional Engineer, state of South Carolina. Naval Facilities Engineering Command. Army Corps of Engineers. Son: William Dean Billard II, ME 07.
Robert Henry Brooks, Jr., EE 75, of Beaufort, S.C., on April 28. Richard L. Leatherwood, PhD IE 72, of Boca Grande, Fla., on June 25. American Freight, Kansas City. Texas Gas Transmission, Owensboro, Ky. and Houston, Texas. CSX Transportation, Richmond, Va. and Baltimore, Md. Randolph Caldwell Marks, Arch 76, M Arch 78, of Birmingham, on June 26. Navy (Lt j.g.). NSA. Robert Edwin "Bobby" Matheson Jr, IM 71, of Brunswick, Ga., on May 16. Ennis O'Neal, Text 70, of Marietta, Ga., on April 30. Shaw Industries, Inc. Contract Group Product Development and Design Team. U.S. Army Reserves (Capt.). Chi Phi fraternity. Joseph Pichotta, Chem 71, of Inverness, Ill., on May 27. Merck and American Cyanamid. Owner, Joseph Industries. David Pieper, BC 75, of Metairie, La., on May 01. Son: Sonny J. Pieper, Mgt 94. William Howard Posey, Phys 72, of Norcross, Ga., on June 9. Air Force Reserves. Computer programmer, Digital Communications Associates, Baker Audio, Radiant Systems, and NCR.
RUFUS RALPH HUGHES II ARCHITECT AND PROFESSOR RUFUS RALPH HUGHES II, ARCH 60, OF LITTLE ROCK, ARK., ON JUNE 12. Hughes devoted much of his life to teaching future designers at Georgia Tech. He grew up on a farm in Parkin, Ark., and attended the Sewanee Military Academy in Tennessee. Hughes moved to Atlanta in 1956 to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture. In 1966, Hughes began teaching at Georgia Tech’s School of Architecture, where he spent the majority of his career as a professor and retired as assistant dean in 1993. As a professor, Hughes found passion in teaching design studio courses and was a design critic for undergraduate and graduate programs in the college. He taught abroad in Paris as a design critic at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1978 and 1981, and at Ecole d’Architecture in 1988 and 1989. Professional travel
Daniel Brooks Roseman, EE 71, of Clarkesville, Ga., on April 22. Air Force. Son: Michael S. Roseman, EE 88. Herbert Arthur Terwilliger III, IM 71, of Buford, Ga., on June 13. Officer, U.S. Air Force. Russell Clyde Wagnon, MS EE 79, of Tinton Falls, N.J., on April 24. Army (Maj.).
1980s Daniel Phillip Hunt, NE 80, of Chesapeake, Va., on April 24. Desert Storm. Navy (Lt. Cmdr.). Ronald Jean Logan, AE 85, of Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., on June 14. Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. Aerospace engineer, McDonnell-Douglas. Joint Stars Program, Northrop-Grumman. Brent Goodwin Robertson, MS EE 85, of McKinney, Texas, on May 18. E-Systems/Raytheon.
Informatics and Texas Advanced Optoelectric Solutions. Director of software engineering, WatchGuard Video. Todd Stalder, Arch 81, of Cumming, Ga., on April 20. Thematic designer, Southern Company. Augusta National Golf Club. James “JT” Staley, MS MetE 88, of Brookfield, Wis., on May 4. Bernard "Ben" Tooker Jr., EE 83, of Garland, Texas, on June 3. Electrical engineer, E-Systems/ Raytheon. Business analyst, CVS Health.
1990s Timothy Scott Mullins, IE 97, of Concord N.C., on June 8. Wife: Karen Mullins, IE 97.
also took him to Russia, Uzbekistan and Georgia. In addition to te a c h i n g , Hughes and his colleague, Dale Durfee, designed homes and professional buildings throughout the Southeast. Noteworthy projects include the Hewlett Packard corporate headquarters, the Catholic Center at Georgia Tech and the McKenzie residence. Together, they received numerous awards and their work was widely featured in publications. Hughes was inducted into the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in 1992. Hughes was sage to his students, family and friends, and had a special gift for imparting his vast knowledge through comfortable conversation.
2000s Colby Paul Clements, Mgt 09, of Gainesville, Ga., on May 23.
2010s Ruth Bakatukanda, Cls 19, of Lawrenceville, Ga., on June 19. Harrison Gabriel Meisler, Mgt 12, of Pompano Beach, Fla., on June 14. Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Publix. John Patrick Tiernan, ME 15, of Atlanta, on May 27.
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William Bradley “Bill” Turner Businessman and Philanthropist IM 43, of Columbus, Ga., on July 31. TURNER WAS A HERO in his hometown of Columbus, Ga., where he used his leadership and family fortune to invest in the community. After graduating from Columbus High School, he attended Georgia Tech and earned a degree in industrial management in 1943. He spent the next three years serving in the Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After returning home, Turner married the love of his life, Sue Marie Thompson, in 1948. Turner came from a prominent family, and furthered that success after taking the helm of the family’s main business, the W.C. Bradley Co. Turner assumed the position of CEO in 1952, and succeeded his father as chairman in 1982. According to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Turner led the diversification of the W.C. Bradley Co. after World War II from a textile operation into a retail and real estate development company. He was a leader on the board of Synovus as the regional banking company grew and created TSYS, one of the world’s top credit
card processors. He also served on the board of directors for the Coca-Cola Company. Through the Bradley-Turner Foundation, Turner and his family contributed millions to charitable causes. Turner and his family were also central to the redevelopment of Columbus, including the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts and the renovation of the Springer Opera House. In 1986, he was appointed to serve on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Bill and his wife, Sue Marie, known to their family as “Pappy” and “Precious,” had six children, 22 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. Family was central to their lives, and they enjoyed big, chaotic family meals, countless school activites and youth sports.
Charles Alton Ambrose, of McDonough, Ga., on June 16. Navy.
on May 22. Husband: Humbert William DiCristina, IM 55.
Christopher Bittmann, of Dade City, Fla., on June 9. Merchant marine. WWII. Owner and operator, Livingston Manufacturing Co. Residential and commercial Realtor. Owner, Chris Bittmann Realty Firm.
Jane Shurling Coursey, of Savannah, Ga., on June 12. Savannah Electric & Power Company. Unit manager, the Starlighters. Daughter: Joy Coursey, IM 83.
James Lewis Phillips Jr., of Bethlehem, Ga., on May 17. Trouble-shooter, Bethlehem Steel oil drilling projects and rolling mills.
Patricia Martin Lehrer, of Atlanta, on May 26. Larry Perkins, of Gainesville, Ga., on June 14. Navy (Lt. j.g.). Executive, Dundee Mills / Springs Industries. Carolyn Ann Stradley, of Marietta, Ga., on June 25. Founder, C & S Paving Inc. Pilot. George Daughtry Smith, Cls 50, of Tampa, Fla., on June 18. Co-founder, Curry Smith Jaudon Architects.
Dr. Malcolm B. Polk, of Decatur, Ga., on May 22. First black Professor Emeritus of Textile Engineering at Georgia Tech.
Scott Wallace Patterson, of Atlanta, on May 8. Father: Dennis Patterson, GM 71. Brother: Mark Patterson, Mgt 12. Sister: Kristin Patterson Edmunds, Mgt 99.
Barry L. Cleveland, of Knoxville, Tenn., on May 28. Certified Financial Planner, AXA Financial Services.
N. Carter Poe III, of Greenville, S.C., on April 28. Vice president, treasurer, Poe Corporation.
Kathryn Marzie Hedrick, of Fern Creek, Ky., on May 29. Husband: E. Kenneth Hedrick, IE 49.
Thomas Forkner Sr., on April 26. Cofounder, Waffle House.
Gloria DiCristina, of Sandy Springs, Ga.,
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Leslie Gray McNeill Dees, of Silver Spring, Md., on March 31. Georgia Tech Librarian.
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Volume 93 No. 3 2017 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | 101
A Band that Marches to its Own Beat
I BY JON ROSS
How the Yellow Jacket Marching Band has grown from humble beginnings to a 340-member force of Georgia Tech pride. IN THE MIDDLE OF AUGUST, a full week before most Georgia Tech students arrived on campus, Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Marching Band drum major Dawn Andrews walked up the steps of the Couch Building for the first workout of the school year. Andrews spent the next five days as one of 340 student members learning new music, honing marching motions and committing half-time shows to muscle memory from 9 a.m. to noon, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and again from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Practicing non-stop for an entire week marks the start of the season for the marching band. The rigor of this pre-semester band camp is something this veteran marcher knows well, but she also relishes it as a time to bond with her fellow Yellow Jackets. “I love the way that marching band gives us all a chance to build a community before school starts,” Andrews says. “The band really gets a chance to know each other and find their way around campus.” She admits that while the intensity of band camp can be a little daunting, once classes begin, the frenzied pace relaxes, if only a little bit. During the fall semester, members practice together for two hours three times a week, gaining elective credit for their effort. Building a strong marching-band foundation before students start juggling practice with Tech’s infamously diff icult coursework is extremely impor tant, Andrews says. The grueling schedule also prepares new marchers for the lengthy football season, in which game days—both at home and on the road—are usually week-
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end-consuming marching band affairs. “I just tell any group projects in advance that they’re not going to hear from me at all on Saturdays,” Andrews says. “My weekends are entirely for football.” Andrews is just one semester away from a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering, and she credits the marching band with helping her create a healthy worklife balance. She looks at serving as a drum major in the band as a creative outlet that reduces stress built up during the week. During half-time shows, you’ll find her perched atop an aluminum ladder on the side of the field, mirroring director Christopher Moore’s hand motions as she marks tempo, leading the band through their paces. During the game, the marching band huddles on bleachers in the stands, a sea of white uniforms accent-
“I just tell any group projects in advance that they’re not going to hear from me at all on Saturdays,” Andrews says. “My weekends are entirely for football.” ed by shimmery bands of gold. As a unit, the band writhes and shakes with an unabashed intensity, working the surrounding crowd into a frenzy with their infectious energy and unmistakable sound. These student musicians are having a good time, and this liveliness translates to the crowd. “We’re with all of our friends, we’re playing music, we’re at the football games—it’s absolutely a blast,” Andrews says.
(Top left) Dawn Andrews serves as one of the marching band's drum majors this year. (Top right) The band forms the classic "Tech" formation at the football game versus Tennessee in 1949. (Bottom) Band director Frank Roman poses with the 1927 Georgia Tech Marching Band.
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TECH HISTORY HUMBLE BEGINNINGS The Georgia Tech Marching Band started almost on a whim with students who were simply looking for a musical outlet. In 1908, a small group of 14 Tech musicians got together to play school songs and support the football team. What began as an ensemble dedicated to informal music-making has since evolved into a band embedded into the fabric of the Institute. The band existed without a director for a couple of years, until the students convinced leader Mike Greenblatt to come on board officially, albeit only on a part-time ba-
chops at the college level. For him, the marching band also served as a release from his daily class load. “I was apprehensive about joining the band because Tech’s a hard place, and I worried about if I would have enough time to do the band and my studies as well,” says Billings, who served for years as the band’s official photographer and videographer. “But I realized that I needed an outlet, so I wasn’t just studying all the time.” Billings was among the students who journeyed to the Sun Bowl in 1970—a memory that still stands out in his mind. His experience with the band so enhanced his college career that Billings helped found the band’s alumni association in 1979, serving as its first leader and rallying band alumni to help fund band trips. For instance, the group raised $10,000 to help the marching band travel to Ireland in 2016 for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. His position with the band has allowed Billings to study the group’s progression from casual gathering to world-class ensemble. “The band’s prestige has certainly increased over the years,” he says. “For a school that has never had any traditional music majors, I think the Tech band has done amazingly well.” (The Institute now offers three degrees in music technology, adding a bachelor’s degree program this year. Read more on page 16.)
“The band’s prestige has certainly increased over the years,” Billings says. “For a school that has never had any traditional music majors, I think the Tech band has done amazingly well.” sis. (The direction of the band remained a part-time gig for nearly 70 years.) Greenblatt is most famous for writing the first arrangement of Tech’s legendary fight song, “Ramblin’ Wreck,” in 1910. In 1914, Frank “Wop” Roman became the next to oversee the band and remained at the helm until his death in 1928. Under Roman’s tenure as director, the Georgia Tech Band Club was formed, and the Iota chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, a national honorary band fraternity, was founded. Roman is credited with having arranged and copyrighted a revised version of the “Ramblin’ Wreck,” as well as “Up with the White and Gold” and the Georgia Tech “Alma Mater” which are still performed today. (Roman is also credited as the composer of the “Alma Mater.”) Roman’s Tech Band became the first band to broadcast live dance music over the radio, playing a dance concert on campus that was transmitted via wireless radio to the Capital City Club in Atlanta (see page 106). The Georgia Tech band grew and changed over the decades, and included the development of a traditional marching band, as well as an orchestra, symphonic band, dance music ensembles, pep bands and other iterations. When Tom Billings, CE 74, joined the Yellow Jacket Marching Band as a freshman in the early 1960s, membership had ballooned to 100. Billings had played clarinet in his high school band and wanted to continue honing his
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SOUND DIRECTION Christopher Moore has been involved with the Georgia Tech Marching Band since 1995, first serving under James “Bucky” Johnson, the band’s first full-time director, who retired in 2001. During Moore’s time leading the Tech band, he’s seen the group’s membership and prestige swell. In 2016, he led a record group of 370 musicians with a staff of assistant directors, student drum majors and assorted student support personnel. The Georgia Tech Marching Band has become the soundtrack to Tech football, and its omnipresence at games is glaringly apparent only when the band is absent. But thankfully, Moore can only recall one time when the band failed to travel to a football away game. The economic collapse was in full swing, and at the time, administrators had made the tough decision to leave the band at home. It turns out that forgetting the band was a bad idea. “The very next week, the coach was like, ‘Nope. We’re never going to do that again,’” Moore says. “When the football team runs out on the field, they expect to hear the fight song.”
(Left) Yellow Jacket marchers get the crowd ready for a game in 1971. (Right) Students formed the first Georgia Tech band in 1908.
A collegiality with the Athletics Association and Georgia Tech’s sports teams is important, Moore says, and he’s worked hard to nurture this symbiotic relationship. Moore will occasionally invite various coaches to talk with his musicians, and he says the entire athletics operation is enthusiastic about the marching band and what it brings to the college sports experience for players and fans alike. To freshman band members, Moore emphasizes that fostering school pride is the band’s driving focus. Many of his marchers were involved with competitive units in high school, and he wants them to bring their competitive spirit wherever they march and play. “Our No. 1 job is to inspire the fans and support the team,” he says. On football game days at Tech, the band congregates three hours before kickoff, playing in various small ensembles throughout campus to get students excited about the game. This culminates with a final mini pep rally featuring the entire band. “We pied-piper the fans into the stadium,” Moore says. PASSION FOR THE MUSIC—AND THE INSTITUTE During the game, musicians are nearly always playing music. Moore is quick to point out that on-field marching during pre-game and halftime only accounts for around 17 minutes of a six-hour day of music making, so musicality and endurance are equally important elements. The full Yellow Jacket Marching Band breaks up into smaller units to cover different sporting events during the academic year. Concurrent with football season, smaller pep bands play at volleyball games, while the spring semester is mainly reserved for basketball. Student musicians travel with those teams as well. In particular, Moore will never forget conducting a cohort of band members in San Antonio on April 5, 2004, as the Tech men’s basketball team challenged the University of Connecticut for the NCAA Championship. “It’s one of the biggest stages we can have as a band and as fans,” he says.
Moore adds that while such trips are fun and are unique experiences for the students, the marching band, in all its myriad forms, represents the Institute as a whole. Likewise, the band is populated by a cross-section of the Tech student body who are committed to its mission, despite the demands of Tech’s challenging academic programs. Since membership is strictly voluntary, Moore says his musicians are some of the most dedicated and passionate Yellow Jackets on campus. “They’re in marching band because they love to play music and because they love Tech,” Moore says. “A lot of them come to us to feel a little bit of peace at the end of a long day of coursework.” Moore knows that to keep the band operating at the highest level, he must continue to engage sports and music fans alike. In recent years, he’s experimented with adding more technology into his football halftime shows. And during basketball season, he’s even encouraged the crowd to vote online just how fast and loud the band plays certain songs. Bringing the audience into the band experience is one way to keep things fresh, he says.
“We’re a traditional college marching band, but also one that tries to stay current, contemporary and looking down the road into the future,” Moore says. “We’re not in a competitive environment like high school bands are, but we’re constantly striving to keep the music challenging and the movement interesting,” he says. “We’re a traditional college marching band but also one that tries to stay current, contemporary and looking down the road into the future.”
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DANCING WITH ARTHUR MURRAY MARCH 27, 1920 THE WORLD’S FIRST “RADIO DANCE” WAS HELD IN ATLANTA ON MARCH 27, 1920. A live band on Georgia Tech’s campus played the “Ramblin’ Wreck” and other popular songs, which were broadcast to a group of dancers located roughly a mile away at the Capital City Club in Downtown Atlanta. There were
reportedly around 150 people in attendance, mostly Tech students, who enjoyed the radio broadcast on the club’s rooftop terrace. The event was organized by a Tech student named Arthur Murray, Cls 23, who taught ballroom dance lessons at a hotel near campus to earn money while he was in school.
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Murray’s dance lessons were so popular that he went on to begin a business selling dance courses by mail. In 1925, Murray launched his dance studio franchise, which made his name synonymous with ballroom dancing. Today, there are still hundreds of Arthur Murray dance studios operating around the world.
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