Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, Vol. 97 No. 3, Fall 2021

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FALL 2021 VOL.97 NO.3

Designing a more inclusive world. Growing the ecosystem for Black entrepreneurs.

Sending humans back to the Moon. Building a space for women in engineering.

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C H A N G I N G T H E W O R L D O N E C H A N G E M A K E R AT A T I M E


“I come from a family with limited resources, and I was fortunate to get a great education at Georgia Tech.” —Ricardo Salgado, IE 2000 Ricardo Salgado, IE 2000, has a plan for giving back. The founder and CEO of Loadsmart, a technology company specializing in full truckload shipping, sees himself in the second of a three-stage plan. “From birth to age 25, it’s learning, learning, learning,” Salgado said. “Post-college graduation, in stage two, you generate income while serving on boards and actively giving back 10% of the time. The third stage focuses on hard-core giving back 90% of the time.” Salgado is already honoring his commitments by serving on the boards of the Georgia Tech Foundation, the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Recently, he also endowed a scholarship for international students. The Salgado Family Empowerment Scholarship Fund will be awarded to students with demonstrated financial need. Preference

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will be given to qualified female students pursuing degrees in the School of Computer Science or the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering who are residents of Colombia, Brazil, or another Latin American country. “We lack diversity in computing and in engineering, and that’s why I’ve focused on those areas,” Salgado said. He encourages other alumni and friends of Georgia Tech to consider how they might support the Institute. “I always knew I wanted to give back; it wasn’t a question of if, but when. This was just the right time for this gift.” Salgado, who was born in Miami but grew up in Colombia, attended Georgia Tech on a need-based scholarship. “I think that’s the American dream — not a house and a 30-year mortgage, but getting an education that gives you opportunities to advance and have a great life.”

Founders’ Council is the honorary society recognizing donors who have made estate or life-income gifts

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE of $25,000 or more for the support of Georgia Tech. For more information, please contact:

404.385.6716 • giftplanning@dev.gatech.edu • plannedgiving.gatech.edu


MILITARY BACKGROUND? LIMITLESS FUTURE. At the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, we believe that pairing the leadership and problem-solving abilities military community members possess with our MBA is a transformational combination. Whether you want to advance your military career or transition into industry, our Full-time, Evening, and Executive MBA programs can help you achieve your career goals. Military-friendly Focus Scheller provides a number of resources for military members, including the Veterans Resource Center and Scheller Veterans Club. Tech Square Innovation Ecosystem Learn in the heart of Midtown Atlanta’s Tech Square, home to the highest density of startups and corporate innovation centers in the southeastern U.S. A Format to Fit Your Life Our three MBA programs allow you to manage personal and professional obligations while earning your degree with day, evening, or weekend classes. Career Transformation Receive highly personalized career services, including one-on-one coaching, career workshops, recruiting sessions, and more.

“I believe whole-heartedly that veterans have a unique skill set to contribute as leaders in the private sector just as they did in uniform. I have seen my class place very well with elite consulting firms, in the tech sector, and even in banking. You really can do it all here.” Marcus H., MBA ‘21 Senior Consultant, Simon-Kucher & Partners U.S.2021 Army3 Veteran GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL


PUBLISHER’S LETTER

THE SPIRIT OF CONNECTIVITY

A

A S B O T H T H E P R E S I D E N T of the Alumni Association and a fellow Yellow Jacket, I am always impressed at the enthusiasm and passion our alumni have for maintaining their ties to the Institute. This is especially true when it comes to our affinity groups, where our alumni keep our ongoing spirit of connectivity alive. From taking new Jackets under a mentorship to planning a charity drive, our alumni have always been generous with their time and resources. Then came Covid: where distancing became the “new normal” and the virtual world became our safest meeting space. The impact was felt not only among our friends and MORE THAN family, but also the volunteers who gave K their time to organizTECH ALUMNI ing events and particiATTENDED pating in our regional networks and affinity groups. Our cherished VOLUNTEER-LED spirit of making and ALUMNI keeping connections EVENTS with fellow JackIN 2019. ets took a hit, and we looked forward to a time where we could come together in person again. The desire for in-person events was a sentiment that I heard from

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FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI MAGAZINE VOL. 97 | NO. 3 PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER Dene Sheheane, Mgt 91

VP STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS

many alumni I had the pleasure to meet throughout this year. Fostering that spirit of togetherness and unity is important to Tech alumni around the globe—over 25,000 of you attended 784 volunteer-led alumni events in 2019. That’s where you come in. Want to get your fellow local alumni together to cheer on the Jackets? Have a great idea to raise funds for Roll Call? We need volunteers to help organize and promote our alumni events around the country and across the globe. While the Alumni Association may not be able to manage or attend everything, our dedicated teams are here to help you manage and run your meetings and events. All we need is you! Just get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can. With 2022 just around the corner, it feels right to look toward the future— and that includes fostering our spirit of connectivity. Get involved today and help us to help all alumni strengthen their ties to Tech. After all, no matter where you go, the spirit of White & Gold will always be with you.

DENE SHEHEANE, MG T 91 PRESIDENT GEORGIA TEC H ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Lindsay Vaughn

COPY DIRECTOR Kari Lloyd

EDITOR Jennifer Herseim

ART DIRECTOR Karen Matthes

COPY EDITOR Barbara McIntosh Webb

STUDENT ASSISTANTS Jessica Barber & Zoë Mote

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chair Shan Pesaru, CmpE 05 Past Chair/Finance Jocelyn Stargel, IE 82, MS IE 86 Chair Elect, Chair of Gold & White, Vice Chair/Roll Call Magd Riad, IE 01 Vice Chair/Engagement Elizabeth “Betsy” Bulat Turner, IAML 04 Member at Large Annie I. Antón, ICS 90, MS ICS 92, PhD CS 97 Member at Large Cathy Hill, EE 84 Member at Large James Stovall, CS 01 Member at Large Brian Tyson, EE 10

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Jennifer Abrams, PP 17; Archel Bernard, STC 11; Jason Byars, ME 96; Alina Capanyola, IE 10; Duane Carver, CmpE 10; Aurelien Cottet, MS AE 03; Andre Dickens, ChE 98; Lizzie Donnelly, IA 08; Matt Dubnik, Mgt 03; Robyn Gatens, ChE 85; John Gattuso, ME 15; Meghan Green, Mgt 13; James Hamilton, Mgt 93; John Hanson, IE 11; Joy Jordan, ChE 92; Jeanne Kerney, CE 84; Mary Beth Lake, ID 04; Antonio Llanos, CS 95; Matt Mason, IE 01; Anu Parvatiyar, BME 08; Antai Peng, PhD EE 96; Anna Pinder, ME 03; Debra Porter, ME 86; George Ray, Mgt 09, PP 09; Jim Sanders, IE 88; Stacey Sapp, IM 80; Paul Shailendra, CE 01; Rene Simon, MBA 18; Chad Sims, BA 15; Mary Lynn Smith, EE 88; Kenji Takeuchi, ME 94; Kate Tyler, MS CE 09; Jef Wallace, Mgt 94, Kristin Watkins, Mgt 13, Sam Westbrook, IE 99, Sheetal Wrzesien, CS 94

ADVERTISING Justin Estes (404) 683-9599 justin.estes@alumni.gatech.edu

GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI MAGAZINE

WANT TO ORGANIZE AN ALUMNI EVENT? WE’RE HERE T O H E L P. C O N T A C T U S A T community@gtalumni.org

(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. © 2021 Georgia Tech Alumni Association

POSTMASTER Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313 bioupdate@gtalumni.org. (404) 894-2391


VOLUME 97 ISSUE 3

neth Smith’s alter-ego, who teaches kids why space is so cool. Smith’s day job—working on the Gateway Space Station, a key component COVER & TOC PHOTOGRAPHS

BEN ROLLINS

FEATURES

CHANGEMAKERS Meet “KSmooth, the Engineering Dude,” Ken-

of NASA’s Artemis Mission—is pretty cool, too.

COVER COMPOSITE

D.J. ASHLEY

40

40 UNDER 40

From saving endangered coral reefs in the Caribbean to helping return humans to the Moon, these 40 alumni are changing the world for the better.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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VOLUME 97

DEPARTMENTS

ISSUE 3

TECH’S CINDERELLA STORY Relive the 1990 football season when the Yellow Jackets became national champs. “Our belief seemed to build by the week, and the more that happened, the more the wins rolled out in front of us,” says former kicker Scott Sisson, Mgt 96.

PHOTOGRAPH

GT ATHLETICS


CONTENTS

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AROUND CAMPUS The Road Forward 12 Campus News 14 GTRI, Tech Develop A.I. Psychiatry 16 On Track with Chelsea Pechenino 18 The Search for Lunar Ice 20

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ON THE FIELD Reliving the Cinderella 1990 National Championship Season 24 Sports Shorts 28 Golf Lessons with a Legend 32

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IN THE WORLD Book Smart 36 A New Trajectory 38

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ALUMNI HOUSE Present and Accounted For 66 Just the Facts, Ma’am 69 Go Big & Come Home! 70 Recreating Tom Horan’s Map 74 Ramblin’ Roll 76 In Memoriam 84

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TECH HISTORY Let’s Get Physical: A Mini Course in Movement Science 94 Burdell’s Permanent Mark on South Sudan 98 GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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DROWNPROOFING REMEMBERED

THE PREVIOUS ISSUE FEATURED AN ARTICLE ABOUT FRED LANOUE AND DROWNPROOFING. WE REQUESTED STORIES ABOUT THIS COURSE AND RECEIVED HUNDREDS OF YOUR SUBMISSIONS. HERE ARE A FEW. READ THEM ALL AT WWW.GTALUMNI.ORG/DROWNPROOF.

ONE OF THE ROTC BOYS CAME IN DRESSED IN FATIGUES, INCLUDING COMBAT BOOTS. HE PROCEEDS TO CLIMB UP THE HIGH DIVE AND JUMPS IN, SINKING TO THE BOTTOM.

I’M ATTACHING A FLYER THAT WENT AROUND AT THE TIME WITH THE ALTERNATE VERSION OF THE COURSE. I LOVED THIS CLASS—THANKS FOR BRINGING BACK SOME GREAT MEMORIES. —SIAN ASHENDEN, IM 87

Upon graduation, I was accepted into the U.S. Navy’s flight training in

HE THEN WALKS ALONG

Pensacola, Fla. At the first orientation, the guides

THE BOTTOM TO THE

scared most of the students at the pool by telling

SHALLOW END TO THE APPLAUSE OF EVERYONE,

them their legs and hands would be tied together while having to sur vive in the pool for an hour. I always wondered if Georgia Tech influenced

INCLUDING THE COACH.

the Navy or whether it was the other way

—RICK GRIFFETH, IM 70

around.

—ROBERT STEINJANN, EE 76

The underwater swim was the very last thing I had to do to graduate... I kept popping up for air about 15 feet from the end of the pool. Coach finally threw a brick in the water where I kept stopping and said, “When you see the brick, you just have to go 15 more feet to get your diploma.” It worked!!! Everyone there was cheering for me as I passed the brick. Coach took pity on me and gave me a “C” as a graduation present. —MARY LOU WOTRING, TE 81

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FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE


FEEDBACK CALLING ALL FOODIES! We want to celebrate alumni trendsetters in the food and beverage industries. Find our posts

REMEMBERING S E P T. 11, 2 0 01 NOTHING QUITE caught my attention in

from October 11 on social media. In the comments,

the last magazine as did the interview

drop the names of alumni who we should highlight

with Phil Breedlove on page 40. Phil

in our Winter food & beverage issue.

and I were Air Force ROTC classmates and graduated the same year. I only

FACEBOOK - @georgiatechalumni

saw him once after that, while I was sta-

INSTAGRAM - @gtalumni

tioned at Lackland AFB around 1978 or

TWITTER - @gtalumni

‘79. I knew he went on to have a ster-

LINKEDIN - Georgia Tech Alumni Association

ling career, but what I did not know is that we served together much later without ever bumping into each

I WAS A L RE A DY D OI N G TH E M ATH A FTER M Y FI R S T W E E K . WH AT WOU L D A “D” DO TO M Y GP A ? W AS I T P O S S I BL E , MAYBE EVEN A N “F” I N A P.E. C OURSE? DEC A DE S L AT E R , I WOU L D TRY TO EXP L A I N TH I S C OURSE TO M Y T E E N AG E C H IL DREN A ND WI FE. TH ERE WAS TOTA L DI SB E L I E F .

other. On Sept. 11, 2001, when Phil

—ERIC BLAESER, CHE 79

busy passing along this same infor-

called the Air Force Operations Center to report the second terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, I was at my duty station in the Center, mation, which I had just witnessed, to my boss, the Director of Installation

To this day, I still remember what this taught me about not giving up and pushing past what you think your limits are. —RICHARD MAUGANS, CHE 70

and Logistics, Lt. Gen. Michael Zettler. —COL. WILLIAM M. KOHNKE (U.S. AIR FORCE RETIRED), PSY 77, ELLISTON, MT

SALUTE TO TROOPS G R E AT C O V E R A G E , and presentation from Erin Peterson, on alumni protect-

ON MARCH 1, 1978, I WAS PILOT IN COMMAND OF A NAVY HH-46A HELICOPTER THAT EXPERIENCED A MECHANICAL FAILURE, CAUSING US TO HIT THE WATER GOING BACKWARDS, VERTICALLY, AND AT ABOUT 100 MPH. …I HAD TAKEN MY LAST BREATH SOMEWHERE AROUND 100 FEET ABOVE THE SURFACE AND HAD HELD IT BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND THE DISCIPLINE I LEARNED IN THE GT DROWNPROOFING CLASS. I WAS ABLE TO RELAX AND CONTINUE HOLDING MY BREATH, KNOWING THAT I WAS RISING TO THE SURFACE, EVEN THOUGH I WAS EXHAUSTED FROM THE EFFORT OF BREAKING OUT OF THE WRECK. IT WAS LATER ESTIMATED, BASED UPON EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS OF THE CRASH AS SEEN FROM THE USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, THAT I WAS UNDERWATER FOR ABOUT TWO MINUTES, HOLDING THAT SINGLE BREATH I TOOK BEFORE IMPACT. I DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTE MY

ing our freedom. —TOM LINK, JR., ESM 74. [Summer 2021, “From WWI

to Present Day,” Vol. 97, Issue 2]

SOCIAL MEDIA CRISIS I W A S P L E A S E D T O S E E social media as the first topic in your Ethics article [Spring 2021, “Ethics in Tech,” Vol. 97, Issue 1], but worry that it downplayed the risks to society if we don’t come to grips with the disinformation that seems to be more and

SURVIVAL TO MY GT SWIMMING CLASS AND THE SKILLS I LEARNED THERE.

more prevalent on those platforms.

—HOWARD TILLISON, EES 74

—DEWEY BAXTER, ICS 82

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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VOLUME 97

AROUND CAMPUS

ISSUE 3

RACING RAYS This July, the Georgia Tech Solar Racing team completed a nearly 1,000 mile road trip in a solar-powered car that they built from the ground up. This was the first time the team completed the American Solar Challenge, driving from Independence, Missouri to Las Vegas, New Mexico.

PHOTOGRAPHS

GT SOLAR RACING


12

THE ROAD FORWARD

14

CAMPUS NEWS

18

ON TRACK WITH CHELSEA PECHENINO

20

THE SEARCH FOR LUNAR ICE

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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Q&A WITH THE PRESIDENT

THE ROAD FORWARD THE INSTITUTE HASN’T SHUT DOWN during the pandemic, but that’s not to say that the Georgia Tech community experienced anything close to a normal year in 2020. Today, as Pres. Ángel Cabrera, MS Psy 93, PhD Psy 95, reflects on how the pandemic shaped the Institute, he couldn’t be happier to welcome back Yellow Jackets to full, in-person activities.

Q: THIS FALL, STUDENTS RETURNED TO FULL, IN-PERSON ACTIVITIES. WHAT MEASURES ARE IN PLACE TO KEEP THEM SAFE? While other institutions shut down operation for the entire academic year, we returned last fall and have remained open since. The difference is that last year many students chose to stay remote and this fall we have returned in full. But because we stayed open, we learned how to keep our community safe and stay productive. We’ll continue to have our surveillance testing in place so if we detect an outbreak, we can contain it. And we’ll continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated and make it easy for them to do so. We are asking everyone to use masks indoors, especially in classrooms and labs with high density. The campus is special, and students and faculty crave the communal learning and personal connection it offers. It won’t be easy, but we successfully navigated this last year and will again this year.

Q: WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU EXPECT THIS YEAR WITH THE FULL RETURN? Vaccination is top-of-mind. Because 12

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

BY JENNIFER HERSEIM

“I’m so excited to have our campus full of life again,” Cabrera says. “The experience at Georgia Tech is very powerful. Not just with academics, but with what happens outside the classroom.” The Alumni Magazine spoke with Pres. Cabrera about the return to full, in-person activities, the remaining challenges that the pandemic poses, and how lessons learned from the past year will shape Tech’s future. Below are his responses, edited for length and clarity.

of our culture in science and technology at Georgia Tech, we are ahead of state and national vaccination rates, but we need to keep having conversations about vaccines. Testing will continue to be important to monitor the situation, especially with the Delta variant. In terms of well-being, we’re focused on not just the entering class, but also second-year students. We’re looking at second years almost like they’re first years in terms of our engagement. We are also bringing together services and departments that impact student life outside the classroom. We hired Luoluo Hong as our new vice president of Student Engagement and Well-Being to oversee everything that affects the life of a student.

Q: WHAT LESSONS WERE LEARNED FROM LAST YEAR? Before Covid, we had demonstrated with our Online Master’s in Computer Science program that we could use technology to reach learners online. That accumulation of knowledge and insight helped us tremendously last year. At the same time, this past

year we realized how much we’re missing when you don’t have a physical space to bring the community together. I look forward to a lot of innovation around how we utilize the best of both worlds. On the research side, last year was a huge reminder of how science and technology are essential to dealing with our biggest challenges in the world. We had faculty producing PPE when there was very little to go around. We had faculty and students working on molecular biology and mRNA research, and the decades of research that led to the vaccines. We also developed testing solutions and the information technology to analyze data. Millions have died from this pandemic, but without these tools, it would have been orders of magnitude larger. We’ve learned that what we do at Georgia Tech matters. That sense of purpose and importance is a lesson that we’ll carry from this pandemic. And of course, the fact that we’re in this together. That sense of community and shared purpose is something I hope we never lose.


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CAMPUS NEWS

RECORD ENROLLMENT

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN INSTITUTE HISTORY, WOMEN WILL COMPRISE 40% OF THE TOTAL UNDERGRADUATE POPULATION. BY VICTOR ROGERS

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

INCOMING CL ASS STUDENTS IN THE INCOMING CLASS COME FROM:

50 States

102

of Georgia’s 159 counties

hosting formal tours and programs, prospective students and families were still coming to campus for selfguided tours, especially on weekends and during holidays,” says Rick Clark, director of Undergraduate Admission. “Part of expanding access to Georgia Tech includes creating and delivering more accessible information. It is critical we continue developing quality

93

Countries

virtual programming so prospective students—regardless of their socioeconomic background or when they show up to see the campus—can receive the same information they would get if they had the resources to come at a certain time. I’m really pleased that we are applying the lessons learned and being innovative in our approach.”

ALLISON CARTER

14

Since 1915, all first-year students have received a RAT Cap, which stands for Recruitment At Tech.

PHOTOGRAPH

I N T H E S P R I N G , summer, and fall of 2021, Georgia Tech welcomed 4,876 students, including 100 more firstyear students from Georgia than last year. Undergraduate Admission also increased its dual enrollment and transfer enrollment. Georgia Tech’s undergraduate student body increased by 1,200 in the last five years. The number of incoming first-year Black students increased 62%; for first-year Hispanic students it’s a 55% increase, and the number of incoming first-year women students increased 25% during that time, with 1,000 more women undergraduates enrolled now than five years ago. For the first time in Institute history, women will comprise 40% of this fall’s total undergraduate population. The combined incoming class of first-year and transfer students includes 14% coming from a household where neither parent graduated from college—an increase of 80% over the last five years. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s recruitment efforts were entirely virtual. Near the end of summer, Undergraduate Admission resumed hosting in-person tours of campus. “ E v e n t h o u g h w e w e r e n’ t


T E C H J O I N S N A T I O N A L S C I E N C E F O U N DA T I O N T O A DVA N C E A I R E S E A R C H A N D E D U C A T I O N

FACULTY NEWS

F O R D E C A D E S , Georgia Tech has

together our best minds to ensure that

focused on advancing artificial intelli-

A.I. delivers on its promise to create a

gence (A.I.) through interdisciplinary

more prosperous, sustainable, safe,

research and education designed to

and fair future for everyone,” says

ANDRÉS GARCÍA is the 2021

produce leading-edge technologies.

Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabre-

recipient of the Class of 1934 Dis-

Over the next five years, Georgia

ra, MS Psy 93, PhD Psy 95. “These

tinguished Professor Award. García

Tech will make a substantial invest-

NSF awards recognize Georgia

ment in A.I. that includes hiring an

Tech’s vast expertise in machine learn-

additional 100 researchers in the

ing and A.I. and will help us further

field, further solidifying its standing as

develop our resources and amplify

a leader in the teaching and discovery

our impact in these crucial fields.”

of machine learning.

is executive director of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience.

Collectively, NSF made a $220

In July, Georgia Tech received two

million investment in 11 new NSF-led

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Artificial Intelligence Research Insti-

Artificial Intelligence Research Insti-

tutes. In addition to Georgia Tech and

new vice president for Student En-

tutes awards, totaling $40 million. A

GRA, the University of California San

gagement and Well-Being. Hong was

third award for $20 million was grant-

Diego, Duke University, Iowa State

ed to the Georgia Research Alliance

University, North Carolina State Uni-

(GRA), with Georgia Tech ser v-

versity, The Ohio State University, and

ing as one of the leading academic

University of Washington are the lead

institutions.

universities included in the A.I Insti-

“It is essential t hat we br ing

LUOLUO HONG was named the

previously at California State University.

tutes. —GEORGIA PARMELEE BERNARD KIPPELEN was named vice provost for International Initia-

PIONEERING AI RESEARCHER RETURNS TO TECH

tives. Kippelen has been a faculty member with the Institute since 2003.

respectively. His impressive career in the tech industry includes pioneering work in A.I.-driven speech recognition at Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Samsung. “Larry has been a true trailblazer in deep-learning technology for speech processing and in several other areas.

EUNSOOK KWON became chair of the School of Industrial Design. She was previously a professor and

He will be an outstanding addition

director of the industrial design

to the Academy of GRA Eminent

program at the University of Houston.

Scholars, who are major drivers of

“HOMECOMING” takes on new mean-

Georgia’s outstanding reputation for

ing this year for alumnus and tech

scientific research and innovation,”

pioneer Larry Heck. In August, Heck

says GRA President Susan Shows.

joined the School of Electrical and

Heck has been awarded sever-

Computer Engineering as a professor,

al honors, including being named an

Rhesa “Ray” S. Farmer Chair, and a

IEEE Fellow.

SUSAN MARGULIES stepped down as chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

Georgia Research Alliance Eminent

In 2017, Georgia Tech’s College

Scholar. Heck earned his master’s

of Engineering recognized him with

to lead the Engineering Directorate at

and PhD in electrical engineering

a Distinguished Engineering Alumni

the U.S. National Science Foundation.

from Georgia Tech in 1989 and 1991,

Award.

at Georgia Tech and Emory University

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

15


TALK OF TECH

GTRI, TECH DEVELOP A.I. PSYCHIATRY TO ADVANCE NATIONAL SECURITY

BY ANNA AKINS

MELANIE GOUX

or errors in training the A.I. system. If the accident was caused by a cyberattack, the new forensic capability could help experts patch the vulnerability without losing any of the model’s existing training. A.I. and machine learning models require several rounds of energy- and time-intensive training to become more adept at handling new and existing tasks. “You save all that knowledge and can just fix the little problem as

ILLUSTRATION

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

“You almost can’t go anywhere now without some involvement from machine learning and artificial intelligence,” Saltaformaggio says. “We knew it was only a matter of time before these things started being targeted in the real world.” Providing the example of a selfdriving car, Roberts says that if the vehicle takes a wrong turn or speeds up unexpectedly, investigators could use A.I. Psychiatry to determine whether the accident was due to a cyberattack

SEAN McNEIL

16

Georgia Tech’s Brendan Saltaformaggio (left) and GTRI’s Chris Roberts (right) have developed a new branch of cyber forensics called A.I. Psychiatry.

PHOTOGRAPH

A R T I F I C I A L I N T E L L I G E N C E and machine learning have taken the world by storm, controlling everything from self-driving cars and smart speakers to autonomous weapon-enabled drones. But as these technologies become more advanced, so do their potential security threats. That is why Chris Roberts, a principal research engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), Brendan Saltaformaggio, an assistant professor in the School of Cybersecurity and Privacy and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech, and others have joined forces under GTRI’s Graduate Student Fellowship Program to research and develop a new branch of cyber forensics called A.I. Psychiatry that seeks to keep data more secure in a constantly evolving technological landscape. Saltaformaggio says his idea for A.I. Psychiatry stemmed from over a decade of researching and building cutting-edge cyber forensics techniques, including protecting against traditional cyberattacks to recovering digital evidence from devices at a crime scene. As A.I. and machine learning become more popular, Saltaformaggio says A.I. Psychiatry will play a key role in protecting the nation from rising security risks.


opposed to, ‘OK, now we need to go back to square one and re-look at this model, retrain this model, and redeploy it to the field,’ ” Roberts says. The need for A.I. Psychiatry extends well beyond self-driving cars. In national security, military experts have been rapidly adopting next-generation technologies to speed up training and decision-making processes—from creating more advanced image classification techniques to developing autonomous weaponenabled drones. “When there is a failure, let’s say a drone crashes, you have to have these forensic techniques to be able to understand why it crashed and what was involved,” Saltaformaggio explains. “Was this an act of war? Was this an attack by another government? Or was

this just an accident that no one saw coming?” But developing A.I. Psychiatry does not come without challenges. Roberts notes that since much of these new forensic capabilities do not exist today, it is up to the team to forge a new path forward in the budding field. “We’re trying to think about what’s going to be the problem 10 years from now, 20 years from now, when machines are effectively making decisions in the battlefield,” Roberts says. That is why the cross-partnership between GTRI and Georgia Tech is so crucial. “A relationship with

campus and GTRI is just so valuable; we complement each other really well,” Roberts adds. Other participating members in the A.I. Psychiatry research project are Noah Tobin, a GTRI senior research associate, and David Oygenblik, CmpE 21, a graduate research assistant in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Tobin says that he expects the research to have a direct impact on protecting national security as advancements in technology give way to newer security threats. “We are moving into a future where A.I. is going to become more and more ubiquitous,” Tobin says. “We really need a lot of work to understand what the vulnerabilities of that are from a security posture.”


STUDENT NEWS

ON TRACK WITH CHELSEA PECHENINO

race the Indianapolis 500 for the first time this year, but she didn’t tell anyone she had applied to work with the motorsports team. She got the call at her sorority house, Kappa Alpha Theta. “I was shocked,” Pechenino says. She joined the crew in April to begin training for the Indy 500 as assistant data engineer. During pit stops Pechenino served in a role commonly known in racing as the “deadman,” working behind the wall to control the flow of fuel into the car. She also worked as the junior DAG, or Data Acquisition Guy. “I prefer dead woman,” Pechenino told ESPN’s reporting crew. “And data acquisition gal.” The team hopes to race again soon, and Pechenino will be watching and waiting, with valuable experience that will help her move toward her ultimate goal—becoming a racing engineer and maybe even a team owner. “That’s why I’m studying business too. I want to know all sides of the industry, including funding, marketing, and branding,” she says.

FOUR RECENT GEORGIA TECH GRADUATES

Nicholas Isaf, ME 21, is eager to

Knowlton, IE 21, will be a teaching

were selected as Fulbright recipients

begin his placement as an English

assistant in the English language class-

for the 2021–22 school year. The

teaching assistant in Taiwan. Chloe

room in La Rioja, Spain. Andrew

Fulbright U.S. Student Program pro-

Kiernicki, Arch 21, will expand her

White, CE 19, will pursue a master’s

vides grants for individually designed

knowledge of sustainable architecture

in environmental management at Lan-

study and research projects or for En-

while studying for her master’s at Tam-

caster University in the U.K. —VICTOR

glish Teaching Assistant Programs.

pere University in Finland. Morgan

ROGERS

18

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

PARETTA AUTOSPORT & CHELSEA PECHENINO

F O U R F U L B R I G H T R E C I P I E N T S H E A D A B R OA D

PHOTOGRAPH

C H E L S E A P E C H E N I N O says she loves driving in Atlanta. Because, even on Atlanta roads, if it has to do with cars, it brings her joy—a joy that her father inspired in her from an early age. “I was 2 or 3 years old and watching races with my dad in Kennesaw, Georgia,” Pechenino recalls. Pechenino’s father not only steered her toward racing, but also toward Georgia Tech. “My dad raced for GT Motorsports as a student at Tech. I

grew up wearing all kinds of Tech gear,” Pechenino says. “I knew I wanted to come here since I was really little.” Pechenino is now double majoring in mechanical engineering and business. She calls racing the pinnacle of engineering. “You’re pushing to extreme limits and seeing how far you are willing to go.” In May, at just 21 years old, Pechenino reached a pinnacle of her own, serving as assistant data engineer on a historic racing team at the 2021 Indianapolis 500. For the first time in motorsports history, a team featured a majority of women, including owner Beth Paretta of Paretta Autosport, the driver, four of seven pit crew members, and two engineers. The opportunity was a dream come true for Pechenino, who has followed Paretta and her work on the racing circuits. “I sent her my resumé as a 16-year-old. I said I’d sweep floors and run errands—I just wanted to get involved.” Pechenino knew that Paretta planned to put together a new team to

BY STEVEN NORRIS


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19


RESEARCH

THE SEARCH FOR LUNAR ICE A NEW AGREEMENT WITH NASA PUTS GEORGIA TECH ON A MISSION TO FIND WATER ON THE MOON.

BY GEORGIA PARMELEE F O R Y E A R S , NASA has been studying ice on the Moon. Now they want to determine where it is exactly and just how much, and a spacecraft at Georgia Tech could provide definitive answers. Georgia Tech engineers and researchers will work with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California to assemble, integrate, and test a small satellite mission known as Lunar Flashlight. “Nobody knows where or how much lunar ice is on the Moon, and this could be hugely important for human space exploration,” says Glenn Lightsey, professor in the

School of Aerospace Engineering and co-principal investigator for the Lunar Flashlight project. “Lunar Flashlight will be launched and fly a trajectory into lunar orbit and circle over the south pole of the Moon, looking for ice in shadowed craters using infrared lasers. Mission control will be run out of Tech, so we will be the first on-the-ground team to receive the measurement data that will indicate where the lunar ice is.” Not only would ice on the Moon tell scientists more about lunar chemistry, but knowing

what is in the ice will help scientists understand planetary origins, potentially uncovering pre-biotic molecules. Additionally, the ice could amount to millions of gallons of water that could sustain human life during planetary travel. The water could also be

PHOTOGRAPHS

Lunar Flashlight is expected to become the first satellite mission to achieve orbit around a planetary body other than Earth. It would also become the first to use lasers to survey the Moon’s surface for surface ice and the first spacecraft to use the propulsion system Mission control will be run out of Georgia Tech. (L–R): Ulises Núñez, Kathleen Hartwell, Sterling Peet, Jud Ready, and Glenn Lightsey.

the

BASELINE 20

12

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GEORGIA TECH FACULTY MEMBERS WERE APPOINTED BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS AS REGENTS PROFESSORS AND REGENTS RESEARCHERS.

developed at Tech.

#4

CANDLER HOBBS AND NASA/JPL-CALTECH

MISSION FIRSTS

GEORGIA TECH’S RANKING OUT OF 691 SCHOOLS ON NICHE’S 2022 LIST OF TOP PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES.


SMALL BUT MIGHTY At just 30 POUNDS, Lunar Flashlight is about the size of a briefcase.

used to make rocket fuel or fuel for combustion engines on site, rather than loading a rocket with those supplies, which is costly. “The presence of water on the Moon is of tremendous importance from both a fundamental science point of view and a practical perspective. It is a topic that links lunar science and exploration,” says Thom Orlando, professor in the College of Sciences at Georgia Tech and principal investigator for the Radiation Effects on Volatiles and Exploration of Asteroids and Lunar Surfaces (REVEALS) team that is dedicated to researching topics for future human space exploration. It’s also NASA-funded as a Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, focusing on lunar and asteroid science and exploration. Orlando’s group studies how the ice was formed, how to get it, and how to use it. And it’s the Lunar Flashlight

The propulsion system developed by Glenn Lightsey’s lab for Lunar Flashlight.

spacecraft that will perform reconnaissance mapping of surface ice, carrying out critical measurements before any extraction efforts can begin. Lightsey and his team had already built the Lunar Flashlight propulsion system. “Running this mission and building this spacecraft is a tremendous opportunity for Georgia Tech,” says Lightsey. “It really puts us in the space arena as a world-class enterprise that can carry out missions for NASA. There are very few places that can do this kind of work.”

TIMELINE TO LAUNCH SUMMER 2021:

FALL 2021:

WINTER 2021:

SPRING 2022:

ONGOING

Tech signed an

The Georgia Tech Re-

After Lunar Flashlight is

The spacecraft could

OPERATIONS:

agreement with JPL in

search Institute provides

assembled and tested,

be ready to launch as

Mission control for

July. JPL ships all the

the clean room for

it gets shipped to

soon as Spring 2022.

Lunar Flashlight will be

spacecraft parts to

assembly, and a team

Florida’s Kennedy

run out of Glenn Light-

Georgia Tech to begin

of researchers, led by

Space Center.

sey’s lab on Georgia

assembling and testing. principal investigator Jud

Tech’s campus.

Ready, manages integration and testing.

45,357

STUDENTS APPLIED TO BECOME PART OF THE 2021 FIRST-YEAR CLASS AT TECH. OF THOSE, 18% WERE OFFERED ADMISSION.

13

THAT’S THE AGE OF TECH’S YOUNGEST 2021 FIRST-YEAR STUDENT. CALEB ANDERSON WAS ACCEPTED TO TECH AT 12 YEARS OLD, AND HE STARTED CLASSES THIS FALL.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

21


VOLUME 97

ON THE FIELD

ISSUE 3

FROM TECH TO TOKYO Alumna and Georgia Tech faculty member Cassie Mitchell, PhD BME 09, won a silver medal in the F51 club throw and placed fourth in the F53 discus throw at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan. Mitchell, who won a bronze and a silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics, set an American record in the women’s club throw this year.

PHOTOGRAPH

MARK REIS/U.S. PARALYMPICS TRACK & FIELD


24

RELIVING THE CINDERELLA 1990 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON

28

SPORTS SHORTS

32

GOLF LESSONS WITH A LEGEND

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

23


ON THE FIELD

RELIVING THE CINDERELL A 1990 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON

W

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

that was good.” In the 31 years since, players from the 1990 team have demonstrated that confidence, going on to impressive careers. In the Atlanta suburb of Roswell, kicker Scott Sisson, Mgt 96, is marketing manager for a large branch of a residential mortgage industry firm. After work, he teaches private kicking lessons to students in the Milton and Alpharetta area. “Most any accomplishment in life involves some mix of key components like hard work, belief, confidence, and some lucky breaks along the way,” says Sisson, who played for the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings

“THEY BELIEVED IN THEMSELVES; THEY BELIEVED IN WHAT THEY WERE DOING, AND THEY WENT INTO GAMES EXPECTING TO WIN,” ROSS SAYS.

GT ATHLETICS

24

topping off the year by whipping traditional powerhouse Nebraska in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day 1991. Ross credits the team’s depth, which gave the Yellow Jackets the ability to step in when somebody was out. He lists the great achievers who won awards and found places in professional football. And he names another factor that may have been the most important of all. “The team had great confidence, they really did,” he says. “They believed in themselves; they believed in what they were doing, and they went into games expecting to win. They were just that type of team. They had confidence and a little bit of a swagger, and

PHOTOGRAPHS

WHEN THE YELLOW J A C K E T S lined up against NC State on September 8, 1990, their record included winning seven of the last eight games in their 1989 football season, including a 33 to 22 triumph over archrival Georgia— always a good way to end a season. Though the Wolfpack was just the first opponent of 1990, Coach Bobby Ross knew the contest would be pivotal to what the team could do that year. “I always thought that one of the really key factors was winning that opening game,” he says. “We had struggled a little bit in our openers, and we came from behind in the fourth quarter to win that game. That built confidence as we went into the season.” Not only would the Jackets beat NC State 21 to 13 that day, they’d go on to a national championship as the only undefeated college team in the country,

BY JOHN TOON


The Yellow Jackets closed the 1990 season with an undefeated 11-0-1 record, earning the national championship title.

after his time at Tech. “I believe these were all factors that pulled this team together in 1990.” The team was tremendously talented and had depth in key areas, but winning requires more than that. “Anytime you take a group of people that truly start to believe in something, whether it’s a big goal or a winning streak, it’s fascinating to watch events play out and start to snowball,” explains Sisson, who was an All-America selection in 1992 and was inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame in 2003. “When team confidence is

building, you can see the extra effort on every play to a man, in practice and games. Our belief seemed to build by the week, and the more that happened, the more the wins rolled out in front of us.” Marco Coleman, Cls 91, has a unique perspective on the dynamics of football teams. A linebacker for the 1990 team, today he’s the defensive ends coach for the Jackets after a 14-year career as a professional player and former assistant defensive line coach for the Oakland Raiders. While technology has changed how most young people communicate, football players must still work together the oldfashioned way. “In today’s society with all the social media, people don’t have that direct contact,” he observes. “In football, folks are still talking to each other and engaging. That communication is helping these young men understand and grow.”

“Our belief seemed to build by the week, and the more that happened, the more the wins rolled out in front of us,” says Sisson.

In helping develop the players he works with, the 1990 season comes up in discussion. “When they bring up the 1990 championship, I help them understand how they can create that potential. We were able to have a successful season, and I tell them they can do the same thing.” James Kushon, Cls 95, who played tackle for the 1990 team and is now a West Coast entertainment entrepreneur, credits Ross for building a team from “a bunch of guys who wouldn’t normally hang out together.” “We had guys from all over the North and South, everywhere from dirt-poor to the upper socioeconomic strata,” he says. “We were thrown together in the middle of Atlanta under a guy who told us we were going to do something special. It was about looking after each other, and saying we were going to do this together.” Kushon has found the camaraderie of former football players in the upper echelons of business. “There is a certain reverence within the fraternity,” he observes. “You have a respect for guys who played at other schools. I’ve GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

25


ON THE FIELD Bobby Ross was hired by Homer Rice in 1987 to be Georgia Tech’s head football coach. Three years later, Coach Ross led the Yellow Jackets to a national championship.

always been in business development, so this has definitely been a conversation starter.” Teamwork is a term used so much that it often has no meaning. Darrell Swilling, Mgt 92, who played inside linebacker and is now a regional vice president for a major carpet manufacturer, said the young men who took the field in 1990 knew they could count on each other. “One of the things we had with that group was trust,” he says. “Everyone had their role and we never had to look to the left or right to question whether a teammate was handling their responsibility. We worked as a unit in practice and it carried over in the games. Coach Ross really emphasized accountability and not making excuses.” No one lasts at Georgia Tech without hard work, and that goes even more for athletes, who must balance their time in practice with their studies. Swilling credits Todd Stansbury, now Tech’s athletic director, for instilling the kinds of skills needed to do that—and to be successful in the world. Concern for developing people continued after the locker room door closed for the day. That was part of the “Total Person Program,” a first of its kind, developed by longtime Athletic Director Homer Rice, who at 94 still teaches the principles of developing complete people. “It’s a positive leadership program,” Rice explains. “It teaches leadership and developing the kind of person you 26

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

HOMECOMING HONORS The 1990 national championship team will be honored during Homecoming week at the end of October. “Evening in the End Zone” will take place at the College Football Hall of Fame from 6 to 9 p.m. on October 28, presented by the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation. Net proceeds from the event will support the group’s mission to provide hearing and vision services to Georgians. Event co-chairs are Kevin Butler and Coach Bill Curry. For more information, visit www.lionslighthouse.org/about. Also celebrate the 1990 team at the Homecoming game against Virginia Tech on October 30.


want to be by how you think and how you control what you think. It really works.” Rice, who coached the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, brought Bobby Ross to Georgia Tech and credits him for building a winning culture that created the foundation for the national championship. “He put together the best staff anybody’s ever had,” Rice says. “His assistants were former head coaches or coordinators. They had been at the top levels. We turned him loose and by his third year, he put things together. In each game, they got better.” Of course, no discussion of the 1990 Georgia Tech season can avoid a certain situation that still irks many longtime fans: a split national ranking in which coaches in the UPI poll ranked Tech first, while sportswriters and broadcasters in the AP poll put

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Find out where the former players of this championshipwinning team are today and relive their favorite plays and games from the 1990 season. www.gtalumni.org/1990champs

Colorado first. Coach Ross says he focused on helping the team savor the spotlight. “I was very upbeat and positive about it,” he says. “I didn’t want to let any second of that spoil the feeling. I personally felt like we should have been the undisputed champions. We were the only undefeated team and we had played a tough schedule. But I was very happy and excited and felt like we were a really good football team.” Ross left Tech in 1992 to coach the San Diego Chargers to an AFC

Gold-and-white-blooded fans came out in numbers to show their support.

Championship and a trip to the Super Bowl. He then served as head coach of the Detroit Lions before winding up his career at Army. While the 1990 season began with NC State, the Clemson and Virginia games may have produced the most memories. An epic goal line stand against Clemson helped keep the winning streak going. But the tipping point was the 41 to 38 upset of Virginia on November 3. The Cavaliers were ranked No. 1 in the country and played like it. With the clock nearing the two-minute mark, Virginia got to within a yard of the end zone before being stopped by the Tech defense. The Cavs had to settle for a field goal that tied the game. The Jackets took over possession, picked up 13 yards with a William Bell run, then 15 more with a Shawn Jones pass to Greg Lester. That set up Sisson for a 37-yard field goal with just five seconds left. What was going through his mind at that moment? “I tell people it’s a good thing I didn’t know what was riding on that kick in that moment,” Sisson recalled. “I honestly don’t know that I would have made room in my brain to process anything other than ‘make-kick, wingame.’ I had watched those guys fight all season and all afternoon to put us in the spot to make that kick. We all wanted it for Coach Ross, too.” GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

27


SPORTS SHORTS T E C H ’ S J U M P S TA R T J A C K E T S PROGRAM WINS NATIONAL AWARD

The program became a “jump start” to the student-athlete experience at Georgia Tech.

G E O R G I A T E C H ’ S JumpStart Jackets

student-athletes. Introduced in summer

In March 2020, the student ser-

Virtual Edge Program was recognized

2015, the JumpStart Jackets program

vices staff moved forward with the

in June by the National Association

was created as a transition program

first-ever JumpStart Jackets Virtual

of Academic and Student-Athlete

for first-year student-athletes

Edge Program due to Covid-19

Development Professionals (N4A)

to prepare them for being a

and the campus transition to

with the Model Practices Award for

student at Georgia Tech. The

virtual courses and virtual aca-

Academics.

multi-week program focused on

demic support. Georgia Tech

The N4A presents two model

programming that included key

staff worked with campus to cre-

practices awards each year—one

academic and learning skills, fa-

in academics and one in student-

miliarization with campus partners,

allowing student-athletes the oppor-

athlete development, to universi-

communication with faculty, time man-

tunity to become familiar with virtual

ties and colleges that display best

agement, and introductions on life

learning, while still getting a “jump

practices in their programming for

skills via Tech’s Total Person Program.

start” to the college transition.

ate an entirely virtual program,

FORTNER EARNS O U T S TA N D I N G C OA C H A W A R D

COACH’S CORNER

GEORGIA TECH’S women’s basketball

STANSBURY NAMED ONE OF ATLANTA’S MOST ADMIRED CEOS

Head Coach Nell Fortner was named Outstanding Coach at the 16th annual Atlanta Sports Awards, presented by the Atlanta Sports Council.

NO. 24 GEORGIA TECH VOLLEYBALL WINS SEASONOPENING UCF

Georgia Tech Volleyball swept their season-opening UCF Challenge, winning all three of their games August 27–29. They claimed the championship title after a 3-0 rout over St. John’s, which followed wins against Penn State (3-1) and host University of Central Florida (3-1). Their win over No. 12 Penn State was the highestranked victory for Georgia Tech Volleyball since 2003.

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FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

Georgia Tech Director of Athletics TODD STANSBURY, IM 84, has been named one of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2021 Most Admired CEOs. Stansbury is one of 39 Atlanta-area CEOs to receive the prestigious award, and one of only two executives recognized in the sports and entertainment category.


THANK YOU!

The overwhelming support for Athletics Initiative 2020, the Athletic Scholarship Fund and Support The Swarm helped us not only overcome potentially devastating financial consequences from the Covid-19 pandemic, but allowed our student-athletes and coaches to thrive in the face of last year’s challenges and achieve one of the most comprehensively successful years in Georgia Tech athletics’ proud history.

ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP FUND

SCHOLARSHIPS ENDOWMENTS

The 2021-22 academic year has seen the GTAA face uncharted territory with significant financial challenges. Support for the Athletic Scholarship Fund is needed now more than ever as the resources needed will grow in the coming years due to student-athletes returning for extra eligibility.

An athletic scholarship to Georgia Tech enables a young man or woman to match the full development of his or her potential with the mastery of a challenging academic major at a distinguished university. Such a scholarship allows coaches to recruit elite student-athletes nationally as they seek those special individuals who will thrive at Georgia Tech.

ATHLETIC DIRECTORS INITIATIVE

As the 2021-22 year takes shape, it remains important that Georgia Tech Athletics has the ability to be nimble and react quickly to an everchanging landscape. Unrestricted gifts to the Athletic Director’s Initiative Fund can be used at the discretion of the Director of Athletics to address unexpected critical needs as they arise.

PROGRAM ENDOWMENTS

Similar to named dean’s chairs and school chairs at the Institute, naming a coaching or leadership position creates a lasting family legacy and an endowment that provides annual income for program support, ensuring that Georgia Tech attracts and retains the very best talent.

TO LEARN MORE VISIT www.atfund.org or call (404) 894-5414


SPORTS SHORTS has managed a variety of tournament committees from parking to ecology over the years. In his new role on the volunteer leadership team, Welch will oversee more than 1,500 volunteers supporting the tournament. “I am truly honored to assume

TECH ALUMNUS NAMED THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT CHAIR

the role of chairman for The Players Championship 2022,” says Welch. “The Players and its past

MANY PEOPLE VOLUNTEER and golf in

the 2022 tournament chairman of

chairmen have entrusted me with the

retirement, but few rise through the

The Players Championship, which

responsibility of working alongside the

volunteer ranks to become the chair

takes place each March in North-

greatest volunteers in golf to present

of the PGA Tour’s flagship event. Matt

east Florida. In 2015, Welch retired as

this signature event to the world and

Welch, CE 79, has done just that.

president of Elkins Constructors, Inc.,

make a year-round, positive impact on

Entering his 15th year as a tourna-

after a 32-year career in construction.

Northeast Florida. I am so grateful for

ment volunteer, Welch was named

As a volunteer with The Players, he

this opportunity.”

2 0 2 0 S U M M E R O LY M P I C S : N I N E R E P R E S E N T G E O R G I A T E C H I N T O K YO D E S P I T E T H E C H A L L E N G E S posed by

BASKETBALL

the pandemic, Yellow Jackets showed up in strength to compete and coach

JOSH OKOGIE,

on the international stage during the

CLS 20, played on the

2020 Summer Olympic Games, held

Nigerian Men’s Basketball Team.

in Tokyo, Japan in 2021. Seven ath-

Okogie is a forward with the

letes and two coaches represented

Minnesota Timberwolves.

Georgia Tech: AVI SCHAFER, CLS 21, played on

SWIMMING

the Japanese Basketball Team. Scha-

ANDREW CHETCUTI, BIO 16,

fer plays basketball professionally in

competed in the Men’s 100m Free-

Japan for the SeaHorses Mikawa.

style for the Maltese National Team. He was a flag bearer for Malta

Backstroke for Turkey. Saka served

during the opening ceremony.

as a flag bearer for Turkey during the

CAIO PUMPUTIS, currently ma-

NAT PAGE, an assistant coach for Tech’s track and field program, rep-

DEFNE TAÇYILDIZ, an incoming

resented the U.S. as assistant coach

competed in the Men’s 200m Indi-

first-year student, competed in the

for track and field on the U.S. Nation-

vidual Medley and the Men’s 100m

Women’s 200m Butterfly, reaching

al Team.

Breaststroke for Brazil’s national

the semifinals, for Turkey. MFON UDOFIA, MGT 13, assistant

team. BATURALP ÜNLÜ, currently major-

coach for the College Park Skyhawks,

BERKE SAKA, an incoming first-year

ing in computer science, competed in

was assistant coach for the Nigerian

student, competed in the Men’s 200m

the Men’s 200m Freestyle for Turkey.

Men’s Basketball Team.

30

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

KOVOP58 / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

joring in business administration,

PHOTOGRAPH

opening ceremony.

COAC HES


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ON THE FIELD

GOLF LESSONS WITH A LEGEND

YELLOW JACKETS CELEBRATED THE RICH HISTORY OF GEORGIA TECH AT EAST LAKE GOLF CLUB, HOME TO GOLF LEGEND BOBBY JONES.

T

T H I S J U N E , Gordon Coleman, IE 46, looked out over the lush green grass at East Lake Golf Club that the legendary Bobby Jones once called his home course. The memories from Tech came rushing back. There was the time that Coleman, an enrollee of the V-12 Navy College Training Program, fished out golf balls in “every shade of disrepair” from the bottom of a lake under the supervision of Coach Fred Lanoue. “[Coach Lanoue] would bring us

BY JENNIFER HERSEIM

out here to dive into the lake for golf balls. We’d go to the pro shop, and he’d take out the balls that he could use for the range and give us back the rest,” Coleman remembers. The studentdivers would take turns hitting the rejected golf balls back into the lake where they had just fished them out. This year’s inaugural Georgia Tech Alumni Association Golf Tournament was held at East Lake—a course with likely more memories and connections to Georgia Tech than sunken golf balls at the bottom of the club’s lake. Even before East Lake was founded, John Heisman helped form the

Gordon Coleman (seated center) with his two daughters and their spouses at East Lake this June.

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FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

Atlanta Athletic Club in its location and served as the athletic director of swimming, basketball, and track programs. Heisman would go on to become Tech’s football coach and the namesake for the Heisman Trophy. But East Lake’s most prominent Tech connection is, of course, Bobby Jones. If the rolling green hills could talk, they would regale you with the stories of one of golf ’s greatest. Inside East Lake’s Tudor-style clubhouse, the walls are much more forthcoming. Framed newspaper clippings in the “Bobby Jones Room” document Jones’ impressive career, including when he solidified his name in the sport by achieving a “Grand Slam,” winning golf ’s U.S. and British Open as well as the U.S. and British Amateur all in the same year (1930). Jones was in Tech’s class of 1922 with legendary George Griffin as well as with Coleman’s father, Claude S. “Joe” Coleman, ME 1922. “My father was pretty athletic. He played basketball and football under Coach Alexander,” Coleman says. But—as his father told him years later—he wanted to learn a sport that he could play his whole life. And who better to teach him how to play golf than his classmate, Bobby Jones? The story goes that Coleman’s father


Congratulations, (L–R) Charles Woods, Chris McCrary, Vince Miller, and Mike Anderson, for winning first place at this year’s tournament. Basketball Coach Nell Fortner (center) addressed golfers following the tournament.

went to Jones and said, “Hey, Bobby, take me out and show me how to play golf.” The two went to East Lake, and Coleman’s father started hitting balls at the range as far as he could. They were going far… The problem was they were also going far to the left. “Bobby said to him, ‘Joe, your problem is your right hand is doing all the work. You’re hitting it like a tennis ball. Golf is a two-handed game,’ ” Coleman recalls. But Jones had a solution. The two marched to the pro shop, where Coleman’s father got a left-handed club. It worked. Coleman’s father became a southpaw golfer from then on out. “I first heard this story when I was growing up and thought I’d learn how to play golf,” Coleman says. “I took out my father’s golf clubs and said, ‘Dad, there’s something wrong with your clubs. They’re crooked.’ ” Following his father, Coleman enrolled at Tech in 1943. After receiving his bachelor’s in 1946, he was commissioned as a naval officer, traveling around the world to New Zealand and

THE STORY GOES THAT COLEMAN’S FATHER WENT TO HIS CLASSMATE AND SAID, “HEY, BOBBY, TAKE ME OUT AND SHOW ME HOW TO PLAY GOLF.” Antarctica. Following active duty, he returned to Tech to receive his degree in industrial engineering. He was hired by Procter & Gamble during a recruiting event on campus and left soon after for Cincinnati, Ohio. There he met his future wife on a blind date for a co-ed softball game. They’ve been married for 72 years. At this year’s Alumni Association Bobby Jones, ME 22, pictured here with his “Grand Slam” trophies, considered East Lake Golf Club his home course.

golf tournament, Coleman watched as two of his daughters and their spouses played a round of golf on the same green hills where he, his father, Bobby Jones, and many other Tech alumni have set foot. If only these hills could talk, they might say—Go Jackets!

BOBBY JONES, THE LEGEND: SEE HISTORICAL FOOTAGE OF BOBBY JONES IN THE ONLINE VERSION OF THIS STORY AT www.gtalumni.org/bobby.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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VOLUME 97

IN THE WORLD

ISSUE 3

PHOTOGRAPH

SCOTT DINERMAN, STC 03


STORY TIME Katie Mitchell’s childhood was filled with books written by Black authors. When she grew up, she realized not everyone had the same exposure to Black titles that she had. In response, Mitchell and her mother created Good Books, a pop-up and online bookstore that celebrates Black literature.

36

BOOK SMART

38

A NEW TRAJECTORY

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

35


IN THE WORLD

Raised on authors like Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou, Katie Mitchell, PP 15, MS PP 16, uses her love of Black literature to fill gaps in Atlanta’s reading selections.

BOOK SMART

PUBLIC POLICY ALUMNA PLANS TO TACKLE “BOOK DESERTS” IN A NOVEL WAY.

BY JESSICA BARBER

CHEMICAL AND BIOMOLECULAR ENGINEERING STUDENT 36

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE


PHOTOGRAPHS

SCOTT DINERMAN, STC 03

W

“WHY don’t we start a bookstore?” T h at’s h o w i t all started. Katie Mitchell, PP 15, MS PP 16, sat across from her mother, Katherine, at the kitchen table, and that simple question ignited their idea for Good Books. In the summer of 2019, the two founded a new kind of bookstore, one that’s not tied down by a physical location and that celebrates and promotes Black authors and artists. From housing vintage Toni Morrison novels to Stevie Wonder records, Good Books caters to all genres, topics, and areas of interest. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the mother-daughter duo was forced to halt all Good Books’ pop-up events. But that created new opportunities for hosting virtual and outdoor book clubs and continuing to reach the community through their online store, where customers can browse their inventory and request customized book recommendations. While Mitchell and her mother are busy building a successful company from the ground up, their primary focus is on eradicating “book deserts” across the nation. “Similar to [the concept of] a food desert, a book desert doesn’t have a lot of high-quality literature. I focus on Black book deserts, which are more prominent,” Mitchell explains. “Just because there is high-quality literature somewhere doesn’t mean that there will be enough Black books in that selection.” To fill this gap, Mitchell plans to create Atlanta’s first “book mobile,” or a

mobile bookstore that will bring Black literature to local families, neighborhoods, and libraries. The mobile bookstore is currently being designed, and Mitchell plans to grow a fleet capable of venturing across the nation. “My fleet would be primarily in cities that have a rich Black literature tradition—think of Atlanta, Brooklyn, Oakland, Houston. For major cities where that history’s already there, we can continue to build upon it,” says Mitchell. With a future like this, Good Books has rightfully earned major recognition. Only two years after the birth of their company, Mitchell and her mother were featured on NPR’s entrepreneurial podcast How I Built This. The women have also gained more than 17,000 followers on social media, yet they stay true to their beginnings. Since childhood, Mitchell has had a deep love for Black literature and an appreciation for its importance in her day-to-day life. Her book collection at home often awes visitors, and she’s always eager to share her favorite works. Connecting Black literature to her own experiences, she realized early on that civil rights issues widely believed to be resolved were (and still are) ongoing. “Before moving to Atlanta, I lived in Kansas. I remember reading this book about Ruby Bridges, a kindergartner who integrated her elementary school, and I asked my mom, ‘Wait, am I Ruby Bridges?’ Even as a kid, I could see that these schools weren’t actually integrated,” Mitchell recalls. Mitchell would go on to study public policy at Georgia Tech. While Good Books was not her original career vision in college, she finds ways to incorporate her education into plans for

Mitchell plans to one day launch an entire fleet of mobile bookstores across the country.

the book mobile. “The people planning cities, and the people choosing which neighborhoods get what, definitely have a say in if there are quality books around, if there’s good food, if there’s sidewalks, if the streets are safe enough for our book mobile to even drive on. It all has public policy implications, and it’s all interconnected,” she states. Ultimately, Mitchell aspires to eliminate book deserts, starting with her flagship mobile bookstore in Atlanta. She looks forward to continuing to spread Black literature, and she predicts a spike in popularity for book mobiles, similar to how food trucks have taken off in the South. With the next chapter of her story beginning, Mitchell looks back on her time in college and offers this advice for students and alumni: Follow your passion, even if it wasn’t what you thought you’d originally be doing. “Even though I didn’t have that much knowledge on how to run a business, we kind of just learned by doing. Do what you want to do, life is short. I think a lot of people have realized that during the pandemic. Just go for it,” she says. GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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JACKET COPY

A NEW TRAJECTORY

OVER 14 YEARS, DR. G. WAYNE CLOUGH, PRESIDENT EMERITUS, WORKED TO ENRICH BOTH THE INTELLECT AND HEART OF GEORGIA TECH. HIS LATEST BOOK DETAILS THE CHOICES AND MOMENTS THAT MADE THE GREATEST IMPACT.

T

THERE ARE CERTAIN MOMENTS in the history of an institution like Georgia Tech that make a difference. They change the trajectory of a place in a way that isn’t fully visible until years later. These moments—and the choices that led to them—are what Dr. G. Wayne Clough, Georgia Tech’s 10th president and the first alumnus-president in Institute history, lays out in his recent book, The Technological

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FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

higher education, like how to remove “weapons-grade” uranium from the middle of a college campus ahead of the world’s biggest athletic event. “A lot happened during this time in Georgia Tech’s history that was not documented,” Clough says. “I decided to help fill part of the gap by writing this book.” Royalties from the book support the G. Wayne Clough Georgia Tech Promise Program, a fund that Clough created during his presidency to make Tech more affordable for low-income students.

Q: WHY WAS WRITING THIS IMPORT-

SERIES OF IMMEDIATE PROBLEMS. HOW DID YOU KEEP FOCUSED WHILE PUTTING OUT THE FIRES? When I came in, we were considered a regional university at the time. We weren’t in the top 50. The College of Engineering was not in the top 10. But we had the capacity, and we were poised to create a different trajectory for Tech. I told the team, put all the issues and the Olympics aside, we’re thinking about the future of Georgia Tech. When we finish the Olympics, we’re not going to be sitting around thinking what to do next; we’re going to launch. I hired people like Bob Thompson, who was at the University of

ANT TO YOU? I’ve always loved history. My last office was at the Smithsonian, and I was amazed at how they venerate history and what documenting it means for understanding an institution’s trajectory. The last official history of Georgia Tech was published in 1985 for its centennial. I talked to the author of that book and we both agreed that something needed to be done. I wasn’t going to write the history from 1985 to 2021, but the part that I could write about was the 14 years when I was president.

Q: AT THE START OF YOUR TENURE, YOU HAD AMBITIOUS GOALS, BUT ALSO A

SCOTT DINERMAN, STC 03

Date: October 29 Location: Global Learning Center, Atrium Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

University Reimagined. Clough, CE 63, MS CE 65, HON PhD 15, took office in 1994 under a cloud of problems left behind by the previous administration and with millions of dollars of promised construction projects looming ahead of the Olympics, which was just two years away. His legacy could have been tied to these challenges, but instead, he held fast to the belief that Tech was poised for a greater change. But first, he had to survive those initial trials. Clough faced situations that he never imagined he might face in

PHOTOGRAPH

BOOK SIGNING WITH DR. CLOUGH

BY JENNIFER HERSEIM


Washington, who became our executive vice president of administration and finance, and Jean-Lou Chameau, who was incredibly bright, and who could take on new research initiatives. Having the right staff in place in time for the Olympics was important. There was no saying, so what if we’re six weeks late? We had to be ready. Fortunately, we had the “two Bills” as I called them (Retired Gen. Bill Ray and Retired Col. Bill Miller,) who were thoughtful, ex-military types who got the job done.

Q: ONE SURPRISE LEADING UP TO THE OLYMPICS THAT YOU WRITE ABOUT WAS THE BELATED DISCOVERY BY THE FEDERAL SECURITY TEAM THAT TECH HAD A NUCLEAR REACTOR ON CAMPUS. THAT SURE IS AN UNUSUAL SITUATION TO DEAL WITH AS PRESIDENT. They put the reactor in just before I was a student at Tech in the ’60s. It looked like a reactor, so how could they have missed it? The other weird thing was it wasn’t licensed because it had outlived its purpose, and to decommission a reactor, it needs to be licensed. Well the people against

nuclear power didn’t like me trying to relicense it. I felt like a fly caught in sticky paper. No matter where I tried to move, there was no way out. We worked with Gary McConnell, director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, who helped us get in contact with Washington and eventually Vice President Al Gore. Finally, we got the fuel rods out before the Olympics. Of course, during the Olympics, I was forced to go a different route to campus through Fifth Street and that’s when I saw the for-sale signs in Midtown that led to the idea for Technology Square.

Q: IN THE BOOK, YOU DESCRIBE SEVERAL DEFINING MOMENTS DURING YOUR PRESIDENCY. WHAT WERE SOME OF THOSE MOMENTS? I had this insight into bioengineering from my time at Virginia Tech and the University of Washington. I said here’s the place where engineering doesn’t sneak in but jumps into medicine. So, when Bob Nerem came and he said, “Could you help us build an addition to one of the oldest buildings on campus?” I said, “No. Your plans and my plans are much bigger than that.” We ended up building a whole sequence of buildings in the molecular science quadrant. It was a question of getting people to lift their sights. And luck. The luck part was that Mike Johns had just come to Emory as the head of Emory Healthcare and the medical school. [Johns and Nerem had an impromptu meeting on an escalator

that sparked the idea for the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering.] Another moment was when we were selected as finalists by the National Science Foundation for an engineering research center. We hosted the committee for breakfast and joining us was Bill Todd, who was an alumnus and president of the Georgia Research Alliance. When they pressed us on cost-sharing, Bill stood up and said, ‘If you will, I will.’ That was a key moment to have him pledge to help us meet the requirements.

Q: YOU DESCRIBE IN THE BOOK WORKING TO CREATE A NEW CULTURE AROUND UNDERGRADUATE EXPERIENCES AT TECH. DID YOU FEEL WELL-SUITED FOR THIS BECAUSE YOU WENT THROUGH IT YOURSELF? I understood first-hand what the “proving ground” at Tech felt like. When I came back to Tech, the freshman class had the highest test scores for a public university in the nation, but our graduation rate, 66%, was the lowest among our peers. The reason for the low rate was not challenging academics because the majority of students leaving were in good standing. It wasn’t a question of making Tech “easier,” but about creating an educational experience that provided opportunities for students to grow and to live and study in facilities that supported their needs. Adding options like study abroad, independent research, music and poetry created a vibrant learning environment. It demonstrates that this isn’t just about our intellect, but about our heart. Proof is that the graduation rate today is over 90%. I am proud to have a hand in making this happen. GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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CHANGING THE WORLD ONE C H A N G E M A K E R AT A T I M E

Georgia Tech’s impact reaches every industry, every part of the globe, and every aspect of people’s lives through the work of our esteemed alumni.

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Innovative. Passionate. Resilient. These 40 alumni either find a way—or make their own.

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ASSEMBLED BY JENNIFER HERSEIM

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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40 40 unde

r

Creative Cutting -Edge Coral Scientist

Kristen Marhaver, Bio 04  Associate Scientist | CARMABI Foundation

KRISTEN MARHAVER SPEAKS FOR THE CORALS.

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

A L L AT O N C E F O R A N E N DA N G E R E D S P E C I E S , ” M A R H AV E R SAYS .

“Raising young corals today boosts the reproduction on future coral reefs for centuries,” she says. Her lab’s Genome Resource Bank takes an even longer view. Its 500 billion (and counting) cryopreserved coral sperm can survive indefinitely,

serving as the ocean equivalent of a seed bank that endures whatever disease outbreaks or thermal events arise. She is always eager to speak for the corals: about their critical role in shoreline protection, their value to island economies, their tremendous

CLAUDIA SANCHES & MIGUEL HART

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N E O N ATA L I N T E N S I V E C A R E U N I T , A N D A DAYC A R E

PHOTOGRAPH

The scuba diver, under water photographer, and world-renowned expert in coral breeding has racked up more than 2.3 million views of her engaging TED talks, in which she shares her ground-breaking innovations and heartfelt passion for preserving these little-understood and greatly undervalued marine creatures. “Corals are so distant from us evolutionarily, so foreign and alien, that you really have to be creative in thinking about what their life is like and what they need to survive,” she says. In her research lab at CARMABI (Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity) on the island of Curaçao, Marhaver and her team have made great strides in aiding coral survival by inventing methods for coral breeding, baby coral propagation, and coral gene banking. “It’s like running an IVF clinic, a neonatal intensive care unit, and a daycare all at once for an endangered species,” she says. Through hundreds of night dives, she and her colleagues pinpointed the timing for the spawning of numerous Caribbean coral species. Their spawning charts are now used by dozens of research teams to collect and preserve coral sperm and eggs. Marhaver was also the first person in the world to raise baby pillar corals, a nearly extinct Caribbean coral species. Juvenile corals supercharge reefs; they spawn more prolifically and adapt more readily to changing environments.

“IT’S LIKE RUNNING AN IVF CLINIC, A


“We each have a specific purpose in this world, and being a student

potential as a source of future medications and, well, just how cool they are. “There’s lots of reasons to keep corals around, for sure,” she says. She’s grateful and thrilled to be part of the global community devoted to that very cause. “Collaborators, awesome students, and mentors have been so critical in all the progress we’ve made,” she says. Her father, Carl Marhaver, was her first mentor, who first took her scuba diving at age 15. “He was in charge of all the logistics, and I was in charge of all the small animal encounters,” she says with a laugh. She credits Tech for providing her with the invaluable combination of lab research skills and field ecology experience that she draws on daily. As a first-year student, she pleaded her way into the lab of Terry Snell. He first let her observe his work on coral stress genomics before promoting her through the ranks as a lab assistant— and helping set her course toward her celebrated career. In gratitude, Marhaver now sponsors a first-year biology researcher each year at Tech through the FastTrack Research Program. “That’s how it all began for me,” she says. “It means a ton to be able to pay it forward to support someone who is in my shoes 20 years later.” —KRISTIN BAIRD RATTINI

or recent graduate of Georgia Tech sets us up so well to begin uncovering what that may be,” RANKIN SAYS.

Kendall Rankin, IE 17 Program Manager, Venture | All Raise

DU R I N G HER T I ME AT T ECH, Rankin founded The Diamond Campaign (TDC), a nonprofit whose mission is to empower Black women to embrace their unique cut (body image), color (personal brand), carat (self-worth), and clarity (vision for the future). Rankin led a team at TDC that has impacted more than 1,500 Black women and girls across the country. In 2018, she expanded the nonprofit from Atlanta to Chicago. In addition to her work through TDC, Rankin recently joined All Raise, a nonprofit with a two-part mission: to significantly increase the amount of venture capital funding going to female founders from 11% to 23% by 2030, and to double the percentage of female decision-makers at U.S. tech venture firms with more than $25 million assets under management by 2028. She was hired to help expand All Raise’s presence in the Midwest region, as well as build and scale the nonprofit’s programs.

FUN FACT: Recently his favorite hobbies are photography and drone cinematography.

Varun Yarabarla, BME 16  Development Lead | VentLife

DU R I N G T HE PA N DEMI C, Yarabarla, a researcher and future physician, used his engineering and medical backgrounds, combined with his experi-

Criteria & Selection

Those nominated must have completed at least one semester at Georgia Tech, be under the age of 40 as of June 30, and have made an impact in their profession or community, spanning all industries and sectors. A committee of 21 faculty, staff, and volunteer leaders, who collectively represented all Georgia Tech colleges, scored each nominee using a 25-point rubric.

ence as an entrepreneur and volunteer, to become a founding member of the nonprofit VentLife. The organization seeks to help healthcaredeprived areas across the world gain the necessary equipment to care for their patients not just during the pandemic but for years to come. In 2020, Yarabarla was named to Georgia Trends’ 40 Under 40 and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Atlanta 30 Under 30 lists for his work with VentLife. Yarabarla is a former Fulbright Scholar and was also nominated for the National Gold Humanism Honors Society by his peers in medical school.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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FUN FACT: At the time, she was the only woman in the Georgia Tech Off-Road Club and drove in the SAE Mini Baja East Competition during her sophomore year.

Carly Queen, ME 09, MS CE 16, M CRP 16 Sustainable Transportation Specialist | AECOM

Q U E EN LE A DS AECOM’s Multimodal Transportation Safety Team in Georgia. In this role, she directs transportation planning and engineering efforts focused on reducing pedestrian and cyclist crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Queen’s community service spans more than a decade. While at Tech, she was

FUN FACT: In addition to being an avid rock climber, Radman plays saxophone in a blues funk rock band called The Vinyl Suns.

the founding president of Students Organizing for Sustainability. She received an Outstanding Service Award from the School of City and Regional Planning. vancy, Young Professionals in Transportation Atlanta, and Groundwork Atlanta,

Seth Radman, ME 17

where she’s in her fifth year as president of the Board of Directors. Under her

Head of Product Strategy |

leadership, Groundwork Atlanta launched AgLanta Grows-a-Lot, a program

Ultimate Guitar

Since then, she’s served on the Generation Green Board of the Georgia Conser-

converting vacant lots to farms and gardens and a Proctor Creek Trash Traps pilot project, testing technologies for preventing litter in creeks from reaching

W HI LE AT T ECH, Radman founded

larger water bodies.

the company Crescendo, an interactive music trainer like Guitar Hero, but for real instruments. The Crescendo app gained more than 1 mil-

“At Georgia Tech, I solved open-

lion users in its first two years and

ended problems, in both coursework

was featured as Apple’s App of the

and research. I think solving such

Day in over 100 countries. Last year,

problems broadened my perspective

Crescendo was acquired by Ultimate

and thought process,” JAGTAP SAYS.

Swapnil Jagtap, MS AE 18 President’s PhD Scholar | Imperial College London

Guitar, the world’s largest online guitar community, making Radman’s company the first acquisition from Tech’s CREATE-X program. Now, with more than 300 million users, Crescendo has helped musicians of all

JAGTA P ’S RE SE ARCH focuses on reinventing and

ages boost their confidence and im-

revolutionizing the aviation and energy industry by

prove faster using technology. In ad-

designing zero-emissions aircraft. As a President’s

dition to Crescendo and other start-

PhD Scholar at the Imperial College London, he designed a 300-passenger

ups, Radman has been instrumental

intercontinental liquid-hydrogen aircraft with a design range of 14,000 kilo-

in building and growing the startup

meters. The design improves the aircraft’s energy efficiency by over 50% and

ecosystem in Atlanta. He serves as

produces less noise than a Boeing-777. The aircraft produces zero emissions

a startup coach through the CRE-

of carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, soot, carbon monoxide, organic

ATE-X Startup Launch program, and

carbon, sulfur oxides, and particulate matter. Jagtap has authored 16 high-

he is an advisor for more than 100

impact publications (eight solo-authored) and has been granted one U.S. patent

companies founded by Georgia Tech

as a solo inventor.

students and alumni.

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Supporting Black Entrepreneurs

Barry Givens, ME 08

Managing Director | Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator powered by Techstars & Managing Partner | Collab Capital

AS A TECH UNDERGRAD, Barry Giv-

PHOTOGRAPH

BEN ROLLINS

ens and a few buddies ventured over to a nearby bar and grill one night to catch some basketball games. After ordering drinks, Givens and his group waited. And waited. And waited. “Wouldn’t it be cool,” Givens thought, “to have a machine like a soda fountain to dispense mixed drinks?” Four years later, Givens, an entrepreneurial soul toiling in a corporate role at Caterpillar, spent nights and weekends constructing just that. Leveraging a lifetime of at-home tinkering—hands-on exploration that began alongside his father in Stone Mountain, Georgia— and a mechanical engineering degree

from Tech, Givens built an automated bartending machine he dubbed Monsieur. Thereafter, Givens hustled to bring the invention to market. Monsieur netted $140,000 from a successful Kickstarter campaign, tested units in Atlanta area bars and restaurants, and earned a coveted presentation slot at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2013. “The day I got that news, I quit my job at Caterpillar,” Givens says. Monsieur raised nearly $5 million in funding and entered movie theaters, arenas, and hotels around the country before Givens licensed the technology to a large beverage manufacturing company and exited the company.

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Though it was a seemingly energized journey, Givens weathered heavy blows from the entrepreneurial life. Early on, he swapped a 33 percent ownership in Monsieur for $33,000— a decision he’d soon regret—and also confronted racism for the first time, including investors and customers questioning his role as Monsieur’s founder. “Being raised in Atlanta, seeing Black excellence up close, I was naïve to the broader perceptions that existed beyond my hometown,” he admits. Fueled by that eye- and heartopening experience, Givens has since devoted himself to building an entrepreneurial ecosystem that addresses systemic racism and supports Black founders. As managing director of the Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator powered by Techstars, Givens has spearheaded a programming shift to prioritize companies attacking social justice issues. “With my experience, I can help these entrepreneurs gather the information they need to make wise decisions and grow their respective businesses,” Givens says. Beyond Techstars, Givens also cofounded Collab Capital, a $50 million venture fund specifically for Black founders. “I’m going to use all my strength, all my experience, to help the next generation start where I ended, so they can go even further,” he says. “It’s up to people who have something to offer to help accelerate change.” —DANIEL SMITH GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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FUN FACT: Kumar’s first name “Arkadeep” means the light from the sun in the Bengali language (his mother-tongue), and his PhD research at Tech was on solar cells as clean energy.

FUN FACT: Hudgins recently joined the “CaiRollers,” the first roller derby team in Egypt, and the only roller derby team on the African continent outside of South Africa.

Arkadeep Kumar, MS ME 14, PhD ME 18 Technologist R&D Engineer | Applied Materials Inc.

KUMAR’ S RESEA RCH involves next-generation semiconductor nanomanufacturing, pushing the limits of materials engineering, and enabling technologies for A.I. and big-data economy. Under an ITRI-Rosenfeld Postdoctoral Fellowship, he conducted research at the Lawrence Berkeley National lab on

Sarabrynn Hudgins, IA 09

the nexus of water and energy, looking at urgent societal problems in water

Foreign Service Officer |

Kumar initiated a collaboration with Tech alumni and current students to de-

U.S. Department of State

velop an open-source face-shield design and to train artisans in India to fabri-

treatment and clean energy. He joined Applied Materials to solve the critical challenges in semiconductor manufacturing. During the Covid-19 pandemic,

cate the face shields. In 2021, Kumar was recognized for his

IN 2 01 7, Hudgins joined the For-

achievements and leadership in manufacturing engineering

eign Service at 29 years old, several

by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ Outstanding Young

years younger than the average

Manufacturing Engineer Award.

incoming diplomat. At the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, she worked as a consular officer, often helping people on the worst days of their

“Through Georgia Tech,

lives when they reached out to the

I have met people who

embassy after being a victim of a

inspire me; I have made

crime or falling seriously ill. She

friends who are dear to

visited jails to make sure that in-

me and have gained

carcerated Americans received fair treatment. She helped hospital pa-

Arjun Bir, CE 18

tients reach family members in the

Building Envelope Engineer |

U.S., navigated foreign legal systems

Raymond Engineering

to help grieving families repatriate

access to resources that enable the work that matters most to me,” BIR SAYS.

the remains of their loved ones, and

BIR D ES IG N ED the Oasis E.coli test, a low-cost water-quality test that can be

helped destitute Americans access

used by anyone, without prior training. He founded a company in Bangalore, In-

emergency funding to return home.

dia, to manufacture and distribute these tests worldwide to clients. This work

In her current role as an economic

received the 2018 MIT Water Innovation Prize. In collaboration with Georgia

officer at the U.S Embassy in Cai-

Tech, UNICEF, and Johns Hopkins University, Bir planned and executed studies

ro, she has helped U.S. companies

to test whether giving people the ability to test their own water would lead to

achieve major contracts and coordi-

improved behaviors around water and sanitation. The results showed improve-

nated training programs for women

ments in water quality in 589 households in Kanpur, India. Bir also studied the

entrepreneurs in a country where

accuracy of low-cost E.coli tests. As part of this effort, he established a micro-

approximately 15% of women work

biology lab in Bangalore. In addition, Bir runs India Forward, a nonprofit that

outside the home.

provides scholarships and mentorship to students in need.

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YELLOW JACKET ADVICE: “Take time to find out who you are and never forget it. Write it on a tablet in your home and your heart. Even if you venture away, it will bring you back home.”

Precious Urenna Onyewuchi, MS ECE 08, PhD ECE 12 Consultant | Anneru Solutions Incorporated

O NYE WU CH I’S IN FLUENCE in the U.S. and across the African continent

FUN FACT: Nord has a German Shepherd–Lab mix named Buzz! On social media

shows the global impact of Georgia Tech alumni. She served as the chair of

@MelissaNordWx, you can see

the IEEE Power Africa Steering Committee for multiple years, establishing a

photos of Buzz, her cat, Emma,

technical conference aimed at solving Africa’s electricity access issues and re-

and “Weather Baby,” a future

ducing poverty. The conference brings together a strong network of engineers

Yellow Jacket who she and her

to contribute solutions to Africa’s electricity problems. Under her leadership,

husband welcomed into the

Onyewuchi helped bring the conference to multiple African nations, and she

world last fall.

established the Women in Power session as a key part of the conference. The session empowers hundreds of middle school and high school girls to join STEM, power, and energy fields.

FUN FACT: Weiler and his wife, who also has her bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD from Georgia Tech, have six degrees from the Institute between

Melissa Nord, EAS 13 Meteorologist | 11 Alive

I N DECEMB ER 2020, Nord became 11 Alive’s weekend morning meteorologist in Atlanta. Previously, she

them. They also attended the same

was a meteorologist and co-anchor

middle and high schools.

at WUSA 9 for several years. Nord’s ability to forecast and present the

Mike Weiler, BME 10, MS ME 12, PhD BioE 15

weather in a relatable yet stimulat-

Cofounder and CEO | LymphaTech

ed Press and Emmy Awards for Best

ing way has earned her national recognition. She won the 2018 AssociatMeteorologist/Weather Anchor in the

WE ILE R C O F O U N DED LYMP HATECH, a Georgia Tech spin-out company fo-

Washington, D.C., and Chesapeake

cused on improving the standard care of lymphedema, a swelling disease that

Bay region, excelling above veterans

is commonly a result of cancer therapy but can also be caused by mosquito-

in the field. Her mission is to change

transmitted parasites. During his seven years as CEO, Weiler has been the

how people consume weather fore-

primary inventor on nine patents to develop technology to automate and digi-

casts by bringing the science to life

tize measurements for lymphedema evaluation and treatment. LymphaTech’s

in a relatable format. Nord is also a

software enables custom-fitted medical compression garments to enhance

passionate STEM advocate, volun-

treatment for the disease. Weiler has led the company to sign partnerships

teering with community organiza-

with the two largest medical-compression manufacturers to use the technolo-

tions to bring STEM activities to chil-

gy as a platform for sizing, fitting, and ordering custom medical compression

dren. “Georgia Tech allowed me to

garments for patients. In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,

‘embrace the nerd’—and I follow this

the technology has also been included as an evaluation tool for the Global Pro-

motto in my career, being nicknamed

gram to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis.

‘Nord the Nerd,’ ” she says.

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Sending Humans Back to the Moon

Kenneth Smith, MS AE 18 Loads and Dynamics Engineer | Barrios Technology (NASA Johnson Contractor)

A S A T E E N A G E R with curly hair

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

AGAINST THE OTHER, BUT IT ’S ALL ABOUT G L O B A L C O O P E R AT I O N N O W , ” S M I T H S AYS .

“It can be hard to put yourself in another person’s position if you’ve never been there,” he says. “But I’ve been in multiple positions, and that’s helped me get perspective on people and

life. In the future, I may want to get into policy because I think I have that unique perspective.” In addition to stints at NASA centers across the country, Smith has also

BEN ROLLINS

48

“ S PAC E U S E D T O B E A B O U T O N E C O U N T RY

PHOTOGRAPH

down to his chest, Kenneth Smith says he looked like a mixture of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. And in fact, he played guitar in multiple bands and thought that he would grow up to be a rock star. But when he headed off to college in Ohio, Smith thought maybe he could be a doctor. He majored in biochemistry but dropped out after two years when his father lost his job. Smith worked in a factory to help support his family until a volunteer gig at the Great Lakes Science Center (which is also the NASA Glenn Visitor Center) changed his life. There, in a rainbow-colored lab coat, he answered science questions from kids. “That’s where I fell in love with space,” he says. “And not just because I was seeing all this stuff at the Center, but because I was talking about it with the kids. They inspired me. When you talk about space with other people, they get excited.” Smith earned his degree in aerospace, aeronautical, and astronautical engineering from the University of Akron. Later, while working for NASA’s Langley Research Center fulltime, he earned his master’s from Tech, although it wasn’t the easiest road. Smith was originally rejected from the four graduate schools he applied to, including Tech. When he was finally accepted, his car was robbed his first night in town, leaving him with just a suitcase of socks and underwear. But Smith sees his circuitous path as an advantage.


FUN FACT: Washington has an Amtrak rewards card

been in the private sector, working for SpaceX and its Dragon reusable spacecraft. In 2017, he was named to Forbes’ 30-Under-30 list for Outstanding Young Scientists, and in 2019, he was one of 17 professionals—and the only engineer—to be selected to live, work, and study in Russia as an Alfa Fellow. Currently, Smith is working on the development of the Gateway Space Station, which will orbit the Moon. Specifically, he studies plume impingement, or the effects a docking vehicle’s exhaust gases would have on Gateway, as well as how that plume would affect attitude control, or the position of the spacecraft. The Gateway Space Station is a key component of NASA’s Artemis Program, which aims to send humans back to the Moon. Last year, NASA and several space programs in other countries signed the Artemis Accords, a set of principles to govern the exploration and use of space. “Space used to be about one country against the other, but it’s all about global cooperation now,” Smith says. “It’s cool to see that countries that are enemies in politics can work together toward a common goal in this field of aerospace. It would be nice to have something like that trickle down into other aspects of politics and life.” Smith hasn’t forgotten what got him into the space industry in the first place—talking to kids. Today, he still does outreach as “KSmooth, the Engineering Dude.” “I wear an astronaut suit, nerd out, and talk to kids about science. I try to make it more of a dialogue because I love to hear what their ideas are. It’s really an excuse to be goofy, because that’s the real me.” —KELLEY FREUND

because she loves riding cross-country trains.

Michole Washington, AM 16 Mathematics Education Doctoral Candidate | University of Michigan

WASHI N GTO N I S CO MMI T T ED to shifting the narrative of what STEM education is and who can do it. As a doctoral candidate in mathematics education at the University of Michigan, she studies aspects of informal STEM environments like extracurriculars designed for students who are underestimated because of their race or economic status. As a resident researcher intern at NASA, she researches and develops tools focused on evidence-based, effective practices aimed at sparking and sustaining underestimated K-12 girls’ interest in STEM. She is also CEO and founder of STEMulation, an educational games and media production company that promotes STEM through the lens of social justice theory and practice.

FUN FACT: Deaton’s career may have started with a second grade assignment to write a letter to the President. She described to President Clinton the negative effects of assigned seats during lunch.

Lyndsey Deaton, Arch 07 Founder and Senior Architect and Planner/Assoc. Director | International Development Collaborative/UO Urban Design Lab

CI T I ES A RE A B O U T N EG OT I AT I N G —for energy, for space, for rights. Deaton looks at how to make this negotiation more sustainable for all using the tools of an architect. Her current work involves negotiating rights for kids to play in communities that have been displaced and resettled by development. Deaton led a team working with seven dispossessed communities in Manila, the Philippines, and Hyderabad, India. They found that these communities typically lack accessible and safe spaces for kids to play. This research was recognized with the 2021 Environmental Design Research Association’s Great Places Research Award. Deaton also volunteers with SquareOne Villages, which creates self-managed communities of low-cost, tiny homes for people in need of housing. With five other architects, she developed site plans for Emerald Village—Eugene, Oregon’s first tiny-house community.

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“My initial exposure at Georgia Tech to developing nanotechnology led me to Oxford to do a PhD and then the NIH for two post-docs, all related to nanomedicine. I launched a biotech startup, Bikanta, from that academic research,” SAYS BUMB.

Ambika Bumb, BME 05 Health Science Technology Advisor | U.S. Department of State

FUN FACT: Mitchell won a Burdell’s Best Award for most

IN DECE M B E R 2019, Bumb joined the U.S. Department of State as Health Science Technology Advisor to the Office of the Secretary of State. She immediately began working on the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Her team led the Global Re-

creative philanthropy. His fundraiser involved a cow at Burger Bowl and raised money for the Brain Tumor

patriation Task Force that brought home more than 100,000 Americans who

Foundation for Children.

were stranded across the world. Bumb has served as board member of the Sciences Area of Berkeley Lab, and CEO of the biotech company Bikanta. The

Jimmy Mitchell, CE 05

NIH has recognized her research with the Orloff Technical Advance Award as

Sustainability Engineer |

a “platform” technology with implications that will broadly advance medicine.

Skanska

International Biomedical Research Alliance, Strategic Advisor to the Energy

Recently, she transitioned to the position of deputy executive director to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

MI TCHELL is a project team leader for the Kendeda Building for Innova-

YELLOW JACKET ADVICE: “I would recommend trying to diversify your experience as much as you can. My Georgia

tive Sustainable Design, one of the world’s most sustainable buildings. Sustainability was instilled in Mitchell early on as a Tech student, and

Tech education was much more than

it’s been a guiding principle in his

my degree; it was the network, the

career. He was an early adopter of

opportunities, and the culture.”

Sam Elia, EE 13, MS ECE 14

the LEED program by the U.S. Green Building Council and led a LEED Gold effort for Skanska’s Atlanta office

Senior Systems Manager, StreamLabs | Water Reliance

from 2007 to 2008. In 2008, he spent

Worldwide Corporation

six months in California, working on a healthcare project that fully incor-

WH ILE A STUD ENT, Elia began his career as the first em-

porated 3D modeling, reducing time

ployee of a startup in Tech Square’s ATDC incubator. With the

and waste through planning. In 2010,

growing cost and scarcity of water in the U.S., there was a need

his focus shifted to the Atlanta Mis-

in apartment and condominium complexes for a low-cost and

sion men’s shelter, where he created

easy-to-install device that could measure water flow inside a pipe. As a result,

an urban garden and a utility-saving

Elia helped develop the StreamLabs SmartHome Water Monitor, the world’s

laundry water-recycling system. In

first Wi-Fi enabled, ultrasonic water monitor that anyone can use without any

2011, he joined a group of industry

knowledge of plumbing. StreamLabs was acquired in 2016 by Water Reliance

leaders to form the Lifecycle Build-

Worldwide Corporation, where Elia helped grow the company’s IoT software

ing Center, which focuses on envi-

group from the ground up. The team developed a second product, the Stream-

ronmental stewardship and creating

Labs Control, which includes an automatic shut-off valve and is now available

a sustainable lifecycle for the built

at many home improvement stores across the country.

environment.

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Designing a More Inclusive World

Ashley Elleby, IE 08

Head of Growth – Devices & Services | Google Founder | Alyssa Vermell Apparel

AT JUST UNDER 6 FEET TALL, Ash-

PHOTOGRAPH

BEN ROLLINS

ley Elleby has always had a problem finding clothes that fit. As a young basketball player, she wore a lot of sweats or men’s clothing. But when Elleby realized she wasn’t going to become a professional athlete, she knew she needed some work attire. “I bought my very first suit from the men’s department,” Elleby says. “My mom tailored it so I could have something suitable to wear to an interview for an internship. That sparked something in me that I wanted to fill this void.” So in 2011, she began Alyssa Vermell Apparel (Alyssa Vermell

is her middle name), a company that created well-fitting, fashionable and affordable business casual clothing for taller women. Running her own business wasn’t something Elleby thought she would grow up to do. Her father worked as a computer engineer, and the Elleby household always had the latest computer. At Tech, she studied Industrial Engineering with a focus on health systems. But after going on to work for Johnson & Johnson, she realized maybe the field wasn’t for her. “As an engineer, I was working on the back end of things, and I didn’t have opportunities to make

40 40 under

decisions,” Elleby says. “I just followed instructions, and that didn’t match my passion for things like developing strategy or building teams.” So Elleby switched gears, applying to the business school at Washington University in St. Louis, where she began her clothing company. She then enrolled in fashion school and ran the company on nights and weekends while working as a full-time marketing professional. She quit her job with Pepsi in 2016 and moved to New York, pitching her company to investors and applying for incubator programs. But after a few years, Elleby realized she couldn’t scale the company the way she wanted without compromising product quality and ethical manufacturing, so she put the business on pause. In the meantime, she’s found another job she loves. Today, Elleby is the head of growth marketing at Google, leading a global team that leverages data science and predictive algorithms to better understand consumer behavior. As a side project, she signed on to lead a diversity, equity, and inclusion group at Google. “Google is this huge conglomerate that touches almost every person on this planet, so I want us to be more mindful about how we show up to the world,” Elleby says. She supported the Google Ads team in developing the first searchable business attribute that allows store and business owners to self-identify as Black-owned so users can quickly identify Blackowned businesses that they’d love to support. —KELLEY FREUND GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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Inspired to Serve

thomas “bo” hatchett III, bio 13 State Senator | Georgia District 50

I M A G I N E a round of the TV show

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being able to juggle not only his law practice and political career but his growing family. He and his wife, Ashley, welcomed their third daughter, Heidi, in July. “I couldn’t do this alone,” he says. “I’m very blessed to have a great support system both at work and at home.” He also took away from Tech a lifelong inspiration: the Institute’s motto of “Progress and Service.” “One of the greatest rewards is serving others,” Hatchett says. “The more I can progress professionally and politically, the bigger and better opportunities I get to serve people.” —KRISTIN BAIRD RATTINI

COURTNEYCAINPHOTO.CO

52

worked on a number of catastrophicinjury cases. “It can be a very rewarding experience when you’re able to help somebody get back on their feet or help a loved one of someone who passed away,” he says. Hatchett’s rising political star is burning even brighter after being appointed Gov. Brian Kemp’s floor leader. He’s particularly proud of his work on Kemp’s foster care reform initiative. “It will make a big impact for the youth in our state,” he says. Hatchett credits the discipline and “the ability to run on very little sleep” that he developed at Tech in both his academic and athletic endeavors­— he was captain of the swim team—for

PHOTOGRAPH

Jeopardy! (Choose your own host.) The category is “Georgia Politics” and the $500 clue is: “He is the youngest state senator currently serving in the Georgia General Assembly.” The answer: Who is Thomas “Bo” Hatchett III? Hatchett (a huge Jeopardy fan) was elected in 2020 to represent District 50, which includes eight counties in the northeast corner of Georgia and is where he grew up. “It’s a job I’ve always been very interested in,” says Hatchett, an attorney in Cornelia, Ga. “When I graduated from Georgia Tech, I got the chance to intern at the Capitol and really enjoyed watching the political process. When the seat came open, I decided to throw my hat in the ring.” It was not the race he’d imagined. In March 2020, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns put a swift end to traditional in-person campaign events. “We had to rely a lot on phone calls and social media,” he says. After a close runoff in the Republican primary in August, Hatchett emerged triumphant in the general election in November. Upon taking office in January 2021, Hatchett was appointed to five committees, including his two top picks: agriculture and judiciary. “Agriculture is such an important part of my district,” he says. “And I wanted to serve on the judiciary committee because of my experience as a lawyer.” As a civil trial attorney with Cathey & Strain LLC, Hatchett specializes in product liability lawsuits and has


FUN FACT: He’s a registered patent agent and an FCC-licensed amateur radio operator (KH6AV).

Mahdi Al-Husseini, PP 18, BME 18, MS CS 20 Aeromedical Evacuations Officer | U.S. Army

FUN FACT: Foltz has

AL-HUS SEI N I develops technology and policy that ensures aviation safety in

an obsession for golf

both military and civilian circles. As an active-duty medical evacuations heli-

course architecture

copter pilot and a platoon leader, he’s responsible for more than $90 million

and history.

Ashby Foltz, Mgt 11

Cofounder | Charityvest

AT C H ARIT YV E ST, Foltz and his Tech cofounders believe giving is good and that it’s hardwired in hu-

in aircraft and associated equipment. He also designs and develops various technologies to support aviation safety, including the invention of a reaction wheel-based control system to stabilize spinning, oscillation, and swaying helicopter-hoisted loads (SALUS). This device was selected as one of the Army xTechSearch 3.0 finalists and was acquired by Vita Inclinata. Al-Husseini has also invented a flight maneuver training system to reduce the incidence of aircraft accidents (AURA Training Systems). He’s on a mission, both in and out of uniform, to ensure the safety of aviators and those they support.

mans, just like breathing fresh air or being in a community with others. He met his cofounders while at Tech,

“The collegial, collaborative environment

and they created Charityvest to make

in Bob Guldberg’s lab and at the Petit

it simple for anyone to be gener-

Institute for Bioengineering and Biosci-

ous. Users can make tax-deductible

ence [at Georgia Tech] provided me with

contributions to their account and

constructive, critical feedback that made

recommend grants to over 1.4 million charities in the U.S. over time. Donors receive one consolidated tax receipt with zero fees, so charities receive 100% of the funds donated. The company also allows donors to give public and private stock, employee equity, and cryptocurrency.

Lauren priddy, PhD BioE 15

me a better researcher and leader,” PRIDDY SAYS.

Assistant Professor | Mississippi State University

P RID DY ’ S RESEA RCH involves designing and fabricating biomaterials for improved bone healing and for treating potentially fatal bone infections that could lead to the loss of limbs. Her lab evaluates the efficacy of biomaterials using models of bone injury and disease. Her lab has developed an implant-based model of composite femoral and soft-tissue infection in rats. Researchers

Inspiring Profs RICHARD BARKE. MARTY JACOBSON. BOB GULDBERG. Several of our 40 Under 40 name-dropped Tech professors as inspiration for their current career paths. Find our post from Oct. 10 on Instagram (@gtalumni) and tell us who inspired you!

can use this model to evaluate biomaterials and antimicrobial therapeutics to combat bacterial sources of bone infections. In 2021, Priddy received MSU’s Donald Zacharias Early Career Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award and was inducted into the school’s Bagley College of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Teachers. In addition to her passion for teaching and mentoring research trainees, Priddy cofounded Biolgnite, Inc., in 2015 with four fellow Tech grads. The Atlanta-based nonprofit seeks to spark interest in biomedical science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (bioSTEM) through engaging curricula designed for middle school students.

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A Champion for Startups

Vanessa Larco, CS 08 Partner | New Enterprise Associates

F O R V A N E S S A L A R C O , it was a

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Y O U B U I L D A S Y O U H E L P T H E S E C O M PA N I E S G R O W O V E R T H E Y E A R S , C R E AT E J O B S , A N D I M PAC T S O C I E T Y I N T H E I R O W N WAYS , ” L A RC O SAYS .

time,” Larco says of her early professional work with ground-breaking technologies. “You learn to get in the trenches, collaborate with others, and trial different ideas, even if you end up

throwing many of those ideas away.” After nearly 10 years as a product leader, Larco joined NEA in 2016, a venture capital fund with nearly $24 billion of committed capital that has

CRAIGLEEPHOTO.COM

54

“ T H E B E S T PA R T I S T H E R E L AT I O N S H I P S

PHOTOGRAPH

bittersweet moment watching Robinhood cofounders Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev ring the opening bell at Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square on July 29, 2021. Throughout the previous five years, Larco, a partner with venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, had worked alongside the Robinhood founders, advising them on product strategies and shepherding the retail trading app’s evolution from novel technology to its $32 billion initial public offering (IPO). “The sweet part is that it’s a new chapter for Robinhood, a chance for them to build a bigger team and innovate more,” Larco says of the firm’s ballyhooed IPO. “The sad part is that my role is over.” So, it goes for Larco, a Miami native with a spirited history of developing breakthrough technology and challenging the status quo. Before joining NEA, one of the nation’s most well-established venture capital (VC) firms, Larco helped propel daring creations like Surface and Xbox Kinect at Microsoft, pushed Playdom into mobile gaming, and brought her consumer and gaming experience to the enterprise world at Box, a cloud content management company that helped to redefine workflow in the digital age. “Today, we take for granted things like touch technology, in-home speech recognition, and enterprise apps that look like consumer apps, but they were all such crazy concepts at the


FUN FACT: Shah won a development competition in college for an augmented reality app called MoVue. His team was accepted into

backed notable names like Salesforce, WebEx, and Workday. As a partner, Larco sources, finds, and funds interesting startups and founders, injecting early-stage financing of $4 million to $25 million into the companies. She then joins the boards of the companies and takes an active role in helping the founders grow their businesses. Larco currently sits on the board of five companies and serves as a board observer for three more. “The best part is the relationships you build as you help these companies grow over the years, create jobs, and impact society in their own ways,” she says. Although helping to bring innovative products to market is undeniably satisfying, Larco considers mentoring others the most rewarding part of her professional life, especially in the VC world that leans so heavily into apprenticeship. To that point, Larco is a founding member of LatinxVC, an upstart initiative designed to help Latinos and Latinas break into venture capital. Currently one of only two Latinas holding a partner position at a $500+ million VC fund, Larco says the lack of diversity in venture capital hampers the industry, while also creating downstream implications on the percentage of Latinx founders capturing investments for their startups. “My goal is to get more representation across all backgrounds and socio-economic levels,” says Larco, who was raised by a single mother who immigrated to the U.S. from Colombia at 18. “No book you read will prepare you for the VC world, so I want to help champion others and give them the support they need to write their own success story.” —DANIEL SMITH

Tech’s startup incubator ATDC, which sparked Shah’s ambition to become an entrepreneur.

Dhawal Shah, MS CS 10 CEO | Class Central

O N LI N E LEA R N I N G gained renewed importance during the Covid-19 pandemic when it became necessary to find ways for learning and instruction to continue at a distance. Shah’s company Class Central has helped more than 40 million learners worldwide find their next online course, almost half of these during 2020. The website, which Shah characterizes as “Tripadvisor for online education,” is a catalog of over 40,000 online courses and MOOCs, including those from 1,000 universities worldwide. Shah built and launched the site in 2011 not long after graduating from Georgia Tech. Shah’s expertise has landed him in several major news outlets, including The New York Times, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune. “I am really proud that my alma mater has since also become a leader in this space by offering OMSCS, GT’s online master’s degree in computer science, for a mind-blowing price of $7K,” Shah says.

“The knowledge I gained at Georgia Tech goes beyond the prestige of the degree I earned. Tech taught me how to learn, how

Jenny Moore, AE 05

to push, how to adapt,”

Training Operations Manager/Lead

MOORE SAYS.

F-35 Instructor Pilot | Lockheed Martin

IN 2017, Moore became the first female F-35 civilian instructor pilot. In 2019, she was given the opportunity to establish the U.S. Marine Corps F-35 training at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, in San Diego. She is currently the youngest and only female F-35 site lead and lead instructor pilot among all F-35 training facilities in the world. As a training site lead, Moore is responsible for all aspects of pilot training, from bringing in and maintaining simulators, to academic lectures, pilot instruction, and training development. Moore’s military service included deploying as a Navy F/A-18 pilot on the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. En route, the aircraft carrier was rerouted to the Persian Gulf, where Moore’s squadron spent the entirety of the deployment flying combat missions in Iraq and Syria against ISIS.

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FUN FACT: Henry is a triplet. “I have two incredible sisters my age as well as an older brother and sister who are twins,” he says.

Sean Henry, Cls 19 Cofounder & CEO | Stord

“The constant feedback from my PhD advisor, Dr. Mark

Henry’s entrepreneurial career started when he was just 7 years old, and he

Prausnitz, helped me get a head

opened an eBay account to sell his Christmas presents online. In high school,

start in developing my execu-

he started importing and reselling automotive parts and began working at

tive communication skills and

Huehoco in Lean Management and Supply Chain Optimization. Through this

hone my executive presence.

experience, he realized that the same supply chain issues that a small

In addition to my engineering

e-commerce seller experiences persist at a massive scale in global supply chains. When he was a first-year student in the Scheller College of Business, he met Jacob Boudreau. Together, they founded the cloud supply chain company Stord. Stord empowers brands to build sophisticated, agile, and integrated logistics networks at a fraction of the cost and in less time than it would take to build themselves. Since its creation, the company has grown to more than 250 employees, backed by more than $125 million in capital.

FUN FACT: Walavalkar was a gold medalist in table tennis in India from ages 10 to 15. At Georgia Tech, he teamed up with three other international students to found the Georgia Tech Table Tennis Club. They went undefeated in the state during their first year.

Miheer Walavalkar, MS ECE 07 CEO and Cofounder | LiveLike

courses, I was able to take several courses at the Business School, which gave me clarity in the career I want to pursue and helped prepare me for it,” GUPTA SAYS.

Jyoti Gupta, PhD ChE 09 President & CEO | Volk Optical

VO LK O P T I CA L is a leading global eye-health company and a subsidiary of Halma, Plc, a U.K.-based company. Gupta is accountable for all aspects of Volk’s global business, including setting strategic direction, driving growth, digital transformation, and cultural evolution. In working with Halma, Gupta has been part

LiveLike, the premier online engagement platform that Walavalkar

of the Gift of Sight campaign that

cofounded and is CEO of, started with a focus on live sports. It has

assists doctors who perform over

since expanded into music, education, and news, partnering with

700 sight-saving surgeries over the

the world’s top sports and media companies to transform passive audiences

course of five days in Ghana. Gupta

into engaged communities. LiveLike has been used to engage fans in the big-

also serves as a board member of

gest live events, including NCAA March Madness, the NBA Playoffs, El Clásico,

Bio-Chem Fluidics, another subsid-

the Daytona 500, and the U.S. Presidential debates. Most recently, the company

iary of Halma, and of Labsphere, a

was selected as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Previ-

global photonics company. Prior to

ously, Walavalkar led YouFoot Sports, a U.K.-based tech startup that worked

Volk, Gupta spent six years at a drug

with soccer federations and teams around the world. In 2018, he was named

delivery startup, where her most

to the 40 Under 40 class in the Sports Business Journal, and in 2019, he was

recent role was vice president and

included in the Leaders in Sports’ Under 40 class.

general manager.

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40 40

Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

under

melanie akwule, ba 12

Founder & CEO | MINWO

AS A DIVISION I HURDLER, Mela-

PHOTOGRAPH

BEN ROLLINS

nie Akwule was all about speed. The student-athlete and member of the NCAA All-ACC Academic Team competed on Georgia Tech’s track and field team and finished fourth in the 2012 Nigerian Olympic Trials. In launching her startup MINWO, a diversity, equity, and inclusion technology company, Akwule is now helping other Black entrepreneurs accelerate their pace and close the racial wealth gap by providing an ecosystem of products and services that build, grow, and scale their businesses. “At Tech, the one thing I knew I

wanted to do was make businesses more efficient through technology,” says Akwule. During her five years with GE and GE Digital, she not only advanced her IT skills but also, in 2015, launched the Northern California Chapter of the African American Forum at GE. It was a natural extension of leadership roles she’d held at Tech with Delta Sigma Theta and the African American Student Union. “It was about creating a safe space for Black employees to get together and have difficult conversations,” she says. The idea for MINWO (which stands for Minorities and Women) took root

at this same time, seeded by the social justice reckoning underway after several high-profile acquittals of police officers in the deaths of Black men. “I tripped into entrepreneurship,” she says. “I thought I would be at GE forever. But this was a calling that just kept gnawing at me. I wanted to use my talents and gifts in a way that would have an impact on my community and bring about the change I wanted to see.” She assembled a powerhouse advisory board that has provided feedback through her iterations of her cornerstone platform called Rialto, which pairs Black founders with funders and an array of other vital resources. She further strengthens community ties among Rialto’s 350-plus (and growing) subscribers through her annual Hustle Forward summit for Black founders. And she reaches out to white and non-Black people of color looking to uplift and better support the Black community through her Activating Your Allyship Journey forum. MINWO keeps growing. The company’s selection for Techstars, a premier accelerator program, enabled Akwule to hire a team of nine programmers in Nigeria, where her parents emigrated from. On her desk she keeps a wooden elephant mask from Nigeria, a cherished reminder of how far she has come and where she and MINWO are going. “It reminds me of my heritage,” she says, “and all the ‘impossible’ things I’ve accomplished in my life.” — K R I S T I N B A I R D RATTINI

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Changing a Country’s Future

oleg sargu, ms econ 11 Director of the Engineering Center | Moldova Technical University

A BRIGHTER FUTURE lies ahead for

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new to that nation, tractor making is not. Moldova had a tractor factory, but since the demise of the U.S.S.R, the industry has been dormant. To revive it, Sargu’s lab made an electric tractor prototype designed for greenhouses and enclosed spaces in partnership with MTZ, a Belarus-based tractor company. Sargu has had to consider different suppliers because of the local economic environment. An uphill battle may lie ahead, but Sargu is resolute. “Work hard and never stop learning,” he says. But then he pauses and adds, “You need rest, too, so take breaks.” —GEORGE SPENCER

KREYON

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discipline, and focus. Georgia Tech teaches you how to rule this world and that there are no boundaries that cannot be reached or explored,” says Sargu. “They go as deep as possible into problems—no matter how hard they are—to get things done. I felt like I was a soldier, not an economics student.” As much as he admires the U.S. and Georgia Tech, his heart belongs to Moldova. He named his prototype off-road vehicle Hi-Duk to honor Balkan freedom fighters known as the haiduc. They were “Robin Hoods who didn’t care about hardship and defended the poor,” according to Sargu, who partnered on the project with the Singapore-based Shado EV. The rugged-looking jeep’s twin electric motors, one on each axle, power the 54KW, two-seat vehicle. It has a fully charged range of 60 miles, can haul 1,325-pound loads, and is suited for use in construction, agriculture, and snow removal. Although jeep manufacturing would be

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Moldova—if Oleg Sargu succeeds. As head of the Engineering Center Fablab at his nation’s Technical University, he spearheads electric vehicle R&D that promises to breathe life into the country’s vehicle manufacturing sector. “I’m focused on bringing the best business and social practices of the western world to Moldova. We have proven we can create good things at home,” says Sargu, whose lab tailors academic projects to private sector needs. His landlocked nation, which is the size of New Jersey, is wedged between Romania and Ukraine. Since the end of the Cold War, “massive” numbers of his countrymen have emigrated, causing a brain drain. He hopes his projects will inspire some to return home. When he was hired, the university gave him a broad charter—challenge existing procedures, improve the quality of processes, and re-examine and redefine the school’s culture. He credits his fighting spirit partly to his years in America. He flew into New York City the evening of July 4, 2004, a date that marked the beginning of a self-imposed 12-year educational exile during which time he earned a management degree in Vermont before coming to Tech. “When my plane made its approach to JFK, it was a pleasant surprise to see fireworks, especially since I’d never flown before,” he says. Being at Tech made him feel like he was on a military mission. “Getting my degree required self-control,


FUN FACT: Despite his quiet hobby of raising bonsai trees, Witbeck also has ridden a motorcycle at 175 mph. “It was terrifying,” he says.

Dane Witbeck, MSE 09 FUN FACT: Sago competes in powerlifting.

Cory Sago, PhD BME 19 Senior Director, Head of LNP Discovery | Beam Therapeutics

WH ILE AT G EO RGIA TECH for his doctorate, Sago developed several technologies that improve how gene therapies can be developed. With this

CEO & Cofounder | Pinwheel

W I T B ECK I S A N I N VEN TO R, entrepreneur, and angel investor. He’s currently CEO and cofounder of Pinwheel, a mobile operating system built to foster healthy, lifelong smartphone habits in kids. The company has grown to 25 employees over its first 18 months and is now in the hands of thousands of kids who are growing up learning to leverage their phones as tools, not as addictive tools for tech companies at kids’ expense. Previously, Witbeck built the startup Meshify, which constructed sensors and software to reduce the risk of property damage due to water intrusion and frozen pipes. The business was acquired by MunichRE in 2016. Since then, Witbeck has invested in 24 startups to help the next generation of entrepreneurs achieve their visions for a better, more efficient world.

technology, in 2019 he cofounded Guide Therapeutics, where he served

FUN FACT: Zhang graduated from Tech

in multiple roles, including chief

at age 18 and Georgetown Law at 21.

technology officer. In early 2021,

In seventh grade, he was invited to

Guide Therapeutics was acquired by

take college courses, and when he

Beam Therapeutics for $440 million.

finished middle school, he chose to go

Since then, the company has grown

directly to college. That choice often

rapidly to a team of over 30 members, a majority of whom are in their Atlanta headquarters. Their research is aimed at developing potentially curative gene therapies for diseases like sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis.

Shaun Zhang, MSE 10

makes him the youngest person in the room.

Attorney | Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP

ZHANG IS A LI T I GATO R and patent attorney at the nationally recognized law firm Goldman Ismail, where he counsels leading companies in the high-tech, biomedical, and industrial fields in matters involving complex technologies.

Social Media Takeovers FOLLOW ALONG AS THESE ALUMNI TAKE OVER OUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT @GTALUMNI October 20: Sean Henry

Before his current role, he served as in-house IP counsel to Hewlett Packard Enterprise (formerly HP). He was a team lead for HP’s Street Law program, which aimed to create pipelines to the legal profession for young people from underserved high schools. For the last several years, Zhang has mentored with Chicago Scholars, which helps high school seniors from under-resourced neighborhoods through the college application process and beyond. In recog-

October 27: Arkadeep Kumar

nition of his achievements and community service, the Chicago Scholars Foun-

November 3: Swapnil Jagtap

dation named him to their 35 Under 35 list in 2019. Zhang serves on numerous

November 10: Kendall Rankin

boards, including the Asian American Bar Association Law Foundation, the

November 17: Carly Queen

Junior Board for the Alzheimer’s Association, and recently as the president of the Chicago Council of the American Writers Museum.

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40 40 unde

r

Advancing Biomedical Solutions to Save Lives

Yu Shrike Zhang, PhD BME 13 Assistant Professor | Harvard Medical School

Associate Bioengineer | Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Y U S H R I K E Z H A N G ’ S C A R E E R in

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

N AT U R E , ” Z H A N G S AYS . “ W E C A N L E A R N A L O T BY L O O K I N G AT A N I M A L S A N D H O W T H E Y B E H A V E O R H O W T H E Y ’ R E B U I LT. ”

3D bioprinting, in promoting our capacity to engineer living systems at unprecedented ease and precision,” Zhang says. One application of this work is

regeneration, or creating new tissues and organs to be put back in the human system to replace damaged ones. But Zhang says the same technology can also be used as a sort of

BEN ROLLINS

60

“ T O DAY , A L O T O F R E S E A RC H I S I N S P I R E D BY

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biomedical engineering was inspired by the combination of two things during his childhood in China: his father, who worked in electrical engineering, and a love of nature. While his father’s research influenced Zhang to play with different objects to understand how they worked, the time he spent outdoors observing animals taught him biology. (In fact, Zhang has been an avid birder for 18 years, and was one of the pioneer birders in mainland China.) “Today, a lot of research is inspired by nature,” Zhang says. “We can learn a lot by looking at animals and how they behave or how they’re built. We can use those aspects in engineering principles to allow for the development of better technologies and the better design of biomaterials.” After earning his PhD from Georgia Tech, Zhang now works as an associate bioengineer for Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as an associate professor for Harvard Medical School, and as an affiliate faculty for Harvard’s Stem Cell Institute. Over the years, his research interests have included 3D bioprinting, organ-on-a-chip, biomaterials, and regenerative engineering, and his scientific contributions in these areas have been recognized with over 40 regional, national, and international awards. Today, his lab at Harvard focuses on biofabrication and bioprinting. “Specifically, we endeavor to push the limit of an enabling technology,


YELLOW JACKET ADVICE: “Do not stick to the boundaries of your discipline—the most amazing

model outside the body in order to screen therapeutics for patients. In other words, it can be used to personalize medicine. While the field of bioprinting has been around for about 20 years, Zhang says interest and developments only began to pick up in the last decade. As new researchers enter the field, Zhang is enjoying the opportunity to collaborate and help push new ideas. He has published more than 200 peerreviewed publications and has been invited to deliver many international and national lectures on bioprinting, including for the 2020 World Biomaterials Congress, the 30th Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials in 2019, and the International Research Roundtable on Printing the Future of Therapeutics in 3D in 2018. “There is lots to improve upon in the field,” he says. “There are many things that can still be done to further the technology to ensure that it will eventually be useful for biomedical applications and to make people healthier and the health screening process more efficient. I hope to continue to contribute to that.” As an engineer, Zhang enjoys seeing ideas transition to actual products. But his biggest rewards have come in the classroom. During his tenure at Harvard Medical School, Zhang has mentored more than 200 scholars at all levels, ranging from high school and undergraduate students to postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars. “To see these trainees go on to the next phases of their careers, either in academia or in their industry, has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my profession,” Zhang says. —KELLEY FREUND

discoveries and inventions await you the moment you can make connections between concepts across disciplines.”

Arindam Basu, MS Math 09, PhD ECE 10 Professor | City U (Hong Kong)

BASU ’S WO RK in implantable machine learning for brain-machine interfaces (BMI) offers hope to the nearly 5.4 million persons living with paralysis. Basu’s research group at City University of Hong Kong and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore works on different aspects of neuromorphic circuits and systems that can be applied to brain-machine interfaces and Internet of Things (IoT). He helped pioneer the concept of integrating machine learning to BMI implants to reduce wireless data transmission rates, and thus, reduce the risk of infection that can be caused by needing to implant wires. Recently, his team has developed sensors that can mimic human pain receptors that can learn from harmful stimuli when to trigger a pain withdrawal reflex even when the sensor is damaged.

“At 18, I joined my first startup, as an inexperienced but motivated teenager. Why did I get the job? Georgia Tech. The company was led by a team of GT grads, and they happily took a chance on a fellow Yellow Jacket,” SAYS LANGLEY.

Garrett langley, EE 09 CEO & Founder | Flock Safety

LA N G LEY is a technology entrepreneur with a vision to eliminate crime while respecting privacy. Since founding Flock Safety in 2017, he’s seen up to 65% reduction in crime in communities across the country that adopted Flock Safety’s unique combination of technology (to capture evidence) and business model (to foster stronger police and community engagement). Flock Safety has raised over $230 million in venture capital and employs more than 300 people. Before Flock Safety, Langley launched Clutch, a monthly car subscription service, and Experience, a mobile technology company focused on helping fans have fun at live events. Cox Enterprises later acquired Experience. Langley has also served on the Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s Board of Trustees, the Athletic Association’s Board of Trustees, and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Board.

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40 40 r unde

Building a Space for Women in Engineering

Malory Atkinson, BC 08 Cofounder | Shear Structural

M A LO RY AT K I N S O N , cofounder of Shear Structural, Georgia’s only allfemale owned and managed structural engineering firm, lives by a surprisingly simple strategy: Trust the universe. “I always feel when I want to change something in my life or do something, I start putting it out there,” says Atkinson. As Shear’s managing partner, she oversees business operations for the firm, which works on commercial projects across the Southeast. “When I was thinking about starting this firm, I started putting it out there. That’s how

BEN ROLLINS

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

solving,” she says. From the beginning, this Roswell, Georgia, native wanted her firm to make a strong impact in its industry, a motive reflected in its name. In engineering parlance, the word “Shear” refers to a structural force. Shear has helped design schools, arts centers, and office buildings and mixed-use structures. The project Atkinson found most satisfying was the pro-bono @Promise Youth Center in a low-income neighborhood. Working with the Atlanta Police Foundation, Shear reimagined an abandoned warehouse whose roof was caving in. Trees were growing inside the building, yet her team turned it into a showplace state-of-the-art learning and community center. “Our mission is to be a positive force for change in the built environment,” says Atkinson. “We want to leave positive impacts on communities. So, when we get to do projects like @Promise, that’s extremely rewarding.” Giving back is central to her life. She sits on boards of two nonprofits— SPIKE Studio, which mentors students of color and low-income students to encourage them to seek careers in engineering and architecture, and ULI (Urban Land Institute) Atlanta, a community real estate organization. Her good deeds also include helping her alma mater. She cofounded the school’s first-ever lifetime endowment fellowship for a woman studying structural engineering. Atkinson is grateful Tech “pushed

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62

I got my business partners. I always feel if you keep moving forward— you don’t necessarily have to choose the path, but keep taking one step at a time—you’ll eventually get where you want to go.” Her father was an entrepreneur. Early on, Atkinson caught what she says is “the bug,” the itch to hold the reins. After earning an MBA, she worked for a tech startup. “I loved the fast pace, throwing something to the wind to see what sticks, meeting with different people, and problem-


FUN FACT: Belanger and his wife, Laura Belanger, EAS 07, MS EAS 08, who works at the U.S. National Weather Service, have

and challenged” her and prepared her to be a successful entrepreneur. A decisive moment came when Thom Keel, a professor of construction, told her class, “When you’re in construction on site every day wearing your boots and hard hat, you have to love it every day.” That moment forced a shift in her career path. She thought to herself, ‘No, I don’t like putting on steel-toed boots every day. Sometimes, but not every day.’ After graduation, she chose to work for a multidisciplinary engineering firm to learn how it ran, won work, and hired people. “That’s why I do what I do now. I run an engineering company that does great work with great people to better shape the community.” —GEORGE SPENCER

named their children after meteorological events that

James Belanger, EAS 07, PhD EAS 12

changed U.S. history. Their son, Andrew’s name comes from Hurricane Andrew in

Senior Meteorological

1992, and their daughter,

Scientist | The Weather

Katherine, from Hurricane

Company, IBM

Katrina in 2005.

AS A N AT MO SP HER I C SCI EN T I ST, Belanger’s work has influenced the type and quality of weather and climate forecast information consumed by millions of people around the world. After graduating, he joined a Tech VentureLab startup to implement his research on improving probabilistic tropical cyclone forecasts using numerical weather prediction models and machine learning. His research has been applied worldwide and continues to be used today to support more effective emergency management decisions. For the last five years, he’s served as senior scientist with The Weather Company, which is an IBM business and the largest provider of weather forecasts worldwide.

What’s That You’re Holding?

You may notice some of our 40 Under 40 honorees holding a personal or symbolic object. Here’s the scoop behind those items:

With this prop astronaut helmet, KENNETH SMITH transforms himself into “KSmooth, the Engineering Dude” to the delight of kids around the world.

When she was a child, VANESSA LARCO rescued a horse and he went with her everywhere for the next 22 years, including to Georgia Tech.

This simple brake can be found in any car: old, new, or electric. OLEG SARGU says it shows the legacy of certain car components even while the vehicle as a whole is reimagined.

MELANIE AKWULE keeps this Nigerian mask on her desk as a reminder of her heritage and that she can do impossible things.

These shoes are from BARRY GIVENS’ first company, Slushie Kicks, which he and his roommates started on campus. It marked the genesis of his entrepreneurial career.

This State of Georgia lapel pin reminds BO HATCHETT of his civic duty and his inspiration to serve others.

A 3D-printed heart reminds YU SHRIKE ZHANG of the lifesaving potential of bioprinted tissues and organs.

Measuring tape represents ASHLEY ELLEBY’S struggle with “inches,” meaning her height and a long-standing problem in fashion. As a key tool in fashion design, it’s also part of her solution.

Diving fins help KRISTEN MARHAVER glide through the clear, blue waters off Curaçao for her research on coral reefs.

Blueprints remind MALORY ATKINSON of the unseen work that goes into designing everyday environments as well as the responsibility to be a positive force for future generations.

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VOLUME 97

ALUMNI HOUSE

ISSUE 3

TIME TO CELEBRATE The Gold & White Honors Gala recognizes Georgia Tech’s most distinguished alumni for their service to the Institute, for contributions to the community, and for the inspiration they provide to alumni leaders of tomorrow. This year’s gala raised more than $400,000 for student programs.

PHOTOGRAPHS

PICTURE THIS! PHOTOGRAPHY


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ROLL CALL: PRESENT AND ACCOUNTED FOR

69

JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM

70

GO BIG AND COME HOME!

76

RAMBLIN’ ROLL

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7 5 TH A N N I V E R S A R Y

PRESENT AND ACCOUNTED FOR

AFTER 75 YEARS, THE COLLECTIVE POWER OF CONTRIBUTIONS TO ROLL CALL, TECH’S FUND FOR EXCELLENCE, IS STILL MAKING A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

E

EARLY IN 2021, Malik Rivera, MS QCF 19, was still settling into his new Oakland apartment when his phone rang. On the other end of the line was a Georgia Tech student asking him if he’d be interested in donating to Roll Call, the Institute’s 75-yearold Fund for Excellence. Rivera had fielded similar requests for money from another college where he’d spent his entire undergraduate career, and he had been unmoved. Besides, he wasn’t at Tech that long, merely a year, using his last bit of NCAA eligibility to play football while getting his master’s degree. Plus, Rivera had only just graduated in 2019, and he was still new at his job in structured finance— he didn’t have a fortune to give. But Rivera felt he owed Georgia Tech. In less than 12 months in Atlanta, not only had he found success on the football field and in the classroom, but he had made friendships and connections that were already impacting his life. Through one of the school’s career fairs, he had landed an internship with Bank of America that jumpstarted his career. And the CEO of his current San Francisco–based 66

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

BY TONY REHAGEN

employer was a Tech alum who had first contacted him after a football game. Remembering all of this, Rivera didn’t hesitate to pledge a modest annual gift to Roll Call. “If I hadn’t gone to Georgia Tech, I wouldn’t have the career I have now,” says Rivera. “It has led directly to where I am right now.” By giving to Roll Call, Rivera has become part of a Tech tradition that goes back almost as far as the Ramblin’ Wreck. In 1947, in the wake of World War II, the Institute faced a dire lack of funding. With little extra money coming from the federal or state government, the Georgia Tech Alumni Association and the Georgia Tech Foundation turned to the students and graduates. The Alumni Association decided to drop its dues requirement and instead ask everyone to give $5.00 plus an additional dollar for each year that had passed since they graduated. The campaign was dubbed “Roll Call” because it was calling for alumni to be “present” in support of their alma mater. “Georgia Tech students and alumni have always been problem solvers,” says Kim Bowden, vice president of Annual Giving and Roll Call. “When the school said, ‘Hey, we have a need,’ people raised their hands and said, ‘We can solve this.’ ”

From its inception 75 years ago, Roll Call has been different than many other fundraising efforts in that any donation of any denomination is welcome and that giving is unrestricted: The money goes into a general pool to be used for whatever needs are most pressing at the time. The idea was that even recent graduates just entering the workforce could give whatever they could afford and still increase the value


Since July 1, 1947, Georgia Tech alumni have participated in Roll Call, which provides unrestricted funding for the Institute’s Fund for Excellence.

of their degrees, invest in the Institute and its current student body, and perhaps most importantly, maintain their connection to Georgia Tech. “In the beginning, I gave a pittance,” says Lamar J. Perlis, IE 49, who started giving to Roll Call in 1948 and is now a Leadership Circle member. “The way I looked at it, it was my duty. I just felt that I had come away with valuable training. I was in band and glee club.

The experiences I had there shaped me. It was home. I knew they needed it. And I would do what little I could to sustain it and help it grow.” Roll Call donors like Perlis kept giving and watched their alma mater grow into the world-renowned institution that it has become. And they can take pride in saying they’ve been a part of it all. “At 97, I can’t give what I once did,” says Perlis. “But as long as

I’m alive, my wife and I will give what we can.” He has given to Roll Call for 74 consecutive years. While Georgia Tech has grown considerably since the 1940s, the need for Roll Call has not lessened. While corporations and wealthy benefactors have stepped up to build new buildings and programs on campus, the need for unrestricted support from alumni and friends remains. Roll Call GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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7 5 TH A N N I V E R S A R Y In Roll Call’s first year, 1,356 alumni gave $22,549.75. This year, Georgia Tech alumni and friends contributed more than $7 million.

gives the administrators flexibility and nimbleness in addressing sudden challenges, like providing a one-time grant for a student whose internship fell through and needs housing, or travel expenses for another student’s educational opportunity overseas. March 2020 was a perfect example of Roll Call’s continued value and agility. No one could have foreseen the impact Covid-19 would have with the pandemic landing in the middle of a semester. Suddenly, hundreds of students had unexpected expenses and housing needs. With each request quickly vetted by the Office of Student Life, Roll Call was once again able to be present and impactful. “That’s the power of unrestricted support,” says Bowden. “It gives leadership the ability to react to unforeseen circumstances and capitalize on opportunities. Instead of giving to meet one specific need, donors are essentially saying ‘I trust the Institute.’ And as a result,

we can quickly address what students need most at any given moment.” Roll Call is also unique in that, because it relies on the collective impact of gifts of all sizes, it’s driven as much by recent graduates chipping in as

“THAT’S THE POWER OF UNRESTRICTED SUPPORT,” SAYS BOWDEN. “IT GIVES LEADERSHIP THE ABILITY TO REACT TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES AND CAPITALIZE ON OPPORTUNITIES.”

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alumni who are more established in their careers. Bowden says that most of the annual individual gifts to Roll Call are less than $1,000, with some as low as $25. Even so, last year alone, those gifts added up to $7 million in the Roll Call coffers. Rivera is proud to be among those donors. Although he says his career is going well, he’s still not sure he’ll ever be able to put his name on a Tech building. But while he’s working to get there, Roll Call gives him the chance to give back and make an impact. It gives him a link to the Institute that changed his life. “I feel like my donation will do something good—just doing anything is worth something,” says Rivera. “Georgia Tech does so much, it makes me feel better to do what I can to help whomever. I hope that it helps someone get the same experience out of Tech that I did.”


JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM

STAFF SPOTLIGHT

FROM INTERPRETING FACTS AND FIGURES TO HELPING DRIVE DIVERSITY UNDERSTANDING IN THE WORKPLACE, DATA ANALYST KATIE SCLAFANI SHOWS SHE’S A TRUE YELLOW JACKET. KATIE SCL AFANI, ALIS 16, MSA 21, got her start working in Georgia Tech’s Office of International Education. She recently graduated from the Institute’s online Master of Science Analytics program and has been the Alumni Association’s data analyst since October 2019. In the summer of 2020, Sclafani helped form the Alumni Association’s Diversity Workgroup to help discuss and educate the organization on diversity issues.

Q: WHY DID YOU JOIN THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION? At the time, I was enrolled in the online master’s in analytics program at Georgia Tech. I was a little over halfway through my degree, so I was ready for a data analytics role. I thought it was a good way to stay in the community but also a way to transition to the work that I was training to do.

PHOTOGRAPH

SCOTT DINERMAN, STC 03

Q: WHAT WAS STUDYING FOR YOUR MASTER’S ONLINE LIKE? I took it one class at a time, so it took three years. It was actually pretty nice. I was able to focus on one class and actually apply what I was learning to my full-time role. It was fun to have that real-world experience happening at the same time as I was learning things in the class. It was very practical.

Q: WHAT’S YOUR TYPICAL DAY LIKE AT THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION? My day-to-day varies a lot. Every day there is a new project or request. Mostly people come to me with an idea, for example, to discuss splitting out segments of our alumni population to send emails to. I would see what the data shows, and then we would work that out together. I’ll also get oneoff requests for different statistics. I couldn’t really say that I have a day-today—it’s mostly just whatever comes across my plate.

Q: WHAT’S BEEN YOUR GREATEST “AHA!” MOMENT DURING YOUR TIME AT THE ASSOCIATION? Seeing the data that we have and the data that we don’t have has been really eye-opening. It’s interesting to find all the things that connect people to stories.

BY KARI LLOYD talked about how we could take what we were learning and apply it to the students who we serve. I felt we could do the same here to better serve our alumni. So, I started up the Alumni Association’s Diversity Workgroup, where we have a monthly “lunch and learn”–style meeting.

Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TOPICS THAT YOU’VE COVERED? Some of the different topics we’ve discussed are race, disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, and person-first language. I think it’s been great. It’s been a way for me to tap into that piece that was missing from doing data and analytics. Learning from these different communities has been fantastic. FROM THE STATS WIZARD

Q: TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR WORK ON THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION DIVERSITY WORKGROUP. Last year, Dene (Sheheane, president of the Alumni Association) asked us for any suggestions or recommendations of things we could do as an organization to support diversity. At my prior job we had a working group that met and discussed diversity and

1.2 %

of the living alumni population have 50+ consecutive years of giving to Roll Call

0.6 %

of the living alumni population are Triple Jackets (meaning they have a bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD from Georgia Tech)

SEPT.

26

The most popular birthday among alumni

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HOMECOMING

GO BIG & COME HOME!

IT’S BEEN A LONG, RAMBLIN’ ROAD. WELCOME BACK TO CAMPUS FOR HOMECOMING WEEKEND, THIS OCT. 28–30. THIS YEAR, Homecoming includes more activities and opportunities to see classmates, including reunions and the Alumni Association’s pre-game pop-ups. Check out the events hosted by the Alumni Association as well as those hosted by colleges, teams, clubs, and more.

OCTOBER 28 OLD GOLD SOCIETY REUNION

B O O K S I G N I N G

The classes of 1969 and earlier are invited to celebrate over 50

Dr. Wayne Clough, CE 63, MS CE 65, President Emeritus of Geor-

years of coming back to campus with a buffet luncheon hosted by

gia Tech, will be onsite to meet and greet alumni and sign copies

the Alumni Association. Reconnect with classmates and create new

of his new book, The Technological University Reimagined, which

memories while the Glee Club performs, followed by induction of

details his time as president of Georgia Tech from 1994 to 2008.

new members, and remarks from Pres. Ángel Cabrera.

LOCATION: Global Learning Center, Atrium

LOCATION: Historic Academy of Medicine

TIME: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

TIME: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

EVENING IN THE END ZONE

PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS Learn how Tech is building a brighter future, with a keynote ad-

Evening in the End Zone 2021 will be hosted at the College Foot-

dress from proud Georgia Tech alumnus and 12th president of the

ball Hall of Fame in support of the Georgia Lions Lighthouse

Institute, Dr. Ángel Cabrera. A brief Q&A will follow the address.

Foundation. This year’s event will honor the 1990 Georgia Tech

LOCATION: Global Learning Center, Room 236

National Championship Football Team! Spend an evening in the

TIME: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

CFHoF and celebrate the team as we kick off Homecoming week. LOCATION: Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame TIME: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

OCTOBER 29 H I S T O RY P R E S E N TA T I O N

C A M P U S W A L K I N G & B U S T O U R S Immerse yourself in Georgia Tech history with a guided campus tour hosted by the Georgia Tech Student Ambassadors. From beloved campus landmarks all the way to Tech’s new “Living Building,” this 90-minute tour will show you the future of GT on-campus life and help you celebrate the Institute’s rich traditions.

Celebrate the rich traditions, stories, and spirit of Georgia Tech

LOCATION: Georgia Tech Hotel, Lobby

with Jennifer Rogers, HTS 07, MS HSTS 09, the Georgia Tech

TIME: 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Alumni Association’s new historian. Relive stories from past Homecomings, hear the inside scoop on major events at Tech, and steep yourself in GT’s past. Rogers will also touch on the Living History Program, founded by her predecessor, Marilyn Somers. LOCATION: Global Learning Center, Room 235 TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 70

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FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOMECOMING, V I S I T gtalumni.org/homecoming.


PEOPLE WILL HOLD

AN AVERAGE OF

12 JOBS

OVER THEIR *

We offer programs, both online and on-site, in high-demand subject areas to help working professionals keep pace with ever-changing market forces and business demands. Computing and Cybersecurity Data Science & Analytics Defense Engineering FinTech Language, Culture & Communications Management and Leadership Occupational, Safety, & Health Personal Development Supply Chain Logistics For more information scan or visit pe.gatech.edu/skills. *National Longitudinal Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics


HOMECOMING

HOMECOMING TRADITIONS FACE-OFF We’re settling a debate: What’s the best Homecoming tradition? On Oct. 14, find our poll on Instagram (@gtalumni) or Facebook (@georgiatechalumni) and vote for your favorite. Will the Mini 500 beat the Wreck Parade?

OCTOBER 30 PREGAME POP-UPS Drop by the Alumni Association’s tents during your pre-game experience to play games, enjoy music, and have your photo taken with the Association’s Wreck and big TECH letters. Also stop by our tents at Wreckfest and on Tech Green. LOCATION: Tech Tower Lawn TIME: 2.5 hours prior to kickoff

OCTOBER 29 5 0 T H  R E U N I O N PA R T Y

GEORGIA TECH VS. VIRGINIA TECH Homecoming football tickets can be purchased through the Georgia Tech Athletic Association’s ticket site at https://ramblinwreck.com/homecoming/

Join classmates from the classes of 1970 and 1971. This event in-

LOCATION: Bobby Dodd Stadium at Grant Field

cludes a cocktail reception, dinner, a performance by the Georgia

TIME: Kickoff TBA

Tech Glee Club, dancing, and your induction into the prestigious Old Gold Society. LOCATION: Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center, Grand Ballroom TIME: 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

* 4 0 T H R E U N I O N PA R T Y Whatever journey the ramblin’ road took you on, it is time to come back to campus and celebrate your 40th anniversary reunion! Join your classmates from 1980 and 1981. Reconnect with classmates and establish new friendships.

* 2 5 T H R E U N I O N PA R T Y Join classmates from 1995 and 1996 to celebrate your milestone 25th reunion. Reminisce about the old times and create friendships that will last a lifetime.

WARM WELCOME TO OUR NEW HISTORIAN This August, JENNIFER ROGERS, HTS 07, MS HSTS 09, joined the Georgia Tech Alumni Association as historian. Rogers, a double Jacket, is excited to collect and preserve the proud history of the Institute and its people. “As an HTS and HSTS alumna, I am very glad

* 10 T H R E U N I O N PA R T Y Join classmates from 2010 and 2011 to celebrate your 10th anniversary reunion.

to be back at Tech to continue the curation of the history of Tech and its alumni, and to cultivate Tech’s history for future generations of Jackets,” she says. Don’t miss Rogers’ Homecoming Presentation during

* V I S I T gtalumni.org/homecoming F O R E V E N T DETAILS, INCLUDING REUNION LOC ATIONS AND TIMES.

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Homecoming weekend (pg. 70). Learn the stories behind Tech’s most cherished traditions.


ELECTRIFYING TECH. BMW PLUG-IN HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLES

GET THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS. At BMW we made it our mission to design a versatile Plug-In Hybrid fleet with the power and performance that make each vehicle worthy of being called the Ultimate Driving Machine.® With a BMW plug-in hybrid vehicle, you get the power of choice – how you want to drive, where you want to charge, and when you want to charge. The benefits extend further with reduced fuel costs, and even single occupant HOV lane access in some states. Living an electric lifestyle has never been easier. Visit your local Atlanta Area BMW Center to learn more.

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HOMECOMING

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FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

REBEKAH HILTON, ID 21

In the Spring 2020 magazine, we published a whimsical campus map that was hand-drawn by Tom Horan in 1926. It was such a hit that for Homecoming we asked designer REBEKAH HILTON, ID 21, to recreate it with today’s campus landmarks. Download the full commemorative map at www.gtalumni.org/homecoming.

ILLUSTRATION

RECREATING TOM HORAN’S MAP


Celebrating 75 Years of Giving Ever since the very first Roll Call in 1947 – when alumni came together to cover a financial shortfall and preserve the renowned Georgia Tech experience for future generations – giving back has become a core part of what it means to be a Yellow Jacket. Today alumni like you are carrying on the tradition of supporting best-in-class programs and vital student scholarships that attract the best and brightest to Tech. You too can continue this proud legacy and add your name to the landmark 75th Roll Call by making a gift today.

gtalumni.org/givetoday


RAMBLIN’ ROLL

ONE MAN’S TRASH… Plastic pellets are ready to be heated, vaporized, and turned into commercial-grade ultra-low-sulfur diesel for new plastics. Alumnus BOB POWELL’S company, Brightmark, can take all plastics, including hard-to-recycle types 3 through 7, and convert them into usable products.

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CL ASS NOTES & ALUMNI UPDATES


A B R I G H T M A R K F O R G E O R G I A ’ S R E C YC L I N G W H E N C O M P L E T E , A N E W R E C YC L I N G P L A N T I N M A C O N , G E O R G I A , W I L L B E O N E O F T H E L A R G E S T A N D M O S T A DVA N C E D P L A S T I C S R E N E W A L FA C I L I T I E S I N T H E W O R L D . FROM THE TECH TOWER CONFERENCE ROOM at Brightmark headquarters in San Francisco, CEO Bob Powell, EE 88, MS Mgt 90, and his team are advancing plastics renewal and waste management globally. Soon to break ground in Macon, Georgia, Brightmark plans to build one of the largest and most advanced plastics-renewal facilities in the world, which is set to completely change the landscape of recycling in his home state of Georgia. Powell looks back at his choice to attend Tech as one of the best decisions he ever made, noting both the intense chal-

wind. A new requirement had gone into

lenge and rigor of his degree programs,

effect in California that by 2020, 20%

as well as the enriching community and

of the electricity had to come from re-

social events. “[Georgia Tech] was prob-

newable resources. “We had no clue

ably the hardest thing I had done in my

how we were going to be able to do it; it

life,” he says, “yet what it gave me was

seemed so massive,” he recalls. With 15

the ability to work hard and the confi-

years to make it happen and little prec-

dence to tackle really difficult things.”

edent for adopting renewables at that

Powell means this, as his whole ca-

scale in the U.S., it was a scary under-

reer in the energy technology and

taking. “What happened was, we blew

renewables industry has focused on

it away, way in advance,” Powell says.

addressing hard problems. After grad-

The experience showed him how import-

uating, he worked for an accounting

ant it is to address global energy and

and consulting firm in the energy sector,

waste concerns in a way that truly made

campuses, these plastics are almost nev-

where he saw the incredible environ-

sense for the future.

er accepted by local recycling centers.

Brightmark’s first plastics renewal facility is in Ashley, Indiana. A new plant in Macon, Georgia, will be able to convert 400,000 tons of plastics.

mental impact of the industry. “There

“Only 9% of plastics we use in the

Brightmark hopes to provide viable and

has to be a better way,” Powell thought,

world are recycled,” Powell says, “one

economically sustainable solutions us-

as he read environmental reports pro-

of the biggest challenges is figuring

ing a patented recycling technology that

duced to understand the dollar liability

out what to do with the 91%.” Some is

takes all plastics and converts them to

of the impact rather than prevention. He

burned for energy, creating greenhouse

usable products. “Our technology can

moved to San Francisco in 2005 to work

gases, and much of it pollutes the envi-

recycle all plastics 1 to 7 into usable

for Pacific Gas and Electric, and eventu-

ronment and fills landfills. From plastic

products,” Powell says.

ally became CFO during the company’s

grocery bags and styrofoam takeout

When the new facility in Macon is

first transition to incorporating solar and

containers to red cups on college

complete, it will be able to take 400,000 tons of plastic out of the environment

WANT TO SHARE YOUR NEWS?

and turn it into new products, including new plastics, ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel,

You can submit your personal news, birth, wedding announcements (with

feedstock for gasoline, paraffin waxes,

photos!), and out-and-about snapshots online at gtalumni.org/life.

and jet fuel. —ZOË MOTE, GEORGIA TECH DOCTORAL STUDENT

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

77


RAMBLIN� ROLL D I XO N C O N F I R M E D T O N O . 2 NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE POST on July 1, 2019, assisting the director in leading the agency and managing the National System for Geospatial Intelligence. Prior to that, she served as the fourth director of the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). She was the first person of African descent to lead IARPA and the first person of African descent to be deputy director of one of the five largest intelligence agencies. Dixon additionally serves as a pres-

THE U.S. SENATE confirmed Stacey A.

identially nominated member of the

Dixon, MS ME 95, PhD ME 00, as the

Board of Visitors to the U.S. Coast

principal deputy director of the Office

Guard Academy, an appointed NGA

of the Director of National Intelligence.

Liaison to the United States Geospatial

With this confirmation, Dixon becomes

Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) Board

the second-highest-ranking official in

of Directors, and an appointed NGA

national intelligence and the first Black

Liaison to the Spelman College Center

woman to hold this position.

of Excellence for Minority Women in

With a career that includes several top posts at national security

STEM (COE-MWS) Leadership Advisory Board.

agencies, Dixon is no stranger to making

Earlier this year, Dixon returned to

history in national intelligence. She be-

Georgia Tech to address master’s grad-

came deputy director of the National

uates during the spring commencement

Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

ceremony.

BLAKE NAMED PRESIDENT OF G E O R G I A S TA T E UNIVERSITY THE BOARD OF REGENTS of the University System of Georgia has named Brian Blake, EE 94, president of Georgia State University. Blake began his tenure on August 9. Over the course of his career, Blake

Before working at these institutions,

has worked at George Washington Uni-

Blake served on the National Science

versity, Drexel University, the University

Foundation’s Directorate for Computer,

of Miami, the University of Notre Dame,

Information Science, and Engineering

and Georgetown University.

Advisory Committee.

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CLASS NOTES NORQUATA ALLEN , AE 15, has been selected to participate in the Women in Alternatives Paradigm Changers Internship Program by the National Association of Investment Companies. This program focuses on introducing women from a variety of backgrounds to the alternative investments industry to improve upon the diversity in the community. DWIGHT EVANS, CE 70, MS SANE 73, has been appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to the North Georgia Mountains Authority. Evans is a founding member of the Pendleton Consulting Group. DAVID FROHN , AE 67, has become a 50-year member of the Louisiana Bar Association and a 35-year member of the State Bar of Texas. Frohn is a partner in the MG+M Law Firm in Lake Charles, La. JONGBEOM JEON , CS 18, began work as a computer scientist with the U.S. Air Force immediately after graduation. ETHAN JORDAN , BME 19, has been accepted to University of New England to become a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), class of 2025. Jordan has the goal of applying to a surgical residency to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. KEVIN MAHONEY, M CRP 12, MBA 12, recently was honored as a member of InvestmentNews’ “40 Under 40” class of 2021 and was named by Business Insider as one of the “best financial advisors for millennials” in the United States. Mahoney is the founder and CEO of Illumint, a D.C.based financial planning firm created specifically for millennials.


CLASS NOTES

T R U LY N A M E D F E L L O W O F S O C I E T Y O F E X P E R I M E N TA L T E S T P I L O T S

P.K. MARTIN , IA 00, has been appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission. Martin is president of Hood Insurance Agency and has served as a Georgia state senator from Georgia’s 9th District. SEAN PADFIELD, AE 06, accepted a new job as senior vice president - Aerospace at SCHROTH Safety Products, based in Pompano Beach, Fla. GREG POPOWITZ, ME 02, of Assouline & Berlowe, P.A., has met the standards to become board-certified in intellectual property law by the Florida Bar. DANIEL TOON , CE 02, has been named a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute (ACI). Toon is chief engineer for United Forming, Inc., in Austell, Ga., and is responsible for supporting operations in all UFI markets, from Texas to Florida to Virginia. RIC HARD T YLER, IE 90, was elected to the board of directors of the PATH Foundation, which has been efficiently building paths around Metro Atlanta and beyond. Tyler serves on the Project Committee, guiding and facilitating specific projects to connect communities.

pilots. In 1965, he became one of the

AE 59, HON PhD 09, a Class of 2021

U.S. Air Force’s Manned Orbiting Lab-

Fellow. SETP is an organization dedi-

oratory. He transferred to NASA in

cated to encouraging safety, education,

1969 and took his first space flight in

and innovation in the aerospace indus-

1981. From 1992 to 1997, he was vice

try. Truly and 10 other fellows will be

president and director of the Georgia

honored at SETP’s 65th Annual Sympo-

Tech Research Institute. This year, Truly

sium in Anaheim, Calif.

received the Joseph Mayo Pettit Distin-

Truly was one of the Navy’s top test

first military astronauts selected to the

guished Service Award.

TWO ALUMNAE ELECTED TO AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS & SCIENCES

Linda G. Griffith, ChE 82

Evelynn M. Hammonds, EE 76

THE SOCIETY OF EXPERIMENTAL TEST PIL OT S (SETP) has named Richard Truly,

ENDOMETRIOSIS RESEARCHER and pro-

the scientific director of the MIT Center

fessor Linda G. Griffith, ChE 82, and

for Gynepathology Research, where her

Harvard Professor Evelynn M. Ham-

work has been celebrated for advancing

monds, EE 76, were inducted into the

research on endometriosis.

prestigious American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2021.

Hammonds is a professor of African and African American Studies at

Griffith is a professor of biolog-

Harvard University and chair of the De-

ical engineering and mechanical

partment of the History of Science. As

engineering at Massachusetts Insti-

an author, Hammonds has written ex-

tute of Technology. Among other

tensively about the history of disease,

areas of research, her lab focuses

race and science, African American fem-

on the analysis, design, and syn-

inism, and gender and race in science

thesis of biomaterials. She is also

and medicine.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

79


RAMBLIN� ROLL

REAR ADM. TOEDT RETIRES A F T E R 3 0 Y E A R S I N P U B L I C H E A LT H

United States Public Health Ser vice Commissioned Corps. Toedt served as the chief medical officer of the Indian Health Service, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. In this position, he provided national leadership for the clinical and community-based health programs of the agency.

MICHAEL TOEDT, AP 91, retired as a rear admiral after 30 years of service in the

A T L A N TA B U S I N E S S CHRONICLE PREDICTS FIVE ALUMNI ‘UNICORNS’ I N T H E B U S I N E S S W O R L D , “unicorn” is the name given to a startup compa-

Toedt earned his Doctor

ny that surpasses $1 billion in value. In

of Medicine degree from the

June, the Atlanta Business Chronicle

Uniformed Services Universi-

forecast five potential unicorns, all of

ty of the Health Sciences and

which are led by Tech alumni:

his bachelor’s in applied physics from Georgia Tech.

ANDREW “ANDY” POWELL, IE 05,

of CallRail, offers phone call tracking for companies seeking the most effective

GOLDMAN JOINS WHITE HOUSE’S O F F I C E O F S C I E N C E A N D T E C H N O L O GY P O L I C Y

marketing strategies. GARRETT LANGLEY, EE 09, of Flock

GRETCHEN GOLDMAN, MS EE 08, PHD EE

July. In her new position, she will work

Safety, aims to solve and prevent crime

1 1 , became assistant director for Envi-

on climate change and environmental

by helping authorities identify vehicle

ronmental Science, Engineering, Policy,

justice issues. Previously, Goldman was

models, tags, and even bumper stickers.

and Justice of the White House’s Office

research director for the Center for Sci-

of Science and Technology Policy this

ence and Democracy.

SEAN HENRY, CLS 19, of Stord, offers

high-end software to help with supplychain logistics.

BROCE NAMED TO LEAD GEORGIA D E PA R T M E N T O F H U M A N S E R V I C E S

SCOTT VOIGT, MGT 97, of FullStory,

uses digital experience intelligence to

CANDICE BROCE, MGT 11, has been ap-

Family and Children Services. DHS en-

help companies understand their cus-

pointed commissioner of the Georgia

compasses a wide range of programs,

tomers’ online experiences.

Department of Human Services.

including child support services, ag-

Broce, who was named interim director of the Division of Family and Children

ing services, and family and children

ERIC VASS, CS 00, of Terminus, helps

services.

companies find the best way to engage

Services this summer, will serve as both

Broce previously served as chief op-

DHS commissioner and as director of

erating officer in the Governor’s Office.

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with potential customers through customizable reports.


OUT & ABOUT

ANNA (BURWELL) TIEDEMANN, IE 01, is thrilled that her son, Carter Tiedemann, has graduated preschool and is one step closer to becoming a helluva engineer! Congratulations, Carter!

John A. Caddell, Arch 52, with his daughter, Cathy, in front of the restored Model A. Inset photo: The original Model A before its golden restoration next to the Alumni Association’s Wreck.

GIVE ’EM HELL, CADDELL! W H AT D O Y O U G E T the “helluva engi-

John Caddell earned his bachelor’s

neer” in your life who has everything?

in architecture from Tech in 1952, be-

For John Caddell’s family, the answer is

fore founding Caddell Construction. The

his own Ramblin’ Wreck. His family sur-

John and Joyce Caddell Building, which

prised him for his 91st birthday with a

houses the School of Building Construc-

near-perfect replica, complete with pen-

tion offices, is named after John and his

nant flags that read, “Give ‘em Hell,

late wife, Joyce. The idea for the gift

Caddell!”

originated from a photo of the Ramblin’

Working with the Ramblin’ Reck Club

Wreck outside the building, explains

and the School of Architecture, John’s

Caddell Construction President and

daughter, Cathy, found the Model

CEO Eddie Stewart. “He looked at that

A in Florida and had the car restored

framed picture and said, ‘I want one of

and decked out in white and gold at

those cars!’ That started it a while back

Bentley’s in Maysville, Georgia.

and we didn’t give up.”

KENNETH WISLOCKY, CE 75, and his wife, Kimberly, celebrated 40 years of marriage on June 6.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

81


RAMBLIN� ROLL

BIRTHS 1.

SEAN BEDFORD III, AE 10, and his wife, Gentry Mander, welcomed the birth of Bennett Mander Bedford on June 20. He joins big brother Bowen. The family lives in Atlanta.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

2.

ALLISON BROWN, AE 13, and JUSTIN BROWN, ME 12, welcomed their firstborn, Thomas Joseph Brown, in June. The couple lives in Atlanta and looks forward to taking TJ to Georgia Tech football games.

3.

ROBERT CARSWELL, JR., CE 06, and wife, Lara, welcomed the birth of Jack Kristofer Carswell on June 1. He joins older siblings Charlotte, Leland, and Elizabeth.

4.

MEGAN (SMITH) CRAIG, IAML 13, and BENJAMIN CRAIG, ME 13, welcomed daughter Addison Jane on April 1. Addison joins big brother Jack. The family lives in Newnan, Ga.

5.

JONGBEOM JEON, CS 18, and his wife, Bokyung Ko, recently welcomed two children. Last year they had a baby girl, Grace Sieun, and this year a baby boy, William Siwoo.

6.

COURTNEY (GILREATH) LISCUM, MGT 09, and CHARLES LISCUM, MGT 08, welcomed the birth of Evelyn Victoria Liscum on Nov. 6, 2020. The family resides in Candler Park in Atlanta. Evelyn is the first grandchild of CHARLES GILREATH, IE 75, and Mitzi Gilreath.

7.

CAROLINE (KOGAN) POSEY, MGT 10, and her husband, Ben Posey, welcomed the birth of Ella Grace Posey on May 4.

8.

JINA YOON, CHBE 10, and Sejong Yoon welcomed the birth of Daniel Seojoon Yoon on May 18 in Seattle, Wash.

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WEDDINGS 1

1.

ASHLEY (DEASON) HERMAN, BCH 12, married MARK HERMAN, IE 11, on June 12 in Marathon, Fla. Twentyfive fellow GT alumni traveled to help them celebrate.

2. HALEY (LOGAN) GROSS, BA 18, and LEE GROSS, ME 19, were married on May 22. They ended their evening with a pom-pom send-off to bring back their special memories from Georgia Tech game days. Both attended nearly every Tech game, with Haley being the captain of the GT Goldrush dance team and Lee a mem-

2

3

ber of the Sigma Nu fraternity. Haley even surprised her groom with a dance performance, featuring several former teammates from GT dance.

3.

NEOMA (COLE) WALKER, MS CE 15, and JACOB WALKER, CE 05, were married on June 26.

4.

MADELINE (HARR) WHITE, BA 18, and JAKE WHITE, IE 18, met at Georgia Tech in 2015. They got married on April 10 with Tech friends by their side.

4

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IN MEMORIAM 84

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

WE REMEMBER & HONOR THE FOLLOWING


WILLIAM “JACK” THOMPSON JR: CHAMPION OF GEORGIA TECH WILLIAM “JACK” THOMPSON JR., OF ATLANTA, ON JULY 21.

nearly $600 million

Thompson, who spent more than 50

between Thompson’s pro-

years serving Georgia Tech Athletics

motion to associate A.D.

from his days as a football recruiter to

in 1982 and his retire-

leading the Yellow Jackets’ fundraising

ment in 2018, after which

efforts, passed away at the age of 84.

he served as a special

The A -T Fund raised

In his career with Georgia Tech Ath-

assistant to the athletic

letics, Thompson made an indelible

director until his passing.

mark, first as a football recruiter who

Highlighting his many

touched the lives of many of the Yel-

h o n o r s a n d a wa r d s ,

low Jackets who passed through the

Thompson was named

program in the 1960s and 1970s, but

an honorary alumnus of

more importantly as a fundraiser with

Georgia Tech in 2004.

the Alexander-Tharpe Fund, Geor-

He was also named Na-

gia Tech Athletics’ development arm,

tional Fundraiser of the

spearheading fundraising efforts for the

Year by the National

construction or major renovation of ev-

Association of Athletic Development Di-

also instrumental in establishing Geor-

ery athletics facility on Tech’s campus.

rectors (NAADD) in 2005 and received

gia Tech’s presence in the Atlanta

His efforts also provided scholarships

a lifetime achievement award from the

media market. He created and served

for thousands of student-athletes to re-

National Association of Collegiate Di-

as executive producer of the syndicated

ceive their education and degrees from

rectors of Athletics (NACDA) in 2011.

television show for Tech’s head foot-

Georgia Tech.

He was inducted into the Georgia Tech

ball coach, and later for both the head

Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.

basketball coach and director of ath-

“Jack was a friend, mentor, and counselor to so many of us former student-

Thompson arrived at Georgia Tech

letics. He also co-hosted the syndicated

athletes and the one who helped many

in 1968 as director of football recruit-

TV sports show, Sideline Sports, which

of us get our first jobs out of Tech,” says

ing, a position that he served in under

aired on WXIA Channel 11 (NBC) in At-

Georgia Tech Director of Athletics Todd

head coaches Bud Carson, Bill Fulcher,

lanta for 19 years. These shows were

Stansbury. “What an incredible legacy

and Pepper Rodgers. In that capacity, he

recognized as among the most highly

he has in the thousands of Georgia Tech

helped recruit the first African-American

syndicated coaches’ shows in America.

student-athletes he helped along the

student-athletes to be awarded scholar-

A native of Louisville, Kentucky,

way. During his half century here, there

ships at Georgia Tech, led by legendary

Thompson attended the University of

was not one student-athlete, coach, or

quarterback Eddie McAshan. He moved

Kentucky and served as an infantry offi-

staff member that came through The

into administration under Director of Ath-

cer in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Flats who didn’t benefit from Jack’s

letics Homer Rice, where he began his

hard work, incredible talent, and love

long service in fundraising.

for the Yellow Jackets. He will be greatly missed.”

In addition to his role as a recruiter and fundraiser, Thompson was

Thompson is survived by his wife, Mary, his son Scott and his daughter, Tracy. He was predeceased by a son, Jay. —GEORGIA TECH ATHLETICS

EDITOR’S NOTE We have changed the format for the In Memoriam section of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. We will include an abbreviated version of each obituary in print, while publishing the full obituaries online under Alumni Updates at gtalumni.org/magazine. To report a death, please email bioupdate@gtalumni.org.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

85


IN MEMORIAM 1940s DAVID BLACKSHEAR, IM 49, of

WILLIAM HARTRAMPF JR., IM 55,

EMMETT “NEAL” SEABORN JR.,

Saint Simons Island, Ga., on May 29.

of Canton, Ga., on May 27.

AE 57, of Wellesley, Mass., on May

HUGH PRATT, CLS 45, of Evans,

CHARLES HAYS JR., IM 57, of

Ga., on April 28.

Gainesville, Fla., on June 23.

18. EMORY STREET, EE 56, of Tallahassee, Fla., on April 8. WILLIAM “BILL” ROCAMORA, ME

HARRY “LYNN” HAZLETT, IM 58,

44, of Asheville, N.C., on June 26.

of Bradenton, Fla., on May 25.

EMORY SCHWALL, CLS 49, of At-

CHARLES “DAVID” HOLBROOK,

lanta, on June 20.

IE 58, of Decatur, Ga., on April 21.

GLEN SUMMERLIN JR., CLS 55, of Brookhaven, Ga., on April 10. WILLIAM “KEN” VICKERY, ME 56, of Port Charlotte, Fla., on July 12.

HAROLD WILSON, CE 48, of

JOHN HUIE, ME 57, of Kennesaw,

Vestavia Hills, Ala., on May 23.

Ga., on May 30.

1950s THOMAS ADERHOLD, CLS 52, of

NE 61, PHD CHE 65, of Hattiesburg, WILLIAM “BILL” HUMPHREY, ME

EURITH “DEE” WILLIAMS, CLS 59, HAROLD “HAL” MARCUS JR., IM 56, of Pensacola, Fla., on May 16.

Jasper, Ga., on May 22. WILLIAM BRASELTON JR., EE 57,

Miss., on July 13.

53, of Maumee, Ohio, on July 1.

Sautee Nacoochee, Ga., on May 17. ALVA “LEE” BRAND JR., IM 59, of

BERT WILKINS JR., CHE 58, MS

of Atlanta, on June 29.

1960s

PENDLETON MONTAGUE, IE 52,

FRED AJAX JR., IM 66, of Atlanta,

of Atlanta, on July 1.

on July 24.

WALTER MORTON, CLS 59, of

PRONOB BARDHAN, MS MET 68,

Metairie, La., on May 13.

of Corning, N.Y., on May 21.

BEN O’CALLAGHAN, EE 50, of

ROBERT “BOB” BENNETT, MS ME

Atlanta, on May 13.

69, of Fort Walton, Fla., on June 7.

ROBERT “BOB” PATTILLO, IM 58,

JOSEPH “JOE” BLACK, IM 68, of

of Barnwell, S.C., on May 28.

Smyrna, Ga., on May 4.

ARNOLD PERLMAN, ME 59, of

WILLIAM BUCHMAN, CE 62, of

Suwanee, Ga., on June 22.

Atlanta, on March 2.

of Indialantic, Fla., on Feb. 5. JAMES “JIM” CALDWELL, IM 54, of Atlanta, on July 17. FRANK “BILL” CHEESBOROUGH II, IE 57, of Thomson, Ga., on May 13. JAMES “FENIMORE” COOPER JR., IE 55, of Orlando, Fla., on June 10. ANTHONY CURATOLO, CE 53, of Venice, Fla., on June 6. JAMES “LYN” PROVO, CHEM 58,

ARTHUR “ART” COX, CHE 61, MS

THOMAS “TOM” DAVIS, IM 57, of

MS ANS 60, of Trinity, Fla., on July

MET 63, of Jupiter, Fla., on June 26.

Savannah, Ga., on May 27.

12. JOHN “KEN” DUREN, IE 65, of

PAUL EDFELDT JR., IE 52, of

ROY ROBERTS, CE 56, of Waco,

Vestavia, Ala., on June 15.

Texas, on June 10.

JERRY GARDNER, CE 59, of Gaines-

WILLIAM “BILLY” SCOTT III, IE 50,

ville, Ga., on April 29.

of Decatur, Ga., on May 3.

Roswell, Ga., on May 12. JACK EPSTEIN, IE 65, of Ellicott City,

86

FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

Md., on June 29.


Harrison earned numerous preser-

from his jaunts. He is survived by his

vation awards and was recognized for

wife; his sons, Maverick and James, and

his efficient response in times of natural

their mother, Deborah; his stepdaugh-

disaster.

ters, Julia and Ellie; his brother John

Most especially, Harrison loved to

(Carole); his sister, Jean Kujawa; his

travel with his wife, Andrea, and their

stepbrother, Doug (Tina Andrews); and

BILL HARRISON JR: RENOWNED ARCHITECT

children, and he always drew inspiration

his beloved nieces and nephews.

WILLIAM “BILL” HARRISON JR., ARCH 71, OF ATLANTA, ON MAY 8.

BRIAN GRACEY, ARCH 65, of

WILLIAM “BILL” SMITH, IE 68, of

Gainesville, Ga., on July 13.

Myrtle Beach, S.C., on June 5.

firm Harrison Design, where he brought

MARSHALL HARTMANN, CLS 66,

THOMAS “TOM” WAGGONER,

his love of nature into design elements

of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, on

IM 65, of Jonesboro, Ga., on May 28.

that transformed homes and communi-

July 16.

Harrison founded the architectural

JIMMY WALKER, AE 68, MS AE

ties across Atlanta and the world. Harrison was a member of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art; the

ANDREW HEPBURN, ME 62, of Roswell, Ga., on May 19.

EMMET WALSH, ME 66, of Stone

Georgia Tech Advisory Board; the Atlanta Rotary Club; The Buckhead Coalition;

WILLIAM “BILLY” HICKS, IE 62, of

Chastain Park Conservancy; Design

Gainesville, Ga., on May 16.

Society; Leaders of Design Council; The

JAMES “NEWT” HOLLOWAY, IM

Lutyens Trust America; National Council

67, of Aiken, S.C., on May 17.

National and Georgia Trusts for Histor-

KENNETH HOWELL JR., IE 61, of

ic Preservation; the University of Miami

San Jose, Calif., on June 29. JOHN HUNTER, IE 60, of New York,

va, Ala., on June 30.

N.Y., on May 10, 2020. CHARLES “CHARLIE” WILLIS, CLS

and creativity. In his early ventures, he forayed in businesses ranging from ar-

CYRON LAWSON, CHE 64, MS

chitectural model-building to creating a

CHE 66, of South Charleston, W.Va.,

leather clothing business, and he even

on June 1.

60, of Claxton, Ga., on Oct.13, 2020.

1970s PAUL ANDERSON, IM 72, of Cape

enjoyed a stint in the music industry. The inspiration for the business he would car-

ANTONIO “TONY” MAGOULAS,

ry throughout his life came during a trip

IM 61, of Keller, Texas, on March 16.

Coral, Fla., on April 30. BRUCE BARTH, CHE 77, of Baton

to the villas of Andrea Palladio in Italy, which reignited the architectural flames

FERMAN MILLER, CHE 67, of

in his heart. As Harrison would say in lat-

Memphis, Tenn., on June 7.

Rouge, La., on June 17. BRUE CHANDLER III, IE 70, of Knox-

er years, “I touched [the architecture], In the late 1970s, Harrison launched

Dunwoody, Ga., on July 16. CLYDE WENTZ JR., IE 65, of Gene-

School of Architecture Advisory Board;

and it touched me.”

61, of Huntsville, Ala., on July 8. JESSE WEBB, CE 62, MS CE 63, of

of Architectural Registration Boards; The

Harrison lived a life of adventure

Mountain, Ga., on May 20. CHARLES “CHUCK” WAYNE, AE

Leadership Network; Georgia Tech Hill

and the American Institute of Architects.

70, of Roswell, Ga., on May 8.

RANDOLPH PARRO, CE 64, of

ville, Tenn., on July 15.

Thibodaux, La., on July 11. LEONARD “JACK” CHILDS JR., IM

a construction company, which would evolve into the luxury architecture firm

HOUSH RAHIMZADEH, CE 64, MS

bearing his name.

CE 71, of Alpharetta, Ga., on June 12.

71, of Pooler, Ga., on May 10.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

87


IN MEMORIAM RICHARD “RICK” COUNTRY-

WARREN McKINZIE, CHE 74, of

CHERYL BINKLEY, of Snellville, Ga.,

MAN, MS TEXT 71, of Marietta, Ga.,

Wilmington, N.C., on June 14.

on May 28.

JAMES MOSELY, EE 78, of Warner

JOHN BRIGHTON, of State College,

Robins, Ga., on May 8.

Pa., on June 28.

KENNETH J. MUEHLENFELD, MS

JOYCE STONE BUCHMAN, of Atlan-

IM 76, of Auburn, Ala., on May 1.

ta, on March 23.

JAMES “JIM” PETRO, ME 71, of Ar-

PAMELA “SISSIE” RARY, of Atlanta,

nold, Md., on July 3.

on May 25.

MICHAEL PRESTON, MS AE 70, of

WALTER “W.C.” RUSH, of Monroe,

Tampa, Fla., on July 13.

La., on May 15.

JULIE WUERFEL, IM 79, of Lakeland,

J I M B E L L : D E VO T E D YELLOW JACKET

on June 2. FRANKLIN “LARRY” EVANS, ARCH 72, of Brunswick, Ga., on June 16. WILLIAM GAGE, EE 78, of Austin, Texas, on July 12. FORREST GARRISON, CHE 71, of Charleston, S.C., on Feb. 9, 2020. ROBERT GOBBLE, MS AE 71, of Beavercreek, Ohio, on May 28.

Tenn., on Oct. 22, 2020. RONALD GRAPEVINE, MS EE 79, of Atlanta, on June 13.

STANLEY “STAN” ZIEG, AE 72, MS ME 74, of Blue Ridge, Ga., on

STEPHEN “STEVE” GRESHAM, MS ARCH 79, of Washington, D.C., on April 29. JOSEPH HENLEY, MS CE 71, of Bed-

July 7.

1980s

Bell received his bachelor’s from Tech in 1953 and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. On September 14,

DONALD BACH, CE 81, of Clinton,

1953, he married his high school sweet-

Miss., on Feb. 11.

heart, Sidonia “Nona” Loomis Jones.

ford, Ind., on May 8, 2020. THOMAS “TOM” HYATT, IE 70, of

JAMES “JIM” BELL, ME 53, OF BROOKHAVEN, GA., ON JUNE 15.

He proudly served in the U.S. Army and EDGAR CARRASQUILLO, ME 84,

then went on to start Equipment Controls

of Huntsville, Ala., on July 19.

Company in 1965.

Milton, Ga., on April 23.

There are two things Bell never LORENZO “LONNY” DANTZLER

missed: a kic kof f at Bobby Dodd

ANDREW JOHN, PHYS 73, of Ed-

V, IE 82, MS IE 83, of Panama City,

Stadium and a Sunday at Haygood Me-

mond, Okla., on July 18.

Fla., on July 14.

morial United Methodist Church. Along with Nona, he was a proud and active

BRUCE JONES, CE 74, MS CE 77, of

GERALD “TIM” JANNIK, MS

supporter of the Georgia Tech Athlet-

Aiken, S.C., on June 17.

HPHYS 88, of North Augusta, S.C.,

ic Association and The Hill Society. The

on July 14.

couple had season football, baseball,

RALPH JUSTUS, EE 75, of Bethesda, Md., on May 31. JULIAN “ROD” LEE, PHYS 70, MS NE 70, of Ellabell, Ga., on May 6.

1990s

volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball tickets for over 50 years, still

CHARLES REWIS, MGT 92, of

attending football and women’s basket-

McLean, Va., on May 18.

ball games.

FRIENDS

Bell was preceded by his parents, Tom and Loretta, and siblings and their

JERALD “JERRY” MARTIN, MS

GODFRIED “FRIED” AUGENBROE

spouses. He is survived by his wife of 67

CE 71, of Columbia, S.C., on May 15,

of Tucson, Ariz., on May 14.

years, Nona, children Jeb (Vicki) and

2016.

Lori (Johnny); six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

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N I C KO L A S FA U S T : FORMER PROFESSOR & ROCKET SCIENTIST NICHOL AS L. FAUST, PHYS 69, MS GEOS 76, OF ATLANTA, ON MAY 17.

buds, Davey, Monty, and Ed. He was the cofounder of ERDAS

Faust, a beloved husband, best big

Earth Resources Data Analysis Systems.

brother, favorite uncle, faithful friend,

They created digital image processing

scholar, rocket scientist, and wizard,

software, mainly used for study and

passed away May 17 in Atlanta, at the

analysis of satellite imagery.

age of 75. Faust attended McComb

Faust was the head of the Image

Schools in McComb, Miss., then Geor-

Analysis and Visualization Branch

gia Tech. While a student at Tech, he

Electro-Optics, Environment and Mate-

Fossey Foundation. He made many trips

was a co-op with NASA and was em-

rials Laboratory at Georgia Tech. He

to Rwanda, collaborating with the Fos-

ployed by NASA after graduation.

served on a variety of scientific panels

sey organization to map gorilla habitat

At NASA, Faust worked on the tra-

and committees. He was the co-chair

for research and education purposes.

jectory for the moon landing and the

of the International Society of Photo-

Faust was preceded in death by his

Grand Tour Mission. He was elected

grammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)

parents, Neil Millburn Faust and Joyce

to the Space Technology Hall of Fame

Commission II Working Group on hard-

Quin Faust, and an infant sister, Jo Lynn

(1993) for his pioneering efforts in help-

ware and software aspects of GIS. He

Faust. He is survived by his wife, Cheri

ing create the ELAS image processing

continued as a part-time professor and

Jackson Faust (Atlanta), his step-mother,

software.

resident scholar at Georgia Tech after

Josephine Faust McDavid (Madison,

retirement.

Miss.), seven siblings and their spouses,

He loved travel, adventure, and Georgia Tech ballgames, especially with his

Faust was past president of the Dian

and many nieces and nephews.

GEORGE CATES: BUSINESS & COMMUNITY LEADER on apartments. In 1994, The Cates Com-

the founding co-chair of both Neighbor-

pany went public on the New York Stock

hood Preservation, Inc., and Overton

Exchange and changed its name to

Park Conservancy.

Mid-America Apartment Communities (now MAA).

He loved life and lived it fully. He was adventurous and traveled all over

A born leader, he focused on nur-

the world. His passion for aviation was

turing people and building deep

an important component in building

GEORGE CATES, IE 59, OF MEMPHIS, TENN., ON JUNE 21.

relationships whether in business or civic

his company, but also in serving oth-

engagement. Cates served on numer-

ers, which he did by flying families with

Cates attended Georgia Tech, gradu-

ous boards, including The Memphis and

health-related needs all across the coun-

ating in 1959, where he played golf and

Shelby Airport Authority; Memphis Bo-

try. He was an instrument-rated pilot,

adopted a life-long addiction to The Var-

tanic Garden (chair); The Community

holding multi-engine certification in both

sity restaurant. He finished most prayers

Foundation of Greater Memphis (chair);

turboprops and jets. Although he didn’t

with “Bless Georgia Tech.”

Memphis Rotary Club (chair); Mem-

seek accolades, he received numerous

After marrying his lifelong partner

phis Light, Gas & Water (chair); The

awards, including the Dean Griffin Com-

and love, Bena, he moved to Memphis,

Memphis Symphony Orchestra (chair);

munity Service Award in 2017.

Tennessee, and began working for Buck-

Methodist Healthcare; First Tennessee

He leaves his wife of 60 years, Bena

eye Cellulose. He left to work in real

Bank; The University of Tennessee Board

Broyles Cates; his sons Staley Cates

estate development and later started

of Trustees; The University of Tennessee

and Andy Cates, their partners, and

The Cates Company in 1977, focusing

Endowment; and in the last decade was

children.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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IN MEMORIAM LESSIE SMITHGALL: P H I L A N T H R O P I S T, JOURNALIST & FRIEND TO THE ARTS CELESTIA BAILEY “LESSIE” SMITHGALL, OF GAINESVILLE, GA., ON JUNE 25. Smithgall was widely known for her philanthropy, devotion to the arts, and her community. She died at her Gainesville home on June 25, at 110 years old. Early on, Smithgall developed an interest in nature, music, books, and the arts, influenced considerably by her father, Charles Thomas Bailey, an Atlanta city councilman, who often took her to the opera and the zoo. She graduated cum laude from Girls’ High School in 1929 and entered journalism school at the University of Georgia to cultivate her

and member of American League of Pen

Bailey and Elizabeth S. Watts chair at

love for writing. In college, she served

Women.

Georgia Tech for Zoo Atlanta in memo-

as president of Women’s Student Gov-

The Smithgalls’ homeplace eventually

ernment, earned the Sigma Delta Chi

became 1500 Habersham Drive, behind

ry of her father and daughter. In 2008, Smithgall wrote her “story,”

journalism award, and was a member of

which were 185 acres of woods that

as she called her memoirs as told to au-

Theta Sigma Chi Women in Journalism,

reached across a cove of Lake Lanier to

thor Phil Hudgins. In the book, she said

Phi Kappa Phi and Alpha Gamma Delta

Cleveland Road. The property in 2001

she wanted her life to make a difference.

sorority. She was the oldest living mem-

became Atlanta Botanical Gardens, a

“I wanted to be Celestia ‘Lessie’ Bailey

ber of Phi Beta Kappa, America’s most

Smithgall Woodland Legacy, a gift from

Smithgall, who is what she is, who kept

prestigious academic honor society.

Smithgall and her husband.

the faith, who persevered, who did not

After graduating, she began work at

Smithgall was one of the founders

take herself too seriously, who for the

Atlanta radio station WGST. There she

and first president of The Arts Council,

most part, lived a good life and did a

met her future husband, Charles Smith-

organized in 1970. The Smithgalls were

little good along the way. I pray that

gall. When Charles was hired by WSB,

recipients of the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for

I have been that person.” Those who

Smithgall followed at the insistence of

Progress and Service, and she was the

have known her would agree that she

general manager, Lambdin Kay. Smith-

first Georgia Entertainment Arts and

has been that and more.

gall’s husband began to expand his

Legacy Award honoree.

Besides her parents, Smithgall was

reach, acquiring radio stations, and

She always modestly deferred when

preceded in death by her husband,

started WGGA in Gainesville in 1941.

somebody credited her for founding

Charles, and daughter, Elizabeth “Bay”

The Smithgalls then founded the Gaines-

the Peabody Awards; however, it was

Smithgall Watts.

ville Daily Times, after purchasing the

her idea, and she did the research nec-

Sur vivors are sons, Charles Au-

weekly Gainesville Eagle.

essary for an appropriate sponsor. She

gustus Smithgall III (Sally “Griff”

Smithgall had written for the Atlanta

credited her boss, Lambdin Kay, with fol-

Grif f itts Smit hgall), John Freder-

Journal Sunday magazine and assumed

lowing through with John Drewry, dean

ic k Smithgall (Elaine Edmondson

a columnist’s role on the Gainesville pa-

of the University of Georgia journalism

Smithgall) and James Thurmond Smith-

per. She also was a charter member of

school, to make the awards a reality.

gall; as well as six grandchildren and

the Northeast Georgia Writers Club

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FALL 2021 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

Smithgall established the Charles T.

five great-grandchildren.


DOC BLANCHARD JR: CHEMIST & FRIEND TO TECH participated in ROTC. He served his

Georgia Tech Athletics, particularly

country for two years on active duty at

football and basketball, and loved gath-

the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Mary-

ering with his immediate and extended

land, then stayed on inactive reserve

family in Rock Hall, Md.

until 1961, when he was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant.

He served as president of the Longwood Gardens Board of Trustees, as

Following his active duty, Blanchard

chairman of the Georgia Tech Advisory

attended the Massachusetts Institute

Board, and as a trustee of the Philadel-

of Technology and earned his PhD in

phia Academy of Natural Sciences.

Organic Chemistry. He was recruited

His support for Georgia Tech in-

ELWOOD “DOC” BLANCHARD JR., CHEM 53, MS CHEM 54, OF MENDENHALL, PA., ON JUNE 24.

to work by DuPont de Nemours, Inc.,

cluded the creation of a fellowship to

starting out in the Central Research De-

support junior faculty in the Chemistry

partment in 1959. He thereafter held

Department.

Blanchard’s youth instilled in him a re-

managerial positions of increasing

Blanchard is survived by his wife, Bar-

markable work ethic, as he balanced

responsibility, culminating in his final po-

bara Daly Blanchard; daughter Barbara

tending to the family farm, helping his

sition as vice chairman. He also served

“Bobby” Blanchard-Lewis (Roger) of

father on contracting jobs, and attend-

as the non-executive chairman of Du-

Morrisville, Va.; and son, Elwood Neal

ing Spencer Central School. Blanchard

pont Canada.

Blanchard (Mary), of Chadd’s Ford,

attended Georgia Tech, where he

In retirement, Blanchard read ex-

earned his bachelor’s and master’s and

tensively, enthusiastically supported

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TECH HISTORY

LET’S GET

PHYSICAL

A MINI COURSE IN MOVEMENT SCIENCE.

BY PHILLIP B. SPARLING, PROFESSOR EMERITUS

No man is too old to ... be improved by a judicious course of physical training. And any young man can by systematic exercise develop his body and acquire such a degree of health and vigor to seem almost miraculous. Annual Announcement (catalog) 1903-1904 Georgia School of Technology

Field day race from the 1904 Georgia School of Technology catalog.

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L

LIKE A SMALL TREE IN THE F O R E S T , the quiet rise of movement science at Georgia Tech was hidden. Yet, every graduate can likely recall a person, place, or course associated with its history. Movement science at Te ch has e volve d through four transformations over the past half century. No original unit on campus has experienced a more radical reconfiguration—from physical training courses in athletics to state-of-the-art research in the School of Biological Sciences. Illustrating our breadth of expertise, faculty members have held national leadership positions in the American Society of Biomechanics, American Physiological Society, and American College of Sports Medicine. Three have been inducted into the National Academy of Kinesiology, the most prestigious honor for scholars in movement science. Importantly, throughout our history, our physical activity and health service mission has endured for undergraduates. Today, students take courses on the science of health and physical activity and learn strategies for wellbeing and resilience. A variety of activity courses and personal training sessions with certified experts, who are often fellow students, are also available. We see today that the benefits of exercise are indisputable, and the Campus Recreation Center is a Shangri-La compared to the “Old Gym” of bygone days. But how did we get here? I’ve spent my entire career at Tech, witnessing and playing a role in a portion of our

growth. Here’s a mini course on how movement sciences at the Institute came to be. W H AT D O E S “ P T ” H AV E T O DO WITH ENGINEERING? A century ago, Tech only accepted men, ROTC was mandatory, and students took a physical training class (PT) every quarter their first two years—drownproofing, gymnastics, track, indoor games, outdoor games, and recreational sports. A tenet of the college experience was a sound

“A TENET OF THE COLLEGE EXPERIENCE WAS A SOUND MIND IN A HEALTHY BODY.”

mind in a healthy body. Viewed as a break from difficult classroom courses, PT was administered through Tech’s athletic department and taught by coaches, many of whom were graduates themselves. In the early 1970s, a major change occurred. PT was transferred from athletics to the College of Sciences and Liberal Sciences through an agreement between Associate Athletic

The Heisman Gym was built as part of a series of New Deal projects in the late 1930s. The gym was demolished in 1995.

Director John McKenna and Dean Henry Valk. Bill Beavers was appointed chair of the new Department of Physical Education & Recreation. Prof. Beavers soon developed a personal health course for women and those with disabilities, as they had been exempted from PT. This reorganization and new course were first steps in the transition from PT to the academic mainstream. The Heisman Gym (“Old Gym”), Naval Armory, and Peters Park, all at the north end of Grant Field, and Alexander Memorial Coliseum on 10th Street were hubs for PT. But they were outdated and inadequate for the growing enrollment. Beavers continued the campaign launched by Student Body President Carey Brown, IE 69, in the late 1960s to build a new gymnasium. Opening in 1977, the modern, spacious Callaway Student Athletic Complex (SAC) on west campus became the new home for the Department of Physical Education & Recreation. With a fresh doctorate in exercise physiology, I arrived in 1979. Chair Jim Reedy hired me to establish a GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2021

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TECH HISTORY lab and help revamp curricula. My first departmental meeting was eyeopening. Most of the instructors around the table were older men with split appointments in athletics: John (Whack) Hyder, GS 37 (former basketball coach), Byron Gilbreath (assistant to Hyder), Tommy Plaxico, IM 46 (former golf coach), Herb McAuley, EE 47 (swim coach), Carlos DeCubas (diving coach), and Buddy Fowlkes, IM 52 (track coach). These were all career coaches, and all had been superb athletes and would be elected to sports halls of fame. None were trained in physical education. All were welcoming, but collectively we sensed a changing of the guard. As they retired, new faculty in exercise science were hired. I was the first. THE SCIENCE OF MOVEMENT Nationally, the roots of exercise science took hold in the 1960s when a new breed of physical education faculty advocated for an increased focus on rigorous research. Their contention was straightforward: Faculty should be systematically investigating the effects of exercise to advance the knowledge

Researchers use a transcranial magnetic stimulator to study neuromotor control of hand movement in Dr. Minoru Shinohara’s Human Neuromuscular Physiology Lab.

base, just as colleagues in the life sciences studied the nature of their respective disciplines. In 1980, with a seed grant from the Alumni Association, we initiated an adult fitness program for faculty, staff, and alumni—the PEACH (Physical Evaluation And Conditioning for Health) program. We offered medically supervised treadmill stress tests with cardiologist John Cantwell, individualized exercise prescriptions, and thrice-weekly morning and evening exercise sessions. We promoted our expertise on campus by testing prominent campus leaders and alumni, including Joseph Pettit, Jim Stevenson, Charlie Gearing, EE 52, Homer Rice, Bobby Cremins, Charles Yates, GS 35, Paul Duke, ME

A 3D motion capture from Dr. Young-Hui Chang’s Comparative Neuromechanics Lab measuring precise skeletal movements and the forces generated by legs when walking.

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45, Bobby Joe Anderson, IM 50, Ken Byers, EE 66, MS EE 68, and Carey Brown, IE 69. During the next decade, we conducted over 1,200 health evaluations and provided consulting to alumni-owned and -operated companies and corporate neighbors like Coca-Cola and BellSouth. By the mid-1980s, required curriculum was updated to reflect advances in our field. Students selected either a large-lecture personal health course or a fitness concepts course that combined classroom lecture with activity. Key health topics were covered in both. Popular PE activity classes were still offered as electives. Upper-level science courses were developed in exercise physiology, human anatomy and physiology, and special topics. These would lead to a certificate (minor) in the coming years. In 1990, our unit became the Department of Health & Performance Sciences as we successfully lobbied to be in the new College of Sciences.


Two early research studies helped make our case. One was a multidisciplinary project profiling elite women distance runners that resulted in 11 journal papers. The second was a sixmonth study to evaluate the effects of resistance training among patients in a cardiac rehabilitation program. OLYMPICS AND BEYOND The 1990s were a roller coaster with preparation for the 1996 Olympics. One of many campus construction projects was the Olympic swimming and diving venue, known today as the McAuley Aquatic Center (in memory of Herb McAuley). Movement science played a direct role in the Games. We had the pleasure of working with two USA Olympic squads, Men’s Team Handball and Women’s Field Hockey. Prof. Mindy Millard-Stafford, an expert on fluid replacement during exercise, served along with me on an Olympic medical committee charged with drafting guidelines for athletes

and spectators on acclimatizing to Atlanta’s heat and humidity, and Bob Gregor was a member of the biomechanics and physiology group of the IOC Medical Commission. Our medical advisor, Dr. John Cantwell, was chief medical officer for the Atlanta Olympic Games. As the 21st century arrived, we continued to evolve. Our offices and labs were now in the SST building on the hill, as SAC had been demolished and a mammoth, state-of-the-art recreation center was being built. Under the leadership of biomechanist and newly appointed Chair Bob Gregor, Tech created a Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics, the first of its kind in the nation. With the new degree, we became the School of Applied Physiology in 2002. Five years later, our PhD in Applied Physiology was approved, and soon after, an NIH Training Grant was secured to support doctoral students in rehabilitation science.

By 2010, the school relocated to 555 14th Street and Richard Nichols, an expert on neural control of movement, became chair. In 2016, we merged with the School of Biology to form the School of Biological Sciences. This consolidation and new name did not impact our teaching and research; our PhD retains the applied physiology designation. Current faculty strive to understand the complex synergy— from the cellular level to the whole body—that results in human movement and all its variations. Research areas are multifaceted and diverse. They focus on such topics as exercise in extreme environments, biomechanics of gait, neuromotor control of movement, and rehabilitation for patients with spinal cord injury. We continue to decipher the intricacies of how humans move. Although we’ve learned a lot, the complete workings remain largely a mystery, a marvelous mystery.

The 1,900-seat natatorium includes a competition pool engineered to be one of the fastest in the world.

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GEORGE P. BURDELL’S PERMANENT MARK ON SOUTH SUDAN

BURDELL’S JUST LIKE ANY OTHER YELLOW JACKET — LOOKING FOR WAYS TO MAKE OUR WORLD A BETTER PLACE.

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GEORGE P. BURDELL’S LEGAC Y lives on as a cherished Georgia Tech tradition. Now, the mythical student is making a mark as far away as South Sudan. The nonprofit Water for South Sudan, which aims to provide clean, safe water and improve hygiene and sanitation practices in areas of need, received a gift this year from an anonymous donor made in honor of George P. Burdell. The donor described Burdell as “a living dream of all our lives we’ve yet to live.” When asked about what they would say to people thinking of giving to Water for South Sudan, the donor replied, “Remember a time in your life when someone moved a mountain for you—be it financial, social, relational, or educational—then envision what you could do in a similar fashion for another.” Burdell’s name is now written in the cement of a well in South Sudan, which will provide clean water to hundreds of community members. With the words “Atlanta GA #1” under 98

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BY VANESA VARGAS

BURDELL QUICK FACTS BIRTH DATE: April 1, 1903 FIRST DEGREE: Mechanical Engineering (1930) NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Too many to count. Led the polls for Time’s “Person of the Year.” Listed as a member of the board of directors for MAD Magazine for several years. Flew a B-17 bomber in England. Named to Tech’s inaugural “40 Under 40” in 2020.

Burdell’s name is engraved on a well at a rural primary health care center near Wau, South Sudan.

Burdell’s name, it is a symbol of Tech’s far-reaching community as well as its commitment to solving problems and improving the human condition. Since 2019, the nonprofit has received $17,600 in total donations in Burdell’s name, including the recent $2,000 donation that directly supports the drilling at rural primary health care centers near the organization’s compound in Wau, South Sudan.


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