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The University of Georgia




Summer 2008

Vo l u me 4 Number 1

4 Biscuits and Epiphany in Athens

14 An Artist’s Magical World

26 Humanizing City Hall




w h e re a re t h e y n o w ?

The University of Georgia



T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F G E O R G I A G R A D U AT E S C H O O L N E W S & H I G H L I G H T S



CONTENTS news and highlights

3 4 8

14 18

Letter from the Dean Generations Brian Adler

His scholarship concerns tragic themes, especially the culture of war. Adler finds balance with humor.

Aaron Durst

From the frigid outpost of Sitka, Alaska, to the windswept Iowa plains, Durst plays in the most challenging settings. The former saxophonist, clinician and soloist with the 9th Army Band is poised to take his place on the world stage.

Jennifer Hartley

Hartley turns her eye toward her neighborhood and paints a whimsical, magical world.

Wh Muggridge

This centenarian survived war and the Great

Depression. Excerpted from the Graduate School’s pending commemorative book.


Scholars Worth Watching Sharon O’Kelley

This former lawyer studies the integrated mind.



Passion and action typify this civic leader.

IN THE PINK Dogwoods next to the Chapel on North Campus were shot by Nancy

Where Are They Now? Carolyn Bell


Hardy Edwards


In Brief


Last Word

Evelyn, editor of photography for the

In Memoriam

Graduate School Magazine.

Graduate School news and notes Georganium

Front Cover: Glass blocks or igloo ice? Aaron Durst plays on, even in extreme settings. Shot by Nancy Evelyn in Athens.

Graduate School Magazine



“Trauma motivates all literature.” —BR IAN ADLE R , V I C E PR ES I D E N T O F AC AD EM I C AF FA I RS A N D DEAN O F T HE FACULT Y, GE O RG I A S O U TH WE ST E R N S TAT E U NI V E R SI T Y

“When the hands and feet get cold there is an achy sensation and a feeling similar to being burned by something hot. Stiffness is always a problem when in the cold as well. Fine dexterity is just not something that is going to happen outside at those temperatures.” — A ARON DU R S T, S AXO P HON I ST

“My paintings are an attempt to grant permission to be curious again. I’m asking the viewer to look with open eyes and an open heart. I’m attracted to the theater played out on the stages of the front porch, streets, and yards of my funky, diverse, low-income neighborhood.” — J EN N IF E R HARTLE Y, ARTIST

“It’s not easy to leave mid-career, or step out…and then I realized, I’m not stepping out of it, I’m just going down a different path.”—SHARON O ’KEL LE Y, MAT H EM AT I C I A N


M e s s a g e f ro m

Dean Maureen Grasso It is an exciting time on campus. In less than two years we will


launch a year-long celebration of a century of formalized graduate education at the University of Georgia. It is a time not only to reflect on the past, but also to envision the possibilities for the future. Please join us in planning this special event by going to There you will see a header at the top of the page about the centennial. We are asking you to provide us with ideas and suggestions for the celebration as well as to let us know what was special about being in graduate school and about being a graduate of UGA. A vital goal of the centennial is to create an endowed graduate education fund of $10 million to support graduate students and their education for the next 100 years. This endowment will provide renewable fellowships for exceptional graduate students as well as research grants for PhD dissertations. Every dollar you contribute to the endowment will go directly to supporting graduate students. That is important because our graduate students are our rising hope. These students are beyond the age when they can expect financial support from their families, and many—if not all—come in with debt from their undergraduate education and incur more debt to pay for their graduate education. They are some of the best and brightest in the world, and competition to recruit these students is fierce. Just the other day I received a letter from one such student thanking me for awarding her a Graduate School Assistantship. She wrote, “I’m financing my degree myself, and your generosity has eradicated the financial burden. I appreciate this opportunity more than words can express. I look forward to contributing to UGA in any possible way.” Why is it important to create this endowment? Support for our graduate students is critical in order for the University of Georgia to reach the ranks of the elite public research universities in this country. We have the faculty; we have the facilities. What we are missing is an endowment that will support graduate fellowships and help us attract the best and brightest graduate students to UGA. This endowment will allow us to compete effectively with any university in the country. Our ability to attract these exceptional students depends on your generosity. Your gift can make a dramatic difference in a scholarly life—sometimes the difference between continuing important research or failing to complete a degree due to funding obstacles. I ask you to consider making a gift and be a source of hope for those who have so few resources. Let today be the day that you touch the lives of future UGA graduate alumni. Pull out the envelope and make a gift. Thank you! G


Graduate School Magazine



LET EVERY NATION KNOW j o hg enn e r af t.i o n ks e n n e d y ,

j a n 2 0 , 19 61 ,  i n a u g u r a l a d d r



by C yn t h ia A d am s

S UEqual P PtoO RT The Life of Brian: A Wit Wisdom

State University, is an optimist with a lively sense of humor. Although he has been published by The New York

Times and his autobiographical essays and literary work are widely anthologized, Adler’s cleverness is


F R I E N D , OPPOSE ANY FOE,  I N O R D E R self-deprecatingly fun despite the seriousness of his chosen themes.

M E E T A N Y H A R D S H I P,









R T Y. 


When asked about the major

passions composing what dramatists call the story arc in his life, Brian Adler describes himself in down-to-earth terms that would do Mark Twain proud. He tics off seven (wearing a straight face up until the sixth one): War, idealism, outer space, JFK, Moby Dick, biscuits, and the Athenian Code. The humble biscuit has figured into the ascendance of Adler’s life more prominently than you might guess, judging by his trim physique (Adler’s a cyclist who owns three racing and trail bikes). An accidental Athens biscuit experience flavored his destiny. Biscuits and the Adler family’s tenaciousness in following dreams influenced Brian Adler in becoming a Georgia Dawg, he lightheartedly jokes. (Yet it would be years before Brian Adler ever glimpsed Athens, or tasted his first biscuit.) AT THE LAUNCHING PAD OF THE NEW FRONTIER

Soon after Adler’s birth in 1957, his parents moved from El Paso, Texas to Cocoa Beach, Florida, where his father built rockets at nearby Cape Canaveral. Three years later, the Adlers moved to Orlando, Florida, where his father was involved in building missile guidance systems and overseeing technical writing. His parents were well-matched —both cerebral and fascinated by the lessons of history. His father, Bernard, was largely self-educated; his mother (Helene Ungar Adler) graduated from the University of Georgia with a master’s degree in history in the ’50s. “My dad loved reading and history, which is one reason he got along so well with my mom. I got my love of history and reading from both my parents,” says Adler. The Adler family made frequent moves as his father’s career advanced. From Binghamton, New York, to Philadelphia and back to Florida, the Adlers followed job opportunities in the specialized field of electronic guidance systems.


In Florida, Adler’s father was employed by the Apollo project as a private contractor. With a top-secret security clearance, he was privy to an insider’s role at NASA and the government’s military missile-building program. “Remember,” says Adler, “I was in Cocoa Beach in the ’60s.” The family had a front-row view of the New Frontier made possible by technology. A vigorous space race against the Soviets was suffused with the idealism of the Kennedy Camelot years. “JFK established the idea that we were going to leave this planet,” Adler notes. Twelve-year-old Brian Adler resolved to become the first American psychologist in space. That is, up until July 20, 1969, when the Adlers learned they would be leaving Florida and the space industry behind. Before the cheers and hurrahs had died down at NASA’s command center, as the American flag was planted in lunar soil, a sobering reality hit. Bernard Adler was about to become a victim of his own success. “As he [his father] told me,” Adler says, “the minute Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, my dad received his pink slip. End of contract.” For as heady as the times were, they were chilled by the Cold War and military unrest reaching around the globe. Vietnam and the specter of war were equally important aspects of the zeitgeist of Adler’s early years. The Vietnam War, spanning from 1959 to 1975, plowed on throughout Adler’s youth. OVER THE MOON

The Adlers’ personal lives became an object lesson in technological possibilities (and impossibilities) as the Age of Aquarius took peculiar turns. The cruelly-timed pink slip ended another’s career dreams, too, for young Adler, a seventh-grader besotted with space

travel. The Adlers left Florida for good, and Bernard Adler left the realm of space technology for another pursuit. He became involved in building gaspowered turbines, and later built three nuclear power plants. Helene Ungar Adler settled into life as a housewife. She shared her intellectual curiosity and affection for the University of Georgia with her son. “My mother filled me with veneration for the academic way of life,” Adler says. “She loved her time in Athens, especially as a graduate student working under historian E. Merton Coulter. I have a letter that he sent to her in the ’60s, wondering what had become of her.” Young Adler moved from Florida to Greenville, South Carolina, and later to Monroe, Michigan. He began thinking more about literature and writing and less about outer space. At age 17, he entered the University of South Carolina, subsequently earning a degree in English. He graduated in 1978, the year Vietnam attacked Cambodia. Melville’s Ishmael in Moby Dick became Adler’s favorite literary figure. “He’s a searcher. He’s a depressive

INSPIRED. JFK’s framed quote on Brian Adler’s office wall reads: “One man can make a difference and every man should try.” The sentiment has everything to do with how Adler has evolved and how he maintains the sense of idealism that powers his life. Adler jokes that he tried to join the Athens counter-culture but failed. “I was so much of a nerd,” he sighs, “that I went to Tyrone’s at 9 p.m. The bands didn’t even come out until 11. Tyrone’s was great because for a $2 surcharge you could hear R.E.M.; The Indigo Girls were just starting out.”

Graduate School Magazine



LET EVERY NATION KNOW, L john f. kennedy,

j a n 2 0 , 19 61 ,  i n a u g u r a l a d d r e s s j


through the Cold War, the

Vietnam War, and the chaos of

on Meigs Street. He loved Athens’s restaurants and clubs. While a UGA student, he grew a beard and admits he probably wore tiedyed shirts. “I tried to be a hippie,” Adler jokes. “But I was a nerd.”

SUPPORT ANY M F R I E N D , OPPOSE ANY FOE,  I N O R D E R T O F the ’60’s and ’70’s. He experienced the space race firsthand through his father’s career. He

fought to find meaning in a

M E E T A N Y H A R D S H I P,

time of assassination, war and a national identity crisis. He found the means to cope

through scholarly work and a lively sense of humor.


“I had heard of the B52s. But what really excited me was The Bluebird Café. I spent a lot of time in Park Hall or in the library. Otherwise, I was in The Bluebird Café.” He fondly remembers classes with favorite professors Chuck Lower, Charles Patterson, Nelson Hilton, and Jane Appleby. “I was inspired,” he says. “They were my best teachers.” And though he downed plenty of biscuits, something more vital was fed. Adler’s idealism was refueled. His new favorite eatery, The Bluebird Café , was across the street from the Classic Center. Adler studied the statue of Athena which stood outside the center. He read the Athenian oath, inscribed on the statue’s base. Adler wrote the oath down, and tucked it inside his wallet. “I think it’s wonderful,” Adler says. Adler continued on to Knoxville in 1984 when he received his master’s degree from UGA. He earned a doctorate at the University of Tennessee four years later. He still returns to Athens as often as possible, and is always on the alert for a good biscuit. Or another epiphany, however and wherever it might arise.


personality, but he’s a survivor.” Melville’s character was also goodhumored and likeable. Like Adler, the literary figure of Ishmael was thrown into chaos that was not of his own making. As President Jimmy Carter dealt with a struggling economy and an unsettled world, Adler sought to find a bridge to the high idealism of his younger life. Assassinations of the inspiring figures of his youth—Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy—signified the violent death of dreams for many.“ Every one of those assassinations was devastating for me,” Adler says. He began to write, producing a staggering amount of war-related essays, book reviews and literature. Writing was his way out of the trauma of the times. “I’ve lots of notes for a book,” Adler says today. “I want to combine romanticism, technology and the culture of the ’60s.” AN ACCIDENTAL DAWG, OR :


“UGA,” says Adler, “was accidental.” Like so many young adults, Adler sought to find a true north in a time of

widespread disillusionment. Adler met a rabbi who lived in Athens. He visited Athens for the very first time in 1979 to seek out the rabbi and discuss the idea of pursuing religious study. The rabbi was openly discouraging. “One of my chief concerns at the time was nuclear war. The rabbi thought I might have been too fatalistic.” After this sobering consultation, Adler walked downtown for a bite to eat. “There was a place called Strickland’s. They had the best biscuits I had ever eaten in my life.” In fact, they were the only biscuits he had ever eaten. He was dazzled by the buttery biscuits and the appealing vitality of Athens. He felt it had a transformative presence. Athens was in the midst of a rock renaissance and Adler enjoyed the counter-culture band scene. Adler cracks that he had a biscuit epiphany. He decided he would study English at UGA, and remained in Athens. “Close to Strickland’s,” he quips. He entered graduate school, and lived off campus on Broad Street. Almost daily, Adler walked past the church where R.E.M. held band practice. Later Adler moved three doors down from Michael Stipe’s apartment

Editor’s Note: Brian Adler became the dean of the Valdosta State Graduate School in 2005. During his years at VSU, he added eight new graduate programs, improved retention and completion rates, and graduate school applications increased by 27 percent. Adler left VSU this year to accept a new post as vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Georgia Southwestern State University.

G 6


LET EVERY NATION KNOW, john f. kennedy,

j a n 2 0 , 19 61 ,  i n a u g u r a l a d d r e s s



SStay U PConnected P O R T on ANY

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ATHENIAN CODE. The words that inspired Brian Adler are

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etched on a statue that stands before the Classic Center. The oath taken by teenage Athenians in ancient Greece reads:

“We will never bring disgrace on this our City by an act of dishonesty or cowardice. We will fight for the ideals and Sacred Things of the City both alone and with many. We will revere and obey the City’s laws and will do our best to incite a like reverence and respect in those above us who are prone to annul them or set them at





increasingly to quicken the public’s sense of civic duty. Thus in all these ways we will transmit this City, not only not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”

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Graduate School Magazine



cover story

Durst tested his mettle in musical performance long before he arrived in Athens, Georgia to earn a doctorate. He earned a master of arts in music from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, as a result of being stationed there with the Army.




below zero, it was impossible to take deep breaths without coughing as the cold

He flexed stiffening, · mittened fingers and scanned the scene for a familiar face in the happy chaos. The

air burned his lungs. A woolen balaclava helped warm the air a little, and Durst

Coping with Extreme Cold:

A Musician’s Alaskan Experience


breathed through his nose, taking shallow breaths.

annual Fur Traders Rendezvous parade was about to begin. A mêlée of voices and the excited yelps of sledding dogs built to a crescendo.

A Midwesterner like Durst couldn’t anticipate what February in Anchorage would be like. He had expected cold. But the fog and condensation were a curiosity. He imagined his moist breath flash-frozen, shattering in a cacophony of notes. Not even Durst’s undergraduate years in the cold of South Dakota, where farmers of yore lashed themselves to a post with rope before wading out into snowstorms, compared. FROM CORN FIELDS TO ICE FLOES

The year was 1998. Aaron Durst of Spencer, Iowa, was in Anchorage attending his first Fur Traders Rendezvous as an Army saxophonist. Durst, who spent his youth working corn and beans on the family farm while listening to an AM radio in the cab of the tractor, knowingly observed his fellow band members. “Keeping your hands and body dry when outside is very important,” he says. “Even the sweat from your own body works against you in keeping warm.” “When the hands and feet get cold there is an achy sensation and a feeling similar to being burned by something hot. Stiffness is always a problem when in the cold as well. Fine dexterity is just not something that is going to happen outside at those temperatures,” Durst recalls. He measured his breaths, part of the subtle mental preparations before a performance as the exuberant crowd cheered. Conscious of the weight of the saxophone hanging from his neck, he moved to moisten his reed.

“The Army issues polypropylene long underwear that wicks moisture and pulls it away from the body,” explains saxophonist Aaron Durst, who performed with the military throughout Alaska. “Then over that, layers are important. You wear cotton or wool and always a wind-proof shell like a Gore-Tex material.” But most challenging, of course, was how to protect the musicians’ exposed hands. Durst recalls the layers and the sensations. “I would always wear layers of gloves, like a skin-tight Thinsulate glove inside of my thicker gloves or mittens so that when I took my hand out it was not directly exposed to the outside air. The heavy-duty mittens are really, really good, that go halfway to your elbows.”

Aaron Durst, Saxophonist:

Some Like it Cold!

by Cynt hia A d am s

Graduate School Magazine



Yet, for once, there was no reed and no saxophone. The weight was phantom. Durst had already played for so many events during his first months in Alaska that he held a medal for meritorious performance. Today, he was there simply to enjoy the music. He watched his fellow musicians playing brass and percussion only; any other instruments broke in subzero temperatures. They played open-valve marches—otherwise, the valves would freeze in position. Every musician wore mittens and used a plastic mouthpiece. “I never had to play my saxophone outside in the extreme cold,” he says. “The cold is something that you can get used to, just like the hot weather. It is still

White Nights

------------------------Durst remembers Alaskan summer “white nights” as one of his favorite experiences. “There is something special about being up at midnight and it seems like early evening. The weather is still moderate, few people are out and yet you have this energy to get things done like it is the middle of the day. It was always easier to get up at 5 a.m. for physical training when the sun is already halfway up the sky.”


dangerous and care must be taken to protect against it.” DEVELOPING A STAGE PERSONALITY

Durst arrived in Fort Wainwright, Alaska in March, 1997, two weeks after completing training at the Armed Forces School of Music at Norfolk, Virginia. For four years, Durst played for ceremonial events, parades and Army marches throughout the Alaskan territory following graduation from the University of South Dakota. He also managed to also earn a graduate degree in conducting at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. He was awed by the sheer beauty and audacity of musical performance in extreme settings. While Iowans back home monitored crops for signs of blight, Durst was in Fairbanks playing the National Anthem before the Midnight Sun Run Marathon. The June 21 race fell during summer solstice when the daytime temperature sometimes reached 50 to 60 degrees. Durst also played at The Alaska Day Festival, an annual festival each October in Sitka—an amazing archipelago in southeast Alaska. The festival commemorated the purchase of Alaska from the Russians in 1867. Durst enjoyed each performance on the tiny island, with people flocking to the nightly concerts. He presented pre-concert lectures to the audiences, and learned to be comfortable in front of a crowd. Durst was there when the national anthem trilled before the annual Sitka parade, preceding weeks of races and the contests. HOME AGAIN

Following his discharge, Durst returned to South Dakota to teach instrumental music for grades 5 through 12. He taught saxophone privately and was an adjudicator throughout the state. Durst played the requisite wedding receptions and private events—where guests were indifferent compared to the raucous

but appreciative audiences in Alaskan outposts. He noticed audiences who sometimes didn’t even hear the band, even when doing amazing performances. Even so, Durst played and played. As he played, he furthered his own special style. His own music personality began evolving. “I learn from many: someone who plays flute, an oboe, and somebody who plays saxophone. You learn. You listen to what these musicians have to


" Yo u d o n ' t m a k e m u s i c . M u s i c f i n d s y o u . " — M i c h a e l G e r b e r, w r i t e r a n d s a x o p h o n i s t

say and incorporate it to create your own music personality. That’s what’s great about being a musician. There are all of these ideas out there. You come up with your own music personality.” Could a music personality be taught? Durst decided not. “I don’t think so. It’s something that just develops. You could have a hundred saxophonists, and every one would play differently.” As his music personality expanded,

audiences responded. The musician in him modestly says it’s because the saxophone, which most offhandedly call the sax, is such a modern instrument. It’s usually made of brass—nothing precious, like a Stradivari, Durst is quick to point out. The sax seems so darned friendly, familiar, and so emblematic of jazz, that audiences love it unreservedly. Yet whenever audiences simply didn’t respond, Durst learned to take Graduate School Magazine



this in stride, too. “In the Army, we performed at dinners and joked about music that’s meant to be ignored. Playing in the corner, being ignored. Is that hurtful? Sometimes. It’s like ignoring someone who’s talking to you.” En route to evolution as a teacher and performer, Durst developed a solid gold resumé filled with awards, fellowships, medals and honors. So whenever he puts his saxophone to his lips and exhales, audiences discover a master musician in the making with a distinctive style. It was his destiny all along. ALWAYS A SAXOPHONIST

Although the saxophone seems modern and accessible, not everyone is born to

it. But Durst was. He heard lullabies, melodies and jazz circling around the nursery walls while he lay in the cradle. Dust’s mother, older sister, two brothers and a nephew all play the saxophone. “My mother played sax when she was in the high school band and with a community band sometimes. When I was picking an instrument, my mother said, ‘You can play anything you want, but if you want help, you’d better play the saxophone.’” The Durst family owned two saxophones and every one shared. “In my family, nobody was proprietary,” he says. But now he concedes, “I’m reluctant to let anybody else play mine.” Durst has learned the peculiarities of the saxophone from many artists

Aaron Durst pictured in a performance with the UGA Saxophone Quartet during a dress rehearsal in the Ramsey Concert Hall. From left to right: Bret Pimentel, shown playing tenor sax; Marc Gilley on soprano sax; Doug Owens on baritone sax and Aaron Durst playing alto sax.



and other wind instrument performers. A unique instrument invented by Adolphe Sax, it incorporates aspects of the entire spectrum of wind instruments. Even though the saxophone is usually made of brass, it is considered a woodwind. “The instrument is a part of my everyday life. I don’t want to put too much emphasis on it. But mine, if something happened, I could replace it. It’s more than just the instrument that makes me a musician.” Durst knew plenty of Iowan musicians in his youth. He just didn’t know musical academicians. He developed that awareness later, when he felt he had to know just how far he could take his musical passion.

“I didn’t know anybody with a PhD in music,” Durst says. “Nobody except my music teacher,” he corrects. REFINING HIS ART; TAKING ON THE WORLD STAGE

Durst met saxophonist and UGA graduate Kenneth Carroll at the University of South Dakota. Carroll told Durst about Kenneth Fischer, who taught saxophone at UGA, and shared recordings of Fisher’s performances. Carroll (now teaching at Arkansas State University) had recently completed his doctorate in musical arts. He coordinated Fischer’s appearances at the University of South Dakota as a guest artist and Durst had the opportunity to meet him. “I knew I wanted to study with Fischer someday. His performance was just incredible.” Durst had never been to Athens until he decided to study with the accomplished professor. He applied to UGA and came for a visit in February 2004. The University of South Dakota had only 7,000 students and the University of Alaska had 5,000. Durst was stunned by the size of the campus. “Coming to UGA was incredible … the biggest campus I’ve ever been on. I was really never into college football until I came to the University of Georgia, and now I love it.” Beyond Georgia football, Durst knew something more critical was happening in his life as he studied under Fischer. Immersion with expert

students and faculty prepared him to aspire higher. “Coming to the University of Georgia has elevated me to thinking on a world-stage level. This degree is one of the best degrees, equivalent to anywhere else in the world.” Durst narrowed his aperture in daily life to focus solely upon music. He describes the particular sensations. “At this point in my life, I always feel like a saxophonist, even walking down the street. That’s my identity, with the saxophone. With my conversation, it may not always come to light, but everything I’m taking in, I try to relate to music somehow.” Even Muzak? Durst grins at the very word. “At home, I never have music on that I’m not listening to, even if I’m cleaning up around the house.” He confesses to having become a sort of auditory voyeur. “If I hear some music, or hear people talking about music, I listen. It’s interesting to hear what is played in restaurants. For some it is background music, but I’m interested in it. I’m listening. It may affect what I perform.” G

T h at S e n s at i o n a l S a x . . .

That’s Not Brass...That’s a Saxophone

-------------------------“The saxophone has always been in the public life. It was always a popular instrument,” says Durst. “That’s what saved it, that’s what got it into jazz bands … even in country music styles—it has found a public image that allowed its incorporation.” · “The word saxophone means literally Sound of Sax, taking its name from its inventor, Adolphe Sax (1814-1894), and patented in 1846. The saxophone was invented; it was




modification of



instruments. It is a conical tube, usually made of brass, with a series of tone-holes opened and closed by the performer. The sound is produced by a single reed vibrating on a mouthpiece. Sax did not leave a record of his invention of the instrument, but a description of its appearance and musical qualities was published by Hector Berlioz in 1842.”


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Durst’s musical study is in saxophone performance. “What is unique about the saxophone is that it is such a new instrument and nearly all of the music written for saxophone is twentieth century music,” he says. “Unlike other instruments, like violin, there are not several hundred years of repertoire that are part of the instrument literature. So, a large part of my research has been the study and performance of major compositions written for the saxophone as well as recent emerging works.” Durst has completed three recitals, consisting of works for saxophone approved by his doctoral committee. He has performed two solo recitals and a lecture recital as required. “I’ve also performed an additional solo recital, a saxophone quartet recital, performed with UGA’s contemporary chamber ensemble, wind ensemble, and symphony orchestra—and with the Kenneth Fischer Saxophone Quartet.”

Graduate School Magazine



N ew Tow n E r u pt s from the



J e n n i fe r H a r t l e y by C yn t h ia A d a m s


RT I S T J E N N I F E R H A RT L E Y is a former restaurateur (co-founder of the original Grit) who once rocked the Athens night with performers like Michael Stipe and Vic Chestnutt. That was circa 1987. Today, she’s a University of Georgia art instructor who loves teaching as much as painting. She turns to the town she has lived in for 20 years as her muse. She favors Athens flea market-goers and skateboarders, roosters and horses and anything else that catches her clear blue eyes. The ridiculous and the sublime are equally worthy when Hartley takes up her brush to paint. With a shake of her heavy braids, Jennifer Hartley (BFA ’84, MFA ’09) clears her vision and blinks. Although she’s soft-spoken and polite, she then does what mothers teach one mustn’t do: she stares. Hartley is staring on purpose. She is staring with a purpose. Better yet, she is seeing—and what she sees makes for magically surreal paintings evocative of the people, places and images of her own Athens streetscape.


Andrew’s Shoes

In Hartley’s world, beautiful children balance acrobatically atop improvised pedestals, stumps and ponies. An old woman wielding clippers tames bushes into topiaries. A young man catapults tennis shoes across a power line which a squirrel is walking like a tightrope. Athenians caught in everyday life are rendered beautiful and potent. Old people sit, immutably, on stoops, staring right back at their observer. The artist plays with making the ordinary magical; inventions that are half-truth, half-conjured rise up on canvases as if summoned more by a magician’s wand than a brush. Hartley has painted her own street, block and neighborhood so often that she appears to have been conjured herself

right out of the canvas to appear on a sunny Wednesday, wearing a deep purple shirt and jeans. She has the chafed, hard-working hands of an artist, and she tries to keep them in her lap. If she doesn’t contain them, who knows? Another pony, a prancing child, or even a crowing rooster might appear. Her knowing eyes are reminiscent of a young Julie Christie. When her eyes crinkle pleasantly at the corners, they relax afterward into what is doubtlessly the only polite version of a stare. “As children, we were admonished not to stare, especially at those who were different or might have something wrong with them,” she says. She was having none of that. Hartley, an M.F.A. student who has been painting an Athens neighborhood known as New Town since the 1980s, describes how she paints what she doesn’t completely understand. “There’s a lot to ponder,” she says, with a gentle smile playing across her mouth. Her unapologetic stare has won her invitations to present her work in annual art shows, drawing fellowships


and praise-filled art reviews. Hartley has remained confident in her art since she was in fourth grade, thanks to an artist mother and psychologist father. When an insensitive teacher drew over her art, the child artist registered deep shock. THE GIFT OF LONGING INTO BEING

Hartley wants both her eyes and her heart to be wide open, as they take in the world beyond her own front stoop. What she sees, she paints. Using acrylics on unprimed canvases, the result is a surreal stain-effect. And what

F R O M T H E A RT I S T ’ S S TAT E M E N T: “My paintings are an attempt to grant permission to be curious again. I’m asking the viewer to look with open eyes and an open heart. I’m attracted to the theater played out on the stages of the front porch, streets, and yards of my funky, diverse, low-income neighborhood. I work from memory and imagination toward creating an image that is solid and telling though often dreamlike. It is my belief that to stare is the first step toward a greater understanding.” Je n n i f e r H a r t l ey

Graduate School Magazine



she paints is a loving depiction of what Hartley says is very real, powerful, human, flawed, and still amazing – even if it looks magical. Horses dominate many of her paintings, something that Hartley explains. Hartley—who dreamed of ponies as a child—drew ponies and painted ponies with a vengeance. She imagined installing a pet pony in the basement of their Athens home. One morning she awoke to discover a remarkable thing: a horse staring back at her through her bedroom window. She believed the horse was the answer to her wishful dream. Instead, it was a neighbor’s horse broken free, Hartley says. She fell thereafter into a long love of domestic animals—of wild things tamed. Hartley arrived in Athens in the 70s, when her family relocated from Missouri. Her father joined the psychology faculty. “I took so many IQ tests,” Hartley says, laughing again, shaking dark blonde braids with faceframing tendrils. Hartley had a pragmatic side as well as an artistic one. By the time she earned an art degree in the mid-80’s, she pondered how to support herself. She and a friend, Melanie Haner Reynolds, opened a restaurant in an old railroad station (since burned) on Hull Street. This one was destined to become an Athens institution. They dubbed the coffee shop serving light fare The Grit. PART ART GALLERY, PART


“The name,” she says, “is Southern and humble.” The Grit became an experimental gallery space, says Hartley, that did not have to sell work to survive. “I was hoping the coffeehouse would support the gallery. We had many terrific shows including performance and installation work.” (“I’ve never been able to support


myself solely by painting,” she confesses.) As she and Reynolds labored to keep The Grit open nearly 24 hours a day, Hartley kept painting. “A lot of the people that came to The Grit were high school students,” she recalls. “They could hang out. It wasn’t far from the music scene, and after the bands shut down, everyone would come to The Grit.” The legendary bands of Athens often continued their gigs inside The Grit late at night. Hartley painted, made coffee, refilled empty cups, cooked, cleaned, danced and painted before falling into the bed for a few hours of sleep. Then, come morning, she started again. “We were ahead of our time,” she sighs. There was little profit in coffee and even less in art. In 1989 the owners sold The Grit.

Topiary Dream

Jennifer Hartley in her studio.


In the meantime, Hartley bought a house on Cleveland Street near Pulaski. Someone gave her chickens. She promptly began painting chickens. Lots and lots of chickens. Some of Hartley’s chickens were gigantic, she recalls, and some were human-like. A not-so-favorable reviewer commented that Hartley’s birds “were erotic and scary,” she says and chortles. (One of her large chicken paintings now hangs in the restaurant Farm 255 in Athens.) Then Hartley cast her painterly eye down the street where she lived. She painted a colorful neighbor named Miss Cantrell with her poodle. Another neighbor sold bootleg beer on Sundays during the era of Blue laws, and Hartley couldn’t take her eyes off the eccentric. A wellspring of possibilities seemed to open. Suddenly Hartley began painting other neighbors and happenings, working intuitively with something she saw as a form of visual narrative. “I work with the figure. It falls in and out of fashion. I like to tell stories, and it’s hard to tell the stories without

the figure.” With Gauguin and Vermeer as influences, Hartley started portraying life in the surrounding world that was New Town. “All this world hadn’t changed,” Hartley says, and she raises her brow in the direction of her Cleveland Street home. “I’m still painting it, because it’s changing and disappearing. Becoming gentrified,” she says with a sudden frown. She comments on hope, and the way it fails people. She comments on things she’s seen she’d rather not have but cannot forget and the ways they seep into her art. By way of making sense of it all, Hartley created enough work for 24 shows in the first 19 years she painted. When she completes her graduate degree, she thinks she might one day seek a gallery career. Until then, even then, she’ll have her brush in hand with her eyes wide open. G

(Opposite) Good Foot


-------------------------“The Oxford American [Magazine] would put out an annual Music Issue that would include a compact disc. The writing would pair with the music. That year, [1998], R.E.M. agreed to give OA a song that would not be released anywhere else. OA was so excited they decided to hire local artists to create work based on R.E.M. If I remember correctly, the artists selected besides myself were Dennis



Mendicino, Cindy Jerrell, and maybe someone else. That music CD is one of my favorite albums to this day. It has a Vic Chesnutt

(another local) song on it as well.�

Graduate School Magazine



a Dream


A FUTURE DAWG , Born into a Troubled World…On May 28, 1908, Wh

Muggridge (MEd ’51) was born into a world populated by emperors, kings and

sultans. Edward VII ruled Great Britain and Theodore Roosevelt was the U.S.

president. Future wars, the Depression, and epidemics posed extraordinary

challenges to young Wh.

Charlie and Eula Muggridge’s firstborn was named

Wh (pronounced “W. H.”) after an admired physician. He came of age south of Cairo, Georgia, in a region lush with sugar cane and tobacco fields.

 Despite the

security of his mother’s arms, the world beyond was shaky. Assassinations and

shifting political alliances were destabilizing Europe. Soon reverberations would


1912, four-year old Wh Muggridge’s family moved to Brinson, Georgia. His father, Charlie, now worked for Stewart Lumber Company. Wh Muggridge recalls his father’s daily commute to a lumber mill via a railroad hand-cart. Yet there was no transportation for rural students. Wh was eight-years-old and his brother was six when the family returned to Cairo so the boys could attend Midway School. Hardships ensued. By 1918, the U.S. entered into World War I. Compounding the suffering, a flu epidemic swept the nation. (The illness’ casualties included the parents of Wh Muggridge’s future wife, Mary Ponder.) At the time Wh Muggridge entered sixth grade, students matriculated in 11 years. He crafted a one-page autobiography in 1922. “I never have had many interesting incidents in my life,” he wrote apologetically in careful script. He wrote about boyish exploits, adding he had decided to become a teacher. The Muggridges, who now had eight children, faced growing difficulties. As America slid towards the Great Depression, farming incomes plummeted.


reach tiny Cairo. (Exe rp te d fro m p e n d in g g rad uate sch o o l c o m m e m o ritiv e b o o k)

Wh Muggridge remembers. “We had to eat a lot of cornbread. Flour was rationed, coffee was rationed and gasoline was rationed. We had grits and bacon, though. We were allotted more sugar than we could use, but we didn’t have the money to buy the sugar, so we’d swap our sugar allotment with neighbors for their flour allotment.” The Muggridge family was self-sufficient, and they made essentials like soap from leftover bacon fat, ash and lye.

by Cyn t h ia A d a m s

grades in one-room Sherwood Elementary School. For the next nine years, he taught in places with revealing, hardscrabble names: Hickory Head , Pine Hill, Pine Park, Turkey Creek. Although a young man with prospects, Muggridge still lived in Cairo with his parents. He managed to save enough to buy a used 1931 Ford Roadster with a rumble seat following his first year of teaching. The Roadster cost $225.

“Athens at the time was a big city, I thought. They were playing football, but I wasn’t interested in athletics.” Other rural students subsisted on a meager diet of corn bread and cane syrup, Muggridge recalls ruefully. There were no school lunch programs. Little money trickled into the schools from the local tax base. Grim challenges faced Cairo High School’s class of 1929. Upon graduation, Muggridge was eligible and certified to teach in the state of Georgia. By 1930, he was hired for $60 a month to teach all seven


Wh Muggridge persevered through all to obtain a graduate degree in 1951 at age 43. By that time, he had already held elective office and was a school administrator. He retired from a 43-year career in education in 1973. At Stegeman Hall, a new Georgia Dawg posed for a snapshot on graduation day. Although Wh Muggridge doesn’t


remember all the details preceding August 22, 1951, he recalls the elation. “I remember going there [to UGA] for my orals. I had to wear a tie and coat. I was supposed to have three interviewers and I only had two. I dreaded that worse than anything. I was scared about all the questions they asked, but I was able to answer all the questions. They didn’t ask me many questions about my subject matter but asked about the political race [he held an elected office], and how it was carried on.” IN THE BIG TIME IN THE BIG CITY OF ATHENS …

Cairo, with a population of only a few thousand, seemed quite different from the lively university town Muggridge discovered in 1950. “Athens at the time was a big city, I thought. They were playing football, but I wasn’t interested in athletics.” What interested Wh Muggridge was

completing his master’s degree and gaining the additional security and financial earnings matriculation represented. The former teacher, principal and school superintendent had his education delayed but remained determined. Now 100, Muggridge lives with his wife, Mary Ponder Muggridge, at the John Wesley Villas in Macon. They have been together 76 years.

The Constant Gardener ... Active centenarian Wh Muggridge tends vegetables at the John Wesley Villas in Macon.


“To get Social Security,” relates Wh Muggridge, “I taught industrial arts, first in Macon and next in Albany, before moving on to serve as teacher/principal for two years at the Ochlockonee Elementary School. For the next five years, I was principal of the Northside Elementary School (in Pelham, Georgia). I retired from teaching in 1973, ending 43 years in school work.” G Graduate School Magazine



scholars worth watching

O’Kelley owns seven guitars, and attempted to play when she was only four. She learned to play when she was nine. “I played music by ear,” explains O’Kelley. Not until high school did she learn to read music, and considered becoming a music major. Her father played and two brothers also play. The O’Kelleys enjoy musical jam sessions during family reunions each July. Her favorite song is Carolina in My Mind by James Taylor. “That was the song that kept me connected with home the entire time I was in N A N C Y E V E LY N



LEADING THE WAY…“Because of the work done here at Georgia, mathematics education is moving more towards experiential learning and less lecture-based,” says O’Kelley. “Georgia is leading the way! It’s not ‘tell, tell, tell,’ to borrow a phrase from a friend of mine. But more about

by C yn t hi a A d a m s

guiding your students into their own understanding of the material.”

and D i s c o v e r s a NEW PATH


Rejects the Brass Ring

in T E A C H I N G


Sharon O’Kelley

and T R U E J O Y

is unusually good at disparate things.

For example, she’s good at math and law, both analytical pursuits—but she also holds an English degree and is so musically adept she loves to jam on her guitar and create her own arrangements. The why of this disparity is telling and influences O’Kelley’s doctoral research in mathematics education. Quite possibly, O’Kelley’s gifts are the happy result of a well-integrated brain, with both halves fully functioning in complementary ways. · Nobel Laureate Roger Sperry, a neurobiologist, conducted seminal work mapping the two hemispheres of the human brain, exploring how each side affect certain competencies. Sperry researched which abilities the left brain controlled versus the right, and how the two halves communicated. (For more on that topic, see sidebar on Nobel Laureate Roger Sperry and his



split-brain experimentation.)

In O’Kelley’s case, she’s good at things she stoutly insists she is bad at, like mathematics. (Though she concedes it’s unusual for someone who claims to be challenged by mathematics to seek a doctorate in the subject.) O’Kelley doesn’t even claim it’s due to her integrated brain. She credits something less vogue—old-fashioned work—for her successes. “I’m a believer in hard work,” she says matter-of-factly. “I was raised in a family that deeply believed in a solid work ethic.”

Graduate School Magazine



How did a former military officer and defense attorney find herself—again and again—in a classroom? Especially facing formerly dreaded complex mathematical calculations? To say that Sharon O’Kelley (PhD ’11) loves learning more than degrees is an understatement. She never believed in degrees resulting in a termination of self-exploration. O’Kelley is a presidential fellow currently working towards a doctorate in math education at the University of Georgia. The youngest of six children, the South Carolina native is a former English major who graduated from Erskine College on an ROTC scholarship before entering the Army and becoming an officer. She’s become accustomed to following her passions, even those requiring radical change. She’s stepped away from two prestigious careers to embrace her new-found love: mathematics education. “To me, UGA is leading the way out of what I call passive education. You want the student to be at the center of creating mathematics. It’s amazing work. If you were to walk into a classroom today, you wouldn’t recognize it.” --------------------------

After graduation from a small South Carolina college, O’Kelley found herself stationed at Fort Lewis, in Tacoma, Washington, fulfilling her military obligation. She was a Second Lieutenant and wielded considerable power for a 22-year-old. She didn’t bite a single nail before making a decision that would cost her a military career and pension. She decided to grab another brass ring and become a lawyer. “I always had this yearning to go to law school. I didn’t want to be retired and wondered ‘What if I had gone to law school?’” At age 26, O’Kelley took her hard-working self to study law at Seattle University. She defrayed tuition 22

costs by teaching adult education classes. Much to her chagrin, O’Kelley schooled students in basic math skills. “It was a slow introduction back to math. I developed a sense of ‘Ah-ha!’ about the mathematics and tucked away the experience for future reference.” In three years, she was out of law school. By 1993, O’Kelley was interning for the Pierce County prosecutor’s office in the juvenile division. Later, she practiced criminal defense law for a private firm, and while hard work wasn’t unsettling, her discontent was. “I realized this isn’t going to cut it for the next 30 years. And I had always been a big believer that you work your passion.” The brass ring O’Kelley had grabbed tasted just like brass. “While I was happy, I wasn’t impassioned about it.” A NEW TACK , NEW DREAM AND A


O’Kelley reconnoitered. She rejected a law career. “My soul wasn’t there,” she says. [O’Kelley recalled being an undergraduate and being certified to teach English.] “I decided to go into teaching like I had originally thought I would do.” O’Kelley returned to studies and substitute teaching. Her friends were incredulous. “A lot of friends in the legal field thought I was throwing the baby out with the bathwater…they

thought I was too talented to leave the legal field.” Her friends told O’Kelley, “You’re too smart to be a teacher.” O’Kelley bristled. “The message, basically, is what a waste .’” Yet O’Kelley felt she had to explore this other avenue that called to her so powerfully. Law, something she had proven she could do, now felt like a detour from her essential self. Plus, there was another struggle she hadn’t fully mastered: mathematics. “I had grown up struggling with math. I did well, but it just did not come easily at all. When I went to Erskine College, I thought, ‘I can’t wait to get through my math course.’” When I left being a lawyer, and transferred my teaching certificate from South Carolina to Washington, I had to get another endorsement.” An endorsement was a type of qualification, she explains. “An endorsement is close to getting a minor; you have to take certain courses to be certified to teach it.” O’Kelley had to come to terms with mathematics, her old nemesis. “Because of my experience teaching basic math skills while in law school, I said, okay, I’ll take it on, and I actually liked it.” Coming to terms with mathematics, she recalled a teacher once taking her aside, saying, “I don’t understand why you’re complaining about this so. You’re good at language, why aren’t you good at that language?” O’Kelley

Sharon O’Kelley is in good company. Many creative people access both hemispheres of the brain. Famous writers who were also mathematicians and scientists include Lewis Carroll, H. G. Wells, A. A. Milne and Aldous Huxley. The fact that we are right- or left-brain dominant doesn’t mean we’re exclusively mathematically or artistically inclined. But it does provide important insights into the functioning of the brain.

“I grew up in the traditional math classroom where the teacher lectured and the student listened. Now, I want kids to be able to articulate their mathematical understanding, to carry on a dialogue, or write about what they’re making sense of … because I think that’s a huge piece of education.”

began thinking of mathematics differently. To her delight, she found she was much better at mathematics than previously. Law school had helped her become more analytical. Having to articulate a legal argument had helped O’Kelley grow better at analysis. “When you go into law school, you think one way. When you come out of law school, you come out thinking a totally different way. Everything has to be connected and justified. It made me much more logical.” Facing her mathematical conundrum, O’Kelley triumphed over an old fear. THE LANGUAGE OF MATHEMATICS : A SOURCE OF WONDER AND AWE

O’Kelley began teaching English and social studies at Ford Middle School in Tacoma, Washington. Within two years, she was teaching English and math at a neighboring high school. She remained at Franklin Pierce High School for 11 years. “When I first started teaching, the Puget Sound area reminded me of how I grew up in Walhalla [South Carolina]. I felt like I’d come home again. I loved the kids; it was just incredible. I feel that way anytime I walk into a classroom. She kept studying, earning a master’s degree in math education from Montana State University. “I saw A Beautiful Mind and The Proof. I try to see all the math movies that come out. Study heightened my love of mathematics. The wonder and the awe of it.” “My vision keeps expanding. It’s not easy to leave mid-career, or step out

… and then I realized, I’m not stepping out of it, I’m just going down a different path. It allowed me to see it from a different perspective.” O’Kelley completed the degree in 2004. “Then, I started thinking about where I wanted to go in my teaching career.” She debated administration or teacher education. The University of Georgia kept coming up as she looked at innovative research in mathematics education. “I decided I wanted to impact education on a greater level by working with teachers.” She also would be close to her old home state. “This is one of the best, if not the best, math education doctoral programs in the country. So, from day one, Dr. James Wilson (in the math education program), from when I sent in my first inquiry through to accepting the fellowship in February, was so warm and welcoming.” O’Kelley felt an immediate emotional connection. But her decision to choose UGA rested largely upon UGA’s eminence. “It was largely the reputation that UGA carries in math education. And being awarded the fellowship kind of made it an easy decision. I had an interview with the dean [Maureen Grasso] after I had been awarded the fellowship. You would just think that a university this size would be impersonal, but it’s not at all. That was the touch they extended from the very first inquiry.” A SYNTHESIS OF LEFT AND RIGHT BRAIN AND FORMER ROLES

W h y We Wa n t t o B e l i e v e Einstein Flunked Mathematics





penned a recent biography of Albert Einstein, disproves the popular rumor that Einstein failed math as a student. He meticulously researched Einstein’s childhood and schoolwork, and writes that Einstein himself typically ignored the assertion that he had failed mathematics as a child. And so, left unchecked, the myth grew . But when a fellow Princeton resident showed Einstein news clippings about the world’s most famous living mathematician being a failure in that subject while in school, Einstein laughed. “I never failed mathematics,” he answered. Issacson writes that Einstein told the fellow, “Before I was 15, I had mastered differential and integral calculus.” Possibly, the playful scholar enjoyed the myth as a small joke. Or he failed to quell the rumor because it humanized him. (The very kindly Einstein was known to help Princeton schoolchildren with math tutoring after school.) Why do we need to believe the myth in the first place? Perhaps it consoles those of us who fear mathematics ourselves and have no Einstein waiting to help us.

“I feel like everything is coming Graduate School Magazine



“My vision keeps expanding. It’s not easy to leave mid-career, or step out…and then I realized, I’m not stepping out of it, I’m just going down a different path. It allowed me to see it from a different perspective.” together for me. Without law school, I wouldn’t have had completion with math. I keep asking myself what could have been different for me as a child, who was predominantly right-brain? How could my math experience have been different?” O’Kelley, remains fascinated by how to shift a predominantly rightbrained kid to the left brain in order to grasp mathematical principles. She brings a strong work ethic to her newest pursuit, which she insists has been the key to her achievement. “That’s

the other thing I bring to my teaching. I maintain if people have the work ethic, they can tackle and overcome just about anything.” Today’s math is a far cry from the baffling experience O’Kelley had in Walhalla, South Carolina. “I grew up in the traditional math classroom where the teacher lectured and the student listened. Now, I want kids to be able to articulate their mathematical understanding … to carry on a dialogue, or write about what they’re making sense of…because I think that’s a huge piece

The Split Brain: M A P P I N G T H E M I N D ’ S M Y S T E R I E S


“The great pleasure and feeling in my right brain is more than my left brain can find the words to tell you.” —Roger Sperry, winner of the Nobel Prize While we’ve heard of the left- and right-sided tendencies of the human brain, we are only beginning to grasp the deeper significance . According to the Nobel Foundation’s Web site, initial research into the idea of a “split” brain began by observing individuals who had suffered brain injuries. By the 19th century, it was believed that the language center of the brain was within the left hemisphere. The study of patients with injury or trauma to certain regions of the brain bolstered evidence about where certain other abilities resided . In the1960s, scientist Roger Sperry and his colleagues carried out further research and experimentation concerning the functional specialization of the cerebral hemispheres. Sperry won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1981. According to the Nobel Foundation, “Sperry received the prize for his discoveries concerning the functional specialization of the cerebral hemispheres. With the help of so called ‘split-brain’ patients, he carried out experiments (just like the one you can perform by yourself in the Split Brain Experiments Game), and for the first time in history, knowledge about the left and right hemispheres was revealed.” To read more about the Split Brain Experiments Game and Sperry’s work, visit


of education.” She marvels at the difference. “The way I was brought up with mathematics was that it was something way out here to discover.” (O’Kelley gestures). “Some big mathematical principle. With all the work that has been done at the University of Georgia with Dr. Leslie Steffe, it’s less about what’s out there , more about what you create. You have to construct your own understanding; that’s a very empowering and powerful concept.” G



and attempted to play when she was only four. She ultimately learned to play when she was nine. “I played music by ear,” explains O’Kelley. Not until high school did she learn to read music, and consider becoming a music major. Her father played and two brothers also play. The O’Kelleys enjoy musical jam sessions during family reunions each July. Her favorite song is “Carolina in My Mind” by James Taylor. “That was the song that kept me connected with home the entire time I was in Washington.” WHY IS O ’ KELLEY WORKING ON A DOCTORATE ?

“I want this experience to open as many doors as possible. I want to see where I’ll be most useful and where I will find my passion. In my heart and soul I will always be a teacher. I have two student teachers right now, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.” Graduate School Magazine



w h e re a re t h e y n o w ?

Constructing Compassion:

Bell of the Hall 

Director of Central Services for the City of Savannah, CAROLYN



an eye at the dome above the landmark building on West Bay Street. Scaffolding

encapsulates City Hall’s roof and the restorationists’ hammers sound rat-a-tat-

tats as tourists crane their necks for a better view.




watching the workers. “I don’t oversee the

work directly, but I do have oversight for the building’s care and maintenance.”

Caring is a word that might just sum up Carolyn Bell.

by C ynt h ia A d am s


Carolyn Bell works far beyond the strict definition of a city director. She is a mathematician with a graduate degree from the University of Georgia (MPA ’77) who also completed a fellowship at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. As the daughter of a Southern minister, Bell believes in transformative action and reaching out to the underdog, the poor, and the underserved. Translation: getting involved, even when it’s messy. And especially when it’s messy. “Our mayor tells staff they have to be flexible and to adapt,” Bell explains. Now, standing on Bull Street with her eyes still sweeping over the tarp and scaffold-enshrouded dome, Bell stands near the very spot where she was photographed 30 years ago. She struck a confident pose in front of city hall on a spring day in 1978, wearing a tailored suit and holding a serious-looking


briefcase. Her face, like today, was full of optimistic resolve. She has managed to escape becoming hardened by years of angry taxpayers and their many laments. She talks affectionately, even lovingly, about Savannah’s citizens and her Savannah experience. She discusses life beneath that symbolic dome, where so much power resides. Power that can be used for the betterment of the citizens it governs, or for the ill. And between the lines, Bell reveals how gracefully she has worn the mantle of power. Over the 30 years she has worked for the city, the many people whom Bell hires have found their way into her life and heart. Some of their stories end more happily than others, but she is delighted that a particular one has just ended so very well. A contractor, who once kept the black and white marble floors in the building’s foyer shining, recently came to Bell seeking help. He

was about to lose his house. His property taxes were in arrears. He and his wife were desperately ill. It was not in Carolyn Bell’s job description to help a taxpayer in trouble who had not paid his taxes in several years, despite repeated notifications. But observing the careworn face of a man who was a mere shadow of his former self, she helped anyway. The taxpayer’s family is now installed in urban development housing. Bell and her colleagues personally moved him in over the past weekend. Another colleague got the water turned on at 5 p.m. on Friday. (“A little miracle,” Bell says.) Bell is well pleased. “It was my mission of mercy,” she says quietly. “That’s probably the most satisfying story in my 30 years,” she adds, “—making that happen.” New public and private dollars have made many things possible, says Bell. Bell’s sense of energy suggests that she has always known how to make


things happen. The new assistant city manager stops by, cheerfully interrupting to greet Bell and shake her hand. Someone else stops Bell on the street, and asks about the progress of the landmark building’s restoration. Will it be completed before she retires in 2009? Bell says she surely hopes so. Bell is delighted to see Savannah in full bloom. She speaks enthusiastically about urban renewal in her adopted city. In the years since John Berendt wrote the wildly successful novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Savannah has been rediscovered.

A formerly dog-eared Savannah is now buoyed up with tourism and tourist dollars. This infusion of money has been funneled into restoration for both high- and low-income residents. This cheers Bell. It has made both her public role and her private philanthropy easier and rewarding.


Wearing a black St. John knit suit, Bell arrives at Central Services, located in the daylight basement of Savannah’s historic City Hall. She readies for a day that begins with an early-morning breakfast meeting on one of the many historic squares that make the town so alluring to tourists. When the very confident professional enters her office complex, people notice and there’s a buzz of energy. Bell is tall and poised. She has what Savannah locals call substance. She is immaculately groomed, pleasant, sociable, but there is also the definite sense that this woman does not waste her time or taxpayers’ money.

L i k e M o t h e r, Like Daughter Bell's mother, Lillian Hodges, received her bachelor's degree in 2006 at age 85. She is pictured above in cap and gown. Hodges studied




University and Graduate School in Jacksonville, Florida.

Graduate School Magazine



She maintains a heavy schedule, oversees a sizeable staff and significant budget, yet she manages to volunteer with favorite charities, her church and a service sorority. “I love the diversity of several things going on,” she says. The public areas of City Hall are charming, but the working offices are not. Like many important buildings, the architectural touches and flourishes were reserved for public spaces. Bell clearly keeps a close eye on public dollars, and her deliberately modest office shows it. Despite her polished aura, Bell’s office is hardly posh. The office walls are lackluster with their ’70’s-era paneling. The carpet has seen better days. But on her desk is a cheerful vase of pastel spring flowers. Bell tutors a first-grader in math. A grateful mother sent her the flowers. Next to the vase is the Sam G. Adler and H. Hansel Hillyer Leadership Award , in recognition of Bell’s leader-

ship and volunteerism in Savannah. Bell’s fondness for activity and for social action has led her to chair the United Way of the Coastal Empire. It has led her to become president and program chair of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and to become the producer of the United Negro College Fund Savannah Campaign. This is no small feat for a woman who logs exhausting work hours. FROM SELMA TO SAVANNAH

Bell’s achievements began in a tiny North Carolina town. “I was born in Selma, North Carolina. My parents were Bishop and Mrs. Clinton F. Hodges.” Her father was a maintenance worker for the Selma water plant and a Pentecostal minister. Her mother was a homemaker and “a beautiful woman.” Bell was a good student. She enjoyed and did well in math, and set her sites on becoming a math teacher.


Bell graduated in 1967 from the Richard B. Harrison High School. She was class valedictorian. She says her parents provided remarkably well, and instilled a deep sense of values and appreciation for education. “They made sure we all had all the education we wanted,” she says. “I’ve no idea how they did this and reared seven children.” Last year, Bell’s mother received her bachelor’s degree at age 85. Lillian Hodges’ story and picture made North Carolina papers statewide. Carolyn Bell may return to North Carolina when she retires, but she and her husband will keep a home in Savannah. It is, after all, the city that Bell has a stake in, and that she has tended for three decades. She doesn’t plan to sit at home, and may begin consulting. She will probably continue helping young children with mathematics. Bell will, no doubt about it, continue reaching out to the underdogs. Lucky Savannah. Luckier Tarheels. G

S t r i k i n g a Po s e -------------------------Perhaps you can’t fight City Hall, but you can renovate it. In 1978, Carolyn Bell was photographed at the intersection of East Bay and Bull Street in front of Savannah’s historic City Hall. The city was in the process of restoring the dome that same year. Bell climbed right up to the top and applied a section of gold leaf herself. Thirty years later, the dome




repeating—but Bell laughs at the notion of scaling up to the top of the dome again. “No way!” she says. Bell has been urged to seek political office after she leaves City Hall, another suggestion that makes her laugh. Later, she e-mailed: “Now, I am ready to take this life of service to another level as I prepare for retirement. I would love to continue to serve my community and colleagues as a leadership coach, facilitating a process where individuals can maximize their potential. I intend to encourage leaders to stretch to be the best that they can be.”


Graduate School Magazine




In memoriam

On World Enough, and Time…

One brutally hot and airless July day, an indefatigable poultry scientist named


baled 40 bales of hay on his 170-acre

farm near Winterville (Georgia) before

calling it a day. At age 76, Edwards still had a younger man’s aptitude for work,

and an older man’s discipline. He

attacked work in the field the same way he logged long hours in a campus labo-

ratory—as if there were no tomorrow. At this point in his life, Edwards was conscious of his own mortality and the number of remaining tomorrows, admitting as much, but still scoffed at retirement. He remained a working man, ultimately waiting until age 70 to collect his first social security check. Earlier in July, 2006, Edwards had traveled to Alberta, Canada, to collect another award at the Poultry Science Association’s annual meeting. (The association had honored him previously during his long career.) But as much as he disliked discussing achievements, Edwards enjoyed discussing his work—and had a penchant for being oppositional. Wearing a wryly innocent look worthy of Paul Newman, Edwards


by Cyn th ia A d am s

discussed how he sometimes found himself on the other side of bureaucracies of any kind. “As you get older,” he mused, “you get more independent.” Edwards was surely that, even when he was just a child growing up in Louisiana. His accomplished family members chose professions in medicine or law. But the young Hardy Edwards declared it would be boring to dig around in a courthouse or in musty old deed rooms, worrying over language on some silly contract. Instead, he chose a work setting that never failed to interest him—a laboratory. By the time he was 20, Edwards completed a BSA at Southwestern Louisiana Institute. At age 24, he earned his doctorate from Cornell University. He was immediately drafted into the U.S. Army, and sent overseas to run a medical services lab. In the years immediately afterward, Edwards worked in Chicago as a research scientist and gleefully admitted he earned “oodles of money.” The income came in handy. The cash enabled him to purchase a large tract of land in Athens-Clarke County. At age 28, in November 1957, he abandoned wealth for academia and accepted a post at the University of Georgia. He brought his

wife, Aldies, a fellow Cornell student, and the couple gradually added parcels to their farm while raising their son, Hardy M. Edwards III. Luckily for the poultry science industry and for his many devoted students, Edwards did not find academia boring. In fact, only two days after his hay was in, Edwards was back in the office. Turning to a computer screen that Friday afternoon, Edwards pointed out that there were 117 citations for work he published as long ago as 1950. Half a century earlier, Edwards started out studying pigs. He published his first paper on The Effect of Animal Protein Factor on Lowering Protein Needs of the Pig. Pigs, he joked, had

been good to him. The work he did then is still consulted. Edwards later codiscovered a syndrome known as “X-disease” in chickens, and the antibiotic growth response in animals. He was also the first to recognize the significance of zinc deficiency in chickens. Edwards also researched factors influencing the utilization of dietary phytate phosphorus and vitamin D for poultry. This research won Edwards a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as work abroad in university laboratories in Sweden, France and England (including at Cambridge).

The seemingly tireless Edwards became UGA’s youngest academic dean at age 42. When he assumed the deanship of the Graduate School in June, 1972, he tackled the job with the same analytical ferocity that he brought to the lab. Edwards was determined to learn the names of all 1,100 UGA staff and faculty, as well as the names of all his students and which departments they belonged to. “And I could talk about their work,” Edwards added with a pleased grin. He was proud of the fact that he spent time actively recruiting minority graduate students from traditionally black colleges throughout the Southeast. Edwards also decided he would somehow devote time each week to the laboratory. Meanwhile, he challenged prevailing notions about post-doctoral research and went about eliminating redundant programs across campus. He spoke out about policies and funding practices that worried him; he occasionally stepped on toes, too, but never with intended harm. After seven years of administrative work as a dean, Edwards realized he missed the sheer freedom of the classroom and research. Edwards returned to both, as well as his international work and studies. In ensuing years, Edwards journeyed back twice to Denmark as a visiting professor at the Danish Agricultural and Veterinary Research council. He did additional work at Cambridge. By 1988, Edwards was named a distinguished professor at UGA. Four years later, the grandson of Winston Churchill, Nicholas Soames, presented Edwards with a research award in the British House of Commons. The British government recognized Edwards’ work in poultry research, which identified cause and prevention of leg abnormalities. However, Edwards seemed proud-

est of the fact that his students were now doing important work of their own. He understood the exhilaration of pursuing an idea. “I just enjoy working,” he said only 18 months ago, “and when I left administration, I was glad to go back to the department. I had some offers in research companies. But I didn’t want to move to New York. I kept on working here.” He continued basic research, although his major thrust was in nutritional science. He kept close to former students and their developing projects. His seminal work in the poultry sciences so many years earlier still held true, and Edwards was still considered an important figure. Throughout 51 years as a professor and scientist, Edwards refereed more than 170 journal articles, wrote two books, and held four patents. And on that stifling July afternoon in 2006, with the air conditioning straining to keep his office cool, Edwards gazed steadily over the mound of manila folders on his desktop, before thumping a bulging folder belonging to a promising graduate student named Anastassia Liem.

Norris worked right until his death at age 95. Edwards figured he would do the very same. “I am just doing what I want to do,” he said reasonably. Retirement still held no appeal whatever. He would keep his eye upon the next intriguing problem, the next fascinating project, and share time with the graduate students and professor friends he deeply enjoyed. Edwards joked about his retired colleagues, whom he met for regular lunches. They were too busy to talk, Edwards fussed. And although it surely appeared he might one day surpass his old mentor’s longevity, appearances deceived. Hardy Edwards was unwell. He had already suffered a few heart attacks. “I’m not going to live all that much longer,” he confided reluctantly. “I look fine, but…” His voice was unsentimental and his eyes unclouded. His posture was perfectly straight against his university-issue chair. “I just enjoy working,” Edwards repeated defiantly. And so he did, right up until the very end of his amazing life. Hardy M. Edwards, Jr., Alumni

Throughout 51 years as a professor and scientist, Edwards refereed more than 170 journal articles, wrote two books, and held four patents.  Together, Edwards and Liem were working on a statistical model. He enjoyed mentoring her and had recently written a paper with Liem and another student. The basement office Edwards kept on campus was remarkably uncluttered after 50 continuous years of research. Leaning back in his chair, Edwards said he was still patterning his life after his old mentor, Leo Chandler Norris, founder of Cornell’s nutrition program.

Foundation distinguished professor of poultry science and animal nutrition, died on December 25, 2007. At 78, Edwards was still actively employed. In death notices, he was profiled as UGA’s longest-serving professor. That point, especially, would have pleased Edwards immensely. G

Graduate School Magazine



in brief

First Recipients of the VERIZON/HOPE LINE

Fellowship N A N C Y E V E LY N

GRADUATE students Jenna McCauley (BS ’03; MS ’06; PhD ’08) and Jennifer McMahon (MA ’05; PhD ’09) are the first Verizon/HopeLine fellows selected for a new program funded by Verizon Wireless, according to Graduate School Dean Maureen Grasso. The awards by Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine program support domestic violence research, education and prevention, says Sheryl Sellaway, a Verizon Wireless spokesperson. McCauley and McMahon’s fellowships also support training of other scholars and clinicians. “This program will help further our efforts and we look forward to the work that will come from the dedication, time and insight provided by these students,” says Sellaway. “We have to constantly seek out ways to address this important, devastating social ill. Verizon Wireless wants to extend its efforts beyond using our technology to help domestic violence awareness and prevention. We want to use our financial resources, our leadership position and our caring connection to the community where we live, work and provide wireless service.” Verizon Wireless created the HopeLine program in 2001 in support of domestic abuse prevention and education programs. Since its inception,

Jenna McCauley

Jennifer McMahon

HopeLine has awarded nearly $5 million in cash grants to domestic violence agencies and organizations nationwide. Verizon accepts and recycles unused wireless phones, batteries and accessories at locations nationwide. They use the proceeds to fund cash grants to local shelters and non-profit programs in support of HopeLine’s aims. Since the program’s launch seven years ago, Verizon has collected more than 4.5 million phones. In addition, Verizon and HopeLine have distributed more than 60,000 phones with more

than 160 million minutes of free wireless service to be used by victims of domestic violence. The environmental benefits of Verizon’s recycling program are twofold. The collection of unused phones and electronics has meant proper disposal of more than one million phones, and diverted more than 200 tons of electronic waste and batteries from landfills. Now, the Verizon/HopeLine Fellows will support UGA scholarship in the area of domestic violence. “Research into the causes of domestic violence and awareness of the problems should make a significant difference in our world. We have stressed the interdisciplinary nature of this training and research, which combine graduate faculty from psychology, sociology, social work, gerontology, the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and the College of Public Health, among others,” says Grasso. “We have two Verizon/HopeLine Fellows in 2007-2008, and we hope to have three in 2008-2009.” Editor’s Note: In addition to HopeLine, Verizon Wireless offers the consumer service #HOPE, available across Verizon Wireless’ nationwide wireless network. By dialing #4673, then pressing send, callers will be connected directly to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, where they can receive the confidential help they need through empowerment-based crisis intervention, information and resources. The call is toll and airtime free.

“ THIS PROGRAM WILL HELP FURTHER OUR EFFORTS and we look forward to the work that will come from the dedication, time, and insight provided by these students. We have to constantly seek out ways to address this important, devastating social ill.” — S H E RY L S E L L AWAY



------------------------------“Stranger danger?” Hardly. Victims of




Graces the G R A D U AT E S C H O O L

domestic violence often know and live with their physical assailant. The odds are statistically significant that you or someone you know has been abused, stalked or violently assaulted by someone loved or trusted. The violence suffered isn’t only beatings but often includes gunshot wounds, stabbings or emotional duress. According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, or FVPF, domestic violence affects an estimated 960,000 to 3 million women annually. The violence is inflicted by abusive current and former spouses or intimates. Intimate partner violence almost always targets women, accounting for 85 percent of the victims reported in a 2001 study by FVPF. · A 1998 survey by the Commonwealth Fund reported that one-third of all women worldwide are beaten or abused by a spouse or boyfriend in their lifetime. · Nearly a fourth of American women surveyed by the National Violence Against Women organization during the years 1995-1996 disclosed having been raped and/or physically assaulted. · Over half a million women reported being victims of nonfatal violence committed by intimate partners in 2001, according to the FVPF. They add that the issue of intimate violence extends to our nation’s youth. · An estimated one in five female high school-age students has been physically and/or sexually abused by a date.

“It’s too tragic to outgrow magic,” says Donna Leigh Jackins (BFA, ’57) who recently created a quilt to honor the 2010 centennial of the Graduate School. Jackins, a member of the Graduate School Advancement Board, creates art quilts incorporating paper, fabric and other media in her Birmingham, Alabama, studio. Her work has been featured in juried shows across the nation and in Japan. Whimsy and playfulness are signatures of her work, and she credits a sense of magic as a key to her fanciful creations. Jackins agreed to the commission last year. “Dean Grasso and I discussed hanging a piece of my work in the new offices. I then told her that I would arrive in April ’08 with a quilt especially designed for the Graduate School.” The artist created a quilt depicting the state of Georgia with small fabric scraps. She embellished it with key information, “including all the degrees offered by the school, the schools that feed into the graduate programs, the deans, notable alumni and some miscellaneous stuff. The Arch is highlighted in the proper location.” Jackins, who has now produced 220 art quilts, says she’s pleased with her efforts. “I like the brightness of the quilt, the unusual shape and, of course, the glorious tassel. I like that you can’t fully see the piece unless you are willing to stop and spend time with it. It tells the story of the University of Georgia’s Graduate School. It has found its home and would never fit in another environment.” “The quilt holds a place of honor,” says Grasso. “We just received this original work of art, and immediately placed it on display here at the Graduate School. Donna Leigh’s creation is simply fantastic and rich with symbols and meaning. It features key points in the 100 years of the Graduate School’s odyssey that she wove into the textile. She has developed something entirely original and visually beautiful.” The Dean, who has long admired Jackins’ work and art, says she feels especially drawn to it, particularly given Jackins’ personal connection to the Graduate School. “It’s even more meaningful to me, given that my own research background is in textiles, but also because this is an unexpected and incredibly generous gift. You realize that her work hangs in collections all over the world, and looking at this quilt, it’s obvious why collectors are so attracted to her creations.” The quilt will remain on permanent public display. Graduate School Magazine



in brief



Students and faculty at the University of Georgia filled the Classic Center on March 27 to hear a bipartisan report given by five former secretaries of state. It was the 16th such report. Secretaries Henry Kissinger, James Baker III, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell appeared on stage with moderator Terence Smith as part of a conference commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Dean Rusk Center. The event was jointly presented by The Southern Center for International Studies and the University of Georgia School of Law. Dean Rusk served as President John F. Kennedy’s secretary of state. Rusk was with UGA for 25 years, according to Ambassador C.

Donald Johnson, who presently heads the Dean Rusk Center. A television program to be edited from the conference became part of the Southern Center’s Annual Report series. The program aired nationally over public broadcasting systems on April 26.

Graduate School Dean Maureen Grasso is shown standing third from right in a photograph taken following the secretaries’ report. Among other participants, shown seated (from left to right) are: Secretaries Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger.

RAHN Wins T h e s i s Aw a r d Elizabeth Rahn, one of our cover sub-


Rahn accepting her award this past February, at far right above.


jects last year, was awarded the 2008 Master’s Thesis Award by the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools in February. Rahn is a third-year doctoral student in neuroscience. She is the second UGA graduate student in three years to win the award, which recognizes excellence in research and writing by graduate students. For more information on Rahn’s work, see Volume 3, Number 2 of the University of Georgia Graduate School Magazine.


A N i g h t AT T H E M U S E U M An invitation-only gathering of UGA alumni attended an evening at Savannah’s Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah on February 19. The event, honoring a special exhibition organized bv the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina, featured Larry Wheeler (MA ’69; PHD ’72). Wheeler, executive director of the North Carolina Museum of Art, led guests on a narrated tour of the exhibition titled Fast Forward. The show ran January 23- April 27 at the Telfair Museum of Art.


JACKSON Named Kellogg Health SCHOLAR Caree J. Jackson has been selected

to receive a two-year Kellogg Health Scholars Program Fellowship in Community Based Participatory Research. Jackson is a doctoral candidate in UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS). She will work at the Morgan State University School of Public Health and Policy in Baltimore, Maryland, from September 2008 to August 2010. The Kellogg Health Scholars Program seeks to develop new leadership in the effort to reduce and eliminate health disparities and to secure equal access to the conditions and services essential for achieving healthy communities. The program receives applications from highly qualified applicants from all over the nation. Jackson participated in the Graduate School’s Emerging Leaders program, where she says she “gained positive insight and feedback that assisted me in the process of securing this fellowship.” For more on Jackson’s work in nutrition with Atlanta-area students, see the feature article online: h/0709healthy.html.

(Right) Rosemary Laing, Chromogenic print, © 1999 Rosemary Laing (Center above and below) Bill Bamberger, Giclée digital prints © 2000 Bill Bamberger

Graduate School Magazine



in brief

UGA Graduate Programs L E A D N AT I O N W I D E University of Georgia graduate programs rank among the nation’s best, according

Graduate School Administration

to U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”

Maureen Grasso

The report was published in the April 7-14 edition of U.S. News & World Report magazine.

Dean Craig Edelbrock

Some highlighted include: · The College of Education moved up in the rankings to a 26th-place tie. · The School of Law improved its position to tie for 36th. · The Terry College of Business tied for 46th.

· The School of Public and International

Associate Dean

Affairs’ Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program shared fourth-place ranking with Princeton University. · UGA’s PhD program in clinical

Michael Johnson Assistant Dean Judy Milton Assistant Dean

psychology tied for 32nd and its

Krista Haynes

Master of Fine Arts program tied for


21st. Both programs are in UGA’s

Enrolled Student Services

Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Tonia Gantt Business

The report’s complete list of rankings and methodologies are online at .

Lollie Hoots Communications Tom Wilfong Development David Knox Information Technology

The Graduate School at the University of Georgia has been enhancing learning environments and inspiring scholarly endeavors since its formal establishment in 1910. Through our professional development programs and funding opportunities, we promote excellence in graduate education in all disciplines.


One team. One great way to save. Verizon Wireless and the University of Georgia.

Students, faculty and staff of the University of Georgia can take advantage of exclusive discounts on products and services from Verizon Wireless. Stop by a Verizon Wireless Communications Store today and find out how you can save.

Switch to America’s Most Reliable Wireless Network® Network details and coverage maps at ©2008 Verizon Wireless

t h e l a s t w o rd

“Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun.” -----------------------------------------------—Kahlil Gibran

Georganium wears red flowers and green leaves, and greets customers of the Main Street Bank in Athens. This fetching Dawg turns her face to the sun and blooms where she is planted.

Georganium, 475 E. Broad St., Christine Shockley Gholson, artist


The University of Georgia Graduate School 320 East Clayton Street, Suite 400 Athens, Georgia 30602-4401 706-425-3111, FAX 706-425-3096




ATHENS, GA. PERMIT NO. 165 Editor/Writer Cynthia Adams Design Julie Sanders Director of Photography Nancy Evelyn

© 2008 by the University of Georgia.

Copy Editors

No part of this publication may be

Annie Ferguson

reproduced in any way without the

Maura Barber

written permission of the editor.

This publication was printed by generous gifts from Verizon

Summer 08 - UGAGS Magazine  

The Summer 08 edition of The University of Georgia Graduate School Magazine features Generations: Brian Adler; Aaron Durst: Fromthe frigid o...

Summer 08 - UGAGS Magazine  

The Summer 08 edition of The University of Georgia Graduate School Magazine features Generations: Brian Adler; Aaron Durst: Fromthe frigid o...