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The University of Georgia

Graduate School

winter 2013

m a g a z i n e

An update on the brightest minds defining our future

“and above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” — roa L d d a h L , Wri t er

WINTER 2013 CONTENTS 2 Water Usage 14 Glorious Tuba! 16 Fracture Putty 24 Antibiotic Resistance 30 Excellence in Teaching Winners 40 Graduate School Donors and Why I Give Back Cover The Last Word/Game Dawg ©2013 by the University of Georgia. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any way without the written permission of the editor.

m e s s a g e fro m

Dean Maureen Grasso As I look into the future, I see bright prospects filled with discoveries and innovation. I know this is possible due to the investment we are making in graduate education here at the University of Georgia. This is an investment yielding the greatest possible return for our fellow man. Recently I heard Subra Suresh, the head of the National Science Foundation. He stressed investing resources in our best and brightest students. This action contributes not only to the quality of life we all experience, but also to our national security as well. To invest in the intellectual capital of our students is as simple in concept as adding wheels to our suitcases. Like the wheels, funding scholarship is a stroke of good insight. An investment made today funds the possibility for tomorrow’s breakthroughs in labs and classrooms in the State of Georgia and across the globe. As we go to press, researchers perfect a fracture putty which means a broken bone can heal in days versus weeks. A team of students work with lead professors on various aspects of water conservation in multiple states. Alumni Meredith Wright researches a bacterium associated with hospitalacquired infections. They labor in order to bring their work to fruition. Please join me and pull out the envelope. Every dollar we raise for our graduate fellowships creates an opportunity for these bright minds to do what they do best—to innovate.

ON COVER: Melanie Taylor, graduate student and researcher, at Whitehall Forest. Nancy Evelyn, photographer.

Water Shortage, Drought and Climate Change Lead to Research Innovations From Kansas to Kenya Graduate Students Personal Histories Inform Water-Conserving Studies by CynthiA AdAMS photoS by nAnCy evelyn


laST SUMMeR, hay WiTheReD UnDeR a SeVeRe DRoUGhT aFFecTinG 53 PeRcenT oF The naTion. Farmers were pleading online for hay. Some resorted to selling off their livestock. The USDa opened four million conservation acres for grazing. Ag Professional reported in 2012 that “U.S. taxpayers will pay a record $15 billion to subsidize the privately run crop insurance program this year, double the recent cost due to devastating drought in the Farm Belt.� in related developments, river levels from china to the americas dropped. interstate water wars over the colorado, Missouri and chattahoochee rivers continue in 2013.

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Can UGA innovators change the game as water resources tighten and droughts become more extensive? University researchers tackle varied aspects of a water-challenged world.

Paul Efland


Jacqueline Mohan is one of several University of Georgia ecological research professors whose climate-related ecological work has taken her to international research sites. Now Mohan is linking studies intended to reveal the effect of climate change on eastern forests at Whitehall Forest outside Athens, Ga., Harvard Forest in Massachusetts, and Duke Forest in Durham, N.C.

e know our seasons have grown hotter and drier. What isn’t known is precisely what that means for the future of our forests and plants. What species will survive? What will be lost? At Whitehall Forest outside Athens, Ga., researchers are at work on a long-term quest to find answers. Mohan is one of several UGA ecological researchers whose work has taken her there and to research sites nationally and internationally, including the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in Highlands, N.C. The Coweeta Station is set in naturally occurring upland forests and wetlands within the Appalachian Mountains. There, numerous researchers from several federal and state institutions, including UGA, study how nature responds to natural disturbances and atmospheric changes in both. While at the station, Mohan became colleague and friend to Chelcy Ford. (Ford’s work on a climate change committee in Washington, D.C., was profiled in this magazine last year.) Much of Mohan’s research also concerns climate change, says Ford. “Either from the effects of CO2 increases or from temperature increases.” Towards that end, Mohan worked previously with a soil-warming experiment in New England at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, Mass. Subsequently, she decided to implement a soil-warming experiment at Whitehall Forest. Whitehall Forest is a research facility occupying nearly 850 acres. The land houses several offices and labs, including UGA and federal facilities. “One facet of Jackie's work at Duke was on the FACE experiment (or Free-Air CO2 Enrichment Study),” says Ford. “She found that when CO2 concentrations increase in the forest, poison ivy (a noxious liana), increased both in size and toxicity in the oils that cause the rash it is so famous for. This is similar to the


finding that pine trees exposed to higher CO2 concentrations have higher resin production." Ford expresses the science simply, making it relatable. “In other words, if the CO2 substrate concentration increases, but the tree or plant doesn't really need it for growth or reproduction, or even if it does, defense compounds can increase,” explains Ford. “In addition to finding that higher CO2 promoted more vigorous (and poisonous!) poison ivy,” Mohan says, “my research also shows that the juvenile trees that will likely make up the forests of the future will shift in composition." That shift, she finds, makes them among those “least able to absorb a lot of CO2 from the air." What will this mean? “Slow growers,” Mohan finds, “like sugar maple and black cherry, do better. While important timber trees, like pine and tulip, don’t.” Mohan and other researchers have various projects underway at Whitehall Forest, the Horticulture Farm at Watkinsville, Ga., and elsewhere. Some of those research projects are Specialty Crop Research Initiatives, known as SCRI. SCRI researchers include UGA professors Marc van Iersel and Harald Scherm. Van Iersel works with the physiology and nutrition of horticultural crops, focusing on carbon fixation of plant canopies. He also is the graduate coordinator in horticulture. An Assistant Dean of Research, Scherm is a professor of plant pathology.

Rethinking Water Usage It seems fitting that Kansan Amanda Bayer came to Georgia during a drought to undertake water conservation research. After all, western Kansas once suffered mightily during an

epic drought. The Midwest was the setting for the horrific Dust Bowl, the Depression-era phenomenon chronicled by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath. This was the worst environmental disaster in nearly 350 years. The Great Plains were farmed to the point of disaster by homesteaders, who planted wheat and removed or overgrazed native prairie grass. Environmental damage in the Great Plains reached an apogee in the 1930s. The lands literally blew away, in black storms that raged and killed. This was the tragic result of horrific, long-term drought, combined with poor farming practices. Inches of Great Plains dust landed on eastern cities as far as New York. The skies were blackened by swirling, wind-borne topsoil that, once lost, took decades to restore. Steinbeck’s opus described the exodus of farmers fleeing in carloads. Their lands “dusted out” he wrote. Livestock starved or died of thirst. People died of dust-induced pneumonia. Farmers numbering nearly half a million left to search for new land or work. Woody Guthrie wrote haunting songs about that exodus. Thereafter, a 19-state region became known as the Dust Bowl. The Midwest recovered with government incentives to change farm practices. But not until the 1950s did the worst of the impact resolve. The grinding drought eventually ended, but it required intervention to help change farming techniques. It is impossible to come of age as a Kansan and not hear the haunting story of the time when farmlands blew away. Again, the Midwest and much of the nation suffered in the grips of the drought of 2012. It became desperately dry. Even with cooling weather fronts by September 2012, the Farm Belt logged warmer-than-average temperatures based on data reaching to 1895. The vast majority of the continental United States, especially the lower Midwest, remained in moderate to severe drought. When the government began buying livestock from Midwestern farmers last year, it was eerily like the Dust Bowl years.

national science foundation grant Links Interstate Project Sites A project linking the University of Georgia, Harvard and Duke is titled “New Directions” on Jacqueline Mohan’s website. This project will help us better understand exactly how eastern forests might look in the coming century, says Mohan. She is a terrestrial ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry professor in the Odum School of Ecology. In the spring of 2012, Mohan received a $554,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study how forests are impacted by climate change. The award monies were to help develop more accurate predictions about those impacts. "In general, climate models predict that the North will become wetter and the South drier, especially during the summer growing season—mirroring what we've been seeing over the last 15 years or so," Mohan told ecology writer Beth Gavrilles. Over a five-year period, Mohan and fellow researchers at various sites will consider changes within native forest plots. "We'll be able to see which species are most responsive to those sorts of changes, in a positive or negative way." Professor Mohan’s project at Whitehall Forest, assisted by a number of UGA graduate students, will be compared to soilwarming experiments undertaken elsewhere. Other sites include Harvard Forest in Massachusetts and Duke Forest in North Carolina, where James Clark leads the five-year effort. Participating researchers are also at the University

Arthur Rothstein, Library of Congress

of Illinois, Columbia University, Michigan State University, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. The data mined will be used in building predictive models to better understand which species are under threat from climate change and which ones may thrive, says Mohan, in making future resource decisions.

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Bayer’s research team monitors soil moisture levels with the use of moisture-detecting sensors. “We use those to monitor the moisture of the substrate.” Soil moisture sensors used at the research site might greatly alleviate water usage levels by demonstrating that less water is not only sufficient, but optimal.

amanda Bayer Amanda (Mandy) Bayer grew up in Atchison, Kansas. She currently works in research with conservation and irrigation techniques, having previously worked in landscaping design. She will complete her doctoral studies in horticulture in 2014. Bayer’s parents raised Christmas trees as a hobby. “Growing up, my parents’ interest in plants showed me how many different aspects of growing plants there are—from growing a garden to landscaping. I realized then how beautiful and exciting plants can be." After earning a bachelor’s degree in landscape contracting at Penn State in 2004, Bayer spent the following three years working as a landscape designer in Louisville, Ky. Those years working as a designer lent Bayer an understanding of the art of landscaping. Beauty had inherent rewards. Yet a deepening interest in the science side of the work compelled Bayer to earn a master’s at the University of Illinois. Through her work with commercial nurseries and growers, Bayer became increasingly concerned with best practices and environmental matters. She and her husband, A. J., who also worked in landscape design, contemplated a move from


Illinois to the University of Georgia just as “Georgia was coming out of a drought." Doctoral research at UGA made sense, Bayer says. “Georgia has a great reputation when it comes to droughtrelated research." At the Horticulture Farm in Watkinsville, Ga., Bayer says her work with soil moisture sensors nears an end. UGA’s research with soil moisture sensors at the site has been underway since 2009. Bayer will soon have completed a total of four experiments since 2010. The experiments quantify exactly how much water is sufficient for optimal plant health. “My advisor, Marc van Iersel, began work on the project the year before I got here as well, so UGA has completed three years’ worth of research, while I'm just beginning my third year here,” says Bayer. With the aid of the sensors, the research team monitors soil moisture levels. The soil moisture sensors are about the size of a hand, or smaller, with 10 feet or more of attached cables. The soil moisture sensors are connected to a data logger, which is used to run a program controlling irrigation. “We use those to monitor the moisture of the substrate. When it drops below that (predetermined) level we irrigate.”

Bayer is completing an experiment which has been ongoing for the past four months. The change can produce striking water savings. Bayer offers a powerful example: “Professor van Iersel estimates that one of the nurseries we are working with probably uses about 500 million gallons a year. Taking a conservative estimate—that they reduced irrigation by only 20 percent after seeing the benefits of reduced irrigation from our research—they would save about 100,000,000 gallons per year. The average household uses 350 gallons a day or 127,750 gallons per year. That means that just in this one nursery, we are saving enough water to supply about 800 households or about 2,000 people." Of course, Bayer adds, this is an estimate. Refined watering also improves plant health. “The focus has been how plant growth is affected by maintaining substrate water content. We are trying to show how to produce good quality plants while irrigating more efficiently,” Bayer says. Bayer is completing the third of four experiments for the project, funded by the USDA through the Specialty Crops Research Initiative, or SCRI. Bayer’s professor, van Iersel, is among those associated with the SCRI research at various institutions. The SCRI has funded various research projects nationwide. “My research is about more efficient irrigation for container nurseries,” explains Bayer. “These are nurseries that grow shrubs in pots that are then sold to garden centers." While keenly aware of issues related to irrigation practices, some commercial growers are habituated to over-watering. No more over-watering by growers translates into less waste, leaching, and disease. There is a practical incentive beyond water conservation, Bayer notes. “Even for growers it might not be the straight watersavings that matters to them. Disease incidence and insects can be helped by monitoring.” Bayer points out an additional problem of over-fertilizing container plants, which causes leaching from the pots into the environment. “Some people have to be aware of this—you don’t need the leaching—so fertilizer salts don’t build up in the substrate.” The soil moisture sensors, Bayer believes, can help nurseries deal with the obvious restrictions of the future, and comply with inevitable laws and regulations. (Bayer mentions the states around the Chesapeake Bay, which have tight restrictions concerning runoff.) “I hope our work helps people deal with that.”

Over Watered and Over Fertilized: Changing the Southern Landscape A beautiful landscape is intrinsically rewarding, Bayer agrees. But in relation to drought, Bayer says there is a growing reality check. “The realization is that, as the water crisis develops, with the population increasing, water available to nursery crops and ornamentals is the first area that would be restricted quite closely. “ Bayer believes nurseries will not be as negatively impacted as they could be in the future. The sensor could prove to lessen the impact of water restrictions. “The nurseries we have worked with have been happy with the [moisture-detecting] systems,” she says. Bayer’s current plan is to continue pursuits in plant physiology and efficient irrigation. Through working with her major professors, horticulturalists van Iersel and John Ruter, Bayer says she has come to enjoy the teaching side of academia. She is currently a teaching assistant, helping with the identification of woody plants. In addition to earning her doctorate, Bayer hopes to obtain the Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching through the UGA Graduate School.

Peter O. Alem

Before Isak Dinesen romanticized the beauty of Kenya, thrilling readers, and before her contemporary, Hemingway, depicted it as a manly proving ground, a romanticized Rubicon—there was always the Kenya that has suffered much. Drought and water shortages are the subtext of sub-Saharan Africa. Peter O. Alem’s home country, Kenya, suffers one of the most severe water shortages on Earth. In the mid-1970s, its government instituted a National Water Master Plan, intended to provide drinkable water within walking distance of all Kenyan people. That goal remains unmet. As you read this, Alem will almost certainly be thinking about water, if not in the context of his UGA doctoral research. On the 300-mile ride along rough roads from Nairobi to his home village, Gem, he passes changing terrain. River beds grow drier; streams disappear. Kenyans must walk further than ever in search of drinkable water. For three weeks in January, this doctoral student who has taken his surname as his first, escorted friends made in South Carolina to Kenya. Alem says he took them to Gem in hopes of encouraging educational sponsorship of village children,

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Peter o. alem is conversant in the language of drought. There is the problem of a growing population in kenya, with more than half of the country without access to piped water. For those kenyans with piped water, it is seldom safe for consumption. For the month of January, alem focused upon the needs of children in his home village of Gem, kenya.

and to drill some water wells. Rather than live a life of struggle, others, too, may become a researcher or educator, or water conservationist, just as he has done. Perhaps a few fortunate village women will get water closer to their homes. Schooling, and kindly sponsors, changed Alem's life. Education, too, is nearly as vital for survival as water. His brother, Samson Llimbe Alem, who works for the Kenyan branch of the Centers for Disease Control, is also a scientist. For now, Alem is reminiscing on this birthday about how he would have celebrated back home. When he is not thinking about water-related research, he thinks of Kenya with a touch of longing. There is hardship but also great community in Gem. Sometimes lush, sometimes standing in stark relief against the African sky, Kenya is home to African buffalos, big cats, wildebeest and rhino. There is a confluence of thrumming life competing for water. There is the savannah and the bush, with thin trails of water and muddy pans after a rain. But always, there is the quest for enough water. “Back in Kenya, I did work at the National Environmental Management Authority under a lead environmental expert,” he says. “Water is a very important issue and that’s how I became interested in this." Alem has been working on his doctoral research since arriving at UGA August 10, 2010, which was only three days after he finished his master’s at Clemson University. Prior to college studies, Alem had never left his village, though he could speak English by the sixth grade. (English was his third language. Luo is his native tongue. Alem’s second language is Swahili, the national language.) With the ease of a young Harry Belafonte, Alem laughs, breaking his reverie. Travel, as the adage says, has broadened him. “I think I’m better, more tolerant and adaptable." He speaks to tolerance and how valuable it is. “UGA offers a big international environment and there is so much to do,” he says earnestly. The water shortages in Kenya are dealt with in stark contrast to extended drought periods in the American Southeast. For example, in Gem, Alem says, there


are almost no stretches of grassy lawns, no matter how rich the homeowner. “We only probably water the grass on the soccer fields,” he explains. There is a strict prioritization of consumption, which is a matter of survival. “We will have to have water for many urgent needs,” he says, tenting his fingers. Alem grew up with people porting water for long distances for those urgent needs. “People walking miles to get water,” he says. Walks to port water grow longer as water grows scarcer. “If people think about changing times," Alem recalls, "they recall when there were little rivers and streams that are no longer there.” Water is a defining issue in places around the globe. But in Africa, it is especially crucial. When Alem returns to Kenya, he quickly readapts to life there, bathing with a small pail of water. “I would not take a shower,” he says. “The water used to take a shower for one person (here in the States) is probably the amount of water used for a few people back in Kenya." And as one of six siblings, he is accustomed to sharing. He marvels at the relative ease of life in the United States. You open a tap and water appears. You jump into a car and arrive straightaway—no potholes, no dirt roads. American conveniences, the innovation and abundance, are good and enjoyable. But the simplicity of Kenyan life is also beautiful. Alem’s home village is 300 miles from Nairobi, but the roads were so poor the drive to Nairobi was an ordeal. “It takes about eight hours. When I go from UGA to Clemson, I can be at Clemson in one hour, without fear I am going to hit a big pothole!” He began his graduate education at Clemson University, with plans to study environmental horticulture and become an educator. "I was considering a doctorate," he remembers, "but in a different school to broaden my experience in working with people." Plus, there was the dominant concern of water. He recalls the drying streams and river beds back home. “Water is such an issue in Africa,” he stresses. When Alem learned of his

“i think i’m better, more tolerant and adaptable. UGa offers a big international environment and there is so much to do.” —Peter o. alem, PhD candidate acceptance at UGA, he grabbed the opportunity to expand his studies, combining water and plant nutrition management. For the past two years, Alem's doctoral research with major professor Marc van Iersel has concerned creating more efficient irrigation systems in greenhouse production. Soil moisture sensors measure real-time soil moisture content and trigger irrigation when it is most necessary. He explains the irrigation systems they have researched. “When the soil is dry enough that the plants need more water, the irrigation begins; otherwise, systems used static times, a clock system. A clock system is not efficient. It will automatically water, regardless,” Alem explains. “When the soil is dry enough, and plants need water, irrigation is turned on; otherwise, nothing happens." The crucial difference, Alem explains, is an intelligent system. “Conventional irrigation systems use static timers, a clock system that triggers irrigation based on a pre-determined time schedule, regardless of the soil moisture content. The clock system is not efficient, and may result in a lot of water wastage." In places around the globe, already hard pressed for water, waste is unacceptable.

Alem can also export his knowledge for the benefit of African growers. “In Kenya, they grow a lot of roses in greenhouses. Water management is very critical. In the greenhouse, people water and fertilize their plants artificially. The excess of both winds up with water waste and nutrients getting into the water system and causing environmental problems. Any person in agriculture who is thinking of working in this area must be concerned with this.” He knows that present research can save water and fertilizer and improve grower outcomes as well. “The specific question I am addressing is: ‘If we do irrigate and fertilize plants efficiently, can we save water and/or fertilizer and can we reduce water and fertilizer requirements for plant production in the greenhouses?'" Despite missing family and traditions of Africa, Alem says he loves UGA and the chance to participate in work that will make life better for so many. “I’m having an amazing time in Graduate School."

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coming of age in southwestern Virginia, with a view of the appalachians, Melanie Taylor says: “The intricacies and inner workings of the natural world always fascinated me. The climate is changing and i am interested in how this will affect forest composition and processes. The warming experiment at Whitehall Forest is a perfect opportunity for me to investigate these changes.” Melanie taylor Melanie Taylor is Mohan’s graduate student. She came of age in the mountains of Bluefield, Va., where droughts are less commonplace. Yet, the mountains were in plain view, and Taylor was attuned to changes. “I grew up in southwestern Virginia where coal-mining is a predominant industry. Man's impact on land was apparent to me, even as a child,” she says. She was observant, and liked school. Taylor especially liked biology and science. There was one singular teacher who filled her with intrigue concerning the world and possibilities beyond Bluefield. “Mr. Winters taught at Graham High school. He left a mark on a lot of people,” she says with a smile. Winters posed difficult environmental questions. What are we doing and what are we leaving behind?” he asked students. Taylor describes how Winters awakened his students to science and the world, while “teaching us, discussing a lot of environmental things." Big dreams can take root in small places. Taylor dreamed


of becoming an educator, like Winters, or a scientist, after high school. But her family could scarcely afford that. The way to that dream, Taylor decided, was to enlist in the military. A recruiter assured her she would be able to attend college free on the G. I. Bill after fulfilling her term of service. Taylor hadn’t imagined herself standing in a recruiter’s office, enlisting in the Navy. Yet here she was, doing exactly that, at age 18. Taylor was uprooted, far from the hills of Bluefield. Before receiving an assignment, she submitted to a battery of aptitude tests. Taylor scored especially well in math and science. She wound up being given a choice between training for work on a submarine as a nuclear engineer and working on land with naval aeronautics. Again, Taylor couldn’t imagine herself in that scenario, being confined for months on end in a submarine. She chose aeronautic work. She completed her training, becoming a Petty Officer, 2nd Class. “I was in the Navy for five years,” Taylor says. She still has her dress uniform but laughs that she might not fit into it, though she remains slim.

Melanie Taylor—Grace Under Fire. The young graduate student is a veteran of the U.S. navy and tours of duty in the Middle east. She was decorated several times for leadership and bravery while in iraq. Taylor’s lead professor, Jacqueline Mohan, admires Taylor’s aplomb. “She actually came under mortar fire while she was leading a group of soldiers in electrical repair in the field. She got all her men back safely to shelter, and kept the instrument from falling into enemy hands. needless to say, Melanie is cool under pressure and her electrical training with the navy has prepared her to be a ‘natural’ when it comes to figuring out and repairing the many electrical technologies we use in our research.”

“I worked on P-3 Orions—a surveillance plane,” Taylor says, and wound up being posted around the United States and in the Middle East. The discipline and rigors of the military shaped her. The work was difficult and structured. And it was dangerous. On Taylor’s final deployment to Iraq, she supervised a work center of individuals repairing electronic equipment. The base where Taylor worked endured regular mortar attacks. One such day made Taylor a hero. Mohan says her graduate student, “actually came under mortar fire while she was leading a group of soldiers in electrical repair in the field. She got all her men back safely to shelter, and kept the instrument from falling into enemy hands. Needless to say, she is cool under pressure and her electrical training with the Navy has prepared her to be a ‘natural’ when it comes to figuring out and repairing the many electrical technologies we use in our research." It also netted Taylor special recognition, Mohan adds,“ for leadership and bravery.” Taylor received the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. The honor that counted most to Taylor was the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. She was still in her twenties. Taylor was encouraged to remain in the Navy, but chose to leave. There was that scientist dream that had been incubating for many years now. Having always longed for a life of scholarship, she exchanged the stresses of military life for Graduate School. “I eventually want to do a PhD,” Taylor says, adding that military life has taught her necessary self-discipline. This semester, she is a teaching assistant in ecology handling three lab sections and loving it. “This week, we are catching butterflies,” she smiles.

A UGA ecology professor, James Porter, teaches the lecture portion of the class Taylor assists with in the lab. He has rekindled all the fires once stoked by the Virginia high school teacher. “Jim Porter is a wonderful lecturer. He makes students feel like they could walk out the door and change the world. We need more of that." Now, Taylor has a new goal. She aspires to become a professor. About six miles outside Athens, Taylor stands by one of the research plots at Whitehall. Whitehall is a peaceful place. It is apart from the bustle of the UGA campus; these former farmlands are now heavily wooded. There is a canopy of trees, yet, this summer morning the woods almost heave with heat—the natural sort, that doesn’t come from a buried cable. Summer temperatures throughout the South have been intense and rain scarce. The soil is dry, and scatters with the scuff of a shoe. “Whitehall is where most of my thesis data will come from,” Taylor says quietly. “What we’re doing here is really significant. What kind of forest are our grand kids going to be experiencing? What kind of experience will our grand kids have?” Taylor enters a small building where computer equipment monitors the temperature variations. “Tick-tick-tick” the equipment ticks, as it transfers data from a data collection area at Whitehall. Taylor often works with the technical equipment, work which harkens back to her Naval days. She chats about climate change projections of three-five degree Celsius, and microbial DNA tests. Taylor likes talking science. The researchers monitor the effect on seedlings that have

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WhiTehall FoReST is a research facility occupying nearly 850 acres. The land houses several offices and labs, including UGa and federal facilities. “Whitehall is where most of my thesis data will come from,” Taylor says quietly. “What we’re doing here is really significant. What kind of forest are our grandkids going to be experiencing? What kind of experience will our grandkids have?” 00564-013b

been deliberately planted there. “Others have been naturally recruited,” explains Taylor. The researchers take careful inventory and study soil cores. They watch, measure, and crunch endless amounts of data. Above the rising morning sun, which radiates uncomfortable, steamy heat, there is a blur of wing: A hawk passes. Mosquitoes hum around ankles, eager to feed upon sweaty arms and legs. The researchers recently dealt with an infestation of caterpillars that munched the leaves off the trees in the research area. Taylor and companions scan warily for poison ivy, one plant that is proven to thrive in a hotter, drier climate, according to Monahan’s research. Mother Nature, perhaps a little hot and bothered herself, knows precisely how to keep things interesting when the heat is turned up. After all, it is her forest. Dynamic, throbbing, closely watched, it watches back. n



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13 9


as r b BIG


UN O S big

★ A B ★ TU

The Air for these Winning Musicians is Rare, Fat, and Fine by Cynthia Adams photo by nancy Evelyn

Is it harder to become a professional level musician, than, say, a quarterback? Actually, yes. And the business of building a top-ranked music program is not unlike college athletics at all, University of Georgia’s David Zerkel explains. It’s competitive. And only the truly fine survive the cut. It may be an unwieldy, gawky-looking instrument, but the tuba is an anomaly on many fronts…it plays in THE lowest registers, going where other instruments cannot. Despite the tuba’s intimidating size, it does not take enormous lung capacity to play—actually, the opposite. It requires what musician and University of Georgia professor, David Zerkel, descriptively calls “fat air.” And its fans are many. Tuba players are gregarious, happy. They play nicely with others. Apparently, this in no way dampens the musicians’ zeal to compete. Last summer, Zerkel, a professor in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, sent an exultant email to top UGA brass. The subject line ran: “News from Austria.” Zerkel’s news was that three doctoral students, Simon Wildman, David McLemore, and Matthew Shipes, had been successfully competing, and winning, in both national and international competitions near and far. Especially far.


One, Wildman, had just competed

recent international competition,

in the 2012 International Tuba

the Leonard Falcone International

Euphonium in Linz, Austria. (Wildman

Competition in Michigan. Matt Shipes

took first prize.) McLemore had won

had advanced to the semi-final round

national, regional and state first prizes

for both tuba and euphonium, but

for the 2012 Music Teachers National

had to withdraw as a result of winning

Association Solo Competition in New

a professional playing position. This

York City. Shipes had just won an

type of representation is very rare, if

appointment to the United States Air

not unprecedented. To have each of

Force Band. And this was just the

these guys be prize winners in multiple

start—between them, the musicians

competitions is extremely rare.”

had nabbed at least 22 awards and

And there was more to blow his

competitions since 2011.

horn about, Zerkel added. “Matt has

It was, Zerkel said, an incredible

recently won a position in the United

accomplishment in face of the

States Air Force Band in Washington,

competition they met in places such

D.C. through a highly competitive

as Austria, Germany, New York City

national audition process. He is finished

and Washington, D.C.

with his coursework and will complete

And Zerkel thought this level of competition had made the musicians better than ever.

Must Have Tuba, Must Love Travel! L to R: Professor David Zerkel, Matthew Shipes, Simon Wildman, and David McLemore.

“The primary reason that I have my students enter

his dissertation project within a year. Simon and David each will finish their coursework this year.”

With the enthusiasm of UGA Coach Mark Richt, a rightly

competitions is so that they have a tangible goal for which they

proud Zerkel is a little puffed up. He predicts more successes for

are preparing,” Zerkel said afterwards. “Just as in athletics,

his hard-driven team of tuba players.

practicing with purpose makes all the difference in the world

“We are trying to recruit the very best players that we can

between improving a little and improving a lot. One of the things

to our campus. Like football players, musicians want to land at

that I am most proud of with my studio is that a culture has been

a school where there is a clear record of success in the past,

created where really focused hard work is the norm.” Zerkel

and more importantly in the present. They want to know that

had been down this path himself. He has had a career in both

the coach, or in this case the teacher, has a vested interest

military bands and playing with top-tier symphony orchestras.

in their development and that they are in a situation that will

He recently completed a term as president of the International

‘get them to the next level.’ I always tell students who wish to

Euphonium Association, where he still serves as a member of

perform for a living that they have much better odds of becoming

the executive board.

a quarterback in the NFL or even a United States Senator. There

How had it happened that three UGA graduate students achieved such a stupefying level of success? “What Simon, David and Matt accomplished in the past

are more jobs and the turnover rate is much higher. The level of excellence required to be successful in this business is daunting.” This level of competition assures UGA gets the cream

year is really exceptional. When any competition in anything is

of the musical crop, Zerkel adds. “The Graduate School's

national or international in scope, one can be assured that the

Assistantship and Fellowship programs help us to recruit the

very finest players from all around the globe are competing.

finest students to our campus. Without the generous funding

Four UGA students (David, Simon and undergrads Gary Garvin

provided to exceptional students, recruiting would be a much

and Alex Avila) took four of the six top prizes at the most

greater challenge.”


“one of the things that I am most proud of with my studio is that a culture has been created where really focused hard work is the norm.”

— D av id Z e r k e l

UGA Graduate School Magazine w i n t e r 2 013


As I write this, my black and blue pinky toe is “buddy taped” to the neighboring toe. A broken toe is one of the most common of all fractures, but the least consequential. But a fracture is a bad break in every sense of the word: · Artist William Mangum was cleaning the gutters of his new home when the ladder listed to the right and he landed on the deck, shattering bones in his shoulder and elbow. The injuries meant he could not resume painting for six months of recovery time. · With his mind on the good times he was about to enjoy, James Catlett climbed out of his car to join a family reunion in McCall, South Carolina. He lost his footing and fell hard onto the curbing. As searing pain tore through his hip, the senior already suspected the worst: a broken hip. They suffered in good company. Statistically, we accident-prone humans average two fractures in a lifetime.

Regenerative medicine The Cure for Bad Breaks: A Putty like None Other Fractures are the most common orthopedic emergency, affecting as many as seven million people annually. The direct costs of medical treatment for broken bones in the United States are estimated between $17-18 billion annually. Many fractures simply do not heal, regardless of conventional treatment. by Cynthia Adams photos by nancy Evelyn

Worst of all, in wartime, fractures often force amputation. What if an injection could resolve a break in days, rather than weeks? At UGA, studies with pigs and sheep will lead the way to a revolutionary change with regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine means restorative treatments that shave weeks or more off of traditional treatment. Two UGA alums, Jennifer Mumaw and Erin Jordan, are members of a multiuniversity research project in regenerative medicine, one of vast significance for fracture victims.


fracture putty is a biological treatment used to regenerate tissue similar to naïve tissue, increasing the rate that the body can heal itself. A research team at UGA thinks this research holds the means to make it better, much faster. Are human trials on the near horizon? The answer is a qualified “yes.”

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Slipped and fell? “This gel can be put in a syringe and injected at the site of injury. once the complications were taken care of by the surgeon it would be a minor procedure," says Jennifer Mumaw. The fracture putty differs from surgical cement, which is more like an artificial prosthetic used to fill gaps.


2008, researchers at Baylor and Rice began developing something extraordinary. The idea afoot was to devise a substance that could be injected into fractures with the power to heal them in only days. The work wound up being translated into action by a team at UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center under the direction of Steve Stice, professor and GRA Eminent Scholar in animal science and John Peroni, a professor of large animal medicine. The Regenerative Bioscience Center received Department of Defense funding through a Baylor Medical School to work in tandem with the other research universities. In cooperation with one another, they developed a surgical putty, or gel, to be surgically injected and molded to repair broken bones. The translucent substance more closely resembles a gel, although researchers refer to it as putty. Once injected, it starts releasing powerful proteins that initiate bone formation using the animal’s own cells. The full required healing time? Three weeks. “Baylor and Rice, and other institutions, did much of the initial research. Baylor developed the virus and Rice developed the polymer,” explains post-doctoral UGA researcher Jennifer Mumaw, who has recently begun veterinary studies. ”They have been integral parts of the process.” According to Mumaw and her team member, Erin Jordan, preliminary gene therapy was done at Baylor and the development of the experimental substance was done at Rice. Mumaw has published articles with highly detailed scans of the hydrogel that is also known to the researchers involved as “fracture putty." The injectable putty immediately jumpstarts rapid healing. “It feels like a gel and it’s called ‘micro-encapsulation’,” she says. “Microscopically, it looks like round circles. In reality


it is a billion of these circles with cells on the inside—a circle of jelly with cells." The injected putty rapidly increases the natural rate of bone healing in the region of the fracture. The stem cell methodologies to create the gel are crucial. “We used sheep stem cells,” says Mumaw, who holds two UGA degrees, a BS and PhD, and has worked on the research since 2009. The sheep stem cells have the advantage of being well-tolerated. Are human trials on the near horizon? The answer is a qualified “yes.” Human trials might be five years away, Mumaw answers, sooner perhaps in veterinary applications. Beside her, team member Erin Jordan nods agreement. Jordan also attended undergraduate and graduate school at UGA, and presently works at the Regenerative Bioscience Center under Stice. “Stice’s lab is one of the larger on campus,” adds Mumaw. Both Jordan and Mumaw worked in his lab initially.

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Steeped in Science Despite recent successes, accolades and international headlines the research generated, the two 30-year-old women on the team are nonplussed. The headlines, they shrug, are only useful if “they show the drive in research and that all of this is to help people; there is nothing more rewarding than helping people and making their worlds better.” Mumaw, who runs 30-40 miles weekly, lives on a farm in Watkinsville, Ga. While continuing her post-doctoral work, she began veterinary studies this past August. She is training for a half marathon. She tackles running like she tackles a research project: spirited, disciplined and devoted to the work. When she runs, she averages eight miles. Mumaw’s grandfather was a doctor at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan and her grandmother a nurse. “My mother taught science. She showed me the effects of acid rain. One of my favorite experiments with her was looking at planarians, the flat worms that are in water. If you cut them in half they regenerate. We added different compounds into their water, to see how it helped their healing.” It was not long before Mumaw realized she was born to be a scientist. She has two UGA degrees, and is pursuing a third. In the course of the fracture putty experimentations, she discovered she also wants to perform the veterinary surgeries she observed. Jordan, her colleague and friend, is a research coordinator in Stice’s lab. She has a great deal in common with Mumaw. They are the same age. Both adore animals, and Jordan has adopted five cats from research projects. Both had scientists in the family. Early on, Jordan too knew she would pursue science and follow in the footsteps of her mother, Sandi Tittle. Jordan recalls coming to campus with Tittle. “She graduated in the early ‘80s with her BS and then came back later for her Pharm D (doctorate in Pharmacy) and graduated

in 2006." But waiting for her mother to finish her labs didn’t bore her—it fascinated her. Her father became an inspector for the State Department of Natural Resources. With obvious pride, Jordan acknowledges that academic achievement was a family value. “I had a great interest in science growing up,” she observes. Today, Jordan has two UGA degrees, a BS in Biology and an MS in Pharmacology.

The Long Road from Research to Clinical Trials The surgical process of testing the putty was performed twice in 2012. The UGA research team’s “Tried and True Recipe” is one that produces a stable system. This high-tech “recipe” in the developmental stage is expensive, time intensive, and physically exhausting, but it is an exhilarating culmination of the team’s knowledge and abilities. They will refine steps to make the putty economically feasible as they resolve kinks. Harvesting the sheep cells and preparing the cell culture vital to the experimentations is the recipe the team references. In this case, the two women researchers use some of the nomenclature of a kitchen. In the days leading up to the surgery, they will have performed the work of “plating and transducing” the cells two days prior. “There are probably

For all of the recent successes and headlines the research generated, with headlines encircling the globe this past winter, Mumaw and Jordan are cautionary. The headlines, they shrug, are only useful if “they show the drive in research and that all of this is to help people; there is nothing more rewarding than helping people and making their worlds better.” Jennifer Mumaw, shown at left, with Erin Jordan. UGA Graduate School Magazine w i n t e r 2 013


Jordan wouldn’t stay away last summer although she, ironically, had a fracture of her own. “Erin worked on a broken foot!" Mumaw exclaims. “We had a chair to wheel her around in so she could keep working last August."

nine hours of prep work,” Mumaw explains, in creating their recipe. This kitchen opens exceptionally early. By 4:30 a.m. on the day of the fracture putty experimentations, Mumaw and Jordan are already engrossed in their work inside the Animal Dairy Science building. Jordan quips that they occasionally get to sleep in until 5:00 a.m. but neither drinks coffee. They both choose caffeine-rich sodas to pry their eyes open, as they will have been in the lab making preparations until late the prior night. Jordan sips a lemon-yellow Diet Mountain Dew and Mumaw drinks Diet Dr. Pepper as they work towards the surgery itself. They describe this laboratory prep time as intense, yet fun. Although Mumaw and Jordan can prepare the cells earlier, and cryo-preserve them, there still have to be fresh cells on hand the day of surgery. “We will always lose some. When we go to do one experiment for one sheep, we have millions of cells. The cells grow in a monolayer on a plate, so only so many can fit. We balance trying to keep it uncompromised,” Mumaw says. In the remaining critical hours, they are too busily absorbed for little more than a sip of diet soda. They will grab a "five-or-10 minute break” for yogurt or an apple. Yet they are enthralled by the work. “We have great fun,” Mumaw smiles as Jordan nods. “We talk; we have to update people.” The research team includes clinical scientists as well as practitioners, all experts in their fields. Getting to spend an entire day together with the research team is exciting, they say, and neither would miss it. Jordan wouldn’t stay away last summer although she, ironically, had a fracture of her own. “Erin worked on a broken foot!" Mumaw exclaims. “We had a chair to wheel her around in so she could keep working last August." Among the team members is Dr. Cynthia Trim. In 1987, Trim, a professor emeritus of anesthesiology in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, was the first female to become certified in the field of veterinary anesthesiology in the United States. Trim is a noted expert in both clinical and research anesthesiology. Her job is to be certain the research subject is kept comfortable and calm throughout; she must anesthetize and intubate the subject. “She is an animal advocate,” her


team members say. “She puts the animal first." A technician with a doctorate in marine biology, Merilee Thoresen, assists the team. They refer to Thoresen as “the sheep whisperer.” The concerted effort is to assure the experiment is humanely and immaculately conducted. Mumaw says the hope is that it will be transferable to other species as well. “We joke that our liquid nitrogen tanks are like cell petting zoos. We have pigs, sheep, cats, dogs, horses, rats and mice mesenchymal stem cells. We have to work on getting some goats.”

Creating the Recipe: Tried and True Each fracture putty experiment requires 10 hours of preparatory work by Mumaw and Jordan. From 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., the researchers encapsulate cells. Typically, the stem cells are harvested from sheep, though for potential future applications cells have also been harvested from horses. Next, from 2-3:00 p.m., the researchers centrifugally wash the cells to eliminate the growth media. This usually produces three milliliters with 1.5 trillion cells, the amount necessary to perform six fracture putty injections. Does “the recipe” ever go tragically wrong? They laugh hard. Mumaw, the senior team member, says, “Luckily we were able to recover because we had a spare set. We had harvested the cells for hours; counted them, encapsulated them, but it had gone wrong. But, we had cells cryopreserved and used them.” At 3:00 pm, the following hour, Dr. Peroni performs the first of three sheep surgeries. He will typically perform two to three surgeries each day in a given week. Both Mumaw and Jordan assist with post-surgical care of the sheep. By 7:00 or 8:00 p.m., the women go home, only to return before 5:00 a.m. on the transduction day to prepare for the next surgery. Two weeks later, the team can evaluate the outcomes aided by radiographs of the injected defect. For Jordan, “that is the best part." Often the sheep used are from a UGA-run farm. Both women love the sheep, and report their subjects recover

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comfortably in their stalls, fully attended. The sheep are able to put full weight upon the fractured limb immediately. For the integrity of the experiment, it is critical the sheep are closely monitored, protected from injury or disease. Dr. Trim is key to oversight of the subject’s comfort and well-being throughout surgery and after. The team evaluates the subject at the systemic level, to analyze if the recipient of the fracture putty has accepted the therapy.

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The Rocky RoaD To ReSeaRch GolD “We’ve had a lot of success and know we have pitfalls to work out,” says Mumaw one morning as she describes the issues of funding and other hindrances. The matter of human clinical trials, eagerly anticipated by anyone who has heard of the fracture gel, is excruciatingly slow of necessity. Mumaw, who has a fresh, unworried face, says airily that she has been doing cell culture for 12 years. “We have to prove a lot of safety and efficacy beforehand,” she stresses. There are the not-so-pleasant aspects of long research: problems of inconsistency. Grinding tedium and long hours are normal. But the two young researchers seem completely undeterred. Cryogenic preservation of prepared cells will make the putty financially feasible. “We will make it, have it ready to go, and then put it into a freezing process. It can then be transferred around the world on dry ice for surgeries, shipped straight to (medical facilities) in stock containers.” The dream outcome, the two women agree, is “To help people. To transform medicine." They dream of helping people heal better and faster, especially those for whom there is often no option but amputation. Both Mumaw and Jordan especially think of injured soldiers returning from combat. “It could help anyone,” Jordan muses. In November of 2012, they presented in Savannah with principal investigators Stice and Peroni at the Society of Regenerative Medicine. “Sometimes the research doesn’t translate well to humans or large animals,” says Mumaw. “We didn’t have the same

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translation of the results when we went from rodents to large animals. You have complicating interactions with all the systems in the body. Is it a problem with the polymer, the gene, or an immune response? Knowing which direction to go is a little astounding; you can’t test all of them at once.” Confounding frustration is a scientist’s norm. But Jordan explains these are the times when the great triumphs, eureka moments, arise. And the joy of discovery is shared by the entire research team. Mumaw adds succinctly, as Jordan nods, “The last experiment showed the problems were what we thought they were. Now we know where those problems are. We will address that through some new routes.” And, by George, they may only be one Diet Mountain Dew, one Diet Dr. Pepper away from triumph! n

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FoR FURTheR ReaDinG:

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UGA Graduate School Magazine w i n t e r 2 013


Meredith Wright on the Front Lines of a Long Battle: Can We Overcome the Growing Problem of Antibiotic Resistance?

Meredith Wright is now conducting postdoctoral research on multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, a bacterium associated with hospital-acquired infections.


by CynthiA AdAMS photoS by nAnCy evelyn

The magazine Scientific American published a brief news item in February 2012 about the bad news concerning antibiotic resistance. The subhead shot straight to the crux, calling antibiotic-resistance bacteria an outright crisis. · The bacteria had overrun “last defenses,” and Scientific American asked: “can we stop them?” · if you wanted a primer on antibiotic resistance—its reach, its frightening repercussions—the venerable publication spelled it out, in language that included the words “last resort." · “anytime you hear that a particular bacterium has become resistant to a ‘drug of last resort,’ that is bad. Drugs of last resort—such as vancomycin for Staphylococcus infections—are usually the last line of safe, dependable defense for certain kinds of infections. Drug companies can try to come up with new medications to replace the outpaced meds, but that takes time and does not bring in a lot of money, so we are fast running out of drugs of last resort.” UGA alum and researcher Meredith Wright is working on the front lines to fight back.


eredith Wright, (PhD 2007), is a capable recruit in the war on germs. Wright works directly with issues related to the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which medical authorities report is a matter of urgent, even international, concern. She currently researches Acinetobacter baumannii, a bacterium associated with hospital-acquired infections that is increasingly drug resistant, at the J. Craig Venter Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in La Jolla, Calif. and Rockville, Md. The Institute has some formidable resources. It was created in 2006 with the mergers of the Center for the Advancement of Genomics, the Institute for Genomic Research, the Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives, and the J. Craig Venter Science Foundation Joint Technology Center. The Institute conducts research using a variety of “-omic” approaches on areas such as genomic medicine, environmental genomic analysis, and synthetic biology. Among Wright’s colleagues is the Nobel laureate, Hamilton Smith, who was also part of the team that sequenced the first bacterial genome, Haemophilus influenzae in 1995, through a JCVI predecessor organization, the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR).

q. how did you happen to attend UGa and become involved with antibiotic resistance? a. The ecology program at UGA is one of the top in the nation, so that was a draw. And, I was attracted to the research project that I was going to be involved with.

I basically stumbled into studying antibiotic resistance. I started my graduate studies at Colorado State University, studying the microbial role in the food web of tropical headwater streams as a stream ecologist. Then after completing my master's there, I decided that I wanted to pursue a PhD. I looked for projects combining my interests in microbiology and stream ecology. The PhD project at UGA looking at antibiotic resistance in streams at the Savannah River Site was an ideal fit. My dissertation adviser, J Vaun McArthur, and his collaborators, noticed higher levels of antibiotic resistance in metal contaminated streams at the Savannah River Site (SRS) compared to uncontaminated streams on the SRS. We looked at what genetic mechanisms were involved in this co-selection process, and identified potential environmental reservoirs for antibiotic resistance.

q. What did you find? a. One thing my dissertation research looked at was the abundance and diversity of different genetic elements involved in spreading antibiotic resistance and metal resistance among environmental bacteria. There are these mobile genetic elements, called class one integrons, which I found to be more abundant in the metal-contaminated sites that I studied. Integrons, along with other genetic elements like plasmids and transposons, can move chunks of DNA around between bacteria and class 1 integrons, and are often associated with moving antibiotic resistance genes between pathogenic bacteria.

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These elements allow bacteria to capture new genes that are potentially adaptive. There are a few hypotheses as to why antibiotic resistance would be more prevalent in metal-exposed bacteria. The one with the most evidence to date is that you can have a gene that encodes for a metal resistance protein, physically linked to a different gene that codes for antibiotic resistance on the same genetic element like a plasmid, so that when you select for one trait, you indirectly select for the other. Another interesting finding is that we found antibiotic resistance genes in environmental bacteria that are also found in clinical bacteria—suggesting that gene flow is happening between clinical and environmental settings.

Q. What drew you to your current research at the J. Craig Venter Institute? A. Since graduating from UGA, I’ve been involved in a few different research projects on diverse topics in microbiology— ranging from studying groundwater biogeochemistry, to host-pathogen associations in a food-borne pathogen. These experiences helped me realize that I am really interested in understanding the genomic basis for bacterial evolution. The last decade has seen a tremendous change in how microbiologists work, due to advances in genome technology. For example, during my dissertation research, it was a big deal to get one bacteria sequenced. Now, I’m looking at 50 bacterial genomes, and still counting, in my current project at JCVI. With this increase in sequencing capabilities comes a huge demand for increased computational capabilities to make sense of all the data that is generated. Thus, one of the reasons I was drawn to the project at JCVI was for

the opportunity to develop my bioinformatic skills while addressing a very important topic like the spread of antibiotic resistance in A. baumannii.

Q. Can you describe what you do at the J. Craig Venter Institute in layman terms? A. In a nutshell: The organism I am studying now, Acinetobacter baumannii, is a hospital-acquired pathogen, meaning people enter the hospital for other reasons and while they are there, become infected with this organism—through respirators, or catheters, or open wounds, for example. In the last decade or so, this organism has become increasingly antibiotic-resistant due to its exposure to antibiotics in hospital patients. We are studying how this organism evolves by comparing the genomes of closely related strains isolated from the same hospital over the course of a few years.

Q. Have you met (founder) Hamilton Smith? Or other Nobel laureates working there? A. Yes, I run into him in the break room frequently. I once ended up sitting next to him during a training seminar on how to properly fill out timesheets, and it struck me as funny that even Nobel laureates have to sit through mandatory HR training sessions. We recently held a celebration at work for his 83rd birthday. It’s amazing to work with someone who is still so motivated by his research.

Q. If there is little incentive, profit-wise, to develop new antibiotics, what might the future hold? Is there a new-generation drug on the horizon?

Media Reports Contain Some Surprising Sources of Infection Even physicians' neck ties have been banned in some hospitals. A researcher at the New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens proved doctors' natty ties were more septic than sartorial. When he tested the neckties worn by physicians and compared them to those worn by the hospital’s security guards, there was hard proof. Almost half of the neckties worn by doctors at the New York facility harbored dangerous bacteria. The bacteria detected included Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These can cause pneumonia and blood infections, and worse. The problem, as the doctor’s necktie illustrates, is the prevention and containment of infection.


a. Microbiologists are utilizing new “-omic” tools like genomics and proteomics to better understand the interaction between pathogenic and commensal bacteria, and between pathogens and our immune system to identify new drug targets and design new classes of drugs. Our battle to develop new weapons with which to fight pathogenic bacteria will be ongoing given the remarkable capability of bacteria to evolve. One promising idea is to use “good” bacteria to keep “bad” bacteria in check. For example, there has been strong clinical evidence that fecal transplants from healthy donors can be used to eradicate difficult-to-treat

Clostridium difficile infections. Though this idea admittedly falls into the gross category, and as squeamish as it might make you, the idea is to use the innate ability of our “good” gut bacteria to create an inhospitable environment for pathogens. There is still a lot of research that needs to be done for us to understand what constitutes “good” bacteria and what mechanisms they employ to create an inhospitable environment for “bad” bacteria, and how they interact with our immune system. However, I think this area of research will yield promising tools to fight infections in the future.

PatriCia golEy

q. What reading matter is on your bedside table? a. After spending the day at work and then taking care of my family in the evening, I like to keep my pre-bedtime reading pretty light right now. I read a few different magazines, like The Sun and Sports Illustrated, and typically have a novel or two going also. n GO to

FoR FURTheR STUDy: Dr. lauri hicks directs the "Get Smart: know When antibiotics Work" program at the U.S. centers for Disease control and Prevention.

ReconSiDeR anD ReViSiT VaccinaTionS: theY save Lives Infectious Disease Making a Comeback Comebacks are great for film and rock stars, but not for infectious diseases. Vaccines have nearly eliminated diseases such as smallpox—but diseases thought to no longer represent a threat have reappeared. Measles swept France in recent years. As of the summer of 2012, meningitis was making boldface headlines in the United States. Whooping cough has returned at epidemic levels, warns Seth Mnookin, a science writer. And today, tuberculosis (or TB) is no longer relegated to a Victorian novel. The World Health Organization reports that as much as 30 percent of the world population may be infected with TB bacteria—and advises that no country has ever succeeded in completely eliminating the disease. The virulent TB strain of the present remains stubbornly resistant to multiple drugs. Sometimes it’s good to follow the herd. The “herd immunity” term is one to know: herd immunity means how many in a population are required to safely prevent the spread of disease. The necessary number is startlingly high—anywhere from 85-95 percent. That percentage of the population needs to be vaccinated in order to protect against dangerous disease and widespread contagion. GO to

FoR FURTheR ReaDinG: Seth Mnookin, The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy.

UGA Graduate School Magazine w i n t e r 2 013


The Problem of AMR The Centers for Disease Control remind us that, while antibiotic drugs changed the face of infectious disease for decades, they are no longer as successful. Overprescribed and incorrectly taken, antibiotics are no longer effective against such infections as strep throat, gonorrhea, and pneumonia. Making matters worse, there are few alternatives on the horizon. It is not particularly cost-effective for drug manufacturers to pursue new antibiotics. Fewer and fewer drugs remain in the physician’s arsenal of effective weapons to rely upon when an antibiotic-resistant infection strikes. Antibiotics, and antimicrobial resistance antibiotics, are commonly known as antimicrobial agents. They are also, since 1940, commonly prescribed. For decades, these drugs were the first-line of defense against infectious disease. Yet antimicrobial’s benefits have been steadily eroded by both over-use and the infectious organisms own adaptation—antimicrobials are simply less effective in killing off the very organisms they were designed to destroy. As the organisms developed antibiotic resistance, this phenomenon became known as AMR. Reports indicate that even second-line drugs are also becoming antibiotic resistant. It is a domestic and international problem that is at crisis level in some countries.

According to the World Health Organization: •

About 440,000 new cases of multidrug-resistant

A high percentage of hospital-acquired infections are

tuberculosis (MDR-TB) emerge annually, causing at

caused by highly resistant bacteria such as methicillin-

least 150,000 deaths.

resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Resistance to earlier generation antimalarial medicines

Inappropriate and irrational use of antimicrobial

such as chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is

medicines provides favorable conditions for resistant

widespread in most malaria-endemic countries.

microorganisms to emerge, spread and persist.

What is the outcome? Those who become infected with AMR organisms not only will have much longer hospital stays, but also, the likelihood of death is greater. Also, hospital acquired infections raise another host of problems. Many insiders are loathe to comment—the issue of patient infection rates has hospitals scrambling to contain the problem, particularly when infections no longer respond as normal to the old arsenal of drugs.

Hospital Infections. If you cannot easily stop an infection once acquired, it stands to reason that prevention is more vital than ever. But hospitals are deeply worried. A veteran hospital administrator, speaking anonymously, observes, “As in most things, healthcare prevention is preferable to treatment of a hospital-acquired infection." The problem is containment of infection spreading like a wildfire from one patient to the next.


how to Avert Disaster? Avoid Infection. According to Director David Thomas, a physician with the Johns Hopkins Division of Infectious Disease, a few steps may make very big differences. He makes these suggestions in a recent publication:

3. Cuts are susceptible to infections. Even minor ones can provide an opening for staph infections. If you have a cut, take all precautions to clean it and then monitor it for signs of infection.

1. Strongly consider a flu vaccination.

4. Tattoo equipment must be sterilized. Do not consider

2. Given that bugs prefer a moist, warm environment,

getting a tattoo anywhere—at home or abroad—without guarantees the equipment used is sterile.

consider wiping down all equipment before use. (This includes gym equipment, shared computer equipment and even items such as remote controls.)

To the East, AMR problems have escalated. In India, where antibiotics are readily available over-the-counter, antibiotic resistance is widespread. In a 2012 Nature magazine interview, an oncologist at the Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai illustrates the problem. Kumar Prabhash relates a frightening story about hospital infections. More than half of infected patients sampled at the medical center where Prabhas works, suffered infections also resistant to the class of antibiotics known as carbapenems. Carbapenems are a “second line” drug used in the treatment of infections that are known to be resistant. The oncologist reported that as recently as a few years ago, only about 30 percent of the samples were resistant. Now, the number is greater than 50 percent. “That is really scary for us,” reports Prabash. In August of 2012, India convened its first medical society meeting on antibiotic resistance. Indian clinicians are campaigning to curb misuse.

Think you’re safe because you carefully limit taking antibiotics? You may be ingesting antibiotics unawares. The problem of overuse extends to nearly everyone, even those who judiciously eschew antibiotic over-exposure. Its overuse is seen in livestock and poultry producers who use them not only to prevent infection but to stimulate growth. (According to Scientific American, poultry farmers who stop preventative antibiotic usage see a rapid drop in antibiotic resistance.) In addition, antibiotic is detected in many municipal water supplies, affecting at least 41 million Americans.

Antibiotics and a wide range of drugs are detectable in the drinking water of 25 of 28 tested municipal water supplies. This year, the Associated Press contacted 62 water providers for an investigative article published September, 2012. The AP reported that only 28 of those providers actually screen for drug contaminants. Of the 28, only three had water supplies free of pharmaceuticals. Only one of the three, Virginia Beach, Va., was on the East Coast. (Austin, Texas and Albuquerque, N.M. were the other two cited for clean water.)


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This is Not Your Grandpa’s Classroom.

inspire risk


if there is a shared belief among these teachers, it might be this: Blaze new trails.


by CynthiA AdAMS photoS by nAnCy evelyn

With Clickers not Chalk: five Excellence in teaching Winners find innovation and success THRIVES BEST When there’s Equal room for failure and originality


hat do five award winning educators have in common? Try everything and nothing. The classroom of their collective dreams allows for failure as much as success—after all, failing faster and better is the surest pathway to learning. (Ever heard the adage that one person’s breakdown is another‘s breakthrough?) And then there are the tools. In the now distant past, a slide projector and white board were the best available. That was then—long before smart phones, personal computers, and tablets. These technologically advanced tools, packing more computing power than a 1980s-era data center, are handily at their students’ fingertips. Some argue this works for the good, others say they are distractions. But in the end, the educator’s energies fuel the classroom. Then there’s something else: Risk-taking and daring. They all possess that. They run the gamut of experiences and passions, including running a writing center (Beth Beggs.) Dana TeCroney grew up on a dairy farm in New York, and formerly drove a race car. (He later rolled into Georgia behind the wheel of a Cadillac.) But he’s also a sometimes Luddite who believes a roll of the dice or sidewalk chalk are dynamic teaching tools. Another (Beth Freise) believes the best way to arrest a student’s imagination just might be through a graphic novel. Joseph Pate holds to the value of experimental education. Michael Amlung has worked with gifted middle and high school aged students through the Duke University Talent Identification Program at UGA.

These five University of Georgia doctoral students, recently awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award, honor the unique spirit of learning. They reflected on what they are learning inside the classroom. Michael Amlung, Beth Beggs, Elizabeth Freise, Joseph Pate and Dana TeCroney then reported back from the front lines of education. Michael Amlung is a doctoral student in psychology. He has been both a teaching assistant and instructor for various psychology courses. Can innovation be nurtured? Amlung says “Yes!” Ask him “How?” and he says by taking chances and allowing for do-overs when the first idea fails. Did You Know That Education Can Click? Forget blackboards and chalk. Amlung uses a wireless device known as “clickers” in the classroom. “These wireless handheld response keypads allow students to respond to questions posed by the instructor, and the class can view the results in real time. This is especially helpful in psychology, since many of the topics we discuss are sensitive in nature. Students may feel more comfortable

"Innovators need to be given latitude to try new things, to take risks, and sometimes even make mistakes. Educational institutions can support innovation by allowing their faculty and students to take learning in exciting new directions, by breaking the traditional model of lecture-textbook learning.”

— M ic h a e L a MLUng

UGA Graduate School Magazine w i n t e r 2 013


Michael Amlung

providing their opinions using an anonymous keypad than having to raise their hand in class." As a scientist, Amlung teaches students how to parse out Internet fiction from fact. They begin with a published article. “One challenge that I face as a scientist and researcher is when the findings of scientific research are misrepresented by popular media sources. For obvious reasons, news media is always looking for the hook to snare readers and increase ratings, but we have seen many examples of empirical results being taken out of context or generalized far beyond their original intent." So, Amlung challenges his students to evaluate a journal, magazine, or Web site article. “One strategy that I use to build these skills is by having my students read a news story that presents the results of a psychological research study. Students are asked to identify the main conclusions and implications of the study based solely


on what is presented in the story. I then provide the actual peer-reviewed scientific journal article and ask my students to compare and contrast the conclusions and implications drawn from the primary source with those from the news article.” Also, Amlung developed a virtual conference for his students via, allowing them to choose topics they wanted to learn about. (TED stands for technology, entertainment and design. It is a project offering online information via the Web site) “My students viewed a series of short TED talks by prominent psychologists and wrote brief commentaries that required them to extract the main ideas, identify concepts they found particularly interesting or confusing, and critically evaluate each speaker. Students then wrote a reflection paper in which they synthesized the overlapping themes in the lectures.”

Beth Beggs

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Beth Friese 34

Beth Beggs is a doctoral student studying English in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. She has been an instructor and also helped reconfigure the UGA Writing Center. When she talks about creativity, she employs musical metaphors and doesn’t stop at convention. Beggs sees creativity “as the appearance of new ideas,” and views it as the responsibility of higher education to support and advance original thinkers. “Think of Carlos Santana’s Supernatural CD. When Santana records with Everlast the edge is sharper. With Dave Matthews, Santana’s slow riffs are even smoother.” She isn’t convinced technological advances threaten creativity, saying even the lowly pencil was once viewed as innovative technology, “but humanity remained and advanced as a creative, analytical, and innovative creature. Therefore, I recognize the power of technology to stimulate creativity.” Beggs says certain technologies (admittedly low-tech ones) are actually helpful to her as an educator. Which things? “I love the little things like strong Internet connections, a laptop, and a classroom projector. Online journals and books give my students access to scholarly articles that a brick and mortar library couldn’t afford to provide in hard-copy. A projector allows me to do pedagogically what I ask my students to do in their writing: ‘Show me; don’t tell me!’" Beth Friese is a doctoral student in the College of Education. Friese has taught multiple classes in the Language and Literacy Education Department over the past three years. She incorporates technology and graphic novels into the curriculum.

She suspects students need a push to become creative thinkers. “This concerns me for two reasons. First, I think that creativity is important in our endeavors to solve society's most pressing problems. Creativity needs to be nurtured as often as possible. Second, most of the students I work with are future educators. If they are not asked to be creative in classrooms, I suspect that they may be less likely to ask their own elementary and middle school students to do creative work.” "Multiple-choice thinking" worries Friese. “In our class meetings, I provide lots of opportunities for tinkering and playfulness as we work. They learn new tools and create when the stakes are low and the level of support is high.” When she gives students an assignment, Friese tries to leave it as open-ended as possible. “But, I tell them that there won't be a devastating penalty for trying something completely new and different. Instead of just trying to replicate an example, I want students to think for themselves. I want them to puzzle through problems.” She thinks the discomfort leads to something extraordinary. “Some of the best learning happens when students are a little bit uncomfortable. It happens when they stretch themselves, acknowledge their own limits or blinders, and then overcome them, often brilliantly. “ Friese takes a cue from one famously creative company. “Inspired by Google's practice of giving employees 20% of their work time to pursue personal projects, I recently started reserving a portion of my courses for students to pursue educational goals that they select for themselves.”

"Even the lowly pencil was once viewed as innovative technology, but humanity remained and advanced as a creative, analytical, and innovative creature. Therefore, I recognize the power of technology to stimulate creativity." — bet h be g g s

"In our class meetings, I provide lots of opportunities for tinkering and playfulness as we work. They learn new tools and create when the stakes are low and the level of support is high.”

— bet h f rie s e

UGA Graduate School Magazine w i n t e r 2 013


Joseph Pate


Joseph Pate is a doctoral student in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services. Pate has instructed a range of courses and also co-facilitates a graduate course on Experimental Education. He believes dynamic things can happen, especially in the “pauses”. “As a recent graduate from the field of leisure studies, much of my inclination is that true innovation and creativity comes from moments of reprieve from the structures we find ourselves bound within. Of course in our work-centric culture, to choose time like this or find ourselves in times like this, we are met with cultural norms that tell us we are wasting time. However, it is within these pauses where, at least for me, things shift, happen, arise, and/or emerge that tend to be the seed or catalyst to some of my most creative or innovative thoughts.” Pate believes young folk today are as innovative as he and his classmates were. With one codicil. “…the simple answer is they are just as creative as me and others,” he argues. But he thinks the present-day pressures to perform on standardized tests are contrary to creativity. “Growing up, we had a few standardized tests we had to take at certain grade levels, but the current ‘teaching to the test’ and the constant and elevated focus on end of the year markers which schools now use to secure funding, resources, and personnel, have changed the landscape of traditional and dominant k-12 education. What I experience is many students are so use to being taught to achieve/perform on a test that they are not asked what they think. And asking what someone thinks is the foundation for creativity or innovation." Pate has mixed feelings about technologies. The people he regards as creative “spend exorbitant amounts of time thinking, writing, playing, working, musing, and tinkering

with ideas, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. They also seem to tend to pay attention to a lot, observe a lot, and notice a lot. And in doing so, they draw connections where others did not see connections. This is one of the greatest parts of innovative or creative thoughts - connections or bridges between things that in the past seemed divergent, distinct, separate, but that actually may fit together or help things make sense in cool and different ways. I just wonder if that is what technology is taking us away from.” Pate’s philosophy is more experiential. “I want the learning that occurs in my classroom to be situated within and from the learner as they engage with content, not predicated on what I think the learning should be. To be honest, this is some of the trouble I have with learning outcomes - I find it hard to know what learning will occur because every student and context is different.” So he would love to banish grades altogether. “The biggest challenge is gaining the trust of students that they can explore, fail, and still be successful. Failing is equated to failure, which in turn is equated to failing in some formalized and systematic sense with regard to grades, GPA and a perception that this will then detract from their ability to be successful." A dramatic scene in a film about an innovative educator captivated him. “I liken the whole thing to the scene in Dead Poet's Society where Keating is having the class walk and points out how naturally everyone begins walking in rhythm. He then inspires them to walk at their own pace with their own rhythm, and

"I want the learning that occurs in my classroom to be situated within and from the learner as they engage with content, not predicated on what I think the learning should be. To be honest, this is some of the trouble I have with learning outcomes - I find it hard to know what learning will occur because every student and context is different.” — J os e p h Pat e

UGA Graduate School Magazine w i n t e r 2 013


one student is called out for not marching. This student states that he is practicing his right NOT to march. He is immediately reinforced by Keating for truly understanding the spirit and nature of the activity. That is learning. That is innovation. That is celebrating and bolstering an empowered and creative perspective on the whole mystery of education and learning. It is not about what someone does based upon what others are doing, it is getting at a more cored, essencing spirit that captures thought, agency, and assertion of self in relation to learning and growth." Dana TeCroney is a doctoral student in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. He is a mathematician, and has taught at various levels. “In the 1980s there was a movement in mathematics education that focused on the development of skills (think about memorizing multiplication tables) versus the structure of mathematical ideas (think about representing 3 x 4 as 3 + 3 + 3 + 3, 4 groups of 3, etc.). One large impetus for change was finding a balance between these ideas and another was the availability of technology.” From slide rules to calculators, how did mathematical education change? “As calculators became more mainstream in schools, there was less of a focus on computations and more emphasis put on problem solving, representing mathematical ideas in different ways, and seeing connections between different representations. These changes suggest that there is more room for creativity and individuality because they encourage us to look at problems from a number of perspectives. In other words, we are trying to get away from a model where the teacher stands in front of the room and does a problem and then the students do three problems just like the one the teacher presented. One challenge to changing instruction in schools is that we are asking people to teach in ways that are different from the way they were taught, and in many cases, the way they learned to teach. Another challenge is that the mathematics in schools today is different from the math in schools 25 years ago, so support for change from the public (parents,


administrators, politicians, etc.) has not been tremendous." TeCroney says students today are also as different as 1980s mathematics instruction. “When Al Gore was vice president many people thought it was laughable when he made a speech and said that every classroom in America should have a computer and be connected to the Internet. Now children who are less than 10 can operate a computer. Nearly every student also has a cell phone and most have a smartphone. Students have a tremendous amount of information at their fingertips, which has drawbacks and benefits.“ A student can always seek help online; the problem is, it inculcates the notion of instant resolution, TeCroney observes. “The expectation for instant answers is challenging for mathematics teachers because it is a subject where looking at the same problem using a number of approaches can lead to different results and give different insights. Mathematicians also value false starts because sometimes we can learn as much from a wrong approach as one that leads directly to an answer.” TeCroney underscores mathematics having had an undeserved bad rap, saying, "For many people, mathematics is viewed as a subject where there is a right and wrong way to do things and there is one correct answer. There is a set way to solve different types of problems, and being successful in math depends on remembering the procedures you have to follow in order to arrive at the solution. Plenty of factors contribute to this view, many of which related to the way mathematics has been taught and the resources available to educators." n

Dana TeCroney

"Mathematicians also value false starts because sometimes we can learn as much from a wrong approach as one that leads directly to an answer.� — d a n a t ec ron ey

UGA Graduate School Magazine w i n t e r 2 013


Graduate School Donors The Graduate School gratefully acknowledges all who have made a financial commitment to graduate education at the University of Georgia—from alumni to corporate sponsors to faculty and friends. By supporting graduate students, you are enabling research and creative works that affect so many facets of our lives. You are investing in our future and our children's future, as well as our nation's economy and security. You are also contributing to undergraduate education, enhancing our workforce and advancing discoveries that benefit us all.

Dean's List of Donors to the University of Georgia Graduate School July 1, 2011–June 30, 2012

legacy society

Ms. Kathryn C. Bunch

friends of the

Dr. George Arthur Cozens

(planned gifts)

Dr. William Ford Calhoun

graduate school

Dr. Betty Jean Craige

Dr. Marc J. Ackerman

Dr. Max Terry Coffey and


Mr. Albert C. Cunningham

Mr. Dennis Julius Adams

Dr. Roy Jules Daigle and

Dr. David C. Coleman Dr. Christopher G. Cooper Mr. James E. DeLaPerriere

Ms. Elizabeth Strauss Coffey Mr. Earl J. Connolly and Ms. Patricia A. Connolly Mr. Xiaodong Du and Dr. Min He

1910 Society ($50,000+) Verizon Wireless

Dr. Maureen Grasso and Mr. Andrew Rosen Drs. Joseph William Hamer Jr. and Carol Elizabeth Hamer

laureate society ($25,000-$49,999) Dr. Sylvia McCoy Hutchinson Verizon/Hopeline-South

Drs. Joseph Earl Hightower and Robin C. Hightower Mr. Gregory A. Lanigan and Ms. Susan S. Lanigan

Dr. Jacqueline Allison and

Ms. Kathryn G. Gradle Dr. and Mrs. Ronald D. Damiani Jr.

Mr. Jerry D. Allison

Mr. Walter Edward Dance Jr.

Dr. Charles L. Andrews

Mr. and Mrs. David L. Daniel

Dr. Todd E. Arnold

Deloitte Foundation

Mr. Gerald Lynn Asher

Dr. Juenchin Deng


Dr. Vikram Pratap Dhende

Mr. William Balke and

Diane Cerjan PSY D PC

Ms. Elizabeth Balke Dr. Benjamin Roswell Bates and Ms. Elizabeth Hunt Morley

Mr. and Mrs. Costantino D. DiFranco Dr. Ako Doffou Dr. Cecile Richter Doroff

Ms. Miao Hsiang Lu

Dr. and Mrs. Francis E. Beideman Jr.

Mr. James Murrah Draper


Mr. and Mrs. John F. McMullan

Dr. and Mrs. Arthur C. Benke

Dr. Delmer D. Dunn and


Prince Agri Products, Inc.

Dr. and Mrs. Gary Bertsch

C. Terry Hunt Industries, Inc.

Shannon Foundation

Dr. and Mrs. George R. Biederman Jr.

Ms. Peggy Joyce East

CMB Wireless Group, LLC Hopeline Account Mr. Charles Terry Hunt and

Ms. Ann S. Dunn

Mr. Liam McMahon Shannon

Judge and Mrs. Joe C. Bishop

Eli Lilly and Company Foundation

Ms. Jane S. Willson

Mr. Henry Hugh Boyter Jr.

Dr. Lu Elrod

Verizon Foundation

Dr. and Mrs. John G. Brewer

Ms. Martha Elton

Mr. Matthew Livingstone Brodsky

Dr. Elizabeth L. Feely Dr. William P. Flatt

Ms. Mary Lynn Oliver Hunt Dr. Louise McBee

graduate club

Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Brown Sr.

Ms. Sheryl Sellaway


Ed K. Burton, LLC

Dr. Stephen Ray Flora

Verizon/Hopeline NonProfit Fund

Ms. Dorinda Gilmore Dallmeyer and

Mr. Ed Keaton Burton

Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Franklin

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher G. Busby

Ms. Paula H. Gault

dean’s circle

Ms.Kathleen L. Davis

Dr. and Mrs. Larry D. Caldwell

Dr. Jennifer J. Gaver


Ms. Mary Frances Early

Mr. Larry M. Callaway and

Ms. Heather Manning Gillon

Mr. James E. Baine and

Mr. Ronald L. Fritchely and

*Ms. Edith W. Baine

Ms. Martha B. Fritchley

Dr. R. David Dallmeyer

Ms. Carol Mathes Haley

Ms. Hsin-Hsin Ho and Mr. Tak San Ho

Murphy Oil Corporation

Ms. Jia Liu Drs. Melinda Birchmore Musick and

centennial club

Joseph G. Musick


Dr. Young Woong Park

Dr. Marc J. Ackerman and

Dr. William Alfred Person

Ms. Stephanie Ackerman Dr. Lindsay Ross Boring and Dr. L. Katherine Kirkman Dr. Michael B. Bunch and

Dr. Sangram Singh Sisodia and

Mr. and Mrs. Ernest H. Carlton Dr. Gayle Renee Cawood and Mr. Frank W. Cawood Ms. Diane Kathleen Cerjan Dr. Wei Chen Robert Chong, DPM Podiatric Physician and Surgeon Dr. Robert K. Chong

Dr. Brian A. Glaser GlaxoSmithKline Foundation Mr. Paul Gruber Mr. James Ross Gurley Mr. Paull Douglas Hale and Ms. Mary Anne Hale Dr. Leslie Anne Hansen and Mr. Richard Hansen Dr. and Mrs. Harold L. Hayes

Dr. and Mrs. Byoung K. Chun

Dr. Sue Womack Henderson

Mr. William Hugh Cobb

Mr. and Mrs. Wade W. Herring

Dr. Brahm P. Verma and

Dr. Christopher George Cooper

Mr. Ralph Ellis Hickman Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley G. Corbin

Dr. and Mrs. James F. Hill Jr.

Dr. Diane Van Hoof-Sisodia

Dr. Lawrence Jeff Wheeler

Ms. Helen M. Callaway

Dr. John Edward Stewart II Ms. Sudha Verma


Dr. and Mrs. Gilles O. Allard

Why I Give

Sylvia Hutchinson I always wonder about this question. How can we NOT give to the University of Georgia programs? It is really quite a selfish gesture for me. It gives me so much pleasure to contribute to programs that support the learning and growth of undergraduate and graduate students. · I was the recipient of financial AND academic AND emotional support from the graduate faculty and staff when I was a student at UGA. It only seems right and natural that I would want to give so others could have that same support. For all my years of study (and the years since my graduations), the University of Georgia has been my extended family. It seems only right to join in the building process. · UGA students are exceptional today. They go all over the world to speak, to perform, to compete with students from other institutions, to research and solve problems, and to share what they have discovered. They carry the banner of UGA, and we are the better for their representation of our institution. The most obvious and most satisfying way for me to show my pride and support of today’s students is to make financial contributions to the programs that support their achievements. What a joy to be a member of this UGA Graduate School team. (Editor’s Note: Sylvia Hutchinson holds three degrees from UGA. Her many roles with faculty and development programs include the Emeriti Scholars programs, Athens Tutorial, and Education Law Consortium. In addition, Hutchinson continues to teach and mentor. She serves on the UGA Graduate Education Advancement Board.) n

Dr. and Mrs. Richard K. Hill Mr. Robert Ainsley Hilliard and Ms. Kim A. Buckey Mr. and Mrs. Shelby B. Holmes Jr.

Ms. Jane F. McGown Mr. and Mrs. John D. McKay Ms. Rae Dennis McWhirter and Mr. T. F. McWhirter Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Adam K. Holtzman

Dr. Noel Mark Meltzer

Dr. Jianzhong Huang

Dr. Shaila Maria Miranda

Ms. Andrea Lynn Hykes

Mr. and Mrs. Mark D. Mitchell

Mr. Arthur Johnson and

Mr. Joseph Anderson Montgomery

Ms. T'Leatha Renee Suitt-Johnson

Mr. Edgar Ray Moore Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph T. Jones

Mr. Bradford Thomas Morton

Dr. Gloria Lynn Jones

Ms. Kathy Jane Bible Mullen

Ms. Kay H. Jones and

Dr. Thomas George Nemetz and

Mr. Burke C. Jones Drs. JoAnne and Samuel J. Juett III Dr. Prasad V. G. Katakam Dr. Cheick Mahamadou Cherif Keita and Ms. Maimouna Toure Mr. and Mrs. Stuart W. Kent Drs. Pamela Bradley Kleiber and Douglas A. Kleiber Mr. and Mrs. Rafal Konopka Dr. Anna P. Kroncke and Mr. Jason Michael Kyle Cochran Mr. and Mrs. James R. Laine

Ms. Susan Hopkins Nemetz Mr. and Mrs. Andrew M. Nesbit

Dr. and Mrs. Paul G. Robertie Ms. Cathy Anne Robison and Mr. John M. Coggeshall

Mr. Daniel Boyd Todd Mr. and Mrs. Stephen M. Tyler Dr. Robert Ray VanKirk

Dr. Gert Nesin

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen C. Rogers

Mr. Ravi Shankar Vermuri

Mr. and Mrs. Abraham T. Ninan

Ms. Wendie Ruffner

Dr. Duke Elvin Wagner

Mr. and Mrs. James E. Nipper Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Leo M. Sable

LTC and Mrs. William A. Walker

Dr. Se Kyung Oh

Ms. Dorothy Nell Sampson

Mr. and Mrs. James A. Wilbanks

Dr. Sharon Kay O'Kelley

Mr. and Mrs. Marc D. Schneiderman

Dr. W. Thomas Wilfong

Ms. Rose Ann Taylor Pace

Ms. Joan V. Schneier

Dr. and Mrs. Robert E. Williams

Drs. Clifton W. and Sylvia H. Pannell

Dr. Cynthia Anne Searcy and

Mr. James Harvey Patterson and

Mr. Timothy P. McGonigle

Ms. Faith Jenine Woodley Dr. Ruth Naomi Wrightstone

Ms. Joanne M. Sharpe

Dr. and Mrs. Shiow-Shong Yang

Dr. and Mrs. Vivekananda Penumetcha

Dr. and Mrs. Terry L. Sheehan

Mr. Ronald George Young Mr. and Mrs. James E. Youngblood

Dr. Judith Patterson Dr. Helen Noel Perry

Dr. Eleanor Kyle Sikes

Dr. Anderson Scott Leiper

Mr. and Mrs. Charles D. Piper

Dr. Ronald D. Simpson

Ms. Irene Zaffos

Drs. Alice and Julian M. Libet

Dr. Joe Fagan Pittman Jr. and

Mr. James Andrew Sommerville and

Dr. Alla Petrova Zareva

Ms. Jennifer L. Kerpelman

Ms. Frances Duggan Sommerville

Dr. Gordon Lee Larsen

Mrs. Douglas Loving Lighthart Drs. Zhulu Lin and Siew Hoon Lim Ms. Joanne Lincoln Ms. E. Marcia Mann

Dr. Norman Hill Rahn III and

Dr. and Mrs. Wayne A. Speckmann

Ms. Connie Crawford-Rahn

Mr. and Mrs. Michael D. Strickland

Dr. and Mrs. Prabhu Rajagopalan

Mr. J. Marshall McCranie and

Dr. and Mrs. Madis Raukas

Mr. Sujeeth Thirumalai

Dr. Carol Anne Reeves

*Mr. and Mrs. L. V. Thompson

Dr. and Mrs. Taikyun Rho

Dr. Mary Lane Branch Todd and

Mr. James Hewitt McGown and

Ms. Youlian Lillian Zhu

Dr. and Mrs. James C. Stolzenbach

Dr. Louise Lunsford McCommons Ms. Susan Avery McCranie

Dr. and Mrs. Robert C. Zawalski Dr. Tingyao Zheng and

Mr. Joseph D. Procopio

Ms. Chanida Sonamai


Due to space constraints, we were unable to print all donor names. For the complete listing of our generous contributors, please visit our website. UGA Graduate School Magazine w i n t e r 2 013



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



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

Design Julie Sanders

Photo Editor Nancy Evelyn


Lineman Dawg

Artist: Cathe Stein Sponsor: Georgia Power Address: 1001 Prince Ave., Athens, GA



The Mary Lynn Oliver Hunt and Matthew Alan Hunt Graduate Studies Fellowship in English Announced This past fall, Terry Hunt, member of the Graduate Education Advancement Board, contributed a memorable gift on the occasion of his 44th wedding anniversary. The “gift that keeps on giving,” as Dean Maureen Grasso observed, established a new graduate fellowship at the University of Georgia. The fellowship’s namesakes are Hunt’s wife and fellow graduate, Mary Lynn Oliver Hunt, and son, Matthew Alan Hunt. The surprise endowment was announced August 31, 2012 during the Dean’s Research Award reception on the UGA campus. The first recipient, Holly Gallagher, is in the department of English. Tom Wilfong, director of development for the Graduate School, says the Gallagher, at left, meets the Hunts at the award announcement. fellowship as an anniversary present was a first. “Working with Terry Hunt on this new fellowship was a great pleasure for me. His principal goal was to honor his wife on the occasion of their 44th wedding anniversary. In order to surprise Mary Lynn, he wanted to keep the gift completely confidential until the moment it was announced. Another goal was to support graduate education at the University of Georgia through the establishment of the new fellowship.” Wilfong says the Hunts have a special impetus to make this gift. Both the Hunts earned UGA degrees as did two of their four sons. “As incoming chair of the Graduate Education Advancement Board, Terry understands the critical relationship between fellowship support and quality graduate programs. He told me on several occasions that he owes his success in business to the University of Georgia, and he wants to give back whenever and however he can.” Terry Hunt is CEO of Hunt Industries in Valdosta, Ga. (For further reading on the Hunts, see the Centennial Edition of the Graduate School Magazine, Summer 2010. n

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Winter 13 - UGAGS Magazine  

The Winter 13 edition of The University of Georgia Graduate School Magazine features water conservation research, our top-ranked music progr...

Winter 13 - UGAGS Magazine  

The Winter 13 edition of The University of Georgia Graduate School Magazine features water conservation research, our top-ranked music progr...