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The University of Georgia

Graduate School


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


CONTENTS news and highlights

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Letter from the Dean Generations Maxine Youngblood “Artists, just like Picasso, are always studying. I took French and Photoshop and all kinds of courses while I was still doing my art and finishing my master’s degree. It’s better than watching TV all the time!”


Scholars Worth Watching Hang Liu Learn how nantotextiles can produce a better suture material, preventing millions of surgical infections.


Cheryldee Huddleston A playwright with a passion for Nijinsky and the South finds rich material. “Speaking of the impermissible is at the crux of my love of Nijinsky.”


Elizabeth Rahn Five days shared with 17 Nobel Laureates has left this neuroscientist feeling humbled and grateful.


Where Are They Now? John Dowling A former Graduate School dean and brainiac confesses to a lifetime of bibliomania.


Scholars for Tomorrow Justin Welch and Sofia Arce Flores discuss UGA’s Costa Rica Campus.



LIFE AMONG THE CLOUDS Perhaps the UGA Costa Rica Campus is best described as a living laboratory of natural beauty, say those who travel there for immersion and

Lawrence J. Wheeler How this historian became one of the South's savviest art administrators.


In Brief


Last Word

Graduate School news and notes

study. With lush valleys and staggering waterfalls in the background, it looks like a surreal movie set – actually, it is the place of mystical beauty that inspired Green Mansions. It is also a place of

ABC Dawg

ongoing research and academic programs by UGA attracting a variety of institutions to one of Costa Rica’s best kept cloud forests. Image

Front Cover In Fast Company: Elizabeth Rahn

photographed at the State Botanical Garden of

likes motorcycles and microscopes. She has plans to


make her mark in neuroscience. At age 23, she shed her leather jacket for a lab coat and headed to Lindau, Germany. Find out what it was like hanging out with 17 Nobel Laureates last summer.

Graduate School Magazine



“I plan to graduate next summer, and I look at my dissertation almost as a narrative. Like any play I write, I hope to make truly original connections.” — C HERY L D EE H U DDL E STO N, P L AYWRIG H T

“I still have my book in which I wrote the date 1936. That was the year the Spanish Civil War began, so it was a long time before I got to Spain.” — JOHN C . D OW LI N G, D EA N EM ER I T U S OF T HE G R A D UAT E SC HO O L

“In my field, the greatest recognition of scientific prowess is to win the Nobel Prize. To meet someone who has attained such a feat is amazing.” — E L IZ AB E TH RAH N, G RADUATE S T U D EN T

“Children see so deeply and see the truth. We create too many expectations and barriers. Each work of art is an experience unto itself.” — LAWRENCE J. WHEELER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NORTH CAROLINA MUSEUM OF ART, RALEIGH, NC



M e s s a g e f ro m

Dean Maureen Grasso Being at this particular place at this extraordinary time is something I’m mindful of and thankful for, especially as this exceptional year draws to an end. In the spirit of the season, a time of summing up and looking ahead, I reflect on the roles I have played this past year: educator, leader, and investor—all at UGA as dean of the Graduate School. The most exciting role has been that of investor, because I passionately believe in investing in our students and thus investing in our future. I thankfully acknowledge how much the gifts you made to the Graduate School have meant to our students and their future endeavors. Your gifts made a difference to graduate students across our campus. As for the future, I’m also excited about new roles I will assume with an approaching landmark that is only two years away. Preparations are underway for the Graduate School’s 100th anniversary in 2010. As developments unfold, Web site updates will keep everyone informed, and we seek your involvement on multiple levels. A special book, marking this anniversary event, is in currently in development. If you have special memories, ephemera or photographs you’d like to share, please contact us either in writing or via our Web site at: Within this issue of the Graduate School Magazine you will meet Elizabeth Rahn, a doctoral student in psychology at UGA. She is a dedicated researcher, working quietly and methodically to add to her field’s body of knowledge. She is also a motorcycle enthusiast, seeking the open road of adventure. Both roles are taking her on the road less traveled and are enriching her life—and soon those of others through her research accomplishments. That is the beauty of graduate education: exploring the unexplored and achieving the only imagined. Throughout the holidays, as we look for meaningful ways to share with others, I again ask that you make a gift to graduate education. It really will matter in the life of a student, allowing new roads to be explored in the quest for knowledge. Your gift also makes you a true proponent of scholarly life. Won’t you join me as an investor in our future as the Graduate School approaches 100 years of incredible achievement?


Graduate School Magazine




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“I cannot begin to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed life. My daughter has a saying, ‘Don’t ask my Mom, she likes everything.’”

“I feel like education is wasted on the young,” says the inimitable Maxine Youngblood. “I’ve always gone to school. We’ve so many adults wasting their later years.” Youngblood begins doctoral studies in adult education next spring as she currently audits art classes. She credits college life for her youthful zest and creativity.

Artist Maxine Youngblood (MFA ’97)

Above: Madonna’s Book Signing. Oil on linen, 79 x 73. Paintings shown on left: The

Storm. Oil on linen, 48 x 60; Tsunami. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 42 x 58.

will be late for the art history class she takes on Tuesdays and Thursdays if she doesn’t time her day right. She’s in luck so far: she parks her dusty turquoise blue Dodge pickup just outside the Espresso Royale Café on Broad Street in Athens. One of her newest sculptures is carefully wrapped and stowed on the floorboard for delivery. She nips through the café in search of fresh orange juice, waves to the counter clerks, and hurries out via a side door. Youngblood shakes her red curls energetically as she attacks the stairs, declaring she is “sick of people working on their bodies and not their brains,” while climbing several steep flights of stairs to a studio over the coffee shop. The air itself must be caffeinated it is so heavily laced with coffee and steamed milk, and Youngblood is so energized. Wearing black clogs and jeans, the grandmother of three firmly strikes each step as she hurries up, then turns and patiently waits on the interviewer. Not even panting, Youngblood turns a key in the lock and whistles lowly when the door swings opens and escaping heat slams into her compact body. The studio is in a colorful state of chaos: boxes of artwork spilling out, a jumble of styles and media. Youngblood explains she keeps some of her own paintings stored there as well as the work of student friends. She sculpts in yet another studio across town. In Atlanta, her hometown, she keeps a third studio. Youngblood looks appraisingly at one of her own unstretched canvases.


Artist Maxine Youngblood Sets Sights on a Fourth Degree Graduate School Magazine



Many of her paintings are really large, she says. (As is her life.) Her work and life philosophy are entangled, concerning themes of freedom, agelessness, beauty and fiercely held individualism. She patches together an artistic manifesto while working furiously, producing canvases and sculptures which are sandwiched between travels, art classes, and shows. Youngblood has no lack of interests. She’s a vegetarian who is also fond of cooking classes but devours more books than calories. She’s inclined to stay up late hours reading biographies and art criticism. She likes real estate and chasing down bargain properties. When she wants a workout, she enjoys tennis. At age 70, it is as if Youngblood is setting out to ravage life, rather than be ravaged by it, and so far the score appears to be: Life: Love; Youngblood: Matchpoint. F R O M B B A , T O M FA , T O M B A A N D O N W A R D The Blackshear,

Georgia native launched her career as a business woman after graduating from Georgia State University in 1965. It would be another 25 years before Youngblood would give herself over to art, her first passion. She received her MFA at the University in Georgia in 1997, and in 2001 completed an MBA with a concentration in art business at Brenau University. She needed a challenge, and when a high school teacher named Mary Lee Childs urged Youngblood to study business, she followed her advice. Art, however, was always central to Youngblood’s consciousness. Through childhood, she drew studies of animals, (especially fond of goats,


she chortles) and as a youth learned an appreciation for visuals and design from Aline Keller, her expert seamstress mother. Following stints on Wall Street (where she was assistant to the partner in charge of the commodities division of a New York Stock Exchange member firm) and in Atlanta (as an apparel buyer), she finally began studying art in earnest. “I cannot understand people who cannot do a lot,” she explains when questioned about her many roles. Youngblood possesses several degrees, and is now weighing a full-time return to school. “You have to reinvent yourself all the time,” she says, squinting blue eyes that grow hazel in the slanting sunlight. The artist, businesswoman and sometimes realtor reinvented herself several times already. The Graduate School Magazine interviewed Youngblood about her remarkable work, life and study as she prepares to begin adult education doctoral studies next year. GS: What are you reading? YOUNGBLOOD: Louise Bourgeois by Marielle Bernadette. Bourgeois is 96 and still working in New York. [Reading aloud from the book :] ‘The final string to her bow is her age…’ I think the secret to a great artist is, they never give up youthfulness. We keep our youthfulness, through old age or disability. It was so liberating to become 70! My daughter, Kathryn Minotto, says that 70 is the new 40 for me…I feel so good, and I’m so happy. I’m concerned with the fact that so many women are not living fully, have never expressed their dreams. GS: So you view your age not as a hindrance, but as having given you newfound freedom ?

YOUNGBLOOD: I do feel that the older I get, the younger I get in my mind, because I’ve learned how to live, and I’ve learned about my art. A free woman should never let any age stop what she wants to do …whether she’s 80 and wants to go to graduate school, or just to go back and finish high school. GS: Are there drawbacks? YOUNGBLOOD: Do you know how some people will say, ‘Oh, that was easy, I didn’t even crack a book.’ Everything I ever did, I did the best I can, and nothing was ever easy. And…you do feel alone, because you cannot talk about this issue of being an artist to people who are not in the art world. You can only talk to people who can understand your hardship. But, it’s the same for lawyers, or people in medicine or construction—we like to be around people who do our work. GS: Was there one person or mentor, who had a big impact on your working life? YOUNGBLOOD: The late Horace Farlow. He taught sculpture and model carving at UGA. And my major professor, Judy McWillie. Also, Art Rosenbaum, a painter. But I fear I’ll leave somebody out. Everybody had an influence on my life …. all my teachers and my professors. I remember each of them. They were all heroes. What is the most important in art are the people who have taught me art history. Artists cannot do art without art history. The art history department at Georgia is amazing…Andrew Ladis and Tom Polk. So many—but those are a few I must mention. GS: What do you fear? YOUNGBLOOD: I was afraid to show my work. Last night, I moved

some paintings and thought, what if I sold them? I couldn’t stand it. You pay such a price for being an artist. GS: You have an MBA and an MFA, which is a rarity. How do you explain this dichotomy, this equal passion for business and art? YOUNGBLOOD: When I came back from New York and after working on Wall Street, I was getting a business degree, and actually thinking about law. But I didn’t want to conflict with what my husband, Jim Youngblood, was doing. He got two graduate degrees and a Juris Doctorate. He became a lawyer and was very business-focused, and I decided, I’m going to do what I want to do. You see, I had been waiting for him to represent me—to be my fulfillment. I decided, I will develop myself , and became suddenly free. And the older I get the freer I get. GS: When did you start driving the blue truck? YOUNGBLOOD: (Laughing) I tried to get a truck to move some art for a show, and I couldn’t get a moving van. But I saw this Dodge truck (on a car lot) and I said to the salesman if you can sell it to me in 45 minutes, I’ll buy it. Also, my friend Katie Walker had a truck and she loved her truck. GS: Where are you going next? You mentioned Paris in October… YOUNGBLOOD: I’m usually available all the time if you can catch me. (Laughs.) I’m leaving for Paris on October 26th. I’m hoping to one day show my work and have a show there. GS: What’s the worst thing you’ve faced? YOUNGBLOOD: I’ve had some tragic things happen to me. I’ve been snake bitten twice in my life. Once when I was fishing with my cousins,

Maxine Youngblood will pursue a doctorate in art education while creating her sculptures and paintings. She credits UGA art

and another time when I was in a sweet potato patch—by a diamondback rattler and a cottonmouth moccasin. So anywhere I go, I’m afraid of where to step. I check . I’ve very watchful in that way. GS: What made you to choose UGA for graduate school? YOUNGBLOOD: I had gotten to know professors there; I did look into Cornell and the University of Texas. I didn’t want to leave too far from home because of my Mom. GS: What was your experience? YOUNGBLOOD: I do school really well. But I wasn’t a perfect undergraduate. But even so, I don’t regret anything, because I got to enjoy my young life. 

professor Larry W. Millard as one of her important influences. The torso shown above is one of Youngblood’s recent castings.

Graduate School Magazine



scholars worth watching



raditionally, in medicine, a cut make the fibers that you want.” spinner as her tools, the textile sciences on the finger was remedied by stitchWhy is Liu’s research important? doctoral student works feverishly ing the wound closed with an ancient This particular nanotextile research is towards the creation of an antimicrosuture material called catgut. Catgut, a not being done elsewhere. And the bial and biodegradable surgical suture misnomer, actually derives from applications are potentially life-saving. material, which she hopes to develop sheep’s intestines, and not feline’s. Such a suture material has positive by next spring. Today, sutures are commonly made health implications for an estimated Liu’s goal is producing a suture from synthetic polymer one million patients fibers (and yes, catgut is afflicted with surgical still sometimes used). Silk, infections annually. polypropylene, polyester More than a few and nylon are also in use, onlookers are interested in depending upon the Liu’s labors and potential I S B E I N G C R E AT E D strength, biodegradability for success. Her dissertaand longevity required for tion studies garnered full healing. financial support, as well But catgut has grown as several prestigious problematic (due to mad research awards, including cow disease and other a 2005 Student Research A N T I M I C RO B I A L factors, including strength). Award from the American S U RG I C A L M AT E R I A L Natural fibers are not Association of Textile always sufficiently durable Chemists and Colorists for slower-healing or Foundation. For 2007internal wounds, and 2008, she won a synthetics are not usually Dissertation Completion biodegradable. Although Award from the UGA traditional suture materiGraduate School. Like als often work quite well much of nanoscience, there insofar as strength or are practical manufacturabsorption, there is another ing applications. troublesome issue at stake: In order to develop infections often enter at and employ the methodthe suture site. ologies to create this In 2003, Hang Liu advanced medical material, and her major professor, Liu assembled an interdisKaren Leonas, had a brilciplinary dissertation liant idea. They envicommittee at UGA, sioned a high-tech solution including lead professor thanks to nanotextiles research. Leonas. (Leonas recently left UGA to material which is not merely coated, Electrospinning, employed in nanobecome department chair of apparel, but rather infused, with antimicrobial textiles, was the key. merchandising, design and textiles at properties. Fast forward to 2007 when, at Washington State University.) Liu’s “Electrospinning is a new methwork in a UGA physics laboratory, five committee members are drawn od,” says Liu, explaining that scientists Hang Liu tediously creates fiber bunfrom four different departments: use the weaving innovation to spin fine dles from infinitesimal materials. textiles, physics, microbiology and fibers into nanofibers. “You can adjust Using a microscope and an electrobioengineering. the electrospinning parameters to

 High-Tech Stitch How a

Just in the


Under Development by UGA Researcher

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Nanotextiles usher in a new generation of research and products: “I’m always interested in microbial textiles (e.g., surgical face masks). Another thing I’m interested in is antimicrobial finishing in textiles,” says Liu. Her research incorporates the properties of antimicrobial finishing with a fiber-weaving process called electrospinning. “With electrospinning, the new technique, we can incorporate this antimicrobial agent into fibers without reducing its effectiveness.” She says that while other researchers are trying to produce a microbial “scaffold” used for bio-engineered implants, no one else was working to produce sutures with the new technology. “The difference is the fiber. If you want to use it as sutures, the fibers must be well-aligned. In the scaffold, you only need a fiber web that is randomly oriented.”



O F I N F E C T I O N … Sutures are one

of the earliest recorded and most frequently used surgical devices in operating theaters and emergency rooms. Their designed purpose is well-known, simply facilitating wound and tissue healing by holding an open incision together. At best, sutures work to reduce the critical number of bacteria able to penetrate the skin’s surface to cause infection. But sutures are also well known as the vehicle by which microorganisms can enter into a wound. In this common event, Liu says that sutures serve to foster rather than inhibit infection, becoming the conduit for pathogens. Then, the simple device intended to spare life actually can cause death. “Sutures can lead to patients’ morbidity and mortality,” says Liu, citing significant biomedical statistics. Although sutures are well known for this attendant problem of infection, it is lesser known that a high number of surgical suture-associated infections


end up costing in excess of $2.5 billion in related health care. Electrospinning, a very new fiber-spinning technique, offers a promising remedy. Liu’s research used the technique to incorporate antimicrobial agents with polymer solutions. The resulting new suture materials with antimicrobial characteristics “can inhibit the adherence and colonization of bacteria on sutures,” Liu says. Electrospinning is such a new and versatile technique that electrospun products offer potential in a wide variety of applications, such as high-performance filters, barriers in protective apparatus and scaffolds used in tissue bio-engineering. “Some research concerned the incorporation of antimicrobial agents into bio-implants, and satisfactory in vitro and in vivo experimental results have been achieved,” Liu adds. PROGRESSION OF IDEAS…

Three years ago, Liu found no published studies discussing combining antimicrobial agents with polymers

for applications in sutures. But she believed the production of sutures with controlled, prolonged release of antimicrobial agents held great promise for biomedicine. If Liu was right, “this would reduce the subsequent prolonged hospital stays, extra financial cost to insurance companies, health care facilities and the patient,” she wrote in a persuasive research description. The outcome, she said, could provide a base for further research and industrial applications. Understanding the electrospinning process “would enhance suture process controllability and enlarge its application.” Liu, despite her slight frame and soft-spoken nature, not only possessed inspiration but also the conviction to launch her idea. Having maintained a near-perfect grade point average throughout her doctoral studies, Liu had already won academic credibility. With the help of her interdisciplinary committee, her scientific idea found traction. There was only one complication: Liu didn’t actually have access to an electrospinner. Despite the high-tech name, electrospinners are relatively simple, and Liu felt she could construct the equipment needed. “I spent much time and energy on the design of my equipment. People working on this (electrospinning) design their own setup.” Her setup enables her to align individual fibers into bundles measured in nanometers less than one micro in size. “It’s very small and simple compared to traditional textile fiber spinners. It’s even portable,” Liu adds. At 28, Liu is walking the path of an emerging academic and research scientist. It was the path she chose

years ago as a very young girl growing up with her sister and parents in the resort setting of ChengDe, in China’s HeBei province. ChengDe, four hours north of Beijing, attracts tourists because of its famous antiquities, including palaces, Buddhist temples and the largest imperial garden in China. It is also an important textiles and manufacturing center. Greatly influenced by a high school science teacher, Liu began to pursue her growing dream many miles from Athens, Georgia. “There were no scientists in the family,” she says. Yet she describes a family who shared curiosity about everything. “When I was young, my parents told me why this happened and why that happened.” Liu completed high school by age 17 and decided to study textile engineering. Liu describes her dream-seeking as a journey, and it literally was, for she knew she would have to leave ChengDe to seek fulfillment. Her plans required Liu to move 1,000 miles away to Shanghai, to attend the China Textile University. She dedicated herself to her work. XiuBao Huang, a female professor at China Textile University, deeply inspired her. “She is my role model,” Liu says, confessing, “I want to be her.” Liu was awarded more than 10 scholarships during her bachelor’s and master’s studies in Shanghai, and published several academic papers. As a result of her research experience and course work, Liu seized upon her research idea within two years of arriving in Athens. Her sense of purpose was confirmed after seeing Huang, her favorite professor, back in China. “She’s one of the people who gave me this suggestion. I went to

China last November to attend a meeting and we met at a conference, and she asked me all about my life.” Since 2005, Liu has been researching suture material. “It’s a huge project…it could be a career goal.” Her scientific dreams are on their way to fruition. She also carries a sense of mission to fulfill her parents’ unrealized wishes. “I think this (scientific endeavor) is my parents’ dream. I think they didn’t realize it, but that I did realize it.” 

The Biggest Little Thing of Our Times …

T h e N a n o Ta k e s Center Stage -------------------------Nanotechnologies and biotechnologies are the new frontier in science, spawning innovation. But what does it mean? It means the future is in thinking small… very, very small. It requires the beam of high-resolution electron microscopy to glimpse the possibilities within minute particles known as nanostructure matter, or nanoparticles. BUT What Exactly is a Nano? A nano is only one billionth of a meter. Fewer than 10 atoms fit into a nano…. and that nano is 1/80,000 the width of a single human hair. Nanoscience, or nanotech, preoccupies the foremost researchers of our time. Nanoscience has fomented a new era in technological advancement and pundits call it the biggest “little” thing of our time. Visionaries like Bill Gates of Microsoft fame predict the rush is on to nanotechnologies, and declare it is the “gold rush” of our times. By the next decade, the nationwide demand for nanostructure products and materials may reach as much as $1 trillion. The largest application of nanoscience includes manufacturing. Here at UGA, researchers like doctoral student Hang Liu are part of this intellectual gold rush to adopt exciting new technologies.

Left: Liu at the ChengDe Summer Resorts, the largest existing imperial garden. The Chinese characters read "Re He,"as ChengDe was formerly known.

Graduate School Magazine



Cheryldee Huddleston, a playwright, is a doctoral student attending UGA. Huddleston’s play, Who Loves You, Jimmie Orrio?, won the 2002 PEN USA West Coast Literary Award for Drama.

Prodigals, another of Huddleston’s plays, was once produced at L.A.’s Odyssey Theatre and at the offBroadway Vital Theatre.


Who Loves You, Cheryldee Huddleston? The South, That’s Who! This Successful Playwright’s Life is a Study in the Art of Southern Living

Cheryldee Huddleston PROFESSION : Scholar and playwright doctoral student in the department of film and theatre studies INFLUENCES: Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare and the Greeks FAVORITE PLAY: The Glass Menagerie “I think it is the only piece of theater that I’ve been equally moved by seeing it and reading it. That play is an example of writing the impermissible, the secret of each soul that is so frightening to reveal.” NAME :


heryldee Huddleston, playwright of the award-winning Who Loves You Jimmie Orrio?, could easily be a character inhabiting the plays she writes, or at the very least an actress in one. With dramatic red hair brushed to one side and sparkling hazel eyes, the colorfully dressed artist/scholar plumps a luxurious cushion before plopping onto the floor of her Victorian-era apartment. The apartment is a cheerful mélange of Huddleston’s past and present. There are hints of her former lives in California, New York and Tennessee scattered around the apartment. Shiny bits, including the obelisk-shaped, amethyst-colored PEN award she won in 2002, reflect the filtered yet fierce August light.

“I find this town the most homelike. Whimsical and extremely inviting,” Huddleston offers, extending a sweating glass of ice tea. It is a stultifying afternoon and the air conditioner moans. Nonetheless, Huddleston accepts the summer doldrums as the price of admission to the South she loves, a place of colorful speech, family and connection. She first arrived in Athens during another August heat wave in 2003. Beforehand, “I was talking the talk of being a second-hand Southerner,” Huddleston admits, describing her teaching stint on the West Coast. “In California, I always used expressions like ‘honey’ and ‘y’all,’” Huddleston confesses with a grin.

“Now I can say it to my heart’s content.” All ashimmer, the apartment almost seems another sort of character, this one competing for attention and murmuring pleasantries. The rooms could easily be a setting for one of the Tennessee Williams’ plays Huddleston admires. She happily explains that the Oglethorpe Street dwelling was a 19thcentury university rooming house, and while the exterior has seen better days, Huddleston’s walkup apartment is spotlessly tended—albeit quirky. The floor itself tilts at a slightly alarming angle. A French door directly behind Huddleston leads onto the rooftop – not to a terrace but a vertiginous, slanting roof. Huddleston watches through

Graduate School Magazine



the glass door as a raspberry-capped finch feeds at one of many birdfeeders stationed on the rooftop. The main room is pleasantly scattered with memorabilia from the artist’s works and awards, and brooding studies of Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, whose legendary performances are the subject of Huddleston’s dissertation. “I plan to graduate next summer,” she says, “and I look at my dissertation almost as a narrative. Like any play I write, I hope to make connections, and truly original connections.” She explains that these connections stem from her dissertation’s “perceptual discovery of traces of Nijinsky’s performance.” While no footage of Nijinsky’s dancing exists, Huddleston describes analytically layering present-day performance and historical research. “My methodologies include phenomenology, ‘memory studies,’ and Nijinsky’s photographs.” A CHOREOGRAPHED CAREER

In recent years, the University of Georgia’s department of film and theatre studies sought out practitioners, and Huddleston fit the bill. After winning the prestigious PEN Literary Award for Drama for Who Loves You Jimmie Orrio?, a play that ran in Marin County near San Francisco to positive acclaim, Huddleston’s work was published. She completed an MFA in playwriting at the University of Nevada before moving to Athens, where she has settled deeply and contentedly. Huddleston now teaches playwriting part-time at UGA while completing her dissertation. Occasionally, her plays are staged or developed in Athens or nearby Atlanta. Huddleston’s other works include Children of an Idol Moon and April 10,


1535 . Her department produced the

former last year, and she herself performed as Clytemnestra last spring in Euripides’ Trojan Women . Both productions were directed by UGA professor George Contini. She worked with professor Ray Paolino on a reading of her play Madame John’s Legacy this November. “I have been doing rewrites on April 10, 1535. I worked with the wonderful actor Nicolas Coster [an adjunct professor], and had a reading at Essential Theater in Atlanta last fall. She was drawn to Nijinsky from her early training in ballet. She recalls spotting his picture in an Encyclopedia Britannica when she was 10 or 11. Nijinsky’s haunting, sepia-toned images had such an impact that she collected them and displayed them in every apartment she’s ever inhabited. Along the way, she collected information about the famous yet doomed dancer, who eventually suffered a mental collapse. She describes going to the New York City public library to study pho-

tographs of the star, who is now entombed in a Paris cemetery. Despite his eventual ruin, Nijinsky found acclaim for his ground-breaking performance in Afternoon of a Faun (L’Après-midi d’un Faune) , the revolutionary 1912 ballet he also choreographed. Huddleston traveled to New York to research a revealing film produced in 1989 by The Juilliard School. “That was the first reconstruction of Nijinsky’s actual choreography in over 70 years,” Huddleston says. While reviewing the archival film of the reconstructed Faun, she kept saying to herself, “Oh, this is right . Nureyev’s performance [the famous 1981 Joffrey Ballet production of Faune] was wrong.” Huddleston’s memory of Baron

Adolf De Meyer’s famous gelatin-silver photographs of Nijinsky’s ballet, taken in sequence, “informed this experiential encounter.” She unfolds her legs, favoring a sore back, and muses about the ways in which the photographs led her to conclusions about Nijinsky’s performance. “Had I not been a dancer, it’s

hard to imagine I could have seen this.” She also interviewed Yoav Kaddar, the very dancer performing Faune in the 1989 Juilliard School production. In January, 2008, Huddleston and Kaddar will present their combined Nijinsky research at an international humanities conference in Hawaii. This year, Huddleston also traveled to London for further Nijinsky research. “I interviewed Anne Hutchinson Guest, who broke Nijinsky’s code–he created an original dance notation system that parallels the musical score, but unlike other systems at the time, allowed for tremendous detail of movement to be recorded.” Huddleston sees herself continuing as an academic and Nijinsky scholar, while also writing plays. “I would love to be able to combine my work as a scholar with my passion for playwriting. I think I can combine them.” Her attention breaks as Penworthy, an 18-year-old cat, mewls petulantly from the bedroom yet refuses to join Huddleston despite entreaties. The

setting sun, a virtual fireball on the horizon, prompts Huddleston’s mention that soldiers at the nearby Navy School “play Taps every evening at 10 and Reveille every morning at 8.” At dusk, with Taps approaching, Nijinsky’s photographs appear even more brooding. Refilling tea glasses like a gracious Southern host, Huddleston says with a laugh that she much prefers Taps at night to Reveille in the morning, but appreciates the dramatic tension and the drama of both. 

 Fo r Fu r t h e r S t u d y

-------------------------Nijinsky by Richard Buckle, and Nijinsky by Vera Krasovskaya, are both excellent sources, according to Huddleston. She adds this caveat:

· “I think the best is his sister Bronislava Nijinska’s, titled Early

Memoirs; it weaves Nijinsky’s biography with her own life—but her point of view as a dancer and


choreographer (and an adoring sister) provides invaluable intimacy

A B O U T VA S L AV N I J I N S K Y Vaslav Nijinsky (1890–1950) was born to traveling Polish

to the portrayal.” For incredible

dancers. He became the star pupil of the Imperial Ballet School in St. Petersburg, Russia, and

photographs and lyrical writing

the premiere danseur of the company known as Ballets Russes. Ballets Russes took Paris by

about his performance, Huddleston

storm in 1909.

recommends Lincoln Kirstein’s

Nijinsky Dancing.

· “From his transformative, phenomenal performances in Les Sylphides, Scheherazade, Le

To learn about Nijinsky’s original

Spectre de la Rose, Petruschka, and in his own ballet, L’Apres-midi d’un Faune (Afternoon of

dance notation system, Huddleston

a Faun), Nijinsky became the greatest male ballet dancer in the world, arguably the greatest

recommends Nijinsky’s Faune

Restored by Anne Hutchinson

male ballet dancer who has ever lived,” says Huddleston. A devastating mental illness cut

Guest and Claudia Jeschke.

Nijinsky’s dance career short in 1919.

“Films — good ones, that is — are rather few and far between,”

“Although there is no known or existing motion-picture footage of Nijinsky dancing, from his

Huddleston says. “But the French film Revoir Nijinsky Danser is the

photographs and the eyewitness accounts of those who saw him perform on the stage, his

best, I think. I didn’t like the recent

legend continues to mesmerize dancers and lovers of dance to this day,” Huddleston notes.

The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky.”

Graduate School Magazine



cover story

On hearing that she had been chosen to attend the 57th meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany, Elizabeth Rahn said: “I have learned that if you want to be successful in science, you have to be aggressive.�




A NEUROSCIENTIST, recently returned from a heady

trip to Lindau, Germany. She was among 500 people chosen for the 57th meeting of Nobel Laureates to attend a forum dedicated to physiology or medicine. Despite this, Rahn narrows her hazel eyes and says she’s still playing catch up with her dad who finished medical school when he was basically a kid. At 23, Rahn may not quite be Doogie Howser, TV’s fictional medical prodigy, but she sure seems gifted enough to make her retired physician father proud. Rahn’s work in behavioral neuroscience under University of Georgia professor Andrea Hohmann may one day help chemotherapy patients experience less pain in the course of their cancer treatment. Rahn brushes back her dark hair and exhales, explaining she has lost significant time already. Because Rahn (MS ’06) first began academic study in electrical engineering, she feels she’s racing to catch up after changing disciplines. Given that she was among only 49 graduate students from the U.S. invited to Lindau to learn from the world’s most renowned scientists and achievers, Rahn is the odds-on favorite to win that race.

Children 50 years ago played with the silvery beads of mercury that spilled out and skittered across the floor whenever a thermometer crashed and broke. No one realized then what threat mercury posed to human health—mercury was once widely used by haberdashers to size hats (hence the expression, mad as a hatter) and by miners to process gold. In a sense, Rahn had a “mercurial” experience of her own that eventually led her to meet some of the world’s most acclaimed scientific intellectuals. In her case, the experience was a controlled experiment while she was an Auburn University undergraduate, rather than by accident. At the time, Rahn intended to become an electrical engineer—until mercury

Graduate School Magazine



“The work we do in her lab [Andea Hohmann] is the best of both worlds, because we are combining basic research with practical, real-world applications.”

“You think of the Olympic gold medals. It is the ultimate achievement in sports. In my field, the greatest recognition of scientific prowess is to win the Nobel Prize. To meet someone who has attained such a feat is amazing. To be able to interact with these prestigious, intelligent people in such a close atmosphere … they’re not just figureheads, they’re scientists and researchers. It really is attainable,” Rahn says, marveling. “It was wonderful to interact and to learn what was interesting and important to them in science and in life.”


actually changed her course. When Rahn took a psychology research methods course, she says the work resonated with her in a way that engineering never had. Rahn subsequently became a lab assistant studying the effects of methyl-mercury toxicity on learning behavior in animals exposed to the substance during gestation, as well as throughout their lifespan. “Dr. Christopher Newland’s behavioral toxicology laboratory at Auburn University was the first time that I was working on a project that had a direct impact on the real world,” notes Rahn. She shifted her academic direction, abandoning engineering for behavioral neuroscience after

researching the effects of exposure to methyl-mercury. Rahn says she went from being a student looking for her passion to one “stoked” to catch up with her scientific peers. As she completed her undergraduate study, Rahn won the Georgia Vallery Award for the most outstanding graduating senior in Auburn’s psychology department. Afterward, Rahn applied to several southeastern graduate schools, in order to remain close to family. She chose the University of Georgia and received a Graduate School fellowship and stipend. She later received a graduate student research award. At UGA, Rahn works as a research assistant to Andrea Hohmann in the Pain and Neurosensory Mechanisms Research Lab. “The work we do in her lab is the best of both worlds, because we are combining basic research with practical, realworld applications,” Rahn says. “I am studying the therapeutic value of cannabinoids, synthetic cannabis-like compounds, on neurotoxicity and pathological pain induced by chemotherapeutic agents.” Rahn goes on to explain that cannabinoids naturally occur within the body’s own physiological responses. “Our body produces its own cannabinoids.” In the short time she has been at UGA, Rahn has won a slew of awards for her scientific papers and posters. But none of her many awards were more exciting than when Rahn learned she was among only 10 delegates selected by ORAU, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, to attend the aforementioned laureates meeting at the invitation of the Council for the Lindau. UGA belongs to ORAU, a university consortium aligned with

98 national research institutions and laboratories. She raced back to the US in June from other foreign travel to make the meeting. Earlier, Rahn presented her research at international conferences in Berlin and Canada before joining fellow student delegates for lectures at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., and then returning to Germany. The students continued from Munich by bus to Lindau, situated on the borders of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Rahn is still processing the fiveday experience. She describes how sitting in on morning lectures led by the 17 laureates, attending and joining discussions with other promising graduate students, left her feeling humbled and grateful. 



Founded by wealthy inventor Alfred Nobel (1833–1896) at his

death, the Nobel Prize was this man’s bequest to the world. Since the first award presentation on December 10, 1901, the Nobel Foundation has honored 766 Nobel Laureates and 19 organizations (excluding new Laureates this December). Of those 766 individuals, 33 were women.

Alfred Nobel’s prize, devised by a will he produced a year before his death, is said to have been prompted by a widely published report of his death. The erroneous report was memorable for grimly crediting Nobel, who held patents for dynamite and explosives, as an architect of death. After reading this, he chose to apply his fortune toward a different and redemptive legacy. The million-dollar prizes bearing Nobel’s imprimatur not only honor scientific and mathematical endeavor but also literature and peace-keeping initiatives.

The awards and process selection remain extremely quiet. All information surrounding an award is kept secret for 50 years, according to the Nobel organization’s Web site. An interesting insight into the awards process can be glimpsed by reading Walter Isaacson’s new biography of Albert Einstein. Einstein won the 1921 Nobel Prize for physics for his work on the photo-electric effect rather than for his work on gravity and relativity. Isaacson offers fascinating details as to why—and the answer may surprise you.

For further information see:

 -------------------------UGA doctoral student Elizabeth Rahn joined a student delegation for a meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany on July 1-6. The delegation was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the National Science Foundation Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, the National Institutes of Health’s Graduate Partnerships Program, Mars Incorporated and Oak Ridge Associated Universities. The delegates were selected based upon academic achievement.

Graduate School Magazine



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

John Dowling

C ATCHING UP with Retired Dean Immersed in History within a




Dean Emeritus John Clarkson Dowling and his wife, Constance, left Athens following Dowling’s academic career that spanned 45 years. Their move was complicated by 100 cartons including ancient texts—the rare and finely bound books the bibliophiles lovingly collected and curated over a lifetime. The collection mirrored Dowling’s exceptional life as a Romance languages scholar. The books powerfully showcased his love of Spanish literature, especially drama and poetry. The physical presence of these carefully chosen books exemplified one of his favorite lines from the Spanish poet Bécquer, “por una mirada, un mundo …” By a glance, a world.

The Dowlings’ oldest book, La Historia d’Italia by Guicciardini , is dated 1623. According to Constance Dowling, a former librarian, it once belonged to Canovas de Castillo, a


House of Books

19th-century Spanish statesman. The moving cartons contained books spanning from the 15th century until 1835. This was the cut-off date, Constance explained, as “1835 is when Spanish book publishing was modernized.” Today, the pair of book lovers is resettled in Williamsburg, Virginia

and their books occupy an extraordinary and compact living library. The Dowlings’ tidy and lightfilled home features 14 7foot bookcases, and two dozen smaller ones. One tall case holds rare books from the 17th through the 19th century. Throughout the couple’s sunroom, living room, studies and corridors, even spilling into bedrooms, the elegant volumes are carefully categorized within each case. Bullfighting posters from the Dowlings’ trips to Spain, objets d’art, Spanishinfluenced furnishings and African batiks and mementos within the house hint of the Dowlings’ frequent treks abroad. Yet it is the Dowlings’ books that beguile; the spines and bindings of their books are works of art in easy reach of eager fingertips. The texts are bound in every hue of leather from carmine red to the palest, creamiest gray. Each survived their intercontinental

journeys in fine mettle. The stupefying numbers of Spanish books represented on the shelves pertain to John Dowlings’s field of study, Romance languages with an emphasis on Spanish literature. Many of the finest books within their collection were selected with the help of Spanish scholars in Madrid, where Dowling spent a year as a Guggenheim scholar and frequently returned to lecture and work. O N E V E R S I O N O F PA R A D I S E : BIBLIOMANIA The Dowlings’ mutual

obsession with books began early. John Dowling still owns the encyclopedia set he was given as a child. He once rescued an abandoned book from the gutter when he was a student at the University of Colorado. “It was a ‘crib’ volume of Caesar—an illegal possession in any Latin class,” his wife wrote later in an article titled Bibliomania. She added, “Alarmed, he took it back to his room and hid it—we still have it.” She was delighted by the serendipitous way their collecting evolved. They were people who amassed books rather than collecting them. Constance Dowling began a library career in Gloversville, New York as a young girl working at the local Carnegie library for 30 cents an hour. Later, she earned graduate degrees in art history and library science. “When an academic becomes absorbed in a subject, he accumulates as much information as possible about it,” she wrote. She took charge of their private collection and maintained catalogued notes. John Dowling’s fascination with the writings of Cervantes and José Zorilla is evidenced by the large number of books dealing with them both.

Yet there are notable exceptions among the stacks filling their two story home. And it is this, the unexpected, which delights. While serving in Shanghai during World War II as a translator and interpreter, young Lt. John Dowling found a pirated copy of Lady Chatterly’s Lover . He already owned an autographed copy of Not I But The Wind, originally given to his father in Taos, New Mexico by none other than the author Frieda Lawrence, widow of D. H. Lawrence. Naturally, “around these two books, a little collection of Lawrenciana is growing,” Constance Dowling observed in Bibliomania . She added, “as far as we are concerned, all books are desirable.” Today, she locates a 1930 edition of Mother Goose given to her as a childhood Christmas present and opens it with a smile. It is still in admirable condition. “It might be valuable,” she muses. The pair was destined to become collectors—or, as Constance Dowling corrects—amassers.

HIGHLIGHTS of JOHN CLARKSON DOWLING’S CAREER Birthdate: November 14, 1920 in Strawn, Texas Education: Undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado; PhD





Wisconsin (’50). Graduate of the Navy Japanese Language School, Boulder, Colorado. Experience: Lieutenant Commander (retired), The United States Naval Reserve; Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School, 1979–1989; the University of Georgia Alumni Foundations Distinguished Professor of Romance Languages (1992); Department Chair at Texas Tech University,




Indiana The

University of Georgia; Graduate Programs Initiated: mass communications, musical arts, social work, historic preservation, agricultural economics and artificial intelligence. Honors and Awards: Festschrift,

Studies in Honor of John Clarkson Dowling



Fellowship (1959–60); Corresponding


When the Dowlings left Athens five years ago, they chose a familiar place. John Dowling frequented Williamsburg as an officer in the Naval Reserves, and they selected the area for its proximity to historical sites and to their only child, Robert Dowling, now retired from the Army and living in Virginia. Married on December 26, 1949, the Dowlings celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary this year. Long before they left Athens, they marked their golden anniversary with many of their closest friends and UGA colleagues. Today, they are the same elegant pair shown in their anniversary photographs. John Dowling, silver

member of the Hispanic Society of America;



Defense Education Act Summer Language Institute and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar. Books and Publications: Dowling’s publishing experience is extensive. During the years 1957 to 1977, he published four scholarly books in the Spanish language. He authored seven editions of literary texts between 1967 and 1982. From 1952 to 1982, Dowling wrote 48 articles of research and criticism and contributed 38 book reviews which were published here and abroad. In addition, he wrote 18 miscellaneous publications, contributed seven articles to The

Scriblerian, and produced another 10 abstract and research reports.

Graduate School Magazine



haired and trim, smiles as his wife interjects two facts about her husband. As an academic, her husband never took sick leave and never took the elevator at the Boyd Graduate Research building, says Constance Dowling with obvious pride. Dean of UGA’s Graduate School from 1979-1989, Dowling previously served as the head of the department

of Romance languages. During his deanship, Dowling cooperated with the graduate faculty to initiate new masters and doctoral programs, including mass communications, musical arts, social work, historic preservation, agricultural economics and artificial intelligence. He also worked with the Graduate Council to revise the by-laws under which the

Bibliophile’s Holy Grail: C O L L E C T I N G T H E R A R E S T O F R A R E B O O K S -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Assuredly, this is not a pursuit for ordinary people with ordinary bank accounts. Only the likes of Microsoft magnate Bill Gates and fellow billionaires can now afford the world’s most collectible books. According to Georgia writer Phillipp Harper, “Every passion has its Holy Grail, and rare-book collecting is no exception.” Harper says that if a group of bibliophiles were asked to name the rarest of the rare books, one answer would be consistent: the Gutenberg Bible dated 1456. The Gutenberg Bible, printed by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany was the printer’s most notable work using movable type. Were you to ever find a complete first-edition Gutenberg Bible, Harper says the experts would value it at anywhere from $25 million to $35 million. Other books making Harper’s short list of exceedingly rare and valuable books include: Leonardo Da Vinci’s manuscripts, the 1623 first edition of William Shakespeare’s collected works, and even a first-edition copy of the Declaration of Independence. Beyond the Gutenberg Bible, relative worth would differ somewhat according to a collector’s own area of interest. (Old or even scarce texts do not necessarily translate into rare and therefore valuable in the book world.) Modern day collectors may be more interested in snagging a first edition of Harper Lee’s classic To

Kill a Mockingbird. For further reading, visit bibliophile Web sites such as and Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. also has a rare book auction feature.


council and the Graduate School operated. “He (Dean John Dowling) was well-traveled and had a global view of the world,” says Mary Ann Keller, former director of graduate admissions at UGA. “He was committed to the internationalization of the campus.” In 1988, the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools gave Dowling the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education in the Southern Region. Fluent in Spanish, French, Japanese and Latin, Dowling returned to the department as interim department head for a while after his retirement from the Graduate School in 1992. “One day he retired, and the next day he went back to work,” his wife adds as he grins and shrugs. Despite John Dowling’s fluency in Japanese, acquired during World War II while translating and interpreting for the Navy, he remained with Spanish, his first love, though other offers had surfaced during his career. Dowling did accept post retirement opportunities. He became a visiting professor at the University of Iowa and an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina, Beaufort. Dowling also was interim dean of the Schmidt College of Arts and Humanities at Boca Raton, Florida. Before he left academia, former students Douglas and Linda Jane Barnette honored Dowling with the publication of a Festchrift , a book commemorating his scholarship that contains research articles written by former colleagues. The book, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Spanish Literature and Romanticism in Honor of John Clarkson Dowling, debuted in 1985.

In the introduction, Dowling

spoke to his love of Cervantes, of the great Spanish poets, and of the artist Goya. He discussed the significance of coming of age in Taos, New Mexico, where Dowling was a minority native speaker of English. Taos High School had an excellent Spanish program and he was fluent by age 16. Jacob Bernal introduced Dowling to the classics of Spanish Romantic literature. In Bernal’s class he read about Spain and dreamed of visiting. He scrawled a note about that dream in the margins of a textbook. “I still have my book in which I wrote the date 1936,” he noted. “That was the year the Spanish Civil War began, so it was a long time before I got to Spain.” His first book, published in 1957, won Dowling a cash prize from the Academia de Alfonso X el Sabio of Murcia, Spain. Two years later, at age 39, Dowling arrived in Madrid, Spain as a Guggenheim Fellow. He became a corresponding member of the Hispanic Society of America. Dowling observed that spending 1959-60 in Madrid was like doing a second PhD. That Christmas, the Dowlings celebrated their 10th anniversary in Madrid by throwing a big party for their friends. He wrote that the lights went out “as they often did in Madrid, and late-comers had to climb seven flights or wait for the electricity to come back on.” John Dowling never abandoned his childhood dreams of Spain nor the language he loved. “Spanish was in my blood,” he wrote. He has lived to experience the fullest expressions of his childhood dreams. 

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Graduate School Magazine



s c h o l a r s f o r t o m o r ro w

Pura Vida Scholarly Pursuits Meshes with

for these

Ticos! ( T h e G o o d L i f e

Meshes with Academia for these Costa Ricans)


E A C H M O R N I N G , A MUG OF LOCALLY GROWN CAFÉ CON LECHE IN HAND, Justin Welch (MS ’06) and Sofia Arce Flores (MS ’06) step

outside their offices and into a rain cloud. Actually, they walk into the sort of postcard worthy scene that Costa Rica’s ecotourism hinges upon. The University of Georgia’s Costa Rica Campus, elevation 3,600 feet, is set within the lush San Luis Valley, a place literally drenched with natural beauty as well as copious amounts of rain. · Farmers drive yoked oxen on the rugged road intersecting the campus’ long drive, and horses bearing tin buckets of fresh milk pass en route to the nearby dairy factory in Monteverde. In this authentic agrarian setting, Welch and Arce Flores prepare for the weekly onslaught of students, artists, naturalists, language instructors, horticulturalists, agronomists, researchers, botanists and ecotourists who live and work at the rustic campus. Groups from Oregon, Washington and Idaho recently arrived for study. A toucan calls, and a hummingbird zips behind Arce Flores in vivid illustration of why so many who come loathe leaving. · “A huge aspect of the research station is its setting within a rural environment, and how that shapes the natural environment and all consequential studies,” says Welch. · Fabricio Camacho Céspedes is a full time resident of San Luis and also the station’s general manager. In tandem, Costa Ricans and the national government have instituted programs to promote sustainable agronomy and ecotourism. At San Luis, sustainable development underscores every UGA program offering.

PUTTING LEADERSHIP INTO P R A C T I C E In 2005, while serving as a graduate student representative in the department of ecology, Welch was selected to participate in the Future Leaders Development Training program sponsored by the Graduate School. Water resources management, Welch’s area of focus, took him to San Luis where he studied the Upper Ro Guacimal Watershed. He currently participates in research and outreach programs with local schools and institutions. He also coordinated data collection for a biological corridor in the Monteverde region. On a practical level, Welch analyzed water use and management for the research station itself. “Although Monteverde stands out as a prized jewel among Costa Rica’s

many places of natural beauty, the region faces complex challenges in protecting its natural resources from the exploding ecotourism,” says Welch. “For me, this scenario provides a valuable opportunity to learn how to work with communities within their unique cultural, historical and economic development contexts, in order to address local water resource management issues.” Arce Flores and Welch are mutually invested in the practice, education and implementation of sound conservation, and work closely with the throngs of students and researchers drawn to San Luis annually. The couple met two years ago as graduate students in the conservation ecology and sustainable development program

-------------------------San Luis is a microcosm of positive advances in green practices exemplified by Costa Rica as a whole. Costa Rica is a model for a world increasingly



conservation. Many Costa Rican farmers have adopted pesticidefree and no-burn practices. The outside world now associates the small country with organically produced exports such as coffee. While the word “organic” is often used in reference to Costa Rican agri-products, Sofia Arce Flores and Justin Welch caution that it is a sometimes politicized buzzword with varying meanings. Each country has strictly enacted and varying regulations as to what actually constitutes “organic” produce.

at UGA. They studied water resource policy and sustainable practices, and now put their knowledge into practice in their adopted home. For Welch, a native Tennessean, San Luis life and work here is much like inhabiting a National Geographic special and he’s still marveling at his good fortune. Arce

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Flores is a native Costa Rican, or as Costa Ricans say, a Tica. She is familiar with the surrounding beauty but not inured to San Luis’ easy charms or to the graciousness of its people. Welch works as an intern professor in the Monteverde region via the UGA San Luis Research Station for the University of Costa Rica’s Center for Research in Environmental Contamination. Meanwhile, Arce Flores, who is the academic programs and volunteer coordinator in San Luis, devotes much of her time to coordinating educational programs and the naturalists at the station. She is trained as an agronomy engineer, is in charge of the naturalists’ training, and also overseeing community programs involving local residents and the station’s visitors. Arce Flores herself arrived in San Luis for only a week’s study, and remained. Like her colleague and partner Welch, she plans to continue work indefinitely in San Luis, furthering community-collaborative research and programs such as the establishment of a local farmer’s market. “We build and implement our programs at the Costa Rica campus to fulfill the same mission as UGAAthens,” says Arce Flores. “Therefore, our involvement with the community plays a key aspect in academic programming. Students take on diverse activities that range from home stays with local families and teaching English in the schools to community service projects such as reforestation and helping to establish a medicinal plant garden. Being an active member of this community is one of the most important components to ensuring the long-term success of our campus.”


Meanwhile, Arce Flores supports other UGA programs such as the first international undergraduate research symposium hosted by the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities, or CURO. Last May, 12 UGA students traveled to the Costa Rican campus to present research abstracts with 12 University of Costa Rica students.

Hibiscus and hummingbirds (of 30 varieties) are constants in the Costa Rican landscape, according to Justin Welch and Sofia Arce Flores. The conservationists, shown on page 24, were recently photographed at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia during a visit to Athens.


cross-cultural and interdisciplinary symposium was instigated and designed by Pamela Kleiber, associate director of the Honors program and CURO. Kleiber developed the program concept after meeting with receptive UCR administrators, faculty and students. Arce Flores, who holds degrees from UGA and UCR, helped orchestrate the bilingual event, a first-time partnership between the two universities. Kleiber worked with Arce Flores and María Ruth Martinez, a UGA doctoral student in environmental and ecological anthropology. Martinez, now completing her dissertation in Athens, provided translation services throughout the symposium. As an advocate of the San Luis’ craftspeople, musicians and farmers, Arce Flores sought ways to showcase their abilities. During the evenings, she arranged to have San Luis musicians perform, and locals demonstrated needlecraft and other skills for the students. Dean Maureen Grasso of the Graduate School participated as a faculty discussant at the symposium, joined by Betty Jean Craige, director of the Wilson Center for Humanities and Arts, and Kleiber. Afterward, Grasso says several UCR participants

expressed interest in furthering their graduate research at UGA. “The CURO international research symposium in Costa Rica was the most dynamic study abroad program experience that I have witnessed at the UGA Costa Rica campus to date,” said Quint Newcomer, who directs overseas international education programs in Costa Rica. IN A PLACE OF GREEN FORESTS AND



researchers wave to farmers traversing the busy road between San Luis and Santa Elena, Welch and Arce Flores discuss the locals’ receptivity to green practices. Welch mentions the case of the Finca La Bella project that has 20 farmers adhering to environmentally conscious and integrated agricultural practices. The research station itself is in close proximity to coffee plantations and dairies that dot the hillsides. Arce Flores points out a rubiaceae, a plant in the coffee family. She identi-

fies a vivid flower that is in the same family as bird of paradise. Balancing on a rough hewn bridge for a moment, the couple watches the crystalline water rushing below. Water policy, management and mechanisms are Welch’s career focus. He leans over for closer scrutiny and then glances up, his eyes knowing mirrors. “The Monteverde region, and the San Luis Valley specifically, is an enviable place to work and call home due to its evident natural beauty, its hospitable community and the appreciable reality it presents. Sofia and I are extremely lucky to have found such a great place where we can continue to learn from our surroundings while also applying our professional training,” says Welch. 


Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Rachel Carson

Representative horticultural specimens commonplace at the UGA Costa Rica campus (at left and above) can be enjoyed at the UGA botanical gardens.

Graduate School Magazine





WHEELER , executive director of the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, is an

alumnus with an artful edge. Although he keeps company with artists, intelligentsia, art collectors, governors, educators and power brokers, Wheeler also knows how to keep the common touch. In truth, he’s happiest when the museum reaches those most intimidated by art, for he understands their hesitance. As a young man, Wheeler was reluctant to enter the formidable quiet of a museum. He has changed since then. He has literally turned the North Carolina museum inside out, by creating a wildly successful museum that melds park space with the museum itself, and the barriers to art appreciation keep tumbling down. Today, Wheeler ranks among North Carolina’s most influential cultural figures, having transformed the state’s public art museum from owlish to dynamic. He’s also made sure that this museum never intimidates. There is a verdant park on the museum grounds and patrons arrive by the carload to enjoy the trails, outdoor theater and user-friendly exhibits. While the museum is historically renowned for its collection of European Old Master paintings, Wheeler has expanded those holdings while building up a gutsy contemporary collection. Recent blockbuster exhibitions (by artists including Monet, Rodin, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso) broke all standing attendance records. When the museum’s massive refurbishment wraps up in 2011, there’s no doubt that the public will be wowed. The new plans integrate “green initiatives,” including water features that run through the museum; solar lighting; and exterior wetlands. In fact, it will become one of the state’s largest green projects. Fittingly, even the cultural medal awarded to Wheeler by the French is a fetching green enamel. “The Raleigh museum is the marriage of art and nature,” Wheeler observes. So, too, is Wheeler himself.





Meet L a r r y W h e e l e r :

R I S E S in the Art Firmament LARRY WHEELER (MA ’69; PHD ’ 7 2 ) , now a member of the French

Order of the Arts, is the same man who admits with a wry grin he “never went into a museum until I was in college.” Before then, Wheeler thought of museums as closely guarded, pretentious bastions. Growing up in Lakeland, Florida, with a commonsensical mother who would have preferred he stayed put in one place, Wheeler was suspicious of pretense of any sort. Now, as overseer of one of the most successful museums in the national public sector, Wheeler wants this museum to be


lively, and for visitors to experience it on their own terms. “In the 21st century, unlike the last, the arts are becoming the mainstream of our culture. There are more galleries now. The art life of the community makes art more available, a more powerful commodity. Now there are more collectors than ever wanting to find the next Jasper Johns or Gerhardt Richter,” he says. Yet Wheeler’s favorite art patrons, the schoolchildren who decamp by the busload and carload, are too young to give a fig about the difference between

a Johns and a Richter. For a child, art is as accessible as air. “I think children are the best audience there is,” says Wheeler thoughtfully, while seated at a sleek wooden conference table overlooking the museum grounds and the enormous museum expansion site below. As a noisy army of front-end loaders scoops red clay, further delighting the schoolchildren, Wheeler chats about the first thing children tend to notice at the museum. He points out a mobile by Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter at the museum’s

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-------------------------T O A S T O F PA R I S I S TA R H E E L S ’ P R I D E In 2000, the Raleigh News and

Observer described Wheeler as the “godfather of the Triangle’s cultural boom,” naming him Tar

great emphasis on creativity in the artistic sense,” he explains. “The most exciting thing is to connect people with art. This museum belongs to them. It’s an opportunity for them to learn, to have their spirits raised.”

Heel of the Year. (Past honorees include Bank of America’s CEO and passionate art patron, Hugh McColl.) In 2001, the French government awarded Wheeler the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters given in honor of “significant contribution to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance.” (William Faulkner, Allen Ginsberg and Meryl Streep are past medal recipients.) Not to be outdone, the City of Raleigh gave Wheeler the Medal of Arts in 2002. And last year, the Design Guild at North Carolina State University also honored Wheeler for contributions to the arts.

entrance. Adult eyes must focus to fully realize the airplane is composed of hundreds of Mylar butterflies suspended from steel cables. Contrails of fabric flowers spew from the rear of the plane. The mobile delights Wheeler. “Kids pass by and say, ‘Mama! Look!’ Unencumbered by expectations, they see that airplane made of butterflies, flapping their wings. Children see so deeply and see the truth. We [adults] create too many expectations and barriers. Each work of art is an experience unto itself.” Children, Wheeler observes, simply say, “I see .” Adults worry about what they don’t know. “Art needs to be a part of routine conversation, part of their value system. Our traditional values don’t place


THE EDUCATION OF A PUBLIC MAN Wheeler speaks much like the

educator that he trained to become. He earned his doctorate in 1972, anticipating an academic life. He was not involved in the art scene at the University of Georgia, but instead immersed in European history. “The old campus was the center of my life,” Wheeler remembers. “The quad, the library... I spent days and nights there. I wore a tie to school every day,” he says laughing. “We all wore coats and ties. Even to football games!” Now sporting rimless glasses and a fastidious pinstriped suit with a red tie, Wheeler still wears the uniform. In essence, dressing well as a student was good preparation for success, Wheeler suggests. He believed then, as now, that “You’ve got to behave like who you want to be.” Vince Dooley was the football coach when Wheeler was a UGA student, and he fondly recalls the excitement of the games. He lived a typical graduate student’s life, teaching and attending ball games—and art was entirely peripheral to his Athens experience. While the old UGA art museum was still there, “I didn’t know I was interested,” he admits candidly. Wheeler remembers Warren Spencer, a French historian and pipesmoking, major professor. “I was his first PhD student.” He fondly recollects other UGA professors, including “Lee Kinett, a French professor, and a

Dr. Smith, a great historian, particularly in World War II history.” However, for all of its charm, Athens then was small and insular. Wheeler took an apartment in a Victorian house on Milledge Circle. The landlady, Mrs. Bradfield, served boarders “lovely casseroles and fresh tomatoes, and spiked milk punches.” Wheeler appreciated Bradfield’s charming eccentricities and Athens itself. Wheeler left Athens to teach at Lander College in Greenwood, SC, and afterwards at Pfeiffer College near Albemarle, NC. Both towns were even smaller than Athens. Still in his 20’s, Wheeler was not much older than his students, and soon found he “needed a bigger place.” Wheeler’s arrival in North Carolina coincided with a planning initiative for the state’s 1974 bicentennial. He left teaching to become director of community programs for the bicentennial, and steered cultural programs statewide during Jim Hunt’s gubernatorial campaign. Following his election victory, Governor Hunt appointed Wheeler deputy secretary of the NC Department of Cultural Resources. He oversaw the creation of the state’s first real art museum complex. The state’s art collection was formerly housed in a forlorn highway patrol building. Building the museum was a foreshadowing of things to come. Wheeler realized he wanted to be in fundraising and art administration. After the museum was completed, Wheeler accepted a position as assistant director of the museum and director of development at the Cleveland Museum of Art from 1985-1994. His years in Cleveland taught him that this was his calling. He returned to North Carolina

in 1994 to direct the state’s Museum of Art. Since then, Wheeler has nurtured programs and exhibitions that have met with startling success. People from all 50 states came to see the Monet exhibition, he says proudly. Wheeler is building toward the “ultimate show…a Rembrandt show,” he says with a broad smile. He’s “always imagining what a great Andy Warhol show would look like. Or maybe a Venice exhibition. We’ll bring Rodin to the new building,” he promises. A TAR HEEL IN PARIS He left for

Paris the next day. There, Wheeler led a group of museum supporters on a French art tour (North Carolina’s First Lady, Mary Easley, was the honoree at a dinner Wheeler hosted in Paris.) He is, as previously mentioned, behaving as the man he wants to become. And what Wheeler has become is a man fluent in the ordinary and the extraordinary; he is both the toast of Paris and the adopted pride of Tar Heels. Wheeler has caused new generations of North Carolinians to connect how the flutter of a butterfly’s wing in a mobile can launch a tsunami of bold initiatives and creative dreams. With another oh-so-subtle tweak of his natty red tie, Wheeler appeared ready for Paris. 


Top left and right: “MAMA! LOOK!” Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter, Rabble , 2003, Mylar butterflies are suspended from stainless-steel cables installed in the ceiling and anchored by pewter weights with contrails of fabric flowers.

visual and performing arts ...” In 1999 and 2000, Wheeler ushered in the ‘era of the blockbuster shows’ at the museum with record-breaking back-to-back

© Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter

Above: DRESSED FOR SUCCESS: Wheeler on the UGA campus circa 1969.

exhibitions, Monet to Moore and

Rodin. The Rodin exhibition attracted Postscript ...

over 300,000 people to the museum and

In July 2007, Larry Wheeler was

was the cornerstone of Festival Rodin,

honored with the Thad Eure, Jr.

another of Wheeler’s initiatives. His

Memorial Award, the NC Visitor and

most recent success was the Monet in

Convention’s Bureau’s most prestigious

Normandy exhibition, which closed in

award. At the presentation, it was noted:

January 2007. The exhibition attracted

“Dr. Larry Wheeler has trans-

nearly 215,000 visitors and pumped

formed the NC Museum of Art into one

more than $24 million into the area

of the region’s and the nation’s most

economy, with visitors from all 50 states

popular and dynamic centers for the

and all 100 North Carolina counties.

Graduate School Magazine



in brief


Comic book industry veteran SID JACOBSEN lectured

Aw a r d A n n o u n c e d

on his graphic novel adapta-


tion of the 9/11 Commission

This summer Elizabeth Irvin, a PhD candidate in toxicology in the department of environmental health science, won the Marie

report in November at UGA. Jacobsen is the stepfather of




Andrew Rosen.

Taubeneck Award at the annual meeting of the Teratology Society in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to toxicology professor, Mary Alice Smith, “Elizabeth won two

A l f re d E . B ro w n SCHOLARSHIP Aw a r d e d

prestigious, competitive awards at the meeting: best oral presentation by a student or postdoc and the Marie Taubeneck


Award. Elizabeth’s abstract was one of only

Dean Maureen Grasso announces that

six selected to compete in the oral competi-

Bonney Reed-Knight is the second recip-

tion, and from those six, two were selected

ient of the Alfred E. Brown Scholarship.

for the award.”

Reed-Knight is a first year graduate student

The Marie Taubeneck Award is pre-

in the clinical psychology program. Her

sented to one student or new investigator, in

research interests lie in the broad field of

recognition of scholarship in teratology;

pediatric psychology, with an emphasis on

courage to pursue new areas of research;

children with chronic medical conditions and

mentoring of fellow students and service to

pediatric pain. She plans to continue her


work on developing and implementing a

“Needless to say, I’m very proud of

Maureen Grasso

coping skills training program for adolescent

Elizabeth’s accomplishments.”


girls with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD),





Irvin also received a travel award.

a chronic gastrointestinal disease. Reed-

Graduate School Administration

Craig Edelbrock Associate Dean

Knight is also pursuing research aimed at improving patient quality of life in popula-

Michael Johnson Assistant Dean

tions including pediatric organ recipients. The Alfred E. Brown Scholarship was established in 2005 by Brown’s surviving

Judy Milton Assistant Dean

sister, Dr. Annella Brown, a retired surgeon in

Krista Haynes

Miami, Florida. Alfred E. Brown (BBA '55)


became a stockbroker and real estate agent.

Enrolled Student Services Tonia Gantt Business Lollie Hoots Communications

Mike Hussey, animator and mechanical engineer, founded the department of film and theatre studies program in 3-D computer animation and was featured on our first cover in 2005. Hussey has since produced a number of animations for documentaries which were aired internationally, including recreations of ships and other artifacts for the documentaries

The Japanese Navy and Boneyards.


David Knox Information Technology

You’re powered by a great team: Verizon Wireless and the University of Georgia.

t h e l a s t w o rd

ABC Dawg --------------------------------------------

ABC Dawg stands for education in action, which is why UGA dawgs always win Best of Show. One of 36 bulldawg sculptures originally placed temporarily throughout AthensClarke County, ABC Dawg remains a permanent fixture, helping transform the area into an outdoor museum.

ABC Dawg, Margot Dorn and students of Gaines Elementary, artists

The University of Georgia Graduate School 320 East Clayton Street, Suite 400 Athens, Georgia 30602-4401 706-425-3111, FAX 706-425-3096 Editor/Writer Cynthia Adams Design Julie Sanders Editor of Photography Nancy Evelyn

Š 2007 by the University of Georgia.

Copy Editors

No part of this publication may be

Annie Ferguson

reproduced in any way without the

Maura Barber

written permission of the editor.

This publication was printed by generous gifts from Verizon






Winter 07 - UGAGS Magazine