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Graduate The University of Georgia


M A G A Z I N E alvetta thomas’ uga dream p.4 headliners who made history p.8 saving preemies!


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

Winter Vo l u m e 4 2009 Number 1

Graduate The University of Georgia



“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

— John Muir, naturalist and conservationist




CONTENTS news and highlights

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Letter from the Dean Alvetta Peterman Thomas

A college president recalls getting her doctorate and realizing a UGA dream.

Cover Story Carrie Allen

WTBF-TV’s Parade of Quartets gospel show in Augusta is the longest-running gospel program of its kind. Allen mines the riches in the program’s archives.

Scholars for Tomorrow Arena Richardson

A graduate student and her professor’s research may save the lives of at-risk premature infants.

Worth Watching 18 Scholars John Powers

A sculptor and educator discusses perception and art.


Generations Helene Ungar Adler


Where Are They Now? Pamela Meister

30 32 38

At 81, this alumna recalls graduate school life post-World War II.

A museum executive with a penchant for Georgia red blends theater and history.

Donors List In Brief

Graduate School news and notes

Last Word Sky Dawg

Front Cover: Doctoral student Carrie Allen is preserving a distinctive piece of America's gospel history.

Graduate School Magazine



— Jac k Ko r n fe ld, au t ho r



“Compassionate generosity is the foundation of true spiritual life.... Each act of generosity is a recognition of our interdependence.”

M e s s a g e f ro m

Dean Maureen Grasso N A N C Y E V E LY N

In May of this year, the Graduate School sent an annual fund solicitation to approximately 52,000 graduate alumni—all those for whom we had valid addresses. This is the first time in our history that we canvassed the entire graduate alumni database, and we were pleased with the results. Our graduate fellowship endowment fund received 100 percent of the gifts that resulted from that solicitation. From the bottom of my heart, I thank those of you who responded to our appeal. Many of you were first-time donors, and that is very important to those of us who are working to increase the level of support for our current students. Graduate students at the University of Georgia are some of our best students, but they are often the students most in need of financial aid. As graduate students, they no longer qualify for the Hope Scholarship. They are beyond the age when they can expect much in the way of parental support: many are married and have young children themselves. Significant debt from their undergraduate years might accompany them. Or they may be from from outside of Georgia and paying the much higher non-resident tuition rates. The unfortunate fact is that less than half of our graduate students receive any type of financial aid from the university. If we are to continue attracting top-quality graduate students from around the world, we must offer competitive financial-aid packages. Won’t you take a moment and tear out the envelope that accompanies this magazine and put it with your outgoing mail? Your gift can make a difference. The main distinction between the UGA and its aspirational peer institutions is the level of support for graduate fellowships. If our beloved school is ever to reach the ranks of first-rate public research universities, it must do a better job of supporting its graduate students. As the quality of our current graduate students improves, your own graduate degree becomes more valuable.

This has been a particularly difficult year because of the slowing economy and resulting stateimposed budget cuts. It is also a time when those affected by the downturn seek to retool and obtain additional education. Like many schools, we’ve had to eliminate programs and services that we consider essential in order to fund graduate assistantships and honor our commitments to the number of current graduate students. Won’t you help us? G


Graduate School Magazine




“I would like younger minority UGA alumni to envision themselves in a picture in which they are presently invisible. I want them to see possibilities in what is seemingly impossible! UGA is among the shining examples of opportunities that crossed my path.�


S T R O N G W O M E N A N D S T R O N G R E S O LV E :

Alvetta Peterman Thomas’ Inspiring Journey College President


On March 1,


(EdD, ’04) assumed oversight of

Atlanta Technical College (ATC) in the southwestern corner of Atlanta. One of 33

technical colleges in Georgia, the school wins accolades for its programs and

innovation and has more than 3,200 students. Thomas sees herself in so many of their hopeful and expectant faces.

AT T I M E S , M E M O R I E S WA S H OV E R H E R ,


tudents arrive on her campus from many streams of life and she welcomes them with equal measures of hopefulness and bemusement. Like Thomas, some are the children of professionals, stoked with an inner fire to make something of themselves. Others are adults seeking second chances, or a fresh start in one of the 100 programs offered. Nonetheless, these various streams of scholars, dreamers and career hopefuls converge upon the 48-acre ATC campus off Metropolitan Parkway. It is an urban, technical college, unlike the more traditional one where Thomas completed a UGA doctorate four years ago. Thomas hopes she can teach them the hardest won lessons of all, but knows that is not her mandate exclusively. Instead, she talks about keeping covenants with ourselves, completing unfinished business and finding a place in a picture too often excluding bright, sophisticated minorities.


Dr. Alvetta P. Thomas became president of Atlanta Technical College in the spring of 2008. Her drive to make and meet lofty goals inspires both staff and students to follow.

By example, Thomas teaches them about the value of second chances— both extending and accepting them.


Thomas’ story began in Montgomery, Alabama, a place emblematic of social injustice but also of powerful transformation. Characteristically poised and seated in an office suite, flanked by staff members, she sips bottled water and takes a deep breath before beginning the interview. Her reflection swims before her in the polished table top: it reflects a woman of accomplishment who never allowed herself to stop before her dreams were realized. Only now, three degrees, two children and three grandchildren later, can the woman known to her grandchildren as “Doctor Nana” exhale. Thomas’ father was in the Air Force. Her mother taught high school English and history. Early on, expectations were high for Thomas and her elder brother. Their greatgrandmother earned a teaching certificate in 1896. “Imagine,” Thomas says without a hint of her Deep South childhood, “an African American woman, literate and teaching in the late 1800s!” There’s a special reason for Thomas’ modulated voice: In 1970, her family moved to Framingham, England. Thomas was in the 7th grade and entered school in Britain. For a child who had developed an appreciation for history from her mother, it was sheer magic. Graduate School Magazine



“I’m living my dream, though it is not always easy. I’m determined to do well for this community, for all those people who blazed the trail before me.” — Alvetta P. Thomas, president, Atlanta Technical College

“We lived in a house built on the castle moat,” she recalls, “across from a tea house, with an Anglican church and a cemetery nearby. I was fascinated by the graves of the dead and the history they told.” On the brink of young adulthood, Thomas glimpsed an entirely limitless possibility. “My childhood experiences weave the cloth of who I am,” Thomas says. “It was an experience that gave me a foundation, that I could go anywhere and fit in. I’m comfortable in almost any setting. That comfort comes from the experience I had.” Returning to the States in 1972, Thomas completed high school and enrolled in Alabama State University, as other women in her family had done before her. After graduation from ASU, she was recruited by Atlanta Clark University where she received a National Science Foundation award to complete her graduate studies. Meanwhile, she decided on criminal justice and political science as a major. Thomas completed the coursework, but did not write the dissertation. In 1981, Thomas went to Washington to work for the Congressional Black Caucus. “I got there, and they took almost everything I knew about political science, balled it up, and threw it out the window,” she says wryly. “It was not the textbook version of government.” Thomas questioned what she was doing there as a young, African American on Capitol Hill. Disillusioned by politics and an inability to get another job in a bad economy, she returned to Alabama State (ASU) to


accept a part-time teaching position. While looking for a job, she responded to a call from the ASU placement office and wound up taking a position with the Department of Defense. Yet as a single mother, she longed to be home with the family. She accepted another position at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery as an archivist, declassifying military histories. “I had no mentor,” she explains. “And it was the first time somebody who looked like me (a minority) was in that archival position.” While she sought and found advancement, she had trepidation about remaining in the military. She moved into adult vocational education, still discomfited by unfinished business: “It always nagged me that I didn’t complete the doctorate.” Next, Thomas developed research curricula and systems for technical colleges. She had resolved to learn one key thing: “The pathway to leadership is through academic affairs, so the question is: what is the pathway to that?” While attending a President’s Council professional meeting in Macon, Georgia in 1994, she observed a white, male-dominated council. “I don’t see myself in that picture,” she thought, dismayed. “If you don’t see you in the picture, then you don’t even try it,” she realized. She grew determined to bring more diversity to academic administration. Three years later, she accepted a senior role at ATC. Her boss observed, “You’d be a great president.” Thomas felt empowered. A new program, developed for those in technical and adult education, opened at

UGA, and Thomas was accepted in the first group of 25 students. “I can finish my business,” she thought. She loved academia as much as history. Walking from Broad Street to the library filled Thomas with visceral pleasure. “I almost felt encased by the scholarly atmosphere. I felt honored and privileged—a feeling of those who have gone before me.” UGA faculty mentors such as Juanita Johnson Bailey and Ron Cevero urged her onward; women in her inner circle strengthened her. Thomas was a wife, mother, and grandparent when she finished her doctorate in 2004; her grandchildren presented her with a notebook with “Doctor Nana” spelled in sequins.

l Thomas believes that everyone is owed a second chance when they stumble en route to a dream. When she hears a mother or grandmother shout with joy on graduation day at Atlanta Technical College, she feels a wave of euphoria. “I’m living my dream, though it is not always easy. I’m determined to do well for this community, for all those people who blazed the trail before me.” In return trips to UGA, Thomas observes students seated on the lawn on Old Campus and walking worn, cobbled pathways, those sights evoke her own meandering journey. “We’re custodians of our life experiences,” she adds, and pauses, her eyes full. “You have to be very confident in who you are.” G

“I want more experienced and established career women to see the importance of mentoring. I had strong women mentors throughout my academic and professional endeavors. Overall, the key to my success is perseverance, strong mentors, good academic preparation, and confidence. I want others to have the confidence to ask, ‘How do I get in the picture?’”

—Alvetta P. T homas

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headlining gospel history WJBF television’s Parade of Quartets is the country’s longest-running gospel program, melding music with social and political news. UGA doctoral student Carrie Allen is helping prepare and archive the Augusta, Georgia, program’s tapes, which were donated in February 2008 to the UGA library. She’s an ethnomusicologist and musicologist, seeking to preserve and chronicle this unique musical and historic contribution.


permanent home at UGA. It’s an immense task that isn’t yet complete. The work of conserving and organizing the footage will continue after Allen puts the last touches on her dissertation. “The actual cataloguing and preservation of the donation won’t be complete until well after I’m gone,” she says. The work underway has become an artistic obsession for Allen.

How Music with Meaning and Purpose Changed Augusta Since 1955, Parade of Quartets has been a gospel program and a sociopolitical agent of change for the Augusta, Georgia, region. Today, the television program has a devoted advocate in doctoral student Carrie Allen. Allen, a classically trained musician and ethnomusicologist/musicologist, is engrossed by the analysis, documentation, logging, cataloguing and conservation of more than 400 hours of donated footage of the program’s televised black gospel performances. The collection contains rare footage of appearances by famous religious and political leaders. As a student worker in the media archives, Allen helps catalogue the collection—the most significant of its kind in any library—as it makes its


It’s a Rainy Night in Georgia… nd dusk falls over Augusta as the air turns sodden and sour. Downtown bears the steady assault of thunder. Rain roils, and condensation hisses off the steaming-hot concrete. A few cars rumble down Reynolds Street past the low-slung WJBF-TV building, replete with retro yellow signage and a visible broadcasting tower. The famous—including James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding—sometimes came here, loosened their pipes, and belted out gospel inside WJBF’s modest sound studio. Unbeknownst to the musicians streaming into the television station today, a force of another kind is gathering nearby. A tornado looms


across the Savannah River, and the air is electrified with negative ions. The airways will soon be similarly charged, with a capella sounds, which will subsequently travel Sunday morning over the airwaves into 14,000 households. Not even the mildewy weather discourages the high-spirited Left Foot Spirituals gospel quartet as they enter the station and stamp their feet dry. Perhaps all those ions electrify them, as the animated quartet members assemble in the hallway outside the television studio, bearing instruments, amplifiers, and hangers of carefully coordinated clothing. Once in costume, the group will take to the stage and ignite it with verve and their signature spirited, leftfoot-leading, foot-stamping delivery. The singers are jittery with preperformance nerves. They joust and spar with one another while gathering themselves for a televised appearance. They eye each trouser seam to assure it is knife-sharp. “Your shirt’s crumpled,” one member accuses, pointing. “It won’t be,” the singer assures. “I brought an iron.” After all, the singers are poised on the brink of what is a breakthrough in their genre: an appearance on the nation’s longest

The Left Foot Spirituals take the stage at WJBF-TV.

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running televised gospel program, Parade of Quartets. Since April 17, 1955, the WJBF sound stage has resonated weekly with the sounds of music greats such as native Augustan James Brown. Singer Percy Griffin, who strides through the studio’s hallway in a sleek business suit, formerly opened James Brown’s act. Unlike Brown, Griffin never crossed over from gospel into rhythm and blues. “Percy opened for James Brown yet still works in the funeral home. Gospel music could still be a full time viable career option….[yet] much more sustainable when there was a huge mainstream market for gospel. But as other African American genres have become more popular, it’s more of a niche market,” explains UGA doctoral student Carrie Allen (MM ’04, PhD ’09). More on that later , Allen whispers. She observes the jazzed pre-production scene with plain pleasure. The hallway outside the sound stage fills with groups. Behind the first quartet, The Anointed Brothers, and the New Destiny Ministry singers queue up. The passage soon overflows with arriving performers who will tape performances that evening. Four groups were expected, but the schedule is fluid. Allen smiles as she glances searchingly down the increasingly crowded hallway. She seeks out the familiar face of the program’s host and producer, Rev. Karlton Howard. Howard is the pastor of Noah’s Ark Baptist Church nearby. Allen works closely with Howard on the process of collecting donated program tapes. Then, she returns to Athens where the tapes will be archived by specialists the UGA library. She has recovered hundreds of hours of archival video-taped footage of Parade of Quartets.

Howard appears, beckoning Allen into the studio as the evening’s program launches. Augusta on-air personality Mary Kingcannon records public service announcements as the lights and sounds are checked. A radio broadcasting veteran, Kingcannon says she enjoys the opportunity to dress up and become visible. She is carefully dressed and

wears a dramatic hat. She runs flawlessly through the PSAs. The New Destiny Mime Ministries lip synch and perform before the next group appears. “Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Phil Gramm have all been on this show,” points out Karlton Howard sotto vocce , who inherited the show from his father years earlier. His father, Henry Howard, became the program’s first black host in 1980. By 1990, he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. He continued to host the program until 2005. It was the elder Howard who injected a powerful political aspect into the show. “There was a saying about my dad,” Karlton Howard adds. “That anybody that wanted a political career needed to come through this program.” To this day, the Sunday morning television program is a stirring mix of spirituality and community action. The Howards were not affluent people, he insists, but the underdogs. “We grew up in a two-bedroom house, and we could see the floor and the sky from inside,” he jokes quietly. He was one of six children. He and his brother, Henry “Wayne” Howard, both

volunteer their time to produce the show. Wayne Howard, like his father, is now a Georgia state representative for Augusta district 121. The brothers feel they must take up the mantle from their father, who produced the program until his death (in 2005). The mantle has been borne for both creative and political reasons. Allen has documented and published the facts: how in the late 1940s, two white men in Augusta’s radio business first conceived the program’s content. It would consist of live performances by local African American gospel quartets, plus blackoriented ads and announcements. The program’s popularity paralleled the rise of African American gospel music nationwide. Allen wrote a scholarly paper on the Augusta program's significance during the Jim Crow era and “the town’s ugly history of racial tension.” Eventually, Henry Howard became the program’s first black host and shifted its focus to include messages of political and musical resonance. The brief quiet between sets is broken as an Epiphone amplifier interrupts with the irrepressible sounds of gospel music. The Left Foot Spirituals take their

“Many political leaders have made their way to the stage of the Parade of Quartets. The Rev. Jesse Jackson appeared live one Sunday morning before announcing his candidacy for president of the United States of America.” —Carrie Allen, doctoral candidate

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------W H AT ’ S E T H N O M U S I C O L O G Y ? Ethnomusicology is a branch of musicology dating to the mid-1950s. It was really launched a few decades earlier, but coalesced more clearly as a discipline upon the founding of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Ethnomusicology is defined as the cultural and social analysis of music in an anthropological or ethnographic sense. “People don’t know there has been a lot of work in vernacular music; it’s not completely unheard of—explaining an aspect of cultural significance,” explains Carrie Allen.

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places to sing and left feet tap in unison. Suddenly, they are deeply into a syncopated, rhapsodic style of music so rousing that goose bumps pop up. Then, the roof starts to rise. At least, metaphorically. Allen grins widely, enjoying herself. She explains that quartet is not a literal term. “I looked at quartets for the most part, step teams, mimes, etc. Quartets mean the voices are four-part; not necessarily four people.” She also explains the convention and structure of gospel. “Repeating the music is called the vamp. He works with that as a religious sort of state, and it’s ecstatic.” Allen examines what it’s like to have this experience in front of the camera. Several hours later, the program is taped and will be edited to fill the two hours of its Sunday morning time slot. Stirring Souls and Opening Doors… “The increasing number of high-quality professional, semi-professional and amateur gospel quartets caused the genre to boom in the early 1940s,” Allen wrote in a recently published academic paper. “Cities like Chicago, Philadelphia and Memphis boasted scores of local and visiting gospel quartets who performed at churches, school auditoriums and gymnasiums, along with issuing commercial recordings. Radio stations featured live performances of quartets, broadcast from the studio, typically including jingles promoting the group’s sponsors (often flour or baking soda companies). In the late 1930s and early 1940s, quartets like the Soul Stirrers and Famous Blue Jay Singers toured professionally, exciting audiences with their matching suits, choreography, and polished arrangements.” Allen’s paper investigated the evolution of gospel within the harsh context of segregated Augusta society. She interviewed locals who played a role in the program’s early founding. The


original producers are both deceased, though she has interviewed many who knew them or were related. She analyzed the program’s inception and believes the motivating factor for originating the program was chiefly profit. Nonetheless, she writes about the social implications of black musicians finding a “voice” for emerging social change through a unique musical expression. The televised program gave them an outlet that took them into the mainstream and reached white and black audiences alike. The phenomenon of black gospel music was in part creative genre, but also a call to religious transcendence. If gospel music was the call, the call was heard and many responded. Allen, curious about the phenomenon, meticulously read newspaper accounts, interviewed musicians and producers, and tracked the show's ascendance as she reviewed hundreds of hours of tapes. It was obvious that the show helped to change the social dynamic in Augusta. In an intriguing turn of events, Allen herself appeared on the Parade of Quartets in the spring of 2008 to discuss her article and research. Despite her scholarship, her hours logged preserving and restoring the actual tapes, Allen says she still feels like an interloper, even though she has had a warm reception at WBJF-TV and from the program’s producers. “What,” Allen asks aloud, “is a trained classical pianist doing here?” She gestures toward the sound stage and the happy mêlée of recital and performance. Then she laughs merrily. She’s here exactly because she has discovered a deepening love of the gospel musical tradition and a passion bordering on reverence for its back story. Plus, it sounds good. Years ago, Allen’s friend played in a white gospel quartet in Mississippi. “They were singing Roll Jordan Roll, and an arrangement from another black quartet. I was mesmerized. Why have I never heard this?” She invokes the Duke Ellington quote: “If it sounds good, it is good.” Allen's own childhood was steeped

in the traditions of religion and music. Allen’s minister father has a doctorate in divinity. The family moved from Florida to Chicago before settling in Starkville, Mississippi. Allen’s librarian mother taught her piano. The plan, Allen says, was that she would become a professional pianist. It nearly happened. Allen finished her master’s in music at UGA in 2004, and then realized she didn’t want her future to be dependent upon a physical ability Allen’s major professor, Jean Kidula, is a native of Kenya and a wellknown ethnomusicologist. Kidula's tutelage influenced Allen, and drove home the importance of documenting regional musical traditions. Kidula told Allen about the Parade of Quartets after coming across the program in the Hargrett Library data base. “The producers [of Parade of Quartets ] nominated themselves for a Peabody. And they’ve got the footage stored at UGA in the library—they do this for all Peabody nominations,” Allen explains. She holds up her palms. “I didn’t expect it to be as big as this.” Allen spends hours on the seventh floor at Hargrett Library. “Margie Compton, a conservationist, does the heavy-duty conservation work of reviewing and cleaning tapes before they are documented and catalogued,” says Allen. Some were damaged by a fire, but most have been salvaged. With more than 400 hours of tape to review, the project was sufficiently big enough to form her dissertation, titled, “Parade of Quartets: A History of Black Gospel Music on Television in Augusta, Georgia” . Allen hopes the research will

eventually become a book.

l Allen says she’s continually surprised by what she is discovering. “Especially at how interconnected different parts of the gospel community are,” she says after another rousing performance ends. The roof ’s rafters settle back into place as another recording session comes to a close. “The Parade of Gospel [Quartets] doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are gospel stations, recording studios,

churches, Web sites, so that is all interrelated.” She has worked to assemble a narrative that explains the whys and hows of the program’s amazing growth. “You can’t tell its story without understanding how it fits in the infrastructure. I started with a narrow focus, but that’s not the reality—the ‘gospel biosphere’. I’ve been surprised at the volume of gospel music happening in Augusta.” Still, Allen confesses a disappointment with the fact that she personally cannot perform gospel. It’s closely improvised, and she is still a classicist although she teaches a host of music genres. When Allen finishes her doctorate next year, she hopes to continue her work in a faculty position at a university with strong course offerings in American and African American music. “I would like to, but those jobs are hard to find,” she says. “Most Southerners have an evocative experience…there’s a white gospel sound as well,” she adds a bit wistfully. Allen expresses a powerful identification with the gospel tradition and its importance. She also reminisces about singing British and American hymns in her father’s church and how she loved those as well. At her funeral, Allen adds seriously, she wants two of her favorites played: How Firm the Foundation and Alas and Did My Savior Bleed? G

Right: Mary Kingcannon is a devotee of gospel and also of the Sunday morning TV program. Kingcannon is shown recording public service announceents at the studio.

Rev. Karlton Howard and his brother, Georgia State Representative Henry Howard, oversee the gospel show’s production. Their father, Henry Howard, produced and hosted the show for many years, and the sons have assumed the mantle. Pictured at right is Representative Howard during during a recent taping.

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Smith and Richardson Work to Protect Premature Infants


How Researchers


While A R E N A N . R I C H A R D S O N labors in a University of Georgia lab, news reports surface of contaminated milk formulas produced in China. The formula is pulled from market shelves globally as accounts of thousands of children harmed by the tainted milk reverberate. Parents worldwide grow concerned about the reliability and safety of consumables.

he tainted milk scandal is yet another grave concern in a year of headline-making food contamination reports. Accounts of salmonella and E. coli in the food supply increasingly appear in news reports in the United States. Staples—lettuce, tomatoes, beef and milk—and even non-staples such as jalapeno peppers and candies—are called into question. The scares evoke a fundamental worry about infants, for there are myriad sources and pathways for contamination of their food. And when the worst happens, can we find ways to intercede swiftly to save preemies—the most vulnerable of all?


l Arena N. Richardson (PhD, ’09) considers the red-stained slide of a rodshaped bacillus named Enterobacter sakazakii , or E. sakazakii . For the past four years, she has studied the bacterium under the oversight of her professor, toxicologist Mary Alice Smith. What the scientists discover may hold critical 14

“Enterobacter sakazakii became a problem when isolated from infant formula specifically designed for premature infants—here are infants already very susceptible to infection, and the infant formula was designed for them.” —Mar y Alice Smith, toxicologist

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significance for infants in neonatal intensive care (NIC) units. E. sakazakii is associated with contaminated powdered infant formulas implicated in premature infant disease and mortality. Powdered formulas, once commonly used in NIC units to feed premature infants, can boost nutrition at a critical time. If the formula is contaminated, the outcome presents a medical crisis: when E. sakazakii reaches the brain, it can cause hydrocephaly, meningitis, mental retardation, or death. It’s rare, and knowledge of the pathogen is so limited that the incidence of infection is unknown. Infants who end up infected with E. sakazakii are usually born before 40 weeks of gestation. However, she mentions the case of a 35-day-old infant with meningitis. “It recovered and did not die, but did have hydrocephaly and developmental delays. The baby was born at 40 weeks, not premature, but most are born before 40 weeks.” Study of the bacteria is fairly new, says Richardson. “The first two cases of infection by E. sakazakii were reported in an article published in 1961, by authors Urmenyi and Franklin. Back then, E. sakazakii was classified as yellow-pigmented E. Cloacae. In 1980, scientists classified E. sakazakii separately. “It’s still emerging,” reminds Richardson. “It hasn’t been known for a long time.” The first goal of the research project was to identify an animal model that resembled infection in premature infants. “We selected a mouse strain (CD-1) based on Arena’s first research project. The [research] project is now focused on how E. sakazakii , the pathogen isolated from powdered infant formula, gains access to the brain resulting in illness and, in some cases, death,” explains Smith.

Low birth weight preemies are typically given supplemented milk. A powdered infant formula may be safe initially but becomes infected at a later point. “The formula is mixed with water, usually given to premature babies via a feeding tube,” explains Smith. “Pasteurization does kill off bacteria like E. sakazakii ,” says Richardson. “But the bacterium is found in soil, in the human intestine, all over the place. It’s found in food production environments and factories. E. sakazakii

preventing E. sakazakii infection in affected infants. When neonatal mice are infected with the bacterium, they hope that what happens mimics human outcomes. “Somehow, it crosses the bloodbrain barrier and gets into the brain to infect it,” Richardson explains. “There is no known mechanism for how that happens. In mice, we were expecting that if E. sakazakii gets into the brain, it would eventually cause death in the mice. For those mice that survived, we

can survive in those facilities. There’s always the chance of it getting into a product and contaminating it.” There are numerous ways formula becomes contaminated; no single solution could prevent it. However, it is commonly believed formula becomes contaminated after pasteurization. The research underway by lead professor Smith and doctoral candidate Richardson will enable researchers to develop best methods for treating or

were able to culture E. sakazakii out of the brain and there was no sign of illness in those mice. We don’t know why some mice survive the infection and others do not. However, this presents an opportunity for us to look for possible mechanisms making some infants more susceptible or others less susceptible to infection.” Richardson describes her particular research role: “A newborn mouse is not as developed as a newborn human, particularly the brain, so we thought it might be a good model. We look at different mouse strains to see what strain might be best; then we can give it E. sakazakii and isolate it from their brain and intestinal tract.” Once their model

“I’ve always known I preferred research. It’s my passion.” —Arena N. Richardson


exists, researchers can develop methods for treating or preventing E. sakazakii infection in premature infants. Richardson, a Sloan scholar, works with the animal model under Smith’s auspices. She began graduate studies with Smith in August 2004, as a toxicology doctoral student in the Department of Environmental Health Science. Smith is a member of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation faculty network. Last August, the pair attended a

elementary school teachers knew. I would tell them science was my favorite subject,” she says as she works. She is typically in the lab six hours daily in addition to studying for courses and writing research manuscripts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and then shifted to toxicology. She interviewed with Smith, and entered an interdisciplinary graduate program. “It’s really practical. Human health is really important, and toxicology will always be useful, as there

meeting of the International Association for Food Protection in Ohio. Richardson won an award as a Developing Scientist for her research on E. sakazakii. “Over 100 people entered the competition,” says Smith. “It was quite a nice thing to win third place.”

are so many chemicals and biological agents being used. My being interested in the food safety aspect came about in grad school.” Richardson also prefers research over teaching. “There are educators on both sides of my family—plenty of teachers, counselors, professors. I’ve always known I preferred research. It’s my passion.” She anticipates completing her doctoral work in 2009. Then, Richardson says she will either begin a post-doctoral fellowship or a career in toxicology. “I think I would prefer to work for a federal agency, like the FDA or USDA.” At the Ohio conference, a man told Richardson about his grandchild

l Richardson grew up in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where scientists were not commonplace. She was surrounded by dream-nurturers. Her mother is an educator; her father is a social worker and a pastor. By the time she was in second grade, she knew she would be a scientist. “Yes, and many of my

developing an unidentified infection in a neonatal intensive care unit. “The doctors assumed it was E. sakazakii ,” Richardson says. This was Richardson’s first opportunity to speak firsthand with someone who had direct and personal experience with the pathogen she’s spent years observing. “The chances of infection are increased when there is a contaminated powdered infant formula that has been reconstituted and it is left sitting at room temperature for several hours—allowing bacteria to grow to high concentrations and making it easier to infect an infant. Special care should be considered when preparing these formulas.” Richardson believes the work she does will have future significance. “Hopefully my work with E. sakazakii and its effects on mice will lead to a model. In understanding how it goes about causing infection in human infants, maybe better treatments can be developed to reduce the likelihood of morbidity and mortality.” In her research with mice there are sometimes no observable signs of infection, even though they’re infected with E. sakazakii. By a post-mortem sectioning of the brain, liver, and intestines, she identifies the infection and how it has spread. “In the beginning, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t know if I could recover the bacterium from those tissues.” In other research with two different age groups of mice, Richardson has discovered another outcome. “We did begin a study on the susceptibility of mice of different ages to E. sakazakii. By looking at the data I have, it looks like the younger mice are much more susceptible than the older mice. That seems to mimic what we see in the reports on infection in human infants. Younger, less developed infants have a higher level of infection than older ones. Those who are immuncompromised are usually the ones to be infected.” Smith observes that “infants of full term birth might not have this problem.” Graduate School Magazine



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

“One of the things we don’t know about is how the GI tract in premature infants is different from full term infants. We know that they cannot absorb nutrients very well, and may not be able to fight off E. sakazakii infection.” —Mary Alice Smith, toxicologist and lead professor investigating E. sakazakii

Smith, though a faculty member in environmental health science, is also a member of the interdisciplinary program in toxicology. As a toxicologist she has investigated pathogens and chemicals that affect pregnancy. She has also worked with another pathogen found in food that causes stillbirth. A colleague in Canada is also working with E. sakazakii using a different animal model—gerbils. Like Smith and Richardson, the Canadian discovered that the infection rate is higher than the mortality rate. Finding the way to block transmission to the brain is the desired “end-point,” Smith says. She praises her protégé Richardson. “I want to stress the importance of Arena to the success of this project,” she says. “I am very excited about the potential she has. She’ll be good at whatever she does, whether it’s becoming an academician or working in industry.”


Vital Research Supported by ILSI Funding for Smith and Richardson’s research comes directly from the International Life Sciences Institute, which independently supports research of industry and government interest. The project receives a small amount of money from the Center for Food Safety, a non-profit public interest and environmental group. According to their Web site, the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) is a nonprofit, worldwide


foundation that seeks to improve the well-being of the general public through the advancement of science. It was founded in 1978. Its goal is to further the understanding of scientific issues relating to nutrition, food safety, toxicology, risk assessment, and the environment by bringing together scientists from academia, government, and industry. ILSI's work is guided by its Code of Ethics and Organizational Standards of Conduct. An organization

chart showing the structure and reporting relationships of the ILSI entities is available on their Web site. The ILSI Research Foundation receives the majority of its support through government funding and its own endowment, (which is composed of the Center for Health Promotion, the Human Nutrition Institute, and the Risk Science Institute), as well as through contributions from charitable foundations. G

Graduate School Magazine



scholars worth watching

John Powers: Visual Echoes INVOKE His Art BY CYNTHIA ADAMS

ohn Douglas Powers joined the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as an assistant professor of sculpture in the fall of 2008. Earlier that year, Powers (MFA ’08) was among 15 artists selected to receive a prestigious MFA grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York. The grants are given in recognition of artistic talent to artists chosen from a body of candidates put forth by nominators from the academic art community across the United States. Last April, Powers’ images and those of fellow nominees were viewed for grant consideration through an anonymous process by a jury panel at the New York Foundation for the Arts. The Annual MFA Grant Program was created in 1997 to help MFA painters and sculptors in furthering their artistic careers, and to aid in the transition from academic to professional studio work upon graduation, according to press reports.


For further information visit or

Powers discusses his work and his artistic manifesto with the Graduate School Magazine. Q: Artists often discuss the evolution of their work in terms of the personal and the particular. How the artist moves between those poles, from the particular to the personal, informs their work in sometimes very obvious or subtle ways. How can the viewer grasp this? Is there a personal—or impersonal — message that is intended in your large-scale works; and if that is the case, how should be viewer approach your work to“see”properly? A: I think that as an artist, one has to accept the fact that once the work is placed in public view, there is no assurance what people will or won’t grasp. The question of personal and particular is a good one and is dealt with very differently from artist to artist, but I think varies from viewer to viewer just as much. My work grows directly from my personal experiences and interests. But it is another matter entirely to discuss what a work is “about.” Snowflakes (and raindrops) start with a kernel—a speck of dust or some other bit of matter that water condenses around. What the snowflake looks like may or may not have a relationship to what the speck of dust looks like. I can tell you what the kernel is for my work, and I can tell you my opinion of what the work is “about,” but whether my opinion is more valid than yours or anyone else’s becomes its own conversation. And that is the value of it all. Q. But as art lovers, we can miss the intention – that’s a very deep fear for nonartists who enjoy art. How can we ever know if we’ve understood the subtext of meaning?


A: You mentioned a concern about possibly missing a deeper intention with artwork on occasion. This recalls for me my first experience with the work of Matthew Barney. While living in Nashville, I went to the Belcourt Theater to see Cremaster 3. I bought my ticket and took my seat, still not really knowing what to expect. The experience proved to be thoroughly exhausting and borderline torturous at moments. Less than half the audience returned to their seats after the intermission. After nearly three hours of watching the bizarre characters and repetitive, esoteric symbolism, I left the theater and walked home thinking I had just wasted my money. But over the next few weeks, the visual echoes of the film dominated my thoughts. The imagery was so powerful, so evocative that I couldn’t not think about it. I like to think that there are layers of meaning with the work. Layers of experience. Field of Reeds may appear simply as a landscape to some viewers. For others it may evoke thoughts of Elysian Fields or a similar mythology. It may prove a portal for self-reflection. It may challenge with an unrequited desire to enter the space it displaces. It may create a desire to enter a virtual space it alludes to. It is beautiful for some and ominous for others. The value of each way of seeing varies from viewer to viewer. And for some it will hold no interest at all. G


“I like to think that there are layers of meaning with the work. Layers of experience. Field of Reeds may appear simply as a landscape to some viewers.” — J o h n P o w e r s

Graduate School Magazine




Past and Future Still Perfect Helene Ungar Adler:


The following is condensed from the forthcoming Graduate School centennial commemorative book:

rominent upon Helene Adler’s coffee table is Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation . It is the story of Adler’s generation. She sits in a Victorian rosewood and mahogany chair reviewing a 1949 Pandora , the University of Georgia yearbook. She thumps a finger at a tiny picture of the girl named Helene Ungar. Adler (BA ’49; MA ’50) still looks unsentimentally forward like the vibrant UGA coed she once was. Now 81, she is a thoroughly modern woman who became that way by pushing the envelope—determined to wear pants, enjoy a cocktail and smoke if she liked. She is still all that, and more—the kind of woman that conjures up the word feisty.


a Depression-era baby born into adversity

She was an only child, born Helene Ungar on March 6, 1927, in Paterson, New Jersey. Her father, Leonard Ungar, was born in Savannah. Her mother, Lillian Kahn Ungar, was born in New York. The Great Depression loomed, a dark cloud that engulfed the nation. In 1930 the family returned to Savannah. They moved into a house facing tree-lined Oglethorpe Street—the house where Adler lives today. She sits in a patch of slanting sunlight that enters through open


French doors. This is her grandmother’s living room, she explains, gesturing. “It was closed off until company came. This is called the parlor and the parlor floor. The ground floor is called the garden floor.” Adler’s voice is old Savannah: it curls like cigarette smoke around wellarticulated phrases. Though she may seem a traditionalist, she always had a clear sense of self. “Someone asked who I was before I was married, and I said, ‘What do you mean, who was I?!’”

the class of 1945 and returning GIs

“When I graduated from high school in 1945 there were 100 girls and 20 boys. And in 1946 there were 50 boys…they kept coming back with a vengeance.” She says, remembering G.I’s flooding schools under the G.I. Bill. Adler attended Armstrong Junior College, now Armstrong Atlantic University in Savannah, and studied history. She graduated in 1947 with an associate’s degree, continuing to UGA for her bachelor’s degree. “I’d come home and talk to my friends and they would talk about diapers and babies and I would think ‘Oooh.’ Women today have amazing opportunities; and I know some do take

advantage of it. The thought of getting married was not foremost in my mind.” Adler researched schools with strong history programs. Choosing graduate education broke with the status quo for young Savannah women. “When I walked in a room, some stopped talking,” Adler says, shrugging. She returned to UGA and entered graduate studies. “When I got up to Georgia, Dr. Coulter was the [history] person then. I took Tudor, Stuart, French history, general courses, and concentrated on the South at that time.” Adler lived in Mary Lyndon Hall o n t h e U G A c a m p u s. “ T h e housemother liked me; she gave me a room with a bathtub; it was a unique thing to have a bathtub. I wasn’t very popular but my bathtub was extremely popular! Everyone would come to my room and say, ‘Can I take a bath?’ I’d say, ‘Sure!”

Athens post-war…bathtubs but no gin

Athens in the late ‘40s was a bustling little town, says Adler. But it was not emancipated concerning women. Women were not allowed in the popular eatery called The Varsity she says– it was for men only. “If I wanted a hot dog, a

“Someone asked who I was before I was married, and I said, ‘What do you mean, who was I?!’”

Graduate School Magazine





-------------------------Despite women having gained admittance to graduate studies at UGA in 1911, their collegiate life was restrictive decades later, Adler says. Strict dress codes and social morés were enforced. “When I went to UGA, boys could do anything they wanted,” Adler emphasizes. “There was no Women’s Movement in my day.”


guy had to go in and get it for me.” Her eyes widen. She remembers these strictures because big-town Savannah was a freer society. Women were required to sign into their dorms at 11:00 p.m. They had to request written permission to leave campus and go home. They were not allowed to eat off-campus, only in the campus dining rooms. When this rule was lifted, Adler recalls whooping with joy. All students were forbidden to drink on campus. So, the students became inventive, Adler recalls. “Friends said, ‘let’s take a cab to the liquor store in the next county;’ so we went there and bought a couple of bottles of wine, and the cab waited.” The forbidden was irresistible. Adler’s pulse hummed with nervous tension on the return to Athens with contraband wine carefully concealed. “I put the wine on the floor and covered it with a coat. When we got back to town, the cab was flagged down by Dean Tate, and he got in the front seat! They had just had some panty raids, and my dear friend (in the cab

with her) had been on a ladder grabbing panties, and the dean had just pulled him off the ladder. Dean Tate turned back (he got in the front seat) and said to my friend, ‘You look awfully familiar.’ My friend said, ‘I have a familiar-looking face.’ Oh, we were afraid he would see the wine in the floor! Dean Tate got out of the cab and we were so relieved!” Adler loved the school, but not the restrictions. “Girls were tightly held. I was not 18! I was 20! I was used to NYC and Savannah!” On December 27, 1952, she and Bernard Adler married. For years afterward, she taught history part-time. Adler steps out onto the balcony behind her house that overlooks a shaded garden. She distinctly remembers when women were subservient to men. Adler recalls a time when society didn’t acknowledge her educational ambitions. Recently, Adler burned her original college IDs along with other personal effects, explaining she would prefer they not wind up in a yard sale one day. Longing for the doctorate she never obtained possibly fueled that fire as well. G

women making history...



One of Helene Ungar Adler ’s roommates went on to become UGA’s first female veterinarian. Adler’s former roommate, Lois Eugenia Hinson, graduated with a DVM in 1950 at the age of 24. Hinson roomed with Adler during 1948-49 in Mary Lyndon Hall. Adler recalled their dormitory as relatively new at the time. (The hall was built in 1936.) “I moved in with two females,” recalls Adler. “I remembered her [Lois Eugenia Hinson] for the fact that she was the girl in the vet school. She [Hinson] said, ‘I’m the only one they let in.’ She was short and husky, and spunky! She’d come out of the women’s Marine Corps.” Adler recalled that Hinson was sent out into the fields to

inoculate cattle. “I don’t think I ever saw her, except when she came in with these big boots on, and with this large bag (she carried). I was in one direction, and she was in another.” According to UGA records, Lois Eugenia Hinson was born February 1, 1926 and was a member of the class of 1950. She was an active volunteer and a member of professional veterinary societies. Hinson died in 1992 in Nobleton, Florida. Veterinary masters’ and doctorate programs are part of the Graduate School.

Helene Ungar Adler

with a stack of Pandora annuals, observes her young self

looking brightly into her future. Although she didn’t attend any of her own graduation ceremonies, framed UGA degrees are in the hallway of her Savannah townhouse. “I use stuff like that to cover the cracks in the wall,” Adler jokes. She proudly returned to Athens when her son, Brian Adler, received his master’s degree in 1984.

Graduate School Magazine



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


These Boots Were Made for Walking a Talking Dawg… PAM MEISTER

erupts in peals of laughter, slips on a red leather UGA jacket and

cowboy boots and sashays across her executive office. Even her dark hair has red highlights. She pirouettes as arriving museum volunteers grin at her antics. An

assortment of Georgia memorabilia is spread across a conference table. Meister says the boots, “BOUGHT SPECIAL BEFORE A BALLGAME,” are just a few of her favorite

Georgia collectibles. As a museum person, she cannot help herself. She does what

museum executives do—she saves things, prescient about what will be valued later.


eister has two salient passions: museums and Georgia. The artistically conceived Greenville, South Carolina, Upcountry History Museum is this director’s responsibility. Steady streams of visitors enter the new interactive museum, set within a quad of public buildings, including a new library and theater. All are part of the urban rejuvenation of Greenville, fueled by philanthropy and money from corporate giants including BMW, Michelin and even world-class cycling.




For a few moments, Meister cannot resist the chance to play. She giggles helplessly at her collectibles (including a UGA charm bracelet and 45 r.p.m. records) before stumbling into the concrete bulldog lawn ornament with a painful “oomph.” She quickly recovers. It isn’t that Meister doesn’t take her career seriously. Meister (MFA ’80) holds the first graduate degree awarded in theater management. She has a resumé that allows her to walk off with any job she likes. Prior to the Upcountry Museum, she headed Charlotte’s prestigious Museum of History. Before Meister became a museum executive who blends theater with history, she was in love with performing arts and once headed dance and theater companies. Meister, a New Orleans native with joie de vivre, paints her life in fun-loving, colorful strokes. For instance, she connects a love of Georgia football with both New Orleans and theater. “The University of New Orleans

didn’t have a football team. I had not gotten to do college football. I remember the first home game day, and I walked out of my apartment in Athens where Earth Fare is today. There used to be a different grocery store there, and everybody was going by to pick up tailgating things. And there are policemen directing the crowds and I’m thinking, ‘My God, it’s Mardi Gras, only in different colors! I know how to do this! Minus the floats and the throws, it reminded me of home.” And just like that, Meister became UGA super-booster and dawg supreme. She attended UGA during the Hershel Walker days. She viewed

football and physical athleticism through the lens of theater. “Herschel took up with a dance company. He had phenomenal control over his body.” Before Meister found herself in the stadium cheering for Georgia, she studied costume design at the University of New Orleans. There Meister met two people key to her career and life. One was named August W. Staub, a theater director, producer and historian. Staub, a native New Orleanian, was the chair of the UNO department of Drama and Communication from 1964 to 1976. He later headed UGA’s department of drama and theater from 1976-96, becoming a professor emeritus.

At UNO, Meister also met lifelong friend Sylvia Hillyard née Pannell, who was recruited to UGA by Staub in 1977. After undergraduate school, Meister created store displays for the Navy Exchange and worked as a wardrobe assistant in professional dinner theater. In 1977, she moved to Hollywood. She taught at Long Beach City College while working for the Megaw Theatre and the Opera Studio. In 1978, Meister had two careerchanging insights. “A: I realized I was not a West Coast girl, and B: my essential bossiness surfaced. I kept thinking, I bet I could do that better. I wondered, who could teach Graduate School Magazine



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

Loyal to-the-bone Dog... Pam Meister counts among her massive memorabilia collection: red and black: cowboy boots, a leather UGA jacket, two vinyl 45 records ("The Irish Went Down...Bite") by Clisby Clarke, circa 1980. And a UGA charm bracelet!

“My entire career is a tribute to serendipity.”—Pam Meister, executive director of The Upcountry Museum, Greenville, SC

me to run theater?” Meister explored theater management at UCLA. “They said, ‘you have a perfectly good career, why do you want to worry your pretty little head? Why do you want to worry about business?’” Yet she knew she needed business grounding in order to run a theater group, her newest plan. Meister, the Creative Nomad She crossed the country interviewing colleges. En route home to Baton Rouge, she had a car crash, and reconnected with her old friend Hillyard while pondering her next move. Meanwhile, Meister’s old mentor, Staub, was recruited to UGA to begin a theater management program. Meister called Hillyard, whom Staub hired to run the costume department. Both Hillyard and Staub encouraged Meister to come to UGA as summer staff, and enter graduate school that fall in a new arts management program. “I was a guinea pig. I’m an MFA in arts management. I was the first,” she r e c a l l s. M e i s t e r t o o k b u s i n e s s, journalism, public administration, accounting and drama courses. “Jack Burke, who was a vice president of the


university, gave me private instruction in fund-raising and grant-writing.” Her thesis grew into a management analysis of the Alliance Theater. It was intense on all fronts. “My time at Georgia was very compact. It was exactly two years, but total, total immersion. Mind expanding. I loved my time at Georgia. I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I was in the right place at the right time.” Meister finished her graduate degree abroad. “The art department was expanding their summer program in Cortona [Italy] to include theater, and they were interested in getting enough drama students to enroll to produce a play. So they told me if I recruited enough students, I could take my assistantship to Cortona. I don’t think anybody has beaten my recruiting yet, because I was so motivated.” Burke helped Meister construct a grant application to the National Endowment of the Arts. Returning from Cortona to Henrietta Apartments in Athens, Meister learned she had won the grant. Leaving Washington after her fellowship, Meister joined Atlanta’s Carl Ratcliff Dance Theater as general manager. She signed contracts, cut deals and toured with the company in a van. “It was definitely a burn out kind of

job,” she says. Opportunities kept unfolding but kept Meister on constant move. “From 1977 to 1980, we’re talking New Orleans, to LA, to Athens, to Atlanta, to Cortona, back to Athens briefly, then Washington, D.C. I slowed down a bit after that, although from 1980 until now I’ve lived in Atlanta (twice), Jekyll Island and Waycross, Georgia, Baton Rouge, Charlotte and now Greenville, South Carolina!” Meister continued the nomadic momentum. Soon Meister’s UGA friends Staub and Hillyard stepped back into the picture. Staub and Hillyard were running an outdoor summer theater on Jekyll Island. Meister was hired to manage the Jekyll Island Musical Comedy Festival the summer of 1985. Her landlord was Thom Rhodes, who later became her boss on Jekyll Island. She also met Bill Martin, a museum director at the Okefenokee Heritage Center in Waycross, Georgia. “He was one of the theater’s most enthusiastic patrons, and over the course of the summer we became friends,” she says. Martin hired Meister over her protests. “I said, ‘Bill, I’m not a museum person.’ I’ve enjoyed going to them all my life. But he wanted my business skills.

He said, ‘I can teach you.’ He convinced me to come to work for him starting in the fall of 1985. After a very happy first year there, Bill got a new job with a museum in Jacksonville, Florida, and I was appointed interim director of the Heritage Center, with only one year of museum experience under my belt! Talk about a trial by fire!” Yet Meister met the challenge. She was offered a position back at Jekyll Island Museum by Rhodes, her former landlord. For three years she worked with a team developing a restoration plan for the island’s historic district. Rhodes was also president of the Southeastern Museum Conference, a 12-state membership association for museum professionals. Encouraged to develop professionally, Meister did, and soon ascended to the directorship of the museum association. “See what I mean about serendipity?” she asks. Meister adds, “Bill did indeed teach me about museums. It was a totally different environment. I totally love museums—my family was museumgoing.” Ultimately, she was lured to Greenville’s brand-new Upcountry Museum. It was much closer to Athens, she points out smiling. “I knew it would be the ultimate challenge. The vision is so bold here—the idea is that history is best told through stories. It is as simple and as complicated as that…that’s how w e k n o w o u r h i s t o r i e s, t h r o u g h individual encounters.” Upcountry is bold, like Meister. “They applied whiz-bang technology… to make a museum that tells the history of this region in as compelling a way as possible.” Meister’s a whiz-bang kind of woman. She eases the red boots off and gives them an affectionate pat. “My entire career is a tribute to serendipity.” G

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Graduate School Magazine




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 childrens‘ 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 Graduate School July 1, 2006-June 30, 2008

CENTENNIAL CLUB ($1,000 - $4,999)

Laura Fowler Hoots

Marc J. Ackerman

Marc J. Ackerman

Walter Gerald Howell

David C. Coleman


Michael Johnson

Frank R. Etchberger*

Brenda S. Blanton

Kathryn Louise Kellar

Maureen Grasso and Andrew Rosen

Joseph H. and Mary E. Kennedy

1910 SOCIETY ($50,000+)

Phyllis Pieper Hamilton

David A. Knauft

Mary A. Erlanger

Erisa Ojimba and Michael Griffith

David K. Knox

Olga C. de Goizueta

Roger D. Sharpe

Eli Lilly and Company Foundation

Goizueta Foundation

August W. Staub*

Martha Coachman McBride

John Edward Stewart II

Mercedez-Benz of North America


Lawrence J. Wheeler

William Horace Morgan Se Kyung Oh

($25,000 - $49,999)

W. Ford Calhoun

G R A D U AT E C L U B ( $ 5 0 0 - $ 9 9 9 )

Pamela K. Orpinas and Richard C. Kraus

Howard J. and Beverly Hirsh Frank

William Bland

William A. Person

Phibro Animal Health Corporation

Howard and Beverly Frank Foundation

Norman H. Rahn III

Sheryl Sellaway

Donna Lee Jackins

Madis and Vivian Raukas

Verizon/Hopeline NonProfit Fund

Michael E. and Janice B. Johnson

Thomas Webster Richey


Stephen C. and Tina Martine Rogers


SCHOOL ($100-$499)

Joanne Mary Sharpe

($10,000 - $24,999)

Cayleigh Suzanne Benny

Jason A. and Annie Y. Smith

Ashland Oil Foundation

Elisabeth Butler

Sarah M. Smith

James E. Baine

Robert K. Chong

James C. Stolzenbach

C. Terry and Mary Lynn O. Hunt

Dorinda Dallmeyer

Michael Dennis Strickland

Deborah Dietzler and Peter J.

William A. and Jacqueline G. Walker

Millie A. Riley

Verizon Wireless

DEAN’S CIRCLE ($5,000 - $9,999)


Krista Neal Haynes



Amanda L. Wescom

Michael B. Bunch

Mary Frances Early

W. Thomas Wilfong

M. Terry and Elizabeth S. Coffey

Craig Edelbrock

John Joseph Wolosewick


Stuart and Renee Feldman

Susan S. and Gregory A. Lanigan

Stephen Ray Flora

Murphy Oil Company

Brian A. Glaser

Russell T. Quarterman

Greg Hall


Ruth B. Harris



G r a d u a t e S c h o o l D o n o r s The Graduate School gratefully acknowledges all who have made a financial commitment to graduate education at the University of Georgia –



Giving and Gaining P h i l a n t h ro p y a t Wo r k N A N C Y E V E LY N

MARY ERLANGER got her undergraduate degree in journalism from Kansas

State University (in her home state), but became a "double dawg" with an MEd

'82 and PhD '87 at UGA. She now serves as a member of the Graduate

Education Advancement Board. She is also grandmother of recent graduate

and Foundation Fellow Katherine Folkman (AB '08).

Erlanger began her

working life as a young reporter, and became a WAVE officer at age 21 at the

height of World War II. After the war, she pursued a writing career in New York

City, married a New Yorker and moved to Connecticut to raise her family and begin a new career pathway in volunteerism and social advocacy.

She came

to UGA for Graduate School in 1980 at the suggestion of her childhood friend

Virginia Trotter, then the vice president for Academic Affairs at UGA. When she

completed her graduate studies, she and her husband Michael Erlanger had made a new life in Athens. Upon completing her doctorate in 1987, she and a

colleague founded Athens Associates for Counseling and Psychotherapy where she has maintained an active practice, specializing in work with older

adults and families.


"Graduate school opened up a wonderful new world for me and I am eternally grateful. It not only expanded my knowledge, but also was highly energizing, leading to a totally new late-life career. I chose the Graduate School for a gift that would help make this kind of life-changing experience possible for others."

— M ar y E rla ng e r

W h e t h e r y o u h e l p e d c re a t e a n a m e d f e l l o w s h i p , contributed to an existing award, or included the Graduate School in your will, your gift is significant to enhancing all aspects of graduate education, from the quality of faculty to the scholarship of students. We appreciate your help in building a foundation of educational excellence and hope you will encourage others to participate in this worthwhile endeavor.

Graduate School Magazine



in brief


GUGGENHEIM FELLOWSHIP Aw a r d e d t o HISTORY DOCTORAL STUDENT ----------------------------------------------------------

Barton A. Myers, a doctoral candidate and temporary instructor in the department of history, received a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation this past summer. He was notified of the award in July 2008. “I received a phone call from New York to notify me that my dissertation project was selected for a Harry Frank Guggenheim Fellowship,” says Myers. Myers was among ten fellows chosen from an international field of scholars working in social and natural sciences. The Guggenheim Foundation funds research on problems of violence, aggression, and dominance. For more information see:


JENNIFER MCMAHON, Ve r i z o n / H o p e l i n e F e l l o w AWARDED NSF GRANT


This past July, the National Science

Foundation awarded a substantial grant to Jody Clay-Warner, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the department of sociology, and doctoral student Jennifer McMahon (co-principal investigator) for their work titled, "Doctoral Dissertation Research: Diffusion and the Law Formation Process - A Comprehensive Analysis of the Spread of Rape Law Reform in the United States." The NSF grant award extends from July 15, 2008, through July 15, 2009. The grant was obtained through




LETHA MOSLEY BECOMES FELLOW and Assumes Chairmanship

Jody Clay-Warner, who is the major professor, but it is based on McMahon’s research in domestic violence. McMahon (MA ’05; PhD ’09) was one of the first two Verizon/Hopeline fellows chosen last year. Jennifer McMahon and Jenna McCauley (BS ’03, PhD ’08) were the first two graduate students to receive fellowships. Funded by Verizon Wireless, the Verizon/ Hopeline program supports domestic violence research, education and prevention. McMahon’s work also concerns the training of other scholars and clinicians.

In addition to Hopeline, Verizon Wireless offers the consumer service #HOPE, which can be accessed across Verizon Wireless’ nationwide network. By dialing #4673, callers are connected to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The toll and airtime-free hotline offers confidential help, crisis intervention, information and resources.

Letha Mosley, who was profiled in the fall 2005 issue of the

Graduate School Magazine, is now a tenured assistant

professor in the department of occupational therapy at the University of Central Arkansas. Last April she was made a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association for “excellence in education and addressing health disparities.” Mosley was elected chair-elect of the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), the governing body for accreditation of occupational therapy and educational programs, in August 2008. She will assume chairmanship of ACOTE in August of 2009.

We W O N ! the Graduate School Magazine TA K E S H O M E T H E G O L D



his year the Graduate School Magazine received top honors

from three separate award competitions. The publication was recognized in two national competitions for excellence in overall design, content and photography. It received first place for printing and imaging from a competition based in Georgia. The summer 2007 issue of the Graduate School Magazine won a 2008 APEX Award for Publication Excellence in June 2008. The 20th annual award program recognizes publications work by professional communicators in forprofit and nonprofit organizations. The magazine is produced by Cynthia Adams, editor and writer; Nancy Evelyn, photo editor; and Julie Sanders, graphic designer. Annie Ferguson and Maura Barber are the magazine’s copy editors. I n a n n o u n c i n g t h e w i n n e r s, Communication Concepts publisher John De Lellis said, “With close to 4,500 entries, competition was exceptionally intense.” De Lellis added the awards were based upon “excellence in graphic design, editorial content and the success of the entry—in the opinion of the judges—in achieving overall communications effectiveness and excellence.” APEX judges included professional writers and editors. Others recognized in the magazines and journal category with UGA’s Graduate School Magazine included Loyola University, the University of Washington, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, University of Michigan and the University of Tennessee. Also in June, the Graduate School Magazine was recognized by the University Photographers’ Association of America (UPAA), an international organization of college and university

communications and publishing. Adams has been recognized by the NC Press Association and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Evelyn has received previous photography awards from CASE as well as UPAA. Sanders, of Julie Sanders Graphic Design, produces award-winning publications for clients such as the University of Alabama, Albuquerque Academy and the Georgia Museum of Art. This year, Sanders won a gold Addy Award from the American Advertising Federation for her design of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) Explorer annual report.

photographers. The magazine’s winter 2007 issue received a first place award for Evelyn’s cover photo of graduate student Elizabeth Rahn. The magazine also received a second-place award for Evelyn’s photography throughout the publication. In July, the magazine also won the 2008 Print Excellence Award from the Printing and Imaging Association of Georgia. Standard Press of Atlanta, Georgia, entered the magazine in the competition. Ben Wynnett, a sales executive with Standard Press, presented the award to Maureen Grasso, the dean of the Graduate School. More than 85 entries from 50 of Georgia’s top printers vied for the honor, according to Wynnett. The Graduate School Magazine won a best-of category for four-color magazines. The magazine staff won previous honors for creative work in educational

Graduate The University of Georgia


Summer lume 3 2007 VoNumber 1


Winter 2007


From Milledge Circle to the toast of Paris 28

The University of Georgia


Vo l u m e 3 Number 2

Why this student’s in stitches 8 Shadowing Nobel Laureates 16 Life above the clouds 24


How a Blimp Found Fame 4 When Justice Hangs on a Droplet of Blood 9

On Northern Exposures 13 Significant Trees 16

From Courtroom to Classroom 22

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

Graduate School Magazine



in brief

W AT E R W I T C H Y i e l d s U p Bewitching Insights with the help of UGA DRAMA PROFESSOR and STUDENTS ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


an a group of UGA students and their professor help yield

up long-sunken secrets from the watery grave of the USS Water Witch in Georgia’s Vernon River? Using digitized animation skills they’ve honed on prior televised projects, they may help expand upon and better dramatize the true story of a long-lost Civil War-era ship. Mike Hussey, associate professor of drama and theatre, and his graduate students have promised a short fourminute animated documentary for the Port Columbus Museum. The short piece will be designed for exhibit and tourist information. It will lead to something larger, Hussey explains. “The National Civil War Naval Museum is trying to bring southern maritime history to this Georgia museum,” says Hussey. Earlier this year, the Department of Transportation produced an 18-minute production titled Water Witch: Traversing the Seas of History. The first documentary effort, directed, written and photographed by historian Chad Carlson, and edited by Obinwa Summors, did not include actual wreckage or an animated recreation of the vessel itself. After the fact, Hussey and his students offered animation support to help better depict the story of the historic vessel and raise funds for a museum. Hussey and his students are becoming known for their exacting digital reconstructions of other historically significant ships. Their work has been used in previous televised documentaries, including Boneyard and The Russian Navy. The UGA professor and students were contacted once the documentary’s


producers learned of Hussey’s in-house research work for a Water Witch fundraiser on behalf of Georgia’s Port Columbus Museum. “Chad contacted us after he had done that documentary about partnering with him to combine our efforts,” says Hussey. “He heard about our work doing a digital reconstruction of a ship in conjunction with Bruce Smith, the executive director of the Port Columbus Museum,” explains Hussey. Hussey and his graduate students have partnered on prior animation projects that have aired on the prestigious History Channel. Their painstaking work in digital recreation work was the subject of a cover story in the fall, 2006 issue of the Graduate School Magazine. According to historic documents, the USS Water Witch was believed to lie somewhere within the possible path of a proposed Vernon River bridge project. Given federal mandates, a historic search-and-survey project halted the bridge’s construction until experts could determine the ruin’s whereabouts. The federal ship was known to have been sunk in December of 1864 after first being burned by Confederate soldiers. The soldiers sank the ship fearing that the Water Witch would be reclaimed and confiscated by advancing northern forces. The location of its ruins remained a long-term mystery prior to the Georgia Department of Transportation’s survey efforts. Hussey’s department was contacted after a short documentary concerning the search to locate the vessel already existed. “Bruce Smith is building a full-scale working replica of the ship for the

Columbus exhibit. We didn't work on that one. [But] I was contacted by the Georgia DOT historian who did it, because he wanted to work with us to expand the documentary with animation that we're doing for an inhouse piece. That piece will help the Port Columbus Museum raise funding to finish rebuilding a full scale replica of the Water Witch.” Hussey was made aware of the ship’s ruins two years ago. “We were asked to give a talk about the History Channel projects to the Franklin College board of advisors a couple of years ago. After the talk, one of the members approached us and suggested we do some work digitally reconstructing the ship they'd discovered in the Vernon River (which turned out to be the Water Witch.) At the time we were so busy, we told him that we'd get to it as soon as we were done with the other televised projects,” says Hussey. “The story of this ship turned out to be an exciting adventure that took place in our state. Plus, we've done a lot of ships over the years and this was a nice logical extension of what we're becoming known for. Once we found out that Bruce was the expert on the Water Witch , we contacted him about partnering on this research effort to tell this as an animated story; and we'd pass the results on to Port Columbus to help them finish raising the funds for the development of the Water Witch exhibit. We believe it will bring a lot of tourists to the state.” The project will also test methodologies that Hussey is using for a separate, larger research project next semester. “We're learning a lot and putting the graduate lab through its paces.” For further information on the Port Columbus re-creation of the vessel, see:

A Brief Update Animation Postscript: Mike Hussey

Festival.” Yet another of Hussey’s former graduate students, Marcus Erbar, is technical director/animator at HydraulX. Many of these students were cited in the fall 2005 issue of the Graduate School Magazine . “All three of our animators are doing well in the world,” he adds. “T he companies and organizations they joined after receiving their graduate degrees are all highly respected and top-tier.” G

circa December 1864. The exact whereabouts of its wreckage eluded historians until recently.

Graduate School Magazine


Mike Hussey, et al., (UGA) and Bruce Smith, National Civil War Naval Museum

The Water Witch was burned by Confederate soldiers while docked in Georgia's Vernon River


and his animation students are rich in imagination, yet nearly always lean on funds. Animation, artificial intelligence and special effects, Hussey’s specialties, often require the fusion of art and science in recreating virtual worlds, he says. The necessary software, storage capacity and computing power to produce their signature creative virtualities are enormously expensive. The UGA animators-in-training and their professor frequently comb through campus surplus computer equipment. Storage capacities are rapidly chewed up by animation projects, Hussey explains. Strained computing systems frequently crash mid-project. Archaic software adds yet another staggering amount of work time as students design three-dimensional models, such as a NASA silo, a doomed battleship, or a Titan MII missile. Yet the plucky and talented animators never lower their standards or ambitions. “We sure are making do with what we can get our hands on or cobble together,” says Hussey. “We do that a lot. But we’ve always worked hard to save taxpayer dollars; that’s for sure.” Three years ago, Dean Grasso approved an Opportunity Fund Grant to help the resourceful professor afford desperately needed software at a critical time. The funds enabled his students to complete work that wound up being televised nationally on the History Channel. The necessary software the project required helped shave significant hours off their deadline. The student’s reputation for highquality work is attracting industry attention. “You might be interested in what's happened to the other grad students who worked on the projects that the Graduate School supported and who've gone into the world,” associate professor Hussey adds. Lena Giseke, who worked on the

Titan II missile launch simulation as a graduate student, “is now a professional animator and a technical director at Scanline,” says Hussey. Kat Elliott, a former graduate student, was featured with Hussey on the inaugural magazine cover. She researched and created a digital ship model of US AFS General Hayt S. Vanderberg, a ship destined for a strategically planned sinking. “Kat Elliott is now assistant producer for the Siggraph Animation


in brief

Thesis Project GUERNICA Receives International Acclaim


Also making animation news is an online dramatic media thesis project. The project, Guernica, is a three-dimensional exploration of the artist Picasso’s work. “Guernica has had 35,000 hits by now and is featured on numerous blogs around the Web,” according to Hussey. “Furthermore, it was part of the animation festival of the Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria in September 2008, and was screened during the Independent Movie Festival in Osnabrück, Germany, in October 2008.” Former UGA graduate student Lena Giseke attended the German film festival, and gave a presentation about the student project.

Graduate School Administration Maureen Grasso Dean David Knauft Associate Dean Michael Johnson Assistant Dean Judy Milton Assistant Dean


ALUMNUS Named to JOHNS HOPKINS Society of Scholars -------------------------------------

Sangram Sisodia, who received his PhD

in biochemistry from the University of Georgia in 1985, has been named to the Society of Scholars at Johns Hopkins University. Sisodia is the Thomas Reynolds Sr. Family Professor of Neurosciences and the director of the Center for Molecular Neurobiology at the University of Chicago. He was among “15 other esteemed scientists and clinicians honored during the society's 38th induction ceremony” last year, according to a press release from Johns Hopkins. Approximately 500 scholars have been elected to the society. “Dr. Sisodia has spent much of his career trying to untangle the knotty biology of familial Alzheimer’s disease,” the release stated. “A molecular biologist by training, Dr. Sisodia, with his team, has used a combination of genetic, molecular, cellular and neurobiological approaches to clarify the biology of proteins critically implicated in this devastating disease that affects seven percent of people over the age of 65 and 40 percent of those ages 80 and older.” In addition, the release praised


Sisodia, above at left, is being honored by fellow scholars. His research integrates genetic, molecular, cellular and neurobiological approaches to Alzheimer's disease.

Sisodia’s contribution to the development of transgenic mice that exhibit features of the human disease and his training of a new cohort of outstanding young scientists in this field. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Sisodia was a professor of pathology and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Tonia Gantt Business Krista Haynes Admissions Enrolled Student Services Lollie Hoots Communications Tom Wilfong Development

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.

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t h e l a s t w o rd

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”


—Vincent van Gogh


Working out of a Washington Street bicycle shop in Athens, Ben Epps completed his first airplane in 1907. By 1912, he had mastered aircraft building and flight, despite several crashes and impressive failures. Ben Epps personified the value of high-flying dreams and small things writ large in an Athens sky.

Sky Dawg, Athens Ben Epps Airport, Kathy Whitehead, artist


see page 33


Graduate School Magazine Awards!

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


ways to give

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

© 2009 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 09 - UGAGS Magazine  

The Winter 09 edition of The University of Georgia Graduate School Magazine features Alvetta Peterman Thomas: A college president recalls ge...

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