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Graduate The University of Georgia



The Lives of Frances Cowart Reeves p.4 Valerie Cadet Pictures Herself Stopping an Epidemic p.12 Wormsloe's Belly p.28

Winter 2010

Graduate The University of Georgia



“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

—Eleanor Roosevelt



Winter 2010


news and highlights


Letter from the Dean


Where Are They Now? Frances Cowart Reeves

World War II barred her studies at the University of Munich. Yet she prevailed and earned a graduate degree.


Cover Story Valerie Cadet

Can this mother and doctoral student help spare the world a recurring, virulent epidemic?


Sarah Carlton Proctor


Centennial of the Graduate School


Scholars for Tomorrow Wormsloe

She finds a classroom irresistible. We find her just as compelling.

UGA’s Drew Swanson, a Wormsloe Fellow, offers tasty tidbits from Georgia’s oldest tidewater plantation.


Dorinda G. Dallmeyer

This alumna is loyal to her roots and passionate about

learning and giving.


In Brief

Graduate Student News and Notes

Last Word Edu-Dawg

Front Cover: Valerie Cadet is keeping an eye on the big picture, by Nancy Evelyn.

Graduate School Magazine



A UGA Education

Equals Money Well Spent The University of Georgia ranked among the top four universities listed in Smart Money magazine’s publication “Best Payback” published late last year. Texas A&M, the University of Texas at Austin, and Georgia Tech were included with UGA among the top rankings.



m e s s a g e f ro m

Dean Maureen Grasso Welcome to 2010, the Centennial year for graduate education at the University of Georgia! Every day I wake up feeling energized about what we are doing in graduate education at the University of Georgia. I am thrilled to be apart of this exciting and stimulating enterprise— our work concerns human capital and investing in the future! The UGA Graduate School is currently developing what will become our nation’s most sophisticated work force. Graduate education ensures our nation competes within a knowledge-based global economy—through innovation, discovery and complex problem solving. Advanced education is the critical gear driving the industries and processes shaping our future. For 100 years, this has been the case—we have awarded master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees to more than 73,000 individuals. The research and teaching contributions of UGA graduates are astonishing and varied. They underpin the knowledge and economic development goals of Georgia and our nation. Currently we have more than 7,100 graduate students engaged in advanced study in more than 350 fields of study. These students enable the discovery of new knowledge, contribute to advances in science and technology, aid economic development, and seek fresh perspectives on issues of importance on a state and national level. I am excited about how graduate education has become an essential component of work force development. Our economic health depends on educated, knowledgeable and skilled people who are ready to take on the task of strengthening our economy. This issue becomes all the more important in an age when technology and knowledge creation take precedence, even in fields such as agriculture and forestry that historically have relied upon manual labor. I hope that when you are called to invest in graduate education, you will say yes!


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

The Remarkable (True) Story of

Frances Cowart Reeves I N I M I TAB LE L EA D E R o f a





(AB ’39, MA ’40) is contentedly settled in rural

Georgia not far from where she came of age. During the past 70 years, she has come full circle, from academics to the military to the rural life once again. BY CYNTHIA ADAMS




ithin her remarkable 90

years, Frances Reeves has not




accomplished scholar, but also a civil servant, military officer, Girl Scout

executive, a law student, a chicken farmer (who bought a farm on her own

before m a r r i a g e ) , a s u c c e s s f u l

encyclopedia saleswoman, accountant,

wife, and mother of five. (Four of her offspring are UGA Dawgs.)

Her eyes sparkle as she remembers

those stints; Reeves has used her agile and adaptive mind to its best advantage

for 90 years.

A Front Seat in the Theatre of War In 1939 Georgia, the general mood was gloomy. And it was even worse elsewhere. John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath , published that year to great acclaim, reflected the grim realities for those farming and working the land in the Dust Bowl under painfully harsh conditions. Soon thereafter, the government initiated a food stamps program addressing widespread hardship and hunger for so many nationwide during the Great Depression. Steinbeck’s words had furthered an understanding of the depth of suffering within the nation. Those who escaped job losses, lost homes, and even gnawing hunger were the lucky few. But the Cowart family had fared much better than farming families in rural Georgia. Walter Cowart grew up in south Georgia and attended business school in Columbus, Ga. After graduating, Cowart found work opportunities in Atlanta, and then developed a successful mail order barber supply business based in Fairburn, Ga. Walter Cowart was also an enlightened man who believed in education and planned that his children, irrespective of gender, would be

educated. Cowart’s three daughters went on to college after completing their early education. One, the youngest, carried Cowart’s name as well as his ambitions for his children. Walter Frances Cowart, known as Frances, was born in 1919. She recalls walking to Union City Grammar School until she was 12. “In 1931,” she says, “schools were consolidated, and I rode the school bus to Campbell High School in Fairburn. There were only 11 grades in high school, so I graduated in 1935 at age 16.” In 1935, she applied to the University of Georgia. UGA was the only school that interested her. With her excellent grades, she easily won acceptance. (“Imagine,” Cowart marvels, “a naïve 16year-old entering the University of Georgia today!”) Once on campus, she quickly adjusted and made friends. Majoring in economics and minoring in German, she received her AB degree in 1939. “I was granted an exchange scholarship to the University of Munich in Germany. The graduate assistantship in German became available, and I was given the opportunity to work while I got my master’s degree.” Then, the unthinkable happened. As Frances Reeves (nee Cowart) packed her bags for European studies, the political landscape was shifting beneath her. “It was 1939,” Reeves reminds. “The world was coming undone.” By September 1, overseas travel was gravely dangerous. Germany had invaded Poland and by September 6, the Germans were also bombing Britain. The world she had known at home was also slipping away as rumors of war intensified. “I couldn’t take the scholarship. That was knocked in the head,” she says. The 20-year-old watched her plans abruptly changed. At the time the UGA scholar would have been unpacking her books in Munich, she was instead visiting her sister in Clintondale, N.Y., weighing her options. Meanwhile, a male student who was supposed to become the next

The Power of Positive Thinking: “I thought I’d go to Germany on a scholarship and haven’t; otherwise, I cannot remember anything I’ve missed,” says Reeves. “I went with the flow and did what was necessary at the time.” Reeves, age 90, has two living siblings. Her older sister is 96; her half- sister is 75.

Frances Reeves during leave at home in Georgia.


Graduate School Magazine



w h e re a re t h e y n o w ? German language graduate assistant left UGA. Reeves received word in New York that she could take the young man’s place as a graduate assistant, and the opportunity opened to begin her graduate studies. She gladly accepted, repacked her bags and set out for Athens where her destiny unfolded. A Window on History

Soldiering On: Frances Cowart, before marriage circa 1945, owned a car she named Breathless. “I couldn’t buy tires for it, due to rationing, until I was transferred to Fort Dix.” Today, she tools around her farm on a golf cart. "The golf cart is my feet..." and is now her way of getting around her house and land.



“I began Graduate School in 1939,” Reeves says during a cursory review of her life. As a freshman, Reeves lived in Miller Hall with roommate Grace Wilbanks, who also studied German. For pleasure, she attended football games and cheered for the Dawgs. “I worked hard,” Reeves remembers. During her graduate education, she taught, coached students in German, and studied. Reeves also read German in the original, and pulls a text off the shelf. “I still think in German,” she confides. She graduated June 26, 1940 with a master’s degree. By then she had a different plan for her life, she jokes. “I wanted to go to Washington, DC and run the government of the United States,” Reeves says, her blue eyes shining with merriment. The following year she entered Civil Service in Washington. At noon on December 8, 1941, she stood on the balcony of the House office building and listened to President Franklin D. Roosevelt deliver his stirring Infamy Speech inside. It was one day after the Japanese attacked American warships in Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt famously called December 7 “a date which will live in infamy.” An hour later, Congress declared war against Japan and America was formally involved in World War II. “The war changed the whole outlook on things,” she says. Unlike during World War I, “women were given new opportunities.”

Life in the WAACs In December of 1942, Reeves joined the WAACs, which later became the Women’s Army Corps. Reeve’s maiden name posed humorous complications, as her legal name was Walter Frances Cowart. She was frequently mistaken for a man. She reported for active duty in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Training Center at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, where she completed officer training March 6, 1943. In April of 1944, she finished Adjutant General School. On April 17, 1943, Reeves was commissioned as a third officer. Throughout her military service, she served in clerical and personnel jobs. Women in service of their country were a new phenomenon, and things were evolving, she says. Initially, service women were simply issued overcoats. The young Reeves, now a second lieutenant, had a full uniform and had earned her officer’s bars. En route to Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. by overnight train, the young female officer noticed her military jacket hanging overhead. The bars glinted; a proud moment registered solidly. “I looked up and saw those gold bars on my uniform. Oh, they were the prettiest thing I’d ever seen!” After seven months in Georgia, she was transferred to the Air Force and was sent to a North Carolina air base where she worked in personnel. Later she was sent to New York and Connecticut. She remained in New England until the war’s end, and vividly remembers the dropping of the atomic bombs in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. She was sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey, for her official discharge from duty in May of 1946. Civilian Life for Lt. Reeves Reeves remembers the strange acclimation to less proscribed civilian life. “I had to think about how to dress. They gave us some counseling and

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

The Great Depression and Georgia

(and why it’s so darned amazing that FRANCES REEVES could sell $500 encyclopedias)

Young Frances Cowart was only 11 years old and living in Fayette County when times grew increasingly bleak throughout the rest of the state of Georgia. At times, it must have seemed that the only thing gaining momentum was the Great Depression. Although she surely faced other kinds of hardship—including the early loss of her mother in a tragic auto accident—the family were spared the tragic fate of many who were dependent upon farming incomes. Farming families faced incredibly difficult times. The majority of Georgians remained on farms in 1930. Just under half of all Georgians had employment. Only about one third of the state’s population lived in cities and sizeable communities. For those living in the countryside, farming was not an easy means to eek out an existence, or even subsistence. The soil had grown depleted due to deforestation and poor farming practices—much of the farmland in the South had been drained by cotton farming. (Those dependent upon cotton as their primary crop faced additional devastation due to the unending ravages of the predatory boll weevil.) Also in 1930, Georgia experienced a catastrophic drought—the worst on record. The many ways one could suffer seemed unthinkable as people often lived without adequate food, running water, basic hygiene, or access to education and health care. Forward-thinking farmers reconsidered and undertook other crops, including peanuts, corn, soybeans and livestock. Others began poultry farming, something Frances Cowart later undertook herself as an enterprising young and unmarried woman. Not only did she and her sisters have the advantage of an advanced education, but she also made certain her five children would as well. With Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck had shone a light on suffering in the Dust Bowl, but the suffering of those in the South was documented and exposed by New Deal photographer Walker Evans. Years later, Georgia-born president Jimmy Carter described the challenging realities of cotton and peanut farming life in his many books. Novelists Carson McCullers and Erskine Caldwell provided less romantic visions of the times. By the time of World War II, the Great Depression finally loosened its death choke on the South. Frances Cowart Reeves successfully sold record numbers of encyclopedias to still-challenged rural families, some living in pitiful homes with cardboard covering the walls. She sold sets of hard-bound books in homes on the installment plan, where books of any kind were uncommon. She sold them their release from poverty; she sold them education.



lived in houses where the inner walls were

cardboard, but they bought World Book for their children. It spoke worlds about those parents.”


—Frances Cowart Reeves


Graduate School Magazine



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


preparation on this; we looked at what opportunities were available. I found training as a Girl Scout executive as I was getting out and went to Tallahassee, Fla., and worked for the Girl Scout Council.” Reeves stayed with the Girl Scouts for a year before deciding to take advantage of the G.I. Bill and entered Atlanta Law School. Formerly robust, her health suddenly declined. Reeves was told that she was at risk of developing diabetes. She was convinced that regaining her health required being diligent about nutrition and studied how the soil produced nutrient-rich foods. (At that time, much of the South was emerging from a harsh lesson in the outcomes of soil depletion.) Afterward, Reeves bought a 25-acre farm and small house in Inman, Ga. “I started farming. I wanted to have chickens as my main source of income, so I bought a new tractor and built a chicken house,” she says matter-of-factly. She set out to renovate the house, which she laughingly describes as “Not much!” When a girlfriend threw her a housewarming party, a young man named Frank Reeves was one of the guests. He was a poultry farmer with agricultural teaching experience. She smiles recalling how he came by often and helped her with chores and farming advice. “Time went by; we got married at the end of the year. I sold my farm and took the chickens to his place. We had a merger and a marriage!” Now she was Mrs. Reeves and immersed in farming with her new husband. The school superintendent in Fayetteville found out the new Mrs. Reeves had a college degree (“He probably didn’t know that I had two,” she adds.) The superintendent needed a teacher and teaching provided a more reliable income for the young couple than chicken farming did. Reeves taught

for a year or so and then became pregnant with her first child. “You couldn’t teach when pregnant,” she recalls. She stayed home with her family and did part time work, including accounting and work for the Farm Bureau. Her mother-in-law lived with the couple. “And she made a wonderful babysitter,” Reeves praises. Reeves also began selling World Book Encyclopedias throughout Fayette County. “I sold enough that one son went on to college on a World Book Scholarship.” The books were not inexpensive. “A set cost $300, way back. But the costs got to $500 in time.” Reeves told proud but poor rural parents the encyclopedias kept children from being ignorant. “Some people I sold World Book to lived in houses where the inner walls were cardboard, but they bought World Book for their children. It spoke worlds about those parents. You’re proud of them; I meet up with them now and then and we still discuss and remember it.” Through hardship and difficulties, including their house burning in 1994, Reeves continued to supplement the family’s income through bookkeeping

and accounting. She continues to do the work today. All but one of her children attended UGA; all five earned college degrees. Her granddaughter recently graduated from UGA law school. She still keeps in touch with her UGA friends, but fellow alums from her class are rare. “There aren’t many classmates left from UGA. It’s a thin crowd when you’re 90 years old!” Postscript: Among many honors, Frances Reeves received the WXIA-TV Community Service Award for her years of devotion to the Fayette County community and the United Way. She is credited with having started the Fayette County 4-H, the PTA and the Fayette County Historical Society where she serves on the board. She received the Community Service Award from the Fayette County Chapter of the NAACP. Reeves is working to get a new building for the Fayette County Senior Center. G


Frances Cowart Reeves’

granddaughter Erin Reeves graduated from UGA law school

this past May. One of her sons, Walter Reeves (BS ’73), is a

known horticultural expert (also known as the “garden guru,”)

who attended UGA, as did her son Robert and daughters

Carol and Nancy. (Walter Reeves is the popular host of GPTV’s “Georgia Gardener.”) Only her son Alan chose to

attend college elsewhere at Berry College

in Rome, Ga.

Graduate School Magazine



cover story

What I f

and This is a Very Big If,

Smallpox Returned? “AS



Working on a therapeutic for the only one that

has been eradicated by mankind is amazing to me.” Smallpox is

considered by many as a “credible, potential bioterrorism

threat, which does make you think. It’s possible that one-third of all the individuals who become infected would die from it,” says Valerie

Cadet, a fourth year UGA doctoral student.

cover story




smallpox plague is not a West

Wing television plot invention,

although it was once used as

one in a doomsday scenario. The once-rampant smallpox is believed to hold no future threat—yet it formerly brought fiefdoms and kingdoms down. Scarring and disfiguring, smallpox can blind. Worse yet, it just as often wields an exquisitely painful death. The vaccine that famously eradicated smallpox is made using an attenuated vaccinia virus. Closely related to cowpox, vaccinia has uncertain origins. Smallpox is caused by Variola major or Variola minor . Once smallpox was believed eradicated, only the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union retained research quantities of live virus in guarded laboratories. (Britain destroyed theirs after a devastating accident that led to the death of a medical photographer.) Now a number of researchers are pondering a different sort of smallpox plague—one deliberately introduced and unleashed. Valerie Cadet, a fourth year UGA doctoral student, would love to be a modern day Edward Jenner and stop it in its tracks. Cadet is a student in the department of Infectious Diseases, which is within the College of Veterinary Medicine.

What might happen if smallpox were used as a bioterrorist weapon? With the predominance of air travel, the pox could spread from continent to continent in less than 48 hours. “The continual outbreaks of monkeypox and its transference to other countries are worth noting,” says Cadet. It’s the reason she studies poxviruses. “All countries agree, however, that even a single case of smallpox anywhere in the world would be an international health emergency. In this event, all nations would respond to contain and prevent spread of the infection,” reports Public Health of Canada’s Web site. A “Soccer Mom” Working to Stop a Once and Future Plague In a UGA biosafety level-two laboratory, Cadet, a researcher and commuting mom, spends long hours with her eyes trained upon a lens. Beneath the lens is the vaccinia virus. Vaccinia, a poxvirus, is brick-shaped and contains DNA. Cadet is working to combat the smallpox virus if such a possibility—an outbreak striking an unprotected population—occurred. “My research involves the silencing of pox viral genes using RNA interference (RNAi),” explains Cadet. “What makes this relevant to study is because vaccinia

virus, a member of the Poxviridae family, is the vaccine agent used to vaccinate against variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox disease.” Cadet’s work is timely, possibly urgent. “Since the eradication of smallpox disease in the late 1970s, global immunization against it has ceased. In light of the events that have taken place post September 2001, there is heightened concern that variola virus could be used as a weapon of bioterrorism. “Due to this, there is a need to develop possible therapeutic interventions that could be used to protect the naïve population—should an intentional outbreak of smallpox occur.” (Naïve refers to the vulnerable population who are unvaccinated against smallpox. By example, indigenous people in the Americas were tragically vulnerable when the explorer Cortez brought the smallpox virus with him to the New World. And tribal Indians were decimated when British troops deliberately infected blankets during the French and Indian Wars in North America.) Gene Manipulation Meant to Silence a Killer Cadet continues her explanation on a positive note. “One promising approach is based on RNAi, a tool widely used for

As the largely self-taught British physician Edward Jenner proceeded in his scientific work, he began deliberately infecting human subjects by placing cowpox pus in an incision site. To put Jenner’s crude methods in perspective, remember that blood letting was very popular at the time. Like others had observed long ago, Jenner noticed that milkmaids in his English village who contracted cowpox seemed later to become impervious to the far deadlier smallpox. The penny had dropped: Jenner observed that the milkmaids achieved immunity. As a medical doctor, he soon used this information to immunize others. His methods may have been questionable, but the outcome revolutionized modern medicine. Jenner is credited within the vaccine world as the first to demonstrate the efficacy of his “new” vaccine.


silencing gene expression through the targeted degradation of mRNAs.” Messenger RNA, the key intermediary in gene expression, translates the DNA's genetic code into the amino acids that make up proteins. “We worked closely with scientists at Thermo-Fisher/Dharmacon, Inc. and the CDC to develop a tool for studying poxvirus replication.” For additional information, Cadet suggests Dharmacon’s Web site. “The goal of my research is to use RNAi in hopes of identifying a gene, or genes, that when inhibited block viral replication…and can thus be used as a therapeutic target.” The government recognizes the value of research toward this end. “The initial reason for studying poxviruses was eradication. However, this is a doubleedged sword. There’s now a large percentage of the population that is naïve to the virus because they were born after 1972,” explains Cadet, “when they stopped vaccinating in the US.” Some scientists argue that vaccination should have continued despite eradication. Yet Cadet tries not to conjecture about what might happen to the unprotected if an outbreak should occur. She uses her energies differently. “We are focused on a therapeutic. Once exposed to the virus, there is an incubation period of seven to 12 days whereby the smallpox vaccine can be administered and result in protection.” However, she points out, not everyone could safely receive the vaccine. There are many exceptions. Individuals who are immune compromised or undergoing chemotherapy, or who have had organ transplants and receive

Cadet works on RNA research with her major professor Robert

J. Hogan.

He is in the department of anatomy and radiology and the department of infectious diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

immunosuppressive drugs—even those with common skin diseases such as eczema—cannot be given the vaccine. For them, Cadet explains that the vaccine could cause more harm than good, potentially killing them. Should Cadet’s RNA research work, when would she know? Soon, she hopes. “I already know I have a couple of genes that could be potential targets for therapeutic drugs. It is possible to move forward using our current RNAi-based approach, but there are many issues in terms of delivering the active siRNA molecules. We would be more interested in finding chemical compounds that would prevent the function of the

identified genes rather than administration of siRNAs. Finding those active compounds will take years and extensive funding.” However, this soccer mom is not willing to give in so easily. The possibility of another smallpox outbreak begs the question: How many people are working on this research at UGA? The answer: one full-time researcher. “Me,” Cadet responds, who works under her major professor, Robert J. Hogan, known as Jeff. “We are in an alltime low in terms of NIH (National Institutes of Health) funding, and this can be a major obstacle to scientific progress. If we had tons of cash, we’d have lots of people working on it.”

Graduate School Magazine



cover story

Cadet gradually realized understanding the illness and PREVENTING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE was her calling.


Overcoming Obstacles “Yes, I am a soccer mom,” Cadet affirms, hastily grabbing a snack during a break from the lab, “with a 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter.” She is used to eating and living in high gear, balancing family life in Monroe, Ga., with doctoral studies in Athens. The daily commute has had its challenges, with Cadet hurrying home to meet her obligations, to watch a soccer game with her child or help out at the school. Yet she manages. Her own parents both returned to college as adult nursing students. A positive outlook is in the family genetic structure; Cadet exudes a make-it-happen spirit. “Every parent works hard. I’m a parent and a student, with a great supervisor (Hogan) who understands because he’s also one. He knows how difficult it is. I don’t need special treatment, just enough flexibility to ensure my family obligations are met.” At age 31, Cadet has developed a resolute nature that makes the long hours of parenting and of scientific study bearable. “I’ll work around the obstacles. However, I have issues with people who allow the obstacles stop them…everything is doable.” Cadet never imagined this is where she would wind up—the mother of two figured she would become a pediatrician one day. “I just want to know everything ,” she says, since being a grade school kid living in New York who asked a lot of questions. “I asked why all the time. I went to the doctor and asked why they were giving me the shot. As I got older, I realized doctors couldn’t always give me the answer behind it. Doctors treat the condition and scientists determine the causes. I used to want to be a doctor. Now, I’m most interested in being a part of the research end of determining causes and designing treatments.”

From Zebra Fish to Finding a Niche That Fit Cadet graduated from Georgia State University in August 2003 with a bachelor’s in biology and a chemistry minor. While at Georgia State, she met a professor who had a small child. The professor urged her to begin her own research. Cadet, who was already married and had an infant, was still trying to figure out “which career angle?” Undaunted by the demands of her first child, she prepared for medical school. “After having my second child I realized medical school and the beginning years as a physician would keep me away from my children more than I would like.” Cadet discovered her true vocation while working with zebra fish embryos on a drug-screening project. She suddenly realized how much she enjoyed doing

She may be a self-described soccer mom, but this Monroe, Ga. parent gives parenting, family time, and research work equal devotion. “I admire a lot of people,” Cadet says, “both historically and in my personal life.”

the type of research that would ultimately benefit humans. After graduation, Cadet began working at Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga., for the NIH Minority Biomedical Research Support Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement. The undergraduate research program sought to interest students in biomedical research. Cadet managed the program, and

As recently as 1967 the World Health Organization reported 15 million illnesses from smallpox and two million deaths. Smallpox caused a third of all human blindness.

Graduate School Magazine



cover story

worked with researchers at several Atlanta colleges and universities as well as U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC). She began to focus on viral research and her growing ambition. She envisioned herself working for the CDC or NIH in a research and policy-making role. “The program (at Spelman) was geared at exposing undergrads to the possibility of getting their PhD in the biomedical sciences. As the program only had one staff member—me—for the first year, I administered and ran almost everything. In helping my students for a year or so, I realized I wanted to do research myself and wanted the PhD.” A colleague suggested an illuminating idea, urging Cadet to consider doctoral programs at veterinary schools. “A lot of the actual (veterinary) research is targeted towards animals or an animal infection which can affect humans,” Cadet found. It was the research fit she had sought. She now understood her research interests “didn’t lie with helping people get better, but understanding the illness and preventing it in the first place.” That, Cadet says, is how she entered the veterinary school as a graduate student in the fall of 2006. She will finish in 2011. And that is also where she began working with pox viral genes.

Human Research Within the Veterinary College Why is human research done under the rubric of the veterinary college? The query about infectious diseases being studied in the veterinary school is a common one explains Liliana JasoFriedmann, graduate coordinator for the department of infectious diseases. “We get that same question all the time because we are in the vet school and in fact we have some people doing research in exclusively human diseases. However, the thing that is hard for people to understand is that research in any area can lead to discoveries that are far reaching and may equally affect animal and human health,” says JasoFriedmann. “Our department’s research falls into infectious disease of all animals including humans.” As she makes clear, most infectious diseases emerge from animals. By way of example, Jaso-Friedmann adds, “We have a few researchers working on malaria, a human disease. Some of the ongoing research on diseases that affect animals are also zoonotic; that is, they can infect the human population. The most obvious example of that is influenza in poultry and pigs.”

“All countries agree, however, that even a single case of smallpox anywhere in the world would be an international health emergency. In this event, all nations would respond to contain and prevent spread of the infection,” reports Public Health of Canada’s Web site.

Inside BSL-2… Cadet’s work is done within a containment laboratory. “Containment” labs range from levels one to four, with various guidelines. The government determines the bio safety level for a pathogen, based upon its severity and the treatment. Level 1, or BSL-1, is the designated level of laboratory where research is done with microorganisms not known to cause disease in healthy humans. Even a level 2 lab is well secured. Level 4 is the most secure—and is typically overseen by the federal government. This level laboratory is where work is done with dangerous and exotic agents posing a high, potentially fatal risk to humans. For level 4 related research, there are no vaccines or treatments available. Cadet works with vaccinia and cowpox viruses, which belong to the family poxviridae, at biosafety level 2, or BSL-2. She references a biosafety manual and explains: “The agents manipulated at BSL-2 are often ones to which the workers have had exposure in the community, often as children, and to which they have already experienced an immune response. It includes various bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting. “If I were to get infected, there are treatments. As for smallpox itself, I can’t work with the actual virus, because variola can be anywhere from 30-40 percent lethal and it’s transmissible by aerosol. It can only be worked with under BSL-4 conditions.” Are all the poxviruses related? “No!” Cadet says emphatically. “That was drilled into me 10,000 times,” she laughs. Although the word “pox” evokes many diseases, plum pox virus, for example, is a plant pathogen. Chicken pox is a herpes virus. And while there’s a continued on page 22


Cadet is working to combat the smallpox virus if such a possibility—an outbreak


an unprotected population—occurred.

Why Viruses Are So Effective and Deadly… Time magazine warned of a potential influenza pandemic in an August 2009 issue. Inside its pages, it discussed how this or other viruses work. Viruses are minute parasites that cause everything from the common cold to influenza or even plagues such as smallpox.

Viruses are insidious and effective, gaining entry into an organism via many routes. The first line of human defense against viruses includes skin, tears and mucous. In the case of influenza, the virus typically enters via the respiratory system (most often through the nose and mouth.) Upon entry, the influenza virus launches a cellular invasion. Once a virus invades a cell, it replicates a copy of itself and proceeds to release the new viruses, who repeat the process again and again.

The body mounts a counter attack. Fortunately, the immune system possesses a memory for previous infections. In time, it creates and releases anti-viral antibodies, including “killer” T cells, which seek out and destroy an invading virus, blocking its progression. But many things may complicate or thwart our bodily defenses. If a virus makes a mistake—and doesn’t copy itself exactly—a mutation occurs. A virus that has mutated can “reassort” itself, and in so doing becomes deadlier. The mutated virus disarms the immune system, which cannot recognize it. If the virus doesn’t mutate, it means it has become “genetically” stable. (Compounds such as acyclovir or Tamiflu are specifically engineered to disarm and further weaken the power and spread of the virus.)

Researchers at the American College of Sports Medicine and Appalachian State University in North Carolina recently announced that people who exercise receive an immune boost. (However, there is also evidence that excessive or extreme exercise has the opposite effect, and actually suppresses immunity.) Judicious exercise also helps counters inflammation. and may reduce illness by up to 50 percent according to this newest study.

Graduate School Magazine



cover story


Who Stopped Smallpox and How? H o w d i d i t h a p p e n that a country physician cum scientist in 1796 purportedly, and almost single-handedly, stopped a plague? A vitally important connection established—between milk maids’ cowpox-marked hands and a much more virulent, scarring disease called smallpox—spurred the practice of vaccination and the study of immunology.


Today, any scientist who works in infectious disease or immunology stands on the shoulders of a man named Edward Jenner, who did pioneering work in the late 1700s. Two centuries ago, rumors held that cowpox exposure could prevent or mitigate smallpox. (For smallpox, sometimes called simply the pox, was once estimated to kill 400,000 annually in Europe, but two million worldwide. Scientists estimate that another 20 to 60 percent of smallpox victims lived.)

Stories abounded of farmers (and even one account of a nun) testing out this cowpox/smallpox premise with human subjects. However, if actual smallpox material was used in their experimentations, the hoped-for vaccine sometimes actually killed rather than saved the patient. By some accounts, a Dorset, England cattle breeder, named Benjamin Jesty, had experimented with crude

vaccination as early as 1774. Jesty vaccinated himself and his family with cowpox some 20 years before a British physician named Jenner set out to prove that vaccination (his coined term) with the less lethal virus, cowpox, worked to protect against the often-deadly smallpox. Jenner formally named the process vaccination, based upon the Latin word vaccinus. Vaccinus translates to: “of or derived from a cow.” And so it happened that it was Jenner’s well-publicized work with human subjects which eclipsed Jesty’s. The Gloucester doctor (Jenner) famously infected the arm of a young boy first with cowpox pus and subsequently tested its efficacy against smallpox. Jenner’s work eventually helped halt a plague— something no royal edict could do. For disease was immune to rank and privilege. The pox’s victims included nobles across Europe. Airborne, and easily transmitted via infected pox material—a blanket, handkerchief, or piece of clothing—it swept across all social classes without discrimination. In 1562, Elizabeth I fell ill with smallpox and, unexpectedly, survived. Henceforth, the monarch wore heavy makeup to disguise the trademark facial scars it left. Many rulers were less fortunate. Smallpox felled Pharaoh Ramses V, two queens, two kings, a tsar and an emperor. Smallpox victims included Queens Mary II of England and Ulrika Elenora of Sweden; Kings Louis XV of France and Luis I of Spain; Tsar Peter II of Russia and Emperor Joseph I of Austria. Mary II’s young son, the Duke of Gloucester, died of smallpox as well, and historians mention this smallpox death as also having ended the Stuart family’s dynastic longevity. (Historically, the term the pox also referred to syphilis. But it was smallpox that decimated enormous numbers of innocently infected peasants and nobility, adults and children.)

Jenner re-approached the boy weeks after his first experimentation. The boy had contracted cowpox, which was unpleasant but not lethal. This time, he re-infected the child’s arm with smallpox material. The eight-year-old’s survival was a scientific triumph for Jenner. Could the ends justify Jenner’s means? It’s unthinkable today to contemplate that scientists would use uninformed children and innocents to test a potentially lethal vaccine. Yet Jenner also knew smallpox’s victims died or were maimed in staggering numbers. Eventually Jenner even tested the vaccine on his own son. Jenner (who lived from 1749-1823) was said to possess both audacious courage of his ideas and no small talent for self promotion.

significant threat. Now smallpox was viewed as an infamous event in the timeline of infectious diseases. By the middle of the 20th century, smallpox was considered an eradicated disease. But what if history repeated itself and smallpox raged once again? And what if smallpox was loosed across continents and the disfiguring, incurable disease was out of control once more? At UGA, scientists are trying to answer that “what if?” To this day, there is no known cure for smallpox.

By 1776, Jenner’s forays into vaccination finally offered promise of immunity against a viral plague that had ravaged from Africa to Asia before spreading to Europe and on to the Americas. This horrific plague gave birth to a big and very important idea—that of immunology. Jenner’s estate near Gloucester is preserved as the Edward Jenner Museum, and is a tribute to his accomplishment. STAY WELL AND BOOST YOUR

However, the concept of vaccines was neither new nor original to either Jenner or Jesty. Attempts had been experimented with long before the 18th century. Experimentation with inhalation of powdered smallpox scabs (called variolation) originated in Asia in the 1700s. Again, this was a dangerous preventative, and took victims of its own. The son of King George III, a boy named Octavius, died of smallpox variolation. In America, a slave owned by Cotton Mather first introduced Mather to the concept and practice of variolation. Jenner, who published his findings in 1798 (Jesty had never published his experimentations) effectively spared the world further blindness, disfigurement or death from smallpox. By the late 1940s, smallpox no longer presented a

IMMUNITY! Researcher Valerie Cadet shares with readers the same advice she shares with family: · Wash your hands. · Listen to your body. · Eat properly. (“It’s true; I’ve seen it with myself.”) If you don’t take care of yourself, you get run down, then you’re more susceptible to catching cold and different viral infections. · I believe there’s merit to taking vitamins; in addition to eating properly, take vitamins and supplements. · Sleep!

Graduate School Magazine



cover story continued from page 18

poxvirus for almost every vertebrate that exists, Cadet’s work is solely with poxviridae. Silencing the Gene What is the hoped outcome of Cadet’s work? She hopes her RNAi research will provide a specific means to block the replication of the virus. “A virus hijacks the cellular machinery. If I can block the generation or translation of virus messenger RNA, the virus will never be able to replicate.” Cadet breaks the methodology down. “The process, by which foreign, double-stranded RNA is recognized and degraded by specialized protein complexes within many eukaryotic cells, is believed to be an evolutionarily conserved defense mechanism against RNA viruses and transposable elements,” she writes in an email. “A method in which the introduction of doublestranded RNA into a cell inhibits the expression of genes.” Cadet uses algorithms that plug in the genome and uses two strands of variola virus (the smallpox virus) and two strands of vacinnia virus (the cowpox virus), as well as a couple of strands of monkeypox.

“In 2003 we had the first outbreak of monkeypox in the western hemisphere. With the help of scientists at the CDC and Dharmacon, we looked at six genomes and plugged them into the system to find areas of similarity among the different viruses.” If Cadet’s able to identify them, in theory they should translate to other poxviruses, including strains of monkeypox. Again, the goal is to find a therapeutic intervention, should there be a need to fight smallpox or a monkeypox outbreak. “There are some antivirals but none specifically approved. In recent years, poxviruses have mutated around specific antivirals.” How is cowpox transmitted? “Typically from contact,” says Cadet. (Remember those English milkmaids that inspired Jenner’s work? Cowpox scars often marked their hands and forearms.) “The smallpox virus is airborne or spread by contact.” Multiple Roles for a Serious Scientist Today, the mother and scholar has found her true passions. “I love what I do,” says Cadet with gusto. “But being a

mother has always been my passion.” She is multi-lingual, like her own children. Growing up, her first language was French. Cadet is a first-generation American, born of Haitian parents. At home she spoke conversational French or Creole. Creole, a patois, is a colorful language. “Sak passé?” Cadet asks and translates: “‘What’s happening?’ It’s the Creole expression, the catchphrase

A “Golden Era” for Vaccines Since Edward Jenner introduced immunology to the world, we have had vaccines in our arsenal of defenses. Antivirals and vaccines made headlines world-wide with the threat of an H1N1 pandemic.

The profits and advancements in vaccines have rekindled pharmaceutical companies’ interest in producing them. Vaccine research certainly isn’t confined to viruses—research is now underway to produce vaccines for everything from malaria to Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Associated Press, companies such as Pfizer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson are racing to take advantage of what is described as a “golden era” of private sector partnerships in getting vaccines to the marketplace. The market research firm Kalorama Information predicts vaccine sales will reach $39 billion by 2013 —up from $8 billion in 2004.

everyone knows. The answer is: ‘Na’p boulee,’ which literally means, ‘I’m burning,’ but it actually means, ‘I’m cool.’” She laughs and indicates a picture of her parents. “My mom’s been here so long, she speaks what I lovingly call Cringlish, a mixture of Creole and English, when she’s talking to us.” As a mother herself, Cadet occasionally worries when her son, Marc Antoniyo, and daughter, Elena, are sick. She knows the many pathways and routes of infection, but tries to be sensible. “Well. Yes and no,”she says with a laugh. “Sometimes I feel guilty and wonder if there was something I should’ve done to prevent them from getting a cold or fever. That’s the parent side of me.” But as a scientist, her alarm does grow if her child’s fever goes too high. She knows all the symptomology of disease. “I never had the flu growing up or took a flu shot. It wasn’t until I started here at UGA, when I was working in the lab, where it was recommended to have a flu shot my first semester.” Cadet presented her arm, and just like her son, she reflexively closed her eyes as the small needle found its target and pierced her skin. Cadet could visualize the immune response it triggered as clearly as she could see the comedy of the situation as she sheepishly re-opened her eyes. Selfconsciously, the good scientist laughed aloud. She already knew why she needed the flu shot. She didn’t have to ask; it was her job to find answers. For Further Reading: Fenn, Elizabeth. Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82. G

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Graduate School Magazine






for This

UGA Scholar

At age 96, Sarah Carlton Proctor approaches her own centennial, and is currently auditing two classes while debating another graduate degree.




hese are a few of Sarah Carlton

Ganschow are also on her list of much-

she wanted to return to school when her

Proctor’s favorite things: Oscar

admired academics. Geographer Clifton

children were grown circa 1963.

Wilde and George Bernard

Shaw, history, the classics, political science,




“I was 50 and most of the students

Pannell is another. It’s a long list, and it keeps growing as she adds classes. Proctor pays great attention to these

were 20,” she marvels. Taking two courses each






chosen professors, and takes courses that

undergraduate degree in business

Economist, the Georgia Museum of Art,

enhance her world travels. And the

education. She began teaching at age 55

professors themselves are learning from

at Clark Central in Athens. Five years later,

Proctor, an intellectual bon vivant. In an

her husband, Henry Clay Pearson, Jr.,

interview last year, Vance commented,

whom she called “Daddy,” died.

her family, a close community of friends, and






pleasantries that make life worthwhile:

“She shows the path to a full life…a

good manners, gracious living, hot teas

hunger to learn more.”

and pre-warmed tea cups, long lunches where she catches up on Athens’ gossip

Lately, Proctor, a triple Dawg who

like the right thing to do.” It was

completed a master’s in education in

something she never wanted to stop but

1973 and a specialist’s in education in

did, retiring in 1982 at age 70.

at a good table with a central view of the

1975, is hungry again. She’s thinking of

crowd, hats, sparkling brooches and a

returning to Graduate School for further

good story well told.

studies. One fine August morning she

She evokes Katharine Hepburn in her memorable turn in the film On Golden Pond. Like Hepburn, Proctor strikes a determined, elegant figure and has lived long enough to earn a few innocent vices. Unlike Hepburn, she is no Yankee but was born and raised in the South proper— Savannah, Ga., and surrounding salt marshes near the Isle of Hope. Her southern accent is saline-tinged and is as precise as her mind.

“It (teaching) not only gave me something to do, but something that felt

Athens Forever!

presented herself to the Graduate School

Proctor remains stubbornly, ardently

to begin the process. Proctor, replete in

dedicated to Athens, her home since she

hat and patrician summer garb, spurred a

and her husband moved there in 1940

flurry of responses—graduate assistants in

when he accepted a job with the YMCA.

jeans, tank tops and Nikes spilled out of

“All of my children live west of the

cubicles to see the woman with the

Mississippi,” she sighs. She has dug into

hungry mind who has been studying for

the heart of Athens, with its leafy streets,

decades and who intends to continue,

colorful student life, an important

well, forever.

museum blocks away, and good lectures

And why not, Proctor wonders?

and fine company easily had. “What on

“I’m not interested in any more

earth would I do west of the Mississippi?”

degrees,” she says. “I’m 96! I’m just

she asks archly. “I would be bored to

satisfying my curiosity.”

death!” “I only will leave Athens,” she

A Hunger to Know… Testing Traditions Sarah Carlton Proctor, 96, known to her

pronounces, with a dignified intake of breath through the nose, mouth firmly

intimates and classmates as “Ms. Sarah,”

While she may admire, even embrace,

flings a pink mohair shawl around her,

tradition, Proctor clearly is of different

Her eyes narrow behind the wire-

gathers her purse, and then tests the

minds. There is the traditionalist and the

rimmed glasses. “Yes,” she repeats,

door. Satisfied, she heads out to lunch

free-thinking Proctor. The traditionalist

“that’s right. Feet first.”

with apologies about the walker. Only her

married at age 24 and had three children.

Hungering to experience more of

Proctor lives in the same house she has

the world, Proctor began to travel broadly

gait is slowing.

drawn, “feet first. Preferably dead.”

She has a great deal to talk about

occupied since 1948 as a young mother. It

after her husband’s death. She met a

over lunch. She discusses her approach—

is so close it’s practically in the university’s

fascinating man named Jack Proctor in

a personal manifesto—about continuing

pockets. She still attends the same church

the Atlanta airport. Their conversation en

education. It boils down to this: keep

(First Presbyterian). As for modern

route to the Soviet Union on a UGA

continuing! Find good professors and

inventions, she doesn’t care for them, she

alumni tour led to a six-week courtship,

latch onto them! In some cases, Proctor

says, especially computers. “I don’t have

which led to another happy marriage. The

has taken every course a professor

a computer. I don’t have any computer

pair traveled happily until his death four

teaches. John Vance, an English professor,

problems,” she ad libs, “but I rely upon

years later.

is one she follows closely. Historians Kirk

Uncle Sam’s mail and Fed Ex.”

Willis and Professor Emeritus Thomas

The free-thinking Proctor decided

Always, Proctor studied. She signed up for one or two courses a semester. Her

Graduate School Magazine



Sarah Carlton Proctor discusses her approach—a personal manifesto—about continuing education. “It boils down to this: keep continuing!“ Wearing her signature Tilley hat with a bee brooch attached, Proctor cuts a very colorful figure throughout Athens.

blue eyes grow serious as she discusses

Even more than the value of civility,

how lifelong learning has expanded,

Proctor demonstrates a consciously

early life in Savannah created a

filling her life.

cultivated capacity for growth.

permanent longing to be near or in

You could not invent Proctor; she’s much too colorfully complete to spring from the imagination. With her tancolored Tilley hat embellished with pins, the colorful scarves looped about, and proud carriage, she cocks an eyebrow, laughs, and listens intently. Proctor believes in the give-and-take of social exchange. She especially believes in good manners and southern gentility. She reminds just how much civility has been lost as she listens politely without interruption, and comments often, “That’s right.”


And that is absolutely right. G

Salt-Water Love: Proctor says her

water. “I like to get some part of me in water!” she says. While in the Soviet Union, she wanted to dip her toes into the Bay of Finland, and did. Her new admirer, Jack Proctor, obliged her and escorted her to the water despite freezing temperatures, and the memory is especially happy.

Centennial: Graduate Education at the University of Georgia 1910-2010 Released to Commemorate Historic Milestone






announces the publication of

a new commemorative book,

celebrating 100 years of graduate

education at the University of Georgia. Centennial: Graduate Education at the

University of Georgia 1910-2010 is

available for purchase through the

Graduate School, which will receive all

proceeds from the sale. The 128-page hardback book contains profiles of alumni as well as historic and new photographs of both the campus and town of Athens. “One of the initial reviewers called the book ‘a jewel,’” says Grasso. Centennial: Graduate Education at the University of Georgia 19102010 was developed and produced by the Graduate School Magazine’s editorial team. It was written by Cynthia Adams and designed by Julie Sanders. The book’s images were edited by Nancy Evelyn. The book contains new images produced by Evelyn, as well as archival photos from the collection of the University of Georgia Libraries and from the collection of Gary Doster. Doster is the author of seven books on Georgia history, including A Post Card History of Athens, Georgia, which was published in 2002. He lent full access to

his postcard archives for the project. Doster’s private collection includes more than 10,000 early Georgia postcards, and it is believed to be the largest in existence. “Graduate education is critically important to the future of our society,” says Grasso. “This book expresses how it contributed to the intellectual and economic welfare of the State of Georgia and the nation as well.” In the book’s foreword, she wrote: “When we sing the alma mater, and say the words about the rising sons and daughters, and the rising hope of Georgia, I always think of the graduate students—they are our rising hope. Since arriving at the University of Georgia in 2002, my dreams and hopes for graduate education have only risen higher and higher. Yet even my greatest dreams are exceeded by the spectacular scholarship and academic superiority of graduate education at UGA. “We stand on hallowed ground when we walk through the Arch and enter the familiar, beautiful site of one of America’s oldest and most revered universities. Here at UGA, the men and women who attempt great things scholastically surely set their sights upon a distant star. Often against the greatest odds—wartime, discrimination, poverty and hardship—they elevated themselves and their world by claiming their right to



G raadduuaate t e Ed E duuccaattiion o n aatt t h e U n i ve v e r s i t y ooff G e oorrg g iiaa - - Gr Ge

n t hh ii aa aa d cc yy nt d aa m m ss

become well educated, and then they made real contributions to the world. “The people contained in these pages inspire me; we are all participating in history and we can all be agents of change in the times we are born into no matter the circumstance. Those who went before us at UGA understood this; they strove to be more, know more and contribute more. The graduate students, faculty, and administration inherited this tradition—to collaboratively lift our vision, our sights, ever higher.” Centennial: Graduate Education at the University of Georgia 19102010 is now available for $29.95 at the campus bookstore. For further information, contact the Graduate School at 706-425-3111. G

when we walk through the Arch and enter the familiar,

beautiful sight of one of America’s oldest and most revered universities. Here at UGA, the men

and women


surely set their sights on a distant star.

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


FOOD for




uring the past year, Drew

Swanson, a fellow for the

Wormsloe Institute for

Environmental History, has been

composing a land-use history of

Wormsloe Plantation working from

existing archives. In the course of this work, Swanson describes the physical

landscape of the site from the colonization of Georgia to the mid-20th century,


Belly Table of One of the S O U T H ’ S WORKING PLANTATIONS at the

explaining what the forests, marshes and

fields of the plantation looked like over

time, and how the property’s residents thought about their surrounding environment.

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


But now, he’s taking a different tack: what exactly did Wormsloe residents eat, and what can be learned from this? With the recent publication of the article “Wormsloe’s Belly: The History of a Southern Plantation through Food,” Swanson gives us an intriguing glimpse and offers us a seat at the table. He is also in the preliminary stages of researching a book. “Scholars have written a good deal about the Jones/De Renne/Barrow family that inhabited Wormsloe, but relatively little about the plantation itself. As far as we can determine, Wormsloe is the only tract of Georgia land that has remained in the same family from the Trustees’ era to the present day. That permanence of ownership has helped preserve the property in a relatively undeveloped state, and I believe it offers us valuable management lessons for preserving lands of natural and cultural significance along the coast in the future,” Swanson says. “At the present I am in the process of converting that land-use history into a book manuscript, with the generous help of the institute and advice from the various faculty involved with Wormsloe. In this manuscript I am attempting to not only tell the story of a particular Lowcountry landscape, but to connect local

environmental changes and evolving conceptions of nature with broader national and global themes.” Q. How did you first become involved with this project? A. I got involved with the Wormsloe Institute through a stroke of gook luck. My advisor, Paul Sutter, serves on the institute’s Science Advisory Council. As I understand it, the council was searching for a history graduate student to create this land-use history, and Paul thought of me. I, of course, jumped at the chance to become involved with such a fascinating piece of Georgia’s past. Q: Let’s get into the kitchen—your own. Are you a cook yourself ? Have you tried anything interesting lately that is out of your comfort zone, like the items you mentioned in your article? A: I am the cook in the household, and Margaret, my wife, eats most of what I fix without complaining, so I guess I am passable in the kitchen. But by no means am I a gourmet. I would equate my cooking skills with my experience in food history; I am an enthusiastic amateur at both.

Wormsloe's plantation house, shown above left, is the residence of Craig and Diana Barrow, founders of the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History. Scholar Drew Swanson, shown above, right.

I grew up in rural Virginia and spent much of my time on a small farm where my family produced much of their food, so I have a fairly wide comfort zone. In fact, two of my favorite dishes as a child were venison heart sandwiches and fried squirrel, and my mother and grandmother prepared everything from snapping turtle to pork brains and eggs the morning after hogkilling. That being said, I stumbled across a number of recipes in the Wormsloe papers that gave me pause. Two that leap to mind are “calves head à la terrapin,” and pickled oysters. I think I will pass on both. Graduate School Magazine



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


Q: Do you read food memoirs, like those of MFK Fisher or Julia Child? A: I do. It seems like no matter what sort of food you aspire to write about, Fisher has already written something terribly witty and insightful. I am particularly fond of Craig Claiborne’s cookbooks and recollections of growing up in the Mississippi Delta. He seemed able to simultaneously convey the comfort and the simple elegance that I admire in southern cooking. I also enjoy the contemporary food writing of John T. Edge and John Egerton, among others. Q: The article just published is in the tradition of what you reference as culinary historical work, which we knew as cultural anthropological work back in my own grad school days. Tell me how your own study is a reflection of the interdisciplinary work at Wormsloe, and how this differs from traditional historical research. A: This Wormsloe project has a number of scholars from different disciplines doing work on the site—from GIS professors mapping the historic and present landscape to ecologists working with local flora—and their research has helped my study immensely. Drawing on their work has encouraged me to think about alternate ways of finding evidence about the past, and records of food and eating have proven a fruitful way of connecting people’s actions to the Wormsloe landscape. There are a number of periods where the letters, diaries and other narrative sources are missing, and for those stretches accounts of food purchases, recipe books and garden lists proved exceptionally helpful. The article “Wormsloe’s Belly” came out of that process. That being said, I am not sure that

there is such a thing as “traditional historical research.” Historians are always confronted with stories that have rich sources in some places and are thin in others, and they have to think of ways to flesh out the records of the past. I do believe that records of food and eating are an exceptionally productive set of alternative sources, and I hope my work encourages historians to look even harder at these sorts of records. After all, eating is a universal action across time and space, one of the human constants. Q: Have you actually tried any of the foods you cite in this article on Wormsloe's diet? A: Part of my childhood was spent near the Chesapeake Bay, and a lot of what we ate involved many of the ingredients popular in Lowcountry cooking, so a number of the dishes served on 19th

Q: Any cautionary tales for us as America's relationship with food becomes more and more institutionalized? When was the last time someone pulled oysters out of the bay and ate them, or threw a fishing line out and caught their next meal—and what happens as we lose these immediate connections with our food?

consumption that we can act as responsible consumers. When we rely completely on others to raise and prepare our food we miss out on one of our most basic links to nature; we begin to mistake fruit roll-ups for fruit and fish sticks for fish. As you can tell, this is a bit of a soapbox issue for me. That being said, I think there are a number of folks out there, both scholars and popular writers, that are doing a tremendous job raising awareness about the importance of healthy food and traditional foodways. Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver are two of the best known, of course, but people like John Soluri and Douglas Sackman are doing equally interesting work on everyday foods. I think this sort of scholarship is vital, as industrial food continues to dominate most people’s daily diets.

A: I think there is a certain morality in knowing where our food comes from and what is involved in its production. It is only through understanding the basic connections between production and

Q: The lens trained upon cultural mores via food and eating is especially fascinating (esp. the recipe for the ter rapin soup— something my grandmother and

century Wormsloe seem familiar. I love gumbo filé and fried oysters, two popular historic dishes, and I still often prepare meals involving okra, shrimp, sweet potatoes, wild game, rice, and hoecakes. Our meals tend to be a little less elaborate though; it is tough to squeeze a five course meal into the weekday work schedule!

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father liked!). Do you plan to pursue this further? A: I have thought about writing a book describing an attempt to prepare these Old South dishes. What I envision at this point is a book of 50 or so recipes— ranging across the region and the culinary spectrum—that documents my efforts (or struggles) to prepare each dish. I would walk readers through assembling the ingredients, following the recipe, and using my family as guinea pigs tasting the food. I think it would be an entertaining and enjoyable process, but it would also be an opportunity to discuss basic elements of historic foodways, hopefully in a way that will be more engaging than the average scholarly monograph. I believe there is great value in scholarship that makes an honest effort to delve into the nitty gritty details of its


subject, whether that involves agricultural scientists who tend their own small farms or environmental historians who go out and get mud on their boots. A project of this nature appeals to me because it would force me to examine some of the practical issues of 19th-century cooking: exactly how does one make filé powder or clean a terrapin? Obviously I cannot reproduce the full historic experience (for example, I doubt Margaret will let me build a brick cooking hearth in our home), but I think there is great value in activities that engage the past with our hands as well as our heads.

Of course I have a dissertation and this Wormsloe project to complete first, so it may be a little while before I can get around to this food project...but when I do, you are invited over for chicken pilau and shrewsbury pudding. Wish me luck! For Further Reading: Drew A. Swanson, “Wormsloe’s Belly: The History of a Southern Plantation through Food,” Southern Cultures 15, 4 (Winter 2009): pp. 50-66. Swanson’s article is part of a special southern foodways issue, The Edible South, available now.


At left, the Wormsloe Greek Revival library. The library formerly housed a collection of Georgiana, which now resides in the De Renne

Flora’s Recipe for Cooking Terrapins

Collection at UGA. G. W. De Renne, a descendant of Noble Jones,

“Cut off heads and let them bleed. Put into a pot of scalding

acquired important letters and

water to take off black skin. Then parboil and cut up. Throw

documents, including some

away entrails but reserve liver, and put eggs aside to be

belonging to Benjamin Franklin and General Robert E. Lee.

dropped in the stew a minute before serving. Stew meat and shell thoroughly. After the meat is done enough to be scraped

At right, Drew Swanson studies

from shell take out of liquor, pick out bones and pick the meat

Wormsloe photographs in the

from shell. About half an hour before dishing, put meat and

Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript

liver into a fine boil with liquor which ought to have been well

Library at UGA.

skimmed while the whole was boiling and kept hot. Season with thyme allspice, black pepper, onion cut fine, salt and butter. Stew with sufficient quantity of liquor until well done. Just before dishing, thicken with flour and butter, and the raw yolks of five eggs (to four terrapins). Add a wine glass of sherry. Only the brown meat ought to be served in stews and soups.” Recipe book, mid-19th century, De Renne Family Receipts and Remedies, mss 1120, folder 11, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Collection/University of Georgia Libraries.

Why Are We Here?


Dorinda G. Dallmeyer, a member of the Graduate School Advancement Board, gave the following address to fellowship awards and assistantship recipients on August 26, 2009, in Athens. Dallmeyer, who is the director of UGA’s Environmental Ethics Certificate Program at the School of Environmental Design, also teaches environmental dispute resolution and marine environmental ethics. She is a triple dawg, who holds a graduate degree and law degree. She serves on the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council, and is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is past vice-president of the American Society of International Law.



speech, Dean

Maureen Grasso of the Graduate School discussed scholarship and how the honorees “should be proud of the academic achievements that brought you here.” The guests were honored for their academic achievement by senior administrators, including Jere Morehed, vice president for instruction and associate provost; Bob Scott, associate vice president for research; Deans Andy Horne, College of Education, Daniel Nadenick, of the School of Environmental Design and Laura Jolly, College of Family and Consumer Sciences; and Mark Harrison, chair of the College of Agricultural and Environmental




Here’s the question I pose for us all—Why are we here? Having been a graduate student, first in geology and then law school, ‘free food and drink’ are an obvious answer. But let me pose the question to you three ways. First—why are we HERE—by that, I mean why is the University of Georgia here in the first place? Merton Coulter, the great UGA historian, wrote the following about choosing the site for the university: After debating various eminences, they agreed on a small plateau high above the Oconee River where it swirled down over some rocks near a clump of cedar trees.... [T]his region was unquestionably beautiful in all its primeval glory, and its streams of cool, clear water. Abraham Baldwin had long held that just such scenes should surround a college....


The springs also became the source of scientific inquiry itself. [President Josiah] Meigs seemed never to be quite content unless he were measuring something or seeking an explanation for some force of nature. He found out that the campus spring would flow 9,000 gallons of sparkling water in twenty-four hours in May or only 7,700 gallons in January.... We are here in part because of the way nature sustains us, not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually. This university was set up to provide for the acquisition of knowledge in the broadest sense—book-learning and self-knowledge—and to be aware, each day, of our intimate connection to the natural world. So promise me that

either when you leave here this evening or some time soon, certainly before you leave Athens, that you will look around yourself at your place in nature, the answer to why are we here. The next way to ask the question is WHY are we here? A flip answer might be ‘I couldn’t get a job,’ but surely that’s not your only reason. I suspect that for you, there’s more to it than money, more to it than simply adding value to the economy. No one puts in the grinding hours of sitting still doing tedious things —in my case, counting microfossils or reading law texts—only because of some future monetary payoff. You are people who are deeply curious about how the world works, how to hone your talent to move others with your music or

“You are people WHO ARE DEEPLY CURIOUS about how the world works, how to hone your talent to move others with your music or art or words, how to feed people, how to heal people and the world. —Dorinda G. Dallmeyer

art or words, how to feed people, how to heal people and the world. You will master your field in great depth. But hold yourself open to broadening the reach of your mind as your path crosses that of other students and your mentors in ways you could never plan. Let me give you three examples from my own life. When I began my master’s program in geology studying deep-sea foraminifera from the eastern Caribbean, my major professor Barun Sen Gupta didn’t send me off on some tropical cruise in turquoise waters. Instead I went to Halifax, Nova Scotia in January to sample cores that were archived in a freezer! My long hours of microscope work revealed that the relative abundance of different species of these small, one-celled organisms changed depending on glacial cycles, that the deep tropical ocean was affected by what happened at the poles. This may have seemed esoteric at the time, but 30 years later, there’s hardly anyone who is not familiar with global climate change.


The year that I entered the UGA School of Law, Louis Sohn joined its faculty, after 38 years of teaching international law at Harvard. Professor Sohn also was one of the lead negotiators for the United States at the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea.


Here was someone who could help me combine my knowledge of marine science with international law. For Louis Sohn, his students were paramount. This man, the only member of his family in Poland to survive the Holocaust, gave himself so abundantly to us. I also had the great privilege to work with Dean Rusk at the law school. We had things in common we enjoyed talking about, especially having spent our childhood on dirt roads in rural Georgia. Mr. Rusk made the most of his intellect and love of learning to become one of the pivotal figures in American history. Yet after he left government, he placed himself at the service of his students, the university, Athens, and the state, setting an indelible example for us to follow. So we come to the question, why are WE here? When the original trustees established the University on a hill by the Oconee in 1785, they must have seemed like dreamers. 125 years later in 1910 when our graduate school was established, less than 10 percent of the U.S. population graduated from high school. The graduate school’s founders were dreamers, too. WE are here because of their dreams. All of you have received prestigious awards of financial support from the Graduate School. In my time, I was a beneficiary of those funds, too. I was the first person in my family to receive a college degree, and the University has


nurtured me across decades as a professional. I know what a difference graduate education has made in my life, how much I owe to people I never met. As Georgia author Harry Stillwell Edwards counseled ‘The value of money is not an inherent element; the value lies in the handling of it. Give and give and give to the cause of education. Here is your field, the workshop of your dollars.’ Across those 40 years I have always given what I could to help underwrite scholarships and fellowships for people like me, like you. And I encourage you to begin—before you ever leave—to give back, as part of the answer to the question ‘why are we here?’ G

Graduate School Magazine



in brief

E n r o l l m e n t s S o a r i n g as Graduate Alums Excel


In 1910, when the University of Georgia Graduate School was formally established, less than 10 percent of the population of the United States graduated from high school. By 1940, only 3.3 percent of the population of Georgia held a bachelor’s degree or higher. Today, 24.3 percent of Georgians hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 24.4, the national average. “More than 58,000 individuals who hold graduate degrees from the University of Georgia touch our lives everyday,” says Maureen Grasso, dean of the Graduate School. “Whether it’s teaching our children, creating new drugs, addressing critical health issues, managing hallmark programs, or contributing to our local and global communities in other ways. “Our graduates make positive changes in a variety of settings—from leading large corporations to inventing new technologies, to serving in nonprofits or working in the government. Their contributions enhance our quality of life and help ensure the democratic ideals of a nation. They make a difference!” Last fall, the Graduate School saw its largest enrollment ever, with a total of 7,125 students. The Graduate School also saw enrollment increases of African-American students increase 5.6 percent over 2007. Latino graduate students increased by 9.6 percent. Further information on graduate programs and enrollment initiatives can be found at G


John Douglas Powers (MFA ’08)

recently took seventh place in the 2009 ArtPrize competition, which is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The prize carried a cash award of $7,000. Douglas, currently an assistant professor of sculpture at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, won for his work Field of Dreams . The sculpture was profiled in the Winter 2009 issue of the Graduate School Magazine. In 2008, Powers was among 15 emerging artists who won MFA grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York. That year he also received the 2008 Southeastern College Art Conference Individual Artist Fellowship. Field of Dreams is a kinetic sculpture measuring approximately 4.5 feet high, 14 feet long and 10 feet wide. According to the artist’s statement printed on the ArtPrize Web site, it is composed of 1001 vertical “reeds” held in place and supported by an articulated wooden assemblage connected to an electric motor via a series of offset cams. G 38


FIELD OF DREAMS A WINNER IN 2009 ArtPrize Competition




Melissa Barry was appointed assistant dean of the Graduate School on December 1, 2009. According to Dean Grasso, Barry will work with increasing and managing graduate enrollment at the University of Georgia. She will also coordinate recruitment activities, with the goal to further diversify the graduate student body. Barry previously served the Graduate School from 2004 to 2008, while completing her doctoral degree in educational psychology at UGA. She is a double dawg, who also holds an MEd in school psychology. While earning her doctoral degree, Barry worked with the PhD Completion Project, a program funded by the Council of Graduate Schools. She has previous professional experience working at the Georgia Department of Education in strategic planning, project management, research coordination and data analysis. G



New records are being set with increasing numbers of UGA scholars receiving awards from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for the academic year 2009-2010, according to an announcement released by the university in September. Four of the 10 UGA Fulbright recipients are doctoral students. According to the public affairs bureau, the doctoral students chosen for the prestigious Fulbright include: Christine Beitl of Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., David Porcaro of Winterville, Julie Rushmore of Alpharetta, and Desiree Seponski of Statham. Each were chosen to receive grants designated for research and study. A fifth recipient, Samantha Haggard of Atlanta, recently earned a master’s degree.

Beitl, whose doctoral studies are in ecological and environmental anthropology, will investigate adaptation of local fishermen to environmental changes while in Ecuador. She will also study grassroots conservation organization. Beitl has also been offered the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award. Both Porcaro and Seponski are doctoral students in the College of Education. Porcaro, a Presidential fellow, is a doctoral student in learning, design and technology. He will travel to Oman, where he will create a multi-media learning module at Sultan Quaboos University. Seponski, a doctoral student in child and family development will

Christine Beitl (measuring shellfish with

study in Cambodia. Her focus is creating culturally responsive family therapy protocols for Cambodian therapists and clients. Rushmore is earning doctorates in both ecology and in veterinary medicine. She will travel to Uganda where her research concerns close-contact pathogen transmission rates and African great apes. Haggard, a May 2009 graduate student who received a master’s degree in foreign language education with teaching certification, received an English Teaching Assistantship Grant. Haggard will spend a year studying in Argentina. G

Desiree Seponski (with children in Cambodia)

children in Ecuador) David Porcaro

Julie Rushmore

Graduate School Magazine



in brief

T h e M i l k ( Pe a n u t B u t t e r, a n d C a n n e d Goods) O F H U M A N K I N D N E S S


Graduate School Magazine WINS APEX AWARD


This year the Graduate School Magazine received the APEX Award for Publication Excellence for the Winter 2009 issue. The award was given in July 2009. The 21st annual award program, sponsored by Writing That Works, recognizes publications work by professional communicators in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Publications are evaluated based upon excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and overall communications effectiveness. According to the APEX judges, 3,785 entries were evaluated and awards were presented in 11 categories. Others recognized in the magazines and journal


Graduate The University of Georgia


Winter Vo l u m e 4 2009 Number 1

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

category with UGA’s Graduate School Magazine included St. Joseph’s Hospital and the United States Air Force. This year, there were no other university magazines recognized. Last year, the magazine also won an APEX award for the summer 2007 issue. G


During the Thanksgiving holiday, David Knauft, associate dean of the Graduate School, delivered 249 pounds of food to the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia. The donated foodstuffs were contributed by Graduate School staff and graduate students. The Food Bank’s annual food drive, which ran between November 11 and November 25, played off the competitive rivalry between the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech. Pitting UGA against Georgia Tech, the “Tech Food Fight” turned rivals’ competitiveness into an opportunity for generosity. The drive sought to raise more than 50,000 pounds of food for Georgia families in need. Knauft proudly reported that the Graduate School, as well as the entire university, responded. “The number of people in our local community who are in need of support for life's basics, including food, continues to increase,” says Knauft. “The Graduate School is pleased we could play a small role in contributing to the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia to help some of our neighbors with the food they need.” G

Graduate School Administration Maureen Grasso Dean David Knauft Associate Dean

Melissa Barry Assistant Dean Judy Milton Assistant Dean Tonia Gantt Business Krista Haynes Admissions Enrolled Student Services 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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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 Photo Editor Nancy Evelyn © 2010 by the University of Georgia. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any way without the written permission of the editor.

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t h e l a s t w o rd

“The fundamental purpose of education is to put people in posession of their powers,” said John Dewey, a progressive-minded educator. As of 2010, the University of Georgia has fostered graduate education for a century. Today, thousands of Graduate School alumni are at work in the world, empowered by an advanced education, using their gifts for the greater good. Edu-Dawg, Kelly Stevens Anderson, artist

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See Page 36 F O R D O R I N D A D A L L M E Y E R ’ S TA K E O N Why Are We Here?

Winter 10 - UGAGS Magazine