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Spring 2018

the magazine of the UGA Honors Program

Study of sports

From risk management to exercise science to journalism, Honors students (like Jack Hall) follow their sports aspirations off the field


Schwarzman: From Athens to Beijing | New Associate Director | CURO Symposium | Leading Miracle


Arturia Melson-Silimon A recent Honors Program graduate from Marietta, Arturia majored in psychology with an English minor. She plans to pursue a PhD in industrial organizational psychology.

Chad Osburn

“I chose to attend UGA because of the school’s value. UGA offers amazing opportunities to its students, and I was drawn to the Honors Program. My ultimate goal was to attend college to help change and inspire my community and family. Being a mentor and role model for my cousins and my siblings is one of my biggest accomplishments.�



Spring 2018, Volume 5, Issue 1

University of Georgia



Jere W. Morehead Provost

Pamela Whitten Associate Provost & Director of the Honors Program

David S. Williams

Associate Director of the Honors Program

Maria Navarro

Assistant Director & Major Scholarships Coordinator

Jessica Hunt


Assistant Director & Programming Coordinator

Maria de Rocher

Director of Development & External Affairs

Dorothé Otemann

Recruitment & Enrollment Coordinator

Lakecia Pettway

Magazine staff Editor/Designer

Stephanie Schupska Writers

Kellyn Amodeo, Melissa Campbell, Stephanie Schupska Photographers

Melissa Campbell, Wingate Downs, Edwin Hammond, Dorothy Kozlowski, Chad Osburn, Mike Getchell, Stephanie Schupska, Andrew Shurtleff, Andrew Davis Tucker Honors Magazine is published biannually for students, alumni, friends, and supporters of the University of Georgia Honors Program. For reprint permissions, address changes, or additional copies, email Copyright © 2018 by the University of Georgia. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any way without permission from the editor. The University of Georgia is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Postmaster | Send address changes to: UGA Honors Program Magazine 005 Moore College, 108 Herty Drive Athens, GA 30602-6116

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Inside 2



From Athens to Beijing

7 8 10

On the cover: Jack Hall stands in front of the Business Learning Community, where he took classes through his majors in international business, risk management, and economics. (Photo by Stephanie Schupska)

Highlights of the Honors Program

Schwarzman Scholars prepare for specialized graduate studies in China

New associate director Maria Navarro becomes the Honors Program’s associate director

Honors connection The Honors Program Student Council builds community within Honors

Cover story Six Honors students share their sportsrelated majors and career paths


Top scholars


Leadership award


Presenting research


Leading Miracle


Parent involvement

Honors students receive Truman, Goldwater, and Udall awards

Eight students applauded for service through Crane Leadership Award

575 undergraduates share their research at 2018 CURO Symposium

Maddie Dill helps refocus UGA Miracle as its 2017-2018 executive director

Parent Society provides a way for parents to connect with the Honors Program

Chad Osburn

In brief

Hunter Smith capped off his undergraduate career at UGA as the student speaker at spring Commencement. The Honors student from Jesup graduated in May with a degree in political science.      “Since I was born in Athens, you can really say that my entire life has revolved around UGA,” he said. “I’m pretty sure my first baby romper had a little ‘G’ on it and, though my first word was ‘Mama,’ my second and third had to be ‘Go Dawgs.’ As a kid I would tell people that one day I too would attend UGA just like my parents.” In addition to political science, Hunter was part of four other academic programs at UGA—the inaugural class of the certificate program in public affairs communication, minors in student affairs and sociology, and a certificate in personal and organizational leadership. His list of accomplishments include Crane Leadership Scholar, First Honor Graduate, resident assistant in Lipscomb Hall, advisor/advocate for the University Judiciary, director of government relations in the Student Government Association, Arch Society, Dean William Tate Honor Society, Phi Kappa Literary Society, Blue Key and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies, and an internship through Honors in Washington. This fall, he’ll attend the UGA School of Law as a Georgia Scholar while also earning his MPA in higher education administration.



Dorothy Kozlowski

Student speaker

Honors student Grace Anne Ingham, right, interacts with Barrow Elementary students as they ask her questions about her bike and gear.

Public service

UGA cycling team visits local schools Every spring, thousands of spectators head to the Classic City for the Athens Twilight Criterium, a weekend of events that culminates in an 80K bicycle race in downtown Athens. It’s the perfect opportunity for UGA students to connect with the Athens community. In the weeks leading up to the event, the UGA cycling team visits elementary schools for Helmet Talks, a presentation that teaches good nutrition, bike safety, and the importance of helmets. This year, the team visited eight schools across Clarke, Oconee, and Madison counties. For years, the UGA cycling team, a club sport team comprised of 20 students, has ridden into schools in full uniform for the Helmet Talks. “We roll into these gyms, and the kids think we’re superheroes,” said Honors

student Grace Anne Ingham, from Madison, Wisconsin, who is a CURO Honors Scholar through UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities. To further encourage the students to wear helmets, Twilight’s sponsor, the Mulherin Foundation, donates helmets to be given out after the Helmet Talks. More than 780 helmets were given out this year. For Grace Anne and the cycling team, this is just one way they repay the Athens community for their support. “Athens, as a city and a group of people, has done a lot to try to be more aware of cyclists, to try to make cyclists feel safer, and we are so grateful,” she said. “We’re always looking for ways to volunteer—we’re indebted to the Athens community for giving us a safe space to ride.” —Kellyn Amodeo

New students

Spring convocation The Honors Program holds two convocations each year—at the start of each fall and spring semester—to welcome new students and introduce them to the opportunities available through the Honors Program. At right on the front row is first-year theatre major Lla Anderson, who joined the Honors Program this past spring after applying through first semester entry.

Stephanie Schupska


Morehead Award

Generous support of Honors Program

Wingate Downs

John O. Knox, center, was recognized with the Morehead Award for his service as a strong supporter of the Honors Program at the annual graduation banquet, held April 18 at the Classic Center. John’s generosity and that of his mother, Wawa Hines, led to the creation of the Jere W. Morehead Distinguished Professorship, which is held by the Honors Program director. John is a principal, client advisor, investment analyst, and portfolio manager at Peregrine Investment Services. He received his degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from UGA in 1992. He holds an MBA from Georgia State University. Pictured with him are UGA President Jere W. Morehead, right, and David S. Williams, associate provost and director of the UGA Honors Program.

Student awards

Outstanding Honors students were recognized for their academic prowess at the annual graduation banquet April 18. They include, left to right, Bailey Palmer (business), Emily Maloney (social sciences), Molly Simon (George M. Abney Award), Sarah Perlis (education), Morgan Gibbs (Joy P. Williams Science Award), Nikhil Gangasani (family and consumer sciences), and John Courson (Alan J. Jaworski Science Award). John, right, was also a long snapper on the UGA football team. Not pictured are Hailey Clark (Joy P. Williams Science Award), Jason Terry (Alan J. Jaworski Science Award), and Nicholas Twiner (humanities).


Andrew Shurtleff Photography

Carnegie Fellow Honors alumna Grace Elizabeth Hale was one of 31 Andrew Carnegie Fellow recipients for 2018. A Foundation Fellow alumna, Grace graduated from UGA in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and in 1991 with a master’s degree in history. She is now the Commonwealth Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Virginia. As part of the so-called “brainy award,” 31 Carnegie Fellows each receive up to $200,000, making it possible for them to devote their time to significant research, writing, and publishing in the humanities and social sciences.

UGA Athletics


Odum keynote In January, Honors alumna Beth Shapiro gave the keynote address for the Odum School of Ecology’s 10th anniversary and the Institute of Ecology’s 50th anniversary. Beth is a Foundation Fellow alumna and was UGA’s first female Rhodes Scholar. A MacArthur “Genius Award” recipient and a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, she graduated from UGA in 1999 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ecology. In December, Beth was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor as one of 14 leading scientists from across the nation. The award recognizes excellence in research and education and empowers recipients to explore new approaches to important challenges in science education. Her collaborative grant will look at environmental DNA for science investigation and education.




his September, Elizabeth Hardister and Gaby Pierre will transition from being UGA Honors students living among the 123,371 residents of Athens-Clarke County to being two Schwarzman Scholars tucked into the middle of the 21.7 million people living in Beijing. At 6,490 square miles—528 in its urban center—and three millennia of history, Beijing holds the title as the world’s most populous capital city. As the crow flies, Beijing is 7,176 miles from the University of Georgia. It is in this city, this epicenter, that the creators of the Schwarzman Scholars program work to prepare the next generation of global leaders. In their words, “the success of future leaders around the world will depend upon an understanding of China’s role in global trends.” Elizabeth and Gaby are among the 142 students hoping to gain a deeper understanding of China as the third cohort of Schwarzman Scholars (UGA alumna Torre Lavelle was a Schwarzman Scholar in the inaugural 2016 class). Each group is selected to maximize the international component. This year, scholars hail from 39 countries and 97 universities

and were selected from a pool of 4,042 international candidates. Scholars live in and attend classes in Schwarzman College—all taught in English—and complete a fully funded year-long Master in Global Affairs, specializing in public policy, economics and business, or international studies. Elizabeth and Gaby will enter Tsinghua University as Double Dawgs—they’ve each earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UGA. Elizabeth is interning for the State Department in Washington, D.C., this summer as a capstone to her master’s in public health; she earned her bachelor’s degree in international affairs this past May. Gaby holds a bachelor’s in environmental engineering—she graduated in May 2017—and just completed her master’s in environmental planning and design. Gaby is working toward becoming an international city planner specialized in developing countries and emerging economies. Elizabeth studies issues related to emergency response and weapons of mass destruction nonproliferation and hopes to pursue a career in consequence management.

Athens from

Two Honors students start graduate coursework at Tsinghua University in China this fall as 2018 Schwarzman Scholars By Stephanie Schupska

北京市 to




Both are wading into relatively new territories: Gaby’s career as an international city planner “doesn’t really exist in a very structured manner,” she said. One of Elizabeth’s specialties— emergency management—is “such a new field that there’s a lot of groundbreaking work being done and a lot of expansion,” she said, “and it has matured so much in just the past 20 years.” Their desires to gain a fuller understanding of their fields led both of them to apply for the Schwarzman Scholars program. “When I looked deeper into the Schwarzman Scholar program and saw that it was intended to give people with very specific skill sets exposure to China and its culture, I realized it was perfect for me,” Elizabeth said. “Over the past four years, I’ve focused on issue areas—disaster management and nuclear proliferation—but I haven’t been able to apply that knowledge to a specific region of the world. There’s no better place than China, especially if you look at nuclear technology.” “I knew that I wanted to be an international city planner,” Gaby said, “and what I realized was that I am not fluent in being able to defend policy ideas. Schwarzman has this interesting degree in public policy, and the more I looked into it, the more I thought it would be really complementary to what I had already done academically and professionally.” Gaby Pierre has been studying abroad her entire college career. Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, she applied to UGA on the recommendation of friends and with the assistance of the Foundation Fellowship. During college, she also worked abroad, first as a design intern for the Kalu Yala Institute in Tres Brazos Valley, Panama, and then as an urban planning consultant for the municipality of Taşköprü, Turkey. At the time of this interview, she was finishing her thesis, “The City Resilient: A New Frontier or a Conversation Revisited?” based on information she gathered from studying strategies included in the 100 Resilient Cities movement. Gaby conducts research on pragmatic approaches to resilient infrastructure and resilience on a city-scale with Brian Bledsoe, Athletic Association Professor in Resilient Infrastructure in the College of Engineering. “Every now and then, you read a city resilience strategy and realize that this city got it,” she said. “They understood that by layering several solutions—like updating an underdeveloped public transportation system—you can reduce disaster risk by creating efficient evacuation channels and also make it easier for vulnerable people to get around and take care of themselves. “By creating spaces where people can go out and live healthy lives with their children, they’re also creating spaces that can double as gathering points during a disaster or flood protection during a storm event. “Resilience is about seeing cities as the complex adaptive systems they really are. The problems are nuanced and sit in a web of connections and relationships and require appropriately complex solutions to be addressed completely.”

Gaby has been a summer business analyst for global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and an engineering and environmental design intern for Breedlove Land Planning, Inc. On campus, she was director of Project Empathy, a business development intern for Thinc. at UGA, president of the UGA Ballroom Performance Group, student ambassador for the College of Engineering and Honors Program, energy content head for the Energy Concept at UGA, and volunteer coordinator at UGA Costa Rica. She created a master plan for the College of Dreams school in Mirebalais, Haiti, as her senior design capstone project, and studied environmental economics at University of Oxford, where she won third in the cha-cha at the Oxford Dancesport Cuppers Ballroom Dancing Competition. Gaby will study public policy as a Schwarzman Scholar, learning more about city growth, development, and public policy in China. Elizabeth Hardister is from Dunwoody, where she was often confused for her twin sister Jennifer. She chose UGA in part because of the CURO Honors Scholarship and Zell Miller Scholarship. This spring, she was one of nine presenters at TEDxUGA, where she spoke for almost eight minutes on “Be More Than a Bystander: Preparing Communities for Disaster.” Nerves almost kept her from presenting during the preliminary student showcase in November. But after she nailed her talk, committee members selected her for the main TEDxUGA in March. “Knowledge, planning, and practice: Through these simple steps, you can prepare for disasters in order to ensure the future resilience of yourself, your neighbors, and your community,” she said during her TED talk. “Don’t just stand by. Stand up and take action.” For her research in disaster management, Elizabeth worked with Curt Harris, associate director of UGA’s Institute for Disaster Management. She also interned with Counterterrorism Operations Support in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Greater New York Hospital Association in New York City, and the American Red Cross of Georgia in Atlanta. To further her knowledge of international security, she interned for the UGA Center for International Trade and Security and TradeSecure LLC. and virtually for the U.S. State Department. Through her work for the State Department, she was selected to produce summary reports for the international nonproliferation trade controls conference in Prague and a subsequent regional seminar in Marrakech, Morocco. This summer, Elizabeth will work for the State Department at one of its locations in Arlington, Virginia, finally putting faces to names and voices she’s connected with as a virtual intern. “I’m working in the Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism on international emergency management outreach and capacity building, which is my dream job,” she said. UGA HONORS PROGRAM MAGAZINE SPRING 2018


Stephanie Schupska

While they are looking forward to what studying in China can do for them professionally, both are a bit nervous about the cultural differences—and about learning enough Mandarin to navigate outside of the university. “German does not come in handy for learning Mandarin,” Elizabeth said. “Chinese is probably going to be the most challenging language I’ve ever tried to learn,” Gaby said. “Turkish sounds difficult, but once you get the basics down, it’s pretty easy, because they use a lot fewer words than romance languages.”

Elizabeth Hardister was one of nine presenters at TEDxUGA this March, where she spoke on “Be More Than a Bystander: Preparing Communities for Disaster.”



They are enthusiastic about the opportunity. “What I’m most excited about is seeing firsthand how China goes about building and populating cities, because it’s a very understudied field,” Gaby said. “A lot of urban planning practice and theory is based on very Western civilizations and post-colonial and post-renaissance planning.” “I’m looking forward to the immersion within the culture and meeting people who come from an extremely different background,” Elizabeth said. “To see the perspective of different cultures is just really enjoyable.”

Courtesy TEDxUGA

Elizabeth also worked with UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, Office of Emergency Preparedness, UGA Red Cross, UGA Medical Reserve Corps Field Medical Team, and UGA Campus Emergency Response Team. She was a reading tutor in Athens at Barrow Elementary School, an Honors Program teaching assistant, and a service ambassador for ServeUGA. She is a member of the Palladia Women’s Honor Society, the Blue Key Honor Society, and Sigma Iota Rho, an honor society for international studies. As a Schwarzman Scholar, Elizabeth will concentrate in international studies to learn more about China’s emergency management system, nuclear safety and security culture, and contributions to international nonproliferation regimes.

Gaby Pierre works on her thesis at her desk in the Tanner Building, which houses classes and work space for the Master of Environmental Planning and Design students in the College of Environment and Design.

Stephanie Schupska

Honors Program welcomes new associate director A competitive internal search for a new associate director of the Honors Program ended in December with the appointment of Maria Navarro, professor of interdisciplinary education in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Since 2005, Navarro has served on the faculty of the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication. Her academic focus spans food, agricultural, and environmental sciences, with a special emphasis on global food security and international agriculture, development, and technology change. She has worked in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Western Asia. Navarro completed a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Spain and then worked for six years in the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies in international agricultural development. In 2004, she completed a PhD in agricultural education from Texas A&M University.




HPSC works to build community within the Honors Program By Melissa Campbell


Courtesy HPSC

Above: Maria de Rocher, left, assistant director of the Honors Program, HPSC President Caroline Beadles, and council members Manasa Kadiyala and Kavi Pandian staff a coffee-andbagel social in February. Left: The HPSC council gathers for a holiday social. Below: David S. Williams, associate provost and director of the UGA Honors Program, answers questions during a fall pizza dinner. Far right: Honors students gather for the annual Honors Dance, held at the Foundry.

Stephanie Schupska


Melissa Campbell


ights from the rustic-styled chandeliers fill the room. To the left: a shimmering silver photo backdrop. To the right: an assortment of pies, chocolates cakes, fruits, and cheeses line the tables against the wall. The center space: A dance floor, not nearly large enough to accommodate the celebration of students who are at the finish line of the spring semester. This is A Night in the City of Lights, the Honors Dance, and a night off for students who have studied tirelessly all year long. The Honors Dance is one of the many events put on by the Honors Program Student Council (HPSC), a group of roughly 25 students who work to connect the student body with administration in order to foster a sense of community within the Honors Program. Other events include Flipping Out Over Finals, where students are served a variety of pancakes cooked by HPSC leadership and David S. Williams, associate provost and director of the UGA Honors Program; the Professor Roundtable, a chance for students to get to know their professors outside of the classroom; and the Honors Day/Night of Service, which connects students with large-scale service opportunities in the city of Athens. HPSC also offers mentorship through the PAL—Peer Assisted Leadership— program. Freshmen are connected with third- and fourth-year students who have similar professional and academic interests. They then meet about four times each spring. At the head of HPSC are the organization’s student officers, who are elected by the council at the end of each school year. Officers for the 2017-2018 school year were Caroline Beadles, president; Catriona Geddes, vice president; Sneha Gubbala, secretary; Kathleen Reynolds, treasurer; and Will MacArthur and Jessica Ma, chairs of the creations and connections committees. “Connections aims to connect students with opportunities on campus—it has more of an educational twist to


it,” Caroline explained. “This students, and we provide other food committee focuses on panels, and activities, such as games and cookie lectures, professor roundtable decorating. It’s a great opportunity for events, book swaps, and debates. students to speak with Dr. Williams Creations aims to create social while also enjoying themselves opportunities. This would before the stress of studying for include our open mic finals sets in.” nights, Dinner with Dr. HPSC is also charged Williams, Flipping with connecting the Out Over Finals, Honors Program with the Honors the larger UGA Dance, and community capture and Athens the flag overall. In this on North respect, HPSC Campus.” began committing to Caroline Beadles Each semester a Day/Night of Service 2017-2018 HPSC president begins with a council in the spring. meeting, as officers “It has been a great way pitch new events and to give back to the community discuss recommendations to while building community within improve past events. the Honors Program,” Kathleen “One of my most memorable said. “It draws individuals from all HPSC moments was the very first classes—freshman to senior—and meeting I attended my freshman year,” facilitates relationship building. Since the Catriona said. “I was so overwhelmed majority of our other events are social with the number of people at the or educational, this has been a muchmeeting. But just listening to all of the needed way to incorporate service in a conversations happening coupled with big way.” the details of all the events they had This semester’s Night of Service hosted throughout the year made me worked with the Food Bank of realize how lucky I was to be a part of Northeast Georgia and gave students this group and how excited I was to be the opportunity to learn about food involved with planning amazing events.” insecurity and offer a helping hand to Ongoing events throughout the school those in the Athens community. year help strengthen relationships To become involved in HPSC, Honors between students and faculty. students must be in good standing with “My favorite HPSC event is the the Honors Program. Interested first- and Professor Roundtable,” Caroline said. “I second-year students are able to apply love this event because it allows students once each semester. After applying, to engage with UGA’s phenomenal prospective members are interviewed by professors outside of a classroom setting. HPSC student officers, who chose new “At this event, I’ve talked with one members and place them on committees. professor about his Irish rock band, All current members must re-apply each another professor about growing up year to remain on the council. and attending the same high school in “I would advise incoming members to Atlanta, one professor who recommended be deliberate about forging friendships the study abroad program I went on, with returning HPSC members and other and I also got to where I am with CURO members of the Honors community,” research because of a conversation I had.” Jessica said. “They can become incredible Another favorite, Flipping Out Over friends and inspiring mentors.” Finals, happens every December. “One of my favorite aspects of HPSC “Every Reading Night eve, we host a has been the community I have gained winter-themed event centered on eating from my fellow HPSC members,” Caroline pancakes and relaxing before the final said. “It’s given me a wide range of exam period begins,” Catriona said. “Dr. friends who constantly inspire me to work Williams cooks pancakes for all of our harder and truly invest in my learning.”

HPSC has “given me a wide range of friends who constantly inspire me to work harder and truly invest in my learning.”

Stephanie Schupska




study the


Courtesy Emily GIambalvo


From journalism to analytics to exercise science, Honors students follow their sports aspirations By Stephanie Schupska Above, Emily Giambalvo hammers out a story during the 2018 Winter Olympics, and below, stands at the sports desk at the Red & Black with professor Vicki Michaelis.

sports journalism


n the span of a few months, Emily Giambalvo went from covering Georgia’s milestone win against Notre Dame and its almost national championship in Atlanta for the Red & Black to writing about the 2018 Winter Olympics in Peyong Chang, South Korea, for From football to curling. From interviewing quarterback Jake Fromm to writing about Olympian John Daly and a sport known as the skeleton, which involves a head-first plunge down ice on a sled. From the football-driven South to a snow-covered South Korea. From taking classes to graduating from a university that gave her the opportunity to learn how to both code and write about sports. Emily is topping off a college career that included covering the Paralympics in Brazil for the Associated Press, internships at the Seattle Times and USA Track & Field, and stories picked up by ESPN and the New York Times with an internship this summer at the Washington Post. A former high school gymnast who does handstands at each new locale she travels to, Emily likes numbers, which is why she majored in management information systems. She minored in



anthropology and received a certificate in sports media. She never intended to be a writer. Originally from Easley, South Carolina, she “thought maybe as a hobby, I’d try to be the video person for the gymnastics team,” she said. Before arriving at UGA, Emily messaged the Red & Black’s gymnastics beat writer on Facebook. “I just knew that her name and Georgia gymnastics went together. And she said, ‘Well, you should write. Start writing. That’s where everyone starts.’” With that encouragement, Emily attended an information session at the Red & Black during the first week of her freshman year. “I really thought it was going to be a semester thing, and then, the short version is, I went and never left,” she said. “I think maybe I stuck with it because I needed to prove I could do it, and then I would be done with it.” Toward the end of her freshman year, Emily started reading “some really good journalism,” she said, and something clicked. “I read a story on Johnny Manziel by Wright Thompson, and when it ended, I was like, wait, that’s not just words. That’s actually something that makes you feel a different way.” Her sophomore year, Emily wrote her first 1,000-word story on Dwayne Gilbert, a Bulldog

fan in his 80s who had attended 500 consecutive UGA football games. “That story made me realize I want to do this as a job,” she said. At UGA, she worked primarily with Vicki Michaelis, the John Huland Carmical Chair in Sports Journalism & Society, who created a community of writers who “all do a really good job of pushing each other,” Emily said. “When you have that type of program, everyone makes everyone better. And it’s the best kind of competitiveness.” An Honors student, Ramsey Honors Scholar, and McGill Scholar, Emily’s list of accomplishments include studying abroad in Russia and tutoring middle school students through UGA Mathcounts and a Syrian refugee through the group Paper Airplanes. Her accolades include Best Sports Story of 2015, 2016, and 2017 from the Georgia College Press Association and winning the nationwide Associated Press Sports Editors student portfolio contest. Edwin Hammond

Emily Giambalvo

Jack Hall

sports risk management


Stephanie Schupska

he day after graduation, Jack Hall moved to Charleston. The next Monday, he started working full time at Game Point Capital, a specialty sports finance firm he and his brother Will cofounded and that he directs. In a very Southern city, Game Point Capital specializes in sports-related risk management products for a very Southern sport—college football. Their goal is to make financial liabilities like performance-based bonuses and contract buyouts easier for teams to manage. “We focus on contractual bonus insurance and do a variety of creative risk financing,” said Jack, an Honors student who majored in international business, risk management, and economics. Their main product is an insurance policy that focuses on performance-based bonuses, which are now included in many coaching contracts. Called contractual bonus coverage, this type of policy pays out in the event of a positive outcome, allowing teams to give bonuses while using insurance to offset the risk. The money at stake for a head coach in college football who makes it to the offseason—and for the team funding it— ranges from about $75,000 to more than $1 million.

For example, UGA Coach Kirby Smart received a $150,000 bonus for winning the SEC East, which became $400,000 after he won the SEC championship, according to Dawg Nation. Additional bonuses kicked in for winning the Rose Bowl, appearing in the national championship, and finishing in the top five in the national polls. Jack grew up in Maine, where college

football does not rule Saturday mornings and college basketball is king. When he decided to head south for school—thanks in part to the Foundation Fellowship—he gave college football a shot. “It was the second or third week of school, and UGA had its home opener in Sanford Stadium against Clemson,” he said. “Todd Gurley was running for touchdowns, and it was amazing. I fell in love with it.” Jack’s interest in sports risk management started with a different type of football. His sophomore year, he was looking for summer internships in London, where his brother lived at the time. He found one at RISQ Capital, a 15-person firm that specializes in sports finance for Premier League soccer, tennis, and golf. “They were doing structured risk management products for sponsors and for the teams themselves,” he said. “The bonuses linked to players’ contracts can represent some big liabilities. Through mathematical models, companies will determine the likelihood of a team, player, etc., triggering a bonus. It functions like a standard insurance model.” Using what he learned in London, Jack worked on setting up a similar type of insurance model and started Game Point Capital. He and his brother decided to locate in Charleston. “Between last fall and the end of 2017, we were on a fact-finding mission,” Jack said. “We were developing relationships. Lately, we’ve been sending out proposals. We are beginning to see real traction and are getting positive feedback from the market. We expect to have a number of deals signed by the end of the summer.”

Zack Flagel

sports law

Stephanie Schupska


t was 8 a.m., a cold January morning in Athens. Zack Flagel was hustling to finish a two-minute presentation due for his 9 a.m. class, a CURO gateway course being taught by the finance department head. He figured that with a search of the SSRN database and a few quick facts, he’d be ready. That search his freshman year changed his life. “I searched baseball law,” Zack said. “And the first person who showed up was Nathaniel Grow, who was teaching my undergraduate legal studies class. At 8 a.m. I learn this, at 9 a.m. I give my presentation, at 10 a.m. I take his class, and 11 a.m. I had a meeting with him.” Grow, now an associate professor at Indiana University, is one of the top scholars in the country on baseball law. Zack was hoping to hit a line drive that would safely land him on first and increase his chances of scoring a decent grade. Instead, he hit a grand slam. UGA HONORS PROGRAM MAGAZINE SPRING 2018





or Katie Luquire, a major in exercise and sport science is more than just studying how someone could run from point A to point B. It’s about how the body is working while someone is moving.      “I’ve always been interested in the physiology behind exercise,” she said, “because I know how it makes me feel. It’s such a stress reliever.”      A rising senior from Dunwoody, Katie originally planned to go into physical therapy until she realized she preferred the physiological side of healthcare. Now, she intends to be a physician assistant.      “I am really interested in the disease process and helping people get better,” she said. “The body is so complex, and I want to know more about it.”      The driving force behind her desire to learn more is her dad, who has lymphoma, and her mom, who had leukemia during high school.      “I go to doctor’s appointments with my dad all the time,” she said, “and how he’s been affected by the people helping him has really shaped what I want to do.”      She is hoping to continue her studies at Emory, where her dad recently received immunotherapy that used his cells to fight his lymphoma. The immunotherapy worked, and it is the first time in 20 years he has been completely free of all signs of cancer—the type of lymphoma he has can be treated but not cured.      “Being around people who have advanced technologies and methods of treating people is super important,” Katie said, “and it’s something I definitely want to be a part of. I definitely want to continue to do research in my career.”      Much of Katie’s time outside of the classroom is spent conducting research in kinesiology professor Kevin McCully’s non-invasive exercise muscle physiology lab. Last fall and this spring, she studied bicep endurance under his guidance. She was able to present her work at the CURO Symposium and at the regional meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.      As a CURO Summer Fellow, she is currently examining mitochondrial capacity in the forearms. Her study will help researchers know whether they are putting electrodes in the right place when testing.      “What we do mostly in our lab is mitochondrial physiology—the mitochondria make energy for the cell, and that is an indicator of endurance in muscles,” she said.      This summer she is also studying mitochondrial capacity in piano players, comparing non-piano players and those who practice at least 10 hours a week. Her hypothesis is that the average person will have more endurance in their first two fingers, while pianists will have greater strength across all 10 of their fingers.      Her studies haven’t been limited to UGA or regional meetings. Katie also participated in an athletic training Maymester in Taiwan last year.      “It’s fun to get some experience outside of the classroom,” she said, “and it has a great impact on your future.”

Katie Luquire

exercise and sport science

Stephanie Schupska

Zack’s meeting led to a threeyear research project that looked at the legality of a century-old doctrine that protects Major League Baseball teams from frivolous lawsuits by fans hit with foul balls. That project grew into a 53-page journal article he co-wrote with Grow focusing on the “Baseball Rule” and foul ball injuries. Currently online, “The Faulty Law and Economics of the ‘Baseball Rule’” will be published this fall in the William & Mary Law Review. Zack now has his own entry in the SSRN database and has been mentioned by name on Yahoo! Sports by MLB columnist Jeff Passan. The Baseball Rule was pretty sound 100 years ago. As new baseball stadiums were constructed, teams moved seats in, giving fans better views of the game. At the same time, pitchers got faster, hitters stronger, and distractions greater. Between the scoreboard, vendors, teampromoted apps, and the allure of cell phones in general, the danger increased. Fans no longer have time to react when a ball cracks off a bat and flies toward their heads. Every team has now extended its safety netting to the far ends of the dugout, but danger still exists, and arguments against the netting still exist. The other issue is that every ballpark is constructed differently. Zack presented his research in summer 2017 at a conference in Savannah. There, he was encouraged to publish it with Grow, who added the necessary academic support and expanded the legal section. “This type of critical thinking is exactly what I want to do,” Zack said. With this paper published—as well as an additional one in the Mississippi Sports Entertainment Law Review looking at the paths team attorneys take to work in the MLB, NBA, NFL, and so on—Zack is now ready to take the next step. He graduated with an economics degree in May and is off to Duke University’s School of Law this fall to “100 percent study sports law.” “UGA is the perfect springboard to ultimate learning,” he said. “It is a place where people can take advantage of so many opportunities, as long as they put their minds to it.”

Courtesy Ben Starks

Mike Getchell Photography

Taylor Smith

Ben Starks

baseball analytics


aylor Smith loves baseball—the data, the analysis, the research, the statistics, the competition. And then there’s the game that happens on the field. “A baseball executive recently said of running a baseball team that ‘we’re all a part of some meta theater that’s somewhat loosely attached to dudes playing on a field,’” he said. “Every year, two teams of 25 players square off in the World Series where they play to determine who the world champion is, but in some sense this is just a final dice roll. Much of the game has already been played before the regular season even begins. “Getting to be a competitor in this ‘meta theater’ is to me the most engaging part of getting to work in baseball.” In June, he starts work with the Tampa Bay Rays as an analyst in their research and development department, a position they recruited him for in mid-October of last year. Having a job lined up before Thanksgiving freed Taylor to survive a spring semester that included a “pretty gnarly course load.” The Honors student just graduated with three degrees—a joint bachelor’s/master’s degree in statistics and a bachelor’s in mathematics—as well as a certificate in data science. His job as an R&D analyst is to use techniques from statistics, machine learning, and data science to find advantages that the franchise can then use to create the best team possible. “We’re the people making all of the moves necessary to get that team on the field with the most competitive product,” Taylor said. Despite job offers at more established franchises, he chose to work for the Rays because “they have one of the strongest R&D departments in baseball and a reputation within the industry as one of the most intelligently run front offices,” he said. Because the Rays don’t have the payroll of more well-established teams, “you know you did something right” if the team wins. Taylor’s preparation for his analyst position started with academics—he is a Foundation Fellow from Canton—and extended to internships and fellowships. He conducted research with the machine learning group at the Big Data Summer Institute at the University of Michigan and interned with the L.A. Dodgers. “The thing I am most excited about my job is the work itself,” he said. “The problems I will get to work on are incredibly interesting both from a statistical and baseball perspective.”

basketball analytics


en Starks is just steps into his career path in sports. A rising junior from Celebration, Florida, he is interning this summer in the L.A. Clippers’ IT department, edging closer to what he really wants to do—basketball analytics. It was about three years ago, right before he headed off to college, that he started considering “how to get into sports without playing sports,” he said. A family friend who is now a coach with the Brooklyn Nets suggested analytics. “I looked at the UGA majors and typed in analytics, and management information systems came up,” he said. With a major decided, he added a minor in sport management. He is also learning the crucial skill of networking. For the past two years, he has attended the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, where meeting famous basketball personalities (like Shane Battier, former NBA player and current Miami Heat director of analytics, above) also includes a chance for a photo and a business card. Ben explained his love for analytics like this: “I always have a ton of numbers in my head.” For an analyst focused on basketball, those numbers break down into two key categories—first, performance on the court and, second, prospects and scouting. “For performance, you’re looking at the raw numbers and manipulating them so you can see with Player X, for example, 80 percent of the time when he takes that first jab step to the right, this is the move that he’s going to do,” Ben said. “On the reverse, you can figure out where your player skills are, and you can home in on that.” Prospects and scouting involves comparisons and figuring out how to best fill roles within an organization. “About three years ago, the Portland Trailblazers lost four of their starters in one season,” he said. “They didn’t just go out and get four players. They tried to get a whole team that would combine to give similar statistics to those four players.” During his two years as a Ramsey Honors Scholar at UGA, Ben has conducted research on amateurism rules within NCAA sports under the mentorship of Thomas Baker, an associate professor in the kinesiology department, and presented on ways UGA’s athletic department can better use business and sport analytics under the supervision of Greg McGarity, UGA’s athletic director. He also works as a business development intern for Game Point Capital. His goal is to work for “a rebuilding team first,” he said. “I would really want to make my own changes and use what I know the good teams—like the Rockets and Warriors—are using. I want to transform a team.” UGA HONORS PROGRAM MAGAZINE SPRING 2018



Laurel Hiatt Truman Scholar focused on clinical research and healthcare

Above: Laurel Hiatt, center, UGA’s 2018 Truman Scholar, is joined by UGA President Jere W. Morehead, right, and David S. Williams, associate provost and director of the UGA Honors Program. Traditionally, Truman Scholars are surprised during a class with the news they are recipients. Below: Laurel is congratulated during a Spanish-American Literature class.


aurel Hiatt was one of 59 undergraduates from across the nation to be named a 2018 Truman Scholar, a highly competitive graduate scholarship program for aspiring public service leaders in the U.S. Truman Scholarship recipients receive $30,000 toward graduate school and have the opportunity to participate in professional development to help prepare them for careers in public service leadership. Laurel is UGA’s 21st Truman Scholar. A third-year Honors student from Dahlonega majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology and Spanish, Laurel plans to obtain an MD/PhD in medical genetics and biochemistry and pursue a career at the forefront of clinical research, with a focus on transgender healthcare. Laurel’s public service and civic activities include training a service dog through the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, creating new training modules



as director of the Lambda Alliance Speakers’ Bureau, writing and editing content for the financial advocacy nonprofit Wealthy Habits, tutoring middle schoolers through UGA Mathcounts, and participating in Free the Girls at UGA, which provides jobs for survivors of human trafficking. “Laurel is certainly among the brightest students I have ever met and is very successful academically,” said

David S. Williams, associate provost and director of the UGA Honors Program, and UGA’s faculty representative for the Truman Scholarship. “But what really stands out to me is how Laurel seems also to be always busy giving back through a wide range of service activities. Laurel is destined to continue making a very positive difference in the lives of others.” In addition to public service, Laurel, a Foundation Fellow, is an undergraduate researcher in public health and biochemistry. Laurel has served in leadership roles for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) on Campus UGA, Dungeons and Dragons at UGA, and Science Olympiad Outreach, and works with the UGA LGBT Resource Center and Active Minds at UGA. This year, Laurel also presented at the Georgia Public Health Association’s annual conference and judged at the state Georgia Science and Engineering Fair. Laurel is currently managing editor for Ampersand Magazine and was assistant culture editor and a staff writer for the Red & Black. Laurel’s other accolades include being named to the Dean William Tate Honor Society, presenting at the UGA Connect Conference, participating in Camp Pride, and being named to Sigma Delta Pi. Fluent in Spanish, Laurel participated in a study abroad homestay in Costa Rica. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was created by Congress in 1975 to be the nation’s living memorial to President Harry S. Truman. Candidates go through a rigorous selection process. This year, 756 candidates were nominated by 311 colleges and universities, yielding 194 finalists. The 59 Truman Scholars were selected in early April.

Trisha Dalapati, Guy Eroh, and Stephan George honored for their STEM research


risha Dalapati, Guy Eroh and Stephan George were among 211 students from across the nation to be recognized as Barry Goldwater Scholars, earning the highest undergraduate award of its type for the fields of natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering. Georgia institutions had a total of six Trisha Goldwater Scholars: UGA with three and Berry Dalapati College, Emory University, and Spelman College with one scholar each. Trisha, a junior from Roswell, is majoring in anthropology and biochemistry and molecular biology and working toward a master’s degree in comparative biomedical sciences. Guy, a junior from Portland, Oregon, is majoring in ecology and earning a master’s degree in forest resources (read more about Guy in the Udall story, right). Stephan, Guy a sophomore from Lawrenceville, is majoring in Eroh biochemistry and molecular biology, biology with a concentration in neuroscience, and genetics. Since 1995, 56 UGA students have received the Goldwater Scholarship, all of whom have been members of the Honors Program. The scholarship recognizes exceptional sophomores and juniors, who receive up to $7,500 toward tuition, fees, books, and room and board. Trisha plans to obtain an MD/PhD in infectious diseases and investigate disease pathogenesis to Stephan create diagnostic tools for vulnerable groups such George as pregnant women and children. She conducts cell and tissue culture work with Julie Moore, a professor of infectious disease and associate vice president for research. She also analyzes data remotely with Moses Batwala of the University of Oxford Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health. Trisha is a Foundation Fellow, director of the Lunchbox Garden Project, and a committee chair for Model U.N. She is also a member of the Honors Program Student Council, Palladia Women’s Honor Society, and Omicron Delta Kappa. She is an Indian classical dancer. After earning a doctorate in biochemistry, Stephan plans to devote his career to uncovering the link between genetic abnormalities and the development of neurological disorders to improve therapeutic outcomes for children afflicted with hereditary neurological disorders. In professor and Georgia Cancer Coalition Scholar Lance Wells’ laboratory at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, Stephan focuses on the causal linkages between aberrant glycosylation patterns and hereditary disorders. He also conducts research on aflatoxin B1 with assistant professor Brian Kvitko. Stephan is a CURO Honors Scholar, president of UGA’s iGEM Research Team and Biochemistry Undergraduate Society, co-president of the UGA STEM Research Alliance, exam director for Science Olympiad Outreach, founding member and treasurer of the pre-health group HOSA at UGA, and member of the Dean William Tate Honor Society. He received the Red Cross Service Award and helped refurbish an HIV/AIDS clinic during UGA’s 2017 IMPACT Service Break in Memphis. Ruth Schade, a Foundation Fellow and junior from Marlborough, Massachusetts, was among 281 Goldwater nominees named honorable mentions. She is working toward bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nutritional sciences.

Dorothy Kozlowski

Goldwater Scholars Udall Scholar focuses on sustaining the world’s fish populations


uy Eroh has a particular passion for fish, and his focus on the sustainability of these aquatic animals earned him national recognition as a 2018 Udall Scholar. He was one of 50 undergraduates selected for the scholarship, awarded on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, Native healthcare, or Tribal public policy. UGA has had 17 Udall Scholars—all Honors students—since the scholarship was first awarded in 1996. Guy intends to earn a doctorate in biological science with an emphasis in molecular genetics and fisheries science, with the goal of improving the recovery and sustainability of the world’s fish populations and their habitats. He hopes to revolutionize the way fish populations and their ecosystems are managed and is preparing for a career specific to fish conservation. A Foundation Fellow, he is president of 5 Rivers UGA and has been a member of Trout Unlimited, the Upper Oconee Watershed Network, UGA Ocean Initiative, the Georgia chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology, and the Georgia and Oregon chapters of the American Fisheries Society. He conducts research with UGA faculty Cecil Jennings, Robert Bringolf, and Jean WilliamsWoodward to maximize hatch success of walleye eggs. Guy interned for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the Center for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science in the UK. His awards include the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Wildlife Leadership Award, Phi Kappa Phi, and Xi Sigma Pi international forestry honor society. Guy runs with the UGA Club Cross Country Team. He studied abroad through UGA programs in Costa Rica and Oxford, England. UGA junior Abigail West was one of 50 students to receive a Udall honorable mention. A Foundation Fellow from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, she plans to work in artist-in-residency programs focused on sustainability.



Crane Leadership Scholars

Joshua Dunn

Ridge Maxson

Prabhjot Minhas

Diane Park

Hometown: Marietta Major: Marketing Minor: Communication Studies

Hometown: Atlanta Major: Exercise & Sport Science Minor: Music

Hometown: Richmond Hill Majors: Genetics, Anthropology

Hometown: Alpharetta Major: Biological Sciences Minor: Sociology

Joshua currently serves as co-president of Free the Girls at UGA, a student organization that helps provide jobs for women who are survivors of sex trafficking. He is a service ambassador through ServeUGA and a member of the Dean William Tate Honor Society. As a site leader for IMPACT alternative service breaks, he co-led a group that conducted service related to the issue of human trafficking in the Birmingham area. Joshua’s passion in antihuman trafficking work was displayed in part through his summer 2016 internship with Out of Darkness, an antihuman trafficking nonprofit in the Atlanta area. In the future, he intends to pursue a master’s degree in nonprofit management and leadership and hopes to lead a nonprofit dedicated to the end of human trafficking in all forms.

Ridge is the service chair for MEDLIFE at UGA, an Honors Program Ambassador, and a member of the Honors Program Student Council. He plays for the UGA Men’s Club Rugby team. Ridge conducts tissue engineering research under Cheryl Gomillion and has presented his findings at the CURO Symposium and is a co-author on two publications. An avid classical guitarist, Ridge partnered with Nuçi’s Space to launch “Nuçi’s TuneUp Program,” through which volunteer musicians perform at local health clinics. He is director of Best Foot Forward, participated in a MEDLIFE mobile clinic in Cusco, Peru, and traveled on an IMPACT alternative service break to study disability/ability awareness in Philadelphia. After graduation, he plans to attend medical school and pursue a career as an orthopedic surgeon.



Prabhjot is president of Refugee Outreach (RefUGA), travels yearly with UGA IMPACT service breaks, serves as a public relations co-chair for the Lunchbox Garden Project, and volunteers at Mercy Health Center. She is a Ramsey Honors Scholar. She studied refugee and migrant nutrition and health with Susan Tanner. Prabhjot now works in the Center for Tropical Emerging and Global Diseases studying the var2csa gene and placental malaria with David Peterson. She has studied abroad in Tanzania, where she learned about sustainable service and shadowed malaria researchers, and also Ecuador, where she shadowed rural healthcare professionals and took medical Spanish classes. Prabhjot plans to attend medical school and hopes to facilitate more culturally competent care for minority and underserved communities.

Diane serves as director of community service for ServeUGA and is a U-Lead Athens volunteer. She is a PSO Student Scholar and interned at the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development and Carl Vinson Institute for Government. Diane is a leader in the Undocumented Student Alliance at UGA and participated in the Asian Americans Advancing Justice Youth Leadership Summit in D.C. Her event speaking includes the Working in the Public Interest Conference at the UGA School of Law, APIDA Monologues, and I Too Am UGA: Identity Politics in Action. Through CURO, she studied in the poultry science department under Woo Kyun Kim. She further explored her interest in stem cells in summer 2016, when she interned at the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul, South Korea.



his past fall, eight Honors students were recognized for their exemplary leadership efforts as recipients of the William Moore Crane Leadership Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship, awarded to third-year students in the Honors Program, recognizes leadership in extracurricular activities and/or involvement with civic or community organizations. This year, students’ leadership experiences ranged from ServeUGA, Refugee Outreach, Thomas Lay After School Program, MEDLIFE at UGA, and Free the Girls. Administered by the Honors Program and the UGA Center for Leadership and Service, the scholarship is named in honor of a 1921 UGA graduate who was influential in the founding of the UGA Alumni Society.

Vineet Raman Hometown: Marietta Majors: Biology, Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Spanish

Vineet is executive director of Roosevelt @ UGA, serves on the executive board of RefUGA and as an Honors Teaching Assistant, and is a member of Chamber Music Society and Leadership UGA. A Ramsey Honors Scholar, Vineet’s research includes language services regulation, low-income healthcare access, and cultural competency. He assisted with implementation of bilingual mental health services with the BIEN Research Group. He interned at the Indian Council for Medical Research in Chennai, India, and Washington University’s Institute for Public Health in St. Louis, Missouri, and while there, volunteered as an interpreter at Casa de Salud, a clinic serving undocumented and uninsured residents. Off campus, Vineet volunteers as an interpreter at Mercy Health Center. He plans to pursue degrees in medicine and public health.

Shivani Rangaswamy Hometown: Cumming Majors: Biology, Anthropology

Shivani is director of member organizations at ServeUGA and vice president of events at RefUGA. She is a graduate of the PSO Student Scholar Program. As an Archway Partnership intern, she developed a policy proposal aimed at reducing low birth weight rates in Georgia. With support from the Experiential Learning Scholarship, Ash Service Award, and PSO Scholarship, she implemented her proposal in eight counties. She volunteers at Mercy Health Center, conducts research through CURO, is a biology peer learning assistant, and tutors at the Rankin Smith Student Athlete Center. She is a member of the Dean William Tate Honor Society and the Palladia Women’s Honor Society. Shivani plans to attend medical school and become a physician.


Hannah Sharpe

Margaret Shin

Hometown: Marietta Majors: History, Social Studies Education

Hometown: Johns Creek Majors: International Affairs, Political Science

Hannah serves as a College of Education Ambassador, a Thomas Lay After School Program head mentor, and a committee member on UGA Miracle’s Family Relations Committee, which seeks to champion families whose children have been treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2017, she was a Dawg Camp Discovery counselor and welcomed more than 200 freshmen to UGA. She attended two IMPACT trips and led a trip focused on ageism during winter break. She is a book buddy at Barrow Elementary School and a small group leader for the Catholic Center’s freshman program, Ignite. She volunteers at the AthensClarke County Correctional Institution as a GED tutor. Hannah is pursuing an accelerated master’s degree in social studies education. She plans to teach in an urban school district.

Margaret serves as chief justice of the Student Government Association Supreme Court, tournament director and fall team captain on the UGA Undergraduate Mock Trial Program, food bank project head for Rotaract UGA, and membership recognition co-chair on the Student Alumni Council. She is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. In 2017, she was an Armed Services Fellow specializing in national security research in Sen. David Perdue’s office through the Honors in Washington Internship Program. She drafted a resolution and assisted with amendments for the National Defense Authorization Act. In 2016, she studied East Asian international affairs and Korean society at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. Margaret plans to attend law school and practice international law.



Presenting research

575 UGA undergraduates share studies at 2018 CURO Symposium Story and photos by Stephanie Schupska

» 207 presentations » 354 posters » 103 majors » 14 schools/colleges » 330 faculty members » 78 departments

Before the rush Students finish setting up 354 research posters right before the start of the CURO Symposium's keynote session. In two more hours, this room will be filled with presenters, faculty, graduate students, friends, and family members.


he University of Georgia brought together the best of undergraduate research at its annual CURO Symposium, held in April at the Classic Center in downtown Athens. Hosted by CURO, the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities, this year’s Symposium was the largest to date, with more than 575 participants. These undergraduates are pursuing 103 different majors from 14 UGA schools and colleges. Collectively, they conducted research with 330 faculty members from 78 departments. At the two-day event, students presented at oral and poster sessions on topics as varied as the estimation of the total carbon sequestered in UGA trees, prevention of acetaminophen toxicity, Twitter poetry’s artificial interiors, policy diffusion and misdemeanor probation in Georgia, and assessment of a diabetes foot care intervention program in Fiji. “The range of topics addressed and the quality of the student presentations on them continues to amaze and inspire,” said David S. Williams, associate provost and director of the UGA Honors Program and CURO. “None of this would be possible without the incredible level of support that CURO enjoys—and by extension the students who participate in undergraduate research through it— from the central administration and from faculty across the campus.” The Symposium included 207 presentations and 354 posters. “It is a good opportunity to network with other students and faculty,” said



Maria Navarro, associate director of the UGA Honors Program and CURO, “and it is very special to be in a room full of students talking passionately about their research and work with mentors.” The annual Symposium gives UGA students the opportunity to present their projects to faculty, graduate students, and peers. It is open to all undergraduates pursuing facultymentored research in any discipline. Nivita Sharma, a just-graduated CURO Honors Scholar who majored in biology and will start medical school at Cornell University this fall, has been actively involved in research during all four years of her studies at UGA. With the support of the Honors Program, she spent several weeks in Fiji last summer as she examined the effects of a diabetes foot care intervention program. She presented her assessment at the Symposium—along with research evaluating mitochondrial capacity and muscle endurance in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. “From working with beakers of chemicals in the chemistry department to working with patients in the Fiji Islands and through the kinesiology department, I have learned to love the creation of new knowledge and want to carry on this deeply rooted passion into my future profession as a physician scientist,” she said. “The opportunity to identify, examine, and resolve health care challenges in Fiji has taught me professional and personal skills that

are unparalleled by any other college experiences.” The annual CURO Symposium is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the Office of Instruction, the Office of Research, the UGA Libraries, and the Honors Program. CURO supports all undergraduates by providing information and opportunities to pursue research, complete coursework, apply for funding, and present research in other settings. Students can compete for $3,000 CURO Summer Fellowships as well as CURO Research Assistantships, which provide $1,000 stipends to 500 undergraduates each year. Many students have been able to use their engagement with CURO to fulfill the university’s experiential learning requirement.

Nivita Sharma poses with her dad, Divesh, a professor at Kennesaw State University who has never missed a CURO Symposium with his daughter—2018 marked his fifth.

The photos on these two pages highlight Honors students’ research accomplishments. Above: Junior Anton Eduard Franzluebbers explains the virtual reality program he built that gives veterinary students the chance to virtually conduct a neurological exam on a dog. Right, top to bottom: 1) CURO Honors Scholars Taylor Hill, Landon Clark, Jessica Thompson, and Jamarcus Mathis gather for a photo; 2) Sophomore Sam Driggers places first in his category in the UGA Libraries’ Research Awards for his study on “The Framing of Two Sovereigntist Movements” from M. Kathleen Kern, director of Miller Learning Center Library Commons; 3) Sophomore Brooke Datelle shares her research on “The Effect of Caffeine and Carbohydrate Mouth Rinsing on Endurance Performance” with Lynn Bailey, department head in foods and nutrition; 4) Freshman Teddy Vincent presents on “Climate Fiction as a Response to Climate Change: A Genre Analysis”; 5) Senior Madison Alexandra Hogan talks on “Standardization of the Hours of the Passion in Medieval Books of Hours”; 6) Senior Sommer Anjum discusses her findings on “Mathematical Modeling of Left Ventricular Stresses After a Heart Attack.”



Andrew Davis Tucker

Leading Miracle Maddie Dill reflects on her year as executive director of UGA Miracle


ervous energy mixes with the hush in the Tate Student Center Grand Hall. After 24 hours of movement and stories and games and bell-ringing recognition, UGA students and Miracle families crowding the room for UGA Miracle’s annual Dance Marathon are anticipating this moment, this culmination of a year’s worth of work. For Honors student Maddie Dill, the moment isn’t about the total they worked so hard to raise. It is not about trying to top another record. As the 20172018 executive director of UGA Miracle, Maddie’s main objective is to reshape the mindset of the student organization’s 1,200-plus members, focusing on “Miracles Beyond Measure.” She did it by breaking with tradition, setting no number goal for the first time in the organization’s history. “UGA Miracle is so much more than just money or raising it. It’s the relationships,” said Maddie, a Foundation Fellow who just graduated from UGA with degrees in anthropology, international affairs, and Spanish. “It turned out that people really loved getting to focus on their relationships with other people and not being as worried about the number goal at the end of the year. The Miracle families loved it because it showed that we were really committed to them and not just to setting records.” When the numbers were tallied on Feb. 18, the students had raised $1,261,077.18, the second highest total



in the philanthropy’s history. This year, the tears were different, the hugs stronger, and the air free of overwhelming sadness. Top: Maddie Dill, “Last year we had the goal of $1.4 between the “I” and million, and for the first time, we “R,” celebrates with members of the didn’t hit that goal,” Maddie said. “We leadership team after raised $1.35 million, which is still a the year’s fundraising crazy amount of money. total is announced. “This year, everyone was crying Above: Maddie helps again, not because they were with donor recognition. disappointed by the total but because Right: A Miracle child they had raised $1.26 million without gives Maddie a hug. even really focusing on it. It was so rewarding to have people come up their parents a break. In her first year, and thank me for helping them love one meeting a week seemed like a lot. Miracle again.” In her fourth year, she averaged about UGA Miracle is the largest of the 50 meetings a week—on top of her final university’s many big philanthropic semester of classes—and spent her free organizations. With its six-person time focused on UGA Miracle. council and 140-person leadership team This fall, she will start her career overseeing 14 committees, UGA Miracle is as a business analyst for McKinsey run solely by students and raises money & Company, a global management and awareness for Children’s Healthcare consulting firm. With no formal training of Atlanta. The first million raised each in business, she will spend her summer year funds equipment and facilities in the online, taking McKinsey-developed classes Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation in economics, accounting, and financial Unit, which includes the UGA Miracle modeling. Gym. Money raised above that supports “What they’re mainly looking for are pediatric research through the Aflac people who can work on teams and solve Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. problems creatively,” she said, “and UGA Maddie got involved her freshman Miracle was such a unique experience. year through her sorority, Phi Mu. She Not many 21- or 22-year-olds can say joined the hospital relations committee, they were in charge of over 1,000 students which sends UGA students to Children’s raising over $1 million. It was definitely Healthcare of Atlanta every Sunday to such a cool opportunity to have.” play and do crafts with children and give


Honors Program Parent Society


eaningful. Amazingly rich opportunities. Unparalleled. Rocket fuel. These words are just a few that describe the impact the Honors Program has on its students, as shared by Honors Program parents. “From a parent’s perspective, we have seen the amazingly rich opportunities for experiential learning that the Honors Program offers (internships, travel abroad, and research), which we believe is unparalleled at other universities,” said Shawn and Pam Hardister, parents of recent Honors graduates Jennifer and Elizabeth (read more about Elizabeth as a Schwarzman Scholar on page 4). “In our daughter’s words, this boost is like ‘rocket fuel’ that gives UGA Honors students the edge that they need to excel. It has been our pleasure to give back through the Parent Society so that the program can continue to prosper.” The Honors Program offers a unique opportunity for parents and guardians to get involved on campus and in their students’ collegiate lives. Known as the Honors Program Parent Society, the organization promotes community among families, students, and Honors Program staff. It also gives parents the opportunity to help other Honors students. “When your student becomes part of the elite Honors Program, you have a powerful way of making something extraordinary happen for another student,” said Dorothé Otemann, director of development and external affairs for the Honors Program. “Becoming part of the Honors Program Parent Society gives you the wonderful ability to support essential and transformational student opportunities through internships, study abroad, service, and undergraduate research experiences for another Honors student.” This fall, the Honors Program will welcome its largest class ever. As of May 1, 752 students had committed to Honors. As parents and guardians attend orientation this summer with their students, they have the opportunity to join the Parent Society through the 1960 Club, so named because it was the year Honors was founded. The club provides Parent Society membership at a reduced rate and with the addition of a special T-shirt. Current Parent Society members

Parent Society families include, clockwise from top, the Hardisters (Pam, Jennifer, Matthew, Elizabeth, and Shawn), the Gangadharans (Tarun Ramesh’s parents Nina, Ramesh, and his sister; Tarun is not pictured), and the Sumners (Spencer, Laura, Max, and Sean. Max is currently in the Honors Program, and Spencer will enroll this fall as an incoming first-year student).

celebrate their students and mingle with Honors staff each fall at the Parent Society tailgate, which this year will be held Nov. 17 before the Georgia vs. Massachusetts game. Parent Society members enjoy free tickets to the game, stadium-compliant clear totes, a selfie backdrop made by Honors students, and a catered lunch— past caterers include Saucehouse BBQ, which was co-founded by UGA alumnus Christopher Belk. Parents are also invited to the Honors Program’s Gala of Giving, held each spring. “The Honors Program Parent Society has provided an opportunity for us to give

back to UGA in a way that is, and has been, meaningful for our family,” said Robert and Dana Driggers. Their son Jonah is a 2017 Honors graduate, and their son Sam is a rising junior. “Our boys have benefited from funding provided by the Honors Program for travel and research and from the guidance and direction provided by Honors Program staff members. We could not be more pleased and happy to support the Honors Program.” For more information on the Parent Society or giving to the Honors Program, contact Dorothé Otemann at 706-5830698 or



Nonprofit Org. U. S. Postage


Mike Getchell Photography

Moore College, 108 Herty Drive University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602-6116

Athens, GA Permit No. 165

Celebrating the Future

The UGA Career Center invited seniors to their “Grad Pictures with Hairy Dawg� in mid April, and students shared where they would be working or attending school after graduation. Honors students photographed include (top row) Lorin Crear, John Chaknis, Sarah Wobrock, (bottom row) Shreya Ganeshan, Liana Moseley and Nidhi Aggarwal, and Taylor Smith.

Profile for UGA Honors Program

Honors Magazine, spring 2018  

In this issue of Honors Magazine, we feature students whose studies center around sports—from risk management to sports journalism and exerc...

Honors Magazine, spring 2018  

In this issue of Honors Magazine, we feature students whose studies center around sports—from risk management to sports journalism and exerc...