University of Georgia Magazine June 2016

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reGENERATING RECOVERY Researchers at UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center are unlocking the body’s potential to heal itself




BACK IN BLACK The Bulldog Nation answered the call from Head Coach Kirby Smart (BBA ’98) to fill Sanford Stadium at the annual G-Day game April 16. Some 93,000 fans—almost double the previous attendance record of 46,815 set in 2015—came out to show their support for the new coach and to cheer on the Black and Red teams. Game day festivities included the traditional Dawg Walk and a pre-game concert by Atlanta-based rapper Ludacris. Smart, a four-year letterman at defensive back for the Bulldogs, returned to his alma mater in January and is considered one of the most well-respected defensive coordinators in the country. “What a great atmosphere to come out and compete in,” he told reporters during a post-game press conference. “I can’t say enough about our fan base and what they were able to do.” Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski



I was taught that we should give back. The University of Georgia has been a great resource for me in so many ways. Our alumni support makes UGA’s future so bright. C. Rex Richardson (BBA ’04, MBA ’09)

Why do you give? Tell us at 1 GEORGIA MAGAZINE •

18 Regenerating recovery



Franklin West, assistant professor and member of UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center, assesses the growth of adult neural stem cells in petri dishes. West uses the cells in his work developing therapies for stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Researchers at UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center work with adult stem cells to create new therapies in areas including bone regeneration, traumatic brain injury and the first and only stroke model using swine in the U.S.

24 IMPACT! Since 1994, more than 3,000 students have spent their service breaks engaged in projects that help others.

30 Bridging a false divide In UGA’s new MFA program, critically acclaimed author Valerie Boyd combines an emphasis on writing skills with practical knowledge about the publishing industry.

ON THE COVER The Regenerative Bioscience Center brings together biochemists, veterinarians, pharmacologists, toxicologists and animal scientists, who collaborate with each other as well as with partners at Emory and Georgia Tech. Illustration by Devrimb at iStock





The University of



June 2016 • Vol. 95, No. 3 GEORGIA MAGAZINE Allyson Mann, MA ’92, Editor Margaret Blanchard, AB ’91, MA ’98, Managing Editor Lindsay Robinson, ABJ ’06, MPA ’11, Art Director Pamela Leed, Advertising Director


Q&A President Jere W. Morehead (JD ’80) on the importance of alumni engagement.

Fran Burke, Office Manager


Peter Frey, BFA ’94; Robert Newcomb, BFA ’81; Rick O’Quinn, ABJ ’87; Andrew Davis Tucker; and Dorothy Kozlowski, BLA ’06, ABJ ’10, Chad Osbourne, UGA Photographers Camren Skelton, Editorial Intern MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Karri Hobson-Pape, Vice President

Around the Arch 7

Janis Gleason, Executive Director

Goldwater Scholars Honors students Catherine “Cali” Callaway and Morrison Nolan receive 2016 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships.


Transforming textiles UGA joins a new national public-private consortium that aims to revolutionize the fiber and textiles industry.


CURO breaks record More than 400 students present original research projects at the annual symposium sponsored by UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

11 Let’s dance UGA Miracle raises more than $1 million for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Class Notes 36 Tweet-Hearts Sumita Dalmia (BSFCS ’10) and Anuj Patel get engaged the way they met—via Twitter.

37 All about that bass Symphony musician Jane Little (M ’51) makes the Guinness Book of World Records.

12 Creating connections

52 Chasing immortality Scientist Bill Andrews (PhD ’81) wants to cure aging.

Faculty members design ways for students to learn more effectively through experiential learning.

14 Start me up UGA’s new certificate in entrepreneurship program is open to students in all majors.



Change your mailing address by emailing information to or call 888-268-5442. Advertise in Georgia Magazine by contacting Pamela Leed at or 706-542-8124. Find Georgia Magazine online at

43 Rustic art Matt Tommey (BSEd ’96) creates sculpture from vines, branches and bark.

Close Ups

ADMINISTRATION Jere W. Morehead, JD ’80, President Pamela Whitten, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Ryan Nesbit, MBA ’91, Vice President for Finance and Administration Kelly Kerner, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Rahul Shrivastav, Vice President for Instruction David C. Lee, Vice President for Research Jennifer Frum, PhD ’11, Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Victor Wilson, BSW ’82, MEd ’87, Vice President for Student Affairs J. Griffin Doyle, AB ’76, JD ’79, Vice President for Government Relations Timothy M. Chester, Vice President for Information Technology

Send Class Notes to Send address changes to

Submit Class Notes or story ideas to FINE PRINT Georgia Magazine (ISSN 1085-1042) is published quarterly for alumni and friends of UGA. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: University of Georgia, 286 Oconee Street, Suite 200 North, Athens, GA 30602 In compliance with federal law, including the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the University of Georgia does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or military service in its administration of educational policies, programs, or activities; its admissions policies; scholarship and loan programs; athletic or other University-administered programs; or employment. In addition, the University does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation consistent with the University non-discrimination policy. Inquiries or complaints should be directed to the director of the Equal Opportunity Office, 119 Holmes-Hunter Academic Building, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. Telephone 706-542-7912 (V/TDD). Fax 706-542-2822.


with President Jere W. Morehead (JD ’80)

As president, you meet with a lot of alumni around the country. Why is it important for alumni to remain engaged with the University of Georgia? Alumni engagement is critical to the success of the University of Georgia. Our alumni help fund academic facilities and programs, student scholarships, faculty research and other key initiatives that make UGA one of the best public research universities in the nation. Beyond private support, however, alumni also function as the face of the university in communities across Georgia and around the nation, revealing the strong value of a UGA degree and helping the institution remain connected to the needs and issues of the world around us. I also would add that alumni bring a unique and important perspective to be considered as decisions are being made about the future of the institution. The university is constantly changing, after all, and we need the input of our alumni along the way.

UGA alumni just passed a significant milestone. Can you tell us about it? The number of living alumni surpassed 300,000 for the first time as the class of 2016 graduated last month. This milestone is important primarily because, as our alumni body grows, so too does the university’s ability to make a positive impact on society. Everyone in the UGA community can take pride in the fact that, today, more than 300,000 individuals with degrees from this great university are living, working and serving in communities throughout our state and nation.

What kinds of impacts are UGA alumni having around the world? Our alumni are making positive contributions in every area of human endeavor—from medicine, to business, to the arts, and everything in between. Deborah Roberts (ABJ ’82) comes to mind as an example of an outstanding alumna. She is an ABC News journalist and “20/20” correspondent who has traveled the country and the world for her compelling reporting. The university was pleased to welcome her to campus this spring as the keynote speaker for the 2016 Alumni Seminar, an annual three-day educational gathering for UGA alumni and friends. Of course, Deborah is one of countless examples of UGA alumni who are using their education to make a positive difference in the world.

How can alumni continue to promote the success of this university? First, it is vital for alumni to remain connected to UGA. More than 50 alumni chapters exist across the country and abroad to connect graduates to their alma mater. In addition, individual colleges and schools host events throughout the year to provide alumni with opportunities to interact with each other and with current faculty and students. Alumni also can support the university by hiring our outstanding graduates when their businesses and organizations are seeking top talent. And now, more than ever before, we need our alumni to support the university through private giving. The university is preparing to launch the public phase of its comprehensive capital campaign this fall to reach new heights of excellence, and our alumni will play a significant role in achieving the university’s fundraising goals.





Heavy hearts As this issue was going to press, a car accident claimed the lives of four University of Georgia students, marking a tragic loss for the campus and community. More than 1,000 people gathered at Tate Student Center Plaza on April 28 to remember the lives of Kayla Canedo, 19; Brittany Feldman, 20; Halle Scott, 19; and Christina Semeria, 19. Family members, sorority sisters and friends shared memories and prayers, and President Jere W. Morehead expressed his sympathy on behalf of the UGA family. At press time, a fifth student, Agnes Kim, remained hospitalized in critical condition.



New dean for School of Social Work

Two students receive Goldwater Scholarships

Anna Scheyett has been named dean of UGA’s School of Social Work and will assume her new role in July. “I am pleased that Dr. Scheyett will be joining the university as dean of the School of Social Work,” says President Jere W. Morehead. “I look forward to her continued advancement of the academic stature of the School of Social Work in the coming years.” Since 2011, Scheyett has led the University of South Carolina School of Social Work, overseeing a revision to the Master of Social Work curriculum and developing student testing supports that helped increase licensure pass rates by nearly 40 percent. She also established a graduate certificate program focused on social and behavioral health issues in military service members, veterans and military families. Under her leadership, the USC College of Social Work exceeded its $4 million fundraising goal and established seven endowed scholarships. Scheyett’s research on the intersection of mental illnesses and the legal system has been funded by agencies including the National Institutes of Health.

UGA Honors students Catherine “Cali” Callaway and Morrison Nolan have received 2016 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, a premier academic award for undergraduate students pursuing careers in science, mathematics and engineering. “Our students’ continued success in the Goldwater competition speaks volumes about the quality of education that UGA provides in the STEM disciplines,” President Jere W. Morehead says. “Cali and Morrison represent the broad range of scientific interests that students can pursue at UGA, and their achievement demonstrates the value of intensive research experiences at the undergraduate level.” Callaway, a junior from Johns Creek, is majoring in biology with a concentration in neuroscience and pursuing a combined master’s degree in artificial intelligence. She aims to earn a doctorate and a medical degree and pursue a career conducting research in regenerative bioscience. Nolan, a junior from Stone Mountain, is pursuing degrees in geology and chemistry. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in invertebrate paleontology on a path to a career teaching and researching as a professor or museum curator. In addition to UGA’s two Goldwater Scholarship recipients, two students—Aneek James and Hannah Mason—were given honorable mentions. The scholarship provides up to $7,500 toward the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board. Since 1995, 51 UGA students have received the award.

Catherine “Cali” Callaway

Morrison Nolan

Outstanding alumni and friends honored

Anna Scheyett

The University of Georgia Alumni Association presented five awards during its 79th annual Alumni Awards Luncheon April 15. Christie Haynes (AB, AB ’10) received the Young Alumni Award. She is president and CEO of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Office of Tourism Development. Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson received the Friend of UGA Award. Since 2012, the couple have donated more than 100 works of art to the Georgia Museum of Art and endowed a full-time curatorial position. Karen A. Holbrook received the Faculty Service Award. Holbrook served as UGA’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost 1998-2002. Last fall, she and her husband established a professorship in the College of Public Health and endowed a fellowship to support graduate students. Alumni Merit Awards were given to Henry D. “Greg” Gregory Jr. (ABJ ’06) and Saxby Chambliss (BBA ’66). Gregory retired as president and CEO of Industrial Development International in 2007. He and his wife, Amanda (BSEd ’69), established a chair and provided additional financial support for Civil War research on campus. Chambliss retired as Georgia’s senior senator in 2014. He recently established a forum to increase students’ exposure to domestic and international politics.







… Nick Vena, a student in health and physical education and a member of the UGA track and field team, who was named the Outstanding Major of the Year by the Society of Health and Physical Educators. … Laura Dean, associate professor in the College of Education, who was awarded the Robert H. Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member by Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. … David Riley (BSA ’80), an entomologist on the UGA Tifton campus, who received the 2016 Recognition Award in Entomology from the Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America. … Josh Miller, professor and director of clinical training in the department of psychology, who received the 2016 Theodore Millon Award in Personality Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation.

UGA joins fabric revolution UGA is a partner in a new national public-private consortium to revolutionize the fiber and textiles industry through commercialization of advanced fibers and textiles for the defense and commercial markets. The partnership, Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), was announced in April. “UGA’s contributions to AFFOA tap into longstanding expertise in textiles, polymers and fibers, and a track record of collaboration with industry, as well as our success in launching new businesses based on discoveries,” says Vice President for Research David Lee. The AFFOA partnership builds on recent breakthroughs in fiber materials and manufacturing processes, with the mission of ensuring America remains at the leading edge of fiber science. It brings together Fortune 500 companies, universities, fiber and textiles manufacturing facilities, state workforce development programs and federal agencies. UGA’s involvement will bring in at least $5 million over five years, with researchers from the colleges of Family and Consumer Sciences, Arts and Sciences, and Engineering serving in critical roles. Innovation Gateway, UGA’s commercialization and startup arm, will be instrumental in bringing new technologies to the market. Alumna Tosha Hays’ company, Brrr!, also is a member of the consortium. Hays (BSFCS ’07) developed BrrrX, a “cooling” fabric that drops skin temperature an average of 2 to 4 degrees. She served as an executive at SPANX before co-launching Brrr! in 2014.

… Michael K. Johnson, Distinguished Research Professor in the department of chemistry, who was named a Regents Professor by the board of regents of the University System of Georgia. … Carolina Acosta-Alzuru (MA ’96, PhD ’99), associate professor of public relations, who won the 2015 Charles E. Scripps Journalism and Mass Communication Teacher of the Year Award, presented by the Scripps Howard Foundation.

… Brian P. Bledsoe, a professor in the College of Engineering, who was appointed the inaugural Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor in Resilient Infrastructure.




… Jin Xie, assistant professor in the department of chemistry, who was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program. Vice President for Research David Lee (second from right) and faculty members (left to right) Jason Locklin, Suraj Sharma and Sergiy Minko are working together in UGA’s part of a national public-private partnership to accelerate the widespread commercialization of highly functional, advanced fibers and textiles for the defense and commercial markets. The project brings together researchers with backgrounds in chemistry, engineering and textiles, among other areas of expertise.


Iris Ochoa (left) and Avery Finley, both 10, don their thinking caps during the FIRST Lego League State Tournament hosted by UGA’s College of Engineering in February. The event brought 32 robotics teams from elementary and middle schools across Georgia to campus to tackle real-world trash problems. The girls were part of The Snorkeling Sparrowbots team from Puckett’s Mill Elementary School in Dacula, which received a Third Place Champions’ Award. During the competition, teams build, test and program an autonomous robot using Lego Mindstorms technology. “FIRST Lego League not only introduces younger students to robotics and engineering, it also challenges them to apply critical-thinking skills to open-ended problems,” says Chi Thai, an associate professor in the College of Engineering who coordinated the tournament. The event is a partnership between the Lego Group and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization that motivates young people to pursue careers in science, technology and engineering.

CURO Symposium breaks record UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) broke a record for participation in its annual symposium, with more than 400 students presenting original research projects. Held in April, the symposium included poster sessions and presentations from the 407 participants and a keynote address from Alan Darvill, Regents Professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and director of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center. “This year’s record CURO Symposium participation and the enthusiastic response to our expanded CURO Research Assistantship program underscore the intellectual curiosity of our students and their strong desire to apply their knowledge outside of the classroom,” says Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. CURO is administered by the Honors Program, but expanded to become available to all undergraduates in 2010. For the first time, more than half of the participants in this year’s symposium were from outside the Honors Program. In addition to $3,000 summer fellowship grants, CURO offers a research assistantship that provided $1,000 stipends to 250 undergraduate students in 2014-15 and 300 students in 2015-16. The program will expand to 500 students next year.




ARCH New leadership for AU/UGA Medical Partnership Michelle “Shelley” Nuss became campus dean of the Augusta University/UGA Medical Partnership in March. “The appointment of Dr. Nuss to this critical leadership role is the beginning of a promising new era for the AU/UGA Medical Partnership,” says Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “She is deeply committed to educating world-class physicians and strengthening the ties between the academic Michelle “Shelley” Nuss and medical communities to create a healthier future for our state.” Nuss joined the AU/UGA Medical Partnership in 2010 as an associate professor and campus associate dean for graduate medical education. She helped to establish and support residency programs with local hospitals, and she also worked to expand residency programs at new teaching hospitals across the state. Previously, Nuss served as the director of the internal medicine and medicine/ psychiatry residency programs at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. She is the three-time recipient of the WVU department of medicine outstanding teaching award and led global health programs in Honduras and Ghana. Nuss is a fellow in the American College of Physicians and is board certified in internal medicine and psychiatry.

UGA celebrated Honors Week in April, recognizing faculty, students, staff and alumni for excellence in teaching, research, public service and outreach, academic achievement, and support of the university. Visit for photos and videos of the honorees and to learn about their accomplishments.


SPIA tops rankings

Ryan Lam (middle) joins his classmates onstage to pull a paper piñata revealing his match letter at Match Day on the UGA Health Sciences Campus. Students in the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership gather annually in March to discover the next step in their medical careers. Lam will pursue internal medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.



UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs ranks fourth among graduate schools of public affairs, according to the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings. SPIA also has three highly ranked specialty programs. Ranked second are the public administration program and the public finance and budgeting program. The public policy analysis program is ranked 18th. At the core of SPIA’s reputation in public affairs is its Master of Public Administration degree program, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. “The School of Public and International Affairs is extremely proud of the Master of Public Administration program, where the faculty members have demonstrated worldwide impact through their research and where the graduates are among the most accomplished and influential alumni serving in the public and nonprofit sectors,” says Stefanie A. Lindquist, dean and Arch Professor of public and international affairs. Recent accolades also include a 2014 study in the Journal of Public Affairs Education in which the faculty of the public administration program placed No. 1 for international scholarly output based on quality and productivity.


Let’s dance

UGA Miracle Fundraising: A 5-year snapshot $1,000,000 $800,000









$400,000 $200,000 $0






UGA Miracle shattered its fundraising record at its signature event, Dance Marathon, in February. The organization raised more than $1 million for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) during 24 hours of dancing, fun and games at the Tate Student Center. The event is the culmination of a year of fundraising efforts by the university’s largest student-run nonprofit organization. Since its founding in 1995, UGA Miracle has raised almost $6 million for CHOA. In March, the hospital made good on a promise to dedicate its Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit gym in honor of the organization if students succeeded in meeting their goal of $1 million. Now called the UGA Miracle Gym, the facility is located in one of the largest inpatient rehab centers in the country. Accolades for the philanthropy continued into April, when UGA Miracle received its fourth Organization of the Year honor at the 15th annual H. Gordon and Francis S. Davis Student Organization Achievement and Recognition Awards.


CLOSE UP Candace Flagg (BSA ’15) cites mentoring in the Thomas Lay After School Program, which pairs UGA students with children from disadvantaged households, as an influential college experience. The program was founded by an Honors student in 2006.

In advance of UGA’s new experiential learning requirement, faculty members design ways for students to learn more effectively by combining in- and out-of-class opportunities by Andy Johnston (ABJ ’88)


istory comes to life for students in a new UGA program that immerses them in the nation’s capital, where access to historical sites, documents and artifacts is coupled with hands-on experience gained through internships at leading agencies and organizations in Washington, D.C. “It offers them a different perspective and opens up possible career choices,” says Akela Reason, UGA associate professor of history. “This gives them an opportunity to think about history as a real, living thing.” The public history program, developed by Reason, is one of many new experiential learning opportunities the university provides to students. It is a two-part experiential learning


opportunity that began during Maymester and will continue through July. The class is being held in the many museums along the National Mall, as well as George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon and the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg, Pa. During the summer, the students intern at organizations including the Library of Congress, the National Archives and the Archives of American Art. The program is an example of the hands-on opportunities that will be required for undergraduates as part of UGA’s new experiential learning initiative. Of course, students also can gain new perspectives on campus and in the surrounding community. Erin Hollander, a junior Honors student and Foundation Fellow, has conducted research through



CREATING CONNECTIONS the university’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) and is a recipient of the CURO Research Assistantship, which offers students a $1,000 stipend and recently expanded to support 500 students annually. Hollander most recently worked in the lab of Distinguished Research Professor Michael Terns on a bacterium that is important to the dairy industry, and she is currently applying to M.D./ Ph.D. programs. In April, she was one of 60 presenters selected out of hundreds of applicants from institutions across the nation to present her research at the nation’s capital during the 20th annual Posters on the Hill event. The College of Education’s Professional Development School District partnership with the Clarke County School District puts its students in public school classrooms on a daily basis, with 23 UGA classes meeting at local schools this semester, says Janna Dresden (PhD ’93), a clinical associate professor and director of the college’s Office of School Engagement.

“Instead of meeting at Aderhold Hall once or twice a week, those students go to an elementary school, a middle school or a high school,” she says. “We have about 500 students at the schools, either taking courses, volunteering or doing early field experience or student teaching.” Students have long engaged in this kind of experiential (or hands-on) learning at UGA, but the university’s requirement is new. Beginning this fall, all incoming first-year and transfer students will be required to engage in experiential learning before graduation. The initiative is designed to take UGA students out of classrooms for real-world experience in a variety of ways, including internships, service-learning projects and study abroad programs. While history majors have a wealth of opportunities in places like Washington, D.C., and local school systems are a natural fit for education majors, the experiential learning choices for some students are not as clear. “If you’re in philosophy, there are many career paths you can take,” says Linda Bachman (EdD ’13), director of university experiential learning. “Through the initiative, the university will help students find hands-on experiences that help them understand how their education at UGA translates in the nonacademic world.”

learning course called the Athens Urban Food Collective (AUFC). Students grow vegetables in a garden on the roof of the geography building and partner with local organizations to distribute the food. Materials initially were donated by Athens businesses. The AUFC program is a perfect fit for the experiential learning initiative, Heynen says. “From the very beginning of it, it’s been a community-oriented endeavor,” he says. In Heynen’s new Maymester class, Geography of the Georgia Coast Domestic Field Study Program, he expects students to “think through reallife problems” while living among the residents of Sapelo Island. Participants study the historical geography of the coast, learn about ongoing pressures due to increased development, and engage in a service-learning project. “To be able to experience the changes on the Georgia coast, while reading about them and thinking about how to do some problem solving, it’s like a one-two-three punch,” he says.


amp DIVE—an acronym for Discover, Inquire, Voice, Explore— is the College of Education’s newest opportunity for students to gain practical experience working and teaching outside of the classroom. The camp will provide College of Education students another avenue to work with kindergarten through middleschool students in the classroom. Janna Dresden is excited about the rewards it will offer to the Athens-Clarke County students who will attend it and the UGA undergraduates who will engage with them in hands-on activities. “The idea for Camp DIVE has been brewing for many, many years, but the timing is very fortuitous,” Dresden says. These examples show that UGA’s experiential learning program is building, Bachman says, as even more faculty develop “cutting-edge, innovative, hands-on, transformational experiences for students.”

he university-wide experiential learning requirement goes into effect this fall, but many faculty and colleges have long had programs that take students out of the classroom and into practical learning situations. “Faculty with significant experience in experiential teaching are being recognized and validated for it,” Bachman says. Geography Professor Nik Heynen became acquainted with experiential learning as a graduate student at the University of Indiana. He implemented programs at the University of WisconsinMilwaukee and did the same when he arrived at UGA in 2006. For eight years, Heynen and two colleagues have been teaching a service-



Josh Hinson (BSEd ’15), far right, gained real-life experience in the classroom at Cedar Shoals High School through UGA’s College of Education Professional Development School District, a partnership with the Clarke County School District.




START ME UP UGA’s expanding entrepreneurship programs help prepare students for an uncertain job market by Aaron Hale Now a UGA junior majoring in finance, Enck is chasing a new concept for a startup: a digital platform to boost ticket sales for half-empty concert venues. If the native of Dalton has his way, eleez (which stands for Enhancing Live Event Experiences) could revolutionize the way we buy tickets for events. He’s acquiring skills, gaining experience and even finding some financing to make that dream a reality through UGA’s Entrepreneurship Program, which has its roots in the Terry College of Business but is in the midst of a campuswide expansion.


UGA junior Robert Enck pitches his business idea during the Accelerator competition at the Thinc. Fall Showcase held in November. Student businesses competed for $5,000 in seed funding at the event; Enck won based on his pitch for eleez, a digital platform to boost ticket sales for half-empty concern venues.



Starting this fall, UGA will offer a campuswide certificate program in entrepreneurship. The program will provide in-class and experiential learning opportunities—some of which are already available—aimed at teaching students how to launch and grow a business through tenacity, smart risk-taking and effective team building. The certificate will be open to all students, regardless of major, and will prepare them for a shifting job market while adding an academic component to an already thriving environment of entrepreneurship and innovation. “Our Entrepreneurship Certificate Program is part of a broader effort to ensure that our students are positioned for success after graduation,” says President Jere W. Morehead. “It also underscores the role the University of Georgia plays in making our state and nation more economically competitive and dynamic.” The certificate’s curriculum is focused on building startup companies, with an emphasis on innovation. Students will take three core courses focused on launching, financing and managing startups, plus two elective courses in fields ranging from agriculture to journalism and psychology. The elective courses (such as Agribusiness Marketing, Digital and Social Communications Strategies, Retail Entrepreneurship, and Sociology of Leadership) help students tailor what they’re learning about entrepreneurship back to the fields where they can apply it. “It’s about starting small and going big,” says Bob Pinckney (BBA ’82), director of UGA’s Entrepreneurship Program.



ome children dream of becoming doctors, others of becoming world-renowned scientists or movie stars. Robert Enck was the kind of kid who thought about new ideas to start a business. In eighth grade, Enck wanted to start a company that sold sunglasses with interchangeable stems. Customers could mix and match colors and designs for a new look each day. Enck was disappointed when he found a website that sold exactly what he envisioned, but he didn’t give up.


Bob Pinckney (BBA ’82), director of UGA’s Entrepreneurship Program, has founded several consulting, software and telecommunications companies and knows the market is tough for new businesses. “We’re trying to give students the tools and knowledge so they can improve their chances of success,” he says.

As Pinckney, the former CEO of sport protection equipment company EvoShield, sees it, there are two driving forces shaping entrepreneurship in the economy. “Technology is the big change. The Internet allows business ideas to be extremely scalable with companies like Uber, Facebook or Dropbox. These are companies in the U.S. that start in a small environment, but they can go global very quickly,” Pinckney says. “The other thing is that the traditional career path of joining up with an IBM and staying there 30 years and retiring is disappearing.” Pinckney predicts that people increasingly are going to start businesses, work as freelancers or become consultants at some point in their lives. “I think the nature of business in this country is evolving to where we all probably need to be thinking entrepreneurially in our career.” That’s the philosophy that drove Sydney Stroup (BSFCS ’16) to earn an entrepreneurship certificate through a Terry College and College of Family and Consumer Sciences partnership, a predecessor to the new and expanded program. Stroup says she doesn’t have immediate plans to start a business—she’s interested in corporate and nonprofit event planning—but knew the concepts of entrepreneurship were

important for anyone of her generation. “It’s about learning that it’s OK to fail,” Stroup says. “You have to try. Some things are going to work. Some things aren’t. But trying is going to make you successful in the long run.” As the program’s director, Pinckney brings an insider’s experiences to the classroom. The Terry College and Harvard Business School graduate has helped found several consulting, software and telecommunications companies. Experience lies at the foundation of this program. The entrepreneurship courses revolve around examining case studies of startup businesses and addressing real-world problems. Special guest speakers, alumni and friends of the university regularly visit to share hard-won lessons about entrepreneurship. Marc Gorlin (ABJ ’95) has helped found several startups including the Atlanta-based firm Kabbage, which offers lines of credit to small- and medium-sized businesses online, and most recently, Roadie, a delivery network that “connects people with stuff to send with drivers already heading in that direction.” When Gorlin visits campus, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication alumnus emphasizes the importance of communication skills in the startup world.




Sydney Stroup (BSFCS ’16) earned an entrepreneurship certificate through a Terry College and College of Family and Consumer Sciences partnership, a predecessor to the new and expanded program. [Editor’s note: Sydney Stroup was incorrectly identified as Sarah Manning in the print version of this issue. GM regrets the error.]

“Anything that makes you a better writer, speaker and storyteller, that’s the key,” he says. “It’s about being able to transform ideas you care about into stories that ignite passion in others.” And while Gorlin believes experience provides the best lessons in entrepreneurship, he says the next best thing students can do is learn by working with those who have done it. While the program is housed in the business school, it is open to all students, regardless of major. Students in art, science, international affairs, engineering and biology all have the opportunity to explore what it’s like to start a business. Sophomore Sarah Manning, from Rome, Ga., wants to start a speech pathology practice. In addition to majoring in communication sciences,


she plans to enhance her degree with a certificate in entrepreneurship. The launch of the certificate program is happening amid a growing culture of entrepreneurship in Athens. UGA’s Thinc. initiative, launched in 2013 to provide inspiration and advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, offers noncredit pop-up classes, such as coding for students who aren’t computer science majors. And tech incubator Four Athens is nurturing an off-campus entrepreneurship community. “There is a movement happening in Athens, with UGA’s help, to keep and attract entrepreneurs,” says Drew French (BBA ’05), founder of the pizza franchise Your Pie, which finished sixth on this year’s Bulldog 100 list of the fastestgrowing companies owned or operated by UGA alumni.


A thriving startup ecosystem in Athens benefits the university and the state’s economic development. Outside the classroom, the Entrepreneurship Program guides students through experiences to help turn their ideas into profitable businesses. UGA’s Next Top Entrepreneur is a national competition hosted in Athens in which students pitch their existing business or idea for a $10,000 prize. The Collegiate Next Great Consumer Brands program invites student teams from all over the country to present consumer/retail brand ideas or businesses, with the winner receiving a $25,000 award. Both of these programs are supported by private funds. In UGA’s Idea Accelerator Program, an eight-week “business boot camp,” UGA faculty and Athens-area entrepreneurs help students hone their ideas as they compete for a $5,000 prize to invest in their business. The prize for this program comes through the UGA Innovation Fund, which is supported by Dan Broos (BBA ’78), founder of Brighton Partners, a private equity investment firm in Atlanta. Pinckney is searching for additional private sponsors for these and other entrepreneurship events. The idea is to give students the chance to launch a startup idea before they graduate and must choose between pursuing their dreams and paying rent. “There’s less downside, less risk,” Broos says. And if their ideas are successful, perhaps they won’t have to defer their pursuit of a startup in favor of a stable income. Last fall, Enck took his digital ticket sales idea through the accelerator program and won the top prize. He’s using the money to develop an app and website for his idea and to begin marketing to music venues. “It was an amazing experience,” Enck says. “I learned so much about how you start a business. True learning experiences happen by getting out there and trying to make things happen.” entrepreneurship

Tarkenton Certificate


In addition to UGA’s campuswide certificate program, the Tarkenton Institute and the Terry College of Business have partnered to offer the Tarkenton Certificate in Entrepreneurship. This nondegree certificate program offers current and aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn about starting a new business or operating an existing business more effectively. The program was the brainchild of Fran Tarkenton (BBA ’61), an NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and founder of Tarkenton Companies. The program offers a selfpaced, self-contained learning platform that allows students to learn and apply lessons on their schedules, with coaching from UGA faculty and experienced entrepreneurs. “This program is just a small way I can give back to the university after it has given me so much,” Tarkenton says. “It’s my hope that this program will help someone else realize their true potential and take the next step toward achieving their dreams.”


(Top) Erin Hollander examines a Rube Goldberg machine created for a Thinc. Week competition in 2014. Four teams vied to win the first Thinc. Prize for Innovation, sponsored by the College of Engineering. Hollander, now a junior, received a 2015 Goldwater Scholarship. (Right) MBA student David Krasny leads a group discussion on a business plan for an app. The Terry College of Business offers full-time, executive and professional MBA programs.



Assistant Professor Luke Mortensen developed a laser imaging technology to use in his work searching for therapies for hypophosphatasia, an inherited condition that makes bones softer and more likely to fracture. Last year, Mortensen was able to meet patients who suffer from this rare condition while accepting a Maher Family Grant from the organization Soft Bones. PHOTO BY ANDREW DAVIS TUCKER



reGENERATING RECOVERY Researchers at UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center are unlocking the body’s potential to heal itself by Lori Johnston (ABJ ’95)


uke Mortensen’s mission is to find a way to replace missing bones in children and save lives. Mortensen finished a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in fall 2014 and joined UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center (RBC), which links researchers and resources in various disciplines to develop cures for human and animal diseases. The center, established a decade ago by Steven Stice, offered Mortensen access to regenerative medicine and stem cell experts and a supportive, collaborative environment. A unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research, the center has grown to include more than 30 faculty from several UGA colleges and joint efforts with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University and other research universities. On the third floor of the RBC, located on East Campus, Mortensen built a novel laser microscope, the first major component of his new lab. He wanted to use his experience in microscopes and stem cells and interest in bone regeneration in a meaningful way—specifically, to find a treatment for hypophosphatasia (HPP), a rare congenital bone disease in which bones don’t mineralize or grow properly. The condition can cause stillbirth; for those who survive, bones are softer and more likely to fracture. “I wanted to do something where I could use those key elements that I’d gathered as I went along, and try to apply it to something where it could impact people,” says Mortensen, an assistant professor with a joint appointment

in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and the College of Engineering. His research could result in using stem cell therapy to permanently heal individuals with HPP. Earlier this year, he began using his two photon laser microscopes to visualize living cells inside of the bone and to track the cells within the bone marrow of mice. “We’re starting from the ground up. That was really exciting. You could see the cells zipping around,” Mortensen says. “Getting to this point was sort of an adventure.” The ultimate goal is to replace the damaged stem cells of someone who has a genetic defect with ones that are healthy and can permanently heal them, he says. Bone regeneration, traumatic brain injury, and the first and only stroke model using swine in the U.S. are just some of the research areas at the RBC. Faculty members include biochemists, veterinarians, pharmacologists, toxicologists and animal scientists representing the CAES, the College of Education, the College of Engineering, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. RBC members also have received federal research grants and funding from government, public and private entities including the National Institutes of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the American Heart Association, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense. Nearly $7.6 million in grants were awarded to RBC members in 2014-15. JUNE 2016 • GEORGIA MAGAZINE


KEY MILESTONES 2005: RBC is founded. 2009: Awarded $1.4 million to conduct large animal research on a discovery called “fracture putty” that uses adult stem cells to heal and regenerate a broken bone.

2014: Shared a $3 million EPA grant to speed up a way to determine the physiological effects of environmental chemicals on children and infants. 2015: Conducted the only U.S. study that uses a pig stroke model for neurological repair.


2012: Received $1.6 million gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which allowed RBC researchers to breed chickens resistant to Newcastle virus.

Professor Steven Stice founded UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center with a handful of researchers; today it includes almost 30 faculty members.

UGA’s expertise in fields such as regenerative medicine and veterinary medicine, combined with partnerships with Emory and Georgia Tech, gives the RBC a strong presence at industry and international meetings. The RBC provides training and education to researchers from around the world, and research findings and papers have appeared in more than 1,000 journals and publications. In RBC’s first 10 years, it has licensed technology and products, and Stice expects that commercialization efforts will grow.

No cold calling

RBC researchers use adult stem cells—“blank” cells that are able to develop into specialized cell types—to create therapies for diseased, dysfunctional or injured tissue.


Friendly and warm aren’t typically words used to describe laboratories, but they frequently come up in conversations with RBC members. The RBC was created in 2005 to lay a foundation to share resources, offer training and foster collaborative research across disciplines and institutions. In 2008, the RBC was refocused on regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy, which was becoming a more


recognized area of study internationally. Stem cells are “blank” cells that can develop into any type of cell. They can be manipulated into becoming specialized cells to treat specific conditions—heart muscle cells, for example, that can be injected into a person with heart disease. RBC researchers work primarily with adult stem cells, which come from a variety of sources such as skin, teeth and muscle as well as induced pluripotent stem cells that have been genetically reprogrammed. Since refocusing on regenerative medicine, the RBC has grown and now includes 34 faculty members, 19 postdoctoral research assistants, more than 40 graduate students, and approximately 75 undergraduate students. “What we’ve been able to do over the years is bring in faculty from a number of different colleges, including the vet school, where a lot of regenerative medicine is being done today,” says Stice, a D.W. Brooks Distinguished Professor in CAES and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar endowed chair. RBC has recruited top researchers and offers the opportunity for new UGA faculty to become involved. Emerging efforts include a project involving cell manufacturing with GRA Eminent Scholar Art Edison and the new Marcus Center for Therapeutic Cell Characterization and Manufacturing at Georgia Tech. “What it’s taken to grow is really the opportunity to be able to recruit faculty directly to the center. Some of the most productive research going on at the university is going on in our betterorganized centers and institutes,” says David Lee, UGA’s vice president for research. Three years ago, UGA, Georgia Tech and Emory formed Regenerative Engineering and Medicine, a research center that seeks to establish the state as a national leader in regenerative clinical therapies. The collaboration also awards seed grants to fund work among the institutions. “We’ve been able to bring different groups, different schools and different disciplines together and obtain funding,” Stice says. “The progress toward therapies is never as fast as I’d like it to be, although we’ve made progress and we’ve contributed to that area.”

The RBC’s interdisciplinary approach brings together faculty and researchers who might not otherwise connect, even if their offices are on the same side of campus. The RBC facilitates introductions that otherwise might feel like a cold call, says Franklin West, RBC member and CAES assistant professor. For example, he and Susan Fagan, Albert W. Jowdy Professor and associate department head of clinical and administrative pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy, attended the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference. “The fact that these researchers are world-renowned experts means they’re in high demand. By having this group, we’re able to get the attention from an elite circle,” says West, whose research focuses on stroke and traumatic brain injury. New ideas and a broader, fresh perspective can emerge from those collegial meetings and RBC events, says Maria M. Viveiros, assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Viveiros and associate professor Rabindranath De La Fuente are studying reproductive health and how chromosomes

behave and break, which can lead to genetic disorders such as Down syndrome. Their research could lead to noninvasive strategies in early prenatal care and maternal health. When they learned about a super-resolution microscope custom-made by researchers with the College of Engineering (who were located next door), the RBC provided a natural way to connect and develop pilot experiments to look at DNA sequences in a 3D structure. The level of resolution was not possible five years ago and is a major breakthrough, De La Fuente says. “We can break new ground in these areas and come up with completely new information,” he says. “That has been a really important example of how the RBC has been a good center that has actually integrated all these different researchers and facilitated these kinds of interactions.” “It’s valuable access to a lot of people who are doing some very interesting things, and all of a sudden you find yourself across the table from them,” Viveiros says. “It just fosters these very easy conversations.”


The RBC’s interdisciplinary approach made it possible for Assistant Professor Maria Viveiros (left) and Associate Professor Rabindranath De La Fuente, both in UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine, to develop experiments using a super-resolution microscope with researchers in the College of Engineering.






Assistant Professor Franklin West (left) and graduate students observe a pig’s gait using a swine stroke model developed at the RBC. Researchers are testing stem cell therapies via the model, the first to utilize swine to imitate stroke recovery instead of rodents or primates. The study could one day enable stroke patients to have better mobility and improved vision, hearing and short-term memory.

Trey Powell (left), a freshman majoring in biological engineering, receives instructions from Emily Pendleton, a Ph.D. student in neuroscience. Powell and Pendleton work in Mortensen’s lab at the Rhodes Animal and Dairy Science Center.

The RBC Fellows program has grown to 78 undergraduate students, up from 50 in the 2014-15 academic year. Students can immerse themselves in research and lab work at the RBC, where they hone critical thinking, present at scientific summits off campus and publish their work. The RBC has helped produce Goldwater Scholarship winners, as well as Gates and Udall winners, and several Goldwater, Truman, Gates and Udall nominees. In 2016, three nominees for prestigious scholarships—two Goldwater nominees and one Truman nominee—were RBC fellows. “I don’t think I would’ve been selected as a nominee or even had a chance to apply, if I had not had my experience at the RBC,” says Hannah Mason. The UGA junior, who’s pursuing bachelor’s degrees in molecular biology and Spanish, was nominated for a 2016 Goldwater Scholarship and received an honorable mention. Through their RBC connections and work, students spend their summers working with researchers at other institutions, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Duke University. “There’s no doubt in my mind that had I not had this research experience, and especially the research experience last summer (at MIT), I would not have even been considered,” says Cali Callaway, a junior pursuing a dual BS/ MS in biology and artificial intelligence, who received a 2016 Goldwater Scholarship. “It really does require that you’ve done research, and done it in a


Collaborating with curious students

substantial way, which is exactly what I’ve had the opportunity to do here.” About 50 graduate students work at the RBC, a number Stice would like to double in the next three years.

What’s next? The center will continue to build partnerships with industry and foundations, work strategically with other entities, including research universities outside of the state, and move innovations to the marketplace, Lee says. One RBC start-up, Cytogenesis, acquired by Viacyte, is now in clinical trials for diabetes. Stice has founded four biotechnology companies at UGA. One of those, ArunA Biomedical, provides cells to groups involved in cell therapy, particularly in the area of stroke, and it was the first company to commercialize a product that helped lead to approval of new cognitive-enhancing drugs. Larger pharmaceutical companies are expressing great interest in this area and are starting to provide the resources to start large cell manufacturing for cell therapy, Stice says. Developing

immunotherapies that use an individual’s stem cells to attack cancer in their body is one way the RBC can play a large role in commercialization. “There are strong opportunities for Georgia to carve out a niche in stem cell medical manufacturing and transportation,” Stice says. Another burgeoning area that stands to set the RBC apart is the development of new animal models for studies of human diseases, according to Lee. The swine stroke model was developed by a team that includes West plus RBC and vet med faculty members Simon Platt, a neurosurgeon and professor focusing on canine stroke and brain tumors; Shannon Holmes, assistant professor of advanced imaging; and Elizabeth “Buffy” Howerth, a professor of cellular and molecular pathology of disease. “The RBC is critical to the effort. It helped me get into contact with other individuals who are like-minded and had interest in doing the stroke model,” says West. “It’s not that it would take longer. In some cases, it wouldn’t happen at all.”





UGA students (left-right) Vinay Rudresh, Selina Zhu and Josh Henry assist with a Habitat for Humanity build in Asheboro, N.C., during an IMPACT service break in March 2015. PHOTO BY JONATHAN LEE

UGA students serve others during breaks from school, making a difference in the communities they support—and in themselves by Margaret Blanchard (AB ’91, MA ’98) JUNE 2016 • GEORGIA MAGAZINE



nitiated at UGA by a group of students in 1994, alternative spring breaks are modeled on a program started by two Vanderbilt University students in the 1980s. The idea is for students to use the time off from school to engage in social issues and serve communities. More than 200 colleges and universities across the country provide such opportunities, according to Break Away, a nonprofit support organization for such programs. UGA sponsors 25 trips a year across the United States, 20 during spring break and five in winter. Each trip accommodates between 14-20 students, including two site leaders. During the 2015-16 school year, almost 700 students applied for 480 slots on 25 scheduled trips. IMPACT trips address hot-button social issues such as homelessness, poverty, the environment, food insecurity, and child advocacy.


students participating since the program began in 1994 26


The program is a prime example of learning by doing, one that stands to grow as the experiential learning initiative goes into effect for incoming freshmen at UGA this fall. When Victor Wilson was first approached about the initiative, IMPACT was the first program that crossed his mind. As vice president of student affairs, Wilson (BSW ’82, MEd ’87) oversees the university’s efforts to engage the student body. “It’s an extremely positive union between what student affairs is doing, and the experiences that happen, and the learning that takes place,” he says. “Service offerings like IMPACT are a natural fit.” IMPACT is part of the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS), which provides staff support and guidance but allows students to take most of the lead running the program. “These trips bring out some of our most empathetic, compassionate students. Their hearts and minds are already in this place of wanting to love and serve their communities,” says Jen Rentschler, director of the CLS. From cleaning up urban landscapes to advocating for social justice, the program has a ripple effect long after students pack up their vans and return to Athens. Feedback from service sites are consistently positive, as evident in comments from post-visit surveys. For example, the Salvation Army Family Store in Durham, N.C., reported that: “IMPACT students really did have an impact in our community. They got so much done in our Family Store as far as organizing and preparing clothes to be put out on the floor. The donations sent to the Family Store help to fund the Salvation Army and the Boys and Girls Club, both of which provide food assistance to families and community members in need. The group was such a joy to work with.”


hitlock, who graduated with degrees in biology and psychology in May, knew she wanted to be involved in service even before she entered UGA. Growing up in the affluent Atlanta suburb of Johns Creek, she was aware of the benefits her upbringing provided and had the desire to use her resources to serve others. As a freshman, she spent spring break on an IMPACT trip supporting children’s advocacy in Clinton, S.C. After that she was hooked, returning for more trips, eventually leading one and becoming executive coordinator of the program. In this role she organizes the executive board, which serves to train trip leaders and form the vision of the organization.

UGA students (left-right) Dorian Blair, Tracy Wong, Rochelle Still and Allie Myers help weed and plant an educational garden for Groundwork New Orleans during an IMPACT service break trip in March.



n a noisy, packed meeting room in the Tate Student Center one evening in early January, more than 40 students fresh from winter break bustle about—reconnecting, sharing stories, laughing, checking their phones. “IMPACT!” a student shouts over the din. “Yeah, yeah!” the group responds in unison. Cell phones disappear, heads face forward and the group is ready to work. It’s what they do. The UGA students gathered here are the backbone of IMPACT Service Breaks, weeklong trips addressing social issues in a significant way. Formerly known as Alternative Spring Break, the program is part of the Center for Leadership and Service in UGA Student Affairs. It’s just one way the university fulfills its mission to engage students, serve communities, and make the world a better place. Brittany Whitlock’s experience as a student with IMPACT was transformational; it gave her perspective not only on the concept of community, but also on how she might best make a difference. “I learned about the impact of health care on children and how it can affect families. It got me interested in being a doctor and changed my career path from physical therapy to traditional medicine,” she says. “The magic of IMPACT is that it shows you possibility and power and hope in changing things.”

25 trips offered per year




Alumna Kathryn Ash (center) meets with IMPACT students (left-right) Teeda Niemann, Crystal Chen and Brittany Whitlock during a visit to campus in February. Ash (ABJ ’82) and her husband, Darren (BBA ’81, MAcc ’82), of Charlotte, N.C., provide support to students during service breaks in their hometown.

Whitlock believes service-learning programs like IMPACT have the ability to empower her generation. She notes that many of her peers seem convinced that the ability to effect change in the world happens later in life, only after a person has found a career. “The best part of IMPACT is that it shows young people how powerful they are, and that if they learn about the issues in their community and connect with people in their neighborhoods, they can take action and really make a difference,” she explains.

IMPACT is also a crash course in event planning and management. In only a couple of months, site leaders must plan trips down to the minute, including transportation, lodging, meals, cultural activities and at least 40 hours of service. Each student undergoes a background check and extensive driver training. They hone communication and organizational skills, working the phones to set up activities as well as creating (and staying within) a budget. They learn about risk management and liability.

440 students participated in service break trips at

25 cities in 2015-16 28


Equally important are the leadership skills gained from supervising a group of peers and promoting teamwork. Sound intimidating? Students agree that being top dog on such an adventure is not always a smooth ride; trying to appease individuals as well as the group, handling dissension, and dealing with the occasional flat tire or broken-down van can be challenging. “But that’s precisely what makes it such an empowering experience,” Whitlock says. “One of the things I learned as a site leader is that leadership isn’t about age, it’s about your qualifications.” The peer-leadership model is a key factor in developing such qualifications and seems to serve its purpose well. With support from the executive board and the CLS staff, site leaders shape the week’s activities around their issue of choice. Many participants report that traveling to an unfamiliar destination in the name of service has other virtues, such as learning to work with strangers on shared values. “I learned a lot about myself,” says Ellen Clegg, a sophomore cellular biology major from Columbus who spent a week in December on an IMPACT trip to Atlanta. “I was able to make friends with 18 other people who I probably would have never met.” But she emphasizes that meeting new people and having fun is only part of the experience. “If you really care about social justice issues, IMPACT can help you figure out what you’re passionate about and want to teach others,” she says. That altruism is one of the reasons Darren and Kathryn Ash (ABJ ’82) support the program. In their hometown of Charlotte, N.C., they

help IMPACT volunteers find lodging in local churches and also provide them a meal. Darren Ash (BBA ’81, MAcc ’82) appreciates the university’s efforts to encourage students to get outside of their comfort zones. “Thinking about the needs of others makes for a healthy state of mind,” he explains, “and the sooner you start nurturing that within yourself, the happier you’re going to be.” He’s seen firsthand how IMPACT’s ‘magic’ can transform a quiet group of young people into a cohesive unit of citizens bonded by experience. “These students are being guided down a very holistic path,” he explains. “It shows that UGA is strong in community engagement as well as academics and social aspects. That makes for a very well-rounded student.”

SERVICE PAYS OFF Financial motives typically are not why students get involved in service learning, but a recent UGA study suggests that experiences like IMPACT may benefit students in terms of compensation in the workplace. The report found that in 2010, a group of UGA graduates who had participated in service learning made about $4,600 more annually in their first full-time job than those who had not. Paul Matthews, associate director of UGA’s Office of Service-Learning and a co-author of the study, attributes the results in part to students learning by experience. “Students report they have enhanced teamwork and communication skills. They better understand the subject matter and how to apply it in the real world,” Matthews says. The study, co-authored by Jeffrey Dorfman, professor of agriculture and applied economics, and Xuedong Wu (MS ’12, PhD ’15), appeared in the fall issue of the International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement.


Akash Patel carries boxes of energy-efficient light bulbs to install in a house during an IMPACT service break in March. Patel and his fellow UGA students worked with the nonprofit organization Green Light New Orleans on delivering and installing the light bulbs in 14 homes.



Bridging a false divide

In UGA’s new MFA program, critically acclaimed author Valerie Boyd teaches writers how to elevate journalism to the level of literature

by Allyson Mann (MA ’92)


alerie Boyd’s road to becoming an author was unusual—she was invited. Boyd had become a fan of Zora Neale Hurston’s after reading Their Eyes Were Watching God and considered her a “literary grandmother.” So when the seasoned journalist was contacted by an agent who asked her if she’d consider writing a book proposal for a new biography of Hurston, she felt like she had “no choice but to say yes,” although book publishing was a foreign world. In 2003 she published Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, which earned a Southern Book Award and the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award, as well as garnering a Georgia Author of the Year Award for Boyd. The Washington Post called it “definitive,” The Boston Globe “elegant and exhilarating.” Boyd joined the UGA faculty in 2004 after nearly 20 years as a reporter and editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Now an associate professor and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence, she has combined her journalism expertise with lessons learned in publishing to create UGA’s new Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Narrative Media Writing degree. Based on Boyd’s proposal and five years in the making, the program began in fall. “I had this kind of dream experience in becoming an author,” Boyd says. “But for a lot of people, that’s not going to


happen. You have to catalyze it yourself, and an MFA program like ours will show you how to do that.”


n early January—on Zora Neale Hurston’s birthday—Boyd leads a graduate seminar on how to put together a book proposal. The semester officially starts in four days, and most students haven’t returned to campus yet, but the MFA program is different. Housed in the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, it’s a lowresidency program; students visit campus once a semester for eight to 10 days of seminars and workshops before returning home and resuming their work online. There are two tracks of study: narrative nonfiction, directed by Boyd, and screenwriting, led by Nate Kohn, professor of entertainment and media studies. This program is just one way UGA is creating unique learning opportunities for nontraditional graduate students. An MFA program based in a college of journalism is unusual; in fact, UGA’s is the only one in the United States. To find something similar, a student would have to travel to Canada for the MFA in creative nonfiction based in the School of Journalism at University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “My idea was to bridge the false divide between journalism and literature,” Boyd says. “Journalists bring a kind of facility


Valerie Boyd, associate professor of journalism, wrote the proposal to create UGA’s new MFA in Narrative Media Writing degree and directs the program’s narrative nonfiction track. She’s working on a new book—a curated collection of excerpts from the journals of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker.

with research and reporting that a lot of other writers don’t have. We know how to get the facts, and we know how to research and report stories. Our MFA program is designed to show students how to use those research and reporting skills, combined with beautiful, literary storytelling, to turn our journalism into literature—what I call factual literature.” And that, according to Grady Dean Charles Davis, is precisely what Boyd did in Wrapped in Rainbows. “She’s an artist,” he says. “If you pick up her book, what you will see right away is


the meticulous way she approaches the task of writing, the lavish detail, the incredible use of primary-source documents.” “What Valerie demonstrates to the students is that you cannot write that way unless you have already researched that way.” Joining Boyd as faculty for the program are Moni Basu, a senior enterprise reporter for CNN Digital with a 26year background in newspaper reporting and editing, and John T. Edge (M ’86), a well-known food writer, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance at

the University of Mississippi, and a contributing editor at Garden & Gun. The narrative nonfiction program’s journalism-based emphasis and strong core faculty attracted 11 students in its first year, many of whom are seasoned reporters. (Boyd expects to fill the second class with the maximum number of students, 15, in August.) “It’s hard reporting of facts, but telling it in a literary way, so that’s what’s appealing,” says Rosalind Bentley, a student in the program and an AJC reporter for more than a decade.

Karen Thomas, also a student in the program, spent 25-plus years at daily newspapers before becoming a professor in Southern Methodist University’s journalism program. But she’d long wanted to make the transition to books and other long-form writing. Thomas didn’t need another degree—she already has a master’s from Columbia University—but after meeting Boyd at a writer’s conference, she was eager to work with her. “It was all about Valerie,” she says. “I find her an incredible journalist and writer and thinker.”





FA student Andre Gallant reads his story pitch out loud, while faculty and fellow students listen intently. The Athens-based journalist and photographer gradually weaves the tale of an immigrant who’s making a new home in Georgia. “That was nice. That was really nice,” Chuck Reece (ABJ ’94) responds, and then follows up with advice on making the pitch even more effective. Reece, editor and co-founder of The Bitter Southerner, is visiting class to give feedback as the students present story ideas. They’ve been honing their skills this week, and the pressure’s on to “stand and deliver,” as Edge says. If Reece likes an idea, the student may get a chance to write it for the digital publication, which provides “one great story from the South every week.” The ideas are far-ranging, including issues of race, religion and the environment, but also veer into more personal topics. After each pitch, Reece reflects on what he’s heard and asks questions, giving students a glimpse into how he evaluates story ideas. Boyd listens quietly, but reveals her pride at the end of the session. “I just want to say that I was really impressed with all of your pitches. I think the ideas are extraordinarily fresh,” she tells her students. “Now that I’ve heard them, I’m going to push you to make them happen.” Providing this kind of support is typical of Boyd, says Susan Southard, author of Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War. Boyd served as an associate faculty mentor from 2005-07 at Antioch University in Los Angeles, where Southard was enrolled in the creative writing MFA program. 32


MFA students Karen Thomas (left) and Andre Gallant (center) take a break during “The Road to the First Book,” a seminar featuring guest speakers and authors Sheri Booker and Susan Southard. The session was held during the program’s campus residency in January.

“She’s very kind. She’s very responsive,” Southard says. “And she really holds the faith for her students, for what they’re trying to achieve, that they will get there.” Southard was one of five visiting writers during the January residency at UGA; she and Sheri Booker (Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner City Funeral Home) were part of a panel discussion titled “The Road to the First Book,” which gave students a chance to hear the nitty-gritty of their experiences. Boyd’s approach to the curriculum is decidedly pragmatic, focusing not only on improving writing skills but also making sure students understand a variety of issues: how writers get paid, how agent/writer relationships work and why writers should set aside money to pay for photo rights, for example. “I think a lot of programs are so craft focused that they don’t focus on the practicalities of being a writer, and that’s something I wanted to do differently here,” she says. “I don’t want you to leave the program without an understanding of how the process works,” she tells the students. “I think a lot of MFA programs don’t tell people that. It’s like they don’t believe that you’re going to get a book deal. I believe that you will get a book deal.”

here are two things every writer needs, according to Valerie Boyd. One is community, and the other is solitude. UGA’s MFA program provides both. The students work in a community setting during the residency and then in solitude when they return to their homes and face what every writer dreads—the blank page (or screen). But technology makes it possible for the students to continue their work and stay in touch with mentors and each other. The MFA program is just one of UGA’s growing set of online offerings—in 2010 there were seven programs, and now there are 32. “What I think is most exciting is being able to increase access to students that normally would not be able to come to the university, and providing that option to reach out across the entire state but also regionally and nationally,” says Keith Bailey, director of online learning. In addition to attracting students without the barrier of geography, programs like this become more and more vital as traditional career expectations change, says Suzanne Barbour, dean of the Graduate School. “Back in my parents’ generation, you earned a degree and then you went to work. In my generation, and certainly in the generations following mine, you are learning throughout your career,” Barbour says. “The idea of going back to school has become the norm because people view themselves as lifelong learners.” Bailey and Barbour agree that adding the low-residency component attracts more experienced students because it allows people to pursue a graduate degree without quitting their jobs, uprooting their families and moving to Athens. And those are the students who Davis wants to bring to the Grady College. “Anyone who has taught mid-career professionals in a graduate setting knows how wonderful they are to teach because they are completely bought in,” he says. “They are prepared, they are active, they are engaged learners.” Boyd has found that to be true of her MFA students. “This first group sets the bar,” she says, “and they’ve set it pretty darn high.”


n days when she’s not teaching, Boyd can be found at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library at Emory University, reading Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker’s handwritten journals. “I walk into the special collections library, and the door closes behind me, and it’s like, ‘Ahhhhh,’” she says. “I just feel like the sun is shining directly on me.” Some of Walker’s papers are available to other scholars, but because of the personal nature of the journals, they are embargoed until 2027 or after her death, whichever comes later. Boyd, however, has special permission from Walker to read the journals. She’s working on a curated collection of excerpts that will be published next year as Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker. Like the project with Hurston, this work has paired her with someone she

considers to be a literary mentor. But this time, Boyd has access to her subject. In fact, in February she traveled to Mexico to help Walker celebrate her birthday. “It’s like hanging out with your favorite cool aunt,” she says. Boyd is mindful of her good fortune, describing the Walker project as “joyful work” and a “dream job.” And she wants her students—the ones currently enrolled, but also those to come in the future—to have similar opportunities. “Every journalist I know secretly wants to write a book,” Boyd says. “This is the place where we’re saying, ‘Tell your secret. Come on. Tell us your idea. We can help you get from here to there.’”



Chuck Reece (ABJ ’94), editor and co-founder of The Bitter Southerner, responds to a story pitch while Boyd and fellow faculty member John T. Edge (M ’86) observe. Reece was impressed with the students’ ideas, telling one, “You’re the first person today who’s hit me with something that I didn’t even know existed.”



The UGA Alumni Association advances the academic excellence, interests and traditions of Georgia’s flagship university by inspiring engagement through relevant programming, enhanced connections, and effective communications.


UGA Alumni Career Fair

UGA Alumni Directory in the works

All UGA alumni are invited to Cobb Galleria in Atlanta from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m for a career fair exclusively for graduates of the university.

The UGA Alumni Association is partnering with Publishing Concepts (PCI) to publish the first alumni directory in more than five years. Alumni are encouraged to call PCI to update their information at (866) 571-1432. Doing so will not only help assemble an accurate directory, but will ensure alumni are receiving invitations and communications from UGA relevant to where they live. PCI is a trusted partner of the University of Georgia and will not share alumni information with any entities outside of UGA. Learn more at or by emailing


Young Alumni Night at SweetWater UGA young alumni are invited to SweetWater Brewing Company in Atlanta for this annual gathering. The evening kicks off at 9 p.m.

Get your UGA License Plate today! Campaigns to offer UGA license plates in Tennessee and Alabama were launched this spring. Visit to learn more about how you can get yours. UGA license plates are already available in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.


UGA in Washington Reception Gather in the nation’s capital as the university hosts a reception for UGA alumni and friends. Mix and mingle with fellow Bulldogs and hear updates from campus starting at 6 p.m. at Union Station.



40 Under 40 Awards 2016 Luncheon


Join the UGA Alumni Association at Flourish in Atlanta as it recognizes and celebrates 40 outstanding graduates under the age of 40. This year’s honorees will be announced in July at

Walter Lee Jones III (BS ’97) of Professional Technology Integration Inc. spoke with students from UGA’s Entrepreneurship Program before the Bulldog 100 Celebration Jan. 30 in Atlanta. Jones’ business landed at No. 77 on the list of 2016 Bulldog 100 fastest-growing businesses.



For more events, visit calendar.

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Dawn Mahler (ABJ ’10), center, and Marcia McCree (AB ’05), right, of the Washington, D.C., Chapter, listen to a training session during the 2016 Alumni Leadership Assembly in Athens, an annual gathering of UGA Alumni Association chapter leaders from across the country.

GET INVOLVED ALUMNI CHAPTERS Alumni, friends and family members are invited to participate in programs hosted by UGA’s more than 120 alumni chapters.

SOCIAL MEDIA Stay connected with @ugaalumniassoc on Instagram!

CAREER SERVICES The UGA Career Center provides resources to help alumni find meaningful careers via its office in the Atlanta Alumni Center in Buckhead.

New Alumni Website The UGA Alumni Association launched a new website this spring ( The new site will make it easier for alumni to identify ways to connect with their alma mater and support students’ career development before and after graduation. Take it for a spin today!

Hannah Norman (ABJ ’12) participated in the “Give That Dawg a Bone” card-writing campaign by writing personal congratulations messages to newly accepted UGA students in January. Email sbyus@ if you’d like to participate next year.

For more information: • (800) 606-8786 •



Tweet-Hearts Like true lovebirds, Sumita Dalmia (BSFCS ’10) and her fiancé Anuj Patel tweeted their way into a relationship. Dalmia is an attorney in Atlanta who dabbles as a freelance social media manager with a knack for getting swag via the popular social media platform. In September 2013, she connected with Patel over his tweet about an extra ticket he had to Zoo Atlanta’s annual Jazzoo event (inset). More than two years (and many tweets) later, Patel proposed to Dalmia via a tweetbased scavenger hunt around the city—ending on the rooftop of the W Atlanta in midtown. Their story was featured by Buzzfeed, Mashable,, Yahoo! News, The Knot, Times of India and People magazine.





Compiled by Camren Skelton

1950-1954 Hamilton Stockton Jr. (BBA ’53) was inducted into the 2016 Phi Delta Theta Georgia Alumni Hall of Fame in March.

1955-1959 Otis “Sonny” Shroyer (BBA ’58) of Clarkesville was inducted into the 2016 Phi Delta Theta Georgia Alumni Hall of Fame in March.

1960-1964 Arnold Young (BBA ’63, LLB ’65) of Savannah was recognized as a 2016 Georgia Super Lawyer. Young is a civil litigation defense attorney with HunterMaclean. Larry Walker (BBA ’64, JD ’65) of Perry was reappointed to the board of regents of the University System of Georgia. Walker is an attorney with Walker, Hulbert, Gray & Byrd and has served in the Georgia General Assembly for more than 30 years.

1965-1969 John Tatum (AB ’65, LLB ’68) of Savannah was recognized as a 2016 Georgia Super Lawyer. Tatum is a business litigation attorney with HunterMaclean. Virginia Carson (BSEd ’69) of Douglas announced her retirement as president of South Georgia State College, effective June 30. Jimmy Rigsby Jr. (BBA ’69) of Augusta was named an honorary consul of Bulgaria through his relationship with the heads of the Bulgarian Golf Association. Rigsby won the senior division of Bulgaria’s amateur golf tournament in 2011 and 2012.

1970-1974 Tommy Sasser (BSF ’70) of Eatonton received the Perry Dye Service Award from the Golf Course Builders Association of America. The honor recognizes outstanding leadership and commitment to the organization. Bob (BSA ’71) and Maxine Burton (BSEd ’72, MEd ’78) of Athens were awarded the Medallion of Honor by UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the college’s commencement ceremony in December. The couple owns burton+BURTON, the nation’s leading

supplier of balloons and coordinating gift products. David E. Powers (ABJ ’73) of Richmond, Va., wrote and directed the film “Shooting the Prodigal,” which premiered in March as the opening night feature of the Richmond International Film Festival. Alan Reddish (AB ’73) retired after serving 15 years as the manager of the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government.

1975-1979 Robert Cooper (BSFR ’75, MS ’79) of Athens received the Creative Research Medal from the UGA Research Foundation at the 36th Annual Research Awards Banquet. Cooper was recognized for his innovative work involving advanced quantitative methods to assess the conservation of bird populations. Terry Wingfield Jr. (BBA ’75) was named to the board of directors of the Athens YMCA. Wingfield is a retired telecommunications executive and attorney. Wendi Carpenter (BS ’76) was appointed to the Affordable Housing Advisory Council for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. Carpenter is co-founder and principal of Gold Star Strategies LLC. Michael C. Clark (BS ’76, JD ’80, AB ’03) of Dacula is of counsel with Thompson, O’Brien, Kemp & Nasuti PC. Clark is the former Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge. Billy Gunn (AB ’76, JD ’79) of Atlanta was recognized as a 2016 Georgia Super Lawyer. Gunn is a civil litigation defense attorney with Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial. Reggie Thackston (BSFR ’76, MFOR ’78) of Forsyth and Theron Terhune (PhD ’08) of Tallahassee, Fla., were honored with a Group Achievement Award from the National Bobwhite Technical Committee for their innovative Northern Bobwhite Quail Translocation Policy. Thackston works with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and Terhune works for the Tall Timbers Research Station. Frank Baker (ABJ ’77) of Columbia, S.C., has worked with The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for the past three years conducting media literacy workshops with the Los Angeles Unified School District. Lu Ann Cahn (ABJ ’78) of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., was elected to the board of Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a national education and support organization for people affected by the disease. Cahn is director of career services for the



All about that bass Jane Little (M ’51) has made big strides in her 71-year career as a bassist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO). In February, the 87-year-old became the longestserving symphony musician according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Little was a 1945 charter member of the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra, the forerunner of the ASO. Over the years, she shared the stage with acclaimed pianists Van Cliburn and Arthur Rubinstein and played under guest conductors including Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland. It’s also where she met her husband, the late Warren Little, the orchestra’s principal flutist. Now that she’s made the record books, Little and her instrument—a rare Carlo Giuseppi Testore bass (ca. 1705)— will be retiring.

Temple University School of Media and Communication. Pete Skandalakis (AB ’78, MPA ’81, JD ’84) of LaGrange received a 2015 Governor’s Public Safety Award. Skandalakis is district attorney for the Coweta Judicial Circuit. Kevin Williams (AB ’78) of Atlanta was recognized as a 2016 Georgia Super Lawyer. Williams is a civil litigation defense attorney with Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial.





WHY give

Building bridges through giving by Aaron Hale When Dawn D. Bennett-Alexander, a UGA faculty member in the Terry College of Business, won a prestigious national award recognizing her for inspiring students in the classroom, she decided to take the cash prize and invest back into her students. Last year, Bennett-Alexander, an associate professor of employment law and legal studies, received an Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award, which honors faculty members “who have inspired their former students to make a significant contribution to society.” The honor came with a $25,000 award. Bennett-Alexander took that money, made a contribution to the foundation of the student who recommended her for the award, and gave the rest to the UGA Foundation to create an endowed scholarship. She even reached out to friends and into her own bank account to increase the gift. The Dawn D. Bennett-Alexander Building Bridges Scholarship will go to UGA students who engage in diversity and inclusion efforts. Bennett-Alexander says she is surprised at just how good it felt to give. “I feel a deep joy at being able to do this,” she says. “Who would have thought giving away my ‘free money’ would do that?” Bennett-Alexander gives a number of reasons for making the gift. For one, she was inspired by her students,



who courageously address issues of equality and respect among their peers. And she wanted to put her money where her mouth is in terms of promoting diversity and inclusion at UGA. “I really appreciate President Morehead’s efforts in this area, and seeing them made me realize I could contribute in a way that adds to them,” she says. “UGA’s diversity and inclusion is tremendously important to me.” She also took inspiration from the president, who established a need-based scholarship fund when he took office in 2013. Bennett-Alexander has known Morehead since she joined the Terry College faculty in 1988, soon after Morehead arrived on campus. “Seeing someone I knew and respected do it made me realize I, too, could do it,” she says. Some friends and colleagues were surprised to hear that she didn’t keep any of the Beckman Award money. “They just don’t know that I am the one who feels like I am receiving something, not giving something,” she says. “After 28 years, I feel so much more connected to UGA and in ways I never even thought about. If that can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.” Donate to the Dawn D. Bennett-Alexander Building Bridges Scholarship at



Dave Dial (AB ’80) of Marietta was recognized as a 2016 Georgia Super Lawyer. Dial is a construction litigation attorney with Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial. Mark Goldenberg (BBA ’80) of Chicago joined HP Inc.’s Business Personal Solutions as a senior market segment manager. Michael Webb (BBA ’80) of Houston, Texas, was promoted to president and chief operating officer of Service Corporation International. Bob Allen (BBA ’81) founded Greater Athens Properties in 2011. The real estate business surpassed $25 million in sales volume in 2015. Barry Bryant (BSPharm ’81) of North Augusta, S.C., received the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s top entrepreneur award. Bryant is the owner of Barney’s Pharmacy. Jeffrey S. Dalman (AB ’82) of Woodstock was named deputy commander of the Bartow Cartersville Drug Task Force. Mike Malcom (BSA ’82) was named to the board of directors of the Athens YMCA. Malcom is vice president for commercial banking at Athens First Bank & Trust Company. Victor Wilson (BSW ’82, MEd ’87) of Athens was honored as Faculty Member of the Year by UGA’s Black Male Leadership Society. Wilson has served as UGA’s vice president of student affairs since 2013. Archie Brown (BBA ’83) of Greensburg, Ind., was named to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Brown is president and CEO of MainSource Financial Group. Lisa Harris (BSPharm ’83) of Rome was appointed to the State Board of Pharmacy. Harris is a pharmacist at DermaTran Health Solutions. David Holt (BBA ’83) of Bishop wrote Pastoring with Passion and Meeting You Where You Are, books designed to deepen one’s personal relationship with God. Holt is the pastor of Living Hope Church in Athens. Jeff Jowdy (ABJ ’83) of Franklin, Tenn., was awarded the UGA College of Pharmacy Distinguished Service Award. Jowdy has served on the college’s comprehensive campaign board and is president of Lighthouse Counsel, an organization that partners with nonprofits to increase organizational effectiveness and philanthropic support. Susan Moss (ABJ ’83) of Atlanta was elected to the executive board of the Georgia Production Partnership, the state’s leading entertainment industry association.

Raising the bar for Army animal care Marlaina A. Nelson (DVM ’13), a captain in the 4th Infantry Division of U.S. Army Public Health Command in Fort Carson, Colo., receives an award from Maj. Gen. Ryan F. Gonsalves in November for her work in helping the Fort Carson Veterinarian Center achieve certification by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Nelson is the officer in charge of the center, which serves the Army base. AAHA is the accrediting body for companion animal hospitals across the country, which are evaluated on approximately 900 standards of veterinary care.

Christopher Phillips (BSFR ’83, MFR ’85, JD ’88) of Savannah was recognized as a 2016 Georgia Super Lawyer. Phillips is a construction litigation attorney with HunterMaclean. Bill Martin (AB ’84) of Boone, Iowa, was inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame during the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines in August.

1985-1989 Timothy Forrest (AB ’87) of Fernandina Beach, Fla., was appointed to the executive committee of Prayasam, a nonprofit organization that reaches out to more than a million children in the slums of Kolkata, India. Forrest is CEO and senior advisor at Tim Forrest Consulting firm. Lisa Ferrell (ABJ ’88) of Smyrna was elected to the executive board of the Georgia

Production Partnership, the state’s leading entertainment industry association. Chris Smith (BBA ’88) of Macon was appointed a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog in recognition for his service as consul of Denmark in Georgia. As honorary consul, he lectures about the country and is involved with Danish communities across the state. Michele Golivesky (AB ’89) of Decatur is director of business development and marketing at Taylor English Duma. Under her direction, the firm was recognized with a 2015 Omni Award for outstanding achievement in website design.

1990-1994 Joe Garrett (ABJ ’91) of Carrollton won first place in the 2015 Georgia Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest




CLASSNOTES Helen Charles’ interdisciplinary degree in communications and political science from UGA paved the way for various roles within Britain’s House of Commons and to her current job as a lobbyist with the British Broadcasting Corporation.

A winding road to the BBC by John W. English A combined love of music and integrated studies brought Helen Charles (ABJ ’01) to UGA and helped pave the way to becoming a senior policy adviser with the British Broadcasting Corporation. “My interdisciplinary education gave me the confidence to follow a nonlinear career path—from broadcast to regulation to policy,” she says in an interview at the BBC’s Broadcasting House in central London. “One of the policy team’s roles is advocacy for the BBC,” she explains. “We also develop policy and offer robust, evidence-based advice. I lead on media infrastructure discussions—everything from digital television to IP networks to mobile.” When Charles began planning for college in the mid-1990s, the young British national was attracted to the University of Georgia for a variety of reasons—not least, she was a huge fan of Athens’ contemporary pop music, and she knew American universities encouraged interdisciplinary studies. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism with an emphasis in political science, Charles plunged into the local music scene, first as a volunteer at and then as a staffer at Team Clermont, the indie music publicity and promotion company. For the next five years, she worked with bands, recording companies and the music press, creating publicity campaigns



for online, college, national and international outlets. She focused on noncommercial radio, mainly college and public stations. With rapid changes in technology making an impact on the music industry, Charles became interested in the policies around these changes and decided to pursue graduate studies in politics and communication at the London School of Economics and Political Science, part of the University of London. Imbued with media theory and a host of policy ideas, Charles spent the next three years working in Britain’s House of Commons as a caseworker, where she got a firsthand look at policy in action, and later as a Parliamentary researcher and office manager for the Labour Party’s then-deputy leader, Harriet Harman. “My perspective grew incredibly broad in scope,” she says of the experience. She then shifted back into the communications sphere, joining Ofcom, the U.K.’s independent regulatory agency, as an adviser on radio spectrum programs and the public sector. Her two and a half years of experience at Ofcom led directly to her current position. “We try to make sure the future of public service broadcasting and audience habits are being considered in key debates, on issues such as net neutrality,” she says. “Viewing habits are changing, and increasingly people want to enjoy whatever they want, wherever they are. New viewing habits mean new distribution technologies and new policy challenges.”

in the humorous column category. Garrett writes a weekly column for the TimesGeorgian and is president of Garrett & Robinson Investment Management. Kendall C. Dunson (BBA ’93) of Pike Road, Ala., was selected as Litigator of the Year for 2015 at Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles PC. Jon Bell (BBA ’94) of Greensboro, N.C., was promoted to CEO of Bell Partners Inc., one of the nation’s leading apartment investment and management companies. Bell previously served as president of the company. Teri Cloud (ABJ ’94) of Atlanta was named the 2016 Woman of Distinction by the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce. Cloud is director of marketing at Babush, Neiman, Kornman & Johnson LLP. Christi (BFA ’94) and Rob Estes (BLA ’95) of Newnan established Can’t Never Could, a nonprofit dedicated to helping individuals or groups facing adversity and personal turmoil, in 2013. The Estes started the organization after Rob was diagnosed with an incurable form of brain cancer. Camille Kesler (BSFCS ’94) of Atlanta joined Rebuilding Together Atlanta as executive director. David Withers (BBA ’94) of Atlanta was named CFO for Turner Enterprises Inc. He will oversee the company’s investments, accounting, risk management and tax functions.

1995-1999 Phillip Avant (BBA ’95) of Henrico, Va., was named president of SunTrust Bank’s Central Virginia Market. Angela Huskey (BS ’95) was promoted to senior vice president and chief clinical officer at Millennium Health, a leading health solutions company in San Diego. Michael Lewis (BBA ’95) of Vienna, Va., was named senior vice president for Seabury Group’s government services investment banking practices. Gretchen Pettis (BSA ’95, PhD ’05) of Charlotte, N.C., was named head entomologist with Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories. Pettis travels the country training company employees in integrated pest management. Jonathan J. Tuggle (BBA ’95) of Atlanta was named to Georgia Trend magazine’s 2015 Legal Elite. Tuggle is an attorney with Boyd Collar Nolen & Tuggle. Eric Williamson (ABJ ’95) of Charlottesville, Va., won a 2015 Council for Advancement and Support of Education Silver Award for media




Bringing the outside in A walk in the woods brings a wealth of materials for Matt Tommey (BSEd ’96). The North Carolina-based artist crafts rustic sculpture from vines, branches and bark out of his studio in the River Arts District of Asheville. Tommey began working with natural materials after discovering a basket-weaving book as a student worker at the UGA Bookstore. More than 20 years later, the Columbus, Ga., native has graduated from creating sculptural baskets to one-of-a-kind pieces that incorporate caustic wax and copper. “I’m trying to blur the lines between what’s work and what’s nature,” Tommey told the Asheville Citizen-Times. “It’s bringing the outdoors inside in a way that’s very upscale and elegant.”

relations efforts promoting the University of Virginia law school’s involvement in the Peabody Award-winning podcast “Serial.” Robin Hommel Tenenbaum (ABJ ’96) of Merrick, N.Y., wrapped up production on “Late Night Joy,” a primetime talk show on TLC, in December. Hommel, a two-time Emmy Award winner, served as executive producer of the show. She is a senior supervising producer at “The View” on ABC. Katy W. Harrell (BLA ’97) of Panama City, Fla., is president and owner of Southeastern Outdoor Management Inc., a landscape design and build business. Daniel Neely (BBA ’97) of Chicago joined the board of the I-COM Data Creativity

Awards. Neely is the founder and CEO of Networked Insights. Douglas Root (BBA ’97) of Decatur is CEO of Atlanta Light Bulbs Inc. The company received the 2014 Small Business Award from the Cox Family Enterprise Center at Kennesaw State. Charles Morris Jr. (BBA ’98, MBA ’02) of Atlanta is regional manager for Morris Multimedia Inc. Jay Shallenberger (BBA ’98, MAcc ’99) of Atlanta founded M&A Tax Solutions. Grant Shih (BBA ’98) of Berkeley Lake shared how Carter’s stays innovative at RetailTechCon2015. Shih is vice president of IT development and enterprise architecture at the company. Dan Starnes (M ’98) of Homewood, Ala.,

and Matthew Allen (ABJ ’04) of Hoover, Ala., launched a monthly newspaper in Birmingham titled the Cahaba Sun. It marks the sixth publication under the Starnes Publishing banner. William D. Thompson (AB ’98) of San Diego was awarded the Attorney General’s Special Commendation for his work on the city’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force. Annie Andrews Mullins (ABJ ’99) of Decatur is director of medical staff services for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She is also president of the Meeting Professionals International Georgia chapter. Kelly Paynter (BBA ’99, EdS ’04) of Marietta was named the 2014-15 Georgia




CLASSNOTES Diane Denson Schleicher (right), city manager of Tybee Island, shares a love for public service with her mother, Athens Mayor Nancy Denson (center), and sister, Margaret Kaiser, who serves in the Georgia House of Representatives.

Island Dawg by Mary Jessica Hammes (ABJ ’99) For Diane Denson Schleicher, leading a popular Georgia beach destination is a year-round job. As city manager of Tybee Island, Schleicher (AB ’81) stays busy in the summer keeping up with a local population that swells from around 3,000 to 30,000. When the tourists leave in the winter, she juggles an array of infrastructure projects: removing old, derelict structures on the beach to improve both public safety and sea turtle habitats; renovating decades-old bathrooms in public parks; and testing a new well system that would improve the amount of water island residents can withdraw. The work keeps her on her toes, just the way she likes it. “What I love about the job is that no one day is the same as another,” Schleicher says. “I was a hyperactive, challenging child—teachers learned really quickly to keep me busy. I enjoy the change; I don’t like routine.” In her 10 years as Tybee’s city manager, she’s guided the island through significant growth. Tourist season used to be Memorial Day to Labor Day; now it runs from Easter to Pirate Fest in October. Savannah and Tybee’s tourism councils work



together to promote a burgeoning film industry. (“There’s hardly a day we don’t have a movie being filmed here,” she says.) Tybee continues to be a hot spot for retirees while hosting a growing number of young families. Schleicher’s passion for public service runs in the family. Mother Nancy Denson (BBA ’90) is mayor of Athens, and sister Margaret Kaiser is a Georgia state representative. Growing up in Athens, Schleicher watched her mother attend city zoning meetings as president of the Forest Heights Neighborhood Association. At UGA, Schleicher balanced participating in the Demosthenian Society and a healthy slate of political science classes with managing her mother’s city council campaign. Watching her mom’s nearly 40-year career was a strong influence on Schleicher, who earned a Master of Public Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and served as administrator for the Village of Waterford, Wis., before taking the job at Tybee. “I realized local government really has an influence on people’s daily lives,” she says.

Library Media Specialist of the Year. Steve D. Pettis Jr. (BSA ’99, MPPM ’02) of Conyers became the UGA Cooperative Extension Agent in Rockdale County.

2000-2004 Wes Sheumaker (BBA ’00, MAcc ’01) of Atlanta was named partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP. Cortland Bennett (BBA, MAcc ’01) of Marietta was promoted to partner at Bennett Thrasher. Craig Bing (AB ’01) of Rome is the community coach for Coosa High School’s competition cheerleaders, who won their fourth AA state cheerleading title in November. James Gates (AB ’01, MPA ’04) of Atlanta is COO for FotoIN Mobile Corporation. The company was named one of the Technology Association of Georgia’s 40 most innovative companies in 2014. Corey Smith (BSA ’01) of Jefferson released his 10th album, “While the Gettin’ is Good,” in June 2015. J. Scott Allen (AB ’02, MSW ’07) of Decatur was named Atlanta Public Schools Teacher of the Year. Allen teaches Latin at Grady High School. Russell A. Bratcher (BBA ’02, MAcc ’03) of Jacksonville, Fla., was named partner at Lucas, Herndon, Hyers and Pennywitt. Chevazz Brown (AB ’02) of Houston, Texas, was named to Super Lawyers’ 2015 “Rising Stars” list for his work as an attorney at the Jackson Walker law firm. Corey May (BS ’02) of Marietta was named a partner at Morris, Manning & Martin LLP. Brian M. Murphy (AB ’02) of Atlanta was named a partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP. Bradley Brookshire (BBA ’03) of Richmond Hill was appointed to the city council’s planning commission. Brookshire is vice president of commercial banking for Ameris Bank. Lea Dearing (BBA ’03) of Canton was promoted to principal with Berman Fink Van Horn. Jessica Reece Fagan (ABJ ’03) of Atlanta was made a partner at Hedgepeth, Heredia & Reider. She joins founding partner and former teacher Rebecca Crumrine Rieder (MEd ’94, JD ’01). Benjamin Fletcher (BBA ’03, BLA ’09) of Charlotte, N.C., is the garden curator at Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary. Russ Johnson (BBA ’03) of Marietta led a team at Cox Enterprises Inc. that won the 2015 Technology Association of Georgia Business Intelligence & Analytics Innovation Award. David Lee

(BBA ’03) of Macon joined Southern States Toyotalift as territory manager. Cameron Schwabenton (BSFCS ’03) received a Carolopolis Award from the Preservation Society of Charleston for her work on a historic renovation. John Wadsworth (BBA ’03) of McDonough was appointed president and COO of Strawn & Co. Insurance. Matthew Allen (ABJ ’04) of Hoover, Ala., and Dan Starnes (M ’98) launched a monthly newspaper in Birmingham titled the Cahaba Sun. It marks the sixth publication under the Starnes Publishing banner. Charbel Chehade (BBA ’04) of New York joined Soho Properties as director of capital markets. Derick Cooper (BBA ’04) of Brookhaven was named a partner at Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial. Talmadge Johnson (BBA ’04) of Statesboro was named partner at Dabbs Hickman Hill and Cannon LLP. Patrick O’Rouke (BSFR ’04) of Atlanta is a fisheries biologist with Georgia Power. O’Rouke previously worked for the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division. Michael Pazdzinski (BBA ’04) of Atlanta received a 2015 Going the Extra Mile Award from Allconnect, Austin York (BBA ’04, MAcc ’05) of Savannah was named partner at Dabbs Hickman Hill and Cannon LLP.

Josh Wood (AB ’06, JD ’10) of Atlanta was recognized as a 2016 Georgia “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers. Wood is a civil litigation defense attorney with Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial. Charles Dawe (BBA ’07) of Hattiesburg, Miss., is a residential realtor with Re/max Real Estate Partners. Steven Gaddis (AB, BBA ’07) of State College, Pa., is an assistant professor of sociology at Pennsylvania State University. Alan Holcomb (AB ’07) of Atlanta was recognized as a 2016 Georgia “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers. Holcomb is a class action attorney with Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial. Shannon Poole (BBA ’07, MAcc ’08) joined The Siegfried Group as manager in the Washington, D.C., market. Matt Robbins (BSFCS ’07) of Calhoun was promoted to senior vice president of Greater Community Bank. Robbins joined the bank in 2011. Mark Schroeder (BBA ’07) is co-owner of The Athens Running Company. Jennifer Chewning (BBA ’08) of Raleigh, N.C., married Stephen Struble. continued on page 49

2005-2009 Douglas P. Harden (AB ’05) was inducted into both the Golden Key International Honor Society and the Pi Sigma Alpha political science honor society. He also was selected for promotion within the Strategic Systems Program Office with the U.S. Navy in Washington, D.C. Kevin Patrick (AB ’05) of Atlanta opened his own law practice, Kevin Patrick Law. The firm specializes in personal injury. Ben Chu (BBA ’06, MAcc ’07) of Marietta participated in a panel discussion for UGA students during Thinc Week in March 2015. Chu is CFO of 1-800Courier. Michael McCluney (BBA ’06) of Waycross is CEO of Incubate, which launched a timedelay messaging app. Nitin Patel (BBA ’06) of Boston is the founder and president of Wellable, a solution for companies seeking a wellness program. Michael Paupeck (BBA ’06) of Atlanta was made a partner at Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial and was recognized as a 2016 Georgia “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers.



Reading list

Books by UGA Alumni

Musings of an Earth Angel Balboa Press (2015) By Suzanne Adams (BSEd ’01) The first in a trilogy, this novel takes readers into a mystical world where good and evil, light and dark are battling for one woman’s destiny. Cotton Patch Rebel: The Story of Clarence Jordan Resource Publications (2015) By Ann M. Trousdale (EdD ’87) Trousdale, a retired Louisiana State University professor, tells the story of Clarence Jordan, a Georgia native, author and the inspiration behind Habitat for Humanity.



A Fine Imitation Crown (2016) By Amber Brock (MA ’05) Step into high society of the 1920s in this novel that explores the friendships, illicit romances and social rules that dictate and define the life of one Manhattan socialite. Johnny Harris Restaurant Cookbook Pelican Publishing (2014) By Julie Donaldson Lowenthal (BSHE ’83) A compilation of history and recipes from one of Savannah’s most beloved and iconic restaurants. I Can’t Find My Manners and Manners and More for Boys Archway Publishing (2015) By Gail Reed (BSEd ’73, EdS ’76) Retired schoolteacher Reed provides lessons for children, including how to meet a new friend and how to behave at the dinner table.

The Heroines Club: A Mother-Daughter Empowerment Circle Womancraft Publishing (2016) By Melia Keeton-Digby (BSEd ’02, MEd ’04) Lessons gleaned from mothers who study and share real-life heroines and women’s history with their daughters. The Wild Treasury of Nature: A Portrait of Little St. Simons Island University of Georgia Press (2016) By Philip Juras (BFA ’90, MLA ’97) Fifty-two paintings explore the wild beauty of Little St. Simons, an undeveloped barrier island on the Georgia coast.

Due to the number of submissions, we cannot list all books received. Priority is given to books released within two years and to submissions with high quality, high-res photos of book covers. The list may be edited for reader interest and regional relevance.

Arts and Religions of Haiti: How the Sun Illuminates Under Cover of Darkness By LeGrace Gupton Benson (MFA ’56) Benson, president of the Haitian Studies Association based at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, brings the rich imagination and stories of Haiti to light. Lord, Lord CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2015) By Kathleen Cochran (pen name for Marcia Smith, ABJ ’76) A woman dies and goes to heaven, only to discover she was murdered. A mystery unravels as she learns who does and doesn’t join her in the afterlife.

Real Leadership: 9 Simple Practices for Leading and Living with Purpose McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing (2016) By John Addison (AB ’79) A former co-CEO of Primerica, Addison tells his personal story of climbing the corporate ladder and offers insight on leadership, personal development and success. Best Body Cookbook & Menu Plan Best Body Nutrition & Fitness (2016) By Sohailla Digsby (BSFCS ’97) Registered dietitian, nutritionist and fitness instructor Digsby provides a cookbook and meal plan for healthy living.

Moon Atlanta Avalon Travel (2015) By Tray Butler (ABJ ’97) From the dynamic streets of downtown to the food and arts of Decatur, Butler offers travelers a guide for creating a memorable trip to Atlanta. Tidewater Rip CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2015) By M.Z. Thwaite (pen name for Martha Thwaite Weeks, AB ’73) When a woman discovers that two suspicious crimes are connected, it’s up to her to find the answers and protect the people she loves in her small coastal Georgia town.

Reconstruction’s Ragged Edge: The Politics of Postwar Life in the Southern Mountains The University of North Carolina Press (2016) By Steven E. Nash (PhD ’09) Nash, an assistant professor of history at East Tennessee State University, explores the history of Reconstruction as it unfolded in the North Carolina mountains. Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions University of Georgia Press (2015) By Valerie J. Frey (BFA ’92, MAEd ’95) Writer, archivist and educational consultant Frey provides a guide for gathering, adjusting, supplementing and safely preserving family recipes.




CLASSNOTES First-generation UGA graduate Gene Bottoms has made improving schools his life’s work, regularly traveling the country to advocate for excellence in education as senior vice president of the Southern Regional Education Board.

A champion for education by Pamela A. Keene Many of Gene Bottoms’ childhood friends in Northeast Georgia never attended the local high school. Following their lives has left him with a deep understanding of the impact education can have. The oldest of five siblings in a sixthgeneration Forsyth County family, Bottoms (BSEd ’60, EdD ’65) was the first in his family to finish high school and the first to go to college. As a teen, he aspired to be a basketball coach and math teacher like his high-school mentor Almon Hill, but life led Bottoms in a different direction. “I avidly pursued a math major in college until I met calculus, so I decided to pursue social studies and education,” he says with a laugh. “But Coach Hill’s commitment to helping students make a practical connection to learning, whether in sports or in life, has stuck with me all these years.” Bottoms’ pursuit of excellence in education has taken him from the classroom to administration, from counseling to the national stage as an advocate for high school reform. Shortly after graduating from UGA, the teacher and principal was tapped to develop a student services structure for the state’s postsecondary vocation-technical schools (now the Technical College System of Georgia) before becoming director of school improvement and teacher education for the Georgia Department of Education.



Bottom’s accomplishments and vision attracted national attention, and he was named executive director for the 50,000-member American Vocational Association (now the Association of Career and Technical Education) in Arlington, Va. From 1977-85, he championed the integration of academics and career-technical studies and worked to develop federal career and technical legislation. All along, Bottoms has kept his focus on students. “The key is to find a student’s interest and relate that to their education; it’s a great motivator that can keep them engaged.” In 1987, Bottoms joined the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), based in Atlanta, where he developed the “High Schools That Work” initiative, an innovative educational improvement program now in place at more than 1,100 high schools in 26 states. “The point has been to blend literary and math curriculum with career studies,” he says. Bottoms, who lives in Tucker with his wife, Helen (BSEd ’63), shows no sign of retiring. As senior vice president of the SREB, he spends about 50 percent of his time traveling the country advocating for excellence in education for all students. “My life’s work is to leave the educational system in better shape than I found it,” he says. “Education is the bridge to connect people to better lives, whether they pursue college or a highly specialized career field.”

continued from page 45 Christopher Dunlavy (BBA ’08) of Atlanta joined the Beazley Group, the parent company of specialist insurance businesses with operations around the world. Ami Flowers (BSFR ’08, MS ’12) of Chocowinity, N.C., is engaged to Shane Staples. Flowers is a marine fisheries biologist with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. Erik Ladd (BLA ’08) of Hilton Head Island, S.C., joined Wood+Partners Inc., a regional land planning and landscape architecture firm, as a project planner. Charles Mumm (ABJ ’08) of Los Angeles was named to Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list for his work at Vox Media Inc. Mumm is the creative director of Vox Media and founder of Vox Entertainment. Alan (AB ’08) and Ryan Pope (BBA ’09) are owners of The Place, a restaurant and bar in downtown Athens. David Allen (ABJ ’09) of Lilburn married Maggie Duncan (BSEd ’10) of Fayetteville on Dec. 19 at the UGA Chapel.

2010-2015 Lisa Arnold (BBA ’10, MBA ’13) of Smyrna won two awards from the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors in 2015. Arnold is an associate with Ashford Advisors. Cobern Epting (AB ’10) of Sumter, S.C., joined Bynum Insurance as a health and commercial lines agent. Joshua (BSFR ’10) and Lauren Ellerbee Goodman (BSFCS ’09) of Marietta announced the birth of their son, Luke Thomas Goodman, born Feb. 20. Ryan Sewell (BBA ’10) was selected to serve on the 2016 board of directors for the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. Sewell is vice president of commercial lines at Bernard Williams & Company. Mattox Shuler (BBA ’10) of Athens is owner of Fort Foundry, which creates new typefaces. Hans Appen (BBA ’11) of Alpharetta launched the North Atlanta Business Post. He is the general manager of the Appen Media Group. Chris Escobar (BS ’11) of Johns Creek was elected as vice president of the

Georgia Production Partnership, the state’s leading entertainment industry association. Katherine Gleaton (BBA ’12, MAcc ’13) of Perry joined Moore Colson as a tax associate. Matthew Marshall (BBA ’12) of San Francisco was named one of Forbes Magazine’s “30 under 30” in the social entrepreneurs category. Marshall and his friends were recognized for their charity, New Story, which they founded to build houses for victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. David Trice (BBA ’12) of Baldwin County, Ala., was hired as court attendant for Presiding Judge J. Langford Floyd, 28th Judicial Circuit. Mandy Yau (BBA ’13) of Brookhaven received a Peak Award from Moore Colson. Yau is a tax associate at the firm. Chad Creasman (BBA ’14) of Dacula joined Moore Colson as a lender services associate. Brooke Davidson (BFA ’14) of Alpharetta was profiled by the My Athens blog for her patterned artwork and textiles. Andrew Gemmell (BBA ’14) of Potomac, Md., was named Swimming World Magazine’s 2014 World Male Open Water




CLASSNOTES Returning to UGA as a staff member has been a homecoming for Arthur Tripp Jr., who focuses on student affairs and institutional diversity.

Coming home by Denise H. Horton (ABJ ’83, MPA ’11) Arthur Tripp Jr. (AB ’09) knows what it means to struggle, and he wants to be a resource and a mentor to current and future UGA students. After six years on Capitol Hill, Tripp returned to UGA to serve as assistant to President Jere W. Morehead (JD ’80). One piece of advice he offers students is to strive for balance. In high school he was heavily involved with clubs and activities and served as the first African-American student council president of Duluth High School. “I wouldn’t necessarily suggest students follow my lead when it comes to academics and activities,” he says with a laugh. “I think you should have a better balance than I did.” But balance can be difficult to achieve when you’re the child of a single mother. “We had a lot of tough times,” Tripp says. “I moved around a lot, and there were times when we stayed with family members because we didn’t have a place of our own.” Tripp began his college career at Gainesville State College and then transferred to UGA. But even before he arrived on campus, he was making connections, including with his predecessor and mentor Matt Winston. It was Winston who convinced him to join the first class of the Washington Semester Program rather than run for student



government president. Tripp interned in Rep. David Scott’s congressional office, an experience that led to a full-time position after graduation. Since joining the UGA staff in November, Tripp has been learning the ropes, a sometimes humbling experience. “I’m learning something new every day,” he says. “In one sense this is a bit like Washington. Any time you think you have it all figured out, you meet someone who has been here 20 or 30 years and you realize all that you don’t know.” He’s also busy in his personal life—becoming engaged to fellow alum Jessica Wilson (BBA ’09), an attorney in Atlanta, and helping care for his grandmother. His new job includes working with the university’s retiree association and helping plan the annual staff appreciation event in late spring. “President Morehead loves people, and part of his vision is engaging with students,” he says, noting the president’s regular strolls across campus. “He’ll stop students and ask them about their break. He loves to hear people’s stories. “This job is more than just an 8-5 routine; it’s about touching people’s lives,” Tripp says. “I think one of the things that’s sometimes overlooked about UGA is our family culture. The number one thing that makes us so special is our love of each other.”

Swimmer of the Year. Brandon Jenkins (BS ’14) of Rome is head coach for Coosa High School’s competition cheerleaders, who won their fourth AA state cheerleading title in November. Jenkins is a former UGA cheerleader. Alan Sheffield (BBA ’14, MAcc ’14) of Kennesaw was recognized by the American Institute of CPAs as a 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award Winner. Nicholas Vitale (BBA ’14) of Atlanta joined Sterling Risk Advisors as a broker. Matthew Phillips (BSFR ’15) of Lakeland, Fla., is a biologist on the watershed assessment team with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

GRAD NOTES Arts & Sciences Bonnie Vierthaler (MFA ’72) of Freeport, Maine, was profiled by the Press & Sun-Bulletin for her lifelong career as a multimedia artist and her collection of paintings and photographs titled, “Prayers Made Visible.” Richard Pumphrey (MFA ’77) of Lynchburg, Va., donated a portrait bust he sculpted of Thomas Jefferson to Poplar Forest, Jefferson’s Bedford County retreat. Pumphrey teaches design and sculpting classes at Lynchburg College. John Blair (PhD ’87) of Manhattan, Kan., was elected a fellow of the Ecological Society of America, a program that recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of ecological knowledge. Keith Gaddie (MA ’89, PhD ’93) of Norman, Okla., was selected to serve as master of a residential college set to open in fall 2017 at the University of Oklahoma. King Jordan (PhD ’98) of Atlanta was appointed to the scientific advisory board of Aelan Cell Technologies. Jordan is an associate professor in the school of biology and director of the bioinformatics graduate program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Rodney Whitlock (PhD ’98) joined ML Strategies, a consulting subsidiary of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferries, Glovsky and Popeo PC, as vice president of health policy in Washington, D.C. Whitlock previously served as health policy director for Sen. Chuck Grassley. Robert Gilliard (PhD ’14) was named to Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list. Gilliard, a postdoctoral scholar at Case

Western Reserve University, specializes in synthesizing novel molecules with a variety of different methods. Louisa Powell (MFA ’15) of Chevy Chase, Md., displayed her sculpture, “Outflow,” in the tasting room of Creature Comforts brewery in Athens in 2015.

Business Maranda Dowell (MBA ’01) joined LandMark Dividend LLC as vice president of acquisitions in the company’s Atlanta office. Raygan Evans (MAcc ’03) of Atlanta was promoted to partner at Bennett Thrasher. Wayne Lashua (MMR ’04) of Fort Mitchell, Ky., joined Burke Inc. as vice president, senior account executive in client services. Mary Hester (MBA ’06) of Sugar Hill was a finalist for a 2014 Women In Technology Women of the Year Award. Hester is a CEO of LAN Systems. Chadwick Smith (MBA ’06) of Collierville, Tenn., was honored by the Memphis Business Journal as a “Top 40 Under 40.” Smith is vice president of product management and engineering at Thomas & Betts Corporation. Adolfo Correa (MBA ’10) of Jackson, Miss., was appointed director and principal investigator of the Jackson Heart Study. Edward Genovese (MBA ’10) of Frisco, Texas, joined TAS Environmental Services as president. Jeffrey Koerner (MBA ’14) of Bloomington, Ill., was named senior vice president of agency for Country Financial.

Education Luis R. Visot (MEd ’80) of Wesley Chapel, Fla., retired as major general after 37 years of service in the U.S. Army. Josephine Peyton Marsh (PhD ’98) of Sedona, Ariz., received the 2016 Founder’s Day Award for Faculty Achievement Service from the Arizona State University Alumni Association. Marsh is an associate professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and a professor in residence for the Arizona State University Preparatory Academy.

Environment & Design Julie Hooper (MHP ’99) of Kensington, Calif., was appointed as vice chancellor




Running toward immortality by Andy Johnston (ABJ ’88)



In addition to his innovative research on the genetics of aging, Bill Andrews pounds miles of pavement in ultramarathons, grueling 100-plus mile runs in some of the most extreme environments, from Death Valley to the Himalayas. SPECIAL

Bill Andrews has a simple goal. He wants to cure aging. Ironically, Andrews’ quest to extend life has practically consumed his own. At 64 years old, he rarely slows down as he spends his days in the lab or on the road, either traveling to speak to potential investors or training for ultramarathons, races that can last more than 100 miles, often in unforgiving terrain or climates. The ultimate goal: To run a 7-minute mile at the age of 130. “Even when I was at Georgia, everybody knew that I was obsessed with trying to figure out what causes aging so that I could figure out a way to control it,” says Andrews (PhD ’81). “That was true in high school. I’ve been interested in it my whole life.” That drive has led Andrews to become one of the leading authorities in the field of telomeres and telomerase induction technology. He was dubbed “The Man Who Would Stop Time” in a 2011 Popular Science article and was featured in a 2014 documentary called “The Immortalists.” Andrews is pitch perfect when it comes to talking about his specialty. He’s spoken to so many people through the years—money men, colleagues and journalists—that he can explain the complex science in basic terms. Telomeres, which are at the end of chromosomes, influence gene expression changes—the hallmark of aging, he explains. He compares them to aglets (the caps on the tip of shoelaces); as people age, they shorten as cells divide because they “can’t duplicate the very tips.” Andrews started the biotech company Sierra Sciences in Reno, Nev., in 1999 to help accelerate research and find “a small-molecule drug that will easily get inside of all your cells and induce the cells to produce their own telomerase.” “We are finding drugs that will cause the gene that’s already there to suddenly get turned on,” he says. “Genes are like lights in a room, turned on and off by

light switches, except it’s more like a dimmer switch.” The 2008 recession hampered Andrews’ progress because investors no longer had the money to back his research. He’s spent more time the past few years on a crusade for cash, not a cure, but hoped to change that this spring. Two companies—Isagenix and CLEF (Chase Life Extension Foundation)—are marketing anti-aging products created by Sierra Sciences. Sales of those products could increase royalties from

$200,000 to about $1 million a month this year, he says. Andrews hasn’t returned to UGA since he left in 1981, but he has fond memories of his days on campus and in labs in the zoology and botany departments. “Going to the University of Georgia was like heaven to me,” he says. “It was the most beautiful place in the world, everything was so fantastic. And then, on top of it, I got the training that made me unique and sought after.”

for university development and alumni relations at the University of California Berkeley. Thomas Rainer (MLA ’02) of Arlington, Va., was named principal of Rhodeside & Harwell, an award-winning landscape architecture and planning practice headquartered in Washington, D.C. Melissa Rainer (MLA ’04) of Arlington, Va., was promoted to senior associate at Rhodeside & Harwell.

Forestry & Natural Resources Karl Miller (PhD ’85) of Comer was featured in the “Whitetail State of the Union 2015” report, where experts discussed the challenges and issues facing the whitetail deer population. The segment aired on the Sportsman’s Channel in September. Theron Terhune (PhD ’08) of Tallahassee, Fla., and Reggie Thackston (BSFR ’76, MFOR ’78) of Forsyth were honored with a Group Achievement Award from the National Bobwhite Technical Committee for their innovative Northern Bobwhite Quail Translocation Policy. Terhune works with the Tall Timbers Research Station, and Thackston works with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Journalism & Mass Communication Kathy Brittain Richardson (MA ’83, PhD ’92) was named presidentelect of Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa. Richardson, the college’s first female president, will assume her duties on July 1. Thomas R. Hagley Jr. (MMC ’92) of Vancouver, Wash., was named one of the “Leaders to Learn from 2016” by Education Week. Hagley is chief of staff for Vancouver public schools.

Law Bill Tanner (LLB ’65) of Peachtree Corners was named to the Private Colleges and Universities Authority state board. Tanner is of counsel with Webb, Tanner & Powell. Janice L. Mathis (JD ’80) of Washington, D.C., was named executive director of the National Council of Negro Women. Robert W. Kamerschen (JD ’94) of Atlanta is chief administrative officer at Aaron’s Inc., a leader in the sales and leasing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories. Kamerschen also serves as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of the company.

Rebecca Crumrine Rieder (MEd ’94, JD ’01) was named to Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite and was one of only nine women named to Atlanta Magazine’s Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia in 2015. Rieder is a founding partner at Hedgepeth, Heredia & Rieder. Candice Blain (JD ’06) of Atlanta opened Blain LLC, a civil liability firm.

Pharmacy Vidya Nair (PharmD ’10) of Tacoma, Wash., founded TravelRx, an organization dedicated to traveler’s health with a focus on disease prevention, safety and convenience.

Social Work Patrick Bordnick (PhD ’95) was appointed dean of the School of Social Work at Tulane University, effective July 1. Bordnick has served as a member of the University of Houston faculty since 2007. He formerly served on the faculties of the University of Texas Health Science Center and the University of Georgia. Sha-Rhonda M. Davis (MSW ’01) of Dallas, Ga., is a licensed social worker and doctoral candidate at Walden University after successfully defending her dissertation proposal on Jan. 17.





Eats without tweets Observing a lack of communication among families visiting his two Chick-fil-A franchises gave Brad Williams (BBA ’86) an idea. In an effort to inspire conversation, Williams designed tabletop “cell phone coops” for diners to store their devices (on silent of course)—challenging them to eat a meal without distraction. The reward? Quality family time and a free ice cream cone. “It just got me thinking how to get people to disconnect in order to connect and to take a technology timeout,” Williams told ABC News. As of March, more than 10,000 coops had been made, and almost 200 independent Chick-fil-A operators had adopted the idea since its launch in mid-January.

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On why it’s important to better prepare elementary-level math teachers: “Children seeing themselves as capable mathematicians is really important to their success in the real world. Many kids get discouraged early in school and think that they can’t do math, and part of that is because a lot of elementary school teachers are not confident in their own ability to do math and therefore not confident in their ability to teach it. I think it’s really critical that we have elementary school teachers who see themselves as doers of mathematics and are able to prepare children to see themselves as mathematicians.”

Denise Spangler Bebe Aderhold Professor in Early Childhood Education

Photo shot by Peter Frey at the UGA Photography Studio in the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.



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