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NASA’s Roger Hunter to give UGA’s fall Commencement address

Roger Hunter, a University of Georgia alumnus and associate director for programs at the NASA Ames Research Center, will deliver the university’s undergraduate Commencement address on Dec. 19 in Stegeman Coliseum. The ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the graduate ceremony to follow at 2:30 p.m.

The university’s graduate Commencement will feature Gregory H. Robinson, the UGA Foundation Distinguished Professor of Chemistry.

In his current capacity, Hunter leads the center’s small spacecraft mission and technology development programs as well as the NASA Ames Small Spacecraft Integrated Project Team. He also is a technical lead for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s PHOENIX program.

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UGA professor wins highest conservation award from The Wildlife Society

The University of Georgia’s Robert Warren recently won The Wildlife Society’s 2014 Aldo Leopold Memorial Award, which recognizes distinguished service to wildlife conservation. Warren accepted the award, the highest one bestowed by the society, at the organization’s 21st annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 26.

Warren’s natural resources career was inevitable—the UGA professor of wildlife ecology and management often found himself outdoors growing up, and his curiosity of wildlife only grew stronger over the years. Since joining the faculty of UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources in 1983, Warren has proven to be one of the college’s most popular and influential teachers, and he has been repeatedly recognized for his enthusiastic support of wildlife management and conservation over the past three decades.

This is the second major recognition Warren, a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, has received from The Wildlife Society. The organization bestowed on him the Excellence in Wildlife Education Award last year in recognition of his exemplary teaching of wildlife education.

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Thai program sends top teachers to UGA

The University of Georgia is hosting 16 science and education teachers from Thailand this month as part of the country’s efforts to learn the latest teaching methods.

The program, a collaboration between the Thai government and UGA’S College of Education, will combine site visits at local schools with workshops and seminars designed to give the teachers a global educational experience. The group participated in the Georgia STEM Forum held Oct. 20 and 21 and organized by the state Department of Education.

“Thailand education has been greatly influenced by other international systems, so we are now trying to enhance our mathematics and science teachers to study more about science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, and trying to adjust the concepts to fit with our country’s context,” said Savittree Rochanasmita Arnold, program coordinator in the UGA department of mathematics and science education who works with the Thai government on teacher training.

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$1.44 million NIH grant funds UGA study on link between epigenetics, cancer

A University of Georgia statistics researcher has been awarded a $1.44 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop statistical models that may one day be used to predict cancer and other diseases.'

Wenxuan Zhong, an associate professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of statistics, will use the funds to develop predictive statistical models based on epigenetic change patterns.

Epigenetics—epi meaning ‘over’ or ‘other’ in Greek—is the study of changes in a gene’s behavior that can be passed down without actually altering the genetic code. Like an airport traffic controller, the epigenome passes along instructions that change the way the gene is expressed by switching genes on and off.

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Atlanta Magazine’s Groundbreakers class includes company founded by UGA professors

IS3D, LLC, a company founded by University of Georgia professors in the College of Veterinary Medicine to create interactive learning tools, was named to Atlanta Magazine’s Groundbreakers Class of 2014. IS3D was one of 11 finalists from a field of 100-plus entries to be recognized recently.

“Being chosen as a finalist for this award is great recognition of all the hard work the team has put into growing IS3D over the past year,” said Tom Robertson, CEO of IS3D. “This includes all of our partner teachers in Atlanta and across Georgia, and the researchers in UGA’s department of mathematics and science education in the College of Education.”

The groundbreakers program was launched in 2012 to honor the people and projects that make Atlanta a better place to live. The program focuses on innovation. In 2014, the specific emphasis was on education and learning.

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Greed, glamour, excess: University Theatre to present ‘The Great Gatsby’ during UGA’s Spotlight on

University Theatre at the University of Georgia will present “The Great Gatsby,” adapted for the stage by Simon Levy from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel and directed by T. Anthony Marotta, on Nov. 6-8 and 12-14 at 8 p.m. with matinee performances Nov. 9 and 16 at 2:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Theatre.

Additional events surrounding this Spotlight on the Arts feature include a small opening night reception Nov. 6,  “A Party with Gatsby” Nov. 7 and a special matinee for area high school groups Nov. 11.

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UGA to host Open Dialogue on Sexual Assault

The University of Georgia will host an Open Dialogue on Sexual Assault on Oct. 29 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 248 of the Miller Learning Center. 

UGA’s Equal Opportunity Office invites the entire university community to ask questions, share information and engage in dialogue about sexual assault issues in general and about UGA’s efforts to prevent sexual assault and address its effect within the UGA community.

Representatives from UGA’s Equal Opportunity Office, the UGA Health Center, the UGA Police Department, the Office of the Dean of Students, University Housing and others will be available to answer questions.

The event is part of the nationwide "It's On Us" campaign, a movement aimed at changing the way the public thinks about sexual assault, raising awareness that sexual assault is a societal problem, supporting survivors, and recognizing opportunities to intervene and prevent sexual assault.

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New $2.5 million NIH-funded study at UGA focuses on baby boomers

Baby boomers’ marital relationships and health during their transition to later adulthood are the focus of a new University of Georgia study funded by a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The study will examine continuity and change within couples’ relationships over 30 years and how chronic stressful experiences—such as financial, work and marital difficulties—affect mental and physical health outcomes in elder years.

Kandauda “K.A.S.” Wickrama, a UGA Athletic Association professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences department of human development and family science, is the principal investigator on the project, which continues research with nearly 400 couples who have participated in the Iowa Youth and Families Project since 1989.

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Ambassador Andrew Young to speak at MLK Freedom Breakfast Jan. 23

Ambassador Andrew Young, the former mayor of Atlanta, will be the keynote speaker for the 12th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Breakfast Jan. 23 at 7:30 a.m. in the Grand Hall of the Tate Student Center on the University of Georgia campus.

Sponsored by UGA, the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government and the Clarke County School District, the MLK Freedom Breakfast commemorates the life of the late civil rights leader. This year’s theme is “The Power of the Dream: Justice for All.”

Along with Young’s address, recipients of the President’s Fulfilling the Dream Award will be recognized at the event, which has averaged more than 600 attendees in recent years. The award highlights the work of local citizens who have made significant efforts to build bridges of unity and understanding as they strive to make King’s dream of equality and justice a reality. Nominations to recognize community members, UGA faculty, staff and students are available at http://t.uga.edu/Vv and are due Oct. 31.

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UGA’s Russell Library honored with state award

The University of Georgia Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies is among the recipients of the third annual Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities. Director Sheryl B. Vogt accepted the award from Gov. Nathan Deal in a ceremony at the state Capitol.

The commendation recognizes the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies as “an invaluable resource for scholars all around the world. For 40 years this esteemed academic institution has chronicled Georgia’s political and social story, preserving our historical foundations for the next generation of government and educational leaders to learn from.”