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UGA Alumni Association announces seventh annual Bulldog 100 list

The University of Georgia Alumni Association has released the 2016 Bulldog 100. This annual program recognizes the fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni. Nearly 400 nominations were submitted for the 2016 list.

The 2016 Bulldog 100 includes businesses of all sizes and from industries such as veterinary medicine, IT consulting and pest control. Several areas of the country are represented, including companies from as far north as New York and as far west as California. Of the 100 businesses, 80 are located within Georgia, and only two businesses have made the list all seven years: Mom Corps and Vino Venue/Atlanta Wine School.

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UGA Honors student receives Marshall Scholarship

University of Georgia Honors student Meredith Paker has been named a recipient of the Marshall Scholarship to pursue graduate studies in the United Kingdom. Up to 40 Marshall Scholars are selected each year, and Paker is UGA's third student in the last decade to earn the award and the seventh in the university's history.

Paker, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, and a recipient of UGA's Foundation Fellowship and the Stamps Leadership Scholarship, plans to pursue a master's degree in economic and social history from the University of Oxford. She will graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in economics from the Terry College of Business and a minor in mathematics from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

While at UGA, Paker has conducted economics research with faculty members Jonathan Williams, David Bradford and William Lastrapes. Contributing to a growing literature on the prevalence and impact of off-label prescriptions in the U.S. pharmaceuticals market, she has recently presented her work at the International Health Economics Association conference in Italy and at the UGA Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Symposium. After completing her master's at Oxford, her goal is to pursue a doctorate in economics and begin a career as an academic economist.

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University of Georgia honors The Coca-Cola Foundation for its support of academics

The University of Georgia recently honored The Coca-Cola Foundation for its legacy of supporting academics at the state's flagship institution of higher education.

In an on-field presentation before the Nov. 21 football game, Coca-Cola representatives-Kirk Glaze, director of community partnerships; Gene Rackley, director of federal government relations; and Scott Williamson, vice president of public affairs and communications of Coca-Cola North America-were recognized by UGA officials for The Coca-Cola Foundation's most recent gift of $1 million.

The money will provide additional funding for the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Program. UGA President Jere W. Morehead, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Kelly Kerner and Coca-Cola First-Generation Scholars Angel Hogg and Michael Williams joined the representatives from Coca-Cola to accept the gift on behalf of the university.

"We are immensely grateful for the continued support of one of our state's pre-eminent corporate partners," Morehead said. "Coca-Cola's generosity is providing vital support for deserving students from Georgia who are seeking to become the first in their families to earn a college degree."

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UGA names inaugural class of Women’s Leadership Fellows

Nine University of Georgia faculty members will hone their leadership skills and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities confronting research universities as members of the inaugural class of the university's Women's Leadership Fellows Program.

The cohort includes representatives from seven schools and colleges as well as the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. As Women's Leadership Fellows, the faculty members will attend a monthly meeting where they will learn from senior administrators on campus as well as visiting speakers from academia, business and other fields. The program also will feature a concluding weekend retreat in June for more in-depth learning.

"The inaugural class of Women's Leadership Fellows have already accomplished so much in their careers, and they are poised to make an even greater impact on the University of Georgia," said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

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UGA researchers develop visual test to quickly check brain function quality

University of Georgia researchers have developed a simple technique to measure an individual's visual processing speed—the speed at which an individual can comprehend visual information—in order to identify whether or not they may have cognitive issues.

The recent study, published in the journal Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, focuses on using a simple test of visual flicker to evaluate an individual's level of executive cognitive abilities, such as shifting attention between different tasks, planning or organizing and problem solving.

For this study, researchers from UGA's Neuropsychology and Memory Assessment Laboratory and Vision Sciences Laboratory collaborated to use a method based on measuring processing speed through sight. Catherine Mewborn, a doctoral candidate in UGA's Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of psychology, led the study.

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UGA ranked 11th on Open Doors 2015 study abroad list

The University of Georgia has moved up six places to rank 11th among all U.S. institutions in the 2015 Open Doors Report on the number of U.S. students studying abroad.

UGA sent 2,240 students abroad for academic credit in the 2013-14 academic year, which represents an 11 percent increase over the previous year at UGA and more than doubles the national increase of 5 percent. UGA is the top-ranked institution in the Southeast and the only institution in Georgia among the top 25.

"The latest Open Doors ranking is yet another indication that hands-on learning experiences are a defining characteristic of a University of Georgia education," said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. "Our new experiential learning requirement will build on this strong foundation to ensure that each of our incoming students will benefit from high-impact learning opportunities such as study abroad, research, service-learning and internships."

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Georgia Sea Grant awards over $800,000 in funding toward coastal research

The Georgia Sea Grant College Program at the University of Georgia is funding research projects that address critical environmental and economic challenges in coastal Georgia.

The diverse projects include investigations into plastic contamination in coastal waterways, a parasitic threat affecting Georgia shrimp and the economic feasibility of raising homes to reduce the impact of flooding.

The seven new awards, totaling $815,736, mark a 15 percent increase in Georgia Sea Grant's research investments in natural and social sciences. In order to address the wide range of topics identified as priorities by coastal stakeholders, the program has dedicated a greater proportion of its overall budget toward research for this funding cycle. Funding for Georgia Sea Grant research comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Sea Grant College Program.

"I am pleased to see the quality and breadth of our research portfolio that spans a spectrum of disciplines, from the fundamental understanding of coastal processes to the economic analysis of retrofitting homes in coastal Georgia," said Mark Risse, director of Marine Extension/Georgia Sea Grant, a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach. "Enabling university-based research to develop solutions for the unmet needs of Georgia's coast, and linking that research to economic development, is a major focus of the Georgia Sea Grant College Program."

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First Chambliss Fellows program dinner raises $350,000-plus for student scholarships

Students at the University of Georgia will have the opportunity to intern as Chambliss Fellows in Washington, D.C., thanks to scholarship funds raised during the first Chambliss Leadership Forum dinner held Nov. 10 in Atlanta.

Founded in 2014, the Chambliss Leadership Forum encompasses three programs: the annual fundraising dinner, the Chambliss Fellows Program and a campus lecture series. Chambliss Fellows—five UGA students competitively selected each semester—will be provided with financial and academic assistance to live, work and pursue their passion in the nation's capital.

A number of students and influential policymakers joined the celebration of former Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and his wife, Julianne, both of whom are UGA alumni and have been public servants since Chambliss was elected to office in 1994.

"The Chambliss Leadership Forum provides a unique opportunity for our students to learn from Sen. Chambliss and to witness policymaking in the nation's capital," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. "It offers an unparalleled learning experience for those who are interested in careers in government and politics, and we are deeply appreciative of Sen. and Mrs. Chambliss—and of our donors—for establishing the program at the University of Georgia."

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Ten UGA students and alumni offered Fulbright awards for 2015-2016

Ten University of Georgia students and recent alumni have been awarded international travel-study grants from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Eight accepted the grants, which allow students, scholars and professionals an opportunity to pursue advanced research projects, graduate study and teaching assistantships in more than 160 countries worldwide.

"We are thrilled to see so many outstanding UGA students and alumni once again win Fulbright awards," said Maria de Rocher, assistant director of the Honors Program and chair of the Fulbright selection committee at UGA. "Each recipient demonstrated a remarkable commitment to public service and to establishing long-lasting relationships of trust with communities in their host countries."

Six of UGA's Fulbright Scholars received English teaching assistantship grants, while two received public policy and research grants.

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UGA helps put veterans back to work

Military veterans across the state are starting new careers in the private sector, thanks to a course offered through the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center.

Boots to Business, a nationwide program now offered in Georgia through UGA SBDC offices located near military bases, is a two-day course that introduces active military leaving the armed forces to entrepreneurship as a post-military career. More than 900 members of the military have taken the course since it was first offered by the SBDC, a unit of the UGA Office of Public Service and Outreach, in late 2013.

Some become SBDC clients, said Susan Caldwell, area director for the Augusta SBDC office of the SBDC.

Reginald Foster, a 25-year Army veteran, is in the process of opening a Tropical Smoothie franchise in Augusta. Foster took the two-day course at Fort Gordon in Augusta and enlisted the SBDC's help to launch the business.