| UGA Today

Spanish-speaking counselors from UGA help fill community need

A team of counseling psychology graduate students led by a University of Georgia professor is improving the availability of mental health care for the Athens-area Latino population.

Edward Delgado-Romero, a professor in the department of counseling and human development services in the UGA College of Education, recently launched two counseling programs at local clinics. By bringing six bilingual doctoral-level students into the community, dozens of locals have had access to counselors in their native language.

Prior to the programs, Delgado-Romero said, he and one other mental health professional were the only licensed bilingual counselors in the five-county area.

The work allows the graduate students to gain valuable clinical experience, which is a requirement for their degree. While they could choose to earn their hours anywhere, by working with the local Latino population the students are helping an underserved population while gaining valuable real-world experience in a bilingual setting.

Kristi Gilleland, director of whole person care at Mercy Health Center, said the addition of mental health services addresses a need expressed by nearly half of their entire patient population. A 2012 patient survey found that nearly 50 percent of Mercy's patients had a mental health need or diagnosis.

"We've definitely seen an increase in benefits in just the short time we've offered the service," Gilleland added. "The partnership has been incredible, and working with Ed, Linda Campbell and (fellow professor) Bernadette Hickman-they have been instrumental in bringing students here and expanding mental health services for our patients."

| UGA Today

UGA 10th best value in public colleges according to Kiplinger

The University of Georgia moved up two spots to No. 10 on Kiplinger's Personal Finance list of 100 best values among public colleges and universities for 2017.

Kiplinger's quality measures, which are weighted more heavily than cost, include the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker price, financial aid and average debt at graduation.

UGA was only one of two universities from the SEC that made the top 20 (the other being the University of Florida, which ranked at No. 7). The only other school from Georgia in the top 20 was Georgia Tech at No. 9. Georgia is one of only three states with two public schools in the top 10.

"The University of Georgia is committed to providing a world-class education at an affordable cost," said President Jere W. Morehead. "I am pleased that our ongoing efforts were once again recognized by this national ranking."

| UGA Today

Department of Commerce award to help fund UGA New Materials Innovation Center

Thanks in part to support from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the University of Georgia will create a New Materials Innovation Center, which will fulfill the local and regional need for a large-scale testing facility for new materials being developed by entrepreneurs, startups and researchers.

UGA is one of 35 organizations selected from a pool of more than 215 applicants to receive funding through the Economic Development Administration's Regional Innovation Strategies program. The i6 Challenge award of nearly $500,000 will be matched by UGA to create the new facility.

"The RIS program advances innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country by addressing two essential core components that entrepreneurs need to take their ideas to market: programmatic support and access to capital," said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

"The establishment of the New Materials Innovation Center highlights the importance of federal investment in research," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. "This center also exemplifies the University of Georgia's commitment to improving health, security, sustainability and economic vitality. It will strengthen existing partnerships while creating new opportunities for students, faculty, entrepreneurs and industry."

The NMIC will provide equipment and facilities focused on the design and large-scale testing of new materials, including advanced textiles, plastics and coating technologies.

| UGA Today

UGA named top research institution in the nation for service to student veterans

The University of Georgia has been named the top tier one research institution in the nation in Victory Media's Military Friendly Schools 2017 rankings. The designation recognizes the university for its outstanding commitment to and programs for student veterans and their families.

Nearly 1,200 colleges and universities nationwide have achieved the Military Friendly designation, which results from a comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student success rates.

"We are delighted by these national recognitions highlighting our support for student veterans," said Victor K. Wilson, vice president for student affairs. "For all that these remarkable students have given of themselves to our nation, it is our honor to provide outstanding, tailored resources to aid in their academic, personal and professional success."

UGA's comprehensive service to student veterans is the result of collaborations across multiple divisions and departments, including Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, the Office of the Dean of Students, UGA Athletics and the Student Veterans Resource Center.

| UGA Today

Governor caps 2016 Biennial Institute by touting Georgias economic success

Georgia remains a national leader in job creation and economic development because of infrastructure improvements the General Assembly supported, Gov. Nathan Deal told lawmakers at the 30th Biennial Institute for Georgia Legislators Tuesday.

Deal addressed legislators on the third and final day of the Biennial, coordinated by the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government to help lawmakers prepare for the next legislative cycle. The governor cited evidence of Georgia's success.

• For the fourth consecutive year, Site Selection magazine named Georgia the best state in the country to do business.
• In fiscal year 2016, the Department of Economic Development brought more than 25,000 new jobs to Georgia, a $4.4 billion capital investment.
• Also in fiscal year 2016, state revenue exceeded projections by 3.2 percent to reach 9.4 percent.

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government, a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit, has coordinated the Biennial for 58 years, working with the Georgia General Assembly to organize and assemble the resources and expertise needed to carry out the planned events. The Institute provides customized assistance, applied research and professional development for government leaders and employees across Georgia and internationally.

| UGA Today

Researchers receive $2.78 million to explore and exploit bacterial immune systems

Researchers at the University of Georgia have received a $2.78 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study CRISPR-Cas, a powerful gene editing tool derived from a defense mechanism evolved in bacteria and other single-celled organisms.

Like a pair of molecular scissors, CRISPR-Cas allows scientists to precisely edit sequences of DNA in everything from plants to humans, and it could one day be used to silence the genes that predispose humans to myriad diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and mental illnesses.

"This is a technology that has taken the scientific world by storm," said Michael Terns, Distinguished Research Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in UGA's Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and principal investigator for the project. "But there are still a lot of things that we don't know, and this project will help us expand and refine our ability to exploit CRISPR for research and biomedicine."

| UGA Today

UGA-led research team discovers a pathogens motility triggers immune response

Until now, a pathogen's ability to move through the body has been overlooked as a possible trigger of immune response, but new research from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine found that motility will indeed alarm the host and activate an immune response.

The team, led by Balázs Rada, an assistant professor in the department of infectious diseases in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, studied Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic bacterium that can wreak havoc on patients who have a weakened immune system-like burn patients or those battling HIV, cystic fibrosis, cancer or pneumonia.

Data from the study, published in mid-November in PLOS Pathogens, suggest that a bacteria's ability to swim, also known as motility, is an important factor to certain opportunistic pathogens, like P. aeruginosa. The team identified the flagellum-a whip-like appendage that works like a propeller to move the bacteria-as the main P. aeruginosa component that triggers the immune system to release what are called neutrophil extracellular traps, or NETs. NETs are web-like structures of DNA associated with antimicrobial molecules that trap and kill microbes.

The study is the first to show that flagellar motility induces activation of neutrophils, the most abundant type of white blood cell in most mammals and the first line of defense against infection.

| UGA Today

UGA named a Bronze Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists

The University of Georgia received a Bronze Bicycle Friendly University award by the League of American Bicyclists for its commitment to safe, enjoyable and convenient bicycling for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

"We're proud of this distinction and we remain committed to creating safe, convenient bicycle infrastructure and programs at UGA," said Kevin Kirsche, director of sustainability at UGA.

UGA was part of a group of 51 new and renewing bike friendly universities from 25 states recognized. Athens-Clarke County also received a Bronze Bike Friendly Community award, and BikeAthens was named a Silver Bike Friendly Business.

To date, UGA has over 16 miles of bike lanes, trails and shared use paths on campus; over 600 members of the UGA community participate in Bulldog Bikes bike share; and more than 20 students have received refurbished bikes through the reCYCLE bike donation program. UGA holds pop-up bike safety checks and has made improvements to campus bicycle infrastructure including the contraflow bike lane and green bike box on Sanford Drive.

| UGA Today

UGA Alumni Association announces eighth annual Bulldog 100 list

The University of Georgia Alumni Association has released the 2017 Bulldog 100. This annual program recognizes the fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni. More than 500 nominations were submitted for the 2017 list.

The 2017 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, 79 are located within Georgia, and only one business has made the list all eight years: Vino Venue/Atlanta Wine School.

The Atlanta office of Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors verified the information submitted by each company and ranked the businesses based on a compounded annual growth rate during a three-year period.

Click here for a list of the 2017 Bulldog 100 businesses.

| UGA Today

UGAs Spotlight on the Arts festival breaks attendance record

More than 23,000 people attended the University of Georgia's Spotlight on the Arts festival this November, setting an attendance record for the fifth straight year.

Held Nov. 2-13, the festival featured more than 100 events and exhibitions and engaged a total of 23,211 people in the visual, literary and performing arts. Events featured special guests as well as hundreds of student artists, musicians, writers and performers, including more than 200 who took part in an Opening Celebration kaleidoscope performance.

"The success of Spotlight on the Arts underscores just how important the arts are to the cultural and intellectual vitality of our university and state," said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. "I am so grateful to the members of the UGA Arts Council for organizing such an extraordinary festival."

For the first time in the festival's five-year history, the UGA Arts Council held a Spotlight on the Arts Family Day. More than 1,000 children and adults participated in the festivities on Nov. 5, which included dramatic and musical performances, art activities, dance classes, writing workshops and a chance to interact with musical instruments.

The 2016 festival also featured performances from the University Theatre, Hugh Hodgson School of Music and department of dance, a Shakespeare symposium, a roundtable on arts and the environment, a popular open house at the Lamar Dodd School of Art and exhibitions at the art school, the Georgia Museum of Art, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and College of Environment and Design.