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Elise Karinshak selected as a Schwarzman Scholar

Elise Karinshak will combine her study of artificial intelligence and digital communication at UGA with a degree from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, starting next fall. As the University of Georgia’s newest Schwarzman Scholar, she will join students from around the world as they pursue a one-year master’s degree in global affairs.

The 151 scholars in the incoming Schwarzman Class of 2024 represent 36 countries and 121 universities. They were selected from almost 3,000 applicants, of which 400 were interviewed, including five UGA Honors students. Karinshak is UGA’s seventh Schwarzman Scholar.

A senior from Lawrenceville, Karinshak is a Foundation Fellow in the Morehead Honors College. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a certificate in personal and organizational leadership from the Terry College of Business as well as a bachelor’s degree in data science from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. She also is pursuing a minor in studio art in the Lamar Dodd School of Art.

“The University of Georgia is incredibly proud of Elise for being awarded the prestigious Schwarzman Scholarship,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “It is inspiring to see the profound impact that learning experiences gained from UGA can have on our students’ success as undergraduates and on their ability to achieve their educational and career goals as alumni.”

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Demand for UGA education continues among student applicants

The University of Georgia continues to be a top destination for students across Georgia and the country, as applications for the undergraduate Class of 2027 recently demonstrated.

Students from 49 states and Washington, D.C., including 125 counties across Georgia, applied for early acceptance to UGA, continuing the trend for rising academic excellence among incoming students. Admission was offered to those deemed academically superior: the group averaged a GPA of 4.26, SAT score of 1435, and an ACT score of 33.

“The outstanding academic qualifications of these admitted students affirms that demand for a University of Georgia education has never been greater,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “We are excited to see so much interest within the state and across the country in UGA, and we look forward to welcoming this talented group of students to campus next fall.”

The university received a record 26,000 applications for early action admission, up 21% from 21,500 last year. Applications have risen thanks to admissions recruitment efforts throughout the state of Georgia, as well as UGA’s growing national reputation.

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Haire named Frank J. Goodnow Award recipient

Susan Brodie Haire, a professor in the School of Public and International Affairs’ political science department, has been selected to receive the Frank J. Goodnow Award from the American Political Science Association.

The award was established in 1996 to honor the outstanding contributions of individuals, groups, and public and private organizations to both the development of the political science profession and the building of the American Political Science Association. The Goodnow Award is named for Frank J. Goodnow, the association’s first president.

The citation for the award read in part: “Professor Haire’s longstanding commitment to service in the profession, impressive for both its breadth and depth, stood out to the awards committee. Her record of service demonstrates a career-long dedication to improving the profession through mentorship, teaching, and service.”

Haire’s research has focused on the U.S. Courts of Appeals, inter-court relations and the impact of racial and gender diversity of judges on judicial decision-making.

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Fifth cohort of Women's Staff Leadership Institute celebrates graduates

The fifth cohort of the Women’s Staff Leadership Institute celebrated its graduation with a reception Nov. 15. The WSLI, which began in 2017, is an annual program aligned with the Women’s Leadership Initiative launched in 2015 by the Office of the President and the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

The program is administered through University Human Resources’ Learning and Development and coordinated by Emily Saunders, a public service faculty member in the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach. 

The institute provides participants the chance to explore leadership opportunities, reflect upon key leadership traits and skills, and support one another in issues that women leaders face in higher education administration. The 2022 program ran from April through November, and participants met monthly for workshops and discussions. 

Natalie Glenn, senior director of alumni relations and annual giving with the Terry College of Business, appreciated her time in the 2022 cohort. “Two incredible components of the WSLI program are content and connections,” she said. “The programming and strength of the material presented are incredibly beneficial, and the connections I’ve made among the cohort and with the presenters are truly a gift. This program is a game-changer on campus.”

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Fall Staff Appreciation event celebrates employees

During the season of giving thanks, University of Georgia staff members were invited to a Fall Staff Appreciation Reception held Nov. 22 in the Grand Hall of the Tate Student Center.

“I am so grateful to the outstanding staff at UGA who ensure that our university is able to carry out our important mission of teaching, research, and public service,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Their hard work and dedication are essential to our success.”

The event, hosted by the Office of the President, included festive refreshments, such hot cocoa and cider, popcorn, ice cream sundaes and a totcho bar, along with photo booths to capture the moment. Additionally, staff members were treated to 2021 National Championship T-shirts and caps.

The chance to meet and mingle with people from other schools, colleges, departments and units was another highlight of the reception.

“I enjoy the food and mingling and getting to know people you don’t already know,” said Christy Rich, an instructional designer in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ academic affairs office.

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UGA partners with Spin for Bulldog Bike Share program

The University of Georgia has partnered with Spin, a leading micromobility company, to bring e-bikes back to the Athens campus. The Bulldog Bike Share program includes electric pedal-assist bikes that are available to students, faculty, staff and visitors.

The GPS-enabled electric pedal-assist bikes will be located throughout the UGA Athens campus and can be found in the Spin app. Riders can download the Spin app on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to register, locate and unlock the bikes. A variety of pricing options are available through the Spin app.

Spin is currently offering a smaller fleet of e-bikes and will increase the number of bikes on campus in preparation for the spring 2023 semester.

“We are pleased to once again be able to offer the Bulldog Bike Share program at UGA,” said Todd Berven, director of Transportation and Parking Services at UGA. “Partnering with Spin is a great opportunity for us to continue to serve our campus community by adding to our alternative transportation options.”

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CDC funds Pathogen Genomics Center of Excellence

The University of Georgia and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) in partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health, have received a five-year, $17 million cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish a Pathogen Genomics Center of Excellence.

The center is intended to strengthen public health response to infectious disease threats and support public health workforce development.

The award is part of a $90 million investment by the CDC to build a network of centers in five states. Each Pathogen Genomics Center of Excellence (PGCoE) consists of a health department and one or more academic institutions.

The Georgia Department of Public Health will provide overall leadership and prioritization of center efforts. UGA will be leading the effort to translate new discoveries into usable data and interventions. GTRI will be leading the operations and implementation arm of the Georgia-based center.

Collectively, this work will be focused on transitioning innovations out of academia and into use at public health departments across the United States.

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UGA and CCSD partner to provide health services to Athens families

The Clarke Middle Health Center celebrated its grand opening on Thursday, Nov. 10, introducing the Athens-Clarke County community to the many free medical, mental health and legal services provided to students, staff and families. Through a collaboration between the Clarke County School District and the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership’s Athens Free Clinic, the health center will see patients during the school week for more than 20 hours each week.

“This is such a wonderful day for our community,” Dr. Shelley Nuss, dean of the Medical Partnership, said at the grand opening. “This center is already making a tremendous impact in the community we serve, and I want to thank everyone involved for all you do. It takes a village, so to everyone from the state, the community, the school system, thank you.”

After the Athens Free Clinic and CCSD teamed up in 2021 to provide more than 1,650 COVID-19 vaccines to CCSD students, staff, families and employees, Dr. Suzanne Lester, the director of the Athens Free Clinic, and Amy Roark, CCSD’s director of nursing, applied for a UGA Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant to fund a School Based Health Center.

Leveraging partnerships within UGA and the community—including individuals from the Medical Partnership, the UGA School of Law, the Mary Frances Early College of Education, the ASPIRE Clinic at the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences, and the Georgia Department of Health—the team was awarded the $94,000 grant to support a nine-month pilot period for the center.

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Chester receives CIO of the Year ORBIE Award

Timothy M. Chester, vice president for information technology at the University of Georgia, has been honored with the 2022 CIO of the Year ORBIE Award in the Enterprise category by Georgia CIO.

“I’m lucky to be a part of the great University of Georgia, an institution responsible for creating knowledge, conveying knowledge and using knowledge to impact this great state,” Chester said during his acceptance speech.

As vice president for information technology and CIO, Chester leads the 240 employees of UGA’s central IT department, Enterprise Information Technology Services. During his 11 years at UGA, Chester has spearheaded many large-scale initiatives, including the transformation of the university’s financial and HR systems, the replacement of the student information system, the implementation of two-factor authentication across campus systems, and more than $8 million in investments in computational research and storage infrustructure.

Chester credited his success with such projects at UGA to his team and their commitment to their work. “Over time, we’ve built a culture within the team that we invest in each other and everybody really sweats the details of their work together. Once you get that going, you guard it intensively,” Chester said. “More than any other resource I have at the University of Georgia, it is that team that is the critical ingredient necessary for success with big initiatives.”

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UGA achieves record-breaking completion rates

Completion rates at the University of Georgia have reached record highs as ongoing initiatives across campus provide students with support to help them succeed.

The latest data shows that UGA’s four-year completion rate has increased to a record 75.1%, up from 72.1% last year. The six-year completion rate also reached a new high at 88.1%, up from 87.8% a year ago. The retention rate remains strong at 94.3%.

“I am thrilled that the University of Georgia has achieved record completion rates once again,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “UGA’s holistic approach to supporting students in their undergraduate education along with the outstanding efforts of our faculty, staff and donors are helping our students attain their academic goals and maximize their prospects for continued success in the future.”

UGA’s success exceeds the average completion and retention rates of its peer institutions. The average six-year completion rate at UGA’s comparator peer institutions is 80.3%, while the average rate of UGA’s aspirational peers is 85.3%. The average retention rate at comparator peer institutions is 91.3%. UGA also far exceeds the average retention and six-year completion rates for other Southeastern Conference schools, coming in more than 4% higher than the average retention rate and more than 12% higher than the average six-year completion rate among SEC institutions.