University of Georgia scientists are now better equipped to help businesses launch new food products with the opening of the Food Technology Center, locally known as the FoodPIC building, on the UGA Griffin campus. The facility houses the university's Food Product Innovation and Commercialization, or FoodPIC, Center.
The $7.4 million project was funded by $3.5 million from the state of Georgia and additional funds from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Griffin-Spalding Development Authority and the University of Georgia.
The state-of-the-art 14,500-square-foot facility was dedicated on Jan. 30 with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Speakers at the ceremony included Board of Regents Chairman Dr. C. Thomas Hopkins Jr., state Rep. David Knight (R-Griffin), Chairman of the Griffin-Spalding Development Authority Board Charles Copeland, Dean and Director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Sam Pardue, and Pike County STEM Academy student Nikki Dodson, along with UGA President Jere W. Morehead.
"The Food Product Innovation and Commercialization Center is an outstanding example of the University of Georgia using its resources to help strengthen our state's economy," Morehead said. "We are grateful for the support we have received for the new Food Technology Center, and we are excited to expand the reach of FoodPIC within the global food industry."
The new public-private partnership, called the National Institute for Innovation of Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals, or NIIMBL, will focus its efforts on driving down the cost and risks associated with manufacturing advanced cell and gene therapies for biopharmaceutical production.
Steven Stice, director of the UGA's Regenerative Bioscience Center, is the UGA lead in the partnership, which is coordinated by the University of Delaware.
NIIMBL represents a total investment of $250 million, including $129 million in private cost-share commitments from the NIIMBL consortium of 150 companies, nonprofits, educational institutions and state partners across the country, combined with at least $70 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
NIIMBL is the 11th institute under the Manufacturing USA National Network for Manufacturing Innovation initiative created to advance manufacturing leadership and restore jobs to the U.S. This recent success follows an announcement in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Defense that an MIT-led team involving UGA was selected for funding as the eighth NNMI institute.
"We are pleased to have UGA participate in these high-profile public-private partnerships that are aimed at advancing U.S. leadership in key manufacturing sectors," said UGA Vice President for Research David Lee. "We are eager to assist industry partners in meeting their goals through the development of new and existing intellectual property, and the training of an appropriate workforce."
To increase the number of need-based scholarships offered by the University of Georgia, President Jere W. Morehead unveiled the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program Wednesday during his annual State of the University address at the UGA Chapel.
Under the program, the UGA Foundation will match any gift to the university in the amount of $50,000, $75,000 or $100,000 to establish an endowed need-based scholarship. This initiative is expected to create as many as 400 to 600 new annual scholarships.
"Scholarships are life-changing," Morehead said. "They remove barriers and open doors. They create for our students and their families pathways to futures that would otherwise be unreachable."
Morehead thanked the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation for its "transformative" gift of $30 million for need-based scholarships as the university announced its $1.2 billion Commit to Georgia campaign in November. He said he hopes this amazing gift inspires alumni and friends of the university to reach new levels of support for need-based aid.
Alumnus Pete Correll, former CEO of Georgia Pacific, UGA Foundation emeritus trustee and honorary co-chair-along with his wife Ada Lee-of the Commit to Georgia campaign, believes the new matching program will resonate with supporters of the institution. "The Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program is going to create opportunities for so many future students at our state's flagship university," Correll said. "Supporting this program is an incredible way for UGA alumni and supporters to make a real difference in the lives of students and families all across Georgia."
The University of Georgia's Tate Student Center has added a designated private room for nursing mothers.
The space is one of 14 lactation rooms on the main campus, with others located at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and on the Health Sciences Campus. A map of UGA lactation rooms is online at http://hrdocs.uga.edu/map-campus-lactation-rooms.pdf.
Tate's lactation room is located on the fourth level adjacent to the Student Veterans Resource Center. Access is available through a keypad lock; users may get the code by visiting or calling the Office of the Dean of Students.
"Previously, we would accommodate nursing mothers by making temporary space available on an as-needed basis," said Jan Barham, associate dean of students and director of the Tate Student Center. "We're pleased to join the university's efforts to enhance resources for women by designating a permanent lactation room."
The Tate Student Center is a department within UGA Student Affairs. For more information, call 706-542-7774 or see http://tate.uga.edu. For information about women's resources on the UGA campus, see http://women.uga.edu.
University of Georgia assistant professor Andrea Sweigart is among 102 scientists announced as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, or PECASE, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers in the early stages of their research careers.
Established in 1996 by President Bill Clinton, awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach. The recipients receive the awards in person each spring at the White House.
Sweigart is an assistant professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of genetics.
"A world-leading evolutionary biologist who has fully integrated her research into her teaching, exposing our students to cutting edge science that addresses evolution and the generation of biodiversity, Andrea exemplifies the outstanding scholarship conducted at UGA," said Allen J. Moore, Distinguished Research Professor and head of the department of genetics. "She is a passionate supporter of diversity at all levels. This is a fabulous recognition of her leadership in 21st century science, and we are all proud to have her as a colleague."
Sweigart joined the UGA faculty in 2011 following postdoctoral positions at the University of Rochester and the University of Montana after completing her Ph.D. at Duke University. Sweigart's research program is focused on understanding how natural populations evolve into reproductively isolated species.
The University of Georgia presented awards to four Athens and university community members for exemplary community service Jan. 13 as part of the 14th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Breakfast sponsored by UGA, the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government and the Clarke County School District.
The breakfast commemorates the life of the late civil rights leader. Held at the Grand Hall of the Tate Student Center, the event had a capacity crowd with more than 600 people in attendance
Elizabeth Louis, a doctoral candidate in psychology; Barbara McCaskill, professor of English and co-director of the Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative; and Fred O. Smith and Lee E. Zimmerman Smith, co-founders of the Creative Visions Foundation, received the President's Fulfilling the Dream Award for their efforts to make King's dream of equality and justice a reality.
In addition, Kerry Miller, Mary Diallo and Harold Black, the first African-Americans to enroll at UGA as freshmen, were present at the breakfast and were recognized on the 50th anniversary of their graduation as part of the Class of 1966.
The Rev. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock, senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, was the featured speaker at the event. He encouraged attendees to take on King's unfinished work.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Breakfast and the President's Fulfilling the Dream Awards are coordinated by the UGA Office of Institutional Diversity.
A $1.3 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation will allow University of Georgia researchers to uncover answers about an important metabolic link that takes place in the Earth's oceans.
Microorganisms in the largest microbial habitat on Earth, the ocean microbiome, function similarly to microorganisms in the human gut; they perform chemical transformations that keep the whole system healthy.
Phytoplankton, the microbial primary producers of the ocean, take up carbon dioxide and provide the building blocks for all marine life, while bacteria use these building blocks to direct the carbon to different functions in the ocean.
With support from the Moore Foundation grant, UGA researchers are working to uncover the details of these metabolic transformations to assess the rates at which metabolites move between microbial primary producers and consumers in the surface ocean.
The research will use lab cultures of bacteria isolated from various locations in the ocean including off the coast of Georgia's Sapelo Island, and field studies with natural microbial communities.
The University of Georgia is launching a new dual degree program that will allow students to earn a bachelor's degree in engineering and an MBA within five years. The program, offered through the university's Terry College of Business and its College of Engineering, is the first and only combined Bachelor of Science and MBA degree offered at an institution in the University System of Georgia.
"We are pleased to add the new engineering and MBA dual degree combination to our innovative educational offerings to provide motivated engineering students with the business skill set that will equip them to excel in today's workforce," said Terry College Dean Benjamin C. Ayers.
Students enrolled in the program will begin with bachelor's degree courses in the College of Engineering during years one through three. In their fourth year, students will continue their engineering coursework while completing statistics and data analytics courses in Terry College. At the end of their fourth year, students will complete an internship in either a business or engineering setting. Students will be fully immersed in Terry's MBA program during year five.
"We try to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in our students as they work to solve problems," said Donald J. Leo, dean of the College of Engineering. "We want them to be able to turn their innovations into products that can have an impact on people's lives, and the partnership with the Terry College will provide them with the business skills they need to do this."
In addition, leaders of the two colleges believe engineering graduates equipped with an MBA will have the technical, analytical and business skills necessary to lead strategic initiatives in high-tech, operations and manufacturing companies.
"Engineering graduates with an MBA will be better able to understand business decisions and transition into management roles earlier in their careers," said Santanu Chatterjee, director of Terry's Full-Time MBA Program.
The University of Georgia will bestow one of its highest honors on Paul M. Kurtz, retired associate dean and professor in the UGA School of Law, during Founders Day activities on Jan. 23.
The President's Medal recognizes extraordinary contributions of individuals who are not current employees of UGA and who have supported students and academic programs, advanced research and inspired community leaders to enhance the quality of life of citizens in Georgia.
"Paul Kurtz is among the most respected faculty members to have served the University, and he is renowned nationwide for his legal expertise and leadership still today," said President Jere W. Morehead. "We are pleased to recognize his many contributions to strengthening the academic mission of this University and improving the legal system in our state and nation."
Kurtz was a faculty member at the School of Law from 1975 until his retirement in 2013, specializing in criminal law and family law. He served as the law school's associate dean from 1991 until 2013 and was named the J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law in 1994.
Active in law school and university affairs throughout his career, Kurtz was elected by colleagues to three terms of service on the University Council as well as two terms on the board of the Georgia Athletic Association. He is chairing the American Bar Association-Association of American Law Schools Accreditation Site Inspection of the Indiana University-Indianapolis Law School. Kurtz earned his bachelor's and law degrees from Vanderbilt University and his Master of Laws from Harvard University.
Jennifer M. Cruse-Sanders, vice president for science and conservation at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, has been named director of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia at the University of Georgia, effective Feb. 15.
Cruse-Sanders' senior administrative experience managing botanical garden programming and personnel, her track record of raising funds to support those programs, and her energy and commitment to public gardens, made her the top candidate.
"Jenny's strong record of outstanding leadership at the Atlanta Botanical Garden make her ideally suited to lead Georgia's State Botanical Garden," said Jennifer L. Frum, UGA vice president for Public Service and Outreach, which oversees the garden. "I am confident that working closely with the board of advisors and the Friends of the Garden, she will be in a position to raise the profile of and support for the State Botanical Garden of Georgia throughout the southeast and the country."
Cruse-Sanders has worked at the Atlanta Botanical Garden since 2008. She was director of research and conservation before becoming a vice president. Prior to Atlanta, she spent nine years as a research associate at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. She has an M.S. and a Ph.D. in botany from UGA. She earned her B.A. in biology at Boston University.
The State Botanical Garden serves UGA's teaching, research and outreach missions, and is an extremely popular public garden. More than 235,000 people visit the Garden annually for educational programs, research, special events, and recreation. The 313-acre Garden includes a tropical conservatory/visitor center; a non-denominational chapel; the Mimsie Lanier Center for Native Plant Studies; and a horticulture complex and nursery. The garden contains several theme gardens and five miles of nature trails through deciduous Georgia piedmont forest.