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Dr. Michelle Nuss named campus dean of AU/UGA Medical Partnership

Dr. Michelle "Shelley" Nuss, an administrator at the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership who has played a key role in expanding residency options in Georgia, has been named its campus dean effective March 1.

In addition, Dr. Jonathan Murrow, a cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at the medical partnership, has been named campus associate dean for research. In this newly created role, Murrow will expand clinical research collaborations involving the state's medical community and faculty in Athens and Augusta. Murrow's appointment is effective March 15.

"Dr. Nuss has been a steadfast leader at our partnership campus since it opened its doors to students," said Dr. Peter F. Buckley, dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and AU interim executive vice president for health affairs. "Her knowledge, commitment and continued leadership will help ensure ongoing success in educating the next generation of physicians for our state and beyond."

"The appointment of Dr. Nuss to this critical leadership role is the beginning of a promising new era for the AU/UGA Medical Partnership," said UGA Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten. "She is deeply committed to educating world-class physicians and strengthening the ties between the academic and medical communities to create a healthier future for our state."

Nuss joined the AU/UGA Medical Partnership in 2010 as an associate professor and campus associate dean for graduate medical education. In that role, she helped establish an internal medicine residency program in partnership with St. Mary's Health Care System and supported Athens Regional Medical Center in the development of its residency programs. Beyond Athens, she has worked closely with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to help expand residency programs at new teaching hospitals across the state of Georgia. She also has been heavily involved in campus planning for the AU/UGA Medical Partnership, accreditation, and faculty promotion and tenure.

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UGA Center for Simulational Physics at 30: Continuing as a worldwide research leader

Crude computer simulation techniques date back to the 1940s at Los Alamos National Laboratory, but the University of Georgia Center for Simulational Physics was the very first such center in the world devoted entirely to developing and using advanced computer simulation algorithms.

Since it was founded in 1986, the center has played an important role in the use and development of computer simulation techniques. Solving problems often impractical for experimentation, or intractable from a theoretical perspective, physicists turn to computational simulation to understand fundamental physical phenomena.

"In 1983 we started the Program in Simulational Physics, and in 1986 we were approved as a university center," said David P. Landau, Distinguished Research Professor of Physics and founding director of the CSP. "The next year we started this workshop series, and it really became a meeting place for simulationists from around the world, because there was no other meeting place."

The CSP workshop, held the week of Feb. 22-26 this year, has continued every year since, bringing dozens of visiting scholars and hundreds of students to study at UGA over that time, making the University of Georgia a world leader in computer simulation studies of condensed matter physics.

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Student-run philanthropy surpasses $1 million raised for Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta

More than 2,100 University of Georgia students caught up on some much needed sleep Sunday after 24 hours of dancing and games culminated in the announcement of a record-setting $1,068,358.16 raised for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

From 10 a.m. on Feb. 20 to 10 a.m. the following morning, students, faculty and staff filled all three levels of the Tate Student Center, dancing, playing games and sharing stories. In one location, students could participate in a silent disco, where a DJ pumped music to participants' headphones, creating an amusing scene for onlookers of Athens' quietest dance club. In another, students joined Children's Healthcare patients and their families for inflatable slides, obstacle courses and opportunities to meet the children that are the event's focus.

For 21 years, Dance Marathon has served as the annual fundraising finale for the university's largest student-run philanthropy, UGA Miracle. The 24-hour event is a symbolic gesture in support of children who have had to sacrifice much more of their own time to combat illness in hospitals. Since its inception, the student organization has raised nearly $6 million for Children's Healthcare, with more than $2 million of that total coming in the last three years.

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Professor launches new journal exploring topics in education law

A new journal published by a University of Georgia professor is helping to establish UGA as a leader in the field of educational law and public policy.

Education Law & Policy Review, which recently published its second issue, not only takes a scholarly approach to educational policy but also suggests ways to solve the issues tackled by its contributors. And these aren't topics to be taken lightly: The first issue addressed workplace bullying in higher education, while the second volume tackled issues surrounding freedom of speech in schools.

John Dayton, professor in the College of Education's department of lifelong education, administration and policy, said the idea for the journal came after he realized there was a lack of resources focusing on broader policy. Dayton has spent the past couple of years assembling a national panel of reviewers and an editorial board, as well as a partnership with the Educational Law Association, the national scholarly and professional organization and co-publisher of the journal.

And one more key distinction sets the Education Law & Policy Review apart from the handful of other journals that touch on the topics of policy and law: It's available to download for free.

"We are really trying to do good deeds, provide useful information to everyone and establish UGA as a national leader in this area of scholarship," said Dayton.

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UGA summit on women in agriculture pulls attendees from throughout the Southeast

More than 150 agricultural leaders from across 13 Southern states and Washington, D.C., converged on the University of Georgia's campus in Athens on Feb. 8 to discuss leadership roles for women in agriculture.

"The delegates at this summit represent the future of agriculture," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead in his welcoming remarks. "The work they are doing to shape policies and programs to promote gender equity and women's leadership development will have a positive impact on an industry that is crucial to our nation's food security and economic vitality."

Women representing government agencies, farms, the Cooperative Extension System and agriculture-related industries were invited to participate in the UGA-led Southern Region Women's Agricultural Leadership Summit. Participants were chosen because of the leadership roles they play in their home states.

"This is a very far-reaching conversation," said Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for extension for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. "The thing that has made this summit a success is the diversity in our delegates; we have representatives from industry, from production agriculture, from agribusiness, academia, government and much more."

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UGA offers small business expertise to farmers

The University of Georgia is combining its expertise in agriculture and economic development into a one-day conference later this month.

The UGA Small Business Development Center, a unit of Public Service and Outreach, along with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Cooperative Extension will host a Georgia Farm Business Education Conference in Tifton on Feb. 25. Agriculture is the biggest industry in the state with a value of $14.1 billion in 2014, according to UGA's Farmgate Value report released last fall.

"UGA is known for resources for agriculture and agribusiness," said Debbie Finney, UGA SBDC Albany area director. "We wanted to focus on the business side of farming. But at the same time you can't do that without bringing in experts from both sides."

Laura Perry Johnson, UGA's associate dean for extension, said her office was excited to work with the SBDC on the conference.

"The partnership between UGA Extension and Small Business Development Center is a great example of extension and public service working together and pooling our resources to offer better service to our clientele," Johnson said.

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History department launches summer public history program in D.C.

A new University of Georgia program in public history is offering students the opportunity to learn about the professional side of their discipline—through archiving artifacts, giving tours of historic sites or curating a historical collection of films—while living in Washington, D.C.

The program, offered by the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences' department of history, will consist of a Maymester introduction to public history class followed by a summerlong internship at one of the many institutions, museums, libraries and other cultural institutions based in the nation's capital.

The program is the first of its kind for Franklin College through the UGA in Washington program.

Public history, sometimes referred to as applied history, lends itself to a variety of employment opportunities with museums, institutions and a wide variety of other cultural entities and gives students a first-hand look at history, said Akela Reason, an associate professor of history who is leading the program.

"This program will introduce history majors to what they can do with their degree outside of academia," she said. "So, it's history in public archives, libraries, parks, public monuments, historic sites and museums. And that's where they'll be interning as well."

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Grady Sports students to cover 2016 Olympic Games in Rio

Two University of Georgia students in the Grady Sports Media certificate program will travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August to cover the 2016 Olympic Games.

Nicole Chrzanowski and Jaylon Thompson have been selected by the United States Olympic Committee to report on the Games for the USOC's various information channels, including its website, TeamUSA.org.

"It's going to be a huge undertaking to basically be a member of the press corps at the Olympics, which is one of the events that most sports journalists aspire to cover," said Vicki Michaelis, John Huland Carmical Distinguished Professor in Sports Journalism and director of Grady Sports at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. "It's a 17-day experiment in sleeplessness and constant deadlines. They'll be in that same crucible as all of the professional journalists around them, and these are two students that I'm confident can handle that."

Michaelis was the lead Olympics reporter for USA Today through six Olympic Games and worked as a freelancer with Team USA during the 2012 Games in London. That same year, she and Malcolm Moran, director of the Sports Capital Journalism Program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, worked with the USOC to formalize a student assistant program for the 2016 Olympics.

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Bledsoe named inaugural UGA Athletic Association Professor in Resilient Infrastructure

Brian P. Bledsoe, a scholar with more than 25 years of experience as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist in the private and public sectors, has been appointed the inaugural Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor in Resilient Infrastructure in the University of Georgia College of Engineering.

The board of regents made the special appointment at its January meeting. Bledsoe will join the engineering faculty this month.

"Dr. Bledsoe brings a tremendous record of accomplishment to the University of Georgia College of Engineering, and he will play a major role in the continuing growth of our academic program and our research enterprise," said Donald J. Leo, dean of the college. "I sincerely thank our partners in the Athletic Association for supporting our mission to educate the next generation of engineers."

Bledsoe's research is focused on the interface of hydrology, ecology and urban water sustainability with an emphasis on the sustainability and resiliency of green infrastructure including streams, floodplains and stormwater systems. His work is currently funded by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others.

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Researchers make link between genetics, aging

Scientists at the University of Georgia have shown that a hormone instrumental in the aging process is under genetic control, introducing a new pathway by which genetics regulates aging and disease.

Previous studies have found that blood levels of this hormone, growth differentiation factor 11, decrease over time. Restoration of GDF11 reverses cardiovascular aging in old mice and leads to muscle and brain rejuvenation, a discovery that was listed as one of the top 10 breakthroughs in science in 2014.

Scientists in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences have now discovered that levels of this hormone are determined by genetics, representing another potential mechanism by which aging is encoded in the genome.