Service-learning is already known to have a positive impact in the classroom but a University of Georgia study shows it can help grow graduates' bank accounts as well.
The research, co-authored by Paul Matthews, associate director of UGA's Office of Service-Learning, which reports jointly to the vice presidents for instruction and for public service and outreach, found that a group of students graduating in 2010 made about $4,600 more annually in their first full-time job if they had participated in service-learning at UGA. They also received their first raise more than two-and-a-half months sooner than those who hadn't taken service-learning courses.
Georgia's flagship university has a $4.4 billion annual economic impact on the state, according to a new study that analyzed how the three-part teaching, research and service mission of the University of Georgia contributes to the economy.
The study, conducted by UGA economist Jeffrey Dorfman, quantified variables such as the increase in earnings that graduates of the university's schools and colleges receive, revenues from the licensing of university inventions, and the creation of business and jobs resulting from the university's public service and outreach units.
"Nowhere is the bond between the state of Georgia and the University of Georgia more evident than in our far-reaching economic impact," said President Jere W. Morehead. "The contributions of UGA faculty, staff, students and alumni are helping to ensure a strong economic future for our state."
Alison Bracewell McCullick will join the University of Georgia Office of Government Relations as its community relations coordinator starting Jan. 11, according to Griff Doyle, UGA vice president for government relations.
"Alison is an outstanding addition to the university's efforts to develop beneficial partnerships across Athens-Clarke County and surrounding counties," Doyle said. "As a university with more than 200 years in this community, our positive local relationships have been integral to the character and success of the University of Georgia. I look forward to growing that relationship and seeing where Alison's leadership takes us."
In her new role, McCullick will head the Office of Community Relations, replacing the recently retired Pat Allen. The office serves as the primary liaison between UGA and the Athens-Clarke County government, businesses, neighborhoods, nonprofit organizations, community leaders and individuals.
The University of Georgia's College of Environment and Design and Georgia Tech's College of Architecture have partnered with Extra Special People Inc. to build Camp Hooray, the first-of-its-kind, fully accessible overnight camp for children and young adults with developmental disabilities.
Located on a 70-acre parcel of land in Jackson County, the camp will have traditional camp activities including music, sports and games, art, swimming, boating, archery, field days, talent shows and overnight stays-while providing a safe, fun and meaningful experience for campers of all abilities.
The project would use the land design expertise of UGA's College of Environment and Design and Georgia Tech's architecture expertise to make the space sustainable and feature accessible design for residential cabins, outdoor spaces and common areas around a small rural lake. A public design process called a charrette will be conducted Jan. 29-31 on site and at 225 W. Broad St. in Athens.
The National Academy of Inventors has named two University of Georgia faculty members to the 2015 class of NAI Fellows.
David Chu, Distinguished Research Professor in the College of Pharmacy, and Wayne Hanna, professor of crop and soil sciences, join an elite group of 582 innovators representing more than 190 prestigious research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutions.
Election to NAI Fellow status is a professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Five UGA faculty members have been named NAI Fellows since the honor was established in 2013.
"The election of David Chu and Wayne Hanna as NAI Fellows highlights the innovative research conducted at UGA," said David Lee, UGA vice president for research. "We join NAI in celebrating their contributions to science and society."
The University of Georgia continues to rank as one of the nation's top values in higher education, according to Kiplinger, which placed UGA 12th on its Personal Finance list of 100 best values among public colleges and universities for 2016.
Kiplinger assesses value by measurable standards of academic quality and affordability. Quality measures include the first-year retention rate, the student-faculty ratio and 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 (the other being the University of Florida) that made the top 20 and the only school from the state of Georgia.
"The University of Georgia takes pride in its commitment to offering a world-class education at an affordable cost," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. "We are pleased that our commitment is once again being recognized on a national level."
Georgia Power leaders joined University of Georgia officials, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols and community and business leaders to dedicate a new one megawatt solar tracking demonstration project. The new project is located on a 10-acre site owned by UGA and is the result of a utility/university collaboration to further demonstrate and advance solar energy in Georgia.
"Working in coordination with the Georgia Public Service Commission, and through strong relationships with organizations such as UGA, we have positioned Georgia as a national solar leader," said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. "Now more than ever, it's essential that we continue to invest in the research and development of new technologies to make solar, and all generation sources, as reliable, efficient and cost-effective for our customers as possible."
Research will be conducted under a two-year collaboration with UGA researchers, spearheaded by the College of Engineering, to study solar forecasting and the effects of solar panel soiling versus performance. Data analysis and performance reporting will occur through a Georgia Power partnership with the Electric Power Research Institute.
With Georgia's oyster season just beginning, the University of Georgia Marine Extension has opened the state's first oyster hatchery, which is expected to revive the once-thriving oyster industry in Georgia.
The hatchery will help establish an oyster aquaculture industry in Georgia, allowing harvesters to farm single oysters that can be sold on the half-shell, a lucrative market fueled by rising restaurant and consumer demand. Located on Skidaway Island, the hatchery is expected to produce between 5 million and 6 million spat, or baby oysters, per year by 2018. Experts at the UGA Shellfish Research Laboratory have calculated that these oysters will be worth an estimated $1.6 million when harvested.
Funded through 2016 by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Management Program, the hatchery emerged from a collaborative effort between UGA Marine Extension specialists, resource managers with the DNR, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Shellfish Growers Association.
"I'm incredibly proud of our first-ever oyster hatchery in the state," said Mark Risse, director of UGA Marine Extension, a unit of the university's Office of Public Service and Outreach. "We hope to grow the oyster industry and allow farmers to produce oysters in a faster, more cost-effective way."
The University of Georgia College of Environment and Design earned top 10 rankings in four categories in DesignIntelligence magazine's 2016 edition of America's Best Architecture and Design Schools.
The report, which is published by the Design Futures Council-a global network of design, product, construction and real estate leaders-also lists the college's dean, Daniel Nadenicek, among the 25 Most Admired Educators for 2016.
"These latest rankings for UGA's College of Environment and Design are gratifying, but they're certainly not a surprise," said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten. "The college's faculty, students and programs are outstanding, and the leadership of Dean Nadenicek is exemplary."
A team of researchers led by faculty at the University of Georgia has identified a number of biological markers that make it possible to classify mental disorders with greater precision. Their findings, published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry, may one day lead to improved diagnostics and treatments for those suffering from mental illness.