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UGA research will help policymakers plan for sea level rise

A new study by University of Georgia researchers could help protect more than 13 million American homes that will be threatened by rising sea levels by the end of the century.

It is the first major study to assess the risk from rising seas using year 2100 population forecasts for all 319 coastal counties in the continental U.S. Previous impact assessments use current population figures to assess long-term effects of coastal flooding.

The study is based on analyses by Mathew Hauer for his doctoral work with the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Deepak Mishra of the UGA department of geography; and Jason Evans, a former UGA faculty member now with Stetson University. It was published March 14 in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Based on year 2100 population forecasts, the authors report that a 6-foot sea level rise will expose more than 13 million people to flooding and other hazards from rising seas. Florida faces the most risk, where up to 6 million residents could be affected. One million people each in California and Louisiana also could be impacted.

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Robotics teams to invade UGA for FIRST state championship competition

The best high school robotics teams from across the state will converge on the University of Georgia campus this spring for a high-stakes, high-tech battle.

The UGA College of Engineering will host the 2016 FIRST Robotics Peachtree District State Championship April 14-16 at Stegeman Coliseum. Approximately 1,200 students representing 45 teams will participate in the competition that's billed as a "varsity sport for the mind."

The event is part of the annual For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology—FIRST—family of robotics competitions. FIRST is a nonprofit organization that works to inspire young people to become scientists and engineers. More than 400,000 students in 89 countries participate in FIRST Robotics competitions, according to the organization.

"The University of Georgia is excited to welcome the Georgia FIRST Robotics championship to our campus," UGA President Jere W. Morehead said. "Science education is flourishing at UGA, and our partnership with Georgia FIRST Robotics and the state's aspiring engineers and scientists is further evidence of our leadership in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields."

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Veterinary professor Corrie Brown named University Professor at UGA

Corrie Brown, Meigs Professor of Pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named University Professor, an honor bestowed on faculty members who have made a significant impact on the University of Georgia beyond their normal academic responsibilities.

Brown, who was named a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2004, has built international partnerships to advance animal and human health. In her 20 years at UGA, her research, instruction and outreach have shaped global initiatives and transformed lives.

"Working at the interface of animal and human health, Dr. Brown has dedicated her career to creating a healthier and more prosperous future," said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten. "She is an inspiring instructor and mentor, a pioneering researcher and a global ambassador for the University of Georgia."

Brown has worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Veterinarians Without Borders and the federal departments of state, defense and agriculture to create programs to help veterinarians understand how to build sustainable animal health systems that improve heath, food security and economic stability. She has presented workshops or conducted training in more than 50 countries and authored several manuals that are in use across the globe.

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Terry grads rank No. 1 for first-time CPA exam pass rates

Graduates of the Terry College of Business' J.M. Tull School of Accounting ranked No. 1 among large programs and No. 2 among all programs for first-time pass rates on the Certified Public Accountant exams during 2015.

According to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, which proctors the test, Terry College students who took the CPA exam for the first time had an 88.4 percent pass rate.
Students who pass the CPA on their first try are well positioned for the job market, said Terry College Dean Benjamin C. Ayers.

"We are incredibly proud of the success our students are having in passing the CPA exam and the impact they are having in their careers and on their communities," said Ayers, who previously served as director of the Tull School. "This level of performance is a great reflection of the caliber of our students and their work ethic, as well as the quality of our faculty and programs."

This marks the fourth straight year that the college's first-time pass rate has placed among the nation's top five. The Terry College's rankings are more impressive in light of how many graduates from the school took the test. With more than 270 students taking the test, the Terry College's scores reflect more than 10 times the number of students of similarly ranked institutions.

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UGA to launch Peace Corps Prep certificate program, host national director at event

Starting this fall, a new certificate program at the University of Georgia will give students the skills and knowledge they need to have a greater global impact.

Through a new Peace Corps Prep certificate program, undergraduates will gain international leadership and public service skills-and give them each a much stronger application when applying for Peace Corps service.

To celebrate the new program, a Peace Corps Prep launch event and reception will be held March 21 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. Carrie Hessler-Radelet, director of the Peace Corps, will provide brief remarks, and Peace Corps alumni will be on hand to discuss their experiences both during and since their service.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required at http://oie.uga.edu/rsvp. Students interested in the Peace Corps, the certificate program or any form of public service are encouraged to attend.

"The UGA Peace Corps Prep certificate is a welcome expansion of an already strong UGA-Peace Corps partnership," said Yana Cornish, director of education abroad. "It offers UGA students a way to diversify their robust academic experience, infusing into it globalization, service and citizenship."

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UGAs Josh Miller recognized with American Psychological Foundation award

University of Georgia professor of psychology Josh Miller was awarded the 2016 Theodore Millon Award in Personality Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation.

The annual award honors an outstanding early- to mid-career psychologist engaged in advancing the science of personality psychology including the areas of personality, personality theory, personality disorders and personality measurement, according to the foundation.

As director of clinical training in the UGA department of psychology, Miller has focused his research on the idea that personality disorders can be conceived of, assessed and diagnosed using general trait models of personality—an approach that is now being recognized in the major psychiatric manuals used across the world.

Miller has applied this idea broadly but with a specific focus on psychopathic and narcissistic disorders. For instance, his research has helped delineate the core trait components of psychopathy and narcissism, and demonstrated the substantial heterogeneity that exists within conceptualizations of narcissism.

"I was thrilled to learn of this award and appreciate the recognition of the American Psychological Foundation," Miller said. "It is an honor to receive an award named after one of the most important scholars in the history of the study of personality disorders."

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UGA law school moot court teams win national competition, regional tournament

University of Georgia School of Law students recently the won the 39th J. Braxton Craven Jr. Memorial Competition and captured the top position in a regional round of the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition.

The moot court team competing in the Craven competition consisted of second-year students Matthew B. "Matt" Rosenthal, Christopher D. "Chris" Stokes and Tayah Woodard. The trio won first place after beating 24 teams from law schools across the country, including Florida State University in the last round. They also earned the competition's Best Brief Award.

Third-year students D. Tyler "Ty" Adams and Kathleen B. "Kate" Hicks won the regional title in a National Appellate Advocacy Competition, and the pair will now advance to the national tier of the tournament to be held in Chicago during April. Adams was also presented with the contest's Best Oralist Award.

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Anna Scheyett named dean of UGAs School of Social Work

Anna Scheyett, a dean at the University of South Carolina who has fostered student success while enhancing research and outreach, has been named dean of the University of Georgia School of Social Work.

Scheyett, who has led the USC College of Social Work since 2011, will assume her new role at UGA on July 1.

"Dr. Scheyett is committed to advancing the social work profession, and she comes to the University of Georgia with an extraordinary record of success," said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. "I am confident that our School of Social Work will have an even greater impact on our state and nation under her bold leadership."

At the University of South Carolina, Scheyett oversaw a revision to the Master of Social Work curriculum and developed student testing supports that helped increase licensure pass rates by nearly 40 percent. In addition, she established a graduate certificate program focused on social and behavioral health issues in military service members, veterans and military families.

She also has implemented grant submission and management support services while increasing professional development opportunities for faculty. During her tenure as dean, research expenditures in the USC College of Social Work have grown 87 percent while peer-reviewed publications have increased by more than 200 percent.

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UGA math, engineering faculty honored with Presidential Early Career Awards

Two University of Georgia professors are among 105 professors 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 science and engineering professors 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.

The UGA recipients of the PECASE awards this year are:
• Danny Krashen, an associate professor in Franklin College of Arts and Sciences' department of mathematics, and
• Joachim Walther, an associate professor in the College of Engineering.

"Dr. Krashen and Dr. Walther combine innovative research with a passion for inspiring and mentoring young people, and they are a testament to the extraordinary quality of STEM education the University of Georgia provides," said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

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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.