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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.

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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 Children's 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."