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Norman named UGA associate vice president for instruction

Naomi Norman, a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor and veteran administrator in the department of classics at the University of Georgia, has been named associate vice president for instruction. The appointment is effective April 1.

Norman has served as department head in classics for the last several years and has been a faculty member in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences since 1980, teaching courses in archaeology and Greek. She is a member of the UGA Teaching Academy and served as a Senior Teaching Fellow in 2008-09.

“Dr. Norman has a longstanding record of academic leadership and administration,” said Rahul Shrivastav, vice president for instruction. “She is passionate about providing meaningful learning experiences to students and brings a wealth of knowledge and university experience to the position. We are looking forward to having Dr. Norman’s leadership in the Office of the Vice President for Instruction.”

As associate vice president for instruction, Norman will work with Shrivastav and Ronald Cervero, associate vice president for instruction, to improve levels of support for students. The Office of the Vice President for Instruction oversees units and programs that promote student success, from the offices of Undergraduate Admissions, Online Learning, and the Center for Teaching and Learning to academic initiatives such as the First-Year Odyssey Seminar Program and Washington Semester Program. The associate vice president reports directly to the vice president for instruction.

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Amy Robach of Good Morning America to deliver UGAs spring Commencement address

“Good Morning America” anchor Amy Robach will give undergraduates one final charge on May 8 before the University of Georgia sends its newest alumni off with a fireworks farewell. The spring Commencement ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. in Sanford Stadium.

The graduate ceremony, which will feature University Professor Emeritus Gary Bertsch, who is now chairman of the international advisory group TradeSecure LLC, will be held at 10 a.m. in Stegeman Coliseum. Tickets are not required for either ceremony.

“Amy Robach is a veteran television journalist with national and international recognition. She also is one of the University of Georgia’s most accomplished alumni,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “We are honored to welcome her back to campus to deliver the Commencement address and look forward to hearing her inspirational message to our graduating seniors.”

A 1995 alumna of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Robach has been a news anchor for ABC’s “Good Morning America” since March 2014. During her time at ABC News—she originally joined the network as a correspondent based in New York—she has traveled nationally and internationally to cover major news events.

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Record-setting CURO symposium to highlight undergraduate research at UGA

Nearly 400 University of Georgia students will present original research projects in fields ranging from history to engineering and health at the upcoming Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Symposium. The event, which includes oral presentations and poster sessions, is scheduled for March 30-31 at the Classic Center in Athens. It is open free to the public.

The annual CURO Symposium was created in 1999 to highlight undergraduate student research achievements in all disciplines. Participation in the program has increased by 50 percent in the past year to a record-setting 388 students.

“We are very pleased by the remarkable growth we are seeing in student—and faculty—participation in CURO in recent years, which has been made possible by the strong support of campus leaders, especially the central administration,” said David S. Williams, associate provost and director of the Honors Program. “It is increasingly important to provide students meaningful opportunities to extend their learning beyond the traditional classroom setting, and it is exciting that CURO is one of the programs that helps UGA to be a national leader in this regard.”

CURO is administered by the Honors Program but expanded to become available to all undergraduates in 2010. In fall 2014, the CURO Research Assistantship, which provides $1,000 stipends to 250 undergraduates, was launched as part of a series of academic enhancements announced by President Jere W. Morehead and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten. CURO has offered $3,000 summer fellowship grants for nearly a decade.

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Arthur Blank to speak at UGA on March 27

Arthur Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot and owner and chairman of the Atlanta Falcons and MLS Atlanta, will speak March 27 at 10:10 a.m. in the University of Georgia Chapel.

Sponsored by the Institute for Leadership Advancement at the Terry College of Business, the program is free and open to the public as part of the Terry Leadership Speaker Series.

Blank’s business portfolio also includes PGA TOUR Superstore, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Montana and AMB Group.

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Winston Churchill paintings on display at Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library

A selection of paintings by Winston Churchill, iconic statesman, Nobel Prize winner, and wartime hero, will be exhibited at the University of Georgia Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library from March 18-April 17.

“The Art of Diplomacy: Winston Churchill and the Pursuit of Painting” will include seven Churchill paintings and numerous artifacts, honoring Churchill’s family connections to Georgia. It is organized by the Millennium Gate Museum and the family of Winston Churchill’s great-grandson, Duncan Sandys. Athens is one of eight cities in Georgia selected to host the exhibition that commemorates the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s passing.

This exhibition showcases how painting helped Churchill deal with depression in 1915. It demonstrates how painting and the skills Churchill learned from his hobby, contributed to his ability to think about how best to confront the rise of Nazi Germany and how it made his leadership during World War II more effective. As Churchill wrote, “If it weren’t for painting I could not live. I couldn’t bear the strain of things.”

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SPIA political scientist Charles Bullock named University Professor

Charles S. Bullock III, the Richard B. Russell Professor of Political Science in the School of Public and International Affairs, has been named University Professor, an honor bestowed on faculty who have had a significant impact on the University of Georgia beyond normal academic responsibilities.

Bullock, who is also a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor, joined the UGA faculty in 1968. During his more than four decades at the university, he has established himself as the state’s pre-eminent scholar on Southern politics.

“Dr. Bullock’s exemplary contributions to the teaching, research and service mission of the University of Georgia span decades and continents,” said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “He is a leading scholar of Southern politics, and many of his students have gone on to serve their communities, state and nation with distinction. He is a respected, trusted source of information for domestic and international journalists, and he epitomizes the extraordinary impact that our faculty have on our state and world.”

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UGA researchers search for cause and treatments of debilitating neurological disorders

Researchers at the University of Georgia have received a $1.8 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to discover the fundamental cellular changes that cause debilitating neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, autism and intellectual deficiency.

A team of scientists from UGA’s Complex Carbohydrate Research Center will study the role of glycans—structurally diverse sugar molecules that adorn the surface of every cell in the human body—in the development of these diseases, which may open the door to new therapies.

“We know very little about what’s happening on the surface of cells in people with neurological disorders,” said Michael Tiemeyer, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and principal investigator for the project. “But what we do know is that glycans control a lot of what happens between cells, and we can use technology developed at the CCRC to examine what role these molecules play in disease mechanisms.”

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UGA classics student participates in Harvard undergraduate research symposium

University of Georgia senior Elizabeth Ridgeway of Marietta, a Latin and Greek major in the classics department, recently participated in the Harvard University Center for Hellenic Studies’ Undergraduate Symposium. The symposium, held in Washington, D.C., is an annual workshop conducted in conjunction with Sunoikisis, a national consortium of classics programs.

Ridgeway traveled with UGA professor Charles Platter, her faculty adviser, and presented her paper at the event.

“The workshop gives select undergraduate students the ‘opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their work in progress, develop ideas, collect bibliographical suggestions and gain perspectives from their peers and faculty representing a range of institutions,’” Platter said. “It’s a huge honor for Elizabeth and a testament to her ability and hard work.

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Forum to focus on womens roles in sciences

Top women who study topics in medicine, global hunger and obesity will share their experiences at the ninth annual Global Educational Forum on March 19 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

This year’s conference theme, “Women in Science and Medicine: Challenges, Achievements and Way Forward,” brings experts from around the globe to delve into a multicultural, multi-discipline event. Forum topics include women in African medicine, global hunger, breast cancer and patient diversity, gendered politics of health and obesity epidemics around the world.

The annual forum focuses on women in scientific fields because they are, traditionally, an underrepresented group, said Rose Chepyator-Thomson, a professor in the College of Education’s sport management program and organizer of the conference.

The event includes a mix of UGA scholars and experts from around the world. This mix, said Chepyator-Thomson, brings the world to UGA while also giving students and faculty across disciplines a chance to collaborate.

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UGA to dedicate Willson Centers new location in historically renovated home

The University of Georgia’s Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts has relocated to a historically renovated two-story house at 1260 South Lumpkin St. The center’s director, Nicholas Allen, invites the community to attend a dedication ceremony including President Jere W. Morehead and poet H. Bruce McEver on March 19 at 5 p.m. at the new location.

A catered reception will follow the ceremony. The event also will honor the Willson Center’s 2014-2015 Faculty Research Fellows.

The renovation was made possible through the generosity of Jane Willson, the Willson Center’s Board of Friends and individual donors and with support from the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President for Research. The building will serve as a hub and showcase for humanities and arts research and will house international guests, receptions, events and the Willson Center staff.