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Noted NMR, metabolomics researcher Art Edison named GRA Eminent Scholar at UGA

One of the leading experts on nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a powerful non-invasive technology used to study biological systems, and metabolomics, an emerging field that offers scientists a broader understanding of life processes, is joining the faculty at the University of Georgia as its newest Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar.

Arthur S. Edison, who is currently a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Florida, will join the faculty of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology, the department of genetics and the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center in August as the GRA Eminent Scholar in NMR Spectroscopy. He also will serve as director of the NMR facility housed at the CCRC, replacing James Prestegard, who has directed the facility and held the GRA Eminent Scholar position since 1998.

Edison is the third GRA Eminent Scholar to join UGA this year. He brings the total number of GRA scholars at UGA to 17.

“Hiring three GRA Eminent Scholars in one year is remarkable and points to the University of Georgia’s expanding research enterprise,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “Dr. Edison’s expertise will help move this institution to the forefront of an exciting new field—metabolomics—which holds answers to some of the world’s most complex challenges in human health.”

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Suzanne Barbour named dean of UGAs Graduate School

Suzanne Barbour, a former graduate program director at Virginia Commonwealth University who is currently a National Science Foundation program director, has been named dean of the Graduate School at the University of Georgia.

Barbour is a professor in the VCU School of Medicine’s department of biochemistry and molecular biology, where she directed the graduate program for a decade. She has served as a program director in the NSF’s Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences since 2013, and she is currently leading the division’s cluster focused on cellular dynamics and function. Her appointment at UGA is effective July 13.

“Dr. Barbour’s academic background makes her ideally suited for this critical position at the University of Georgia,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “She has a strong vision for enhancing graduate education that will further elevate UGA’s national and international reputation as a leading research university.”

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Hands-on learning to become a requirement for University of Georgia undergraduates

The University of Georgia has taken a significant step toward ensuring that all of its students engage in the kinds of hands-on experiences that enhance learning and position them for success after graduation.

All undergraduate students will be required to engage in experiential learning—through opportunities that include undergraduate research, study abroad, service-learning, internships and other experiences—through a new graduation requirement approved today by the institution’s University Council.

With the experiential learning requirement, which will go into effect no sooner than fall 2016 for incoming first-year students, UGA will become one of the largest public universities in the nation to provide each of its students with high-impact, experiential learning opportunities that enhance academic performance and better prepare them for graduate school or careers. Each student will be able to select from a diverse slate of opportunities that reflect their individual interests and aspirations.

“With a spirit of innovation and a deep commitment to student learning, faculty at the University of Georgia continue to push the boundaries of undergraduate education,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Offering a tailored, hands-on experience to our undergraduate students not only will further enhance this institution’s world-class learning environment but also will further distinguish them as graduates.”

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UGA Honors student Torre Lavelle receives Udall Scholarship

University of Georgia Honors student Torre Lavelle has been named a 2015 Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Scholar. The scholarships of up to $5,000 are awarded annually to outstanding sophomores and juniors pursuing careers focused on environmental or Native American public policy.

Lavelle is one of 50 Udall Scholars nationwide chosen from 464 nominees. She is the eighth UGA student to be awarded the scholarship in the past five years.

Lavelle, a graduate of Macon’s Mount de Sales Academy, is a recipient of the Foundation Fellowship, UGA’s foremost undergraduate scholarship. The third-year student is majoring in ecology and also pursuing an Honors interdisciplinary studies degree in political ecology and environmental economics. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in environmental management as well as a Juris Doctor to fulfill her aspiration of becoming a conservation policymaker.

“The University of Georgia community is excited for Torre,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “She is a bright student with a strong commitment to environmental stewardship. I cannot think of a more deserving student for this highly selective national award.”

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Five years after oil spill, UGAs Samantha Joye still leading research in the Gulf

ive years ago, on April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil well drilling platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. The ensuing Macondo well blowout resulted in the discharge of around 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf. The University of Georgia’s Samantha Joye was one of the first scientists to investigate the disaster to document its impact on the Gulf ecosystem.

In the years since, Joye, UGA’s Athletic Association Professor in Arts and Sciences and professor of marine sciences, has led multimillion dollar research efforts to understand the fate of the oil, the impact of the oil on the ecosystem and the recovery of the Gulf. The most recent of these efforts is the Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf, or ECOGIG, project, funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. ECOGIG, which recently received an additional three years of funding of $18.8 million, is a research consortium led by Joye and comprised of 29 investigators from 14 institutions.

Immediately following the disaster, UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and Georgia Sea Grant, a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach, launched a comprehensive strategy to respond to the crisis through a collaborative effort of research and public service. UGA scientists fulfilled a critical role by providing national and state leaders, the disaster response team and the public with up-to-date impartial information about the fate of oil and natural gas.

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Peabody entertainment winners include Fargo, Jane the Virgin

From an honorable woman entangled in Israeli-Palestinian conflicts to a virginal Jane; from a faux-American/spy to an irrepressible North Dakota cop-strong, multidimensional women stand out among the 74th Peabody Awards entertainment winners, affirming the continuing expansion of significant roles for women on television.

The list of entertainment programs chosen for the 74th annual Peabody Awards at the University of Georgia includes “The Honorable Woman,” a richly textured BBC drama that illuminates byzantine complexities in Middle East relations and boasts a towering lead performance by Maggie Gyllenhaal; Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer,” a sharp-witted blend of sketches and interviews that’s distinctly female yet gender-inclusive; and “Jane the Virgin,” a visually and narratively innovative CW series that employs the soap-operatic, telenovela form to tell a serialized tale, by turns whimsical and poignant, about a household of three generations of Latina women.

The Peabody Board of Judges also chose FX’s “The Americans,” an ingenious melodrama about Reagan-era Soviet spies—married and the parents of budding American dreamers—who make viewers care about them and their increasingly conflicted loyalties, and “Fargo,” which pits an upstanding, undeniable female cop against an almost supernatural villain. The FX series maintains the darkly comic tone of the Oscar-winning theatrical film while unspooling a distinctly different, more complex story.

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UGA Honors student Kathleen Wilson named 2015 Truman Scholar

University of Georgia Honors student Kathleen Wilson is one of 58 students nationwide to be named a 2015 Truman Scholar and is UGA’s fifth recipient of the scholarship in the past five years.

Truman Scholars receive a $30,000 scholarship toward graduate school and the opportunity to participate in professional development programming to help prepare them for careers in public service leadership.

Wilson is a native of Beaumont, Texas, an Honors student and a recipient of UGA’s premier undergraduate scholarship, the Foundation Fellowship. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Terry College of Business and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs. After graduation in 2016, she aims to pursue master’s degrees in public policy and Middle Eastern studies.

“Once again, we find a UGA student competing successfully for one of the nation’s most prestigious academic scholarships,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Five Truman Scholars in five years is yet another sign of this institution’s rising academic stature. Kathleen is an outstanding student with a deep passion for service, and the university community is very proud of her.”

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University of Georgia to bring 2015 UGA Day Tour to 7 Southeastern cities

Between April and July, the University of Georgia will host its annual UGA Day Tour with six stops in Georgia and one in North Carolina. All UGA alumni, friends and fans are invited to attend.

Each stop on the tour will feature one UGA administrator, at least two athletic coaches, and student speakers who will highlight the academic accomplishments taking place at the university. Chuck Dowdle, former WSB-TV sportscaster, will once again serve as the UGA Day host and emcee. Each event is family-friendly and will feature a Kids Zone to entertain young Bulldog fans.

“If you have attended a UGA Day in the past, you are in for something special,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of the UGA Alumni Association. “We have revamped the program this year and those in attendance are going to be amazed at the energy and excitement they will experience. UGA Day is the ultimate opportunity to embrace that Bulldog spirit and connect with fellow alumni and friends.”

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UGA to celebrate Honors Week April 13-17

The University of Georgia will celebrate the achievements of its students, faculty, staff and alumni in a series of events during Honors Week, April 13-17.

UGA’s tradition of celebrating achievement dates back to the 1930s, when then-Chancellor S.V. Sanford set aside a day to recognize outstanding students. In 2011, the event was expanded to a full week to accommodate events recognizing faculty, staff and alumni across campus.

“Honors Week is an important reminder that the University of Georgia’s reputation as a leader in public higher education stems from the many outstanding accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff and alumni,” said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

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Big changes in store for 74th annual Peabody Awards

For the first time in its 73-year history, the University of Georgia’s Peabody Awards—the official presentation of the oldest and most prestigious award for electronic media—will be held as an evening gala event.

The May 31 ceremony in New York will have a new venue: the Greek revival special-events palace Cipriani Wall Street. For the first time, the ceremony will be a Sunday night event, complete with red carpet, rather than a workday luncheon.

Actor-producer-writer Fred Armisen, co-creator, co-writer and co-star of the Peabody-winning and Emmy-nominated “Portlandia,” and an 11-season Saturday Night Live veteran, will emcee the reimagined event. The Peabody Awards and Pivot television network collaborated to create an event with TV foremost in mind. In June, Pivot will air the 90-minute prime-time special that combines the best of the ceremony, with interviews and clips of winning programs. The ceremony and primetime special are being produced by Den of Thieves.