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Medical Partnership celebrates 100% match rate

Resident applicants at the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership gathered on Friday in George Hall on the UGA Health Sciences Campus for Match Day, an event celebrating the next step in their medical careers.

“This is the 10th successful match at the Medical Partnership, and we are pleased to announce that every student from the Class of 2023 matched into a residency program,” said campus dean Dr. Shelley Nuss.

“The accomplishments of these 37 MCG students have landed them at top-tier residency programs across the nation. The students will be going to 16 different states in 14 different specialties, with 54 percent staying in the southeastern United States and 54 percent joining primary care programs. Thank you to the faculty, administrators, staff and physician mentors in our community who have devoted their time and efforts to educating our future physicians.”

An annual event, Match Day takes place after students participate in interviews and visits to residency programs in Georgia and across the country. To determine the postgraduation assignments, the students ranked residency programs where they would like to complete their training, at the same time the residency programs ranked the student applicants. The lists are then submitted to the nonprofit organization National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) in Washington, D.C., which uses an algorithm that aligns the choices of the applicants with those of the residency programs. Most students were matched via the NRMP, but some students participated in smaller match programs, including ophthalmology. The final pairings are announced simultaneously across the U.S. at noon on Match Day.

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Lawrence named American Council on Education Fellow

The American Council on Education announced that Roswell Lawrence Jr., assistant vice president and chief of staff for Finance and Administration at the University of Georgia, has been named an ACE Fellow for academic year 2023-24. Lawrence is one of 36 fellows selected from institutions across the country and the first UGA employee to be selected since 1990.

Since its inception in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program has prepared more than 2,500 faculty, staff and administrators for senior positions in college and university leadership through its cohort-based mentorship model. The program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses and other higher education-related organizations and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year.

“In the 15 years that I have worked with Roswell in the various roles and capacities in which both of us have served, I was always, and continue to be, extraordinarily impressed with his keen intellect, ability to balance competing priorities, capacity to manage a myriad of complex initiatives, and the exceptionally strong leadership skills and integrity that undergird these qualities,” said Ryan Nesbit, vice president for finance and administration. “Because the ACE Fellows Program targets emerging leaders in higher education who have the potential to assume greater leadership roles, Roswell’s record of outstanding leadership makes him a perfect fit for this program.”

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Road Dawgs spread inspiration and spirit across the state

Since 2016, a dedicated group of University of Georgia students has spent part of spring break traveling to high schools around Georgia as the Road Dawgs. The program changes its route every year, and this spring break, the crew traveled to six schools from Atlanta to Savannah to meet with students, talk to them about college life and rally some UGA spirit.

One of the Road Dawgs, Rashawn McKelvey-Fludd, returned for his second spring break this year. He visited his alma mater, The B.E.S.T. Academy, and got to connect with his younger brother, JaQuawn, who is now a high school senior. Like many first-generation high school students, JaQuawn was uncertain which type of college would be the right fit, McKelvey-Fludd said, but thanks to the Road Dawgs, students like JaQuawn are exposed to the possibilities of attending a university like UGA and thriving.

At each school, the Road Dawgs introduce themselves chanting: “It’s Great to Be a Georgia Bulldog.” After amping up the crowd and talking about their decisions to attend UGA, the Road Dawgs split off and meet with students in smaller groups to have more personal conversations and answer questions about living on campus, attending classes and being independent in a new city. Then, the Road Dawgs wrap up their visit by teaching the students how to properly “Call the Dawgs” and giving away some UGA swag.

“It’s a great way to connect with schools that may not get a chance to see what UGA is like,” said Marques Dexter, assistant director of student initiatives in the Office of Institutional Diversity and this year’s Road Dawgs organizer. “A little bit of encouragement and confidence can go a long way.”

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Rural Georgia program drives community-engaged research

The University of Georgia Rural Engagement Workshop for Academic Faculty enters its third year with 12 faculty members working in partnership with units of UGA Public Service and Outreach and Extension for grants to help solve rural challenges.

The Rural Engagement Workshop was launched by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jack Hu and Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum. It is designed to help drive community-engaged research in rural Georgia communities.

Cognitive Aging Research and Education (CARE) Center co-directors Lisa Renzi-Hammond and Jenay Beer, both professors at the Institute of Gerontology, used the inaugural Rural Engagement Workshop for Academic Faculty as a springboard for taking the CARE initiative statewide. The CARE Center is a clinical, research and outreach hub that delivers education on dementia risk reduction, conducts cutting-edge research, improves access to dementia diagnosis, and provides planning and support for people with dementia and their care partners.

“The workshop helped us understand what the UGA Archway Partnership was doing, and how to become involved in rural outreach work,” said Renzi-Hammond. “When academic faculty, Public Service and Outreach and Extension are combined, the real magic of community work can happen at a scale that is unparalleled. What UGA has helped us pull off through this workshop—and where other organizations have been less successful—is navigation. We learned how to navigate the needs of rural Georgians, and how to earn and keep trust through our collaborations with Archway and Extension, and that trust has allowed us to hit the ground running and enact change.”

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Students play crucial role in making cybersecurity impact

Local governments, K-12 school systems and rural hospitals looking to strengthen their cybersecurity are working with University of Georgia students to get a more comprehensive picture of how equipped their organization is to deal with online threats.

Through CyberArch, UGA is addressing the challenges of cybersecurity for Georgia’s communities and businesses by helping these organizations build a broader awareness about cybersecurity threats and strengthen their cyber preparation and response actions. Student interns, working in teams of four, conduct a cybersecurity risk review through a series of assessment questions, then make a site visit before creating a final report that includes recommendations to enhance the organization’s cybersecurity posture.

“The UGA CyberArch program is making an impact by providing a valuable service to our partner organizations and serving as another resource for Georgia communities,” said UGA CyberArch coordinator Mark Lupo, a senior public service associate at UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. “Our goal is to train and empower students interested in pursuing careers in cybersecurity so that they can help meet the growing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals while strengthening the cybersecurity infrastructure across Georgia.”

The program is facilitated by UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach, and includes students from the College of Engineering, Department of Computer Science, the Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy and the Terry College of Business. Students also earn experiential learning credit.

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UGA named No. 1 military friendly institution in nation

For the third time in six years, Viqtory Media has named the University of Georgia the No. 1 Military Friendly tier 1 research institution. UGA was previously recognized as the top-ranked Military Friendly school in 2017 and 2021, and has been recognized as a Military Friendly school since the Student Veterans Resource Center’s inception in 2013.

Jon Segars, director of the SVRC, said that the hard work of students and the excellent support of donors and alumni are the keys to UGA’s success.

“Together with university and community leaders, we make each veteran’s UGA experience personal,” said Segars. “We strive to remove obstacles they frequently face by focusing on the unique solutions for each student—caring for both their academic and personal well-being.”

To support student veterans and service members, the SVRC works to ease the transition from the military to higher education, improve the UGA experience, and facilitate career readiness. In collaboration with units across campus, the SVRC guides students to maximize their military benefits and explore all their available opportunities.

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UGA's director of community relations wins ATHENA award

Alison Bracewell McCullick, the director of community relations for the University of Georgia, serves in a role that is as expansive as the university’s mission.

Charged with building bridges between UGA and the Athens community, McCullick can find herself leading discussions to promote small business development, enhance transportation infrastructure, provide educational resources, and support health care offerings in Athens—all in a single day.

“Alison has a broad portfolio. She is the point of contact for the Athens-Clarke County Mayor and Commission and residents who have an interest in the university—from programs to sports to questions about operations,” said Kevin Abernethy, UGA’s vice president for government relations. “Alison has excellent judgment, a great temperament and the ability to relate to a cross section of the community. People trust her and are comfortable talking with her. Where others see obstacles, she sees opportunities.”

McCullick’s skill at bringing people together, passion for contributing to the community, and effectiveness of proposing solutions was recently recognized by the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce. At its annual meeting on Feb. 23, the chamber named McCullick the winner of the 2023 ATHENA Award, which recognizes women who have reached the height of personal and professional accomplishment and make significant contributions to their communities.

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UGA Class of 2022 achieves 96% career outcomes rate

Class of 2022 results are in, and once again, University of Georgia graduates have shown that their experience as UGA students prepared them to succeed beyond graduation. 

According to career outcomes data released by the UGA Career Center, 96% of UGA Class of 2022 graduates were employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation.

This year marks UGA’s 11th consecutive year with a career outcomes rate of 90% or higher. The career outcomes rate of UGA’s last seven graduating classes has consistently been 8% to 11% higher than the national career outcomes rate, as published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Among the Class of 2022 UGA graduates, 63% reported being employed full time; 24% were continuing their education; and 10% were engaged in post-graduate internships, fellowships, residencies, postdoctoral research, part-time jobs or said they were not seeking employment.

“This impressive career outcomes rate reflects the positive impact of numerous collaborative efforts undertaken by the UGA community to prepare our students for successful careers,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “It is clear that a UGA education provides an extraordinary return on investment for our students and their families.”

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UGA Miracle raises more than $1M for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

On Sunday afternoon, UGA Miracle, the University of Georgia’s largest student-run philanthropy, announced it had raised $1,032,572 for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Nearly 2,000 students representing more than 30 student organizations gathered in Tate Student Center Grand Hall overnight Feb. 25-26 for UGA Miracle’s annual Dance Marathon.

Beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday and lasting until Sunday afternoon, thousands of students, faculty, staff and members of “Miracle Families” danced, enjoyed live music, and continued fundraising for the final few hours of a yearlong effort.

This was the 28th annual Dance Marathon. The event is a symbolic gesture of sacrificing a day in support of children who have had to sacrifice much more of their own time to combat illness in hospitals. Since its inception, Miracle has raised more than $14 million for Children’s Healthcare – $8 million of that total coming in the last seven years.

Each year, the first million dollars raised goes to support the Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (CIRU). All funds raised above $1 million go to the AFLAC cancer and blood disorders unit, supporting child-life specialists and hospital life. The largest gym in the CIRU is named after UGA Miracle, where UGA students typically meet with their “Miracle children” on hospital visits.

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UGA to present inaugural Humanities Festival

The University of Georgia will hold its first Humanities Festival March 15-27, with more than 20 events spotlighting the creativity and breadth of humanities research and practices across campus.

Highlights of the inaugural festival are lectures on the role of humanities research in philosophy and film, environmental history and sustainability studies, fine arts and anthropology. Featured lecturers include Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jack Davis speaking on the history and symbolism of the bald eagle and executive director of the Modern Language Association Paula Krebs speaking on “The Humanities at Work.” David Beavan of the Alan Turing Institute will speak about the Living with Machines project that joins historians, geographers, linguists, curators, research software engineers and research data scientists to examine the impact of technology on people’s lives during the Industrial Revolution.

“The Humanities Festival is a celebration of the world of words and ideas we live in,” said Nicholas Allen, director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and co-chair of the UGA Humanities Council. “Curiosity and innovation are the engine of our economy and the fabric of our society, and I am so excited for the festival to be a window into the transformative conversations that go on in humanities classrooms every day at the University of Georgia. The Humanities Council has done excellent work in bringing our community together, and I am grateful to its members for creating such a powerful and inclusive program.”