| UGA Today

Students make IMPACT on communities across country

A break in classes does not mean a break from learning or service at the University of Georgia. Over spring break, March 11-15, 378 UGA students traveled to 22 cities across the country, where they volunteered with more than 50 community service organizations.

IMPACT Service Breaks, a program run by the Center for Leadership and Service, engages students in affordable and substance-free experiential service learning.

IMPACT is different from other service opportunities in that students visit the same communities year after year, building sustained relationships with the people there. For example, UGA students have been serving with Asheboro, North Carolina, for 20 consecutive years.

Formerly known as Alternative Spring Break, IMPACT began at UGA in 1994 with a group of students interested in spending the week of spring break engaged in community service. Since the beginning of the program, more than 3,000 UGA students have participated. This year, through winter and spring trips, the students served a total of 15,120 hours, or 1.72 years, of service.

The next trips are scheduled for fall break, Nov. 1-3, in a new partnership between the Center for Leadership and Service and the Archway Partnership, a unit in Public Service and Outreach.

| UGA Today

UGA's IDEA Board holds first meeting

The University of Georgia’s Innovation District initiative is now benefiting from greater industry and community engagement with the first meeting of the Innovation District External Advisory (IDEA) Board on March 28. The purpose of the IDEA Board is to ensure that the growth and development of the district is informed by the private sector and the local business community.

The IDEA board will meet several times during the next 18 months and focus particular attention on industry and alumni engagement, district master planning, and innovation programming and support.

“This board, full of highly talented and successful leaders, will play an important role in the success of this transformational University initiative,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I am grateful to the members of the Board for their support and service, and I look forward to hearing their ideas and insights in the months ahead.”

UGA’s Innovation District will include an integrated set of facilities offering spaces and amenities to inspire collaboration, discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship, ultimately making the university a more powerful driver of economic development in Georgia.

The IDEA Board members are:

  • David Bradley, president and CEO, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Terry S. Brown, managing partner, Asana Partners
  • Michael Cocroft, managing partner, Red Clay Consulting
  • Anthony M. Ferguson, northeast region director, Georgia Power
  • Keith Kelly, president and CEO, Kelly Products, Inc.
  • Davis P. Knox, CEO and co-founder, Fire and Flavor
  • Francis W. Milward, head of global assay and services, vaccine research and development, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health
  • Chaly Jo Moyen, senior vice president of strategy, planning, and dcecision science, Coca-Cola North America
  • Teresa L. Ostapower, senior vice president for technology transformation, AT&T
  • Michael Patrick, Innovation and New Ventures, Chick-fil-A
  • Wesley Rogers, president and CEO, Landmark Properties
  • John W. Rooker, CEO, Rooker Co.
  • Matt Rushing, vice president of product line for global crop care, AGCO Corporation
  • Dana Williams Spinola, CEO, fab’rik
  • Richard Stamper, entrepreneur
  • Matthew P. Warenzak, partner, Smith, Gambrell and Russell, LLP
  • Halsey Wise, chairman and CEO, Lime Barrel Advisors

| UGA Today

UGA issues call for proposals for Diversity and Inclusion Grant Program

Proposals are now being received for the second phase of the New Approaches to Diversity and Inclusion Program. The program, which supported 21 innovative programs last year, is being renewed with $300,000 in private funds set aside by President Jere W. Morehead.

“As I said in my State of the University Address in January, the University of Georgia must continue to make steady progress toward greater diversity and inclusion if we are to reach our full potential as a public land-grant institution,” said Morehead. “Now, more than ever, I am committed to advancing that important goal. I am pleased to provide a second round of grant funding to support programs that promote the recruitment, retention and academic success of underrepresented, first-generation, rural and other underserved students.”

Building on the success of the original grants initiated in fall 2017, the second phase will provide awards ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 for programs and projects sponsored by an office or department within a UGA school, college or administrative unit that directly supports recruitment and retention efforts. Phase II will support not only new projects, but also extensions of previously funded efforts that have demonstrated the greatest promise for impact and a sustainable funding model.

“The New Approaches grant program provides units with a unique opportunity to innovate in this important area, tapping into the creative energy that abounds at this institution,” said Michelle Cook, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and strategic university initiatives. “It amplifies the message that diversity and inclusion are shared core values at UGA.”

Proposals for new funding will be accepted through May 8, 2019. For more information or to submit proposals, please visit the New Approaches website.

| UGA Today

CED team wins award for its work in Atlanta's historic Fourth Ward

A design team from the College of Environment and Design recently took home an honor award for research at this year’s awards ceremony of the Georgia chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Faculty members Jon Calabria, Brian Orland and Alfie Vick, research fellows chosen by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, and MLA candidate Rachel Shields were part of a cohort of landscape architects working with HDR Inc., an Atlanta environmental engineering firm, on a project for Atlanta’s historic Fourth Ward. HDR designed the site while the CED team ran evaluations on its performance. The yearlong study identified and developed methods to quantify environmental, economic and social benefits for this high-performing urban park in downtown Atlanta. 

The Georgia chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects sponsors the annual competition for practitioners and academics working in Georgia. 

The Historic Fourth Ward project was among eight exemplary landscape projects for the Landscape Foundation’s 2018 Case Study Investigation program. Now in its ninth year, the CSI program is a research collaboration that matches LAF-funded faculty/student research teams with design firms to measure and document the benefits of high-performing landscapes. Teams conduct research and document their projects through images and narratives that include background information, descriptions of sustainable features and lessons learned. The resulting case study briefs are published in LAF’s award-winning Landscape Performance Series database of more than 150 projects.

| UGA Today

UGA opens entrepreneur-focused Studio 225

Student entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia has a new home, thanks to a just-opened building at the interface of North Campus and downtown Athens.

Studio 225, named for its West Broad Street address, will be UGA’s Student Center for Entrepreneurship. It is also the first physical manifestation of the university’s deepening focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, said Henry Munneke, associate dean for undergraduate programs at the Terry College of Business, which houses the program.

UGA’s Entrepreneurship Program has grown rapidly since its inception three years ago. What began with one instructor and 33 undergraduates has become a campus-wide initiative that reaches more than 1,000 students each year and includes a wide variety of academic and experiential opportunities.

The new space will house faculty offices as well as several spaces where student entrepreneurs can meet with mentors and each other to develop ideas. In addition to huddle rooms, conference rooms and study nooks, the building includes a variety of multipurpose educational rooms – such as a maker space, pitch deck and a collaboration space – where students can work through business plans and showcase ideas to potential investors.

Studio 225 will also host activities, such as the Entrepreneurship Speaker Series, pitch competitions, accelerator programs and group meetings.

| UGA Today

Alice H. Richards Children's Garden reaches full bloom

The University of Georgia dedicated the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia on March 18, 2019. The centerpiece of the State Botanical Garden, a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit, the children’s garden is a 2.5-acre interactive outdoor classroom where visitors can learn about Georgia history and natural resources, native plants and pollinators, and healthy foods.

“In nearly every speech I give, I always try to remind people that we are a land-grant and sea-grant university, and with that comes a responsibility to make our resources available to individuals and communities throughout the state,” University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead told the more than 200 people who attended the dedication and ribbon-cutting. “This botanical garden, and especially the children’s garden that we’re dedicating today, is such a great example of that goal.”

The garden is named for Carroll County native Alice Richards, who dreamed of creating a children’s garden in Athens from the time she joined the State Botanical Garden in the early 1980s as an inaugural member of the Board of Advisors.

The first $1 million toward the garden was given to UGA by Richards’ family. The balance, about $4 million, was raised through private donations, including money from all 80 members of the State Botanical Garden advisory board, of which Richards was a charter member, and every employee of the garden.

The garden’s grand opening will take place March 23 with a festival-style spring celebration featuring food trucks, music, dance and aerial performances at the Theater-in-the-Woods stage, and free fun throughout the day.

| UGA Today

Walmart Foundation grant aimed at reducing plastic waste

An $800,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to the University of Georgia New Materials Institute will help researchers understand how multilayer plastic packaging biodegrades and also help manufacturers in their attempts to design and select more sustainable materials. The research funded by the grant will seek to yield both upstream and downstream solutions aimed at reducing the buildup of plastic packaging in the environment.

“The grant will help us examine how the selection of materials for flexible packaging influences the biodegradability of that plastic in different environments, and also how the unique microbes that exist in these environments influence the biodegradation process,” said Jason Locklin, director of the New Materials Institute and a principal investigator on the grant. “Our data will be used to propose new and logical standards to help find ways to manage packaging waste that is presently being thrown away or blown away.”

The other principal investigators on the project are Jenna Jambeck, who leads the institute’s Center for Circular Materials Management, and Evan White, an assistant research scientist. Jambeck is an associate professor in the College of Engineering. Locklin is a professor of chemistry and biochemical engineering who is jointly appointed to the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of chemistryand the College of Engineering.

“Tackling our plastics problem is going to require new approaches to the entire cycle of production, consumer use and disposal,” said David Lee, vice president for research at UGA. “We’re grateful to the Walmart Foundation for its support of research that aims to create benefits both for the environment and for the communities it serves.”

| UGA Today

UGA programs move up in US News rankings

Six University of Georgia schools and colleges rose in U.S. News & World Report’s latest rankings of the nation’s best graduate schools – one of the strongest showings by UGA in the history of these rankings.

The rise of these six schools and colleges – the School of Law, the School of Public and International Affairs, the Terry College of Business, the School of Social Work, the College of Education and the College of Engineering – reflects the university’s growing national and international reputation for academic excellence, said UGA President Jere W. Morehead.

“Outstanding graduate and professional education is a hallmark of a world-class public research university,” said Morehead. “Congratulations to the faculty, staff and students whose dedicated efforts continue to elevate the reputation of the University of Georgia.”

A seventh UGA college, Veterinary Medicine, remained in the top 10. The rankings, announced today, appear in the 2020 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools guidebook.

“Our outstanding faculty and programs attract promising students from across the state and around the world to the University of Georgia,” said Libby V. Morris, UGA’s interim senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “After earning their graduate and professional degrees, our students go on to apply their knowledge to promoting health, a more secure future and stronger communities.”

| UGA Today

Gifts from SunTrust Foundations to launch idea accelerator

 A $500,000 gift from the SunTrust Foundation and the SunTrust Trusteed Foundations will support the University of Georgia’s Entrepreneurship Program. The gift will help launch a student incubator/accelerator space and provide support for the student-led UGA Kickstart Fund.

The renovated UGA Student Entrepreneurship Center, Studio 225, scheduled to open in March and located at 225 W. Broad St. in downtown Athens, will serve as a focal point for student innovation. Providing student support for the entrepreneurial ecosystem at UGA, the dynamic space will help students in all majors cultivate original ideas, propel business startups, and engage with industry partners. It will house Entrepreneurship Program faculty and steer students toward an understanding of best practices as they develop their ideas. The Entrepreneurship Certificate Program has grown from 33 students in 2015 to more than 420 students this past spring. 

The UGA Kickstart Fund is a student-led and privately funded program providing seed grant money for student and faculty startups. Students and faculty can apply to receive grant support for entrepreneurial pursuits. This gift will supply students with the hands-on experience of managing, investing and tracking investments in a controlled environment. A program of this nature equips tomorrow’s leaders with the skills necessary to run revenue-generating companies.

This gift highlights the growing momentum surrounding innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. UGA President Jere W. Morehead recently announced plans to establish a vibrant innovation districtat the interface of North Campus and downtown Athens. The district will include an interconnected set of facilities offering a broad range of spaces and amenities to expand innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology-based economic development. Studio 225 represents the first phase of this new development.

| UGA Today

Mallory Harris named UGA's first Knight-Hennessy Scholar

The University of Georgia added another scholarship to its list of firsts this winter with the addition of alumna Mallory Harris as the institution’s first Knight-Hennessy Scholar. The international graduate-level program provides full funding for students as they pursue studies at Stanford University.

Established in 2016, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program funds graduate studies ranging from medicine to law to doctoral programs as well as joint- and dual-degrees. The 2019 cohort—the second cohort of scholars—includes 68 students. They were chosen from 4,424 applicants and represent 20 countries.

The program is designed to prepare students to take leadership roles in finding creative solutions to complex global issues.

Harris graduated from UGA in May 2018 with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and computational biology along with a Spanish minor and an interdisciplinary writing certificate. A Dunwoody native, she was a Goldwater Scholar, an Honors student and a Foundation Fellow.

She will pursue a Ph.D. in biology at the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences. As a researcher and teacher, Harris plans to support a shift from reactionary to preventive approaches to epidemiology.