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UGA Executive MBA ranks No. 14 worldwide, according to The Economist

The Executive MBA Program at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business was ranked No. 14 worldwide by The Economist in its latest assessment.

The new ranking is a step up for Terry’s EMBA program, which was No. 22 worldwide in the previous scoring by The Economist.

“I am certainly proud that the excellence of this degree is being recognized in Georgia and around the world,” said Benjamin C. Ayers, dean of the Terry College. “This ranking is a reflection of the investment and quality that our faculty put into our EMBA program, and a good indication that it truly enhances the careers of our students.”

The Economist’s rankings reflect each EMBA program’s performance in two broad categories: personal development/education experience and career development, with each category weighted equally. Terry’s EMBA program received the highest ranking among schools in Georgia and was eighth among programs based solely in the U.S.

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Noted influenza researcher joins UGA Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center

An influenza researcher whose work focuses on the interspecies transmission and pathogenesis of the virus has joined the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine as its new Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Investigator and Caswell Eidson Chair in Poultry Medicine.

Daniel R. Pérez is based at the college’s Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center.

“Dr. Pérez’s work on avian influenza virus interspecies transmission and control will complement a robust research effort on poultry respiratory disease viruses in the department of population health, and build on an active and successful program within the college that is focused on influenza virus surveillance, diagnosis and control. We are excited about Dr. Pérez joining our faculty,” said Mark W. Jackwood, who heads both the department and the center.

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Dale Greene named dean of UGAs Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

W. Dale Greene, a long-serving faculty member and administrator in the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, has been named its dean, effective June 1.

Greene, a professor of forest operations who joined the Warnell School in 1986, previously served as its associate dean for academic affairs and has been interim dean since January.

“I have known Dr. Greene throughout his nearly 30-year career at the University of Georgia,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Given his strong credentials as one of the institution’s top faculty members, I am confident that he has the background and understanding to lead the Warnell School into the future.”

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UGA researcher develops bird flu vaccine using virus commonly found in dogs

Researchers at the University of Georgia have used a virus commonly found in dogs as the foundation for a new vaccine against H7N9 influenza, more commonly known as bird flu.

H7N9 is one of several influenza virus strains that circulate in bird populations, and the first human cases were reported in China in March 2013, according to the World Health Organization. The H7N9 virus strain is particularly concerning, however, because most patients rapidly develop severe pneumonia that sometimes requires intensive care and mechanical ventilation.

“The mortality rate for this virus is over 30 percent, so there is an urgent need to develop a good vaccine,” said study co-author Biao He, the Fred C. Davison Distinguished University Chair in Veterinary Medicine in UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “We have developed a vaccine that protected both mice and guinea pigs against a lethal H7N9 challenge, and we think it may be a very strong candidate for human vaccine tests.”

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5,600-plus will join ranks of UGA alums after spring 2015 Commencement

The University of Georgia will welcome its newest class of alumni on May 8. Approximately 4,488 undergraduates and 1,179 graduate students—a total of 5,667—have met requirements to walk in the university’s spring Commencement ceremonies.

The undergraduate ceremony will include an additional 1,022 summer candidates who were invited to walk in the spring ceremony.

The undergraduate ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Sanford Stadium, and Amy Robach of “Good Morning America” will give the address.

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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Bachman named director of UGAs new Experiential Learning initiative

Linda Bachman, assistant dean in the University of Georgia’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the institution’s director of university experiential learning. Her appointment is effective May 1 in the Office of the Vice President for Instruction.

Bachman, who chaired a university-wide committee convened by Provost Pamela Whitten in 2014 to explore an experiential learning requirement for undergraduate students, brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to provide immediate and effective leadership for this groundbreaking academic initiative. Bachman has worked closely with deans and other academic officials for the last year to help shape the proposal for a graduation requirement in experiential learning.

“Dr. Bachman brings a deep understanding of disciplinary differences and the wide range of experiential opportunities that will help students across disciplines engage in hands-on experiences,” said Rahul Shrivastav, vice president for instruction. “We are honored to have her expertise in an area that will enhance the academic performance of our students and position them for greater success after graduation.”

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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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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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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.”