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UGA students, alumni offered record number of NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

A record number of University of Georgia students and alumni have been offered National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships this year. The highly competitive awards recognize and support outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

The 16 UGA students and alumni were among the 2,000 fellows selected from more than 16,000 applicants nationwide for the 2015 competition.

“The University of Georgia’s academic programs in the STEM disciplines are among the best in the nation,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “We expect our outstanding students and alumni who represent these programs to compete successfully for the most prestigious academic awards, and they do so consistently. I extend my congratulations to the award recipients for this significant accomplishment.”

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Three UGA students receive Goldwater Scholarships

Three University of Georgia Honors students—Lauren Dennison, Erin Hollander and Karishma Sriram—have received 2015 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, the premier undergraduate scholarship in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

The UGA students are among a group of 260 recipients of the one- and two-year scholarships that recognize exceptional sophomores and juniors. The scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

UGA students have received the Goldwater Scholarship nearly every year for the past 20 years, and the 2015 recipients bring the university’s total of Goldwater Scholars to 49.

“UGA students continue to excel—year after year—in competitions for prized national academic scholarships,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “This continuing success is a testament not only to the outstanding academic quality of our students but also to the exceptional strength of our faculty who teach and mentor them. I am delighted for Lauren, Erin and Karishma, and I look forward to watching their very bright futures unfold.”

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DI Council appoints group to study transfers

This spring, a new group will begin studying Division I transfer rules. Its goal: to recommend changes that will be considered during the 2015-16 legislative cycle.

During a conference call earlier this month, the Division I Council Coordination Committee appointed the Ad Hoc Transfer Issues Working Group to consider where improvements can be made to current rules. The group’s focus will be on graduate transfers and permission-to-contact rules.

“Student transfers are an important issue in higher education, and it is no different in athletics,” said co-chair Jere Morehead, president of the University of Georgia. “The group will be mindful of the integration of athletics and academics when creating recommendations for Division I transfer policy or legislation.”

Transfer rules were not included among the specific areas of autonomy within which the Division I Board of Directors has given the 65 schools in the Big 10, Big 12, ACC, Pac-12 and SEC the ability to make rules for themselves. However, the leadership in those five conferences indicated at that time that they were dissatisfied with the current transfer rules and hoped changes could be made quickly for students in the entire division.

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President and Provost launch Womens Leadership Initiative

In the latest in a series of efforts to foster gender equity at the University of Georgia, President Jere W. Morehead and Provost Pamela Whitten have launched an initiative to enhance the representation of women in leadership roles on campus.

The Women’s Leadership Initiative will address issues such as recruitment and hiring, career development, work-life balance and leadership development.

“Improving gender equity in higher education leadership is an issue of national concern,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “At the University of Georgia, we are striving to be part of the solution to this issue by creating a campus environment that supports women in their preparation for critical leadership positions.”

The initiative will be supported initially by a 10-member planning committee, and a larger implementation committee will be formed at a later date. Whitten invites faculty and staff to share their ideas by contacting her at pwhitten@uga.edu.

“Every member of the university community should experience an environment that allows them to achieve their full potential,” Whitten said. “To that end, the Women’s Leadership Initiative Planning Committee and I will take an unvarnished look at barriers to diversity in campus leadership positions and spearhead efforts to advance gender equity at the University of Georgia.”

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Former Sen. Saxby Chambliss shares knowledge, experiences with UGA classes

Former U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss returned to his alma mater Monday to speak to University of Georgia students about his 20 years of experience in the U.S. Congress. Chambliss, a 1966 graduate of UGA, retired as Georgia’s senior senator last year.

While speaking to an undergraduate U.S. National Security Policy course led by doctoral candidate Kayce Mobley, Chambliss drew from his committee assignments while in Congress. Before leaving the Senate, Chambliss was the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees the nation’s intelligence activities and programs. Prior to his election to the Senate, Chambliss was chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security.

“It’s a great joy to return to the University of Georgia for the first time since leaving office,” Chambliss said. “This university equipped me for my career in Washington, so I am glad for the opportunity to return to campus and pass on what I have learned to our future leaders.”

Chambliss, who practiced law in Moultrie before assuming office, also spoke to first- and second-year law students in associate professor Timothy Meyer’s Public International Law class. He reminded students in both classes that the future of the country is in their hands.

“Sen. Chambliss is one of the most well-respected statesmen and public servants our country has known,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “During his tenure in office, he was a faithful champion for Georgians and a staunch supporter of higher education. We are grateful for his support of the University of Georgia, and we look forward to his future accomplishments.”

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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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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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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.”