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UGA College of Pharmacy welcomes 138 new students

The University of Georgia College of Pharmacy welcomed 138 new students with its annual White Coat Ceremony on Aug. 16. At the event, the class of 2018 received white lab coats to mark the beginning of their pharmacy careers.

The white coats serve as a reminder of the responsibilities student pharmacists must embrace as critical members of health care teams.

The grade point average for the 138 students is 3.52, with an average PCAT, or pharmacy college admission test, score in the 81st percentile. Of the class of 2018, 68.8 percent are female, 36.2 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher and 4.3 percent are from out of state.

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UGA welcomes 114 incoming veterinary students

The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine welcomed the class of 2018 during its annual White Coat Ceremony held Aug. 17. Sponsored by the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, the event officially recognized 114 members of the incoming class by donning them in lab coats to be worn during their veterinary education.

Of the incoming class, 19 percent is interested in companion animal medicine, 30 percent in mixed-animal medicine, 10 percent in zoo animal and wildlife medicine, 10 percent in food animal medicine, 8 percent in public health, 3 percent in equine medicine and 20 percent in pursuing a post-DVM internship/residency.

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Scientists grow fully functional organ from transplanted cells

A team of scientists including researchers from the University of Georgia has grown a fully functional organ from scratch in a living animal for the first time. The advance could one day aid in the development of laboratory-grown replacement organs.

The researchers created a thymus, a butterfly-shaped gland and vital component of the human immune system. Located beneath the breastbone in the upper chest, the thymus is responsible for producing T-lymphocytes, or T-cells, which help organize and lead the body's fighting forces against threats like bacteria, viruses and even cancerous cells.

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FBI agents to share 9/11 experiences as part of National Preparedness Month

The University of Georgia Office of Emergency Preparedness will observe National Preparedness Month in September with events and expert speakers to remind the university community how to be ready if disaster strikes.

National Preparedness Month is promoted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Office of Emergency Preparedness, which provides comprehensive emergency preparedness, homeland security programs and services to the university community, is hosting preparedness month events for a 10th year.

This year, the office will bring to campus guest speakers who will share their personal experience from one the nation's biggest disasters. FBI agents Andrew and Gina Young were in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, when two planes struck the World Trade Center. The husband and wife were part of response efforts in the hours, days and weeks after the attacks.

Their presentation, which will be held Sept. 11 from 3-5 p.m. in the Chapel, will detail the aftermath not only from the perspective of federal law enforcement officials, but also from a personal side of living through a catastrophic event. For several hours, neither agent knew if the other was alive.

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UGA breaks ground on state-of-the-art science facility

In a ceremony that included remarks by state and university leaders, the University of Georgia broke ground Aug. 26 on its newest state-of-the-art learning facility, the 122,500-square-foot Science Learning Center.

The public event was the ceremonial start to work on the learning facility, which will be located at the southwest corner of the D.W. Brooks Mall, adjacent to Pharmacy South and across from the Miller Plant Sciences Building.

UGA President Jere W. Morehead said the Science Learning Center will transform the way faculty members teach and the way students learn in the basic sciences.

"We say on this campus that every decision we make should be for the benefit of our students, that the students should come first," Morehead said. "The Science Learning Center is certainly emblematic of that philosophy."

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UGA professor wins international arboriculture award

University of Georgia professor Kim Coder has been honored with an international arboriculture award for his service and commitment to community forestry.

Coder was presented with the International Society of Arboriculture's Award of Merit on Aug. 3. The Award of Merit is the highest global award the organization confers to arborists and urban foresters.

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UGA Skidaway Institute to study offshore sand resources

Severe beach erosion can be a significant problem for coastal communities affected by hurricanes and tropical storms like Hurricane Sandy. To assist Georgia communities in future recovery efforts, the University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography entered into a cooperative agreement with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to evaluate existing data on Georgia's offshore sand resources and identify where more data are needed. This consolidated information will increase knowledge of Georgia's offshore sand resources and contribute to long-term coastal resilience planning.

"Georgia's sand resources are arguably the least well-known of those along the East Coast, and this project will provide critical data and insights to enhance coastal resilience," said UGA Skidaway Institute professor Clark Alexander. "The work is being coordinated closely with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the state geologist to assure that our findings are disseminated rapidly and broadly."

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Third-annual Spotlight on the Arts Festival set for Nov. 6-14

A Tony Award-winning playwright, a Grammy Award-winning soprano, art-making robots and a music composition performed on Google Glass are among the more than 40 events on tap for the University of Georgia's 2014 Spotlight on the Arts festival.

The third annual festival is scheduled for Nov. 6-14 and will feature performances by British baroque quartet Red Priest, the Russian State Symphony Orchestra and Grammy Award-winning soprano Kathleen Battle. The 2014 Spotlight on the Arts festival also includes events featuring Academy and Tony award-winning playwright Alfred Uhry, who will be inducted into the Georgia Writer's Hall of Fame. A University Theatre production of "The Great Gatsby" will run throughout the festival.

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Marshall Shepherd named Captain Planet Protector of the Earth

The University of Georgia's J. Marshall Shepherd is a Captain Planet Protector of the Earth, according to the Captain Planet Foundation, which recently added him to a list of outstanding real-life environmental superheroes.

Shepherd, the UGA Athletic Association Professor in the Social Sciences, will receive the award at the annual Captain Planet Foundation Benefit Gala Dec. 5 in Atlanta. Other 2014 honorees include renowned primatologist Jane Goodall and Carter and Olivia Ries of the non-profit "One More Generation." Larry King will be master of ceremonies.

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Georgia Sea Grant helps coastal communities plan for port expansion

As the $706 million Savannah Harbor Expansion Project begins, the University of Georgia and Georgia Sea Grant are poised to help coastal residents adapt to changes that are expected to bring additional jobs and prosperity to their communities. As the country's fourth busiest container port and creator of $18.5 billion annually in personal income from port-related jobs, much is riding on the success of Savannah's port expansion. Plans include dredging 32 miles of the harbor's navigation channel to allow the port to accommodate supersized freighters from Asia and the Pacific coast of Latin America that will come to the east coast through the newly expanded Panama Canal, due to be completed in 2015.