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Denise Spangler named dean of College of Education

Denise A. Spangler, a faculty member and administrator with an exemplary record of collaboration both on campus and off, has been named dean of the University of Georgia College of Education.

Spangler, the Bebe Aderhold Professor in Early Childhood Education, has served as interim dean since March. Her appointment as dean is effective May 1.

Spangler joined the UGA faculty in 1995 and has held a series of leadership positions, from head of the department of mathematics and science education to senior associate dean and, most recently, interim dean.

“Throughout her career, Dr. Spangler’s contributions to her field and to the faculty, staff and students of the UGA College of Education have been numerous and far-reaching,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “She will make an outstanding dean, and I am confident that the future of the college is very bright with her at the helm.”

Spangler’s research has been funded by $4.5 million in grants from organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the Spencer Foundation. She has published approximately 100 scholarly articles, books and book chapters related to STEM education and how elementary education majors learn to teach mathematics. Working with several colleagues across campus, she contributed to the University System of Georgia’s STEM Education Improvement Plan and also served on the President’s Task Force on Undergraduate Education at UGA.

At a national level, she co-directed the Service, Teaching and Research (STaR) Fellows Program of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. She also served as a member of the board of directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. In Athens, she was an elected member of the Clarke County School District Board of Education for 12 years, including two terms as vice president of the board.

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UGA ranked America's No. 1 public flagship university for Ph.D.s awarded to African-Americans

An increasingly diverse student body and a commitment to student success have made the University of Georgia the nation’s top public flagship university for the number of doctoral degrees it awards to African-Americans.

Over the five-year period covered in the latest National Science Foundation Survey of Earned Doctorates, UGA awarded 143 doctoral degrees to African-Americans, topping the University of Michigan as well as Georgia State University, Auburn, Texas A&M, the University of South Carolina and the University of Florida.

“I am pleased that our efforts to cultivate a vibrant and diverse learning environment have led to this significant achievement,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “I am proud that the University of Georgia is leading the way for flagship institutions in this important measure of student learning and success.”

The advanced skills and knowledge that graduate education provides play a critical role in keeping Georgia and the nation competitive in the modern economy. Over the past several years, UGA has launched new fellowship programs at the master’s and doctoral levels to attract talented students to Georgia while also expanding professional development opportunities. Last fall the university launched an ambitious program known as Double Dawgs that enables students to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years or less.

Overall, UGA is ranked 32nd among all U.S. universities in the number of doctoral degrees it awards, up from 36th last year. UGA is second only to Columbia University Teachers College in the number of doctoral degrees in education it awards. It ranks 13th among all universities for doctoral degrees awarded in the life sciences and 20th in psychology and social sciences.

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Mellon grant will expand Global Georgia Initiative

A $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will enable the University of Georgia Willson Center for Humanities and Arts to expand its Global Georgia Initiative, a public humanities program in place since 2013.

“As a leading public research university, UGA is appreciative to the Mellon Foundation for supporting the university’s goal of expanding its reach to scholars and community members throughout Georgia,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the Mellon Foundation in this manner.”

In its first six years, the Global Georgia Initiative has engaged the humanities and arts in exploring global issues of public concern in a diversity of local contexts, serving audiences at UGA and throughout the Athens community. Programs have featured guests from five continents on topics from Chinese film and literature to journalism in the American South, and from hyperlocal agriculture and manufacturing to pan-African cultural criticism.

The expansion of the initiative focuses on three areas: connecting its visiting speaker programs to curricular and experiential learning activities at UGA; bolstering existing off-campus public humanities collaborations; and instituting a statewide symposium for the humanities.

The programs established around Global Georgia are designed to underpin research and outreach long term. “The grant-funded programs will be embedded into institutional structures that will become more diverse, more collaborative and more intellectually interesting because of them,” said Nicholas Allen, Franklin Professor of English and Willson Center director. “An enhanced Global Georgia Initiative will deepen the foundations of our public humanities projects, with a particular focus on community-driven, project-led research that has an impact on how the humanities relate to diverse communities of inquiry.”

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IMPACT receives top student organization award

IMPACT Service Breaks was named “Organization of the Year” during the 17th Annual H. Gordon and Francis S. Davis Student Organization Achievement and Recognition Awards, given out April 5 at the Tate Student Center. The SOAR Awards celebrate the accomplishments of student organizations at the University of Georgia.

Since its inception in 1994, IMPACT has focused on expanding its influence through 26 service break trips held during fall, spring and summer breaks. The organization’s goal is to create active citizens by engaging students in affordable, substance-free, experiential service-learning projects that encourage an understanding of pressing social issues.

Currently, there are 16 trip foci including LGBTQ awareness and advocacy, food justice and Native American cultural awareness and advocacy. Organizers build a time of reflection into each trip’s schedule to equip the participants with the motivation and knowledge to engage in service and the social issues of their own communities. IMPACT is administered through the Center for Leadership and Service within UGA Student Affairs. 

Other organizations received SOAR Awards in additional categories such as “Outstanding Collaboration” and “Outstanding Service to the Community.” This year, 106 nominations were submitted for 56 unique organizations. A panel of 44 faculty and staff members judged the nominations. There are currently 809 registered student organizations on campus.

The awards are sponsored by the Center for Student Activities and Involvement within the Tate Student Center. For more information, see http://involvement.uga.edu.

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Coca-Cola continues support for first-generation collegians

The University of Georgia hosted the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Dinner March 29 at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel to recognize nine students who are fourth-year Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship recipients. This highly successful partnership between UGA and The Coca-Cola Foundation has transformed the lives of 151 first-generation students since 2007.

During the event, President Jere W. Morehead welcomed representatives from Coca-Cola, including Kirk Glaze, director of community partnerships for Coca-Cola North America.

“We love supporting the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Program and look forward to continuing the relationship with the University of Georgia. The world is now a different place because these Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars came to college,” Glaze said.

The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship supports academically outstanding students who are the first in their families to attend college. The $5,000 scholarship is available for four years if the recipient maintains certain academic standards. Each scholarship recipient is provided support services through UGA’s Division of Academic Enhancement that help them adjust to college life and helps ensure their academic, cultural and financial success throughout their undergraduate experience. This includes mentoring programs, academic workshops and tutoring services. Students also have access to unique extracurricular experiences such as team building activities, group retreats and field trips.

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Three UGA Honors students named 2018 Goldwater Scholars

University of Georgia undergraduates Trisha Dalapati, Guy Eroh andStephan George are among 211 students from across the nation to be recognized as Barry Goldwater Scholars, earning the highest undergraduate award of its type for the fields of the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.

Georgia institutions had a total of six Goldwater Scholars. UGA had the highest number with three and was joined by Berry College, Emory University and Spelman College, which had one scholar each.

Dalapati, a junior from Roswell, is majoring in anthropology and biochemistry and molecular biology and working toward a master’s degree in comparative biomedical sciences. Eroh, a junior from Portland, Oregon, is majoring in ecology and earning a master’s degree in forest resources. George, a sophomore from Lawrenceville, is majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology, biology with a concentration in neuroscience, and genetics.

“The university congratulates Trisha, Guy and Stephan on this outstanding achievement,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Our newest Goldwater Scholars reflect the tremendous strength of our students as well as the commitment of exceptional faculty mentors who guide and teach them. I look forward to all that these amazing students will accomplish in the coming years.”

Since 1995, 56 UGA students have received the Goldwater Scholarship, all of whom have been members of the Honors Program.

Ruth Schade, a junior from Marlborough, Massachusetts, was among 281 Goldwater nominees named as honorable mentions. She is working toward bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nutritional sciences.

The scholarship honoring Sen. Barry Goldwater was designed to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. Since its first award in 1989, the Foundation has bestowed 8,132 scholarships worth approximately $65 million.

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UGA School of Law wins national mock trial tournament and Intrastate Moot Court Competition

The University of Georgia School of Law recently won the national South Texas Mock Trial Challenge and the Intrastate Moot Court Competition. These wins bring the total national titles for UGA for the 2017-18 season to three in addition to a coveted state title.

Third-year law student Lauren E. Lutton and second-year law students Shanice Echols, Robert Harrison II and C. Daniel Lockaby captured the national title in the 2018 South Texas Mock Trial Challenge. Lutton was recognized for her oral skills in the preliminary rounds and was named the best advocate for the final round.

The School of Law team was undefeated in the competition overcoming teams from the law schools at Georgia State University, Campbell University and the University of Missouri at Kansas City as well as Charleston Law School.

Notably, this is the second year in a row that UGA has won this national competition and the third time in five years that Georgia has brought home the championship trophy.

In the 2018 Intrastate Moot Court Competition, second-year law students Anna C. Braue, Thomas Grantham and Timia Skelton beat teams from Georgia State University in the final and semifinal rounds to bring home the state title.

UGA last won this tournament in 2016, and in the last 10 years UGA has captured the state title seven times.

The other national advocacy titles won this academic year include the 8th Billings, Exum & Frye National Moot Court Competition and the 2018 Charleston School of Law National Moot Court Competition.

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Women's Studies director named University Professor

Juanita Johnson-Bailey, professor and director of the Institute for Women’s Studies, has been named University Professor, an honor bestowed on faculty members who have made a significant impact on the University of Georgia beyond their normal academic responsibilities.

Johnson-Bailey is a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy in the College of Education, in addition to her appointment to the institute.

“Dr. Johnson-Bailey is a cherished mentor to students, a valued colleague to faculty members across campus and a nationally and internationally recognized scholar,” said Provost Pamela Whitten. “I’m delighted that she’s been named University Professor.”

Johnson-Bailey has made a profound impact on the advancement of diverse groups since she joined the faculty in 1995. She co-founded and advised a student organization called Students of African Descent that led to a dramatic increase in the enrollment of African-American women doctoral students in her department’s graduate program. In 2006, she co-founded and convened the university’s first conference on diversity issues in higher education. She has served as major professor for 30 Ph.D. students, many of whom now hold academic and leadership positions in higher education.

In addition to holding the title of Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, the university’s highest recognition for excellence in instruction, Johnson-Bailey was named the recipient of the Students of African Descent Outstanding Faculty Service Award, the College of Education’s Carl Glickman Faculty Fellow Award and the Graduate School’s Outstanding Mentoring Award. She received the Eleanor Roosevelt Fund Award from the American Association of University Women in 2015, and she was named to the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame in 2009.

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Mary Ann Moran receives SEC Faculty Achievement Award

Distinguished Research Professor Mary Ann Moran has earned a number of honors over the course of her career. The latest is being named the University of Georgia’s recipient of the 2018 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award.

The SEC award, which is administered by provosts at the 14 universities in the conference, recognizes professors with outstanding records in teaching and scholarship who serve as role models for students and other faculty members. Winners receive a $5,000 honorarium.

Earlier this spring Moran, who joined the faculty of the department of marine sciences in the Franklin Colleges of Arts and Sciences in 1993, was named Regents’ Professor, an honor bestowed by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on faculty members whose scholarship or creative activity is recognized nationally and internationally as innovative and pacesetting.

“Dr. Moran has developed an extraordinary national and international reputation for her far-reaching scientific contributions,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “She also is an outstanding faculty colleague and academic leader, and I congratulate her on this latest accomplishment.”

Moran conducts path-setting research that has created a better understanding of marine ecosystems and the roles of the ocean microbiome, including how microbes interact with organic matter and influence climactically active gases in the ocean. Her work combines three complementary approaches: biogeochemistry, microbiology and molecular biology.

Moran, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Microbiology, has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator for grants totaling $16.7 million over the past decade. The results of her research have been reported in more than 160 refereed journal publications. She is ranked in the top 2.5 percent of all scientists publishing in major journals, according to ResearchGate. Her expertise is sought after at international scientific conferences and events, including more than 30 invited presentations in the past six years.

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Three UGA faculty members honored as Meigs Professors

The University of Georgia has honored three faculty members with its highest recognition for excellence in instruction, the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship.

“At a university with an unrivaled commitment to student success, Meigs Professors are the best of the best,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten, whose office sponsors the award. “They educate and inspire University of Georgia students to achieve their full potential.”

The 2018 Meigs Professors are Santanu Chatterjee, associate professor of economics and director of the full-time master’s in business administration and master of science in business analytics programs in the Terry College of Business; Michael Marshall, professor of art in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; and Patricia Richards, professor of sociology and women’s studies in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

Chatterjee has partnered with financial technology corporations in Atlanta to provide students with meaningful experiential and project-based learning opportunities to prepare them for jobs in the rapidly growing FinTech sector of the economy. Since assuming the role of director of the Full-Time MBA Program for the Terry College in August of 2014, Chatterjee has worked to expand interdisciplinary offerings through the creation of five new dual-degree programs.

Marshall has taught every course in the photography curriculum of the Lamar Dodd School of Art, redesigning the program of study to integrate new technology and the medium’s changing role in visual culture. He utilizes service-learning to hone students’ skills while engaging the concerns of Georgia communities and the environment. As associate director of curriculum for the art school, Marshall has placed the needs of students at the forefront of curriculum development with new programming emphasizing ideation and interdisciplinary practice. Marshall received the 2017 Honored Educator Award from the Society for Photographic Education Southeast Chapter as well as the Sustainability Outstanding Faculty Award and the 2015 Service-Learning Teaching Excellence Award at UGA.

Richards has tailored her courses to enhance her students’ understanding of global issues while empowering students through classroom discussion to further engage with the material. Richards, who also is a member of the core faculty of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute and an affiliate faculty member of the Institute of Native American Studies, has designed a series of courses where students analyze disparate nations and societies to promote a critical understanding of the world. She has played an integral part in curriculum changes in LACSI and the Institute for Women’s Studies.