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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.

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University mourns passing of Zell Miller

Zell Miller, a former governor, U.S. senator and creator of the HOPE Scholarship, passed away Friday. He was 86. 

Miller was an influential politician in Georgia for more than 50 years, but much of his legacy rests on his innovative and far-reaching efforts to improve education.

The HOPE Scholarship, Georgia’s unique scholarship and grant program that rewards students with financial assistance in degree, diploma and certificate programs at colleges and universities, has sent more than 350,000 Georgians to college.

He also created the Zell and Shirley Miller Fellowship, which is awarded annually to a doctoral student in the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education.

“The University of Georgia mourns the loss of one of this state’s greatest champions,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Governor Miller’s impact on higher education in Georgia—and indeed the nation—was profound. The University of Georgia would not be the world-class institution it is today without his vision and dedicated leadership. The thoughts and prayers of our university community go out to his family and friends.”

During his administration, faculty salaries in the University System of Georgia grew nearly 30 percent and higher education funding nearly 60 percent. Many of UGA’s East Campus buildings were funded while he was governor. Miller authorized nearly $300 million to repair and renovate buildings in the university system and almost $1 billion in capital spending.

UGA established the Zell Miller Distinguished Professorship in 2005 to foster research, instruction and outreach relating to economic development policy. An anonymous donor funded the professorship to honor Miller.

The Zell B. Miller Learning Center at UGA was named in his honor in 2008. This innovative, technologically advanced learning environment features a unique combination of library and instructional space, modern classrooms, the best in campus computing and comprehensive instructional support for faculty.

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UGA to develop peer faculty mentoring program

The University of Georgia is moving forward with plans to create a new faculty mentorship program and introduce tools to allow a common course evaluation. The plans stem from the final report of the President’s Task Force on Student Learning and Success, which included 12 recommendations to enhance the undergraduate learning environment at UGA.

A working group comprised of six members of the UGA Teaching Academy, a longstanding community of faculty devoted to promoting teaching excellence, will develop proposals for the new initiative. Academy members William Vencill, who serves as the university’s associate vice president for instruction, and Marisa Pagnattaro, associate dean for research and graduate programs in the UGA Terry College of Business, will co-chair the working group.

The focus of the faculty mentorship program will be on expanding peer evaluation across campus to further promote teaching excellence, support faculty growth and development, and measure student learning in the classroom. The working group will develop a framework for faculty leaders both to assess existing evaluation processes and to pilot new peer evaluation methods specific to their school or college.

“Developing a collaborative process for peer mentoring and evaluation is essential to the professional growth of our faculty as instructors,” said Vencill. “Faculty-to-faculty guidance through the mentoring and evaluation process will fundamentally and positively change instruction across all schools and colleges.

The Task Force on Student Learning and Success, co-chaired by Vice President for Instruction Shrivastav and Vice President for Student Affairs Victor Wilson, was charged last February with taking a fresh look at the university’s undergraduate learning environment to identify new opportunities to further enhance the educational experience, inside and outside the classroom, for UGA students. The task force provided 12 recommendations organized into three broad objectives: evolving the curriculum, enhancing teaching and learning, and expanding student support and mentoring.