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UGA College of Education honors four alumni

Four University of Georgia graduates were recognized for their career achievements and community leadership with 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards from the College of Education at its first annual Donor Appreciation and Alumni Awards Dinner held recently at the UGA Hotel and Conference Center at the Georgia Center.

Nicole Pfleger (B.S.Ed. ’05), professional school counselor at Nickajack Elementary School in Smyrna, and Vicki Tarleton (M.Ed. ’00), mathematics department head at Columbia County’s Grovetown High School, received 2012 Crystal Apple Awards, which are presented to alumni in K-12 education who have made a significant impact on student, school and school district performance.

The American School Counselor Association named Pfleger, of Marietta, the 2012 National School Counselor of the Year. She led her school’s efforts to become designated as a Recognized ASCA Model Program in 2011. She was the 2009-2010 Cobb County School District’s Elementary Counselor of the Year.

Tarleton, of Evans, was a finalist for the 2012 Georgia Teacher of the Year. She was also Columbia County Teacher of the Year for 2010-2011 and Grovetown High Teacher of the Year for 2009-2010.

William Schofield (B.S. Ed. ’86, M. Ed ’92, Ed.S. ’94), superintendent of the Hall County School District, received the 2012 Professional Achievement Award, an honor presented to alumni in the midpoint of their careers who have demonstrated significant achievements in their fields.

Schofield, of Gainesville, received the 2008 Leader of the Year Award from the Georgia Association of Gifted Children and the 2008 Ball State Administrator Award from the National Association of Gifted Children.

Bruce Bracken (M.A. ’77, Ph.D. ‘79), a school psychologist and professor at William & Mary, was recognized with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding success and significant impact in his field.

Bracken, of Williamsburg, Virginia, is a charter fellow of the American Education Research Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Assessment Psychology and the American Psychological Association’s Divisions 16 and 53. He received Division 16’s Senior Scientist Award in 2008. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Assessment Psychology.

The Bracken Basic Concept Scale and the Bracken School Readiness Assessment are two of the widely used assessment tools he has developed for educators and psychologists.

On behalf of the UGA Alumni Association, I want to congratulate Pfleger, Tarleton, Schofield, and Bracken on receiving these prestigious awards. Their leadership and dedication in their perspective fields has proven valuable for countless students nationwide. I am very proud of their commitment to our children and higher education. They are all incredible ambassadors of UGA and the College of Education. Go Dawgs!

For more information on the awards or to submit a candidate for 2013, see

For a video celebration of the 2012 College of Education Alumni Award winners, see

Images of the award winners are available at the following urls:

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Alumna Spotlight: Emily Scofield (MS '99)

Emily Scofield (MS '99) published her first book, Coco & Dean: Explorers of the World, in April. The book is the first in a series of adventures Scofield is writing to educate children about environmental awareness. Scofield is the executive director for the U.S. Green Building Council's North Carolina Chapter. She leads members, volunteers and staff members across the state to promote sustainable construction practices under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. In the past few years, she has been named to the UGA Alumni Association's 40 Under 40 Class of 2013, and was a Charlotte Top Woman in Business in 2014.

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Coco & Dean: Explorers of the World takes readers on three adventures with Coco and Dean. Readers learn how to conserve resources, the benefits of recycling and the importance of keeping oceans clean. Scofield exposes complex topics like ‘carbon footprints’ and ‘renewable resources' through each adventure. Not only is the reader engaged in learning about these topics in the story, there are study questions and links to environmental organizations in each chapter. 

The UGA Alumni Association is proud of this Bulldog and the work she is doing to improve the world around her! 

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Drumroll, please ... announcing the 2016 Bulldog 100!

The UGA Alumni Association is pleased to reveal the 2016 Bulldog 100! Bulldog 100 celebrates the 100 fastest-growing Bulldog businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni. This year, the university is excited to not only unveil a new group of honorees, but a new logo for the Bulldog 100 program - check it out!

The 2016 Bulldog 100 includes businesses of all sizes and from industries such as veterinary medicine, IT consulting and pest control. Several areas of the country are represented, including companies from as far north as New York and as far west as California. Of the 100 businesses, 80 are located within the state of Georgia, and only two business have made the list all seven years: Mom Corps and Vino Venue/Atlanta Wine School.

The ranked Bulldog 100 list will be revealed at the awards celebration on Saturday, January 30 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Registration for this event will open soon.

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Please view the complete list and congratulate the honorees on social media using #Bulldog100

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UGA to launch inclusive, post-secondary education program in 2017

Students with intellectual or developmental disabilities will soon be able to enjoy the full UGA experience with the launch of a new inclusive post-secondary education program, Destination Dawgs, beginning in spring 2017.

The program, housed within the College of Family and Consumer Sciences' Institute on Human Development and Disability, aims to assist those students' transition into adulthood by fully immersing them in UGA life.

Destination Dawgs, still in development, aspires to have students reside in on-campus housing, audit classes and be supported by peer mentors who will assist the students in courses and on campus to improve their independent living skills.

"The goal is for Destination Dawgs participants to come out of the program with a platform for getting a good job and for leading a good adult life," said Carol Britton Laws, an assistant clinical professor and coordinator of UGA's Disability Studies Certificate program within the institute. "The unemployment rate for people with disabilities nationally is about 75 percent, and we're trying to help students build skills and gain experiences that are marketable."

Laws envisions a five-semester model with a small cohort of five students enrolling in the program in spring 2017.

Because students won't enter the program through the regular admissions process, they will receive a certificate of completion rather than a degree.

The emphasis on developing and expanding post-secondary education opportunities in the state can be traced back to the founding of the Georgia Inclusive Postsecondary Education Consortium in 2011, which seeks to create opportunities for students who historically have not had access to postsecondary educational opportunities. The consortium is partly funded by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities.

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Acknowledging disability is really about understanding diversity, Laws said.

"Disability is just one characteristic that is possible in human beings, but it is often a characteristic that is used to discriminate against a person or to limit their opportunities," Laws said. "FACS has created a plan to increase the diversity of students within the college, and this program will fit with that."

Continue reading this story.

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