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11.14.2012

UGA Grady College alumni to explore the art of storytelling during symposium

Four prominent writers, all alumni of the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, will share the stage as well as their thoughts and perspectives on the craft of storytelling as part of All Fellows Day November 15 at noon in the UGA Richard B. Russell Special Collections Libraries Building. The event is free and open to the public.

The panel discussion, which also includes a complimentary lunch hosted by the Grady College, will feature Chris Dixon ’89,’92, Glen Finland ’74, Mark Schlabach ’96, and Steve Sears ’90. Two Grady College faculty members—Valerie Boyd, the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence, and Vicki Michaelis, the Carmical Distinguished Professor of Sports Journalism—will moderate the panel.

Dixon is the author of Ghost Wave: The Story of the Cortes Bank and the Biggest Wave on Earth. The founding online editor of Surfer, Dixon has written for various publications, including The New York Times, Outside and Men’s Journal. He also serves as a consultant and contractor for Jimmy Buffett on green fuel and environmental projects, and he worked as a project manager for the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League.

Finland, a 2012 inductee into the Grady Fellowship, is the author of the acclaimed family memoir Next Stop and a prominent autism advocate. A former TV news reporter, she is a freelance writer for multiple publications, including The Washington Post and Family Circle. In 2004 and 2011, she earned the Best Fiction award from the Southeastern Writers Association, and she was designated as a Noted Writer for the 2005 and 2006 Boston Fiction Festivals.

Schlabach is the lead college football reporter with ESPN.com, as well as an accomplished sports biographical author. He spent nine years covering UGA athletics, the National Football League and NASCAR at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before covering college athletics at The Washington Post. His most recent books include The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family and Ducks Built a Dynasty and Heisman, The Man Behind the Trophy, both of which were published in October.

Sears is a senior editor and columnist with Barron’s and Barrons.com, as well as the author of The Indomitable Investor: Why a Few Succeed in the Stock Market When Everyone Else Fails. He pens the “Striking Price” column, which focuses on options trading and investment trends. A member of the Economic Club of New York, Sears is a recipient of a Dow Jones Newswire Award for distinguished real-time journalism for his reporting on the impact of mutual fund inflows on the stock market.

This event will highlight the effects of perspective and approach on the art of storytelling. The UGA Alumni Association congratulates these successful graduates on their selection for the symposium. We are looking forward to hearing their stories during the All Fellow Day celebration! Go Dawgs!

CLICK HERE for the full press release.

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01.28.2015

Student Alumni Association celebrates UGA’s birthday

UGA students, including members of the Student Alumni Association, have been wishing UGA a happy birthday throughout the week as the university community celebrates Founders Week and the 230th anniversary of the university's establishment as the first state-chartered institution of public higher education.

On Tuesday, students gathered in Tate Plaza to receive 2015 Founders Week T-shirts, enjoy a few birthday treats and learn more about the university's founding and what it means to be the first state-chartered institution. Even the guide dogs got into the Founders Week spirit!

That evening, students watched the men's basketball team defeat the Vanderbilt Commodores 70-62 at Stegeman Coliseum. Other Founders Week activities taking place this week include a Greek Life banner contest, the Spring Career Fair and a special Dawgs After Dark on Friday night.

 

 

Another exciting part of Founders Week is the annual 100 Days Until Graduation Celebration. This one-stop-shop provides seniors with an opportunity to meet with alumni representatives from their schools and colleges, learn more about the Young Alumni Football Ticket Program, order a UGA ring, make their mark on the Senior Signature plaque, and order caps and gowns for commencement. All members of the Class of 2015 are invited to attend this special event.

  

And if you haven't seen it, be sure to check out the video of UGA students wishing UGA a happy 230th birthday.

Thank you to the Student Alumni Association and the Student Alumni Council for making Founders Week another exciting time for students on campus.

It's not too late to send UGA your own happy birthday message. Simply use #UGATurns230 on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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01.25.2015

UGA to celebrate 230th anniversary on January 27

Each year, the UGA Alumni Association proudly celebrates the signing of the University of Georgia Charter that took place on January 27, 1785. In recognition of the university's 230th anniversary as the nation's first state-chartered institution of higher education, the UGA Alumni Association and the UGA Emeriti Scholars present the annual Founders Day Lecture. The lecture is held in the UGA Chapel and has become a Founders Day tradition, drawing alumni, students, faculty, esteemed guests and members of the community. This year's lecture will be held on Monday, January 26 at 1:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The 2015 Founders Day Lecture will be presented by UGA School of Law J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law and Associate Dean Emeritus Paul M. Kurtz, and will be titled, A New York Yankee in Abraham Baldwin's Court: (Almost) Fifty Years Behind 'Enemy' Lines. 

Paul M. Kurtz

Student Bar Association President Carey Miller (AB '12, JD '16) will provide the student response.

Carey Miller (AB '12, JD '16)

Can't attend the lecture? It will be livestreamed, so you can join in the celebration from your home or office. 

And don't forget to wish UGA a happy birthday on social media using #UGATurns230. 

The UGA Student Alumni Association will sponsor a series of free events in advance of and following the lecture. For more information about these events, please email Assistant Director of Student Programs Evan Tighe (BSED '08, MA '11) at eptighe@uge.edu.

  • Monday, January 26: Founders Day Lecture at 1:30 p.m. in The Chapel
  • Tuesday, January 27: Founders Week T-shirt Giveaway and Birthday Party in Tate Plaza; Men's Basketball Game vs. Vanderbilt at 7:00 p.m. in Stegeman Coliseum
  • Wednesday, January 28: Career Fair from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. at The Classic Center
  • Thursday, January 29: 100 Days Until Graduation Celebration; birthday cupcakes in the dining halls
  • Friday, January 30: 100 Days Until Graduation Celebration and Dawgs After Dark
  • All week: Greek Life Banner Contest
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01.23.2015

UGA alumnus participates in Alaska tradition

A native of Washington, D.C., Philip Walters (BMUS '04) moved to Alaska after graduating from UGA. A middle school band teacher by day, Walters is training to participate in the 2015 Iditarod dog race.

Former UGA Alumni Association communications intern Bernadette Green '15 had the opportunity to chat with Philip about his upcoming trek.

Going from Georgia to Alaska is a huge change! What motivated you to move to Alaska?

I visited Alaska in 2002 while on vacation. My family has always been very outdoorsy ─ I was camping and hiking at a young age ─ and Alaska is pretty much an outdoor playground, so I immediately fell in love with the state and tried to find ways to get back there. In 2004, I worked at a string music camp in Birchwood (just north of Anchorage) and met some local music teachers who encouraged me to move up to Alaska after I graduated that fall. 

Could you give us some background on the Iditarod? What inspired you to participate?

The Iditarod was started in 1973 as a way to bring sled dogs back into the public spotlight. The race is 1,049 miles and runs from Anchorage to Nome, crossing three mountain ranges and running over frozen sea ice near the finish. It follows the Iditarod mail route, which was the only way to move mail and freight from one place to another before the railroad and the road system came to Alaska. In fact, sled dogs are still used as a main form of transportation in some rural Alaskan villages. The Iditarod begins the first weekend in March every year.  

After visiting Alaska for the first time, I read everything I could get my hands on about Alaska, and much of what I read was about sled dogs and dog mushing. I began dreaming of running the Iditarod after reading a book called "Winterdance" by Gary Paulsen. It is still one of my favorite books about the sport, even if it is a bit romanticized in regard to what actually takes place during a race.

I started volunteering with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 2006. I've been a volunteer every year since, in some form or fashion, including working at several remote checkpoints. I love watching the teams come through on the race, and can't wait to be on the other side of the race.

How did you get into running sled dogs?

I met a local musher in 2007 who put me in touch with Kurt and Val Jokela, local mushers who were looking for a "handler," someone who could help them with dog chores in exchange for learning the tricks of the trade. They taught me how to mush, let me run their dogs, use their equipment and even helped me train for my first distance race. Once their dogs started getting older, they put me in touch with Alan Peck and Barbara Trost, who allowed me to train their dogs and begin working toward my Iditarod qualifiers.

I now run dogs for Snowhook Kennel, which is owned and operated by Justin and Rebecca Savidis. I'll run the Snowhook Kennel "B-Team" (think about it as the junior varsity team) in the 2015 Iditarod.  

How do you train for such a feat?

Basically, we get the dogs out running pretty early in the fall. In fact, we started in July this year. When there isn't snow on the ground, we hook them up to a gangline that is attached to an ATV and have them pull it while it’s in gear. It's basically weight-lifting for the dogs. We use that to slowly and safely build up muscle and get them back in shape after taking the summer off.  

Once there's enough snow on the ground, we will start running the team on sleds. We try to put the dogs and ourselves in a variety of situations so they are ready for any sort of terrain or issue that might come up on the trail. In a 1,000-mile race, you'll run into every type of weather and terrain imaginable; for example, last year much of the race was run without snow!

I'm basically running dogs four to five days a week, in addition to my full-time day job as a middle school band teacher in Anchorage. I come home from school, change clothes, drive an hour out to where the dogs are located, run the dogs, come home, go to sleep, wake up and do it all over again the next day. It's a crazy schedule, but I love working with the dogs and I'm Iditarod-bound, so I'm willing to do what it takes to make this dream possible.  

What is your favorite memory from your time at UGA? 

Most of my memories revolve around the Redcoat Band. I was a 4-year marching member of the band, and most of my friends were in the Redcoats with me. I guess many of my fondest memories were also football-related because I was at almost every game. I was there for the "hobnail boot" in Tennessee, and Michael Johnson's miraculous touchdown catch at Auburn. I was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, and many KKPsi brothers are still some of my best friends. As a member of the Wind Symphony, I was honored to record two different professional albums of amazing band music under some of the best conductors I've ever had the pleasure to work with.  

  

Do you keep up with UGA football or other university-related happenings?

Of course I keep up with UGA football! I have a big Georgia banner in my band room, and I've worn holes in my UGA sweatshirts. Most of my mushing gear is red and black, I painted my dog box, the box on my pickup truck that I use to haul the dogs around to races, red and black. Once a Dawg, always a Dawg ─ how sweet it is!

Good luck, Philip! The UGA Alumni Association looks forward to keeping up with your progress during the race. If you would like to follow Philip’s Iditarod journey, check out his website or Facebook page.

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