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UGA Law Graduate Serves as Atlanta City Council President

The capital of our state and flagship city for the region, Atlanta, is an important city for many UGA alumni.  In fact, more than 90,000 UGA alumni call Metro Atlanta home.  It follows that UGA graduates make vital contributions to the leadership of this dynamic city.  Today, I'm proud to feature one such alumnus: Atlanta City Council President and 1995 UGA Law graduate Ceasar C. Mitchell.

Mitchell presides at all Council meetings and votes in the case of a tie vote by the 15 council members, makes council committee appointments, and would exercise all powers as mayor should that office become vacant or the mayor becomes disabled.

As a public official, Mitchell has advocated for safer communities through specific initiatives including police foot patrols. He has championed key legislation facilitating economic revitalization in underdeveloped areas by authoring measures to create 4 of the city's 10 Tax Allocation Districts and supporting legislation for community input in the Beltline Project, an initiative near and dear to our own Metro Atlanta Chapter.  He has been involved in programs that enrich the education of Atlantans and the enviroment in which they live.

Mitchell is Of Counsel with the global law firm of DLA Piper, LLP, where he practices commercial real estate and finance. He has been featured in Georgia Trend magazine as one of Georgia's "40 under 40," and Atlanta Magazine as a "Rising Star" in its Super Lawyers Edition. Recently, Ceasar was named one of Atlanta's 100 most influential people. In 2003, he became the inaugural recipient of Leadership Atlanta's "Rising Star Award," and is a graduate of its 2005 class. In recognition of his community service, he has been honored by the Morehouse College Alumni Association and the UGA Black Law Students Association.

Mitchell is a native Atlantan, the son of an Atlanta Police Officer and Atlanta Public Schools Teacher, and a graduate of Benjamin E. Mays High School. He is an honor graduate of Morehouse College with dual majors in Economics and English. While at UGA Law, he served on the International Law Journal and won a national moot court championship in constitutional law.

I'm always impressed at the impact and leadership of UGA alumni in our communities.  I'm proud to see a graduate in such an important role for Atlanta, and know that UGA alumni in Atlanta and around the globe share my pride.  I wish Ceasar continued success in present and future roles.  Go Dawgs!

Much of this blog entry is sourced from Mitchell's official bio at www.ceasarmitchell.comCLICK HERE to read the full bio. 

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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.

Scofield lives in North Carolina with her husband, Tom, and their two children. She is an avid volunteer in the community working with organizations such as the American Heart Association, Providence United Methodist Church, Calvary Child Development Center, Communities in Schools and Habitat for Humanity.

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.

The awards ceremony will feature a keynote address by Jeff Dunn, CEO and president of C-Fresh, a division of Campbell Soup Company that includes Bolthouse Farms, Campbell’s retail fresh soup unit, and Garden Fresh Gourmet. Dunn earned a bachelor’s degree in 1980 from UGA’s Terry College of Business.

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.

"What's changing is that the students we have here now are what we call the ADA generation," she said. "They're the first generation of Americans born after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, and due to that and other legislation, they grew up with peers with intellectual differences in their classrooms to a greater extent than any of us did."

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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