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12.24.2012

Happy Holidays From the UGA Alumni Association

By now, most students have exchanged their Ramen noodles, late-night study sessions and blue books for a little R&R under the close watch of family members and home-cooked meals.

The UGA Alumni Association staff members and I will join them tomorrow by spending a few days away from the office with loved ones. We will return on Tuesday, January 2, ready to kick off what is sure to be an exciting year in 2013.

This is the time of year when a number of “Top 10” lists are released. Every newspaper, TV show and blog seems to have its own list documenting the previous year or preparing for the next one. Not to be outdone, here are ten of my favorite UGA Alumni Association memories from 2012 (in no specific order):

1.      Meeting Graduates

Nothing excites me more than meeting new alumni and interacting with old acquaintances. I look forward to seeing you at a 2013 UGA Alumni Association event if I haven’t already. All graduates of UGA are automatically members of the Alumni Association and therefore welcome to attend any of our special events in Athens, Atlanta, and across the country.

2.     Founders Week

Every year, the UGA Alumni Association and the UGA Emeriti Scholars sponsor the Founders’ Day Lecture to celebrate the University's birthday which is January 27. Dr. Betty Jean Craige presented the 10th Annual Founders Day Lecture this past year. Mark your calendars now for the 11th Annual Founders Week.

3.     Women of UGA

This program connects female UGA graduates for networking and socializing in their area. We held a number of these successful events in 2012 and will host many more in the coming year. Stay tuned to the Women of UGA webpage and Facebook page for upcoming events.

4.     Alumni Leadership Assembly

Each year, UGA Alumni Chapter volunteers gather for a fun-filled weekend in Athens. The 2012 attendees learned new things about UGA, toured new facilities on campus, and spent time with students and other chapter leaders.  I hope to see those chapter leaders return for the 2013 Alumni Leadership Assembly and a number of new leaders as well.

5.     DawgTrot

Hundreds of alumni and friends come together at Stegeman Coliseum each spring for Athens’ largest 5k. Here are last year’s winners. Register now for the 2013 DawgTrot on March 16. Not a runner? Volunteer instead!

6.     Bulldog 100

The Bulldog 100 recognizes the 100 fastest growing businesses that are owned or operated by UGA Alumni. jobTopia CEO Anthony Moore ’93 was honored with the No. 1 fastest growing Bulldog Business in 2012. Here is the complete list for 2013–who will be No. 1? Join us on Saturday, January 26, to find out.

7.     Chapter Gatherings

While UGA graduates are spread across the globe, they still enjoy connecting with other alumni for Bulldog Breakfast Clubs, Women of UGA luncheons, Dinners with a Dozen Dawgs, Bulldogs After Business Hours, game watching parties, and other networking events. Collectively, chapters hosted several hundred gatherings in 2012. Check out your local chapter’s webpage for updates on events near you.

8.    Student Alumni Council

I already shared my appreciation for the Student Alumni Council in a previous blog post, but these student leaders always bring a smile to my face. They do an amazing job acting as liaison between the UGA Alumni Association and the student body. I look forward to seeing them back on campus in 2013.

9.     UGA Days

During these events across the country, UGA alumni and friends get the inside scoop on the Georgia Bulldogs’ upcoming seasons, hear the latest news from the university, and learn more about alumni chapter activities. In 2012, we hosted UGA Days in cities such as Macon, Tampa, Charlotte, and Birmingham. Stay tuned for the cities we’ll be visiting in 2013!

10.    40 Under 40

The UGA Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 recognizes UGA graduates who are leading the way in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. Congratulations to the 40 Under 40 Class of 2012. We look forward to celebrating next year’s class.

As you can tell, it was a busy year. I look forward to an even busier one in 2013! 

Until then, I wish you and your family the best. I hope your holiday season is filled with joy and rest. Go Dawgs!

Happy Holidays,

Deborah Dietzler

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Recent Entries


07.29.2015

UGA to reduce class sizes by hiring faculty, adding more than 300 course sections

In the latest in a series of steps to enhance the learning environment, UGA is investing $4.4 million to reduce class sizes by hiring faculty and creating more than 300 new course sections.

"This major initiative demonstrates the University of Georgia's strong commitment to putting students first," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead (JD '80). "Reducing the number of large class sections in critical instruction areas will improve student learning and success and further enhance our world-class learning environment."

The first of the new faculty members will begin teaching this fall, and a total of 56 will be hired in the coming year. By fall 2016, a total of 319 new course sections in 81 majors will be added, the majority of which will have fewer than 20 students.

UGA currently has an 18-1 student/faculty ratio, and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten noted that the new courses will help ensure students receive even more personalized attention from their professors.

She added that the push to decrease class sizes at UGA builds upon a series of academic enhancements the institution has implemented in recent years. Last fall, the university hired 10 new faculty to teach in 80 high-demand course sections. In the spring, the university approved a new graduation requirement that will make UGA the largest public university in the nation to require that each of its nearly 27,000 undergraduate students engage in experiential learning-such as internships, research, study abroad or service-learning-prior to graduation.

"UGA offers the broad range of resources and opportunities that a major research university provides as well as personalized and hands-on learning experiences that are typically associated with smaller universities," Whitten said. "It's the best of both worlds, and it's exactly what our world-class students deserve."

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07.27.2015

UGA Majorette is No. 1 College Twirler

While Nicole Jensen ’15 has lit up Sanford Stadium with her flaming batons and show-stopping gymnastics moves as a UGA feature twirler on game days, she is also making her mark on the national stage. She has garnered attention for UGA and continued the legacy of national champions after winning the highly coveted title of Miss College Majorette of America. This is the highest award given to a college twirler at the National Baton Twirling Championships, held each year in South Bend, Indiana.

Nicole has been a UGA feature twirler for the past four years. This is highly sought after position among top twirlers in the nation. Nicole, a senior marketing major from Iowa City, Iowa, was selected through an intense audition process and has enjoyed every minute of her time twirling between the hedges at UGA. 

Nicole is no stranger to success. She was on the USA World Team, where she was a silver medalist, and has traveled and performed in Peru as an ambassador. She has won hundreds of awards and titles in her twirling career, including the Collegiate Women’s Solo National Champion in 2012. 

Representing UGA as the reigning top college twirler, Nicole has been touring the country this spring and summer, performing at events and competitions as an ambassador of her sport. This past weekend by performing at Notre Dame in the National Baton Twirling Championships, Nicole performed her final duties as College Miss Majorette of America. Make sure to check out Nicole, in her final season, and the rest of the UGA Majorettes at every home football game this fall! 

UGA mascot Hairy Dawg joined Nicole for her final performance at Notre Dame

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07.23.2015

Alumna’s songs featured on HBO’s “True Detective”

If you watch HBO's popular series "True Detective," odds are you've heard Lera Lynn Buettner's (AB '08) songs. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter has had four songs featured on the show's soundtrack. The UGA Alumni Association recently sat down with Lera to learn more about her musical career and time spent studying anthropology at UGA.  

Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up and what led you to UGA? 

I was born in Texas, but my parents left soon after and slowly made their way to Georgia, stopping in Louisiana for about five years first. We moved around a good bit in Georgia, and I finished high school in Woodstock. It was around that time I visited Athens for the first time, to hang out with friends and see live music. I fell in love with the town's energy and lively music scene. That's ultimately what led me to UGA. My family stressed the importance of college, though I had my sights dead-set on music. UGA and Athens were my ticket to satisfying both.

As a student, were you involved in any activities or student groups on campus? Did you have a favorite professor or any fond memories from your time in Athens?

I worked my way through college, waiting tables, bartending and saving up as much as I could between semesters so that I could work fewer hours and still survive when school was in session. That said, I didn't have a lot of extra time for student groups. What time I did have was always devoted to music. Attending UGA still endures as some of my most fond memories. What a luxury it is to go to college and just learn all day! My senior year was definitely my best, as the courses were digging deeper into the things that truly interested me. I loved study groups that were assembled by classmates. I loved sitting in the group and discussing the subject matter in-depth outside of the classroom. It's easy to take that for granted when you're so young, but those are some of the most important conversations you can have; just digging in and bouncing ideas off of other people who are dedicating so much energy to the same things as you.

One of my favorite memories was a beautiful and moving lecture by Dr. Peter Brosius. He was recounting time spent researching in the field and the relationships he'd developed there; the focus being love at the center of everything in life. His lecture brought the whole class (100+ students) to tears. I think he was in tears, too. I will never forget the passion he has for what he does. It reminds me to do what I do for the right reasons. 

  

Since graduating, you’ve moved to Nashville. How did you establish yourself as a musician in there?

I've yet to establish myself anywhere, really, because I'm trying to establish myself everywhere all the time. As an artist, you're often trying to establish yourself on a national level. There's a difference between a studio musician in Nashville and an "artist."

You’ve had several songs featured on the soundtrack for HBO’s True Detective. Tell me how that project came about and what doors it has opened for you

I've had four songs featured in the series so far. I was lucky to have my manager set up a meeting with legendary producer, T Bone Burnett, after he expressed an interest in using the title track from an EP I released last year called "Lying in the Sun." We got along well. Burnett asked if I wanted to collaborate on music for the show and the rest is history. I got to appear in the show several times and I've learned a lot about the business side of music and show business. The show has exposed my music to many new eager ears - that's been the best part of the whole thing.

Do you have any other big projects in the pipeline? Where do you envision your career in five years?

I'm currently writing and recording my next LP. I'm really enjoying the process. I feel like there are so many more possibilities to explore. I hope that in the next five years I can buy a sensible new car. That would be success!

Learn more about Lera Lynn

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