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02.25.2013

UGA Alumni Association Hosts Successful Alumni Leadership Assembly

This past weekend, my staff and I were thrilled to spend much of our time with more than 30 of our outstanding alumni chapter leaders during this year’s Alumni Leadership Assembly.

On Friday, the group toured Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall with Georgia Bulldog Club Executive Director Mark Slonaker (BSED ’80). I hear they even caught glimpses of quarterback Aaron Murray (BS ’12) working out!

That evening, we organized a culinary tour with Athens Food Tours (owned and operated by UGA alumna Mary Charles Howard [BLA ’08]). Our alumni ate their way through a number of locally owned restaurants, including Your Pie, which is owned by 2005 Terry College graduate Drew French.

We kicked things off bright and early on Saturday with UGA Professor Dr. Karl Kuhnert, who armed us with some great information on leadership. After Dr. Kuhnert’s presentation, chapter leaders met with Alumni Association staff members in small groups. It was wonderful listening to them share best practices and learn from each other. On Saturday afternoon, UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity (ABJ ’76) and Hairy Dawg led us in a pep rally before the men’s basketball team took on South Carolina.

Following the big overtime win for the Dawgs, the group returned to their rooms for a brief respite before joining us in the New Dance Theatre for the Alumni Awards Dinner. Before chapter awards were distributed, the UGA CORE Concert Dance Company Contemporary and Aerial Dance shared a sneak-peek of its “Taking Flight” performance. Alumna Cabell Sweeney (BSED ’95) of Cabell’s Designs, also entertained the group with a moving speech about how being inclusive is ‘cool’ – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

We concluded the evening honoring chapters for their hard work last year. Here is a rundown of this year’s winners:

  • Best Use of the Web: Athens Chapter
  • Best Event: SoCal Chapter’s Law and Entertainment Forum
  • Volunteer of the Year: Theresa Silcox (BBA ’08), Athens Chapter
  • Chapters of Excellence: Athens, Augusta, Charlotte, DC, Panhandle/Pensacola, Upstate South Carolina, and Metro Atlanta
  • Chapter of the Year Runner-Up: Miami Chapter
  • Chapter of the Year: Richmond Chapter

All in all, the weekend was a great success. I applaud my staff members for their hard work. A special shout-out goes to graduate assistant Alex Lange, and assistant directors of regional programs Danielle Alexander and Jackie Guglietta for planning the weekend. I look forward to seeing what our leaders do when they return home with new ideas and inspiration! Go Dawgs!

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12.11.2014

UGA’s Thank-a-Teacher Program

Did a teacher at UGA enrich your life or create a spark that inspired you to pursue your dreams? Was there a professor or teaching assistant that pushed you to do your best and helped you discover your passion for a certain subject? 

Now is the time to let that teacher - and the university community - know how grateful you are for their effect on your life. UGA's Center for Teaching and Learning invites current UGA students and alumni to particpate in the Thank-a-Teacher program.

What is Thank-a-Teacher? It is a program that allows students and alumni to express gratitude for teachers who have impacted their lives in a profound and meaningful way. If a teacher (professor, instructor, teaching assistant) made a positive contribution to your experience at UGA, please consider sending them a brief note. You may choose to remain anonymous or have your name attached to the note. 

You will be asked to fill out a simple form and acknowledge your appreciation for your teacher's work, dedication and extra effort. Share a simple thank you or an anecdote to let that teacher know what you enjoyed about their class and why it was important to you. 

Click here to complete the Thank-a-Teacher form

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12.10.2014

Former UGA football player gives back to the community

In recent years, the Lumpkin Street School in Hawkinsville, Georgia, one of 500 Georgia equalization schools built for African-American students during segregation, has fallen into disrepair. The town’s Deacons and Stewards Association wants to turn the space into a community center and museum, and a former Georgia football player is helping to make that happen.

Charles Johnson (M ’08), through the Charles Johnson Foundation (CJF), has issued a $25,000 challenge grant to renovate the school. The challenge, which states that CFJ will donate $25,000 to match the $25,000 that the Deacons and Stewards Association raises, has been instrumental in gaining donations for the project from other organizations.

Charles Johnson teaches a basketball clinic in his hometown of Hawkinsville, Georgia, during the Charles Johnson Foundation’s annual Community Weekend.

This isn’t the first time Charles Johnson has helped out his hometown. The captain for the Carolina Panthers has donated funds to support Parent Cafes for single mothers, sponsored women to attend the Pulaski Tomorrow program, donated to other middle Georgia foundations, and has provided scholarships to Pulaski County students during his organization’s annual Community Weekend in Hawkinsville.

For more information about the Lumpkin Street School project and how you can help, please email Greg Brown

Thank you for helping preserve the history of Georgia, Charles! The UGA Alumni Association is proud of your accomplishments on and off the field.

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12.08.2014

Spotlight on a Bulldog Business: FotoIN

Class of 2014 40 Under 40 honoree Sly Barisic (MBA ’04) and his brother, James Gates (AB ’01, MPA ’04), founded FotoIN in 2012, an automated mobile and management solution for capturing, documenting and filing site photos to a customer's storage repositories. 

The startup is located in Atlanta and Zagreb, Croatia, Sly’s native country. It serves an array of industries, including construction, real estate and property management.

James Gates

Sly Barisic

The company has seen growth in the construction industry,  managing projects for Brasfield and Gorrie, the lead company in the development of the new Atlanta Braves baseball stadium. Barisic was also invited to speak at tech conferences in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco last year.

The UGA Alumni Association is proud to showcase the success of hardworking alumni! For more information about startups founded by UGA alumni, click here. If you have an alumni-owned or -operated startup that you would like featured on this blog, please email Assistant Director of Communications Jamie Lewis (AB '12, AB '12) at jelewis@uga.edu.

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