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Backpacking Trip Leads UGA Alumna to Follow Her Passion

Meghna Davé (BBA ’09) graduated from UGA in 2009 and began the journey toward a successful corporate career in New York City. Today, Meghna finds herself in a totally different line of work – thanks to a backpacking trip through India.

On that life-altering trip, the young alumna fell in love with India’s unique prints and traditional methods of natural dying. Passion led her straight to the source, where she found farmers that produced organic cotton. She then learned traditional block printing and began making beautiful scarves. She returned to the U.S. and began her own business – and a new career for herself!

Maelu is an environmentally conscious clothing company centered around sustainable textiles made with natural fibers and vegetable dyes. Maelu products are all handmade and hand block printed, making each item a one-of-a-kind work of art. A portion of all proceeds goes to Global Fund For Women, a nonprofit foundation supporting the advancement of women’s human rights around the world.

Congratulations to Meghna on finding her true passion and for not being afraid to depart from her original career plans to follow her dreams. Best of luck in your business endeavors!

Read more about Maelu fabric and the block print process on the Maelu blog.

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Make Miracles Happen with Gwinnett Braves

As an Emmy-winning reporter for CBS46, Adam Murphy (ABJ ’97) spends a large amount of time in the spotlight. He works as a Consumer Investigative reporter, cracking down on scam artists and tracking dollars involved in large-impact projects. Murphy uses his talents for the people of Georgia, and recently, he has been focusing his efforts off-screen to help people nation-wide.

In 2013, Murphy decided to use some of his influence to create a charity close to his heart, ‘Miracle for Mom’. The organization is dedicated to his own mother, Janice Murphy, who was diagnosed in 2010 with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). PSP is a progressive neurological disorder that causes complications with controlling balance, complex eye movements and upper-level thinking. Discovered in 1964, this relatively new disease has had little attention placed upon it by the scientific community due to its rarity. With no known cause, cure, or treatment procedure, the outlook for those suffering with PSP has looked bleak for the 1 in 100,000 Americans that will develop this neurological disorder. ‘Miracle for Mom’ is doing everything in its power to change that. 

‘Miracle for Mom’ works to find a cure for PSP, as well as to help those currently living with the disease.  In its four years, the charity has raised over $10,000 towards these goals and is continuing to raise money through incredible collaborations with Atlanta area restaurants, businesses and even sports teams. This year alone, ‘Miracle for Mom’ joined forces with the Atlanta Hawks and raised over $4,000 in one night. Tonight, the charity is partnering with the Gwinnett Braves to hopefully raise even more in the fight against PSP. 

"Miracle for Mom’ Night with the Gwinnett Braves is being held tonight, July 23, 2014, starting at 6:30 p.m. This fundraising event offers a large number of different ways to make a difference in the lives of those with PSP. Simply by attending the game you will be donating a percentage of your ticket sale to Murphy’s charity. By purchasing a ‘First Pitch Ticket’ you will be given an especially great seat in the stadium and the opportunity to throw the first pitch at the game. For a great family experience, purchase a ‘Bat Kid Ticket’ and your child will be able to meet the players before the game. Additionally, for $15 you can enjoy a delicious pregame tailgate catered by Williamson Bros. BBQ.

This event is sure to be a wonderful summer night at the ball park that everyone can enjoy. More importantly, it is an opportunity to give to an organization unlike any other.

Support ‘Miracle for Mom’ and get your tickets online at

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2014 is Going to the Dawgs

The 2014 fiscal year was an incredible year for the University of Georgia for a variety of reasons. For students, each semester marks one step closer to graduation. For faculty, 2014 has brought national awards, advances in research and the promise of more excitement to come.

For instance, three of the Brazilian stadiums that were used during the World Cup were outfitted with TifGrand, a shade-tolerant, wear-tolerant bermudagrass hypbrid developed by UGA and the U.S. Departement of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. Despite this (and many other) amazing accomplishments that have taken place since last July, one record-breaking event has created the possibility of an even more produtive upcoming year.

The 2014 fiscal year saw the largest number of gifts and donations in the history of the university. Between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, UGA received a staggering $126.4 million from 56,897 different contributors. This amount reflects a 4 percent increase over 2013 and the second time in the university’s history that it received more than $120 million.

"This record year is a tribute to the faith our alumni and friends have in the future of our great university," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead (JD '80).

That faith has certainly not been poorly placed. These donations will help fund the projects and plans that UGA has for the coming years. From a renovated Veterinary Medical Learning Center to updating multiple residence halls across campus, these generous gifts are making it possible for UGA undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff to thrive in a well-designed and constantly improving environment.

Beyond these larger projects, donations to the university work daily for students and alumni through the UGA Alumni Association and Student Alumni Association, two organizations that connect students and alumni to each other, to the university and to the traditions and history that make UGA special.

This year has been record-breaking, but also record-setting. The bar has been raised to $126.4 million in donations. Now it’s time for the Bulldog Nation to make sure that 2015 is an even more incredible year for the University of Georgia. Make a pledge today for a better UGA tomorrow!

To learn more about this news, click here.

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A Bulldog reunion 30 years in the making

With so many University of Georgia alumni and even former professors scattered around the world, you never know where two former Dawgs might run into each other, even after decades.

John Shearer (AB ’83) recently hooked up with his old Myers Hall faculty resident friend, Dr. Joe Snow, while traveling through Madrid, Spain, in a reunion that in some respects had been more than 30 years in the making. 

Dr. Joe Snow (left) and John Shearer in Madrid

The story of their friendship began when Shearer moved into Myers in January 1982 after two years of living in the now-razed McWhorter Hall as a walk-on football player and then four quarters in University Gardens Apartments off Baxter Street. In Myers, which was two-thirds male at the time, Shearer said he finally found the closely knit, small-college-like community of male and female students for which he had been longing.

Among the many people he befriended was Snow, a Spanish and Portuguese language instructor, who had an arrangement with university housing to live there at a greatly reduced rent. Snow's only job was to circulate among the students and help break down the barriers between students and faculty. 

Through Snow, Shearer found out about a 1983 spring break trip being planned to Russia, then called the Soviet Union, by then-University of Georgia Russian language professor Dr. Harold Schefski. Shearer ended up going on the trip with his mother, Dr. Snow, Dr. Snow’s sister and several other students. Upon their return to the United States in those pre-Internet days, they learned that Georgia had qualified for the Final Four in men’s and women’s basketball for the first time.

Shearer, who majored in geography, ended up keeping a journal about his trip, and that inspired him to pursue a journalism and writing career that continues 30 years later on a freelance basis from his home in Knoxville, Tenn.  In 2013, Shearer wrote a column on the 30th anniversary of his trip and through Dr. Schefski, who now teaches at California State University, Long Beach, he reconnected with Snow via email.

Snow, who became interested in Spanish while a high school student in New Jersey, had left UGA in the early 1990s to begin teaching at Michigan State University. Today, he spends most of his time in retirement in Madrid in a residence he was able to pay for in part due to his reduced rent while at Myers Hall.

Laura Shearer (ABJ '69) and Dr. Joe Snow

After realizing he would be traveling to Madrid in June with his wife, Laura Anderson Shearer (ABJ ’69), on the way to visit her son in Portugal, Shearer made plans to reconnect with Snow. And since it would be Shearer’s first overseas trip since the Russian excursion, he could say he had been with Snow on every international trip he had taken.

“It was neat reconnecting with him,” said Shearer, who had not seen Snow since the first year or two after he graduated. “He took us to an out-of-the way restaurant with which he was familiar, and it ended up being one of the best meals on our nearly two-week trip. But the conversation was even better. His engaging and warm manner that had endeared him to students became familiar again. 

“And most of all, it was neat comparing our memories of both the Russia trip and our experiences in Myers Hall, because my time in Myers was one of the happiest of my life.”

Written by freelance journalist John Shearer (AB ’83)

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