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05.03.2013

UGA students receive Udall, Truman and Goldwater scholarships

When I meet with alumni and friends, I am always pleased to share updates on the quality of students attending UGA. This year, for the first time, more than 20,000 young people applied for 5,000 slots in UGA’s freshman class. This is impressive and shows just how much the University’s quality of education has improved over the past few decades.

While the overall quality of UGA students is very high, there are still a few that rise above the rest. Today, I’d like to acknowledge several UGA students who rival even the top Ivy Leaguers and have been awarded Udall, Truman and Goldwater scholarships for 2013.

2013 Udall Scholars

Congratulations to both Sara Black and Ian Karra for being awarded 2013 Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Scholarships. Each scholarship, accompanied by up to $5,000, is awarded annually to outstanding sophomores and juniors pursuing careers focused on environmental or Native American public policy. Sara and Ian bring the University’s total number of Udall Scholars to 12 in the past ten years.

Sara is a junior in the UGA Foundation Fellows Program from Birmingham, Ala. who is pursuing degrees in anthropology from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and in ecology from the Odum School of Ecology. She plans to pursue a career in the environmental or food justice nonprofit sector.

Ian is a junior from Roswell who is pursuing degrees in economics and finance from the Terry College of Business. He plans to pursue a career in grassroots environmental advocacy, influencing renewable energy policy at the state level and at institutions of higher education. He and Sara co-lead Georgia YES, a network of more than 75 student environmental leaders on more than a dozen campuses in Georgia. The organization promotes clean energy infrastructure and policy on college campuses throughout the state.

Matthew Tyler, a junior Honors student and Foundation Fellow from Atlanta received an honorable mention.

2013 Truman Scholar

Smitha Ganeshan, an Honors student majoring in anthropology, has received a 2013 Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which recognizes juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government and elsewhere in public service.

She was one of 62 students to receive the scholarship, which offers up to $30,000 for graduate study. The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences student is the 18th UGA recipient of the scholarship since 1982 and the only recipient in Georgia this year.

Smitha, who aims to pursue a dual M.D. and Master in Public Policy degree, is active in health care and health policy issues in Athens and around the globe. She has been involved with UGA’s Roosevelt Institute, a student-run think tank, since her freshman year and currently directs its health policy center and its environmental policy center. Through the Roosevelt Institute, she developed a policy proposal to improve access to primary care services for low income and uninsured patients.

2013 Goldwater Scholar

Philip Grayeski, a junior Honors student majoring in genetics and chemistry, has been named a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation provides up to $7,500 per year for university expenses such as tuition, fees, books and room and board. UGA students have received the Goldwater Scholarship almost every year since the mid-1990s. Philip brings the University's total of Goldwater Scholars to 44.

Philip is among 271 recipients of the scholarship that recognizes exceptional sophomores and juniors in engineering, mathematics and the natural sciences. He intends to pursue a combined M.D. / Ph.D. degree with a focus on gene therapy and translating academic research into treatments for cancer and hereditary disorders.

Philip spent three months at Ludwig Maximilian University in Germany researching genetic approaches for targeting melanoma treatments. He has presented his research findings at the UGA Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Symposium and at a meeting of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy in France. He is the co-founder and executive director of Whatever It Takes at UGA, where he coordinates a network of more than 300 student volunteers for educational and health and wellness programs targeting families in Athens Clarke-County.

Tuan Nguyen, a sophomore from Douglasville, Ga. earned an honorable mention.

I am proud of these amazing students’ outstanding academic and extracurricular achievements. Congratulations to Sara, Ian and Smitha on receiving these scholarships. Congratulations are also in order for Matthew and Tuan on their honorable mentions. You’ve all made the Bulldog Nation proud!

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05.01.2015

Bulldog Tartan!

Wondering what to give to a friend or family member graduating from the University of Georgia next week? Look no further than UGA's very own Scottish tartan.

Tartan's pattern of interlocking stripes, often mistaken for plaid, dates back to the third or fourth century A.D. Tartan became so popular in Scottish Highlands culture that commercial weavers began naming the patterns instead of numbering them. Over time, those names began to represent a connection between the wearer and Scottish clans.

Today, tartens can identify individuals as members of certain groups, now including the University of Georgia.

For UGA's tartan (modeled above by Student Alumni Council member Jasmine Johnson '16), UGA graduate Walter Estes (AB '77, MED '98) developed and donated a tartan design using red and black. The College of Family and Consumer Sciences then secured official recognition by the Scottish Register of Tartans. After approval, a student committee chose the neck tie for men and a silk scarf for women as the ideal products to first be developed from the tartan design. Today, there are several products to choose from, including a pocket square, bow tie, tote bag and cummerbund.

Click here to shop for official UGA tartan products - when you do, the royalties support scholarships and programs for FACS students in the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors!

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04.27.2015

Spotlight on UGA’s recent award recipients

Recently, UGA several faculty students have been in the spotlight for prestigious scholarships and awards. The UGA Alumni Association is proud of these outstanding award recipients and all that they do to further the university's mission and increase its reputation. 

Torre Lavelle '16 has been named a 2015 Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Scholar which is awarded to an undergraduate pursuing a career focused on environmental or Native American policy. Lavelle is a third-year student majoring in ecology and plans to pursue a master’s degree in environmental management as well as a Juris Doctor in hopes of becoming a conservation policymaker. Read more.

Juanita Johnson-Bailey (MED '93, EDD '94), director of the Institute for the Women’s Studies at UGA, is the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Fund Award, an honor given by the American Association of University Women for outstanding contribution to equality and education for women and girls. Johnson-Bailey has authored and co-authored more than 100 journal articles, book reviews, book chapters and monographic. She has also delivered nearly 120 conference presentations and chaired nearly 30 completed doctoral dissertations. Read more.  

 

Kathleen Wilson '16 was named a 2015 Truman Scholar receiving a $30,000 scholarship toward graduate school. Wilson is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in economics and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs. She plans to continue her education by pursuing a master’s in public policy and Middle Eastern studies after graduation in 2016. Read more.

   

Megan Ernst '15 was awarded the James Madison Graduate Fellowship which provides up to $24,000 for individuals who desire to become outstanding teachers at the secondary school level. Ernst will graduate in May with Bachelor of Arts in journalism, Bachelor of Arts in political science, and a Master of Public Administration from SPIA. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in teaching from the UGA College of Education. Read more

Lauren Dennison '15, Erin Hollander '15, and Karishma Sriram '15 received 2015 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, the exclusive undergraduate scholarship in the field of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. All three students are enrolled in Franklin College and plan to earn doctoral degrees related to biomedical research. Read more

Ayan Hussein (BS ’12) is one of the winners of the 2015 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. This fellowship supports the graduate education of students who were born abroad but have become permanent residents or naturalized citizens of the United States. Hussein, a 2012 UGA graduate, is now a Ph.D. student at Yale University studying biological and biomedical student. Selected from a pool of 1,200 applicants, she will receive tuition and stipend assistance of up to $90,000 in support of graduate education. Read more

Sixteen UGA students have been awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The highly competitive awards recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.These fellows were selected from more than 16,000 applicants nationwide for the 2015 competition. Read more

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04.23.2015

Meet the UGA alumna behind the Georgia Trail Summit: Tracie Sanchez (AB '88, MPA '11)

The Georgia Trail Summit is excited to announce the schedule for its second annual event, which will take place in Athens, Georgia, June 4-6 at The Graduate. Continue reading to learn more about Georgia Trail Summit's founder, Double Dawg Tracie Sanchez (AB '88, MPA '11), and the inspiration behind this organization. 

I’ve been riding bikes, hiking mountains and paddling rivers all my life. Being on a trail makes for wonderful escapes, new adventures and challenges, new friends, staying healthy and connecting with nature. And great photo memories.

Earning my Masters of Public Administration at UGA late in life allowed me to focus on which public policy I wanted to champion. Being part of the effort to build a world-class network of connected trails in every corner of Georgia is a cause I believe in deeply.

The first thing I did as an undergrad in 1985 was sell my car and become a bicycle commuter to campus. I still had that bike 24 years later when I returned to UGA for my masters’ in public administration. I caught trail fever in Athens biking the greenway, helping the Firefly Trail incorporate as a non-profit, and collaborating on a graduate project in Hartwell that led to inventorying regional greenspaces with UGA landscape architecture students.

Clearly, alternative transportation solutions involving active living are my passion. Eight years at UGA as a program coordinator for the Leonard Leadership Scholars and one-on-one chats with mentor Earl Leonard taught me a thing or two about leading an effort. So with a background in graphic design, leadership development, a public policy degree, and spare time during the job search, I reached out to all the trail hounds I knew in Georgia, and began to build a network.

Research in 2011 revealed there are 82 trail and greenway projects proposed or underway in Georgia. I was familiar with many of them from my own explorations and serving as a mobility manager for a regional commission. I learned of others while attending Smart Growth conferences, Transportation Camp, the Georgia Bike Summit and transit and mobility workshops. But something was missing. No one knew about anyone else’s project; no one seemed to be sharing lessons learned. Why wasn’t there an easy opportunity to convene Georgia’s entire community of trail experts in one place? 

The Department of Natural Resources admitted they didn’t have staff capacity to update a 15-year-old comprehensive trail plan. With so much to learn from each other, I felt compelled to connect the dots…and the people.

  

The solution came when attending the National Bike Summit in DC. While visiting Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s development director, Kelly Pack, she inspired me with great advice, “Round everyone up and hold a Georgia Trail Summit.”  I pitched the idea that spring and have been recruiting and collaborating with trail, greenway and blueway partners ever since. The time was right and I visualized myself as the champion for the effort. UGA taught me how and now I'm on a roll.

Today, I lead a dedicated team of volunteer trailblazers planning the second annual Georgia Trail Summit. So far, we’ve raised $20,000 with 35 sponsors, including UGA College of Public Health, UGA Office of Sustainability, UGA Warnell School of Forestry, Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department, Athens-Clarke County Mayor’s Office and Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau. More importantly, we're connecting people.

The Georgia Trail Summit has seen a drastic increase in presenters since its creation. You all know Athens is an ideal, walkable city with hotels right on the Greenway and other nearby trails for biking, hiking and paddling, which will be featured during 10 mobile workshops.

I remain committed to my vision for Georgia’s trail movement to grow into an established and influential organization helping non-profits, governments and communities focus on connectivity, conservation and comprehensive planning. 

UGA alumni are personally invited to attend this timely conversation on the future of Georgia’s trails June 4, 5 and 6 in Athens at the Graduate Hotel. For a closer look, stroll on over to georgiatrailsummit.com.

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