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05.07.2013

Seniors, we’re hosting the first ever Commencement Celebration!

Class of 2013, graduation is just around the corner – you made it! The UGA Alumni Association will host the inaugural Commencement Celebration tomorrow, May 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. in Tate Plaza, and I hope you will mark your calendars to join us!

The first 200 seniors in attendance will receive the official UGA alumni T-shirt and the first 250 will take home a gift from the Alumni Association. The University of Georgia Bookstore will offer a 20 percent discount on clothing and gifts to graduating seniors, and we’ll unveil the Class of 2013 Senior Signature plaque.

And what party would be complete without FREE FOOD? We’ll provide you with food and refreshments to enjoy while registering to win giveaways such as Mark Richt-signed mini helmets, $50 UGA Bookstore gift cards, Onward Reserve T-shirts, UGA gift baskets and other fun swag.

Forget about planning your outfit for Commencement, packing your apartment, or sending out resumes and cover letters tomorrow. Instead, join your fellow Bulldogs for one last on-campus hurrah!

And don’t forget to use #UGAGradParty on Twitter and Instagram – we want to see your photos with your friends!

Congratulations, soon-to-be graduates, on all of your academic and extracurricular achievements at UGA. We’re excited to host the first event in your honor this week. We’re proud to have you joining the more than 280,000 other living alumni around the world.

See you tomorrow – Go Dawgs!

For more information about tomorrow’s festivities, please click here. If you are interested in volunteering with the UGA Alumni Association this week, please click here.

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09.12.2014

Class of 2014 40 Under 40 Honorees

In the days leading up the the 2014 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon on Thursday, September 18, we'll be highlighting this year's honorees. Today's group of alumni work in a science-related field. Read on to learn more about these outstanding individuals. 

A triple Dawg from Omaha, Nebraska, Deann Akins Lewenthal (BSA '02, MS '05, PHD '08) works as a principal food safety specialist for ConAgra Foods. In addition, Deann serves as a founding, and the youngest, member of the company's Innovation Council. Deann has remained engaged with the university and helped organize the first UGA Alumni Association Chapter in Omaha. 

Tiffany Parr Fowles (DRPH '13) is the senior maternal and child health epidemiologist at the Georgia Department of Health's Maternal and Child Office Epidemiology. Outside of the office, Tiffany serves as a supervisor for student interns in UGA's College of Public Health. 

A leader in his field, pediatric ENT surgeon Brian Kulbersh (BS '01) works at the Children's Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham. 

While at UGA, Kameko Nichols (BS '02, AB '02) not only earned two degrees, but also served as a Foundation Fellow and an Arch Society member. After spending several years as an investment banker on Wall Street , Kameko left her job to help bring life-saving medical care to more than 14 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Today, Kameko works for Riders for Health, which trains health care workers to ride and maintain motorcycles to deliver vital care to rural communities. 

Darigg Brown (BSEH '00) is a research public health analyst with RTI International, where he provides scientific support to research studies involving disease prevention and health communication. Darigg has served in leadership positions with the Society of Public Health and has conducted HIV/AIDS research around the world. 

A founding member and former chairwoman of the Terry College of Business Young Alumni Board, Mai-Lise Nguyen (BBA '05) earned a marketing degree and a cellular biology minor at UGA and now combines her love of the two subjects as international communications manager with F. Hoffman-La Roche, a leading biotechnology pharmaceutical corporation in Switzerland. 

President of the College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association, Chad Schmiedt (DVM '00) is an associate professor at the college and a small animal surgeon with a focus on kidney disease. Chad founded and operates UGA's feline renal transplantation program, one of only four programs of its kind in the world. 

Aleisha Gomes Swartz (DVM '02) lives in Honolulu, where she focuses on serving animals without an owner as chief veterinarian for the Hawaiian Humane Society. In this role, she oversees the medical and behavioral needs of nearly 30,000 animals that are brought to the shelter each year. As a delegate on the executive board of the Hawaii Veterinary Medicine Association, Aleisha played an important role in the design of the association's new $18 million facility. 

Click here to see the rest of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2014. Information about others in this year's class will be posted to the UGA Alumni Association's blog between 9/12/14 and 9/18/14. 

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09.05.2014

2014 40 Under 40 Keynote Speaker: Kim Bearden (BSED '87)

Award-winning UGA graduate, Kim Bearden (BSED ’87), co-founder and executive director at the Ron Clark Academy, will take the stage as the keynote speaker at this year's 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon on September 18. Over the years, Bearden has fine-tuned the skills necessary to be one of the most engaging and effective educators in the country.

Over the years, Bearden has been a teacher, director, school board member, trainer and middle school principal. Bearden has won countless awards ranging from Teacher of the Year in Cobb County, to being chosen from teachers across the nation as the Disney American Teacher Awards Outstanding Middle School Humanities Teacher. Bearden is a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2008, and she received the Phoenix Award from former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin for her dedication to the education. Her commitment to her students and their success is just as outstanding as her dedication to the education field and her fellow educators. 

After more two decades in education, she is now passing along her experiences in an eye-opening read. Bearden has collected many life lessons and grown as an individual by listening to every child’s life story. In July, Bearden published a new book, "Crash Course; The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me." You can learn more about it here.  

If you are interested in hearing Bearden speak about her experiences, please consider registering for this year's 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon, which is being held on Thursday, September 18 at the Georgia Aquarium. 

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09.02.2014

Sounds of the Classic City

Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in Athens, Georgia, knows that the music scene is unparalleled. Every night, dozens of venues brim with talented performers and their fans, playing songs from nearly every genre. Although many of these musicians permanently reside in the Classic City, some are here for an education, playing their music while studying at UGA. The university has produced a number of notable musicians over the course of its history, and will continue to do so - especially with the ever-growing Music Business Certificate Program. While Athens is well-known for producing stars such as R.E.M. and Neutral Milk Hotel, many other alumni have also made their mark on the national music scene. Here are just a few:

Bill Anderson (ABJ '59) is a country music sensation who has produced 36 top ten hits on the country music charts. Beyond his music career, Anderson was a TV game show host for “The Better Sex” and “Fandango," and published an autobiography titled “Whisperin’ Bill."

Luke Tan (AB ’01, BS '01) is the founder of the Asheville Tango Orchestra, a group he still directs today. The alumnus is a country music singer and songwriter who began performing in Athens under the name “Racecar." He has also had a number of successful podcasts and radio shows.

Raymond Hughes (AB '74) worked as the chorus master of the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1991 to 2007. He began his career as a conductor in 2007 at Carnegie Hall and currently works as director of the Thomasville Singers.

Parker Gispert (AB '07) (right above) and Julian Dorio (BS '04) (left above) are two-thirds of The Whigs, a popular garage band that began in 2002. The Whigs are still touring and have accompanied artists such as The Killers, Franz Ferdinand and Drive By Truckers on tour.

  

Charles Kelley (BBA '04) has recently made headlines as a founding member of the Grammy award-winning country music band Lady Antebellum. Kelley has co-written the majority of the band’s songs and has helped other famous artists including Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert write some of their recent hits. 

Another one of UGA’s big claims to fame in the music industry is the post-punk band Pylon, which earned great recognition on the national stage after opening for U2. Michael Lachowski (BFA '79) (bottom right) played bass, Curtis Crowe (BFA '84) (top right) played drums and Vanessa Briscoe (BFA '78) was the lead singer of this influential Athens group.

  

The University of Georgia produces numerous talented graduates each year who go on to perform in orchestras, symphonies and other groups around the world. This blog post simply couldn't highlight them all - who did we miss that you think should be on this list? Email eelmore@uga.edu with your suggestions!

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