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06.24.2013

Adam Bowling (BSEH ’13) delivers remarks to fellow graduates

May is always a busy time in Athens. I am disappointed I am unable to attend all of the graduation festivities that take place, but I often receive updates about them from colleagues on campus.

For instance, Kate O’Reilly, the director of development for the College of Public Health, reached out last month to share an update about the College of Public Health Graduation Celebration. She praised student speaker Adam Bowling (BSEH ’13), who delivered a powerful speech to his fellow graduates.

Instead of attempting to summarize Bowling’s address, I will let you enjoy his words in their original form:

Good afternoon. I am extremely humbled and excited to speak on behalf of the 2013 graduates of the College of Public Health.

First, I would like to say thank you to the faculty and staff who have guided us through these past few years. I would also like to say a big thank you to my family, who has been a constant source of encouragement, especially during the trials of organic chemistry. I know I’m probably not the only one. To my fellow graduates: Graduation! We made it! Though it hasn’t been easy to get here.

They say that the average college student will change their major at least 3 times and I know that I and many others were certainly in that group, but I’m so glad that I found public health.  As I look back on my four years, I now consider that choice one of the best decisions I made while at UGA.

One thing about public health that appealed to me was the opportunity to get out and see the world. Athens is a special place, but it wasn’t until I traveled away from here that I began to see the larger reach of this university and that no matter where I went, UGA went with me.

During the summer of 2010, I studied abroad in China to examine the use of traditional Chinese medicines and their health care system. One day, I set out to explore the tourist sites and went to climb the Great Wall of China. I was wearing a Georgia T-shirt and surprisingly ran into an alum from the class of ’97. She was working in Beijing and stopped me to wish me good luck and Go Dawgs!

That following winter, I participated in the study abroad program in Australia. While studying climate change and strategies for sustainable development, a friend and I decided to complete the climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  The whole thing felt crazy and we were both nervously awaiting the safety briefing to begin when a family of four in our climbing group started to suddenly sing “Glory, Glory to Old Georgia.” It turns out the parents were both Georgia alumni and we all made the climb together.  It seemed that wherever I went, there was a Georgia grad.

I’m sure that every graduate here has a story or two about their internship. It is the capstone experience of a Public Health degree and ties together academic and practical experience. From August to December of the past year, I worked in D.C. at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. My team focused on federal sustainability efforts within the government. This was an incredible learning experience with a steep learning curve and I was very thankful to meet a Georgia grad on another team who helped me to get settled. It seems UGA alumni truly are everywhere.

There is a Kurt Vonnegut quote that says “True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.” That may be so, but having spent the past four years among this group of incredible graduates, I am not afraid. I have seen the strength of my peers, their varied interests, and their passion, and I am confident and excited for our future.

In one of my favorite movies, Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams plays a new teacher at a stuffy private school. On the first day, instead of drilling all the students on Latin or history, he calls them all into the hall to gaze on the photos of past students, of alumni. He says to them, “Lean in real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you… Carpe Diem, seize the day… make your lives extraordinary.” Graduates, this is what I wish for all of us as we now become those alumni. That we will go on to do great things all around the world. Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary.  Congratulations 2013 graduates! God Bless and Go Dawgs!

Bowling is a National Merit Scholar and recipient of the UGA Charter Scholarship and the Zell Miller Scholarship. He received the John J. Sheuring Award for academic excellence and campus involvement, and was recognized at UGA’s Honors Day for being in the top five percent of his class.

As Bowling mentioned during his address, there are UGA alumni living in all corners of the world. As Bowling heads to Stanford Law School this fall, he will become one of those alumni who ‘calls the Dawgs” or sings a UGA cheer when he sees a visitor on campus in a UGA T-shirt or takes a class with a fellow grad.

Thank you for all that you did on campus, Adam, and for sending your fellow College of Public Health graduates into the “real world” with these words. Best of luck as you head to California this fall!

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01.25.2015

UGA to celebrate 230th anniversary on January 27

Each year, the UGA Alumni Association proudly celebrates the signing of the University of Georgia Charter that took place on January 27, 1785. In recognition of the university's 230th anniversary as the nation's first state-chartered institution of higher education, the UGA Alumni Association and the UGA Emeriti Scholars present the annual Founders Day Lecture. The lecture is held in the UGA Chapel and has become a Founders Day tradition, drawing alumni, students, faculty, esteemed guests and members of the community. This year's lecture will be held on Monday, January 26 at 1:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The 2015 Founders Day Lecture will be presented by UGA School of Law J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law and Associate Dean Emeritus Paul M. Kurtz, and will be titled, A New York Yankee in Abraham Baldwin's Court: (Almost) Fifty Years Behind 'Enemy' Lines. 

Paul M. Kurtz

Student Bar Association President Carey Miller (AB '12, JD '16) will provide the student response.

Carey Miller (AB '12, JD '16)

Can't attend the lecture? It will be livestreamed, so you can join in the celebration from your home or office. 

And don't forget to wish UGA a happy birthday on social media using #UGATurns230. 

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01.23.2015

UGA alumnus participates in Alaska tradition

A native of Washington, D.C., Philip Walters (BMUS '04) moved to Alaska immediately after graduating from UGA. A middle school band teacher by day, Walters is training to run the 2015 Iditarod dog race.

Communications intern Bernadette Green '15 had the opportunity to chat with Philip about his upcoming trek.

Going from Georgia to Alaska is a huge change! What motivated you to move to Alaska?

I visited Alaska in 2002 while on vacation. My family has always been very outdoorsy ─ I was camping and hiking at a very young age ─ and Alaska is pretty much an outdoor playground, so I immediately fell in love with the state and tried to find ways to get back there. In 2004, I worked at a string music camp in Birchwood (just north of Anchorage) and met some local music teachers who encouraged me to move up to Alaska after I graduated that fall. 

Could you give us some background on the Iditarod? What inspired you to run it?

The Iditarod was started in 1973 as a way to bring sled dogs back into the public spotlight. The race is 1,049 miles and runs from Anchorage to Nome, crossing three mountain ranges and running over frozen sea ice near the finish. It follows the Iditarod mail route, which was the only way to move mail and freight from one place to another before the railroad and the road system came to Alaska. In fact, sled dogs are still used as a main form of transportation in some rural Alaskan villages. The Iditarod begins the first weekend in March every year.  

After visiting Alaska for the first time, I read everything I could get my hands on about Alaska, and much of what I read was about sled dogs and dog mushing. I began dreaming of running the Iditarod after reading a book called "Winterdance" by Gary Paulsen. It is still one of my favorite books about the sport, even if it is a bit romanticized in regard to what actually takes place during a race.

I started volunteering with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 2006. I've been a volunteer every year since, in some form or fashion, including working at several remote checkpoints. I love watching the teams come through on the race, and can't wait to be on the other side of the race.

How did you get into running sled dogs?

I met a local musher in 2007 who put me in touch with Kurt and Val Jokela, local mushers who looking for a "handler", somebody who can help them with dog chores in exchange for learning the tricks of the trade. They taught me how to mush, let me run their dogs, use their equipment and even helped me train for my first distance race. Once their dogs started getting older, they put me in touch with Alan Peck and Barbara Trost, who allowed me to train their dogs and begin working toward my Iditarod qualifiers.

I now run dogs for Snowhook Kennel in Willow. I will be running the Snowhook Kennel "B-Team" (think about it as the junior varsity team) in the 2015 Iditarod.  

How do you train for such a feat?

Basically, we get the dogs out running pretty early in the fall. In fact, we started in July this year. When there isn't snow on the ground, we hook them up to a gangline that is attached to an ATV and have them pull it while it’s in gear. It's basically weight-lifting for the dogs. We use that to slowly and safely build up muscle and get them back in shape after taking the summer off.  

Once there's enough snow on the ground, we will start running the team on sleds. We try to put the dogs and ourselves in a variety of situations so they are ready for any sort of terrain or issue that might come up on the trail. In a 1,000-mile race, you'll run into every type of weather and terrain imaginable; for example, last year much of the race was run without snow!

I'm basically running dogs four to five days a week, in addition to my full-time day job as a middle school band teacher in Anchorage. I come home from school, change clothes, drive an hour out to where the dogs are located, run the dogs, come home, go to sleep, wake up and do it all over again the next day. It's a crazy schedule, but I love working with the dogs and I'm Iditarod-bound, so I'm willing to do what it takes to make this dream possible.  

 What is your favorite memory from your time at UGA? 

Most of my memories revolve around the Redcoat Band.  I was a 4-year marching member of the band, and most of my friends were in the Redcoats with me. I guess many of my fondest memories were also football-related because I was at almost every game. I was there for the "hobnail boot" in Tennessee, and Michael Johnson's miraculous touchdown catch at Auburn. I was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, and many KKPsi brothers are still some of my best friends, so there are fantastic memories there. As a member of the Wind Symphony, I was honored to record two different professional albums of amazing band music under some of the best conductors I've ever had the pleasure to work with.  

  

Do you keep up with UGA football or other university-related happenings?

Of course I keep up with UGA football! I have a big Georgia banner in my band room, and I've worn holes in my UGA sweatshirts. Most of my mushing gear is red and black, I painted my dog box, the box on my pickup truck that I use to haul the dogs around to races, red and black. Once a Dawg, always a Dawg ─ how sweet it is!

Good luck, Philip! The UGA Alumni Association looks forward to keeping up with your progress during the race. If you would like to follow Philip’s Iditarod journey, check out his website or Facebook page.

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01.21.2015

Flavor of Georgia celebrates tradition of artisan and craft foods

From cheeses to chutneys, craft chocolate to chorizo, the 2015 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest—sponsored by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development—will celebrate Georgians' creativity and craftsmanship by finding the best products in the state.

"Flavor of Georgia is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain publicity and exposure for their products," said Sharon P. Kane, a UGA food business development specialist and the contest's coordinator. "It's also a chance for them to network with other food entrepreneurs and industry experts."

Nearly 90 percent of the finalists in the 2014 Flavor of Georgia Contest reported seeing increased interest in their products following the contest, and many others benefitted from increased sales, profits, publicity and website traffic, she said. Some also indicated an increase in full- and part-time employees.

More than 50 percent saw an increase in new contracts within one month of the contest.

A follow-up survey of past finalists, from the 2007 through 2012 contests, found that they attributed about 11 percent of their business revenue to their participation in Flavor of Georgia.

Finalists and winners will be eligible to participate in a number of high-profile industry showcases throughout 2015, including the Georgia Grown Symposium, the Georgia National Fair and showcase days at the Buford Highway Farmers Market. They also will receive industry feedback and use of the Flavor of Georgia finalist logo for their product's packaging.

Winners will be featured in the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Georgia Grown magazine, a statewide publicity push, a booth at the Georgia Food Industry Association conference, a spot at the Sherwood Food Distributors annual food show and use of Flavor of Georgia winner logo for their packaging.

  

Contest finalists will be invited to participate in the final round of judging and a public tasting March 9-10 as part of the Governor's Agricultural Awareness Day in Atlanta.

Food marketing experts, grocery buyers, chefs and Georgia agricultural experts will judge each product based on flavor, Georgia theme, unique or innovative qualities and commercial appeal.

Registration runs through Jan. 30 and includes commercially available products or market-ready prototypes. Product categories include barbecue sauces; beverages; confections; dairy products; jams and jellies; marinades and sauces; meat and seafood; salsas, chutneys and condiments; snack foods; and miscellaneous products. There is no limit to the number of products an individual can submit.

Register and learn more.

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