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06.26.2013

Alumna shows that hard work can get you anywhere – even the mayor’s office

Over the years, I have heard a number of motivational stories about UGA graduates. Recently, I came across a profile online of Dr. Evelyn Wynn-Dixon (MSW ’95). Wynn-Dixon is the current mayor of the City of Riverdale in Georgia’s Clayton County, but this alumna didn’t follow the typical path to political office.

Wynn-Dixon graduated with honors from high school and was set to begin her college career at Fort Valley State University when she became pregnant. She was forced to drop out of school and relinquish her scholarship. Shortly after Wynn-Dixon returned home, her mother passed away. Wynn-Dixon was left to care for a six-month-old baby on her own.

To avoid the social stigma of being a single mother, Wynn-Dixon married the father of her child. After having three more children together, the man walked out on the family. Once again, Wynn-Dixon was left to raise her children alone.

Wynn-Dixon spiraled down a path of despair and couldn’t snap herself out of it. A vision of her mother helped bring her out of the haze and she realized she was being selfish. She knew she needed to recover, and to do that, she needed an education.

The alumna approached her education in steps, first earning an associate degree, later a Bachelor of Science, and finally her Masters of Social Work from UGA in 1995. She was 46 at the time. Wynn-Dixon later completed a doctorate in public health.

After receiving her doctorate, she built a successful career as a Grady Hospital case worker and eventually became a hospice director. In 2007, Wynn-Dixon ran to be mayor of the City of Riverdale – and won. Through her first and second terms, her focus has been on rebuilding and rebranding the community. Known as the “Mama of the City,” Wynn-Dixon has been instrumental in establishing many important organizations and youth programs in the area.

Thank you, Evelyn, for sharing your story with the world. Your path to success is remarkable and I wish you the very best in the future. You are a fine example of a Bulldog and we are proud to call you a University of Georgia graduate!

Information for this blog was sourced from here.

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Recent Entries


12.19.2014

Brothers make business a family affair

How do two brothers from tiny Hopeful, Georgia, manage to take Atlanta’s entrepreneurial spirit to a new level? Well, ask the Shirah brothers, Benjie (BSFR ’07, MFR ’10) and Jamey (BBA ’10). Since leaving Athens, the business-savvy brothers have embarked on a number of successful endeavors, including The Ivy Buckhead and Atlanta-based companies Kill Cliff – The Recovery Drink™ and Vida-Flo: The Hydration Station. Now, the brothers are heading in a new direction - your feet. 

This fall, Benjie and Jamey launched their latest project, JL The Brand, a flair-filled sock company. Together with friends, the brothers are working to add a little jazz to the mundane black and blue men’s suit with top-notch socks. 

Designed with unique patterns and colors, JL The Brand offers affordable high quality socks that add a subtle yet sophisticated pop to any outfit. JL The Brand socks are the perfect gift for any guy this holiday season! 

With the Shirah brothers’ keen eye for business development, these young alumni are sure make a lasting mark on Atlanta's entrepreneurial scene. 

Keep up with the Shirah's businesses on social media: 

@theivybuckhead
@govidaflo
@jlthebrand

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12.18.2014

40 Under 40 honoree to direct UGA’s state government relations

Tobin R. "Toby" Carr (BBA '01, BSAE '01) was named associate vice president for government relations and director of state governmental relations at UGA. Vice President for Government Relations J. Griffin Doyle announced the appointment of Carr, who currently is planning director for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Carr was appointed to his current DOT post in 2012, a position in which he has led a team of some 30 planning professionals in guiding strategic planning and project budget documents that direct state and federal resources to fund transportation projects. He graduated from the UGA Honors Program in 2001 with bachelor's degrees in business administration and agricultural engineering. Before assuming his DOT post, Carr served as Deal's transportation policy adviser and the governor's liaison to the Georgia House of Representatives. He previously was director of Deal's gubernatorial transition committee.

An active student leader while at UGA, Carr served as president of the Interfraternity Council and was named to Sphinx, Omicron Delta Kappa, Blue Key, Mortar Board, Phi Kappa Phi and the Arch Society. He currently serves on the UGA College of Engineering Alumni Advisory Board and was recognized in 2014 as a UGA 40 Under 40 and as the 2012 Blue Key Outstanding Young Alumnus Award winner.

"I'm humbled and thrilled to serve my alma mater in this role," Carr said. "I'm very grateful to Gov. Deal for his support of this new endeavor and to President Morehead and Vice President Doyle for giving me the opportunity to advance the mission of UGA."

Carr will serve as primary liaison between the university and state government officials, representing the university in all matters involving legislators, agencies, departments, and the other higher education institutions of Georgia. The transition will occur in early January.

Click here to read more. 

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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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