UGA Alumni Association:



40 Under 40 Spotlight: Nathan Hardeman (BBA ’05)

Nathan Hardeman (BBA ’05) came to UGA from Guatemala in 1992, but struggled to acclimate to college life in Athens. Despite the best efforts of his academic advisor, Sally Vandiver, Hardeman dropped out of UGA. Nine years later, though, he returned to campus and Vandiver was there to encourage him to complete his degree.

In 2005, Hardeman earned his bachelor’s degree in international business, and he is now working toward a graduate degree in global urban leadership from Bakke Graduate University.

The alumnus notes that his greatest achievement came during his time as a project coordinator for Shalom Baptist Church in Guatemala City. In this role, he helped build more than 50 homes for impoverished families and a soccer stadium in the slums of Guatemala City’s Zone 18. According to Hardeman, the soccer stadium gave him immediate credibility with the locals and allowed him to continue to combat the poverty and illiteracy plaguing the neighborhood.

Today, Hardeman and his wife, Claudia, have dedicated their lives to others through Engadi Ministries International in Guatemala City. Hardeman is the co-founder and executive director of the organization, which provides a safe family environment and an education to hundreds of at-risk boys living in Zone 18.

Phillip Blume (ABJ ’06, AB ’06) is a friend of Hardeman’s and the director of the documentary “Lost Boys of Paradise,” which chronicles Hardeman and Engadi Ministries.

Blume nominated Hardeman for 40 Under 40, saying, “Nathan Hardeman is a true visionary. Rather than simply treating the symptoms of Guatemala’s impoverished and fatherless culture, Engadi Ministries provides boys with a refuge from gangs where they can realize their full potential and, as Nathan describes, become the mighty men who will turn around Guatemala’s culture entirely.”

Congratulations, Nathan, on this great honor. I am so impressed by your steadfast dedication to helping these young people in Guatemala. I look forward to seeing you at the 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon on Thursday, September 19, if you are able to join us in Atlanta. Go Dawgs!

Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+

Recent Entries


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: 


Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+


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. 

Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+


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

Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+

Next Page
Thank you to our Affinity Partners
Bank of America
Marsh Liberty Mutual