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40 Under 40 Spotlight: R. Patrick Lucas (BS ’98)

When R. Patrick Lucas (BS ’98) was named a Truman Scholar in 1997, former UGA President Charles Knapp invited his family to a private dinner in the Presidential Dining Room. The accomplished student leader was amazed by the personal attention, but appreciated the invitation for another reason – it was the first time his parents would share a meal since they divorced when Lucas was six. Since that special dinner, his father has passed away, but the memory still warms his heart today.

Being named one of only 70 Truman Scholars that year was not Lucas’s only accomplishment or favorite memory while he was a UGA student. He was a member of the Mortar Board Honor Society, Blue Key Honor Society, Arch Society and Leadership UGA. He was a tour guide at the UGA Visitors Center, a 1998 UGA Outstanding Senior Leader, and was named to the 1996 USA Today All USA Academic First Team (one of 20 in the country).

Lucas’s campus leadership experience launched him into a successful medical career. After graduating from UGA in 1998, he attended Medical College of Georgia. He then began his residency at Wake Forest University’s North Carolina Baptist Hospital.

In 2005, Dr. Lucas joined Hawthorne Medical Associates here in Athens, and was made a full partner two years later. In addition to being the primary care physician for approximately 2,500 patients, Lucas also served as the Chief of Internal Medicine Division at Athens Regional Medical Center from 2009 to 2013. In 2012, he became the president of the Crawford W. Long Medical Society, the Athens-area medical professional society.

Louise Hill, who nominated Lucas for this honor, has watched the young leader grow through her involvement with the Georgia 4-H program. In 2011, though, her friendship with him evolved into a patient-physician relationship.

“I was the beneficiary of Dr. Lucas’s amazing care in 2011 when a rare spinal condition caused me to become paralyzed overnight. Not only did he treat me while I was at Athens Regional Medical Center, but he orchestrated my transfer to Atlanta’s Shepherd Center and continued to communicate with me regularly during my two months there,” says Hill. “He has been instrumental in my adapting to life in a wheelchair. My Shepherd Center physician and physical therapist often commented on how fortunate I was to be the patient of such an outstanding physician and compassionate individual.”

Lucas’s compassion extends beyond his professional duties, though. In 2010, the alumnus co-founded the Northeast Georgia branch of Compassionate Care Hospice (CCH). As its medical director, Lucas helps provide end of life care at a higher level of quality than what had been typically offered in the area. CCH has served more than 240 patients and their families since it began.

In his free time, Lucas volunteers as a physician at Mercy Health Center, a Sunday School teacher at Ashford Memorial Methodist Church, and youth basketball and baseball coach.

Dr. Patrick Lucas has left his mark on so many in Northeast Georgia through his professional and volunteer efforts. I am proud to call him a Georgia Bulldog and a member of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2013.

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Alumna Spotlight: Emily Scofield (MS '99)

Emily Scofield (MS '99) published her first book, Coco & Dean: Explorers of the World, in April. The book is the first in a series of adventures Scofield is writing to educate children about environmental awareness. Scofield is the executive director for the U.S. Green Building Council's North Carolina Chapter. She leads members, volunteers and staff members across the state to promote sustainable construction practices under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. In the past few years, she has been named to the UGA Alumni Association's 40 Under 40 Class of 2013, and was a Charlotte Top Woman in Business in 2014.

Scofield lives in North Carolina with her husband, Tom, and their two children. She is an avid volunteer in the community working with organizations such as the American Heart Association, Providence United Methodist Church, Calvary Child Development Center, Communities in Schools and Habitat for Humanity.

Coco & Dean: Explorers of the World takes readers on three adventures with Coco and Dean. Readers learn how to conserve resources, the benefits of recycling and the importance of keeping oceans clean. Scofield exposes complex topics like ‘carbon footprints’ and ‘renewable resources' through each adventure. Not only is the reader engaged in learning about these topics in the story, there are study questions and links to environmental organizations in each chapter. 

The UGA Alumni Association is proud of this Bulldog and the work she is doing to improve the world around her! 

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Drumroll, please ... announcing the 2016 Bulldog 100!

The UGA Alumni Association is pleased to reveal the 2016 Bulldog 100! Bulldog 100 celebrates the 100 fastest-growing Bulldog businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni. This year, the university is excited to not only unveil a new group of honorees, but a new logo for the Bulldog 100 program - check it out!

The 2016 Bulldog 100 includes businesses of all sizes and from industries such as veterinary medicine, IT consulting and pest control. Several areas of the country are represented, including companies from as far north as New York and as far west as California. Of the 100 businesses, 80 are located within the state of Georgia, and only two business have made the list all seven years: Mom Corps and Vino Venue/Atlanta Wine School.

The ranked Bulldog 100 list will be revealed at the awards celebration on Saturday, January 30 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Registration for this event will open soon.

The awards ceremony will feature a keynote address by Jeff Dunn, CEO and president of C-Fresh, a division of Campbell Soup Company that includes Bolthouse Farms, Campbell’s retail fresh soup unit, and Garden Fresh Gourmet. Dunn earned a bachelor’s degree in 1980 from UGA’s Terry College of Business.

Please view the complete list and congratulate the honorees on social media using #Bulldog100

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UGA to launch inclusive, post-secondary education program in 2017

Students with intellectual or developmental disabilities will soon be able to enjoy the full UGA experience with the launch of a new inclusive post-secondary education program, Destination Dawgs, beginning in spring 2017.

The program, housed within the College of Family and Consumer Sciences' Institute on Human Development and Disability, aims to assist those students' transition into adulthood by fully immersing them in UGA life.

Destination Dawgs, still in development, aspires to have students reside in on-campus housing, audit classes and be supported by peer mentors who will assist the students in courses and on campus to improve their independent living skills.

"The goal is for Destination Dawgs participants to come out of the program with a platform for getting a good job and for leading a good adult life," said Carol Britton Laws, an assistant clinical professor and coordinator of UGA's Disability Studies Certificate program within the institute. "The unemployment rate for people with disabilities nationally is about 75 percent, and we're trying to help students build skills and gain experiences that are marketable."

Laws envisions a five-semester model with a small cohort of five students enrolling in the program in spring 2017.

Because students won't enter the program through the regular admissions process, they will receive a certificate of completion rather than a degree.

The emphasis on developing and expanding post-secondary education opportunities in the state can be traced back to the founding of the Georgia Inclusive Postsecondary Education Consortium in 2011, which seeks to create opportunities for students who historically have not had access to postsecondary educational opportunities. The consortium is partly funded by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities.

"What's changing is that the students we have here now are what we call the ADA generation," she said. "They're the first generation of Americans born after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, and due to that and other legislation, they grew up with peers with intellectual differences in their classrooms to a greater extent than any of us did."

Acknowledging disability is really about understanding diversity, Laws said.

"Disability is just one characteristic that is possible in human beings, but it is often a characteristic that is used to discriminate against a person or to limit their opportunities," Laws said. "FACS has created a plan to increase the diversity of students within the college, and this program will fit with that."

Continue reading this story.

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