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09.11.2013

40 Under 40 Spotlight: Logan Smalley (BS ’06)

Logan Smalley (BS ’06) is doing big things – and has been for quite some time.

The Athens native first put himself on the map as a future leader during his time as an undergraduate at UGA. Inspired by his experiences at the Cannes Film Festival, Smalley decided to create a feature-length film about his close friend and hero, Darius Weems. In 2005, he directed, edited and composed the soundtrack for Darius Goes West, which documents Weems and several friends on a cross-country quest to get Weem’s wheelchair customized on the MTV show “Pimp My Ride.”

Along the way, the film crew raises awareness about Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which led to Weems being in a wheelchair, and to test for wheelchair accessibility across the country.

Since that time, Darius Goes West has been shown in 1,000 venues and 30 film festivals. More than 100,000 DVDs are in circulation and the film has won more than 25 awards. Smalley even appeared on TV shows such as Ellen DeGeneres, The Today Show, and The CBS Early Show. He continues to serve as president of the Darius Goes West nonprofit organization, which has raised $2.3 million for Duchenne muscular dystrophy research since the film was launched. 2013 marks the ninth annual Darius Goes West Day.

Smalley has not slowed down, though, following those successes. He earned a master’s degree in technology, innovation and education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2008. That same year, he was one of 30 applicants selected to become a TED Fellow.

The alumnus capitalized on that experience and went on to create TED-Ed to push the popular TED Talks into K-12 education. Since 2010, he has served as the TED-Ed director, overseeing and managing the TED-ED team of teachers, animators and web specialists. TED-Ed recently won three Webby awards, including “Best Education Website,” and the first 150 TED-Ed lessons have been viewed more than 20 million times in the last year.

When asked about his advice for current UGA students, Smalley responded, saying, “Participate in making the world, by using every tool available to you to tell your story, and to help tell the story of others.”

Through his work with Darius Goes West and now, through TED-Ed, it’s clear that Smalley takes his own advice to heart. Thank you for continuing to inspire us, Logan, and welcome to the 40 Under 40 Class of 2013!

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01.30.2015

Happy New Year, Bulldogs!

The UGA Alumni Association and the University of Georgia well on the way to a great 2015. 26,882 undergraduate students have returned to campus for the spring academic semester, 1,113 whom are calling UGA their “home” for the first time. It is impressive to have such competitive students choosing UGA to further their educations.

This year marks the 230th celebration as the nation’s first state-chartered institution of higher education. In honor of the signing of UGA’s Charter on January 27, 1795, the UGA Alumni Association hosted the annual Founders Day Lecture. This lecture was held in the UGA Chapel and featured Paul Kurtz, UGA School of Law J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law and Associate Dean Emeritus.

The New Year brings opportunities to get more involved with the university and your local alumni chapter. Check out our upcoming events calendar online. If you are interested in chapter leadership, several chapters will be holding interest meetings in coming weeks and months.

Bulldog 100 is right around the corner! This event will take place on Saturday, February 7 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. If you were unable to nominate someone this year, the nominations for 40 Under 40 and next year’s Bulldog 100 open in mid-February.

Also, be on the lookout for UGA Days. The tour will visit 7 cities throughout Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina.

The UGA Alumni Association will keep you informed about UGA events and happenings. Simply keep your contact information up-to-date so that we include you in all the exciting things planned for 2015. You can also stay informed of events and news on Facebook and Twitter

This year holds great potential for growth on campus and within our Alumni chapters. Let us come together as the Bulldog nation in embracing all that 2015 has to offer.

Sincerely,

Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS ’00)
Executive Director
UGA Alumni Association 

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01.29.2015

Alumna Spotlight: Amy Robach (ABJ '95) receives Distinguished Achievement Award from UGA

Journalist Amy Robach received the Distinguished Achievement in Broadcasting and Cable Award from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication's national broadcast society, DiGamma Kappa.

The award was presented on January 23 at DiGamma Kappa's annual awards banquet at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.

Robach, a 1995 Grady graduate, serves as the news anchor for "Good Morning America" on ABC.

"Amy follows an American and Grady tradition of news anchors who are also great journalists, who care about what they report and how their stories influence audiences," said David Hazinski, an associate professor in the Grady College and one of Robach's instructors when she was in school. "They insist that information is factual and balanced. We're proud to have her as an influential graduate."

Since joining ABC News in 2012, Robach has traveled nationally and internationally to cover major news events ranging from the campaign to free captive school girls in Africa and reporting on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, to covering the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. She has also anchored "ABC News" and "20/20" on multiple occasions.

  

Prior to joining ABC, Robach worked at NBC News as the co-anchor of Saturday TODAY and an NBC national news correspondent. She was an anchor for MSNBC from 2003 to 2007 following her start at local news stations WTTG in Washington, D.C., and WCBD in Charleston, South Carolina. 

Robach was last in Athens in October when she was the featured speaker for the Suits and Sneakers fundraiser, which generates awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society, a cause of special significance since she fought her own battle with breast cancer in 2013.

The Distinguished Achievement in Broadcasting and Cable Award is presented by DiGamma Kappa and co-sponsored by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters and Grady. Previous winners include Steve Koonin (M '79), Gale Anne Hurd and Monica Pearson (MA '14).

View more photos from the awards banquet

Source

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01.28.2015

Student Alumni Association celebrates UGA’s birthday

UGA students, including members of the Student Alumni Association, have been wishing UGA a happy birthday throughout the week as the university community celebrates Founders Week and the 230th anniversary of the university's establishment as the first state-chartered institution of public higher education.

On Tuesday, students gathered in Tate Plaza to receive 2015 Founders Week T-shirts, enjoy a few birthday treats and learn more about the university's founding and what it means to be the first state-chartered institution. Even the guide dogs got into the Founders Week spirit!

That evening, students watched the men's basketball team defeat the Vanderbilt Commodores 70-62 at Stegeman Coliseum. Other Founders Week activities taking place this week include a Greek Life banner contest, the Spring Career Fair and a special Dawgs After Dark on Friday night.

 

 

Another exciting part of Founders Week is the annual 100 Days Until Graduation Celebration. This one-stop-shop provides seniors with an opportunity to meet with alumni representatives from their schools and colleges, learn more about the Young Alumni Football Ticket Program, order a UGA ring, make their mark on the Senior Signature plaque, and order caps and gowns for commencement. All members of the Class of 2015 are invited to attend this special event.

  

And if you haven't seen it, be sure to check out the video of UGA students wishing UGA a happy 230th birthday.

Thank you to the Student Alumni Association and the Student Alumni Council for making Founders Week another exciting time for students on campus.

It's not too late to send UGA your own happy birthday message. Simply use #UGATurns230 on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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