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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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True and loyal be.


Alma Mater, thee we'll honor,

True and loyal be,

Ever crowned with praise and glory,

Georgia, hail to thee.


So goes the chorus of the University of Georgia Alma Mater. Words we proudly sing before football games and commencement ceremonies. Do we ever stop to reflect on their meaning?

Today is #GivingTuesday, a national day of philanthropy. Many spent Friday filling shopping bags with gifts, shopping local on Saturday, and scouring the internet for deals yesterday. Today is the first day of December and a symbolic beginning to the season of giving. Let us not forget the individuals and organizations that depend on our generosity to thrive.

UGA can sometimes be forgotten as a nonprofit worthy of that generosity. Tuition and state dollars do not fully fund the research, service and teaching that takes at the university; private giving closes the gap. Those donations fund scholarships for students who cannot afford to attend UGA (even with the HOPE Scholarship), incredible facilities to house endless hours of studying and teaching, events to promote networking and career exploration, and much more!

Today, UGA reminds you to keep it in mind when making your end-of-year gifts – no matter their size. Because when it comes to our alma mater, we hail to thee.


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UGA honors The Coca-Cola Foundation for its support of academics

UGA recently honored The Coca-Cola Foundation for its legacy of supporting academics at the state's flagship institution of higher education.

In an on-field presentation before the Nov. 21 football game, Coca-Cola representatives-Kirk Glaze, director of community partnerships; Gene Rackley (BBA '90), director of federal government relations; and Scott Williamson (MMC '92), vice president of public affairs and communications of Coca-Cola North America-were recognized by UGA officials for The Coca-Cola Foundation's most recent gift of $1 million.

The money will provide additional funding for the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Program. UGA President Jere W. Morehead (JD '80), Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Kelly Kerner and Coca-Cola First-Generation Scholars Angel Hogg '18 and Michael Williams '18 joined the representatives from Coca-Cola to accept the gift on behalf of the university.

"We are immensely grateful for the continued support of one of our state's pre-eminent corporate partners," Morehead said. "Coca-Cola's generosity is providing vital support for deserving students from Georgia who are seeking to become the first in their families to earn a college degree." Continue reading.

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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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