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09.13.2013

40 Under 40 Spotlight: Mark Anthony Thomas (BA ’01)

Mark Anthony Thomas (BA ’01) is a tireless leader who has accomplished many goals since graduating from UGA in 2001.

While a UGA student, Thomas served as a writer and editor-in-chief for the Red & Black, writing more than 200 articles for the student newspaper.

From 2001 to 2006, Thomas was a senior coordinator for the Georgia-Pacific Corporation Foundation and was responsible for managing and representing key Georgia-Pacific philanthropic efforts in education, environment and community development causes.

Thomas then went on to serve as a public relations officer at the Medical School for International Health from 2006 to 2008. Following his time at MSIH, the alumnus became director and publisher for City Limits. He led the New York City-based nonprofit news agency for five years, growing its readership and helping the publication win more than 20 journalism awards.

Despite his busy schedule, Thomas still finds time to volunteer. From 2004 to 2010, he was president of the board of directors of Helping Teens Succeed, a project funded by the Federal Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. He has been on the UGA Honors Program Board of Directors since 2011, and has served on the board of directors for the UGA Alumni Association and West Georgia University’s Center for African American Male Research Success.

Thomas has published more than 300 poems, authored two book projects and performed at more than 200 universities and conferences across the country. In 2005, he was recognized during the Los Angeles Black Book Festival for “Poetry of the Year.” The following year, the alumnus was named one of Essence Magazine’s “50 Do-right Men of the Year.” And in 2010, he was invited to participate in the White House’s Online Summit for leading African American programming leaders in the news media.

This summer, Thomas begins a year at MIT as a Sloan Fellow for Innovation & Global Leadership.

Congratulations, Mark, on everything you have accomplished so far. We look forward to what you will dive into after leaving MIT. See you next week for the 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon in Atlanta!

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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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