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10.10.2013

This UGA grad is betting you’ll eat bugs ...

The idea of eating bugs may seem a bit "out there" to most of us, but one daring Bulldog has made it his business. Harman Johar (BSES ’13, BSAB ’13) launched a company that sells insects as food while attending UGA. Today, that business is putting Johar on the map.

During his sophomore year, while on a date at a sushi restaurant, Johar realized that while the idea of eating raw fish was considered outrageous 20 years ago, raw fish is common these days. Johar, a marketing and entemology student at the time, was curious what Americans would be eating in the future. It was at that moment that he began to conceptualize his business.

Johar began by enlisting the help of college friends who were majoring in graphic design, finance, biology, new media and public relations. After formulating a general business structure with those friends, Johar officially launched World Entomophagy.

Within a week, Johar attracted his first customer: a bakery in Ohio looking for a product for the Halloween season. The result was a spiced pumpkin rum cake covered in chocolate and dipped in caramelized mealworms - perfect for a spooky holiday! Other clients quickly followed and before long, he was catching the business world's attention.

Johar was named runner-up in the 2013 Global Student Entrepreneurial Awards sponsored by the Entrepreneurial Organization. He was also selected as a "Startup to Watch" in the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s 2013 Business Person of the Year Awards. Johar attended the G20 Summit as a U.S. delegate and was a social entrepreneurship panelist at the summit this year.

Now that he has graduated, the alumnus plans to open a large production facility where he can begin full production in early 2014. Johar hopes to lead a sustainable, edible insect trend in America - especially in culinary forward-thinking cities like Austin, Texas.

So, how does it work? Johar grows mainly crickets and mealworms in oatmeal and other grains so the insects are constantly surrounded by food. He adds apples and carrots that serve as water sources. The end result is a protein-rich bug. When populations reach sufficient levels, he harvests enough to fill orders and kills them painlessly in a process he developed. Then, the insects are dry-roasted, sealed in an airtight bag and shipped around the country.

I must admit I've never had a "spiced pumpkin rum cake covered in chocolate and dipped in caramelized mealworms," but I'm impressed by the creativity shown by Harman. I wish him the very best in this business endeavor - and may just have to try a creation using his "ingredients" in the future!

Read more about Harman Johar online at Mother Nature Network.

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04.18.2014

UGA alum leads Nasa team on the precipice of discovery

Above is an illustration of UGA-1785, the first star system to be named after a university.

Roger Hunter (BS ’78) is hoping to answer one of humanity’s greatest questions: can life exist on other planets? Hunter and the NASA Kepler team aim to expand the census of planets and alter our understanding of our place in the Milky Way galaxy. In the five years the Kepler telescope has been in orbit, the team has confirmed 961 additional planets in our solar system.

Hunter has kept a strong relationship with the university over the years. While many Bulldogs show their Georgia pride with car tags and coffee mugs, Hunter honored his alma mater by naming a planetary system UGA-1785.

This year, the Kepler team was awarded with the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy by the National Space Club. The award is given annually to those who have made the most impact on space activities.

Congratulations on the award, Roger! We cannot wait to see what you and your team will find!

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04.17.2014

Thank a Donor Day is today!

Thank A Donor Day

Did you know that UGA’s first donation was 633 acres of land from John Milledge? This land later became the site of our beloved University of Georgia. To celebrate private donations, the Office of Donor Relations and Stewardship, in partnership with the Student Alumni Council, is hosting the third annual Thank a Donor Day today from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Tate Student Center Plaza. During this annual event, students will have the opportunity to express their donor appreciation in a variety of ways.

Students are invited to write personalized thank you notes, sign a large thank you card and/or create video and photo messages of gratitude. These messages will be combined and shared in the coming weeks with donors near and far (click here to view last year's video). UGA "student celebrities" will be part of the event, too! Expect to see "Big Man on Campus" Rance Nix, Miss UGA Adeline Kenerly, the UGA Ballroom Performance Group, Hairy Dawg and more.

Thank a Donor Day educates the UGA community about the importance of private giving and offers students opportunities to thank donors for their generosity and encourage a culture of philanthropy at UGA. 

Follow along with the day's activities via the Thank a Donor Day Instagram accountFacebook page and Twitter handle. Students, be sure to stop by to express your gratitude - and receive some free giveaways. See you  there!

Update: Click here to view photos from this year's Thank a Donor Day!

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04.15.2014

2014 UGA Day Tour

The 2014 UGA Day Tour is launching tomorrow with its first stop in Greenville, S.C. For the past three years, the UGA Day Tour has brought administrators and coaches to more than 26 cities across the country. This year's stops include: Greenville, S.C.; Gainesville, Ga.; Dalton, Ga.; Orlando, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; Albany, Ga.; Houston, Texas; Tifton, Ga.; Augusta, Ga.; Columbus, Ga.; Macon, Ga.; and Gwinnett County, Ga. Will YOU be there to join in the fun?

Each stop on the tour will feature one administrator and two athletic coaches. The program includes updates on UGA's latest research initiatives, athletic teams and the Class of 2018. On top of that, attendees will enjoy delicious food in each city and enjoy the opportunity to mix and mingle will fellow Bulldog Faithful.

Put on your red and black and practice your Dawg bark because, in the next few weeks, UGA will be coming to a city near you. It’s not too late to join the tradition; click here for more information about each stop on the tour.

The UGA Day program is a collaboration between the UGA Alumni Association and UGA Athletic Association.

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