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11.14.2013

Founding director of Right Steps Inc., speaks in Athens

Dr. Jerry Neill, minister at Campus View Church in Athens, emailed me this week to let me know that Dr. Chi Ekwenye-Hendricks, a UGA alumna, would be speaking at his church on Sunday morning. Chi is the founding director of Right Steps Inc. and is committed to saving children and homeless women who do not have the resources or opportunities that so many others enjoy.

Chi grew up in southern Nigeria during the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970), observing firsthand what starvation and homelessness can do to the lives of children.

“I am what I am today because somebody cared enough to give me a second chance in life,” Chi said.

It is Chi’s goal to reciprocate that blessing, giving back to those who are less fortunate and cannot take care of themselves. After growing up and being educated in Nigeria, Chi came to the U.S. to work and continue her studies. As a female in a male-dominated society, she was not granted the same level of credibility that an educated man would typically receive; therefore, when she came to America, she was able to earn a Ph.D. from UGA.

While in America, Chi has gained valuable experience working with families and underpriveledged children through Georgia AGAPE. This organization offered her valuable training and education to help her continue to work with families in need.

Upon completing school and work in the U.S., Chi returned to Nigeria and launched Right Steps, a human rescue mission focused on providing relief services for orphaned children. The organization’s first project was Susana Homes, which serves orphaned children and homeless women. Susana Home remains the primary initiative managed by Right Steps, in addition to numerous other projects that have developed as the organization has grown.

Dr. Neill, thank you for sharing this update on Chi's efforts in Nigeria. It is comforting to know that the hard work of a UGA alumna will help many orphaned children and homeless women find hope and comfort. Chi, congratulations on establishing Right Steps, and thank you for serving as a shining example of Bulldog compassion in your native Nigeria.

For more information on Right Steps, please click here.

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03.27.2015

Alumnae Work to Save our Hearing

Athens, a town where music flourishes, is packed with venues and sold-out shows. However, two of Athens’ biggest music-goers, alumnae Katie Carmody (BSED ’08) and Caroline DeCelles (BSED ’08, MED ’10), realized that most people were unaware of the long-term, damaging effects concerts can have on hearing.

Inspired by their undergraduate studies in music business and communication sciences and disorders and by their passion for music, the two graduates started We’re hEAR for You, a non-profit organization that raises awareness for hearing conservation. We’re hEAR for You supplies free earbuds in music venues all over Athens as well as communities across the nation.

Earbuds provided by We're hEAR for You

In an interview with the Red & Black, Carmody and DeCelles shared their passion for hearing protection.

“We’re trying to break the stigma of hearing protection. People think that hearing protection will decrease the quality of a show, but it actually filters out damaging frequencies. We’re hEAR for You focuses on education. Once people understand the science on why they need to protect their hearing, they are so much more likely to use hearing protection,” said Carmody.

We’re hEAR for You has established chapters in Atlanta, Nashville, Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins, but the group’s largest chapter is in the Classic City.

Locally, the organization’s major effort is to supply music venues, bars and other music related operations in the Athens area, such as Nuci's Space, with free ear buds and hearing protection resources. The public takes full advantage of the earbuds which have to be restocked quite frequently.

DeCelles and Carmody are in collaboration with the UGA Huge Hodges School of Music and strongly encourage students to get involved in advocating hearing protection. The organization takes part in the annual International Hearing Awareness Day on campus as well.

As the organization continues to grow, they work with musicians nationwide to promote hearing conservation. Currently, We’re hEAR for You has 25 bands that carry their earbuds on tour. Carmody operates as a liaison with these artists and makes sure the bands stay stocked. The organization even coordinates with music festivals to provide the earbuds to fellow music lovers.


 

Alumnae Katie Carmody (BSED ’08) and Caroline DeCelles (BSED ’08, MED ’10) at AthenFest 2014

 

Visit We’re hEAR for You at their website to partner with them or learn more about their cause.

This was originally published in the Red and Black

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03.25.2015

3rd Annual TEDxUGA is Friday, March 27

UGA is hosting its 3rd Annual TEDxUGA event in Tate Grand Hall on Friday, March 27 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. What is TEDx? TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxUGA, where x = independently organized TED event. At the TEDxUGA event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized. Several UGA alumni will present at this year's TEDxUGA event:

  • Lemuel LaRoche (BSW '02, MSW '03)
  • Michelle Blue (BBA '13)
  • Julie Rushmore (PHD '13, DVM '17)
  • Chris Dixon (ABJ '89, MMC '95)
  • Lisa Taylor (JD '01)

Won't be in Athens or missed out on tickets for the event? TEDxUGA will be livestreamed begining at 2:00 p.m. on Friday. This will be a great opportunity for alumni and friends to participate and engage from across the country. You can also interact with the event on Twitter.

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03.19.2015

2015 Alumni Seminar: Food for Thought

The University of Georgia will host its second annual Return to the Arch Alumni Seminar, a three-day educational gathering for UGA alumni and friends, from May 1-3, 2015. This year's theme is "Food for Thought" and will feature lectures, tours and interactive seminars that showcase the best that UGA has to offer. Come prepared with open minds and empty stomachs as you experience a fun, food-filled weekend on campus.

Seminar highlights include:

  • A reception and dinner with Food Network star and alumnus Alton Brown (AB '04)
  • Exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of campus
  • Presentations from leading UGA faculty members
  • Address by Peter Dale (ABJ '99), owner/chef of The National in Athens, 2012 Food & Wine's "People's Best New Chef-Southeast"
  • A farm-to-table dinner under the stars on Herty Field

View the complete seminar schedule

The registration fee for this three-day seminar is $290 per person, which includes all meals, beverages, transportation, seminars and special activities. It does not include hotel accommodations.

A supplemental dining package for non-attendee spouses/guests may be purchased for $115. This includes the Friday reception and dinner with Alton Brown, the Saturday reception and Ffarm-to-table dinner on Herty Field, and a local lunch market on Sunday.

Register today!

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