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03.28.2014

40 Under 40 Spotlight - Brendan K. Hatcher (BBA '97)

For many, life as a U.S. diplomat is a grey area. What exactly do you do over ... there? 

Routines are short-lived. Diplomats learn quickly to be flexible. One week you're the new person at the embassy, the next you are meeting with foreign government leaders about a proposed energy deal, recent human rights abuses, or a brewing crisis in a neighboring country. You're helping an American family adopt a new baby, or consoling another who just lost someone they love.  

You are always busy. Time is short, and the pile of work is high. The thirst for information in Washington is insatiable. Businesses seek regional advice on appropriate partners, customs regulations, the level of corruption. Governors visit to build trade ties. Congress visits the country, and you hold their hands during the trip, organize events and translate at meetings. And Congress LOVES to visit on...holidays. When the President comes for meetings or a summit, you help prepare everything. Every day is different, and that keeps it interesting.

Intellectual curiosity and a touch of courage never hurt either. Many people think of diplomats sitting behind white-washed walls, sipping cocktails and playing croquet. Maybe in the early 1900s. Sure, you hit the cocktail party circuit to meet new people, learn about the country, understand its collective psychology. But you also travel to remote villages, visit prisons, and face uncertain dangers. Being social means meeting people from all walks of life. It's amazing the things you learn when you leave your comfort zone.

And when you're not overseas, you get to learn languages, too. Right now, I am personally tackling Hungarian in preparation for my next assignment as Economic Chief at Embassy Budapest. I've got just 16 more weeks before my final test. 10 hours/day of language, language, language. Intense. After you finish an assignment overseas, it's like going back to college every three years. Your success depends on a solid understanding of the language.

It feels good to know that we give the American taxpayer their money's worth and more, every single day. So if you, your family, or your business ever need anything from me, give me a call. After all, that's what I'm there for.

Brendan K. Hatcher (BBA '97)

2013 40 Under 40 honoree

Diplomat, U.S. State Department

The deadline to nominate a deserving graduate for the 2014 40 Under 40 list is quickly approaching. Visit www.alumni.uga.edu/40U40 to learn 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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12.10.2014

Former UGA football player gives back to the community

In recent years, the Lumpkin Street School in Hawkinsville, Georgia, one of 500 Georgia equalization schools built for African-American students during segregation, has fallen into disrepair. The town’s Deacons and Stewards Association wants to turn the space into a community center and museum, and a former Georgia football player is helping to make that happen.

Charles Johnson (M ’08), through the Charles Johnson Foundation (CJF), has issued a $25,000 challenge grant to renovate the school. The challenge, which states that CFJ will donate $25,000 to match the $25,000 that the Deacons and Stewards Association raises, has been instrumental in gaining donations for the project from other organizations.

Charles Johnson teaches a basketball clinic in his hometown of Hawkinsville, Georgia, during the Charles Johnson Foundation’s annual Community Weekend.

This isn’t the first time Charles Johnson has helped out his hometown. The captain for the Carolina Panthers has donated funds to support Parent Cafes for single mothers, sponsored women to attend the Pulaski Tomorrow program, donated to other middle Georgia foundations, and has provided scholarships to Pulaski County students during his organization’s annual Community Weekend in Hawkinsville.

For more information about the Lumpkin Street School project and how you can help, please email Greg Brown

Thank you for helping preserve the history of Georgia, Charles! The UGA Alumni Association is proud of your accomplishments on and off the field.

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12.08.2014

Spotlight on a Bulldog Business: FotoIN

Class of 2014 40 Under 40 honoree Sly Barisic (MBA ’04) and his brother, James Gates (AB ’01, MPA ’04), founded FotoIN in 2012, an automated mobile and management solution for capturing, documenting and filing site photos to a customer's storage repositories. 

The startup is located in Atlanta and Zagreb, Croatia, Sly’s native country. It serves an array of industries, including construction, real estate and property management.

James Gates

Sly Barisic

The company has seen growth in the construction industry,  managing projects for Brasfield and Gorrie, the lead company in the development of the new Atlanta Braves baseball stadium. Barisic was also invited to speak at tech conferences in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco last year.

The UGA Alumni Association is proud to showcase the success of hardworking alumni! For more information about startups founded by UGA alumni, click here. If you have an alumni-owned or -operated startup that you would like featured on this blog, please email Assistant Director of Communications Jamie Lewis (AB '12, AB '12) at jelewis@uga.edu.

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