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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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10.22.2014

Bulldogs in the Sunshine State

Southern California is known for its beaches, beautiful weather and the glamour of Hollywood, but the Sunshine State has a touch of Bulldog, topo. With more than 3,535 UGA alumni, Southern California is home to a host of alumni and alumni-owned businesses. 

A beer tap made from a Harley engine? Check. An annual Halloween party that includes a strait jacket escape contest and something called the Dead Marionette Theater? Check. A Johnny Cash shrine? Sure! All these elements and more come together to create the Gasser Lounge, a rock n’ roll bar located in Redondo Beach, California, the pride of owner Mike Bouchard (BBA ’03).

Serving as the Southern California Chapter’s game watching party venue, the Gasser Lounge hosts an energetic crew of football devotees every week for an indoor tailgating experience unlike any other, complete with a red leather interior and a special surprise after every Dawgs touchdown, served up by bartender Bouchard.

Bouchard and his bar aren’t the only ones keeping the Southern California Chapter entertained, however.

  

M. Ali Salimi (BBA ’03), president of the chapter, is an esteemed attorney who lived in Switzerland and London before beginning his own firm in Irvine.

Outside of work, Salimi opts for a hobby that’s a little less serious - gracing the stages of comedy clubs across the region. 

The UGA Alumni Association is proud of your accomplishments, Mike and Ali! Continue keeping the Southern California Chapter interesting.

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10.21.2014

2014-2015 Signature Lecture Series

Guest Blogger: Meg Amstutz, Ph.D. 
Associate Provost for Academic Programs

UGA is now highlighting a number of premier lectures through its new Signature Lectures designation, designed to help focus attention on the variety of prominent thinkers visiting campus.

When I first came to UGA in 1997, one thing I missed from my prior institution was the twice-yearly notice of its endowed lecture series. At the beginning of each semester, the arrival of the list of upcoming lectures would prompt my fellow graduate students and me to mark our calendars and chat with friends and colleagues about the topics that interested us most. Faculty across campus encouraged students to attend these lectures, and they often incorporated the work of the speakers into the classes they were teaching.    

In 2013-2014, more than 50 individual lectures were listed on UGA’s Master Calendar, signaling the strong level of intellectual activity taking place. At the same time, this long list signaled an opportunity to reframe these offerings conceptually, so that students and faculty might more easily mark the dates, participate and engage in classroom discussion together.

To that end, we have launched the UGA Signature Lectures, featuring speakers noted for their broad, multidisciplinary appeal and compelling bodies of work. This special designation recognizes a number of UGA’s endowed lectures, including the Gregory Lecture and the Mason Public Leadership Lecture, as well as lectures with historic significance on our campus, such as the Louise McBee Lecture, the Holmes-Hunter Lecture, and UGA’s Founders Day Lecture.

I am grateful to those who have chosen to endow lectures, because these Signature Lectures are one of the best ways for students to discover that they are truly part of a larger, international intellectual conversation.

For a full list of the 2014-2015 Signature Lecture, please click here.

The UGA Alumni Association will hold the 2015 Founders Day Lecture at the Chapel on Tuesday, January 27 at 1:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

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10.20.2014

Alumna Spotlight: Christy Hulsey (ABJ '98)

Bulldog 100 and 40 Under 40 honoree Christy Hulsey (ABJ ’98) lives a busy life as owner and creative director of Colonial House of Flowers in Statesboro, Georgia. 

Hulsey’s work, inspired by her grandmother, is self-described as “timeless elegance that is ethereal and moody.” The majority of her designs feature unusual materials, such as pinecones and berries - something that caught the attention of both Pottery Barn and White House staff. Hulsey’s shop was selected to launch Pottery Barn's 2014 summer brand, and her floral designs were displayed at the White House in 2013.

A regular on Pottery Barn’s Have and Hold wedding blog, Hulsey informs brides-to-be on the art of creating flower girl halos, cake stand centerpieces and seashore-inspired tablescapes.

Hulsey enjoys opportunitues to work with fellow UGA alumni. She began her relationship with Pottery Barn after the floral arrangements she designed for friend and fellow Grady graduate Linsay Cheney Rudd’s (ABJ ’08) wedding were noticed by the blog. Hulsey also uses her friends in various photo shoots for Pottery Barn, including one for a driftwood lantern centerpiece tutorial that features Lea Lanier (BSED ’99).

  

In 2013, Colonial House of Flowers, generously donated flowers to UGA Day in Statesboro. She also gifted each 2014 40 Under 40 honorees with a red rose after the awards ceremony.

Congratulations on your success, Christy! The UGA Alumni Association looks forward to many more years of your beautiful designs.

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