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04.28.2014

US Poet Laureate uses her past to speak to the unspeakable

Natasha Trethewey (AB ’89) applies her southern past to her position as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.

Trethewey’s appointment notes a series of firsts for the position. At 48, she is the youngest appointee in history. Additionally, Trethewey is the first Southerner to hold the position in more than a quarter of a century, and the first laureate in some time to reside in Washington, D.C., for the duration of her appointment. These factor into her overarching goal: to bring poetry to as wide an audience as possible.

Though Trethewey majored in English, she did not take a creative course until graduate school. She cites UGA professors Dr. Charles Wynes and Dr. Rosemary Franklin as influencing and guiding her during her time at the university. But, her defining experience occurred closer to home.

“I was at UGA when my mother died, and that was a singular event in my life that, to paraphrase the words of poet W.H.Auden, ‘hurt me into poetry,’” Trethewey said.

Trethewey turned to poetry to cope with and understand the loss of her mother. She explained to the Associated Press “[poetry] seems like the only thing that can speak to the unspeakable.”

Trethewey went on to study poetry in graduate school at Hollins College, later earning her MFA at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Since then, she has published five collections of poetry and garnered many awards. Most notably, Trethewey won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her work, Native Guard.

Natasha's birthday was this past Saturday. We are proud to have you in the Bulldog family, Natasha, and we hope you had a great birthday!

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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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