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05.19.2014

Ertharin Cousin (JD '82) named to 2014 TIME 100 Most Influential People

In a quote with The Telegraph, Ertharin Cousin says her mission statement is “to end hunger in my lifetime. We have the tools, the technology, the commitment at a global level from donor countries.” She has used this mission statement to guide her path through life.

Cousin is the 12th executive director of the U.N. World Food Programme. As the world’s largest humanitarian organization, it staffs approximately 13,500 people serving more than 90 million beneficiaries in 80 countries. The vision of WFP is “a world in which every man, woman, and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. Without food, there can be no sustainable peace, no democracy and no development.”

Cousin received her bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois at Chicago and her law degree from the University of Georgia. In particular, she studied international law under former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk. After earning her law degree, Cousin worked in Illinois as Assistant Attorney General and then worked in several roles for the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Administration.

Her passion for feeding the world led to work with several important organizations. As the lead government communications and community affairs chair for Albertsons Foods and Jewell Foods, she also served as president of the company’s corporate foundation, managing the organization’s philanthropic activities. She then served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest). In this position, she led the organization’s response to Hurricane Katrina and helped raise annual revenue from $20 million to $56 million.

Noticing Cousin’s dedication to combating global hunger, President Obama nominated and the U.S. Senate confirmed her as the US Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food & Agriculture and head of the US Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome in 2009. She became a fierce advocate for programs that would promote country-led sustainable agriculture and a transition from relief to development.

The combination of these life experiences and wealth of knowledge led to Cousin’s appointment as executive director of the WFP. She was recently acknowledged as one of the 2014 TIME 100 Most Influential People and #49 in Forbes Magazine’s List of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She is a published author and accomplished speaker on food insecurity and chronic malnutrition.

Thank you for being an incredible alumna, Ertharin! Your work fighting global hunger is an inspiration to us all, and we look forward to hearing even more about your accomplishments.

Click here to donate to the United Nations World Food Programme.

Photo credit to Laura Hynd

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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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