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05.22.2014

Young Alumni Profile - Mel Baxter (AB '12)

As a former UGA Orientation Leader and 2011 Homecoming Queen, Mel Baxter (AB '12) has been an integral part of UGA’s legacy of successful students. The UGA Alumni Association was able to catch up with Mel for a look into her favorite campus memories and how they have shaped her experience as an alumna.

How were you involved in UGA as a student?

During my four years at UGA, I worked as a Visitors Center tour guide, a Dawg Camp counselor and an orientation leader. I was on the UGA Miracle executive board for two years and was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. I also spent time volunteering as a middle school mentor through the Forever Young mentoring program, and I worked to recruit prospective students through Georgia Recruitment Team.

What was your favorite experience at UGA?

I was lucky to have some incredible experiences throughout college, but my favorite experience was the opportunity to work as an orientation leader in the summer of 2011. I enjoyed welcoming thousands of students and families to campus, while falling even more in love with Georgia at the same time. I also had the chance to work with an incredible team of 11 students and three supervisors, which made the summer even more enjoyable. Looking back, it was a once in a lifetime experience that helped shape who I am today.

What advice would you give to recent graduates about staying connected to their alma mater?

It's important to always be proud of being a Dawg. Get connected with the alumni chapter in your area, go back to Athens when you have the chance and give back to the university and the organizations you were involved with as a student. Be proud of the incredible school you graduated from and help others to be just as enthusiastic!

What do you miss most about campus?

Gosh, I miss everything. Besides, of course, the food, I would have to say that I miss the people. From the friends I made at Dawg Camp to the friendliest parking deck attendants I have ever encountered, I miss the constant excitement that everyone has for being a part of the Bulldog Nation.

What have you been up to since graduating?

After graduating in the spring of 2012, I spent my summer in Berea, Ohio interning with the orientation staff at Baldwin Wallace University. Once my internship was over, I moved to Clemson, South Carolina to begin graduate school. Next week I will be graduating with a degree in higher education/student affairs from Clemson University (but I will always bleed red and black).

What are your future plans?

I am excited to say that next month I will be moving to San Francisco to start working as the Visitor Center Coordinator at Stanford University. My passion for working with prospective students developed during my time as a tour guide at UGA, and I am looking forward to bringing that passion to the West Coast!

The UGA Alumni Association wishes you the best at Stanford, Mel. Don't forget to keep in touch!

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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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