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06.06.2014

Former UGA Orientation Leader hopes to inspire others to serve their country

Seventy years ago, 160,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, France. To pay our respects today, we bring you a story from just one of the many Bulldogs currently serving in our Armed Forces.

During each UGA football game, dozens of students and alumni feel something “extra” when the Redcoat Band triumphantly plays the Star-Spangled Banner. They are the ones telling friends to take off their hats. The song takes grip, and by the time the trumpet hits the octave jump on “land of the FREEEE,” many hearts have skipped a beat.

As a newly commissioned 2nd lieutenant of the medical corps for the United States Air Force, I am excited to join the ranks of Bulldogs currently serving our nation. This fall, I begin medical school at Emory University on a full military scholarship. After graduation, I will have the privilege of serving the soldiers defending our country and its values. We owe service members our eternal gratitude, and it will be an honor to one day provide them medical care.

UGA students are surrounded by peers who plan to serve their communities after graduation. I was influenced by many of my friends and professors who seemed to be motivated by a higher calling. One such friend was recently selected to join Teach for America in New Orleans. He could talk for hours about how excited he was to help close the achievement gap. My professors, in addition to educating the next generation, spend their days conducting research that will benefit future generations. There’s not a lot of money in teaching in underserved areas or in researching “orphan diseases” like malaria, but the atmosphere at UGA is not one that measures success in dollar bills. Rather, Bulldogs are directed toward service and the betterment of our communities.

As a senior, I was granted a certain degree of influence after serving as a 2013 Orientation Leader, executive director of University Judiciary, and member of the 2013 Homecoming Court. I hope that by using my world-class education to serve my country, I will inspire others to do the same. I hope that, as more of my generation joins the Armed Forces, the word “veteran” will no longer bring to mind our grandparents.

Let us remember that we have friends, roommates, lab partners, teammates, and classmates answering the call to serve each year. So the next time you get goose-bumps in Sanford Stadium as the trumpets declare us the land of the free, remember all of our devoted alumni working to ensure its continuity.

Go Dawgs and God Bless the United States of America!

Conner Blackwell (BS '14)
2nd Lieutenant, United States Air Force

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12.19.2014

Brothers make business a family affair

How do two brothers from tiny Hopeful, Georgia, manage to take Atlanta’s entrepreneurial spirit to a new level? Well, ask the Shirah brothers, Benjie (BSFR ’07, MFR ’10) and Jamey (BBA ’10). Since leaving Athens, the business-savvy brothers have embarked on a number of successful endeavors, including The Ivy Buckhead and Atlanta-based companies Kill Cliff – The Recovery Drink™ and Vida-Flo: The Hydration Station. Now, the brothers are heading in a new direction - your feet. 

This fall, Benjie and Jamey launched their latest project, JL The Brand, a flair-filled sock company. Together with friends, the brothers are working to add a little jazz to the mundane black and blue men’s suit with top-notch socks. 

Designed with unique patterns and colors, JL The Brand offers affordable high quality socks that add a subtle yet sophisticated pop to any outfit. JL The Brand socks are the perfect gift for any guy this holiday season! 

With the Shirah brothers’ keen eye for business development, these young alumni are sure make a lasting mark on Atlanta's entrepreneurial scene. 

Keep up with the Shirah's businesses on social media: 

@theivybuckhead
@govidaflo
@jlthebrand

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12.18.2014

40 Under 40 honoree to direct UGA’s state government relations

Tobin R. "Toby" Carr (BBA '01, BSAE '01) was named associate vice president for government relations and director of state governmental relations at UGA. Vice President for Government Relations J. Griffin Doyle announced the appointment of Carr, who currently is planning director for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Carr was appointed to his current DOT post in 2012, a position in which he has led a team of some 30 planning professionals in guiding strategic planning and project budget documents that direct state and federal resources to fund transportation projects. He graduated from the UGA Honors Program in 2001 with bachelor's degrees in business administration and agricultural engineering. Before assuming his DOT post, Carr served as Deal's transportation policy adviser and the governor's liaison to the Georgia House of Representatives. He previously was director of Deal's gubernatorial transition committee.

An active student leader while at UGA, Carr served as president of the Interfraternity Council and was named to Sphinx, Omicron Delta Kappa, Blue Key, Mortar Board, Phi Kappa Phi and the Arch Society. He currently serves on the UGA College of Engineering Alumni Advisory Board and was recognized in 2014 as a UGA 40 Under 40 and as the 2012 Blue Key Outstanding Young Alumnus Award winner.

"I'm humbled and thrilled to serve my alma mater in this role," Carr said. "I'm very grateful to Gov. Deal for his support of this new endeavor and to President Morehead and Vice President Doyle for giving me the opportunity to advance the mission of UGA."

Carr will serve as primary liaison between the university and state government officials, representing the university in all matters involving legislators, agencies, departments, and the other higher education institutions of Georgia. The transition will occur in early January.

Click here to read 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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