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06.27.2014

Spotlight on Young Alumni: Angelique Jackson (ABJ '12)

Weeks after graduating in May 2012, I packed up and drove 2,460 miles across the country to chase my dreams of working in entertainment news. Fortunately, I had some support in making this big transition. I was part of the inaugural class of students to participate in Grady L.A. – an eight week program led by Dr. Jennifer Smith, where students work as interns and take classes in Los Angeles. I had two internships lined up with Entertainment Tonight and The Insider and Hollywire.com, so I knew it was going to be a busy summer!

Once the eight weeks were over, though, my safety net was gone and I was on my own. I spent a month continuing to work as a contributor to Hollywire and living on the couch of a few fellow Bulldogs that had made the trek to L.A. The rest of my free time was spent looking for a full-time position and a permanent place to live. There were many moments where I wondered if I had taken too big of a risk and I needed to head back home. I will never forget the phone call offering me a production assistant position at Entertainment Tonight and The Insider and I knew everything was going to be okay. 

Okay turned out to be quite the understatement!

I started my job as a production assistant on Emmy Sunday 2012, logging incoming footage from the field; it was an overnight shift – from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Four months later, I became an assistant photo editor. My daily responsibilities include providing still photographs for the show from our subscription services and press sites, as well as working with paparazzi agencies. I also work for both shows as a field producer. Under that title, I’ve had the opportunity to interview celebrities ranging from Sandra Bullock, Kevin Hart, Hugh Jackman and Lupita Nyong’o to icons like Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman and Betty White. In little more than a year, I’ve worked at 100 red carpets, after-parties, backstage tours and press junkets.

One of the highlights of my first summer in L.A. was venturing off on my own to the premiere of Savages at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, hoping to see some of the action. From the patio of the Starbucks across from the theatre, I watched Blake Lively, Penelope Cruz and the rest of the cast walk the red carpet and sign autographs for screaming fans. One year later, I was back at the same theater in Westwood. But this time I was holding the microphone and interviewing Vin Diesel for his new movie Riddick. It’s nice when everything comes full-circle.

Moving to a new city is hard. Moving to a new city without a job or a place to live is even more difficult. Some might call it crazy, but crazy worked for me. On June 6, I celebrated the two-year anniversary of my move to Los Angeles. My life has changed in ways I dreamt about, but couldn’t possibly imagine, all because of the University of Georgia! 

Angelique Jackson (ABJ '12)
Assistant Photo Editor
Entertainment Tonight/The Insider

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07.27.2015

UGA Majorette is No. 1 College Twirler

While Nicole Jensen ’15 has lit up Sanford Stadium with her flaming batons and show-stopping gymnastics moves as a UGA feature twirler on game days, she is also making her mark on the national stage. She has garnered attention for UGA and continued the legacy of national champions after winning the highly coveted title of Miss College Majorette of America. This is the highest award given to a college twirler at the National Baton Twirling Championships, held each year in South Bend, Indiana.

Nicole has been a UGA feature twirler for the past four years. This is highly sought after position among top twirlers in the nation. Nicole, a senior marketing major from Iowa City, Iowa, was selected through an intense audition process and has enjoyed every minute of her time twirling between the hedges at UGA. 

Nicole is no stranger to success. She was on the USA World Team, where she was a silver medalist, and has traveled and performed in Peru as an ambassador. She has won hundreds of awards and titles in her twirling career, including the Collegiate Women’s Solo National Champion in 2012. 

Representing UGA as the reigning top college twirler, Nicole has been touring the country this spring and summer, performing at events and competitions as an ambassador of her sport. This past weekend by performing at Notre Dame in the National Baton Twirling Championships, Nicole performed her final duties as College Miss Majorette of America. Make sure to check out Nicole, in her final season, and the rest of the UGA Majorettes at every home football game this fall! 

UGA mascot Hairy Dawg joined Nicole for her final performance at Notre Dame

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07.23.2015

Alumna’s songs featured on HBO’s “True Detective”

If you watch HBO's popular series "True Detective," odds are you've heard Lera Lynn Buettner's (AB '08) songs. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter has had four songs featured on the show's soundtrack. The UGA Alumni Association recently sat down with Lera to learn more about her musical career and time spent studying anthropology at UGA.  

Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up and what led you to UGA? 

I was born in Texas, but my parents left soon after and slowly made their way to Georgia, stopping in Louisiana for about five years first. We moved around a good bit in Georgia, and I finished high school in Woodstock. It was around that time I visited Athens for the first time, to hang out with friends and see live music. I fell in love with the town's energy and lively music scene. That's ultimately what led me to UGA. My family stressed the importance of college, though I had my sights dead-set on music. UGA and Athens were my ticket to satisfying both.

As a student, were you involved in any activities or student groups on campus? Did you have a favorite professor or any fond memories from your time in Athens?

I worked my way through college, waiting tables, bartending and saving up as much as I could between semesters so that I could work fewer hours and still survive when school was in session. That said, I didn't have a lot of extra time for student groups. What time I did have was always devoted to music. Attending UGA still endures as some of my most fond memories. What a luxury it is to go to college and just learn all day! My senior year was definitely my best, as the courses were digging deeper into the things that truly interested me. I loved study groups that were assembled by classmates. I loved sitting in the group and discussing the subject matter in-depth outside of the classroom. It's easy to take that for granted when you're so young, but those are some of the most important conversations you can have; just digging in and bouncing ideas off of other people who are dedicating so much energy to the same things as you.

One of my favorite memories was a beautiful and moving lecture by Dr. Peter Brosius. He was recounting time spent researching in the field and the relationships he'd developed there; the focus being love at the center of everything in life. His lecture brought the whole class (100+ students) to tears. I think he was in tears, too. I will never forget the passion he has for what he does. It reminds me to do what I do for the right reasons. 

  

Since graduating, you’ve moved to Nashville. How did you establish yourself as a musician in there?

I've yet to establish myself anywhere, really, because I'm trying to establish myself everywhere all the time. As an artist, you're often trying to establish yourself on a national level. There's a difference between a studio musician in Nashville and an "artist."

You’ve had several songs featured on the soundtrack for HBO’s True Detective. Tell me how that project came about and what doors it has opened for you

I've had four songs featured in the series so far. I was lucky to have my manager set up a meeting with legendary producer, T Bone Burnett, after he expressed an interest in using the title track from an EP I released last year called "Lying in the Sun." We got along well. Burnett asked if I wanted to collaborate on music for the show and the rest is history. I got to appear in the show several times and I've learned a lot about the business side of music and show business. The show has exposed my music to many new eager ears - that's been the best part of the whole thing.

Do you have any other big projects in the pipeline? Where do you envision your career in five years?

I'm currently writing and recording my next LP. I'm really enjoying the process. I feel like there are so many more possibilities to explore. I hope that in the next five years I can buy a sensible new car. That would be success!

Learn more about Lera Lynn

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07.21.2015

UGA’s Scott Angle selected to lead international agricultural organization

J. Scott Angle, who has served as dean and director of UGA's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences for the past decade, has announced that he will step down from his position to lead a global organization that works to alleviate hunger.

As president and CEO of the International Fertilizer Development Center, Angle will oversee an organization that has been active in nearly 100 countries and is focused on increasing food security and agricultural productivity through the development and transfer of effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technology and agribusiness expertise.

"Over the past decade, Dean Angle has provided outstanding leadership to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences," President Morehead said. "He has been one of the strongest champions of UGA's land-grant mission, working tirelessly to connect the vast resources of the college to the challenges and opportunities faced by the agriculture industry across the state. We are grateful for his many years of dedicated service and wish him well in this new endeavor."

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