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Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+ 01.21.2015

Flavor of Georgia celebrates tradition of artisan and craft foods

From cheeses to chutneys, craft chocolate to chorizo, the 2015 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest—sponsored by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development—will celebrate Georgians' creativity and craftsmanship by finding the best products in the state.

"Flavor of Georgia is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain publicity and exposure for their products," said Sharon P. Kane, a UGA food business development specialist and the contest's coordinator. "It's also a chance for them to network with other food entrepreneurs and industry experts."

Nearly 90 percent of the finalists in the 2014 Flavor of Georgia Contest reported seeing increased interest in their products following the contest, and many others benefitted from increased sales, profits, publicity and website traffic, she said. Some also indicated an increase in full- and part-time employees.

More than 50 percent saw an increase in new contracts within one month of the contest.

A follow-up survey of past finalists, from the 2007 through 2012 contests, found that they attributed about 11 percent of their business revenue to their participation in Flavor of Georgia.

Finalists and winners will be eligible to participate in a number of high-profile industry showcases throughout 2015, including the Georgia Grown Symposium, the Georgia National Fair and showcase days at the Buford Highway Farmers Market. They also will receive industry feedback and use of the Flavor of Georgia finalist logo for their product's packaging.

Winners will be featured in the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Georgia Grown magazine, a statewide publicity push, a booth at the Georgia Food Industry Association conference, a spot at the Sherwood Food Distributors annual food show and use of Flavor of Georgia winner logo for their packaging.

  

Contest finalists will be invited to participate in the final round of judging and a public tasting March 9-10 as part of the Governor's Agricultural Awareness Day in Atlanta.

Food marketing experts, grocery buyers, chefs and Georgia agricultural experts will judge each product based on flavor, Georgia theme, unique or innovative qualities and commercial appeal.

Registration runs through Jan. 30 and includes commercially available products or market-ready prototypes. Product categories include barbecue sauces; beverages; confections; dairy products; jams and jellies; marinades and sauces; meat and seafood; salsas, chutneys and condiments; snack foods; and miscellaneous products. There is no limit to the number of products an individual can submit.

Register and learn more.


Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+ 01.14.2015

Alumna Spotlight: Brooke Anderson (ABJ '00)

Interviewing celebrities on the red carpet, attending prestigious award ceremonies and covering movie premieres - it's all in a day's work for Bulldog Brooke Anderson (ABJ ’00), who is a correspondant for "Entertainment Tonight." After studying Broadcast Journalism at UGA, Brooke worked her way up the ranks at CNN, eventually becoming co-anchor of HLN's "Showbiz Tonight," before heading to "The Insider" and eventually landing her current position at "Entertainment Tonight."

Brooke describes her professional journey: 

I had no intention of working in front of the camera at CNN. My goal was to become the best writer and producer I could be. I really enjoy the creativity inherent in those aspects of the job. I worked in general news and hard news initially and worked my way from VJ to production assistant to associate producer to associate writer to writer. I was deeply affected by 9/11 and the death and heartache associated with that tragedy. Soon after, I pursued something lighter—the entertainment side of news! I have always been a fan of film, TV, music, and theater, so I thought it was be a good fit! I worked as an entertainment writer/producer/booker and one day the president of the network asked me to fill in for the correspondent I produced for because she was sick. After she took a job at E!, I was offered the position of correspondent while initially writing, producing, and booking for myself, and ultimately I also became co-anchor of HLN’s “Showbiz Tonight”.

An award winning journalist, mother, full time correspondent and avid blogger, Anderson provdes hard work and Bulldog Spirit can take you anywhere in life.  

Source: The Every Girl


Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+ 01.07.2015

UGA alumna explores success of minorities in media

After earning her degree from UGA's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Tracie Powell (ABJ '93) spent years working in newspaper ad sales and circulation, including a stint in Detroit during the 1995 Detroit Newspaper Strike. Eventually, Tracie realized she belonged in the newsroom, not out on the street pushing ad sales. 

She launched All Digitocracy in 2013. The site delivers national and international news and information on technology, policy and politics and how communities access information. 

Currently, All Digitocracy is trying to raise money to produce a series of video interviews titled “How’d You Get That (Media) Job?" It will focus on women and journalists of color explaining how they got to where they are in their careers.

During an interview with Poynter, Tracie said "One of the things I hear constantly from journalists of color is they don’t understand how you get from Point A to Point B." Hopefully, this new video series will help solve this problem.

Powell was inspired to create the series after interning with Cox Media’s Washington bureau, where she witnessed the career success of TV One host Roland S. Martin, the series’ first subject.

“I saw how he took off in his career, and others don’t have the benefit of that knowledge,” said Powell. She hopes the interview series will help to share such knowledge with a larger audience.

The UGA Alumni Association wishes Tracie the best of luck on her newest endeavor! 

Click here to learn more about "How'd You Get That (Media) Job?" and watch the first video.


Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+ 01.05.2015

UGA’s Amazing Students: Colby Ruiz

Colby Ruiz '15, a senior majoring in biological sciences, has successfully focused on his research since stepping foot on campus and has his sights set on becoming a physician.

University highlights, achievements and awards:

As a student of the Honors Program and a recipient of the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Honors Scholarship, I began participating in undergraduate research in my first semester. I am studying a family of proteins that includes Ras, which is mutagenic in 30 percent of all human cancers. I have presented my research numerous times including at the UGA CURO Symposium and a regional research conference within my field. While I’ve made a very small contribution to the scientific community, I can’t begin to convey the value of my work to my learning experience; this project has taught me to manage my time, approach complex problems and communicate complicated ideas to audiences with a range of scientific understanding. The lessons I have learned though my research involvement couldn’t have been taught in a classroom, and I am forever thankful to CURO for providing such a valuable learning experience.

My extracurricular involvement has been focused on recruiting talented students from rural areas of Georgia for UGA and particularly the Honors Program. As an Honors ambassador and a member of the Georgia Recruitment Team, I have traveled to high schools to speak with potential applicants and met with dozens of potential students on campus to discuss my experiences at UGA and help connect them with academic programs that fit their needs and interests.

In the summer after my junior year I was selected to participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program at New York University; three out of the 35 participants in this program were from UGA, chosen from a pool of over 1,000 applicants. I spent the summer at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the City of New York where I worked on developing a protocol for processing biological evidence samples from crime scenes.

After three of the best years of my life, I’m excited to see what my senior year at UGA holds. I can say with confidence that I could not have chosen a better university, and I plan to be involved on campus in a significant capacity for many years to come.

After graduation, I plan to: 

Become a medical student. I’d like to be trained as a surgeon. The one UGA experience I will always remember will be: Every Saturday between the hedges is a Saturday I’ll never forget. Go Dawgs.

Click here to learn more about Colby.


Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+ 01.02.2015

Alumna Spotlight: Antonina Lerch (MFA '06)

You’ve most likely seen Antonina Lerch’s (MFA ’06) work on TV. No, she’s not an actress, but the Belarus native is one of Hollywood’s leading costumers. Her designs have been featured on "Dexter" and "Mad Men" and the film "Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian."

UGA Alumni Association communications intern Bernadette Green ’15 had the opportunity to catch up with this outstanding alumna. Read below to find out more about Antonina’s impressive career.

How did you get into costuming?

I grew up in Belarus. Out of financial necessity, my mom taught me to sew and repair my own clothes. As an undergraduate at Brenau University, I realized I could leverage my skills and aim for a career in costuming. One of my professors at Brenau, Janet Smith Morley, encouraged me to work in the music, theater and dance departments. With her help, I got a job at the Gainesville Theater Alliance. I furthered my training in costume design and technology at UGA’s graduate school. After completing the program, I landed a job in Los Angeles.

How did your time at UGA prepare you for your career?

At UGA, I was exposed to everything that relates to theater: costume, lighting and scene design, as well as directing and makeup. UGA offered me enormous resources, which helped develop my costuming and research skills. The library and research facilities are world-class. UGA’s Hargrett Library contains more than 6,000 original costume design renderings from Broadway shows and more. My major professor, Sylvia J. Hillyard Pannell, encouraged and facilitated my efforts to get internships, and I interned with the Georgia Museum of Art, Alliance TheaterSeaside Music Theater and Perpetual Motion Films.

  

What advice do you have for others wanting to get into costuming and fasion design?

You need to meet as many people as possible who are in the business. Connections can be made through internships, professors, or even reaching out directly to people in the industry. Persistence is important. Keep trying and don't be discouraged by rejection. Determination is viewed favorably and not seen as a sign of weakness. Do as many internships as you can. Be flexible about specializing, as there are many careers within the costume world: fabric artists, agers, dyers, costume illustrators, patternmakers, supervisors, etc.

What is your favorite part of your job? And what is your favorite memory so far from your career?

My favorite part of my job is building bespoke (custom-made) costumes. This requires expertise in a vast number of costume-building techniques, which can be complicated. You need to build multi-dimensional forms, make complex mathematical calculations and understand the chemical properties of all fabrics. It is incredibly challenging and rewarding to build bespoke costumes that are functional and beautiful. My favorite memory of my career was working on Joss Whedon’s show, Dollhouse. Joss and his team were incredibly nice, professional and respectful.

What has been your greatest accomplishment in your career so far?

Due to the project-to-project nature of the entertainment business, it is very difficult to maintain a stable career as a costumer. My greatest accomplishment thus far has been continuously securing work on great productions with great people.

You currently spend your time between Los Angeles and Tokyo. What is your favorite part of working internationally?

My favorite part is meeting interesting people in my field and learning new techniques from local artists, costumers, designers and manufacturers. I find Japanese artistry and craftsmanship superb, very intricate and incredibly unique. I met a world-renowned Japanese artist, Noriko Endo, who developed a unique quilting technique called Confetti Naturescapes. I met Seiji Naito, a fifth generation craftsman who makes traditional Japanese sandals called Zori. I visited Seiren Corporation’s state-of-the-art clothing production facility, which embraces all elements of manufacturing including research, fiber and fabric production, printing, pattern making, cutting and building. 

  

Do you have a favorite memory or experience from your time at UGA?

My favorite memory at UGA was spending time in my small office on the third floor of the Drama Building. It was at the very end of the long corridor next to the fire exit. I spent many hours doing my research or other homework there, and would prop the fire exit door that led outside to breathe some fresh air and listen to the birds in the huge trees outside. It was my favorite place on campus - I loved being there.