Jittery Joe’s to release UGA-themed coffee for the Dawgs

This Friday, Athens-based coffee company Jittery Joe’s is set to showcase its newest beverage, Attack the Day Coffee! The designers at The AdSmith, all of whom are UGA alumni, developed the ultimate can design to help the Bulldogs kick off the 2017 football season. Given that Jittery Joe’s head roaster, Charlie Mustard (MS ’97), is a UGA grad as well, it’s no surprise that this project is full of Bulldog pride!

The coffee can features the official Bulldog logo and the following description: “Jittery Joe’s Coffee Roasting company and UGA Athletics have teamed up to create a special coffee for the Bulldog Nation. Rich and smooth with a lively aroma, this dark roasted coffee brews a big, bold cup. Just what you need on your side when you Attack the Day! GO DAWGS!”

Kirk Smith (BFA ’85), president of The AdSmith, spent his time at UGA studying graphic design while working with his company part-time. Charlie Mustard earned his master’s degree in nutrition after attending Clemson as an undergraduate. What do the two have in common? They both root for the Dawgs on Saturdays and support their alma mater however they can.

Volunteering is of utmost importance to Kirk, who is a board member of the Cancer Foundation, Free to Breathe and the Clarke County Mentor Program. The AdSmith has generated numerous designs for the university, many of which help brand the UGA Athletic Association.

Charlie is a strong proponent of environmental and social consciousness. In fact, one of his go-to mottos is “the bike is the answer.” Jittery Joe’s has created custom blends for UGA in the past – including Terry College’s High Yield and other savory Bulldog blends.

To try out this limited edition coffee for yourself, head on over to your nearest Jittery Joe’s location on September 1! The product will also be available online at jitteryjoes.com.

Attack the Day Coffee is an officially licensed product in partnership with UGA Athletics. Thanks to Kirk and Charlie for helping bring the game day spirit alive – every day – for Bulldog fans!

Tailgate the right way with Matt Moore

To kick off our new blog series, Tasty Tailgating, we got a chance to talk with Matt Moore (BBA ’05) – author, entrepreneur, cook, musician, host, pilot, adventurer, and southern gentleman. His pulled pork stuffed grilled cheese is perfect for a Saturday in Athens. Read on to learn the recipe!

Saturday in Athens . . .

Just the words rolling off my tongue bring a smile to my face. Instantly, I’m transported to a crisp fall morning, the sun gently bathing the hilly traverse of Lumpkin and Broad – smells of smoke and whiskey perfume the air, with a brassy cadence and snare beat easing in to Glory Glory to Ol’ Georgia. As the Widespread Panic boys once said, ain’t life grand?

It’s these days that I set apart from the rest. Time to revel once again in God’s country – Athens, Georgia.

Truth is – such days are hard to come by nowadays. Nashville has been my 15 year-old home since leaving Athens. Though cool (real cool these days), Nashville just ain’t Athens. Nor is it close. Heck, I even got my pilot’s license to shorten the 6 hour drive down to just an hour and a half jump over the mountains.

Problem is, I can’t fit my smoker into my 1974 Piper Cherokee. And for me, a requirement of any great tailgate should involve slowly smoked, fall off the bone, pork butt – or shoulder for those unfamiliar.

For me, watching the Dawgs storm Sanford is just as exciting as my first bite into a Pulled Pork Stuffed Grilled Cheese. Yes I’m eying you – hamburgers, hotdogs, fried chicken, and pimento cheese sandwiches. A pulled pork stuffed grilled cheese means your tailgate is going to be the destination – not just a stop amongst the Saturday journeys. I came across this masterpiece when travelling the South to interview pitmasters for my latest book – The South’s Best Butts; Pitmaster Secrets for Southern Barbecue Perfection. At Johnson’s Boucainiere in Lafayette, Louisiana – they don’t stop short with just a pork sandwich. Instead, they load a pile of smoked pork on white bread, sandwiched between a few slices of American cheese. Over cast-iron, with a lovely dose of butter, the whole thing melds together into the most perfect tailgate food imaginable. If Athens is God’s country – this sandwich is his repast.

So I say to you all – enjoy a bit more of that Jim in your Coca-Cola, and scarf down a few of these sandwiches so you can cheer on the Red and the Black on this beautiful Saturday.

From near or afar – Go Dawgs, sic ‘em! Matt R. Moore – www.mattrmoore.com

Matt Moore’s Pulled Pork Stuffed Grilled Cheese

Smoked Pork Butt – the beauty of the pork butt is that it’s ultra-forgiving – even for a BBQ novice. Whether you choose to setup your tailgate the night before and smoke the meat throughout the night, or if you choose to bring a cooked butt (either by cooked by you, or outsourced to your local restaurant!), the delicious yield of pulled pork with fill many-a sandwiches.

1 8 – 10 lb. Pork Shoulder, rinsed and patted dry Creole blend seasoning

  1. Setup a smoker for indirect cooking, maintaining a temperature of 225 – 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Use wood chips if desired.
  2. Liberally rub the pork with the Creole seasoning, ensuring an even distribution of the rub all over the cut.
  3. Place the meat on the smoker and cook, indirect, for 10 – 12 hours, or until an internal temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit is reached.
  4. Remove the meat from the smoker, discard the fat cap and bone, and pull the pork by hand.

Pulled Pork Stuffed Grilled Cheese – the perfect combination of smoky, cheesy, and delicious. You can prep the pork a few days ahead, or pick it up from a local restaurant. From there, just plop a cast iron skillet on your grill and get to work – trust me, you won’t be able to make them fast enough to keep up with the demand!

  • Butter
  • Hamburger Buns
  • Pulled Pork (above)
  • American Cheese
  1. Preheat a charcoal or gas grill over medium heat.
  2. Place a cast-iron skillet on the grate, direct heat. Add a knob of butter, and swirl in pan until butter foams.
  3. Add hamburger buns, cut-side up, and careful not to over crowd the pan, working two or three sandwiches at a time. Add cheese to both the top and bottom cut sides of the bun.
  4. Next, add a handful of pulled pork to the bottom of each sandwich. Top sandwich and cook until cheese is melted through – covering grill as necessary. Serve.

Meet Erica Gwyn, Fundraising Chair for the Women of UGA Leadership Council

Women of UGA’s mission is to foster a lifelong commitment to the University of Georgia by creating opportunities for personal and professional development, instilling a spirt of giving, and investing in the future of the university, its students and alumnae. We recently got the chance to interview Erica Gwyn (BSED ’00), fundraising chair for the Women of UGA Leadership Council in order to learn more about her experience at UGA and what drives her to stay involved with her alma mater. Here’s what she had to say!

What brought you to the University of Georgia, and what are you doing now?

I applied to, and was accepted at, several schools including Clemson and Auburn, but the HOPE Scholarship was an unprecedented program that made UGA both financially and educationally attainable. Actually, UGA was not my first choice, but I loved my time in Athens. I currently live in metro Atlanta where I own and operate two companies, The Nonprofit Guru, LLC – a non-profit fundraising consulting firm, and Kaleidoscope Kids Camp of GA, LLC – an out-of-school time program for youth in grades K-8.

You mentioned that your firm, The Nonprofit Guru, specializes in fundraising. What does your typical day look like, and what do you enjoy most about your work?

The Nonprofit Guru is truly a conglomerate of my 20-year career working in non-profits where we provide small shop organizations with the toolkit for enhancing their board governance procedures, retooling program design and evaluation methods, volunteer management best practices and grants/fundraising management and compliance strategies. A typical day currently involves my working with my team of tech consultants as we are set to roll out a series of webinar courses and group coaching activities to reach a broader community world-wide.

How do you think your career path will influence your capabilities as fundraising chair for Women of UGA Leadership Council? 

Philanthropy was a skill that I learned as a student at UGA, so it feels very natural to volunteer my time with the Women of UGA Leadership Council. I believe that my given career path will allow for me to provide the leadership team with a foundation to develop fundraising guidelines with strategy to meet our overarching goals! I love to see the look on my peers’ faces when we all come together to accomplish our goals with intentional best practices.

What type of impact do you hope to have throughout your term?

This is a tough one for me as it is so early in my term, but my overarching goal is to be able to work with the team to fund multiple students with a scholarship during this term. We have already met and satisfied the goal of endowing the scholarship in record-breaking time, so for me the greatest impact would be bringing awareness to the endeavor through increased marketing and visibility to our UGA alumni, friends and supporters.

What do you value most about your time at Georgia?

What I value most about my time at UGA was the opportunity to explore my leadership skills and having a safe place to make mistakes and cultivate lifelong friendships that I cherish and maintain to this very day.

Many students feel uncertain about their future and choosing a career path – what advice would you offer to students about this?

I can honestly say that having the courage to explore my true career interests beyond what looked “best on paper” is what allowed me to find my true passion. For today’s student, I believe that there is still no greater lesson learned than through a hands-on approach (ie. internships, research, mistakes while working towards goals, etc.), and living in a different country for at least three months to gain a greater appreciation for cultural diversity.

To learn more about Women of UGA, visit alumni.uga.edu/womenofuga and connect with the council on Instagram.

A letter from UGA Alumni Association board president Bonney Shuman

On July 1, I assumed the privilege of becoming president of the University of Georgia Alumni Association. What an honor it is to represent the more than 310,000 UGA alumni worldwide. As my term begins, I reflect on all of the amazing things that have occurred in the years since I graduated from this great university. There are more outstanding, academically qualified students than ever before, we continue to celebrate the fundraising success of the Commit to Georgia Campaign, our student athletes are breaking records, and there are UGA alumni chapter events happening all around the world. What a great time to be a Georgia Bulldog!

As president of the UGA Alumni Association, it is my goal to continue to lead the board in executing the strategic plan that we developed two years ago. We will work to engage as many alumni as we can, while supporting the university’s priorities as outlined in the recent State of the University Address: to increase scholarship support for our students, to further enhance our learning environment, and to solve the grand challenges of our time.

Bonney Shuman (second from left) and members of the Young Alumni and Black Alumni Leadership Councils, and the Board of Directors.

We have an excellent board of directors who are passionate, loyal, and committed to this university, and I am thankful for their service. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the hard work of the executive director of the UGA Alumni Association, Meredith Gurley Johnson and the wonderful staff that she has assembled. Meredith and her staff work tirelessly to orchestrate alumni events around the world. I encourage you to be on the watch for events in your area and get actively involved in either a local chapter event, or by coming to Athens and engaging with your schools and colleges.

In the meantime, I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible. Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your UGA Alumni Association president. I am excited about the next two years and what it holds for us as we work to strengthen our alumni community. As the Commit to Georgia Campaign narrative says so eloquently, “Some call it going the extra mile, we call it being a Bulldog.”

This letter was written by Bonney Shuman (BBA ’80).

Get to know Bonney Shuman (BBA ’80), new president of the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors! https://t.uga.edu/3us

Posted by UGA Alumni Association on Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Meet Ambre Reed, Member of the Black Alumni Leadership Council

In October 2015, the UGA Alumni Association launched the UGA Black Alumni Affinity Group, which is led by the Black Alumni Leadership Council. The council seeks to connect with black alumni and students through shared experiences, and to continue building a welcoming and supporting campus community. Ambre Reed (BSFCS ’09), second from left in the above image, is a member of the Black Alumni Leadership Council, and we recently interviewed her to learn more about her UGA experience and what drives her to stay connected to the university.

When did you graduate from UGA and what did you do after college?

I graduated in December 2009 from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences with a degree in financial planning. Because I graduated in December, I knew I wanted to go to graduate school, so I worked in UGA’s Main Library as a library assistant. After that, I started [graduate school] at Georgia State’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies to get my master’s in public administration, with a concentration in non-profit management. Today, I live in Washington D.C. and work at a non-profit organization called Year Up, a national organization that helps get low-income students into a training program for information technology and business, and helps them to get full-time jobs.

How did you get involved with the Alumni Association?

When I moved to Atlanta to attend Georgia State, I met an alumnus named Jay Bailey. He worked for a non-profit that I was involved in, and he was very involved in organizing black alumni. He actually helped start the Black Alumni Affinity Group Homecoming Tailgate at Myers Quad. Working with him and meeting alumni really gave me a chance to see other black alumni whom I hadn’t met. Another alumna, Brandi Decker- Hunter, managed a Black Alumni social media site, and asked that I assist in transitioning the group over to Facebook. From there, I managed the group, and it now has more than 3,000 members.

Which Black Alumni event are you most proud of?

The Homecoming Tailgate; I think that’s the event that’s grown the most and helped bring awareness to black alumni on a campus level, as well as with alumni. Working to build that event on Myers Quad is something that I’m super excited about.

Photo provided by Lisa Conley (MED '09)

How has serving on the Black Alumni Leadership Council benefited you?

Serving on the Black Alumni Leadership Council has shown me the power of community and the power of building a network. I always saw that there was a huge UGA network, but that didn’t necessarily include people who look like me. Finally meeting black alumni that look like me, and seeing that there are so many, has really benefitted me and showed me that while everyone may have a different experience, we’re still UGA.

What is the most important experience you learned as a student?

I learned that networking is super important while working with the NAACP. This became evident when I hosted a series of events called “A Call for Consciousness,” which focused on social justice issues. I asked a panelist to come to the event. This panelist later reached out to me with a paid internship offer because she remembered me from organizing the event series and thought I would be a great fit for her internship.

What is one piece of advice you would give to UGA students?

Don’t put yourself in a box. Be open to opportunities; don’t limit your definition of success to look like everyone else’s. Do what you love and find a way to do that even if it doesn’t appear possible.

UGA is committed to its students and mission as a land and sea grant university. What is your commitment?

My commitment is building and leveraging the community that is UGA. I can see that we have a strong community, even from miles away in Washington, D.C., so I’m committed to building and growing our community.


UGA’s Must-See Campus Upgrades: 2017 Edition

Last year, Deja White (ABJ ’17) walked you through the University of Georgia’s newest and most exciting upgrades for 2016. This year, we look to continue that tradition. Without further ado, here’s what you can look forward to seeing on your next visit back to Athens!

Campus Transit purchases electric buses

UGA has been awarded $10 million from the state of Georgia to purchase 19 electric buses. The 40-foot electric buses emit no pollution, are quieter and have lower operating costs than existing diesel powered buses. The buses should arrive on campus in late 2017 or 2018 and are part of the university’s strategic plan to advance campus sustainability.

“We tested several electric buses on campus over the past year and found that not only did they perform well, our student drivers and passengers really liked them,” said Robert Holden, associate vice president for Auxiliary Services. “By adding sustainable electric buses to our UGA fleet, we also are helping to raise the air quality in our community.”

The West End Zone Project

This one’s big. While UGA’s new $63 million West End Zone Project will not be completed until after the 2018 football season, Bulldogs still have plenty to be excited about. The project covers 120,000 total square feet of new and improved space.

These enhancements include a new home locker room for the football team, a space to host and entertain prospects on game day, improvements to restroom and concession areas below the bridge, and a new scoreboard and upper plaza.

Terry Business Learning Community Phase II

Phase Two of the Terry Business Learning Community, which just wrapped up, nearly doubles the square footage of Correll Hall. With three brand new buildings, students have a lot to look forward to this semester! Along with classrooms and labs, there will also be a graduate study, project team rooms, a career services center and a café (Au Bon Pain) for Dawgs to enjoy. Business majors (seen studying in Casey Commons in the new Amos Hall in the image above) rejoice!

Science Learning Center

The University of Georgia Science Learning Center is a 122,500-square-foot facility that provides modern, efficient and flexible space for undergraduate laboratory teaching in classes in chemistry, biology, physics, ecology, math, computer science and genetics. It includes 33 instruction labs, two 280-seat lecture halls, two 72-seat SCALE-UP (Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs) classrooms as well as spaces for informal student collaboration.

The objective of the new ScLC is to increase the number of students pursuing careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and for the building’s features, paired with the University of Georgia’s dedicated instructors, to support the sciences at UGA.

Indoor Athletic Facility (IAF)

The new Indoor Athletic Facility is a dream come true for student-athletes. Not only has it helped Head Football Coach Kirby Smart (BBA ’98) to recruit potential players, it is also perfect for teams, football and otherwise, to practice in during stormy weather.

“The Indoor Athletic Facility is a testament to the tremendous loyalty, passion and excitement that our alumni and friends feel for Georgia athletics,” President Morehead said. “Working together, we are fulfilling our commitment to provide our student-athletes with the tools and resources they need to succeed at the highest levels.”

Career Center Renovation

Initially a dormitory, Clark Howell Hall houses UGA’s very own Career Center. As a vital resource for students seeking employment, this building is receiving a much-deserved makeover.

“I am proud our new career center space will now reflect the quality career services provided to UGA students and alumni, the quality education received here and the quality of our graduates ready to enter the workforce or continue their education. Students, Alumni and Employers should be excited about a fully remodeled, modern space complete with a more centrally located front desk, state-of-the-art multi-purpose room, designated employer business center and on-campus interview wing,” said Whitney Prescott, assistant director of social media and marketing/lead career consultant.

Portions of this article were originally published by UGA Today.

Meet Amber Gizzi, Outreach Chair for the Women of UGA Leadership Council

Women of UGA’s mission is to foster a lifelong commitment to the University of Georgia by creating opportunities for personal and professional development, instilling a spirt of giving, and investing in the future of the university, its students and alumnae. We recently got the chance to interview Amber Gizzi (BSFCS ’14), outreach chair for the Women of UGA Leadership Council in order to learn more about her experience at UGA and what drives her to stay involved with her alma mater. Here’s what she had to say!

Tell me about your time as an undergrad and what role the University of Georgia played in pursuing your passion.

For most of my life, the University of Georgia (and figuring out how to get myself there) WAS my passion. I was so singularly focused on that one goal that I don’t think I gave much thought to what would happen next if I pulled it off and got accepted. I entered my freshman year on an athletic scholarship with absolutely no direction academically, and for the next two years I changed my major at least once a semester. There were times when I wished someone had forced me to pick a major and get moving, but instead everyone at UGA supported me each time I changed my mind, allowing me to find something I truly loved and was actually good at. Interior design was such a natural fit for me that I still don’t know how it took me so long to get there, but regardless, I would not be where I am today without every single advisor, coach, and mentor who quietly stood by while I found my own way.

I noticed you work at Pineapple House Interior Design. Walk me through a typical day on the job. What do you enjoy most about your career?

In January of this year, my business partner and I took over as the new owners of Pineapple House. I’ve spent a large portion of the last six months trying to wrap my head around the business and financial side of the company by monitoring every dollar that goes in and out and learning how to read financial reports (not a big topic of discussion in design school!). I’m really enjoying running the company and implementing changes that make us more efficient, but I’m still heavily involved in the design side of the business, too. Pulling together the initial design is creative and challenging and is followed by a lot of managing orders and being the point of contact for both contractors and the client. The most rewarding part of my job is the end where everything comes together and you get to see the client’s reaction to their dream home that you worked so hard to make a reality.

What made you want to become involved with Women of UGA?

I mentioned that I’ve loved UGA my entire life and while some people make their impact as a student, I feel like I have much more to offer the university and community now that I’m more mature and established in my career. I had been thinking about ways to get more involved and give back, and applications for the Women of UGA leadership council came at the perfect time and seemed like a great way to reconnect.

As outreach chair, what do you hope to accomplish during your term?

I think that many people graduate from college and feel like the community and support system they’ve had the past four years is suddenly gone, so my biggest goal is to eliminate that feeling for female graduates. Through my recent involvement, I’ve seen firsthand that the UGA Alumni Association really is a huge thriving community that wants to embrace every single graduate. We have been reaching out to existing alumnae as much as possible through social media and events, but I hope to also team up with student organizations such as sororities and women’s sports teams to let students know that we’re here for them even after they leave Athens.

CMK - UGA-30

Were you involved with any organizations here at UGA? If so, what did you enjoy most about that involvement?

I was a scholarship member of the Women’s Varsity Equestrian team at UGA. Since UGA is so big, I think it’s important to find your place and a core group of people who share your interests whether it’s a sport or a club. I grew up a huge fan of UGA sports, so it was very surreal to me to be a member of one of the teams I had cheered for my whole life. Through athletics, I made many lifelong friends and I can’t imagine navigating my first couple of years without great coaches and advisors to look out for me.

What’s the best piece of professional advice you have ever received?

So many things come to mind here but this is something I think about a lot – the most difficult thing about being in a creative career is that the creative part is so small compared to the management/administrative/financial part, but the creative part is your passion that led you to this career in the first place. There have been several instances where I was so overwhelmed with running a business that I started to wonder if I even liked interior design anymore. My husband Danny has been so helpful in all of these instances by either talking to me about design and reminding me why I love it, or indulging me as I ramble on about all the other things I could do with my life. These moments always pass pretty quickly, but the advice is to never lose sight of your passion, and if you do, give yourself time to rediscover it because it is rarely gone forever.

To learn more about Women of UGA, visit alumni.uga.edu/womenofuga and connect with the council on Instagram.

Meet Teri Cloud, President of the Women of UGA Leadership Council

Women of UGA’s mission is to foster a lifelong commitment to the University of Georgia by creating opportunities for personal and professional development, instilling a spirt of giving, and investing in the future of the university, its students and alumnae. We recently interviewed Teri Cloud (ABJ ’94), president of the Women of UGA Leadership Council, in order to learn more about her UGA experience and what drives her to stay connected to her alma mater. Here’s what she had to say!

Why did you choose to attend the University of Georgia? What, in your opinion, makes UGA stand out as compared to other universities?

I had my sights set on the University of Georgia since I was a young girl, and I wanted to be a journalist—just like Lois Lane! #superreporter

To me, there is no school like UGA. I love Athens and I love our beloved mascot and our unified spirit and our school pride. Mostly I suppose I love the type of people UGA attracts: diverse, rich in experiences and knowledge (not pretentious but proud, hungry!).

Tell me more about your background in journalism and how this led you to a career in marketing. What are you doing now?

Once I was at UGA, I learned more about the lifestyles of reporters (and the lack of pay and job opportunity!), I decided a more suitable route would be to pursue public relations (with a dual minor in marketing and English). My most appealing “skill” to employers after I graduated was graphic design, so my first job out of school was as a graphic designer in the art department for a large pharmaceutical company. I designed over-the-counter packaging, working closely with compliance and marketing, and realized my passion was on the marketing side.

Next stop: a headhunter successfully recruited me into a position as marketing coordinator for Troutman Sanders, LLP, one of Atlanta’s largest law firms. I eventually led that department, then years later moved to Holland & Knight, an international top 20 law firm and finally was recruited to be the director of marketing for BNKJ, LLP, a local accounting firm in Atlanta (I was engaged at the time, wanting to start a family in the foreseeable future, so wanted a position where I didn’t need to travel).

Earlier this year, BNKJ merged with Carr, Riggs, & Ingram, LLC (CRI), which is a $300 million top 20 US accounting firm and the fastest-growing. I am now the marketing communications manager for CRI, responsible for all of the firm’s marketing content—website, promotional materials, proposals, branding pieces and other marketing-driven materials. I have been in professional services marketing for more than 20 years (both accounting and legal marketing).

Describe your time as an undergrad here at UGA.

Please, it was UGA – it was fantastic! Every second was special and wonderful, and my friends and I all tried desperately to find jobs in Athens after we graduated so we could prolong our time there. I was always busy at UGA. I was in a sorority, wrote for the Red & Black, was a tour guide for the Georgia Recruitment Team, and got my FCC license so I could DJ and have a talk show (called Viewpoint) on WUOG radio (Athens ONLY alternative!). I was also briefly a water girl for our newly-formed ice hockey team. It was a riot!

What made you want to get involved with Women of UGA Leadership Council?

I have been involved for several years in community organizations, civic and professional organizations, but besides making my annual financial contributions, a football game or gymnastics meet here and there, or writing a sorority recommendation, I had lost touch. Then I ran into a dear friend of mine who is on the UGA Alumni Board of Directors. She reminded me how much I love UGA and encouraged me to get involved.

This council is relatively new. What do you hope to accomplish during your current term as president?

Obviously, we want – and intend – to fulfill our mission of helping a high school graduate who achieved entry into UGA but who needs assistance to attend the university without worry of how to pay for books or survive financially.

We also want to strengthen the UGA women’s support system. We want to encourage other alumnae to re-engage, remember how special the UGA bond is, and grow the Women of UGA community wherever we have alumnae. If we help even a small group of women find their way back to UGA, I will feel we’ve made a difference as a council. I’m very proud of our group and so honored to be a member. I know we will accomplish great things!

What advice do you have for current students? For recent graduates?

I would offer the old adage to accept the things they cannot change. If they mess up, clean up what they can of the mess and be better going forward. Really, it’s all you can do, and we all know it’s a waste of time and energy to dwell on the past.

Recent grads? Travel and explore while you can, but while you do, be sure to write down things you learn and experience that could translate well to a potential employer. (Did you not run out of money in Europe like your friends did because you thought ahead? Did you solve a great problem while abroad or learn about an emerging technology?)

If you had to choose your single greatest achievement, what would it be and why?

I found a really great husband in Emmett (it took some time and frog-kissing, believe me!), and we are just so overwhelmingly proud of our two children, Charlotte (9) and Jackson (11). They are empathetic and kind and respectful and brilliant (I’m a mom—allowed to be biased!), and I wish I had known them when I was a child because I would want to be best friends with them both. My son’s only flaw is that he says he wants to be a Yellow Jacket. Why??

To learn more about Women of UGA, visit alumni.uga.edu/womenofuga and connect with the council on Instagram.

Quitman’s Kasey Knight is UGA College of Pharmacy’s 2017 40 Under 40

This year’s UGA College of Pharmacy “40 Under 40” alumni recipient defied the popular opinion of his fellow classmates in 2005.  At the college’s senior banquet that year, Kasey Knight was awarded the dubious senior superlative honor of “Classmate Least Likely to Ever Practice Pharmacy.” However, Knight’s vision, tenacity and passion for his chosen profession certainly has shown the naysayers that they were wrong.

Now the owner of Lee & Pickels Drugs, the leading independent drug store in Quitman, Knight’s aspiration for the pharmacy field surfaced at a young age. His mother says that her son created a career project in the third grade that displayed his desire to be a pharmacist.  Briefly, he considered life as a physician and a football coach.  But in the end, he returned to his original plan.

Kasey Knight consults Anne Smith, who has been a pharmacist at Lee & Pickels for two years and is a UGA College of Pharmacy alumna.

After receiving pre-pharmacy requisites from Mercer University in Macon, Knight came to the place he calls “heaven” – Athens.  “I’ve been a bulldog fan all my life,” said Knight. “When I was young, my grandparents had season football tickets, and I attended every game I could.  So, the opportunity to come to school at the University of Georgia was thrilling.”  While Knight admits he wasn’t very involved in college activities during his time in school, he had no doubt he would pursue his career.  Following graduation, Knight began working at the Kroger pharmacy in Waycross.  “But I always wanted to work in an independent pharmacy,” he said.  “And long-term, I knew I wanted to own my own store.”

To gain experience, Knight joined Bennett’s Hometown Pharmacy in Nahunta, owned by fellow alumni Stetson (PHARM ’96) Bennett and Denise Bennett (PHARMD ’96).  “Stetson taught me the ropes of being a business owner,” said Knight.  “He was very influential in my career, and I am deeply indebted to him.”  Later, he helped Bennett open a second location in Waynesville. He also met his bride, Danielle, who was a pharmacy tech, at Bennett’s. After three years, the opportunity to buy Lee & Pickels Drugs surfaced in 2011, and Knight and Danielle purchased the 76-year-old pharmacy, which literally is the corner drug store on the main street of Quitman.  Currently, he fills an average of 400 prescriptions a day with the help of 15 employees.  He recently expanded his company to include durable medical supplies.

“I love being an independent pharmacist,” said Knight.  “This is the best profession in the world.  I don’t just dispense drugs; I connect with my customers, and I have a relationship with them. I become a part of their lives. I have had many customers say that they are more comfortable talking with me about their medical concerns than their own doctors.  And, as an independent pharmacist, I have the freedom to create the kind of business that I think is best for this community and best for my family.”

Knight is quick to give credit where credit is due.  “The College of Pharmacy allowed me to be the success I am today. I owe everything I have as a pharmacist to the outstanding education I received while I was in Athens.  Without the college, I wouldn’t have realized my passion and my success.  I am eternally grateful for the experience I had at UGA.”

Kasey Knight and his family stand outside their drug store in Quitman. (front, l-r) Hannah and John Thomas. (back, l-r) Danielle, Kaleb and Kasey.

Knight also understands that his role as entrepreneur means he has to be engaged with the town that is now home to him, Danielle and their three children: John Thomas, 5; Hannah, 4; and Kaleb, 6 months. He was elected to the local Brooks County Board of Education in 2014. In addition, he is on the board of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club, the Kiwanis Club and the Brooks-Quitman Chamber of Commerce, and he serves as a deacon at the First Baptist Church.

A quick stroll through town with Knight allows anyone to see how beloved and popular this hometown pharmacist is. Every passerby extended a warm hello or short anecdote to the UGA alumnus as he walked passed them.  “I love what I do and the customers I serve,” said Knight.  “It means the world to me to be a pharmacist.”

This story was written by Mickey Montevideo, UGA College of Pharmacy.

Meet Ericka Davis, Member of the Black Alumni Leadership Council

In October 2015, the UGA Alumni Association launched the UGA Black Alumni Affinity Group, which is led by the Black Alumni Leadership Council. The council seeks to connect with black alumni and students through shared experiences, and to continue building a welcoming and supporting campus community. Ericka Davis (AB ’93) is a member of the Black Alumni Leadership Council, and we recently interviewed her to learn more about her UGA experience and what drives her to stay connected to the University of Georgia.

When did you graduate from UGA and what did you do after college?

I graduated in 1993 with an English degree and got my first real job working for the Georgia Department of Human Resource as a service coordinator. From there, I transferred to the Foster Care program and started graduate school at Southern Polytechnic State University (now Kennesaw State University). This led to my first job and leadership role in communications with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). After six years with DJJ, I became the Director of Communications for the Georgia Building Authority, State Properties Commission and Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission, simultaneously under the State Property Officer. From there I served as Division Director of Communications for the Georgia Department of Transportation, then on to serve as the Director of Communications for Fulton County for five years until I landed my current role as Communications and Media Relations Director for the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

How did you get involved with the UGA Alumni Association?

I have been actively recruiting students to UGA with another alumnus, Randy Groomes (BBA ’92, MBA ’11), since graduation. I saw the opportunity to serve on the Black Alumni Leadership Council as a more formal way to continue to work with fellow graduates. I have also been a donor for some time.

Which Black Alumni Affinity Group event are you most proud of?

I’m always proud of the council’s work to engage minority students, especially when we celebrate accepted students at the annual reception in Atlanta. I am also a huge fan of our Black Alumni Homecoming. The success has been amazing and it is a strong reminder of the close knit family we are.

How has serving on the black alumni leadership council benefited you?

It has allowed me the opportunity to meet alumni that I didn’t know previously, and share our collective passion for the university, diversity and inclusion among the student body, faculty and staff. It’s redefined for me just what it means to be a part of Bulldog Nation.

Photo provided by Ericka Davis (AB '93)

What is the most important thing you learned as a student?

Wow, that’s tough because I learned so much. I would have to say that my experience as a summer orientation leader was the most important experience. That experience gave me confidence that I did not have before. You can’t be shy or an introvert representing UGA, giving tours daily and speaking about UGA to parents and thousands of incoming freshmen. You have to know and love UGA to be successful. That was a huge confidence builder for a 20-year-old about to go out into the world.

What is one piece of advice you would give to UGA students?

Embrace every opportunity to both learn and lead at UGA, and get job experience while you are there. Many students are enjoying the college experience, but they aren’t taking full advantage of it so that they can build a resume, body of work and talent while they are matriculating.

UGA is committed to its students and mission as a land and sea grant university. What is your commitment?

My commitment as an alumna and proud member of the Black Alumni Leadership Council is to recruit African American students, faculty and staff to the university, to retain and support students to completion of degree programs, to engage current students and alumni through mentoring and professional development, to donate and encourage other alumni to do so, and to serve as a UGA ambassador in the community. GO DAWGS!