Young Alumni Profile: Taylor Schachinger (BS ’10, MBA ’16)

Taylor Schachinger (BS ’10, MBA ’16) was the first person in his family to earn a degree from a four-year school. Now, he works as the lead manager for interconnection agreements at AT&T. In this role, he handles business case development to guide rural network strategy. He also negotiates roaming contracts for AT&T’s FirstNet network build.

Where are you from and where did you grow up?
This is always a tough question for me to answer succinctly. I was born in New York and spent the majority of my childhood there, with a short stint in Nashville, Tennessee. In middle school my family moved to Connecticut, where my family lives now. I’ve lived here in Georgia for the past 12 years.

What made you decide to come to school at the UGA? 
Finding a way to pay for school was a huge focus for me as I compared my college options. I saw UGA as an incredible value, and was fortunate enough to establish residency and earn a H.O.P.E. scholarship even though I started as an out of state student.

What was your major(s) and minor(s) at UGA?
My undergraduate major was Health Promotion (my original plan was to go to PA school), and my graduate concentration was finance.

What activities were you involved in at UGA?
In business school I served as co-president of the Graduate Business Association and I was also a member of Leadership Fellows.

What was your most memorable college experience?
At the risk of sounding cliché, my graduation day was pretty special. I was the first person in my family to earn a degree from a four-year school so that was pretty special.

Taylor and familyYou met your wife at UGA – how did that occur?
We actually “met” prior to that, my wife is originally from New Jersey and we went to the same church camp growing up. We reconnected at a friend’s birthday party in college and the rest is history. I’m blessed to be married to a diehard Dawg – she completely blocks off the calendar on fall Saturdays. We don’t ever fight about watching too much football.

What was your favorite UGA football game that you’ve attended? Why?
I don’t think I would have said this about 9 months ago, but the National Championship last January was such an incredible experience. Even though it ended in heartbreak, it was the most amazing game I’ve ever seen in person.

What have you done since you’ve graduated?
When I graduated from business school I started in AT&T’s Leadership Development Program, a rotational program for MBA graduates. My first rotation within the program was managing network construction in Northwest Georgia. In my current role, I do business case development to guide our rural network strategy, which helps AT&T decide where to build out our wireless network vs. where to “rent” capacity. I also negotiate roaming contracts for AT&T’s FirstNet network build.

What are you most passionate about?
I really love working with kids. In college I spent several summers as a counselor for 9-10 year olds at a church camp. Currently, I volunteer at our local Boys and Girls Club and teach in the children’s ministry at our church. Those are two of the highlights of my week.

What makes you unique from other UGA grads?
I paid for my own education, that’s something that I’m really proud of.

What advice would you give to graduating seniors and recent graduates?
Fight the urge to prove how much you think you know, especially when beginning a new role. I think humility establishes trust and credibility in ways that overconfidence cant. Also, manically manage your time.

What do you want to achieve in life?
I want to help others develop a bigger vision for their life then they might be able to on their own. I know I’ve benefited greatly from people who believed in me and encouraged me to pursue dreams that I may not have without their faith in me.

Anything else that you would like to tell the UGA community?
Go Dawgs!

Science for the benefit of humanity: Dr. Cori Bargmann

When Dr. Cori Bargmann (BS ’81) graduated from the University of Georgia in 1981 with a degree in biochemistry, she had no idea she would one day lead a $3 billion initiative dedicated to eradicating disease by 2100. Dr. Bargmann explained she was a typical freshman in Mell Hall who lived off Ritz Crackers and Oreos, but she began to get hands-on lab experience thanks to her favorite professor, Dr. Sidney Kushner. A genetics professor, Kushner was also Bargmann’s undergraduate advisor, who “paid me to work in the lab even though I mostly broke things.”

Bargmann is currently the Torsten N. Wiesel Professor at The Rockefeller University in genetics and neurosciences. She studies animal neurology, specifically that of round worms, as it relates to genetics and environment. In 2016 she became the Head of Science for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), an initiative co-founded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician and teacher. The mission of the initiative is to build a better future for everyone, which in Bargmann’s words, means to “find new ways to leverage technology, community-drive(n) solutions, and collaboration to accelerate progress in Science, Education, and within our Justice & Opportunity work.”

Bargmann’s favorite UGA memory is gathering with her friends every Saturday night at IHop on Baxter Street to rehash the week. Her friends and she followed that ritual regardless of other social plans. Ultimately, her college friends became like family. She says the No. 1 thing she learned from UGA was how many different subjects people are passionate about and how they all bring different backgrounds and experiences to the table.

Bargmann doesn’t claim to be an early riser or a night owl, rather responding with “what is this thing called sleep?” Which makes sense with the list of problems facing her. She says this generation has a lot of challenges, from solving disease to making education more accessible to removing barrier to success, and she agrees with Zuckerberg that these goals need to be ambitious. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was started in 2015, and Bargmann is excited because it is “starting something brand new” where they are “solving today’s challenges today.”

The UGA grad’s proudest achievement isn’t a research discovery or one of the awards she has received. She is most proud of her graduate students who have gone on to do great things. She says “they were great to start with, but I didn’t stand in their way.” Seeing them succeed gives her work meaning.

Her work will gain even more meaning as she continues to pursue solutions to some of society’s great challenges through the CZI. But, of course, we all want to know: what was it like meeting Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg? She was impressed by how young they were–just like her graduate students–and how committed they are to giving back. Bargmann says that like Chan and Zuckerberg, she wants to give back, and her hope is that her research is more than scientific discovery, she wants it to be “science for the benefit of humanity.”

Allstate Sugar Bowl Events for Alumni

Whether you’re traveling to New Orleans to catch the Allstate Sugar Bowl in person or attending a game watching party in your hometown or that of a relative, check out our exhaustive list of events to get you in the Bulldog spirit this January 1.

Cheer for the Dawgs will fellow Bulldog Faithful as we kick off 2019 with a battle against the University of Texas – a match-up that has been over 20 years in the making. Go Dawgs!

5 Ways to Make Alumni Weekend the Perfect Girls Getaway

Alumni Weekend is a great opportunity to return to Athens and enjoy a weekend back on your old stomping grounds. It’s also the perfect opportunity to bring a few friends with you, ladies! So text your girlfriends and encourage them to join you for a weekend back in Athens … it’s time to feel like a student again!

Here are a few tips to ensure y’all get the most out of your trip:

1—Curate a schedule that rounds out the weekend.
Alumni Weekend begins on Thursday evening and concludes with brunch on Saturday. This schedule was developed to allow alumni to curate portions of the weekend to hit their interests and passions. Think about what you and your friends enjoyed as students and what you like to do today – there’s usually a way to bring those interests to life during your trip.

2—Pick a convenient place to stay.
There are room blocks available at a few hotels for Alumni Weekend guests, but you certainly aren’t required to stay in them. Feel free to reserve accommodations that will allow you to most easily travel to and from activities during the weekend. Not sure which fits your tastes best? The UGA Alumni Association staff can help direct you – give us a call!

3—Use your time wisely.
There are a few hours on Friday and plenty of time on Saturday to add personalized activities to your itinerary. Might we suggest a little local shopping in downtown Athens on Clayton and Hull Streets? Or a cup of joe at a coffee shop that is favored by staff and students. And then there’s also walking at the State Botanical Garden, taking a self-guided tour of campus, stopping by an old professor’s office to say hello or sweating it out at Ramsey Student Center.

4—Book meal or tour reservations.
If you and your friends are interested in any optional activities, be sure to purchase tickets or book reservations in advance.

5—Bring your camera!
What’s a visit to campus with your gal pals if you forget to snap pictures to remember the weekend? So charge your phone and be sure to take advantage of UGA’s best locations for photo opps as you enjoy the weekend. You can check out the “Selfie Spot” recommendations from the UGA Visitors Center or this Red and Black article on “Places around Athens to pose for the perfect photograph.”

Fueling Up: Student and Staff Recommendations for a Caffeine Fix

As most University of Georgia students, faculty or staff members know: caffeine is a vital ingredient to keep things moving around Athens. In a college town, though, there are endless options to achieve your java fix. Here are some recommendations from the experts: UGA staff and students.

Iron Works Coffee lobby

Iron Works Coffee lobby (source:

Ironworks at The Foundry
295 Dougherty Street

“Although I only get coffee there sometimes, Ironworks is my go-to study spot in Athens because of the unique interior décor (I need to be inspired by my atmosphere for my creative projects!) and I always run into people I know.” – Courtney Rutledge, Class of 2020, Graphic Design major

“Ironworks has comfy seating and a cozy atmosphere.” – Lindsey McSwigan, Class of 2020, Marketing and International Business major

SIPS Espresso Cafe with windows open

SIPS Espresso Cafe (source: SIPS Espresso Cafe Facebook page)

Sips Espresso Cafe
1390 Prince Avenue

“Sips is one of my favorite places to get coffee in Athens because it has huge windows that are usually open, so you feel like you’re outside. Plus, the lattes and baked goods are delicious.” – Hayley Cox, Development Coordinator, UGA Graduate School

Inside of Walker's Coffee and Pub

Walker’s Coffee and Pub (source:

Walker’s Coffee & Pub
128 College Avenue

“Walker’s is the best because it’s so cozy and the chai tea lattes are the perfect motivation.” – Ashleigh Burroughs, Class of 2021, Public Relations major

UGA Orientation Leaders at the Starbucks in Tate Student Center

UGA Orientation Leaders at the Starbucks in Tate Student Center (source: UGA Orientation Twitter)

Starbucks in Tate Student Center
831 S. Lumpkin Street

“I usually go to the Starbucks at Tate on campus to get coffee and study because I have a lot of gift cards to Starbucks! I like that it’s in its own private area, but since it’s on campus, I still feel like I’m among lots of people.” – Meg Pruitt, Class of 2020, Graphic Design major

Jittery Joe's Downtown Athens location

Jittery Joe’s Downtown Athens location (source:

Jittery Joe’s (Downtown Location)
297 E. Broad Street

“Jittery Joe’s is roasted by a grad just around the corner from my house, so I have a special affinity for it. The downtown location is convenient for students, but also for faculty and staff. Have a meeting there, grab it to go en route to campus, or grab a bag of their Attack the Day beans to make at home. You won’t regret it.” – Elizabeth Elmore, Communications Director, UGA Division of Development and Alumni Relations


1000 Faces coffee shop in Athens, GA.

1000 Faces
510 N. Thomas Street

“1000 Faces is a great place to grab coffee – the space is beautiful, they roast their own beans and it is conveniently located in downtown Athens!” – Megan Powell, Development Associate, UGA Office of Gift & Estate Planning

Jittery Joe's Roaster Tasting Room

Jittery Joe’s Roaster Tasting Room (source:

Jittery Joe’s (Roaster)
425 Barber Street

“I’m a loyal Jittery Joe’s drinker, and the Roaster is the most convenient for purchasing a latte or beans. It’s not crowded like campus and shopping center locations, and they have treats for your pup!” – Melissa Lee, Donor Impact Coordinator, UGA Office of Donor Relations and Stewardship

Buvez brick building on Barber Street

Buvez on Barber Street (source: Buvez Facebook page)

585 Barber Street

“Buvez is my new favorite coffee shop because of its unique feel and secret location. Located along the train tracks and filled with vintage furniture, the renovated roaster building feels cozy. I love grabbing a 1000 Faces cold brew and relaxing on their indoor bench swing or letting my kids color all over the toddler-height chalkboard in their family-friendly nook.” – Laura Bayne, Communications Associate, UGA Division of Development and Alumni Relations

Hendershots Coffee on Prince Avenue

Hendershots Coffee on Prince Avenue (source: Hendershots Coffee Facebook page)

237 Prince Avenue

“I love Hendershot’s because they have live music and empanadas are available next door [at Viva Argentina].” – Tarleton Woodson, Class of 2020, MIS major


Alumni Weekend is the perfect opportunity to return to campus and feel like a student again … and what makes you feel like a student more than a little coffee to kickstart your day? We hope you enjoyed these recommendations!

The G Book – Traditions for the Returning Alumnus

The University of Georgia is the birthplace of public higher education in America. Our history is rich and full of unique stories and traditions. But traditions aren’t meant to simply be revered – they are meant to be lived! And at UGA, the Student Alumni Association is ensuring that students are a part of the living history of UGA through the G Book, UGA’s official traditions handbook.

The G Book is disseminated to students in their first year at UGA and contains information about the university, lyrics to cheers and, of course, a slew of traditions that will take students all over campus during their four years as a UGA student. Students who complete all 20 traditions in the handbook before graduation are among the Bulldog elite and earn the title of “Tradition Keeper.”

Live the Traditions While on Campus
Alumni who return to campus (say, maybe, for Alumni Weekend?) should be sure to pick up a G Book at the Wray-Nicholson House (or view it online) and follow in students’ footsteps as they relive traditions old and new. It’s a great way to relive your glory days, but also experience what it means to be a Bulldog today.

Curious what traditions are included in the 2018-2019 G Book?

Down to Earth: How one alumnus found his passion in soil research

Frank Henning (PHD ’10) currently works as a senior scientist in the Duluth, Georgia, office of Woodard & Curran, an integrated engineering, science and operations company. Dr. Henning graduated from the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences with a Ph.D. in horticulture. He coordinates environmental field studies, scientific investigations, Clean Water Act permitting, environmental policy studies, restoration projects and environmental construction management.

Dr. Henning says he chose to study soil because “soil is the ultimate recycling bin; it has the most amazing capacity to transform wastes into life.”

While many think of soil as critical in the agricultural realm, he said it is important to study soil for conservation as well.

His appreciation for soil grows with every project. These projects include restoring native vegetation along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, developing geospatial tools to reduce erosion in fire stricken areas of California, and monitoring changes in salinity along the Georgia coast.

He also has worked on preventative projects to protect water resources from erosion during development and has designed urban landscapes that treat pollutants and infiltrate runoff.

If you’re interested in joining Dr. Henning in solving grand challenges that face our agricultural and environmental futures, please consider giving to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Fund.

Meet Kelly Kautz, Events Chair of 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 Kelly Kautz (AB’ 99, JD’02), 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! 

Kelly Kautz

What year did you graduate from UGA? What was your major?

I was a double dawg. I graduated in 1999 as a political science/criminal justice major, then I graduated from the School of Law in 2002.

Why did you choose to attend UGA?

I knew I wanted to go into law and possibly politics. If you look at the leaders of our state in that time, everyone was a University of Georgia graduate. If you looked at the governor, justice on the supreme court, secretary of state or speaker of the house, all of them were UGA graduates. It was the most influential university in our state, so I chose to come to UGA.

What path led you to establishing your own law firm/practice?

At the time, I wanted to run for elected office. I opened up my own practice so I could have the time and flexibility to do that.

How did you get involved with the Women of UGA Leadership Council?

I’m passionate about the University of Georgia. I’m a huge fan of not just sports, but the university itself. I wanted to give back to the university in ways that would continue to touch peoples’ lives, even after they have left school. When I heard that Women of UGA was being formed, I thought it would be a great opportunity to do what I wanted to do.

What are you enjoying most about serving on the Women of UGA Leadership Council?

I think there is a great group of women on the council. Everyone is equally passionate about our school. I’m chair of the events committee, so I work on planning and events, such as our Cookies and Cocoa, event we having coming up. Just being able to have outreach with not only women on the council, but other alumni coming back is really exciting.

What is the most valuable piece of career advice someone gave to you?

In the 8th-grade I had an attorney say, “If you take away one person’s rights, what’s to stop you from having the domino effect on others?” Another time, someone told me, “you can’t say anything about things unless you’re willing to make a difference.” That’s when I decided to go into criminal law and politics.

What advice would you give to graduating seniors or recent college graduates?

I would tell them that it’s difficult out there. It’s a different place and especially finding a job can be difficult sometimes. However, you all (students) have a great network of alumni, and you can’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. You can’t give up. You have to keep trying.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you visit Athens?

As funny as it sounds, I really love coming back to Athens to eat. There are so many great restaurants in Athens. I love going back to the different restaurants. I really love to come back and have Cecilia’s Cakes. I think they sell them in a couple of restaurants, but they have a location on Milledge Avenue that I love to visit when I come back to Athens. I have a little 3-year-old who just got to ring the Chapel bell last time we visited Athens, so I can’t wait to start making these same memories with him.

How has being part of the Women of UGA Leadership Council benefitted you?

It has helped me reform a connection and attachment with the university. I feel like a lot of times when we leave the university, we lose that connection we had with the university. I have loved coming back to where I belong and feeling that attachment with the university.

What is your favorite UGA memory?

I spent eight years in Athens, and I don’t have any bad memories. I met my husband in Athens. I made lifelong friendships there. They’re all great memories. I used to be in charge of parade for homecoming in Athens. Working with the older cheerleaders that come back for the games, parade and pep rallies was such a blast and always a great time. Sharing that enthusiasm was them is one of my fondest memories.