Hurricane Dorian

Hurricanes in Georgia: what you need to know from Dr. Marshall Shepherd

As hurricane season approaches its peak and storms are forming, we wanted to learn more about what to expect this year, how to prepare and what the future looks like for hurricane forecasting. For these pressing questions, we turned to Dr. Marshall Shepherd, who is director of the UGA Atmospheric Sciences program, the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences, a Forbes contributor, the host of Weather Geeks on The Weather Channel, and the former president of the American Meteorological Society. Let’s just say he’s a big deal when it comes to weather and climate.

Marshall Shepherd

What does a typical hurricane season look like in Georgia?

We have not had an actual land-falling hurricane in over a hundred or so years, and interestingly, it’s because the coast of Georgia sort of aligns in such a way that there’s something in the Atlantic ocean called the Bermuda High, a large high pressure system. Because of the way the air circulates around that high pressure system in the northern hemisphere is a clockwise circulation, it means when those hurricanes are coming out of the tropics, they tend to end up on the left side of that high, and so they’re already starting to curve and head northward, so they don’t really sort of move into the coast. 

So I would say for hurricane seasons here in Georgia, although our coast can certainly be impacted by a land-falling storm, it is unlikely because of that curvature. However, as we saw in 2018 with Hurricane Michael and we’ve seen in the past with storms like Tropical Storm Alberto and even with Irma, it is possible. Hurricane season for Georgia is two-faceted: one in the sense that we theoretically can get land-falling hurricanes on our coast but we rarely do because of the curvature, and secondly, we often can get storms that move into our state once they make landfall elsewhere.

Hurricane Michael and Irma are good examples of that, and they also illustrate something that I always try to convey about hurricane impacts, which is that we shouldn’t get too fixated on category all the time, because the impacts associated with a storm like an Irma or a Michael can certainly impact us in Georgia.

Often hurricanes are downgraded to tropical storms by the time they get to Athens. What are the main threats that impact Athens in hurricane season?

With storms that are going to impact us in north and central Georgia, we’re typically going to see lots of rainfall. Even though the storm is weakened from a hurricane, as we saw with Irma or Michael, it still can have tropical storm force winds, which, coupled with rainfall, can be a hazard for falling trees, causing power outages. When storms make landfall in the panhandle of Florida, we can experience tornadoes in the outer rain bands as those bands spiral out to land. The worst impacts of a land-falling hurricane tend to be on the right-front quadrant of the storm, and so that’s where the worst storm surge is on the coast, but it’s also where you get the strongest winds and where you’re most likely to have those spin-up tornadoes.

Hurricane Dorian

What are some of the precautions Georgians can take to prepare for hurricane season?

Hurricane season for Athens is probably going to be rainfall, wind and loss of power, and so it’s important to prepare the way you would for any storm where you might lose power. Some things to have on hand:

  • Extra batteries
  • Your cell phone and extra charging capacity
  • Nonperishable food items in case you can’t cook for a while.

Before a storm arrives, remove items from your deck or outside your home that could become projectiles in 50 or 60 mile-per-hour winds. I recommend keeping an eye out for large trees around the home, because when you have a lot of rain and wind, those things can fall.

Editor note: UGA Extension reminds Georgians to put more than milk and bread in emergency food supply.

When does hurricane season begin for Georgia?

Typically, August tends to be like the first hill on a roller coaster. We can certainly get a very active season once we get into September and October. In August, the formation point for hurricanes tends to shift more to the western Caribbean, but by September we’re getting to what we call the Cape Verde hurricane season. We start getting waves coming off of the African coastline and some of them, if the conditions are favorable, can develop. [As of late August], the busiest part of the season still looms ahead of us.

What factors influence how active each hurricane season is in Georgia?

Various things. For example, if we’re in an El Nino, which we were for much of the past year, that can tend to lessen hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic Basin because it brings the jet stream too far south and hurricanes don’t like a lot of wind shear. During La Nina, it tends to be the opposite because the jet stream stays to the north. So those are the background factors. We always start by looking to see if we’re in a La Nina, El Nino or a neutral year. I think we’re trending from a weak El Nino to somewhat of a neutral situation, which is perhaps why some experts have upped their estimations for this year’s activity.

Another factor for the Atlantic hurricane season that’s actually quite impactful right now is that there’s a lot of Saharan dust coming off Africa, and that dust actually can inhibit the formation of these waves. If you look at satellite images, there’s quite a bit of dust over the Atlantic ocean. Other than that, you just need warm water and not a lot of wind shear in the atmosphere, so if you can get all of those conditions and you can get these things to develop, then you can certainly get more active hurricanes. 

Now what determines where they go is dependent on the center of that high pressure system that I mentioned. If that thing is further out towards Europe, then as they start curving around, they’re going to curve out to sea. If that high is closer to the United States, then it’s more likely that they’ll curve and affect Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. So we’re always looking for the location of that semi-permanent high pressure system.

What kinds of research is UGA doing regarding hurricanes?

There’s research being conducted in various places across campus, including our Atmospheric Sciences program. My research group’s work is funded by NASA and is focused on the Brown Ocean Effect. It’s this notion that sometimes hurricanes, when they make landfall, don’t weaken as we expect, and they can maintain their strength or intensify if the soil is moist or it moves over a swamp or wet land mass. I have a group looking at that with a sophisticated mass of models; it’s really interesting hurricane and tropical cyclone work.

There’s interesting research out of the Skidaway Institute for Oceanography about these robotic drones, and they can plunge deep into the water and measure water temperature, salinity and some other things. That’s huge, because we often hear about hurricanes and the sea surface temperature, but it’s really the depth of the warm water, something we call the ocean heat content, so these drones allow us to learn about the structure of that deep water. One of the things that happens as hurricanes come along and tap into that warm water is they churn up water, and often they churn up cold water, which self-limits development. But if it’s churning up warm water, that’s still sufficient to support hurricanes. We’re pretty good with hurricane track forecasts, but hurricane intensity forecasts lag behind, and part of the reason is we lack the understanding of what’s going on in the deep ocean water, so I think that research by the University of Georgia is game-changing.

Is there anything else Georgians should know about hurricane season?

There’s a lot of fake information about weather out there on social media, so I would recommend people follow credible sources of information about weather. The first place I start is the National Hurricane Center.

Thank you to Dr. Shepherd for taking the time to share this information with us, especially as Hurricane Dorian threatens the Southeast in the coming days. Be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

2019 UGA Football Schedule

It’s time, once again, to tee it up Between The Hedges! Kirby Smart (BBA ’98) is ready to lead the Dawgs into his fourth year as head coach, and all signs point to a banner year. Jake Fromm, D’Andre Swift, JR Reed, and Andrew Thomas—all among the nation’s best at their positions—are just a few of the starters returning this year, and a bevy of highly-touted talents round out the rest of this star-studded roster.

This year’s schedule is full of intrigue, with several preseason top-10 match-ups on the books—most notably the Dawgs’ return trip in its home-and-home series with college football blueblood Notre Dame. Here’s the full 2019 UGA football schedule:

 

August 31: @ Vanderbilt – Nashville, Tennessee

September 7: Murray State

September 14: Arkansas State

September 21: Notre Dame

September 28: Bye Week

October 5: @ Tennessee – Knoxville, Tennessee

October 12: South Carolina

October 19: Kentucky

October 26: Bye Week

November 2: @ Florida – Jacksonville, Florida

November 9: Missouri

November 16: @ Auburn – Auburn, Alabama

November 23: Texas A&M

November 30: @ Georgia Tech – Atlanta, Georgia

 

Can’t make it to a game in person? No worries–don your red and black and head to your local alumni chapter game-watching party. Because no Bulldog should ever bark alone!

Oh, and be sure to update your info to make sure you stay informed about all of the UGA happenings in your neck of the woods.

10 reasons it’s great to be a UGA grad

1. UGA has the best campus.

UGA's campus

Nothing beats campus in the fall (except campus in the winter, spring or summer). Even after you graduate and come ‘home’ to visit, it is somehow exactly the same and completely different. That’s the magic of being an alumnus of a school with so much history and a bright future.

2. UGA has the finest traditions.

The Arch

Not passing under the Arch is a lesson UGA students quickly learn, along with why leaving your house at midnight to Snellebrate is worth it, and why you have to visit sites like the Chapel Bell and Herty Field to celebrate big and small accomplishments. If you haven’t in a while, complete a UGA tradition the next time you’re on campus. As Larry Munson said, “There is no tradition more worthy of envy.”

3. Speaking of traditions: Saturdays in Athens are legendary. 

UGA Football

The population in Athens triples on game days, and for good reason. Everyone heads to town to tailgate, hunker down, and root for the Dawgs. The best college football team in the country. (Clemson and Bama, who?)

4. We have the greatest mascot. 

uga

Uga X was recently named the best mascot in college football by Sports Illustrated, as if you needed official confirmation. He’s the ‘goodest’ boy. Come on, just look at that face. 

5. Our academics are top notch.

Career Outcomes

Each class of new Bulldogs brings in more impressive high school GPAs and test scores. Our alumni use their first-rate UGA educations to excel in the workforce. That’s something to be proud of. 

6. Every Georgian is within 40 miles of a UGA facility.

Economic impact

As a land- and sea-grant university, it’s our mission to provide resources to every Georgian. With our vast presence across the state, we’re able to do that.

7. UGA has 80+ alumni chapters.

Hairy & Student

No matter where in the world you go, you can find a piece of home with your local alumni chapter. Never bark alone!

8. Our history is unlike any other university.

Chapel Bell

We were founded in 1785 are the birthplace of higher education in America. Nothing has slowed our progress in more than 230 years.

9. Everyone looks good in red and black.

hairy dawg

Enough said.

10. We are the Bulldog Nation.

There are two simple words that express the sentiments of the entire Bulldog Nation: Go Dawgs!

Are you loud and proud?

For those Bulldog Faithful and are interested in being “in-the-know” and helping us share great news with the rest of the Bulldog Family, we invite you to sign up to be a Digital Dawg! Digital Dawgs are the UGA Alumni Association’s social media ambassadors and help us BARK good news to communities around the world! Joining is simple:

  1. Sign up to be a Digital Dawg.
  2. Receive the latest news and updates from the UGA Alumni Association.
  3. Share the news on your social media channels to help spread the word.
  4. Stay connected with the Bulldog Nation!

National Dog Day

It’s National Dog Day today, and what better way to celebrate than with pictures of our favorite dog? Uga was first recognized as the university mascot in 1956. Since then, football fans everywhere recognize Uga by his spiked collar and varsity lettered jersey, custom-made from the same material as the players’ jerseys.

Uga was recently ranked No. 1 on Sports Illustrated’s list of The Greatest Mascots in College Football History, and we couldn’t agree more. Keep reading to learn more about the history of our award-winning mascotand favorite dogs. 

Uga X, “Que”

2015 – Present

Que served as the primary mascot for all the games of 2015, but was officially named Uga X in the game against Georgia Southern on November 21, 2015.

Uga IX, “Russ”

2012 – 2015

Uga IX was present for two SEC Eastern Division Championships, a Capital One Bowl win and a Belk Bowl win.

Uga VIII, “Big Bad Bruce”

2010 – 2011

Uga VIII’s registered name was in honor of Dr. Bruce Hollett of UGA’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Hollett was instrumental in the care and treatment of the bulldog mascots over the years. Uga VIII unfortunately had a short-lived reign after a lymphoma diagnosis in 2010.

Uga VII, “Loran’s Best”

2008 – 2009

After VII passed away unexpectedly in 2009, the bulldogs did not have a live mascot at the game. Instead, a wreath was placed on Uga VII’s doghouse and the players wore a special Uga VII decal on their helmets in remembrance.

Uga VI, “Uga V’s Whatchagot Loran”

1999 – 2008

Uga VI has the most wins in school history with a record of 87-27. He’s also the biggest Uga the university has ever had, weighing in at 65 pounds.

Uga V, “Uga IV’s Magillicuddy II”

1990 – 1999

Uga V graced the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1997 with the title of best college mascot in the nation.

Uga IV, “Seiler’s Uga Four”

1981 – 1989

Uga IV made an appearance at the Heisman Trophy Banquet with Herschel Walker. He was the first mascot ever invited to attend the Heisman Banquet!

Uga III, “Seiler’s Uga Three”

1972 – 1980

Uga III closed out his career in ultimate fashion leading the team to victory in the 1980 NCAA championship.

Uga II, “Ole Dan’s Uga”

1966 – 1972

Uga II was introduced at a pregame ceremony at Homecoming in 1966. The entire stadium erupted in a cheer, “Damn Good Dog!”

Uga I, “Hood’s Ole Dan”

1956 – 1966

Cecelia Seiler, whose family breeds the succession of Ugas, made Uga I’s original red jerseys out of children’s t-shirts.

Next time you’re between the hedges, be sure to take a peek at Uga’s air-conditioned doghouse next to the cheerleaders’ platform. You can also pay tribute to all past Ugas by visiting their memorial plots near the main gate in the embankment of the south stands. Before each home game, flowers are placed on their marble vaults.

Learn more about the Ugas from years past. 

Happy National Dog Day, or as we like to call it, Dawg Day!

Chip Caray: Family Ties

This story was written by Eric Rangus and was originally posted to UGA Today on August 30, 2018. We’re sharing it today in recognition of National Radio Day.

If you are a baseball play-by-play guy and your last name is Caray, it can be a lot to live up to. Preceded in the booth by his legendary grandfather Harry and father, Skip, Chip Caray learned long ago how to navigate the complications of his name.

In 1997, after seven years as the voice of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, Caray was hired to work alongside Harry, the much-beloved Hall-of-Fame voice of the Cubs. Caray was excited about the role for many reasons, not the least of which was the opportunity to close a familial loop with his famous grandfather, whom he did not know well.

Sadly, the pairing wasn’t meant to be as Harry died just before Spring Training in 1998. That meant Chip, who had a decent amount of experience (albeit in basketball, not baseball), was stepping into the shoes of a man who was arguably the most famous person who’d ever done the job, in a new city with an unfamiliar (and passionate) fan base, almost cold.

“My first game, I’m sitting behind Harry’s desk, with his microphone, his producer, his director, his partner, his fan base, and his last name trying to make my own name for myself in a business that’s very personality driven. That was hard. Really hard,” Caray says with understatement. “My dad said later, ‘You know, in hindsight, there were only two people in the world who could have done that job: you or me. And you did a helluva job.’”

Chip Caray recalling May 13, 1991, the day he, Harry, and Skip broadcast a Cubs-Braves game together, becoming the first (and only) three-generation booth in MLB history: “It was the first time Harry, who was an orphan, understood that there was a living, breathing lineage here. I look at the pictures now and think about how meaningful that had to have been for my grandfather.”

That acknowledgment from his father has long meant a great deal to Caray. The familial loop he was unable to close with his grandfather was made whole after Chip moved to Atlanta in 2004 to broadcast Braves games with his dad, with whom he remained close until Skip died in 2008. Since that time, Chip has made the Braves job his own.

The way he’s done it also doubles as advice he’d give to any young broadcasters just starting out: Be yourself.

“There are so many people who want to sound like Vin Scully or Gary Thorne or Skip Caray that their soul and personality gets ripped out of the broadcast,” he says.

“I sound like me, warts and all. Have the confidence to put yourself out there in a medium where you being you is going to generate a lot of love and sometimes a lot of not-so love. Have the strength and character to be able to withstand that.”

Caray, fortunately, doesn’t have to withstand it alone. Since Scully’s retirement in 2016, every MLB booth contains at least two people. For FOX Sports South, Caray’s partner for the last 10 years has been former major league outfielder Joe Simpson. Over that time, Caray’s energetic delivery has blended nicely with Simpson’s been-there-done-that straightforwardness to create an easy chemistry that wasn’t necessarily easy at the start.

“Chemistry is different with different people,” Caray says. “I’m hyper. I’m fired up every day. I got that from my grandfather. Joe is more like my dad. ‘OK, this is exciting, but calm down, son.’ Our relationship has evolved the last couple years and it’s turned into a tremendous partnership.”

Bear Hug Honey makes downtown Athens a little sweeter

Bear Hug HoneyBear Hug Honey is a specialty honey and bee-themed shop located on College Avenue in downtown Athens. Since opening in August 2017, Bear Hug Honey has offered specialty honey, beeswax candles, lip balm and other bee-themed goodies. UGA alumnus Sam Johnson (BSA ’06) is the owner of Bear Hug Honey and a graduate of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Celebrate the honeybees by visiting Sam the next time you’re in town, and make sure you check out our Instagram tour of his shop!

Bear Hug Honey sign

New class graduates from nonprofit leadership program at UGA 

In 2017, National Nonprofit Day was established to acknowledge the difference that nonprofit organizations are making. In celebration of this day, and the nonprofit trailblazers who lead such incredible organizations, we’re highlighting UGA’s Executive Leadership Program for Nonprofit Organizations (ELPNO), a program of the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development.

 

This story was written by Charlie Bauder and was originally posted to UGA Today on March 15, 2019. 

As executive director of the Atlanta Hospital Hospitality House, Melissa Ehrhardt had attended many leadership conferences and assumed they were all much the same.

The Executive Leadership Program for Nonprofit Professionals at the University of Georgia proved her wrong.

2019 ELPNO participants take part in discussions at the Fanning Institute.

“I was beyond surprised and grateful to find that the UGA ELPNO was like nothing I had ever experienced before,” Ehrhardt said. “I learned more in one week at ELPNO of what is expected of me as an executive director than I had in a year at my job. I walked away with more confidence and excitement in what I get to do.”

Ehrhardt and 24 other nonprofit professionals from Georgia and neighboring states took part in the annual conference, held at the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach. 

ELPNO is a partnership between the Fanning Institute, the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, and the Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The weeklong program explores national trends, best practices and frameworks for strategic leadership. Faculty from UGA and around the nation lead sessions on topics like governance, revenue development, financial stewardship, ethics and nonprofit leadership competencies.

Presenters speak to the 2019 ELPNO during their week-long intensive program.

“We gear the program content towards existing and emerging leaders in nonprofits who influence their organization’s mission, strategy, programming and policy,” said Julie Meehan, a Fanning Institute faculty member. “By developing their individual leadership skills and exploring the latest trends and tools in the nonprofit world, ELPNO graduates not only enhance their personal leadership abilities, they leave prepared to build stronger organizations.”

Board governance, financial training and fundraising are three topics that Ehrhardt said she would put into practice out of ELPNO.

“As a new executive director in the nonprofit world, all of those things were foreign to me,” she said. “I did not understand them or my role with them. I am excited to be able to implement the information I gained into my organization and help take us to another level. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to attend ELPNO.”

In 11 years, over 250 nonprofit professionals representing more than 200 organizations have completed ELPNO.

“Connecting with other ELPNO alumni opens the door to resources, advice and perspective that benefits new graduates and those who completed the program years ago,” said Sayge Medlin, Fanning Institute faculty member. “That support just serves to help nonprofit leaders grow even more.”

The application period for ELPNO 2020 is now open. Priority deadline is October 1 and final deadline is November 15. Early applications are encouraged as space is limited.

International Left-Handers Day

August 13 is International Left-Handers Day. With only 10% of the world’s population being left-handed, it would not be surprising if you were the lone lefty in your class, office or family. But fear not left-handed Bulldogs: you are in good company. To celebrate International Left-Handers Day, we’re listing a few of UGA’s notable lefties:

David Greene (BBA ’04)

Photo from UGA Sports Comm

Though fellow Bulldog quarterback Aaron Murray came along and broke it, David Greene once held the SEC record for career passing yards. Greene’s 11,528 yards (compiled between 2001 and 2004) still ranks No. 2 on the SEC’s all-time list. Perhaps even more impressive, Greene finished his college career as the winningest quarterback in Division I history, having earned 42 victories during his time in Athens.

Todd Gurley (M ’16)

Photo from Grady Newsource

Currently playing in the NFL for the Los Angeles Rams, we know him best as Georgia’s star running back, earning All-SEC honors in 2012 and 2013. Gurley was drafted by the St. Louis Rams with the tenth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Despite missing three games due to a torn ACL suffered during his junior year at UGA, Gurley rushed for 1,106 yards in his rookie season and was voted Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press. He was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press following the 2017 season after gaining 19 offensive touchdowns.

Bubba Watson (BSFCS ’08)

Photo from Golf News Net

One of the few left-handed golfers on the PGA tour, he is a multiple major champion, with victories at the Masters Tournament in 2012 and 2014.  Bubba helped lead the Bulldogs to an SEC Championship in 2000. Recognizing his responsibility as a mentor and role model to young kids, in 2008, without telling family or friends, he decided to go back to the UGA and complete his degree.

Michael Stipe (M ’82)

Photo from UGA Today

As the front man for R.E.M., arguably the most important and influential American rock band of the post-punk era, Michael Stipe transformed himself from enigmatic cult hero into mainstream icon. Famed for his confoundingly opaque lyrics and notoriously mumbled delivery, the once-introverted Stipe translated his growing fame into an outlet to champion his social and political concerns, emerging as one of popular music’s most respected figures, as well as the acknowledged forefather of the alternative rock movement. While studying painting and photography at UGA, Stipe formed the Grammy award-winning band R.E.M in 1980 with Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry.

Kim Basinger (M ’75)

Photo from The Red & Black

An actress, singer and former fashion model. Born and raised in Athens, Kim attend UGA before beginning her acting and modeling career in the 1970’s. She starred in famous flicks such as the Charlie’s Angels TV series, James Bond movie Never Say Never Again and the 1989 feature film Batman. She also gave an Oscar-winning performance in the film L.A. Confidential.

Get the UGA coloring pages you never knew you needed

These coloring pages are perfect for Bulldog fans of any age, whether you use them to distract a toddler, de-stress after a long day, or decorate your space with reminders of Athens. And yes, you can use more colors than just red and black … just no orange!

Show us your creativity by posting these on social media and tagging the UGA Alumni Association and be sure to include #AlwaysADawg.

Click on each of the following images to download them. Don’t worry; we’ve made them printer-friendly!

 

How Computer Science became one of UGA’s most popular majors

Journalism, business administration, pharmacy, computer science: believe it or not, these majors are in ascending order of total enrollment at the University of Georgia.  

In fact, computer science has the fourth highest enrollment among all majors at UGA. And the graduate degree computer science program is the fastest growing program on campus, having seen a 60 percent enrollment increase from fall 2013 to fall 2018. 

Combine that with the undergraduate program’s 153 percent rise in enrollment in the last five years and you have, undeniably, one of UGA’s most popular departments. We talked with several CS alumni to ask them about their experience and find out more. 

Established in 1984, the Department of Computer Science in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at UGA has expanded to include more than 195 enrolled graduate students and over 1,100 undergraduates. Lori Kittle (BS ’86) was among the first graduates with a degree in computer science.  

“I simply felt like the future would be all about the computer, although I certainly did not envision all the advances that have occurred,” said Kittle. Along with the coursework, Kittle said, “One of my favorite memories at UGA is making lifelong friendships with my fellow CS classmates.” 

Kittle attributes her successful career, including a stint as the Chief Information Officer at Landry’s, Inc.—a $4 billion restaurant, hospitality, and entertainment businessto her education at UGA. She demonstrated her appreciation of the department when she created a scholarship fund for computer science students. Kittle also serves on the department’s advisory board, which provides industry input that helps guide curriculum for the program.  

Like Kittle, Maja Culum (BS ‘19) chose to study computer science because she knew “coming into the university that technology was becoming prevalent within every field,” and there was no way around interacting with it. Culum, who was hired full-time in the UI/UX department at NCR Corporation, believes studying computer science at UGA allowed her to “choose a role within the tech industry that suited her strengths and interests.” 

“That’s what I like most about Computer Science: it’s never limiting, and there’s so much to choose from,” said Culum. My experience in the Department of Computer Science at UGA was both challenging and incredibly rewarding. The professors are knowledgeable and always willing to help, which encouraged me to stick with the major despite the challenges. 

The comprehensive coursework and faculty expertise Culum credits have also led to the growing recognition of the department. Dr. Thiab Taha, UGA Computer Science department head, believes the diversity in research expertise and the increasing number of courses provides students the opportunity to choose the path they are most interested in.  

Students interested in engaging in technology-centric extracurricular activities can join one of many clubs and groups, including Data Dawgs or UGA Hacks, which hosts a hackathon every spring on campus. The UGA Computer Science department also houses the Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy, which was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research (CAE-R) through academic year 2022. 

Muhammed Ahmed’s (BS ‘18) passion for problem solving drew him to major in computer science at the University of Georgia, but it was the countless opportunities available within the department that he loved most about his studies.  

“Majoring in computer science helped me secure my dream job,” said Ahmed, a data scientist at Mailchimp. “The program provided me with a strong technical foundation and the soft skills I need to communicate effectively. I had the chance to learn through clubs, research projects, hackathons and many on-campus events.” 

All of the above are reasons a firm like Forrester Research calls Atlanta one of the US’ five elite tech talent markets. As businesses continue to take advantage of this rich market, UGA CS graduates are reaping the benefits, finding positions in global organizations like NCR, The Home Depot and AT&T.  

There appears to be no slowdown in the rise of computer science at UGA, either. Employers and partners of the university are finding new ways to directly engage students through career and internship fairs, UGA Hacks’ hackathon, student organizations and industry panels. And as UGA CS alumni continue their career progression and become the leaders of those employers and UGA partners, UGA’s tech talent pipeline will only become stronger.