Catching up with the 2022 University of Georgia Bulldogs

This is the second of our 2022 football season preview blogs! The first looks at Georgia’s opponents throughout the regular season and how they stack up against the Dawgs.

It’s been a little over six months since we’ve seen our Bulldogs in a real game (196 days, but who’s counting?) and about three months since G-Day, so as we start gearing up for the season, you might need a little refresher on the Dawgs coaches and roster. Never fear: we’ve got a rundown of all the comings and goings for the men wearing the jerseys and the men wearing the Dri-Fit polos.

The Coaches

Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart holds the National Championship trophy during the National Championship Celebration in Sanford Stadium.

Kirby Smart with the College Football Playoff National Championship trophy (Photo credit: Chamberlain Smith)

Kirby Smart enters his seventh season as the Dawgs’ head coach with a shiny new championship ring but a number of new faces—though some may be familiar—on his coaching staff.

  • Dan Lanning, who helped build the Dawgs’ fearsome defenses from 2018 – 2021 as outside linebackers coach and defensive coordinator, accepted the head coaching position at the University of Oregon. Glenn Schumann, inside linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator, will be joined by co-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp (AB ’94). Last year, Muschamp assisted with Georgia’s defense and special teams, and he brings extensive experience as both a defensive coordinator and head coach.
  • Cortez Hankton, wide receivers coach from 2018 – 2021, accepted an offer to be LSU’s wide receivers coach. Former Georgia wide receiver and 2016 interim head coach Bryan McClendon (BSED ’05) joins the Bulldogs in Hankton’s place as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. McClendon held assistant coaching positions at Oregon and South Carolina before returning to his alma mater.
  • Defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae, who came to Athens from West Virginia in 2021, left to take the same position at the University of Miami. Fran Brown, secondary coach at Rutgers from 2020 – 2021 and a renowned recruiter, is the Dawgs new defensive backs coach.
  • Chidera Uzo-Diribe is Georgia’s new outside linebackers coach, filling the linebackers coaching slot vacated by Lanning. Uzo-Diribe previously held positions at the University of Kansas, Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University.
  • Matt Luke, offensive line coach for Georgia from 2020 – 2021, stepped down from coaching after the national championship win. In his place, Stacy Searels returns to Athens after 12 years away for his second stint as UGA’s offensive line coach. His 30-year coaching career includes stops at numerous Power 5 schools.
Georgia run game coordinator and running backs coach Dell McGee before the Duke’s Mayo Classic against Clemson at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC., on Saturday Sept. 4, 2021.

Dell McGee talks with players before the Clemson game. (Photo credit: Tony Walsh)

Todd Monken, Dell McGee, Todd Hartley and Tray Scott return in 2022 to round out Smart’s on-field staff. As offensive coordinator, running backs coach, tight ends coach and defensive line coach, respectively, the success UGA enjoyed at each of those positions last year figures to continue into this one.

The Players

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) during the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship against Alabama at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, Ind., on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.

Stetson Bennett looks downfield during the CFP National Championship. (Photo credit: Tony Walsh)

There’s no way around it: Many of 2021’s standouts—Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, Travon Walker and others—are gone, and replacing them will be difficult. The Dawgs return just 10 starters from last year, tied for fewest among SEC teams. Still, years of stockpiling blue-chip talent mean that we should have excellent replacements waiting for their turn to shine: players like Jalen Carter, Jason Dumas-Johnson and Broderick Jones have shown they are ready to step into some very big shoes.

All that said, the starters that are returning are nothing to scoff at.

  • The thoroughly vindicated Stetson Bennett returns for his SIXTH season at UGA.
  • The phenomenal Brock Bowers will continue to haunt defensive coordinators.
  • Postseason heroes Adonai Mitchell, Kelee Ringo, Nolan Smith and the aforementioned Carter will continue to make a significant impact.
  • Running backs Kenny McIntosh, Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards will carry on Georgia’s “RBU” legacy.
  • And players like Arik Gilbert, Tykee Smith and Tate Ratledge will look to sustain the massive talent they have flashed in the past.
Georgia outside linebacker Nolan Smith (4) of the Bulldog football team playing against the Crimson Tide from the University of Alabama, in the 2021 College Football Playoff Championship game, played at Lucas Oil Stadium, in Indianapolis, IN.

Nolan Smith sacks Bryce Young to close out the CFP National Championship (Photo credit: Perry McIntyre)

There is also the possibility that, like Bowers in 2021, a freshman could emerge and become a playmaker. UGA signed another top class this year, and it’s full of breakout candidates.

  • Defensive lineman Mykel Williams, ranked as the nation’s fourth best prospect, was named the best player in January’s All-American Bowl among the best players in the country. He has the potential to be an immediate contributor, but the same could be said for Bear Alexander, Marvin Jones Jr. or, really, any of the six talented defensive linemen the Dawgs signed.
  • A pair of five-star cornerbacks, Jaheim Singletary and Daylen Everette, could push sophomore Kamari Lassiter for the starting cornerback position opposite Ringo.
  • Oscar Delp, a four-star tight end prospect, enrolled in January and, three months later, posted a seven-reception, 91-yard stat line in the G-Day game. It’s hard to say that a freshman tight end might even have the chance to breakout with Bowers, Darnell Washington and Gilbert above him, but based on his G-Day performance, comments from Smart and whispers around the program, if he’s given the chance, he could shine.
  • And quarterback Gunner Stockton, who broke Trevor Lawrence’s Georgia high school record for passing touchdowns in a career, will be nipping at Bennett’s heels for the starting job—along with redshirt sophomore Carson Beck and redshirt freshman Brock Vandagriff, blue-chip prospects themselves.

While we wait for kickoff in Atlanta, why not grab some championship memorabilia and support UGA students while you’re at it? Grab one of (or all of!) the three collectible national championship editions of the spring 2022 Georgia Magazine.

A STEM mentorship that blossomed into an enduring relationship

Aria Morrill (Class of 2023) is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, focused on food science in general, and research and development in particular. This summer, she is expanding her knowledge through an internship with Conagra Brands. Aria said, “I am here because of Anna—straight up!”

Anna Wilson (BSA ’05, MS ’07) serves as the Director of Research and Development (Protein) for Rich Products Corporation and Aria’s mentor through the UGA Mentor Program. “Real-world challenges weren’t necessarily covered when I was in school,” Anna explained. “I loved my time at UGA and thought it would be awesome to talk to students about the things I wished I had learned. Women, especially, may need mentorship in this industry.”

Aria firmly believes that she has her internship, thanks to Anna. “The way she prepared me gave me everything I needed to interview well. She taught me vocabulary and shared industry knowledge that puts me ahead of my peers. Her guidance shaped the way I interact with others and is helping me get the most out of this internship.”

Anna said that seeing Aria flourishing is fulfilling for her, too. “Becoming a mentor helped me think a little differently. I reflect back on my studies, but also get a valuable perspective on what students are coming out of school with today. It informs my hiring process and helps me recognize teaching moments in day-to-day work with my team,” she said.

Aria has gotten so much out of this mentorship—from better understanding of the technical side of food science and the chemical and microbiological aspects important in product development, to how to approach negotiating a salary. “I have learned to appreciate my worth, assert myself when needed and communicate professionally,” she said. Anna appreciates the chance to help with having those conversations that she had to navigate on her own as a young woman.

Both Anna and Aria have enjoyed being paired with others through the Mentor Program, but their special bond has and will endure. Aria sums it up, “This experience has shown me the power of mentorship. I was inspired to become a UGA Mentor Program Ambassador and actively encourage other students to participate in the program.”

Now is the perfect time to sign up to become a mentor. There is a student coming in the fall who can benefit from your experience.

On the fence?

Get the info you need to make an informed decision and learn about support the program offers mentors at UGA Mentor Program 101, a free webinar on Aug. 3 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. You will hear from successful mentor/mentee pairings, learn best practices for forming a strong connection and discover tips to become an effective mentor.

Previewing the 2022 UGA football schedule

This is the first of our football season previews for 2022! In our second preview, we look at the new coaches you’ll see on the sidelines, the players stepping up to replace our drafted and graduated Dawgs and the new recruits we’ve signed.

The majority of Bulldog Nation is probably still riding high from Jan. 10, but with Sept. 3 right around the corner, let’s take a look at the opponents our defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs will face in the 2022 season!

UNIVERSITY OF OREGON

Saturday, Sep. 3, 2022 | 3:30 PM | ABC
Mercedes Benz Stadium – Atlanta, GA

University of Oregon

Midway through last season, this looked like a highlight match-up between a Georgia team at the top of the college football world and an Oregon team that knocked off Ohio State. Then, the rest of the season happened: Georgia took the crown, but Oregon endured two woodshed-beatings against Utah, then lost their head coach to Miami. It’s a tough spot for new Ducks coach Dan Lanning to make his return to Georgia, but UGA will be dealing with some transition of its own in new coaches and new starters. Still, this second-ever meeting between the two squads is more likely to be a long day for the Ducks than for the Dawgs.

SAMFORD UNIVERSITY

Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022 | 4 PM | SEC Network
Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA

Samford University

Georgia’s home opener should be an opportunity to see a lot of UGA’s roster. Samford, which plays in the Football Championship Subdivision’s Southern Conference, has played UGA once: a 42-14 victory for Georgia in 2017. Two interesting facts about this game: it is the first of two games UGA will play in 2022 against teams with Bulldogs as their mascots; and Samford head coach Chris Hatcher was the head coach of the Valdosta State University Blazers while Kirby Smart was an assistant coach there in 2000 and 2001.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA

Saturday, Sep. 17, 2022 | 12 PM | ESPN
Williams-Brice Stadium – Columbia, SC

Although the final score of last year’s UGA-USC contest shows a 27-point margin of victory for Georgia, many a Bulldog fan will remember South Carolina receiver Josh Vann tallying over 100 receiving yards and the Gamecocks’ lone touchdown. Second-year head coach Shane Beamer got his team to a surprising 7-6 record in 2021—not incredible, but it did include respectable wins over Florida, Auburn and North Carolina. Building on that momentum, the Gamecocks landed major transfer wins in quarterback Spencer Rattler and tight end Austin Stogner. If Rattler returns to form, if the Bulldogs let some early-season sloppiness creep in and if the Columbia crowd shows up, USC may make things uncomfortable for the Dawgs.

KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Saturday, Sep. 24, 2022 | 12 PM | SEC Network
Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA

Kent State University

These two teams have played each other just once, when Jim Donnan led the Dawgs to a 56-3 win over the Golden Flashes in 1998. It’s been 11 years since Georgia lost to a Group of 5 school—a school in the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West or Sun Belt conferences—and that loss was to a formidable Boise State team. Kent State’s head coach, Sean Lewis, is responsible for creating some impressive offenses in his time with the program, but a generational Boise State team the 2022 Flashes are not.

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022 | 7:30 PM | SEC Network
Faurot Field – Columbia, MO

Missouri Tigers

With Georgia coming off of a national championship win and the Tigers coming off two consecutive non-winning seasons, there aren’t many reasons to think Eli Drinkwitz can end UGA’s eight-game winning streak over Mizzou. But the Missouri faithful will hope that back-to-back solid recruiting classes (per 247 Sports, the 27th ranked signing class in 2021 and the 15th ranked class in 2022—likely the best in the program’s history) can start to realize their promise. Keep an eye for Luther Burden, who was among the nation’s best high school receivers and returners last year and could become Missouri’s primary weapon.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022 | TBA | TBA
Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA

Auburn Tigers

In the last 18 months, Auburn went from cautious optimism (hiring Bryan Harsin) to disappointment (a close loss to Penn State) to despair (consecutive losses to Texas A&M, Mississippi State and South Carolina) to near-ecstasy (the majority of the Alabama game) to despondency (the end of the Alabama game) to confusion (Harsin was almost ousted after the season). To call this program tumultuous would be an understatement, but they still have running back Tank Bigsby, they still have a respectable defense and they still very nearly beat last year’s SEC champions. However, given the chaos within the program, a new defensive coordinator for the Tigers and uncertainty around the quarterback position—longtime starter Bo Nix transferred to Oregon—a sixth consecutive Georgia win seems likely in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 | TBA | TBA
Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA

Vanderbilt Commodores

The victim of the Dawgs’ most dominant 2021 victory (which set the record for the largest margin of victory in the history of the UGA-Vandy series) comes into this season having taken a few positive steps in the offseason—most notably a recruiting class ranked 32nd nationally—but Clark Lea’s rebuild of the Commodores will continue to take some time. This probably won’t be as brutal as last year’s game, but you can still expect to see the Bulldogs’ backups take the field well before the fourth quarter. Fun fact: two of the ‘Dores freshmen come from Germany, and one is from the United Kingdom.

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022 | TBA | TBA
TIAA Bank Field – Jacksonville, FL

Florida Gators

The Gators are now led by former University of Louisiana coach Billy Napier. Much of Napier’s focus thus far has been on the kind of administrative and organizational work that can build a strong program but doesn’t necessarily translate to immediate wins. Florida’s new coach is a proven winner—he turned the Ragin’ Cajuns into a top 25 program with a 40-12 record over four years—but will UF’s powers-that-be allow him the time to right the ship? They will need some patience this year, with tough games against Utah, Georgia and Texas A&M. Quarterback Anthony Richardson is back and the defense returns eight starters, but they—and the team as a whole—need to show they can perform consistently before they pose a threat to the Dawgs.

UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE

Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | TBA | TBA
Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA

Tennessee Volunteers

Quarterback Hendon Hooker returns to Knoxville for his senior season after throwing just shy of 3,000 yards and notching 31 passing touchdowns, earning the best single-season passer rating in Tennessee’s history (reminder: Peyton Manning played there). Cedric Tillman also returns for his senior year, and the two could well eclipse Tillman’s totals from last year: 64 receptions, 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns. UT’s experienced offense could take advantage of youth in Georgia’s defense, but can they do it for a full 60 minutes AND hold off Georgia’s offense with a Volunteers defense that is full of question marks? Signs point to a Bulldogs win, which would establish the longest UGA winning streak in this rivalry, but it may not be as easy as last year.

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 | TBA | TBA
Davis Wade Stadium – Starkville, MS

Mississippi State University

Three years in, Mike Leach’s pass-happy system is well established and, to a certain extent, proven in the SEC. That caveat is required because for every five-touchdown showing for a Leach quarterback, there is a game where the Air Raid never really takes flight. The bad Bulldogs do return SIXTEEN starters across offense and defense, so experience is not a question. Also, the MSU defense is better than you might think: they were in the top 30 in total defense last year. But an Air Raid offense’s biggest weakness is disciplined defense: something our guys know a lot about. Expect UGA’s defense to keep the game in front of them, and expect UGA’s offense to chew up the clock while steadily hammering away at the Starkville canines.

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022 | TBA | TBA
Kroger Field – Lexington, KY

Kentucky Wildcats

Only three Kentucky coaches have ever achieved multiple seasons of nine wins or more since the 40s: one was Bear Bryant, and the other is the Wildcats’ current coach. But despite this historical distinction, Mark Stoops has never claimed victory against Georgia. The ‘Cats hopes of breaking that streak rest on the shoulders of quarterback Will Levis, who could have entered the NFL Draft last year, but elected to spend one more year developing in Lexington. If Levis performs up to expectation, if Kentucky finds a replacement for star receiver Wan’Dale Robinson and the defense maintains the Wildcats’ stingy tradition, they could be trouble. But is UK better than it’s been in 12 years, and are the Dawgs weaker than they’ve been in 12 years? Unlikely.

GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 | TBA | TBA
Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA

Let’s start with the obvious: fourth-year head coach Geoff Collins is out of goodwill in Atlanta. After taking on the unenviable task of transitioning Tech out of the Paul Johnson era, Collins tried to re-energize the program and its fanbase with infectious energy, social media campaigns, a rebrand and more. They’ve won nine games since then. A slow start is forgivable, but the Jackets have shown vanishingly little to make their fans believe. They’ve won just seven ACC games, they’ve scored seven points in two games against Georgia (while Georgia scored 97) and the best player they’ve had in recent memory—running back Jahmyr Gibbs—transferred to Alabama in the offseason. A loss to the Bulldogs is all but guaranteed, and if Collins hopes to keep his position, he’ll need to mount one helluva comeback this year.

While we wait for kickoff in Atlanta, why not grab some championship memorabilia and support UGA students while you’re at it? Grab one of (or all of!) the three collectible national championship editions of the spring 2022 Georgia Magazine.

The Jerry Tanner Show – 2022 Season Preview

Welcome to The Year of House Money. After 2021, we could take this year off, but hey, why not beat the brakes off everybody again?

While we wait for kickoff in Atlanta, why not grab some championship memorabilia and support UGA students while you’re at it? Grab one of (or all of!) the three collectible national championship editions of the spring 2022 Georgia Magazine.

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

Now’s the perfect time to become a UGA mentor

Why now?

Students will be back soon and looking to connect with experienced Bulldogs like you. In the video above, you’ll hear why your fellow alumni find mentoring so rewarding and don’t want you to miss out.

Connect anywhere and on your schedule. Getting started is easy.

  • Create a profile at mentor.uga.edu.
  • Accept a student request for mentorship.

What’s the commitment?

  • 1-2 hours per month for four months (16 weeks)
  • Share knowledge, experiences and feedback.

Quick Chats require even less of a time commitment.

If a 16-week mentorship doesn’t suit your schedule, consider making yourself available for 15-to-30-minute Quick Chats with students instead.

Help a student realize their potential.

“I was lost before I met my UGA mentor. I really feel more confident about my abilities because of them.” – UGA Student

It may surprise you how much YOU get out of giving back in this way!

 

On the fence? Want to learn more?

To help new and potential mentors, the UGA Mentor Program is hosting a webinar, UGA Mentor Program 101, on Aug. 3 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. You will hear from successful mentor/mentee pairings, learn best practices for forming a strong connection and discover tips to become an effective mentor.

UGA breaks fundraising record with over $257M in FY22

University of Georgia alumni and friends gave back to UGA at unprecedented levels over the past fiscal year, breaking the university’s fundraising record with over $257.4 million in donations.

“It has been an exceptional year for our university, and the generous contributions provided by UGA alumni and friends have been a major factor in our success,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I offer sincere thanks to the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees and each and every donor for helping our students turn their dreams into reality, supporting our faculty to advance their teaching and scholarship, and growing our public service and outreach programs that strengthen communities and expand economic development.”

The record-breaking amount came from 71,302 donors. In five of the last six years, UGA’s yearly fundraising total has been over $200 million, and the university’s three-year rolling average, which averages the three most recent years of giving, reached $212.5 million for FY22.

“The remarkable generosity of UGA donors illustrates the strong and distinctive philanthropic culture throughout the UGA community,” said Neal Quirk, Chair of the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees. “This record-setting year will benefit our students, our campus and our state long into the future, and our Trustees are extremely grateful to all donors who made this happen.”

Collectively, donors created 116 scholarship funds and 18 endowed faculty positions, bringing the university’s total to 340 endowed faculty positions.

Private giving to the university fueled significant progress across all areas of campus, including several marquee and priority projects.

  • The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation committed $15 million to the $30 million renovation of the Holmes-Hunter Academic Building, the historic north campus building named for Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault, UGA’s first Black students. The project will include an array of improvements that will significantly enhance functionality while also restoring historic features of the building and honoring Holmes and Hunter-Gault.
  • Following a transformational gift of over $3.5 million from the estate of M. Louise McBee, UGA paid tribute to the former administrator and state legislator with the naming of the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education. The gift—the largest in the institute’s nearly 60-year history—will benefit the Louise McBee Distinguished Professorship in Higher Education and the Louise McBee Lecture in Higher Education and create an endowment providing broad support for the institute.
  • The $54.1 million Poultry Science Building project is receiving robust support from industry, alumni and other donors. Gifts to the project total over $10 million as of July—significant progress toward the $27 million private funding goal. The state-of-the-art facility, expected to be complete in fall 2023, will train future generations of leaders in one of Georgia’s most important industries.
  • The successful Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program continued to attract donors and expand support for students with financial need. In August, the UGA Foundation allocated an additional $1 million in matching funds—a popular component of the program that allows donors to immediately double their impact. These funds were quickly accounted for, and today, the program is responsible for more than 650 scholarships and nearly $100 million in commitments to need-based aid.

Donors also made a significant impact on March 31—Georgia Giving Day—when UGA supporters gave 9,339 gifts to the university in 24 hours, far surpassing the day’s initial goal of 1,785 gifts. Georgia Giving Day gifts totaled $5.3 million, and each of UGA’s 18 schools and colleges received donations. Donors—including over 600 students—originated from 130 Georgia counties, all 50 states and 16 countries.

“This year, more donors gave to the University of Georgia than ever before. All of our metrics indicate that Bulldogs’ commitment to giving back is not just sustained but strengthening,” said Kelly Kerner, UGA vice president for development and alumni relations. “I don’t know if there’s ever been a better time to be a Georgia Bulldog than the last 12 months.”

Welcome Class of 2022

Hello, New Graduates!

Congratulations on graduating from the University of Georgia and becoming alumni of the greatest institution in the land! You’ve worked very hard to get to this moment, and you deserve to make the most of this amazing accomplishment.

Maranie Brown, president of the UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council with President Jere Morehead

You now join a global network of hundreds of thousands of UGA alumni, who are passionate about the student experience and continue to give back to the University. Whether attending football game-watching parties, serving as a mentor, donating to important causes to support students on campus, or volunteering in a local chapter or affinity group, alumni remain engaged, excited, and committed to the UGA experience.

Personally, I have chosen to serve students and young alumni as a member of the UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council. This year, I begin my term as President, and I promise another year of engagement and impact. The mission of the Young Alumni Affinity Group is to provide dynamic opportunities for young alumni to engage with and give back to the University of Georgia. With a presence of over 40,000 young alumni in Atlanta and even more across the world, members of the Young Alumni Leadership Council have been charged with creating and implementing programming and raising awareness of the importance of connecting and giving back to the University. We hope you will join us at signature events, like the Young Alumni Takeover at Ponce City Market, participate in our various outreach initiatives, and invest in our mission and UGA.

As you know, Bulldogs Never Bark Alone, and it’s an honor to welcome all of you as UGA Alumni. Congratulations again on achieving #AlumniStatus. Go Dawgs!

Maranie


Maranie Brown
President
Young Alumni Leadership Council

UGA Alumni Association unveils 2022 Class of 40 Under 40

The University of Georgia Alumni Association has unveiled the 40 Under 40 Class of 2022. This program celebrates the personal, professional and philanthropic achievements of successful UGA graduates under the age of 40. The honorees will be recognized during the 12th annual 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon Sept. 9 in the Tate Student Center on campus.

This year’s outstanding group of young alumni includes three Emmy winners, a NASA navigation and control discipline expert, a Twitter head of U.S. policy, an NBC Today Show producer and a Marvel Studios screenwriter.

“We are excited to unveil this year’s class of 40 Under 40 and celebrate their many accomplishments in Athens this September,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of alumni relations. “These young alumni exemplify leadership in their communities and industries across the country. I continue to be amazed by their accomplishments.”

Nominations for 40 Under 40 were open from February to April, and more than 600 nominations were received. Honorees must have attended UGA and uphold the Pillars of the Arch, which are wisdom, justice and moderation. Additional criteria are available on the UGA Alumni website.

“From movie sets to medical facilities, this year’s class of alumni uphold the Pillars of the Arch and the spirit of UGA across all sectors,” said Johnson. “Early in their careers, these graduates are leaders in solving some of the greatest challenges we face. We are exceptionally proud and cannot wait to welcome them back home to Athens.”

The 2022 Class of 40 Under 40, including their graduation year(s) from UGA, city, title and employer, are:

AdeSubomi O. Adeyemo (BS ’11, PharmD ’15, MPH ’16) Stone Mountain, Georgia; epidemic intelligence service officer, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Maria Augutis (BS ’14, MA ’15) Stockholm, Sweden; meteorologist, Swedish Television & StormGeo
Latasha V. Barnes (AB ’05, AB ’05) Atlanta; owner and managing attorney; The Barnes Law Office, LLC
Maranie Brown (BSFCS ’12) Smyrna, Georgia; vice president, BlackRock
Nathan Bruno (BBA ’09) Spring, Texas; executive vice president of sales and commercial excellence, Mattress Firm
Lael Chappell (BBA ’06) New York, New York; director of insurance distribution, Coalition
Kayla E. Cooper (AB ’05, JD ’08) Augusta, Georgia; senior staff attorney, City of Augusta
Emily Curl (ABJ ’14) New York, New York; digital and social host, iHeartRadio
Candace Alynn Hill Duvernay (AB ’06, JD ’09) Jonesboro, Georgia; managing partner, Hill Duvernay and Associates, LLC
Dustin Dyer (BSAE ’06) Merritt Island, Florida; GN&C discipline expert, NASA
Christina L. Faust (BS ’09, MS ’09) Glasgow, Scotland; research fellow, University of Glasgow
Kevin Florence (PHARMD ’09) Athens, Georgia; pharmacist and owner, ADD Drug Store
Matthew Scott Fowler (AB ’14) Woodstock, Georgia; relationship management executive, REPAY – Realtime Electronic Payments
Jake Goodman (BSA ’15, MBA ’20) Miami, Florida; psychiatry resident doctor, Jake Goodman MD
Lauren Culbertson Grieco (ABJ ’09) Washington, D.C.; head of U.S. public policy, Twitter
Kristen Henderson (BBA ’11) Atlanta; vice president, Goldman Sachs
Shayla Hill (BBA ’08) Tucker, Georgia; senior design program manager, MongoDB
Christie Johnson (ABJ ’07) Chapin, South Carolina; director of White House bookings, CNN
Kenneth L. Johnson, Jr. (BSED ’05) Atlanta; co-director of the Governor’s School Leadership Academy, Governor’s Office of Student Achievement
Leo Chris Kasuya (BBA ’14) Marina Del Rey, California; director, strategy and new ventures, office of CEO, Irresistible Foods Group
Samaad Wes Keys (PHD ’14) Decatur, Georgia; program officer, postsecondary success Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Min Y. Lee (BBA ’06) Charlottesville, Virginia; chief operating officer, University of Virginia Medical Center
Charlotte Lucas (BSFCS ’05) Charlotte, North Carolina; owner and principal designer, Charlotte Lucas Design
Brandon Martin (BBA ’14) Atlanta; founder and CEO, Close Ties Leadership Program
Mia Catharine Mattioli (BSBE ’08) Atlanta; environmental engineer, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Joel L. McKie (BSA ’05, JD ’08) Atlanta; partner, Hall Booth Smith., P.C.
Drew McKown (BS ’07) Athens, Georgia; physician, Athens Pulmonary
Juan J. Mencias (BBA ’15) Atlanta; chief financial officer, Georgia Diamond Corporation, Ascot Diamonds
Chad Mumm (ABJ ’08) Studio City, California; chief creative officer, Vox Media Studios, Vox Media Inc.
Brendan F. Murphy (AB ’05, AB ’05, JD ’08) Marietta, Georgia; chief magistrate judge, Magistrate Court of Cobb County
ValaRae Partee (BSENVE ’14) Atlanta; associate environmental engineer, Brown and Caldwell
Andrew Rasmussen (BBA ’05, MED ’09) Athens, Georgia; owner and advisor, Rasmussen Wealth Management
Anna Daniel Reddish (BSA ’08, MADS ’09) Atlanta; university relations liaison, IDEXX
John Rossow (BSFR ’12, MPH ’17, DVM ’18) Atlanta; public health veterinarian, U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Rachel Santos (BSA ’10) Bishop, Georgia; director of sales and industry relations, Premium Peanut
Kevin Schatell (ABJ ’16) New York, New York; producer, NBC’s TODAY Show
Johnelle Simpson II (AB ’16, BBA ’16) Athens, Georgia; attorney, Fortson, Bentley, and Griffin, P.A.
Alton M. Standifer (PHD ’21) Athens, Georgia; deputy chief of staff, University of Georgia
Grant Thomas (AB ’15, MBA ’20) Sandy Springs, Georgia; director, Governor’s Office of Health Strategy and Coordination
Michael Waldron (ABJ ’10) Atlanta; screenwriter, Disney, Marvel Studios and STARZ

UGA Alumni Association welcomes new board and council members for 2022-2023

The University of Georgia Alumni Association has added nine alumni to its board of directors and 27 alumni to the leadership councils for the Black Alumni, Latino Alumni, Women of UGA, and Young Alumni affinity groups.

“These alumni volunteers are passionate about helping their fellow graduates sustain lifelong relationships with UGA,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS ’00, MED ’16), executive director of alumni relations. “I am so excited to work with each of them and to see them represent the perspectives of our diverse alumni population across the country.”

Alumni joining the board of directors July 1 include:

 

Rodney L. Brooks (MS ’03)
Beginning Farmer Regional Coordinator, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Leesburg, Georgia


Danelle Faust (BBA ’95)
Consulting Managing Director, Accenture
Deerfield, Illinois



Eddie Garrett (BSA ’06, MBA ’08)

Executive Vice President of Strategy, Current Global
Chicago, Illinois



Selby Hill (ABJ ’14)

Founding Partner / Director of Operations, Yonder Yoga
Atlanta, Georgia



Chuck Kinnebrew (BSED ’75)

Retired / Former VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Floor and Decor
Smyrna, Georgia



Christy Plott (BBA ’02)

Partner, American Tanning and Leather LLC
Griffin, Georgia



Ameet Shetty (BBA ’96)

Chief Data Officer, Pilot Flying J
Knoxville, Tennessee



Brian A. StoneBrian Stone (BSFR ’99, MFR ’01)

Director of Business Development, Forest Resource Consultants, Inc.
Macon, Georgia



Scott Williams (AB ’86)

Director of Multimedia Sales, SEC Network
Ellenwood, Georgia

 


The following alumni have joined the affinity group leadership councils to help build a community among specific alumni populations, including young alumni, women, Black alumni, and Latino alumni.

Black Alumni Leadership Council  

 

Richard Bedgood (AB ’91)
Senior Instructor, CarMax
Mableton, Georgia

 

 



Cherise Brown (MBA ’18)

Senior Manager of Services Sourcing, Salesforce
Lithonia, Georgia



Rodd Cargill (BBA ’10)

Neuroscience Senior Sales Specialist, Johnson and Johnson
Johns Creek, Georgia

 

 



Willie R. Mazyck Jr. (BEEd ’04, MEd ’06, MBA ’14)

Global Head of Talent Development, Danaher Corporation
Powder Springs, Georgia



Tinisha Parker (BEEd ’00, EdS ’07)

Executive Director of Student Services, Gwinnett Public Schools
Lawrenceville, Georgia

 



Candace M. Stanciel (AB ’02, MPA ’11)

Principal and Founder, The Common Good Agency
Atlanta, Georgia



Donjanea Fletcher Williams (ABJ ’00)
Evaluation Coordinator, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Newnan, Georgia



Tangela M. Williams (BBA ’89)

First Vice President of Capital Adequacy Management, Truist Bank
Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

 

Current council member Jacinta Smith began her one-year term as president of the Black Alumni Leadership Council on July 1.


Latino Alumni Leadership Council  

 

Wilheem Perez (BBA ’21)
Vice President, Compliance Business Control Manager, Citibank
Kennesaw, Georgia



Christopher Perlera (AB ’07)

Founder and Principal, Critical Point Consulting LLC
Chamblee, Georgia



Jasmin Severino (AB ’13, AB’13)

Associate, Chamberlain Hrdlicka
Atlanta, Georgia



Leopoldo Vargas (AB ’19)

Regional Outreach Coordinator for Northeast Georgia, Office of U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff
Fayetteville, Georgia

 

 

 

The Latino Alumni Council will continue to operate under the leadership of President Juan Mencias, who was recognized with the UGA Young Alumni Award in April.


Women of UGA Leadership Council  

 

Odufa Aburime (BBA ’02)
IT Clinical Business Analyst, Georgia Dept. of Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities
Decatur, Georgia



Shontel Cargill (BS ’10)

Regional Clinical Director, Thriveworks
Johns Creek, Georgia



Tunisia Finch Cornelius (BA ’04)

Owner and M.D., Divine Dermatology and Aesthetics
Atlanta, Georgia

 



Nicole R. Ingram (AB ’02)

Director of Programs and Special Initiatives, Emory University
Ellenwood, Georgia



Victoria Inman (ABJ ’08)

Director of Client Success, Jabian Consulting
Marietta, Georgia



Anna Wrigley Miller (AB ’14)

Public Service Faculty, Carl Vinson Institute of Government—University of Georgia
Watkinsville, Georgia



Karson A. Pennington (AB ’20, AB ’20, MA ’20)

Doctoral Candidate, University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia



Mandy Rodgers (AB ’08, ABJ ’08)

Founder and CEO, Mandy Kay Marketing
Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

 

Current council member Brandie Park began her one-year term as president of the Women of UGA Leadership Council on July 1.


Young Alumni Leadership Council  

 

Jay Butler (AB ’10)
Flight Attendant, Frontier Airlines
Johns Creek, Georgia



Melissa Crane (BBA ’18, MA ’19)

Associate Brand Manager, Newell Brands
Atlanta, Georgia



Jessica Davis (AB ’21, AB ’21)

Juris Doctor Candidate and Clinical Legal Fellow, University of Georgia School of Law
Athens, Georgia

 



Nash Davis (BBA ’19)

Sales Executive, AssuredPartners
Statesboro, Georgia



Bailey Dryden (AB ’20)

Juris Doctor Candidate, Georgia State University College of Law
Smyrna, Georgia



Ammishaddai Grand-Jean (AB ’19, AB ’19, MPA ’20)

General Manager, RAS Medical Solution
Jonesboro, Georgia



Cameron Keen (AB ’18, AB ’18, JD ’21)

Law Clerk to Justice Charles J. Bethel, Supreme Court of Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia



Christie Moore (AB ’10, AB ’10)

President and CEO, Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce
Valdosta, Georgia

 

 

 

Current council member Maranie Brown began her one-year term as president of the Young Alumni Leadership Council on July 1.

To view the full list of UGA Alumni Association board members, visit alumni.uga.edu/board-of-directors. To view the member roster for each affinity group leadership council, visit alumni.uga.edu/networks.