UGA led Ben Desper (BS ’09) to experiences around the world

Ben Desper (BS ‘09) is a fan of flexibility and sharks, two things he became well acquainted with as a result of his University of Georgia experience.

Desper knew that the rigor of the academics UGA provided coupled with the entertainment in the city of Athens was the ideal combination for him.

Additionally, majoring in biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences had him attending classes with a group of people from all over the world. He believes that the education he received, enhanced by those multicultural classroom experiences, prepared him for a 2012 internship in South Africa. While there, he studied, extracted DNA, and sometimes even swam with Great White Sharks.

“It was like shark week every day,” said Desper. “Living on another continent for that internship, in many ways, prepared me for working with people from other countries in my current role. Additionally, working with sharks taught me how to resist complacency, problem-solve, and handle stress.”

Although Desper focused on environmental pollutants and genetics while in school, his flexibility ultimately led him to Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Athens, a part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. Desper is a Senior Quality Assurance Specialist at Janssen and is currently on a developmental rotation that has him working closely with other small molecule cluster sites in Ireland, Belgium and Switzerland.

He enjoys working at Janssen because the company makes such a large impact on people’s lives by manufacturing life-saving drugs. He also appreciates the cutting-edge technology that is part of his everyday work.

His favorite memories at UGA come from gameday Saturdays, walking through North Campus and smelling the food cooking at the various tailgates. He laughingly admits to also occasionally missing late-night study sessions with friends.

Desper’s advice to UGA students centers around the flexibility he has come to prize in his own life: “Treat every experience like a classroom and always absorb everything you can because you never know where you will end up.”

Today, Desper keeps saltwater fish tanks in his home, he travels all over the world to scuba dive with and photograph sharks, and he works at a world-class pharmaceutical company: an example of what can happen when you stay flexible.

Former UGA football star Matthew Stafford pledges $1.5 million to alma mater

Photo: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions throws a pass over the defense of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 14, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Former University of Georgia quarterback and current Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford and wife Kelly, a former UGA cheerleader, have committed to a gift to the university totaling $1.5 million.

The gift benefits a variety of areas and is highlighted by a significant contribution to an ambitious new social justice program launched by the UGA Athletic Association.

“Kelly and I have thought a lot about how we can improve our society and make a meaningful impact on the current social situation. Each and every time, we came back to education, and there’s no better place to create that kind of positive change than UGA,” said Matthew Stafford. “When we learned more about this program and others across campus, we were happy to lend our support.”

The primary goal of the new program is to continue developing an environment that will effect meaningful change in the areas of areas of diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice for all of the Association’s members, including student-athletes, coaches and staff.

“We are incredibly grateful to Matthew and Kelly for their support of this important program and the university as a whole,” said J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “Their generosity will create positive experiences for many students across multiple areas at UGA and will ensure our student-athletes continue to enjoy exceptional experiences on campus.”

In addition to helping launch UGA Athletics’ social justice program, the Staffords’ gift includes a donation to the Magill Society to support the Butts-Mehre Expansion Project. The project will add a greatly expanded weight room, locker room, meeting rooms, coaches’ offices and sports medicine facility, as well as a number of other improvements for the football program.

The Staffords’ pledge will create two Georgia Commitment Scholarships as well. These scholarships will provide critical support to students who are unable to afford the full cost of attendance at UGA even when they have financial aid, such as a HOPE or Zell Miller scholarship or Federal Pell Grants.

The UGA Spirit Program Operational Endowment also will receive a donation as part of the Staffords’ commitment. The endowment provides general support for UGA Cheerleading.

“Matthew and Kelly Staffords’ pledge demonstrates the commitment of our alumni to their alma mater and to making a positive difference in the world,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I deeply appreciate their support of UGA’s efforts to nurture a diverse and inclusive campus culture and to promote academic access and success for all students.”

Vision and generosity grow for generations

Today, we celebrate Dan B. Franklin (BSC ’38, BBA ’62, BLA ’63) and the way his vision and generosity demonstrate how investing in the future can keep your hard-earned money working for generations. A bequest from his estate established the Dan B. Franklin Distinguished Professorship in the College of Environment + Design.

Who was Dan B. Franklin?

Franklin first received a degree in Economics from the University of Georgia in 1938. After a successful career working for the R.C. Cola Company, he returned to the university and, in 1963, earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with a concentration in landscapes and gardens.

A prolific and celebrated garden designer in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast, Franklin received numerous awards during his long career, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). He was also inducted as a Fellow with ASLA, the organization’s highest honor. In 1991, he received the UGA College of Environment + Design’s Distinguished Alumni Medal.

Franklin’s love of UGA and for the profession of landscape design led to the creation of a lasting gift. The professorship named in his honor is intended to help a scholar/educator who shares his passion for plant life promote education, research and service excellence in landscape architecture, garden design and horticulture in particular. Meet the current Dan B. Franklin Distinguished Professor, Brad Davis, and learn more about the positive impact Franklin’s gift continues to have.

Discover how easy it can be to leave a legacy that counts.

Because of Tatiyana Sinkfield’s scholarship, ‘this is only the beginning’

Tatiyana Sinkfield (BSA ’20) has a lot to celebrate these days. She is one of the University of Georgia’s newest alumni, having graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science and Arts in Biological Science from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. She also graduated as a first-generation college student and a proud alumna of the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program.

Through this program, Sinkfield was one of five students to receive a scholarship from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. The foundation established the scholarships to support, in perpetuity, students from Atlanta’s historic Westside neighborhoods.

Sinkfield was both surprised and grateful when she learned that she was the recipient of a Georgia Commitment Scholarship supported by the Angela and Arthur M. Blank Scholarship Fund, and her family and friends were equally as thrilled.

“This scholarship program provided me with on-campus resources, educational support and motivation. The staff members were so encouraging and kind,” said Sinkfield.

In addition to the financial resources and on-campus support offered through this scholarship, Sinkfield also enjoyed the unique opportunity of meeting Arthur Blank in 2018 over a small dinner on campus with the other Blank Foundation scholarship recipients. She recalls the group’s inspiring discussion on success after college, community engagement and setting and achieving important life goals.

One of her biggest life goals is to become a pediatrician, and Sinkfield plans to take a gap year to study and gain additional hands-on experience in the medical setting before attending medical school next fall. She believes that the rigor of her coursework at UGA has prepared her for medical school and equipped her with important skills like time management and accountability. Additionally, Sinkfield says that interacting with people from different places and different backgrounds at UGA has really strengthened her interpersonal skills, which she asserts are essential to becoming a good doctor.

The impact of her Georgia Commitment Scholarship extended beyond the classroom, as she emerged as a natural leader on campus during the last four years. Sinkfield served as a resource to several fellow Georgia Commitment Scholars pursuing the pre-medical route and volunteered with numerous organizations including Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, and Georgia DAZE, an overnight campus visitation program for talented high school seniors from historically underrepresented areas that have been admitted to UGA.

Like so many students, Sinkfield points to a nighttime football game under the Sanford Stadium lights as one of her favorite UGA memories. She vividly remembers the energy and school spirit that filled the stadium and said the feeling of camaraderie among the Bulldog Nation was utterly surreal.

Sinkfield plans to carry that same feeling of camaraderie into the next chapter of her life, remaining forever proud of her time at UGA and grateful for her Georgia Commitment Scholarship.

“The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation scholarship has helped me achieve not only my goals at UGA, but laid a foundation for my future successes. This is only the beginning.”

Life changing! (a salute to mentorship)

Featuring guest blogger Sara Ervin, Class of 2022

Meet Sara Ervin.

In her own words, Sara is an “untraditional student” who had a circuitous route to where she is today.  She came to the University of Georgia after obtaining her bachelor’s degree in rural studies from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and a master’s degree in mass communication from Valdosta State University.

She admits her academic focus could, at times, wander. She initially entered college to become a veterinarian. But then a strong desire to help people made her change course. While she wasn’t clear about precisely what she wanted to do, there was one nagging thought in the back of her mind – a career in the FBI. “I’m very protective,” she says. “Taking down the bad guys seemed like a good choice.” Still, that notion seemed more like a dream than a reality. She didn’t even know the first step to take, so she tucked the idea away.

She came to work at UGA as a student/faculty coordinator, responsible for managing student services and faculty affairs for the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics within the College of Public Health. But she still wrestled with “exactly what I wanted to do with my life.”

In 2018, she gained acceptance to begin work on a PhD in UGA’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication program. Still employed full time at UGA, and now a part-time PhD student, her plate was full. That’s where the UGA Mentor Program came into play.

Let’s let Sara pick up her story from here in her own words:

In August 2019, a few weeks into the semester, I received an email about the UGA Mentor Program. It doesn’t matter what level you are in your educational journey; you should always seek and accept help whenever you can. The overview was just a 30-minute presentation, so I thought, ‘what was there to lose?’

I understand the benefits a mentor can have, but I never had one before. Knowing what I know now, I wish I could have had this opportunity when I was a freshman in college. Hindsight is 20/20, and that is why I am so passionate about sharing my story.

A unique feature of the UGA Mentor Program is the ability to search and choose from a vast number of mentors. All mentors are UGA alumni who are volunteering their time and expertise. There is an online platform making it easy to find one that fits your needs.

My interest and research areas include crisis communication, disaster preparedness, and terrorism/counter-terrorism. I considered this niche as unique and not a popular combination, so I was not getting my hopes up about finding someone that fit all these criteria.

But after an hour of reading profiles under the keywords like crisis communication, terrorism, and disaster, I found an alumnus by the name of Mark Ball, who graduated UGA with a bachelor’s in international affairs (AB ’08). Mark is currently a lieutenant in the United States Navy. He has been in the Navy for over seven years; his experience matched each of my ‘unique’ interests. I clicked his name, sent him an email about myself asking for him to be my mentor. Within a couple days there was a reply. A few emails later, our first meeting was set.

Since he is stationed halfway around the world, we met via FaceTime and it went great.

The UGA Mentor Program provides many resources to help you prepare and use to ensure that one-on-one sessions with a mentor go smoothly and successfully. After an hour and a half, we got to know each other personally and professionally, established goals, and set expectations. Our relationship grew organically. We hit it off, and the time truly flew by.

The mentoring was very structured. After each of our meetings, there were deliverables I was responsible for preparing before our next meeting. Mostly my idea, but he agreed they would help. For instance, one task was to put into writing 1) Why I want to get a PhD, 2) Identify areas I want to research and why, and 3) Why I want to be an FBI Agent.

We would discuss my goals and these topics in depth. Mark asked a few questions. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. He listened and about halfway through, in a very calm tone as if he were telling me the weather, he asks, ‘Have you ever considered the Navy Reserves, as an intelligence officer? This could also be a beneficial segue into the FBI.’

I wish I could say that the Hallelujah Chorus rose in the background and fireworks shot off, but that was not the case. I had not considered joining the military in over a decade. I pondered a military career in high school when we had a career day, but quickly swatted away the idea.

But I am a nerd. I love to learn things. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the more you know! So, I did my due diligence. I spent weeks researching his suggestion, looking at the ins and outs of the Navy, the intelligence world, and the military in general. I asked friends and family for their input. I thought and prayed about it.

Then one sunny day in October, I contacted a Navy recruiter. After we met, I thought and prayed about it a bit longer, before deciding this is exactly what I needed and should do. I finally know what I want to do for the rest of my life!

Mark has been by my side every step of the way. He has not only guided me along the steps of entering the military, which is not an easy feat, but he has also helped guide me in my studies. Many of our conversations have been about current events and what research topics would be beneficial. If I can learn and research pertinent information about my future career field, why not?

Our ongoing mentor/mentee relationship has been truly life changing. I can honestly say that I had no idea that I would benefit as much as I have from the relationship or the program. I can only imagine what I would have gotten from this program had I had the same opportunity my freshmen year in college.

I am forever grateful to Mark and the UGA Mentor Program. I cannot recommend this program enough. It is beneficial for any age, educational level, or stage of life. One day, I hope I can give back to a student just as much as Mark and the program have given to me.

Inspired by this life changing story? Want to play a role in helping a student achieve their dreams?

 

Planning to inspire generations to come

Connie Crawley and her husband Art are long-time members of the Athens community with a passion for music, art and higher education. Since moving to Athens in 1987, the Crawleys have witnessed the ongoing transformation of the University of Georgia and its surrounding community. Connie was a Cooperative Extension state nutrition and health specialist for 28 years, and Art earned a doctorate from UGA’s Mary France Early College of Education. Classes and student performances introduced the couple to UGA’s campus culture and grew their love for opera, theater and art. Their belief in the power of a holistic college education is reflected in their support for both academics and campus culture.

Their experiences on campus inspired the Crawleys to leave a legacy that would benefit students for years to come. As beneficiaries of scholarships that aided their own educations, they understand the importance of lifting the financial burden of higher education. Connie and Art chose to make a planned gift that will fund future student scholarships and ensure future students have the same opportunities they enjoyed for growth through educational and cultural experiences. The Connie Crawley Travel Award Fund and the Art Crawley Graduate Student Support Fund will provide financial aid to UGA students in perpetuity.

Connie’s advice is, “If you want to have a long-term impact on the future, donate to an institution of higher education. It will guarantee the continued strength of our nation and the world. Education isn’t just about getting a job; it is about getting a broader mindset and worldview.”

Art’s experience working at other universities instilled in him the joy of watching students grow and evolve into new people. Connie sums up their philosophy, “We know we owe these institutions for what they have given to us. This is the least we can do.”

Interested in learning how you could create a lasting legacy? Plan today to change lives tomorrow.

Kevin Jones (BSFCS ’05) connects UGA to his business

Kevin Jones (BSFCS ’05) wears red and black proudly everywhere he goes. Whether he’s at work or home, people know he is a Georgia Bulldog by the passion he exhibits. Kevin currently serves as the senior procurement manager at RaceTrac where he has been instrumental in connecting his company with the University of Georgia.

A first-generation college student, Kevin was attracted to UGA because of the school’s reputation and the variety of cultural scenes in Athens: music, food, football, Greek life and the arts. Athens is a special place that offers something for everyone, a perfect complement to the university.

Upon graduation, Kevin started his career with Kauffman Tires before serving in the United States Army for five years. After his years of service, he went to work for McMaster-Carr, during which time he earned an MBA. The program prepared him for his position at RaceTrac, where he has been for the last four years.

In his early days at RaceTrac, Kevin noticed the company was hiring across the state and region for supply chain positions, but not from his alma mater. He was determined to change that. He knew the supply chain program at UGA was growing and the students graduating from the program were experienced and knowledgeable. It was clear the supply chain program was striving to become a prominent program in the state, and he wanted to see more red and black at RaceTrac.

RaceTrac provides a collaborative, light-hearted and family-like environment. Working in an open space allows access to senior executives at the company and creates a ripple effect of fun. The company operates cross-functionally, overlapping departments and opening the door to innovative ideas. Because of the welcoming culture of the company and the inter-connectivity among departments, Kevin knew it would be a great learning environment for supply chain students.

While attending last summer’s UGA corporate alumni event, Kevin connected with UGA’s Office of Corporate Relations who introduced him to Marty Parker, director of the UGA Supply Chain Advisory Board. The advisory board serves as the primary point of contact between industry and the UGA Supply Chain program, ensuring that the supply chain curriculum meets the needs of employers, providing speakers for classes, and connecting employers to bright talent. Kevin joined the board on behalf of RaceTrac to create a pipeline of supply chain talent from UGA.

“Investing in the university as a company representative is what I should be doing as an alumnus, in my opinion,” said Kevin. “I believe that by supporting UGA with time and financial generosity, a company or individual is investing in future employees.”

Kevin encourages current students to take advantage of networking and experiential learning opportunities, including internships, while also enjoying Athens and all the city has to offer. For those who have just graduated, his advice is timely, “Give yourself grace. It’s not going to be perfect but failure is part of growth.”

Chloe Washington (BS ’07) is here to help

Chloe Washington (BS ’07) is a woman filled with passion. She is passionate about her work, passionate about helping children and passionate about the University of Georgia.

As a senior program manager in marketing operations at Mailchimp in Atlanta, she loves working for an organization focuses on helping small businesses be successful, and she enjoys mentoring those early in their career to help them acquire the skills to succeed and find their career passion.

Washington is equally passionate about the University of Georgia. In high school, she wanted to attend a good school with lots of team spirit, and UGA fit the bill. She still gets chills when she heads to Athens because it feels like coming home; she met some of her closest friends at UGA, and she stays in touch with former professors. She graduated in 2007 with a fashion merchandising degree from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and then found her way into project management. There’s been no stopping her since.

She makes it a habit to attend events with several alumni groups, including Women of UGA, UGA Black Alumni and UGA Young Alumni. She participates in UGA’s “Give That Dawg a Bone,” by writing letters to incoming freshmen. She finds it fulfilling to share tips and advice with these new students. She always includes her email address and some of the students keep in touch with her throughout their college career.

Washington’s best advice to college students is to find a balance between freedom and discipline, and to leave space to explore new options.

“There’s nothing wrong with changing course, and being willing to pivot can lead to new opportunities,” Washington says.

In addition to helping college students, Washington is passionate about helping children. She has spent a lot of time volunteering with a nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring joy to children experiencing homelessness through the magic of birthdays. Although the organization is headquartered in Dallas, Washington saw a great need for it in Atlanta, and she was instrumental in helping to get it started there. It is now a regular program at three different shelters in Atlanta.

Washington also has had the opportunity to share her love of the Bulldogs with her cousin and uncle, who also attended UGA.

“Football season is really an exciting time for my family because red and black runs deep in our blood,” Washington says.

CED alum integral in launching COVID-19 information hub

Lawrie Jordan (BLA ’73) is an alumnus of the College of Environment and Design and current executive at Esri, one of the largest geographic information system companies in the world. Lawrie was integral to the launch of Esri’s free-to-use COVID-19 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Hub, a website with a wealth of resources for anyone to use. We connected with Lawrie to ask him questions about the Hub, his role in developing it, and his time at UGA.

What tools can be found on Esri’s COVID-19 GIS Hub? Who are they for?

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Esri surged its Disaster Response Team and worked closely with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to stand up a dynamic dashboard showing the global growth of the disease. This cloud-based tool leverages the power of geography and location analytics, with authoritative data from JHU and WHO being updated multiple times a day and successfully sustaining more than 1 billion hits per day worldwide. You can see the COVID-19 GIS Hub in action here.

Building on that foundation, the Hub provides an expansive set of online resources to lend support to communities, organizations, and individuals in need. These tools primarily consist of new maps, apps, informational dashboards, and supporting services that are focused on addressing specific needs associated with COVID-19, including:

Lawrie Jordan (BLA '73)

Lawrie Jordan (BLA ’73)

  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Available Hospital Beds
  • COVID-19 Testing Sites
  • Travel Restrictions
  • Contact Tracing (under development)
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Business Continuity
  • Small Business Recovery
  • Approaches to Safely Reopening

These are just a few of the tools available, and the full range can be seen at the Esri COVID-19 GIS Hub site.

What is your role in developing and launching the COVID-19 GIS Hub?

I’ve been fortunate to have worked with all forms of geospatial information for more than 40 years, with emphasis on imagery from satellites, aircraft, and drones. GIS technology provides us with an optimal environment to combine those sources of data with additional social, economic, statistical, health, and other natural resource layers. This enables us to see patterns, changes, and trends that affect us over time in totally new ways, including the multiple impacts of a crisis such as this pandemic.

At Esri we collaborate as a “team of teams,” and one of my roles is to provide thought leadership and industry outreach. I work with my colleagues and teammates to raise awareness across the world of new capabilities such as the COVID-19 GIS Hub, and to help inform and connect those in need. Tools such as this give us a new view of current conditions, as well as a new vision of what an improved future can look like.

What is a lesson you learned at UGA that you still carry with you while working at Esri?

One of the most valuable lessons that I learned as a UGA student (and frankly a recipe for overall success in your career and life) is the importance of “bringing your A-game” to everything that you do, and to “play all in, all the time.” CE+D’s Landscape Architecture course curriculum, the outstanding faculty, and the CED Design Studio environment naturally lends itself to this, and it sets the table for a high-energy pattern of productivity and innovation to thrive.

To follow this “all-in” recipe consistently, however, there’s a positive string attached. You have to stay healthy both physically and mentally, which adds two more important ingredients to the mix: regular exercise and a good diet.

And finally, the “secret ingredient” in this recipe is to put others first. Be of service to others and focus on helping them be successful first, rather than yourself. When you do this, you’ll find that you will succeed in numerous ways, far surpassing your own expectations. And then everything just gets better.

Delicious, nutritious recipes to help you Attack The Day (5K)

To get you ready for the Attack The Day 5K, we reached out to a few of our food-industry alumni and collected an assortment of tasty recipes that will keep you fueled up for June 20!

Peter DalePeter Dale

ABJ ’99

Company: The National, Seabear Oyster Bar, Condor Chocolates, Maepole

I am a born and raised Athenian, and got into the food business because I love to eat and can’t sit still at a desk. Each business is a collaboration between myself and friends or family and addresses something we felt was missing in the Athens dining scene.

The newest restaurant is Maepole which offers fresh and healthy food in a fast and convenient format. Maepole is a response to needing a nutritious meal when I’m having a busy day and can’t cook for myself.

Serves 4

While I really love zucchini bread and squash casserole, this salad is a great way to enjoy your summer garden’s bounty without the guilt. The goat cheese is optional, and can be replaced with Greek yogurt or feta. For extra nutritional punch, add fresh spinach leaves along with the herbs.

  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 6-8 small squash (about 2 lbs, yellow squash, zucchini or assorted heirloom varieties)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1 small sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup fresh goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Scatter the pecans on a baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes or until nicely browned and toasted. Let them cool before chopping or crushing lightly with the side of a large knife.

Place a ridged grill pan on high heat and leave it there until it is almost red hot–at least 5 minutes. Alternatively, use an outdoor grill, pre-heat to medium-high.

Meanwhile, trim the ends off of squash and cut on an angle into about 3/8-inch-thick slices. Place squash slices in a bowl and toss with half the olive oil, salt and black pepper. Place the slices on the hot grill pan and cook about 2 minutes on each side, turning them over using tongs. You want to get distinct char marks without cooking the squash through. Transfer to a mixing bowl, drizzle balsamic vinegar over and toss to combine. Set aside to cool slightly.

Once squash has cooled down, add the remaining olive oil, basil, mint, onion and pecans. Mix lightly and taste for seasoning. Place salad on plates, top with a dollop of goat cheese.

Serves 4 as a side dish

Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse but save the brown sugar and marshmallows for Thanksgiving. This salad is great made ahead of time. Keep it in the refrigerator and serve as a dinner side dish, or add chickpeas and arugula to make a meat-free lunch entrée.

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch to 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°.

Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the olive oil over the sweet potatoes and toss well. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes in oven until tender. Cool completely and reserve.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.

We serve a lot of hummus at The National, and it’s the perfect foil to warm flatbread and sliced vegetables. I think hummus can also serve as the base of an entrée. Hummus + grilled chicken + fresh tomato, cucumber, mint = a healthy and delicious summertime meal. This recipe makes a fantastic bright pink hummus that’s nutrient rich and will turn beet haters into beet lovers.

  • 1 1/2 cups roasted beets, chopped (5-6 small or 2-4 medium ones)*
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can chickpeas (15.5 oz.), drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sesame tahini
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • salt and pepper to taste

*To roast the beets, cut off the tops and scrub the roots under water, put them in a covered dish with about 1/4-inch of water in a 375°F oven, and cook until easily penetrated with a knife or fork. Alternatively, cover with water in a saucepan and simmer until tender, about 1/2 hour. Peel once cooled.

Place all the ingredients except water, salt and pepper, in a food processor. Puree until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle the warm water into the hummus. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Drew FrenchDrew French

BBA ’05

Company: Your Pie

Your Pie Pizza was started in Athens, GA in 2008 to change the way people experience pizza. We specialize in Italian style brick oven pizza custom made to order and craft beer and wine. Our 75 locally owned locations span across 19 states with the goal to improve the communities we serve.

Stretch the Your Pie pizza dough to 10 inches.

Top with some extra virgin olive oil and spread a thin layer of Ricotta cheese on top.

Next, add the thin sliced Prosciutto and top with 3 ounces of high quality mozzarella cheese and a pinch of shredded parmesan.

Finally, add 10 slices of Fresh GA Peaches in a circle.

Bake in a brick oven at 600 degrees for 4 minutes. (if you don’t have a brick oven, see you at Your Pie soon!).

After bake, top with fresh cut basil and a drizzle of honey balsamic reduction glaze.

Cut into 6 slices and enjoy!

 

Caroline Ward HeadshotCaroline Ward

BBA ’00, MPA ’03

Company: TransFit

I started TransFit in 2010 as I felt called to help people transform their lives from the inside out.  

TransFit (short for Transformational Fitness) is a faith-based personal training studio for women in 5 Points!  Our staff of personal trainers & registered dietician will help you achieve your whole body health goals. We will inspire you to transform your body, mind and spirit through customized personal training, group strength and cardio sessions, yoga, and nutrition consulting . 

We deliver the results you want to see as we support and encourage you to achieve your personal goals!

  • Super Greens Salad3 cups Baby Arugula
  • 3 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Pink Lady Apple (cored and sliced thin)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 TBSP White Balsamic
  • Tomatoes

Combine baby arugula and baby spinach in a large bowl. Add cranberries, pecans, parmesan cheese, and apple slices. Squeeze the lemon then add the white balsamic for the dressing. Toss salad so all leaves are evenly coated then add cracked pepper. Serve and Enjoy!

  • Transfit Quinoa Cakes2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp lemon pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 /2 tsp salt

Combine the quinoa, eggs, salt, and lemon pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the parsley, onion, and garlic.

Form the mixture into 1o thick patties (use a 1/4 cup to form into patties.) You want the mixture to be moist, so the patties do not taste dry.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat, add 5 patties, cover, and cook for 7-10 minutes or unitl patties are deeply browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook for 5 minutes, or until golden. Remove from skillet and cool on a large plate while you cook the remaining patties.

Chocolate Heaven Smoothie