2020 Alumni Awards recipients unveiled

The Alumni Association will celebrate individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a deep commitment to bettering the university during its 83rd annual Alumni Awards Luncheon on April 24.

This year’s honorees include:

Lynda Bradbury Courts

The Honorable Johnny Isakson

Dr. Hamilton E. Holmes Family

Peter Shedd

Sanford and Barbara Orkin

Christina Swoope Carrere

2020 Alumni Merit Awards

The Alumni Merit Award, which is given to those who bring recognition and honor back to the University of Georgia through outstanding leadership and service, will be presented to Lynda Bradbury Courts and the Honorable Johnny Isakson.

As a lifelong philanthropist, Lynda Bradbury Courts (AB ’63) has supported and served the university for decades in a multitude of ways. Perhaps most notably, she served as the chair for the University of Georgia Foundation board of trustees from 2004 to 2005.

After graduating from UGA, Sen. Johnny Isakson (BBA ’66) had a multi-decade career of public service to the state and the university. He holds the distinction of being the only Georgian ever to have been elected to the state House, state Senate, U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

2020 Family of the Year Award

The Dr. Hamilton E. Holmes family will receive the Family of the Year Award, which is presented to a family that demonstrates loyalty to UGA.

Dr. Hamilton Holmes Sr. (BS ’63) helped pave the way for future generations of students as the first African American male to attend UGA. The Holmes family has continued his legacy of opening doors and making campus more inclusive through their great support of UGA over the years.

2020 Faculty Service Award

Peter Shedd is receiving the Faculty Service Award. First presented in 1969, the award recognizes current or former UGA faculty and staff who have distinguished themselves in service to the university.

Peter Shedd (BBA ’74, JD ’77) has shown boundless commitment to the university and its students and faculty. He is an emeritus professor of legal studies at Terry College of Business. He was named the 1993 CASE Georgia Professor of the Year. He previously served as the associate dean of business, executive assistant to the president, interim VP for instruction and director of Terry College’s full-time MBA program. He has written numerous articles and two leading textbooks in the areas of the legal and regulatory environments of business and business law.

2020 Friend of UGA Award

Sanford and Barbara Orkin will be honored with the 2020 Friend of UGA Award, which is given to any non-alumnus or organization that has demonstrated outstanding loyalty and support to the University of Georgia and the UGA community.

Sanford (H ’19) and his late wife Barbara, who passed away in Nov. 2019, have demonstrated unyielding commitment to supporting the endeavors of UGA’s students, faculty and staff. They have provided tremendous financial support across the university including the Terry College of Business, the Mary Frances Early College of Education, College of Public Health, UGA Athletics, Carl Vinson Institute and the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases.

2020 Young Alumni Award

The Young Alumni Award will be presented to Christina Swoope Carrere. This award is given to those who attended UGA in the past 10 years, have embodied the Pillars of the Arch—wisdom, justice and moderation–and provided notable service to the university.

Christina Swoope Carrere (BS ’11) was the first African American female drum major of the Redcoat Marching Band and is the immediate past president of the board of directors for the Redcoat Band Alumni Association. She was also in UGA’s 40 Under 40 class of 2016. She currently serves as the senior Medicare program examiner for the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about the Alumni Awards program, or view a list of previous award recipients.

 

Alumnus guides others on med school journey

I always knew that I wanted to be a doctor. I remember proudly proclaiming this on career days in elementary school. I didn’t know what kind of doctor that I wanted to be, but the decision to pursue medicine was clear from an early age.

What I didn’t know was that the path to medical school was like running through miles of thorn bushes while trying to avoid a stampede of buffalo in the dark of night, during a tornado. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I remember what it was like every step of the way, and it was not easy.

Destination Med School Screen Capture 1

I was never the smartest person in class. As I share in the video above: I failed my driver’s test twice, I took the SAT three times to get the score I needed, and I had to take the MCAT twice. I got denied from 25 medical schools and it took me nearly two years to get accepted. Hard work, resilience, and patience got me to where I am today.

After 3 years of medical school in Philadelphia at Sidney Kimmel Medical College (Thomas Jefferson University), I decided to pursue an opportunity to earn a Master of Business Administration at my Alma Mater, the University of Georgia, in the MD/MBA Dual Degree program.

When I returned to UGA, I wanted to give back to the university that shaped me into the person I am today. I began volunteering for the UGA Pre-Health Advising Office, speaking at panels, hosting presentations, and meeting with students for one-on-one advising. When the new year rolled around, I decided that I wanted to make a larger impact.

We all know the value of a mentor. During undergrad, I had a small handful of these mentors that were accepted into medical school and they provided me with powerful advice. What about the people that didn’t have mentors? Imagine a space where an entire community of doctors, dentists, physician assistants, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more, many of whom are UGA grads, provide advice and motivational stories to pre-med students.

In January 2020, I launched Destination Med School, an online community of medical professionals sharing advice, insight, and lessons they’ve learned along their journeys. As I write this post, the account has exceeded 2,000 followers on Instagram since launching one month ago and has grown to a community of nearly 100 medical professionals. Future medical professionals, anywhere in the world, can now tune in to receive daily content from mentors in all fields.

I am proud to continue my work with UGA’s Pre-Health Advising Office and speaking to future medical professionals at this great university. I am proud to run an account that provides mentorship to students who need it. And I am proud to now, and always, be a Georgia Bulldog.

Check out Destination Med School on Instagram @destinationmedschool.

Jake Goodman

Best,
Jake Goodman
UGA Class of 2015

UGA achieves career outcomes rate of 95%+ for fifth year running

University of Georgia Class of 2019 graduates are employed or attending graduate school within six months at a rate of 95 percent—eight percent higher than the national average.

Regarding these 2019 UGA graduates:

  • 66 percent were employed full time;
  • 19 percent were attending graduate school; and
  • Approximately 10 percent engaged in post-graduation internships, fellowships, residencies, postdoctoral research, part-time jobs, or have reported their status as entrepreneurs.

“Students continue to excel in their post-graduate endeavors as UGA’s career outcomes rate has been 95 percent or above over the past five years,” said Scott Williams, executive director of the UGA Career Center. “This extraordinary level of consistency demonstrates that our students’ strong academic performance is supported through career readiness skills development and complemented by experiential learning.”

UGA graduates are now making an impact in positions across all sectors of the economy from business to government, nonprofit to education. Over 3,000 unique employers hired UGA graduates. Top employers for the Class of 2019 include Emory Healthcare, Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot and NCR Corporation.

Of those full-time professionals, 60 percent were employed before graduation and 98 percent were hired within six months of graduation.

“Internships that I secured through UGA’s job board, Handshake, provided me with hands-on experience to see that I actually enjoy sales.” said Erin Orem, a May 2019 graduate. “I was able to confidently speak about my internships at the UGA Career Fair, where I met my current employer, TTI. Using UGA Career Center resources, I began preparing for my job search in my freshman year, so I never stressed about finding a job!”

71 percent, nearly three-quarters of the Class of 2019 graduates working full-time, accepted employment within the state of Georgia. Graduates landed in all 50 states and in 43 countries in the six months after graduation, with top out-of-state destinations spanning the country and including major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.

The 19 percent of graduates who are furthering their education have chosen top graduate or professional schools including Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, Emory University and the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

The UGA Career Center calculates the career outcomes rate each January by leveraging information from surveys, phone calls, employer reporting, UGA departmental collaboration, LinkedIn, and the National Student Clearinghouse. The preceding data is based on the known career outcomes of 8,289 graduates from the Class of 2019.

Check out a video and infographics highlighting the Class of 2019 career outcomes.

Image provided by University of Georgia Marketing and Communications/Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker

UGA’s must-see campus upgrades: 2020 edition

When Bulldog alumni arrive in Athens for Alumni Weekend (March 26-28), campus will look a lot different than it did during their glory days.  

It’s been a while since our last campus update, so we thought alumni would enjoy a peek at some must-see campus upgrades, just in time for a return visit to the Classic City  

Studio 225

UGA’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship is changing the face of campus. In 2019, Studio 225 opened to house the Student Center for Entrepreneurship. The building, located off West Broad Street where campus meets downtown, was completed as part of phase one of the Innovation District, an initiative to promote entrepreneurship, research commercialization and industry partnerships at UGA.  

The Delta Air Lines Foundation recently pledged a $5 million gift to UGA, half of which will support the renovation of UGA’s Spring Street Building. The renovated space, part of the District’s phase 2, will provide flexible workspace, conference rooms and presentation areas to support faculty startups and enable greater collaboration among students and industry partners. It will be completed by January 2021.  

Where to find it: Studio 225 | 225 West Broad Street 

Lake Herrick

Lake Herrick, nestled between Oconee Forest Park and the Intramural Fields, closed in 2002 due to water quality concerns. Thanks to a partnership between UGA, the Georgia Power Foundation and the Riverview Foundation, Lake Herrick is once again open to the public.    

The Lake Herrick Watershed Restoration Project created a healthier ecosystem, an improved shoreline and a new dock and pavilion. If the weather’s nice, Lake Herrick is definitely worth a visit 

Where to find it: Lake Herrick | 111 Lake Herrick Drive 

Business Learning Community

The Terry College of Business completed its Business Learning Community last year with the dedication of the final two buildings: Sanford and Barbara Orkin Hall and M. Douglas Ivester Hall. The Business Learning Community was one of the largest capital projects in UGA’s history and included three phases over six years. Private support funded half of the $140 million project total.  

Where to find it: At the corner of Baxter Street and South Lumpkin Street 

Russell Hall

In 2018, UGA completed a 15-month renovation of Russell Hall, which originally opened in 1967. The project modernized the dorm’s climate control, plumbing and electrical systems, updated furnishings, improved bathroom privacy and renovated lounges to foster group interaction and collaboration.  

The project received an award for Excellence in Sustainable Preservation from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and an Outstanding Rehabilitation award from the Athens-Clarke County Heritage Foundation, now Historic Athens. 

Next up for renovation is Brumby Hall, which will reopen in fall 2020 

Where to find it: Russell Hall | 515 Baxter Street  

I-STEM Research Facility

At the corner where Cedar Street meets East Campus Road, a major construction project is ongoing to build the new Interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (I-STEM) Research Building. The project broke ground in late 2018 and will open in summer 2021.  

The I-STEM Research Building will provide space for faculty and graduate students in chemistry and engineering and represents UGA’s commitment to the 1-in-5 students who graduate each year with a STEM degree.  

Where to find it: The corner of East Campus Road and Cedar Street (but we don’t recommend entering a construction site) 

Sanford Stadium 

The new and improved West End Zone of Sanford Stadium was unveiled in August 2018. The $63 million project, largely funded by private donors, included a host of improvements that created or updated 120,000 square feet, including: 

  • New locker room nearly twice the size of the previous one, complete with shower facilities  
  • Hospitality lounge to host prospective student-athletes and their guests on gamedays  
  • Video board 33% larger than the previous one 
  • Enhanced upper and lower plazas for fans 

A little over a year later, on Sept. 7, 2019, another major change occurred: players stormed out of the West End Zone tunnel and set foot onto the newly named Dooley Field for the first time. The field dedication took place in a pre-game ceremony and honored former Bulldog head coach and athletic director Vince Dooley. 

 

Want to take a stroll down Gillis Bridge and see it for yourself? Well then we’ll see you at Alumni Weekend!

UGA Greek councils create two $100K Georgia Commitment Scholarships

The University of Georgia Panhellenic Council and UGA Interfraternity Council each gave $100,000, matched by the UGA Foundation, to establish two endowed, need-based scholarships through the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program.

“We are so excited by and proud of these councils and their member organizations,” said Victor K. Wilson, vice president of student affairs. “Our students understand the value of a UGA education, and to see them commit to providing that opportunity to others—in perpetuity—is inspiring.”

The Panhellenic Council governs UGA’s 19 female fraternities and sororities that are members of the National Panhellenic Conference, and the Interfraternity Council represents 26 member fraternities at the University. The two councils gave to these scholarship funds on behalf of their member organizations, and both scholarships will support an incoming freshman in the 2020 fall semester.

“The students that contributed to these gifts are among the most engaged and motivated at the University, but this goes above and beyond,” said Eric Atkinson, associate vice president of student affairs. “Their commitment to UGA will now live far beyond their years on campus and will enrich the University forever.”

Through the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program, the UGA Foundation matches—dollar for dollar—any gift in the amount of $50,000, $75,000 or $100,000 to establish an endowed, need-based scholarship for undergraduate students. The scholarship is awarded within a year of the donor making their gift, and from that point forward, the endowment grows—increasing the size of the scholarship award over time and helping student after student earn a UGA degree.

“The Panhellenic Council holds service among our four core values, and what better way to make an impact than serving our direct community?” said Jennings Brooks, Panhellenic Council president. “By giving to the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Fund, we are ensuring that our legacy’s impact will go beyond the Panhellenic Community, impacting the University as a whole for years to come.”

Since the matching program’s creation in 2017, over $77 million has been dedicated to need-based aid, with over 330 donors giving to the program. Scholarship recipients also benefit from academic support in the form of tutoring, workshops, academic coaching and more.

“To make the UGA experience more accessible for future generations of Bulldogs is truly special,” said Brennan Cox, UGA Interfraternity Council president. “At the onset of our term, we challenged ourselves to be campus leaders—not just fraternity leaders—and this is our commitment to doing just that.”

As a major component of the Commit to Georgia Campaign’s effort to remove barriers for students, the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program has been a critical element of UGA’s fundraising success over the past two years. To find out how you can contribute to that success, visit give.uga.edu/georgia-commitment.

Bulldog Love Stories: 2020 V-Day Edition

We invited the Bulldog Alumni Family to share their Bulldog love stories this year –just in time for Valentine’s Day. Needless to say, we’re in LOVE with each and every story … and we hope everyone reading this has a great time digging into a few tales of romance springing from time spent at UGA.

Alia and Jemir Martinez

Alia and Jemir Martinez || Jemir and I met during grad school at the Terry College of Business in Atlanta. He was the year above me and, like any good Bulldog, offered to help with classes. We bonded over food, family, and Georgia football. Our love took us to NYC where we watched the Dawgs play at American Whiskey (the game-watching bar for the NYC Alumni Chapter) and now, three years later, we are married and live on the other side of the country … but continue to cheer on our Dawgs!

Alicia and Nigel George

Alicia and Nigel George || My husband and I met in Russell Hall in 2007. After graduation, medical school at the UGA/MCG Medical Partnership for my husband, and countless other adventures, we moved back to Athens and welcomed a baby girl to the Bulldog Family in December. She even “attended” every football game this season! This engagement photos was taken on North Campus in 2015.

Amanda Stables and Spencer Woody

Amanda Stables and Spencer Woody || Even though we’re both from the great state of Georgia, we first met 500+ miles away on the campus of our undergrad, Cedarville University. A Bulldog at heart, I enrolled in UGA’s School of Social Work for my master’s degree and Spencer followed me to attend Georgia Law. We’ve stuck together through all these years (and many miles) and we’ve made lots of memories cheering on the Dawgs! We might not be students forever, but we’ll always have our love for each other, Athens, and UGA.

Anne Marie Hozey and Eric Gladden

Anne Marie Hozey and Eric Gladden || We met at a Georgia State Hospital Pharmacy (GSHP) mixer when I was a first-year UGA pharmacy student and he was at the meeting for continuing education. One of Eric’s fraternity brothers had returned to UGA to pursue a PharmD advanced degree and was in my class. This mutual friend invited Eric to the GSHP meeting and that is how we met. I remember thinking he must be a Mercer student since we knew all the UGA pharmacy students. We started talking during that visit and never stopped, dating long-distance until I graduated from pharmacy school. Had it not been for the UGA College of Pharmacy, we would have never met. Eric and I have kept our football season tickets since graduation, which is fortunate since our oldest child is now in the Honors Program at UGA. Will actually lives in Myers Hall, where my mother lived during her first year at UGA.

Bryson Hollomon and Rebecca Barron

Bryson Hollomon and Rebecca Barron || I met the love of my life, Rebecca, during my junior year. I was a goofy guy who loved to make music and she was a beautiful, shy, kind, and thoughtful sophomore. On the day we met, we both happened to be eating alone in Bolton Dining Hall. I remember it like it was yesterday: she was sitting at one of the high top tables at the top of the stairs–radiant with the sun from the windows shining on her, reading a book and eating lunch. I couldn’t help but be drawn to her. I mustered up the courage to sit at the table beside her. After a few minutes of anxiety, I got up the courage to ask her about her book and her day … and she looked at me with the kindest eyes and answered my questions! From there, we talked about everything from our majors (mine advertising, hers entertainment and media studies), our common music interests, and what we liked to do. After an hour of talking, I had to go to class. I dumped my tray and came back to get her number. Thankfully, she gave this lucky guy her digits, accompanied by a pinky handshake (since she was eating an apple at the time). Flash forward three years and we are graduated, living a happy life with fulfilling careers in New York City. Thank you so much, UGA, for providing the space to meet the most amazing lady in my life!

Caitlin Glasscock Conn and Thomas Conn

Caitlin Glasscock and Thomas Conn || We started dating in 2012, before our senior year of high school. We got engaged during our senior year of college on spring break and were married in 2018 at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. We took our engagement, graduation, and wedding photos on campus because we love UGA so much! We chose North Campus for our “first look” because we have always viewed it as the prettiest part of campus. We love the history of this area and its far-reaching association with UGA and Athens. The Chapel Bell is the place to go when you have anything to celebrate. We’ve gone to the bell after football games, at the end of brutal rounds of finals, and even just to celebrate our ability to celebrate. We celebrated our engagement, graduation, and our wedding at the Chapel Bell. We have photos next to the Arch from throughout our years at school, formals, graduation and our wedding. We also finally have that picture of us walking under the Arch after graduation. We did our first look on North Campus specifically to get wedding photos with the Arch and all that it represents. (Photo credit: Blane Marable)

Candice Donaldson Edwards and Terrence Edwards

Candice Donaldson and Terrence Edwards || We didn’t date during our time at UGA, but fate brought us together many years later. We love to reminisce and laugh at all the times that our paths crossed on campus, not knowing of our future together. It’s great to be married to a fellow Bulldog, because only a Bulldog can understand the true love of “Bleeding Red & Black!” ❤️

Caroline Paschal and Mack Hennessey

Caroline Paschal and Mack Hennessey || My mom came in town for graduation when the Ramsey Center hosted a “bring a friend for free” day. Naturally, my mom wanted to go and proceeded to talk to everyone while they were working out. She interrupted a guy doing push-ups to chat while I was hiding from embarrassment across the gym. A month later, I ran into him downtown and my first words to him were, “Do you workout a lot?” Good thing my mom made the first move … because six years later, we are getting married in Athens this June!

Chris Hammond and Crawford Patterson Hammond

Chris and Crawford Patterson Hammond || We met in 1991 in Reed Hall. I told her that I would marry her as soon as we met. Pictured here are our three sons: Champ is a sophomore at UGA, John Henry has been accepted to UGA for Fall 2020, and Reed is named for Reed Hall where this love affair began. Go Dawgs!

Christina Harris Rabinowitz and Kevin Rabinowitz

Christina Harris and Kevin Rabinowitz || Christina and Kevin were both born and raised in the Georgia suburbs and attended UGA from 2003-2007, graduating from the Terry College of Business. Christina started a career in management consulting in Dubai while Kevin went into risk management in New York. They met in NYC in 2010 when Christina was there for a short-term project from abroad. The pair immediately hit it off thanks to their UGA backgrounds. Christina relocated permanently to NYC … where they dated, got engaged, and then married (in Georgia) in 2014. In 2019, Christina and Kevin decided to take a break from their careers in NYC and are now traveling the world. You can follow their travel adventures @seetheworldin2020 and their culinary finds @culinaryitineraries!

Cindy and Roddie Robinett

Cindy and Roddie Robinett || Roddie and I met at UGA cheerleading tryouts in 1986 and became cheer partners in 1987. We began dating soon after and have been married for 27 years. Still Dawg fans!

Corey McArthur Dortch and Amelia Hines Dortch

Amelia Hines and Corey McArthur Dortch || Corey is the type of guy to literally seize the day. On Valentine’s Day 2005, he took his shot when he unexpectedly ran into a pretty undergraduate student in Memorial Hall. Her name was Amelia and he asked her out … on Valentine’s Day. He thought, “Hey, why not?” Fortunately for him, Amelia said yes. They had a great time that evening and throughout the remainder of the semester. Corey graduated from his master’s program and they lost touch. Over the next seven years, they would run in to each other because of mutual friends. Once, during the wedding of another Bulldog couple, they were even partnered as a bridesmaid and groomsman. It wouldn’t be until 2012 that they would really notice each other again. During the co-ed baby shower of the couple whose wedding they were in, they began chatting. Corey took a shot again and asked Amelia, “Hey, do you ever hang out in Atlanta?” Amelia, familiar with Corey’s skill at small talk, replied, “If I ever have reason to.” Corey likes a challenge and seeing this as such, he decided to seriously pursue Amelia. Within two years of dating, on the steps of the UGA Chapel, Corey proposed. Fittingly, they said “I do” on October 25, 2014, (a bye weekend), where they first met in the Classic City. Corey and Amelia live in Atlanta and are the proud parents of a 17-month-old son, James McArthur.

Emma Bryant Bonham and Joseph Trey Bonham

Emma Bryant and Joseph Trey Bonham || Here’s a picture of me and my now hubby, Trey, the last time we watched the Bulldogs play together as students (it was the 2016 G-Day game during my senior year). Trey and I met during our freshman years at UGA and started dating the summer before junior year. Most of my favorite memories from our dating years involve Georgia football, Athens Bagel and meeting at the North Campus fountain between classes. I love UGA for so, so many reasons … but this guy is definitely No. 1! Thanks for the husband, Athens 💕

Heather and Tucker Austin Oliver

Heather and Tucker Austin Oliver || We were set up during fall semester of our sophomore year by mutual friends. He proposed two years later at Lake Herrick. We graduated in May 2019 and now we’re married!

Jasmin Severino Hernandez and Jose Luis Hernandez

Jasmin Severino and Jose Luis Hernandez || Jose and I met when I leased him an apartment off campus. It was my first year at UGA and I worked at River Walk Townhomes. After our first encounter, I started seeing him walk by me every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday near the library. I would sit at the same bench each day, waiting for the North/South bus. He would come off another bus and stare as he walked by. I was determined to say hi one day, but I always chickened out. One day, he stopped and asked, “Do I know you from somewhere?” After months of friendship, we went on our first date to Yoforia on Easter. We endured several long distance periods in our relationship as I left for law school and my master’s degree. We were engaged after 6 years and were married on October 19, 2019 – on UGA Homecoming! Of course, we had a UGA groom’s cake at the wedding. This April marks nine years of being in love!

Jeffrey Brown and Candace Williams-Brown

Jeffrey Brown and Candace Williams-Brown || Candace and I met in the Office of Multicultural Services and Programs in 2005 while she was the editor of Infusion Magazine and I was president of the Black Educational Support Team. At the time, I was a fourth-year international affairs major and she was a third-year publication management major. It was love at first sight because shortly thereafter we started dating and have been inseparable since. We got married in 2007 in Athens, where it all started. We now have two amazing little boys, Xavier (6) and Avery (10 months). Both, of course, will be future Bulldogs!

Karen Davis Kantziper and Glen Kantziper

Karen Davis and Glen Kantziper || Karen and I went to high school together in Savannah. After several attempts at trying to get her to go out with me, Karen finally said “yes” and we dated during our senior year. As (my) luck would have it, we were both accepted into UGA in 1981. It was at UGA where we really connected. I lived in Russell Hall and Karen was in Brumby. From dorm parties and football games, to late night study sessions, we spent a lot of time together. We both graduated in 1985 and went our separate ways for work after graduation – Karen taking a job in Savannah and me in Asheville, North Carolina. After a few years in different cities, but commuting to see each other when we could, Karen accepted my marriage proposal and we made a home together near Greensboro, North Carolina where we live today. I’m a lucky man who found the love of his life at an early age, and I don’t take my good fortune for granted. It was in Athens where it all came together for us and we’ll be forever connected to UGA. Happy Valentines Day, love! Go Dawgs!

Keith J Nesbitt and Talya Vexler Nesbitt

Talya Vexler and Keith J. Nesbitt || The story of when we met has been a debate for years. My version is another Gym Dog introduced us in the Butts-Mehre building in 2000. That meeting, followed by a run-in at Publix after graduation, has defined our lives since. Talya says she knew we would get married since our first date at Mellow Mushroom. It may have taken me a little longer to reach this conclusion, but I cannot adequately express how happy I am that I did. Talya is from Massachusetts and I’m from South Carolina, so when it came time to plan our big day, only one place made sense: Athens. We were married at The Foundry over the 2010 Memorial Day Weekend. We now live in Talya’s hometown of Amherst, Massachusetts, where she runs a gymnastics school. And while I hate the cold and snow, our life is perfect! It’s only gotten better with the recent birth of our son, AJ. Talya is the perfect wife and mother, and not too shabby of a businesswoman either. Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy Birthday! Go Dawgs! #iloveus

LaTosha Dunnigan Wright and Dwayne Cowles Wright

LaTosha Dunnigan and Dwayne Cowles Wright || We met at an off-campus Graduate School party in 2004. I was not in graduate school, but knew the host of the party (I was an RA in Brumby Hall at the time). We both caught each other’s eye and decided to dance. We exchanged numbers and went on our way. He called me that night to say that he was in the Brumby Circle. I peeked out of my window and thank goodness, he was kidding! We didn’t talk for a few weeks after that, but he ended up calling me to have lunch at Wild Wing Cafe for our first date. We lost touch over the years, but reconnected in 2008 and the rest was history! He was living in Ohio at the time and I moved there shortly after we got engaged. We were married on Nassau Beach in the Bahamas in 2009. We have one son, Quince, who is seven.

Leah and Austin Hansen

Leah and Austin Hansen || My husband and I have known each other since elementary school, but didn’t start dating until we both moved to Athens for college. We made it through dorm life in Creswell Hall and adopting our first dog in an apartment that was not pet friendly (totally worth it). My husband proposed to me under the Arch on a warm, spring day. After 7 years of dating, we got married, and now own a house less than a mile from campus. Our house has an entire room dedicated to our love for UGA, which still doesn’t fit all of our UGA memorabilia! We haven’t missed a UGA home game since 2011, have never left a game early (rain or shine), and have traveled far and wide to see the Dawgs play–from the West Coast to northern Indiana. Our next goal is to own a camper van so that we can more easily travel to UGA away games, and eventually see all of the SEC football stadiums!

Liz and Chris Herrin

Liz and Chris Herrin || Chris and I met in Athens in 2012, not long after I moved into Church Hall. We ended up moving to Atlanta together after I graduated. Chris surprised me in 2017 by asking me to marry him at the Founders Garden on North Campus, where we used to spend time together while we were dating. We got married a year later and are excited to see where our lives take us from here. Go Dawgs!

Megan Wilkeson Jones and Colton Perry Jones

Megan Wilkeson and Colton Perry Jones || UGA’s College of Education brought us together, but our story began in Park Hall. I sat up front to not miss a word that Dr. O’Neal said in Short Fiction class; he arrived early and chose a seat in the back corner. When we officially met during our English Education orientation, he knew my name and our mutual class. Sadly, I was oblivious. Fast forward to the Georgia vs. GT game – he asked if I’d be his girlfriend. We graduated and became high school teachers in 2011. We are both faculty members at Veterans High School in Houston County – and we both teach ninth grade literature and composition. He works down the hall from me and, together, we have coached golf and swimming. Students always want to know where we met, and thankfully we can always share the good ol’ days at UGA.

Melissa Smith Elliott and Jeff Elliott

Melissa Smith and Jeff Elliott || We met at UGA over 25 years ago. My sorority sister introduced us as they are both from Athens and attended Clarke Central High School. Our first date was a UGA game. We were married several years later in 1996 and now have a 17-year-old son who also loves the Bulldogs. Here’s a photo from our trip to the epic Rose Bowl Game. Go Dawgs!

Morgan Deegan Smithson and James Smithson

Morgan Deegan and James Smithson || James and I met in 2011 before classes even started thanks to mutual friends, Ciara and Alex Moore (fellow UGA alumni). I was a freshman and James was heading into his senior year. After our introduction, James told Ciara “to bring her blonde friend around more.” For the record, my dad was livid that I had met a boy before classes even started. We had our first real date and the rest became history. For the rest of the year, we had countless date nights, football games, and made memories on campus. After James graduated in 2012, we dated long distance for three years. He headed to dental school at the Ohio State University and I stayed in Athens to finish up at Terry College. For three years, we both made a beaten path between Athens and Columbus, Ohio. We filled those three years with adventures and tons of date nights. After undergrad, I enrolled in grad school at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business. James and I were finally back in the same college town in a similar situation: I was starting my first year of grad school and James was finishing his last year of dental school. We got engaged after James graduated from dental school in 2016. He planned a trip to Amelia Island and secretly planned for our families to be there when he proposed. I knew immediately we had to travel home to Athens for our engagement pictures–Athens was our place, and still where we call home. We married in 2017 and live in Columbus for James’ residency program. We proudly cheer on the Dawgs from Ohio because Dawgs are always on top! Photo Credit: Katey Penton Photography

Chelsa Byrd and Ray "BJ" Albert

Chelsa Byrd and Ray “BJ” Albert || We met in 2000 on our way to study hall, but our love story didn’t start until after graduation. We reconnected at a birthday get-together for a mutual friend. Little did we know how much we had in common. We decided to “hang out” a week later, which turned into one of the best dates ever! Then she disappeared … After a little chasing and determination, Chelsa decided to take a chance with me, and the rest is history!

Sarah Montgomery and J. Thomas Perdue

Sarah Montgomery and J. Thomas Perdue || We met at a student magazine when I was the magazine manager and he was a writer and editor. I’m the first person in my family to attend UGA, so dating a third-generation Bulldog whose grandfather played for Vince Dooley’s first recruiting class helped me quickly became a die-hard Bulldog. Now that we’ve been dating for over two years and graduated with our bachelors’ degrees, we’ve applied to return to UGA to earn our master’s degrees. We hope to be back in Sanford Stadium this fall to cheer on the Dawgs!

Savannah Richter and Bryan Brinson

Savannah Richter and Bryan Brinson || Bryan and I met in 2012 during my freshman year at Georgia when he was a senior. We were introduced by his sister, who is one of my best friends (and Pi Phi sisters). Every Thursday during my first semester, I would meet her for lunch at Snelling Dining Hall before class. Bryan and his best friend would eat with us. At that time, we were both dating other people and never made a connection. Fast forward to the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville in 2017. I was living in Indianapolis and came down to meet friends for the game (one being his sister). He was living in Panama City Beach and came over to see her and go to the game, too. It just happened to be the right time in our lives to finally make that connection. We’ve been together since, even through the long distance. We both love UGA and enjoyed our second date watching the Bulldogs beat the Sooners to win the Rose Bowl. I eventually moved to Florida to be closer to him and we now live together in Tallahassee and recently adopted a puppy that we named Sony (after Sony Michel, of course)!

Shontel M. and Rodd M. Cargill

Shontel M. and Rodd M. Cargill || Our relationship began in 2006, during our freshman year at UGA. We met playing hide-and-seek in Brumby Hall, and became best friends in the many years thereafter. Who knew we would finally start dating 5.5 years later, be very intentional in our relationship, and then get married in 2019?! Our secret? We attribute most of our success to placing God in the forefront of our lives. We also built our relationship on a solid foundation of friendship, in which we still date, openly communicate, laugh (a lot), surprise each other, and love each other unconditionally. We cannot forget about our shared love for UGA: the university that brought us together in the first place! Of course, couples go through life changes, but we both agreed that we would always choose each other and weather those storms together. Our love is truly everlasting. GO DAWGS!

Suzette Fosha Williams and Jay Williams

Suzette Fosha and Jay Williams || We met at the GA vs. FLA football game in 1985. Two years later, we got engaged in Jacksonville.

 

 

Albany State president to give Mary Frances Early Lecture

This was written by Hayley Major and originally posted to UGA Today on Feb. 5, 2020.

Marion Ross Fedrick (BSED ’94, MPA ’02) will deliver the 20th annual Mary Frances Early Lecture at the ceremony naming the College of Education in Mary Frances Early’s honor. The event will take place Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. in Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall at the UGA Performing Arts Center.

“I am honored to provide the keynote address for such a special occasion,” said Fedrick. “Ms. Mary Frances Early paved the way for myself and many others at the University of Georgia. Her courage and bravery continue to serve as an inspiration.”

Fedrick was appointed president of Albany State University on Aug. 14, 2018, after serving as interim executive vice president and interim president for the university. Prior to that, she served as vice chancellor for human resources at the University System of Georgia. In this role, she led initiatives relating to university administration, leadership development and human resources planning. Fedrick has led staff development efforts at Clark Atlanta University, Emory University and Emory University Hospitals. She also served in leadership roles in the state of Georgia’s Office of State Personnel Administration, AT&T and BellSouth.

During her tenure at ASU, the university has seen significant growth and improvement. Efforts have included restructuring academic colleges, evaluating the academic curriculum and making needed changes to better serve students, as well as implementing a university-wide strategic effort to increase student retention and academic success.

Fedrick earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Georgia. A believer in lifelong learning, Fedrick is currently pursuing a doctorate from the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education.

The Mary Frances Early Lecture honors the first African American to graduate from UGA. Early earned her master’s degree in music education in 1962 and her specialist in education degree in 1967. In 2013, she was presented with an honorary doctorate from the university. The Mary Frances Early lecture was established in 2001 by the Graduate and Professional Scholars student organization to honor Early.

Approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on Oct. 16, 2019, the naming of the Mary Frances Early College of Education celebrates Early’s impact as a civil rights advocate and music educator. After helping integrate the university, she taught in Atlanta Public Schools, Morehouse College, Spelman College and served as head of the music department at Clark Atlanta University.

A livestream of the Mary Frances Early College of Education naming ceremony and Mary Frances Early Lecture will be available at https://maryfrancesearly.coe.uga.edu.

2020 Bulldog 100 spotlight: Marc Gorlin’s three most transformative moments

Marc Gorlin (ABJ ’95) is a Bulldog 100 regular.

This marks the sixth consecutive year he will be honored. But 2020 represents a new level of achievement for the serial entrepreneur: two of his companies have landed among the top 100 fastest-growing Bulldog businesses.

Kabbage, which simplifies the loan process for small businesses, made its Bulldog 100 debut in 2015 at No. 1. Kabbage remained in the top five the next three years, clocking in at No. 3 in 2016, No. 2 in 2017 and No. 5 in 2018. Kabbage ranked No. 38 in 2019.

Marc’s newest company, Roadie, connects drivers with businesses to provide faster and cheaper delivery solutions. Roadie cracked the list for the first time in 2020.

On Feb. 8, the Bulldog 100 Celebration will be held for the first time in Athens—in the Sanford Stadium West Endzone, just steps from where Marc took classes at Grady College. And Marc will leave the event with twice the hardware—one award for each of his children, Lily and Mills, to carry to the car.

We asked Marc to reflect on his success and the moments that were most critical for his transformation from journalism student to Bulldog 100 CEO. Here were his top three …

1. Dad’s Advice

Find a deal, not a job.

Leaving UGA with a degree in newspaper journalism in 1995, Marc received a piece of advice from his father that would alter his life journey: find a deal, not a job.

Marc’s dad encouraged him that post-graduation, with no spouse, mortgage or car payment, was the best time to take risks and push his limits. Instead of settling for a safe job, Marc set out into the world, confident in his ability to find the next great idea and use his Grady-given storytelling abilities to attract investors and customers.

“A lot of being an entrepreneur is telling stories and convincing people,” Marc says. “To make companies go, you’ve got to persuade your first customer, your first investors, your first employees to join something new.”

2. Time with Mimi

Take action before the moment’s gone.

Amid the day-to-day grind, one can easily overlook important relationships. Marc’s experience did just the opposite: he took six years off to care for his grandmother, Mimi, until she passed at age 100.

“Sometimes, the universe makes space for you to do what you need to do when you only have a certain window to do it in,” Marc says. “Those are the life opportunities you really need to take advantage of because you can’t get them back.”

After Mimi passed, Marc returned to the entrepreneurial world and co-founded Kabbage in 2008. But he did not forget the lesson he learned, and still strives to make space for his family. He understands time is finite and windows of opportunity do not last forever.

3. Roadside Realization

Be a figure-it-outer.

One Thursday in 2014, Marc was on the road to his Gulf Coast condo, where a water leak sparked a bathroom renovation. This was tile day.

He received word that the replacement tiles arrived broken and new ones would not arrive from Birmingham until Monday. Marc’s plans were shot. Sitting off an exit near Montgomery, Alabama, Marc watched as cars zipped by.

“There’s bound to be somebody leaving Birmingham right now heading toward Montgomery who would be more than happy to throw a box of tiles in their trunk,” Marc says, recounting that day. “That’s when it hit me that there’s an unbelievable, untapped transportation map that already exists made up of all of our personal vehicles.”

And just like that, an idea—and a company—began.

“Be aware of what’s going on around you,” Marc says. “Then, be a figure-it-outer and find solutions.”

By the time the tiles arrived, Marc had an entire business plan written. Oh, and his shower looks great now too.

The Delta Air Lines Foundation commits $5 million to UGA Innovation District, Engineering

The University of Georgia will take a major step forward in its Innovation District initiative and enhance the College of Engineering, thanks to a $5 million gift from The Delta Air Lines Foundation.

The Innovation District initiative brings together people, programs and places to foster innovation, entrepreneurship and experiential learning at the University of Georgia. The first step of the initiative established Studio 225, the home of UGA’s thriving Student Center for Entrepreneurship, and The Delta Foundation’s gift catalyzes the next step to grow research commercialization and university-industry collaboration.

“I want to express my deepest appreciation to our loyal friends at The Delta Air Lines Foundation for their ongoing and generous support of the University of Georgia,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “This gift will help us prepare our students to be successful leaders in the knowledge economy while enabling the research discoveries of our faculty to make the greatest impact on society.”

The gift includes $2.5 million to renovate the Spring Street Building, located just off Broad Street in Athens’ downtown area. The facility will provide flexible workspace, conference rooms and presentation areas to support faculty startup companies and enable students and industry partners to collaborate on company-based research and development projects.

“The Delta Air Lines Foundation is pleased to support the University of Georgia Foundation with a grant to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and foster leadership in collaboration, design and development,” said Tad Hutcheson, senior vice president of The Delta Air Lines Foundation.

The Office of University Experiential Learning will receive $1 million from The Delta Foundation’s gift to launch the Student Industry Fellows Program. Students who participate in this program will complete training to develop innovation competencies, serve as campus ambassadors for the Innovation District and work alongside industry partners to solve real-world business challenges.

The remaining $1.5 million of The Delta Foundation’s gift will support the Student Success Center at Driftmier Engineering Center, home to the UGA College of Engineering. This center will provide space for academic advising, student support offices and experiential learning by way of spaces devoted to team projects and collaboration between students, faculty and industry partners.

The Student Success Center will also house the Emerging Engineers Leadership Development program (EELD). EELD was designed in partnership with the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development to provide undergraduate engineering majors with an opportunity to explore and cultivate leadership skills necessary for success as a professional.

This is the latest in a long line of significant contributions to UGA from The Delta Air Lines Foundation. Alongside this $5 million commitment, The Delta Foundation has pledged another $2.5 million to support UGA Athletics. In 2015, The Delta Foundation committed $5 million to the construction of the UGA Washington Semester Program’s residential facility, Delta Hall. The Willson Center for Humanities & Arts established the Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding thanks to an $800,000 gift in 1997. In recognition of The Delta Foundation’s many gifts and the long-standing relationship between the university and Delta, the airline received the 2018 Friend of UGA Alumni Award.

The Delta Air Lines Foundation’s gift is a significant step in enhancing the learning environment at UGA, a priority of the university’s Commit to Georgia Campaign, a record-breaking fundraising campaign that began in 2012 and will end in June. The campaign surpassed its $1.2 billion goal in 2019 and is now the most successful fundraising effort in UGA history.

3 Buzzworthy Bulldog 100 Businesses: Buckhead Beans, Rev Coffee Roasters, and Three Tree Coffee

Written by: Leigh Raynor Arndt

In Atlanta, Buckhead Beans is revitalizing office coffee. In Smyrna, Rev Coffee Roasters is bringing perfectly-roasted beans to the ’burbs. And in Statesboro, Three Tree Coffee Roasters is making a difference, one mug at a time. But what do these three game-changing coffee companies have in common?

They are all owned by Bulldogs. And they’re growing fast.

On Feb. 8, we’re celebrating Buckhead Beans, Rev Coffee Roasters, and Three Tree Coffee as 2020 Bulldog 100 businesses. Each year, Bulldog 100 recognizes the fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by University of Georgia alumni. Read on to learn more about the Bulldogs behind these exceptional companies.

(Spoiler: caffeine isn’t the only secret to their success.)

Buckhead Beans: Matt Ades (AB ’94, MED ’96) + Jeff Ramsey (BBA ’95)

What inspired UGA grads Matt Ades and Jeff Ramsey to start Buckhead Beans? Water cooler talk. In 2014, the college friends invested in an Atlanta-based vending company providing coffee to offices around the city. As they strategized how to revitalize the business, they asked around to see how people felt about the coffee at work. Across the board, the response was the same: yuck.

“Matt and I recognized a movement in Atlanta like craft beer, but with coffee,” said Jeff. “New cool shops were opening across the city. We knew there was good coffee here. But we also knew that a lot of businesses were stuck in the ’80s with subpar office coffee.”

So, Jeff and Matt decided to connect the dots. They started with one van and one local roaster. Today, Buckhead Beans has grown to 10 vans and partnerships with 10 roasters, including Counter Culture, Batdorf and Bronson, and Beanealogy. And one of their top roasters is fellow Bulldog-owned business Rev Coffee Roasters (more on them next!). Inspired by these coffee connoisseurs, Buckhead Beans is now perfecting its own roasting techniques.

Buckhead Beans has rid stale coffee from the breakrooms of more than 300 Atlanta businesses. And relationships that Jeff and Matt formed at UGA have proved vital to this expansion. Jeff shows his continued appreciation for his alma mater through a perfect attendance record. In 26 years, he’s yet to miss a Bulldog home game!

Rev Coffee Roasters: Jenn Holt Bimmerle (BA ’02)

As co-founders of Rev Coffee Roasters, alumna Jenn Holt Bimmerle and her husband, Nick, make the perfect team. Jenn likes a white mocha, while Nick drinks his coffee black. Together, they make sure that Rev is a place for every coffee drinker, where everyone gets what they want. And whether you are a purist or you like a dollop of whipped cream, your order will be bolstered by the best beans around.

Jenn and Nick opened Rev in 2008. From the start, their goal went beyond bringing a better cup of coffee to Smyrna. They wanted to embrace the suburbs by creating a cool, community space where neighbors could connect. It’s safe to say they’ve stolen some attention away from Atlanta. This is Rev’s fourth year as a Bulldog 100 business.

“Rev is like Cheers. A non-alcoholic Cheers,” said Jenn. “It’s just a happy place. Everyone is well-caffeinated. Everyone’s in a good mood. When you walk in, you feel comfortable. It feels like home.”

Looking for new ways to celebrate the people that make Smyrna unique, Jenn and her husband started Rev Fest in 2010. The festival brought together local artists, craftspeople, musicians, and coffee lovers for an all-day party. The first Rev Fest was so successful that it is now a bi-annual event.

“A big part of our success is that customers became friends, who then became family,” said Jenn. “When I think of that, I always feel like we’ve done something right.”

Three Tree Coffee Roasters: Philip Klayman (BSA ’11)

As an agricultural economics major at UGA, Philip Klayman not only gained the knowledge he needed to start his own company, but he also found his partner. Philip met his wife, Anna (AB ’11), in Athens. Today, they own Three Tree Coffee Roasters in Anna’s hometown of Statesboro.

The Klaymans’ entrepreneurial drive started with their love of coffee. Devoted drinkers, they began by roasting beans in their backyard. Their hobby grew, and they were soon selling at farmer’s markets. But the Klaymans enjoyed coffee for more than its taste and aroma. They appreciate the community it inspires. Eager to share their passion with others, they opened Three Tree Coffee in 2014.

“Walls come down in coffee shops,” said Philip. “There are not many cultures like coffee culture. It brings diverse people together. Barriers come down, and we recognize our similarities.”

Three Tree’s mission goes beyond serving delicious coffee (like a pour-over made with beans from Limmu, Ethiopia, Philip’s current go-to). The Klaymans are dedicated to using their coffee as a “catalyst for change.” To empower farmers, they only use certified Fair-Trade USA beans and teas. And the shop raises funds for organizations fighting to end human trafficking.

Furthermore, Philip is determined to extend the close-knit community that Three Tree has formed in Statesboro around the globe. By establishing direct partnerships in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Ethiopia, he guarantees that Three Tree only serves coffee and tea from farms that are paid fair wages and use sustainable methods.

“I like to meet with our farmers face to face,” said Philip. “It allows me to develop a better understanding of their challenges so that I can be a solution.”

Check out the full 2020 Bulldog 100 list to learn about more alumni-owned businesses and ways to support fellow Bulldogs.