UGA’s Mariah Cady named a 2024 Rhodes Scholar

Tasty Tailgating: Honeysuckle Gelato’s Apple Blondies

Not sure what to make with all the apples you picked this fall? Try warm apple blondies with vanilla gelato. Filled with homemade cinnamon apples and brown butter for extra richness, these decadent desserts are sure to please a tailgate crowd–and you can make them again in place of apple pie at Thanksgiving! 

This recipe was provided by Wes Jones (BBA ’03), one of the co-founders of Honeysuckle Gelato. The company has been serving up Southern-inspired gelato at locations throughout the Southeast since it was founded in 2011. 

Apple Blondies

Apple Pie Filling 

Ingredients 

6 medium Granny Smith Apples   

½ cup light brown sugar  

2 tsp cinnamon   

3 tbsp butter  

2 oz water  

1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch   

1 1/2 cups roasted pecan pieces (optional)  

Directions 

  1. Core and slice apples into 1-inch pieces.  
  2. Melt butter and brown sugar in a thick bottomed pot over medium heat, then add the apples and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  
  3. Whisk cornstarch and water into a slurry and pour in, and then cook an additional minute.  
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool. The apples should be cooked through, but still retain their shape. Stir in the pecans, if you choose to.   

Brown Butter Blondies

Ingredients 

¾ cup butter  

1 ¾ cup light brown sugar (not packed)  

¼ cup skim milk powder   

1 extra large egg   

2 cups all purpose flour   

½ tbsp baking powder  

½ tsp sea salt   

1 tsp vanilla extract 

Directions 

  1. In a thick bottomed pot, cook the butter over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, whisking frequently. Once it starts to foam and the color begins to darken, add the milk powder and stir rapidly for 30 seconds, then remove from heat.  
  2. Combine the butter and brown sugar with a whisk or stand mixer and allow to cool.  
  3. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.  
  4. Sift in the remaining dry ingredients, one half at a time, and use a spatula to combine.  
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F. Add the apple filling into small (4-6 ounce) ramekins, filling just over half of the container.  
  6. Take 1 ½ tbsp of the blondie mixture, flatten into a disc just smaller than the circumference of the ramekin and place on top of the apples. Bake at 375° for 9 minutes.   
  7. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then serve with a scoop of vanilla gelato on top. 
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Alumni leader continues giving back – this time, along Georgia’s coast

Ruth Bartlett (BBA ’76) hasn’t always been the Lowcountry mainstay she is now. Originally from Atlanta, the former University of Georgia Alumni Association president retired to Hilton Head Island full-time in 2015 and made the bucolic beach town her new homebase.  

However, it wasn’t until University of Georgia Public Service and Outreach began alumni outreach in the Savannah area­–a mere 30 miles away­–that Ruth first learned about the UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant program on Skidaway Island, a program that would eventually become an integral part of her philanthropy.  

Ever since retiring to the coast, Ruth says she has had more time to delve into interests beyond her career. An accountant by trade, Ruth found herself interested in marine sciences and ecology–the sort of interests that perhaps come naturally to those who live in the Lowcountry, the region stretching across the coastal plains of South Carolina and Georgia.  

UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant has a mission to improve the environmental, social and economic health of the Georgia coast through research, education and extension. Ruth’s newfound interests and her connection to UGA combined in Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, and she quickly became an advocate for the project.

Ruth Bartlett listens as Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant stormwater specialist, Jessica Brown, explains UGA’s coastal work. Photo: Trey Cooper

Ruth is no stranger to fostering community and making connections with those who have similar interests as her. After years serving on the Terry College of Business Alumni Board and recruiting recent UGA accounting graduates to her accounting firm, she became UGA Alumni Association president in 2015. In the wake of this, Ruth created the Hilton Head alumni chapter as a way to connect her new beachside present with her Bulldog past.  

“I really feel like I got an exposure to the entire university with my Alumni Association president,” she says. “I’ve done a lot of volunteer work with nonprofits by serving on various boards and such, but serving as the President of the UGA Alumni Association was by far the best experience I’ve had in my volunteer work. The connection with UGA’s outstanding students and knowing I was helping shape their lives was the best.” 

The Hilton Head alumni chapter has grown quite a bit in the years since, hosting a variety of events like local fundraisers, game-watching parties and speaker series, as well as bringing Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant programming to Hilton Head. 

With the PSO marine extension so close to her heart, it is no wonder that Ruth wanted to assist with their latest project–a renovation and expansion of their aquarium stationed on Skidaway Island. With a generous commitment of $150,000, Ruth wanted to help revamp the aquarium’s significant programming for school-age children in the Lowcountry.  

Lisa Gentit, Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant marine resource specialist, shows Ruth a marine critter aboard the trawl. Photo: Trey Cooper

“The idea was for my contribution to fund the addition of a live oak tree house replica inside the aquarium to serve as a sort of ‘learning tree’ for children’s programming,” Ruth describes.  

It is her hope that her involvement will help get others interested in giving to the project and get alumni more involved with UGA outside of Athens. Along with her gift to the renovation efforts, Ruth also takes part in multiple events throughout the year that benefit and raise awareness for Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s programs; from fishing trawls and horseshoe crab encounters to the annual Oyster Roast for a Reason at the aquarium, Ruth believes events like these can be a way for the university to get initial contact with alumni and communicate both the breadth of UGA projects across the state and how giving back can enhance those projects. 

 Plus, the university knows how to connect with alumni. Ruth explains, “By attending an alumni vent, you’ll meet someone new or learn something new about the university and they’ll have a good time while doing it.” 

For recent alumni or those who are interested in getting involved, Ruth has some advice. “Get involved locally; go to a game-watching party, a Women of UGA luncheon or educational program,” she advises, “Or anything else that your local chapter is doing to get you reacquainted with UGA where you live.” 

Ruth enjoys a view from the bridge of the Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant fishing trawl. Photo: Trey Cooper

With over 350,000 alumni in the United States alone and 90+ chapters across the United States and abroad, the university prioritizes alumni involvement and strives to meet them where they are. “Alumni will no doubt be able to find something that the university is doing that will pique their interest,” she says.  

Engaging alumni and serving communities in ways that are distinctive to their interests and needs is part of the reason why Ruth’s journey with the university is extending far beyond her days in Athens.  

Find your local alumni chapter

Haunted UGA: Spooky stories from around campus

Content warning: The following post includes references to murder, suicide and of course–ghosts! 

The University of Georgia may be known for exceptional school spirit, but did you know that campus is also home to spirits of the supernatural kind? Ghost sightings have been reported around campus practically since the university’s founding, from tales of eerie moans and creaks to full-blown apparitions.  

Many of the university’s most well-known ghost stories are based on historic North Campus, where the university’s first buildings were constructed during the 19th century. In those Greek revival buildings shaded by mighty ancient oak trees, some of UGA’s spookiest tales of terror and tragedy unfolded years ago and continue to frighten visitors today. 

The Waddel Hall Haunting

Waddel Hall, an unassuming white brick building on the main library quad, is the second-oldest building on the UGA campus and currently houses the university’s Office of Special Events. The building has served many purposes since it was completed in 1821, including as a dormitory, boarding house, gymnasium, snack bar and scientific equipment storage. 

In 1918, however, a grisly crime occurred within the building’s four walls that changed its legacy forever. A young soldier returned home from World War I to find his girlfriend had fallen for another man. His friends loaned the couple their room in Waddel Hall so he could try to save the relationship, but sometime in the early morning, gunshots rang out–the soldier had shot his former love and then himself. 

According to the Red and Black, visitors to Waddel Hall over the years report unexplainable sounds and eerie lights coming from the second floor of the building. Could it be the former lovers returning to continue their quarrel? 

Joe Brown Hall’s Staircase to Nowhere

Joe Brown Hall, originally built in 1932 to serve as a men’s dormitory and later converted to an academic building, is known by students for its disorienting winding staircases and narrow hallways. Adding to the confusion is one particular staircase, which seemingly leads to nowhere–those who climb it reach nothing but a solid wall decorated with a photo of a hallway. 

The reason for this bizarre architectural feature has been investigated by popular paranormal shows and reported in the Red and Black. In the early 1970s, when the building was still a dormitory, a student mysteriously died in his dorm room over the Thanksgiving break. 

After janitors discovered the body, the entrance to the room at the top of the stairs was bricked over completely. Those who pass by the staircase today claim that the space has an eerie and unsettling aura, experiencing temperature fluctuations and other oddities. 

The Terrifying Toombs Oak

Between Demosthenian Hall and the UGA Chapel, a sundial marks the former location of the Toombs Oak tree. Robert Toombs, a famous UGA alumnus from the 19th century who served as a lawyer and congressman, is said to haunt Demosthenian Hall via a portion of the tree stump kept on the building’s first floor, according to an article from the Red and Black. 

The legend goes that Toombs was voted as class speaker but expelled for his gambling habit before he could give his speech at commencement. A skilled orator and member of the Demosthenian Literary Society, Toombs gave a rousing speech anyway under the oak tree outside the chapel while the legitimate commencement address happened inside. Years later, it’s said that lightning struck the tree at the moment of his death. 

Members of the Demosthenian Literary Society have claimed to have encountered the ghost of Toombs over the years through pacing noises and apparitions on the second floor. One student who fell asleep in the building late at night awoke to a specter of Toombs laughing menacingly at her from across the room. 

The Candler Hall Poltergeist

Candler Hall, the home of the School of Public and International Affairs, was originally built to serve as a dormitory. In 1905, a student named Willie Lloyd died in his dorm room after accidentally shooting himself while absentmindedly spinning his pistol around his finger. The university’s chancellor at the time, Walter Hill, and a group of students escorted his remains to his family’s burial plot in Atlanta–but there are signs that his spirit never left Candler Hall. 

During the building’s dormitory days, students reported waking suddenly at night to the feeling of someone hovering over them. Faculty have reported hearing unusual noises, as if someone is pacing on the wood floors. The building’s elevator and automatic doors have been known to open and close by themselves, and some claim to have seen ghostly apparitions in the staircases.  

One faculty member even felt someone tap her shoulder as she walked through the first-floor lobby. When she turned to see who it was, she discovered the lobby was empty–and then felt another tap as she left the building.  

Are all of these mysterious occurrences the work of the restless spirit of Willie Lloyd? Or have more than one of the building’s former residents returned to occupy the building in the afterlife? 

These stories may be spooky, but they are a reflection of UGA’s history as the country’s first public institution of higher education. For centuries, this campus has been a place where students’ stories unfold. Sometimes, these tales leave behind an eerie legacy, but often, they are uplifting stories of growth, service and self-discovery. What’s your UGA story?

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Tasty Tailgating: A UGA Athletics Dietitian’s Seven-Layer Taco Dip

Nutrition is an essential part of athletic success. Within each UGA Athletics program, a dedicated team of nutritionists works with athletes to ensure that they have the knowledge and resources to fuel themselves for success–both in and outside of their sports. 

Maria Williams (BSFCS ’07, MS ’09) is a sports nutritionist with UGA Athletics and has worked with swimming and diving teams, baseball, men’s tennis and equestrian. Her seven-layer taco dip recipe is both delicious and nutritious–she substitutes low-fat Greek yogurt for sour cream to add protein and reduce fat.  

Read on to learn how to eat like an athlete. 

Seven-Layer Taco Dip 

Ingredients 

1 (15 oz) can refried beans  

1 ½ cups plain, low-fat Greek yogurt  

1 tbsp taco seasoning  

1 ½ cups guacamole (store-bought or homemade 

1 cup mild or medium salsa  

1 ¼ cups Mexican blend cheese, shredded  

1 ¼ cups iceberg lettuce, finely shredded  

Optional additional toppings:  

1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered   

1/4 cup black olives, pitted & sliced  

2 scallions, diced  

¼ cup pickled jalapeno slices  

Instructions 

  1. Spread the bean layer in an 8×11 baking dish or similar medium sized (clear) dish.  
  2. Combine Greek yogurt and taco seasoning in a small bowl, then add the yogurt mixture as the second layer.  
  3. Spread the guacamole layer followed by the salsa layer.  
  4. Add the remaining layers over the salsa layer in the following order: cheese, shredded lettuce, grape tomatoes, black olives, jalapeno slices, and diced scallions.     
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve later. Enjoy with any type of tortilla chips.  
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UGA giving challenge leaves Gators seeing double (Ls)

The University of Georgia and the University of Florida squared off twice this past week—once on the field in Jacksonville, and once in Beat Week 2023, a head-to-head giving challenge—and the Bulldogs came out on top in both. 

Beat Week is a week-long giving challenge where UGA and another university compete to see who can drive their supporters to make more gifts over the course of a week. UGA went head-to-head with Auburn University for the past three years—with the red and black winning each time—before taking on Florida.  

With a strong reputation in the fundraising world, UF was looking for a win, but the Bulldog faithful kept UGA in the lead throughout the week. Georgia’s Beat Week victory was nearly as resounding as the one in EverBank Stadium. 

UGA – 4,156 

UF – 3,339  

Donors of all stripes contributed to the win—alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of the university—and UGA staffers from all corners of campus worked for months to mount the effort that earned the university its fourth consecutive Beat Week win. 

Beat Week raised over $1.5 million to numerous areas at UGA, including scholarships, research, academic programming and much more. Kirby Smart’s Dawgs proved their No. 1 ranking on Saturday, but Bulldog Nation proved theirs all through the week. 

Thank you to everyone who made Beat Week a win! Go Dawgs! And Later, Gator! 

On-campus festival celebrates the arts

Nervous about the UGA Mentor Program? Just go for it!

Micayla Moffit ’24 and Cathy Fish (BSA ’93, DVM ’96) have a lot in common. They both love going to UGA football games. They’re both current or aspiring veterinarians. And they were both a little nervous about getting started in the UGA Mentor Program. 

Cathy was concerned that she may not have knowledge that would fit her mentee’s needs. Before meeting Cathy, Micayla was uneasy about how she would relate to a mentor older than her. 

“I don’t know how to talk to anyone like an adult!” Micayla joked. 

About the Program

The UGA Mentor Program is a digital platform which allows students to form mentoring relationships with UGA faculty, staff, and alumni, regardless of geographic location, who can help make their future a little clearer. Mentees also have the option to schedule 15-to-30-minute one-time conversations with mentors, called Quick Chats. 

Students and mentors create online profiles with their backgrounds, career interests and mentorship goals. The system offers potential matches or students can search for a mentor on their own before making plans to meet virtually or in person, depending on their schedule. Formal mentorships last for 16 weeks, and students can start one at any time through the program website. 

A Perfect Fit

Cathy’s mentoring relationship with Micayla was a perfect fit. The two hit it off from the start of their first lunch meeting, despite Micayla’s nerves. 

“Meeting someone for the first time, I always get butterflies in my stomach,” Micayla said. “What are we going to talk about?” 

Micayla was reassured by the numerous resources available on the Mentor Program website to help prepare her for their initial conversation. Because she knew why she had sought out a mentor and what she was hoping to learn, it was easy for her to focus their conversation on helpful topics. 

“The conversation just flowed really well,” Micayla said. “I was really comfortable.” 

Micayla joined the program because a student organization she was in had encouraged her to apply and find a mentor. Cathy had heard about the program through her service on the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors and thought it might be a good opportunity to give back to students. 

Building a Meaningful Relationship

Over the course of their mentor relationship, Micayla and Cathy have gotten to know one another not just professionally, but personally. They talk about their personal lives and know one another outside of their career goals. 

“We can go to lunch and not talk about anything related to vet school or my major,” Micayla said. “We talk about football all the time.” 

Micayla, a member of the Redcoat Band, is a huge UGA football fan. When Cathy came back to Athens for a football game last fall, Micayla even arranged for the two to meet so Cathy could see her in her uniform. 

Micayla was pleasantly surprised by how she was able to build such a meaningful relationship with her mentor. If you’re nervous about reaching out, too, she has one piece of advice: “Just go for it. You’ll never know what that relationship could lead to if you don’t actually just go for it.”

SIGN UP TO BE A MENTOR

Mark Richt raises funds for Parkinson’s research

Led by former University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt, the Chick-fil-A Dawg Bowl raised more than $758,000 for Parkinson’s disease and Crohn’s disease research at UGA. The fundraiser, which featured a VIP bowling event, rallied over 1,330 donors to support UGA research. 

“I am very grateful to Chick-fil-A, Coach Richt and the many generous donors who contributed to the university’s research efforts in these important areas over the past two weeks,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Private support is essential to the kinds of cutting-edge research our faculty are conducting on Parkinson’s and related diseases, and the Chick-fil-A Dawg Bowl helps our researchers looking for new treatments and cures.” 

Coach Mark Richt catches up with former player David Pollack at the 2023 Chick-fil-A Dawg Bowl.

Richt announced the charity event at UGA head football coach Kirby Smart’s (BBA ’98) Monday press conference on Oct. 2. Donations poured in before, during and after the bowling event on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

During the bowling tournament, viewers tuned into the event’s livestream from home, watching Coach Richt and Bulldog greats such as Kirby Smart, David Pollack (M ’05) and Rennie Curran (BBA ’17) battle it out at Showtime Bowling Alley in Athens. Over the course of the tournament, donors gave $35,000.  

“My family and I want to sincerely thank the Bulldog Nation and all the donors who helped us take a bite out of Parkinson’s and Crohn’s,” Richt said. “I am so thankful to everyone who came out and supported in whatever way they could.” 

The fundraiser surpassed its initial goal of $750,000, and all proceeds will go to UGA’s Isakson Center for Neurological Disease Research. There, researchers such as Anumantha Kanthasamy, John H. “Johnny” Isakson Chair for Parkinson’s Research and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, are developing groundbreaking treatments for Parkinson’s disease and investigating its link to gut inflammation conditions such as Crohn’s disease.  

Coach Kirby Smart poses with Arthi Kanthasamy and Anumantha Kanthasamy, researchers in the UGA Isakson Center, at the 2023 Chick-fil-A Dawg Bowl event.

“Giving at this level can have a monumental impact on the research we are doing here at the university,” Kanthasamy said. “We are so grateful to the donors and the Richt family for everything they have done to support the Isakson Center.” 

The fight against Parkinson’s and Crohn’s is deeply personal for the Richt family. Coach Richt was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2021, and his granddaughter Jadyn was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease as an infant in 2015. Since then, the family has prioritized raising awareness and funds for research on potential causes and treatments for these conditions. 

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The War for the Oar: A History

Visitors to Tate Student Center over the years may have noticed an unusual display in the third-floor concourse: a 12-foot-tall carved wooden oar. 

The oversized oar, known as the Okefenokee Oar, has been a part of the Georgia-Florida football rivalry since 2009, when the University of Georgia and University of Florida student government associations partnered to create a rivalry trophy. 

The Okefenokee Oar joins the ranks of unique rivalry trophies exchanged throughout the SEC, such as The Golden Boot (Arkansas-LSU), the Golden Egg (Ole Miss-Mississippi State) and the Governor’s Cup (UGA-Georgia Tech).  

The OARigin Story 

Why an oar was chosen, and how it came to be, remains shrouded in mystery. It was funded by an anonymous donor at the University of Florida and carved from a 1,000-year-old oak tree from its namesake Okefenokee Swamp. Ownership of the swamp, which sits along the Georgia-Florida border, was historically disputed between settlers from both states.  

The Oar is engraved with the schools’ mascots and state seals on either side, with scores from every Georgia-Florida game since 2009 engraved on the handle. An article from the UF sports news website Gator Country reports that the Oar has room for scores for the next 150 years. 

After each game, the winning school displays the Oar in their student center until the next year’s match-up. When displayed at UGA, where it’s been since 2021, the side with the Bulldog design faces outward and the Gator is hidden on the reverse. 

For the Oar’s first few years of existence, it had little notoriety. Rivalry committees from both schools worked to get the word out about the new trophy by creating the hashtag #WarForTheOar and students exchanged it after the game in unofficial ceremonies around the stadium.  

Becoming OARfficial

The Oar was officially recognized through a joint resolution by both schools’ student government associations in 2011. The Oar came to the UGA campus for the first time that same year after the Bulldogs’ 24-20 victory against the Gators. It was displayed in a custom-built case in the Tate Student Center in an effort led by the UGA Student Government Association president at the time, Mallory Davis (AB ’13). 

“We’re really trying to build it into this huge tradition because we haven’t had it yet,” Mallory said in a Red and Black article in 2011. 

And a huge tradition it has become. Although still not officially recognized by UGA Athletics as the game trophy, the Oar has been featured on ESPN’s College GameDay broadcasts, helping it rise to fame among fans from both teams. 

The Oar is transported to Jacksonville, Florida, each year by the victors of the last season’s game. The winning team is then responsible for bringing it back to their campus. When Georgia wins it, the UGA Student Government Association generally arranges for the Oar to travel home on the bus with the Redcoat Band.  

Only time will tell how the mystery and excitement surrounding the Oar will continue to develop, but what we do know is this: the Bulldogs and Gators will face off again this year on October 28–reigniting the War for the Oar once again. 

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