You are the company you keep

If you’re a mentor or a mentee, you’re in fine company! Consider some famous mentorship pairings through time:

Henry David Thoreau was mentored by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
This happened back in the day when, apparently, everyone used three names.

Ray Charles mentored Quincy Jones.
The talented duo met when Quincy was a teenager and grew very close. Wouldn’t you have enjoyed being a fly on the wall during some of their sessions?

Mark Zuckerberg was mentored by Steve Jobs.
Advice Steve gave Mark may surprise you.

Obi-Wan Kenobi mentored Luke Skywalker.
Examples of mentoring relationships are found throughout the Star Wars storylines. You can’t talk about mentorship without mentioning Obi-Wan and Luke’s unique relationship.

With members like these, who wouldn’t want to be part of this club?
Not everyone is mentored by a famous person. Sure, Oprah was mentored by Maya Angelou, but she also counts Mrs. Duncan, her 4th grade teacher, as a mentor whose influence was vital to her development. Neither one was famous at the time.

Mentorship has its privileges.
Mentorship is a two-way street. There are benefits to both sides of the relationship. Check out some of UGA Mentor Program’s successful pairings.

Just like your mama always says, “You are the company you keep.” Make sure it’s Dawg-gone good company. Join the UGA Mentor Program.

I am a UGA Mentor

In honor of National Mentoring Month, we are celebrating UGA Mentor Month. January 8 is the national “I am a Mentor Day,” or as we like to call it: “I am a UGA Mentor Day.” Let’s hear from a few mentors about the benefits of giving back to the university through the UGA Mentor Program.

Dominique Hollaman

 

I am a UGA mentor because it is another way for me to support the mission of the university while paying it forward. During my time as a student, I had numerous mentors who guided me along my journey and continued to support me post-graduation. My professional life would not be the same without the impact of their time. In my gratitude, I choose to serve to give what was given to me. 

Dominique Holloman (BS ’01, MED ’04, JD ’04)
Chief of Staff, Office of State Representative William K. Boddie

 

My experience serving as a UGA mentor has been rewarding in ways I did not anticipate. Not only have I gotten to know two incredible UGA students and (hopefully) offered them some useful advice or ideas, but I’ve gained just as much from them! As a doctoral candidate and staff member on campus, hearing first-hand about my mentees’ experiences as students–and reflecting back on my own time as a UGA undergraduate–has been eye-opening for me both personally and professionally. Participating in the UGA Mentor Program allows me to contribute to the University of Georgia community in a meaningful, tangible way.

Julia Butler-Mayes (AB ’07)
Director of University Academic Advising Services

I am a UGA mentor because I love staying connected to the university and to current students. I would advise fellow UGA alumni to become a mentor because it is a meaningful way to support the university and its students.

What I love most about being a UGA mentor is encouraging a student who is pursuing a career in my field, broadcast journalism. I find it rewarding because I have learned so much about the remarkable courses of study being offered today, and the aspirations and values of these students and future job seekers. It is also rewarding to give back to the university I love. UGA meant so much in shaping my career and my life.

The surprising thing for me as a UGA mentor was I learned as much, if not more, from my UGA mentee as she did from me!

Kay Flowers Johnson (AB ’83)
Independent Video Content Producer
(pictured with her mentee, Taylor Maggiore)

Hear Domonique Holloman and Cara Winston Simmons share about their experiences mentoring through the UGA Mentor Program. Get in on the fun. Become a UGA Mentor today!

University of Georgia crossword puzzle

The first crossword puzzle ran in New York World on December 21, 1913, and was created by Arthur Wynne. Other newspapers began to run crossword puzzles shortly after, and the rest is history. Crossword puzzles now test our minds in newspapers, books, and more.

The University of Georgia’s independent newspaper, The Red & Black, publishes daily crossword puzzles online and in print on Thursdays, much to the delight of students seeking a distraction from their homework.

For many alumni, the R&B crossword was a daily endeavor on the bus and in (-between) classes. In honor of this little piece of UGA nostalgia, we designed a special UGA-themed crossword puzzle for you, our alumni and friends, to enjoy–after your homework is done, of course. See if you and your friends can get the answers correctly without peeking at the answers! Pro tip: we hope you remember the names of bus routes, dorms and dining halls.

Pumpkin carving for the Dawgs

There’s nothing like fall in Athens. The leaves turn red and orange, Saturdays are spent cheering for our team in red and black, and the weather (finally) cools. As the year winds down, how can a Bulldog fan make the most of it?

With themed pumpkin carving, of course. If you’re looking to create a spirited jack-o-lantern, an anti-Gator warning for your neighbors, or simply want to show off those two simple words (Go Dawgs!), your UGA Alumni Association has you covered!

We’ve created a stencil set so you can go full Athens Picasso on your pumpkin this year.

georgia-themed pumpkins

A plethora of Bulldog pumpkins.

Remember, it’s not about having the prettiest pumpkin. All that matters is that you display your love for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Don’t forget to tag us on social media (Instagram, Twitter) to share your pumpkin creations!

Below are examples of the stencils you can download by clicking on the button below!

$1.5 million gift to Odum School of Ecology honors legacy of ecology student John Spencer

Article written by Beth Gavrilles (MFA ’89)

John Spencer, a master’s student in ecology at the University of Georgia, was passionate about freshwater ecology, conservation and ecological restoration. A graduate fellowship established through a $1.5 million commitment from John’s mother and stepfather, Kathelen (JD ’82) and Dan Amos (BBA ’73), is ensuring that his legacy will reach far into the future.

“Kathelen and Dan Amos are two of the most generous and devoted alumni of the University,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “Their establishment of the John K. Spencer Fellowship is a meaningful tribute to John that will help advance the important work he intended to carry out.”

John Spencer arrived at UGA in the fall of 2014 and immediately distinguished himself at the Odum School of Ecology for his hard work, ready laugh, enthusiasm and, most of all, his thoughtfulness. He cared deeply about people and the natural world. His untimely death in 2016 left his family, friends and colleagues devastated.

“John’s memory is with us every day—his smile, his optimism and passion for life,” said John L. Gittleman, dean of the Odum School and UGA Foundation Professor in Ecology. “John wanted us all to enjoy and conserve the natural world around us. This gracious and kind gift will ensure that future generations will have the chance to fulfill John’s passion.”

John’s research focused on the health of urban streams.

“John wanted to study—and positively affect—how stream ecosystems respond to stressors associated with watershed land-use change, particularly urbanization,” said professor Amy Rosemond, who co-advised John with assistant professor Seth Wenger.

John studied the effects of elevated conductivity—the amount of dissolved ions, or pollutants, in water—on invertebrate communities in urban streams as a way to measure stream health. In December 2016, the University of Georgia awarded him a posthumous master’s degree in recognition of the work he had completed toward the requirements of his degree.

The John K. Spencer Fellowship was established that year with an initial gift from John’s family and contributions from more than 370 friends, classmates and colleagues. The two-year fellowship provides a research assistantship to students in the master’s in ecology or conservation ecology and sustainable development degree programs who are interested in pursuing careers in management and conservation of aquatic ecosystems.

To date, three students have received Spencer Fellowships, and their work is already having an impact. Inaugural Spencer Fellow Emily Johnson built upon the foundation of John’s research to identify particular disturbances impacting water quality in Athens-area streams and create a real-time monitoring system that makes it easy for municipal water managers to respond to issues quickly.

Zach Butler is studying the impacts of an invasive species, the nine-banded armadillo, on the ecosystems and native wildlife of the Georgia barrier islands. Zach’s research has upturned the conventional wisdom about this species, finding that they are helping to fill part of the ecological role of the gopher tortoise, a native species in decline across the Southeast. His findings are now informing coastal ecological management plans.

Talia Levine is studying contaminant levels in fish found in the Turtle Brunswick River Estuary near a Superfund site on the Georgia coast. She is measuring PCB and mercury concentrations in whole fish because, while fish consumption guidelines for the area exist, they are based on filleted samples only, and there is evidence suggesting community residents use more of the fish than just the fillets. Talia is sharing what she learns with government agencies and nonprofit organizations in the Brunswick area to support them as they work to ensure safe consumption of seafood resources by community residents.

“The John K. Spencer Graduate Fellowship honors John by providing our outstanding graduate students the opportunity to pursue careers in aquatic conservation and management and make a positive difference, as John intended to do,” said Gittleman. “This gift ensures the continuation of John’s legacy, for which we are immensely grateful.”

Mallory O’Brien (ABJ ’12) and the secret to a soapy success

mallory o'brien

Mallory O’Brien is a UGA alumna and the brain behind Irish Spring’s Twitter account. Photo: Peter Frey

While the Bulldogs earned a “W” versus Notre Dame last month, one surprising brand also took home a marketing ‘win.’ Irish Spring, a popular soap line, enjoyed 15 minutes of internet fame thanks to an idea from Mallory O’Brien (ABJ ’12), the co-vice president for the NYC Dawgs and a social media community manager at Colgate-Palmolive, Irish Spring’s corporate parent.

After Georgia-based grocery chain Dill’s Food City announced in a now-viral post that it wouldn’t sell Irish Spring prior to the game against the Fighting Irish, Mallory had some great ideas that led to the brand reacting accordingly. 

no irish springs

A photo from the Dill City Food Facebook post that went viral.

Though there had never been a reason for Irish Spring to need a Twitter presence, this turned into the perfect opportunity to start a social media storm. Now verified with over 3,000 followers, the account has been an immediate success. 

In Irish Spring’s second tweet ever, the brand poked fun at the grocery store and claimed they were about to send a whole lot of soap to Athens. This gained almost 3,000 retweets and over 16,000 likes.

Irish Spring

Irish Springs sent quite a few packages to Athens. Photo via Irish Springs Twitter.

Irish Spring jumped head-first into the social media space, but followed only four accounts–the University of Georgia being one of them. But this wasn’t the brand’s only impact on the internet. Mallory suggested sending brand ambassadors to campus for that glorious–and crowded–football Saturday in Athens.

Irish Spring

Campus ambassadors for Irish Spring visited Athens with gifts. Photo via Irish Spring’s Twitter.

Who would have anticipated that a Bulldog was behind this campaign from ‘up north?’ Surprising as it may be, we know that all great things start at the University of Georgia.

Here’s to good, clean fun and a Georgia win!

Delia Owens Where the Crawdads Sing Book Cover

Check out “Where the Crawdads Sing” on National Book Day

For many of us, reading is a pleasure, but one too often forfeited for a Netflix binge or Instagram scroll. But September 6 is National Read a Book Day: a reminder to pour a cup of coffee and settle into your favorite reading nook.

When I fall out of the habit, the fastest way to reestablish my reading routine is a good book. A page-turning, can’t-put-down, just-one-more-chapter book. I found one. This novel comes with a bonus: it’s written by fellow Georgia Bulldog and best-selling New York Times author, Delia Owens (BS ’71).

Owens’s debut novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising account of a murder investigation.

I fell in love with the main character, Kya Clark. As Owens puts it: “Kya is every-little-girl and one in a million.” She inspired both pity and awe and forced me to question my own survival instincts. Kya’s deep love of the natural world sets her apart from typical fictional characters and urges readers to appreciate the nature that surrounds them. As one line of the story reads, “… Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.” Her journey to fulfill basic human needs, like companionship, pulls the reader along and satisfies through the end.

I finished the book on a flight. My airplane neighbor caught me wiping away tears. My failed discretion got more embarrassing when the tears (good tears!) kept free-flowing, yet I remained buckled into a middle seat. I told him the truth—that the book was really good—but also avoided eye contact until we parted ways at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The Reviews

Do yourself a favor: read this book. If my recommendation isn’t enough, please see below for critics’ reviews.

New York Times Book Review Quote“The wildlife scientist Delia Owens has found her voice in Where the Crawdads Sing, a painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature…”
—New York Times Book Review

“Fierce and hauntingly beautiful … An astonishing debut.”
—People Magazine

“Reminiscent of Barbara Kingsolver, this Southern-set period novel unfurls a whodunit against a typical coming-of-age tale, when a mysterious “Marsh Girl” becomes the primary suspect of a grisly crime.”
—Entertainment Weekly

An Evening with Delia Owens (in Athens!)

On Friday, September 20, join alumni and friends for an evening with Delia Owens in the UGA Special Collections Libraries on campus. The auditorium in which Delia will speak is sold out, but an overflow room down the hall will live-stream her remarks. All attendees will have the opportunity to meet the author and have a copy of “Where the Crawdads Sing” signed ($25/person). The talk and Q&A will take place from 4-5 p.m. and the reception and book signing will be from 5-7 p.m.

More Bulldog Authors

Once you’re back in the habit of reading, check out these Georgia Bulldog authors to find your next book:

  • Stuart Woods (AB ’60) has won the Edgar Allan Poe prize from the Mystery Writers of America and had more than fifty best-sellers, including the successful Stone Barrington series.
  • Mary Kay Andrews (ABJ ’76) is another New York Times best-selling author of 24 novels including “The Weekenders,” “Beach Town,” “Ladies’ Night” and “Summer Rental.”
  • Malcolm Mitchell (AB ’15) is not only a former UGA football player and Super Bowl champion, but also a successful author whose foundation helps children discover a love of reading.
  • Michael Bishop (AB ’67, MA ’68) is in the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame and has written more than 30 books, including “The Quickening” and “No Enemy But Time.”

University of Georgia Board of Visitors adds new members

This story was written by former communications associate Laura Bayne.

The University of Georgia Board of Visitors welcomed 25 new members this summer.

Established in 2010 by the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees, the Board of Visitors includes business, government and community leaders who serve as advocates for UGA. Members help increase awareness about the university’s priorities, accomplishments and its $6.3 billion impact on the state of Georgia, and they provide valuable feedback on programs and initiatives at the state’s flagship university.

“I am grateful to our loyal alumni and friends on the Board of Visitors for their service to the University,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “Through their involvement, they are expanding the reach of UGA and helping our faculty, staff, and students make an even greater impact on the world.”

The new board members for 2019-2021, their locations and job titles include:

  • Kelley M. Balkcom (BBA ’03), Brookhaven, regulatory affairs manager, Georgia Power.
  • Thomas G. Boynton (BSAE ’84), Alpharetta, chief financial officer, Kakona.
  • Joel R. Bulger (ABJ ’90), Athens, chief marketing officer, Zaxby’s.
  • Kevin S. Carmichael (ABJ ’03), Dacula, director of corporate university relations, North America, NCR Corporation.
  • Brian Crow (BSAE ’97), Atlanta, chief software officer, Xylem Inc.
  • Brian M. Dykes (BBA ’00), Atlanta, vice president, global head of merger and acquisitions, United Parcel Service.
  • Holli Hines Easton  (BBA ’93), Atlanta, managing director, BFG Marketing, LLC.
  • Roy E. Hadley, Jr. (BBA ’85, JD ’88), Atlanta, Georgia; business lawyer and trusted advisor, Adams and Reese, LLP.
  • Madden Hatcher III (AB ’82, JD ’85), Columbus, senior vice president, J. Smith Lanier and Company, A Marsh and McLeennan Agency, LLC.
  • William J. Mathews (BSFCS ’08, BSFCS ’08), Atlanta, multi-family investment sales managing director/platform leader, Colliers International.
  • Byrd P. “Rusty” McGahee (BBA ’77), Augusta, retired director of compliance and controls, Textron Inc.
  • Lynn Morgan (BBA ’86), Alpharetta, chief executive officer, Tour of America.
  • Stephen J. Moroski (BBA ’91), Roswell, entrepreneurial sales leader.
  • Edward Perkins (AB ’66), Watkinsville, retired international vice president, Johnson & Johnson.
  • Anthony T. Powers  (BBA ’11), Decatur, co-owner, Intown Ace Hardware and Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Decatur.
  • Carolyn J. Roddy (ABJ ’75, JD ’78), Marietta, Georgia/Alexandria, Virginia, senior advisor, USDA Rural Utilities Service.
  • Pamela F. Roper (AB ’94), Marietta, executive vice president and general counsel, Cousins Properties.
  • Deep J. Shah (AB ’08, BS ’08), Lawrenceville, primary care physician, Gwinnett Clinic.
  • Scott H. Sikes (AB ’82), Smyrna, principal and partner, Columns Fundraising.
  • George W. Simmons (BSA ’88), Tallahassee, Florida, doctor of veterinary medicine, North Florida Animal Hospital.
  • William H. Thomas, Jr. (AB ’88), Dunwoody, managing attorney, The W.H. Thomas Firm.
  • Will Thorburn (BBA ’07), Marietta, Georgia; director of cleantech strategy and investments, Cox Enterprises.
  • Lindsey D. Thornhill, Milton, vice president and division manager, Integrated Solutions for Systems Inc.
  • Lauren S. Verdery (ABJ ’94), Atlanta, brand leader, Americas advisory, EY.
  • Peter Williams, Atlanta, director and head of community relations, BlackRock Atlanta.

“We are excited to welcome these outstanding new members to the Board of Visitors,” said John Parker, Jr., chair of the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees’ Special Projects Committee. “As prominent leaders in their fields, they bring unique perspectives and expertise to our university. We are grateful they are choosing to invest their time and talents in the University of Georgia.”

During the board members’ two-year terms, they learn about university initiatives to extend and enhance its teaching, research and service mission. Recent program topics have centered on the launch of the university’s Innovation District and the launch of the UGA Mentor Program, an initiative that was sparked by feedback and advice provided by the board.

Nominations for the UGA Board of Visitors are accepted at any time during the year. Nominations received prior to Dec. 31 each year are considered for the following year’s board. To nominate someone for this position or to view the complete list of Board of Visitors members, visit give.uga.edu/uga-foundation/board-of-visitors.

10 reasons it’s great to be a UGA grad

1. UGA has the best campus.

UGA's campus

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

2. UGA has the finest traditions.

The Arch

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

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

UGA Football

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

4. We have the greatest mascot. 

uga

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

5. Our academics are top notch.

Career Outcomes

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

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

Economic impact

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

7. UGA has 80+ alumni chapters.

Hairy & Student

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

8. Our history is unlike any other university.

Chapel Bell

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

9. Everyone looks good in red and black.

hairy dawg

Enough said.

10. We are the Bulldog Nation.

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

Are you loud and proud?

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

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

Connecting the Bulldog Family – UGA Mentor Program

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) and Anna Schermerhorn ‘20 pose at the UGA Arch

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) and Anna Schermerhorn ‘20 pose at the UGA Arch

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) is a Double Dawg from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) with a passion for giving back to her alma mater. Derrick served on the FACS Alumni Association Board of directors as president, and this past spring she participated in the UGA Mentor Program pilot. Her mentee, Anna Schermerhorn ‘20, will be a UGA Mentor Program student ambassador this fall.

Did you have experience being mentored or being a mentor before?

I’ve never been involved with a mentor program before – so I had no experience to draw from.

What was your biggest hesitation about becoming a mentor?

My biggest hesitation was that I wouldn’t have any information to share with my mentee or that what I shared would not be of help. I’ve been out of college for some time, so I was unsure that what I had to say and share would help.

What has been the biggest surprise?

My biggest surprise was how much fun I’ve had! Anna, my mentee, has been so wonderful. She has been much more than I hoped, but of course I knew that any UGA student would be beyond amazing! Anna and I just clicked. She is nice and friendly, and always asks for my ideas and thoughts—then she always listens to what I think and what I have to share. She brought flowers to me at our last meeting in Athens, and we’ve kept in touch during the summer with all the things she’s doing. I’m sure we will visit in Athens this academic year, too.

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) and her mentee Anna Schermerhorn ‘20 meet for the first time

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) and her mentee Anna Schermerhorn ‘20 meet for the first time

Why has this been so meaningful for you?

This has been such a meaningful experience. I love UGA and FACS, so I had the opportunity to put the two things I love together with an amazing UGA FACS student. I’ve gotten to help Anna make connections with so many people and she’s reached out to others to network. She even obtained an internship program this summer through a connection!

Anna will probably be of help to the UGA FACS Alumni Association Board of Directors this year by serving on the Student Engagement Committee. We have already set the wheels in motion for her to assist, and I just love seeing her make those connections and share her passion for life! She is going to do such amazing things, and she already has, but I have a front row seat just watching her bloom.

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) with flowers given by her mentee Anna Schermerhorn ‘20

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) with flowers given by her mentee Anna Schermerhorn ‘20

What would you tell someone considering participating in the UGA Mentor Program?

Just jump right in! It’s something that I would love for others to experience, and I don’t want folks to miss out on such an amazing opportunity.

I know how valuable it is for both students and alumni, so I really want others to be involved in such a worthwhile program.

It doesn’t take time away from work or family, and alumni will feel so energized working with a mentee–they just won’t be able to get that smile off their face. Plus, you will make a friend for life. Seeing what others become is one of the most amazing things ever, especially a UGA student. Just knowing that you’ve had a small part in what they’ve become is like nothing else. It’s what the UGA family, especially the UGA FACS family, is all about! Family.