Down to Earth: How one alumnus found his passion in soil research

Frank Henning (PhD ’10) currently works as a senior scientist in the Duluth, Georgia, office of Woodard & Curran, an integrated engineering, science and operations company. Dr. Henning graduated from the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences with a PhD in Horticulture. He coordinates environmental field studies, scientific investigations, Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting, environmental policy (NEPA) studies, restoration projects and environmental construction management.

When asked, Dr. Henning says he chose to study soil because “soil is the ultimate recycling bin – it has the most amazing capacity to transform wastes into life.”

While many think of soil as critical in the agricultural realm, he said it is important to study soil for conservation as well.

His appreciation for soil grows with every project, he says. These include restoring native vegetation along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, developing geospatial tools to reduce erosion in fire stricken areas of California and monitoring changes in salinity along the coast of Georgia.

He has also worked on preventative projects to protect water resources from erosion during development and has designed urban landscapes that treat pollutants and infiltrate runoff.

If you’re interested in solving grand challenges that face our agricultural and environmental futures, consider giving to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Fund.

UGA names business school building for Doug Ivester

Doug and Kay Ivester at UGA's 2014 Alumni Awards Ceremony.

Doug and Kay Ivester at UGA’s 2014 Alumni Awards Luncheon.

This was written by Ed Morales and originally posted on November 29, 2018, on UGA Today.

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The final building to become part of the Business Learning Community at the University of Georgia will be named for M. Douglas “Doug” Ivester of Atlanta.

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved naming the sixth building at the new home of UGA’s Terry College of Business in November. A large auditorium inside the new building also will bear Ivester’s name, all in recognition of his longstanding support of UGA, which includes a $7 million gift to the Terry College of Business.

“Doug Ivester’s outstanding generosity leaves a lasting legacy at the University of Georgia,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “His gift reflects a heartfelt commitment to supporting our students, faculty and staff and will strengthen the learning environment for generations of business students.”

The building and auditorium, to be named M. Douglas Ivester Hall and M. Douglas Ivester Auditorium, are located at the corner of Baxter and Lumpkin streets. The building will house undergraduate classrooms along with staff and administrative offices.

“We are so grateful to Doug for his investment in the college’s future, as well as the time he gives every semester to the Deer Run Fellows Program,” said Dean Benjamin C. Ayers. “We are excited for completion of the final phase of construction in the spring. In these facilities, thousands of Terry students will be educated each year, and virtually every undergraduate will take classes in Ivester Hall. Those students will go on to serve as leaders in their businesses and their communities.”

Ivester graduated from UGA in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and now presides over Deer Run Investments LLC. He was elected chairman of the board and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co. in 1997, a company he joined in 1979. In 1981 he became the youngest vice president in the company’s history. Two years later he was named senior vice president of finance, and in 1985 he became chief financial officer at the age of 37. He retired from Coca-Cola in 2000. He began his career at Ernst & Ernst, eventually leading its audit team for The Coca-Cola Co.

Each year, Doug and Kay Ivester host Terry College’s Deer Run Fellows at their 25,000-acre property in Leary, Georgia. In the fellowship program, Terry faculty and staff choose eight students to take a leadership class that centers around a unique weekend immersion experience on leadership and life with select industry experts.

“The University of Georgia is so important to our state and our region, and the university elevates everyone who experiences its passion for learning. My time at UGA was foundational for me. Without the experiences I had at UGA, I don’t think I could have ever joined organizations like Ernst & Young or Coca-Cola. UGA provides students with the skills necessary to chase their dreams. I will forever be grateful to the university and can never adequately express my gratitude,” Ivester said.

Ivester is an emeritus trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation. He is on the board of directors at SunTrust Banks, is a trustee of Brenau University and a director of the Melvin Douglas & Victoria Kay Ivester Foundation. He is a former board chairman of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, an emeritus trustee of Emory University and a former board member of the Woodruff Arts Center. He is a former board member of numerous corporations, including The Coca-Cola Co., S1 Corp., Coca-Cola Enterprises, where he was chairman of the board, as well as a number of community organizations.

Earlier this year, the other Phase III building at the Business Learning Community was named for Sanford and Barbara Orkin of Atlanta. UGA broke ground on Phase III in October 2017 after the dedication of Amos Hall, Benson Hall and Moore-Rooker Hall, which comprise Phase II. Terry College faculty and staff moved into the Phase II buildings in fall 2017. Phase I (Correll Hall) opened in 2015 and was funded entirely by private contributions.

Phase II and III are the result of a public-private partnership between the state of Georgia and hundreds of donors. The Business Learning Community represents one of the largest capital projects in the university system’s history.

The following video was shared during the UGA Alumni Association’s 2014 Alumni Awards Luncheon when Ivester was recognized as an Alumni Merit Award winner. The University of Georgia is grateful for the Ivesters’ continued involvement and generosity.

Avid Bookshop: Inspired by creativity & community

Janet Geddis (MED ’06) grew up surrounded by and entertained by books.  She claims her love of books comes from “being a child of avid readers.” She remembers that if she were bored, she was told to go outside, read or draw. She also remembers her parents reading to her every night. Janet founded Avid Bookshop on Prince Avenue in Athens seven years ago and two years ago opened a second location on Lumpkin Street in Five Points. Avid Bookshop was just named a Bulldog 100 company for the third time, which means it is one of the fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni.

Maybe surprisingly, Janet claims getting her Master of Education in Educational Psychology with a focus on Gifted and Creative Education helped her open Avid Bookshop. “In everything I do I think about my professors and classes,” says Geddis. She says so much of the events and strategy revolves around her understanding of creativity and learning. Even if someone is not artistic, ultimately, creativity is stimulating. Avid Bookshop invests in the community through multiple events, including their Avid in Schools program, she says. The bookshop brings well-known or debut authors or illustrators to schools so students can meet working authors and illustrators. The community clearly loves Avid Bookshop back. Janet fondly recalls that one of her most influential professors, Dr. Bonnie Cramond, helped paint the Prince Avenue shop with other community volunteers before it opened. Visiting Athens? Check out Avid Bookshop’s event page for more information about community events.

You can check out the 2019 Bulldog 100 businesses list on our website.

Refined Talents: A story of firsts for Bulldog alumni

The University of Georgia and a passion for quality whiskey brought five alumni together to create one of the most successful young distilleries in the country and win the highly coveted Double Gold medal for a whiskey from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. This is the first such award for a Georgia whiskey.

Jim Chasteen (BBA ’98) and Charlie Thompson (AB ’99, MBA ’03, JD ’03) met at UGA while pursuing degrees in business and law. Jim and Charlie connected over their passion and interest in whiskey, which eventually spurred a desire to craft their own recipe. They founded ASW Distillery (ASW) in 2011, and eventually hired fellow alumni, Justin Manglitz (BBA ’04) as head distiller, and Chad Ralston as Chief Marketing Officer (BBA ’08), in 2015. Today, five out of six partners (including Kelly Chasteen (BSED, ’00) in ASW hold degrees from UGA.

Since ASW’s inception, it has won multiple awards, including the first Double Gold medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for a one-year-old whiskey. Their award-winning Duality whiskey was also the first to combine malted rye and malted barley in the same batch.

Learn more about ASW in a recent Garden and Gun magazine feature.

Charlie is breaking down barriers outside of the beverage world, too—most recently by establishing a scholarship to support students in UGA’s MBA/JD dual program. Just like their award-winning whiskies, this scholarship is the first of its kind. Most importantly, though, it will support UGA students in perpetuity.

Maria Taylor shares her experiences with future leaders

Maria Taylor (ABJ ’09, MBA ’13) is an alumna who models what it means to be committed to the University of Georgia. Most recently, Maria participated in the Terry Leadership Speaker Series where she shared her wisdom and experiences with UGA students 

A breakthrough reporter on the national stage, Maria became the first black female to co-host ESPN’s College Gameday, and she is currently in her second season. Maria has a passion for developing leaders–whether it is through her charity, The Winning Edge Leadership Academy, or by serving on the Grady Society Alumni Board 

As a double Dawg, Maria earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast news in 2009, and her MBA in 2013. She was a student athlete in two sports: basketball and volleyball. During the Terry event in the UGA Chapel, Maria was interviewed by Kendall Kazor (BBA ’19), a fellow UGA volleyball alumna.

Opportunities are nearly endless for graduates to return to campus–like Maria–and share their advice and experiences with fellow students. Interested? The UGA Alumni Association can help connect you with the right person on campus.

Mary Frances Early honored with official UGA portrait

Original article posted on Oct. 11, 2018 by Heather Skyler on UGA Today.

The University of Georgia celebrated the life and achievements of Mary Frances Early the first African American to earn a degree from the University of Georgia, by unveiling her portrait in the Administration Building at a ceremony on Oct. 10.

The portrait, by artist Richard Wilson, was installed in The Gordon Jones Gallery of the Administration Building to honor Early, who went on to become the director of music for Atlanta Public Schools and the first African American president of the Georgia Music Educators Association in 1981.

“Ms. Early is a distinguished educator, and it is clear that she has made a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals,” President Jere W. Morehead said at the ceremony. “Her portrait will serve as a lasting tribute to her dignified courage and her commitment to educational excellence.”

Ms. Early saw the finished portrait for the first time at the ceremony, and she was obviously pleased. “It’s very beautifully done as you can see, because it looks better than me,” she said, drawing appreciative laughter from the audience. “It always means so much to have the support of so many.

The installation of Early’s portrait is part of a series of accolades celebrating her life and career. In January 2018, Early received one of UGA’s highest honors, the President’s Medal. On Sept. 11, the documentary “Mary Frances Early: The Quiet Trailblazer”premiered in Atlanta.

A native of Atlanta, Early came to UGA in the summer of 1961. Earlier that year, Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Hamilton Holmes became the first African American students to enroll at UGA. Early had started postgraduate work at the University of Michigan when she transferred to UGA to complete her studies. She became the first African American to earn a degree from the University of Georgia when she graduated on Aug. 16, 1962, with a master’s degree in music education. She returned in 1964 to continue her education, earning a Specialist in Education degree in 1967.

Early, who was class valedictorian at Henry McNeal Turner High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Clark Atlanta University in 1957, became a music teacher in the Atlanta Public Schools and was eventually promoted to music director of the entire school system. Early worked with teachers in the system’s 100-plus schools, and was in charge of the music curriculum, budget, textbooks and more.

Early retired in 1994 after working for 37 years in public schools. She has since taught at Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University as head of the music department.

Meredith Dean among seven Grady College alumni inducted into UGA’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018

by Jessica Twine

The University of Georgia’s Alumni Association annually recognizes outstanding alumni who have made an impact in their careers through its 40 Under 40 program. Grady College is proud to have seven honorees in the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018: Brooke Bowen (ABJ ‘07, JD ‘10), Chase Cain (ABJ ’05), Meredith Dean (ABJ ‘14), Josh Delaney (ABJ’11, AB ‘11), Ivey Evans (ABJ ’06, BBA ’06, MBA ‘13), Quanza Griffin (ABJ ‘01) and Lauren Pearson (ABJ ‘02).

Selections were based on the graduates’ commitment to a lifelong relationship with UGA and their impact in business, leadership, community, artistic, research, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. The 2018 Class will be honored at the award ceremony on Sept. 13 at the Georgia Aquarium.

Grady College will release profiles of the winners leading up to the awards ceremony.

Name: Meredith Dean

Graduation Year: 2014

Current Occupation: Founder, The Dean’s List and program coordinator, Seacrest Studios

How did Grady College help prepare you for your career?

Without Grady, I never would have learned any of the tech skills (especially Adobe Creative Suite) needed to start my digital branding company, The Dean’s List, or developed nearly as many professional connections for my career. The New Media Institute taught me the importance of knowing how to code and use graphic design while the broadcasting curriculum prepared me immensely for becoming the media professional I am today. Thanks to the faculty and staff that share their plethora of real life experience, every lesson or concept that I learned in the classroom actually translated into the real world. I am eternally grateful to Grady and can’t imagine what life would have been like if I picked a different school.

What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students/young professionals?

Grady will give you endless opportunities if you take advantage of the vast alumni network we have. You can go to any state and find a home with a Grady connection. When I worked in New York City, countless times I would meet Grady grads —whether it be a producer at MTV or Amy Robach who invited me on set as her guest at Good Morning America after I reached out to her. I now work at Seacrest Studios because of a Grady grad connection who runs the Nashville Seacrest Studios.  I am a walking example of how the Grady family looks out for each other. I will always do what I can to help a Grady student, as would countless other alumni, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned as you’ve navigated through your career?

Always empower others and stay curious. Every single person you meet could change the entire course of your life and vice versa. There is a Ted Talk called “Lollipop Moment” that has shaped the way I look at every interaction. Don’t brush people off or think that you don’t need to learn about that concept/person. In my opinion, people who are successful want to learn something about everything and can find fulfillment in even the smallest of things. For an example in media, every reporter used to have a cameraman. Nowadays, every reporter (or MMJ) needs to know how to shoot their own stories/stand ups, video edit, write their script for web, create their graphics, post on social and go on-air all in one day. Stay hungry by craving knowledge.

Meredith HouseDescribe a moment in your professional/personal career that you are most proud of.

I am most proud of how many patients and families’ lives we have been able to touch at Levine Children’s Hospital through our programming at Seacrest Studios. To see the emotional, spiritual and physical healing of these strong kids through music, new media, radio and TV is awe-inspiring. There is nothing like having a former patient come back to the studio just to visit as a happy and healthy child. Additionally, I have branded and career counseled over 100 clients all over the world with TDL. To focus on our mission of empowering women everywhere, I donate 10% of my profits to Habitat Aid Initiative, my family’s non-profit in Western Kenya. I have built a dormitory at Khwisero Girls School (Meredith House) and plan to build several more. My hope is to change the world little by little by helping these women in their educational pursuits and get my clients their dream jobs.

Originally published by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Meet Julie Wade, new UGA Alumni Association board member and previous 40 Under 40 honoree

When Julie Wade (AB ’96, JD ’00) first stepped foot on the University of Georgia campus to begin her undergraduate education she never envisioned attending law school—she also never imagined having the opportunity to serve on the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors more than 20 years later.

In her new role on the alumni board, Julie looks forward to continuing her history of giving to the university. “It’s an incredible honor. There are so many distinguished and amazing people on the board and I am excited to contribute what I can and become more fully engaged and immersed in the Bulldog experience.”

The Wade FamilyJulie is the executive director of Park Place Outreach Emergency Youth Shelter, a temporary residential home for at-risk youth ages 11-17 in Savannah, Georgia. Prior to working with Park Place, Julie clerked for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and practiced law in both Hawaii and Boston. In Savannah, she practiced law at The Wade Law Firm, Hunter Maclean and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In addition to her directorship and serving on the alumni board, Julie is committed to giving back to her local community. She serves on the board of directors for Girls on the Run, America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia and Educate Chatham. Julie is also committed to giving back to UGA; she and her husband, Drew Wade (BS ’97, AB ’97), have been making annual gifts to the university for 24 consecutive years.

In celebration of her impressive career pursuits, her ongoing dedication to her community and strong demonstration of leadership, Julie was recognized by the UGA Alumni Association as a 40 Under 40 honoree in 2011.

Julie offers the following advice for UGA students: “Embrace all the opportunities that come with being a student at Georgia—join clubs, join organizations, get to know professors, and dive in. By doing so, you’ll make richer experiences and better connections—all which will serve you in the long term. It’s about so much more than just going to class and making good grades.”

40 Under 40 reflections: Travis Moore

The 40 Under 40 program began in 2011, and celebrates the personal, professional and philanthropic achievements of young UGA graduates. To continue our 40 Under 40 coverage, we caught up with three agriculture professionals–Travis Moore, Amelia Dortch and Sam Watson–from the 2017 honorees to learn about their career journeys and the wisdom they’ve gained along the way. 

Meet Travis Moore

  • 40 Under 40 Class of 2017
  • BSA ’03
  • Senior Brewmaster at Anheuser-Busch InBev

Professional Journey

Travis Moore is the head brewmaster at the St. Louis Anheuser-Busch InBev site, the largest and oldest brewery. Moore oversees the brewing process, which includes making sure that each product meets the correct quality standard. He manages 100 brewers.

After Moore graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food science and technology, he worked for Bravo Foods & Bakery, a production facility in northeast Georgia. There, he learned the basics of manufacturing. In 2008, Moore started an entry level job at the Cartersville Anheuser-Busch InBev site. Eight years later, he managed to work his way up to the senior manager before moving to the St. Louis site in 2016.

Being named 40 Under 40

“It’s pretty amazing to me because, the University of Georgia has so many great students come through. It’s a huge organization to be singled out of – 40 seems like a lot, but when you think about the thousands and thousands who to come through there, it’s a small percent. And to me, that’s an honor. I learned so much when I was at the university that I was able to excel in my career, and this is a way to be rewarded for that.”

Nailing his dream job

“People are always going to have to eat or consume something in our culture, and I wanted to be a part of that. Some industries may come and go, but this is very stable…I always had a love for brewing. When you think about beer, most people probably don’t think about it being a product of agriculture, but it is certainly. Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest purchasers of rice in the United States. There’s an art behind the brewing process, and that’s what’s fun to me.”

Lessons from UGA

“I only applied to one college and Georgia was the only school I ever wanted to go to. I was in the food science program and the different labs and projects forced me into the understanding of what it’s like in the real world. I got the feeling that UGA was preparing me for something different, something better.”

Words of wisdom

“Study something that you’re going to enjoy. If you don’t think you’re gonna like it, then you’re wasting your time. Pick something and stick with it and see through it. Understand what you’re going to get out of your degree.”

Career destination

“My goal is to always question the way things are, and try to move up to become a future senior leader of the largest brewing company in the world. The culture at Anheuser-Busch is to not be complacent. I’m always setting higher goals.”

Young alumni offer advice to new graduates

This post was contributed by the UGA Alumni Association Young Alumni Leadership Council.

Finals? Check. Picture in cap and gown? Taken. Celebrations with family and friends? Definitely. Walking under the Arch for the first time? Finally It’s official: You are now a graduate of the University of Georgia – congratulations!

Now what?

Members of the UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council certainly know the feeling of “now what?” So, they’re sharing some advice from things that motivated, guided and helped them along the way. Good luck with wherever your journey takes you and remember–Once A Dawg, #AlwaysADawg!


“Go with your gut and do something you love…at least give it a try…it might work out! You are more likely to succeed doing something you enjoy.” -TJ Callaway (BBA ’07)

“When starting your career, whether you’re assigned a seemingly mundane task or a huge opportunity, do everything you can to knock it out of the park. Be the person that leaders can depend on and trust with both the little things and the big things, and seize every opportunity presented to you.” -Elizabeth Cox (BBA ’13)

As you embark on this new chapter in your life, be sure to cherish those memories that you have made but don’t be afraid to make new ones. The world has so much to offer and don’t worry about taking that extra leap into a new job, a new city, or a new career! You have acquired the necessary skills during your time at UGA so take that leap of faith!” -Sumita Dalmia (BSFCS ’10)

“If you need help ask for it. It always surprises me how many people have questions, or need help with something, but they are afraid to ask. There are lots of people out there that want to help you! Remember to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So help others whenever you can.

Say yes–be willing to say yes to new and sometimes seemingly scary opportunities because you never know where it will lead.

Manage your online reputation carefully. Post your successes, highlight your expertise, etc., but remember everything you post ‘sticks to you like a tattoo.’

Continue educating yourself (formally and informally) because learning never stops.

Work smart and ALWAYS be kind.

Dawg nation is behind you. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten an opportunity because I’m a Georgia Bulldog.” -Yvette Dupree (BBA ’03, MAT ’07, PHD ’12)

“Although you are graduating college, your education is just now beginning. Treat each work day as an opportunity to learn from those around you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Work harder than anyone else. And above all, never compromise your values or integrity.” -Derek Hammock (BBA ’15, MACC ’16)

“No task is beneath you. Demonstrate you can handle the small stuff and you will find yourself in charge of much more.” -Travis Johnson (AB ’11)

Lewis Howes once said, “Effective networking isn’t a result of luck – it requires hard work and persistence.” -Courtney McCants (BBA ’10)

“Be a joy for others to work with.” -Caleb Nicholson (BSED ’09)

“Never underestimate the power of your network. Start building it now and keep in touch with your friends, classmates and professors from UGA. You never know when your paths will cross again, or how you can help each other out down the road.” -Elizabeth Powell (BS ’06, ABJ ’06)

“Seek out opportunities and apply! You may not have every qualification listed in a job posting, but you may be a great fit for the position. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. UGA prepared you for great things!” -Anna Reddish (BSA ’08 MADS ’09)