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Eugenia Harvey named inaugural Footsteps Award winner

This story was originally published on UGA Today on Feb. 9, 2022.

The University of Georgia named Eugenia Harvey as the recipient of the inaugural Footsteps Award during the university’s annual Holmes-Hunter Lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

The award recognizes a UGA graduate who follows in the pioneering footsteps of Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Hamilton Holmes and Mary Frances Early, UGA’s first enrolled Black students and first Black graduate, respectively, by making a significant positive impact in human rights, race relations or education in their community.

“When I received my acceptance letter from UGA, my mother reminded me that I was following in the footsteps of those who paid the price for me to attend my desired school,” said Harvey, who graduated with a Broadcast Journalism degree. “I bring those words up from deep within my heart today as I receive the inaugural Footsteps Award from this, my university. With gratitude and purpose, I walk forward, hoping to brighten the path for those yet to come.”

Harvey serves as the Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for The WNET Group and is part of the organization’s senior leadership team. She plays a central role in the efforts to build a more inclusive, equitable and anti-racist organization. The WNET Group is the community-supported home of New York’s THIRTEEN – America’s flagship PBS station – WLIW21, operator of New Jersey’s statewide public television network NJ PBS, and Long Island’s only NPR station WLIW-FM.

In addition to her role as Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Harvey also oversees The WNET Group’s Community Engagement team, which has partnered with thought leaders from over 400 community organizations to convene solutions-oriented discussions around systemic racism in New York City and across the country.

Harvey is also an award-winning producer, and continues to serve as Executive Producer for The WNET Group’s Chasing the Dream: Poverty & Opportunity in America, providing critical programming on poverty, opportunity and justice in America; Peril & Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change, a reporting initiative reporting on the human stories of climate change and its potential solutions; and Exploring Hate: Antisemitism, Racism and Extremism, examining the roots and rise of hate in America and across the globe.

“Eugenia brings diverse and underrepresented stories to light and diversifies the talent behind and in front of the camera,” said Yvette Daniels, president of the UGA Alumni Association board of directors. “Her impactful work promotes social justice and inspires audiences to improve the world. We are honored to call her a Bulldog and honored to name her the winner of the inaugural Footsteps Award.”

“Eugenia is such a great example of UGA alumni at their best: she went out into the world, she is excelling in her field and she is making a real difference,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of the UGA Alumni Association. “The work she has done and will continue to do makes her a perfect choice for this first Footsteps Award.”

Harvey will be honored in Atlanta at the spring reception of The 1961 Club, a UGA giving society named for the year of desegregation at UGA and composed of donors to the university’s Black Alumni Scholarship Fund. Nominations for the 2023 Footsteps Award will open in the fall.

Dawg-gone good gifts: Biolyte

For the health-conscious people in your life—or the ones who struggle to kick those holiday hangovers—fuel their fun with Biolyte, the IV in a bottle. 

Biolyte’s electrolytes match that of a 500mL IV, plus additional vitamins and minerals. It was formulated by Dr. Luther “Trey” Rollins, a board-certified anesthesiologist and pain specialist in Atlanta, GA. One bottle of Biolyte offers the fuel of 6.5 sports drinks to fight dehydration, fatigue, stomach illness, cramps or overindulgence.  

CEO and UGA alumna Jesslyn Rollins (BA ’15) partnered with Dr. Rollins, her father, to bring his product to the masses. After selling Biolyte out of the back of her car, she advanced to director of sales, chief sales and marketing officer and then CEO. Under her guidance, Biolyte has grown into a multimillion-dollar business. It’s no surprise that the 2022 Bulldog 100 recognized Biolyte as one of the fastest-growing organizations owned or operated by UGA Alumni.

Biolyte offers three flavors—berry, citrus and tropical—to help your friends and family quench their thirst, snap out of a funk or reenergize.  

You can purchase Biolyte at select retail locations or on Amazon 


The holidays have arrived! As you finish up your holiday shopping, we’re featuring UGA alumni-owned businesses that we can’t stop barking about. Give uniquely and support a Bulldog this holiday season with a Dawg-gone good gift.     

Want more Dawg-gone good gift ideas?

Dawg-gone good gifts: Svaha

For the genius in your life who wants to share their passion with everyone they meet, give a gift from Svaha.

Svaha USA is a one-stop-shop online retailer specializing in STEAM-themed apparel. 

Svaha’s mission is to shatter the gender stereotypes in the apparel industry and encourage STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) education for both girls and boys, and women and men. Svaha carries clothing for adults and children as well as a variety of accessories. 

Jaya Iyer (MS ’03) is an expert in the fashion industry. She teaches fashion buying and authored a widely-used textbook on fashion in emerging markets. When she couldn’t find space-themed clothing for her astronaut-aspiring daughter in 2015, she discovered an unmet need in the fashion industry. Svaha was born. The 2021 Bulldog 100 recognized Svaha as one of the fastest-growing organizations owned or operated by UGA alumni. 

For gifts that are out of this world, explore Svaha’s gift boxes, curated by topic. Svaha also offers matching family sets and puzzles celebrating biodiversity and women’s impact on history.   

Svaha’s curated marine biology box

You can find all that Svaha has to offer and shop by interest on Svaha’s online store.  


The holidays have arrived! As you finish up your holiday shopping, we’re featuring UGA alumni-owned businesses that we can’t stop barking about. Give uniquely and support a Bulldog this holiday season with a Dawg-gone good gift.     

Want more Dawg-gone good gift ideas?

Dawg-gone good gifts: Onward Reserve

For the people on your gift list who love the outdoors, college football and the South, look to one of Athens’ own: Onward Reserve. 

Onward Reserve is a specialty men’s apparel and lifestyle brand headquartered in Atlanta. The Onward Reserve experience mixes laid-back southern hospitality with a world-class retail atmosphere. Collections include men’s classic clothing, watches, shoes, sportswear and accessories. 

UGA alumni TJ Callaway (BBA’07) established Onward Reserve with the motto, “Live authentically.” During a hunting trip in Onward, Mississippi, Callaway crafted a vision for a brand that is laid-back, unwavering in quality and supportive of authentic experiences. Each season, Callaway carefully selects the collection of other brands with that vision in mind. The 2019 Bulldog 100 recognized Onward Reserve as one of the fastest-growing organizations owned or operated by UGA alumni. 

For the Dawg fan, give the gift of Red and Black with a Bulldog-printed polo ($115), a UGA needlepoint flask ($65) or a “Run the Damn Ball” hat ($34.95). For the outdoorsman, equip adventure with a new cooler or a pair of shades. For the well-dressed, browse the Thomasville collection.  

Give a fellow Bulldog some red and black with a UGA needlepoint flask from Onward Reserve ($65).

To explore Onward Reserve, you can shop online or visit one of Onward Reserve’s 12 locations throughout Georgia and the South.  


The holidays have arrived! As you finish up your holiday shopping, we’re featuring UGA alumni-owned businesses that we can’t stop barking about. Give uniquely and support a Bulldog this holiday season with a Dawg-gone good gift.     

Want more Dawg-gone good gift ideas?

Dawg-gone good gifts: SculptHouse

For the people on your gift list who live in athleisure attire, check out SculptHouse. 

SculptHouse is a fitness studio, activewear and lifestyle boutique with physical locations in Atlanta and Dallas and a robust online presence. It focuses on helping clients lead healthy, happy and confident lives through fitness and fashion. 

Founder and CEO Katherine Mason’s (ABJ ’12) built SculptHouse from her experience in New York City’s fitness industry. Mason launched SculptHouse to fill a void for effective, efficient workouts while also offering an extensive activewear line. SculptHouse Buckhead, its first location, opened in 2016, and a Dallas, Texas, location followed in 2019. This year’s 2022 Bulldog 100 recognizes SculptHouse as one of the fastest-growing organizations owned or operated by UGA alumni. 

SculptHouse sells everything you can think of when it comes to activewear: crop topsleggingslounge sets and more. SculptHouse also partners with Esseutesse to sell fringed-out, fun sneakers that ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.  

SculptHouse partners with Esseutesse to sell fringed-out, fun sneakers that ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.

 Browse SculptHouse gifts through the online store, or purchase a boutique gift card if you just can’t decide what to give. 


The holidays have arrived! As you finish up your holiday shopping, we’re featuring UGA alumni-owned businesses that we can’t stop barking about. Give uniquely and support a Bulldog this holiday season with a Dawg-gone good gift.     

Want more Dawg-gone good gift ideas?

Dawg-gone good gifts: Sock Fancy

For the person on your gift list who embraces style from head to toe, check out Sock Fancy. 

Whether you’re dressed for fashion, function or fitness, Sock Fancy covers it all. The company also offers beanies and face masks. Sock Fancy, based in Atlanta, has been featured by Esquire, FQ, RollingStone, Vogue and more.   

Stefan Lewsinger (AB ’11) co-founded Sock Fancy to change the way people talk about socks. Sock Fancy earned the title of “most subscribable” at the 2019 Bulldog 100 because of its unique sock subscription service delivering new socks to customers every month.  

 Between the Sock Fancy beanie ($18)brightly-designed crew socks ($14-54) or emoji-embroidered performance socks ($54), Sock Fancy has colors and patterns for everyone on your list.   

Want to give a gift that keeps on giving? Purchase a subscription that delivers fresh socks with fresh designs every month.  

Explore all that Sock Fancy has to offer on the online store.  


The holidays have arrived! As you finish up your holiday shopping, we’re featuring UGA alumni-owned businesses that we can’t stop barking about. Give uniquely and support a Bulldog this holiday season with a Dawg-gone good gift.     

Want more Dawg-gone good gift ideas?

Dawg-gone good gifts: Baylee Bakes

For the people on your gift list who can’t get enough of the Great British Baking Show, fulfill their sweetest dreams with custom-decorated sugar cookies from Baylee Bakes. 

Baylee Bakes’ founder and operator Baylee Marsh (BA ’20) never planned to own a cookie business. While studying advertising at UGA, a casual Instagram account featuring her cookies and a series of accidental cookie orders led Marsh to the UGA Entrepreneurship Program’s 2019 Summer Launch Program, where she won $5,000 in funding. Marsh hasn’t stopped baking since.  

Baylee Bakes offers holiday-inspired boxes of various sizes ($10-20). For the Dawg who bleeds red and black, gift a UGA Football half dozen box ($20). For the person on your list who wants to earn their treat, purchase a Christmas Cookie Decorating Kit ($18) or a Custom Paint Your Own Cookie set ($5) 

Give the gift of red and black with UGA-themed cookies from Baylee Bakes.

Looking for a holiday party idea? Book a private class with Baylee Bakes.  

To order custom cookies from Baylee Bakes, explore the website and submit a customer order request form. Once your order and timeline are confirmed, you can work out cookies designs and pricing. Then, pick up or receive your delivery order so you can share holiday cheer in the sweetest way possible. 


The holidays have arrived! As you finish up your holiday shopping, we’re featuring UGA alumni-owned businesses that we can’t stop barking about. Give uniquely and support a Bulldog this holiday season with a Dawg-gone good gift. 

Want more Dawg-gone good gift ideas?

Dawg-gone good gifts: Gently Soap

For the people on your gift list who know that skin-care is self-care, look to Kristen Dunning’s (BSA ’21) Gently Soap. 

Gently’s products are made for all skin types—even the most sensitive. With Dunning’s knowledge of plants, herbs, natural oils and soap-making, Gently crafts products that are sustainable and free of fragrance and essential oils. 

Dunning, founder and CEO of Gently Soap, studied agricultural communication at the University of Georgia. After battling irritation from skin and hair-care products, Dunning studied medicinal plants through the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities. She put her knowledge into practice and  won $2,500 in startup capital from the UGA Entrepreneurship Program’s 2020 Idea Accelerator Demo Day contest. Dunning also won the spring 2021 Innovation District Quick Pitch Competition. 

A hand holds up a container of Gently Soap Whipped Body Butter

For a stocking stuffer, look to Gently’s original formula herbal soap Gardener Knauft’s ($9). For  the coffee-lover in your life, snag a bag of Gently x Jittery Joe’s Coffee Scrub ($25). And for that person who deserves a little extra TLC, gift Gently’s Herbal Whipped Body Butter ($30). 

To purchase Gently Soap, you can order online or find a store near you. 


The holidays have arrived! As you finish up your holiday shopping, we’re featuring UGA alumni-owned businesses that we can’t stop barking about. Give uniquely and support a Bulldog this holiday season with a Dawg-gone good gift.     

Want more Dawg-gone good gift ideas?

Full medal jacket: Harold Berkman’s SVRC legacy

This was written by Charles McNair

Alumnus Harold Berkman fought for his country … and the Student Veterans Resource Center will remember him for it

On Friday, November 19, 2021, the University of Georgia’s Student Veterans Resource Center (SVRC) will proudly dedicate a new display – a waist-length wool jacket spangled with World War II combat medals.

The Eisenhower jacket perfectly fit UGA alumnus Dr. Harold Berkman (BBA ’49) from 1945 until the day he passed away in 2020 at age 94.

“Dr. Berkman was very proud of that jacket and what it stood for,” says Steve Horton (ABJ ’71, MED ’85) of the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors. “He only wore it around fellow veterans and on special occasions.”

Harold Berkman's military uniform on display with various medals and two books placed on a table

Horton first met Dr. Berkman around 2016. Horton, retired Associate Director of Athletics at the University of South Florida (USF), was serving as scholarship coordinator for USF’s Office of Veteran Success. After retiring in 2007 from the University of Miami, Berkman had started a charitable foundation that awarded scholarships to combat veterans at a number of universities, including both USF and UGA.

Naturally, two men with UGA degrees became friends.

“He was a Bulldog,” Horton says. “He was proud of it, proud of his family, and proud of his military service.”

Berkman’s jacket exhibits that service pride. It bears the elite Army Combat Infantryman Badge, a Bronze Star, the Chevalier de las Legion d’honneur from France, and three campaign stars for action in the Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe campaigns.

After Berkman’s death, Horton worked with his family to find a natural ‘fit’ for the jacket. He looked at a number of military museums, then decided (with the Berkman family’s approval) on the University of Georgia and its SVRC. That organization supports military-connected students by easing their transitions into civilian life, improving their educational experiences, and preparing them for civilian careers.

“Dr. Berkman would be proud to know the university and its veteran resource center displays his jacket and medals,” Horton says.

A girl in the Catskills

Berkman’s illustrious life – and his path to UGA – began in New York.

His parents, first-generation Belarus Jewish immigrants, carved out their version of the American Dream. They did well enough to vacation in the Catskills where, one golden summer in his childhood, Harold met an attractive young girl named Muriel.

She never left his thoughts.

Berkman graduated from high school in June 1944, the same month as D-Day. He got a draft notice, went through basic training, and shipped off to Europe. The 18-year-old rode with 22,000 other GIs aboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth, a gigantic Cunard luxury liner recommissioned for the war as a troop ship.

Harold Berkman poses for a picture in his military uniform while sitting on a tank

Berkman reached France in early January 1945. Manning a machine gun, the young man spent his first 55 days in unrelenting combat as part of the 317th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division, units in General George S. Patton’s 3rd Army.

As the Allies drove Hitler’s German forces back through France, Berkman won a Bronze Star for valor. He lived through the Battle of the Bulge, Germany’s last offensive against Allies on the western front. Near the war’s end, the Jewish kid from New York was among the first soldiers to liberate Buchenwald, the notorious German concentration camp.

After the war, Berkman joined a wave of returning soldiers attending college on the GI Bill. He chose the University of Georgia, and he raced through school in less than three years to get back to Muriel, that girl from his Catskill summers, as soon as possible.

In an interview with the University of South Florida Foundation, Berkman explained, “If I didn’t get home, she would have been lying on the beach with somebody … and it wouldn’t have been with me.”

Muriel, now 92, lives in retirement in Florida.

“When Harold came back, we started dating,” she says. “He lived in Monticello, New York, and I lived in Brooklyn, so he would drive three hours to take me on a date. We married in 1950 in Brooklyn. We went on a cruise for our honeymoon.”

A rising academic star

The couple cruised into married life in Far Rockaway, New York, where the enterprising Harold opened Valencia Liquor in nearby Jamaica, New York. He grew that entrepreneurial venture into a prosperous chain of 10 storefronts in New York and Connecticut.

Berkman wanted more in life, though, than a retail chain. On the side, he studied at St. John’s University and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in business. He then entered academia at C.W. Post College, a Long Island university where he taught business and sociology.

He became a rising-star academic – Berkman would eventually write or co-write 18 textbooks and publish many articles, mostly on marketing. The University of Miami picked him up by creating the new position of Vice Dean of its MBA program. Berkman spent 30 years at Miami, where he finished his career. He continued to be academically entrepreneurial, founding and leading the Academy of Marketing Science and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.

He and Muriel started a family. A son was born in 1951 and a daughter, Karen, blessed their lives in 1954.

“Dad was very organized and tidy, a personality trait rather than one related to his military career” Karen recalls. “In fact, he never spoke of the military when I was growing up. It was not until he retired at 81 that we started hearing about the war experiences. It became his new identity until he died.”

Karen carved out a distinguished academic career too. She became Dr. Karen Berkman, serving as USF’s Executive Director of the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. She also launched USF’s LGBT Student Scholarship – the first at any state university in Florida.

This kind of goodness characterizes the Berkman family, which oversees the Harold and Muriel Berkman Charitable Foundation, Inc. That organization awards some 60 student scholarships a year, at $1,000 each, to various institutions of higher learning. It also funds marketing research. Many military veterans benefit from its scholarships.

Memories preserved

In his 80s, as Berkman began to talk more about the war years, he reached out to other veterans. He considered his most notable achievements for veterans to be leading efforts to create a custom CIB (Combat Infantryman Badge) Florida license plate and creating the Battle of the Bulge Association to honor those who fought in that historic WWII episode.

At a memorable oral history recording with The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Berkman talked about Buchenwald.

“This was the first time Americans had seen a concentration camp,” Berkman said. “I was one of the first GIs in Buchenwald. When I walked in, the ovens were still warm. The inmates weighed 75 pounds, and bones were stacked high where the furnaces were. [It’s] a thing I’ll never forget.”

Berkman told how General Patton drove in to see the camp. Patton notified the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, Dwight Eisenhower, and the two generals walked through the grim concentration camp together.

Happier times lay ahead for Berkman.

“My father liked to play tennis and golf,” Karen remembers. “He was very good with his hands. He could fix or build things. He enjoyed family and friends. He spent most hours working – he didn’t have a lot of down time – but we took vacations to Florida or upstate New York when we were young.”

Muriel, the girl he met in upstate New York, still adores the handsome young man she met in the Catskills.

“Harold was determined, diligent, hard-working, and loyal,” Muriel says. “He was generous to others and expected respect. Whenever he set a goal, no matter how difficult to achieve, he would pursue it until he accomplished it.”

That’s the formula Berkman used to woo Muriel. That’s the formula that quickly earned his UGA degree and made multiple businesses succeed. That’s the formula that brought him a long and successful tenure in academe.

Harold Berkman poses for a photo in his military uniform

Harold Berkman was a man in full with a life in full – a life spangled in medals and honors, worthy of its proud place of remembrance at UGA.

**

Dugan Bridges’ (ABJ ’06) “distillery” helps entrepreneurs find the spirit of their idea

Dugan Bridges’ walk to work has, over the years, put him on bustling New York City sidewalks and Hollywood studio lots. Those walks through the global financial capital and the center of the entertainment universe taught him a lot and helped him grow. But it’s his walk to work today—past the Chapel, by the Arch and under the oak trees of North Campus—that he calls “heaven on earth.”

The Oconee County native came to UGA in 2002 with a strong interest in media production, so he set his sights on an ABJ in Telecommunication Arts. In his first three years at UGA, he took on a fairly high-profile extracurricular activity: the position of UGA Mic Man.

The Mic Man is a student who works to fire up Bulldog fans at football games. If you’ve watched or attended a game in Sanford Stadium and seen someone cheering, dancing, and screaming in front of the student section next to Hairy Dawg, you were looking at the Mic Man.

“I was baptized into college football and became a huge Georgia fan because of that,” said Dugan. “I traveled to all the games with the cheerleading team and the mascot. I ate with the athletes, I worked out with the athletes. It was an amazing experience.”

Dugan served as the Mic Man for three years, after which he focused on his major coursework and new extracurricular pursuits.

“I built relationships with people who are some of my best friends now, and we were making films on the side with whatever cameras I could get a hold of through the journalism school,” said Dugan. “I loved it, and I fell in love with UGA.”

Dugan, as Mic Man, leads the student section in Calling The Dawgs.

After graduating in 2006, Dugan headed for New York, where he found a job with a large marketing firm producing corporate videos for brands like Ford, Gillette and American Airlines. The work—though different from what he’d done in college—provided experience and connections.

It was also during this time that he met Jennifer, a New York-born woman who shared a surprising connection with Dugan.

“She loved that I was from Athens,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘How do you know about Athens?’ And I found out she was a big music fan, particularly REM. She said, ‘I read a book about them and the town they’re from, and I’ve always wanted to go there.’”

The future Mrs. Dugan Bridges would eventually get her wish. But for now, they were just dating, while Dugan and the college friends who accompanied him to New York continued to produce short films that were getting accepted to more and more film festivals.

In 2012, Dugan began eyeing a move to California. The prospect of leaving his college friends spurred the group to act on an idea they’d been kicking around since their Athens days. Financing was the big question, until someone suggested what was then a relatively unknown avenue for funding: Kickstarter.

“Time was running out, and it was the only shot we had,” said Dugan. “We thought we knew enough people, but movies are expensive, so this was the kind of favor you can only ask for once. We hoped that our network would show up, and thankfully, they did.”

“The Little Tin Man” became one of the first feature films to be funded by Kickstarter. The film premiered in 2013, was accepted to numerous film festivals around the country and eventually garnered interest from Gravitas Ventures and Amazon, who became its distributors.

Dugan and friends at an event for “The Little Tin Man”

By this time, Dugan and Jennifer had moved to Los Angeles, where the film’s success opened doors for Dugan as he began to pivot his career.

“In New York, I was doing more producing, some writing,” said Dugan. “But in LA, I was much more focused on pursuing writing and directing. The success of the film helped me meet working Hollywood screenwriters and producers and have them treat with me respect and not as some outsider.”

Those opened doors turned into a variety of opportunities for Dugan: mentors gained through writers groups, the chance to direct a fully funded short film, a position working for Robert Zemeckis, the award-winning director of “Forrest Gump” and the “Back to the Future” trilogy.

In 2016, Dugan and Jennifer welcomed their first child, Ronen. Dugan’s career continued to develop as Ronen did, but when his son took his first steps, Dugan’s perspective began to shift.

“As soon as he was able to start walking around, it was like I started having visions,” said Dugan. “For the first time in my adult life, a yard with green grass, a house, all that stuff really started to appeal to me.”

As Dugan’s interest in keeping his family in a one-bedroom apartment waned, his interest in returning to Georgia grew. But because of his work, leaving LA was a big decision.

“Ultimately, I realized that Hollywood is not a place—it’s a direction that you’re going,” said Dugan. “I realized I could go to Georgia, create, stay in contact with my networks in Los Angeles and New York, and help the community that’s growing here and has a desire to make something permanent.”

The Bridges family moved to Athens in 2018. Over the next year, Jennifer got a job with St. Mary’s Health Care System, Dugan got the pieces in place for a business, and Ronen got a brother. When Clark was born, the demands of home began to compete with the demands of work, and the family took a leap: Dugan would launch his business, and Jennifer would stay home with the kids.

Dugan with Jennifer and Clark

Dugan created F7 Film Distillery, a company that helps organizations and individuals refine the stories they share to their audiences. Dugan started F7 in his home, but reached out to UGA early on.

“I wanted to be in a creative environment, and I couldn’t think of a better one than on campus at UGA,” he said. “So, I put out some feelers, and the message I got was ‘This is a great idea, and we have something in the works, so we’ll get back to you.'”

That something was the Delta Innovation Hub. Located on Spring Street near downtown Athens, the Delta Innovation Hub is part of UGA’s Innovation District and hosts startup venture efforts, helps faculty become entrepreneurs, provides students the chance to work alongside UGA corporate partners and serves as the university’s front door for industry engagement.

In late 2020, Dugan was offered a space in the Hub, which opened earlier this year. In September, F7 Film Distillery officially moved in.

Dugan on the set of “Rubber Room,” a TV pilot he directed and co-wrote

Now, alongside his F7 work, Dugan is working with UGA student interns, sharing ideas with other start-ups in the building and preparing to take part in pitch competitions to help aspiring entrepreneurs sharpen and curate their ideas. And when he leaves work, he’s able to walk back under those North Campus oaks, by the Arch and past the Chapel on his way home, to a family that’s grown by two—Micah, 2, and Scarlett, 6 months—since they moved to Athens.

“When I moved back into town from LA and New York, I asked myself, ‘If I’m going to plant here for the next decade, how do I want to live it?’ And all I could think was, ‘I’d love to be back on campus,'” Dugan said. “There’s just so much energy. Surrounding yourself with these aspirational people takes you back to an aspirational time in your own life.

“That’s the environment I wanted to be in, and I found it.”