Through volunteer work and study abroad, Madison Miracle believes that medicine can be used as an agent of change and she’s already put that belief into practice. But that’s only the beginning for the senior majoring in biology and psychology:
The summer after my sophomore year, I was awarded a scholarship from the Honors International Scholar Program to study abroad and volunteer in Peru. As a part of the UGA en España Peru Medical Maymester, I learned medical Spanish while observing physicians in the Peruvian hospitals. One of the coolest things about this program was the fact that we were able to explore all the different parts of Peru — from the Andes Mountains and Machu Picchu to the desert lowlands and northwestern coast all the way to the Amazon jungle. After the program, I stayed behind to volunteer with the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children in Huancayo. I chose to work with FIMRC for its mission of establishing sustainable health care for and relationships with the communities they serve around the world, and it was awesome to take part in providing care and health education for the people of the rural communities we worked in. As one of the only Spanish-speaking volunteers, I had fun running back and forth as a translator!
After coming back from Peru, I began volunteering at Mercy Health Center, a free clinic for the uninsured where I currently serve in triage as a certified nursing assistant. In taking patient vitals and talking with them about their conditions and medications, I have been able to experience the diversity of our Athens community and see the importance of medicine in caring for the underserved — a definite highlight of my time in Athens. I also began working as an undergraduate research assistant in professor Ralph Tripp’s lab, where I investigated the role of microRNAs in affecting gene expression in the Respiratory Syncytial Virus and presented my findings at the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Symposium and the annual Department of Infectious Diseases retreat.
Opportunity abounds at UGA, make [the most] of them what you will. We are grateful this holiday season for all of our Amazing Students.
Faculty member, leader and great friend of the University of Georgia, the Franklin College, and the Lamar Dodd School of Art Jack Kehoe passed away on December 16. From the Cortona Italy Alumni Association:
“Jack” Kehoe, a native of Michigan, was recognized internationally as an extraordinarily talented artist, respected educator, and a true Renaissance man in every sense. He was a wonderful father and devoted husband. His dauntless character led him to join the Merchant Marines during WWII. His adventurous spirit spurred additional travel after the war to Japan and other locations, teaching art at various military bases. After the war, he received his B.F.A. from Wayne State University and his M.A. from the University of Michigan. Kehoe went on to study at the prestigious Academie Julian in Paris and then further explored his artistic vision in his own studio in Rome, Italy, while studying at the Fonderia Bruni. An extensive exhibition and public commission record, paired with works in private collections, demonstrated Kehoe’s tremendous skill and prolific work ethic as an artist.
Kehoe was a faculty member at the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art, teaching sculpture and serving as an accomplished administrator for more than 30 years. During his tenure as faculty and Director of the Cortona Program, Kehoe was appointed to the University of Georgia Athletic Board and was a proud longtime member of the DawgNation. Later, he also served on the Lamar Dodd School of Arts Board of Visitors.
In 1970, he founded what was to become the pre-eminent international art program based in Italy. Jack’s pioneering vision and extraordinary passion, created and nurtured the UGA Cortona Studies Abroad Program. He directed the Cortona program for 20 years and continued as statesman and cultural ambassador throughout his life. A historical and magnificent building was acquired by UGA and dedicated to Jack, now known as the John D. Kehoe Cortona Center. The Kehoe Center is positioned high upon the Cortona hillside. The structure, setting, and view overlooking the Val di Chiana is deserving, as it’s namesake, of elevated honor.
By establishing and fostering the UGA Cortona program, Kehoe generated what is now a continually strengthening international friendship and cultural exchange between UGA, the city of Athens, the State of Georgia and the city of Cortona, Italy. In 1979, he was granted honorary citizenship by the Comune of Cortona, Provice of Arezzo, Region of Tuscany and received a diploma of full membership as Academician to the Etruscan Academy of Cortona. He also received the highest nonmilitary order of Knighthood authorized by the Italian Republic when he was inducted to the very honored “Ordine Cavallerasco.”
Funeral Services will be held at the UGA Catholic Center at 11am on Thursday, December 22nd with a celebration of a remarkable life immediately following in the UGA Catholic Center Recreation Hall.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers a donation to the John and Marilyn Kehoe Scholarship Fund/ UGA Cortona Program be made.
It is with profound sadness that we say goodbye to such a monumental figure in the history of the school of art and UGA. Kehoe's vision impacted generations of students from UGA and many other institutions, not to mention the gracious population of a once-obscure hill town in Tuscany. Our thanks to professor Kehoe for his towering contributions to art education and condolences to his family.
One of the most rewarding parts of telling the Franklin College story is often the stories of graduates who have gone on to impact the world in their own way. One such story, featuring Franklin College alumna Kameko Nichols, is featured on the UGA capital campaign website.
Congratulations to our newest alumni today as 1,649 undergraduates and 1,108 graduate students—for a total of 2,757— walk in the university's fall Commencement ceremonies:
Caleb Stevens, who will receive his bachelor's degree in business management from the Terry College of Business, will be the student speaker for the undergraduate ceremony.
Three students will be recognized as First Honor Graduates during the undergraduate exercises for maintaining a 4.0 cumulative grade point average in all work attempted at UGA as well as all college-level transfer work prior to or following enrollment at the university. These students are Brenden Michael Hull, double-majoring in accounting and international business; Sharon Sion Park, majoring in early childhood education; and Hannah Catherine Turner, double-majoring in economics and public relations. Lindsey Kaitlyn Morton, majoring in biology, who will not be present at the ceremony, also is a First Honor Graduate.
Of the 1,108 graduate students eligible to walk at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony, 300 are doctoral candidates and 808 are receiving their master's or specialist degrees.
The university's graduate Commencement will feature UGA alumna Tonya H. Cornileus, vice president of learning and organizational development at ESPN. She is responsible for the learning, talent management and organizational development strategies for ESPN employees around the world. She also serves as an adviser to senior management at ESPN on all matters pertaining to her field.
From Amazing student profiles all year to news articles this week about athletes returning to campus to finish their degrees, it is an extraordinary day on our campus and the reason we are all here. Congratulations to our graduates, and to the families and friends who have played such crucial support roles and who we also now welcome as part of the extended University of Georgia family.
Research, history, literature and culture converge in a new film project that includes LeAnne Howe – Eidson Distinguished Professor in the department of English - as writer and producer. Searching for Sequoyah:
In 1808, Sequoyah began working on a system to write the Cherokee language. He worked in secret. Some people thought he was crazy. Others thought he must be practicing sorcery, threading sounds on an invisible symbol. Finally, in 1821, he perfected his syllabary, a symbol set with one character for each syllable in the language—86 of them. He went to the home of his cousin George Lowrey to demonstrate his invention. When Lowrey expressed skepticism, he left. The next day, however, Lowrey went to Sequoyah’s cabin, asking for a demonstration. Sequoyah sent his six-year-old daughter, whom he had taught the syllabary, outside. He had his cousin dictate something to him, which he wrote down in his system. When the little girl returned, she read back Lowrey’s words exactly. George Lowrey became the advocate for the syllabary, and the Cherokee National Council adopted the system officially in 1825. It is the only indigenous writing system north of Meso-America.
One line of inquiry in our research with Cherokee scholars and our characters is to consider whether Sequoyah’s practice of repeatedly walking from Arkansas to North Carolina was a factor is his ability to map a language onto his “talking leaves.” According to environmental studies professor Joe Sheridan, and collaborator Roronhiakewen “He Clears the Sky” Dan Longboat (Mohawk), mapping the environment in the mind was achieved by knowing and embodying the landscape. They write:
. . . sacred ecology of the mind is a consequence of long residence in traditional territory and enduring spiritual and intellectual relationships between people, clans, and landscape . . . . Spiritual and intellectual integrity is achieved on Turtle Island by the interplay of human and more-than-human consciousness. The experience of imagination is minding all things. Minding all things performs the spiritual conservation of all things[i].
The relationship between Sequoyah walking the landscape, his memory-map of the landscape and connection to language and creation of new forms of indigenous literacy is a story line we will follow in Search for Sequoyah.
View the trailer at the link. A fantastic and ambitious project that will fill in some crucial gaps in American history. Congratulations and best of luck to Howe and her colleagues as they work to elucidate more of the richness of our past, present and future.
Kun Wang, a doctoral student in the department of physics and astronomy, received a Materials Research Society (MRS) graduate student award for research he presented at the recent 2016 MRS Fall Meeting in Boston:
Wang, who has been conducting nanoelectronics research in the College of Engineering, is the first UGA student to receive the prestigious MRS research award. In all, 19 students received the silver award, which recognizes students whose academic achievements and materials research display a high level of excellence and distinction. Seven students received gold awards in the competition.
“It’s a great honor, especially to be the first student from UGA to receive the award,” said Wang. “I was surprised to be selected as a finalist because I was competing with some very talented student researchers.”
Wang won the award for his work on designing molecular-scale electronics, research that could pave the way toward smaller and more powerful electronic devices. Working with his faculty adviser, Binqian Xu, a professor in the College of Engineering, and a team of other researchers, Wang helped investigate the use of single DNA-based molecules as a replacement for conventional electronic diodes. The team’s research was published in the journal Nature Chemistry.
“This was the first time DNA had been used as a functional electronics device,” said Wang. “It’s an important project because it has implications in many other areas of nanoelectronics research.”
Congratulations to Wang and Dr. Xu in the College of Engineering. The best students find their way and inspire others as they pursue their dreams. Great faculty create opportunities on campus as a crucial part of the research enterprise. When these forces work in concert, 'teaching in the lab' becomes a reality that solves problems and provides a foundation for rewarding careers. These are some of the ways we describe a great university.
English Professor Roxanne Eberle has been awarded the opportunity to work in the Provost’s Office Study in a Second Discipline program to learn more about the methods, issues, and tools in the Digital Humanities:
The main focus of this endeavor is to gain skills in TEI and XML with the goal of creating a digital edition of Amelia Alderson Opie’s letters. Opie was a well-known poet, tale writers, and novelist, whose work appeared in print from 1790-1844. She was contemporaries with Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, and Lord Byron.
This project stems from Eberle’s decades long interest in Opie. Her research has led her to countless archives looking for Opie’s correspondence and she has transcribed hundreds of handwritten letters. Now, with this collection in hand, she has been working in the DigiLab to digitize these transcriptions and mark them up using TEI. The final project will be encoded in such as way as to identify Opie’s correspondence networks and her unique language use.
Eberle has now completed a schema for encoding her letters, and in the Spring (release date June 21, 2017) she will create a prototype for her digital edition using a subset of 16 letters that best exemplify Opie’s larger body of correspondence. She hopes to connect her set of TEI encoded letters with other archives of correspondence from the Romantic Period including the Romantic Circles project and the Shelley Godwin Archive.
TEI refers to the Text Encoding Initiative, a consortium which collectively develops and maintains a standard for the representation of texts in digital form. This is where the rubber hits to the road, so to speak, in the digital humanities. Standardized encoding methods for machine-readable texts is the key to making them broadly available, searchable and navigable across all the devices people actually use. That seamless, end result requires a specific set of skills, training and knowledge to allow these texts to represent realiably and beautifully in a digital context. Congratulations to Dr. Eberle and the DHI at the UGA.
Robert H. Ayers, 98-year-old former chaplain and head of the department of religion in the Franklin College, recently published Memoirs of a Southern Liberal:
Dr. Robert Ayers' life has been that of a “radical preacher” for decades, never afraid to ruffle feathers, when true Christian change has been necessary. As an early proponent for racial integration in the South, he angered the power establishment. As an advocate for the rights and dignity of sharecroppers, he upset the land owners. As a believer in applying the actual lessons of Jesus in every day life, combined with his straight-forward speaking style and hard-nosed liberalism, Dr. Ayers has been the target of multiple Inquisitions in his life. Speaking truth to power has consequences, but “Dr. Bob” has always been willing to take the temporary hit in order to slowly bring about progressive change.
"Thanks to the loud, but shallow, shouts of political pundits and the unparalleled reductionism of our modern sound-bite society, many people believe that the word 'liberal' is merely a political term, simply a decision to check the Democratic box on the ballot, as opposed to the Republican one. Liberalism is so much more than that. It's a point of view in one's approach to life itself. It's a term that identifies a way of interacting with the entire world, with all of its inhabitants, human and marsupial, vegetable and corporation, ocean floor and ozone layer. It's a raised platform that allows liberals to see beyond our front yard and clearly glimpse the other yards on the other streets in the neighborhood we call Earth."
We are quite often in awe of the accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students, and Dr. Ayers' tribute to his experiences and beliefs fulfills this sentiment yet again. His leadership, wisdom and good humor have served as a beacon of humility to generations of UGA students and shines through today. Thank you, Dr. Ayers, and congratulations on continuing your important work in our neighborhood.
The Chronicle of Higher Education features the work of several UGA faculty who are finding ways to re-orient the scale of learning in large lecture classes:
A national study published in 2014 found that grades improved and failure rates decreased when active learning was incorporated into large science, technology, engineering, or math classes. That’s not always easy to do in classes with hundreds of students.
A proliferation of high-tech tools, from hand-held clickers to interactive programs, promises to transform the "sage on the stage" to the "guide on the side."
But active learning takes place in many forms, as Georgia’s efforts illustrate. Faculty members who have been teaching the same way for decades are more likely to buy in to new ways of teaching if the ideas are coming from their peers, and not from administrators.
Peggy Brickman, a professor of plant biology at Georgia, says she started offering more-frequent practice questions after students said they were getting "blown away" by her exams.
"One of the best things about these evaluations is the discussion you have with students afterwards," she says. "Sometimes it’s like, ‘No, I’m not changing that. I’d love to watch movies and sit around and talk about it, but we’re going to have tests and other things.’ " But when she does take them up on their suggestions, "they feel like you’re really listening to them."
Dr. Brickman has an extraordinary capacity to relate to and enhance student engagement in her classes, of whatever size. We are indeed fortunate to be the home of educators at the pinnacle of American higher education, who understand that great instruction is about learning and the courage to try new ideas. Our students are the major beneficiaries of this leadership in the classroom, and such high-achieving faculty members are a very significant part of what makes UGA so attractive to the best students. Congratulations - this is great work that deserves attention.