Category: Alumni

Why support Franklin College?


Privately funded scholarships have a direct and personal impact on UGA students and provide opportunities for them to achieve their dreams. Often the impact is life changing and can best be understood in the words of the students themselves. Below are the words of one of our students, junior psychology major Toni McKoy, whose life has been changed through the generosity of a scholarship donor.


This has been a critical past year for me, I've had to juggle classes, work, and club activities in order to stay on top of classes and financially support myself. After a rough first semester and unfortunate events following, I decided to pursue what I thought would make me a happier person in life. I continued my studies in Japanese and I made a critical decision to switch my major from Animal Science to Psychology. I even decided to become more active in the Japan Club at UGA. I ran and was elected as the advertiser, historian, and dance coordinator for the club. After all of these changes and accomplishments, I decided to further challenge myself. This school year I hope to begin my music minor and join even more clubs and organizations around campus. Next summer I wish to be able to study abroad in Japan to strengthen my language skills.

Now that I have more goals I'll have to try even harder to keep my grades up, stay active in activities and work throughout the year. Last school year I worked at the Georgia Museum of Art as a security guard. While it would be nice to get that position again, I would like to expand my work experience which, at the moment, includes my work as a security guard and as a youth coordinator at a local Atlanta organization called Project South. I've been working for Project South for the last three summers as a coordinator and a team leader of a youth summer program in the Atlanta area. This experience made me realize that I enjoy working in the field, doing research based work, and helping others. This was important to realize, because by pursuing my degree in Psychology, I can work in all three areas. After obtaining my Bachelor's degree, I plan to find a job and begin my Master's degree. After that, I want to be able to do research based work and maybe travel around the country or even the world. At the same time, I still want to be able to enjoy things I love like studying music and the Japanese language and culture.

It is crucial that we continue to offer the opportunity of the UGA experience to the widest possible array of students. Read more stories about what scholarships mean to our students here.

Thinc! Entrepreneurial Week, April 13-17


thinc-logo.jpgNext Month, UGA will celebrate many Franklin College students, faculty, staff and alumni during Thinc! week - an inititaive to shine the spotlight on entrepreneurs and the spirit that moves them:

UGA started the Thinc. initiative to make sure that the next generation of leaders and innovators learns how to take their ideas from concept to reality. The initiative promotes entrepreneurship and fosters economic development in the region by providing inspiration and advice to those contemplating a plunge into the competitive and exciting world of entrepreneurship.

Thinc. hosts a variety of new and ongoing programs and events to help UGA students, faculty and staff see the world of opportunities both locally and globally, and to start something in response.

"That ‘something' started might be a new for-profit company or a not-for-profit social venture," Lee said. "It might change something in your own neighborhood or community, or it might change the world. The important thing is that you find your passion and act on it."

Thinc. at UGA culminates every year with Thinc. Entrepreneurial Week, a weeklong celebration that includes lectures, workshops, panel discussions, competitions and networking events that promise to engage, inspire and build the confidence that will make participants strong competitors in the modern marketplace.

Each day of Thinc. Entrepreneurial Week, which begins April 13, will feature a signature "Start Something" event, including a hackathon, a Thinc. Prize for Innovation, a panel of top UGA alumni business owners, a business plan competition and events related to social entrepreneurship, the arts and networking. 

Should be very interesting. Great that OVPR and other university leaders are providing support for growing new initiatives like Thinc! and Spotlight on the Arts. The best way to support and inspire our community is to celebrate what supports and inspires us.

LDSOA professor Hwangbo in Huffington Post


Hwangbo_Huff PostImi Hwangbo, a professor in the Lamar Dodd School of Art, currently has a show on view at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery on West 26th Street in New York City.  Ridley Howard, a painter in New York, is an alumnus of the Lamar Dodd School of Art, interviewed Hwango for the Arts Page of the Huffington Post.  "Portals:  Interview with Imi Hwangbo" by Ridley Howard is a fascinating discussion of her three-dimensional drawings in cut paper.

RH: Some works in this New York show are based on traditional Korean wrapping cloths. Can you talk about how you became interested in that as a subject?

IH: I've always been attracted to the aesthetics of traditional Korean decorative art. Pojagi are functional, four-cornered cloths that are tied in bundles to carry domestic objects. As artworks, they are embroidered drawings on fabric. They are often decorated with patterns and imagery that convey Korean folk beliefs, with plants and animals that offer protection from harm, and express desires for wealth, longevity and fertility.

I wanted to work from these patterns, and stay faithful to the notion of a decorative object that is alluring to the eye and highly crafted over its entire surface. I also like the notion of decoration as a visualization of desire -- as a gesture that covers a surface, repetitively and obsessively, with an iconography of desire.

RH: From what little research I've done, certain eras of Pojagi almost look like op-art and early modernist painting. Do you see your work as a means of subversion? Or is it more reverential?

IH: Pojagi patterns can have specific meanings within that particular cultural tradition. But at the same time, they can embody strategies that are recognizable in modernist painting. I like the notion of women artists in traditional Korea, inventing a modernist aesthetic with scraps of fabric. Their names are lost to history, so their identities can only be guessed through their inventiveness and craft. I'm drawn to the contradiction of that anonymity and the intimacy of the handwork. So perhaps you could consider it an homage.

Read the full interview. Great job, Howard and Hwangbo.

Image: Diviner (detail), 66" x 28" x 3", archival ink on hand-cut mylar, 2010

Goddard Memorial Trophy


Telescope-KeplerSpacecraftThe Franklin College has a special relationship with NASA's Kepler Mission in the person of alumnus and Kepler project manager, Roger Hunter. And so we are especially proud that Hunter and the Kepler Mission will receive the Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy from the National Space Club in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on March 7:

The Kepler Team will receive the Club’s preeminent award, the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy. Kepler has revolutionized exoplanet science and stellar astrophysics by expanding the galactic census of exoplanet candidates and fundamentally altering our understanding of our place in the galaxy. This honor is afforded Kepler in recognition of their significant contribution to U.S. leadership in the field of rocketry and astronautics.

Hunter is a great supporter of UGA and Franklin College and we are equally enthusiastic about his work with the space program. Our warm congratulations on this great honor.

Image: Artist's rendering of the Kepler telescope, vis Wikimedia Commons.

Franklin alum, advisor Lawrence Harris, recognized at White House


Happy Friday. This is fantastic:

Washington, D.C. - Lawrence Harris, a college adviser at Clarke Central High School in Athens and a member of the Georgia College Advising Corps, a program sponsored by the University of Georgia's Institute of Higher Education and part of the national College Advising Corps, was recognized by President Barack Obama at the White House summit on expanding college access held on Jan. 16.

"Lawrence went to the University of Georgia, and like a lot of first-generation college students it wasn't easy for him," Obama said. "He had to take remedial classes. He had to work two part-time jobs to make ends meet. At one point, he had to leave school for a year while he helped support his mom and his baby brother. Those are the kinds of just day-to-day challenges that a lot of these young people with enormous talent are having to overcome. Now, he stuck with it. He graduated.

"But now he's giving back. He's made it his mission to help other young people like him graduate, as a college advisor at Clarke Central High School in Athens, Georgia. And today the National College Advising Corps, the program that placed Lawrence in Clarke Central, is announcing plans to add 129 more advisors who will serve more than 80,000 students over the next three years."

We've written previously about the importance of advisors at every level (and this very same program) and it's great to see another receive such high level recognition - good personally, but also if President Obama can draw attention to a career path that is so important, maybe that will attract the notice of more talented people like Mr. Harris (psychology, 2012). Congratulations.

Cortona Student and Faculty Reunion


main area of CortonaThe Lamar Dodd School of Art will host to a reunion of the UGA-Cortonese as students and faculty gather to celebrate the 44th anniversary of UGA's premier Studies Abroad Program.

The program has grown and changed a great deal over the course of its four-decade existence, though so much about the immersive small town experience remains the same. The medieval hilltown of 1,200 tucked in the foothills of the Apennine Mountains, so close to the art centers of Italy but far enough away to preserve the quiet and solitude of Tuscany, continues to attract our best artists. And the experience has lifelong impact, creating friends of UGA as far afield as can be imagined. Among the reunion of students and faculty, along with several of our past directors of the program (including program founder Jack Kehoe) there will also be a closing reception for the LDSOA exhibition, La Mostra Cortona 2013, featuring works by Shawn Ireland. The reception and reunion are both at 3 p.m. in the school of art.

Join us at LDSOA on Saturday to celebrate Cortona!

Image: The lovely city on the hill.

Kudos, January 2014


With the New Year arrives awards, acknowledgments and congratulations to UGA faculty, staff, students and alumni for their many accomplishments. A sampling of these starts with this very cool use of the internet on Friday, January 10. The White House hosted a panel discussion on the the 'Polar Vortex' featuring our very own J. Marshall Shepherd and host of other climate and weather luminaries:

WetheGeek hangout

Archived video of the discussion is here

Kudos, September 2013


swell print installation

Great news this month about our faculty, students and alumni. A few of the highlight of accomplishments and awards in the Franklin College:


University Professor Lynn Billard of the department of statistics was selected to receive the 2013 Florence Nightingale David award by the Committee of Presidents of the Statistical Societies. The award recognizes a female statistician who exemplifies David’s contributions to education, science and public service.

Henry “Fritz” Schaefer, Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry in the department of chemistry, has been selected to receive the 2014 Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry sponsored by the E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. The award, one of the three most prestigious given by the American Chemical Society, was announced in Chemical & Engineering News.

Julie Spivey, associate professor of Graphic Design in the Lamar Dodd School of Art, recently began a two-year term as co-chair of the AIGA Design Educators Steering Committee. AIGA is the professional association for design and its Design Educators Community seeks to enhance the abilities of design educators and educational institutions to prepare future designers for excellence in design practice and theory.

The CCRC research group of Michael Pierce, Distinguished Research Professor and director of the UGA Cancer Center, received a $10.4 million grant for glycobiology research from the National Institutes of Health.

Jon Swindler, assistant professor of art in the Lamar Dodd School of Art, was selected to be one of eleven artists in a national juried exhibition at the Cheltenham (PA) Center for the Arts, THE REALLY BIG PRINT SHOW.

Professor of marine sciences Merryl Alber was named to become the director of the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island. She succeeds marines sciences professor William Miller, who led the Institute from 2004 to 2013.


Student kudos

Five current Franklin College students  (or recent graduates) accepted international travel-study grants from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Doctor of Musical Arts student in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music Lauren Hunt took first prize in the International Horn Competition of America’s university division.


And on one spectacular alumni note, Ashley Adams Crews (A.B. English, 2000) was selected for one of six 2013 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards and will receive $30,000.

Image: "Swell" by Jon Swindler. 108"x120". digital inkjet and screen print installed with 1"x2" pine boards and gravity.  

English alumna one of six Rona Jaffe Writers' Award winners


Ashlee Crews-Jaffe, seatedIncredible news for department of English alumna Ashlee (Adams) Crews ( A.B., 2000) who was selected for one of the six 2013 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards and will receive $30,000:

In recognition of the special contributions women writers make to our culture and society, The Rona Jaffe Foundation is giving its nineteenth annual Writers’ Awards under a program that identifies and supports women writers of exceptional talent. The emphasis is on those in the early stages of their writing careers. This unique program offers grants to writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry to make writing time available and provide assistance for such specific purposes as child care, research and related travel costs.

Six emerging women writers have been singled out for excellence by the Foundation and will receive awards of $30,000 each. 

The author of the 1958 best-seller, The Best of Everything, Rona Jaffe (1931-2005) established the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award in 2005. This awards program is a phenomenal effort to support American Arts and Letters, and the Rona Jaffe Writers' Award is the only national literary awards program of its kind dedicated exclusively to women writers. We are obviously proud of and very happy for Crews. The list of our distinguished alumni continues to grow, and with their accomplishments UGA and Franklin College recommit to our mission and to our current students, to being the home of great scholars, scientists, artists and writers.

Image of Ashlee Crews courtesy of the Rona Jaffe Foundation.

Music Scholarship: Power in the Progress


The Hugh Hodgson School of Music is renowned for training some of the best conductors, vocalists, cellists, violinists and other instrumental performers in the country. Many of these UGA graduates go on to outstanding international careers and we take great pride in their accomplishments. The Hodgson School also trains some of the best music teachers in America and its impact on the future of the arts in the classroom is at least as important as bringing some of the world's most beautiful music to campus. Indeed these are not exclusive of each other and function wonderfully together. But it's important to note that progress in the classroom hinges on scholarship, as this article from Hodgson school alum Josh Boyd illustrates, UGA music scholars continue to uncover methods for helping students to higher levels of musicianship:

"Power in the Progress System" created by H. Dwight Satterwhite, a professor at the University of Georgia is based on the idea that students will exceed expectations when they have an incentive program that provides constant positive reinforcement as well as a clearly charted path to success.

Sounds simple enough. But it takes a great amount of engagement with teaching to get to a point where one can explain something that sounds obvious. The article lays out the steps of the program and importantly how it "revolutionized our band program" at a middle school in Georgia, one venue among thousands where some of our alums do their best work.

* Thanks to the commenter. Article previously referred to another HHSOM Josh Byrd instead of the correct alum, Joshua Boyd. Apologies.