Category: students

2014-15 Fulbright grants

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Of the twelve University of Georgia students who were awarded international travel-study grants from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for the 2014-2015 academic year, the Franklin College is well represented:

This is UGA's second highest total of Fulbright recipients.

Eight of the students accepted the scholarships. Recipients of the U.S. Student Full Grants, which cover research, study and creative opportunities, include three students who recently earned undergraduate degrees at UGA: 2013 graduate Christian Conroy of Roswell; 2011 graduate Winn Davis of Savannah; and 2009 graduate Brett Heimlich of Alpharetta.

Two students who recently earned master's degrees at UGA also received Full Grants: Sara Hobe of Fresno, California; and Lauren Satterfield of Atlanta.

English Teaching Assistantship Grants, which place recipients in K-12 schools and universities to serve as language-learning assistants, were given to three students who recently earned undergraduate degrees at UGA: Tiffany Brown of Warner Robbins, DeAnne Cantrell of Douglasville, and Christine Pardue of Cleveland.

The largest U.S. international exchange program, Fulbright grants allow our students to work in communties throughout the world while continuing their education.

Science Learning Center: breaking ground

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UGA-ScLC-rendering.jpgThe D.W. Brooks mall on South Campus is about to [begin to] change for the better, with much-needed science instruction space in the new Science Learning Center:

The University of Georgia will break ground on its newest building-the 122,500-square-foot Science Learning Center-on Aug. 26 at 11:30 a.m. at the south end of the S10 parking lot located just off Carlton Street.

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The Science Learning Center will be situated on South Campus adjacent to Pharmacy South and across from the Miller Plant Sciences Building. Funded by Deal and the Georgia General Assembly, the center will cost $44.7 million and be designed around an environment that promotes active learning.

The building's 33 instructional labs will be designed specifically for interactive learning in core undergraduate science courses. The Science Learning Center also will contain two 280-seat lecture halls and two 72-seat SCALE-UP classrooms. SCALE-UP stands for Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs, a learning model that focuses heavily on group-work class participation and technology-making student-to-student and student-to-teacher interaction easier in a larger class setting.

The building is scheduled to open in fall 2016.

Okay, that seems like a long way off but it will be here before you know it. Great news for students and faculty in the sciences, which more than ever, venture into many more disciolines than we have traditional associated with only chemistry or biology. But definitely for all our science majors, this new building is a welcome new addition to the campus learning environment.

Image: A rendering of the Science Learning Center shows how the new building will be situated on UGA's South Campus.

 

Renovations around campus

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Park Hall.jpgIt's that time of year (in which I start out several posts with 'It's that time of year...') when the town begins to be once again flooded with people and cars, returning students, parents, futons, and hopes (we hope). Instead of showing a picture of a very congested Milledge Avenue during sorority rush, we'll preview some renovations to campus buildings that will soon re-open. The University Architects office does a great job keeping our facilities up to par, and for the Franklin College, that means some of the busiest sites on campus. Park Hall for example, is one of our most venerable buildings, an institution practically in its own right. Park Hall see such high volume of use throughout the year that it can be difficult to even schedule renovations there and hence, the building's infrastructure and appearance can suffer, affecting its functionality for the thousands of students who pass through its doors each day.

Over the summer, the HVAC in Park Hall received some long-needed attention. That, along with other updates, will greet students and faculty next week. Our thanks to the physical plant employees and sub-constractors that made all this work happen during the brief summer window. We look forward to being back in its halls once again and appreciate that, especially with some improvements we may not notice at first, it takes a great deal of planning and resources to keep our great buildings like Park Hall at the top of their game.

2014-15 University Theatre Season

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Fine_Arts.jpgThe richness of cultural choices - programming, in the common parlance - in our campus community instills a great sense of contact, exploration and inspiration. The new University Theatre season is an extraordinarily thoughtful repertoire of new and old that promises many great nights on its venerable stages:

[The] 2014-2015 lineup, which includes the 2012 Tony Award Winning "Raisin in the Sun" spinoff "Clybourne Park," a stage adaptation of literary and film classic "The Great Gatsby" presented as part of the UGA Spotlight on the Arts Festival, Shakespeare's classic comedy "Much Ado About Nothing" and the biting satire "Mein Kampf."

This year's season offers new and old classics, from Shakespeare to Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" and adaptations and spin-offs of classic literature. It also contains new offerings, such as Catherine Trieschmann's "Hot Georgia Sunday" and George Tabori's "Mein Kampf," a satirical sendup of Adolf Hitler's failure as an artist that led him to pursue his other dream—of taking over the world. "A Lesson Before Dying," based on the Ernest Gaines novel examining the life of an innocent man on death row in 1948 Louisiana

The literary sensibililty of this roster alone has tremendous appeal. I already have my favorites. Get your season tickets today.

Image: Fine Arts Theatre by Cassandra Wright.

$2 million NSF grant to Mathematics

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Pure-mathformulæ-blackboard.jpgA major new grant to the department of mathematics to help in attracting students to this essential foundational discipline:

Behind every facet of digital communication is a well-trained mathematician, and the University of Georgia mathematics department is on the front lines of training for this ever-increasing field of employment.

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"Our objective is to provide an intellectually compelling, pedagogically well-planned and professionally nurturing environment in which undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs will thrive," said the department's Dino Lorenzini, a Distinguished Research Professor of Mathematics.

Modern digital communication offers an array of job opportunities for students with mathematics training. This initiative is meant to help students with an interest in math explore their options, learn more about the field and cultivate the skills needed for employment in the future.

Fantastic news with real impact for our campus. Attracting the best students with comprehensive education opportunities - and not just training - remains the university's strongest calling card. This grant to mathematics will help the department utilize this strength as it provides the very best in preparation for fulfilling careers.

Image: mathemtical formula, via wikimedia commons.

Exploring UGA's global connections

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DiscoverUGA.jpgHaving spent some time recently with one of our terrific (and longest-running) study abroad programs, I can vouch for the impact they have on our students. The echo of these experiences reverberate back on campus, in our classrooms, in the lives of our students as they resume their studies back in Athens, and in the host countries and cities our programs call home (away from home).

To get an even better idea of this multiverse of scholarly engagement, our colleagues in UGA public affairs put together a terrific interactive map that documents what our students and faculty are doing around the globe. Take a look

Art Maymester in NYC

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NYCCOMBO.jpgMore on this soon, but 30 students (graduate and undergraduate) in the Lamar Dodd School of Art enjoyed a great experience on a new Maymester program in the spring - a field study in New York City. Students had the opportunity to visit all the big museums plus a number of galleries throughout the city, interact with many UGA alumni as well as incoming LDSOA director Chris Garvin. Now that's a fun way to learn.

Image collage courtesy of Marni Shindelman.

The Impact of Giving

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Scholarship and research support from private giving to the Franklin College avails our students and faculty of broad opportunities across every aspect of society. This short video, featuring a student and one of our donors, elaborates on the impact of giving:

 

 

 

Specialization in a tight job market

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Beginning a career after college is a constant topic of conversations on campus, and a Red & Black article today draws particular attention to the experience of several recent graduates and the seeming mis-match of aspirations and opportunities. More common than not and not a cause for alarm in and of itself, the chase for experience and urgency to begin a career after college present clues about some majors and areas of study that may be better suited to the flexibility needed in an uncertain job market. In the article, for example,

[UGA grad and GEICO employee]Hickman face[d] a difficulty undermining millions of recent college graduates after they receive their diplomas trying to match a highly specialized, niche degree in a labor market filled with generalized, unskilled jobs.

According to the Accenture study, 46 percent of workers who graduated in 2012 and 2013 are underemployed and have jobs that don’t utilize their college degrees, marking a five percent increase from the previous two years.

Getchell said past experience and general skills are usually more important to employers than a degree, especially in today’s market.

“Of course, some careers require a specific degree, but others may not,” she said. “In general, employers are often more focused on skills and experiences than majors. That’s why it’s so important for college students to gain experience and develop skills during college.”

There are many decisions university students need to make - about their present and their future - throughout the course of their studies. Erring on one side can compound difficulties on another, and no student of any age is expected to navigate their college years perfectly. Perfection is not what we're after, and in many ways that is the point of a liberal arts education: a melange of cultivating interests, learning and experiences to build the unique set of credentials that, yes, make graduates attractive to employers, but that also help students discover who they are and all they might do. It's easy to endorse broad majors versus niche fields, though not always the best thing for any particular individual. That being said, we can endorse without caveat the importance of learning as much as you can about as many things as interest you while you are on this or any campus.

A university degree has never been more important - neither has our committment to the classical, liberal arts education model: Communications and analytical skills, critical thinking and creative problem solving. The traits that are applicable to all fields often lay between the pages, the chapters, the tests and projects. They are a product of all of these, plus great professors that trigger curiosity and a campus that nurtures community thinking in a global setting. The degree will say University of Georgia but its emphasis will always be on you. 

Athfest 2014

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woman outside, with stageOne of the many great things about UGA is its symbiotic relationship with its hometown of Athens, Ga. The great intermingling between town and gown creates a constant fecund season for creative collaboration in arts, entertainment, education and all the related enterprises that group up around these activities. One of those is Athfest, and our students, staff and faculty will be well-represented this weekend as spectators, organizers, volunteers and performers.

The Athfest Educates program also does a great job of supporting music and arts education for Athens-Clarke County children. Another terrific initiative that, while not a direct UGA collaboration, is born of the ingenuity of our community-inspired thinking and talent that flows to and from our campus. See you this weekend.