PhD Candidate Ale Villegas and Advisor Vasant Muralidharan Receive Gilliam Graduate Fellowship Award

Malaria’s connection to Georgia goes back to the colonial period. The Southeastern United States provided prime conditions for a thriving mosquito population which ensured the spread of the disease. The state capital moved from Louisville to Milledgeville in 1806 in part because of malaria outbreaks among the state’s General Assembly.

Later, the federal Office of Malaria Control in War Areas was established in Atlanta instead of Washington D.C. because of its proximity to malaria. The center was succeeded in 1946 by the Communicable Disease Center which is now the Centers for Disease Control. While Malaria was mostly eliminated in the … read more

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Anne Shaffer named Associate Dean of the Graduate School

Anne Shaffer has been named the Associate Dean of the University of Georgia’s Graduate School by Ron Walcott, the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School.  In this position, she will be responsible for academic affairs and will support the development and implementation of strategic initiatives.

As an Associate Professor in the department of Psychology with dual appointments in the Clinical Psychology and Brain and Behavioral Sciences programs, Shaffer has served as the graduate coordinator for the department since 2017.  She has also served since January 2020 as an Administrative Fellow in the Office of Inclusion and … read more

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Rachel Perez-Udell Receives K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award

Spring Flowers: K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award Recipient Rachel Perez-Udell Uses Citizen Science To Study The Geography Of Color Distribution In Flowers

Rachel Perez-Udell was notified that she received the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award in late 2020. The award recognized graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education and who are committed to academic innovation in the areas of equity, community engagement, and teaching and learning. Perez-Udell wants to use it to make research an educational tool. She remembers her experiences as an undergraduate that took her out of classrooms and … read more

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Jacqueline Joye Peña Awarded Gilliam Graduate Fellowship Grant

Plant Biology Doctoral Student Jacqueline Joye Peña and her advisor Assistant Professor Dr. Douda Bensasson received the Gilliam Graduate Fellowship Grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The award provides Peña the opportunity to travel to important scientific conferences and meetings in her field, professional development workshops, and a competitive stipend in addition to allowance for diversity and inclusion activities at the graduate level.

“Receiving as award like this feels very validating that researching how natural populations respond to climate change while providing safe spaces for underrepresented groups in STEM are worth doing,” said Peña. “I feel honored to … read more

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Masters Student Sheridan Alford co-Founds #BlackBirdersWeek

Images courtesy of Sheridan Alford and Biodiversity Heritage Library

Masters Student and Graduate Assistant at the Graduate School Sheridan Alford co-founded the bird-watching movement #BlackBirdersWeek after the viral video of a black man bird-watching in Central Park was threatened by a white woman. This movement highlights and showcases black birders. Read her interview with High Country News here.

Alford started bird watching during her undergraduate studies at UGA. She attended field trips with UGA’s Dr. Steven Castleberry (Warnell) and Dr. Robert Cooper (Ornithology) which introduced her to the variety of ways to interact with birds like bird banding. A … read more

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Sadie Nennig

Sadie Nennig, PhD candidate, Neuroscience

Sadie Nennig, a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Graduate Program within the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute, studies the relationship between social stress, alcohol-related behaviors, and the neuroimmune system.

Under the direction of Dr. Jesse Schank in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology within UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Nennig’s research aims to investigate and identify potential targets for future therapeutics for individuals displaying both alcoholism and depression.

Her interest in addiction research was sparked when Nennig majored in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology at Emory University and took a course on drugs of abuse. Working … read more

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UGA Graduate School Honors 2019 Alumni of Distinction

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Graduate School has honored ten graduates with the 2019 Alumni of Distinction Award for achieving exceptional success in their professional careers and in service to their community.

The Graduate School Alumni of Distinction Award was established in 2012 by the University of Georgia’s Graduate Education Advancement Board; the first recipients were named in 2013. Recipients have accomplished meritorious achievement and success in their professional field, exemplify themselves as a mentor and a role model in their profession, and have made substantive contributions to their professional field at the regional and national levels as evidenced … read more

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Matthew Powers

A National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and Microbiology doctoral candidate, Matthew Powers is working to identify new treatments for the antibiotic resistant Gram-negative bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii.

Unlike single-membrane Gram-positive bacteria which are susceptible to antibiotics, double-membraned Gram-negative bacteria are unaffected by many treatments due to the impermeability of the second, outer membrane.

“The cell membrane is a critical barrier for cells to protect themselves from the environment, including toxic compounds,” Powers explains.

“If [a drug] can’t get to its target inside the bacterial cell, it is useless.”

Gram-negative bacteria are found in virtually all environments on Earth that support … read more

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Emily Horton

Small-scale fisheries supply over half of the world’s wild-caught seafood, providing food and employment for millions.

In response to recent international fish stock declines, thousands of marine protected areas have been created around the globe.

In Brazil, a type of co-managed marine protected areas called Marine Extractive Reserves (MERs) represents one of the most significant measures taken by the Brazilian federal government to protect the common pool resources of small-scale fisheries.

A doctoral candidate in the Anthropology and Integrative Conservation (ICON) program advised by Dr. Don Nelson, Emily Horton investigates the performance of MERs and their ability … read more

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Martin Ward

A doctoral candidate in the Romance Languages department, Martin Ward examines how literature is helping LGBTQ men in Chile and Argentina see themselves as men and valuable members in their society.

“Through these mediums,” Ward explains, “they are opening up discussions about masculinity and how its definitions can be multi-faceted.”

Often marginalized for their sexuality and gender identification, LGBTQ men in Chile and Argentina are challenging the notion that there is one strict way for men to express their identify.

“My research is not only analyzing these artistic productions of queer masculinity but also studies from sociology, psychology, anthropology, and other … read more

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