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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Cristina Echezarreta

Cristina Echezarreta at Arrendale prison with Julia Mahood painting decorating bee boxes (as part of the bee prison project)

Artist Cristina Echezarreta focuses on two very non-traditional subjects – prison populations and honeybees – for her research as a master’s student in the Lamar Dodd School of Art.

With a post-graduation goal of working in a science museum, Echezarreta chose this graduate program to facilitate her creative approach to communicating scientific information.

“I was searching for a school with an excelling Master of Fine Arts program along with strong, flourishing agricultural disciplines,” she explains.

Echezarreta knew found the right graduate program when … read more

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Sarah Vaughn

For Sarah Vaughn, a dual Ph.D./D.V.M. student, choosing to attend the University of Georgia was an easy decision.

A native Georgian, Vaughn includes the brand-new veterinary teaching hospital with its cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities- including a covered equine area- in her list of reasons to study at the University.

However, perhaps the most important factor for Vaughn is the faculty.

“The people I’ve met here truly care about my development as a person, both in and out of the lab. [Completing a] Ph.D. can be a long, stressful, and isolating experience. I knew I wanted to find people … read more

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Jihoon Kim

Imagine virtually experiencing the beaches of Turks and Caicos before booking a trip to visit the destination in reality.

Interactive marketing using virtual reality (VR) might one day help you decide your next vacation destination.

That is, if Jihoon Kim has anything to say about it.

A doctoral student in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kim studies how virtual experiences have the potential to transform marketing communication.

Kim is advised by Dr. Grace Ahn, director of the Games and Virtual Environments Lab (GAVEL) in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

An interdisciplinary research facility, GAVEL takes a human-centered approach to investigate virtual … read more

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