Campus NewsSeptember 2001: Vol. 80, No. 4

Celebrating cultural understanding

The efforts of UGA's Center for Humanities and Arts to increase cultural understanding are depicted in a mural, "The World at Large," that art professor Art Rosenbaum has painted in the center's conference room on the ground floor of the psychology building.

Rosenbaum's mural celebrates the engagement of faculty, students, and visitors in a variety of activities: dance, music, drama, photography, film, art, poetry, and scholarship. It also pays tribute to President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, the first two recipients of the Delta Prize for Global Understanding, which was co-founded by the Center for Humanities and Arts and UGA's Center for International Trade and Security.

"The mural need never be destroyed," says humanities center director Betty Jean Craige, "because it has been painted on canvas that can be removed and transferred to another wall should the building ever be razed."


The World at Large (detail) by Art Rosenbaum

Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute will focus on bio-med, health, and social issues
Incubator for new discoveries

The Board of Regents has given final approval for the UGA Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute. The institute proposal, signed by more than 70 research faculty and accompanied by a letter of support from all the academic deans, had already been approved unanimously by University Council in April.

"Our stellar researchers in biomedical and health sciences have worked selflessly during the past two years to create a new institute that will coalesce our strengths," says Provost Karen Holbrook. "UGA has demonstrated over the years that you don't need to have a medical school to produce excellent biomedical research."

The institute is an outgrowth of the Biomedical Sciences and Human Health Initiative. Chaired by pharmacy professor Stuart Feldman, the executive committee for that initiative recommended that UGA form an interdisciplinary institute to improve faculty linkages and create interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate programs focused on biomedical, behavioral, and social issues.

"Outside the University, people don't realize the amount and quality of the biomedical research going on at this campus," says Feldman. "The institute will help get this message out to federal and private funding agencies, to top scientists and graduate students we are recruiting, and to Georgia legislators and other leaders who have supported us."

Faculty conducting medically related research are found in virtually every college on campus, as well as in UGA's Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases (p. 28), and the Institute for Behavioral Research. One example is microbiology professor Harry Dailey, whose NIH-funded research team discovered the genetic defect that causes a form of variegate porphyria; an estimated 20,000 people in South Africa have that defect.

"The institute will be one of the places where scientists can experiment with new interdisciplinary approaches in biomedical research," says Dailey, who will direct the new institute. "This will create new discoveries, new research funding opportunities, and new curricula. The institute will be an incubator for new interdisciplinary programs."

As proposed, the institute will have at least three separate divisions: molecular medicine, infectious disease and immunity, and public health. A neuroscience division is also taking shape, according to Dailey. Evolving partnerships include UGA's new joint research agreement with the Shepherd Center, UGA's participation in the Georgia Cancer Coalition, and ongoing discussions with the Medical College of Georgia to identify areas for collaboration.

The development of the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute also contributed significantly to UGA's successful effort to gain federal support for the new $40 million Paul D. Coverdell Center for the Biomedical and Health Sciences. "We have a new building, seven graduate scholarships in the biomedical sciences from the Atlanta chapter of the ARCS Foundation, and significant state funding for collaborations with MCG," says UGA President Michael F. Adams. "The insight and effort of our faculty in this area has already played an important role in making UGA competitive for new opportunities. The institute will be an important factor in our success."

Eric Dahl

Campus is expanding

UGA and the Athens Housing Authority have announced an agreement in principle designed to lead to the sale of nearly five acres of the Parkview Extension neighborhood to the University for $3.3 million. The property, located along the east side of Newton Street from Baxter Street to Waddell, consists of eight apartment buildings containing 28 vacant apartments and the Athens Housing Authority's administrative offices and maintenance facility. The purchase will be made from auxiliary services funds, says Henry M. Huckaby, senior vice president for finance and administration.

"The site is adjacent to northwest campus," says Huckaby, "and it provides opportunities for advancing the facilities master plan with future construction of housing or classrooms." For the immediate future, the land will be used for additional parking to replace interior parking lots being taken by construction.

Once the sale is approved, the Athens Housing Authority will redirect more than $1 million of federal modernization funds for the construction of a Boys and Girls Club, with a gymnasium, in the J.R. Wells housing community.

Tom Jackson (AB '73)

Environmental Design and Ecology join forces to create national center
New college a "hybrid"

UGA plans to create a College of Environment and Design that will assemble expertise and resources from throughout campus to provide a new focus on instruction and research about the environment.

When fully operable, the new college will be one of the nation's leading centers for research, teaching, and outreach on such environmental issues as species protection, preservation of natural resources, urban design and development, and global climate change.


Jack Crowley
"Our college will be unique," says Provost Karen Holbrook, "in that it brings together studies of the built and unbuilt—natural—environment."

A concept plan for the college has been approved by several campus faculty groups and University Council. President Michael F. Adams sent the proposal to the University System Board of Regents, who ratified it at their August meeting.

UGA already has some of the best expertise in the country on environmental matters, but it exists in different departments and units. For example, UGA is internationally known for its Institute of Ecology and its Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases.

Scientists teach and conduct research and service programs in areas ranging from genetics and molecular biology to air and water pollution and the impact of humans on natural systems. UGA also has respected programs in such non-scientific areas as environmental justice and ethics, environmental leadership and education, and environmental design and restoration.

The impetus for the new college grew out of President Adams' 1998 State of the University speech in which he suggested an environmental college as one of six new initiatives.

"My intention," says Adams, "was to stimulate faculty to look at new and creative ways to serve students' educational needs and address critical issues facing society. The College of Environment and Design will accomplish those goals and strengthen UGA's stature in environmental research and education."

The new college is designed to bridge departmental lines and bring faculty, facilities, and programs into a central administrative home that fosters collaboration and resource sharing.

"This will be a reformatting of departments and centers to take advantage of the skills and expertise in those units," says Jack Crowley, dean of the School of Environmental Design. "It will give us a critical mass of talent we haven't had to work on environmental problems."

They said it

WARREN BUFFETT

Noted investment guru Warren Buffett made a rare speaking appearance at UGA's Terry College of Business on July 18.

On the basics of investment: "If you're buying a farm, if you're buying an apartment house . . . you're laying out money now to get more money back later on. The only question is how much are you gonna get, when are you gonna get it—and how sure are you?"

On mistakes he's made: "The biggest mistakes I've made, by far, are mistakes of omission. They were things I knew enough to do, they were within my circle of competency, but I was sucking my thumb. Those are the ones that hurt, and they don't show up any place . . . But I know the cost of them. Those are the big, big mistakes, and I've made plenty of them."

On why he stayed out of the dot-com investment craze: "I have an old-fashioned belief that I should only expect to make money in things that I understand. And when I say understand, I mean understand what the economics of the business are likely to look like 10 years from now. So when I look at the Internet business or look at tech businesses, I say, 'This is a marvelous thing.' I love to play around on the computer . . . but I don't know who's gonna win. And unless I know who's gonna win, I'm not interested in investing."

On investment philosophy: "Defining your circle of competence is the most important aspect of investing. It's not important how large your circle is—you don't have to be an expert on everything. But knowing where the perimeter of that circle is, and staying inside of it, is all-important."

Erin Tecza

Crowley describes the college as a "hybrid" that will build on the existing School of Environmental Design, which will join with the Institute of Ecology to form the core of the college. The environmental design school and the ecology institute will retain their budgets and begin merging their administrative structures during a transition year. Initially, they will function within the college in similar fashion to the way the School of Music operates in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

The heart of the college, says Crowley, will be the Academy of Environment and Environmental Design. All UGA faculty members who have a professional interest and skills in environmental issues will be eligible for the academy, regardless of academic discipline. In addition to scientists in such areas as botany, biology, forestry, ecology, soil science, and marine science, the academy could include professors in landscape architecture, business, sociology, law, journalism, as well as private industry.

Members of the academy will continue to work in their home departments. As faculty in the academy, they will also coordinate and offer courses, degree programs and certificate programs in environmental areas not covered in existing units.

Larry B. Dendy (ABJ '65)

New technique yields success rate for cattle that's three times higher
Cloning breakthrough

Researchers at UGA have developed a technique that may dramatically improve the success rate of cattle cloning. To illustrate their point, Steve Stice and his student assistants recently displayed eight cloned calves produced using this new technique.

As recently as two years ago, the highest rate of success for cloning attempts was one in 20; the new technique has a success rate of one in seven, almost three times as high.

"To produce offspring and develop methods to improve the efficiency of the cloning process has been our goal," says Stice, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar with UGA's animal and dairy science department, who directed the research. "These calves will help pave the way for improved cloning technology."


These calves, which range in age from two to four months, are clones of a cow too old to reproduce, but that had desirable traits worth preserving. For more photos and graphics, visit www.uga.edu/news.

About 200 cloned embryos are produced in Stice's lab each day. Only 10-20 percent of them make it through the first seven days to be transferred into recipient cows. Says Stice: "The existence of eight full-term, healthy calves means we've shown significant improvement in the process."

The calves are clones of a cow that had grown too old to reproduce but had desirable traits worth preserving. The process doesn't change the genetic makeup. It repeats it, just like an identical twin in nature.

"Improvement in the efficiency of cloning will allow us to reproduce those individuals, bulls, or cows that have lost the ability to reproduce because of age or accident," says Larry Benyshek, animal and dairy science department head. "If we can spread improved genetics at a faster rate, it will be a great benefit for producers. It also has ramifications for consumers and the public in general."

Established breeding programs develop the genetic traits farmers want, such as consistent meat and better breeding and nurturing characteristics, says Stice, and cloning is a way to duplicate those traits. "The next step," he says, "is to make additional jumps in pregnancy rates."

The UGA calves were cloned using technology developed in collaboration between the animal and dairy science department and Athens-based Prolinia, Inc. The technology will be patented by UGA and licensed by Prolinia.

"This is a fantastic breakthrough," says Benyshek. "It's right in line with many breakthroughs in animal biotechnology. We'll have to become more efficient so there is more product to meet demand without harming the environment, and to allow us to produce more on a smaller quantity of land. This research is certainly a step in that direction."

Chuck Toney

Desegregation events, coverage win awards

The University's commemoration of the 40th anniversary of desegregation received top honors in the special events category in a national awards competition sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

The entry—supported by print, video, and Web site material created in conjunction with the Jan. 9 event—will become part of the archives at CASE national headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Public Affairs staffers won two related awards.

The video "Crossing the Great Divide" that debuted Jan. 9 and has subsequently aired on GPTV won a silver medal for video features. It was produced and edited by Steve Bell (ABJ '79). Ray Moore, who covered UGA's desegregation for WSB-TV, wrote the script. And Geof Gilland (ABJ '86) was videographer and co-editor. The poster for the event, created by Rick Fiala, received a silver medal for visual design in print.

Bennett assumes new position; will be an advocate for students
Dean of students

Rodney D. Bennett, dean of students at Winthrop University in South Carolina, has been chosen as dean of students at UGA—a new position designed to work actively on behalf of students.

Bennett was selected from four finalists for the position, which was created last year by Richard Mullendore, UGA's vice president for student affairs. The new position is part of a reorganization of the student affairs division. Bennett's responsibilities will include oversight of judicial programs, leadership programs, minority services programs, and fraternities and sororities. Bennett will also work closely with students as an adviser and advocate.

"I am certain Dr. Bennett will be spending considerable time interacting with students on a daily basis, and that students will see this office as one that will advocate for them," says Mullendore. "This office won't be just another administrative layer in the University. It will be student centered and will support student-focused initiatives."

Bennett had been dean of students at Winthrop since 1998. He supervised a 19-person staff that was responsible for the student government association, student union, student judicial affairs, career services, student leadership activities, student publications, student organizations, recreational sports, multicultural student life, and Greek life.

Prior to joining Winthrop, Bennett worked at Middle Tennessee State University as associate dean of student life, assistant dean of student life, and residence hall director. He is active in several professional organizations, including the Southern Association for College Student Affairs, for which he served as a conference program chair. He has also made presentations at a number of professional conferences.

At Winthrop, Bennett was a member of the Governor's Community Youth Council and on the local newspaper's readers advisory board. Bennett received a doctoral degree in educational administration and supervision from Tennessee State and a specialist in education degree from Middle Tennessee State. He also holds a master's of education degree and a bachelor's in mass communication from Middle Tennessee State.

Larry B. Dendy (ABJ '65)


Rodney D. Bennett

Nicole Mitchell

Nicole Mitchell succeeds Karen Orchard, who is retiring from UGA after 28 years
New Press director

Nicole Mitchell, director of the University of Alabama Press, has been named the new director of the University of Georgia Press, succeeding Karen Orchard, who is retiring after 28 years with the Press.

Mitchell brings a broad-based background in scholarly and trade publishing. She began her career with the Cambridge University Press in Great Britain, starting as a trainee and working her way up through the school books and children's books divisions. She joined the University of Alabama Press as assistant editor in 1988, then became acquisitions editor the next year. She was named director in 1996.

In the director's position, Mitchell refocused and developed the publishing program, increasing title output and sales significantly.

The University of Georgia Press is a leading publisher of African-American studies, civil rights history and environmental studies. With some 900 titles in print, it is one of the largest publishing houses in the South.

Sharron Hannon

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