Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies Patricia Richards is known as a demanding instructor who dares her students to accept challenges that make them want to think on a level beyond a single course or grade:
Fostering intellectual excitement in the classroom that inspires students, she helps build some of UGA’s most forward-thinking interdisciplinary programs.
In addition to her joint appointment in the sociology department and the Institute for Women’s Studies, Richards is a core faculty member in the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute as well as a faculty affiliate in the Institute of Native American Studies. Her special focus on global and transnational content has led her to introduce a series of courses focused on global issues, particularly those related to Latin America, where she conducts research.
“She has led us to increase the quality of our programs through re-evaluation of our policies and curriculum,” said LACSI director Richard Gordon. “We have been able to teach more students as well as improve the impact of our major, minor and graduate certificate.”
This global perspective translates to a passionate approach to critical thinking and research methods that pushes students to develop a broad understanding of the world. Many of her students have said they felt empowered by Richards to take responsibility for their own learning.
“She celebrated the power of my research while asking how and why it mattered,” said Stephanie Shelton, assistant professor at the University of Alabama College of Education.
“Dr. Richards’ teaching style inspired me to take charge of my own education,” said former student Abigail Kahn. “I was enthusiastic to engage with a leader and a teacher who has strong convictions yet can look at her students and allow them to form their own opinions.”
Richards has served on 30 dissertation or master’s committees and directed the work of eight graduate students. Her blend of interdisciplinary expertise has led her to serve on committees of students in numerous disciplines, including political science, journalism, geography, anthropology, public health, kinesiology and higher education. Richards has chaired the biennial Women and Girls in Georgia Conference, which brings scholars and activists from the local, state and national communities to UGA.
An active and engaged mentor, Richards empowers students across a range a disciplines as a positive force for change on our campus community and quite beyond. Congratulations to Dr. Richards, and to the many students who have emerged as teachers by the light of her lumnious example.
The Franklin College is home to two of the three 2018 Josiah Meigs Teaching Professors, profiled in the Honors & Awards issue of Columns. One of three is photography professor Michael Marshall:
Michael Marshall believes that artists should have a role in facilitating change and shaping the world around them. He has put that philosophy into practice and guides others to do the same.
“Change can be difficult, and I am consistently impressed with Michael’s ability to frame a discussion, keep on topic and his approach toward resolving resistance to change,” said colleague and LDSOA lecturer Eileen Wallace. “His vision for innovation in education and specifically for the Lamar Dodd School of Art is motivating.”
In the classroom, Marshall has an ability to provide students with a balanced approach to facilitation. He gives students ample space to find their own path, while providing institutional support and valuable critical feedback.
“There was never a time when he was not prepared to gift his knowledge to inspire creative and most importantly, to help a student find their own voice,” said former student Joseph Moguel.
Our faculty is replete with extraordinary people who challenge and inspire students as they push themselves and their colleagues toward higher levels of excellence. It's characteristic of a great university, where a healthy competition for the best also prioritizes a collegial atmosphere that makes it all work. Congratulations to Marshall on this important career achievement.
Rounding out this season’s Thursday Scholarship Series is UGA’s Hodgson Wind Ensemble, led by Cynthia Johnston Turner, director of bands and conducting area chair, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall:
Under the baton of Bradley Esau, a graduate conducting student, the Hodgson Wind Ensemble will begin with Punch!, a brass fanfare by Australian composer Katy Abbott.
The mainstay of the program is a suite by Adam Schoenberg titled Picture Studies, a 21st-century approach to Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
“The suite is made up of tuneful, rhythmic, engaging and beautifully scored responses to art, including Van Gogh, Miro and Kandinsky,” Johnston Turner said.
While these pieces are being performed, visual renderings of the artwork will be projected. The combination of the visuals and the music highlights the difference between viewing art in a museum and listening to music in a concert hall. In a museum, a viewer can move on to the next piece if one doesn’t resonate as much. However, with live music, the audience must stay in the same space with the performance.
“What Schoenberg has done is forced me to look deeper into a piece of art that I otherwise wouldn’t study,” Johnston Turner said. “In the process, I have been charmed at the discovery of elements that
I didn’t see at first glance.”
The Hodgson Wind Ensemble is transformed into a jazz “big band” for Riffs!by composer Jeff Tyzik. The piece includes a jazz drumming solo, featuring percussionist Timothy Adams, the Mildred Goodrum Heyward Professor of Music. Throughout the piece, the performers will take the audience on a journey of swing styles and an Afro-Cuban groove.
An exciting finale for a stellar Thursday Scholarship Series season. Our student musicians are some of the best in the world, and this showcase of their talents and training presents the Hodgson School and its extraordinary faculty at their best. Do yourself a wonderful musical favor this Thursday. Tickets. Streaming.
A $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will enable the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts to expand its Global Georgia Initiative, a public humanities program in place since 2013:
In its first six years, the Global Georgia Initiative has engaged the humanities and arts in exploring global issues of public concern in a diversity of local contexts, serving audiences at UGA and throughout the Athens community. Programs have featured guests from five continents on topics from Chinese film and literature to journalism in the American South, and from hyperlocal agriculture and manufacturing to pan-African cultural criticism.
The expansion of the initiative focuses on three areas: connecting its visiting speaker programs to curricular and experiential learning activities at UGA; bolstering existing off-campus public humanities collaborations; and instituting a statewide symposium for the humanities.
Two of the Global Georgia Initiative’s speaker programs will be produced with input from proposals by UGA faculty, integrating the programs with coursework and involving UGA students in archival research and public engagement.
Global Georgia will also now support public humanities programs built by the Willson Center with public school systems and other partners in three locations: Sapelo Island, Putnam County and UGA’s home of Athens-Clarke County. The grant will strengthen the university’s engagement with these communities by providing research internships, travel funding and other resources.
The Willson Center is an engine for creative research and support in the humanities and arts on campus. Among its many programs, the Global Georgia Initiative brings leading thinkers and artists to campus, strengthening a dynamic that propels the university and the richness of the campus community learning environment. Great news about this significant new support from the Mellon Foundation, and congratulations to the many Franklin faculty who lead and collaborate in Willson Center programs.
Image: Designer and sustainable fashion entrepreneur Natalie “Alabama” Chanin holds a sewing workshop for UGA students and Athens community members in the Lamar Dodd School of Art.
Professor of genetics Janet Westpheling has been elected president of the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology in the 2018 SIMB Board of Directors election.
The Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) is a nonprofit, international association dedicated to the advancement of microbiological sciences, especially as they apply to industrial products, biotechnology, materials, and processes. Founded in 1949, SIMB promotes the exchange of scientific information through its meetings and publications, and serves as liaison among the specialized fields of microbiology.
Congratulations to Dr. Westpheling on her ascent to this important leadership position in a vital applied science sector. Biotechnology is a focus of major interest at UGA, for the state as well as for the national economy. Our faculty members continue to make important contributions to science and impact industrial enterprise through their leadership and service, utilizing research breakthroughs for the greater good.
Laurel Hiatt, a third-year Honors student from Dahlonega majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology and Spanish, was one of 59 undergraduates from across the nation to be named a 2018 Truman Scholar, a highly competitive graduate scholarship program for aspiring public service leaders in the U.S.:
Truman Scholarship recipients receive $30,000 toward graduate school and have the opportunity to participate in professional development to help prepare them for careers in public service leadership.
“Laurel becomes the 21st Truman Scholar from the University of Georgia,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “The university’s success in national and international scholarship competitions is a testament to the quality and dedication of our students and the faculty who create their rich academic experiences.”
Hiatt, a third-year Honors student from Dahlonega majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology and Spanish, plans to obtain an M.D./Ph.D. in medical genetics and biochemistry and pursue a career at the forefront of clinical research, with a focus on transgender health care.
Hiatt’s public service and civic activities include training a service dog through the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind; creating new training modules as director of the Lambda Alliance Speakers’ Bureau; writing and editing content for financial advocacy nonprofit Wealthy Habits; tutoring middle school students through UGA Mathcounts Outreach; and participating in Free the Girls at UGA, which provides jobs for survivors of human trafficking.
Congratulations to Hiatt, her professors, academic majors and the Honors program on bringing this prestigious scholarship to our campus again this year. The achievements of UGA students continue to place the university in elite circles, which attracts more great students and faculty. Well done, Ms. Hiatt.
UGA students are gathering Thursday at Tate Plaza from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Thank A Donor Day to show their appreciation for support of alumni and friends. At this celebration, students will have creative opportunities to thank those donors who have enriched their experiences at UGA. There will be prizes, photos with Hairy Dawg, music and more.
It's another beautiful spring day on campus. Our students make it all the better by spending a few minutes in Tate Plaza in appreciation of the ongoing philanthropy that keeps UGA on its strong upward trajectory.
Thank you, donors!
Update from Tate: True to form, Franklin College won first place in the Thank a Donor poster contest with the above entry. Thanks and congratulations to Baylee Culverhouse and our Franklin College Ambassadors for thier efforts. Nicely done.
“The robb'd that smiles, steals something from the thief; He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.” Thus speaks the Duke to Desdemona’s father Brabantio in Othello, thus UGA Theatre closes their season with one of the Bard's best:
Shakespeare’s “Othello,” widely regarded as one the greatest masterpieces of English literature, is a meditation on the nature of cruelty and envy. Othello, a valiant and renowned general, has earned the love and respect of the state he serves—and more importantly that of Desdemona, whom he secretly marries. But his most trusted friend and advisor, Iago, harbors a hidden resentment against him. In a bitter quest to destroy Othello, Iago carefully sows the seeds of doubt in him and effectively poisons the minds of everyone he encounters.
UGA Theatre has re-imagined its premiere venue for the production.
“We have completely reconfigured the Fine Arts Theatre for this production to maximize the impact of the play’s relentless drive and raw emotional intensity,” said David Saltz, head of the department of theatre and film studies. Instead of being seated in the theatre’s 678-seat auditorium, the entire audience will be seated on the stage, completely surrounding the actors. “Our designer, Michael O’Connell, has effectively created an intimate 180-seat theatre-in-the-round just for this show. Everyone in the audience will have an amazing view very close to the action.”
I've been looking forward to this, even before learning about the innovative staging. Performances will be held in the Fine Arts Theatre April 6-7 & 12-14 at 8 pm and April 8 & 15 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $16, $12 for students, and can be purchased at ugatheatre.com/othello, by phone at 706-542-4400, or in person at the Performing Arts Center or Tate Center box office. Congratulations on a great season to our students, faculty and staff in the department of theatre and film studies.