FACS held its spring and summer convocation on Friday, May 13 at The Classic Center in downtown Athens.
Of the 386 students eligible to graduate, 285 participated in the ceremony.
“I’ve become very close with this class of graduates since coming to UGA five years ago myself,” FACS dean Linda Kirk Fox told the audience in her opening remarks. “I’ve seen your passion and I’ve seen your service to others. I’ve seen you engage in learning. I’ve heard your voices amplified by creativity, and I’ve seen a class of FACS students eager to make life better for others that follow them.”
Seven students were recognized as First Honor Graduates, an honor given to students who have maintained a 4.0 cumulative grade point average throughout their undergraduate careers.
First Honor Graduates are Claudette Bailey, foods and nutrition; Breanna Costner, human development and family science; Brooke Dumont, HDFS; Allison Fialkowski, FDN; Randi Goldstein, FDN; Grace Goodwin, HDFS; and Virginia Walker from the department of textiles, merchandising and interiors.
First Honor Graduates also were given a cash award of $250 from the Bill and June Flatt Student Achievement Award.
Also honored as the Bill and June Flatt Outstanding Senior was Ben Jacobs, who graduated with his master’s of science degree in financial planning and with a bachelor’s degree in consumer economics in the accelerated master’s program. Jacobs received a $500 cash award.
Faculty member Kim Skobba from the FACS department of financial planning, housing and consumer economics also was recognized as the FACS Outstanding Teacher.
Skobba also was one of just three UGA faculty members named as a recipient of the Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching earlier this year.
Lucie Reynolds from the TMI department delivered the student perspective, while Callie Dailey from HDFS gave the student challenge address.
“When I look into this crowd of people,” Dailey said, “I see a group of people who are ready to take on the world. I challenge you, class of 2016, whatever it is that you’re passionate about, take a risk by taking action, because comfortable inaction isn’t an option.”
“Wherever you travel, wherever you choose next to study, to intern, to work and live, remember us,” Fox told the graduates in her closing remarks. “Whatever adventure lies ahead, we are the ‘family’ that wants to know how you are doing. We hope to be the ‘glue’ that brings you back in touch with classmates and friends. We wish you the best in your journey, wherever it may take you.”
Laura Jolly, who served as FACS dean from 2007-2010 and returned to the FACS faculty in 2015 after serving as a UGA administrator, has been named as the Endowed Dean of the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University, effective in July.
Jolly served as vice president for instruction at UGA from 2010-14 before returning to the FACS faculty in 2015.
“The College of Family and Consumer Sciences is an amazing community of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends,” Jolly said. “The thing I will miss most about FACS and UGA will be the people. As I said when I joined the college, it’s important to focus, believe and laugh. The people of FACS have done just that with a focus on the future, a belief in each other and a lot of laughter along the way. The college is in a strong position and I’ll be cheering you on from Iowa State!”
Prior to coming to UGA, Jolly, who holds master’s and doctoral degrees in clothing, textiles and merchandising from Oklahoma State University, held appointments at Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee.
“It has been our privilege and joy to have Laura back in the department of textiles, merchandising and interiors after her service as vice president for instruction,” FACS dean Linda Kirk Fox said. “We wish her the best in her leadership position at Iowa State University.”
Caree Cotwright, a “Double Dawg” FACS graduate and assistant professor in the department of foods and nutrition, gave a TEDxTalk about her vision for raising nutrition awareness through the creative arts in March.
The event, inspired by the popular TED Talks conference, was held in front of a sold-out audience in the Tate Student Center Grand Hall.
Cotwright, previously a Research Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, focuses on early childhood obesity prevention, community nutrition and health disparities.
She is a previous winner of the UGA 40 Under 40 Award as well as a FACS Pacesetter Award honoree. Her passion is creating interventions using theater, media and other arts-based approaches to combat obesity.
Cotwright received her master’s degree in nutrition from FACS in 2004 and her Ph.D. in 2008.
In July, Dr. Patti Hunt-Hurst, who has served as head of the FACS textiles, merchandising and interiors department for the last 10 years, will transition to the role of Associate Dean for Academic Programs.
In this role she will oversee the Student Success and Advising Center, experiential learning, curriculum and the scholarship/awards program of the college.
Dr. Silvia Giraudo, current associate dean, will return to her position of associate professor in the department of foods and nutrition.
Replacing Hunt-Hurst as department head will be Dr. Gajanan Bhat, the Georgia Athletic Association Professor for Fibers and Textiles, pending Board of Regents approval.
Bhat comes to FACS from the University of Tennessee where he was professor and director of the Nonwovens Research Laboratory. Bhat has 26 years of experience as a faculty member and more than eight years of academic administrative experience.
Hunt-Hurst is a dress and fashion historian with major research interest in African and African-American dress and textile history. She enjoys teaching fashion fundamentals, historic dress and fashion, dress and popular culture, and West African fabrics, dress and adornment.
Since 1996 she has been actively involved with study abroad programs to London and Ghana.
Bhat has secured funding for more than 100 research projects, published more than 200 research papers and has been awarded three U.S. patents. He has an interdisciplinary perspective having taught courses in merchandising, interior design and engineering.
His undergraduate degree is from Delhi, India and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are in textile engineering and polymer science from Georgia Tech.
FACS graduate and UGA "Double Dawg" Megan Palmer, a 2004 double major in consumer journalism and FACS Education, has been named the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences National FACS Teacher of the Year.
She will be recognized in June at the AAFCS national convention.
Palmer, who teaches middle school family and consumer science education at Thomas County Middle School in Thomasville, was recognized for the innovative family and consumer science programs she created for the school system.
The AAFCS National Teacher of the Year award was established in 1974 to recognize exemplary teachers who utilize cutting-edge methods, techniques and activities to provide stimulus and visibility to family and consumer sciences in elementary and secondary education.
While at UGA, Palmer received the UGA Charter Scholarship and also served as a FACS Ambassador and state officer for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.
She went on to earn a master’s degree in Occupation Studies from UGA in 2006 as well as an education specialist degree from Georgia Southwestern State University.
"I am so honored to be chosen the AAFCS National Teacher of the Year,” Palmer said. "I hope to represent UGA and the Dawson Hall family well. I definitely learned from them how to keep my Betty Lamp shining!"
FACS alumni, students and faculty from the financial planning program gathered in Atlanta to reconnect and network in April.
The event, sponsored by Merrill Lynch, was hosted at Fado Irish Pub in Buckhead.
Among the guests, numerous financial planning firms were represented including Anthony Smith Advisors, SignatureFD and Redwood Wealth Management.
FACS dean Linda Kirk Fox addressed the crowd, which was followed by program updates from financial planning, housing and consumer economics department head Sheri Worthy and faculty members Joe Goetz and Lance Palmer.
Prior to the event, several alumni gathered to discuss establishing a Financial Planning Advisory Board, led by Blake Williams, a 2008 graduate of the program.
We hope you can join us in October for some of our FACS Week events.
Our second annual alumni tailgate will be held Oct. 15 prior to the game against Vanderbilt.
We’ll also have numerous opportunities to engage with the college throughout the week at various events such as the Celebrating Excellence Awards Luncheon on Oct. 18, a Generations of Success Panel, FACS Education Abroad and Study Tour Fair and Dogs with the Dean, among others.
Keep an eye on our website for details, and be on the lookout for FACS Magazine in September.
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