FACS honors Martin, six others, at Alumni Awards event

February 25th, 2016

Athens, Ga. – Dr. Roy J. Martin, FACS Professor Emeritus and UGA Distinguished Research Professor, was inducted into the College of Family and Consumer Sciences Honor Hall of Recognition at the 39th annual FACS Alumni Awards Luncheon on Feb. 20 at the Georgia Center.

The Honor Hall recognition, first awarded in 1980, is the highest honor given by the college.

The distinction recognizes men and women who have impeccable character and outstanding leadership; have made extraordinary contributions to family and consumer sciences; and have been recognized by others for their achievements.

“This event continues to be a special day for us to recognize the accomplishments of several of our most deserving alumni,” said Lauren Coheley, president of the FACS Alumni Association. “The work they have accomplished in their professions and communities represents some of the very best of what Family and Consumer Sciences graduates embodies.”

Martin served as head of the FACS department of foods and nutrition from 1988-99 and is known internationally for his obesity-related research. His career spans five decades, including more than 30 years of research experience in identifying mechanisms of obesity and diabetes using primarily rodent models.

Fellow Honor Hall member Dr. Bill Flatt paid tribute to Martin, his friend and colleague who was unable to attend the celebration. 

It was Martin and a team of colleagues who helped convince Flatt he was obese and needed to improve his diet and exercise habits.

To prove it, Martin practically cornered Flatt at the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition in Moultrie, Ga., in 1989 and measured his body composition. 

“I was quite obese, but had not realized the health risks associated with obesity,” Flatt said. “Roy’s sincerity and persuasiveness helped provide the motivation I needed to lose almost 40 pounds of fat without losing lean body tissue. With Dr. Martin’s advice and encouragement, as well as that of Dr. Rick Lewis and his students and colleagues, I succeeded and have maintained my reduced body weight for over 20 years.”

Martin’s influence also changed Flatt’s professional aspirations.

“This experience was one of the main reasons I decided to retire as an administrator and return to conducting energy metabolism research related to obesity and to teach human nutrition,” Flatt said. “Roy was the one most responsible for my being given the opportunity to work in his department, and to be a member of his multi-disciplinary obesity initiative research team. It was enjoyable, rewarding and inspiring to work with Roy.”

Among his many accolades, Martin has received the National Institutes of Health Career Development Award, the UGA Creative Research Medal, was named a Fellow of the American Society for Nutrition and is still a sought-after speaker at research conferences.

Martin currently serves as adjunct professor of nutrition at the University of California-Davis.

“Dr. Martin’s career devoted to leading foods and nutrition research, teaching and outreach units and his influence in Georgia, the Southern region and nation is remarkable,” FACS dean Linda Kirk Fox said. “We are delighted to induct Dr. Martin into the FACS Honor Hall of Recognition and deeply appreciate his service.”

Six other award winners were recognized during the luncheon:

Distinguished Alumni Award - Dr. Pamela Monroe

Dr. Monroe began her career in public policy, having served as a policy analyst in the Louisiana House of Representatives. She later took a position as an assistant professor at Louisiana State University in 1990.

In her teaching career, Monroe received LSU’s prestigious James W. Trott Award for teaching and research excellence and was twice awarded endowed professorships from LSU. She also has served as the associate dean of LSU Graduate School, and from 2006-07 served as the interim dean of the LSU School of Social Work.

Emily Quinn Pou Professional Achievement Award - Dr. Norman Pollock

Pollock holds three degrees from the FACS department of foods and nutrition.

His research investigates how fat and bone metabolism affect energy regulation, emphasizing factors such as diet, physical inactivity, metabolic diseases, hormonal imbalances and genetic influences that are related to both obesity and poor skeletal health.

Since 2009 he has been active in research with a noteworthy number of high-impact publications in the fields of obesity, metabolic dysregulation and bone health.

Outstanding Service Award- Dr. Rachel Hagues

In 2008, Hagues traveled all the way to Ukrewe, Tanzania in pursuit of her Ph.D. in human development and family sciences.

She designed and implemented UGA-Mongella in 2012, a service-learning program that focused on girls’ development and empowerment. As a result of her dissertation research, plans for Tumaini Jipya (New Hope) Secondary School were drawn up.

She began working with community leaders in 2014 to establish this private school for girls in Ukrewe, hoping to place an emphasis on educating young women. Hagues is now an assistant professor in the Samford University School of Public Health.

Pacesetter Award- Ms. Britt Rotberg

Rotberg, who received her master’s degree in foods and nutrition in 2011, founded the Emory Diabetes Education Training Community, which provides free training for healthcare professionals around the country and overseas.

During her time as director of the Emory Latino Diabetes Education Program, she connected with more than 2,000 Latinos in Georgia with type-2 diabetes and serves as chair of the American Diabetes Association “Por tu Familia” program, which focuses on preventing diabetes in the Latino community.

FACS Appreciation Award- The Coca-Cola Foundation - Kirk Glaze

Glaze serves as community affairs manager of the Coca-Cola Foundation, whose generous $1 million grant helped establish the development of the Walk Georgia Extension program.

Walk Georgia, a public-private partnership which strives to help improve the lives of Georgia residents by encouraging greater physical activity and promoting healthy lifestyle choices.

The program has seen 50,000 participants since its launch in 2008, prompting states like Tennessee, Texas and Kansas to follow its example.

Creswell Award - Dr. Rick Lewis

Dr. Lewis, UGA Foundation Professor in Family and Consumer Sciences and director of the FACS Bone and Body Composition Laboratory, graduated from UGA in 1975 with a degree in psychology and followed up with his master’s degree in foods and nutrition three years later.

He completed his Ph.D. program in human nutrition at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1986. He has published more than 70 journal articles and has 130 accepted abstracts, and has been selected to present at the National Institutes of Health along with a committee of pediatric bone experts on the publication "Peak Bone Mass."

"Our College is very fortunate to have Dr. Lewis as a faculty member," said Emma Laing, associate research scientist in Lewis' lab and a former graduate student under his direction. "His commitment to teaching, mentoring and research, and service as a role model for future professionals, is commendable. I am honored to work alongside a professor who is able to successfully balance his community and university activities while keeping the high expectations of his students a priority."

“The Alumni Awards Luncheon has a wonderful way of bringing together generations of graduates and professors,” said Theresa Glasheen, immediate past-president of the FACS Alumni Board of Directors. “It's always incredible to see the work that’s being done by some of the college’s brightest minds. Just when you think you can’t be any more impressed by someone's professional accomplishments, the next awardee is announced!” 

View pictures from the luncheon here.

Categories: Alumni OfficeCollege - GeneralFoods and NutritionGraduateResearchBone and Body Composition LaboratoryUndergraduateHuman Development and Family ScienceGraduateResearchFamilyHealthHomesNutrition
Tags: uga alumni, roy martin, honor hall of recognition, facs alumni awards luncheon, facs alumni, bill flatt

In this category: Nutrition