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UGA Honors Week: A Banner Year for Odum School Faculty, Students and Alumni

Apr. 14, 2016



Writer: Beth Gavrilles, bethgav@uga.edu

Contact: Beth Gavrilles, bethgav@uga.edu


A large number of Odum School faculty, students and alumni were among the members of the UGA community recognized for outstanding achievements during UGA Honors Week 2016.

“These awards are testimony to the amazing quality and creativity of our faculty and students, especially given the relative size of Odum,” said Dean John Gittleman. “As a unit, we are all very proud of this recognition for excellence.”

Research Awards

Associate Professor Vanessa Ezenwa was awarded a 2016 Creative Research Medal, given for outstanding research or creative activity within the past five years that focuses on a single theme identified with the University of Georgia. See more at: http://uga.edu/honorsweek/research_ezenwa.html#sthash.8mbOlsGb.dpuf

Assistant Professor Nina Wurzburger received a 2016 Fred C. Davison Early-career Scholar Award. Named in honor of the University of Georgia’s 18th president, this award recognizes outstanding accomplishment and evidence of potential future success in scholarship, creative work or research by an early-career faculty member in the sciences. See more at: http://uga.edu/honorsweek/research_wurzburger.html#sthash.ZwR1rhDr.dpuf

Sarah Budischak, who received her doctorate in ecology in 2014, received the Robert C. Anderson Memorial Award, given to recent doctoral students for outstanding research at UGA or immediately after graduating. It is named for the late Robert C. Anderson, who served as UGA’s vice president for research and president of the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. See more at: http://uga.edu/honorsweek/student_excellence-in-research.html#sthash.PBWebDA3.dpuf

UGA Teaching Awards

Associate Dean and UGA Athletic Association Professor of Ecology Sonia Altizer received the Lothar Tresp Outstanding Honors Professor Award from the UGA Honors Program. The award recognizes superior teaching and dedication to Honors students in senior faculty members.

Doctoral students Daniel Baker and Kaitlin Farrell were among the graduate teaching assistants at UGA recognized with a 2016 Outstanding Teaching Award for significant contributions to the instructional mission of the university. The award is administered by the Center for Teaching and Learning and is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction. See more at: http://uga.edu/honorsweek/student_teaching-assistant.html#sthash.sQLRskQ9.dpuf

Assistant Professor Scott Connelly and Senior Research Scientist J Vaun McArthur were named UGA Outstanding Teaching Faculty by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

Student Awards

Undergraduate Torre Lavelle was named the University System of Georgia Outstanding Scholar for 2016, and received proclamations from the Georgia House and Senate in recognition of her achievement. She was also recognized as one of only 111 students from around the world admitted to the first class of Schwarzman Scholars, a highly selective and fully funded one-year master’s program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. See more at t.uga.edu/20p.

Undergraduate Rachel Usher received the 2016 UGA Presidential Award of Excellence, which is awarded to less than one percent of undergraduate students in their final year of study each year. Selected by their deans for this award, these students have a record of outstanding academic achievement, demonstrate strong extracurricular involvement and service to UGA and exemplify the best of UGA’s student body. See more at: http://uga.edu/honorsweek/student_awards.html#sthash.ETV6aOpr.dpuf

Undergraduates Rachel Usher and Alyson Merlin were among 67 UGA students inducted into the Blue Key National Honor Society.

Undergraduates Rachel Usher, David Cowan and Harry “Jack” Owen were inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society.

Doctoral students Michelle Evans and Paige Miller, incoming master’s student Kelly Petersen, and alumnus Grover Brown, BS ’12, all received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, out of 18 awarded to UGA students and alumni for 2016. In addition, two students in the College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Infectious Diseases who study with Odum School faculty members were among the recipients: Jennifer Cyr, who works with Associate Professor Vanessa Ezenwa, and Kerri Miazgowicz, who works with Assistant Professor Courtney Murdock. Odum School master’s student Julie Tierney received an honorable mention.

Doctoral students Daniel Becker and Carly Phillips received two of six NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants awarded to UGA students for 2016.

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