Study Abroad – Student and Parent Perspectives

  David Graves      July 25th, 2019

This May, my daughter Amelia (rising junior majoring in International Affairs and Political Science and applying for the Double Dawgs program in Public Administration) participated in a month long Study Abroad program in Stellenbosch, South Africa. She was able to learn more about the political systems in Africa, and as well get an understanding of the social issues in post-apartheid South Africa. Study Abroad is a very different experience for the student and parent, so here is a look at that balance. (AG is Amelia, while DG is me). Favorite part of the study abroad experience? AG) I really enjoyed the service learning aspect when working with 8th graders in Kayamandi township at Makapula High School. I was able to get very close to four of the students, and to get to see what they are learning in school. The student’s humorous nature and getting to dance with them (two of the students were on the school dance team) were a highlight of my day. This particular study abroad program allowed our group to become immersed in the culture of a South African township and to understand the issues facing these students. This was very different from being a student/tourist going abroad. DG) If I say it got her out of the house for another month, I would get in trouble, so it is definitely not that! Really though, we were excited that Amelia was going to see more of the world, and get a deep dive into another culture. […]

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The Past and Present of College Admissions

  David Graves      February 13th, 2019

You hear it all the time – “Back when I was applying to college …”. Yes, things have changed over the last 20+ years in admissions, but trust me, that is actually not a bad thing in many cases. I am currently reading a book titled “Factfulness” by Hans Rosling, and he writes about how, in contrast to what some would have us believe, life is a great deal better today as compared to the past. While there are still areas where the world can improve greatly, Rosling shows that in areas ranging from poverty, health, war, food, etc, the world is actually moving in a positive direction. From the admissions side of the table, there have been some amazing improvements over the years. Here are a few things I remember from when I first started working in the UGA Admissions office. There was a point in time when we only accepted paper applications. We would print them out and do a huge mailing in late summer to get the applications out to both students and high schools. This also meant that we needed a large staff of people who did one job, entering in a student’s biographical data (name, address, school, etc.) into our record system. Every year, we would need to have the printing of the applications bid out (and of course, lowest bidder won the job), and that year, a printing company based out of a state prison won the bid. I can still remember driving to […]

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UGA Admissions iPhone App 3.0

  David Graves      June 13th, 2012

An updated version of our Admissions iPhone App has been released, available for download on any iPhone or iPod Touch for free from iTunes.  This updated version has many new features including: At a Glance: Browse the high points of the University, its students, faculty, alumnus and athletics. Campus Tour: Explore the University of Georgia’s historic North Campus on campus or right from your couch!  On campus, your GPS enabled iPhone will detect your location on North Campus giving you information regarding your location.  Get to know UGA’s beautiful North Campus before you visit! (iOS 5 or higher is required for the tour) Majors: Still deciding on a major?  The Majors tool provides an easy to use reference to all majors available at UGA. Info Request: Want information about the University and Admissions?  Provide us with your contact details and we’ll keep you in the loop on Admissions news and events. Timelines: A quick reference on important dates regarding your application. Traditions: Learn about UGA traditions such as the ringing of the Chapel bell, the Arch and our tenacious sports fans with the Traditions feature. Orientation: Headed to Orientation?  Have access to the full schedule, learn UGA Lingo and meet the OL’s.  You can even make sure you’ve done everything needed prior to arriving with the to-do list! Status Check: While this feature isn’t new, it is a very important tool that can help you make sure you have submitted everything we need.  This is also the first place you will see your admissions decision. Download […]

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Focus on the Faculty

  David Graves      September 22nd, 2011

Last week, I wrote a post about the dedication of the statue of Abraham Baldwin, the founder and first President of the University of Georgia. One of the key people in getting this statue from an idea to reality is Dr. Loch Johnson,  Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs and a key figure in the study of national security and the central intelligence community. In the first in a series of articles on UGA’s faculty, Focus on Faculty. If you have a minute, go in and look at the specific article on Dr. Johnson, along with his thoughts on what makes an ideal college student. Congratulations Dr. Johnson!

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The Birth of UGA

  David Graves      September 16th, 2011

A little over 14 years ago, my wife and I celebrated the birth of our first child. That initial year was tough, as for all parents, with the lack of sleep, late night feedings, tons (and believe me, it felt like tons) of dirty diapers, trips to the doctor, and a great deal of new parent confusion. Most parents look back and are amazed that both they and their children survived those early years intact and sane. This morning, UGA celebrated the founder and first president of UGA, Abraham Baldwin, with the dedication of a statue on North Campus, and it made me think about the challenges that he must have faced in those initial years when he chartered and “gave birth” to the University of Georgia. I am guessing that he had more late nights than I did, and while he did not have to deal with diapers, I am sure he had a great deal of more challenging and messy issues than I did. So today, we celebrate the founder of UGA, Abraham Baldwin, member of the Continental Congress, Signer of the US Constitution, US Representative, US Senator, Professor and UGA President, and Statesman! Go Dawgs!

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New Look to the UGA Website!

  David Graves      August 9th, 2011

Just a quick post to direct everyone to the updated and newly designed UGA website! There is a great deal of new information, but also a great deal of standard information with a new look (check out the calendar and the UGA Today section for instance!).

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Do’s and Don’ts from Admissions

  David Graves      July 15th, 2011

We are right near the end of the cycle for one group of students (the Fall semester starts on August 15), and we will open up the 2012 Freshman application on the same day. As such, here is a list of do’s and don’ts for both of these groups of students (please take with a little grain of salt): Entering Students:  DO: Have a great rest of the summer, and know that the first week at UGA, while a little intimidating, is the start to a great year! Speak with your professors on the first day, check out some of the great events going on that week at, try to connect with a few organizations that seem interesting to you, step outside your comfort zone, etc. DON’T: Let me see your name and/or photo on the front page of the Red and Black newspaper because you did something stupid the first week. It is the first week that you will be on your own at college and away from the parents, but be smart in the choices you make. DO: Jump in feet first into your classes, study hard, get to know the faculty member and your peers in you First-Year Odyssey course, and be on time. The UGA iPhone app has a campus map that can direct you around campus and show you where you are using GPS, and the bus system is a lifesaver. DON’T: Skip any classes because they are too early/too late/too far away/because you […]

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Hines Ward, UGA Graduate and Dance Champion

  David Graves      May 25th, 2011

While this is for the most part an Admissions blog for the University of Georgia, I would be remiss if I did not mention the latest Dancing with the Stars winner and UGA Graduate, Hines Ward! While I am not a fan of DWTS (although my wife is), I have been drawn to this year’s show due to the participation of Hines Ward. Ward was a great football player at UGA in the mid-1990’s, but he has an even more remarkable personal story. As a Korean/African-American student raised by a single mother who at first spoke little English and worked three jobs to support her family, he dealt with prejudice family turmoil. He then attended UGA, where he gave it his all by playing three different positions under two different coaching staffs. After UGA (and his college degree!), he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and is now in his 15th year with the team. Throughout his professional career he has garnered numerous honors and awards (Super Bowl MVP, 4 time pro-bowl selection, most catches and receiving yards by a Steeler, etc.), and is a leader on and off the field. In 2006, he created the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation, which benefits multi-racial children in South Korea, and in 2010 he was named as a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. And last night, he was named the winner of the 2011 Dancing with Stars Competition! Congratulations to Hines Ward, a great person and […]

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UGA National Scholars named

  David Graves      April 8th, 2011

Over the past few months, a number of national programs have named their scholarship recipients, from the Goldwater Scholars to the new Rangel Graduate Fellowship. As such, here is a partial list of the UGA students who were named as scholars from these programs: Victoria Akin, a third-year student from Macon, GA and a graduate of Mount de Sales Academy, was named a 2011 Goldwater Scholar. Victoria has done research in epidemiology with faculty in the UGA College of Public Health, and the National Science Foundation Research Experience. Michael Burel, a third-year student from Acworth, GA and a graduate of Carlton J. Kell HS, was named a 2011 Goldwater Scholar. Michael has worked as a CURO apprentice in the lab of Dr. Steven Stice, was selected for the NYU Summer Undergraduate Research Program, and conducted research in France this past summer in stem cell work. Amar Mirza, a third-year student from Hiram, GA and a graduate of Marietta HS, was named a 2011 Goldwater Scholar. Amar has conducted research in biochemistry and molecular biology in the lab of Dr. Natarajan Kannan, and participated in CURO, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Exceptional Research Opportunities Program, and has worked in the field at a health clinic in Haiti. Ashley Bartlett, a fourth-year student from Longwood, FL and graduate of Lake Mary HS, is a Rangel Graduate Fellowship recipient, which has a focus on students pursuing careers as US Foreign Service diplomats. Ashley participated in the  World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms program, […]

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Alternative Spring Break

  David Graves      March 14th, 2011

While a large number of college students are headed to the beach, the open seas, or some other vacation destination, over 350 UGA students are traveling throughout the country to participate in Alternative Spring Break. They will be helping to build affordable housing, interacting with children, serving the homeless, and working with various community centers. This is a great chance for our students to give back, and to also learn more about themselves. To learn more about this program, visit the UGA Alternative Spring Break site, which is under the UGA Center for Leadership and Service. In addition, there is a UGA press release that gives even more details about the program. They will be joining thousands of college students across the country who are giving their time and effort to help out those in need. Way to go ASB Dawgs!

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