From groundbreaking research to unique educational experiences, the University of West Georgia’s most popular stories displayed a wide array. As we reflect on 2016, here’s a look back on just a few of the accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends.

Craig Foster1. Ink Master Surprises MBA Class

Students enrolled in Dr. Erich B. Bergiel’s Organizational Theory and Behavior MBA class were in for a special experience on June 15. On what was expected to be an ordinary presentation day, students were surprised with a visit from Ink Master’s Craig Foster, star of the popular Spike TV reality show.

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David Johnson2. Building the Future: Donation Puts UWG on Track for New Building

 In the very near future, Maple Street could have a brand new, state-of-the-art building to showcase thanks to a substantial donation from alumnus David Johnson, co-founder of St. Croix-based company Cane Bay Partners VI, LLLP. UWG’s Richards College of Business is in need of a new building and has begun raising funds for the endeavor. However, that goal is now coming closer to fruition thanks to Johnson’s donation.

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AT&T Center3. Scoring the Dream Job: UWG Alum Jeremy Sheffield Accepts Job with AT&T Center

Sports dominate the South. It’s a way of life, and there’s no escaping it. Growing up, you play every sport imaginable, and it becomes a part of you. The dream of possibly working for a professional sports organization begins to form. For a few this dream becomes a reality, and for alum Jeremy Sheffield, it has.

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Chemistry student in the lab4. UWG Joins the Elite Eight in Georgia Higher Education with a Doctoral Research Classification

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education has upgraded UWG’s classification to Doctoral Research University R3. The classification, released in February, places UWG among a higher class of institutions for its research work for the first time in the institution’s history. Only seven other Georgia institutions of higher learning qualify for doctoral university status. UWG is an R3 (moderate research) category, which is comparable to four of the other doctoral universities of the eight in the state.

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A woman crying5. Mourning After: UWG Professor Conducts Grief Research with Students on Campus

Dr. Mary Alice Varga has been involved in grief research since her doctoral studies at the University of Tennessee. Her involvement researching and publishing on the topic of grief is extensive, and this year she received the UWG College of Education Outstanding Research Award. Recently, she has brought her focus to the UWG student population in a new study.

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Adedolapo Adebola-Wilson6. Picture Perfect: Business Student Finds New Outlook, Opportunity Abroad

If I were to tell you that a student recently held a photo exhibition in Atlanta, you might say, “Oh, impressive! A UWG art student had a show in Atlanta!” But you would be only half right. Yes, it is impressive, but you’re a little off base on the discipline. The student I’m referring to isn’t an art student – Adedolapo Adebola-Wilson is a business student double majoring in management and management of information systems.

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Scott Evans and Danielle Tackett7. Misty Evans Endowed Scholarship Fund Established

UWG will once again benefit from the generosity of others with the establishment of the Misty Evans Endowed Scholarship Fund. The fund was established by Misty’s husband, Scott Evans, and her sister, Danielle Tackett, to serve as a lasting tribute to her dedication to her family and community.

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Three college students8. Grow West: UWG Enrollment Continues to Increase

UWG announced that it expects to have another year of record enrollment after preliminary estimates show 13,400 students. The increase is 4 percent higher than last year’s enrollment, and would mark the seventh consecutive year the university has seen record enrollment.

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Dr. Kyle Marrero9. UWG’s Marrero Named One of the Most Influential Georgians

For the second consecutive year, UWG President Dr. Kyle Marrero has been named one of the top 100 Most Influential Georgians in 2016 by Georgia Trend, a magazine of Georgia business, politics, and economic development.

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Venus statue10. The Eye of the Beholder: Student’s Post on Beauty, Amy Schumer Goes Viral

Whitney Davis, a senior psychology major,  got some serious buzz from an Instagram collage she made pairing a sculpture of the goddess Aphrodite with a picture of comedian Amy Schumer. She pointed out the similarities of the images in an effort to show that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. For that, she received attention from national magazines such as SELF, Fitness, Salon, Elle, Yahoo Beauty and Today. Amy Schumer even reposted the image on her own Instagram account and Tweeted about it.

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Posted on January 13, 2017