The University of Georgia’s impact—in fields ranging from the humanities and arts to the sciences—extends around the globe and continues to grow.
Just this week, we announced a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will enable the University’s Willson Center for Humanities and Arts to expand its Global Georgia Initiative. The initiative was launched in 2013 to put global issues into local contexts, and it has brought internationally recognized speakers to Athens. Thanks to the support of the Mellon Foundation, the Global Georgia Initiative will expand to complement existing collaborations in Athens-Clarke County and also in Putnam County—where the Willson Center has partnered with local schools and organizations to document the county’s history—and on Sapelo Island, which has been the site of a community/university partnership through the Georgia Virtual History Program.
Other international collaborations are thriving, as well. UGA’s network of partnerships within the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais was recently recognized as a model of international collaboration by NAFSA, the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. The partnerships are facilitated by a seed grant program that began in 2015 after a data-driven analysis showed that an outsized portion of UGA’s international research collaborations could be traced to several institutions in Minas Gerais. Through the partnership, nearly 20 collaborative research projects have been identified in fields ranging from human health to linguistics and agriculture.
Some notable examples of UGA-Minas Gerais partnerships include research on how temperature impacts the spread of the Zika virus among disease-carrying mosquitoes, work to preserve indigenous languages and poultry research that aims to improve production. Graduate students play key roles in these research projects, and more than 30 undergraduate students have studied or interned in Minas Gerais through the University’s Portuguese Flagship Program, which is funded by a U.S. Department of Defense grant.
Overall, nearly 30 percent of our students study abroad, and UGA has more than 200 instructional, research and outreach collaborations in 62 countries around the world. Through our international connections, the University of Georgia prepares students for success in today’s globalized world while laying the foundation for new discoveries, insights and innovations.