Casey Nicholaw Tapped to Direct the Mean Girls Musical

first_img Tina Fey has brought in the big guns. Broadway hitmaker Casey Nicholaw (Something Rotten!, Aladdin and The Book of Mormon) has been tapped to helm and choreograph the much-buzzed about developmental lab of the Mean Girls musical. According to an audition notice, the industry event is scheduled to run April 3, 2017 through April 29. As previously reported, the stage adaptation of Fey’s hit 2004 movie is set to land in Washington, D.C. next fall.Created by Fey, her husband, 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt composer Jeff Richmond, and lyricist Nell Benjamin, plans for a musical version of the 2004 film were first announced in January 2013. We then had to endure endless teasing about rumored workshops.Based on the book Queen Bees and Wannabes, Mean Girls follows a group of popular girls, known as the Plastics, who rule a suburban high school with an iron first and the group of outcasts who takes them down. The film was written by Fey and starred Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried and Lizzy Caplan.And, just because its the holiday season, remind yourself below of the one musical number already incorporated in the film, “Jingle Bell Rock.” You’re welcome. Casey Nicholaw(Photo: Caitlin McNaney) View Comments Related Showscenter_img Mean Girls Show Closed This production ended its run on March 11, 2020last_img read more

Food science career

first_imgBy Brooke HatfieldUniversity of Georgia Tried to become a mathematicianA senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison almost 40 yearsago, Lund had a background in chemistry. But after falling inlove and getting engaged, he changed his major to math because hethought it would be less time-consuming.He ended up working in a food science lab doing statisticalanalysis. And after one summer, he was convinced he’d found hiscareer choice.”The real advantage in attending a college or university is theopportunity to explore,” said Lund, now executive director of theNorth Central Regional Association of State AgriculturalExperiment Station Directors. “Take advantage of it.”Academic blinders might prevent some students from developing aninterest in food science, he said. And students who limitthemselves to classes inside their major might miss out on otherthings as well. Lund said his delivering the University of Georgia’s annualWoodroof Lecture March 27 in Athens, Ga., was “an opportunity tolet undergraduates know what a math major is doing in foodscience.” For Daryl Lund, the path to a food science career wasn’t astraight one. But he’s convinced others can learn from that. Foodscience isn’t always an obvious choice for a student. But it’s agood one. Take classes outside your field”I think every student should be required to take courses outsidehis or her college,” Lund said. “Taking an introductory foodscience course should be great fun. And you’ll learn somethingabout food and you.”Lund said food science outside traditional classrooms is vital,too. As chair of the International Union of Food Science andTechnology’s Distance Education Task Force, he’s seen distanceeducation help not only professionals in the field, but villagersin sub-Saharan Africa.”It’s estimated that 15 to 50 percent of all harvested foodspoils,” Lund said. “We have an obligation to share knowledge offood science throughout the world so that people are served andhunger is reduced.”Lund urges university faculties to take a hand in gettingstudents into food science. “We absolutely must mount morediligent efforts to recruit undergraduates,” he said.Professional diversity on a science faculty is important, too,Lund said, to a food science program’s overall strength.”Most departments are hiring chemists, biochemists, chemicalengineers, microbiologists, nutritionists and physicists,” hesaid. “I think that’s very good for the future of food science,because it constantly reminds us that food science is an applieddiscipline that relies on fundamental sciences.”The Woodroof Lecture series is named for J.G. Woodroof, a formerprofessor and creator of the food science department at the UGAGeorgia Experiment Station in Griffin, Ga. Each year, a leader infood science is invited to present the lecture.last_img read more

How cells divide

first_imgBy Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaAnyone who made it to high school biology has learned about mitosis, or cell division: One cell divides into two, two into four and so forth in a process designed to pass on exact copies of the DNA in chromosomes to daughter cells.New research, by a University of Georgia team, shows how the genes that control this process are regulated.The study is important for cancer research because in tumors, the regulation of cell division goes awry and normal cell growth and behavior are lost.Understanding how normal cell division is regulated will allow scientists to identify potential targets for cancer therapeutics, said Stephen Dalton, the molecular geneticist who led the UGA team.“This is fundamental molecular cancer research,” Dalton said. “One major problem in cancer is mis-segregation, [when the cell’s] ability to equally divide chromosomes is lost. One [daughter] cell might get too much genetic information and the other too little.“This is why many tumors have unbalanced genetic makeup,” he said. “ The cells lose the ability to accurately segregate their chromosomes because control mechanisms, known as checkpoint controls, are lost.”Dalton worked with Bruce Kemp, deputy director of St. Vincent’s Institute for Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia and UGA graduate student Cameron McLean.Using Brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as their model system, the group found that molecules called cyclin-dependent kinases drive the mitosis process. More than 30 genes are switched on at the beginning of the process and switched off after chromosome segregation is complete.“The yeast is easily manipulated genetically,” Dalton said. “And because the mechanisms of cell division are conserved between yeast and humans, the observations we make in yeast, in general, are applicable to humans.”Now, Dalton and his team have turned their attention from yeast to human cells. They are focusing primarily on a group of molecules that have been implicated in many tumors. Collectively, these genes are known as oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.“Our work is now focusing on how some of these initial observations in yeast can be applied to understanding molecular control of cell division in human cells,” Dalton said, “and how that can be applied to understanding cancer.”The researchers have already made some novel observations about how the cyclin-dependent protein kinases function in human cells. Their findings will be published soon in a separate report.“We’ve identified some new mechanisms by which oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes are controlled,” Dalton said. “Over the next year, I think we’ll get a clear idea of new roles these molecules play in early cell development and then try to fit the pieces together to see how they may influence cell behavior in the context of cancer.“We’ve made some observations which fly in the face of the [scientific] literature,” he said. “It’s going to be quite controversial but very exciting. It’s going to have some strong implications for the role these molecules play in cancer development.”The paper outlining the initial research with yeast was published in the July 15 issue of Genes and Development.A geneticist of international renown, Dalton joined the faculty of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in January.He is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scientists and a consultant for BresaGen, a cell therapy biotech company in Georgia.Cat Holmes is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.last_img read more

Reclusive spider

first_imgBy April SorrowUniversity of GeorgiaMany Georgia doctors have likely diagnosed a patient’s suspect wound as a brown recluse spider bite. There’s just one problem with this: The spider really doesn’t call the Deep South home, says a University of Georgia spider expert. Over the past six years, only 19 brown recluse spiders have been identified in a study conducted in Georgia for the spider. And most were found in the northwest corner of the state, said Nancy Hinkle, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Brown recluse spiders have only been collected 58 times in Georgia.“Hundreds of entomologists, extension agents from across the state, thousands of pest control inspectors and millions of citizens have been able to find brown recluse spiders in only 31 Georgia counties,” she said. From 2002 to May of 2008, Hinkle tracked verified brown recluse reports in Georgia. The findings were published in the January issue of the Journal of Medical Entomology. The spider is brown but has a darker, violin-shaped design where its legs attach. With its legs extended, it’s about the size of a quarter. If the brown recluse spiders in the state caused all the reported wounds, she said, they’d be very busy spiders. Hinkle received thousands of samples from across the state. Rick Vetter from the University of California at Riverside identified the samples. He is the world’s expert on the brown recluse spider. Brown recluse spider bites are very rare in Georgia. Hinkle said there is only one confirmed account of anyone being bitten by one in Georgia. However, 963 reports of bites in 103 counties have been filed at Georgia poison centers in the last five years. Over-diagnosis is a problem nationwide. Hinkle said South Carolina physicians diagnosed 738 bites in 2004, but only 44 brown recluse spiders have been found in the state’s recorded history. Similarly, Floridians claimed 95 brown recluse bites in 2000, but Florida has recorded brown recluse spiders at only 11 places in more than 100 years. The study was prompted by Hinkle’s arrival from California.”When I first came to Georgia, I heard several people say they knew someone who’d seen or been seriously wounded by a recluse,” she said. “I found that odd since the recluse is a Midwesterner, not a Southerner.”The spider’s native range does include North Georgia, but its distribution is limited there.Hinkle hopes the study will educate Georgia’s medical community and reduce the number of erroneous recluse bite cases. A mark on the skin that looks like a spider bite could be something more serious.She believes many assumed brown recluse bites could be methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.MRSA is a type of staph infection resistant to antibiotics like penicillin, amoxicillin and oxacillin. MRSA causes mild skin infections that result in pimples or boils, but it can also cause more serious skin lesions or infect surgical wounds.Incorrectly diagnosing MRSA as a spider bite, and vice versa, can result in a patient getting the wrong therapy, Hinkle said.“MRSA infections require a specific set of antibiotics,” she said. “Brown recluse spider bites, on the other hand, cause tissue damage by salivary secretions in their venom and antibiotics have no effect on salivary secretions.” Other misdiagnosed wounds could be infections, insect bites, diabetes, bed sores, Lyme disease, anthrax or necrotizing bacteria, some of which can be fatal if not treated fast, she said. Almost all brown recluse bites heal without medical intervention, Hinkle said. And in spite of all the horror stories, only 1 percent requires medical attention.(April Sorrow is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Georgia biofuels

first_imgDoes Georgia have an advantage in bioenergy production?Yes, because we can grow great quantities of biomass through our agriculture and forestry industries. Universities like University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and others provide the technology. The UGA Complex Carbohydrate Research Center is strong in the biological sciences. In addition, the Agricultural Innovation Center and the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority assist companies interested in getting into the business through their “One Stop Shop.” What kind of biofuel research does your team at UGA conduct? By Susan VarlamoffUniversity of Georgia Do you think we will achieve the goal set by the national 25 by ‘25 Alliance to produce 25 percent of our energy from the nation’s farms and forests? With the current high price of oil, there is a strong incentive to meet it. However, we need more investment in research, development and production. The Europeans are advanced in bioenergy production because they have a high tax on gasoline that is used to fund it.center_img How much petroleum-based energy can be replaced with bioenergy in Georgia? About 30 percent of our energy needs can be met with bioenergy today. By patching together multiple strategies, we can achieve this amount. This would include burning chicken litter to heat farms in north Georgia, fermenting outdated cola products for ethanol, generating biogas from cow manure on dairy farms, harvesting landfill gas for electricity and producing cellulosic ethanol from pine waste in south Georgia. All of these projects exist today in Georgia and many more are coming on line. Cellulosic ethanol is being promoted as part of the next generation of bioenergy. Is it economically viable?Yes, at the current price of oil, it is economically viable. But we must mass produce it. It should be in large scale production in five years. In your opinion, is any one feedstock more viable than another? Algae shows great promise because it grows rapidly in warm climates like what we have in Georgia. It can produce 2,000 gallons of oil per acre. Soybeans generate approximately 50 gallons for each acre. Extracting the oils from the algae is difficult, and we are working to resolve this problem. Essentially, we try different processes on a variety of agricultural and forestry wastes and fuel crops to create bioenergy. The wastes include peanut shells, poultry litter and forestry residues and promising fuel crops include algae, bamboo and kenaf. We’re not opposed to trying any feedstocks as long as there are great quantities available. Through a thermochemical process called pyrolosis, we heat biomass in the absence of oxygen to produce oil, gas and charcoal. UGA engineers and soil scientists collaborate to characterize the char and determine its value as a fertilizer or soil amendment. We examine the entire carbon cycling process. Gasification is another thermochemical process we can use to make liquid fuels. This is done by heating the feedstock with a little oxygen. UGA CAES scientists work with researchers in the UGA Warnell School of Forest Resources to convert wood waste from sustainably managed forests into cellulosic ethanol. We look at the full life cycle of making biofuels and part of that involves pre-processing the waste. Biomass is heated at low temperatures to increase its energy density and remove less desirable properties. This works well for wood waste and makes it easier to transport and more efficient in co-firing with existing power plants. last_img read more

Workshops for landscapers

first_imgTo help landscapers better estimate the costs of their jobs and bid better, the University of Georgia is holding a workshop March 17-18 in Athens, Ga.Specialists with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will discuss landscape installation, maintenance, bidding and software programs they’ve developed to make running a landscape business easier.Participants will learn how to use Excel-based cost estimating and bidding spreadsheets. Day one will focus on estimating landscape installation costs using Hort Scape software. Day two will focus on estimating landscape maintenance costs and job bidding using Hort Management software. The daylong workshops will start at 8:30 a.m. each day in Conner Hall room 202 on the UGA Athens campus.The cost is $150 for both days or $100 for either day. The fee includes breaks, lunch, handouts and copies of the software. For more information, call (706) 542-0808 or visit To receive registration information by mail or fax, call (706) 542-0808 or (706) 542-2861.last_img read more

2013 Ag Forecast

first_imgThe University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development has announced the date and locations of the 2013 Farm to Port Ag Forecast. The 2013 Georgia Ag Forecast will celebrate the growing export market for Georgia’s produce and the international impact of Georgia agriculture. The university’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Department of Agriculture have sponsored the annual seminar series for the last several years. The six half-day programs bring together agricultural economists and economic development experts from around the state to give producers and business owners a preview of what they can expect from the market in the coming year. “The main objective of the ag forecast is to provide Georgia’s producers and agribusiness leaders with information on where we thing the industry is headed in the upcoming year to help them plan more effectively,” said Kent Wolfe, director of the Center of Agribusiness and Economic Development. Economists from The Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development and The Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics will be delivering the forecasts. In addition to the annual Ag Forecast, economists will discuss the growing export market for Georgia’s agricultural products and the potential for Georgia agriculture. The export session will include producers and agribusinesses from across the state who will share their stories of how they were able to access overseas markets. The 2013 Farm to Port Ag Forecast will be held January 25 in Athens, January 28 in Rome, January 29 in Macon, January 30 in Tifton, January 31 in Bainbridge and February 1 in Lyons. Registration will open Nov. 1, but those interested in attending may want to mark their calendars now. While agriculture makes up a large part of their economies, Lyons and Bainbridge have never hosted the Ag Forecast before, and it’s been several years since Rome or Athens have hosted the event. Organizers wanted to bring the annual agricultural outlook event to new audiences, so they decided to take advantage of new conference facilities in Rome, Lyons and Bainbridge. “We are excited to host the Ag Forecast in Lyons,” said Cheryl A. Poppel, Toombs County Extension coordinator. “Several of our producers have attended the event in Statesboro. We hope the local event will bring more producers from our area.” Mitchell May, Extension coordinator in Decatur County, thinks hosting the forecast will help attract a local audience, but also believes that people were likely to show up for this year’s forecast anyway. It’s shaping up to be a good year for several Georgia commodities, and people want to see what next year will bring, May said. Information about the 2013 Ag Forecast will be posted at and on Twitter through @GaAgForecast.last_img read more

Blueberry Freeze

first_imgEarly blueberry varieties felt the chill of deep freezes during January and February, according to University of Georgia blueberry specialist Erick Smith.“I do know that the flowers that were open during the freezes, especially with that last long spell, they probably were frozen,” Smith said. “On the early varieties, that may have constituted about 40 to 50 percent (of flowers).”Georgia blueberry producers farm mostly Southern highbush and rabbiteye varieties. The Southern highbush varieties are the earliest to bloom and were the berries impacted by January and February temperatures. UGA plant pathologist Phil Brannen cautions that the same fate could fall on rabbiteye blueberries, which are beginning to bloom.“The next week or two for the rabbiteye varieties will be critical. Even after you have small berries form, you can still have cold weather significant enough to lose berries as well. There’s still a month at least where we have to look at the temperatures before we’ll be out of the woods, as far as cold damage,” Brannen said. “If you look at some of the historical freezes we’ve had, they have been really late and have done significant damage to our blueberry crop.”Winter freezes are nothing new for Georgia blueberry producers. Many prepare for the cold temperatures with frost protection systems, which apply water through overhead irrigation systems. This practice protects the plant’s bud from being damaged, Smith said.“As water moves from liquid to solid, it’s 32 degrees and there’s a little bit of energy that’s given off as it moves from a liquid state to a solid state. During that time when water’s freezing, it’s protecting the bud by not allowing it to go any colder than 32 degrees,” Smith said.Many farmers applied water on their plants for three days straight during the worst cold snaps, Smith said. However, even with frost protection, some farmers saw crop damage. The temperatures were just that low. “The frost protection really did help in some situations. But given how cold it got and what the dew point was, some of those early varieties that were producing flower blossoms—no matter what you did, it wouldn’t have helped,” said Renee Holland, UGA Extension blueberry specialist for the Southeast District.According to the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network, low temperatures in Bacon County — the top blueberry-producing county in Georgia — dipped to 25, 23 and 29 degrees from Feb. 19-21. The weekend before, back-to-back nights of low temperatures were recorded at 28 and 28 Feb. 13-14.Even as spring approaches and warmer temperatures are felt on a daily basis, Brannen believes there is still potential for certain diseases to arise that can impact frozen plant tissue.“On the freezes that we had a few weeks ago, the potential is there for Botrytis to come in on freeze-damaged tissue, and then sometimes you’ll have Botryosphaeria, which will also come in on that tissue. It can actually go down and kill the whole plant,” Brannen said. “There’s a direct effect of the freeze damage on the blossoms or the buds, but they die immediately. There can be additional issues with diseases that can take out a whole plant.”Georgia is the country’s top blueberry producer. According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, almost 28,000 acres were planted in 2013, with a farm gate value of $312.7 million.last_img read more

University of Vermont Extension Names Associate Directors

first_imgUniversity of Vermont Extension Names Associate DirectorsUniversity of Vermont Extension recently announced that Gary Deziel has become the new associate director for statewide Staff Support and Operations and Rick LeVitre has become the new associate director for statewide Faculty Support and Evaluation. Deziel will concentrate on expanding the viability and impact of local University of Vermont offices, aligning Extension staff and programs to enhance efficiency of operations that will support programs focusing on emerging and critical issues facing Vermont. He will also be facilitating organizational and individual staff development. UVM Extension has local offices in 11 of 14 counties in Vermont, with the state office located at UVM. With a strong background in communications, research, and operations, Deziel has been chair of the Northwest Region, based in St. Albans, since 2001. He earned an MBA degree from the University of Vermont in 2005. He is looking forward to working with the approximately 60 staff members located across the state in local offices.LeVitre’s duties will include supporting 18 field faculty located in local UVM Extension offices across the state with programs that focus on helping individuals and groups cultivate healthy communities. This work includes supporting local government officials, agricultural enterprises, and supporting other local programs aimed at helping individuals. His work to link University of Vermont Extension faculty with other University faculty and staff on campus will expand UVM’s impact in serving local community needs, and facilitate program partnerships with other departments, agencies, and organizations. LeVitre will also work to establish and maintain linkages with local legislators on the important educational issues that can be impacted with UVM outreach programs.Presently chair of the Southern Region, LeVitre has served Extension for more than 25 years, working as a 4-H youth specialist, a farm manager, a regional faculty member, a sustainable agricultural specialist, and a legislative liaison and regional chair, working with faculty and program staff in the areas of natural resources, nutrition, agriculture, and youth programming.Both associate directors will work out of the new location for the University of Vermont State Extension Office in Colchester, just off I89, Exit 16. For more information, call (802) 656-2990. -30-last_img read more

School of Small Business initiates incubator space program

first_imgThe School of Small Business Practice, located on Route 100B a mile or so from I 89, Exit 9, has initiated a new incubator space program. This program provides low cost private and shared rental accommodation with high speed Internet, copier, scanning and fax accessibility for early or start-up small businesses. The program also offers learning support services crafted to match each clients early business needs.last_img