On Feb. 29, the University of North Georgia (UNG) celebrated UNG Day at the Capitol, an annual event to showcase some of UNG's recent achievements, innovative programs and points of pride with the Georgia legislature.
University administrators, faculty and students talked with lawmakers, including Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston, a UNG alumnus.
Joshua Page, a junior business management major and Student Government Association president for UNG’s Cumming Campus, said meeting state lawmakers brings a personal perspective to the legislative process.
“The lawmakers that we visited all knew that we were here today and they were happy that we were here to see them and to thank them for their support of UNG,” Page said. “We’ve really got a lot of support from our state lawmakers.”
The UNG contingent highlighted the university's leadership development initiatives and new or expanded academic programs tied into high-demand career opportunities, including cyber security, film studies and healthcare.
"Designated as a State Leadership Institution and The Military College of Georgia, the University of North Georgia provides a unique educational experience that produces military, professional and civic leaders who serve in communities throughout the state and around the globe," said UNG President Bonita Jacobs. "Through a range of degree programs, UNG is preparing a highly educated workforce to meet the region's needs and leaders for a global economy."
Initiatives announced by UNG in the past 12 months include:
- Creation of the Center for Cyber Operations Education to provide educational resources, research activities, networking opportunities, and career training for military and civilian careers in cybersecurity, cyber operations and cyber defense. Georgia has some 115 information security companies generating more than $4.7 billion in annual revenue and is home to the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon.
- Establishment of the Institute for Leadership and Strategic Studies, a cross-disciplinary organizational structure to support coordination of academic, co-curricular, career placement, and leadership development programs related to UNG's Corps of Cadets. UNG is one of only six senior military colleges in the nation.
- Approval of four-year degrees in both film studies and digital arts. The two complementary academic programs help prepare graduates to enter Georgia's growing movie and television workforce, which results in nearly 78,000 jobs and $3.8 billion in wages, according to a report published by the Motion Picture Association of America.
- Expansion of the four-year nursing program to the Gainesville Campus to address a critical need for more healthcare workers, just months after a new hospital opened within 10 miles of UNG's Gainesville Campus.