First-Year Odyssey Teaching Awards

2014 First-Year Odyssey Teaching Awards

(From left) Laura Jolly, vice president for instruction, congratulates Wayde Brown, Jeb Byers, William Kisaalita, Ronald Pegg and Melissa Harshman, director of the First-Year Odyssey Program.


Four University of Georgia faculty were honored with First-Year Odyssey Teaching Awards at a reception celebrating the success of the First-Year Odyssey Seminar program.


Award recipients and their seminar titles included:

  • Wayde Brown, associate professor and assistant dean of research, College of Environment and Design, "Stories Behind the Bricks;"
  • James "Jeb" Byers, associate professor, Odum School of Ecology, "The Ecology of Invasive Species;"
  • William Kisaalita, professor and graduate coordinator, College of Engineering, "Things You Can (or Should Not) Do to End World Poverty;"
  • Ronald Pegg, associate professor, food science and technology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, "Coffee Technology."


The awards recognized outstanding instructors who have demonstrated innovation in instruction, connection of seminar content to the instructor's research, and how FYOS program goals are incorporated into the seminar.


The First-Year Odyssey Seminars are designed to introduce first-year students to the academic life of the University. Students engage with faculty and other first-year students in a small class environment to learn about the unique academic culture of UGA. Significant support for the First-Year Odyssey Seminar program is provided by gifts from alumni and friends to the Georgia Fund.


By the end of spring semester, 16,425 students completed a First-Year Odyssey Seminar. Faculty from every school and college and more than 85 departments have participated in the program. Launched in 2011, the FYOS program provides students with an introduction to academic life at UGA by engaging them with faculty and other first year students in a small class environment. Students learn about UGA's academic culture through lectures, social events and learning opportunities outside the classroom. There are more than 300 courses in topics ranging from "Animal Forensic CSI" to "The Science of Chocolate" to the "Zombie Plague." For more information, see