May 2009

From the President
Take 5
Cover Story
Extending EDUCATION
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An ounce of prevention
Patent power
Butterfly dreams
Closeups
Colley CAN
Paying it forward
Around the Arch
Best of show
UGA and CDC partner to fight disease
Musical treasure hunt leads to a gem
Grammy winner!
Ad research again at top of field
Landscape architecture leads the field
Blast from the past
More honors for Faust
UGA gets its first Howard Hughes award
Terry among top in licensing exams
Yoculan’s last bow
Age is just a number
Equestrian wins again
Athletics funding bolsters academics
Let it snow
UGA honors Dooley
Warnell School gets $6.7 million to study Appalachians
Students get Udall, Goldwater scholarships
“All Pro Dad” program extends to UGA
Watching history unfold
President Emeritus Henry King Stanford dies
Going Green—Sustainapalooza
Going Green—Recyclemainia
Going Green—Recycle to win
Going Green—Clean and green
Going Green—Sustainable recreation
Hold the phone!
UGA gets $8.3 million boost for stem cell research
Uga leaves his “papers” to UGA
Alumni News & Events
2009 Alumni Award Recipients
Letter from the UGA Alumni Association Board President
Alumni chapters
Alumni Profiles
On Broadway
Reviving the craft
Lights, camera, action!
Class Notes
Class Notes
Grad Notes
Obituaries
Class Notes Extras
A bulldog’s view of the inauguration
Alumnus, former GM editor, recovers from war injuries
Dancing with the (Athens) stars
Where are they now?
Why I give
Back Page
Arvin Scott

Where are they now?

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As a UGA student in the 1990s, Rob Sutherland studied biology, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the same time. He went on to Oxford University as a 1996 Rhodes Scholar, studying molecular ecology.

Rob Sutherland

Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker

Today, Sutherland tends shop at Good Dirt, the Athens pottery studio he owns with his wife Kim.

“Firing the kiln is like doing an experiment,” he says. “You’ve got things you can control and you try to understand the system to produce the best results you can. Having a science background and being able to understand the chemistry really helps. I think potters without any higher education at all would have trouble. I can tinker and figure out what the problem is or why something isn’t working.”

It was after his time in England, where he earned a Ph.D., that he realized he did not want to be a scientist.

“I landed in a lab, and that’s probably what ruined me on science,” he says. “I didn’t love it enough to put up with the day in, day out of transferring liquids from one tube to another and waiting for results. I stuck with it, but by the time I was done with [the program], I just didn’t want to do that kind of work anymore.”

While at UGA, ecology professor Jim Porter (second from left) referred to Sutherland as his best student in 25 years. Eugene Odum (at left), the “father of modern ecology,” and President Knapp also offered Sutherland congratulations on winning the Rhodes scholarship. Special photo

While at UGA, ecology professor Jim Porter (second from left) referred to Sutherland as his best student in 25 years. Eugene Odum (at left), the “father of modern ecology,” and President Knapp also offered Sutherland congratulations on winning the Rhodes scholarship.

After a short stint teaching science and math at an Arizona school, he and Kim returned to Athens. They took a class at Good Dirt and Sutherland realized his creativity. He knew he wouldn’t be returning to science.

He bought the studio in 2004 and began a new career path. He teaches classes and cares for his 6-year-old son Rowan.

“It’s kind of weird when your business stems from your hobby,” he says. “I still enjoy what I’m doing, but now I can make money doing it. We’re not getting rich, but we’re not struggling, and I love what I’m doing.”