In a dressing room decorated with couches and chairs adorned with the tears that only years of use know, the four members of Southern Bred Co. search for the name “Kurt Cobain.” Four sets of eyes scan the wall while calling out names, only pausing long enough to laugh at the quirkiest of signatures etched in Sharpie.
As the group settles, a fresh, smoky haze fills the space as Tyler Key, lead singer of Southern Bred Co., lights a cigarette. Each member of the band begins their own preparations − tapping drumsticks, adjusting chords and enjoying a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon − as the beginning of their show at the 40 Watt Club in Athens approaches.
Minutes before they are supposed to perform, a friend walks by Southern Bred Co.’s dressing room and asks them about the infamous “Kurt Cobain” signature. The band is enlightened as their friend shares the myth of the signature and how it was allegedly taken out of the wall altogether, explaining the odd hole to the right of the door. With a laugh, the four guys head out to the stage.
What’s the best part of playing in Athens? “There’s always somewhere to play,” says Seth Key, lead guitarist of Southern Bred Co.
Despite only coming together a mere six months ago, the group, consisting of Tyler, Seth, Ryan Moore, and Tom Golden, have already made a presence playing in Athens, with shows ranging from the Caledonia Lounge to the 40 Watt Club.
Though together for a short time, each member is no stranger to performing and playing. Tyler and Seth, biological brothers from Bowdon have been playing guitar together since they were about 14 and 15 years of age. Tom, an agriculture business and agriculture economics major from Swainsboro, began playing bass about 8 years ago. Ryan has been playing drums since he was a child.
“I don’t ever remember not playing drums,” says Ryan Golden, a marketing major from Alpharetta.
Seth began playing with Ryan after meeting through a mutual friend and finding out they shared a passion for music. Ryan invited Seth to play with his band, playing georgiaugazine.com 7
a few shows soon after. When the band began to fall apart, Ryan and Seth asked Tyler to join them for a show at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta.
From there, the three decided to look for a bass player and came across Tom through other mutual friends. Upon first meeting Tom, everyone had felt like they had already known him. Two weeks later, the band came together to play their first show at Amici in Athens.
“That was one of the most fun shows,” says Tom of playing with the band for the first time.
Since the first shows, Southern Bred Co. has been working on writing songs and practicing as often as possible. For the band, focusing on songs and less on individual skill is a key component of who they are.
“It’s about contributing to the song and making it better,” says Seth, a history major.
Southern Bred Co. is a collaborative effort, as each member brings his own spin to the music. As for a genre, the band does not label itself.
“Whatever sounds good,” says Tyler, a 23-year-old pharmacy technician, of the sound that the guys strive for.
Louis Pelot, 37, who has booked Southern Bred Co. for various locations in Athens, like Boar’s Head Lounge and Nuci’s, believes that the band is an “excellent group of musicians.”
“I think that they’re definitely on their way to a bright career in music,” says Pelot, a musician himself from Homer.
Pelot describes the band’s stage presence as “supernatural” and feels that the audience receives them very well. He also enjoys their energy on stage during performances.
For now, Southern Bred Co. is less concerned with creating original material, and more focused on being productive every time they get together and performing as often as possible.
“It’s an evolving process,” says Seth.
By: Kelsey Green / Photography: Ian Palmer
Every Thursday they don their uniform to prepare for the day ahead. Once a week these 100 cadets suddenly become highly visible among a civilian population, which includes over 38,000 other university students and another 90,000 local residents. They continuously hold themselves to a higher standard than their peers. A pride of the university and the community, these cadets are America’s future leaders.
Through lectures and leadership labs, cadets spend three years inside and outside of the classroom learning various aspects of leadership and immersing themselves in the Army’s traditions, values and basic military skills. Leadership labs allow cadets to take what they have learned in the classroom to the field and experience it firsthand. “There may be a week where we teach how to read a map, here’s how to use a compass, and then on Thursday when we go out in the woods here’s your map and compass. Go find the points,” says Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Felpel, professor of military science.
While lectures for the underclassmen can focus on a tactical skill that coincides with the lab for the week, many times lectures also focus on other lessons that encompass “life skills,” such as time management that they build on the entire time they are in the program. “In my case for the seniors, I am teaching them how to plan that training for the underclassman,” says LTC Felpel. “So as far as lectures go, yes, we teach some of the prep work for those labs, we also teach some things separate from some of the tactical stuff that we do.”
These teachings help prepare rising seniors for the “Super Bowl of a cadet’s career,” says LTC Felpel, what is currently known as the Leadership Development Assessment Course, LDAC. Cadets spend the summer between their junior and senior year in a 35 day assessment camp that stresses cadets and test their leadership abilities and potential. Evaluators observe cadets as they take turns leading squads (a group of 10 people), platoons (30 people) and companies (120 people). Along with theses evaluations, cadets also undergo physical training tests, weapons and land navigation trainings. They also spend time out in the field, having only what gear they carry to help them overcome obstacles and courses. Every skill and all their training is put to the test during this time. This assessment is a turning point in a cadet’s career in that is very important in determining what type of jobs and trainings the cadets will get upon graduation.
After their return from LDAC, the mode of training for the cadet changes. Cadets start learning how to lead others in an organization. “The underclassmen are in receive mode during their freshman and sophomore year,” says Major Trevor Wheless, professor of military science, while “the upperclassmen, especially the seniors, play a georgiaugazine.com 9
huge role in the planning of the actual training during the labs,” says LTC Kurt Felpel. “Freshman, sophomore and junior year is all about you and the cadre prepping you for LDAC. Once you become a senior, it’s not about you anymore; it’s about how are you training the underclass to prep for the LDAC.” While the upperclassmen do not “teach” the lowerclassmen, there is a “coach and mentor relationship” there between the cadets, says LTC Felpel.
Along with the lectures and labs, other opportunities present themselves to the cadets to keep them active within the program and help develop inter- and intrapersonal skills outside of the classroom. Within the battalion, a cadet may join Ranger Challenge, Color Guard or Scabbard and Blade. Ranger Challenge is the varsity sport of Army ROTC. Each year units from all over the nation come to compete against one another in a series of events that push cadets physically and mentally, and enhance leadership abilities and team cohesion. Color Guard protects and presents our nation’s colors at a variety of events including all formal Army ROTC events, UGA football games, and community events. This club reinforces the discipline aspect that ROTC strives to instill. Scabbard and Blade is the joint service Army and Air Force honors club. Open to only juniors and seniors, Scabbard and Blade fosters relationships with the community through service projects within Athens. While the club itself is open to only junior and seniors, these community service projects are open to all cadets. “Are they gonna make you a better leader? Maybe, maybe not. It’s not gonna affect you per se, but they are extra-curricular clubs, and the army is not looking for a one track individual. They are looking for a well-rounded individual,” says LTC Felpel.
Along with the support that Scabbard and Blade and the Color Guard provide to the community through their various events, the program holds two major community events each year to honor those that have been killed in action, a 5K in the fall and a golf tournament in the spring. The 5K is on or about 9/11 to honor two UGA cadets that have been killed in action, Ashley Henderson Huff and Noah Harris along with Joshua Reeves, not a former cadet but a young man with strong ties to UGA. “Those three families we invite back [for the run], and we take the proceeds we make from the fund and put them towards a scholarship in honor of those individuals,” says LTC Felpel.
While the program continues to produce influential leaders that impact our nation, Army ROTC also makes a significant contribution to the lives of the cadets, the university and our community. The ROTC programs help cadets in various ways, such as financially or personally. Like the Active Duty Scholarship, ROTC helps cadets pay for “essentially everything,” says Cadet Captain Shawn Kane, a senior management information systems major from Suwanee. So for many cadets it helps them make goals, like receiving a degree, possible when it may not have been before. It has also helped many cadets develop interpersonal relationships. “It has gotten us out there,” says Cadet Zach Conyers, a senior sociology major from Fort Rook, Ala. “We’ve had to work with other organizations. We’ve gone and talked at sorority chapters. It really gets you out there if you put yourself forward,” says Cadet Captain Conyers. “It’s what you put into it is what you get out. You can be as reserved and drawn off as you want. I’ve found the more you open up, the more you have a tight group of friends here [in the program],” says Cadet Captain Kane, “It’s helped me open up more as a person. I’ve started being able to communicate better.”
By developing and benefiting the cadet, the ROTC simultaneously gives back to the community. LTC Felpel says that, “We, [the ROTC program], impact the community by the quality of the individuals that come out of here. They make a good name for the university and the military, and I think it makes them proud to see those kinds of folks doing well and leading our nation after they come from the University of Georgia.”
Story by Kelsey Green • Photos by Lauren Maldonado
Every day of the week, several different volunteers dedicate a few hours of their time and lend a hand to the food-insecure seniors of the Athens community. Through the Campus Kitchen at the University of Georgia, students and faculty help end senior hunger and reduce food waste by collecting food that would have otherwise been thrown out and turning it into meals that will be delivered around the community to those who need it most. Founded on October 4, 2012, the Campus Kitchen at UGA became the 33rd and newest branch of the nationwide program. Paired with Our Daily Bread, the Athens Community Council on Aging and the Campus Kitchen at UGA’s other various volunteer programs, students and faculty immediately see the effect they have on the community, where approximately one out of five Athens-Clarke County residents are considered food-insecure.
Volunteering with the Campus Kitchen at UGA is flexible and open to students with busy schedules. “The great thing about our organization is that we have a lot of flexibility,” says co-President Elizabeth Parr, a senior economic and health promotion and behavior major from Atlanta. With shifts each day and varying roles within the organization, students and faculty can always find a time that works for them. Options include cooking shifts on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, produce harvesting with UGArden on Wednesday mornings and afternoons, meal deliveries on Thursdays, meal packing on Mondays and food collection on Sundays. “There is no expectation with how much you volunteer. You can volunteer at one shift, or you can volunteer a ton. We’ll love you either way,” says Parr.
As part of the food collection shifts, volunteers sort through all the food that the local grocery stores donate and decide what can and cannot be used within the organization. If food cannot be used, the Campus Kitchen at UGA is associated with other community partner organizations such as Our Daily Bread, an organization that works to feed the homeless, to ensure that food is not wasted. Rebecca Webb, a senior biology major from Kennesaw, says, “Meal plan sorts through the food, and a lot of times there’s just too much food that can’t be incorporated or will expire before we can cook it, so we bring it to Our Daily Bread.”
A way volunteers truly connect with the community and their clients is through the Campus Kitchen at UGA’s additional volunteer program, Lunch Buddy. “This is the program where we send our students and faculty members once a week to eat with our clients,” says Parr. The Athens Community Council on Aging helps coordinate this program by pairing up the Campus Kitchen at UGA’s volunteers with members of the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program. The ACCA’s Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program helps inter-generational families by providing them with home-based and community resources to improve their physical and emotional health. As a part of the Lunch Buddy program, volunteers go to the homes of the seniors and spend time with them eating, trying to help fill that inter-generational gap and give the seniors company and social interaction that they may not otherwise have. “Our role is to bring them healthy food, and we work to make sure the seniors are eating well-balanced meals.We don’t just drop the food off; we spend an hour and eat lunch with them. It’s a really fun experience,” says Rachel Lopilato, a senior biological chemistry major from Alpharetta. “I learned so much from my lunch buddy. You’re there to help them, but then at some point you become friends and you start to help each other.” According to Lopilato, the program has continued to really grow, and in two semesters the number of lunch buddies has tripled.
Along with the growing number of lunch buddies, in the 2013-2014 year alone, 881 students volunteered at least once with organization dedicating 4,064 hours of volunteering. During that time, 31,674 pounds of food were recovered and 13,594 meals were prepared for 219 clients.
With its growing numbers and assortment of ways students and community members alike can volunteer, the Campus Kitchen at the University of Georgia makes a long-lasting impact on the Athens community by reducing unnecessary food waste and helping those who may need it. Webb says her favorite part is “being able to really see the direct impact you have on the community. Whereas, you know, a lot of times you can either donate money which you ensure it goes to good things or you can donate blood and it goes off, but here you see the meals and you can see exactly where they go. It’s pretty awesome.”