Seven University of Georgia students studying in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have embarked on the opportunity of a lifetime — serving as Congressional Agricultural Fellows in Washington, D.C.The offices of Georgia Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson and Reps. Sanford Bishop, Doug Collins, Buddy Carter, Rick Allen and Austin Scott are hosting the students during the 12-week fellowship in the nation’s capital. The 2017 Fellows stay in Delta Hall, UGA’s new residence hall in Washington. The students, who attend the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) at UGA, prepare briefs, attend committee hearings and conduct food- and agriculture-related research as part of the fellowship. In addition, they have the option of earning credit hours toward graduation.“Agricultural Fellows are full-time employees of the congressional offices and serve as apprentice staff members,” said Josef Broder, CAES associate dean for academic affairs and fellowship program coordinator. “Many will be asked to serve as mentors to other student interns.”The students representing UGA as 2017 Congressional Agricultural Fellows:Andy Paul, a junior from Lexington, Georgia, studying agricultural education, is working in Rep. Allen’s office.Taylor Teague, a junior from Lavonia, Georgia, studying agribusiness, is working in Rep. Collins’ office.Hayley Nielsen, a junior from Kennesaw, Georgia, studying agriscience and environmental systems, is working in Sen. Perdue’s office.Jim Henderson, a junior from Macon, Georgia, studying agribusiness, is working in Rep. Scott’s office.Zane Tackett, a sophomore from Suwanee, Georgia, studying food science, is working in Rep. Carter’s office.Makinizi Hoover, a junior from Waynesboro, Georgia, studying agricultural communication, is working in Rep. Bishop’s office.Ashley Smith, a junior from Sylvania, Georgia, studying agribusiness and animal science, is working in Sen. Isakson’s office.The Congressional Agricultural Fellowship is part of the CAES Deans’ Promise program. The Deans’ Promise program, a collection of enrichment opportunities ranging from internships to study abroad programs, encourages CAES students to take advantage of unique, out-of-the-classroom experiences during their time in college.For more information on CAES, the Deans’ Promise or other opportunities available to students, visit www.students.caes.uga.edu.
We’ve seen something during this NCAA Tournament that we haven’t seen in quite some time.No, I’m not talking about early round games in Boise, Idaho or an impressive three teams represented from the SEC. Instead, let’s count the amount of teams seeded lower than No. 3 represented in the Elite Eight.Now I know I have poor eyesight, but I’m pretty sure I know how to read, and if I’m not mistaken, there wasn’t one team with those credentials.So what exactly does that mean? Simply put, very few of those oh-so-desired Cinderella stories we all hope for come tournament time are still in the mix for the national championship.OK, now upsets are great and all, but believe me, there is more than one reason why everybody loves the NCAA Tournament.Aside from the thrill of simply qualifying for the field of 65, playing a single game in the Big Dance can be a dream come true for some teams. But when those unlikely teams get unexpected victories, it means so much more for them, and it gives us — the fans — quite a bit of entertainment in the process.Well, as all of you have probably noticed, that aspect of the tournament has been absent, aside from a couple of upsets in the first round.By now, people are getting over No. 13 seed Cleveland State’s big win over No. 4 seed Wake Forest, which might be the closest thing to a Cinderella story in the NCAA Tournament.But when Arizona beat the Vikings in the second round, the Wildcats became the new team to shine. That didn’t last too long either.After the most lopsided defeat in Arizona’s history, a 103-64 rout at the hands of Louisville, any chance of a Cinderella story beyond the Sweet 16 turned from a small likelihood to an impossible feat to accomplish.So in the Elite Eight, we were left with all four No. 1 seeds with no team below a No. 3 seed to account for any huge upsets. That makes for a yet another boring two weeks of college basketball, right? No low seeds, no upsets, no drama, right? Not exactly.To everyone who saw the game between Pittsburgh and Villanova on Saturday, you know what I’m talking about.Don’t get me wrong, though — I love upsets. I don’t know if I watched one game during the tournament without rooting for the lower seed, and I know a lot of people are with me on that one.But when it’s all said and done, I love a good game more than an upset, and in that regard nobody should be disappointed. Nearly every game played so far has been worth watching, and that’s an understatement.Undeniably, no Cinderella would be able to compete with these teams; they’re all just way too good.Like last year — the first such year with all four No. 1 seeds in the Final Four — the best teams in the country are actually competing for the championship. This year, the lone team that got hot during the tournament, Arizona, got a pretty big wakeup call when Louisville crushed them in the third round.So there might not be the same drama of a George Mason or a Davidson advancing to the Elite Eight or Final Four, but this year, it doesn’t really matter.We’re not watching mediocre teams with standout players. What we’re seeing is the best teams with the best coaches playing the best games possible.So forget the glass slipper. Right now, there’s nothing more we could ask of college basketball. Aside from giving us ultimate entertainment before baseball season starts next week, the type of play exhibited over the past weekend proved that the NCAA Tournament is still perhaps the most interesting and competitive three weeks in all of sports.Jonah is a sophomore majoring in journalism and Hebrew and Semitic studies. Is the NCAA Tournament missing a Cinderella story? How does the Final Four match up to years past? Send your thoughts to [email protected]