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I have enjoyed the small, intimate feel of the Honors Program through which I have been able to take specialized Honors classes and serve on the Honors Program Student Council. I received funding for a study abroad trip to Ecuador through the Honors International Scholars Program (HISP). Additionally, I have been able to perform undergraduate research through UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) under Kevin McCully in his Non-Invasive Muscle Physiology Lab. My research project focused on using near infrared spectroscopy technology to measure skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in people with mitochondrial myopathies. At the end of the semester, I assisted in a poster presentation of our initial data at the annual spring CURO Symposium.” Miller Singleton ’16, biology and psychology from Camilla, GA

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15 I N S I D E

MARSHALL SCHOLARSHIP

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SCHWARZMAN SCHOLARSHIP

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CRANE PROGRAM

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On the cover (l-r):

CURO 10

Pavan Suryadevara, Abirami Balajee, and Abigail West

HONORS 12

Read more about Honors students at

Sapelo Island on page 12.

FOUNDATION FELLOWSHIP 15


M A R S H A L L

S C H O L A R S H I P

Meredith Paker UGA’S NEWEST RECIPIENT OF THE MARSHALL SCHOLARSHIP

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niversity of Georgia Honors student and Foundation Fellow Meredith Paker has been named a recipient of the Marshall Scholarship to pursue graduate studies in the United Kingdom. Up to 40 Marshall Scholars are selected each year. Meredith is UGA’s third student in the last decade to earn the award and the seventh in the university’s history, all of whom were Honors students. Meredith, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in mathematics. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in economic and social history from the University of Oxford. While at UGA, Meredith has conducted economics research with faculty members Jonathan Williams, David Bradford, and William Lastrapes. Contributing to a growing literature on the prevalence and impact of off-label prescriptions in the U.S. pharmaceuticals market, she has recently presented her work at the International Health Economics Association conference in Italy and at the CURO Symposium. “I am so excited to explore a new area of my field for the next two years,” said Meredith. “With the Marshall Scholarship, I will become the best economist I can be. I can’t thank the Honors Program and my research mentors enough for their support.” After completing her master’s at Oxford, her goal is to pursue a doctorate in economics and begin a career as an academic economist. In addition to being a recipient of the Foundation Fellowship, UGA’s premier undergraduate scholarship, Meredith is an inductee to the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. She has studied abroad at Oxford and in Tanzania, where she summited Mount Kilimanjaro in 2014. Meredith has served as an Honors Teaching Assistant for first-year Honors students and is vice president of the UGA Economics Society. She leads a Girl Scout troop through Campus Scouts and hosts a weekly radio show on UGA’s student-run radio station, WUOG 90.5FM.

“The University of Georgia is very proud of Meredith for this accomplishment. Her selection as a Marshall Scholar is a testament to the quality of UGA students and the benefits of undergraduate research. I am confident that Meredith will excel in her studies at Oxford University and that she will make a significant impact on the field of economics throughout her career.” – President Jere W. Morehead 2

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“I am so pleased for Meredith, and I am appreciative of the excellent faculty mentoring she has received. I think it is important to note that Meredith is not only a gifted thinker and researcher, but it is clear that she is also deeply passionate about using her intellect for the betterment of society.“ – Dr. David S. Williams, associate provost and director of UGA’s Honors Program

The Marshall Scholarship, established by an Act of Parliament in 1953, is one of the highest academic honors bestowed on American post-baccalaureate students. More than 900 students from across the U.S. apply annually. The program, which was created in gratitude for U.S. assistance to the United Kingdom during World War II under the Marshall Plan, provides funding for up to three years of graduate study at any United Kingdom university in any field. S

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RECIPIENT OF THE INAUGURAL SCHWARZMAN SCHOLARSHIP

Torre Lavelle University of Georgia Honors student and Foundation Fellow Torre Lavelle is one of 100 students from around the world to be named to the inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars, a highly selective and fully-funded one-year master’s program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. More than 3,000 applicants from 135 countries applied for the Schwarzman Scholars program, making it one of the most selective in the world. Torre, a native of Macon, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in ecology as well as an Honors interdisciplinary degree in political ecology. She has engaged in a number of hands-on learning experiences on campus and around the world. She studied conservation and ecotourism in Fiji and Tanzania and also studied literature through the UGA at Oxford program. She interned in Thailand at the Freeland Foundation, an organization that seeks to end human and wildlife trafficking, and at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia. Torre recently interned at the U.S. Department of State, where she researched international conservation policies and tracked economic development in African nations. Last year, Torre was one of six students nationwide invited to present a policy paper at the White House, and she also has presented research findings at UGA’s CURO Symposium and at the Georgia Water Resources Conference. She has served in several leadership roles in the Roosevelt Institute, a student-run think tank, and worked as the Senior Fellow

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for Energy and Environment of the Roosevelt National Campus Network. Lavelle also co-founded and serves as executive director of Campus Scouts at UGA, an afterschool outreach initiative for underserved girls in the Athens community. Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, Stephen A. Schwarzman founded the Schwarzman Scholars program in order to give the most

talented future leaders the power to change the course of history. Designed to prepare the next generation of global leaders, Schwarzman Scholars is the first scholarship created to respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century. Whether in politics, business, or science, the success of future leaders around the world will depend upon an understanding of China’s role in global trends.

About the Schwarzman Scholarship

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nrolling its inaugural class in 2016, the Schwarzman Scholarship will give the world’s best and brightest students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and professional networks through a one-year master’s degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing – one of China’s most prestigious universities. Students will live and study together on the campus of Schwarzman College, a newly-built, state-of-the-art facility, where all classes will be taught in English. Students will pursue degrees in one of three disciplines: Public Policy, Economics and Business, and International Studies. Students will spend a year immersed in an international community of thinkers, innovators and senior leaders in business, politics and society. In an environment of intellectual engagement, professional development and cultural exchange, they will learn from one another and pursue their academic disciplines while building their leadership capacities. This experience will expand students’ understanding of the world and create a growing network of global leaders for the future.

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2016 Crane Honors Scholars ALI ANDERSON is a third-year Honors student from Clarksville, Tennessee. She is pursuing a degree in biology and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management. As a CURO Honors Scholar, Ali pursues undergraduate research in the Gottdenker Laboratory. Her | Ali current research focuses on the impact of climate change on the proliferation of Chagas Disease in Central America. At UGA, Ali serves on the executive board of Designated Dawgs, a student-led nonprofit that provides free, nonjudgmental rides home for the Athens community. Ali also serves the Disability Resource Center as a member of the Speaker’s Bureau, an organization that helps educate the UGA community about disabilities and the resources offered on campus. As a member of the Speaker’s Bureau, Ali additionally serves as the DRC representative on the Department of Student Affairs Student Advisory Board and as a member of the Diversity Fund Allocations Committee. Ali also serves as a mentor with the AthensClarke County School District. After graduation, Ali intends to volunteer with the Peace Corps for two years, focusing on child and maternal health. Following this two-year service, she hopes to pursue a combined MD/ MPH. She plans to one day work with the CDC, focusing on the overall improvement of reproductive health, both domestically and abroad.

ALLISON FIALKOWSKI is a third-year Honors student from Atlanta pursuing a degree in nutrition science with a certificate in disability studies. As a Sylvia Hutchinson CURO Honors Scholar, Allison conducts research about early intervention for children with autism. After

SYLVIA ASHLEY is a third-year Honors student from Grayson majoring in sociology and criminal justice with pre-law intentions. Sylvia greatly values mentoring relationships that provide her with the opportunity

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to challenge and encourage others to reach their fullest potential. She is involved with the UGA Wesley Foundation Ministry and with UGA’s Shop With A Bulldawg, serving on the organization’s freshman council and as a mentor each year. Sylvia has a passion for mitigating juvenile delinquency, specifically through educational reforms that help students in the juvenile justice system to excel academically. During the spring semester of 2015, she interned with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. There, she fostered positive relationships with children in the justice system. Through her daily interactions with these juveniles, she had the unique opportunity to facilitate their personal and educational growth. Sylvia is currently a counselor with the Oconee Elementary After School Program. During the summer of 2015, Sylvia participated in the Honors in Savannah Internship Program with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia. Sylvia is currently the event planning chair for the Undergraduate Black Law Student Association. She enjoys planning engagements to connect minority undergraduate students interested in entering the legal | Sylvia field with current law professionals. Upon graduation, Sylvia hopes to attend law school and someday become a juvenile court judge.

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This program is jointly administered by the Honors Program and the Center for Leadership and Service and awards up to ten $1,000 scholarships to third-year Honors students with exemplary leadership records on campus and/or in the local community. researching for two years with David Gast, Allison went to Cork, Ireland as an Honors International Scholar and CURO Summer Fellow to work and research at an early intervention center for children with developmental disabilities. She is now continuing to study international autism knowledge with Ashley Johnson | Allison Harrison. After her first year at UGA, Allison worked at Camp Twin Lakes, a camp for children with serious illnesses, disabilities, and life challenges. Allison continues to fundraise for and volunteer at camp as the vice president of Camp for a Cause UGA. She takes any opportunity to work weekend camps or go to hospitals to help with camp-to-go events. Aside from her service for Camp Twin Lakes, she works with individuals with autism in the community as an executive board member for AutismUGA and fundraises for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as the Miracle Liaison for her service sorority. After graduation, Allison plans to go to nursing school to receive a Ph.D. to advocate for children with developmental disabilities nationally and internationally and to aid in early intervention for those with disabilities. HOUSTON GAINES is a third-year Honors student from Athens pursuing degrees in political science and economics and a certificate in sports media. Houston currently serves as the Student Government Association vice president. Through SGA and on behalf of the student body, he helped guide a bill that ultimately passed the Georgia General Assembly and was signed by Governor Nathan Deal. Houston also serves as vice president of communications for the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, is

a member of the Blue Key Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Dean William Tate Honor Society, and has worked in the Sports Communications Department. In 2014, Houston served as Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson’s campaign manager for her successful reelection. As campaign manager, he established a media strategy, coordinated a successful grassroots effort, and ran the largest fundraising effort in local political history raising nearly $110,000. Houston was a Class of 2015 LEAD Athens graduate, the youngest member in the program’s history. As part of the program, he directed his four-person team’s effort to raise awareness and funds for families in Athens with children struggling with autism. The team successfully raised $30,000, enough to endow a scholarship through the UGA Foundation to | Houston support in perpetuity families desperate for help. Upon graduation, Houston intends to work in politics and public relations. JAMIESON JANN is a third-year Honors student from Tucker pursuing a degree in cellular biology and a minor in global health. This past summer, he interned at the Vanderbilt Program for LGBTI Health, where he wrote program funding proposals and literature reviews, analyzed electronic health records, and worked as a patient advocate for transgender patients. While there, he was able to publish as first author a letter to the editor in the American Journal of Public Health addressing LGBTI Health competencies in medical education. Currently, he facilitates a biweekly Academic Journal Club through the Franklin Residential College to expose students to current

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public health, history, arts, and literature research in addition to attending a weekly medicine in literature book discussion through the Honors Program. Apart from his academic pursuits, Jamieson is a member of Collegium Musicum (a chamber chorale), serves as a University Health Center Safer Sex Ambassador, | Jamieson and volunteers at St. Mary’s Hospice House in Bogart. He has worked as a teaching assistant intern for a general chemistry lab and as a research assistant at the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center for two summers, where he was published as a second author in the Journal of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. Jamieson has studied abroad in Oxford and Taiwan. After graduation, Jamieson plans to enter a master’s program in medical humanities and then attend medical school to pursue a career in health education. HANNAH MASON is a third-year Honors student from Peachtree City pursuing degrees in biochemistry & molecular biology and Spanish. At UGA, Hannah pursues her interests in law and ethics by serving as a student justice in University Judiciary and as the standards chairwoman for her chapter of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. She also serves as the student coordinator for Deck Dawgs, the ambassadors for UGA Swim and Dive teams, and helps with football recruiting through the R.O.S.E. Society. Hannah’s passion is research, and she has conducted research as a Regenerative Bioscience Center (RBC) Fellow studying traumatic brain injuries and cellular | Hannah

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therapies since her freshman year. Her sophomore year, she was awarded a CURO Research Assistantship to support her work at the RBC, and she presented her findings at the 2015 CURO Symposium. This past summer Hannah continued her studies of neurodegeneration as an Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) Undergraduate Summer Fellow. During her time in Portland, she attended a conference and presented her work on Parkinson’s disease at the ONPRC Summer Symposium. In the future, Hannah plans to attend medical school and complete a clinical research fellowship so that she can continue researching neurodegeneration in humans. She hopes one day to bring regenerative medicine therapies to the field of Parkinson’s disease research. MIRANDA RUSSELL is a third-year Honors student from Marietta pursing degrees in economics, history, and Spanish. At UGA, Miranda serves as a site leader for UGA IMPACT Service Breaks. Last year, she led a trip over spring break to Charlotte, North Carolina focusing on the theme of education advocacy, and this year, she will lead a | Miranda trip over winter break to Savannah focusing on the theme of rural homelessness and poverty. Additionally, she serves as the co-president of First Book UGA, an organization whose mission is to promote literacy in the Athens-Clarke community by providing underprivileged students with new books. Miranda is also a member of the Demosthenian Literary Society, and as the Society’s preservationist, she oversees the restoration of Demosthenian Hall’s antique furnishings. As a member of the Civil Rights Digital Library Research Team, she collected research on Bob Cole, an early 20th century African-American musician from Athens, under the supervision of Barbara McCaskill and presented her work at the Athens Music Project’s event at the Morton Theatre in March 2014. The Team’s current project involves connecting images from the Digital Library to Taylor Branch’s biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After graduation, Miranda plans to attend law school.


JUHI VARSHNEY is a third-year Honors student from Rome pursuing degrees in biochemistry & molecular biology and women’s studies. Juhi worked in the Work and Family Experience Research (WAFER) Lab with Malissa Clark to study how gender moderates work-family conflict coping strategies and was awarded second place at the 39th Annual Psi Chi Convention for her poster. She also presented a paper on Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form, at the 2015 Southeastern Women’s Studies Association Conference in Boca Raton, Florida. Now, she works with Melissa Davis of the Department of Genetics to study transcription factors that regulate gene expression in triple-negative breast cancer. On campus, Juhi tutors chemistry with the Academic Resource Center. She is currently an intern for the Women and Girls in Georgia Conference and an Honors Teaching Assistant. She volunteered abroad in summer 2014 at the women’s

department of Jalna Mission Hospital located in Jalna, India. She spent this past summer volunteering at Women of WORTH, a clinic that offers comprehensive gynecological services on a sliding scale in her hometown of Rome. She now serves on its board of directors. Juhi is fascinated by the intersection of identities, personal narratives, and healthcare disparities. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career | Juhi in women’s health.

2016 Crane Scholars, back (from l – r): Allison Fialkowski, Hannah Mason, Miranda Russell, Jamieson Jann Front: Juhi Varshney, Ali Anderson, Sylvia Ashley. Not pictured: Houston Gaines

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o say that Nivita Sharma loves research is an understatement. The biochemistry & molecular biology major from Kennesaw has been involved with research at UGA from the moment she stepped foot on campus in August of 2014. As a CURO Honors Scholar, she receives a stipend, attends weekly research classes, and performs at least 10 hours of research weekly. Nivita conducts research on stroke treatment and has presented both as a CURO Honors Scholar at the CURO Symposium and as a CURO Summer Fellow at the CURO Summer Fellowship Symposium. Of this research, Nivita says: “I work in the NanoTherapeutics Lab in the chemistry department under the guidance of Shanta Dhar. My area of research focuses on optimizing the lipophilicity of mitochondria targeted nanoparticles that can effectively cross the blood brain barrier to deliver aspirin inside the brain. Delivering aspirin inside the brain helps to reduce inflammation after a stroke, allowing stem cells to integrate into damaged brain tissue and regenerate neural impulses.” Nivita was selected as the only UGA student to present at the 2015 Health Connect South Conference in Atlanta. She reports: “This conference brought together health professionals, medical companies, healthcare academics, and researchers to discuss collaborations in translational medical research. I was one of five presenters on the Emerging Health Leaders panel, which aimed to share the collaborative research conducted by students at universities in the Southeast region of the United States. Surprisingly, I was the only undergraduate student on the panel; all of the other presenters were graduate students.” When she is not researching, Nivita volunteers with Athens Regional Medical Center, American Red Cross, and a local MEDLIFE chapter. She also established a global health initiative to improve the medical conditions facing underserved populations in rural hospitals and health centers in the Fiji Islands. She secured donated medical supplies from Wellstar, Medshare, and the 3M Corporation that she personally

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took to Fiji and helped distribute. During last year’s winter break, Nivita traveled with a MEDLIFE Mobile Clinic to Lima, Peru as a volunteer for ten days to help set up medical mobile clinics to provide healthcare to underserved communities and to participate in a local infrastructure project.

Make Plans to Attend the 2016 CURO Symposium

April 4 and 5, 2016 Monday, April 4, 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Oral Sessions 9:05 a.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Oral Sessions 9:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Keynote Address and Excellence in Undergraduate Research Awards

Classic Center, Athens, GA

Alan Darvill Regents Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Plant Biology 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., Ballroom E

Paid parking Symposium free and open to the public

Poster Session and Reception 4:30 – 6:00 p.m., Grand Hall South S

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DISCOVERING SAPELO ISLAND In October 2015, a small group of students led by anthropology professor Chris Joseph visited Sapelo Island on Georgia’s coast, reachable only by ferry, through funding supplied by the Honors Program.

Though not a particularly large island, Sapelo offers a wealth of intriguing features. Shortly after our arrival, archeology graduate student Brandon Ritchison led us on a tour through Department of Natural Resources land, which covers much of the island and includes sites such as the tabby ruins of Chocolate Plantation and shell rings from Native American settlements dating back as far as

4,000 years. The next day, we got our hands dirty in the field, helping Brandon dig test pits and closely examining each layer of dirt for ceramic pot sherds and bones. Along with the excitement of finding each sherd came a strong sense that people really had inhabited this area for several thousand years. Later, Merryl Alber, director of UGA’s Marine Institute on Sapelo, gave us a tour of the salt marsh, letting us observe the unique, fluctuating ecosystem firsthand. This trip made real what were previously only classroom lessons. As a native of Oklahoma, I realized one can do research in areas including archeology, marine biology, and anthropology, without leaving Georgia. There is fascinating cultural and biological history right here in our backyard.” – Abigail West ’19, art and international affairs

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The salt marshes were beautiful and so full of life. As someone with a major unrelated to marine sciences or ecology but with an interest in them, it was a really refreshing way to see the past and hear research by students and faculty at UGA that I wouldn’t otherwise learn about in class. Because of the increasing pressures of development, we may someday lose these salt marshes, and it was eye-opening to see how vital they are to our very own Georgia ecosystem.” – Abirami Balajee ‘19, biochemistry & molecular biology

Stepping off of the ferry and onto the dock, the salty aroma of the marsh hits you with such force as to announce: ‘Welcome to Sapelo Island.’ The excursion to Sapelo provided a rare glimpse into the daily happenings of this tiny, yet dynamic island. Home to the Geechee people, who have maintained traditions from West Africa since the mid-1700s, Sapelo also hosts several UGA research projects ranging from entomology to marine biology and ecology.” – Jacob Kennedy ’16, anthropology

I did not think I could learn so much and have so much fun all in one weekend trip. Sapelo helped me to solidify my decision to major in anthropology. Everything was amazing and left me quite happy that I decided to go. My favorite part of the trip was when we went and learned how to do fieldwork with Brandon.” – Pavan Suryadevara ‘19, biology and anthropology S

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FROM NIGERIA TO UGA

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productive relationship, centered on the strength of the CURO program. Through SURP at NYU, Martins conducted research on developmental genetics in zebrafish. While there, he delivered an oral presentation at the 2015 Leadership Alliance National Symposium and also presented a poster at the NYU Langone Medical Center. True to his aim, Martins is still working to become a physician. His passion is obvious. As he states: “I want to have a career that provides me the opportunity to use my education to provide care for members of society. I believe that being a doctor will give me the opportunity to not only care for patients, but also to make a difference in my community.” Regarding his acceptance to the Honors Program, Martins says: “Quite frankly, the Honors Program was one of the main reasons I chose to attend UGA. It has meant more to me than I could ever have imagined.” Initially, his reason for applying to the Honors Program was to be part of the overall Honors educational experience—smaller, more meaningful classes and registration priority. But, after joining the Honors Program, he came to realize that the Honors Program offered so much more: “I have come to meet and know students who I now consider friends and colleagues in the long run. I have also gotten the opportunity to meet and work with the amazing professors and staff involved with the Honors Program. They are really great people who are genuinely interested not only in my academic and educational success, but also my wellbeing as a student and individual.” — Ehireman Martins Iyoha ’16, cellular biology

he road that Ehireman Martins Iyoha took to come to UGA is not a common one. While most UGA students were born in Georgia, Martins was born and raised in Nigeria. Throughout his youth, Martins dreamed of being a hero in a white coat, healing and helping people. In the end, he left his native Africa to pursue this dream. After moving to the United States following his high school graduation, Martins enrolled at the Atlanta Metropolitan State College. Intent on pursuing a medical degree, he spent his first two summers in the U.S. in intensive scientific research programs—first, in the Department of Biology at Hope College in Michigan, and then in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign. In the fall of 2014, Martins transferred to UGA and was admitted to the Honors Program. He is now majoring in cellular biology. In the summer of 2015, Martins was accepted into the highly competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) at the NYU Langone Medical Center at New York University, with which the Honors Program has had a long and

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F O U N D A T I O N

F E L L O W S H I P

“So why did you come to UGA?”

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hen people find out I’m from Illinois, the first question they usually ask is “So why’d you come to UGA?” Depending on the situation, I talk about academics or how much I love Athens or the beautiful campus or crack a joke about wanting to get away from the cold. I don’t have a great answer to that question because there is no single, obvious reason I chose UGA. When I decided on Georgia four years ago, it wasn’t because of a list of experiences I knew I would take part in during college; it was because I knew UGA is a place where I would discover new and exciting opportunities throughout my four years. When I moved in to my dorm room, I had no idea just the type of community I would be joining with the Foundation Fellowship. I quickly learned, though, that this group would become some of my best friends – people I got the chance to travel around the world with, learning about new cultures and each other at the same time. With the Fellowship, I’ve been able to study British Law in Oxford, live with Buddhist monks for a week in South Korea, and travel to Cuba during a time when the country is rapidly changing. Each of these trips has been unforgettable, and I’ve applied lessons I’ve learned from these travels in my studies and my day-to-day life. As amazing as it is, the best part of the Foundation Fellowship, though, isn’t the traveling. It’s the little moments that come from being part of the community, whether a fun philosophical discussion during a latenight study break in the dining hall or being able to talk to a professor from a completely different field than mine about his or her expertise. Taking part in these moments as a member of a larger group of tight-knit friends is not something I anticipated when I chose UGA, but now I can’t imagine going through college without it. The Fellowship has also given me the chance to pursue my own opportunities outside of Athens. Last year, I left UGA for two semesters and headed to Brazil with the Portuguese Flagship Program. Even though I had taken Portuguese classes for a few years, I don’t think there was anything I could’ve learned to fully prepare me to spend ten months in Brazil. During both of my

semesters – one spent studying at a federal university and one spent interning at a public relations agency – I had to learn what it means to live as a Brazilian, whether that’s realizing classes actually start 20 minutes after the scheduled time or mastering the best way to push my way onto the São Paulo subway during morning rush hour. I learned an incredible amount about Portuguese, public relations, and Brazilian culture during my year in Brazil, but I also learned an incredible amount about myself just by living in an unfamiliar place for so long. When I first came to Athens four years ago, the idea of learning Portuguese and spending a year in Brazil wasn’t even in the realm of possibilities. That’s the thing I’ve learned about UGA, the Honors Program, and the Foundation Fellowship, — you never know what amazing opportunity is just around the corner. — Chris Lewitzke ’16, marketing and public relations

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Meet Ramsey Honors Scholar

Emily Giambalvo Future Sports Writer When I grow up... I love telling stories and it’s incredible that I could spend the rest of my life being a professional storyteller. While I am unsure as to what type of athletes I will be covering and what type of publication I will be working for, I feel certain that I’ll be a sports writer. My ultimate goal is to write about Olympic sports and, of course, to cover a few Olympic Games. I could also see myself occasionally diving into stories that are driven by data and numbers.

Why? I write about people with passion and those who fall short. I write about life: about heartbreak and success, about defeat and glory. I look through the lens of sports, but I write to learn about the world.

Coolest experience? Six weeks studying abroad in Russia exposed me to an environment unlike anything I have encountered in the United States. Language classes in the mornings and cultural excursions in the afternoons provided an ideal balance of formal instruction and exploration in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Every moment in Russia forced me to grow intellectually, as things as simple as ordering a waffle for breakfast became a challenge. While in Russia, I wrote two stories for TeamUSA.org. They have a few million followers on social media, and seeing my name next to the articles was surreal. I wrote these articles using only sporadic Wi-Fi found in cafés. That complication made the process extremely hectic, but even more rewarding.

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Grady Sports The Grady Sports Media program has entirely shaped my college experience and how I want to spend the rest of my life. Professor Vicki Michaelis, who covered eight Olympic Games, directs the program, and Welch Suggs is the associate director. I truly believe the success of the program is a direct result of their knowledge and passion. Grady Sports focuses on gaining real-world experience, and I have never felt like I am completing an assignment solely for a grade. I am constantly reminded that I am in the best program at UGA.

The Red & Black My work so far with The Red & Black has been the most incredible learning experience of my life. I went from someone who had never written a journalistic sentence to a confident sports writer ready to take on new challenges, a transformation I entirely attribute to the people who surrounded me at The Red & Black. I have been very fortunate to have great editors, who have taught me how to be a sports writer and, more importantly, how to enjoy the process.

Ramsey Scholarship As an out-of-state student, the Ramsey Honors Scholarship financially enabled me to come to the University of Georgia. Since my parents were both swimmers at UGA, I grew up a Georgia fan and never wanted to go anywhere else. Before I even became a college student, this program gave me everything I could have hoped for just by allowing me to become a UGA student. The Ramsey Scholarship also helped fund my summer studying abroad in Russia. That trip gave me a new perspective, as I was suddenly the outsider in a foreign country. While I took courses at Russian universities throughout the program, many of my richest experiences came from experiences such as asking natives for directions or struggling through my daily breakfast order without using English. With the Ramsey Scholarship I am constantly surrounded by an incredible group of people who challenge me to grow into a better student and friend. Whether I am hanging out in the Fellows library or at home with my roommates, the people in this program are a daily source of encouragement and laughter. Throughout my time as a student in Georgia’s Honors Program, I have been urged to dive further into my interest in sports journalism and to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Grady Sports and The Red & Black.


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Dorothé Otemann

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UGA Honors Magazine, spring 2016