Karisa Strickland cheers with the Richmond Dawgs

Written by Nellie Pavluscenco

When asked how she would describe her alma mater in three words, Karisa Strickland (BSED ’04) is quick to sum it up: “Best. Years. Ever!” As president of the Richmond Chapter, Strickland has found a way to bring her love for Georgia along with her wherever she may be.

Richmond Karisa Strickland (2)

Karisa Strickland (BSED ’04)

She has always been extremely enthusiastic about football and all things Georgia. When Strickland moved to Knoxville, Tennessee in 2008, she realized she didn’t have anyone around her to share that passion, so she looked to the UGA Alumni Association to connect with fellow Bulldogs.

“I was looking to have a bright spot of red in a sea of orange,” Strickland said.

She had a great experience being a part of the Knoxville Chapter, so after her move to Richmond, Virginia for a job with Capital One, she immediately got involved with the local chapter, and went on to become its president. Strickland has always taken a leadership role in whatever she got her hands on, and this proved no different.

One of their standout successes includes a Richmond Dawgs tailgate they put on last year the Saturday before football season started. Alumni and football fans got together in a local park to tailgate and brought back some old memories of student life. They parked an RV in the park, the chapter provided food and UGA fans kicked off the season.


An RVA Dawgs Chapter event

Strickland credits her time at UGA for giving her the foundation she needed to be able to apply her skills in a variety of ways, which allowed her to be flexible in the job market. She was a mathematics education major, and despite trading the classroom for the boardroom, she still remembers how her time at Georgia helped her to get to where she is today.

“I really enjoyed a geometry class that we took,” Strickland said. “I think what I enjoyed so much was seeing how technology can be used in the classroom, and obviously that has blown up since then. That was the first time I could really see how technology could make a huge difference.”


With fellow chapter leaders at the Alumni Leadership Assembly in Athens

Her biggest piece of advice for students and recent graduates is to not worry so much about majors, but rather to use this time to get a wealth of knowledge that will help students beyond the four years of college.

“You won’t necessarily end up in your major, and that’s okay,” she said. “College really just prepares you for the real world, and the most important part of being in college is getting a well-balanced education, rather than preparing you for a job. My job didn’t exist when I was in college. I couldn’t have taken a course to be where I am now, but I am absolutely doing the right thing for me.”

This blog was written by Nellie Pavluscenco ’18, intern for DAR Communications.