Across the decades: UGA’s 60th anniversary of desegregation

On January 9, 1961, Hamilton Holmes (BS ’63) and Charlayne Hunter-Gault (ABJ ’63) enrolled as the first Black students at the University of Georgia. 2021 marks the 60th anniversary of UGA’s desegregation.

The legacies of Holmes, Hunter-Gault and Mary Frances Early (MMED ’62, EDS ’67), UGA’s first Black graduate, sparked 60 years of growth at UGA. Because of these students, UGA now boasts a diverse campus made of numerous nationalities, races and ethnicities. The university is commemorating the anniversary and Black History Month by hosting a series of events this spring. And this week, we’re sharing Pandora photos of Black students on campus since the 1960s. Check them out …

The 1960s

From the classroom and lab to campus organizations, these snapshots recognize Black students who joined the Bulldog family in the 1960s.

The 1970s

Continue to stroll with us down ‘Memory Lane’ to the 1970s and check out these students’ campus moments.

The 1980s

Ah, the 1980s! What a time for fashion, pop culture and continuing to build on a legacy that was established just 20 years earlier when UGA was desegregated in 1961. Black students were continuing to make history on campus as orientation leaders, drum majors and in Greek life. Recognize any of these Bulldogs?

The 1990s

These ’90s throwback photos are definitely giving off Tony! Toni! Tone’! “It Feels Good” vibes. Some of your favorite Bulldogs’, favorite Bulldogs were UGA-made in the 1990s.

The 2000s

Let’s swing back through the early 2000s to see a few Black students sharing the first few “side eyes” and “hard” looks caught on camera … and some fun, too!

 

Isakson gift caps $4.5 million fundraising effort for Parkinson’s research chair

The University of Georgia’s campaign to create the John H. “Johnny” Isakson Chair for Parkinson’s Research and Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) Eminent Scholar position reached its goal of $4.5 million in private commitments, and the final contributor was the former U.S. Senator for whom the chair is named.

“We are deeply honored that Senator Isakson (BBA ’66) has made this commitment to the university. His decades of service to our state and nation and his support of UGA and higher education inspired this entire effort,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “We also are very grateful for the generous gifts from additional individuals and organizations that are supporting this endowed position.”

The Isakson Chair and GRA Eminent Scholar position will help UGA attract a leading authority on brain disorders—with an emphasis on Parkinson’s, with which Isakson was diagnosed in 2015—to engage in teaching, research and public service. Fundraising for the chair attracted a variety of donors including individuals, businesses, foundations and more.

“I’m very proud to play a part in this effort,” said Isakson. “Of course, I’m honored that this position would carry my name, but more than anything, I am glad to see so many willing to give so much for this important cause. My deepest gratitude goes out to everyone who gave.”

A major supporter of the Isakson Chair and GRA Eminent Scholar position is the Georgia Research Alliance. GRA grows Georgia’s economy by expanding university research capacity and seeding and shaping startup companies around inventions and discoveries. UGA currently has 18 GRA Eminent Scholars on faculty, and a 19th is set to join the university in fall 2021.

The Isakson Chair and GRA Eminent Scholar will also be the director of UGA’s forthcoming Center for Brain Science and Neurological Disorders. Fundraising efforts are underway for the center, which will leverage UGA’s broad, comprehensive strengths to create an interdisciplinary program that will expand opportunities for collaborative and innovative solutions.

“I think the supporters of both the Isakson Chair and GRA Eminent Scholar and this new center understand the unique position UGA occupies and the potential for great work that comes with that,” said Kelly Kerner, vice president for development and alumni relations. “It’s very exciting, seeing these things come together and knowing that all the great work to come will honor a great man.”

Johnny Isakson

Isakson graduated from UGA in 1966 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in real estate. He met his future wife, Dianne, while both were UGA students, and they married in 1968. The year prior, he began working for Atlanta real estate firm Northside Realty, eventually serving as its president from 1979 to 1999.

His political career began in 1976, when he was elected to the first of seven terms in the Georgia House of Representatives. He was Republican minority leader in the Georgia House from 1983 to 1990. In 1993, he was elected to the Georgia State Senate, serving there until he was appointed chair of the state Board of Education by Gov. Zell Miller in 1996.

Isakson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1999 and served as a U.S. representative until he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004. He was reelected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 and 2016. Among his duties in the U.S. Senate, he served as chair of the Committee on Veterans Affairs and chair of the Select Committee on Ethics.

After his 2015 diagnosis with Parkinson’s, Isakson continued to work in public service until his health compelled him to resign from the Senate on Dec. 31, 2019. In 2017, Isakson received the Fox Foundation’s Parkinson’s Advocacy Award for his work to improve the lives of people living with the disease and for his advocacy in funding new treatments.

Eight reasons why Uga is the best mascot

1. He’s a loyal family man

Uga has been owned by the same family since he arrived on the University of Georgia’s campus in 1956. Frank W. Seiler’s (BBA ’56, JD ’57) family of Savannah, Georgia, owns the English Bulldogs and is as much a part of their family as he is the UGA family.  

Uga in Sanford Stadium

2. He knows how to live in style

Sweating in the Georgia heat during a home game? What’s that? Uga’s on-field home is a permanent air-conditioned dog house located next to the cheerleaders’ platform. He gets to sit on a bag of ice to chill during the hot fall Saturdays in Athens. He also has his own room at UGA’s Center for Continuing Education & Hotel. 

Uga outside of his air-condition dog house

3. He’s graced the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine

Uga is a model, plain and simple. Oh, and Sports Illustrated also named him the No. 1 mascot in all of college football. Nothing big.  

GIF of Uga

4. He has his own car

What’s that coming down the tracks? Uga in a Victory Red Suburban provided by Athens Chevrolet! Uga rides to Georgia games in style in an official vehicle that has a custom license plate detailing his name and roman numeral.  

Uga in the trunk of Victory Red Suburban car

5. He’s taken on a longhorn and survived the day

You might remember the 2019 All-State Sugar Bowl against the University of Texas Longhorns where their mascot, Bevo, charged Uga X and everyone went up in a frenzy. Good thing is that Uga came out unscathed. What other mascot has been targeted by an almost two-ton longhorn and survived?  

GIF of Kirby Smart

6. He’s a movie star

Petition to get Uga a movie franchise like Beethoven? Uga V made a cameo appearance in the 1997 film “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and had several scenes with John Cusack’s character walking through Forsyth Park. He had no bad sides, and the camera loved him. 

Uga with his tongue out

7. He knows how to work hard

The GIF speaks for itself. Good boy.  

8. He has the best squad

Name a better trio. We’ll wait.

Uga X with UGA mascot and Chip Chambers

LeaseQuery again tops the Bulldog 100

On Feb. 11, the University of Georgia Alumni Association recognized the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni during the 12th annual Bulldog 100 Celebration, which was hosted online. LeaseQuery, an Atlanta-based accounting software firm, was named the fastest-growing alumni business for the second year in a row.

The company, led by two former college roommates, is the first business to repeat as No. 1 in consecutive years. CEO George Azih earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UGA in 2003 and Chief Revenue Officer Chris Ramsey earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2005.

“For us to be the first company to [be No. 1] two years in a row is deeply humbling and exciting,” Azih said. “I hope it inspires other students out there that they can do it as well.”

LeaseQuery helps accountants and finance professionals eliminate errors through its lease accounting software—the first of its kind built by accountants for accountants. The company also provides specialized consulting services and facilitates compliance with regulatory reporting for companies across the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

“To do this two years in a row means so much,” Ramsey said. “We can’t wait to share this with the rest of our company because they helped us get here as well.”

The businesses rounding out the top 10 are:

  1. inBrain, Atlanta
  2. Golden Isles Pharmacy, Brunswick, Georgia
  3. Roadie, Atlanta
  4. Surcheros Fresh Mex, Douglas, Georgia
  5. PDI, Alpharetta, Georgia
  6. Marketwake, Atlanta
  7. Calendly, Atlanta
  8. Womack Custom Homes, Cartersville, Georgia
  9. PeopleSuite, Mooresville, North Carolina

“The Bulldog 100 is our chance to celebrate the innovation, entrepreneurship and excellence of our incredible alumni who are leading the way in business and nonprofits,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of the UGA Alumni Association. “I am proud of each business on this year’s list and extend a special congratulations to LeaseQuery for making Bulldog 100 history.”

Bulldog 100 companies were ranked, regardless of size, by evaluating their three-year compounded annual growth rates. The Atlanta office of Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors—a Bulldog 100 partner since the program began in 2009—verifies the information submitted by each company and determines the ranked list. On average, companies in the 2021 Bulldog 100 grew by 49% each year from 2017-19.

Nominations were accepted from February to July 2020. UGA received 429 nominations for the 2021 Bulldog 100. Each organization must have been in business since 2016, experienced revenues over $100,000 for the calendar year 2017, and be owned or operated by a former UGA student who owns at least half of the company or is the CEO, president or managing partner.

During the Feb. 11 event (held virtually for safety reasons during the pandemic), the UGA Alumni Association presented the fourth annual Michael J. Bryan Award to 1999 UGA graduate Airee Edwards, CEO of Agora Vintage. Bryan, the co-founder and managing partner of Vino Venue and Atlanta Wine School in Dunwoody, Georgia, passed away in 2017 after a long battle with cancer. The award recognizes a returning Bulldog 100 honoree whose business has not only sustained growth but demonstrates the entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to UGA that was Bryan’s hallmark.

View the complete rankings of 2021 Bulldog 100 businesses.

Nominations for the 2022 Bulldog 100 are open until July 31.

National Entrepreneurship Week: Q&A with Jasmyn Reddicks (BSA ’18)

Jasmyn Reddicks (BSA ’18) is the owner and founder of VTasteCakes, an Atlanta-based vegan bakery. While studying food industry marketing and administration at the University of Georgia, Jasmyn won the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ 2018 Food and AgriBusiness Entrepreneurial Initiative (FABricate). After graduating, Jasmyn launched her business and has been baking made-to-order cakes, cookies, cupcakes and muffins ever since.

In commemoration of National Entrepreneurship Week (Feb. 13-20), Jasmyn shares how her passion for baking with her family led her to launch a business that has a dessert for every Bulldog.

Before entering the FABricate Entrepreneurship Initiative, did you plan to launch a business after graduation?

Not exactly. I always knew I wanted to start a bakery one day, but I never thought it would be so early in life. I didn’t realize that I was limiting my own abilities by thinking too small until the opportunity to start a bakery presented itself. After my mentor, family and friends convinced me that I had a good enough idea to participate in the FABricate project, I decided to go for it. It ended up being one of the best decisions of my life.

What led you to combine your passion for baking with a vegan diet?

I was inspired by my friends who have food allergies. I grew up baking, but the older I got, the more I realized that many people have allergies to baked goods. After learning about the limited options that existed and consuming a few, I realized there was a big opportunity for improvement. I wanted to create a dessert that is delicious, beautiful and that anyone can eat!

 

Jasmyn Reddicks in front of a VTasteCakes banner

How did FABricate and other UGA programs prepare you to start and operate VTasteCakes?

The FABricate competition sparked my motivation that anything is possible no matter who you are. I transferred to UGA, and FABricate helped me find purpose at a large school. It also gave me many resources that I still use today. The UGA Small Business Development Center has helped me with funding and growing a small business. I also received funding from UGA’s Next Top Entrepreneur competition in 2019.

You often cite the influence of your grandma on your passion for baking. Do you consider your business a way of honoring her?

In many ways, I do. I am thankful for my upbringing. Baking was always a way to bond with my family and build community, which are two things I value. This has helped cultivate my view on life and inspired me to bring people together, one dessert at a time.

Have you encountered any challenges as a Black woman owning a business?

I think the biggest challenge is being respected and taken seriously. I don’t get automatic validation without having to prove it. But I have learned to overcome these challenges with grace. When people go low, I do the opposite and go high!

 

Jasmyn Reddicks holds a cake

 

Since graduating, leaving Athens and launching your business, what have you learned?

The biggest lesson I have learned is to enjoy every moment, even the tough ones. As an entrepreneur, there are highs and lows, but it is a beautiful thing to look back on how far you have come and how much you have grown as an individual. It still amazes me all the support I received over the years.

Do you have a preference for baking cakes or cupcakes?

Surprisingly, I am learning that I love to do cakes more. I feel like I am able to express my creative edge in my designs.

Can you share advice for Bulldogs who want to start their own businesses?

My advice would be to go for it and to choose passion over money. This is the perfect time to research an idea, test it out and not be afraid to ask for help. If you put in the hard work, avoid shortcuts and be consistent, it will pay off.

Your support today will help prepare tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and innovators.


DONATE TO THE FABRICATE ENTREPRENEURSHIP FUND

LEARN MORE ABOUT UGA’S INNOVATION DISTRICT


SUPPORT THE SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Spring 2021 Mentorship Mondays to feature lineup of impressive UGA alumnae

The Women of UGA Leadership Council is pleased to announce the upcoming spring 2021 virtual Mentorship Mondays series! Sessions feature an alumna or a panel of alumnae, will last from Noon-1 P.M. and will address career development topics from fighting imposter syndrome to negotiating a promotion. After each session, there is an optional 30-minute breakout portion for participants to share their experiences and network with fellow Bulldogs.

Monday, February 22 – Living Your Authentic Purpose

In a session moderated by Janelle Nicole Christian (BBA ’11), founder of self-care platform Hey J. Nicole, the panelists will discuss values and passions, how those things guided their career and life decisions and how they reflect in their work today. Panelists include Wendi Carpenter (BS ’76), retired Navy Rear Admiral and founder and principal of Gold Star Strategies, and April Crow (BSEH ’95), vice president of external affairs and investor relations at Circulate Capital.

 

Monday, March 22 – You are a Rockstar: Imposter Syndrome and Moving Beyond It

In this session, Suzy Deering (BSFCS ’92), global chief marketing officer of Ford Motor Company, will discuss the internal experience of believing you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. She will discuss where she experienced self-doubt in her career journey and how she overcame it to lead with confidence and determination. Join us as we learn how to rise above our own doubts and support those in our networks struggling with imposter syndrome.

 

Monday, April 19 – Let’s Make a Deal: Job Offer and Promotion Negotiation Best Practices

In a session moderated by UGA professor and owner of Be Inspired Counseling and Consulting Dr. Marian Higgins (PHD ’11), our panelists will discuss best practices and advice in career negotiations. If you’re looking for advice regarding the job negotiation processes, don’t miss this program! Panelists for this session include Katie Comer (BSA ’13), Facebook community development regional manager, and Pam Roper (AB ’94), executive vice president and general counsel at Cousins Properties.

 

Monday, May 17 – Maria Taylor: My Career and the Importance of Mentorship

Maria Taylor (ABJ ’09, MBA ’13) joined ESPN as a college analyst and reporter in 2014. As one of the network’s most versatile commentators, Taylor became the first Black woman to co-host College GameDay in 2017, and was later chosen to be the sideline reporter for ABC Saturday Night Football. Taylor has covered the NBA Countdown, the NBA Draft, College Football Live, Big Monday and the NCAA Women’s Final Four. In the final session of Mentorship Mondays’ spring series, Maria will talk about her career journey, what she learned along the way, the role of mentorship and the importance of giving back.

Valentine’s Day cards to sweeten the day

Love is in the air, Bulldogs, so we’ve created some Valentine’s Day cards to give to show that person that you truly care — UGA style.

Ag Hill Valentines Day Card
Commit to the G Valentines Day Card

Minority-owned Bulldog 100 businesses have much to offer

Whether 2021 kicked off the way you imagined or not, there’s no better way to bring in February than to highlight and support the minority-owned alumni businesses that made it on this year’s Bulldog 100, a list of the fastest-growing companies owned or operated by UGA alumni! 

Explore the 2021 Bulldog 100 minority-owned businesses below. In honor of Black History Month, we’ve specifically highlighted the businesses led by Black alumni.

Black-Owned Businesses

Calendly

Calendly is an Atlanta-based online scheduling tool founded by Tope Awotona, who credits his tenacity to his experiences growing up in Lagos, Nigeria. His business offers a tool that for those who are always on the go or constantly scheduling meetings. It simplifies meeting scheduling and cuts down on unnecessary emails. Calendly’s user-friendly interface sorts out time zones, and sends reminders and confirmations.

Location: 
Atlanta, GA
Bulldog: Tope Awotona (BBA ’02), Founder/CEO

LeaseQuery

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Georgia Azih, CEO of LeaseQuery, boldly founded the business in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and recession. If you’re an accountant or financial professional, LeaseQuery is the service for you. The software helps accountants and financial professionals eliminate errors through its CPA-approved, cloud-based solution. LeaseQuery is built by accountants for accountants.  

Location: Atlanta, GA
Bulldog: Georgia Azih (BBA ’03), Founder/CEO

The Barnes Law Office LLC

The Barnes Law Office LLC logo

Latasha Barnes is an attorney, and owner and managing attorney of a law office that will fight for you. The Barnes Law Office LLC is in metro Atlanta and specializes in DUI defense, criminal defense and personal injury.  

Location: Atlanta, GA
Bulldog: Latasha Barnes (AB ’05, AB ’05), Owner and Managing Attorney 

The Brogdon Firm LLC

The Brogdon Firm provides ethical, client-centered representation for injury victims in Atlanta and across Georgia. Gino Brogdon Jr., founder and litigator of The Brogdon Firm, was named the 2018 “Attorney to Watch” for Atlanta Attorney at Law Magazine, so you can be sure you’re getting the best service. 

Location: Atlanta, GA 
Bulldog: Gino Brogdon Jr. (JD ’11), Founder and Litigator  

Edwards & Hawkins LLC

Edwards and Hawkins Law represents five decades of competent, ethical and aggressive legal representation. They specialize in wrongful death, auto and trucking collisions, vaccine injury, personal injury, business/commercial litigation and slips and falls. Cameron Hawkins, a trial lawyer at EH LAW, was recognized in 2017 as the UGA School of Law Young Alumni of Excellence. 

Location: Atlanta, GA
Bulldog: Cameron Hawkins (JD ’08), Partner 

Other Minority-Owned Businesses

Svaha USA

Svaha USA logo

Svaha USA is an online retailer specializing in science, technology, engineering, arts and math-themed (STEAM) apparel and products. Jaya Iyer found inspiration from the company through her daughter, who could not find clothing that reflected her interests. Svaha’s mission is to shatter gender stereotypes in the apparel industry and encourage STEAM education for girls and boys, and women and men. 

Location: Chantilly, VA
Bulldog: Jaya Iyer (MS ’03), CEO 

Biren Patel Engineering

Biren Patel Engineering logo

Biren Patel Engineering believes in making life simple for clients and team members. Biren Patel serves as the president and is a licensed professional engineer in 12 states and the District of Columbia. His business’s modern, yet simple, collaborative work environment better serves the power utility industry through electrical substation and solar plant engineering. 

Location: Macon, GA
Bulldog: Biren Patel (MBA ’12), President 

Agora Vintage

Agora Vintage logo

Agora Vintage is a woman-owned business in Athens that sells all the authentic designer items and estate jewelry that your heart desires. You can shop for Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Hermès items with a guarantee of high-quality customer service and a style that can’t be beat.  

Location: Athens, GA
Bulldog: Airee Edwards (AB ’99), CEO

Expert Technical Solutions

A successful connection — that’s what you can expect from Expert Technical Solutions, a leading provider of technical and IT talent that strives to bring companies and the right people together. The Bulldog business offers services such as customized contract, contract-to-hire, or direct-hire.

Location: Atlanta, GA
Bulldog: Ram Bhojwani (BBA ’05), President 

Murray & Osorio

Murray Osorio PLLC is a national full-service immigration law firm, connecting the world through innovative and compassionate immigration solutions for individuals and businesses. 

Location: Fairfax, VA
Bulldog: Benjamin Osorio (AB ’03), Managing Partner 

National Weatherperson’s Day: Q&A with Alex Wallace (ABJ ’04)

Alex Wallace (ABJ ’04) is an on-camera meteorologist with The Weather Channel. After earning a degree in broadcast news from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Alex earned a master’s degree in geosciences with an emphasis in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University. Since joining The Weather Channel on-camera in 2006, Alex has worked in both the studio and the field. He earned the 2012 John Drewry Award for Young Alumni Achievement from the Grady College.

In recognition of National Weatherperson’s Day (February 5), this weather-loving Bulldog shares what it’s like being an on-camera meteorologist and reflects on his time at the University of Georgia.

After studying broadcast news at UGA, what led you to pursue a career in meteorology?

I had a fascination with weather going back to when I was a little kid. Along with cartoons, I made sure to catch the local news and tune into the Weather Channel every day. So, I always knew I wanted to do something in broadcasting but wasn’t exactly sure what. Would it be behind the scenes or in front of the camera? At UGA, I combined my interest in broadcasting and weather to pursue a career in meteorology.

What lessons did the Grady College teach you that you still use today?

At Grady, I learned the different parts that come together to make a news broadcast. Before I did anything in front of the camera, I gained experience with everything from operating a teleprompter to directing. This was a great help for when I finally stepped in front of the camera. It allowed me to understand each person’s contribution to the show and how important they were. That understanding continues to this day. I appreciate all the people that come together to produce TV.

 

headshot of Alex

What is the most interesting weather event you have reported on?

Hurricane Florence in 2018. I was positioned in Fayetteville, North Carolina. It came in and decided it didn’t want to leave. It dumped a ton of rain on the region. I was out covering the storm for more than a week. It ended up knocking out power for several days so it was “fun” being in the dark and taking cold showers for a few days. The moment power came back was one of the greatest moments of my life. It was fascinating to see one of the rivers that flows through the city slowly rise while we were there. I’m talking about a 40-foot rise in a few days. Of course, that led to flooding, which made getting around impossible because so many roads were closed. More importantly, people’s homes were inundated and this was the sad part about the whole experience: knowing we are at the mercy of Mother Nature.

What is a part of your job that many people may not know about?

I think people might be surprised to know that 90% of everything I say on-air is ad-libbed. Sure, there are a few things that are scripted like introducing an interview or weather story, but otherwise it is mostly ad-libbed.

 

Alex Wallace and friend pose with Harry Dawg on a game day

Alex Wallace (ABJ ’04) and Thomas Goodhew (ABJ ’05) pose with Harry Dawg on a Saturday game day in Athens.

What is your favorite UGA tradition and why?

G-Day! Being out of school, Georgia football is a great excuse to get back to Athens and enjoy some time in the Classic City. I’m looking forward to when I can bring my son out to enjoy some time in Sanford Stadium.

Do you have any advice for students seeking a career in meteorology?

The best advice I have is to make sure you truly love it. That advice can be applied to any career choice. The No. 1 reason you should choose your career is because you have a passion for it. It’ll make going to work so much more enjoyable and engaging. This is especially true when it comes to being an on-camera meteorologist. You can’t fake it. People watching can tell if your heart is in it. When they see that it is, they feel they can trust you. Trust is super important when it comes to weather forecasting.

Your support today will help prepare tomorrow’s trustworthy news broadcasters and meteorologists.

A great and growing relationship (a tribute to mentorship)

Written by guest blogger Jackson Fox (BBA ’20) who, as an undergraduate, was paired with Annie Dawson (BBA ’08) through the UGA Mentor Program.

The UGA Mentor Program was the best thing I ever did to prepare for my career.

Going into my senior year, I expected the job search to be a breeze after completing a summer internship within the insurance industry. I fully expected to have a job locked down by December. However, the idea seemed to fade after the fall career fair passed, and I hadn’t secured a job. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the insurance field. As I was struggling with the job search, one of my friends suggested I look into the UGA Mentor Program. Little did I know, it would be the game changer in helping me explore job opportunities.

My mentor is Annie Dawson. From our first conversation, I knew that Annie truly cared for me and wanted to help me succeed. Annie is the director of underwriting, national binding authorities at RT Specialty, one of the largest insurance brokerages. I had no idea what it entailed to be a director of underwriting or what it was like to work for such a large insurance brokerage. This was the start of my humbling learning experience with Annie.

In our initial conversation, Annie immediately offered to set up a job shadowing opportunity at RT Specialty’s Atlanta office. Through this experience, I met with many professionals and learned more from them than I would have ever expected. Annie also went out of her way to set up a meeting between me and a broker at Marsh & McLennan Agency. My conversation with Annie’s contact allowed me to learn more about the different aspects of the insurance world.

Through the job shadowing opportunity, informational interview, and monthly conversations with Annie, she helped me hone my interests within the insurance industry and expanded my understanding of the field. With her help, I was able to turn my career aspirations into detailed and specific career goals. I now know that I want to become an insurance underwriter thanks to my mentor.

My relationship with Annie has been truly life changing. I can honestly say I did not know that I would benefit as much as I have from our mentoring relationship through the UGA Mentor Program. I can only imagine how I would have benefitted from this program had I joined my during my freshman year in college.

Thank you, UGA Mentor Program, for facilitating such a great relationship that aided in my personal and professional growth. Thank you, Annie Dawson, for bringing out the best in others and being such a wonderful person and mentor. Having you in my corner was the greatest reward of all.

Best wishes to Jackson as he continues his job search using the clarity gained from his mentor’s guidance. If you want to change a student’s life like Annie, join the UGA Mentor Program today!