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International mentoring does a world of good

In honor of International Mentoring Day, a highlight of National Mentoring Month, the UGA Mentor Program is featuring a couple of our international mentors and mentees.

Finding common ground a world away

Matt Hodgson outside his work

After double majoring in criminal justice and psychology at UGA, Matt Hodgson (AB ’95) went on to earn a master’s degree in forensic science from George Washington University. He now lives in Brisbane, Australia, and works for the Queensland Police Service. He has always wanted to give back to UGA in some way, and the opportunity to mentor students was a perfect opportunity.

Hodgson says he was lucky to have a couple of great mentors in college, even though UGA didn’t have a campus-wide mentorship program at the time.

“You just had to find people who would take you under their wing,” he recalled. “I was lucky to strike up some friendships with faculty members. They gave me good advice—and not just about academics—also about career paths and just life itself. I’m hoping I can do the same for someone else.”

Hodgson has mentored two UGA students. One of those students, Gabrielle Fontaine (’22), explained that she chose to contact Hodgson through the UGA Mentor Program website because of her interest in forensic psychology and the fact that he was based internationally.

“The time difference and different seasons made for great conversation and broadened my knowledge of what life is like in Australia,” Gabrielle said. “Having him as a mentor allowed me to think about expanding my search to consider a career overseas.”

For Hodgson, mentoring is a way to stay involved with the Bulldog family.

“Mentoring brings together the perfect mix for me,” Hodgson said. “I am able, with experience and hindsight, to chat and help out students with career, study or other advice—plus I get to hear and share insights about UGA life and events.”

Gaining confidence one step at a time

Portrait of Kenny Lawal

As a UGA graduate student from Nigeria, Kehinde (Kenny) Lawal (’22) struggled to acclimate to the UGA system, which differed from her home country. She also felt inferior to others on campus. Joining the UGA Mentor Program inspired her.

“It has been rewarding for me to watch her confidence grow to match her abilities and qualifications,” said Lawal’s mentor, Alex Gomez (BSBCHE ’13). He goes on to sing her praises. “She is goal-oriented, proactive and extremely qualified to excel in whatever she does.”

In addition to looking to build her confidence, Lawal joined the UGA Mentor Program because she wanted to get a clear understanding of a career in the energy industry in the United States. “I was hoping I could get direction from someone with experience in that field,” she explained. “Alex has been so great in showing me where I was and where I needed to be by setting short- and long-term goals. He has also shown me opportunities available to me at UGA that I needed to take advantage of to build a brand for myself. My focus has shifted from just getting a degree to also leveraging relationships that matter. I am looking forward to being an impactful and friendly mentor, just as Alex Gomez has been to me.”

Creating a network for success

Portrait of Zada Smith

For Zada Smith (’21), who hails from the Bahamas, enrolling at UGA wasn’t her first experience living in Georgia, but she was still surprised by how much had changed since she was a child. She described the culture shock as immense.

“The hardest part about being at UGA was feeling socially disconnected,” said Smith. “It seemed as though everyone knew people from their high schools and had a success network surrounding them. Trying to find the courage to reach out to professors and make friends was tough.”

Smith found a safe haven in the UGA Mentor Program.

“I didn’t have the courage to reach out to someone and ask for mentoring,” she said, “but the UGA Mentor Program had a platform of mentors ready to help. It was a great way to learn about my field from someone established.”

Smith’s mentor Matthew Dials (BLA ’07) said, “Having an international mentee provided a unique perspective on the challenges some students face and how important the UGA network is for providing a support system to help them succeed.”

Connecting Bulldogs with Bulldogs

The UGA Mentor Program platform is well-suited to facilitating international connections. As communication takes place via text, email, phone or video conferencing, bridging distance is no problem.

“I suppose the biggest challenge has been trying to coordinate time zones and finding the right time to call for a chat,” Hodgson explained. “Australia is a day ahead of Georgia, so I’ll be calling in the morning and speaking to a mentee who is a day behind me in the afternoon.”

There are more than 2,600 mentors in the UGA Mentor Program. While the majority are located in the United States, there are mentors in 18 other countries. All program participants agree that preparation and planning are key to a successful mentoring relationship, whether international or not. The Mentor Program provides resources to help guide discussions, set goals, and get the best results from every interaction.

Happy New Year! Happy Mentor Month!

Happy New Year!

We hope that you enjoyed the holidays. The new year brings the start of a new semester, which means students will be looking for new alumni mentors. Now is the perfect time to become a UGA mentor. Or, if you’re already a mentor, please log in to the platform and to ensure your mentor profile is up-to-date.

Have you opted in to informational interviews? In November 2020, we rolled out an informational interview feature to provide you with another meaningful opportunity to connect with UGA students. With the introduction of informational interviews, you can determine if you have the capacity to mentor a student for 16 weeks and/or be available for 30-minute informational interviews. You are in the driver’s seat. Learn more about how your interactions with students can work around your schedule.

Happy Mentor Month!

January is National Mentoring Month, an opportunity to recognize the power of one-on-one relationships that help young people find and follow their passions, identify interesting career paths, and pursue their dreams. At the University of Georgia, we are celebrating all month with particular emphasis on these dates:

I am a UGA Mentor Day – January 7

On this day, we’ll celebrate the role UGA mentors play in empowering the leaders of tomorrow.

International Mentoring Day – January 15

Internationally, this day honors Muhammad Ali’s birthday (January 17) in recognition of his six principles (confidence, conviction, dedication, respect, giving and spirituality), which apply well to mentoring relationships. This year, we’ll celebrate on January 15 by acknowledging our international student mentees and the outstanding UGA mentors located around the globe.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service – January 18

MLK Day honors the memory of this great civil rights leader and elevates the spirit of service through volunteerism. If you have a mentee, this is a good day to reach out and share your volunteer experiences. Maybe you will bond over a cause in which you both believe.

I am a UGA Mentee Day – January 21

On this day, we’ll celebrate mentees. If you have a mentee or have had one in the past, take a moment to reach out to them and check in on how they are doing.

 

Stay updated on the UGA Mentor Program and follow along with National Mentor Month celebrations by following the UGA Mentor Program LinkedIn page or via the UGA Mentor Program Ambassadors’ Instagram account @ump_ambassadors.

 

ALSO HAPPENING IN JANUARY:

UGA Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Desegregation

Through a series of programs and events, the university will honor those who broke down barriers and transformed UGA beginning in 1961. Festivities will launch with a virtual program on January 9 and continue through February.

 

*Photo above taken prior to March 2020 and features UGA mentee Kevin Nwogu ’22 speaking with UGA mentor Raymond Phillips (BS ’12, MBA ’18).

Meaningful relationships define Mentor Program

Elizabeth Carter was all set to intern at a Fortune 500 company. Then the pandemic hit, and her internship disappeared. The University of Georgia master’s candidate reached out to her two mentors, and they helped her find a different position that turned out to be an advantageous opportunity.

Carter and her mentors are part of the UGA Mentor Program, the university’s first comprehensive mentorship initiative, which allows students to form meaningful mentoring relationships with experienced UGA alumni. Because the mentor program is largely conducted via text, phone and email, connections continued uninterrupted despite the pandemic.

Elizabeth Carter

Carter’s mentors are Jessica Faber, senior innovation advisor for USAID, and Hiram Larew, who is retired after a long career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture—both in the Washington, D.C., area where Carter hopes to one day work. Together, they helped her strategize.

A silver lining

“I posted on LinkedIn, making sure to employ the advice they gave me, and as a result was connected to the UPS Global Public Affairs office in D.C. where I served as the international team legislative assistant. This position was a dream come true for a master of international policy and international affairs student, and certainly a silver lining in otherwise difficult times.”

Since the UGA Mentor Program’s 2019 launch, over 2,200 students and nearly 2,500 mentors have registered and more than 1,800 mentoring relationships have been created. Of the students participating in the first year of the program, 97 percent say they’ve gained a stronger appreciation for mentoring as a personal and professional development tool—and 98 percent of both mentors and mentees would recommend the program to others.

For Joy Xiao, a first-generation college student far from her home in China, bonding with her mentor, Kristi Farner, provided comfort. Farner is Extension program and staff development specialist with UGA’s Office of Learning and Organizational Development.

Sense of belonging

“During spring break, I was on UGA’s Great Commitments Student Tour of Georgia with UGA’s Public Service and Outreach,” said Xiao. “When COVID-19 hit, Kristi emailed me to check in to see if I was doing OK. Connecting with her really raised my sense of belonging to the big UGA family.”

Joy Xiao

Farner enjoyed the mutually beneficial aspects of their relationship. “A unique challenge is understanding the context and pressures she has, since I don’t fully understand the culture she comes from,” said Farner. “I found it was a great learning opportunity for me that pushed me to use more active listening and coaching instead of suggesting answers.”

 Both of my mentors had vast experiences, yet they were still chasing their dreams and building out new goals. I was surprised when they asked me for my perspective.” — Kanler Cumbass

Like Carter, Kanler Cumbass, a master’s candidate pursuing a degree in higher education, has benefited from multiple mentors—one in the 2019 fall semester and one in spring 2020.

“Both of my mentors had vast experiences, yet they were still chasing their dreams and building out new goals. I was surprised when they asked me for my perspective,” Cumbass admitted. “Mentorship is about building a working partnership and, though I have less experience, they valued my expertise and thoughts. I learned so much from these conversations. From my mentors, I learned that we are always refining our goals and should.”

One of his mentors, Cara Simmons, who works as the director of the Student Success and Advising Center in UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, is pleased that their relationship has continued beyond the standard 16-week commitment to participate in the Mentor Program. “Our conversations have allowed me to think about different experiences I want to have in my own professional journey,” said Simmons. [Note: The image at the top of this article features mentor Cara Simmons with mentee Kanler Cumbass.]

Personally relate

Sydney Cederboom, a fourth-year political science and international affairs double major with pre-law intent, chose Vickie Bowman, director of Piedmont Judicial Circuit Specialty Courts in north central Georgia, as her latest mentor. For Cederboom, the value of mentorship comes in finding a person with whom you can personally relate.

Sydney Cederboom

“Being a minority and having the ability to be mentored by Black women who have achieved great things at UGA and beyond has helped to shape my approach to college life and opened my eyes to my own potential,” said Cederboom.

The senior adds that the biggest surprise was how personal the relationships with her mentors became. “I was expecting the mentoring process to be strictly professional and focused on networking. However, from the beginning my mentors made it known that they were available to talk with me about anything that I needed,” Cederboom explained. Bowman responded, “Sydney reminded me of the college student I was. Sometimes ‘calm down and breathe’ and ‘you’re going to be fine’ are all you need on hard days.”

If you are a UGA student or alumni interested in joining the UGA Mentor Program, please visit mentor.uga.edu to learn more.

UGA Mentor Program celebrates successful first year

The UGA Mentor Program, the University of Georgia’s first comprehensive mentorship initiative, allows students to form meaningful mentoring relationships with experienced UGA alumni. The program launched on August 21, 2019, and thanks to the support of the university community, it far exceeded many of its inaugural goals. Since the program’s launch, over 2,000 students and 2,400 mentors have registered and more than 1,500 mentoring relationships have been created.

Over the past year, students have reported many positive results from joining the UGA Mentor Program. Over 97% of mentees indicated gaining an appreciation for mentoring as a personal and professional development tool. A mentee explained, “My mentor really helped me gain an understanding of how to start preparing for life beyond the classroom.” As a result of participating in the UGA Mentor Program, 95% of mentors agree that their experience with the program inspired them to strengthen their relationship with the university. One mentor said, “I feel a closer tie to the university and my impact on the student body there.”

With a new academic year starting, the program is seeking new participants–both students and alumni. As we navigate an uncertain future, the UGA Mentor Program will continue providing students with an avenue to build professional and personal networks, explore career interests, and strengthen the Bulldog community while fostering a culture of mentoring across the university.  For more information and to get involved, please visit mentor.uga.edu.

stats from 1st year of UGA Mentor Program
stats for 1st year of UGA Mentor Program

 

About the UGA Mentor Program

The UGA Mentor Program, an initiative of President Jere W. Morehead, was established in 2019 to connect students and alumni. Students complete a mentoring orientation session and are granted access to a database of alumni who have committed to mentoring a student for a 16-week period. Students search for and select a mentor based on their profile in the database. When a mentoring pair is established, the student benefits from the wisdom shared by a graduate who has taken the journey they are now navigating. Alumni enjoy the opportunity to invest in the next generation and see students’ dreams take root. To learn more, visit mentor.uga.com. Connecting the Bulldog family. That’s our commitment.

UGA mentors want you to join their ranks!

The UGA Mentor Program celebrates its first birthday on August 21. Mentors with at least one 16-week mentorship under their belts are excited about the program’s success, and are eagerly helping to recruit fellow alumni to join in the fun by becoming mentors by August 20—the first day of fall semester. Students are entering or returning to a challenging campus environment due to the pandemic. By connecting with a mentor, students benefit from having an ally as they navigate the new school year and prepare for the future.

Getting started with the UGA Mentor Program is easy: Simply create a profile at mentor.uga.edu and students can connect with you based on your unique interests and experiences. Your contact information will not be shared with students unless you agree to enter a mentoring relationship with them.

Would you commit to a 16-week mentorship by investing just a few hours each month? Experienced mentors will tell you, it’s a rewarding and fulfilling way to give back to UGA and serve exceptional young Dawgs!

 

Special thanks to super mentors Douglas Bailey (BSA ’80), Ansley Booker (MS ’13), Ericka Davis (AB ’93), Mary Elizabeth Sadd (BBA ’87) and Abram Serotta (BBA ’68, MACC  ’70) for submitting videos. Go Dawgs!

Life changing! (a salute to mentorship)

Featuring guest blogger Sara Ervin, Class of 2022

Meet Sara Ervin.

In her own words, Sara is an “untraditional student” who had a circuitous route to where she is today.  She came to the University of Georgia after obtaining her bachelor’s degree in rural studies from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and a master’s degree in mass communication from Valdosta State University.

She admits her academic focus could, at times, wander. She initially entered college to become a veterinarian. But then a strong desire to help people made her change course. While she wasn’t clear about precisely what she wanted to do, there was one nagging thought in the back of her mind – a career in the FBI. “I’m very protective,” she says. “Taking down the bad guys seemed like a good choice.” Still, that notion seemed more like a dream than a reality. She didn’t even know the first step to take, so she tucked the idea away.

She came to work at UGA as a student/faculty coordinator, responsible for managing student services and faculty affairs for the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics within the College of Public Health. But she still wrestled with “exactly what I wanted to do with my life.”

In 2018, she gained acceptance to begin work on a PhD in UGA’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication program. Still employed full time at UGA, and now a part-time PhD student, her plate was full. That’s where the UGA Mentor Program came into play.

Let’s let Sara pick up her story from here in her own words:

In August 2019, a few weeks into the semester, I received an email about the UGA Mentor Program. It doesn’t matter what level you are in your educational journey; you should always seek and accept help whenever you can. The overview was just a 30-minute presentation, so I thought, ‘what was there to lose?’

I understand the benefits a mentor can have, but I never had one before. Knowing what I know now, I wish I could have had this opportunity when I was a freshman in college. Hindsight is 20/20, and that is why I am so passionate about sharing my story.

A unique feature of the UGA Mentor Program is the ability to search and choose from a vast number of mentors. All mentors are UGA alumni who are volunteering their time and expertise. There is an online platform making it easy to find one that fits your needs.

My interest and research areas include crisis communication, disaster preparedness, and terrorism/counter-terrorism. I considered this niche as unique and not a popular combination, so I was not getting my hopes up about finding someone that fit all these criteria.

But after an hour of reading profiles under the keywords like crisis communication, terrorism, and disaster, I found an alumnus by the name of Mark Ball, who graduated UGA with a bachelor’s in international affairs (AB ’08). Mark is currently a lieutenant in the United States Navy. He has been in the Navy for over seven years; his experience matched each of my ‘unique’ interests. I clicked his name, sent him an email about myself asking for him to be my mentor. Within a couple days there was a reply. A few emails later, our first meeting was set.

Since he is stationed halfway around the world, we met via FaceTime and it went great.

The UGA Mentor Program provides many resources to help you prepare and use to ensure that one-on-one sessions with a mentor go smoothly and successfully. After an hour and a half, we got to know each other personally and professionally, established goals, and set expectations. Our relationship grew organically. We hit it off, and the time truly flew by.

The mentoring was very structured. After each of our meetings, there were deliverables I was responsible for preparing before our next meeting. Mostly my idea, but he agreed they would help. For instance, one task was to put into writing 1) Why I want to get a PhD, 2) Identify areas I want to research and why, and 3) Why I want to be an FBI Agent.

We would discuss my goals and these topics in depth. Mark asked a few questions. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. He listened and about halfway through, in a very calm tone as if he were telling me the weather, he asks, ‘Have you ever considered the Navy Reserves, as an intelligence officer? This could also be a beneficial segue into the FBI.’

I wish I could say that the Hallelujah Chorus rose in the background and fireworks shot off, but that was not the case. I had not considered joining the military in over a decade. I pondered a military career in high school when we had a career day, but quickly swatted away the idea.

But I am a nerd. I love to learn things. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the more you know! So, I did my due diligence. I spent weeks researching his suggestion, looking at the ins and outs of the Navy, the intelligence world, and the military in general. I asked friends and family for their input. I thought and prayed about it.

Then one sunny day in October, I contacted a Navy recruiter. After we met, I thought and prayed about it a bit longer, before deciding this is exactly what I needed and should do. I finally know what I want to do for the rest of my life!

Mark has been by my side every step of the way. He has not only guided me along the steps of entering the military, which is not an easy feat, but he has also helped guide me in my studies. Many of our conversations have been about current events and what research topics would be beneficial. If I can learn and research pertinent information about my future career field, why not?

Our ongoing mentor/mentee relationship has been truly life changing. I can honestly say that I had no idea that I would benefit as much as I have from the relationship or the program. I can only imagine what I would have gotten from this program had I had the same opportunity my freshmen year in college.

I am forever grateful to Mark and the UGA Mentor Program. I cannot recommend this program enough. It is beneficial for any age, educational level, or stage of life. One day, I hope I can give back to a student just as much as Mark and the program have given to me.

Inspired by this life changing story? Want to play a role in helping a student achieve their dreams?

 

Alumnus guides others on med school journey

I always knew that I wanted to be a doctor. I remember proudly proclaiming this on career days in elementary school. I didn’t know what kind of doctor that I wanted to be, but the decision to pursue medicine was clear from an early age.

What I didn’t know was that the path to medical school was like running through miles of thorn bushes while trying to avoid a stampede of buffalo in the dark of night, during a tornado. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I remember what it was like every step of the way, and it was not easy.

Destination Med School Screen Capture 1

I was never the smartest person in class. As I share in the video above: I failed my driver’s test twice, I took the SAT three times to get the score I needed, and I had to take the MCAT twice. I got denied from 25 medical schools and it took me nearly two years to get accepted. Hard work, resilience, and patience got me to where I am today.

After 3 years of medical school in Philadelphia at Sidney Kimmel Medical College (Thomas Jefferson University), I decided to pursue an opportunity to earn a Master of Business Administration at my Alma Mater, the University of Georgia, in the MD/MBA Dual Degree program.

When I returned to UGA, I wanted to give back to the university that shaped me into the person I am today. I began volunteering for the UGA Pre-Health Advising Office, speaking at panels, hosting presentations, and meeting with students for one-on-one advising. When the new year rolled around, I decided that I wanted to make a larger impact.

We all know the value of a mentor. During undergrad, I had a small handful of these mentors that were accepted into medical school and they provided me with powerful advice. What about the people that didn’t have mentors? Imagine a space where an entire community of doctors, dentists, physician assistants, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more, many of whom are UGA grads, provide advice and motivational stories to pre-med students.

In January 2020, I launched Destination Med School, an online community of medical professionals sharing advice, insight, and lessons they’ve learned along their journeys. As I write this post, the account has exceeded 2,000 followers on Instagram since launching one month ago and has grown to a community of nearly 100 medical professionals. Future medical professionals, anywhere in the world, can now tune in to receive daily content from mentors in all fields.

I am proud to continue my work with UGA’s Pre-Health Advising Office and speaking to future medical professionals at this great university. I am proud to run an account that provides mentorship to students who need it. And I am proud to now, and always, be a Georgia Bulldog.

Check out Destination Med School on Instagram @destinationmedschool.

Jake Goodman

Best,
Jake Goodman
UGA Class of 2015

UGA Mentor Program by the numbers

If you’re considering participating in the UGA Mentor Program as a mentor or a mentee, here are some numbers you may find interesting:

FIrst Generation Mentors & Mentees

The program currently has 1,669 mentees, 1,956 mentors and has fostered 989 mentoring relationships*. This is definitely a case of “The more, the merrier,” so come join the fun. A rewarding relationship awaits!

Think you won’t find someone who shares your background or interest? Fear not. The program gathers a wide variety of information on both potential mentors and mentees. For instance, say you are a first generation Bulldog–few in your family can relate or offer advice. The Mentor Program has 319 first generation mentees and 484 first generation mentors right now. You are bound to find a connection that can relate to your situation and offer support and guidance.

Popular Mentor Discussion Topics

Unsure of what you can offer a mentee? Wonder what you would discuss with a mentor? The five most popular discussion mentoring topics are:

1. innovation/entrepreneurship
2. work-life balance
3. building your personal brand
4. maximizing your college education
5. networking/informational interviewing

There’s no doubt you will find things to talk about together!

The one thing missing from the UGA Mentor Program? It’s you!

 

*Stats are as of January 18, 2020. The program continues to grow.

I am a UGA Mentor

In honor of National Mentoring Month, we are celebrating UGA Mentor Month. January 8 is the national “I am a Mentor Day,” or as we like to call it: “I am a UGA Mentor Day.” Let’s hear from a few mentors about the benefits of giving back to the university through the UGA Mentor Program.

Dominique Hollaman

 

I am a UGA mentor because it is another way for me to support the mission of the university while paying it forward. During my time as a student, I had numerous mentors who guided me along my journey and continued to support me post-graduation. My professional life would not be the same without the impact of their time. In my gratitude, I choose to serve to give what was given to me. 

Dominique Holloman (BS ’01, MED ’04, JD ’04)
Chief of Staff, Office of State Representative William K. Boddie

 

My experience serving as a UGA mentor has been rewarding in ways I did not anticipate. Not only have I gotten to know two incredible UGA students and (hopefully) offered them some useful advice or ideas, but I’ve gained just as much from them! As a doctoral candidate and staff member on campus, hearing first-hand about my mentees’ experiences as students–and reflecting back on my own time as a UGA undergraduate–has been eye-opening for me both personally and professionally. Participating in the UGA Mentor Program allows me to contribute to the University of Georgia community in a meaningful, tangible way.

Julia Butler-Mayes (AB ’07)
Director of University Academic Advising Services

I am a UGA mentor because I love staying connected to the university and to current students. I would advise fellow UGA alumni to become a mentor because it is a meaningful way to support the university and its students.

What I love most about being a UGA mentor is encouraging a student who is pursuing a career in my field, broadcast journalism. I find it rewarding because I have learned so much about the remarkable courses of study being offered today, and the aspirations and values of these students and future job seekers. It is also rewarding to give back to the university I love. UGA meant so much in shaping my career and my life.

The surprising thing for me as a UGA mentor was I learned as much, if not more, from my UGA mentee as she did from me!

Kay Flowers Johnson (AB ’83)
Independent Video Content Producer
(pictured with her mentee, Taylor Maggiore)

Hear Domonique Holloman and Cara Winston Simmons share about their experiences mentoring through the UGA Mentor Program. Get in on the fun. Become a UGA Mentor today!

From one boss to another

The value of a high-quality boss can’t be overstated. From advocate, counselor, teacher and friend–a great boss wears many hats!  

In honor of National Boss’s Day today, we asked some of our young alumni volunteers to share memories and lessons learned from their favorite bosses. Take a peek at their answers below … and remember to thank your boss(es) today!

Raj Shah (BSA ’06, MPA ’06, JD ’10)

UGA Alumni Board of Directors

Title: Senior Regulatory Attorney, MagMutual

Favorite Boss: Jon Rue, Parker Hudson Rainer & Dobbs

“Jon is the consummate professional and is extremely well-respected for both his professional achievements and community involvement. He taught me the importance of always finding time to listen, how to be actively present, and that humor is key to succeeding in the workplace.”

Jasmin N. Severino Hernandez (AB ’13, AB ’13)

Outreach Chair, UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council

Title: Associate Attorney, Davis, Matthews & Quigley, P.C.

Favorite Boss: Kevin Bowen, American Campus Communities

“Kevin took a chance on me when I was a new student at UGA who needed a job to make ends meet. Some of my favorite memories of Kevin include: tailgating for UGA games; when he made me work the leasing office during the ‘snowpocalypse’ of 2011 because I was the only employee snowed in on the property; and grabbing Firehouse Subs with him and his son Tyler. Kevin was a great friend and he taught me to be bold and stand for truth.”

[Jasmin and Kevin at one of their UGA tailgates, pictured top of page]

Hunter Knowles (JD ’12)

UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council

Title: Corporate Counsel and Assistant Secretary, Oxford Industries

Favorite Boss: Anonymous Law Firm Partner

“When asked if a more casual dress code could be implemented to match the attire of our clients, the partner responded ‘If our clients were the circus, would we dress like clowns?’”

Collier Hatchett Collier (BSED ’10, AB ’10)

UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council

Title: Director of State Board Operations, Technical College System of Georgia

Favorite Boss: Matt Arthur (BSED ’83, MED ’91), Technical College System of Georgia

“Matt and I are both graduates of the UGA College of Education and my favorite memory together is attending the 2018 awards ceremony where he received the COE Lifetime Achievement Award. Matt has taught me that it is never too late to show someone kindness and that becoming a good listener will allow you to understand others and help you become better at what you do. Plus, Matt also played on the 1980 National Championship football team (I have a pretty cool boss).”

Noel Hardin (BBA ’15, MACC ’16)

UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council

Title: Mergers and Acquisitions Senior Consultant, Deloitte

Favorite Boss: Travis Grody, Deloitte

“Travis and I started our careers in Audit at Deloitte. The most important thing he taught me was to take ownership of the quality of my work. Your brand is based on the quality of whatever you deliver. My favorite memory of Travis actually happened out of the office. A common trend for auditors during ‘busy season’ is to fall out of their exercise routines and gain 10-20 pounds (very similar to the ‘Freshman 15’). We spent a month traveling for a project in Toccoa, Georgia. Travis was getting married soon after our time in Toccoa, so he couldn’t afford to gain busy season weight right before his wedding. Toccoa is a very small town, but we found a gym online. We went the first morning before work, and the two of us worked out in the sketchiest old warehouse/gym you can imagine, with the sketchiest trainer you can imagine … and never went back. We found a different gym, had a great month in Toccoa, and Travis stayed in shape for his wedding!”

Even if you aren’t a boss, you can still help guide a fellow Bulldog’s professional journey – become a UGA Mentor today! You’ll be able to connect with a student who is seeking career advice on your time, on your schedule.

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