In her ideal world, senior Leigh Creighton would like to be a writer, a civil rights lawyer, a mother, a wife, and a dreamer. She was an apprentice in UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Opportunities during her first two years at UGA where she studied the effects of grade retention on elementary school students with Stacey Neuharth-Pritchett, and she also studied international affairs under Stephen Shellman and Project Civil Strife. She has volunteered with the Thomas Lay Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Athens. She has completed her studies a semester early, so she plans to have an internship in law or journalism before she begins law school in the fall.
A.B. in history with a minor in philosophy
University highlights, achievements and awards:
I was a Center for Undergraduate Opportunities Apprentice for my first two years of undergrad. My first year, I had the opportunity to work with Stacey Neuharth-Pritchett who is in the elementary education department. I was able to research the effects of retention in elementary students. My second year, I explored international affairs under Stephen Shellman and Project Civil Strife. Ultimately, as a CURO-AP I got a unique opportunity to gain research experience as an undergraduate and be immersed in an encouraging atmosphere with intelligent peers that helped motivate and inspire me to continue challenging myself. Additionally, in the past I’ve been involved in the Thomas Lay Center and volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club of Athens. I’ve been awarded a Certificate of Appreciation and a Community Service Award by the Thomas Lay Center and CURO. Since the time I was a freshman, I’ve been a part of the Honors Program. I have been a Presidential Scholar before, and I’ve been on the Dean’s List a few times.
Stone Mountain, Georgia
DeKalb School of the Arts
I chose to attend UGA because...
...the University of Georgia was an opportunity for a good education for a good price. I always had plans to go to professional or graduate school, and I did not want to graduate with unbearable student loans. Also, UGA is close to home, which offered freedom and security all in one school.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
I live off campus so I enjoy taking a “power nap” on campus so that I can get back to studying. I love living off campus, but it means I have to find ways to conserve the back and forth trips to my apartment. I also like reading outside on north campus and taking my lunch breaks somewhere in the shade.
When I have free time, I like...
...writing. I write poetry and short stories. I also just write pieces and don’t know what to call them. I also use my free time to travel home and visit my best friends at Tuskegee and Spelman College.
The craziest thing I've done is...
...is go spelunking in South Dakota. Two summers ago, I spent a week in South Dakota to visit my friend who worked at Jewel Cave as a park ranger. It was the best vacation ever. Towards the end of the trip, I went spelunking, which included rock climbing (for real, there can be a fear of heights underground too) and squeezing through a crawl space that was 8-1/2 inch by 24-inch. I was almost too scared to do it, but who doesn’t want to say they’ve gone spelunking?
My favorite place to study is...
The SLC works the best for me. It seems to have grown more useful over time as I take classes that require more and more reading. It’s so easy to get distracted from reading as opposed to writing or completing math problems.
My favorite professor is...
...Diane Batts Morrow of the history and African American Studies department. I have not had many classes taught by an African-American, let alone a female, so from day one, Dr. Morrow already stood out to me. She is an intelligent, humble, well-spoken individual whom I feel blessed to just know. She’s been my teacher in the past and worked with me on my Honors thesis using slave narratives.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
...my favorite author, Octavia Butler. She is an African-American science fiction writer, and she’s amazing. Her work and the awards she’s won are inspiring. She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, which some would say makes her a “genius”. When I first read her novel, Kindred, it was the first time that I had read or heard about fiction by a black female whose subject matter was not focused mainly on stereotypical African-American issues. Through science fiction, Butler does address issues within the black community, but she takes on the issue of humanity in general in a way that is fitting for science fiction. I read that she recently died from a fall, and I would have loved the opportunity to just speak with her or perhaps have her read my writing.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
...be five women: One of me would be a writer for twenty-four hours of the day. Another me would be a wife. Another me would be a civil rights lawyer. Another me would be a mother to at least two kids. The one of me left would dream and keep the other women from forgetting what it means to be open to dreams.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
...getting lost and frustrated in the main library. I know that sounds a little odd or maybe even geeky, but I really will always remember it. I have been going to libraries since I can remember, and I could always find what I was looking for. I had never been in a library as big as UGA’s main library and had trouble finding a book. It was a sort of a secret embarrassing moment for me.