The University of Georgia
Fields, Lauren

UGA's Amazing Students

Lauren Fields

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December 7, 2006

Junior Lauren Fields sees herself as an advocate and activist. She is the president of Advocating Safe Alternatives for Peers, a peer education team on campus that focuses on alcohol and other drug education and prevention. Her organization runs programs for students in the residence halls such as “Booze Clues ” and “Myths and Facts About Alcohol.” The group also executes large, campus-wide campaigns and activities like Safe Spring Break, National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, Summer Orientations, and Alcohol Free Tailgates before UGA football games. She has been a participant in UGA’s LeaderShape Institute, a site leader for UGA’s Alternative Spring Break, and a member of the Georgia Recruitment Team. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Lambda Delta, two honors societies on campus, and she has been on the dean’s list numerous times. After graduation she plans to join Teach for America, pursue a Master of Public Health degree, and continue her activism work with children and adolescents.

Expected graduation:

May 2007

Degree objective:

Bachelor of arts in speech communication; bachelor of science in psychology

University highlights, achievements and awards:

As a first year student, I was elected vice president of the Mell-Lipscomb Hall Council, where we planned many extracurricular activities and programs for residents. This gave me a great opportunity to “test the water” at UGA before taking on greater challenges during my second year. I am currently the president of Advocating Safe Alternatives for Peers. I am proud to be part of a group of students that works tirelessly to promote healthy choices among college students. One of ASAP’s major goals for the upcoming year is to create the Georgia Peer Education Network, which will link all of the college age peer educators in the state of Georgia. This will provide a network in which to share programming ideas, ask questions, provide motivation, and act as a resource for each other. ASAP also receives a grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety which allows us to sponsor programs and educational campaigns that focus on highway safety, especially drunk driving prevention. Last year, I was a participant in UGA’s LeaderShape Institute, which was an amazing opportunity for me to improve my leadership capabilities through taking a closer look at who I am as a person. I have also been selected as site leader for UGA’s Alternative Spring Break program and am currently planning a trip for fifteen UGA students to Savannah. Last March, I was a participant in the ASB trip to Birmingham, Alabama to volunteer at the local Ronald McDonald House. Finally, I am a member of the Student Leadership Advisory Committee, as the representative for alcohol and other drug education. This committee acts as a sounding board for many prospective ideas and changes within the university system or the student body.

Hometown:

Snellville, Georgia

High School:

Shiloh High School

I chose to attend UGA because...

...there is such an overwhelming amount of opportunity available to any student here. No matter who you are or what your interest may be, there is a student organization, campus program, or activity in which you can become involved. I also love the feeling of community at UGA. Regardless of the fields of study or the hometown of a student, I feel camaraderie and friendliness between students.

My favorite things to do on campus are...

...live there! I love the convenience and ease of living on campus. I really enjoy lingering in the dining hall with friends after a meal or walking around campus at dusk when everyone has slowed down for the day and they are enjoying time outside with friends or sports before they have to hit the books. I also love to meet for coffee at the Jittery Joe’s in the Student Learning Center or sit alone and watch people pass by. It’s also hard to forget the serenity of North Campus – picnicking, reading, or talking on Herty Field is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon at Georgia.

When I have free time, I like...

...spending it with friends and family, especially if it involves great food. There is such a broad selection of wonderful restaurants in downtown Athens. I love to take advantage of a lunch or dinner out whenever I have the opportunity. I also enjoy volunteering and community service. I have been involved in the Best Buddies and Big Brother/Big Sister programs at UGA and have found them both very rewarding. I am also an avid reader and movie watcher. I love to escape into the troubles and adventures of someone else’s life for a short while!

The craziest thing I've done is...

...go cliff jumping. The cliff was approximately 30 feet above a narrow river, and it was just deep enough in one spot to be able to jump off the ledge and land safely in the water. After climbing up a slippery rock to reach the jump spot, all I could do was hold my breath, say a little prayer, count to three, and leap! I landed safely in the water and ended up jumping about five or six more times that afternoon.

My favorite place to study is...

...in my room, at my desk. I always find it easier to concentrate in my pajamas, surrounded by things that are very familiar to me. I tend to study better in the daytime, and the residence halls are usually quieter in the early afternoons, so I am always more productive then.

My favorite professor is...

...Marita Gronnvoll, a graduate student with whom I took a public speaking course. I respected and admired that she encouraged us to choose topics that were of a controversial nature in the hopes that we would not learn merely the art of public speaking, but also become exposed to different perspectives and opinions about many issues. One of the first few days of class, she explained, “No one has the right NOT to be offended.” I appreciated a classroom environment where I was able to acknowledge, respect, and find the value in another person’s perspective. Furthermore, I found her to be what I expect every UGA instructor to be: tough but encouraging, fair, and available to students.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...

...Eleanor Roosevelt. She was a smart and independent woman, who reshaped the role of the First Lady by her direct involvement in creating public policy. She created programs and committees to help women and children in need, and became a fierce advocate for these individuals. It would also be interesting to hear her opinions on many of the controversial issues of today, such as abortion and the death penalty. I admire her strength and confidence as a woman, and I have often looked to her and her actions as a reminder that it is possible to make a difference when you truly care about an issue or a cause.

If I knew I could not fail, I would...

...create a recreational summer camp that focuses on helping young people discover new ideas, experiences, and passions by creating opportunities for leadership, providing a safe space to explore new ideas and fostering feelings of support and encouragement. Youth can go back into their own communities to start making a positive difference by becoming artists, doctors, activists, or community leaders. My experiences at summer camp are some of the most treasured memories of my childhood and where I first developed a passion for working with and motivating other people.

After graduation, I plan to...

...participate in Teach for America, a two year program that allows recent college graduates to become teachers in the public school system that are in desperate need of teaching staff. After that, I plan to earn a master’s degree in public health. I would like to work on a college campus as an advocate for student wellness or start a not-for-profit organization that promotes wellness in children and adolescents.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...

...the ASAP Safe Spring Break event called Drinkin’ and Dunkin’. On the day of the event, right before Spring Break last year, five or six UGA student leaders consumed alcoholic beverages every 20 minutes and then a UGA police officer performed a field sobriety test on them. The demonstration showed that even though the student didn’t appear to be intoxicated, he or she was still drunk enough to fail simple tasks. The event created quite a stir on campus, as many students wanted to see exactly who was drinking on the Tate Plaza. Students were being exposed to our message of safety and healthy decision making in a fun and creative way, and we were able to get our message out to many people with this activity and others like it.