Senior Ashley Lauren Foster has had many rewarding experiences during her time as a student at UGA. In 2007, she was crowned Miss University of Georgia, inducted into The Arch Society and completed her Honors thesis. As Miss UGA, she has lectured at UGA’s School of Public Health about stroke awareness and prevention, worked with St. Mary’s Hospital to coordinate a Community Stroke Forum last August, and continued working on the creation of a Georgia Stroke Awareness License plate that would benefit the REACH (Remote Evaluation of Acute Ischemic Stroke) program. She has worked at Camp Twin Lakes, a camp for medically disabled children, and she is presenting neurobiological research she conducted at the UGA’s College of Pharmacy at the CURO Symposium in March. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school at the Medical College of Georgia.
Evans High School
B.S. in cellular biology/pre-medicine with a minor in dance
University highlights, achievements and awards:
As Miss UGA 2007, I went on to the Miss Georgia competition, where I was named one of the top ten finalists and honored as a Quality of Life Finalist for my community service work and leadership. In addition to doing that work around stroke awareness and prevention, I have been active with Zeta Tau Alpha since my first year at UGA. Several positions I have held at ZTA have included secretary, recruitment recommendation chairman and Web site coordinator. Previously, I conducted neurobiological research at the University of Georgia’s College of Pharmacy under the direction of James Franklin. My project was a continuation of the thesis I wrote in the spring of 2007 titled Voltage-Dependent Anion Conductance Porin: a possible channel for cytochrome c release in apoptosis. Other organizations with which I am involved include Alpha Epsilon Delta (a pre-med honor society), Alternative Spring Break, Dance Marathon, Wesley Foundation, the UGA Alumni Association and Relay for Life. I was also a Dance Dawg for my first two years at UGA. Organizations I volunteer for outside of UGA include St. Mary’s Hospital (general surgery recovery, stroke rehabilitation and ICU), Athens Regional Medical Center (pediatric playroom), the Red Cross (first aid at UGA football games and blood donor), the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk of Augusta, Samaritan’s Purse, Children’s Miracle Network and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Last summer, I worked at Camp Twin Lakes, a camp for medically disabled children. As an Outdoor Adventure Leader, I led campers with disabilities ranging from heart transplants and cancer to muscular dystrophy and AIDS in activities such as rock wall climbing, biking, camping, hiking and photography. Overall, my favorite activity to lead was the ropes course. There were many touching moments, such as Camp Sunshine’s memorial service that remembered 27 campers who had passed on in the past year.
Family Ties to UGA:
My uncle, Lavern Alexander Williams Jr., graduated from UGA in 1974 with a degree in animal science. The first year he was at UGA, he received a small bulldog pendant that he would take to every football game. Soon after I graduated from high school and announced my enrollment at UGA, I received a special gift from my aunt and uncle: a purse with the small bulldog pendant sewn on it. Now I hold the cherished bulldog pendant that will hopefully one day be passed on to another member of my family.
I chose to attend UGA because...
...it has so much to offer, from a challenging academic curriculum to a growing arts program, from a lively social scene to many volunteer opportunities. I have pride in being a Bulldog and peace in knowing that Athens is a second home.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
...soaking in the sun at Herty Field, listening to a local band play at Tate, eating lunch with a friend in the gazebo in the gardens in front of the Pharmacy building, viewing a student’s art work, working out at Ramsey, eating Sunday brunch at a dining hall, and dancing in the rain on North Campus. The unforgettable highlights as a student at UGA have been making friends and nurturing those relationships while attending football games, gymnastic meets, ballets, symphonies, student ministries and concerts.
When I have free time, I like...
...to stroll down Broad Street, shopping at little boutiques, viewing art and enjoying a conversation with a friend over a cup of tea at a local coffee shop. I also enjoy practicing yoga, ballroom dancing, running and salsa dancing.
My favorite place to study is...
...the children’s section of Barnes and Noble. The atmosphere is cheery, the hot tea is delightful and the studying is fun.
My favorite professor is...
...Charles S. Bullock. He went above and beyond his job description as my Honors political science professor. He provided contacts for me to jumpstart my idea of creating a stroke awareness license plate. He helped me to understand southern politics and the inner workings of the Georgia General Assembly. If I had not had his class, I would not have gone to Georgia’s State Capitol, where I was recognized with a standing ovation by the state senate and house for my work with stroke awareness and prevention. Without Dr. Bullock’s teaching I would have been discouraged when I learned that the Georgia State Constitution had to be altered in order to allow for a license plate to benefit a non-profit organization. Instead, I am continuing to press on because of the insight he gave to me.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
...Matthew Stepanek, a young boy who passed on from muscular dystrophy. In his short lifetime, he wrote several books of poems that are filled with insight into life. The wisdom he had was beyond his years because of the challenges he had to face including fighting a chronic illness and watching siblings die.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
...remove the burdens of every person, whether that be illness or stress from an upcoming test.
After graduation, I plan to...
...attend medical school at the Medical College of Georgia starting in August 2008 and to someday go on a medical mission trip to Africa.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
...serving as Miss University of Georgia 2007. Representing this wonderful institution has been a blessing that I will never take for granted!