The University of Georgia
Knoblich, Andrew

UGA's Amazing Students

Andrew John Knoblich

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September 29, 2013

Andrew Knoblich, a graduate student in professional counseling, is using his education and the resources available to him at UGA to make an impact on the community.

Expected graduation:

May 2014

Degree objective:

M.Ed. in professional counseling

University highlights, achievements and awards:

When I began my graduate program in professional school counseling in the College of Education, I could not have imagined the opportunities that awaited me. From the first day of class, I was presented with opportunities to refine my leadership skills, develop academically and socially, and positively impact the UGA and Athens community.

My first leadership role as a graduate student was to serve on the executive board of the University of Georgia School Counseling Association. The position enabled me to positively influence the objectives, scope and direction of the organization. While serving in the capacity of first-year member-at-large, I was nominated and selected to participate in Leadership UGA through the Center for Leadership and Service. As a participant in Leadership UGA, I was required to identify a community issue and develop a solution to help resolve the issue. As a former college admissions counselor and an aspiring professional school counselor, I found that the dismal high school graduation rates in Georgia seemed to be an appropriate issue to address. Having substantial experience in executing professional and amateur mass-participation events I decided to create the Road to College 5K initiative with the help of UGASCA members.

The intention of the Road to College 5K is to develop community awareness of the low high school graduation rates in Georgia and the opportunities that exist for community stakeholders to engage in volunteer and philanthropic activities to increase student success in Clarke County. Additionally, I wanted 100 percent of the proceeds to provide a scholarship for a deserving Clarke County School District high school senior to attend an institution of higher education. The inaugural event was held in August 2013 and had more than 100 registered runners. Moreover, the initiative generated publicity for the Clarke County Mentoring Program, Communities in Schools and a $1,500 scholarship.

Apart from this, I was fortunate in my first semester of studies to obtain a graduate assistantship at the UGA Career Center. The work I have done with the Terry Consultant Team has expanded my career development and business acumen tremendously. I am now in my second year with the Terry Consultant Team and thoroughly enjoy my work with the team and UGA students.

In addition, I have had the opportunity to train with the National Coalition Building Institute-UGA to work to reduce prejudice and oppressive factors on our campus, serve as the president of UGASCA, grow spiritually through my involvement with the UGA Catholic Center, serve on the board of directors for The Cottage: Sexual Abuse Center and Child Advocacy Center, serve as the community engagement coordinator for the AthHalf, and participate in several research initiatives under the guidance and direction of our world-class faculty.

Hometown:

Acworth, Ga.

High School:

Harrison High School

Current Employment:

Graduate assistant at the UGA Career Center and production crew foreman with Medalist Sports LLC.

Family Ties to UGA:

My younger brother is also an alumnus of UGA. Our enrollment overlapped for two years before I graduated with my B.S. in education. It was a great experience!

I chose to attend UGA because...

I investigated other graduate programs and UGA quickly stood out as a top choice. After reviewing the program’s focus on social justice and speaking with some graduates of the program, I felt that it was the best fit for my career and educational ambitions. The world-class faculty and top-ranked programs certainly helped to facilitate my decision.

My favorite things to do on campus are...

I live very close to the intramural fields and enjoy running from my house to Oconee Forest Park. I attend sporting events as often as possible and participate in events at the UGA Catholic Center.

When I have free time, I like...

… to exercise. Running is a big stress reliever for me and I enjoy getting a few miles in before or after a long day of work. I also enjoy volunteering in the community. So many people have helped me to get to this point in my life and I value the opportunity to give back to others. Also, a Friday night at Terrapin followed by dinner at the White Tiger Gourmet is a nice end to the week.

The craziest thing I've done is...

… run a full marathon when I was 18 years old without having trained for it. The farthest distance I had ever run prior to the race was 12 miles. After completing the race I couldn’t walk for three days and I had to be taken around the San Diego Zoo in a wheelchair.

My favorite place to study is...

As a graduate assistant in the UGA Career Center, I am fortunate to have office space. I use this space after work to focus on writing papers and studying for tests. It is definitely the most peaceful place for me to study.

My favorite professor is...

There are some extraordinary faculty members in the department of counseling and human development services at UGA, thus making it a challenge to select only one professor. However, I had the privilege of knowing one of the most inspiring. I had heard several anecdotes about Jenny Penney Oliver months before I applied to my program at the university. These stories led me to develop an image of an altruistic, warm, caring, knowledgeable professional and Dr. JPO exceeded these expectations. I will never forget when she scheduled individual meetings with my entire cohort and I mentioned how surprised I was that she had the time to meet with us. “It’s not always about having the time,” she replied, “so much as it is about making the time.” This statement resonated with me and in stressful times I am comforted by the thought of how much control we DO have over lives and our schedules.

Weeks after I began my program, Dr. JPO was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and battled the disease with true strength and grace. She did not allow it to alter her attitude, work ethic or compassion for others. I was in disbelief to see her in Aderhold Hall as often, or more often, than other program faculty. Dr. JPO was one of the most inspiring and courageous women I have known in my life. She passed away on June 12, 2013, and I feel fortunate to have called her a professor and a friend. Her memory lives on in our program and our graduates.

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

… Jesus Christ. There has been no individual more influential in this world. I would love to ask some questions and gain some wisdom.

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

… lose the ability and motivation to succeed and learn. From each of my failures I have had the opportunity to learn and grow. Without having endured these failures I would not have experienced the successes I have thus far in my life.

After graduation, I plan to...

… investigate employment opportunities in my field or consider pursuing doctoral studies.

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

… planning and executing the Road to College 5K. The event was my first as a race director and it was far more work than I anticipated. However, the experience was invaluable, and it was extremely satisfying to see the project come to fruition.