March 13, 2008
Senior Lindsay Lamphere follows her heart. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to attend UGA, so she applied to several schools and even received scholarships from some of them, but she says that when she got her acceptance letter from UGA, she just knew it was where she belonged. She also had her “dream” internship lined up at a company in New York City and had paid a deposit on housing when she found another company on the west coast whose business was more in line with her own values. She changed gears in mid-stream and went to work for TOMS Shoes. TOMS is a shoe company that donates a pair of shoes to a person in need for every pair they sell. Her interest in serving others has extended to community service projects including Alternative Spring Break and becoming the founder and organizer of the “Canned Food Cocktail,” a food drive that collected more than 500 pounds of food for people in Athens-Clarke County. After graduation, she hopes to continue her life in Athens by finding a full-time position at the university.
A.B.J. in public relations and A.B. in speech communication
University highlights, achievements and awards:
In 2004, I was chosen as one of the top 12 freshman women at UGA and initiated into the Dean William Tate Honor Society. I served as the secretary of Tate and was awarded Tate Outstanding Member of the Year in 2006. I am a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and served as Vice President of Recruitment in 2006 and 2007. In 2007, the UGA Panhellenic Council selected me as the November Greek Woman of the Month. I was a participant in UGA’s Verona, Italy study abroad program which opened my eyes to foreign business practices and new cultures. I also served as a host to the UGA baseball team as a Diamond Darling, and I attended Alternative Spring Break in Orlando as a volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House and Give Kids the World. Additionally, I was chosen to be one of the three interns to go on the shoe drop to South Africa in November with TOMS Shoes. All three interns were chosen out of the 30 that worked for TOMS Shoes in Summer 2007. The group of 25 volunteers included parents, CEO’s, press and even the band Hanson went to South Africa for two weeks. We gave away more than 50,000 pairs of shoes to children in need. We traveled to one of the most insulated communities in the world where many of the people had never even seen a mirror. Also in South Africa, we worked with an organization called Food 4 Africa. The organization gives away thousands of meals everyday to children all over the country. Food4Africa does not have a U.S. chapter. I was recently asked to help kick off the U.S. Food4Africa chapter. I will focus on researching U.S.grants that will help women in South Africa start their own handicraft exporting company. I am working with Imagine Interiors, who will sell the imported products to American consumers. This will help the South African women create a sustainable livelihood in their rural communities.
Pope High School
I currently work at the UGA Visitor’s Center. As a Visitor Center staffer, I inform UGA’s visitors of facts and information about the university. I also give tours of campus to potential students. It has been wonderful to have a job conveniently located on campus and to work with people who have high energy and are passionate about what we are doing. I enjoy the interaction with visitors and telling them why it’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog!
I chose to attend UGA because...
Because I am from north Atlanta, I was nervous that UGA would become high school all over again, so I applied to several other large state schools and even received scholarships to several of them. The day that the University of Georgia acceptance letter came in the mail, however, I was overcome with excitement. I just knew that this is where I was supposed to be. UGA was a perfect choice for me because of the combination of challenging academics and social opportunities, not to mention the advantages of living in the Classic City.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
...to play capture the flag on North Campus on Friday afternoons, tailgate in the Myers quad on game days, picnic in the beautiful Founders Garden and go to the Ramsey Center to cycle on the stationary bikes that are conveniently placed in front of the natatorium. There is no better motivation to work out than watching the men’s swim team practice!
When I have free time, I like...
... to shop for antiques. When you think of antiques, fifteenth-century rugs and paintings might pop into your head, but let me reassure you that nothing older than 1986 is in my apartment. I affectionately refer to my hobby as “junking,” an activity that is as much about the hunt and bartering as it is about finding that perfect piece. I am not an interior designer, but treasure-hunting, refurbishing and entertaining have become my creative outlets. There is something about searching through items that other people threw out, but because you can paint it, turn it upside-down and add knobs, and it will become a unique and perfect piece for your house. Estate sales in Athens are great places to find inexpensive furniture and artwork and sometimes even old Georgia Bulldog gear.
The craziest thing I've done is...
...let a pair of shoes change my life. At the end of my junior year, I landed what I thought was my dream internship. I was going to work with my favorite company, David Tutera, in my favorite place, New York City. I had already met my boss and put down the deposit for my dorm room at NYU when I heard about the company TOMS Shoes. TOMS manufactures shoes patterned after traditional slip-ons favored by Argentineans, and for every pair sold they donate an additional pair to a child in need. Last fall, TOMS went on their first “shoe drop” to Argentina and gave away 10,000 pairs of shoes! I found that the company’s mission reflected a lot of my personal values. I ended up forgoing my opportunity in New York, flying to Los Angeles to work for TOMS, and living with 10 other interns in a three-bedroom condo. I had never even been on the west coast before, but I felt that it was where I needed to be. I was able to work in the sales, public relations and campaign departments at TOMS. This unique company not only influenced my professional hopes, but also my personal and spiritual needs. It was a great opportunity to make a difference as a young person, and I’ve realized that our generation can really make an impact. I’ve got a different perspective on how business works now. What TOMS is doing changes the purchasing power of every consumer. The one pair donated for every pair sold formula is amazing, and it’s so great to give shoes to people who may not have ever had them. No other job makes you want to rush out the door every morning. It’s neat when a business that you really love becomes a part of your life.
My favorite place to study is...
...the Student Learning Center. The central location on campus is ideal. Whether you are studying for your Geography 1101 class with friends in the small group study rooms, or being hardcore for your Communication and Law class in the silent rooms on the third floor, the SLC has at all. I love that I am able to get my caffeine fix from the in-house coffee shop or to read quietly in a big leather chair surrounded by the sweet smell of cedar from the reading room with the sight of Sanford Stadium out the window. Suddenly, studying has never seemed so good.
My favorite professor is...
...Kaye Sweetser. I have taken four different classes from her and in each one she has challenged and educated me in different ways. In my PR Communications class, Dr. Sweetster’s purple pen challenged everything I knew about writing. As a journalism major, I had always received good grades in writing classes, but Dr. Sweetser quickly taught me that PR writing is different. I left the class with several portfolio pieces including a published article in Athena magazine. I was also in her PR research class. Normally, I dread anything that involves numbers, but Dr. Sweetser gave me a nudge (okay…sometimes a shove) so that I learned to understand research and even linear regressions! In her social media class, we discussed the importance of companies involving themselves in a two-way conversation with the public. We researched the impact of blogs, podcasts and even Facebook! And in Sweetser’s campaigns class, I was able to combine everything I learned at Grady and plan the first social media bootcamp campaign for Edelman PR.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
I would want to brunch at my favorite place in Athens, Big City Bread, with the following guests: U2’s Bono; Kelly Ripa from Live with Regis and Kelly; Virgin Record’s Richard Branson; Donald Miller, author of Through Painted Deserts; and Nancy Kerrigan, my childhood hero. All of these people have made an impact on me, through their business tactics, perseverance, inspiring words and lyrics or their personality.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
...audition to be Elphaba Thropp in the Broadway show Wicked. I have always wanted to perform, and Elphie is my ideal character because she wants to defy gravity and live without limits.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
...planning and managing “The Canned Food Cocktail” to collect canned goods and help fight hunger in Athens. Athens-Clarke County is in constant need of canned food for the local homeless shelter, and I wanted to get UGA students to help out. I thought that something social and fun would be the best way to do it, so I started a new philanthropy event called “The Canned Food Cocktail.” In the Spring of 2006, I organized an event where music, food and drinks were provided to students who were charged an entrance fee of 5 cans per person. More than 500 pounds of canned goods were donated to a local food bank to help provide hunger relief. I will never forget the excitement I felt at seeing an idea turn into reality. I now realize how much of an effect one person can have on an entire community.