The University of Georgia
Melvin, Elizabeth

UGA's Amazing Students

Elizabeth Melvin

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March 3, 2013

From her science work with elementary and middle school students to volunteering at Mercy Health Center, Elizabeth Melvin has made the most of her time on campus and calls attending UGA “the smartest decision I have ever made.”

Expected graduation:

Spring 2013

Degree objective:

B.S. in biology and psychology

University highlights, achievements and awards:

UGA offers its students so many incredible opportunities that I remember being completely overwhelmed freshman year. I immediately joined a sorority, hoping that it would make my new world seem a little bit smaller. Not only do I credit Delta Zeta for introducing me to many of the organizations I remain a part of today, but I also appreciate the opportunities it gave me during my time serving on the executive board. Through it, I found a way to positively impact my community through planning fundraising events and service projects as philanthropy chairman, all the while gaining an amazing group of friends who kept me sane during the craziest of test weeks.

Another highlight of my college career has been participating in Project Focus. The aim of the program is to improve the science experiences of elementary and middle school students in Clarke County through hands-on lessons and experiments by sending UGA science students into the classroom.  I was able to repeat this service-learning course for two consecutive semesters, teaching third- and fifth-grade students. Seeing the students’ eyes light up when I came to teach each week and having them tell me how much they now love science made me feel like I made a small difference in their lives. I continue to promote Project Focus to all science majors, and I am so glad that UGA presents students with this chance to impact our future generation.

I have also had the honor of volunteering at Mercy Health Center in its medical and dental clinics. Mercy works to provide free health care to low-income and uninsured individuals in the Athens area. The opportunity to work in both of their clinics has allowed me to form relationships with several of Mercy’s patients, and I have been touched by so many of them in ways I never expected. I am so grateful to assist an organization that truly cares for each and every patient.

Additionally, I am the current president of the UGA Pre-Dental Society. In what seems like a campus of pre-med students, I love leading a group of people who share my interests, and I hope to provide younger students with guidance and advice as they begin their own journeys.

Hometown:

Acworth, Ga.

High School:

North Cobb High School

Current Employment:

I’m a student assistant in the Curriculum Systems office on campus, and I am a front desk receptionist at The Omni Club of Athens.

Family Ties to UGA:

I’m the only one in my family to attend UGA. Ever since, my dad has become a big Georgia football fan.

I chose to attend UGA because...

I honestly wasn’t sure that I wanted to attend UGA. Originally, I wanted to go out of state and experience something besides Georgia. However, it was hard to turn down the HOPE Scholarship and an acceptance into the Honors Program. Now, I cannot picture myself anywhere else. I have had the absolute best time here, and attending was the smartest decision I have ever made.

My favorite things to do on campus are...

I love sitting on the benches overlooking the fountains on North Campus. It’s a great place to take a momentary break from studying and soak in some sun and fresh air. I also enjoy lounging around Jittery Joe’s in the SLC and feeding my unhealthy addiction to coffee.

When I have free time, I like...

I have found so many best friends here, and I love spending any free time I have with them. Whether we lie on the couch and watch ridiculous reality TV show marathons on Bravo or motivate each other to work out, they know how to keep me from taking life too seriously.

The craziest thing I've done is...

I’m really not a crazy, thrill-seeking person, but one time I called into a radio station and “sang” the rest of the lyrics to an Avril Lavigne song to win a karaoke machine. First of all, I can’t sing to save my life, and I hate being the center of attention. The fact that I even decided to call in was completely unlike me. While it may not seem crazy (or even remotely cool), it was definitely out of my comfort zone.

My favorite place to study is...

… Two Story Coffeehouse on the east side. Sometimes studying in the science library can be very stressful, so I usually turn to the relaxed atmosphere of a coffee shop. Being surrounded by people who always seem to be in a good mood makes studying slightly less painful. It also doesn’t hurt that their Cubano con Leche is so delicious.

My favorite professor is...

Karl Espelie. One of my best friends suggested that I visit him freshman year, and thank goodness I did because I would not be where I am today without him. I have never met a more selfless and kind human being who genuinely cares about each and every one of his students. The fact that I can stop by his office whenever to vent about classes or share my worries is something I never imagined I would find in an adviser at a school as large as UGA. The advice he shared with me has proved invaluable, and I honestly don’t think my undergraduate experience would have been as successful without his guidance.

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

Although I’m not too far away from home, I love spending time with my family. My brother and sister go to school in Savannah, so we don’t all get to see each other as often as we would like. They’re absolutely crazy, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. My friends can attest that there is never a dull moment in the Melvin household.

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

I’ve always had a love for anything and everything fashion-related, and one of my dreams is to open up a little boutique. It sounds ridiculous, but starting a successful small business these days is difficult. I always thought it would be so much fun to put everything I like into one store and share it with people.

After graduation, I plan to...

I was recently accepted into the UAB School of Dentistry, and I am looking forward to beginning in the fall.

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

I will never forget my first UGA football game freshman year. I have never seen so many people in one place, and I never realized how many diehard fans we have. As someone who originally had no interest in college football, I am actually unbelievably sad that my days of attending games as a student are over!