The University of Georgia
Proctor, Kelly

UGA's Amazing Students

Kelly Proctor

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December 1, 2005

For the past three years at UGA, Kelly Proctor has been working toward her goal of becoming a foreign media correspondent in Asia. She completed an internship with a manufacturing company in Shanghai last year, and she received a scholarship from the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism to work in Washington, D.C. this year. As a result, she is an intern with Bloomberg News, a global financial news organization this semester. She plans to graduate next fall with an A.B.J. degree from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and wants to pursue a degree in Asian studies before she begins working full-time.

Degree objective:

A.B.J. in Publication Management and a minor in Chinese Language and Literature

University highlights, achievements and awards:

In the past, I won an Honors Program Courts Scholarship, and I was able to work with a Shanghai-based crane manufacturing company. I also received a Center for Undergraduate Research (CURO) fellowship to compare environmental reporting between Chinese and American newspapers. I'm an editor with CURO's online journal, JURO@GA, and I am a writer with the Red & Black, where I was named last fall's "Best Contributing Writer." I also received a Georgia Press Association scholarship that allowed me to intern with the Athens Banner-Herald.

Hometown:

Urbanna, Virginia

High School:

St. Margaret's School

Family Ties to UGA:

My grandfather, Eugene LeRoy Heric, was a UGA physical chemistry professor for thirty years. He also served as the associate dean of the graduate school. He was one of the few University professors who supported integration back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. My mother, Martha Heric, and my father, Daniel Proctor, both received their degrees from UGA. My aunt and uncle, Elizabeth Oliver and Matt Heric, also studied here.

I chose to attend UGA because...

Although I have many family ties to UGA, the university’s respected journalism school was what really convinced me to attend…but it doesn’t hurt that my grandmother lives up the road! I’ve found that even though the university is gigantic, it’s easy to make it smaller by seeking out a particular dorm, joining clubs and choosing smaller courses.

My favorite things to do on campus are...

...to play pool at the Tate Center and hit racquetballs at the Ramsey Center.

When I have free time, I like...

...to make watercolor paintings or read obsessively about whatever’s interesting to me that week, like China or psychology.

The craziest thing I've done is...

...bet my friend, Chris, that I could eat anything. Chris has traveled a lot in South America, and he has an iron stomach, so he took me up on it. We each had one week to go find four of the grossest food items. Chris went to the Mexican food store and I went to the Asian foods mart. The day of the showdown arrived. Chris bet me one shot of clam juice, but I won that challenge easily. The contest went on to dried anchovies with fish vinegar and pickled pork skins. Finally, I brought out the pièce de résistance: a “hundred-year-old duck egg,” which is a mottled egg with grey gelatinous insides. Chris couldn’t keep it down. Today, I am the reigning queen of eating contests in Mary Lyndon Hall. I’ll bet anyone one duck egg that I can win again.

My favorite place to study is...

...Mary Lyndon Hall. I have lived in the French Hall there for three years, and I’d recommend the experience to anyone (or try the Spanish Hall, if you’re so inclined).

My favorite professor is...

I enjoy Conrad Fink’s classes. He is an excellent motivator. He makes me proud to become an “ink-stained wretch of the press.” I also enjoyed symbolic logic with Frank Harrison. Math isn’t my strongest subject, but Dr. Harrison made it interesting, and he was genuinely interested in his students.

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

...New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins. Filkins was once the L.A. Times bureau chief in Asia. Today, he’s a war correspondent in Iraq. I’d like to ask him about his experiences in China and India and about his excellent writing from the Middle East.

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

...I would write the handbook, Chinese Etiquette for the Confused Foreigner. All my tips would be from personal experience! When I was in Shanghai, the president of the company where I worked said he would prefer me to walk in front of him when we were entering a ceremony. I was flattered; how could I refuse the president’s request? So I walked in front of him for most of the ceremony. At the end, my boss waited for me, red-faced and angry. “What are you doing, Kelly?” he said. “You were supposed to refuse his request and tell him to walk first.” He said I had embarrassed him and that I had lots to learn about being a foreigner in China. Also, I smiled very broadly at visiting dignitaries…until my Chinese friend said it was rude to show one’s teeth.

After graduation, I plan to...

...go to graduate school in Asian studies.

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

My freshman year, I woke up most weekday mornings at 6 a.m. to train with the UGA crew (rowing) team. One morning, we were grumbling and half-asleep as we drove down Ga. 316 to Winder to practice. Imagine our horror when we found that someone had driven a car through our storage facility and torched all our equipment! Our expensive boats lay in ruins! We had to borrow other teams’ boats to row in Nationals at the end of that year. I’ll never forget that race (although we finished in the middle of the pack) or that year of training. Each morning we’d have already run six or seven miles before most other college students were stirring in their beds.