The University of Georgia
Suddeth, Christopher

UGA's Amazing Students

Christopher Suddeth

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November 10, 2010

Chris Sudduth’s diverse interests keep him busy and extend his college experience beyond the classroom.. Graduating from UGA in the spring of 2012 with a B.S. Ed. in exercise and sports science and a minor in cellular biology, Chris volunteers in the local community, is active in a pre-med organization, is deeply involved in research in the department of kinesiology, has participated in a study abroad program and is a frequent visitor to the Ramsey Center training facility. 

Expected graduation:

Spring 2012

Degree objective:

B.S. Ed. in exercise and sports science with a minor in cellular biology

University highlights, achievements and awards:

My university experience has allowed me to delve into various areas of interest relating to my future chosen career in medicine. In May 2010, I participated in a UGA sponsored medical service trip through the International Service Learning program. In the rural villages outside of Puerto Jiminez in Costa Rica and an orphanage on the outskirts of David in Panama, we set up makeshift clinics, complete with donated pharmaceuticals, a physician and triage rooms. As a team, we provided free treatments to more than 100 patients with inadequate access to basic healthcare. With this unique combination of improving health while learning alongside a physician, I saw how science and compassion could intricately combine to have a truly meaningful impact on someone’s life.

In March 2011, I participated in UGA’s Alternative Spring Break program. While serving at the Carolina Youth Development Center and the Bridges Assisted Living Home in Charleston, S.C., I met a handful of amazing UGA students and together we left our imprint on the local communities. At the development center, we chalked and painted a regulation-size high school basketball court on their blacktop, complete with shiny rims and stationary hoops. Then, we helped renovate one of the group homes by repainting graffitied walls and faded trim. Later in the week, we livened the lives of the elderly with conversation and games at the assisted living home. Being surrounded by people who had likewise decided to bypass their typical party spring break and commit to bettering lives in need, I was inspired by the power of service.

As a 2011 CURO summer research fellow, I am currently participating in a summer research program. My study is attempting to identify the cause of recurrent feelings of ankle instability following an acute ankle sprain. For the past month, I have been training to use the LigMaster, a device used to measure ligament looseness, recruiting participants from various classes, and collecting data on ankle function, balance, and ligament looseness. As part of the fellowship, students from many disciplines are required to come together and share their research experience. From art projects attempting to modernize Dante’s depiction of Hell, to lab work uncovering the mechanism behind the oncogenic nature of the RAS protein, the diversity of studies currently being conducted at UGA is immense, and as a result, I have a greater understanding and appreciation for studies outside of my own field.

Other activities I am involved in include, the SuperSibs!, in which I serve as co-president; the Alpha Epsilon Delta Premedical Honors Society, UGA Hero’s and Unite for Sight.

In addition, I am a member of the UGA Honors Program; an Honors teaching assistant; and a recipient of several scholarships, including HOPE, SuperSibs! $5,000 Manne Family Foundation Scholarship, $1,000 Fayette County Piedmont Hospital (2 years), $1,000 Kiegler Dentistry Scholarship, $2,000 Lifetouch Scholarship and $5,000 Del Jones Memorial Scholarship from the College of Education (2011-2012).

Hometown:

Peachtree City

High School:

Starr's Mill High School

Current Employment:

I work in the department of chemistry as the chemistry learning center assistant. My duties include helping students with questions, assisting with secretarial duties for the chemistry program, and maintaining the CLC computers and printer.

Family Ties to UGA:

I have no family ties to UGA, but my family has become an avid part of the “Bulldog Nation” since I made the decision to go to school here.

I chose to attend UGA because...

…I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do. I knew UGA had a wealth of opportunities, so I came here with an open mind ready to explore the different options that were available to me. I love walking around on campus and being surrounded by people with so many different passions. The diversity of UGA assures students don’t just focus on one particular facet of their education, but instead they get to meet and interact with students with all kinds of interests. Also, the beauty of the UGA campus was compelling. Any time I walk across north campus, I am still awestruck by the sublime view.

My favorite things to do on campus are...

…spending time in the Ramsey Center. From weight lifting to running to playing pick-up basketball, there’s plenty to do to keep you active while having fun. The one thing I have regretted not doing thus far is getting certified on the rock-climbing wall. I walk past it almost everyday and still cannot believe I have yet to climb it. This is definitely something I intend to do during my senior year.

When I have free time, I like...

…depends on the season. Typically, during the hot fall semesters, I like to escape to the fourth floor of the stark and chilly science library. It may not be the prettiest place on campus, but it’s usually the quietest and always the coldest. During the winter, I tend to study in my room so I don’t have to battle the elements. In the spring, I spend a good amount of time doing work in the Chemistry Learning Center between classes or in the Science Library. Summer semester is the best, because I can finally utilize UGA’s prime study areas in the MLC. In contrast to the chatty social groups that plague the MLC during the fall and spring semesters, it is almost always empty in the summer.

The craziest thing I've done is...

…either playing in Stegeman Coliseum for the all-campus intramural basketball championship or throwing out a pitch in the middle of an inning during the Georgia-LSU baseball game. Playing basketball on the same floor where I’ve watched many heart-racing performances was truly incredible (big thanks to our team’s MVP Mark Harris.) In my first baseball game at UGA, I randomly was asked to guess the speed of my pitch and have it clocked in the middle of an inning. I ended up winning $30 to Academy Sports, which was awesome.

My favorite place to study is...

…depends on the season. Typically, during the hot fall semesters, I like to escape to the fourth floor of the stark and chilly science library. It may not be the prettiest place on campus, but it’s usually the quietest and always the coldest. During the winter, I tend to study in my room so I don’t have to battle the elements. In the spring, I spend a good amount of time doing work in the Chemistry Learning Center between classes or in the Science Library. Summer semester is the best, because I can finally utilize UGA’s prime study areas in the MLC. In contrast to the chatty social groups that plague the MLC during the fall and spring semesters, it is almost always empty in the summer.

My favorite professor is...

...not limited one individual. Dr. Paula Lemons taught a one-of-a-kind honors biology class. She constantly came up with new, innovative ways to present the material effectively using a team-oriented problem-based learning technique. She truly cared about all of her students and took the time to get to know each of us personally. She even hosted a small celebration at her house at the end of the semester for her students!

Dr. Cathy Brown in the department of kinesiology has been one of my most helpful mentors at UGA. I love working in her lab because I am involved in studies that have current, real-world application in the realm of sports medicine. She has spent an incredible amount of time patiently helping me understand the specific details of what we do in the lab and the world of research in general. She took me in as an unknowing freshman and has developed me into a full-blown scientist.

Although my anatomy and physiology teacher, Dr. Meredith Turner, no longer teaches at UGA, she was the most challenging and interesting professor I have had here. She demanded a lot out of us, but in return, she put a lot of time in to her lectures, making sure we really understood the material.

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

…Alex Sudduth, my brother. Alex passed away from complications stemming form his chemotherapy for b-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2001 at the age of 8. Although he is no longer here, his spirit lives on within me and motivates the work I do everyday. I would love to have an afternoon in which I could talk with him and see the type of person he would have become. Though annoying at the time, Alex copied everything I did, so he probably would have followed in my footsteps to become a Bulldog. I would love to hear what he was thinking as a freshman coming into UGA and what he would choose as his major.

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

…discover the cure for cancer and give it away for free. Cancer is so pervasive and has such a negative impact on the quality of life, that I believe it to be the single greatest enemy mankind faces today. Its effects are far more devastating than those who have never been close to someone diagnosed with cancer can comprehend. One child diagnosed with cancer can change the entire dynamics of the immediate and extended family long into the future. For this reason, a new non-profit organization called SuperSibs! was founded in 2001 to treat the psychological and emotional effects of siblings of children with cancer. Years after my brother passed away, SuperSibs! helped me finally come to terms with my loss. To give back to such a great organization, SuperSibs! at UGA (formerly known as The Cancer Effect) has been founded.

After graduation, I plan to...

…attend medical school. Since visiting Emory with my brother during his treatments, I have pictured Emory as the ideal hospital and would love to spend my next four years there working with patients and learning under the direction of their tremendous faculty. In my time as a pre-med student at UGA, I have thought about specializing in sports medicine, orthopedics, general surgery, internal medicine, and pediatric oncology, and I could realistically see myself enjoying any of them. Med school will certainly help clear that vision and lead me in the direction where I can best find fulfillment in the successful treatment of my patients.

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

...Saturdays and the great friends I have made here.