Senior Erica Holland didn’t waste any time before exploring her opportunities for research and student activities at UGA. She has participated in a study on the use of Facebook by political candidates, is involved in the university’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, has worked with a student-run PR agency and has studied abroad and worked in Argentina. After graduation, she plans to work in South America in a job that allows her to strengthen her Spanish while applying what she’s learned as a student in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Lovejoy High School
BS in advertising and Spanish
University highlights, achievements and awards:
When I arrived at the university, I became involved quickly. I was the first Donald and Louise Hollowell CURO Apprentice through the Honors Program Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities and conducted research my freshman year with Dr. Kaye Sweetser of the advertising and public relations department on the 2006 midterm elections and the candidates' use of Facebook to reach their constituents. During my sophomore year, I worked with Dr. Robert Pratt, head of the history department, and did research on the use of the racial slurs among African-Americans who attend a predominately white college. I served on the inaugural Freshman Advisory Board of the Black Affairs Council, and we hosted several educational and social programs throughout the year. I also served on Freshman Forum through the university’s Student Government Association and was inducted into Tate Honor Society, an honor bestowed to 24 freshmen. I served as an Honors Ambassador for two years and represented the university’s Honors Program on a local and regional level.
I became involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America as a member and worked with Creative Consultants, a student-run PR agency for two years with two local non-profit organizations, Women to the World and Tumornators. I helped with their fundraising, promotions and publicity efforts. In fall 2007, I was awarded the Outstanding Member of the Semester award in PRSSA. I am now vice-president of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is the largest student organization in Grady College. No only do I have the honor of representing more than 300 students on a local and national basis, but I also manage more than 50 members as the head of 10 different committees. I also have organized PRofessional CONNECTION, our annual public relations conference on campus, where we had more than 150 students and PR professionals. I serve the university as a goodwill host and ambassador in the Arch Society and am a member of the Eta-Xi chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., where I serve as the corresponding secretary and social chair. For the past two years, I have served as the PR chair and created flyers and promotional materials.
I studied abroad in fall 2008 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and took Spanish classes and traveled around the country. While I was there I also worked at Colombo Pashkus, one of the top PR agencies in Buenos Aires, and helped with work for their national and international clients. I was one of 20 people nationwide to receive a scholarship from the Lagrant Foundation, which gives scholarships to students interested in advertising, public relations and marketing. From this scholarship, I garnered an internship with Waste Management for the past two summers. I worked in the regional public affairs office, where I created media lists for general and specialized markets, highlighted best practices in the region by writing community success sheets, drafted and proposed a social media guide and traveled to different sites to learn about operations of the company.
I work in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, where I help recruit the best and brightest students for the incoming freshman class. My tasks in the office vary on a daily basis, but I manage the 140 members of the Georgia Recruitment Team, help with special events for prospective and admitted students, conduct information sessions and assist with calling prospective and admitted students. I love my job because it provides me the opportunity to help high school seniors find out if UGA is the right place for them.
I chose to attend UGA because...
... UGA offers a myriad of opportunities that I know I could not have received anywhere else. I am so in love with this university for the amazing people I get to meet on a daily basis—students, faculty and staff alike. CURO was also a great selling point for me, because I was able to do research my first year on campus, which is rare for most universities. The culture of learning and inquiry is something that I truly enjoy here.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
... I love to go to football games with my friends and give campus tours to visitors. I love to walk (or jog) around campus because it is incredibly beautiful, but if I can’t do that, I like to work out at the Ramsey Student Center.
The craziest thing I've done is...
… sprain my ankle and then visit Rome, Italy the next week. I thought that I could handle it, but as soon as I got off the flight, I was in immense pain! Luckily, I still was able to enjoy the sights of Rome. I’ve also zip-lined through the mountains of Bariloche, Argentina! I was extremely scared to do it (especially due to my fear of all things extreme) for fear of getting stuck in the middle, but luckily I succeeded! Unfortunately, I didn’t escape the embarrassing pictures from the event, but it is something that I will always remember.
My favorite place to study is...
... the Miller Learning Center. I can study on the fourth floor in the quiet area or sit on the third floor and take a study break whenever I see my friends. It’s also a great place during finals, when it’s open 24 hours, because I can spend all-nighters with my friends studying and having fun.
My favorite professor is...
… Dr. Kaye Sweetser in the advertising and public relations department. I have known her since I was a freshman and have worked with her as a research mentee and as a student. Although she expects a lot from her students, she is extremely helpful and dedicated to seeing her students succeed. Taking her class in my junior year as an elective was tough but incredibly rewarding, and her critiques and suggestions helped to polish my writing skills.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
... First Lady Michelle Obama. I admire her grace and presence and would love to chat with her about her career, her role in promoting the Healthy Food Financing Initiative and where she would like to see America in the near future.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
... empower and educate everyone who lives in disadvantaged areas and encourage them to be the best person he or she could possibly be. I would want them to live life to the fullest and provide them with the resources necessary to live their life in a meaningful, productive way that helps others as well.
After graduation, I plan to...
... work abroad in South America with either a public relations agency or in a communications department of a company so that I can strengthen my Spanish skills and contribute what I’ve learned in Grady to the job.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
... when I watched my first UGA football game at a local sports bar in Argentina. All of my classmates planned to watch the game together there after we found out that they show college football games via satellite. We were extremely surprised to see other people in the bar, wearing red and black. In our second week there, we met alumni from UGA who were living in Buenos Aires at that time! This experience really showed me how strong the Bulldog Nation is, and I was in awe that I would meet people across the world with the same love and dedication for the university that I have.