The University of Georgia
Cheek, Lindsey

UGA's Amazing Students

Lindsey Cheek

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August 2, 2015

Lindsey Cheek excelled on the UGA gymnastics team, but she also excels in the classroom. The triple major — microbiology, biology and psychology — has her sights set on becoming a doctor.

Expected graduation:

Fall 2015

Degree objective:

B.S. in microbiology, biology and psychology

University highlights, achievements and awards:

I didn’t start college like the normal student. I graduated high school in December and immediately joined the gymnastics team.  When the spring semester began in January I was competing on three events when I should have been a senior in high school. During that season I was named freshman of the week once, and eventually earned first team All-American honors on vault at the NCAA National Championships. 

Unfortunately, during my sophomore year I was faced with an injury that kept me from competing for most of the season.  However, I again went on to earn first team All-American honors on vault at the NCAA National Championships. Additionally, I was named to the UGA Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.

As a junior, I was named NACGC/W regular season second team All-American on beam.  I also earned NCAA first team All-American honors on vault and second team honors on beam at the NCAA National Championships.  Additionally, I was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll as well as the UGA Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.

Through my junior year, I earned 10 career event titles; during my senior season, I earned 21 career event titles. As a senior, I was named SEC Event Specialist of the week twice, and then went on to be named the inaugural SEC Event Specialist of the Year by the league’s head coaches. I was also named to the All-SEC Team, as well as the SEC Academic Honor Roll. For the regular season I was named NACGC/W first team All-American on bars and a second team All-American on vault and beam. During the NCAA National Championships, I earned first team All-American honors on vault, bars and beam, and was the national runner-up on beam.  Additionally, I tied for sixth on vault and bars. I became the first and only four-time NCAA first team All-American on vault in UGA gymnastics history. I earned NACGC/W Academic All-American honors and the Academic Achievement Award for our team. Additionally, I was named the team Scholar Athlete as well as the team MVP.

This past spring, I was inducted into the Blue Key Honor Society.

Hometown:

Watkinsville, Ga.

High School:

Oconee County High School

Family Ties to UGA:

My mother attended UGA, but I will be the first in my family to graduate from the University of Georgia.

I chose to attend UGA because...

It was always my dream to do gymnastics for the most successful program in college gymnastics history. Growing up in Athens and attending every sporting event I could, I always knew that I wanted to attend UGA. When I was offered a scholarship for gymnastics here at UGA, I never hesitated. UGA has and will always be my home.

My favorite things to do on campus are...

… visiting the gymnastics practice facility after class to watch my teammates practice.

When I have free time, I like...

… hanging out with my family, going to the lake or watching “Criminal Minds.”

The craziest thing I've done is...

Some people would say that doing gymnastics is a little bit crazy, but it was second nature to me. At times, I could perform gymnastics better than I could walk! However, I would have to say that climbing the old water tower on Macon Highway was the craziest thing I have every done.

My favorite place to study is...

… the microbiology computer lab in the biological sciences building.

My favorite professor is...

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with wonderful professors here at UGA that have inspired me to achieve more academically than I ever imagined. I will be forever grateful for their help and encouragement. However, there is one professor who strongly influenced my decision to become a triple major and pursue a third degree in microbiology. I first met Anna Karls in my Experimental Microbiology lab in the fall of 2014. From the moment I met her, I knew that Dr. Karls was very passionate about microbiology and eager to spread her knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject; you can see this every day through the way she teaches. Before my Experimental Microbiology class, I had always been interested in microbiology, but Dr. Karls lit a fire in me that is still burning. I became so passionate about microbiology that I decide to declare it as a third major. I consulted Dr. Karls and she assured me that I was up for the task. So I decided to take her Pathogenic Bacteriology course this past spring and oh boy, was that the best decision! Dr. Karls did not just teach me about the interactions between pathogenic bacteria and the human body, she taught me how to become a better student, she encouraged me to express my thoughts and opinions, and she helped prepare me for the next level.

Dr. Karls is a wonderful professor and makes every effort to know all of her students. If it wasn’t for Dr. Karls, I would not have pursued three degrees, nor would I have realized my passion for microbiology.

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

… Jimmy Fallon. I think he is absolutely hilarious and I love his ingenuity.

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

I recently lost a family member to Lou Gehrig’s disease, so I would devote my life to finding a cure for ALS.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to...

… travel the world and visit every country.

After graduation, I plan to...

… take a semester off and hopefully start medical school in 2016.

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

Through my years here at UGA, I had the incredible opportunity to experience many things that made huge impacts on my life. However, I would have to say that my senior year of gymnastics will always stick out in my mind. During that season, I got to live out my dream for one last year, I competed in Stegeman Coliseum for the last time, I completed my final moonwalk across the beam, I became the inaugural SEC Event Specialist of the Year, I became the first and only gymnast to be a four-time first team All-American on vault in UGA gymnastics history, and I got to experience all of those incredible moments with wonderful teammates and coaches.