Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 10:53am
By:
Alan Flurry

English major, Red & Black staff writer, Franklin College SGA senator, Foundation Fellow, world traveler... what can't Griffin Hamstead do with an A.B. degree?

I was thrilled to be chosen for board and used my place as a representative in the Senate to pass legislation providing greater transparency for club dues on the Involvement Network. This program was also invaluable for my professional development and I made many terrific and lasting friendships in the program over the course of my first year that made Athens feel like home more quickly than I could have imagined. Shout-out to them and their support!

I had a terrific enough experience that I felt called to provide something meaningful to the next group of incoming students. I interviewed for and was chosen to be a co-director for the program now called First-Year Senators. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in my life to date. It means a great deal to me to be able to mentor and guide first-years toward achieving the changes they see for the University of Georgia and provide personal and professional support for them as they move beyond their first year. The first-year students I direct are all superstars and my co-director encourages me to be better by simply being herself, never providing anything but support. Shout-out to all of them too, and the 31st SGA at large!

Beyond SGA, I have also been fortunate enough to serve in the capacity of a mentor in other ways while at UGA. I have been an Honors teaching assistant for the last two fall semesters, instructing first-year Honors students in professional academic behavior, skills for dealing with the challenges of school and access to opportunities. I also spent this semester getting credit toward my Spanish minor by volunteering at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School in a dual-language immersion kindergarten classroom. Both of these mentorship experiences have reminded me of how important giving back and investing in my community is. I will be the first to admit that I have not served others at the level I could have or should have so far during my career at the University of Georgia, and this is a goal of mine moving forward.

Terrific young man with a heart for UGA and obviously a conscience for the world. We can't really do better than that. Congratulations to all of the English department faculty; Hamstead and so many others are a testament to their far-ranging influence.