Senior biochemistry and molecular biology major and North Oconee graduate Hailey Clark has taken her UGA experience in the direction of a future in health economics:
I cannot understate the value of the various undergraduate research opportunities that I have participated in. I was a Roosevelt Scholar (now an Honors Policy Scholar) and was immersed in the world of public policy. My work throughout the semester resulted in a policy proposal to address teenage pregnancy in Athens-Clarke County. I followed that up with a research fellowship at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. I worked in the survey research unit and quickly discovered the intricacies of survey methods. Additionally, I completed my senior thesis in biochemistry by working on a project about the effects of faculty members’ perceptions of students on their teaching. Now, I am focused on completing my senior thesis in economics.
I have also been tremendously influenced by my involvement in the Institute for Leadership Advancement as a Leonard Leadership Scholar. The two-year scholar’s program provided me with insights into leadership in both an academic setting and in practice and challenged me to become my own version of a values-based, servant leader. For one year, I served as a project manager for the program’s capstone project. My team worked with Camp Horizon, an Atlanta-based nonprofit for children in the foster care system. The ups and downs in the journey of leading 13 of my high-achieving classmates to serve a remote client taught me who I want to be as both a leader and a follower.
One additional detail, among many: Clark served as a justice in the University Judiciary, and now serves as director of case administration for justices, coordinating with other justices to ensure that formal hearings abide by the Code of Conduct. It is possible to see how students might have experiences like this beyond their areas of expertise, major or ostensible interest, that both further build their unique set of qualifications and play some perhaps unplanned role in their future. A better understanding of community leadership by participating in it will serve Clark well, no matter what directions her career takes. THAT's an amazing UGA experience.