Amazing Students

Emily Goggin

Emily Goggin. (Photo by Chad Osburn/UGA)

Boren Scholar Emily Goggin came to UGA with an open mind about her future and found her calling early on. She has studied in Brazil and Ghana, and as an Army ROTC cadet, she will pursue her professional interest in international affairs in the military.

Bonaire, GA

High school: 
Veterans High School

Current employment:
Research assistant

Family ties to UGA: 
I think at birth I was destined to become a Georgia Bulldawg based on family association alone. (My mom is very modest and wouldn’t appreciate my bragging but I’m going to do it nonetheless.) My mom was a wonderful member of the UGA golf team in the ’90s. My uncle Gary Cunningham graduated from the College of Pharmacy where he continues to support UGA students through his constant generosity. My cousin Emily graduated with a master’s degree from the College of Education, and my uncles Buzz and Brian also graduated from UGA. These are just a few members of my family that have attended UGA, but the list is endless. I am so thankful for each and every one of them for their support.

Expected graduation: 
Spring 2021

Degree objective:
Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Other degrees:

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
My college experience is defined by unexpected twists and straying away from the original plan. These unforeseen changes have shaped me into the person I am today and permanently altered my future. The biggest benefit to attending the University of Georgia is the endless opportunities to grow. Being open to change and sometimes uncertainty has proven to be a gratifying reward for hard work and dedication.

During my freshman class registration, I signed up for a first-year seminar class without knowing its subject, teacher or content. It was near my other classes and fit with my schedule, (so in true freshman fashion) I registered without a second thought. I walked into the classroom on the first day and discovered that I would be learning about the culture and politics of Rio de Janeiro. As the semester progressed, I learned about favelas, cachaça and samba. I was fascinated with Brazil’s complex culture and society, and by the end of the semester I decided to double major in history and Latin American and Caribbean studies. I still find it shocking that an introductory course altered my academic plans so drastically, but I am thankful, nonetheless. After months of contemplation, I contracted as an Army ROTC cadet at the University of Georgia Bulldawg Battalion.

Shortly after starting my LACS major, my passion for language learning led me to study Spanish and eventually Portuguese. Becoming a member of the Portuguese Flagship Program was a pivotal moment in my college career. Through this program I studied abroad in Florianopolis, Brazil, for two months during the summer of 2019. During this time, I had my second CURO under the mentorship of Cassia Roth. My research investigated Os Confederados, a group of 20,000 American Southerners that migrated to Brazil after the Civil War. Since her arrival to UGA, Dr. Roth has been a constant source of support, mentorship, and laughter. I became a design editor for Fala Aí, our campus Portuguese magazine, and vice president of the history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta. I am also thankful to Josh Darnell for acting as a military mentor during my experience as a member of the Richard B, Russell Security Leadership Program.

In spring 2019 I received a Boren Scholarship to fund my capstone year in Brazil in which I will attend advanced level Portuguese classes and partake in a professional internship. The Portuguese Flagship Program was an instrumental part of achieving this goal. I am so thankful for Elizabeth Hughes, Oscar Chamosa, Kathleen Schmaltz, Robert Moser and Teresa Freitas for their constant support during the application process. I couldn’t have done it without you. I am so fortunate to have had these amazing mentors to guide me throughout my college experience.

Emily Goggin. (Photo by Chad Osburn/UGA)

I chose to attend UGA because …
… of the countless amount of opportunities to grow and expand. There is always something new and exciting happening on campus. Athens is where I really discovered how to be myself.

My favorite things to do on campus are … 
… read outside on North Campus, walk the trails at Lake Herrick and attend dance classes.

When I have free time, I like … 
… hiking at the Botanical Garden, having coffee at Walker’s, eating spicy Indian/Thai food and ballroom dancing

My favorite place to study is …
There is a small secluded alcove with tables and chairs on North Campus. It is surrounded by ivy and wrought iron fencing. Perfect spot to eat lunch in peace.

My favorite professor is …
Cassia Roth and Oscar Chamosa have been such excellent mentors and professors during my experience in the department of history. Both have served as my CURO mentors, supporting me inside the classroom and with my own research.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with … 
… Frida Khalo. She is my favorite artist. I find the way she expresses her pain through her paintings fascinating.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to …
… start a nonprofit in Athens focused on providing elementary students with free after-school care. I worked as an America Reads tutor at Gaines Elementary School here in Athens for two years. The students I worked with were incredibly talented and kind. I sincerely enjoyed working with these students and will always regard it as one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

What is your passion and how are you committed to pursuing it?
Dancing. I began to attend ballroom dance nights at UGA my freshman year. During my junior year I took two ballroom dance classes where I really refined my skills. While studying abroad in Brazil, I learned how to dance forro, zouk and Argentine tango. While many of my academic and extracurricular activities are focused on preparing for my professional career outside of UGA, dancing is something I do simply because it makes me happy.

After graduation, I plan to … 
Upon graduation I will commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. Participating in Army ROTC for the past three years has been important experience that has shaped my professional interests in international affairs. I am so grateful to all of my friends and peers who have supported me during my time as an ROTC cadet, especially Sarah Riggs, Shannon Howard and Dane Hulsey.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be …
… studying abroad in Ghana during December 2018. Through the Department of Education Theory and Practice, I completed an intensive study abroad focused on researching women’s education in West Africa.