Amazing Students

Jay Ivey

Jay Ivey, wearing a suit and bow tie, sits on a bench in front of a mural of farmland.
From the age of 12, Jay Ivey knew that he wanted to be a Georgia Bulldog. Now the agricultural communications major is leading students through summer orientation. (Photo by Peter Frey/UGA)

Jay Ivey is a senior agricultural communications major from Danielsville. Currently, he’s in his dream job as an orientation leader. High school agriculture classes and FFA involvement in high school helped him pick his major. After graduation, he hopes to work in environmental law or agricultural policy.

Hometown: Danielsville

Degree objective: Agricultural communication

Expected graduation: May 2022

Current employment: UGA orientation leader and peer learning assistant

How did you decide to come to UGA?
My mother grew up right outside of Athens. Any time we visited, we would walk around North Campus and check out Sanford Stadium. UGA was the first college I ever visited as a child, and I instantly fell in love. From the young age of 12, I knew that I wanted to become a Georgia Bulldawg. After my mother and I moved from Virginia back to her hometown, it made the process of becoming a Georgia Bulldawg easier. I still remember receiving the fireworks and getting into UGA my senior year and it was the best day ever!

How did you choose your major?
After taking agricultural classes throughout high school and being heavily involved in the FFA, I attained a huge passion for agriculture. It only made sense for me to pick a major that centered around this passion. I originally was an agribusiness major; however, after taking a few communication courses, I decided to switch to agricultural communications. I love my new major and the faculty that work in the ALEC (Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication) department of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Jay Ivey, wearing a suit and bow tie, leans on a granite cut into the shape of Georgia. Text on marker says "Ag Hill."

Jay Ivey has a passion for agriculture. He said he enjoys working with faculty in the ALEC (Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication) department of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. (Photo by Peter Frey/UGA)

What is your favorite class you’ve taken?
I took Effects of Global Agriculture on World Culture during my freshman year. I loved this class because it was full of fun interesting facts and guest speakers. I also enjoyed this class, because it is a general elective that many students and my friends outside of CAES took. This allowed them the chance to get to learn about my passion for agriculture and have an inside look on the history and importance of agriculture. The professor was also super engaging and made the class fun to attend. It was a 10/10 class.

What has surprised you about UGA?
How small it can feel because of the sense of community on campus. Coming from a very rural and small town, I was terrified to attend a large university. After participating in the Freshman College Summer Experience, now known as THRIVE, and becoming a part of several student organizations, UGA instantly became a community to me. It feels amazing to go to a large university that has such a welcoming community.

What obstacles have you had to overcome?
Having an unstable home life and childhood. I grew up not having a relationship with my dad. My mom was a single parent to three children. While in high school at the age of 17, I made the difficult decision to move out on my own and I became an unaccompanied minor. With the help of my high school faculty, my friends and their families, I was able to get into UGA and to the point where I am now.

Jay Ivey in a suit and red bow tie stands in front of a building.

Jay Ivey wants to ensure inclusivity on campus. “As a student leader, my goal is to make everyone feel welcomed and safe on campus,” he said. (Photo by Peter Frey/UGA)

What are your top three UGA highlights?

  1. The Freshman College Summer Experience, now known as THRIVE, is a program that offers a transformative four-week academic residential program to a diverse community of first-year undergraduates. This experience was a great way to make friends and become familiar with UGA’s campus and academic expectations.
  2. Becoming an orientation leader. This had been my dream job since freshman year, and it has been a great opportunity to learn about diversity, inclusion and equity to help welcome incoming students.
  3. Being inducted into the Arch Society. The Arch Society members are the official goodwill hosts and ambassadors of UGA. The Arch Society has been an incredible chance to serve UGA and the Athens community.

    The 2021 orientation leader stand by Sanford Stadium with UGA President Jere W. Morehead. (Photo credit: Alton Standifer)

Fun fact about me:
One time I threw a watch party for Taylor Swift’s CMA performance. My friends and I all drew 13s on our hands and I made a post about it. The next day I woke up to a viral tweet that was retweeted by Taylor Swift’s management company and like by the one and only Taylor Swift herself.

What is your passion and how are you committed to pursuing it?
A huge passion of mine is ensuring inclusivity for the spaces that I am a part of. I am committed to pursuing it by educating myself and speaking up for the injustices that others face. As a student leader, my goal is to make everyone feel welcomed and safe on campus.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I plan on attending law school in hopes of a career in environmental law or agricultural policy.

I #CommitTo: Inclusivity and striving to make everyone feel welcomed.