Amazing Students

Melissa Grace Ambrose

When Melissa Grace Ambrose isn’t cheering on the Dawgs as a member of the university spirit squad, she might be taking care of her 3-month-old Lab puppy, Leo. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)

Melissa Grace Ambrose, a UGA cheerleader, always knew she wanted to work in the medical field. After a service trip to Dominican Republic, she knew she wanted a career in dentistry. “By pursuing dentistry, I believe I can help and serve the people of my community by providing quality health care and building personable relationships with patients.”

Cumming, Georgia

High school:
North Forsyth High School

Family ties to UGA:
My brother graduated from UGA in 2018. With my brother being in the Redcoat Marching Band and me being on the cheerleading team, my parents became huge Dawg fans. My family now bleeds red and black.

Expected graduation:
Spring 2021

Degree objective:
B.S.A Biological Science

Other degrees:
Minor in Human Development and Family Science

Top university highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
As I look back on my years here, I can’t help but be overwhelmed with joy and happiness. UGA has given me the opportunity to explore and expand my knowledge and involvement. I have been blessed to be able to represent UGA by cheering at football, basketball, gymnastics and volleyball events for the past three years. I also act as an ambassador for the university at numerous alumni and charity events. I will forever cherish the memories I have made and the long-lasting friendships I have developed over the years through UGA cheerleading.

Extra Special People holds a piece of my heart. I began volunteering the fall of my sophomore year and fell in love with the passionate and kind-hearted atmosphere. At ESP, we provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities and their families to connect and thrive in their environment. During the week, I help the participants communicate and engage in various activities. I now serve on the executive board for ESP@UGA as the Special Events Dress Down Chair. Additionally, I am a dental assistant volunteer at Mercy Health Center in Athens.

I traveled to Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic, for a two-week internship sponsored by Volunteers Around the World. Through this dental outreach program, I was able to shadow and assist the local dentists as well as interact directly with patients. This experience strengthened my passion for dentistry and for helping people in need. After taking this life-changing trip, I became a team leader for the UGA VAW Dental Outreach program. As the team leader, I was responsible for recruiting volunteers for a two-week dental program in Peru for May 2020. Unfortunately, this trip was canceled due to COVID-19 but is rescheduled for May 2021.

Campus involvement

  • Christian Medical and Dental Association, vice president
  • Christian Medical and Dental Association, director of recruitment
  • UGA Pre-Dental Society
  • Alpha Omicron Pi

Melissa Grace Ambrose, a senior majoring in biological science from Cumming, plans to go to dental school after graduating in spring 2021. As a cheerleader, she’ll cheer in the stands at home football games this fall. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)

I chose to attend UGA because …
With my brother being a Redcoat, it was a dream of mine (and my parents) to cheer on the Dawgs in Sanford Stadium together. The dream became a reality when I made the Georgia cheerleading team my senior year of high school.

My favorite things to do on campus are …
… cheer on the Dawgs, of course. The atmosphere on a Saturday in Athens is an unreal feeling. The traditions amaze me every time. Chills run through my whole body during the battle hymn in pregame; when Sanford Stadium goes black and 92,000 phone lights twinkle; and then the stadium turns bright red as we enter the fourth quarter. There’s something about that sea of red and black and someone screaming GO DAWGS in your face that makes every moment unforgettable. I am so thankful for the friendships and memories that have come from Sanford Stadium and this spirit program.

When I have free time, I like …
… being outside. I enjoy taking long walks with my friends around campus and taking my dog to the park. I love a good card/board game night with friends and family. Going out on the lake or camping (glamping in our RV) are always great weekend getaways for me. And of course, I love going to the beach any chance I get.

The craziest thing I’ve done is …
… get a puppy. With the chaos of my life (practices, games, studying, etc.), I barely have time to breathe, let alone take care of another living creature; however, getting my puppy has been the best thing I’ve done.

Leo, a 3-month-old Lab puppy belonging to Amazing Student Melissa Grace Ambrose, wears a red jersey to cheer on the dawgs. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)

My favorite place to study is …
… the third floor of the Science Library. Whether it’s studying with a group of friends or in a cubicle by myself, I am always most efficient here.

My favorite professor is …
… Karl Espelie. He has guided me and encouraged me to reach my goals for the past two years. Whenever I need advice, I know I can count on him to go above and beyond to ensure my success. He makes sure all of his advisees achieve their goals by committing countless hours and effort into each student. I am grateful beyond measure to have his guidance and support throughout my undergraduate experience and continuing into my future dental career.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with …
… Carrie Underwood. She is not only my favorite singer, but she is a source of inspiration to many. She has an intense passion for helping and encouraging others to reach their goals, especially through fitness. Carrie Underwood is a role model for young women and influences girls to follow their dreams. I would love to spend an afternoon with Carrie Underwood. She is truly an idol.

If I knew I could not fail, I would …
… travel around the world and provide free health care to underprivileged communities. I would love to provide whole-person care that improves the quality of life for poverty-stricken areas.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to …
… travel the world. I love exploring new places with friends and family. I want to experience different cultures and learn about their diverse lifestyles. I love trying new foods and taking pictures of beautiful landscapes.

What is your passion and how are you committed to pursuing it?
I am passionate about serving and helping others. I love working hands-on, establishing relationships, and helping those in need. I have been fortunate enough to serve in the Dominican Republic and plan to travel to Peru this coming May for a dental outreach program. By pursuing dentistry, I believe I can help and serve the people of my community by providing quality health care and building personable relationships with patients.

After graduation, I plan to …
… attend dental school. I always knew I wanted to have a career in the health care field but never knew what. After taking a two-week trip to the Dominican Republic to assist and shadow local dentists, I knew dentistry was my passion. I have worked extremely hard, and I am currently going through the admissions process. I don’t know what my future holds, but I am super excited to see where life takes me.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be …
I will never forget pregame at the Notre Dame game. We ran on the field in the middle of the band, waiting to run the team out. Shaking our poms and getting the flags ready, Sanford Stadium went completely black and 93,246 lights flickered on and the red lights amplified the stadium. Every fan screamed, “It’s Saturday, Saturday!” Tears rolled down my face, and chills ran throughout my whole body. I did a 360 in awe of what I was experiencing. In the middle of the chaos, my heart had never been happier.

Fans hold their cellphones to light up the fourth quarter of the UGA football game against Notre Dame. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA)