Junior J.D. Brandon has a zest for living. This is abundantly clear in decisions he has made in his life. He is a triple major at UGA (English, history, and international affairs), who enjoys participating in a wide variety of extracurricular activities on campus. Currently, he serves as a preceptor in Barbara McCaskill’s ENGL 1060H class on the Civil Rights Movement in American Literature. This involves helping the class in researching and playing a ReActing to the Past role-playing game on the Albany Movement. In addition, he is involved in the Japan Club, is on a committee with the University Union, is an apprentice with the Ballroom Performance Group and is active at the student-run radio station, WUOG. Away from school, he enjoys traveling around the world and doing extreme sports like BASE-jumping and caving. After graduation, he wants to live and work in Europe for a few years, then return home to pursue a combined J.D./Ph.D. in International Law and English. His ultimate career goal is to become a U.S. ambassador.
Greenbrier High School
A.B in English, A.B. in history, A.B. international affairs
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
I have been recognized for academic excellence by my inclusion on the dean’s list. While I am presently taking 17 credit hours, with an additional 2 hours of teaching this semester, I still manage to be involved in numerous activities on campus. I am in the Japan club, the break dance club and the student-run service club called the WatchDawgs that helps UGA students find safe rides home. In addition, I am an apprentice with the Ballroom Performance Group and serve on the entertainment committee of the University Union. I am also on two different staffs at the student-run radio station, WUOG 90.5. One of my goals while at WUOG is to organize an on-air panel discussion about discrimination, which I hope will be broadcast in the near future. This would be a campus wide discussion, as WUOG’s listeners would have the chance to call in during the live broadcast and express their opinions. I have been approached for possible involvement in a UGA student’s theatre arts Ph.D. dissertation in the upcoming semester, where I would be assuming the role of a virtual character. In the summer of 2007, I was one of two students selected by Barbara McCaskill to attend an educational conference in New York City.
I am an undergraduate student, but have the honor of assisting Professor McCaskill in serving as a preceptor for her ENGL 1060H class. Together, we are offering her students the opportunity to experience a new teaching method that requires they act the part of real historical figures. The students research different historical figures, then taking what they have learned, they become the character and perform in class. I have also been employed by the university as a note taker for a couple of classes. During the 2007 Spring semester, I worked as a pianist at O House, where I played many of my own compositions.
Family Ties to UGA:
My sister graduated from UGA two years ago with a degree in psychology and a minor in English. We are planning to make attending UGA a family tradition, as my high school sister has decided to come to UGA as well.
I chose to attend UGA because…
…of the opportunities here. I was so intrigued by the myriad degree programs that I decided to triple major. Moreover, I had visited my sister on campus while I was in high school and was very familiar and comfortable with the campus. I was determined to attend such a prestigious and well-known university as UGA.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
…going to the radio station, WUOG and walking across the campus. The radio station is on the fifth story of Memorial Hall and has a great view of the campus. Another reason I like visiting the station is the opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of the people who work there. Walking across the campus is another thing I like to do because it gives me the chance to witness all the beautiful and historical architecture and gardens. It also gives me a chance to practice photography, which is another one of my hobbies. I like participating in many organizations across campus and seeing the various projects come to fruition. I also enjoy skateboarding on campus.
When I have free time, I like…
…to dance. I like to challenge myself with learning the intricate steps and leading my partner successfully. I also like to travel to different destinations. I have been to France, Italy, Germany, Monaco, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, the Bahamas and Jamaica. I like to go caving with my friends and have taken trips to caves in Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee. I also enjoy attending different national caving events with the Augusta Cave Masters. I am one of the founders of “Spoonfest” which is a yearly camping event with live bands and themed costumes. Many attended the weekend long event last year, and even more are expected this year. In addition, when I have free time and the money I take flying lessons so I can one day have my pilot’s license. Before I finish college I hope to finish my first novel, which is based on an experience I had while in high school.
The craziest thing I’ve done is…
…jumped off the tallest tower in the world from which you can legally jump. This 630 ft. high tower is the Auckland Sky Tower in New Zealand. This sport is called BASE-jumping. Most BASE-jumping involves the use of a parachute to jump from fixed objects. My own experience involved wires that you use to descend from the top of the building. You start suspended in the air and you can see the whole city as you sit there for several seconds. Then you plunge at a fast-paced 53 m.p.h. toward a glass bull’s eye.
My favorite place to study is…
…at home or at the SLC. I really need quiet when I am studying. My apartment is like my sanctuary because it is tranquil and relaxing with all the creature comforts. Sometimes for a change, I go to the SLC because the study rooms keep me focused and away from any distractions. When I want to take a break from studying, there are wonderful views of the campus.
My favorite professor is…
…Barbara McCaskill because she has a deep respect for her students. It is obvious that she loves teaching and sharing her knowledge. She is passionate about her subject, and her students are positively impacted by her enthusiasm.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
…Alexander the Great. I respect how much he accomplished in such a short time. I admire his respect for education and other people. His ability to lead men was unparalleled. I would enjoy talking with him about varied subjects and seeing what wisdom I could glean from his experiences that could make a difference in the choices I make in my own life.
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
…become a world-renowned author. The fantasy novel I am writing now would be the first step in this process. One of my favorite authors is Anne McCaffrey, who has had a long and prolific career. I hope to emulate her success.
After graduation, I plan to…
…live, work, and travel in Europe for a few years. Afterwards, I wish to return to the United States and enter into a dual degree program, which will allow me to obtain a J.D. in International Law while also earning a Ph.D. in English.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
…when I was unfortunately a victim of a hit and run while skateboarding beside the Tate Center. Luckily, the impact of the car only threw me off my skateboard and onto the sidewalk, leaving me with minor cuts and bruises. I managed to pick myself up, go to the bookstore buy band-aids and bandages, bandage myself up, and still arrive at class on time. It was not until later that day, after attending all my classes, that I went to the Student Health Center to make sure I was not seriously hurt. There were some positives with this experience, as I saw first hand how quickly and professionally the campus police responded to the accident. In addition, the care and the attention I received from students and Student Health Care employees made the whole experience less traumatic.