Amazing Students Profiles

Alicia Corts

Alicia Corts

Ph.D. student Alicia Corts has “lived a life of adventures,” and when she graduates from UGA, she wants to teach and pass on a passion for “not settling for the places in life that are simply mediocre.”


Tampa, Fla.

High School:

Minnehaha Academy

Degree objective:

Ph.D. from the department of theatre and film studies

Other degrees:

B.S. in communications/theater from Wheaton College and M.A. in teaching, language arts and theater from Bethel University in Minnesota.

Expected graduation:

Spring 2014

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

In 2012, I received the August Staub Graduate Student Award in the department of theatre and film studies and the UGA Graduate School Summer Research Fellowship.

Current Employment:

Graduate assistant in UGA’s Office of Online Learning

Family Ties to UGA:

None—I’m the first person in my family to walk through the Arch, though I’ll be the 13th member of my family with a doctorate and the 27th with an advanced degree. My grandmother made sure education was a priority for the Corts family.

I chose to attend UGA because…

…the department of theater and film studies has an excellent reputation as a pioneer in performance and new media. I was especially intrigued with the Interactive Performance Laboratory, and in both classes and performances, I’ve been able to strengthen my performance skills while exploring the theoretical side of my art.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

If you know me at all, you know that there’s always a cup of coffee in my hand. Popping over to Jittery Joe’s on a cold, crisp fall day is delightful. I also love the French Film Festival that has been shown at Tate in the last couple of years. It’s amazing to be in a theater with a group of people who admire the strength of the French film community and what it means to the culture at large.

When I have free time, I like…

…to go for a run in one of the parks around Athens. Sandy Creek Park is great, and Cook’s Trail is beautiful no matter what the season. And the Botanical Garden? Absolutely fantastic! So many trails to explore.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

During my comp exams, when all I could do was read, read and read some more, I bought a pack of frozen fish and put it on the top shelf of my pantry, which I can only reach with a ladder. I don’t remember buying the fish, getting the ladder or putting it on the shelf. The studies here are so rigorous that sometimes the little things don’t quite have room to stay in your brain!

My favorite place to study is…

…my library carrel. It’s just the right size, and without any windows, I get to completely focus on my work. Plus, it’s really inspiring to be surrounded by so many volumes that have been carefully written and thought out.

My favorite professor is…

…Marla Carlson, my major professor. Her dry wit and sense of humor always make me smile, and her intense commitment to perfection challenges me to be the best I can be. Her gentle guidance has pushed me into the wider academic community at conferences, and it always warms my heart when she introduces me with great pride in her voice to outside colleagues as “my graduate student.”

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

…Antonin Artaud. As a theater artist, he turned the world upside down with his ideas about what theater could do and the revolution it could create. It takes a great amount of courage to show the world the truth through a play, and when you’ve experienced the power of theater, you know that Artaud was onto a profound line of thinking.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

…not change a thing. I’ve lived a life of adventures, and there’s no sense in saying no to life. You have to embrace it, give everything your best try and go for your dreams, no matter the cost.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to…

…have a meal at all of the “Top Chef” contestants’ restaurants. When I see the things they concoct on television, I always wonder what it would be like to sit down and taste their artistry.

After graduation, I plan to…

…teach theater. When I was an undergraduate, my theater professors radically changed my outlook on the world and what I could do to make it better through art. I want to pass on the same kind of passion for changing the things that need fixing, celebrating the things that give us joy and not settling for the places in life that are simply mediocre.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

When I arrived at UGA, I came into the Ph.D. program with another student, Arnab Banerji. We instantly bonded, and after awhile, I mentioned to him that we were close enough to be the Wonder Twins. As a student from India, he had no idea that I was referencing the cartoon characters. I grabbed my iPhone, looked up the first “Wonder Twins” video I could find on YouTube and showed him. Of course, in my haste, I found a parody version of the cartoon that was, shall we say, slightly off color. I was horrified and started to apologize, but my dear Wonder Twin just laughed and laughed. We stood in our shared office in the Fine Arts Building and laughed until we collapsed in our chairs, exhausted from the effort. From that day on, we have been the best of friends. Our theater careers are just starting, but I know that my Wonder Twin and I will remain the sounding boards, colleagues and friends that help each other every step of the way.