Amazing Students Profiles

Melissa Golden

Melissa Golden

Senior Melissa Golden is interested in how the world works. She has studied international affairs from the UGA campus in Athens and from Europe during the UGA à Paris program. She was a member of the Model United Nations team as a freshman when the team won third place at national competition, then she became the captain of UGA’s regional Model United Nations team last year. She is committed as much to communicating about the world as she is to understanding and influencing it, and she recently became a photo editor for UGA’s new student-run opinion magazine, The Georgia Forum.


Atlanta, Georgia

High School:

North Springs High School

Degree objective:

B.A., International Affairs and A.B.J., Journalism

Expected graduation:

May 2005

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

I have a 4.0 in both of my majors and I am in the honors program. I have been recognized as a presidential scholar several times and I am a recipient of the HOPE scholarship. I participated in the Interdisciplinary Field Program the summer before my first year and recently studied abroad in Paris where I gained a better understanding of European political systems. I have participated extensively in UGA’s Model United Nations team, and I was chosen to represent UGA at a Model United Nations conference in Hong Kong where we taught high school children from around the world how to be good delegates. My partner and I won the outstanding delegate award there. As an active member in several political organizations, I spend much of my time convincing other people to become politically active.

Family Ties to UGA:

My father was a career military officer so we moved a great deal as I grew up. He instilled in me a love of politics, history, and current events. Our family vacations usually involved at least one stop at a Civil War battlefield. My mother is the anchor of the family and a fabulous cook. My older brother works for the Red Cross and my new sister-in-law plans to be a nurse.

I chose to attend UGA because… no other university in the nation could I double-major in two schools with such strong reputations as the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs. I was initially drawn by the opportunity to enter the International Affairs program as it was being created. The journalism school invariably caught my eye with its outstanding professors and photojournalism program. With the HOPE Scholarship, I could not conceive of a better deal.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

…sit on benches at the Tate Center and watch the people go by. I inevitably see dozens of people I know. It gives me a great sense of community. I also like to hunt for people with great stories. This campus is full of incredible students, professors, and workers whose lives could easily be turned into a good movie.

When I have free time, I like…

…to play the guitar. I have played for about 6 years now and nothing brings me greater comfort than sitting down and writing a song or two. I’m an extremely shy singer-songwriter, so few people have ever heard any of the 150 or so songs I’ve written. I also like to work on my secret novel which is never near completion. I love having a secret artistic life to retreat to when I feel overwhelmed because nobody can bother me there.

My favorite professor is…

…Christopher Allen. He has been extremely supportive since our first class together. There is nothing quite as reaffirming as someone who has faith in your ability to make a difference in this world.

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

…Jimmy Carter. He is one of the world’s greatest diplomats and humanitarians. I heard him speak once about the Iranian hostage crisis, and the speech moved me to tears. The things he has done for democracy and humanity are unparalleled. If everyone acted as selflessly as he does, the world would be a better place.

After graduation, I plan to…

…serve humanity to the best of my ability. I still haven’t decided how to best do that. I’ll either focus on photojournalism and travel around the world bringing attention to society’s ills, or I will enter into government service and give back to my country for what it has given to me. Ideally, I’d like to combine the two, but that could be tricky.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

…the first time I went to a football game as a photographer and got to stand along the sidelines looking through my camera. I actually felt like I was part of the action. There is nothing quite like the rush of thousands of fans screaming their lungs out on all sides of you.