Amazing Students Profiles

Lenette Golding

Lenette Golding

Lenette Golding is doing her part to raise awareness and empower women facing domestic violence issues. Her journey working with domestic violence began when she spent five weeks in Kenya doing research for a radio entertainment-education program to promote safer sex and partner communication among Kenyan men and women. Working with faculty and students from Kenya’s Daystar University, Golding collected data to assist in planning a radio series for Kikamba speakers geared towards young women in the Machakos district of Kenya. The focus of the programming included gender issues, partner communication, women’s empowerment, domestic violence and HIV prevention. Once she returned to Athens, the Indiana native began a service-learning project with the goal of producing a similar edutainment radio program geared towards the area’s Latina population. She just accepted a full-time position as a communications advisor with CARE USA, a humanitarian organization based in Atlanta. After graduation, she plans to continue using communication interventions as a means to social change.


Michigan City, Indiana

High School:

Shadow Mountain High School

Degree objective:

Ph.D. in mass communication

Other degrees:

M.P.H., Global Health, Emory University, 2003;
B.S., Psychology, 1996, Arizona State University, 1996

Expected graduation:

Spring 2009

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

UGA has offered me many chances to excel. The first opportunity I was granted was during my first semester at UGA when I was selected by Pat Thomas, the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism, to represent Grady College and UGA at the National Academies of Science, Keck Future Initiative Conference as a science writer. Not only did I get to meet some remarkable people at the conference, but my work was featured in a post-conference publication. The following summer I was lucky enough to be on my way to Kenya thanks in part from a grant from UGA’s Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach and the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute. In Kenya, I worked as a consultant for a joint Daystar University/UGA formative research project on partner communication.That trip was incredible in so many ways and I’m still in touch with a few people over there. After coming back from Kenya, I was able to take what I learned, and work with a wonderful group of UGA undergrads on a service learning project. I’m happy to say that the audio edutainment program we produced has been distributed to social service organizations around the state of Georgia. Then, the following semester I was tapped to become a member of UGA’s chapter of the Blue Key National Honor Society. Just this past spring I was fortunate enough to travel to the capital with other Blue Key members and spend the day networking and sitting in on legislative sessions. Lastly, I was chosen to be a participant in UGA’s Emerging Leaders program last fall. I think every grad student at UGA should take advantage of that experience.

Current Employment:

I am a research assistant at The Southern Center for Communication, Health, and Poverty, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Center of Excellence in Health Communication. My main duties include conducting needs assessments, planning workshops and developing materials for state public information officers, risk communicators and health science students.

Family Ties to UGA:

I think my dog may be related to UGA IV.

I chose to attend UGA because…

…of the interactions I had with the faculty during a series of informational interviews when I was applying. I was keen on their research interests and UGA seemed to have a lot to offer me. Everything just seemed to fall into place. UGA has been extremely good to me, and I feel blessed.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

…get a Mexican Mocha at Jittery Joes and then walk to the library and smell the books. Okay, that sounds a little weird, but I really like the way the books smell and besides, I love reading. Yes, I am a nerd. Oh, and sometimes I will check something out and then go to the little cemetery across the street from the library and read for a spell.

When I have free time, I like…

…to ride my bicycle down country roads as fast as I can.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

…jumped out of perfectly good airplanes on numerous occasions and surfed in 9’ waves in Costa Rica; however, the craziest thing I have ever done was join the Peace Corps. It was the good kind of crazy and an experience I would not trade for anything.

My favorite place to study is…

…my house, because I can wear pajamas all day long and play with my dog, Porkchop, when I need a break.

My favorite professor is…

…Don Rubin, who recently retired from UGA but is nonetheless still quite active around campus. I daresay my experience at UGA would not have been so rich had I not been fortunate enough to work with him on several projects. Dr. Rubin is strong, but gentle with his strength. He knows when to be silent and listen. He enjoys when other people succeed and he is ever-evolving, imaginative, and contributes to a better world everyday in some small way. His name appears on my list of people I consider heroes.

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

…Paul Farmer, who is a physician, medical anthropologist, infectious disease expert, MacArthur “genius,” professor, tree planter, and director of Partners in Health. Dr. Farmer is upbeat, pragmatic and an optimist even when working with the poorest of the poor and providing care to ill prisoners, refugees and Haitian villagers. His motto is, “Whatever it takes.” I think if we all could spend some time with Dr. Farmer, the world would be a much better place.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

…surf Jaws in Hawaii.

After graduation, I plan to…

…develop multi-disciplinary and collaborative strategies for solving health and development related problems for a wide range of groups. I am most interested in applying knowledge and research skills to the development of strategic, adaptive, and sensitive health communication, across a range of communication channels and media in order to enhance the quality of health care and health promotion and to narrow inequities in health outcomes.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

…recording an audio drama with students from the UGA campus group called “Students for Latino Empowerment” in the bowels of Grady College. One Saturday morning last fall, we were all packed in this tiny studio for about two hours recording about 18 minutes worth of track. All the Latino student actors were from different countries and kept poking fun at each others’ accents. Then it came time for them to be serious and play the part of abused/abusing characters. What an amazing thing to watch! Even my three-word cameo made the final cut.