Amazing Students Profiles

Elizabeth Hardister

Elizabeth Hardister

The resume for CURO Honors Scholar Elizabeth Hardister already reads like a seasoned emergency management professional, with experience ranging from the UGA Red Cross to the U.S. Department of State. She came to UGA for its undergraduate research program and has made the most of the opportunity.


Dunwoody, Ga.

High School:

Dunwoody High School

Degree objective:

Dual B.A. in International Affairs/M.P.H. in Disaster Management

Expected graduation:

Spring 2018

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

I perform research with the Institute for Disaster Management, where I study hurricane evacuations in Georgia. Through my research, I also have volunteered at emergency preparedness exercises around Georgia on topics ranging from severe weather to Ebola. My research introduced me to the field that I love and want to work in one day, and has opened so many doors for me.

At UGA, I have had so many incredible opportunities through which I have been able to explore my interest in emergency management. Last year, through the Public Service and Outreach Scholars program, I also was able to research flood mitigation policy with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. This summer, I interned with the Greater New York Hospital Association through the Honors in New York program, and the summer of my freshman year, I received the Ash Service Award, with which I interned with the American Red Cross of Georgia’s Disaster Services branch. In addition to my internship with the Red Cross, I have been an active member in UGA Red Cross, with which I am the CPR/First Aid and Disaster Services chair. In addition to the Red Cross, I volunteer with other disaster organizations such as the Medical Reserve Corps, the Campus Emergency Response Team, and the Office of Emergency Preparedness’ Prepared Dawgs Ambassador program.

This year, I was selected to be part of the Richard B. Russell Security Leadership Program. In this program, I have learned about international security and nonproliferation issues. As part of this program, I got to visit think tanks, government agencies and private firms in Washington, D.C., that work in the field of nonproliferation — an experience that has been invaluable in shaping my career goals. Now, I currently research international nuclear safety and security programs. I also work remotely for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for International Security and Nonproliferation as part of its Virtual Student Foreign Service Internship Program, and with TradeSecure, a consulting firm specializing in strategic trade controls. In the future, I hope to combine my interests in nonproliferation issues and emergency management into a career in WMD preparedness.

Current Employment:

Undergraduate researcher with the Institute for Disaster Management, Virtual Student Foreign Service intern with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation

Family Ties to UGA:

First Dawg in my family! (Along with my twin sister, Jennifer.)

I chose to attend UGA because…

… of its fantastic undergraduate research program. I was able to start research my first semester of freshman year with the support of the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities and the UGA Honors program.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

… have picnics on North Campus, run at the trails by Lake Herrick, work first aid at the football games, and hang out in the Center for Leadership and Service.

When I have free time, I like…

… to cook. One of my favorite ways to unwind from a long day is to make a nice, yummy meal. I enjoy trying new recipes (even when they don’t always work out).

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

… travel to Prague for a week to work at a government conference.

My favorite place to study is…

… the Institute for Disaster Management, or the fourth floor of Holmes-Hunter (“CITS Tower”).

My favorite professor is…

It’s impossible to name just one; I’ve had so many incredible professors here at UGA. I have had the privilege of working with Curtis Harris for my research in disaster management, and have also benefited from the mentorship of Cham Dallas. In the Center for International Trade and Security, I have the pleasure to work with Chris Tucker and Seema Gahlaut. Finally, Martin Rogers has been an unending source of wisdom and great stories.

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

… Lin-Manuel Miranda. And then beg him for “Hamilton” tickets.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

… train to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It’s been a dream of mine to run it with my Dad. I ran my first marathon my freshman year at UGA. During that race, I accidentally made a wrong turn and I ended up running an extra mile — oops.

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

… go on a cross-country road trip with my sister.

After graduation, I plan to…

… either apply to a master’s in international security studies or a Ph.D. program in disaster management. Or begin looking for a job as an emergency management specialist with the government.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

… living in New York City for the summer. I had an amazing internship with the Greater New York Hospital Association doing emergency preparedness work, and during the afternoons and weekends, I was able to explore the city.