Amazing Students

Ivey Tanner

Ivey Tanner poses outside of the Visitors Center where she serves as a tour guide. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA)

Ivey Tanner loves showing off UGA to visitors, has immersed herself in campus activities and has been awarded top scholarships. A self-described people person, she hopes to eventually use her leadership skills to help others succeed.


Watkinsville, GA

High school:

North Oconee High School

Current employment:

I am currently a tour guide at the University of Georgia! It’s a dream job. I work alongside the best people I know, and we get to tell hundreds of people about our school each week.

Family ties to UGA:

My parents both attended UGA! However, neither of my older siblings chose to attend here … so my parents were pretty excited I decided to be a Bulldog!

Expected graduation:

Spring 2019

Degree objective:


University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

There are so many sweet things I have gotten to do and experience during my time at the University of Georgia. I will forever be indebted to the people who helped me get to UGA and those who made my experience here what it has been.

I was awarded the Zell Miller Scholarship and the Presidential Leadership Scholarship upon being accepted into UGA. I was also admitted into the Honors Program.

The first organization I jumped into as a first-year student was UGA Miracle. I joined the Member Development Committee, which is tasked with rallying the campus behind our cause. I met incredible leaders and saw so much of the kind of person that I wanted to become in them. Since then, I have served as an assistant chair for member development, and, last year, I was co-chair of the High School Outreach Committee. I was paired with someone I barely knew at the time, Edie Threlkeld. Edie and I led 100 committee members as we planned mini dance marathons at high schools in different cities in the Athens-Atlanta area. I learned so much about event planning, leading and the value of service, and Edie became one of my dearest friends along the way. What a blessing it was! For senior year, I am on the Morale Committee as assistant chair of member development.

Later in the fall of my first year, I applied to be a tour leader at the UGA Visitors Center. I knew a sophomore from my high school who loved the job, so I just went for it. I had no idea what a dream it would be! Our three supervisors, EJ, Natalie and Terri, are the most encouraging, intentional and kind leaders you will ever find. The students they hire are among the best of the best. I still pinch myself that for the past three years I have had the chance to interact with thousands of people wanting to hear about this place that I love so much! I am so grateful EJ and Natalie saw something in me freshman year.

The only job I have loved as much as my job as a tour guide is my job as an orientation leader (although it feels weird calling either simply a “job”). I was chosen as one of 12 to be an orientation leader for the summer of 2017. Each student chosen was a phenomenal leader in different areas on campus. Getting to learn, grow, work and live alongside them was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. We had the absolute privilege of welcoming the class of 2021 to UGA. During each of my small group sessions, I would marvel at these new Bulldogs. I had students who had written books, written theories, helped raise their younger siblings, produced albums and more. It inspired me more than they know and made me fall in love with the University of Georgia all over again!

For the past year and a half, I have been in the Institute for Leadership Advancement. As a part of this program, I have taken courses on personal and organizational leadership while working on a service-learning project. I am in a cohort of 30 other students. Each of them are as kind, funny and welcoming as they are smart and ambitious. I have no doubt I will see their names in the news someday!

As a Leonard Summer Scholarship Recipient through ILA, I was afforded the opportunity to intern at a media agency in New York City called Full Picture this summer. Full Picture is a small company with phenomenal clients such as Heidi Klum, Victoria’s Secret, KKW Beauty, Becca Cosmetics, Google Made With Code, and more. I lived eight streets from Central Park, saw six Broadway shows (!!!), watched the July 4th fireworks over the East River and visited the World Trade Center, Grand Central Station, the Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium and more. I was able to represent Full Picture and join Heidi Klum as she volunteered at God’s Love We Deliver and appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” I even got to meet Jimmy Fallon. It was a DREAM. I learned so much about the public relations, marketing and consulting industries while having the time of my life!

I am also a dancer at heart. Throughout my time at UGA, I have worked as a dance instructor at Jessica’s School of Dance in Crawford, Georgia, danced at DanceFX Athens, and choreographed for my high school’s dance team.

My time at UGA has proven to be even more incredible than I could have imagined. I cannot wait to see how my experiences here will continue to shape my future!

I chose to attend UGA because …

At first, I wanted to go anywhere but UGA! I went to high school in the next county over, and both of my parents attended UGA. I wanted to get away and do my own thing. However, I came on a tour and my mind was immediately changed! I just had a feeling this place was special. In fact, I can still remember my tour guides. I also didn’t know what I wanted to study at the time, and UGA offers so many options and opportunities to explore a variety of interests!

My favorite things to do on campus are …

I love walking around North Campus! There’s nothing like passing the Chapel bell, hearing it ring and knowing another Bulldog is having an awesome day! I also love the quad in front of the main library. It is so beautiful, and it’s exactly what I picture when I picture a college campus.

You can also find me in Tate Cafe eating with a friend almost every day! I absolutely love going to Tate because you run into so many friends you haven’t seen in awhile. It is such a sweet reminder of the amazing community at UGA. The same can be said for Bolton. You never know who you will get to see when you go!

Lastly, I love Herty Fountain. I have so many good memories at the fountain whether it’s with my freshman year roommate at orientation, with my orientation team on our last weekend living together last summer or with my best friends celebrating after UGA won the SEC Championship!

Ivey Tanner leads a tour across North Campus. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA)

When I have free time, I like …

… to hang out with my friends! Drinking coffee on the porch, walking up and down Milledge, going to Cane’s (yum!), and movie nights are all so much better with my friends by my side. I have the most amazing community from both high school and college, and I’m truly blown away by my friends.

I also love to dance! I don’t do it as much now as I did growing up, but I try to whenever I can!

The craziest thing I’ve done is …

I typically don’t get out of my comfort zone, so moving to NYC for the summer and working for Heidi Klum’s publicist was pretty crazy for me! BUT I did get to ride a helicopter over the Grand Canyon with my family several years ago. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever gotten to do!

My favorite place to study is …

The colorful room on the fourth floor of the main library or Jittery Joe’s in the MLC! Both are pretty busy with people, and you can chat, if needed. I can’t study in complete silence or I go crazy, so I enjoy having others all around!

My favorite professor is …

Oh, what a tough one!

Laura Little and Courtney Aldrich from the Institute of Leadership Advancement have both been huge encouragers and supporters of me. I took Dr. Little’s “Leadership and Personal Development” class last year. I learned so much about who I am and who I want to be professionally and personally. Courtney’s class, “Personal Career Management,” taught me invaluable skills for the internship and job application process.

However, I’ve learned more from both of them outside of the classroom. I sat in each of their offices multiple times last year stressing over what I should do for the summer and for the rest of my life. Both of them saw through my fears and doubts and reminded me to take a leap of faith! They continue to encourage me to challenge myself and be the best me I can be. I have no doubt I will be back in their office soon as I begin my search for a job!

I also want to mention some of the wonderful professors I’ve had in Terry. Dr. McManus, Swati Bhandarkar and Amanda Farmer are the best of the best!

Lastly, I have incredible mentors from various areas on campus. I will forever be grateful for Eric Johnson, Natalie Mann and Terri Franks at the UGA Visitors Center and Meridith Balas and Alton Standifer, my supervisors during my time as an orientation leader. Each of them frequently reminds me of my potential, and I hope to be even half as impactful as them in my career. I know they will be lifelong friends and mentors.

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

… my paternal grandmother, Annie Mary Tanner.

Granny Mary was an angel on Earth! She exhibited more love and kindness than most people I have or will ever meet. She tragically passed way in the summer of 2007 when I was just 10 years old. In a town of just over 5,000 people, hundreds and hundreds of people filled the sanctuary and overflow rooms of the church at her funeral.

I often get frustrated thinking about all she had left to teach me and how many memories we had left to make. I would love to spend a few hours hearing her stories, life lessons and experiences. We would walk around North Campus, and I would share the place that means so much to me and my dad with her. Then, I would ask her to give me a cooking lesson. She was the most incredible cook!

I have a ring she gave me when I was just 6 or 7 years old. Yes, she gave a 6-year-old a ring because she knew how much I love them. I wear it to this day as a reminder of her and her legacy. I try my best to live like she would want me to: loving people and loving Jesus!

If I knew I could not fail, I would …

… try out to be one of Taylor Swift’s background dancers! I love to dance, and I LOVE Taylor Swift! I just went to my fifth Taylor Swift concert, and each time I think of how fun it must be to be up there with her. She puts on one heck of a show!!

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

… help others accomplish a dream or experience something new. I love gift giving or surprising people! It would be so cool to grant wishes in the way Ellen DeGeneres or Oprah Winfrey does. I would send people on their dream vacations, get them backstage passes for their favorite artists or events, or buy them their dream car! My mom and I have always said being famous would be cool simply because you have this unmatched power to make dreams come true!

What is your passion and how are you committed to pursuing it?

People!!! That may sound cliche, but I am the definition of a people person. I love hearing others’ stories, watching people grow and develop, and just getting to know lots of different people. I am planning to pursue a career in marketing or public relations. These fields will allow me to communicate brands’ stories and passions to consumers. I want to meet many people from many different backgrounds. Later in my career, I hope to be in a leadership development role that allows me to lead others as they begin their own careers.

I also dream of eventually becoming a professor or opening up my own dance studio. Either of these would allow me to pour into those younger than me and build relationships with a variety of different people!

After graduation, I plan to …

… take a few weeks off to spend time with my family or travel with friends and family. Then, I hope to have a marketing, public relations or event planning role. I am very open to different roles, companies and cities, and I’m super excited to see what’s in store!

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be …

Going to the Notre Dame game with my dad junior year!! We both wanted to go since the game was put on the schedule way in advance. However, it seemed impossible.

A week before the game I was offered a free ticket to the game by a UGA Board of Trustees member who heard me discuss how badly I wanted to go on one of my tours!!! Wow! They offered us a ticket for my dad, too, and Dad was able to find us an inexpensive flight up to Notre Dame!

The best part is my dad was a manager of the 1980 UGA Football team. However, he was hospitalized right before the National Championship game. He watched UGA beat Notre Dame for the national championship from his hospital bed when he should’ve been on the sidelines! He says he remembers telling his mom that if the two teams ever played again in his lifetime, he would be there! It was so cool being there with him. I was so proud to be a small part of helping both of our dreams come true, and I will never forget our giant hug when UGA won the game! We had no idea at the time what an incredible football season it would be!

(Originally published on Sept. 9, 2018)