Senior Padmini Jambulapati came to Georgia from Massachusetts when she was 13 and her father traded in his engineering career to become a farmer. She is grateful to be able to attend UGA with the help of a HOPE scholarship, but she also has received several merit-based scholarships including the Honors in Washington scholarship, which allowed her to intern in the Curator’s Office at the Supreme Court of the United States. She hosts the international music show on the student-run radio station, WUOG, and she recently started tutoring non-native speakers of English with Catholic Social Services in Athens.
Cairo High School
A.B.J. in Newspapers and B.A. in English
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
During my first two years at UGA, I was a CURO apprentice with Bryant Simon, a history professor. I did the legwork research for his latest book, Boardwalk of Dreams, a book about Atlantic City and the revitalization efforts of the city and the lasting impact of gambling on urban economies and social structure. I presented my research about Atlantic City’s architecture and the significance of historic buildings, many of which were destroyed with the introduction of gambling, at the CURO symposium. In the last two years, I received the Joshua Brown scholarship from the English Department. I have also received the Prentiss Courson Scholarship and the George H. Boswell Scholarship from the journalism department. I am a recipient of the Honors in Washington scholarship, which allowed me to intern at the Supreme Court of the United States in the Curator’s Office last summer. Last fall, I interned at Athens Weekly News, a local weekly, that went defunct last year. I now work at the Cox Center for International Communication and Research as a research clerk who analyzes health articles on behalf of the Knight Foundation. For the last 2 1/2 years, I’ve been a disc jockey at the student-run radio station, WUOG 90.5 FM. I host the international music show, which has exposed me to all types of obscure and great music. Just this past summer, I’ve started with Catholic Social Services where I teach English to non-native English speakers in our community.
For the last two years, I’ve worked as a research assistant for the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, a repository for modern political and public policy papers. In this position, I have done extensive research for a major exhibit on rural electrification. I have also helped to develop the script for the project and collaborated with the project curators to identify objects for display and to design visual elements in the exhibit. This job has been much more than a paycheck for me and has given me an invaluable opportunity to work with a wide array of people in a professional capacity, to collaborate effectively as part of a team, and to work with tight deadlines.
Family Ties to UGA:
I’m actually the first person in my immediate family to attend college, so I’m the first Jambulapati to be associated with UGA. However, how my family ended up in Georgia is a great story. I grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, where my father was an engineer up until I was 13. Back in 1994 or 1995, he decided he wanted to be a farmer like my grandfather and generations before him. Besides, he loved the South, so our entire family moved to a small town in Grady County. While it was a total culture shock for our family, we’ve been there ever since.
I chose to attend UGA because…
…farming isn’t exactly a money-making career. For a poor, rural family like ours, UGA was the best choice, since I basically get all of my tuition and fees paid with the HOPE scholarship and assistance from other scholarships I have received. I still get the benefit of a large research institution at a fraction of the cost to my family.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
…DJing at the radio station. I also enjoy grabbing a cup of coffee from Jittery Joe’s and sitting outside on the many green spaces around UGA. I like to wander around the Main Library and find great books to read in my spare time. I frequently attend the many lectures and shows around campus.
When I have free time, I like…
…experimenting with photography, which is a hobby of mine. I read voraciously, so I’ve always got a non-school related book in my bag, just in case I have a spare moment to read. This past summer, I hosted a book club with my friends so I can combine my favorite activities: reading and hanging out with my friends. I like to host potlucks, too. I’m always trying to improve my language skills as well, so I’m trying to learn Spanish and hopefully soon, Arabic.
The craziest thing I’ve done is…
…during the annual booktruck parade at the library two years ago, I donned a cardboard airplane (like a crop duster) and chased my co-workers dressed as Eva-Marie Saint and Roger Thornhill from North by Northwest around a book truck made to look like Mount Rushmore. The Russell Library always has legendary book truck entries for the parade.
My favorite place to study is…
…on the third or fourth floors of the library, because it’s absolutely quiet and without distractions. I also study at the fourth floor of the SLC for the very same reason, but if I’m pretending to study, I can be found at ERC.
My favorite professor is…
…Tim Powell in the English department. He has been really instrumental in encouraging me to pursue my research interests in American Indian literature and the Dawes Act. He not only teaches with passion and energy, he also works outside the classroom with the Cherokee people in the Snowbird Community.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
…Nicholas Kristof, an editorial columnist for the New York Times. I admire him for raising awareness about social justic issues in Africa, specifically about the genocide in Darfur. He writes about international politics and crimes against humanity, and has also covered Pakistan and North Korea. He sheds light on injustices unknown by many Americans.
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
…like to travel into space and visit different planets. I’ve always had a deep admiration and respect for astronauts and space travel.
After graduation, I plan to…
….to apply for Teach for America, Peace Corps and a few research fellowships. After that, I plan on applying for graduate school in American Studies and public policy. Eventually, I’d like to be an opinion columnist for a major metropolitan paper.