Amazing Students

Natalie Morean

Natalie Morean (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)

Natalie Morean is committed to helping people, and during her time at UGA she has been involved in several philanthropic organizations and served in a variety of roles where she actively engaged in the local community. She’s also earned several honors along the way.


Locust Grove, GA

High school:

Luella High School

Current employment:

I am currently a resident assistant for UGA Housing.

Family ties to UGA:

I am the first (and hopefully not the last) of my family to be a Bulldog!

Expected graduation:

Spring 2019

Degree objective:

Human Development and Family Science

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

At the University of Georgia, I have been involved in a variety of philanthropic, multicultural, and academic organizations, to which each has contributed to the betterment of me as a student, leader and individual. Every organization that I have dedicated my time to, thus far, has developed me academically, professionally and ethically.

For the past three years, I was actively involved with the National Council of Negro Women as a member and as part of the executive board. NCNW is an organization on campus that aims to empower, develop and unify black women at the University of Georgia and in the community. Through the Office of Institutional Diversity at the University of Georgia, I participated in the Leaders Engaged in Affirming Diversity Fellows Program. This program enhances leadership competencies and explores various facets of diversity through literature reviews and class discussions with local leaders. At the end of the academic year, I completed a group project that addressed a current issue of diversity on campus.

My favorite programs that I have taken part of consist of mentorship, since I believe leading is best done by example. I have been a mentor with the Clarke County Mentorship Program, Mentoring Among Peers Program in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and the Black Educational Support Team. In each of these, I participated in activities with a mentee that focused on diversity and inclusion, academic success, personal growth, and empowerment. For high school outreach, I have participated in Road Dawgs. This program is sponsored by the President’s Office and allows students to travel to a variety of underrepresented high schools in the Atlanta area to emphasize the importance and benefits of higher education.

I have also represented the university as a 2017 orientation leader. I loved every aspect of this program because it allowed me to welcome thousands of new people into the Bulldog family! I spent the summer alongside 11 other phenomenal student leaders, who each taught me more than they can imagine! Throughout this program, I was a part of our service committee and in this, I helped to organize a book and school supply drive. The books and school supplies that were donated by first-year students and their families were distributed among schools in the Athens-Clarke County community!

To illuminate my dedication to service at the university, I have been named the student recipient of the 2018 President’s Fulfilling the Dream Award at the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Breakfast, an awardee of the 2018 Tucker Dorsey Memorial Scholarship Award given by the Blue Key Honor Society at the Tucker Dorsey Annual Alumni Banquet, the 2018 undergraduate recipient of the Black Faculty and Staff Organization Founders Scholarship given at the annual BFSO Luncheon, and the Young Women’s Empowerment Award from Christina Victoria Cosmetics. Each of these awards emphasized my dedication to service both on and off the campus of the University of Georgia. I have also been awarded the Sharon Y. Nickols International Study Award, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Award, and UGA’s Experiential Learning Scholarship to aid in the cost of my service-learning study abroad that I took part in Ghana, West Africa, the summer of 2018. I was most drawn to this program because it allowed me to engage in a form of service and community engagement.

Currently, I am a member of Phi Upsilon Omicron – College of Family and Consumer Sciences Honor Society, Abeneefoo Kuo Honor Society, and Blue Key Honor Society to attest to my academic achievement, as well as my commitment to service. I also serve as a College of Family Consumer Sciences student ambassador and a resident assistant for UGA Housing.

I chose to attend UGA because …

During my sophomore and junior years of high school, I was involved in the Young Scholars Program through the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. This six-week program allowed precollegiate students the opportunity to conduct research with professors and present this research among our peers, faculty and staff. The program even gave me my first taste of studying abroad! We spent 10 days in Costa Rica and visited UGA’s campus there. Through this, I was able to experience and recognize a lot of the resources that UGA had to offer. I thoroughly enjoyed the connections and relationships I made through this program, so this program is where I initially discovered my love for UGA. I knew that I wanted to continue to grow as a student, leader, and individual in this environment, so UGA was my top choice! The Zell Miller Scholarship was also awarded to me as an incoming freshman, so that was an incentive to pick the best university possible in the state of Georgia – and that was the University of Georgia.

My favorite things to do on campus are …

I love to attend programs! UGA is so diverse when it comes to the types of organizations students engage in and the campus departments accessible to our students. The programs put on by organizations, departments and even residence halls are always an avenue for people to learn, engage and socialize with other students, faculty and staff, and advisors. I especially love programs that focus more diversity and inclusion, as well as on service in the community, so I try to attend as many of those programs as possible. I also love having coffee with campus administration. Our faculty and staff are so engaged with students. I know there is always someone in my corner!

When I have free time, I like …

I love to spend the time with my friends! All of us are involved on campus, so we all recognize the importance of “free time” to take a mental break from responsibilities, as a form of self-care. Self-care is extremely necessary, especially at the collegiate level. Our moments together typically consist of some form of food, TV shows or movies, and catching each other up on what’s going on in life, but we mainly joke around!

The craziest thing I’ve done is …

I applied to study abroad before knowing where the funding for my program was coming from! To say that was ”crazy” is an understatement, but in all actuality, it was one of the best decisions I’d ever made. My commitment to the program forced me to apply for scholarships everywhere and anywhere. This process made me aware of the abundance of UGA scholarships, specifically for students engaging in experiential learning, as well as national scholarships available for studying abroad. Through the unwavering support of my family, friends and university, I studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa, for four weeks over the summer of 2018, studying nutrition and public health. In this program, I had the opportunity to conduct health screenings throughout the country, engage with health care professionals, and immerse myself in the local culture and community.

My favorite place to study is …

I love to study in the Miller Learning Center with a cup of Starbucks or Jittery Joe’s coffee! There’s something about seeing other students be productive in MLC that encourages me to focus and be productive myself. I also love how versatile MLC is in the study space available to students. There are classrooms, comfy couches, tables and even study rooms for small groups. I am particularly fond of the white boards found around the second floor because they allow me to draw my class notes and diagrams on a larger scale.

My favorite professor is …

I love all of the professors found in the Department of Human Development and Family Science within the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. All of them are so genuinely engaged with the students they teach and are so passionate about the material. Although if I had to choose a favorite, it would be Melissa Landers-Potts. She was the first professor that I had HDFS courses with and I have been in love with the major ever since. In her classes, she is so engaging through her upbeat personality and her interest in the subject matter. Over the last two-and-a-half years in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, I have found myself signing up for everything she teaches just because I enjoy her as a professor so much.

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

I would share the afternoon with my paternal grandfather. He passed away before I was born so I never had contact with him, but I always wonder what he would have been like in his life and what role he would have played in shaping who I am today. I hear stories about him in passing at family gatherings, but I was never able to construct my own stories about him. I hope he’d be proud of me.

If I knew I could not fail, I would …

… play the piano! My mother signed me up for lessons as a kid, but I was too impatient to develop the talent. I wasn’t Beethoven fast enough, so I quickly moved along to another instrument. Patience is a virtue that I have since tried to learn, but I wish I would have stuck with the piano. If I knew I could not fail, I would sit at the piano in the Tate Student Center and release my inner interest in piano covers to all of my favorite songs, but the best you can get me from me is “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

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

… travel the world! I have been blessed in this life to have parents who value international experiences, so I have already done quite a bit of traveling already, especially in the Caribbean and Europe. I have a lot of places on my bucket list like Brazil, New Zealand, Greece, Egypt, Thailand and South Africa, just to name a few, so if money wasn’t a consideration, I would make my way to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International right now and get on a plane!

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

I am passionate about helping people, especially in my role as a community member. In order to do this over the past three years at UGA, I have been involved in several philanthropic organizations and served in a variety of roles where I can actively engage in the Athens-Clarke County community. My favorite times were as the community service director of the National Council of Negro Women. In this position, I was in charge of planning service activities for our members and other UGA students to get involved with the community. Next semester, I am also completing an internship with a local nonprofit, so I am always looking for ways to continue helping people in some role.

After graduation, I plan to …

… pursue a master’s degree in nonprofit management or public administration with a nonprofit emphasis.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be …

I will always cherish my experience as an orientation leader through the Office of Admissions. I spent the summer of 2017 welcoming thousands of students, parents and families to the Bulldog Nation. I was able to form relationships with incoming students, my supervisors and a variety of campus departments. The relationships I cherish most are the 11 I built with my orientation team. Each of my teammates challenged me in ways I’d never been challenged and taught me new things about themselves, myself and UGA every day. Had it not been for orientation, I wouldn’t have 11 of the most loving, influential and selfless people I’d ever met in my life. The memories I made that summer will forever have a place in my heart and will always be one of the most life changing experiences I was blessed enough to encounter at UGA.