Senior Ashley Owen knew all along that she wanted to be a doctor, and she could not wait to get started on her career. She left high school a year early to come to UGA, and now she does cancer research with Biochemistry and Molecular Biology professor Michael Pierce at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center. She also volunteers with UGA’s Relay for Life, and she participated in an alternative spring break where she worked with people who have AIDS. Last summer, she won a Courts Scholarship that allowed her to go to Korea to contrast Western and Eastern medical practices.
Northside High School
B.S. in Cellular Biology
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
I think that my most significant experience at UGA has been my involvement with Relay For Life. I was a team captain my freshman year, the Team Captain Coordinator on the exec board my sophomore year, and I was the Chairperson of Relay For Life at UGA my junior year (last year). I am also the chairperson of the Relay this year (my senior year). It has been extremely rewarding to be involved with this meaningful event. In addition to my work at UGA, I have been able to travel to Greenville, SC, Dallas, TX, Nashville, TN, and Atlanta to teach what we do at UGA’s Relay at national and regional level American Cancer Society conferences.
I have also volunteered at Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, tutored at the Boys and Girls Club of Athens, and I organized six blood drives on campus.
I am in the honors program, Alpha Epsilon Delta (premedical honor society), and National Residence Hall Honorary. I have received either the presidential scholar award or been on the dean’s list every semester.
I was a Resident Assistant in Church Hall for two years as well and that experience was absolutely wonderful! I was peer helper of the year in 2003 for the Hill Community.
I work at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center for Dr. Michael Pierce doing cell biology research. Our lab does cancer research, and I plan to write my honors thesis next semester on my current project.
Family Ties to UGA:
I am a bona fide Air Force brat and I lived ten different places before the age of 18! My father is currently a general in the U.S. Air Force, and I am so proud of his achievements. My mother is my best friend and my dearest companion; we have always been close because we move around so much! I am also very proud of my younger brother who is on the varsity golf team at his high school in Ohio.
I chose to attend UGA because…
I have wanted to be a doctor since I was a young child so I decided to come to college one year early to get a “head-start” on my medical education. As much as I enjoyed the years I spent in high school, I was ready for a new and different challenge. I never actually graduated from high school, but instead I came straight to UGA after my junior year in high school, and I have loved every minute of college since then!
When I have free time, I like…
…to cut my friends’ hair! I have had about 40-50 “clients” and I charge either $1 or a latte! I also enjoy building furniture and decorating. Since my car is just shy of its 18th birthday, any other free time I have I must spend fixing my car!
The craziest thing I’ve done is…
…paint zebra stripes on the hood of my white ‘87 Volvo. I had an accident in high school that ruined my white hood, so I bought a black hood at a junk yard and painted it so that it had zebra stripes!
My favorite place to study is…
…the Founder’s Garden on North Campus because it is so beautiful, and it is secluded enough to really give you some privacy.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
…my great aunt Gladys who is 94 and lives in Dayton, Ohio. She recently fell and broke her hip and is quite ill. I am so worried about her current health and would give anything to be able to spend another afternoon telling stories with her and looking at old pictures.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to…
…go to South Korea after medical school and practice medicine. I would also like to learn more about oriental medicine techniques in Korea. I think it would be incredibly useful to be able to integrate Western and Eastern medical practices for the treatment of diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
After graduation, I plan to…
…go to medical school. I would like to eventually become a pediatrician specializing in either oncology or endocrinology.