Liza Pitts cares about people. Pitts, a fifth-year student in the Doctor of Pharmacy program, was crowned Miss University of Georgia 2008 at the annual scholarship pageant in January. The Elberton, Georgia student also received the “Best Interview” award for her discussion of cancer education and awareness, her platform. A member of UGA’s Redcoat Marching Band as the former majorette line captain, Pitts performed a rousing dance and twirl number in the talent portion of the competition. She also previously led the UGA majorettes to consecutive national championships. Pitts developed “Cure Bears,” a program that provides teddy bears to ill children through the Children’s Miracle Network. After graduation, she plans to operate her own pharmacy.
Elbert County High School
Doctor of Pharmacy
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
I was the UGA Redcoat Band majorette line captain, and I led the line to consecutive national championships at the National Twirling Competition. In my time at UGA, I traveled to China with the Redcoats, and I studied in Australia and Fiji with UGA’s Studies Abroad in the Caribbean and South Pacific program. Additionally, I have made President’s List and Dean’s List numerous times. I am part of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Golden Key Honor Society and the Delta Epsilon Iota Honor Society.
On my breaks from Pharmacy School, I work as an intern at Madden’s Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy, in Elberton, Georgia. There, I am carefully watched and trained by the pharmacist. I focus on the importance of patient counseling, so that our patients not only understand their prescriptions but are active participants in their own healthcare.
Family Ties to UGA:
My father, Phil Pitts, graduated from UGA with a master’s degree in business. My older sister, Leanne Pitts Layne, graduated with a degree in political science and is now pursuing her M.B.A. at UGA.
I chose to attend UGA because…
…I was raised to bleed red and black. I never considered or applied to anywhere else. I began twirling at age three and came to twirl at many “band days” when I was younger. The first time I stepped on the field at Sanford Stadium, I knew UGA was for me. I set a goal to twirl on the UGA majorette line. Plus, my older sister, Leanne, was a majorette four years before I came to UGA, and she twirled a fifth season so that we could step onto the field together. I also knew that I wanted to become a pharmacist, and UGA’s pharmacy school is one of the best in the nation.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
Nothing, of course, compares to game day in Athens, including pep rallies, and all that is Georgia football. I also love attending basketball games with my parents. I love the opportunity to walk around North Campus and enjoy all of UGA’s rich history. I am an Apprentice in UGA’s Ballroom Performance Group, so Friday night dances are also one of my favorite things to do.
When I have free time, I like…
…spending time with my family, especially my nephew, Walker, and playing the keyboard in my room. My newest hobby is planning appearances and promotional events as Miss UGA. I love volunteer work, especially with my Cure Bears Program. Cure Bears are teddy bears that I order and get individually sponsored for $10. I then deliver the bears to patients in Children’s Hospitals and donate to proceeds to those hospitals and the American Cancer Society. To date, the program has delivered 226 bears and more than $900 has been donated. For more information, please visit the link above.
The craziest thing I’ve done is…
…bought a motorcycle. When I got to UGA and saw all of the motorcycles on campus, I knew I wanted one. So I used the Internet to research the kind of motorcycle that I wanted, and I drove to Charlotte, N.C. with a friend to buy it. It had to be red and black, of course.
My favorite place to study is…
…at home. While I was taking my undergraduate courses, however, I loved studying in different places around campus like the science library, outside the Chemistry building, in the Coke room at Sanford Hall and anywhere outside on a sunny day.
My favorite professor is…
…Henry Cobb at the pharmacy school. Not only is he brilliant as a pharmacist, but he makes his lectures entertaining. He always offers a smile, two thumbs up, and an encouraging “Doin’ a fine job” at moments when you think you’re just not going to make it.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
…Charlayne Hunter-Gault. When I took a history class, we had to read a book about Hunter-Gault, the first African-American female student at UGA. I thought that entering UGA as a freshman was a daunting and scary task. To enter UGA as the first black female student, in a racist south, is the act of a woman who is truly fearless. I hope, in my lifetime, that I have the opportunity to do something that courageous.
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
…become Miss Georgia and then Miss America. Having one of these titles, like being Miss UGA, gives me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. There’s something about having a rhinestone crown on your head. All of a sudden, people want to hear what you have to say. A title can give you power and a voice. Having the honor of representing UGA is an honor that I take very seriously.
After graduation, I plan to…
…own my own pharmacy. I have worked in a chain pharmacy, but I prefer to spend more time interacting and caring for my patients than that kind of environment allows. If I own my own pharmacy, the only person that I have to answer to is myself.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
It is a three-way tie between running onto the field to form the Arch at my first football game in my freshman year, hearing the UGA Majorettes called out for our first of consecutive national championships, and, most recently, hearing my name called out as the new Miss University of Georgia.