Senior microbiology major Travis Reeves has an outstanding academic record, but he doesn’t stop there. He also volunteers at Athens’ Mercy Health Clinic providing medical services for the uninsured, and he worked at a hospital in Tanzania during his foreign study. He is completing an Honors thesis at the USDA laboratory in Athens to find out more about antimicrobial resistance, and he works at the Visitors Center telling people how much he loves UGA. After all this hard work, he likes to call whitewater kayaking and mountain climbing his relaxation…until he starts medical school.
Oconee County High School
Bachelor of Science in Microbiology
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
I have a Foundation Fellowship. I have been a Presidential scholar for 7 consecutive semesters (hopefully 8 after this semester!!). I am a Phi Kappa Phi Travel Study Grant Award Winner. This honor was awarded to me in a national competition. I also was awarded the Dr. and Mrs. Larry Cohen Scholarship for academic excellence in pre-medical studies, and I am a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
I work at the University of Georgia Visitor Center where I give to tours of campus to prospective students, parents, and other guests of the university including foreign dignitaries. In addition, I staff the Visitor Center desk and train new employees. I also work in a laboratory at the USDA Russell Research Center in Athens studying antimicrobial resistance. This is also where I am doing research for my honors thesis.
I chose to attend UGA because…
…as a child raised in Athens , I was very familiar with the many opportunities that the University of Georgia had to offer. Many UGA professors and staff, including my parents, have served as role models throughout my youth. I knew that I would not only receive a top-notch education, but that I would also enjoy the continued guidance of many friends and family who were associated with the university. I can only say that my expectations of this place have been surpassed time and time again throughout my four years here.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
…my volunteer work at Mercy Health Center on Prince Avenue. Mercy Health Center is a non-profit medical clinic that provides Christian-based health care to the uninsured. This place has not only served to broaden my knowledge of the science of medicine, but it has shown me the truest and most noble example of the doctor-patient relationship. My two and a half years of work at this amazing clinic has confirmed my desire to enter into the practice of medicine. The opportunity to be a servant leader (the concept of leading a patient toward convalescence while serving him/her through my time and energy) is greatly appealing to me, and I cannot think of a better way to spend my career.
When I have free time, I like…
…to kayak. I enjoy nothing more than spending an entire day in a beautiful and pristine environment while pursuing a massive adrenaline rush at the brink of each rapid. It is a wonderful way to forget about school, and it serves as a great stress reliever.
The craziest thing I’ve done is…
…studied abroad in Tanzania during the summer of 2003. I volunteered in a rural hospital while living in a very small African village. This experience served as a global extension of my volunteer work at Mercy Health Center. It was the most amazing experience of my life. Just after my volunteer experience, I left to climb a mountain called Ol Doinyo Lengai. It means “Mountain of God” in Masaai and is an active volcano. My climb up his mountain was definitely crazy! You could hear the lava churning and chugging beneath volcanic vents and see steam rising from tiny holes in the ground. These holes were just large enough for a foot to fit nicely inside! I saw the sun rise over the “moon-like” crater at the top of the volcano. We had to climb throughout the middle of the night to reach the top by sunrise. The experience was unbelievable!
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
…my grandfather. He died several years before I was born when my mother was actually still in high school. I have heard wonderful things about him from his friends and my family. I aspire to be like him, and I would love to spend time with him, just grandson and grandfather. I know that he was a wise and strong man, and I would love to hear him talk about the past and present even if it was just for a few hours.
After graduation, I plan to…
…attend medical school. At this point, I am planning to enter a specialized surgical field and practice at an academic institution so I can practice medicine while training the next generation of physicians. In addition, as an academic physician, I plan to pursue my interest in foreign healthcare by researching ways to understand and improve third-world medicine. This will allow me the opportunity to practice in both the United States and abroad. It is the best of both worlds.