Amazing Students Profiles

Laurie Reyman

Laurie Reyman

Graduate student Laurie Reyman grew up in Zimbabwe and did not know anyone when she came to UGA. She chose the university primarily because it was in a warm and sunny climate and a city smaller than New York, where she had been living. Since then, she has adjusted well. She has been awarded a graduate assistantship and does civil rights research with Social Work Dean Maurice Daniels. With him, she is helping to produce a documentary on lawyer Donald Hollowell. She also traveled to Tanzania for a service learning trip with UGA, and she was in the performance of the Vagina Monologues last year. After graduation, she will visit friends on the west coast and then she plans to return to Africa and work supporting women’s development and empowerment.


Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

High School:

Girls’ College

Degree objective:

Master of Social Work focusing on community empowerment and program development

Other degrees:

B.A. in international studies with a focus on Africa, Portland State University

Expected graduation:

Spring 2009

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

One of the highlights of my time at UGA was participating in the production of the Vagina Monologues in spring 2008. Additionally, I received the President’s Venture Award for a service learning trip to Tanzania, and the trip itself is one of the best memories I have of my time at UGA. I also received a graduate school assistantship for two academic years which I consider an achievement, especially because it saved me from out-of-state tuition rates!!

Current Employment:

I work as a graduate assistant with the dean of the School of Social Work on civil rights research with The Foot Soldier Project. My main project is producing a documentary on civil rights lawyer Donald L. Hollowell. I am also employed on an as-needed basis as a women’s advocate at Project Safe. I provide coverage at the domestic violence shelter and answer the domestic violence 24-hour hotline. This academic year, I am also interning 24 hours a week at the Carter Center in Atlanta. I will be working in the office of the assistant executive director who oversees the peace, democracy and health programs.

Family Ties to UGA:

None. I moved to Georgia one year ago and did not know a single person in Athens. My grandmother was originally from Macon but she moved to Oregon in the 1940s.

I chose to attend UGA because…

…I wanted to move somewhere warm and sunny. The other reasons are that I liked the M.S.W. program and the international opportunities it offered, and Athens seemed like it would be a fun place to live. I moved here from New York City which is too big for me, and I was looking forward to being in a smaller town.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

…to have a picnic on the grass on North Campus and people watch.

When I have free time, I like…

…to travel! I also enjoy hanging out with my cats at home and hiking with my dog. My favorite evening time activities are karaoke and shuffleboard at Foxz.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

…probably doing a gorge swing (which is a bungee jump where the bungee cord is attached to the middle of a cable stretched across a giant gorge). I did a handstand on the edge of the platform looking out over the gorge before pushing off into the gorge swing. It was awesome!

My favorite place to study is…

…Espresso Royale because being in a public place helps me concentrate and keeps me focused and because they have amazing apricot scones!

My favorite professor is…

It’s a tie between Nancy Williams and Donna Bliss. Dr. Williams is incredibly supportive and encouraging. I traveled to Tanzania with her for a service learning program, and she was a great traveling companion. Dr. Bliss is very challenging, but teaches very practically and is also very invested in her students’ learning processes.

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

…my grandmother, Imogene. I didn’t get to spend very much time with her while she was alive because I always lived far away from her. I would love to have one more afternoon with her. We were kindred spirits.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

…play a main part in a Broadway musical. This has always been a secret fantasy of mine. I often wish my life could be a musical, which seems unlikely, so I would settle for being in a Broadway musical.

After graduation, I plan to…

…pursue a career in women’s development and empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa. Before that, I plan to travel to the west coast to visit friends and family. I consider it to be a little graduation celebration.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

There are many of them. The most memorable will be my trip to Tanzania with an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students. We were together constantly for one month, having incredible experiences. It was a fabulous opportunity, and I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated it!