Senior Emily Grace Thomsen is a go-getter. She is finishing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in four years, and has made Dean’s List and been a Presidential Scholar. She has held leadership positions in Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and ugaMiracle, where she led projects to help both elderly and children in Georgia. She has also participated in Alternative Spring Break doing Hurricane Katrina relief work. As a child, she was treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and after graduation, she hopes to be involved professionally with a similar type of children’s nonprofit organization.
South Forsyth High School
A.B.J. in Public Relations with a minor in Child and Family Development and a M.A. in Nonprofit Organizations
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
I am currently working on a dual bachelor’s and master’s degree through the Honors Program. Cramming all that curricula in four years of college is quite a challenge, but I have found it worthwhile. I have been a Presidential Scholar, and I made the Dean’s List while participating in a variety of different activities on campus. I am a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and served as the Service Coordinator junior year, during which I established a relationship with an area nursing home where my sisters and I participated in activities and made birthday posters for the residents and delivered them each month. I also served as a Recruitment Counselor for a group of freshmen during Panhellenic Recruitment. I was a Relay for Life team captain my sophomore year and planned and hosted Fiesta for Life, a fundraising dinner. I have been involved with ugaMiracle as a member of the hospital relations committee since freshman year, visiting the kids for whom we raise money. I participated in Alternative Spring Break in New Orleans, La. doing Hurricane Katrina relief during my sophomore year. My junior year, I was selected as an Honors International Scholar and received a scholarship to study abroad in Verona, Italy for the spring semester. While in Italy, I did an independent study regarding the use of social media abroad and blogged about my travels.
I was fortunate enough to volunteer at Camp Sunshine, a camp for children with cancer, two summers ago. I plan to stay involved; Camp Sunshine is a very special place! This summer I worked with the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation doing fundraising events, donor tours, playing with the kids and participating in the every day excitement that comes with working in a successful nonprofit organization—I loved it!
Family Ties to UGA:
My family could not have told you where UGA was on the map before I decided to come here. I moved to Alpharetta, Ga. during my junior year of high school from Illinois, and all of the rest of my family still lives in the Midwest. My family teases me now for being a Southerner and wearing dresses to football games and letting an occasional “y’all” slip. I am convinced they’re secretly jealous. I may be the first Bulldog in my family, but no worries, my kids will be Bulldogs born and bred!
I chose to attend UGA because…
…I could not resist the unique charm of Athens and all that it had to offer. I knew that UGA would be the best education and the best value. At first, I was determined to move back north for college, but my parents, horrified at the thought of paying out-of-state tuition, encouraged me to check out UGA. I spent the weekend in Athens with a friend. The rest is history—I fell in love! There is something about UGA that is hard to resist, even to the most determined of skeptics.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
…mosey around North Campus, get lost running in the IM fields, try all the unique restaurants downtown, cheer on the Dawgs, people-watch and chase the UGA buses that I always seem to miss by mere moments.
When I have free time, I like…
…to do anything outside, work out, watch movies, read, bake, shop, daydream and talk with family and friends. I am really close with my family—both immediate and extended. They all live so far away, so it’s important to me to stay connected. Working out is my stress relief, and I love it all. My family is really active as well so I grew up water skiing, snow skiing, hiking, white water rafting, running, swimming, biking, kayaking, fishing, boating, etc. My mom and I even did a triathlon together this summer.
The craziest thing I’ve done is…
…study abroad in Verona, Italy for an entire semester with people I didn’t know, in a place I had never been, where I didn’t know the language well, taking classes outside my major, doing an independent study, visiting 11 countries and leaving everything familiar behind… it was such a great experience!
My favorite place to study is…
…just about anywhere. I like to switch things up and keep it interesting. I will go to the library if I need to get a lot done, but my favorite place is probably curled up in my apartment with my roommate while old movies play in the background.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
…my mom’s brother, Mark, who died tragically when he was only 19. Mark may have been young, but he could speak three languages fluently and was an incredibly talented musician and individual. My mom says my passion and drive remind her of Mark, and I wish I had the opportunity to meet him.
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
…be an advocate for strong, healthy families. I would make sure that every family situation was a loving and nurturing one, where children grew up with faith, confidence, morals and goals. Strong families are so important, and I think that fact gets largely overlooked on a world-wide scale.
After graduation, I plan to…
…work for a children’s nonprofit organization. I would love to do something with the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation because I have seen first hand all the good it does. I am also interested in corporate philanthropy, and there are a number of other organizations about which I could become very passionate.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
…being a freshman. Freshman year was such a whirlwind of excitement and new experiences. I practically lived at Bolton Dining Hall that first year and was even first introduced to my boyfriend there! I have lots of great memories and learned a lot about myself that year. I would not trade a second of it for anything!