Amazing Students Profiles

Joseph Tripp

Joseph Tripp

Joseph Tripp, a master’s student in nonprofit organizations, is going beyond excellence in the classroom and leaving a lasting mark on the community through his volunteer activities.


Yonkers, Ga.

High School:

Dodge County High School

Degree objective:

M.A. in nonprofit organizations

Other degrees:

B.S. in biology from Georgia Southern University, A.S. in science from Middle Georgia State College

Expected graduation:

Fall 2013

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

Since I began my graduate career in January, I have maintained over a 3.9 GPA, and I have been on a whirlwind adventure. My journey at the University of Georgia started by volunteering as a nonprofit consultant with several classmates to help local nonprofit organizations with fundraising, program evaluation, event planning, grant writing and volunteer management. While working with classmates, I have helped to develop a fundraising proposal, a two-year plan to improve fundraising methods, for Piedmont Rape Crisis Center in Winder. I have contributed to a volunteer management plan for Jackson County Habitat for Humanity in Commerce. I co-created and implemented the “Paws for a Moment of Silence” awareness campaign and fundraising event, raising more than $600 in a two-week period, for Athens Area Humane Society. I worked with a team to create a fundraising project for Athens Farmers Market. I have co-authored a $10,700 grant for Pulaski Tomorrow’s Youth Leadership Development program in Hawkinsville. Lastly, I am currently developing a program evaluation proposal for the Boybutante AIDS Foundation in Athens.

During the summer, I served as a volunteer intern evaluating a newly developed Leader-In-Training program at Camp Twin Lakes in Winder. I had the opportunity to work with children living with chronic illnesses and disorders including AIDS/HIV, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, sickle cell anemia, Tourette syndrome and developmental disabilities. Through that experience I gained a greater understanding about the need for nonprofit organizations and their impact.

Finally, I was selected to participate in the University of Georgia’s Emerging Leaders program, a two-day leadership workshop sponsored by the Graduate School. The program focuses on professional development and leadership skills necessary for entering into the workplace environment.

Family Ties to UGA:

I am the first of my family to attend the University of Georgia and the first to earn a graduate degree.

I chose to attend UGA because…

I chose to attend UGA because of UGA’s Institute for Nonprofit Organizations. The faculty and staff in the graduate program welcomed me into the UGA family with warmth and guidance, and it is because of them that I decided to attend this prestigious university.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

When I am on campus, I enjoy meeting new people and learning their life story. UGA has so many people from diverse backgrounds and from different parts of the world. I have been inspired by the people I have met while attending UGA, and I have been lucky enough to make several friends.

When I have free time, I like…

All of my free time is usually devoted to my Dalmatian, Aiden. He is so full of energy and he keeps me on my toes. One of my most memorable adventures with Aiden was hiking the trails and visiting the dog park at Athens Memorial Park. When I am not spending time with Aiden, I enjoy watching an indie film at Ciné and socializing with friends in downtown Athens.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

The craziest thing I have done was during the fall 2007 semester of my undergraduate education at Georgia Southern University. In that semester, I was taking 16 hours of upper-level biology and biochemistry, I held senior leadership positions in five student organizations, and I regularly volunteered for two nonprofit organizations. I managed to pass all my classes and exceed in my leadership positions. I learned a lot about myself during that semester and how to manage my time. As a result, I received Georgia Southern University’s Volunteer of the Year Award for my service as a volunteer and student leader. When I graduated from GSU, I recorded 1,309.12 volunteer hours with the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.

My favorite place to study is…

My favorite place to study is at home. I find that studying at home allows me to create my own workspace and learning environment. My routine for studying usually starts by brewing a hot cup of tea, turning on some background music and giving Aiden a chew toy to play with.

My favorite professor is…

I’ve had the privilege to work with and learn from several great and inspiring professors during my educational career. If I had to choose one professor it would have to be Michelle Carney. She has been a mentor and inspiration to my graduate education here at UGA. Dr. Carney has given me the support and knowledge to develop into a future leader in nonprofit organizations.

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

I would share the afternoon with someone who needs a friend. The reason for my answer is because I was diagnosed with stage 4 osteosarcoma when I was 10 years old. I relapsed with cancer four times during my seven-year battle. In the course of my battle with cancer, I was able to meet several famous people at the Egleston Pediatric Hospital in Atlanta. However, none of the celebrity visits could amount to the personal impact of a hospital volunteer who just came to play video games with me. I want to devote my afternoon to someone who needs a friend to listen or spend time with them. I’ve experienced the power and impact that has on a person and I hope to have the same impact as the volunteer who visited me.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

I would work hard to help other people succeed in life. My personal mission is to serve others through a nonprofit organization. If there is no risk of failure it would mean that I could help more people and succeed in achieving the mission of a nonprofit organization.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to…

I would explore the world, be immersed in the different cultures and hear the life stories of locals as I travel. I would plan the trip so I could spend time at each destination learning from the people living there and gaining an understanding of the local culture and language.

After graduation, I plan to…

I plan to work in the nonprofit sector. My aspiration is to become an executive director of a nonprofit organization with a mission to help children, families or those in need.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

The one experience I will always remember was giving a three-minute speech to the School of Social Work’s faculty and staff during the fall celebration. I attended the event to represent the Institute for Nonprofit Organizations graduate program. I was so nervous because I decided what I wanted to say a few minutes before I stood behind the podium. I do not remember what I said, but I have received several compliments about that speech.