Amazing Students Profiles

Jillian Turner

Jillian Turner

A passion for public service is a trademark of this week’s amazing student, Jill Turner.


Tyrone, Georgia

High School:

Sandy Creek High School

Degree objective:

Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs, Master’s of Public Administration

Expected graduation:

May 2011

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

I have been extremely fortunate on campus to be inducted into Palladia and Blue Key honor societies, become a Presidential Scholar and be awarded various academic scholarships. Outside of campus, I have been honored to receive the President’s Volunteer Service Award and the Running Start/Wal-Mart Star Fellowship.

With regards to my extracurricular activities, I currently serve as the executive director of UGA’s chapter of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network and as the secretary-general of the Model United Nations Team. Outside of campus, I have interned in U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s office in Washington, D.C., where I helped to manage and maintain legislative correspondence, served as the initial contact for constituents with requests and concerns, researched a variety of topics for staffers, and aided overall office performances. In addition to being involved with Running Start in D.C., through which I had the pleasure of meeting several powerful and strong women involved in public service, I was able to participate in UGA’s Washington Semester Program, which introduced me to notable UGA alumni.

Current Employment:

I am a student intern in the UGA Office of Undergraduate Admissions, where I assist the office in completing administrative tasks, organizing events and helping prospective students learn more about the university. My duties in the office are constantly changing, but the experience of interning has been both challenging and rewarding! I have definitely learned valuable skills that will prepare me to work in the public sector one day.

Family Ties to UGA:

My father is probably the biggest fan of UGA I know, but I am the first person in my family to attend the university. My cousin, Shelby, is a freshman this year, and my younger brother, Mitch, was accepted through early action to begin this summer!

I chose to attend UGA because…

…UGA has amazing professors, numerous research opportunities and an amazing Honors program. While the culture of learning was a huge draw, the culture of Athens itself was also a large selling point for me. There is a great music and arts scene, fantastic restaurants, and the university is so intertwined with the vibrant community.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

…hang out on North Campus! I work in Terrell Hall and most of my classes are scattered around North Campus, so I can often be found lounging around on the grass or running around campus with my roommate.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

…spontaneously jump on a plane and fly to Chicago on election night in 2008! My boyfriend interned with (then) Sen. Barack Obama, and we found out around 3 p.m. that we could go to the election night rally in Grant Park. We threw some clothes in a bag, figured out transportation on the way to the airport and we were in Chicago by 8 p.m. that night. It was an unbelievable experience being surrounded by over a million Obama supporters (including Oprah!) that night!

My favorite place to study is…

…the library, which offers a quiet place to get a lot of work done! When I study or write papers in the library, there are so many resources right at my fingertips. During midterms and finals, I like to find a nook on the fifth or sixth floor with a window overlooking the stadium, and I can study and work for hours.

My favorite professor is…

…it is too difficult to name just one favorite professor, as I have received invaluable guidance from several of the university’s finest faculty members. Rather, I must highlight two faculty members: Dr. Loch Johnson and Dr. Jerome Legge. Dr. Johnson is a Regents Professor in the international affairs department at UGA and also a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor. Dr. Legge is an associate dean in SPIA and a public administration professor. They have both provided me constant support and have encouraged me to reach my potential during my time at UGA. Also, Don DeMaria, director of the Washington Semester Program, and Melinda DeMaria, my supervisor in admissions, have also been invaluable mentors to me. I am so grateful to all of these people!

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

… Michelle Obama! I admire her for being such a strong, classy, intelligent and charming woman. I love that she uses her strength to combat the problem of obesity in the United States. Oh, and I also love her fashion sense!

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

…find a cure for multiple sclerosis. It is so hard to see how this disease impacts someone who is dear to my heart.

After graduation, I plan to…

…pursue a professional career in public service. I like the idea that I can work effectively in a field that I am very passionate about and contribute directly to the well-being of the public. I would like to devote my career to finding solutions to several challenging issues through public policy and public administration. The things I am most interested in are education and women’s rights, and I would love to find a way to better these things through my work in the public sector.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

…the blackout game against Auburn in 2007. Auburn is obviously a huge rival, and it was incredible to see the entire stadium decked out in black attire cheering on the Dawgs. The energy in the stadium was electric, which helped the team win the game 45-20! The strong spirit of the Bulldog nation was so evident in Athens that night!