Junior Jora Vaso immigrated to the United States eight years ago from Tirana, Albania when her country was on the brink of a civil war after the collapse of Communism. Since then, she graduated from Clarke Central High School and began working full-time at a local supermarket where she manages the floral counter. She takes a full-load of classes and has made dean’s list every semester. She also won a CURO Summer Research Fellowship this year which she used to research three European writers and how their works reflected the different kinds of Communism in their respective countries.
Clarke Central High School
B.A. in Advertising and B.A. in Comparative Literature
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
The CURO Summer Fellowship is by far the biggest award I have received at UGA. During the summer, I conducted a research on three Eastern European writers — Ivo Andric, Ismail Kadare, and Wislawa Szymborska. While I read most of their books and read about their lives, the focus of the research was more specifically concerning the different kind of Communism in each country, its reflection of the respective countries, and its reflection in the works of the three authors. This is an area of extreme interest for me since I was born in Eastern Europe and lived under Communism.
I was a Presidential Scholar last semester because of this work. I have also been able to maintain the HOPE Scholarship throughout my college career up to this point. I also receive the maximum amount of tuition reimbursement from my employer each semester because my GPA is more than 3.5 and I perform community service like cookouts and car washes for the Muscular Dystrophy
Association and the Children’s Miracle Network.
I have been working full-time at Kroger for four years. I am in charge of the floral department there, and I love my job.
Family Ties to UGA:
I have an older sister who also attends UGA. We are extremely close, as I am with the rest of my family. My mother and father live in Athens with us, but the rest of my family lives in Albania where I go visit them every 2 years. I remain very close to them even though I moved here 8 years ago.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
Since I work full-time, I really do not have too much time to spend on campus other then the time I spend in my classes. I love studying at the Student Learning Center. Sometimes I go to the Legion Pool or the Ramsey Center. Last semester I watched many French movies at the Tate Center.
The craziest thing I’ve done is…
..I moved to America from Albania, but that was not only my decision, so I really should not take credit for it. Everything that followed this move was extremely strange, life-altering and very hard to explain. I guess you could say “crazy.”
My favorite place to study is…
…Borders. The place I work is very close to it, and so is my house. After my house and Kroger, Borders is like a 3rd home. I love it because it is peaceful and there are always enough things to read on a break from studying.
My favorite professor is…
…Katarzyna Jerzak. It is difficult to describe why I like her. As we would say in her class, “words aren’t sufficient sometimes.” I will try. I think she is an amazing teacher who was born for her profession. I feel like I have gained so much from knowing her. She is an amazing woman.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to…
…travel everywhere, especially in Europe. I would want to live in every country long enough to learn the language and enjoy it.
After graduation, I plan to…
..study for my master’s degree in France or Italy, while visiting Albania very often.