Amazing Students

Erin Burnett

Thanks to the opportunities UGA has provided, Erin Burnett, a junior majoring in agricultural communication, has not only excelled in the classroom but has been able to pursue her passion of world travel.

Hometown:

Sale City, Georgia

High School:

Westwood Schools

Degree objective:

B.A.S. in agricultural communication‬‬

Other degrees:

Certificate in international agriculture‬‬

Expected graduation:

Summer 2016‬‬

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

Coming from an extremely small town, all I wanted to do after high school graduation was adventure. Freshman year I traveled to Uruguay, sophomore year to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and in the spring, I will be the photojournalism intern for UGA Costa Rica. I am a Gilman International Scholar and CAES Arnold Fellow, and as such, have been very blessed to receive assistance in my studies abroad. While on campus, I am a member of the Student Alumni Council, Honors Program, Sigma Alpha Professional Sorority and Collegiate 4-H. ‬‬

Current Employment:

‪I manage the student social media accounts for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in Conner Hall. I love getting to use my communication skills and creativity to promote the college that has given me so many opportunities. ‬‬‬

Family Ties to UGA:

I am proud to be a first-generation University of Georgia student.

I chose to attend UGA because…

Larry Munson said it best in the Battle Hymn of the Bulldog Nation when he declared, “There is no institution worthy of such loyalty as the University of Georgia.” I love the traditions of UGA and the community between the students. As Georgia’s flagship university, UGA and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have given me numerous opportunities that I could find nowhere else in my beloved home state. Additionally, I served as both a state and district 4-H officer in high school, which really got me excited about all the university and college could offer.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

I’m really lucky to have a great group of friends with whom I grew up in 4-H now attending UGA with me. In addition to spending time with old 4-H friends, I enjoy hanging out with my Sigma Alpha sisters. Most of all, I love attending UGA football games. There’s just something about the game that pulls us together as a university, united to be the best we can be. I love sitting in the student section right next to the Redcoats and singing along to “Leroy Brown” and “Glory, Glory.” It’s an awesome experience I’m sure to miss after graduation.

When I have free time, I like…

I love to read — I just finished the “Song of Ice and Fire” series this summer — and craft. I also enjoy cooking, traveling to Disney World and, of course, Netflix.

The craziest thing I've done is…

While in Zimbabwe I bungee jumped 111 meters off the Victoria Falls bridge. What a rush!

My favorite place to study is…

I have a few outdoor spots on South Campus I like, but I think my two favorites are the pond near Warnell and the Plant Sciences amphitheater. UGA’s beauty isn’t relegated to only North Campus! If you haven’t sat and studied at either of these spots, you’re really missing out.

My favorite professor is…

I remember at UGA orientation, I was discussing “Environmental Education 101” as a possible choice for my First-Year Odyssey seminar. My adviser asked who it was taught by, and when I read out, “Nick Fuhrman,” he replied, “Oh. You definitely have to take that. You’re going to love Dr. Fuhrman.” He was right! I have never met another professor who is as passionate or joyful as “Ranger Nick.” Every class is a treat, because Dr. Fuhrman is not only a fantastic teacher, but he really enjoys teaching, and that exuberance rubs off on each student. His “Animals in Education” class is delightfully diverse: one day you’re teaching with live baby chicks, and the next, you’re taking a gopher tortoise to Athens’ Extra Special People program. His mantra is, “People may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel,” and that shows in the way he teaches. He always leaves students excited to return to his next class. ‬‬

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

… my grandmother. As soon as I started preschool, I became my grandmother’s tag-along. She picked me up every day after school until I turned 16. She was such a huge part of my childhood, and now that she has passed, I find myself wishing I had just one more day to thank her for everything, ask her to write down her homemade spaghetti sauce recipe, and have her cook me just one more batch of collard greens. She was such a strong woman who had an endless capacity to love and I am very thankful for the moments I got to spend with her.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

… start a scholarship fund for rural middle and high school students to study internationally. Traveling abroad was an invaluable experience that really affected my outlook on life growing up, but many children in rural communities cannot afford to go abroad, and there are very few scholarships offered to this age group. Had I not traveled in middle and high school, it is doubtful that I would have ever pursued the opportunities I have been awarded in college. The possibility of international travel is not only a great experience but also serves as an incentive for students’ continued scholarship. Study abroad could give rural students an advantage not only in applying for college, but also open their mind to experiences they previously had never imagined. To become an engaged global citizen, it is absolutely necessary to experience the world from a different point of view, which can only be obtained by study abroad. The earlier students are exposed to these ideas, the larger effect it can have on their lives.

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

… definitely continue my world travels. I have currently visited five of the seven continents and would like to include Australia to make it six. ‬

After graduation, I plan to…

… attend graduate school to further my education in the field of agricultural communication. I love using my creativity to tell the story of the agricultural industry. The people are so down to earth and every day I go in to work knowing that I’m helping others to feed the world. After earning my master’s, I hope to make a career in agricultural marketing.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

The one UGA experience I will always remember didn’t even take place on the UGA campus! This past summer, 16 of us UGA Stellenbosch Study Abroad students decided that we would bungee jump off the Victoria Falls bridge. None of us had ever bungeed, and we were all excited … and anxious. Just before the first person jumped, we decided that we would call the dawgs together, just to give us a bit more courage. We began chanting, “WHO’S THAT COMING DOWN THE TRACK?!” and the native Zimbabweans looked at us like we were insane — but it worked. All 16 of us took the plunge in the end. That’s one experience that I’ll never forget.

Published Tuesday,