Amazing Students

Matthew Crim

While attending UGA, Matt Crim has demonstrated excellence in both scholarship and leadership. Besides being the first UGA student to win both a Truman and a Marshall Scholarship, he is the recipient of the Foundation Fellowship, the university’s most prestigious undergraduate award, and a member of various academic honor societies, including Phi Beta Kappa and Blue Key. Through the Center for International Trade and Security, he conducted research on biological and agricultural security with Corrie Brown, professor of veterinary pathology. Currently he works with Rick Tarleton, Distinguished Research Professor of Cellular Biology, to study Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease. He is a double major who enjoys singing with the Accidentals, an a cappella group, and playing the piano.

Hometown:

Cartersville, Georgia

High School:

Cartersville High School

Degree objective:

B.S. in Cellular Biology and A.B. in Political Science

Expected graduation:

May 2005

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

As a Foundation Fellow, I have been able to travel to many parts of the world as well as take part in a dynamic intellectual community here in Athens. I would like to pursue a career in medicine and health policy, and I have thus spent the past two summers volunteering in hospitals in Tanzania and Thailand. On campus, I enjoy serving on the Executive Council of the University Judiciary and in the Arch Society. I also sing with the Accidentals, a male a cappella group, and am a brother of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. For my dedication to public service, leadership, and scholarship, I was awarded the Truman Scholarship in 2004. I will participate in the Summer Institute Internship program through the Truman Scholarship this summer. I was recently awarded the Marshall Scholarship. This honor will allow me to study public health and health policy for two years at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I am also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Blue Key, Phi Kappa Phi, and Alpha Epsilon Delta Honor Societies.

I chose to attend UGA because…

My grandfather was a devoted Georgia Bulldog football fan. Although he did not attend UGA, Daddy Bill cultivated in me a love for UGA that led me to truly feel at home in Athens. After I had been offered a scholarship to attend UGA, I was walking behind the Holmes-Hunter Academic Building one sunny spring afternoon on a campus visit, and it just felt right. I knew from that moment that Georgia was the place for me.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

...singing with the Accidentals, sharing meals with friends, walking through North Campus, and attending athletic events. When I think back on my undergraduate experience thus far, I have so many wonderful memories. It is difficult to name only a few of my favorite things, but these certainly top the list. There is nothing like performing in front of an audience with the Accidentals. Whether we are in concert at Hodgson Hall or the Morton Theater, I always have a good time with this group of friends. One of my passions in life is eating, and I enjoy few things more than sharing a meal with a good friend. Athens has so many amazing restaurants to keep me busy. Because I have a north and a south campus major, I spend a lot of time running from one hemisphere to the other. The beauty of North Campus, throughout the year, never ceases to amaze me. And I would be remiss if I did not include attending football games as one of my favorite things.

When I have free time, I like…

...to spend time with friends and family, play sports, and play the piano. My daily schedule remains full most of the academic year, so I greatly value any bit of free time. When I have the opportunity, I enjoy catching up with friends and spending time with my family. I have played soccer my entire life, and love to play just about any sport, particularly involving water. I also took piano lessons from the ages of eight to fifteen, and I still enjoy playing when I get the chance.

The craziest thing I've done is…

While I can think of several experiences from my travels that would be fun to share, I got the single greatest adrenaline rush while ziplining through the cloud forest canopy in Monteverde, Costa Rica. There were eleven separate zip lines ranging in length from eighty to eight-hundred meters. The only specialized equipment was a waist harness and a helmet. At each line we would hook in, lean back, and rocket through the treetops. One line in particular is memorable. We climbed to the top of a tower rocking in the steady breeze. By the time we had reached the top, we were enveloped in a thick fog and could see nothing but the line descending into haze. As I plunged into the oblivion, the guide shouted, “Pura Vida!” It was an amazing experience.

My favorite professor is…

I have had far too many excellent professors to label one as my favorite, but my experience with Loch Johnson has been notable. Dr. Johnson is an expert in security and intelligence. Because my father is a retired naval officer, I have always had an interest in security issues. I took two classes with Dr. Johnson. The first was entitled “Secrets, Mysteries, and Spies” and was about the role of intelligence in US foreign policy. At the conclusion of the semester, I wrote at National Intelligence Estimate with a classmate on the danger of biological weapons in the former Soviet Union. The second class was a defense procurement simulation that Dr. Johnson taught with Dr. Trey Hood. The first half of the semester, we learned about the budgetary process and defense policy. After midterm, we each assumed a role - I was the Secretary of the Navy - and carried the defense procurement process through from start to finish. Dr. Johnson is a true expert in an exciting field with a passion for teaching.

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

...President Harry Truman. Through the Truman Scholarship process, I came to learn a great deal about the life and decisions of Harry Truman. He was a remarkable man. A number of historical anomalies and events brought Truman from relative obscurity to the U.S. Presidency. He was forced to deal with some of the most difficult issues in U.S. history, and fought against overwhelming popular disapproval. Despite these hardships, he has emerged as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents. I would love to experience his famously quotable honesty.

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

...practice medicine in the developing world. I have been blessed with two incredible experiences volunteering in Tanzania and Thailand. Experiencing ways of life so radically different from my own familiar comfort has opened my eyes to the reality that billions of people worldwide face everyday. My experiences abroad have taught me the true meanings of community and strength. While I would offer my education and effort, I know that I would receive infinitely more in return.

After graduation, I plan to…

...pursue an M.Sc. in Public Health (Health Services Research) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an M.Sc. in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics. I will then attend a U.S. medical school. I hope to marry medicine and health policy in my career.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

While I was in Tanzania, I volunteered at Nkoaranga Lutheran Hospital. Among many other tasks, I helped in the maternity ward of the hospital. One day, I was in the labor room. The moans of the young woman in labor chased after me as I rushed to the corner of the dilapidated structure, frantically searching for gauze. Returning to the bedside, I assisted as a beautiful baby boy was introduced to the world. Strangely, however, there remained a protrusion in the woman’s abdomen. After curiously lowering her fetoscope and searching for an explanation, the midwife exclaimed, “Jesus, there’s another one!” Moments later, a previously unknown baby was laid to snuggle with her twin brother.

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