Amazing Students

Alexandra Fitzsimmons

Alexandra Fitzsimmons, who is working on master’s degrees in public health and social work, wants to combine her work in those fields to become an element of positive change in people’s lives.

Hometown:

Charlottesville, Va.

High School:

Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School

Degree objective:

Master of Public Health in health promotion and behavior and Master of Social Work with a clinical focus.

Other degrees:

Bachelor of Arts in foreign affairs with a South Asia specialization.

Expected graduation:

December 2015

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

—Assistantship with the dean’s office in the College of Public Health (fall and spring 2013-2014).
—Exchange program during undergraduate program to the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
—Feldman Health Disparities Award (February 2014).
—Global Health and Leadership study abroad/internship, Haifa, Israel (summer 2014).
—UGA Leadership Cohort (fall 2014).

Current Employment:

Seabear Oyster Bar & Restaurant
UGA climbing wall at Ramsey Student Center

Family Ties to UGA:

None.

I chose to attend UGA because…

… I wanted to pursue a graduate degree in public health and social work while living close to my grandmother, who is now 86 years old and who recently moved to Georgia from our home state of Virginia.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

… to meet old and new friends at the rock climbing wall at Ramsey, read outside in the Founders Memorial Garden, run the trail and walk at Oconee Forest near the intramural fields, throw a Frisbee between classes and meet guide dogs.

When I have free time, I like…

… to visit my family (mom, stepfather, grandmother) on their farm in Carnesville, practice yoga, rock climb, cycle, spend time with my friends, and go to the mountains and hike.

The craziest thing I've done is…

… live through the 2009 earthquake in Chile (sixth largest in the history of the world with an 8.8 magnitude) after teaching for a year there.

My favorite place to study is…

… the deck on my parents’ farm in Carnesville, where I can hear the sounds of nature and gaze out over the pond in the sunshine.

My favorite professor is…

… Dr. Richard Schuster in the College of Public Health.

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

… Madonna.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

… set up an ecolodge in Latin America.

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

… open an ecolodge that is as incredible as that run by UGA in the village of San Luis de Monteverde, Costa Rica. I would be thrilled to establish a facility that promotes environmental stewardship and conservation, recreation and tourism, holistic health, scientific research, and cross-cultural ties in a similar tropical setting.

After graduation, I plan to…

… celebrate with family and friends, possibly taking a trip to visit national parks on the West Coast. From there, I look forward to working in the fields of public health and social work that will offer me the opportunity to become an element of positive change in people’s lives, hopefully with the Veterans Affairs Administration, the International Red Crescent Committee, the World Health Organization or something similar. I am very interested in practicing within an international setting, notably Latin America or the Middle East.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

… my summer study abroad program in Global Health and Leadership in Haifa, Israel. Under the guidance of Dr. Schuster and several Israeli faculty and staff, a group of 14 wonderful ladies and I studied and traveled to many historical and cultural sites in Israel. It is certainly one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences I have had so far at UGA.

Published Sunday,