Amazing Students

Mareasa Fortunato

Mareasa Forunato is going places. She is the president of the Honors Program Student Council and is an Honors Interdisciplinary major in Rhetoric and the Law. She has done an Honors internship in Washington and study abroad in Spain. Most recently, she was one of UGA’s four nominees for the Truman Scholarship. She has received the Rotary Scholarship which grants her a year of academic study anywhere in the world. She will be studying in Seville, Spain for the 2007-2008 academic year before she heads to law school.

Hometown:

Martinez, Ga.

High School:

Lakeside High School

Degree objective:

A.B. in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies (Rhetoric and the Law)

Expected graduation:

Spring 2007

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

Since arriving on campus, I have become very involved in the Honors Program. As a sophomore, I participated in the Honors in Washington internship program where I had the opportunity to work for U.S. Representative Jack Kingston. During my time in his office, I researched and wrote a report on the USA PATRIOT Act which I used to advise Rep. Kingston before he voted on its reauthorization that summer. I also wrote several one-minute speeches that were read by members of the Georgia delegation on the floor of Congress.

Back on campus, I am serving as the Honors Program Student Council President for the second year, and I have been an active member since my first semester. I have also been a Peer Advisor, Honors Civic Leader, Honors Ambassador, and an editor for the Journal for Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

In the Athens area, I have volunteered as an instructor for the Catholic Social Services English as a Second Language Program where I taught Basic English to adults. I have also tutored school-aged children, and organized various visits to the area food bank. While studying abroad for UGA en Spain’s Valencia Summer program, I had the opportunity to teach Spanish to Sub-Saharan African immigrants.

Current Employment:

I am currently working in the Main Library as a student worker in the Administrative Offices.

Family Ties to UGA:

My younger sister, Christi, is a freshman Gym Dog, so I can be found at pretty much any gymnastics meet rooting for her and the rest of the team.

I chose to attend UGA because…

...after seeing the beautiful campus, experiencing the energy of Athens, and learning about all the Honors Program had to offer, I couldn’t resist coming here!

My favorite things to do on campus are…

...hanging out on Herty Field in the afternoon and people-watching, playing frisbee on North Campus, or going for a run through campus. I have also been known to swim in the fountain!

When I have free time, I like…

...to hang out with friends, eat with my friends or family, or just sit in downtown Athens and read.

The craziest thing I've done is…

...gone Hang Gliding in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. It was so much fun being a few hundred feet above the ground with nothing but a kite keeping me from crashing into the sand dunes.

My favorite place to study is…

...outside of a coffee shop downtown or on Herty Field. I just like being part of the city, and the scenery makes for a nice break from all of the reading I am usually doing.

My favorite professor is…

...John Murphy in Speech Communication. I have known him for the past three years, and I can safely say he has had the most influence on my undergraduate career and beyond. Not only is he a phenomenal professor—he sparked my interest in rhetoric—but he has been an amazing advisor and friend. He has been there to guide me, help plan my Honors Interdisciplinary Studies degree, and support me in everything I do.

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

...two people. The first is my great-great-grandfather, Stephano Fortunato. I am very proud of my Italian heritage, and the chance to chat with the man who brought my family to the United States is something for which I have always wished. Secondly, I would like to meet Aristotle. Since rhetoric is my field of study, who better than to chat with than the father of rhetoric himself?

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

...become an actress. I have always wanted to act, but I have just never found the time or the courage to try it.

After graduation, I plan to…

...attend law school. Before attending law school though, I will be studying constitutional rights in Seville, Spain for an academic year as my district’s Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar. During my time there, I will serve as an ambassador of goodwill to the people of Spain and give presentations about the United States to the local Rotary clubs.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

...my participation in the UGA en España summer program in Valencia. It was the most incredible experience of my life. I had the chance to improve my Spanish, interact with another culture, and forge friendships that I know will last a long time. I came back to the United States a changed person, and I am anxiously waiting for the day when I will return to Spain.

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