Economics and English double major, Alyson Pittman says UGA’s intellectual culture mixed with an immense love of sporting events made it an obvious choice for her. From her on campus teaching experiences, to an outreach experience in Tanzania, to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, Alyson finds her college experience at UGA “awesome.”
Bainbridge High School
AB in Economics, AB in English
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
One of my most significant experiences during college was this past summer. I interned in Uganda for three months working for a small, grassroots NGO that focuses on women’s rights and development. Working with women who live in rural villages, I specifically focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights education with an emphasis on family planning. I had the opportunity to personally impact economic development and be immersed in a culture so completely different from my own, an opportunity that will greatly influence my future career choices.
I have also participated in a UGA study abroad program. In the summer of 2009, I traveled to Tanzania through the African Studies Institute at UGA. We snorkeled off the coast of Zanzibar, went on safari in Serengeti National Park, toured Dar es Salaam and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was such an amazing experience—I couldn’t wait to go back!
On campus and in Athens, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the most incredible people. As an honors teaching assistant, I introduce first-year students to everything Athens, UGA and the Honors Program have to offer. The Honors Program has had an important impact on my experience at UGA, and I want to share that with other students. I’m a member of the Dean William Tate Honor Society, which is a group of some of the coolest people on campus. I am always inspired and challenged by my fellow “Taters.” I’ve also had the unique opportunity to work with one of my favorite Athens landmarks - Ciné, the local art house theater. I serve as a student representative on the Ciné Board of Directors, working to bring independent, foreign and unique films to the Athens community.
I have the best job in the world as a tour leader at the UGA Visitors Center. I was hired as a freshman, and for over two years I have had the privilege of working with some of the most incredible people on this campus.
Family Ties to UGA:
I’m the second Pittman to attend UGA, right after my sister, Breana, who graduated this past summer. I’m so thankful to have shared my college experience with her.
I chose to attend UGA because…
it’s awesome. I fell in love with the town of Athens—the culture, the music scene, the great restaurants—when I first visited UGA, but Athens thrives because of UGA. The intellectual culture mixed with an immense love of sporting events and everything in between made UGA an obvious choice—at one unbeatable HOPE Scholarship price.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
give tours and read in the Founders Garden before class.
When I have free time, I like…
to see movies at Ciné, take pottery classes at Good Dirt Pottery Studio and listen to music anywhere downtown. I also spend an inordinate amount of time baking.
The craziest thing I've done is…
climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in summer 2009. I am not the least bit athletic nor had I ever climbed a mountain. It was definitely one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done but also one of the most rewarding. Watching the sun rise over glaciers at 19,000 feet (while gasping for breath due to the lack of oxygen at that kind of elevation) is an experience I will never forget.
My favorite place to study is…
Walker’s, in downtown Athens. Best (and cheapest) cup of coffee in Athens.
My favorite professor is…
How could I name just one? One piece of advice I always give to first-year students is to take classes outside of your major, classes that sound interesting or unusual or just outside your regular course of study. I loved Dr. Parkes’ survey of British literature since 1700, an honors English course I took my freshman year. Even after three years, it’s still one of the best and most challenging classes I’ve taken at UGA - and it even inspired me to minor in English. I also really enjoyed 20th century Europe with Dr. Soper, who is such an engaging instructor.
As a first-year student, I worked with Dr. Anthony Bertelli, a professor in the public administration and policy department and who has since accepted a position at the University of Southern California. Dr. Bertelli was my honors mentor, and with his encouragement, I was able to participate in undergraduate research, take a PhD-level research methodologies course and experience a level of academic engagement far above my status as a freshman.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I’d have a tea party with Miles Davis, Luis Buñuel, Annie Leibovitz, Vladimir Nabokov, Harry Smith, Max Ernst, Patti Smith and Gandhi. That would be a pretty rad tea party.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to…
own a farm and a restaurant, live in Cambodia and be a writer. I don’t believe that money is much of a consideration anyway, so I hope to do all those things.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
Georgia-Florida 2010 - such an unforgettable weekend.