Amazing Students

Anna Beth Smith

Anna Beth Smith, a senior majoring in political science and human development and family science, says service is her passion and she has the experience to prove it, volunteering and mentoring across campus and the community. And if that and schoolwork is not enough, she’s chief of staff for state Rep. Spencer Frye.

Hometown:

Macon, GA

High School:

Mount de Sales Academy

Degree objective:

A.B. in political science
B.S.F.C.S. in human development and family science

Other degrees:

In addition to my double major, I am using my elective class to become a provisional Family Life Educator. I am also working to earn the Arch Ready Professionalism Certificate.

Expected graduation:

May 2017

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

When I first came to UGA, I was very overwhelmed by the size of the university after coming from a small high school, but I quickly found that being involved makes a large school smaller and ensures that you will get the most of the experience.

I am a sister of Delta Gamma, which has provided me with an amazing support system and lasting friendships.

I am a College of Family and Consumer Sciences ambassador. It has been such a gratifying experience to give back to the place that has given me so much. I truly enjoy representing FACS both on campus and at various events. I am also the Service Committee chair so I coordinate volunteer events with the local Strong Girls Group to benefit the Athens Food Bank and help organize the university-wide Hygiene Closet drive.

I am a member of Phi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society, and the Student Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. I am also a FACS mentor to freshmen.

Until this year, I was a member of the UGA Quidditch League where I was also a team captain and the headmistress of the league.

Current Employment:

Currently, I am the chief of staff for state Rep. Spencer Frye.

I had the privilege of being selected by Dean Linda Fox to represent the College of Family and Consumer Sciences as a legislative aide at the Georgia Capitol for the 2016 session. I was placed in Rep. Frye’s office and was promoted at the end of the session to take over as chief of staff.
In this position, I hire and manage a team of 20 fellows for the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program, lead a team of three directors, plan campaign events such as door-to-door canvasing and town hall meetings, coordinate legislative research projects, ensure the goals of Rep. Frye are being met, act as a liaison with local nonprofits and volunteer groups, develop and lead professional seminars for fellows, and discuss policy goals with Rep. Frye. The last five months in this position have been a whirlwind experience that I have deeply enjoyed and I look forward to returning to the Capitol for the 2017 session where I will mange the office of Rep. Frye.

Family Ties to UGA:

Both of my parents, Stephen Smith (Class of 1991) and Lucy Smith (Class of 1990), transferred to the University of Georgia after attending Macon Junior. Although both of them graduated from here, neither had ever attended a UGA football game until I invited them to come with me.

I chose to attend UGA because…

Originally, I did not want to go to UGA because I wanted to try something different from my parents. I even refused to tour the campus. But after I toured numerous other schools unable to find what I was looking for, I gave in and booked a campus visit with my mother. Within the first 10 minutes of the tour, I fell in love. I was unsure of my major and UGA offers many prestigious programs that I could choose from with devoted and quality faculty. It has a rich history and lasting traditions while being in the cultural hub and foodie heaven that is Athens. Service is so important to the university that it added it into the motto. I filled out my application as soon as I went home.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

North Campus is a great place to hang out between classes but it’s also a great place to spend time outside on the weekends. My friends and I will bring quilts to sit on and Frisbees to throw around on Sunday afternoons. I also love ringing the bell at the end of the semester after finishing all of my finals.

When I have free time, I like…

Service is my passion. My favorite quote is by Minor Myers and says, “Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.”

I make sure to carve out enough free time weekly so I am able to volunteer with Learning Ally, mentor at Classic City High School and volunteer with the FACS Hygiene Closet. Learning Ally is a nonprofit organization that uses audiobooks to help blind, visually impaired and dyslexic students succeed in their education. They have a recording center here on campus. I have volunteered with them as an audio checker since my freshman year and recently I have begun to record audiobooks. Classic City High School is one of the alternative high schools in the Athens-Clarke County area. They provide an amazing, encouraging atmosphere to help students who are struggling to graduate. I first started mentoring when I opted to take the service-learning portion of Adolescent Development with Melissa Landers-Potts in fall 2015. I was placed in Mrs. Johns’ 10th-grade English classroom where I assisted in working one on one with students to better help them understand the material and encouraged them to finish school and find career goals. Unfortunately, I was unable to continue the next semester when I moved to Atlanta to complete my internship but I have started back this semester and have the fortune to work in Mrs. Johns’ classroom again. The Hygiene Closet is a resource for students who are unable to provide hygiene products for themselves. Through generous donations, we are able to provide them free of cost.

In addition to those I volunteer with other organizations, such as Project Safe, when I can. I also enjoy painting, spending time outdoors hiking and kayaking, and trying new foods.

The craziest thing I've done is…

… go cliff diving in Cinque Terre, Italy. During the summer of 2015, I studied abroad in Verona, Italy, through UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs GLOBIS program where I took classes on “Comparative Politics” with professor Charles Bullock. During one of the weekends, I went to Cinque Terre with a group of friends. On that Saturday we rented kayaks and went to explore the different coves and cliffs on the coast and out at sea. We paddled over to one of the cliffs we had been told about and climbed to the top of its peak. I was the second person to jump. As my feet left the ground and the bright blue water rushed closer it was an absolutely terrifying but truly liberating experience. I definitely climbed back up and did it a second time.

My favorite place to study is…

The Miller Learning Center is always a great place to study with a group or to complete projects. However, when I am studying alone, my favorite place is the top floor of the library. There is a table hidden behind some of the shelves that is under a massive window that overlooks the center of campus and the stadium. It is especially beautiful on a bright fall day with a crisp blue sky and changing leaves. I find the quiet atmosphere and the amazing view very calming and conducive to productivity.

My favorite professor is…

Audrey Haynes has been my favorite professor. I took her “Government and Mass Media” class last fall. Her passion for the subject material is truly inspiring and her devotion to her students is unmatched.

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

… Francis Perkins. I would want to hear more about her experience as the first woman to be selected to a president’s Cabinet and hear stories about her work as a social worker and political activist working to reduce poverty.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

… want to show the world the importance of sexual health classes. Many people throughout the world lack the knowledge to preserve their well-being and make unhealthy choices due to this. With the rise of sexual health education, we could reduce sexually transmitted infections, inform people about their options regarding abstinence and forms of contraception, increase personal hygiene, educate people on their different life stages such as puberty or menopause, increase healthy relationships, reduce sexual violence, empower people to make informed decisions in their relationships, promote health body image, and educate people on gender identity and sexual orientation.

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

… travel to Asia. I would want to see Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, go to Hong Kong, visit museums in Manila, see the green hills in Phuket, go to Bali, and visit many more places. I have had the privilege to go to much of Western Europe, a few countries in Eastern Europe, and parts of Central America, but I have yet to go to Asia. Since it holds a large portion of the world’s population, I want to be able to learn about their culture firsthand.

After graduation, I plan to…

I am unsure of exactly what I plan to do after graduation. I am considering multiple options including law school, a master’s in public administration or a master’s in public policy.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

Making the Georgia “G” on the football field the day before classes started freshman year is such a sensational experience. It was the first time I had ever been in Sanford Stadium. I felt so small but part of something so big standing in such a big crowd of new students in such a large arena. We all had to take our shoes off to walk on the field. The grass was so soft between my toes and it was amazing to actually be on the field where the football games are played. There was an atmosphere of excitement for the future and a sense of possibility to do whatever you imagined. I cannot wait to be back on the field at graduation this May.

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