Amazing Students

Aaron Conley

Aaron Conley chose to attend UGA because of the research opportunities and has been involved in CURO ever since. Along with excelling in the classroom, he’s worked with three service organizations and had the opportunity to study in Italy.

Hometown:

Athens, Georgia

High School:

Athens Academy

Degree objective:

Bachelor of Arts, majoring in international affairs
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, majoring in journalism

Other degrees:

Minor in classical cultures

Expected graduation:

May 2017

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

Having grown up in Athens, I was originally hesitant about going to school in my hometown. Ultimately, I knew that UGA was the right choice for me because of the opportunity that the CURO Honors Scholarship provided me. I learned very early on in my time at UGA that my worries were unfounded, and that I would be able to have the greatest college experience possible here.

Over the course of my time at UGA, my most impactful experience has definitely come in the form of research. Through the CURO Honors Scholarship, I have been able to conduct two different projects independently with the mentoring of a professor. I have been able to present at each of the past three CURO Symposiums, and I was also a recipient of the 2014 CURO Summer Fellowship.

UGA has also provided me with the chance to pursue my interests through my studies. When I arrived in 2013, I had no career goals, and honestly I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation. UGA allowed me to achieve success in the classroom, leading to my initiation into Phi Beta Kappa in 2016, while helping me to realize what I want to do with the rest of my life.

Another major highlight of my time at UGA was the Classics Department Rome Program, which I was able to participate in during the summer of 2015. As a student minoring in classics, I was constantly amazed by the experience of seeing the structures and works of art that I had studied for years in person. It also provided me with the incredible opportunity to travel around Italy, seeing cities such as Florence and Venice among others.

UGA has also been a place where I can succeed outside of the academic setting. I have had the ability to be involved in service organizations such as UGA HEROs, Habitat for Humanity and Action Ministries. I am also an active member of a social fraternity, and currently serve as its external vice president, overseeing its social calendar and philanthropic efforts.

Ultimately, I believe that the experience that I have had at UGA could not have been matched at any other institution. I consider myself to be extremely fortunate that I could pursue such fantastic opportunities in my hometown.

Current Employment:

I am currently employed as legal support for Evert Weathersby Houff, a corporate law firm with an office in the Athens area.

Family Ties to UGA:

Both my mother and father received their undergraduate degrees at UGA. My mother studied math education, and my father studied English and political science.

I chose to attend UGA because…

… the opportunity to conduct my own research through the CURO Honors Scholarship was one that could not be matched at any other institution. That program, as well as the Honors Program as a whole, provided an amazing support system. I knew that, by attending UGA, I would not just be a number. People would look out for me and my interests, and would be incredibly willing to help me at any point of my time here.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

One of my favorite things to do is sit in a shady spot under a tree on North Campus and either read a book or spend time relaxing and enjoying a beautiful day with friends. I also love to grab a cup of coffee and study in the north tower at the MLC.

When I have free time, I like…

I really enjoy spending free time with my friends and family. I love playing intramural softball, no matter how much my team struggles, and exploring the Botanical Garden. I also enjoy being able to read a good book that has absolutely nothing to do with what I study.

The craziest thing I've done is…

In 2014, I went skydiving after raising money as part of Jump, Fly, Be Different to raise money for Extra Special People in the effort help send children to camp.

My favorite place to study is…

I love to study in either the north tower of the MLC or in the open-air courtyard of the law library.

My favorite professor is…

Over the course of my time at UGA, I have been able to take classes from so many amazing professors. If I had to choose, I would pick Barry Hollander, who has also been my research mentor throughout my entire undergraduate career. He encouraged me to pursue a topic that I was passionate about, even though it was very different from his own research, and supported and guided me every step of the way throughout its development.

I also could not have had as great of an experience without Thomas Biggs in the Classics Department who encouraged me to pursue a minor in classical cultures even though it was unrelated to my other studies, as well as Elena Bianchelli and Christopher Gregg, who were the professors on the Rome Program. I also credit my fantastic experience at UGA to Martin Rogers as the director of the CURO Honors Scholarship. His influence on me as a mentor was essential to everything that I have achieved at UGA, and it has been so helpful to know that I can come to him for advice about any problem.

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

… Chance the Rapper. He is someone who has taken an extremely different approach to music than many of his contemporaries by focusing on the positives rather than negatives. He has also been a major force for good by working to better the world around him through efforts such as providing coats that convert into sleeping bags to homeless people living in Chicago.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

… start a nonprofit that provides legal services to individuals who immigrated to the United States illegally, and hopefully help them attain permanent residency and ultimately citizenship.

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

… explore the world. I believe that the best way to learn and better yourself is to experience new things, and view the world through someone else’s perspective. I would try to understand what life is like for people from many different cultures and backgrounds.

After graduation, I plan to…

… attend law school.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

I will always remember climbing to the top of the mountain on Capri while participating the the Rome Program. It was a much more strenuous hike than we expected, but I will never forget looking down and seeing the boats sail around the island, and the waves crashing against the giant cliffs. After that we were able to ride a chair lift down the mountain, and the view on that ride was also spectacular.

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