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Amazing Student: Mallory Harris

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 2:07pm

Goldwater Scholar Mallory Harris (Mathematics and Computational Biology; Interdisciplinary Writing Certificate; Spanish Minor) selected UGA because it provides access to a “phenomenal education and enriching experiences":

My most vivid memories from orientation weekend are of eating the best portobello burger I’ve ever had and my mom’s sobbing while standing in front of the other parents trying to videotape us calling the Dawgs. Since then, my time at UGA has been packed with good times. 

As a Foundation Fellow and Honors student, I’ve gotten to attend seminars and book discussions on topics including diplomacy with North Korea, adoption law and environmentalism in rural America. I participated in a Maymester at UGA’s Oxford Campus, studying satire and dystopia in modernist literature. I got to see a Shakespeare play at the Globe, see one of my favorite authors speak, and visit Platform 9¾ at 2 a.m. after my friends and I got hopelessly lost (once we made it through the barrier, we found our way). 

With the Fellowship, I participated in three educational spring break trips. In Washington, D.C., and New York City, we spoke with the chiefs of staff of Georgia’s senators, learned about Voice of America’s broadcasting program, and got to speak candidly with a panel of leaders in the finance industry. The following year, I spoke with indigenous people of Ecuador about the effects that the oil industry had on their community and witnessed the biodiversity of the Amazon with genetics professors Kelly Dyer and Dave Hall. This year, I learned about Balinese culture (and also surfing) with Pete Brosius from the anthropology department. To round things off, I worked in an orphanage in Thailand the summer after my freshman year and spent the fall semester of my senior year taking classes as an exchange student in Montevideo, Uruguay. 

I spent this summer at Stanford University as an REU student with Erin Mordecai (a UGA alum) on a project to calculate the force of infection of Zikavirus across time and space in South and Central America. I then connected these numbers back to climate data to determine the effects that factors like temperature, humidity and precipitation have on the transmission of vector-borne disease.

An activist-scholar of the highest order, Harris has many more extraordinary experiences in store - both for her and the colleagues, patients, students and teachers whose lives will be all the richer from knowing and working with her. We're proud to be her academic home.

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