UGA Alumni Association:

Thanks to the generous Georgia Fund donors, the UGA Alumni Association can proudly provide financial assistance to the following students and faculty. Each recipient displays UGA’s excellence both in the classroom and out in the world. For more information about UGA Alumni Association scholarships and fellowships, please email Evan Tighe at 

UGA Alumni Association Scholars and Fellows


Endowed Scholar

Lena Wayson ’19 graduated from Oconee County High School in 2015 and despite earning many credit hours through dual enrollment at UGA, she is ecstatic to finally call herself a full-time Dawg. She is majoring in biology and psychology, hoping to satisfy both pre-med and pre-law requirements in order to combine her interests in psychiatry with criminal justice. A dedicated dancer, Lena spends her free time at DanceFX Athens, instructing young people and taking classes in various dance techniques.



Endowed Scholar

Maura O'Kane '18 is from Savannah, Georgia. Maura is majoring in health promotion and plans to enter the health field as a pediatric nurse practitioner. Her academic interests include psychology and literature. In her spare time, Maura is an avid soccer player and also enjoys writing and reading.



Endowed Scholar

Mikayla Defore '17 is majoring in psychology and women's studies. Born and raised in Dalton, Georgia, Mikayla graduated from Southeast Whitfield High School where she took several AP classes and a maintained a 4.0+ GPA. She was a member of FCCLA, National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society. She is also still active in the Girl Scouts of America.

Mikayla hopes to obtain a master's degree in counseling or social work, and aspires to help children as a school counselor or work with disadvantaged women. 


Endowed Scholar

Brittany Booker ’16 is a marketing major in the Terry College of Business. Following graduation, Brittany aspires to work in ad design at a marketing agency. She also hopes to aid in the fight against global human trafficking. In her spare time, Brittany can be found perfecting her top spin on the tennis court or cheering on the Dawgs at a variety of sporting events.


Graduate Endowed Scholar

Rebecca Perdomo '17 is in the MA/PhD sociology program at UGA. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida with a double major in philosophy and sociology. Her current area of interest is in sociology of education. Her research aims to understand the sources of racial and gender disparities in the U.S. education system and the outcomes they produce for society at large.


Study Abroad Fellow

Mariah Domenech ’15 is from Snellville, Georgia, and is majoring in early childhood education. When she has her town classroom, she plans to explore different cultures in order to provide her students with the support they need. Once she graduates from UGA, she also hopes to continue her education by proceeding to get her master's degree at UGA,too.

Study Abroad Fellow

Michelle Freeman ’16 was born in Georgia but moved to Puerto Rico while in high school. She has called herself a Georgia Bulldog since elementary school, though, so she returned to the state to study at UGA. She is majoring in International affairs and Spanish with the hopes of making a positive change wherever she goes.

When she is not in class or at work, she spends her time dog sitting, leading women from Delight Ministries, volunteering at Athens Church, and dancing with Prelude Dance Ensemble and Dance FX. Michelle aspires to bring hope to the global south through Eco-friendly systems and inspire those who cannot inspire themselves.


Oxford Study Abroad Scholar

Lila Toholsky ’15 is from Woodstock, Georgia, and is double-majoring in public relations and communication studies. Following graduation, Lila will continue to pursue a career in corporate communications or public relations. Her semester in Oxford strengthened her resolve to work internationally and build a career with a global focus. Her goal is to one day work in London and hopefully return to Oxford to pursue a graduate degree.

Cortona Study Abroad Scholar

Mary Beth Wortham ’16 will be completing a Master of Landscape Architecture in December 2016. Born and raised in East Tennessee, Mary Elizabeth arrived in Athens after completing an undergraduate degree in plant sciences at the University of Tennessee. Her research is focused on creating sustainable spaces for people to interact with the environment.


Black Alumni Scholar

April Davis

April Davis ’19 is an International Baccalaureate graduate from Douglas County High School in Douglasville, Georgia. She is studying chemistry with a minor in Spanish, and plans to become a pediatrician. She enjoys watching and playing tennis, and learning about different cultures, traditions and languages.


Black Alumni Scholar

Khadar Haroun

Khadar Haroun ’19 is a chemistry major from Atlanta. Since he was 11, Khadar has been interested in the field of medicine and has spent countless hours in the hospital, preparing for medical school. He is primarily focused on the field of neuroscience in the field of medicine, helping with research on the correlation between walking speed and brain activity in Emory University's Neurology Department.


Black Alumni Scholar

At age 12, Charles Orgbon III '17 noticed his school's littering problem and began to lead school-based community beautification projects. Today, Greening Forward, a youth-driven and youth-imagined organization, is the largest of its kind. Since it began, Greening Forward has distributed tens of thousands of dollars in funding to youth environmental projects. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis has dedicated a permanent piece of the Power of Children exhibit to Charles' efforts.


Black Alumni Scholar

LeJoi Lane is a senior from Atlanta and graduated from Henry W. Grady High School. She is double-majoring in mass media arts and sociology. Her interests include studio management and show running. By earning these degrees, she hopes to have a positive effect on the messages the media presents to society.


Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) Honors Summer Research Fellow

Andrew Jarnagin '16 is history major and Arabic minor from Atlanta. He spent the summer of 2014 coducting research into the politics surrounding Coca-Cola and Egypt's participation in the Arab boycott of Isreal with support from the CURO Summer Fellowship. Andrew has studied in Morocco, and as a 2014 Boren Scholar, he studied Arabic in Amman, Jordan. After graduation, Andrew hopes to pursue a graduate degree in history and join the U.S. State Department as a diplomat or linguist. 

Faculty Writing Fellow

Dr. Julie A. Luft graduated from the University of Iowa in 1994, after teaching middle and high school science for five years. She has previously held appointments at the University of Arizona, the University of Texas at Austin, and Arizona State University.

Luft’s research focuses on science teacher development, beginning secondary science teachers, and the knowledge that one needs to teach. This work can be found in numerous research articles, book chapters, editorials, and books that are written for teachers, teacher educators and administrators.

She has served in various roles for multiple national education organizations and publications, including the Association of Science Teacher Educators, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and the Electronic Journal of Science Education. Her former undergraduate students are science teachers across the country, and many of her former graduate students are successful faculty members at research and teaching institutions.

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