This week we talked with Elizabeth Holland for our profile series Fellow Spotlights. We discussed what was appealing to her about joining the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program, what her best experience has been so far, and what some of Elizabeth’s favorite things about Athens are.
Major or Area of Study: Political Science and Public Relations
Hometown: Sycamore, GA
Community Campus Involvement:
Alpha Delta Pi
Clarke County Mentor Program
State YMCA of Georgia College Staff
Conference on National Affairs College Staff
What interested you most about the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program?
I wanted to be involved with Georgia politics, but school kept me from committing to be in Atlanta the whole semester full-time. This fellowship gives me the opportunity to work with legislation and political public relations and make trips to Atlanta but still be located in Athens.
What have you learned as a Fellow?
Political public relations is a challenging field. As a political science student, understanding legislation comes pretty easily to me. However, translating legal jargon in a way that is compelling and relevant to people who might not be as interested in politics is important. Helping everyone understand how hard Spencer and the other legislators are working for our state in Atlanta is crucial to being in active in an informed democracy.
What are your future goals?
My plans are to graduate from UGA and attend law school. I hope to practice law for a few years and eventually get involved with public service myself.
What do you love most about Athens?
I love that Athens is a community where the people who live here love the city and love what it represents. There’s a feeling of pride here that resonates with everyone who works so hard at the University, and that is felt in the community.
What’s been the best experience so far?
My favorite experiences in Athens are always during football season. I was raised as a dawg fan since birth and some of my first memories are between the hedges. To be able to watch the team play and cheer for my school is a great feeling.
My favorite experience with the fellowship so far has been getting to talk with Rep. Frye about some of the issues I’ve written about for the blog. It’s motivational to see how much he cares for the community and hear about the ideas he has to improve the district.
Favorite Athens hang-out?
I like going to many of the local coffee shops and studying. Two-Story and Hendershots have such a great vibe that it isn’t quite so bad to crack a book in one of them.
Where’s the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled?
This summer I studied abroad in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, but out of those, New Zealand was the most inspiring place I’ve ever been. To see nature untouched at places like Milford Sound or Aoraki Mount Cook was life changing, and it makes me want to do more to protect the natural assets the U.S. has been wasting.
Name something that people might be surprised to know about you.
I’ve been to Walt Disney World 41 times. Mickey Mouse and I go way back.
Who has been the biggest role model in your life? Why?
My grandfather was my biggest role model. He was the most selfless person I’ve ever known, and everyone loved being around him. In his own way, he taught me to be open-minded and to let people tell their own stories. The lessons he taught me have helped me be a more compassionate person and inspired me to help people the way he did.
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