Fellowship Spotlight: Anna Beth Smith


This week we talked with Anna Beth Smith about her experience as a FACS intern and fellow for Rep. Frye.

Graduation Date:

August 2017

Majors or Areas of Study:

Human Development and Family Sciences and Political Science


Macon, GA

Graduation Date:

August 2017

Majors or Areas of Study:

Human Development and Family Sciences, Political Science

Community & Campus Involvement:

Delta Gamma, UGA Quidditch League, Student Association of Family and Consumer Science, FACS Legislative Intern, Tutor for Classic City High School

What interested you most about the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program?

I wanted to have a hands on experience with state government and become more connected to the Athens community. After meeting Representative Frye and hearing about his passion for the people of Athens and the work he does under the Gold Dome, I was sold.

What do you contribute to as a Fellow for the Spencer Frye team?

This session I am at the Capitol every day. My main tasks as a fellow are to follow legislation throughout the chambers, write memos on bills and work on research projects. One of the projects I became truly invested in was working to make State Road 316, the highway contacting Atlanta and Athens, a limited-access highway. I compiled a history of the highway and the future plans concerning it.  I also combed through GDOT reports and newspaper articles to identify places on the road that had the most accidents and plotted them on maps. Then I completed a report with a proposal for a solution. In addition, I listen to the concerns of constituents, greet them when they visit the Capitol and give them tours.

What have you learned as a Fellow?

As a fellow, I have learned how to read and understand bills and had first hand experience seeing how the legislative process works. Its inspiring to track a bill that you are passionate about through the chambers and see it pass. On a deeper level, I have also learned how invested our state legislators are on small issues and how much they work for their local communities. It really gives me hope for the future of our state.

What are your future goals?

I am considering both law school and graduate school for Social Work.

What do you love most about Athens?

Athens is a place like no other. There is such a energy in the city filled with local culture and pride in its uniqueness. It easily felt like home.

What is your favorite place in Athens, Georgia?

Honestly, I love UGA’s North Campus. It’s what initially sparked my interest in the university and I have fallen more in love the longer I have been in Athens. There is always a great spot to play frisbee or throw a quilt down and read.

What/who is your favorite local band/musician?

B-52s. Love shack, baby!

What are your hobbies outside of school and the Fellowship program?

I love to paint or sketch because afterwards it really rewarding to have created something. I also like to go hiking and kayaking.

What is the last book you read?

I’m currently reading A Storm of Swords, the third Game of Thrones book

Coffee or tea?

Tea, especially if it’s Chai Tea.

Where’s the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled?

That is definitely a tie between Krakow, Poland and Lisbon, Portugal. Both were places I knew little about before going. I basically just bought a train ticket, booked a hostel and went without any expectations which made my time there just about enjoying every moment in the day instead of  seeing something I had already looked at in a picture. Also, both places had amazing food.

Who has been the biggest role model in your life? Why?

I would say my my younger sister is a huge role model to me. She is a very strong young woman who isn’t afraid to speak up or out and knows what she wants in life.

Describe your dream job.

I would love to lobby for family issues where I could help forgotten groups in our society.

What has been your greatest experience during your college career?

SPIA study abroad program in Verona Italy for six weeks in the summer studying Comparative Politics. Living alone in a country where I didn’t speak the language, really helped me grow as a person and offered me an adventure I’ll treasure for a lifetime.

Why are you interested in politics?

My interest in politics stems from Brofenbrenner’s Ecological Framework where a person’s development is altered by society as a whole. Government affects every aspect of our lives, whether it’s the federal government’s international relations or your local government putting a stop sign at the end of your street. Decisions that are made in politics can alter generations upon generations but it can also change the life of one child who is able to succeed in school because he or she is fed by SNAP. I want to be involved in something that affects myself and my society so vastly.

What is an interesting fact about yourself?

While I am a child of an active duty Colonel in the US Army, I grew up in the same city all of my childhood. My father moves around where the military sends him and we visit often, but my parents wanted us to stay in the same city as the rest of our family.

What is your favorite quote?

The world is in your hands, The world belongs to those of us who still believe we can, And it matters what you do, When they all look down on you, ‘Cos it’s better that you’ve come from nothing, Than nothing’s come from you. -The Feeling “Join With Us”