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5 UNG Students Get Involved at Leadership Lumpkin’s Education Day

Leadership Lumpkin attendees ask questions to UNG students during a panel discussion.

UNG students spoke at the annual Leadership Lumpkin Education Day Thursday, March 11. Students answered questions from the class, spoke about their experience, and connected with members of the community in attendance.

Bobbi Larson, director of economic development and community engagement, said, ”Leadership Lumpkin offers individuals who live and work in Lumpkin County a substantive education on the inner workings and resources in this community.”

Senior Kinesiology major, Heaven Ford, enjoyed speaking to members of the Leadership Lumpkin class. She said, “ [Leadership Lumpkin] has allowed me to understand that we are all so alike. In my four years in Dahlonega, I have always considered this place my home.”

“This experience has opened doors for me and allowed me to network with individuals in my local community and use them as a resource to others as a student leader here at the University of North Georgia.” – Heaven Ford

During the panel discussion, these students were asked many questions from Lumpkin County business and community leaders.

Betsy Wilcauskas, a junior business management and paralegal studies major said, “ It helped me better understand how communication between UNG and the community works. I am hoping that the experience will help me facilitate better communication between UNG students, the community, and the Chamber of Commerce.”

She was asked why students on the Dahlonega campus leave on the weekends? In response, Wilcauskas said, “ A lot of students work on the weekends or head home.” Wilcauskas is a resident assistant in Lewis Hall. She said her freshmen students have a difficult time finding jobs in Dahlonega but hopes that they will take the initiative and advocate for themselves around the Dahlonega square.

Larson said, “Approximately 80% of UNG students come from within the university’s 30-county service area. Though our Dahlonega campus is residential, many students still commute for classes.”

“For those who live on or near campus, many return home on the weekends to work or for family activities given the relatively near proximity to campus.”  – Bobbi Larson

This became a big topic of conversation among the attendees. Rebecca Mincey, executive director of the Development Authority of Lumpkin County said, “ the common problem with some students is that they lack soft skills. The best way to find a job here is to have a stack of resumes, walk on the square, and introduce yourself to each business owner.”

Tyler Wilson, a physics major and recipient of the nationally acclaimed Berry Goldwater Scholarship, was asked what made him choose UNG. In response, Wilson said, UNG is in the family. Wilson said his mother and stepfather attended UNG and so it is significant to him.

Zachary Brown, a soccer player at UNG, was unable to attend the panel discussion. However, according to Larson, Brown is an excellent example of how involved UNG students are.“ Zachary is at soccer practice right now but he hopes to join us. Our students are busy and involved in a variety of activities!”

As a student who had the opportunity to speak at Leadership Lumpkin’s Education Day, I would encourage UNG students to use UNG Connect and Handshake to not only stay connected on campus, but to make connections in the communities within UNG’s 30-county service area.

Leadership Lumpkin consists of business owners, volunteers, and community leaders in Lumpkin County. The UNG student panelists had great discussions with these attendees and made some interesting connections in the process.

Leadership Lumpkin was founded in 1989 as a foundation for those interested in volunteering to serve their community. Community leaders and members develop connections and work together to promote Lumpkin County’s resources in addition to addressing current or future needs for the county.



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5 UNG Students Get Involved at Leadership Lumpkin’s Education Day