Student Stories

MICHELLE LEBLANC

Home

Spring Lake, Michigan

School

Public and International Affairs

Major

Public Administration

Why did you choose to attend UGA?
I chose to attend UGA because of the highly regarded masters of public administration program. The MPA program is ranked in the top in the nation for public administration graduate programs. I wanted to branch out from the environment I had grown up knowing so well and learn in a new environment among some of the best professors in the field.
What is your most memorable UGA experience or memory?
What is your favorite campus setting and why?
My favorite campus setting is North Campus. That part of campus is so beautiful and transports you to a different time. When I walk on campus I can't help but be in awe and recognition that I am walking where some of the first students of public higher education once walked and learned. UGA has a historic mark on the world of higher education and it is so special knowing I'm where pioneers of early education began and where future students will continue the legacy.
What student organizations are you involved in?
I am involved in the students group for the MPA program, Georgia Students for Public Administration. I am the Social Chair and work on facilitating networking among students and social development. Our group plans a yearly banquet, tailgates, a policy competition, professor luncheons, monthly service events, happy hours and many other ways for our fellow classmates to get involved with UGA and Athens professionally, socially, and academically.
What are your career plans/aspirations?
My career plan is to become a policy analyst for a think tank organization focusing on issues that impact local governments. In the changing economy and environment more and more emphasis is being placed on the importance of strong local government and state leadership to forge solutions for complex and unique issues. I would love to be part of the growing body of knowledge on how communities can best address these new issues and challenges.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I see myself returning to school to pursue a Ph.D. in Public Administration. I have always loved school and the environment of learning but would first like to gather some real world work experience.
How will you make a positive difference in the world?
I will make a positive difference in the world by searching for ways to improve the lives of the residents of our country's cities. Young and old people are now both demanding communities in which they can live, work, play, and be engaged. This shift in the priorities for communities to recruit socially responsible businesses, offer walkable and community oriented down towns, and provide spaces to foster creativity call for a change to the fundamental structure of many of our most established and also newly growing cities.
What message would you like to send to alumni and friends who support UGA financially?
I would like to personally thank our alumni and friends who support UGA financially. Your generous contributions make it so that UGA is constantly evolving and able to be at the forefront of new innovations in residence life, research, student affairs, and many others aspects of campus life. Without your dedication to UGA much of what we see and experience on campus would not be possible. Thank you again for supporting me and the rest of the student body.
Names of scholarship awards you have received?
Graduate Assistant, Graduate School Office of Development
What has your scholarship meant or enabled you to do?
Receiving a graduate assistantship has made it possible for me to attend UGA to pursue my MPA. As an out of state student the cost of attending a graduate program can be extremely costly and daunting. Also, obtaining an assistantship has allowed me to avoid taking out excessive student loans so that I can now start my career with both feet on the ground without the worry of financial constraints. It has meant so much to me to have the support of the University as I pursue my graduate degree and I am honored to work at such an amazing office on campus.