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Amazing Student: Rachel Seasholtz

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When she graduates, future math teacher Rachel Seasholtz will remember "the moments that turned into cherished memories and the friends that have turned into family." She'll also receive two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree on the same day.


Grayson, Ga.

High School:

Grayson High School

Degree objective:

Mathematics/Mathematics Education B.S./B.S.Ed.

Mathematics Education M.Ed.

Expected graduation:

Spring 2017

University highlights, achievements and awards:

During my time at the university, I have been granted the opportunity to be a part of one of the best organizations on campus, the UGA club softball team. As one of the most competitive teams in the country, the prompts for growth and teamwork with my teammates have proved to be some of the most influential I have ever experienced. The girls on my team are my sisters, and they inspire me to be a better player and person every day. Thanks to these women and our teamwork, we have had the opportunity to go to the National Club Softball Association's World Series both my freshman and sophomore years, placing seventh in the country both years.

Beyond this, I have been blessed with receiving the Zell Miller Scholarship, UGA's Charter Scholarship, and the Alcoa Sons and Daughters Scholarship. I am also on the Dean's List and a part of the Honors Program.

Current Employment:

Tate building manager

Family Ties to UGA:

I am the first of my family to attend UGA. I have an older sister at Georgia Tech, so my house is divided, but I am truly thankful for both my parents' and sister's great support and love throughout my time here at the university.

I chose to attend UGA because...

UGA has always been one of my top choices of schools since I was younger. My senior year of high school I applied to four schools and was denied from my top choice. I was very devastated at the time, but I am forever thankful that I was not able to attend there, because I cannot imagine being anywhere else but in Athens. UGA became home shortly after I moved onto campus and has remained my favorite place to be ever since. The moments that turned into cherished memories and the friends that have turned into family are irreplaceable, and I'm blessed that UGA made those things happen.

My favorite things to do on campus are...

I love Saturdays in Athens. Nothing compares to being a part of the Bulldog Nation, but beyond that I love going to any and all athletic events on campus. Georgia basketball is extremely fun, and the Gymdogs make me wish that I never stopped gymnastics when I was 4 because all those women are so impressive.

Other than athletic events, I love to go to the IM fields and kick a soccer ball around or throw a football around with my friends. I also enjoy running around campus or going to Jittery Joe's to grab a cup of coffee and a bagel.

When I have free time, I like...

… to paint, go to Ramsey, go to the IM fields and hit, go to Taqueria del Sol with my friends, go play trivia at Johnny's with my friends, or catch up on my latest Netflix binge.

The craziest thing I've done is...

When I was younger, I went cliff diving in Bermuda. I was jumping from a cliff that was probably four stories high, and I definitely scared the daylights out of my parents. But it was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life.

My favorite place to study is...

… the science library. When a great deal of your classes are held right next door, it makes things really convenient.

My favorite professor is...

Throughout my collegiate career, I've learned from some of the best professors I could imagine. I thank each and every one of them, but three professors have really stood out during my time here.

First, professor Maurice Hendon in the math department. I have had the pleasure of taking my two favorite math classes from him, "Calculus 3" and "Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Geometry." Professor Hendon is both the undergraduate coordinator of the mathematics department and is one of the greatest lecturers I have ever heard. He truly engages everyone within his math classes, which, as most everyone would agree, is a great attribute to maintain. He makes the higher level mathematics tangible and relatable, which is a lot easier said than done. Professor Hendon is also a great juggler, and I recommend that everyone go check out the lobby of the science library one day to go and see him juggling.

Second, Ryan Smith in the mathematics education department. Luckily, I have had the chance to take two math ed courses from Dr. Smith, "Explorations with Technology in Mathematics Instruction" and "Connections in Secondary Mathematics." Dr. Smith has been one of the most relatable, understanding and enjoyable professors I have experienced at the university. He has presented multiple new and interesting ways to teach mathematics and lets us, myself, and the colleagues in my cohort, "get our hands dirty" by playing with the new resources we have. He also is truly understanding of the large work load that we all have between our math classes and our major-related math ed courses and makes our days better by both engaging with us as students and as people. Finally, Dr. Smith had one of the best policies during his summer classes called cookie Friday. By making the class cookies every Friday it made coming to class that much easier. I hope everyone goes and takes a class from him just to experience the monster cookies that he brings.

Finally, AnnaMarie Conner of the mathematics education department. Serving as the program coordinator of mathematics education, an associate professor of the mathematics and science education, and the adviser for my graduate degrees, she truly has a full load, but she also manages to be an amazing professor. Dr. Conner has taught me twice, first in my fall semester of my sophomore year and second in my fall semester of my junior year. Because she pushed and challenged my cohort, she has prepared and taught us how to become the best mathematics teachers we can be. Furthermore, Dr. Conner has been one of the most influential people when it comes to my collegiate academic career. She has personally encouraged me to work hard to obtain both my dual undergraduate degree and my master's within my four years here, and for that I am truly thankful. Dr. Conner also makes some of the best homemade cupcakes I've ever had.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...

I would choose my best friends. I am always busy with something and so are they, so we don't have the opportunity to see each other as much as we would like. Plus, they are the best people I have ever met and are my biggest blessings. They make my good days great and my bad days better. Thanks for being there for me and for never passing up a bowl of queso, guacamole or salsa.

If I knew I could not fail, I would...

… go teach and influence the school system in the inner-city schools of America. Since making the decision to become a teacher, I have always held an interest in inner-city schools and the students that make up these schools. I have also learned to discover that so many of these teachers leave the area soon after they start, but these schools are some of the schools that need the best teachers. If I knew for a fact that I could be one of those teachers who could shape the students in a beneficial way, I would go teach in an inner-city school in a heartbeat.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to...

… go to any music festival or concert that I wanted to. I have always wanted to go to Bonnaroo, Coachella, or even a big concert like the On the Run Tour, but because they always are a big chunk of change, I have said no. It would be great to experience some of the best musicians without a care in the world.

After graduation, I plan to...

… go teach mathematics somewhere in Georgia. I also plan to move to Atlanta to be closer to my sister and parents and to truly have the experience of living in the big city. From there, I will probably go and teach outside of Georgia at some point.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...

There are multiple experiences that I will always remember and cherish but a few experiences in particular come to mind:

The first experience being the LSU game my freshman year. Living in Myers and getting to experience College Gameday right outside my door was amazing, and even more amazing was feeling a part of something bigger than myself.

The second experience was Snowpocalypse 2014. Having a week without class was spectacular, but feeling like I was 5 years old again by playing in the snow with my best friends will never be taken for granted.

The third was playing this game called Mafia in Creswell during my freshman year. Every week there was about 20 of us crammed into a tiny high-rise dorm room trying to outsmart each other, which might not sound like too much fun, but I guarantee you that if you ever played, you would be hooked too.

The fourth, final and most memorable experience I have had was going to North Campus and playing in the fountain on the last day of school my freshman year. Myself and five of my closest friends, still to this day, went to the fountain and reflected on the most influential and best year of our lives. We laughed and cried over the memories we made together. I will never forget that as long as I live, and I really wanted to say thank you to those five people especially. I love you guys so much and thank you guys for being there then and now.


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