Science education grad student honored for pioneering poultry work
A graduate student in the College of Education's science education program recently received the Young Alumni Achievement Award from another University of Georgia college.
Linda Purvis (B.S.A. '02, M.S. '07, Ph.D. '21) received the honor from the UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences earlier this fall primarily for her dedication to building the poultry science program at the University of North Georgia. Her earlier degrees—a bachelor's in poultry science from CAES and a master's in veterinary medicine from the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine—helped her pave the way to create the program at UNG's Gainesville campus.
Now at 85 students, she launched the poultry science program in 2011 with no other faculty, no course materials and no scholarship money to support students. She was the founding instructor and sole academic advisor for the college's associate degrees in general agriculture, poultry science and avian biology.
Since then, she has secured more than $40,000 in grants from the U.S. Poultry Foundation and gives out about $8,000 per semester in scholarships thanks to donations from local poultry companies.
"I feel incredibly honored to receive this recognition from the CAES family," wrote Purvis in a program produced for the event. "I would like to thank my entire family for their help and support but especially my husband Chris for his continuous support and encouragement as I have worked over the years to build our agriculture and poultry science program at the University of North Georgia."
Purvis is now pursuing her doctoral degree in science education, which will add another layer of expertise to the program she founded.
Growing up on a poultry farm, Purvis decided by the time she entered high school that she wanted to study poultry science. Today, she says, students come to the Gainesville campus of UNG for the program she built.
In a profile of Purvis from the University of North Georgia, she explains that she enjoys helping students find a place to work in the poultry industry, which includes marketing, business positions and other roles not typically known by the general public.
"I'm really passionate about helping students figure out what they're really good at and helping them find a job and a career that will fit that," she said.