A love for community, educating and good music
This month's amazing student is Parker Nail, who is a social studies education Double Dawg and plans to teach high school history.
Major: Social studies education Double Dawg
Graduation: Spring 2020
Hometown: Fayetteville, Georgia
What brought you to UGA?
I grew up in Georgia, and the HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships were very helpful aspects in picking an in-state college. I have always been a UGA fan, and I knew this was where I wanted to be. I ran cross country and track my first few years at UGA before focusing entirely on teacher prep. We have a great College of Education, and I am excited to be here.
Who is your favorite College of Education professor and why?
Stephanie Jones, a professor in the department of educational theory and practice, is my favorite faculty member. She's teaching an equity and education class that's one of my courses in the Double Dawgs program, which allows students to complete both a bachelors and master's degree in five years. [Jones] does a really good job of opening the classroom environment and makes everyone feel comfortable but challenged, which is important. The class is always upbeat and I learn a lot—sometimes I walk away with more questions than answers, but that's a powerful notion.
What extracurricular activities are you involved in?
I ran cross country and track for UGA in 2016-2018, and I'm currently involved in a campus ministry for athletes called Team United. I've also mentored kids in Athens-Clarke County schools and through the CrossTrainers Mentoring Program. I want to continue working with youth. Most importantly, I became a College of Education Student Ambassador last year!
What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to teach high school social studies in Georgia. My emphasis is in history, but I'll look into any available job opportunities in the field. Ideally, I would like to be a history teacher and the coach for cross country and track at a high school.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to run, hike, do anything outdoors, spend time with friends and attend music shows. I am really into an Athens-based band called CLOUDLAND. I enjoy being out and about in the community.
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
… give music a shot. I love listening, helping and learning about the music industry, so trying out songwriting or producing would really push me to be more creative.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
… watching the Rose Bowl. It was great and it really brought campus together. Also, going through my student teaching semester in spring 2019 at Walnut Grove High School where I student-taught 11th grade.