Student an ambassador for UGA's Tifton campus

TIFTON — Shannon Parrish exemplifies the University of Georgia Tifton Campus motto: Stay Close, Go Farther.

The senior from Berrien County stayed close to home to study on UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Tifton Campus and has excelled in and away from the classroom.

“The faculty has been amazing. They’ve been such a big help. I feel like they’ve really helped me understand who I am and what I want to be,” Parrish said. “I think that’s what I’ll remember most, the connections that I’ve made here.”

Parrish, an agribusiness major, wants to work in agribusiness finance after graduation. Away from the classroom, she hopes to take advantage of her position as a student ambassador to recruit future students to the Tifton Campus.

As a student ambassador, Parrish will attend events on and away from campus, including next month’s Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition in Moultrie, alumni events, Relay for Life and campus visits with potential students.

“I feel like that’s a great thing for someone who’s about to graduate,” Parrish said. “You put yourself out there and get to make connections. You’re networking. People are starting to recognize your face and say, ‘Hey, I met you here.’ I think that’s a really good thing for someone who’s going to graduate or will be graduating soon.”

Parrish’s love for agriculture started long before she stepped foot on the Tifton campus. Her parents own 180 acres of farmland in Alapaha, where she grew up surrounded by cows, horses and other livestock. That agricultural environment enveloped Parrish as a child and inspired her to study agriculture and maybe, one day, work in the industry.

“I really liked the atmosphere because there’s so many things combined, not just focusing on one area,” Parrish said. “There’s a ton of things that are involved in agriculture.”

Thanks to professors like Curt Lacy, Parrish’s agribusiness knowledge has only been enhanced while at Tifton. Lacy was instrumental in Parrish joining the Agribusiness Club, which Parrish has termed, “a really great experience.”

“When you’re at a smaller campus, you seem to be able to meet more influential people,” Parrish said. “(As an ambassador), I get to go places and meet people that are prominent in the community. I feel like in Athens it would have been harder for me to put myself out there because there are so many people in Athens.”

Parrish was recently profiled as a UGA Amazing Student on the university’s website. To read her profile, please see http://www.uga.edu/amazing/profile/parrish-shannon/.

Clint Thompson is public relations coordinator for the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Tifton campus.