Senior Coordinator for Leadership – Engagement, Leadership, and Service
Relator – Individualization – Developer – Connectedness – Achiever
Karis was the recipient of the 2020-2021 Staff Award for Commitment to an Inclusive Community. Karis’s nominators had the following to say:
Marina Martinez, a fourth-year student in the Destination Dawgs program, shared the following about her experience in the Leadership UGA program:
Additionally, Alexis Szelwach, Transition Coordinator for Destination Dawgs, had the following to say about working with Karis:
Are you from Georgia? If not, where are you from? (i.e., where do you call “home”?)
While I was born in Georgia, I consider the Mississippi Gulf Coast home. I am from a small town named Long Beach that is about an hour outside of New Orleans.
How long have you worked at UGA?
I have worked at UGA for about a year and a half and started in August of 2020.
What’s your favorite UGA tradition?
I can’t say that I have a favorite UGA tradition. Beginning my experience at UGA during the pandemic made for a really strange year, and I feel like I am just now learning what UGA is all about. If I had to pick a favorite tradition, or event, working Film on the 50 this year was definitely a highlight of my time at UGA.
What does a “day in the life” look like for you at work?
No day is the same for me at work! Getting to serve as Interim Assistant Director of Student Activities has allowed me to begin advising University Union which has been a blast! Some days I get to plan events and watch a ferris wheel pull onto campus, and other days I get to talk to students about leadership development. No day is dull, that’s for sure!
What are three things you love most about your job?
When I think about what I love the most about my job, it’s the people. Having amazing students is one thing, but I also get to work with such a fun group of women in the ELS. Some other things I love about my job are the opportunity to serve on scholarship committees and overseeing the Outstanding Senior Leader process. Nothing is better than hearing stories of students accomplishing greatness both on and off campus!
Who do you look up to/ admire?
I have many mentors in my life who I look up to, but I truly admire Michelle Obama.
What are your hobbies or favorite things to do for fun?
My favorite thing to do for fun is go to Lake Herrick with my dog, Delaney. Much of my free time involves spending time with her!
What might be something that you would like other staff to know about your job?
One thing that staff could know about my job is that I love to find opportunities to embed leadership into the work you are already doing. I have a particular passion when it comes to helping students identify ways to talk about their leadership experiences in a professional setting.
What might be some ways that staff could collaborate or partner with you?
We are always looking for campus partners to facilitate a session of Nuggets of Knowledge, our monthly lunch-and-learn series.
Anything you would like to share that you would like other staff to know about you?
What advice would you have for new staff joining UGA Student Affairs?
My biggest piece of advice for new staff is to create opportunities to get to know other people in the division. Everyone I have met is more than willing to set up informational calls to help you get acclimated to campus.
What is your favorite spot on campus or in Athens?
Cali & Tito’s on Lumpkin or Lake Herrick.
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Staff Spotlights: Sharing the stories of staff in UGA Student Affairs
408 Memorial Hall
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
Student Affairs Staff Development Lead
Chief of Staff