College of Environmental and Agricultural Sciences Awards Scholarships

CAES scholarships

The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics awarded 30 scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year. The following are a few of the outstanding students who were awarded departmental scholarships for their accomplishments.

Nicholas Brown is a third-year double major in agribusiness and agricultural and applied economics from Hartwell, Georgia. His passion for agriculture developed in high school, and he hopes to combine a doctorate in agricultural and applied economics with a law degree to become an agricultural law consultant assisting family-owned farms. Receiving a scholarship was a big pick-me-up for Brown: “The email notifying scholarship recipients was sent out during several difficult tests for me,” he said. “Since my parents knew that I had several tests that day, the scholarship served as an excellent tool to distract them from my tests.”

Leanne Chafin is a second-year agribusiness major from Hartwell, Georgia. Thanks to her family’s beef cattle operation, Chafin has been involved in the agriculture industry since her early life. She was also involved in showing livestock through FFA, and these experiences led to her pursuit of a career in agriculture. She hopes to pursue a career in marketing and sales for an agricultural company when she graduates. “I felt very honored to receive a department scholarship,” Chafin said. “The college of Ag and the Ag and Applied Economics department are like a big family, and I know I can always find the answer I am looking for from anybody within the college or department.”

Mason Goolsby is a junior agribusiness major from Stockbridge, Georgia. After attending the Governor’s Honors Program in high school for agricultural science, she knew that she wanted to work in the agricultural industry in some capacity, but she wasn’t sure whether she could realistically pursue a degree and career in agriculture given that she had little firsthand knowledge of the field. When she discovered the agribusiness program, she knew it was exactly what she was looking for. “The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics has come to mean so much to me during my first two years as a student, so I was truly honored to receive one of its scholarships,” Goolsby said. “I only hope that I can give back to the department in some way during my remaining years as a student.”

Allison Hawk is a freshman double major in agribusiness and agricultural communication from Madison, Georgia. She wants to own her own business and give back to her community while being an advocate for agriculture. Her favorite part of being at UGA is the school pride. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what you’re studying, if you’re a part of Greek life or not — everyone is connected by their love for this school,” she said. “I’ve never been so proud to be a part of anything else.”

Elizabeth Isgar is a junior food industry marketing and administration major from Los Angeles. Her experience taking Dr. Joshua Berning’s FYOS class on the economics and marketing of food sparked her interest in FIMA and inspired her to pursue these topics as a career. Receiving a departmental scholarship enabled her to participate in study abroad programs in Costa Rica, Spain and Italy. After earning her undergraduate degree, she plans on enrolling in graduate school to gain a better business management skill set. “In choosing this particular degree, I have gained a technical and professional skill set that will allow me to pursue a variety of opportunities in the future,” Isgar said. “Coupled with my minor in Spanish and certificate in entrepreneurship, I believe that no other school or program could better prepare to pursue a career in the rapidly growing and ever-changing food industry.”

Charles Orgbon is a third-year environmental economics and management major from Dacula, Georgia. He chose to join the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences after participating in the Young Scholars Program the summer before his senior year of high school. The opportunity to spend time on campus and interact with students and faculty helped him see that UGA and the environmental economics and management major were the perfect fit for him. “I feel as though I am a part of a community of UGA alumni and current students. I’m here to help my fellow Dawgs, and they have also been really helpful for me,” he said. After he graduates, Orgbon will begin work with Deloitte in San Francisco.

Jordan Rowe is a junior agribusiness major from south Georgia. While his dream is to become a country music singer/songwriter in Nashville, he chose to pursue an agribusiness degree to give him the business and economics savvy that will aid his musical career. Should he decide to return to Georgia, the degree would enable him to pursue career options in the agriculture industry. “I felt humbled and honored to receive one of the department’s scholarships,” Rowe said. “I know that it is a very competitive process, and I am very grateful to have been one of the chosen few to receive such an incredible blessing.” After graduation, he plans on pursuing his passion for country music and writing and singing songs that are unique, relatable and make people feel something when they listen.

Samantha Siragusa is a junior environmental economics and management major from Kennesaw, Georgia. She chose her major because it allows her to work with the environment in many different ways, which is something she’s always wanted to do. Her favorite part about UGA is the wide range of opportunities available to students, from the available majors to study abroad options. After she completes her undergraduate degree, Siragusa plans on going to grad school and working on marine conservation policy. “I believe my major allows me to see the economic and the science sides of environmental issues,” she said, “I think this will help me make the right decisions in my future career.”

Ashley Smith is a junior agribusiness and animal science double major from Sylvania, Georgia. She came into the department for agribusiness, but to increase her career options after graduation, she decided to double major. Receiving a departmental scholarship means that she can work fewer hours at the vet school and focus more on her schoolwork. She’s preparing for a future career in sales, extension work or agricultural policy. “I love being a part of CAES because of the family-like atmosphere and small class sizes,” she said.

Tristan Smith is a sophomore agribusiness major from Riddleville, Georgia. He grew up in central Georgia, where he developed relationships with farmers and a desire to dedicate his career to helping the agriculture industry. After he completes his undergraduate degree, he wants to go on to earn a master’s degree in agribusiness to open up further career opportunities. “I felt very blessed and honored to receive a departmental scholarship,” he said. “I am very grateful for the financial assistance.” Smith’s favorite part of being at UGA is the community of friends he has made.

Phyllicia Thomas is a junior environmental economics and management major from Lithonia, Georgia. She was drawn to the agricultural and applied economics department because it allowed her to engage in science and agricultural issues while making them applicable to the current economy and political climate. It was important to her that she didn’t have to choose between science or policy, and her major in environmental economics and management allows her to do both simultaneously. After she graduates with her undergraduate degree, Thomas plans to enroll in law school and become an environmental lawyer. Receiving a scholarship was a bright spot in the semester for her. “I felt validated as a student because sometimes I get caught up in the stress of classes and tests and start to feel down, but gaining this scholarship proved that I am doing great academically and it pushes me to strive for more,” she said.

To learn more about the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, visit