Anna Martirosyan moved to Georgia from her native Russia in the eighth grade during the middle of the school year. The then 14-year-old knew very little spoken English and often felt alone and disconnected. When she graduated from high school, she vowed to devote herself to ensuring that other students did not experience the same loneliness that she felt in a new place. This is why she decided to triple major in psychology, Spanish, and Russian at the University of Georgia. As an undergraduate, Anna received the Choate Family Scholarship, and graduated with a 3.9 GPA in 2016.
“I took a psychology class in high school and I loved it so I knew I wanted to continue,” Anna said of her choice to major in psychology. “I have a passion for languages, and though I speak Russian fluently, I missed reading Russian literature. I started taking Spanish in high school and fell in love with it. It was difficult for me to choose just one major, so I chose all three.”
Outside of the classroom, she found a community through extracurricular activities and her work study job. She was a peer mentor for the UGA Athletic Association, a member of the Russian Club, a world leader in International Student Life Orientation and she helped organize on-campus blood drives for the Red Cross.
However, she says that her most memorable college experience was in her work study position in the Hugh Hodgson Music Library. She already had a love for music and her supervisor Kevin Kelly, Ph.D, reinvigorated that passion when he invited her to join the Athens Chamber Singers, of which he is the director.
“In Russia, I attended a school of music, so I had some experience of learning how to sing,” Anna said. “When I was offered to sing with the choir they wanted me to sing Armenian music. It was very special for me, because I am ethnically Armenian (although born and raised in Russia). It was wonderful to share a piece of my heritage with everyone in the audience. My parents came too, and they were very touched.”
She sang Russian choral music at one of the choir’s concerts and continues to sing with the group today. The music library is her second home and the staff feels like family to her.