Maddie is pursuing a career in international policy, a field she was introduced to through the Honors Program. During the course, she wrote a paper on the state of mental health on college campuses. The following semester, she was a Vinson Fellow with Professor Paula Sanford in the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, where she researched the feasibility of providing dental care in Georgia public schools to help bridge the coverage gap.
Those experiences inspired her to investigate how policy is made around the world. She studied abroad in England, Spain, South Africa, Bali, South Korea and Australia. In Cape Town, South Africa, she interned with South Africa’s Department of Education working on policy recommendations.
“South Africa has a multilingual education system in which students are taught in their home language,” Maddie said. “After fourth grade, they have to continue their education in English. They have low graduation rates and low college matriculation rates because most students don’t have the English language skills to continue. I worked on policy recommendations for best practices in multilingual education, and I got to go into the schools and analyze national testing data.”
Maddie’s interest in international policy also steered her participate in the Honors in Washington program. While living in Delta Hall, she interned at the U.S. State Department, where she worked on policy memos and briefs for department officials.
“The Honors Program staff–Jessica Hunt, Emily Myers and Dr. Williams–helped me get the most out of my college experience,” Maddie said. “They helped me accomplish all of those internships and study abroad trips, while still being heavily involved in campus activities.”