Jessica Murray, University of North Georgia
Jessica Murray, a fourth year student at the University of North Georgia, is an extremely dynamic and engaging student leader; her impassioned attitude coupled with a diligent work ethic has promoted many positive changes for our community. Jessica is the founder and leader of UNG’s GRRReen Team; with this organization, Jessica initiated an environmentally-themed documentary series, improved the campus recycling program, and promoted the consumption of locally-grown food. She also organized Green Fest, an event that has strengthened the ties between the campus and Dahlonega community, ultimately increasing support for solving environmental issues in the region. Jessica’s research examines how art and sustainability issues can bring a community together. Her diplomacy helped dispel the distrust the rural community had with the University and revitalized an heirloom seed-saving project. In the Fall of 2013, Jessica was named an honorary delegate to the 2nd International Joint Ukrainian-American Scientific and Practical Conference where she co-presented “Storytelling as Place-based Pedagogy.” Jessica’s passion coupled with her ability to successfully foster relationships between disparate groups has greatly improved the environmental apathy at our university.