Georgia Southern student one of five nationwide to win leadership award

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  • Jessica ‘Riley’ Martinez is one of five students to win the 2019 Jordan Smith Undergraduate Fellowship. This is the second year in a row a GS student has won the award.

Savannah Johnson

A Georgia Southern University student was one of only five students nationwide to win the 2019 Jordan Smith Undergraduate Fellowship making this the second year in a row that a GS student has received this honor.

Senior Jessica ‘Riley’ Martinez is pursuing a psychology major and a double minor in French and information technology. She has been working with the First-Year Experience department for three years.

Martinez serves on a committee made up of students and professors to assess what works in the program and what doesn’t.

“We as a field want to encourage participation of undergrad students,” Chris Caplinger, Ph.D., director of FYE said. The department works together to ensure that students are getting the most out of their FYE to better prepare them for the remainder of their college career.

As a winner of the fellowship, Martinez will attend a conference in Las Vegas where she will represent GS. At the conference, she will have the opportunity to attend seminars that interest her and her goals for the GS FYE Department.

To Martinez, being one of five recipients nationally is not even the most important part of the award. She says that knowing GS cares for its students and gives them the opportunity to advance their learning and interests is the most important thing to realize.

Savannah Johnson, The George-Anne Candidate,