Working on a University of Georgia Honors in Washington internship, Camille Gregory had a challenging and educational summer in 2011, but there isn't much she can tell you about it.
Camille, who will graduate from UGA in May 2013 with a degree in human geography and a minor in women’s studies, spent the summer conducting policy research for Freedman Consulting LLC, which works with many of Washington’s heavy hitters.
“I’m really not supposed to talk specifics,” says Camille of her eight-week internship, "but I can say one of the projects I worked on was about how people think about poverty as it relates to the federal deficit. The summer was very interesting.”
A Ramsey Scholar who in February was awarded a Mid-Term Foundation Fellowship, much of Camille’s study and research while at UGA has focused on the darker aspects of human geography.
Her primary interest is human trafficking, and as a Roosevelt Institute Scholar she wrote a policy paper on domestic violence assessments. Camille also presented a paper on underage alcohol sales as part of the Research Fellows program sponsored by Roosevelt and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
Camille assents that the topics she’s interested in aren’t of the uplifting variety, but she adds she’s willing to tackle these issues so that they can have a more prominent place in the American mindset.
“One of the reasons I’m so passionate about a lot of these issues is because I’m interested in why people are so reluctant to talk about them,” says Camille, who is also aligned with UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities and will serve as a Roosevelt Center Director this year. “A lot of the reasons human trafficking is allowed to continue and a lot of the reasons domestic violence is allowed to happen and is so common is because people are not willing to address the issues.
“That’s what keeps driving me to research more and try to learn more, so when I do have a conversation with someone I am able to talk in depth. When I have conversations with people, I feel we do make progress. The more I’m able to talk about the issues, the more eyes I can open. I know it’s a slow, gradual process, but these issues have to be confronted in a straightforward way. You can’t just talk around them.”
Becoming a more confident speaker also led Camille to investigate UGA’s Demosthenian Literary Society, which she joined not long after arriving on campus and says is one of her most meaningful extracurricular activities.
“I was nervous about coming to school here, so before I came I read up on what UGA had to offer, and the Society seemed like something I’d be interested in,” says Camille, who in 2010 was named Most Improved Speaker and received the Larry Blount Award as the Society’s outstanding new member. “I was not only able to practice speaking and hone my communication skills, which is important to any career, but I’ve also learned about having to get up and speak in an attempt to sway people to your way of thinking. It’s a wonderful group of people to know and hang out with.”
Camille was one of four Society members to compete on the Inter Society Debate Team, which each year debates with members of Phi Kappa Literary Society, another North Campus-based oratorical organization.
“It’s been a huge part of my UGA experience,” she says. “Another cool thing about Demosthenian is that we are able to go to the Hargrett Rare Books Library and read the Society’s meeting minutes back to the 1820s. It’s fascinating to see how they debated the different issues of the day.”
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