Congratulations to Women's Studies major, Jessica Ma, recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence in 2020. This award recognizes students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, but also excel in their service to the community and in their leadership both on and off campus. Jessica was also named a First Honors Graduate.
In nominating Jessica for this award, IWS faculty spoke to Jessica impressive career at UGA. Dr. Patricia Richards, Meigs Distinguished Professor of Sociology, had Jessica in her Global Perspectives on Gender class and says this of her performance, “Jessica Ma is by far one of the very best students I have had the opportunity to teach at UGA… She took our course materials in creative analytical directions, and I often found myself learning from her… I feel privileged to have taught her...” Similarly, Dr. Cecilia Herles, Assistant Director of the Institute for Women’s Studies says this of Jessica’s academic achievements, “I would rank Ms. Ma in the top one percent of the hundreds of students I have taught, including doctoral students.”
Dr. Herles also noted that Jessica’s maturity, self-motivation, and integrity helps her stand apart from her peers in how she represents UGA both on campus and beyond, stating: Whenever administration and campus organizations ask for a student representative, she has been nominated because she is an outstanding representative of the University of Georgia. For example, she was voted by faculty to serve as our student representative for the Women’s Studies steering committee. She was also selected to introduce our key lecture because she is an articulate, poised, and confident public speaker in front of an audience of hundreds of people.