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Petrel Profiles

Oglethorpe is distinguished by its vibrant student body, whose diversity and determination inspire learning and the determination to make a life, make a living, and make a difference.

Alumni and friends of Oglethorpe play a special supporting role in coming alongside students and helping meet their needs when it comes to facing financial, academic and personal challenges.

Please learn more about OU students and how philanthropy is positively impacting their college experience and making an OU education possible.

Ruby Philippaerts ’20

Hometown: Genk, Belgium

Major: Economics

Campus Involvement: Community Advisor, VP of Student Conduct Board, Honor Council Member, Student Liaison for Board of Trustees

Internship Experience: “For two summers, I have interned with UPS, first as a Competitive Intelligence intern with UPS Europe in Brussels and then with UPS Corporate here in Atlanta in the International Revenue Management Team.”

OU Grateful: “I have been able to learn from amazing faculty and make connections that helped me secure two great internships with a Fortune 500 company. I am extremely grateful for having the chance to be here at Oglethorpe, and that would not have been possible without financial help.”

Why Oglethorpe?: “It’s the best of both worlds; a small university with a strong sense of community and being in a major city!”

Mikayla Ries ’21

Hometown: Fort Myers, FL

Major: Psychology with an Art minor

Campus Involvement: Chi Omega Fraternity, Orientation Leader, Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity

Internship Experience: “I currently intern at the Marcus Autism Center and help perform research on kids with autism.”

Favorite Class: Clinical Psychology with Dr. Carton. “Dr. Carton is an amazing professor and now this is the area I want to pursue after graduation.”

Why Oglethorpe?: “It offers an amazing private education in a big city. The connections you form with the professors and faculty are the best.”

OU Grateful: “Our scholarship program makes it possible for me to attend Oglethorpe and be involved in extracurricular opportunities outside of my studies. I am grateful for the ability to focus on my studies and academic life.”

Bethany Malskis ’20

Hometown: Northport, NY

Major: Biology, Pre-Med Track

Campus Involvement: Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority, Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity, Omicron Delta Kappa, Men’s Soccer Manager, Resident Assistant

How has the OU faculty supported you?: “My professors have been so supportive of me, both personally and academically. They have done everything from staying late to answer questions, to asking about my family and activities on campus.

Favorite OU Experience: Being part of the first NIH-funded research project OU was awarded. “I was so honored to be the first student selected for the project and to be invited back the next year.”

OU Grateful: “Attending Oglethorpe was the best decision I could have made for my undergraduate experience, and it would not have been possible without the assistance of dedicated donors. Being at Oglethorpe has provided so many opportunities, and I believe I have a stronger chance of attending and succeeding in medical school than if I had gone somewhere else for college.”

Ashley Dodson ’21

Hometown: Augusta, GA

Major: Economics with a minor in Politics

Campus Involvement: Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, Economics Club, Black and Gold Club, OU Panhellenic Council

Favorite Class: Public Choice with Dr. Copeland. “It helped me see how relevant economics is, especially in politics.”

How was OU faculty supported you?: ”I have received countless opportunities due to the support of the OU faculty and staff, specifically, my Compass Advisor Dr. Sharfman. He helped me so much my first year.”

OU Grateful: “I will be the first child among my siblings to finish college. OU donors are truly impacting future generations by giving to Oglethorpe. Thank you!”

Jordyn Billings ’22

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Major: Sociology with minors in Non-Profit Management & Art History

Campus Involvement: Orientation Leader, Founder of Oglethorpe Fashion Club

Favorite Class: Gender and Society with Dr. Pham. “Sociology, in general, has helped me better understand the world and this class helped me further explore my identity and power.”

Why Oglethorpe?: “I loved the small school in a big city atmosphere! It allows for diversity and close connections with staff. I instantly felt surrounded by people who cared.”

Favorite OU Tradition: Orientation Day of Service

OU Grateful: The James Edward Oglethorpe Scholarship has allowed me to pursue higher education without the fear of financial uncertainty and has opened doors to the many opportunities OU has to offer. This scholarship also motivates me to cultivate a future where I can become a donor for the next generation of Oglethorpe students.”

Rebecca Castro ’22

Hometown: Brasilia, Brazil

Major: Biopsychology, Pre-Med Track

Campus Involvement: SGA, Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity

Favorite Spot on Campus: Hearst Hall. “It is a wonderful place to be a student and is a beautiful setting that makes me feel like I truly study in a castle.”

How has OU supported you?: “My wonderful Compass Advisor who helped me register for class and stay on track during my freshman year. He provided emotional support and knowledge that helped me balance my pre-med classes and my major.”

OU Grateful: “Oglethorpe has opened doors for me that I would otherwise never have experienced. I am and will always be grateful for the opportunities that donors have helped provide for me.”

Kiana Perkins ’21

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

Major: Politics with a Spanish minor

Campus Involvement: Black Student Caucus, SGA, African Student Association, Film Club

Favorite Class: Spanish Culture & Cuisine with Dr. Chandler. “It was a very interactive class. We learned about countries that are often overlooked and got to eat food from each one!”

OU Grateful: “Thank you for removing financial barriers to higher education. Because of my scholarship, I am able to focus on all that Oglethorpe has to offer academically and socially. I have grown in every area of my life and had experiences that many students dream of having. None of this would be possible without your help.”

Tyrell Snagg ’23

Hometown: Conyers, GA

Major: Dual Degree Engineering

Campus Involvement: Chi Phi Fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity, Jazz Band, Resident Assistant

Favorite OU Tradition: The Ringing of the Carillon Bells. “I think it is a beautiful symbol for the graduating seniors to welcome them into the real world. I cannot wait until it is my time to ring those bells!”

Favorite Spot on Campus: The Game Room in the Turner Lynch Campus Center (TLCC). “I enjoy playing pool, foosball, and other games while sipping on some Starbucks.”

OU Grateful: Given the opportunity to meet one of my scholarship donors, saying ‘thank you’ could never suffice. I would like to share with donors a glimpse of my college life. I have grown into an academically stronger student and I have also expanded into different organizations that further developed my passions. If I were somehow able to gift this beautiful image of my college career, I would give it to my donor as a token of my appreciation for what their contribution has given to me.”