Not that shy kid anymore

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The following was part of the college’s presentation to the University System of Georgia Board of Regents at its April 2015 meeting.

Kris Peña standing in the Student Center game room
Kris Peña, ‘17, at his job in the Student Center game room.

By Kris Peña, class of ‘17
Psychology

I am filled with a sense of pride at what GGC has accomplished in its first 10 years.

Now, to be honest, GGC was not my first choice of schools to attend after high school. It wasn’t even on my list, but my father convinced me to apply.

Like a number of GGC students, I originally thought I would come here for my core courses and then transfer to a more well-known school. But also like a number of GGC students, I changed my mind once I experienced higher education, GGC style.

A lot has changed in my first two years. We have an entire new building for the sciences and our new nursing program. We now have a Subway, Panda Express, a Chick-fil-a and perhaps most importantly, a Starbucks.

But it’s not just this school that has changed. I have changed.

“The small class size ensures that I don’t feel lost during the learning process. I am able to ask questions and not be embarrassed because the classroom environment is personal, and my professors have time and opportunity to form a relationship with me, as opposed to the indifference a professor may have while teaching a larger class.”

– Kris Peña, class of ‘17

You see, in high school, I was a shy kid. I only joined one club during my senior year, and I was hardly active. GGC has helped me to come out of my shell and be an engaged member of the student body.

Kris Pena speaking at BOR presentation
Listen to Kris Pena’s USG Board of Regents presentation below.
(Text transcription.) 

I am thankful for the ease with which I was able to transition from high school student to college student.

Nearly all of our full-time professors at GGC hold a doctorate, and their main goal is not research, but spreading knowledge. Being raised by parents with their own master’s degrees, I appreciate knowledge and our faculty’s commitment to all of their students. They even give us their cell phone numbers so we can contact them with questions.

I am also thankful of the opportunity GGC gives me to be social and provide service. I am a member of the honors program, an active member of the Organization of Latin American Students and employed in the Student Center game room, where I interact with students from all walks of life.

I would recommend Georgia Gwinnett College to any student because of the personal, welcoming environment of the classroom, and the many opportunities to be social, to be of service, to assist in the creation of great traditions and to be a trailblazer for future generations of Grizzlies.

And now I am here, speaking to you. I am not that shy kid anymore, and I am at GGC to stay.

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