Katie Murray, the new face of the academic program at the University of Georgia Tifton campus, joined UGA-Tifton this summer as the new student recruiter, just in time to welcome this semester’s crop of students.
Murray, a Moultrie, Georgia, native, UGA alumna and one-time high school agriculture teacher, is excited to again be working with students.
“To be able to have an influence on students and to work with the best and the brightest minds representing the future of agriculture are just a couple of reasons why I’m so excited to be at the University of Georgia,” Murray said. “The college education I received at UGA helped pave the way for the career opportunities I experienced after college. I want others to have that same experience.”
Murray, who graduated from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education, will promote the campus to high school students and to freshman and sophomore college students interested in transferring to UGA-Tifton. To do so, she’ll travel to high schools throughout the year to talk to prospective students.
The college’s annual Southwest showCAES recruitment event, one of Murray’s first recruiting events, is set for Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the Tifton Campus Conference Center. Students interested in enrolling at the university as a freshman or transferring to UGA-Tifton are invited to attend.
“That’s what I like about the job, this idea that I would get to help promote the campus in a way that would appeal to students. Southwest showCAES is an opportunity to paint a picture for these students about what they’ll learn if they attend UGA-Tifton,” Murray said. “They’ll get to meet faculty as well as interact with current UGA students. I look forward to meeting students at showCAES and, hopefully, working with them for many years to come as they enter into their college years.”
Murray’s background is deeply rooted in south Georgia agriculture. Her father was a farmer before he became an agriculture teacher, and he encouraged Murray to show livestock, first in 4-H and then later as a National FFA Organization member. She is one of three siblings who received a college-level agricultural education, earning a degree in agriculture from UGA. Murray later earned a master’s degree in agricultural education from North Carolina State University.
She joins UGA-Tifton after working for three years at Southern Valley Fruit and Vegetable, where she was responsible for marketing, coordinating social media and writing for the blog. Murray believes her experiences in the produce industry will help her recruit students who are interested in various aspects of agriculture.
Murray comes to UGA-Tifton at a time when student enrollment is growing. Last spring semester, 19 students — the largest class to date — graduated from UGA-Tifton. This semester, 47 undergraduates are enrolled at UGA-Tifton. Agricultural education is the most popular major on campus, with 18 students.
“It’s my job to help students and their families realize the type of education they’d receive here. I have been in these students’ shoes before and understand the pressures that come with finding the right college,” Murray said. “Fortunately, if they’re interested in agriculture and want to stay closer to home here in south Georgia, there’s not a better place they can be.”
For more information about the academic program at UGA-Tifton, visit www.caes.uga.edu/campuses/tifton/academics.html.
(Clint Thompson is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences based in Tifton.)