As Miss Georgia and a current PhD student in the Department of Political Science, Karson Pennington knows a thing or two about wearing many hats — or in her case, crowns.
Karson was crowned Miss Georgia in June 2021 and soon after, she began the second year of her doctoral program at SPIA where she is studying American politics with a focus in judicial politics. She is interested in the intersectionality of gender and law in federal state courts. In her role as Miss Georgia, Karson spends her time advancing the goals of the Miss America Organization while also promoting literacy in Athens-Clarke County.
During Homecoming week, Karson took over the SPIA Instagram account to show us what a day in the life of a full-time student and Miss Georgia is like.
8:00 – 9:30 am | Office Hours for POLS 1101E
As a PhD student, Karson works as a teaching assistant for an introductory political science course. She holds virtual office hours for students to pop in to ask questions about class or upcoming assignments.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm | Attend Class
Karson gets ready for the day before attending her class, Modern Political Thought, where the discussion focused on Montesquieu, liberty and the perfect form of government.
12:00 – 1:00 pm | SPIA Graduate Networking Lunch
After class, she attends “The Hidden Curriculum of Academia,” an event hosted by the SPIA Graduate Student Association where panelists discussed comprehensive exams and the importance of leaning on your cohort while in graduate school.
1:30 – 3:00 pm | Work from home on Miss Georgia duties
Much of the work of Miss Georgia is behind the scenes and includes sending emails to legislators and educators, scheduling meetings and appearances, training to become a Real Talk Ambassador and preparing programs to educate Georgians on topics like substance abuse and literacy.
3:00 – 4:30 pm | Get ready for Homecoming Parade
Karson dons her Miss Georgia crown and red and black UGA skirt for the Homecoming Parade.
5:00 – 7:00 | Judge Homecoming Parade floats & Ride in UGA Homecoming Parade
COVID prevented Karson from riding in the Homecoming Parade as Miss UGA, so she was thrilled to have the opportunity to ride in the parade as Miss Georgia.
8:00 pm | Dinner with Family
Karson ends her busy day at dinner with friends and family at George’s Low Country Table, one of her favorite restaurants in Athens.