SWAB Executive Board 2019
Cydney Abel, Executive Director
Hometown: Macon, GA
Major: Public Health - Health Promotion and Behavior
Position Description: As executive director, I oversee the organization, working to ensure all of the moving parts of SWAB come together for a successful event day. I work closely with each member of the executive board to help their ideas come to life. I oversee our weekly meetings and serve as the main point of contact for all things SWAB related.
Why I SWAB: I was drawn to SWAB, because I loved that it was an organization that aimed to connect the UGA student community with the Athens community, even if just for one day per year. I've since fallen in love with our organization. I love that our Event Day is a celebration of the children in our community, and I also love that SWAB can serve as an opportunity to remind mentors that there is more to our beloved college town than UGA and the college hot-spots. The community of UGA students involved in SWAB leadership roles have served as some of my greatest mentors and friends, and I am excited for SWAB 2019!
Sarah Cherof, Director of Event Operations
Hometown: Marrieta, GA
Major: Exercise and Sport Science
Position Description: A big part of my job is making sure that event day runs smoothly. Throughout the year, I work with our Event venue, Walmart, and other members of SWAB to coordinate the logistics of the day. My job ranges from creating the master schedule to mapping out the flow of traffic. I am also responsible for coordinating our volunteers and assigning event day jobs.
Why I SWAB: I originally joined SWAB because I was inspired by the impact that this organization has on the kids in our community and the UGA student body. I love that it creates a platform for students to create personal and genuine relationships with people in Athens. In addition to this, the people in SWAB have had a huge impact on me. Being in SWAB has allowed me to surround myself with passionate and ambitious people that have helped me grow personally and professionally.
Brandon Crowder, Director of Finance
Hometown: Macon, GA
Position Description: As the director of Finance, my responsibility is to make sure that SWAB remains financially sound. I manage the organization's overall budget and allocate funds to other executive directors. I am responsible for applying for grants and seeking sponsorship opportunities.
Why I SWAB: I looked into many organizations when I first came to campus, but I felt like SWAB stood out to me because of its involvement in the local community. I could see the members genuinely wanted to become a part of their new home of Athens. The work we do affects more than just our mentors because it helps out families and really incorporates the student body of UGA into the surrounding population. Also, I have a deep passion for working with youth and want to serve as a positive role model.
Michaela Bird, Director of Mentees
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Major: Animal Science
Position Description: As Director of Mentees, I work closely with Clarke County Schools and the County's Family Engagement Specialists to invite children to the event. Communication is key in my position, since I keep the school up to date about how amazing SWAB is going to be. I also prepare and manage all children's affairs before and during Event Day.
Why I SWAB: As a freshman I was searching for something that spoke to me and I was lucky enough to find SWAB. After my first event day as a mentor, I just knew I had to become more involved with this fantastic organization. I can't believe that just three years ago I was looking for a pair of light up Batman shoes for such a deserving little boy and now I'm here helping other children experience the same happiness my mentee did. I feel this amazing amount of joy bubble up inside me when I think about how everyone who participates in SWAB is making an incredibly positive impact on a child's life. To put it simply, SWAB is astounding.
Elizabeth Mount, Director of Mentors
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Major: Economics and International Business
Position Description: As Director of Mentors, my job is to oversee all of the UGA student mentors and to be their main source of communication with the executive board. I help mentors complete each step of the process to become a mentor, and I also train the mentors before Event Day so that they can enjoy their time with their mentees.
Why I SWAB: I SWAB because of the people involved in this organization from the leadership to the UGA students to the community partners to the parents and the kids. SWAB is one link that connects these different groups as the community rallies together. I am so thankful to give back to this Athens community which has given me so much over the last years.
Cydney Abel, Director of Event Creativity
Hometown: Smyrna, GA
Position Description: I work to develop a relatable Event Day theme for the mentors and mentees, and work to bring the theme to life. I am responsible for brainstorming, creating, and executing all of the visual aspects of Event Day.
Why I SWAB: I quickly fell in love with SWAB my very first day in the organization and looking back, joining SWAB has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. I think the most magical thing about SWAB is its sense of community. Living in and attending school in Athens, it is easy to see that Athens gives a lot to UGA, and as result UGA needs to give back to Athens. I love that this organization bridges the gap between UGA students and the surrounding Athens community while also bringing students closer together. SWAB has provided me a home on this campus and the SWAB magic has most definitely shaped my experience here at UGA.
Mallory Mifflin, Director of Mass Media
Major: Cognitive Science
Position Description: As the Director of Mass Media, I am responsible for keeping Shop with a Bulldawg's brand looking polished and representative of everything we are about. Some of my responsibilities include designing promotional graphics, Event Day T-shirts, and organizing and assisting with photography and videography for our events. I work closely with the Director of Public Relations to create a cohesive brand. We strive to represent SWAB in an effort to build our organization further.
Why I SWAB: One of the reason I love SWAB so much is that we work hands-on with the Athens community. This is so special because you get to see, not only the joy on the faces of the Athens kids, but also the joy they bring to our mentors. The atmosphere on Event Day is truly something powerful. I will never forget the smile on my mentees face on Event Day 2017. It is truly a special day that continually motivates me to work hard for this organization.
Jane Wilson, Director of Public Relations
Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
Major: Marketing and International Business
Position Description: As director of Public Relations, I work to promote SWAB's brand and mission to the UGA and Athens community through social media and the organization's website. I work closely with the Director of Mass Media to ensure our image is positive and cohesive. I also contact local media outlets to share SWAB's presence with the Athens community.
Why I SWAB: I love SWAB because I get to see people of all ages and different backgrounds come together and be free and experience joy on event day. SWAB is such a special organization because it unites the University with the community and shows children that they are worthy, intelligent, and valued. SWAB is truly special because it brings the UGA community together with the Athens community, which can often be overlooked.
Matthew Spencer, Director of Fundraising
Hometown: Cumming, GA
Major: Environmental Health Science
Position Description: As Director of Fundraising, I plan, organize, and execute all fundraising opportunities for mentors and the organization. As fundraising director, I get to work with our wonderful Committee to plan percentage nights, mentor appreciation nights, and just general donations. I also to get work with local Athens business leaders to ask for their support for our event day. My final responsibility is to organize all monetary amounts raised by mentors and donated by their families. I also help with all preparations before and on event day!
Why I SWAB: I SWAB because to me it’s the best student organization on campus. Each day it has given me the opportunity to interact with people who I would have never met without joining this organization. I consider this organization as a part of my life and my family now. Not only does SWAB provide me with some of my best friends, its mission is something I can strongly support. That mission statement to me is all about personal interaction. From our kids, to our mentors, to our committee, and finally to our Exec Board it’s something that provides for unique experience, that I believe can’t be experienced anywhere else.
Ian Lacroix, Co-Director of Recruitment
Hometown: Snellville, GA
Major: Political Science
Position Description: As Co-Director of Recruitment, I work alongside Connor Giresi to spread awareness of SWAB on campus and to recruit event day mentors. Being a Co-Director of Recruitment means being the biggest promoter and advocate for SWAB's interests on campus by having meaningful conversations with students. We want to convey to students the importance of giving back to Athens for the short period that we call it home. Our main goal is not only to recruit mentors, but to spread SWAB's values of bringing joy to the families of Athens.
Why I SWAB: I SWAB to give back to the Athens community, a community that helps mold us into better people. I think many college students tend to stay in the UGA bubble and ignore the surrounding Athens community. Fact of the matter is, Athens is among the most impoverished cities in the state of Georgia. As members of this community, it's imperative that we contribute a portion of our time here to service. I SWAB to foster a sense of service in the student population of UGA, so that in the future, service will be something that they are engaged in no matter where they live. Seeing the hundreds of smiling faces on event day is one of the most humbling experiences you'll ever have, I encourage everyone to SWAB as well!
Connor Giresi, Co-Director of Recruitment
Hometown: Acworth, GA
Major: Intended International Business and Finance
Position Description: As the Co-Director of Recruitment, I work with Ian Lacroix to recruit a diverse group of University of Georgia students to participate in SWAB Event Day as a mentor to local Athens children! Our goal isn't to meet a certain "quota" of mentors but to spread our passion for SWAB throughout our campus and SWAB's overall mission of to celebrate the value of community, the spirit of the holidays, and the children of Athens.
Why I SWAB: SWAB is an organization very close to my heart. Immediately after joining Freshman Council, I knew this was going to become my second family at the University of Georgia and having the opportunity to work with equally passionate students is such a privilege I will never take for granted. I SWAB for the children and their families of Athens, for the embetterment of Athens as a whole, and I hope this organization will live and grow for decades to come!
Emily Thomann, Co-Director of Committee
Hometown: Marietta, GA
Major: Finance and International Business
Position Description: As Co-Director of Committee, I work with Kevin Hunter to lead a small group of passionate, dedicated individuals that brainstorms, fundraises, and plans for Event Day. Committee works closely with each other and the Execuxtive Board to plan the best Event Day possible. Kevin and I also act as liaisons between Committee and the Executive Board to ensure that Committee's ideas are heard.
Why I SWAB: After serving as a mentor my freshman year, I immediately knew I wanted to get more involved with SWAB. As students, we often take Athens for granted. SWAB gives us the opportunity to tangibly give back to our community that provides so much for us. Seeing the joy on each and every kid's face on Event Day brings me so much happiness. I am so grateful for every experience SWAB has given me from spending the day with my mentee freshman year to meeting all of the incredible and inspiring people who work with SWAB. Getting involved with SWAB is easily the best decision I've made at UGA, and I'm so thankful for the impact it has had on me!
Kevin Hunter, Co- Director of Committee
Hometown: Collins, GA
Major: Public Relations
Position Description: As Co-Director of Committee, I work with Emily Thomann to lead a small group of passionate, dedicated individuals that brainstorms, fundraises, and plans for Event Day. Committee works closely with each other and the Executive Board to plan the best Event Day possible. Emily and I also act as liaisons between Committee and the Executive Board to ensure that Committee's ideas are heard.
Why I SWAB: I can't think of SWAB without thinking of the people impacted by this organization. Event Day brings together the sweetest kids you'll ever meet and the some of UGA's most generous students, and I challenge you to find one of them that goes the whole day without smiling once. SWAB is fun; SWAB is impactful, and SWAB matters to this community. I'm so happy I've had the opportunity to be a part of this organization since the moment I stepped on this campus and I can't imagine a better team to tackle this year than this Executive Board and Committee, comprised of the absolute BEST people on this campus!
Michael Bowler, Co-Director of Freshman Council
Hometown: Snellville, GA
Major: Biochemistry and Psychology
Position Description: As Co-Director of Freshman Council, I welcome first-years into the wonderful SWAB organization while establishing a supportive community to help them succeed and develop as leaders on campus during their freshman years. Working alongside my incredible Co-Director, we aim to increase our council's knowledge and engagement in the SWAB organization while creating an environment that our members can fall back on when they hit any first semester obstacles.
Why I SWAB: I SWAB because I believe the holidays should be a time full of joy for everyone, and getting to partake in a holiday shopping spree can be the epitome of joy for those both young and old. From my own event day experiences mentoring a child and emcee'ing the event to working with the wonderful people that make up the entirely student-run organization, SWAB has been a definitive part of making my time here at UGA memorable. I love how SWAB connects UGA students with children in the Athens community, especially as we continue to aim to increase student's awareness of the many opportunities there are to get involved with local children beyond our Event Day.
Khemisha Brown, Co-Director of Freshman Council
Hometown: Kennesaw, GA
Major: Mathematics and Data Science
Position Description: As Co-Director of Freshman Council, I work with Michael Bowler to help mentor a group of first-year students who share a passion to serve the Athens community through SWAB. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for members to connect with other first-year students while learning about the inner-workings of the organization and helping make Event Day amazing through fundraising, recruitment, and mentoring opportunities.
Why I SWAB: I SWAB because of the amazing community that SWAB has! All the members of this organization were so welcoming as I entered my first-year at UGA and made every member feel special and a part of the SWAB family. SWAB's community of mentees and mentors is amazing as well. The pure joy that each person holds on Event Day is so encouraging and makes me happy.
Grant Mitchell, Director of Ambassadors
Hometown: Milton, GA
Major: Public Relations
Position Description: As Director of Ambassadors, I help with the latest addition to our SWAB family: SWAB Ambassadors. These passionate Mentors serve as the service ambassadors of SWAB and work with the student body to grow our organization and campus community by sharing their love for our mission LOUD for all to hear through everything from social media to recruitment efforts. I also get to work closely with our Ambassador Group Leaders to make sure this year is successful and fun for all of our Ambassadors.
Why I SWAB: I got to watch my older sister engage with our Athens community through SWAB when she went to UGA, and I knew I wanted to do the same thing when I became a dawg. The holiday season is something I have had the privilege to enjoy throughout my life, and all children in Athens deserve that same experience. My passion for service grows through SWAB and spreading joy in our city each year is worth every ounce of preparation and hard work. It is amazing to be a part of a student non-profit that has not only built a warm campus community but also has an even more genuine and authentic mission. Go SWAB! Go Dawgs!!
Lucy Smith, Director of Community Outreach
Hometown: Athens, GA
Major: Finance and Real Estate
Position Description: As Director of Community Outreach, my job is to create a greater SWAB presence throughout the UGA community and Athens-Clarke county community. I am also responsible for creating an alumni database and keeping our alumni informed about fundraising and event day theme. I also head Homecoming activities and designation during that week.
Why I SWAB: I love SWAB because of the impact it makes on the community. I grew up in Athens which makes this organization that much more special to me. Seeing all those smiles on event day makes all the hard work worth it!