Undergraduate research opportunities put Samantha Lewis on track to earn multiple degrees

Samatha Lewis is an honors student at Georgia Highlands College (GHC). She currently holds an associate degree in general studies while pursuing both a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) and an Associate of Science in Psychology. And the undergraduate research opportunities at GHC are helping her achieve her goals.

“I have taken an unmeasurable amount of experience away from my time in the undergraduate research program at GHC,” Lewis said. “I have worked in a lab and have enjoyed one-on-one time with multiple professors giving me the opportunity to learn from them, one-on-one, in a non-classroom environment, expanding further into each person’s area of expertise.”

Lewis has taken an active role in the biology program’s partnership with Lake Allatoona conducting undergraduate research. Over her tenure at GHC, she has escalated her responsibilities from volunteer to student lab manager to laboratory coordinator.

Through these roles, she has created and implemented most of the working systems within the research group, ranging from data housing systems, inputting sample readings, scheduling, organizing students and exercising quality control methods.

Prior to pursuing multiple degrees at GHC, Lewis worked for 25 years in the dental industry.

“I think Health Science is just in my blood,” Lewis said. “As of now, I am taking my Health Science diploma to graduate school for Sports Management.”

Lewis serves as the President of the GHC Book Club, the Co-President of Green Highlands and is “the self-proclaimed secretary” of the Psychology Club.

In her spare time, Lewis enjoys the outdoors, concerts and is an Atlanta Braves season ticket holder. In addition, she packs parachutes.

“Parachute packers are a small community within the skydiving world. I travel between several states and pack parachutes for special events, state records and both military and civilian jumpers,” Lewis said. I am also a certified Federal Aviation Administration parachute rigger. That just means I can pack reserve parachutes, complete minor repairs on skydiving gear and work military contracts.”

Lewis said that as a single mom and nontraditional student, she feels it is important for other students to know it is okay to not know what you want to do for the rest of your life at this very moment.

“Ride the wave. Let opportunity knock and answer all the doors,” Lewis said. “Don’t be closed-minded when opportunities arise. There might be something out there that sparks your interest that you haven’t experienced yet! Even if you think you won’t like it, try it.”

Lewis plans on starting graduate school in the fall of 2022 upon completion of her degrees at GHC.