SAAC Spotlight: Alaska Anchorage's Georgia Burgess
Georgia Burgess finished 28th in the giant slalom at the NCAA Championships as a junior in 2019-20.
Georgia Burgess finished 28th in the giant slalom at the NCAA Championships as a junior in 2019-20.
Georgia Burgess
Georgia Burgess

Friday, February 26, 2021

Part of a regular series.

Throughout the year, uses this space to profile conference student-athletes who are members of their respective institutions’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). In addition to providing feedback on the student-athlete experience, conference and institutional SAAC members also offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives on NCAA member institution campuses.

Name: Georgia Burgess
Alpine Skiing
University of Alaska Anchorage
Health Science
Minor: Communications
Calgary, Alberta

Why Did You Choose To Attend Alaska Anchorage?: A big reason why I chose Alaska Anchorage is because of the team dynamic. A lot of us are international students. We are so different but find a common ground in learning to navigate Alaska together. We have a tight-knit team with people who love to embrace adventures together.

What Is Your Favorite Class You Have Taken And Why?: Medical Sociology. I had a bit of an epiphany in that class. It challenged me to broaden my horizons and consider other people’s realities. There is rarely a black and white explanation for anything, especially when it comes to health. Realizing the extent to which people’s identities intersect to influence different outcomes was a moment that changed my view of the world.

Who Is Your Favorite Professor And What Did You Enjoy About Learning From Him Or Her?: My favorite professor is Marsha Olson. She was one of my first professors during my freshman year. I entered college set on pursuing a career in the medical field. I thought that being a doctor or physical therapist was the only way I could do that. When I took her classes, she was engaging and had an incredible way of showing that the study of communications is unique. I have had the pleasure of taking several classes with her as I pursue my communications minor. She has taught me how to be a critical consumer of information and understand the power of communicating.

Years Involved In SAAC: Two years.

The Reason You Chose To Get Involved In SAAC: I believe in the mission of SAAC and wanted to be a part of the process of enriching the student-athlete experience at my school.

Most Memorable SAAC Activity To Date: It was a simple idea, but an event that has stuck with me was an athlete movie night we did during my sophomore year. Our SAAC organized the movie night and it was a fun way to bring together the athletes in a relaxing environment.

How Do You Feel Participating In SAAC Will Help You In Life After You Graduate?: Being in SAAC encourages me to take on more of a leadership role and advocate for student-athletes. Being a member of SAAC has helped me become more comfortable with fulfilling those roles.

What Does It Mean To You To Be A Division II Student-Athlete?: It means the world because it is my opportunity to get a degree and pursue the sport that I love most. Being an Alaska Anchorage student-athlete means academics don't have to be sacrificed to play sports. It has opened so many doors for my future.

What Is The Most Important Thing You’ve Learned About Balancing Athletics And Academics?: Achieving perfection is not the only standard of success. Being a student-athlete is so demanding that it is not always realistic to achieve everything without sacrificing something else. Sometimes, finding a healthy balance is the key to success.

Biggest Obstacle Overcome During Your Collegiate Career: Learning to listen to my body and mind. During my freshman year, I had so many expectations for myself and ran myself into the ground while trying to achieve perfection. I didn't listen to my body when it was hurting. I didn't listen to my mind when it was hurting. The biggest obstacle was figuring out that it is sometimes OK to not be OK.

Favorite Thing About Competing In The GNAC: Getting to go to school in a cool place like Alaska.

Most Memorable Sports-Related Moment: My first NCAA Championships. It was surreal to be surrounded by so many incredible competitors. Having the cameras pointing at me, knowing that all of my family and friends were watching, was a cool experience.

If You Could Change One NCAA Rule, It Would Be: The rule of name, image and likeness. I think the rule needs to be updated to be more comprehensive of the world we compete in today. I understand the implications. This rule, however, can also hinder a student-athlete's life pursuits outside of sports.

Best Advice You’d Give To An Incoming Freshman: Embrace every moment. The hard times are truly the moments that help you develop the tools that you’ll need for the rest of your life.

If You Could Spend The Day With One Person (Past Or Present), Who Would It Be (And Why)?: I would spend the day with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. When I think of the people that made the most impact on our world, I think of her. We would have the most incredible conversation and I would love to know what she thought about her life. I want to know if she thought it was fulfilling to commit her life to public service in the way that she did.

Extracurricular Activities: Anything outside. Living in Alaska is amazing. There is a new adventure every weekend. The hiking, climbing, skiing, mountain biking and everything in between are in our backyard and they make for a lot of fun.

Future Goals After Graduation: I am considering attending either law school or a doctorate program in health communications.

Favorite Sports Team: Canadian National Ski Team.

Favorite Athlete: Larisa Yurkiw.

One Thing People Don’t Know About You Is: I love to cook a delicious meal.