Hometown: Asuncion, Paraguay
Class of 2012
Give and Learn
We asked Guilianna Calvo, an extremely active Pirate who created change on campus and was transformed in the process, to give us her personal take on the Armstrong Experience. Here’s what she had to say about our nautical nation:
Why did you choose to come to Armstrong?
I chose to come to Armstrong because of the location. I fell in love with Savannah the first time I visited. I also liked that Armstrong is not very big and had a lot of room for change and growth. I wanted to be a part of that.
What do you love about Armstrong?
I think what I love most about Armstrong is the size and the opportunity to make a difference. The administration is all about making this a better and more comfortable place for students. I also love that students have a voice on campus and that classes are small. You get to get to know your professors and can get help from them whenever you need. The faculty knows you by name. You’re not just a number.
What kind of struggles have you encountered while at college? What did you learn from them?
When I first got to college, I had to learn how to organize my schedule and stay focused in order to succeed. I became very involved on campus and at times, it became hard to juggle all of the activities together with academics. But instead of giving up, I learned to balance it all and make enough time for extracurricular activities as well as for studying and making good grades.
How have you been involved on campus?
When I got to Armstrong, I joined the Hispanic Outreach and Leadership at Armstrong (HOLA) club, the International Student Organization (ISO) and the French club. I also volunteered as an Armstrong Ambassador, was a Student Government Association (SGA) Senator, was assistant chair for the Campus Union Board (CUB) Rock Me Committee and most recently was the 2011-2012 SGA/CUB treasurer. I founded a Sigma Alpha Omega Christian Sorority, Inc. chapter here at Armstrong and have also been involved with Treasure Savannah, a day of service, every semester since it was created.
What has been your favorite Pirate experience?
My favorite Pirate experience was being part of CUB and giving students something to remember Armstrong by. We did a lot of concerts, like hosting Gym Class Heroes.
One other thing has been participating in Treasure Savannah. It’s great that so many Armstrong students get together on this one day to give back to the community of Savannah. It’s one of the greatest experiences I have had here.
Who on campus made the biggest impact on you?
This is a very hard question, since so many people have touched my life since I have been here. I would say my biology professors Scott Mateer, Traci Ness and Jennifer Zettler. I have to specially recognize my organic chemistry teacher Suzanne Carpenter. She is so dedicated to her job and students, and you can truly see how she absolutely loves what she does.
I also would name Director of Admissions Stephanie Whaley and Director of HOLA Melody Rodriguez. Also, President Bleicken is truly a role model in my life. To me, it’s admirable how much she has been able to accomplish during the time she has been at Armstrong. She is very personable and cares about bringing the entire university together.
Did you win any awards at Armstrong? What did winning those mean to you?
I was able to attend school thanks to The Goizueta Foundation’s generous scholarship I received all four years of college. This eased the financial burden on me and my family.
Also, this past April, I received three Armstrong awards: the Who’s Who Among Students, the Silver A Award for Service and the Joseph A. Buck Outstanding Senior Award. These were a reminder of how much I have grown and how much I have been able to do for my school and the surrounding community. I am glad that I was able to give a little back to Armstrong and to Savannah with service and leadership during the years I have been here.
What are your future plans and goals?
This summer I am applying to go to medical school. I’m thinking big, so I’d like to go to Emory or Johns Hopkins. I plan on becoming a pediatric oncology surgeon, and hopefully I can one day open a hospital! Who knows!