Vincent Glover’s scholarship took him from small-town Georgia to international environmental research

Vincent Glover’s time at the University of Georgia has been transformational, shaped by some of his favorite experiences as well as some of his most challenging ones. A native of Perry, Georgia, Vincent came to UGA with big dreams of becoming an environmental engineer and quickly got involved to make his vision into a reality.

During his first year, as part of the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program, Vincent had the opportunity to meet Thomas Hamby, his scholarship donor, and Jan Blaine, senior director of development at the College of Engineering. In this meeting, Jan casually mentioned the college’s New Materials Institute as a possible point of interest for Vincent.

Three years later, Vincent has become actively involved with the Institute, even attending a study abroad trip with the organization.

In July 2019, Vincent traveled to the Dominican Republic with his New Materials Institute design project group—led by UGA faculty member and 40 Under 40 honoree Katherine Shayne—to research how their proposed design could be implemented. This experience, which Vincent described as “unbelievable,” was supported by Parley for the Oceans, an organization that focuses on the cleanup and prevention of ocean-bound plastic pollution.

The group spent 10 days visiting different parts of the Dominican Republic where locals were dealing with high volumes of pollution. They also examined the waste treatment infrastructure put in place to mitigate the problem.

“The sheer amount of single-use plastic and trash itself was eye-opening, let alone the devastating effect that poverty and civil unrest had on the country,” Vincent recalled. “I believe that was a necessary event that I needed to put my own life into perspective.”

Leveraging his research experience in the Dominican Republic, Vincent secured a virtual internship with Area Energy in Bakersfield, California, in summer 2020. He worked as an environmental, health and safety intern, focusing on air pollution.

Vincent acknowledges the kindness and generosity of his scholarship donor for opening the door for him to attend UGA. Inspired by his time at UGA and the opportunities he has been given, Vincent has developed a strong interest in encouraging prospective students in his hometown to apply to UGA. He recently met with ABC broadcaster Deborah Roberts (ABJ ‘82), who is also a Perry native. The two shared a mutual love for their hometown and a desire to see more students from their area at the university.

“It has been a pleasure to watch Vincent grow and develop during his four years studying engineering at UGA,” said Hamby. “He has accomplished his goals and broadened his horizons. I know he will be a successful professional and make positive contributions to society. He certainly deserved the scholarship and epitomizes the goals and ideals of the UGA scholarship program.”

In December 2021, Vincent will graduate with a degree in environmental engineering and plans to pursue his master’s in engineering through the Double Dawgs program in 2022.

As he reflects on his time, Vincent comments, “Coming from a small town in middle Georgia, I was beyond ecstatic to take on the college life. UGA has offered me so much in such a small amount of time, allowing me to take advantage of incredible circumstances.”