Finding Greatness: Sarah Istambouli

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Friday, October 2, 2020 12:00 AM
Categories: Finding Greatness | Pressroom | Students | Honors/Awards | School of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Macon, GA


Psychology major Sarah Istambouli is an honors program student and member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.  

Full Name: Sarah Rosemary Istambouli.

Hometown and Residence: Macon.

Employment: “My employment status has changed recently due to COVID- 19, and I am currently focusing on being a full-time student.”

Degree Objective: Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

Class Rank: Senior.

Primary Campuses: Macon and Cochran.

Activities: MGA Honors Program and National Society of Leadership and Success.

Career Goals: “This question is a little hard to answer because I have a diverse set of interests.  I am still contemplating the exact direction I plan to pursue. However, graduate school will be my next step. I have a love for biology and psychology, and I am trying to determine how I can merge the two successfully. Ultimately, I have a strong interest in research (particularly field research), being of service, and contributing to the greater good of humanity, so I would hope that whichever direction I pursue will integrate all of these components and impact society on a macro level.”

She chose Middle Georgia State University because … “Ultimately, at the time I returned to school, attending Middle Georgia State was convenient and cost efficient, however, it was also where I began my collegiate journey many years ago, back when it was Macon State College, so the nostalgic memories I had of the school influenced my decision.

“In 2016, after resigning from a teaching position that I held in Atlanta, I decided it was finally time to go back to school and finish my degree – something that I had been trying to do for years but could never get things properly aligned. I transitioned back to Macon for family reasons and soon enrolled at Middle Georgia State University, which was conveniently located close by. As this was where I began my collegiate journey many years prior, the familiar landscape was welcoming. Additionally, I found out that the hours I had earned years prior still applied to my degree. The final component that confirmed my decision to return Middle Georgia State University was during the process of applying for financial aid when it was discovered that I fell into a loophole where I was still eligible to receive the HOPE scholarship!”   

The greatest thing she discovered about Middle Georgia State was … “My love for this school. I love attending a smaller university with smaller class sizes, and I love that I am not just another number or face in the crowd. I love that the professors are personable, approachable, and supportive. They also embody a genuine love for teaching, which I believe encourages students to strive toward success. I love that opportunities are available and all you need to do is ask and someone will show you the way. I also genuinely feel that the education I receive at Middle Georgia State is of high quality. For these reasons, I am proud to call Middle Georgia State University my home.”

Her greatest academic experience as a Middle Georgia State student has been … “My involvement with research, presenting at conferences, and my two publications in Knighted, the University’s undergraduate journal. I have presented twice so far during my collegiate career – once at Middle Georgia State’s undergraduate conference in 2017, and then at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in the spring of 2019. During the 2017 MGA conference, my paper received a designation of ‘second best,’ earning publication in our undergraduate journal. Additionally, I have expressed interest in research opportunities with a couple of professors, and I am excited to say that I am currently part of a research team under the guidance of Dr. Hancock in the biology department, where we are conducting oyster research on Sapelo and Jekyll Islands. I am extremely proud of my academic achievements thus far, and I consider these experiences to be invaluable to me as a student. They provide experiential learning, mentorship, new connections, and the potential for future opportunities that may not otherwise be available.”

To her, “greatness” means … “Striving toward excellence. For me, returning to school was initially a desire to accomplish a goal that I began many years ago. I had not given much thought to what attaining a degree would mean for me beyond that it would represent a personal sense of accomplishment. However, upon returning to school, I was quickly recognized for my writing ability – something that I was not even aware of, and with the support of my professor, Susan Phillips, I was encouraged to explore my academic potential, which inevitably propelled me onto a path of academic success. Once the doors were open, opportunities poured forth. My high drive and a desire for academic achievement and success keep me moving forward in the direction of my goals so that I may be the best person that I am capable of being. To me, living up to my full potential and staying open to the road ahead signifies that only greatness lies ahead.”

In five years … “Attending graduate school and being involved in research. I have a strong desire to be of service, so hopefully this element will be integrated into my chosen path. On a personal level, I hope to be in a more financially stable position with more freedom for leisure pursuits, such as dancing, hiking, and travel.”