Elizabeth “Lizzie” Stubbs: B.S. in Psychology, Minor in Biology

“I was raised a Yellow Jacket,” says Elizabeth Ann “Lizzie” Stubbs. She’s referring to her parents and grandfather, who all graduated from Georgia Tech. She knew all the cheers and chants by heart. But still, she wasn’t sure if Georgia Tech was where she should be. “Honestly, I was intimidated by Tech and I was very close to going to [the University of Georgia],” Stubbs says, afraid that she wouldn’t be able to maintain a high GPA.

But her mind changed one day. At an information session for students admitted to the College of Sciences, she asked a female student about her personal experience at Tech. The student assured Stubbs that it was possible to succeed at Tech. “I was sold,” Stubbs says.

Stubbs went to high school at Pinecrest Academy, in Cumming, Georgia. As the third oldest of seven siblings, she gained independence and a strong work ethic at an early age. These skills enabled her to work hard and succeed. Now she is graduating with a B.S. in Psychology, with a minor in Biology.

What is the most important thing you learned at Georgia Tech?

To believe in myself.

Georgia Tech is rigorous, as I expected. My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t succeed academically. But after my first semester, I proved to myself that I am capable, and that knowledge helped me get through some tough semesters. Tech has shown me time and again that I am capable of achieving my academic and other goals if I am willing to put in the work.

I also love the emphasis on innovation and research, which fosters progress and ignites people’s passions. I’m amazed to learn about the projects and inventions fellow students, faculty, and alumni are working on.

"Georgia Tech has prepared me well for the academic rigor and fast-paced atmosphere that I expect I will experience in PA [physician assistant] school. From conversations with alumni currently in PA school, I have learned that they were well-prepared because they had already established good study strategies, time management skills, and work ethic at Tech."

What are your proudest achievements at Georgia Tech?

One of my proudest achievements is receiving the Leddy Family Scholarship. I was honored to be recognized for my hard work, and it took a huge financial burden off my shoulders. I am incredibly grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Leddy for their generosity and support.

It was awesome to learn that a paper of my research group was accepted for publication in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. I was listed as a coauthor for data analysis. The study we reported assessed the eye contact behavior of typically developing children versus children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder during play and conversation segments.

Which professors or classes made a big impact on you?

I loved Human Anatomy, a class taught by Adam Decker. I loved reading the textbook, and studying the material. I found the information so fascinating, and it helped confirm my decision to study medicine. That class was a lot of work, but Decker always kept lectures lively and informative.

What is your most vivid memory of Georgia Tech?

The Aug. 21, 2017, solar eclipse.

It was awesome to see students, faculty, and staff admiring and enjoying this rare occurrence all out on Tech Green. We were all just geeking out together and it was awesome!

How did Georgia Tech transform your life?

Tech helped shape the path that I am on and helped me grow as a person.

I volunteered to do outreach through programs like Hands on Future Tech and Step into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

This past winter break I went on a medical mission with Volunteers Around the World. We traveled to the Dominican Republic and set up mobile clinics in various villages. It was such an incredible experience, and I plan to continue going on medical missions and finding ways to serve those most in need.

Being involved in research since my second year has been one of the greatest things I about my time here.

Each of these opportunities required me to step outside of my comfort zone. I grew and learned valuable skills.

What unique learning activities did you undertake?

I never planned on doing research because I didn’t think I would enjoy it. But an older student told me about the lab she worked in and I was intrigued. After touring the Child Study Lab, I knew I was meant to work there.

Working at the Child Study Lab, with Agata Rozga of the School of Interactive Computing, is one of my best experiences at Tech.  The lab is also one of the best work environments I’ve encountered. Working in this lab for three years now has helped me grow. It taught about psychology and research in general. I learned a lot about myself. By stepping outside of my comfort zone, I gained confidence.

What advice would you give to incoming undergraduate students at Georgia Tech?

Yes, Tech is hard, but you are more than capable of succeeding if you put in the work.

Do the homework, study the material outside of class time, and get help if you need it. Be confident in your skills and abilities. That you were accepted into Tech means you have the ability to excel here.

Step outside of their comfort zone and try new things. You will gain valuable experiences and learn about yourself along the way.

Where are you headed after graduation?

I will take a gap year, working as a medical assistant to gain patient care hours before going back to physician assistant (PA) school. Georgia Tech has prepared me well for the academic rigor and fast-paced atmosphere that I expect I will experience in PA school. From conversations with alumni currently in PA school, I have learned that they were well-prepared because they had already established good study strategies, time management skills, and work ethic at Tech.