Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
ATLANTA–Grace Lee, Cheryl Johnson and Brittany Garner are among the inaugural class of distinguished alumni named as “40 Under 40” by the Georgia State University Alumni Association. Inductees of the Class of 2018, they were honored during the association’s recent awards ceremony.
The association considers 40 under 40 alumni to be the most influential and innovative graduates who represent Georgia State.
“As an enterprising public research university educating one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation, Georgia State University produces talented and creative alumni every year who go on to do amazing work in a wide range of fields,” said Christina Million, Georgia State associate vice president of alumni relations. “We created the 40 Under 40 program as a way to celebrate those Panthers who are making a difference in their respective organizations and communities.”
Grace Lee is chief administrator of the Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission (KKOOM), a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that enriches the lives of orphans in South Korea through volunteer-led outreach and education. Lee moved to Sejong, South Korea, as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at the Institute of International Education. For a year that began in July 2015, she taught 600 third-to-sixth graders conversational English and life skills and served as a cultural ambassador, bridging the cultural competency between the U.S. and South Korea.
Lee, as both student and alumnus, served the university in several capacities, as a Welcome Center tour guide, international student advisor and, eventually, an admissions counselor. She holds a B.S. in Public Policy in 2012 with a concentration in Nonprofit Leadership.
Cheryl Johnson lives in Geneva and works as a technical officer in the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization (WHO), where she brings HIV testing strategies to the developing world. Her innovative work in creating guidelines on HIV testing at WHO landed her a spot on Forbes’ 30 Under 30: Healthcare Entrepreneurs list in 2016. Johnson, who started on her path with a global health internship with USAID, has received an ECO-Action Appreciation Award and the Atlanta Planning & Advisory Board Neighborhood Matters Award. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international economics and a master’s degree in applied anthropology.
Brittany Garner is the continuum of care manager for Partners of HOME, an organization that leverages public and private resources to provide services for Atlanta’s homeless population. A self-described “community-focused social worker,” Garner’s expertise in vocational, health, financial and educational services helps her train other social worker students at Georgia State. Garner holds a Master of Social Work degree (2016) and earned a 2016 Honors in Field Placement Award.
“Our awardees—Grace Lee, Cheryl Johnson and Brittany Garner—epitomize the values of the Andrew Young School as they have become leaders among their peers,” said interim dean Sally Wallace. “Each has committed themselves to changing the world for the better as they work for their chosen nonprofits and public institutions. Our school community is pleased and honored to celebrate their recognition as among the most influential and accomplished young alumni of Georgia State University. We are very lucky to share a history with these women.”