There are so many people who support Greek InterVarsity's vision of seeing lives transformed by Jesus, Greek systems renewed, and world changers developed. Being spread out across the country makes it hard to know who is who, but we've been making it easier with each interview of staff and student leaders. Please enjoy meeting this vibrant, caring, and dedicated campus staff in Athens, Georgia!
Hi Paula Frances. Should I call you Paula, Paula Frances or PF?
You have the distinction of having lived in quite a few places. Let's hear about them!
I grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina; Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia; Ryadh, Saudi Arabia; Doha, Qatar; Amman, Jordan, and Dubai in the UAE. Then I attended boarding school in Lakeville, Connecticut, and college in Atlanta, Georgia and Dharmasala, India. I loved growing up in the Middle East, it gave me a chance to travel around the world. It also gave me an appreciation for different people and cultures. But most importantly, I have extraordinary stories that nobody really believes. I win two truths and a lie every time!
How did you first hear about Greek InterVarsity?
I went to Emory University. They host Spring recruitment. The school offers lots of opportunities to meet the chapters and prepare for formal recruitment. During their "Meet the Greeks" fair, Greek InterVarsity had a table, which is where I first met the Greek IV staff, Liz Johnson. After I pledged Kappa, some of the older Kappa sisters brought me to Greek IV's weekly meeting.
What did the process look like of coming on staff with Greek IV?
My junior year, I went to Florida for a staff recruitment event. I came home so excited about the chance to come on staff, but my parents were not so keen on the idea. They asked me to come home to Dubai and get a job for the summer. I spent the summer interning at a lifestyle magazine in Dubai and also volunteering with International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in Dubai. Through volunteering, I realized I was called to staff, so I came back to school, applied, interviewed and was appointed by January. The interesting thing about my journey onto staff is my senior year of college, I got the opportunity to visit different campuses to see where I would like to plant. At both the University of Georgia and the University of Florida, the staff wooed me. So I went on staff falsely believing that staff life was full of people buying you ice cream and coffee!
Over the years, what have been some of the highlights of your work on campus?
That is tough question. I’ve been on staff for six years, so I’ve had a lot of highlights and a couple heartbreaks! I really love seeing students “get it.” When students make decisions for Christ, whether that decision is to start following him or to engage in mission, it is intoxicating. And I’ve been lucky enough to witness many of those decisions. I also love hanging out with my fellow staff. We act like a giant family, teasing one another, getting on each other’s nerves, cutting up, and most importantly, supporting one another. Which is why I love Greek Conference; it’s like a weekend full of everything I love about staff life: students making life-changing decisions and getting a chance to actually hang out with my fellow staff. It is quite possibly my favorite weekend of the year!
What are the areas of your ministry that you are most passionate about?
I love living in the South, but it's frustrating that we have a multitude of churches and few people that are engaged in Jesus mission. I am passionate about training students to be a part of Jesus’ mission. It is amazing when you see students realize that the freedom of Christ is something they cannot contain. I am really passionate about seeing the Christian culture in the South engage more in Jesus mission!
There are some great traditions in the Greek system. What are some of the most unique ones at UGA?
UGA’s Greek System is magnificent and impressive! I love the excitement around football games. Sorority women wear red and black dresses with their letter pins, while all the fraternities host great “tailgates” at their houses.
Tailgating in the South IS NOT out of truck! It involves tents, grills, silverware and more food than you can possibly imagine! It is the only time where the whole school comes together, regardless of your letters. I also love the competitive nature. They host a massive dance competition here among the sororities, which overflows the civic center’s auditorium!
Rapid fire time. Let's begin!
Best place to have a meal under $10 at UGA?
Blind Pig or Add Drug; eek or Your Pie, Fuzzy's…Athens has so much good food, that I'm now starving.
Greatest Greek IV event you've ever been to?
Greek Conference. Really? Is there another answer?
Preferred place to work from on campus?
Jittery Joes 5 Points or Jittery Joes SLC
Favorite Pop Culture depiction of Greek Life?
Still has to be Animal House
One book you wish all your students would read?
Android or iPhone?
Thanks to Paula Frances for taking the time to respond!