Natan Mallory came to Georgia Gwinnett College ready for adventure and involvement with the goal of making new friends and impacting his fellow students.
“During the first meeting with my GGC advisor, he recommended that I join as many campus organizations as I could, then drop the ones that weren’t a good fit, if needed,” Mallory said. “That advice helped me carve out the best experience at GGC, and I’m so grateful for what I gained because of my involvement here.”
Mallory brought his optimism, humor and caring nature to many campus roles, including resident assistant, Greenlight Activities board member, Black Student Union member, student orientation coordinator, Elite Scholars peer mentor and student engagement specialist with Student Involvement and the Student Center.
“Natan was one of my most exceptional student employees,” said Allen Clarke, assistant director of Student Involvement and the Student Center. “I had the honor of witnessing his impact on the GGC community, as he excelled in his roles as peer mentor, student assistant, orientation leader and student leader.”
During his time at GGC, Mallory improved the Student Game Room experience, created systems to support student organization events and transformed Student Involvement’s promotional efforts with creative videos.
“Natan truly has the Grizzly spirit that inspires the Grizzly Nation,” said Tomas Jimenez, senior associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students. “Natan’s educational path at GGC was highlighted by his leadership and commitment to excellence. Natan left his Grizzly legacy at GGC.”
Mallory’s service as a student leader and experience with orientation led to his selection to represent GGC in a presentation for the University System of Georgia Board of Regents in 2019. Mallory described his observations of how the system’s Momentum Year initiative benefits GGC students. The program encourages students to take more than the minimum courses required for a full load so they can stay on track for a timely graduation.
Though he’s given his time and talent tirelessly, Mallory believes he gained more than he has given.
“Thanks to my campus involvement, I’ve learned self-acceptance, self-advocacy, time and stress management, work/life balance, negotiation, office etiquette, teamwork and how to be more extroverted to get more out of life,” Mallory said. “I’ve been able to stretch myself by traveling to out-of-state conferences, creating and hosting events, and meeting people from different countries and cultures. It’s been incredibly rewarding.”
Mallory chose to attend GGC because he’d heard from high school friends that it was a great college. It was close to his Lawrenceville home, the tuition was affordable and the small classes were ideal since he preferred more one-on-one interactions with professors.
“My professors have been supportive along my entire college journey,” he said. “They have motivated me to continue in times when I thought I had nothing left to give. They've taught me that no problem is as big as it seems, and if you take the time to step back and assess the situation, any obstacle can be overcome.”
Mallory cites his parents as major sources of inspiration and said his father’s drive and mother’s compassion inspire him to be his best self.
“Thanks to my parents, it’s important for me to inspire others,” he said. “I believe everyone would like to see more good in the world, and it takes inspiration to create positive change.”
Now armed with a bachelor’s degree in cinema and media arts production, Mallory is pursuing a career in film and media creation. He is the head video editor for Nassan’s Place, a New Jersey nonprofit serving families and children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition, he edits videos for clients from places like New York, California and Australia.
“Creativity is important to me because it is one of the biggest factors in my individuality, and it is a great outlet for me to express who I am,” Mallory said. “Also, my ability to be creative allows me to connect with other people who have similar creative interests and who inspire me.”
Read more about the college, its student and alumni in GGC's Engage Magazine.