Karson Annslee Pennington is a second-year doctoral student in Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Georgia. In May of 2020, Karson graduated Magna Cum Laude with High Honors from UGA in 4 years, with 3 degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Bachelor of Arts in History, and a Master of Arts in Political Science and International Affairs. Now, she completes independent and departmental research focused on judicial politics at the federal level and plans on becoming a collegiate professor in the future. While at UGA for her undergraduate studies, Karson was a 4-year member of the Georgettes dance team with the Redcoat Marching Band, a member of the Honors Program and the Dean William Tate Honor Society, and a staff writer with the Georgia Political Review. She has been dancing and singing since she was 3 years old, and loves to perform on the stage.
Her Social Impact Initiative is ROAR: Reach Out and Read. With her mascot Lucky Lion, she visits classrooms, donates books, and educates students and parents alike on the importance of obtaining strong literacy skills. Karson’s original story Lucky Learns to ROAR is available as an E-book at her personal website, roarreachoutandread.org. At the young age of 3, Karson was diagnosed with onset fluency disorder, also known as stuttering. Her pediatrician recommended to her parents reading out loud as a way to build confidence in both literacy and speaking skills. Since she learned how to read at the age of 3, she has not stopped since, and intends to share this love of reading with the state of Georgia throughout her year.