Scholarships Matter: Jake Smith

From the May 2017 Desktop News | Scholarships Matter is a series of stories highlighting students in the College of Arts and Sciences who have received and been impacted by scholarships. The student featured in this story is the recipient of one scholarship from the College of Arts and Sciences—the George M. Richardson Endowed Scholarship. Scholarships like these are made possible by generous support from our alumni and friends.

California native and graduating senior Jake Smith came to UA looking for a change.

“I toured a few other places before I came and toured here,” Smith said. “I wanted a new experience, and UA offered that.”

He began his adventure at UA in 2013 studying geology. However, a psychology class with Dr. William Hart helped Smith realize his love for social psychology and prompted him to change his major.

“It’s really interesting trying to understand our behaviors and some of the automatic things we do and why we do them,” Smith said.

The George M. Richardson Endowed Scholarship recipient plans to attend law school in the fall; he’s been accepted to University of California, Irvine, University of California, Davis and Chapman University and is waiting to hear from University of Colorado Boulder, Southern Methodist University, Hastings College, and a few others before making his final decision.

Smith said he hopes to take the bar in California following his law school education and would like to practice either entertainment or intellectual property law because he believes both areas are transforming as technology continues to evolve and affect each area. He said he would also be interested in working in mergers and acquisitions.

Smith said receiving the scholarship his senior year helped make a difference in his life because his mom works long hours to cover his tuition.

“I know I needed the money, and I’m not in a bad situation,” Smith said. “There are people in much worse situations who work as hard as they can and still can’t afford to go here.”