David Okun

Bilingual Teacher & Grade Level Chair
Teach for America

Bachelor of Arts (AB) in International Affairs & Spanish

David is a member of Teach For America and finishing his two-year service commitment in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX where he teaches 3rd grade math, reading, and writing in a bilingual classroom. As a fully certified bilingual educator, David uses the Spanish fluency acquired at UGA to communicate with and impact his students, their families, and the local community. He credits his SPIA coursework in Latin America for providing a strong foundation of the systemic and historical issues facing his students.


AB, The University of Georgia, 2012, International Affairs and Spanish

Pre-Occupation (Hobbies)

David performed across Europe with the UGA choirs as an undergraduate and remains passionate about choral singing and music making. He enjoys traveling and sight seeing, current affairs, and geeking out on technology blogs.

Most Memorable SPIA Class Moment?

Late night midterm and finals study groups formed via an absolute terror of performing poorly on Dr. Mitchell’s notorious tests. SPIA’s breadth of subject matter and faculty expertise in everything from post-conflict societal justice to Latin American democracy and security studies pretty much covers the gamut of world affairs and is a perfect set up for advanced study.

My Top Three Career Tips
  1. Invest in yourself and others. Without a doubt, maintain relationships with fellow students, professors, and especially the staff of your major and co-curricular programs. Keeping in touch with mentors in the Honors program led to a rigorous review of graduate school personal statements and potential internship contacts. Obviously maintaining relationships with professors yields positive benefits as their mentorship need not stop at graduation.
  2. Give back. Most of you are extremely involved on campus. Even if you’re just starting out, a small financial contribution or an offer to assist your favorite organization could trigger further alumni support and help you build your legacy.
  3. Over prepare. Coming from a type A grad here, but take that Boy Scouts motto to heart.
Volunteer Activities / Service on Boards

Currently, David sits on the Dallas-Fort Worth Corps Council, where he represents Teach For America corps members and their classrooms from north and east Fort Worth.

Favorite Athens Haunt & Getaway

For an absolutely delicious and well-priced lunch, the Last Resort wins hands down. Otherwise, the Walkers/Blue Sky complex brings back great memories of lounging in the fall and spring, trying craft brews, and investing in meaningful relationships.


SPIA provided the opportunity to transcend the typical undergraduate experience through enriching co- and extra-curricular opportunities, including studying abroad in Costa Rica, visiting the Inter American Court of Human Rights, earning an undergraduate certificate in Global Studies, and volunteering as a SPIA Ambassador in service to the Dean and senior SPIA staff. Through the small class sizes, engaging professors, and dynamic work, I learned how to critically think and problem-solve in a world desperately calling for these skills.