Kevin Abernethy (AB ’99) is quick to acknowledge the people who have influenced his career path, and as a member of the SPIA Alumni Board, he hopes to curate avenues for current students in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) to develop those relationships.
After studying political science, Kevin received his law degree from Georgia State in 2005. He became a partner at Hall Booth Smith and was the Vice President and General Counsel for ABCO, Inc . He now serves as the Chief of the Civil Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.
During Kevin’s time as a student, he worked in the office of the Vice President of Student Affairs under Victor Wilson. It was actually Vice President Wilson who recommended Abernethy to speak at UGA President Michael Adams’ inauguration.
When discussing the steps in his career, Kevin couldn’t help but humbly express his gratitude for the people who have walked with him. For Kevin, his parents, professors, and other inspirations that have impacted his success.
“I’ve had a lot of help in my life, and I have a lot to be thankful for,” Kevin said. He hopes to help today’s students seek out and develop those types of relationships. Mr. Abernethy is a part of the UGA Mentor Program, and he has had several mentees. The program allows students and mentors to commit to 16-week mentorship giving 1-2 hours per month.
As a member of the SPIA Alumni Board, Kevin looks forward to devoting the time and effort to help coordinate events he has enjoyed in the past, but his main focus is enriching opportunities for students.
“My number one goal is to help students and try to continue to enhance the student experience,” Kevin said.
Kevin understands the importance of mentoring relationships and constant supporters, but he also recognized how obstacles can discourage students and recent graduates. Especially given the past year, he encourages students to embrace and grow from adversity.
“Don’t let someone or something or just adversity deter you from your career goals because it’s going to happen – if you respond to it correctly it can help you long term, but if not it, can derail you,” Kevin advises students.
If you are a SPIA student looking for someone to help guide you or an alumni looking to give back check out mentor.uga.edu to learn more.