Megan Hunnicutt loves maps.
“And globes,” said Hunnicutt. “Growing up, I had a big cardboard book full of maps of the world. I still know where all the capitals are.”
As a kid, Hunnicutt went to class one day with her uncle, who was studying to be an architect. Finding herself in a room surrounded by model houses and architecture projects, it wasn't long before Hunnicutt started designing houses, scribbling designs on napkins at dinner.
It is her love of maps and building design that led her to study environmental geosciences at Valdosta State University.
“I want to do urban and regional planning,” said Hunnicutt. “It's a combination of architecture, engineering, and art."
An urban planner can find themselves doing any number of things: research, design, consulting, implementation. A planner might work for a small town or a metropolis, might design a block or an entire skyline, might find themselves living, well, anywhere.
Which suits Hunnicutt just fine. A Valdosta resident since the fourth grade, she's looking forward to the chance to explore other places.
“After graduation, I might just point to a place on the map and move,” said Hunnicutt. “I want to do something I love, something I'm passionate about. Life is short, but it can be pretty long. You might as well be doing something you love.”
For now, she's happy to live in Valdosta with her dog, Elle May, finishing her degree, and working at Starbucks.
"It's a great company,” said Hunnicutt. “Where else can you get full benefits working 20 hours a week? On top of tuition reimbursement and stock options.”
Before starting work at Starbucks, Hunnicutt didn't drink, like, or know anything about coffee. Now, she is what can only be described as an enthusiast.
“I have actually had to switch to decaf in the afternoons. ... I'm like an old lady now.”
As a shift manager, she takes her job seriously.
“We really have a responsibility ... a power to make or break someone's day,” said Hunnicutt. “It's up to us to make their day.”
Slinging out coffee to local regulars and travelers stopping off the Interstate and St. Augustine can get stressful, especially during holidays. When that happens, Hunnicutt goes fishing, or golfing, or yoga-ing.
“Yoga is about centering yourself,” said Hunnicutt. “And golf gives me a chance to think and reflect on life. I've really learned that you've got to take time in life to make yourself happy, to do things that make you happy ... and happiness is contagious.”
Megan Hunnicutt is a mix of seeming contradictions. A woman who loves her family — her grandfather who taught her to fish, her dad who taught her to golf, her mom, her uncle, her brother — but looks forward to moving to a new place, a new city where she can make her own designs. A woman who is equally comfortable fishing, golfing, or crafting lattes. A coffee connoisseur who prefers straight espresso, a student who does her best learning out of the classroom.
“I don't consider myself an artist,” said Hunnicutt. “But sometimes I like to watercolor. I just throw water on the canvas and see where the color goes.”
Megan Hunnicutt loves maps.
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Easter Seals benefit Thursday
Easter Seals Southern Georgia will be hosting “Sweet Charity: Desserts for a Cause” Thursday at Mathis Auditorium. The event will be from 7 to 9 p.m. and will include several local restaurants serving dessert as well as a silent auction.
Dollar General robbed at gunpoint
A customer and two employees were unharmed during a Sunday evening robbery as two masked men demanded cash from registers and the business’ safe as the Dollar General on Bemiss Road prepared to close at around 11:30 p.m., according to reports from the Valdosta Police Department.
Overpass work causes detours
All vehicles which are not making a delivery in the immediate vicinity of the new overpass will have to find alternate routes immediately.
Crossing guard keeping kids safe
Meet Merita Williams, crossing guard.
Held in just as high a regard as the celebration of our country’s independence to many, the county’s annual Juneteenth dinner returns this Tuesday at 7 p.m. for its 21st year and will offer citizens of all races with a central point to celebrate human rights.
A soldier called preacher
In Vietnam, Wesley Harrell spread the Lord’s word among his fellow soldiers. He spoke of God often though few seemed to listen until they encountered war’s sudden death.
History on the move
In the right hands, a divided house can again mount a sound foundation and settle into a new era, as proved on Saturday when the 100 Black Men of Valdosta unveiled a transplanted house that’ll likely serve as their headquarters at its Martin Luther King Jr. Drive location.
Beach Safety: Keeping safe with fun in the sun
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second story in a weekly series on summer safety.
Ribbon cutting held for Joan Bailey Center
The Community Depot has opened the doors of its newest non-profit retail center, which was dedicated Friday to and named in honor of former Valdosta State University First Lady Joan Bailey.
Kendrick Johnson’s body exhumed
The family of a deceased Lowndes High School student had his body exhumed Friday morning from Sunset Hills Cemetery as relatives continue the process of acquiring a second autopsy.
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