1) Tell us about yourself. Where are you from, what are you majoring in, future plans, involvement on campus. I am an Economics major from Spokane, MO. After graduation in May, I will be moving to the Kansas City area where I will be a Financial Analyst with KeyBank Real Estate Capital. Other future plans include buying my own barbecue grill and a possible decision to become a parent to a dog. Over my four years at Missouri State, I have been extensively involved in Student Government Association and Theta Chi Fraternity. I have also been a SOAR Leader, Emerging Leaders participant, and member of Phi Beta Lambda (business organization) and Order of Omega (Greek honor society).
2) How did you get involved with SGA? I learned about SGA at New Student Festival my first weekend on campus. Campus organizations can recruit and disperse information to new students at this event. I was looking to make a difference on campus, so decided to check it out the next week. I have been involved ever since.
3) You are the 2017-2018 Student Body President. Why did you decide to run for this position and what have you gained from it? I wanted to positively impact Missouri State and I believed my college experience had prepared me to be the best person for the job. I have gained more than I could imagine though the experience. I have honed my public speaking, facilitation, and negotiation skills, gained insight to the Missouri legislative and university budgeting processes, and made friends with students, faculty, and staff that I will have far beyond my time at the university.
4) What are some of your successes as SGA President? This year I was able to create a group of other body presidents and vice presidents from the other four-year public higher institutions in Missouri. This has helped us have a collective voice to respond to policy and budget matters and coordinate our advocacy efforts. I also helped plan the first summit for students from all four of Springfield’s colleges. After pushing for open textbooks to be adopted for their affordability, the university is piloting them in some classes this spring and has plans to expand. In SGA we created several initiatives that impact students such as the Bear With Me program, which allows students to work off their parking tickets with community service.
5) Why should students get involved in SGA? What are the benefits? Not only do you have the opportunity to make a difference on campus and meet other students, but SGA can provide professional opportunities beneficial to just about anyone. You get to meet and work with top-ranking administrators at the university and get relevant experience in project management, public speaking, budgeting, and other important skills.
6) What do you want your legacy at Missouri State to be? I hope to have impacted people at Missouri State in a way that inspires them to become the best versions of themselves and make an even greater impact on those around them.
7) What advice would you give to your freshman self, looking back over the past four years? Be intentional with your relationships and the people around you. College is fast-paced and it’s easy to go through the motions with people. Try to avoid that and give the people in your life the genuine time, attention, and frequency that they deserve.
8) What is your favorite MSU tradition and why? Official tradition: Fountain Day—it means warmer weather is on the way and I love walking by the running fountain on the way to class. Unofficial tradition: Bears baseball home opener—my friends get season tickets and wait all winter for the first game no matter how cold it is.
9) What is the last book you read and would you recommend it? Why or Why not? Night by Elie Wiesel. It’s the harrowing tale of a Holocaust survivor, and I recommend it. It’s a quick read but packs a powerful story.