Stephen F. Austin State University

Student Leader Spotlight

Logan Ray

Classification: Senior

Major: Music Education

Hometown: Lubbock, Texas

Organization/Position: Orientation Student Coordinator

What organizations and/or offices are you involved in?

Orientation Programs, University Choirs, University Opera, Weeks of Welcome, Greek Life

What have you gained from being a student leader?

I have gained communication skills that will help me excel as a Student Affairs professional as a student leader. I have also gained a better understanding of how the University Affairs operates, and better understand the system, and all the ins and outs

How do you balance your academic and co-curricular activities?

As a student leader, I balance my academic and co-curricular activities by keeping an organized calendar and schedule of when things for my classes are due, and when I have deadlines to meet for my job. One thing that helps me greatly is that I can come to my office and work on schoolwork when I am not on the clock, without the distractions that I may face at home or elsewhere.

What advice would you give to a student thinking about getting involved?

A piece of advice that I would give a student that is thinking about getting involved is to make sure that they consider all their options, and not just hop into the first organization that they find. It's important to give some thought to whatever it is that you may be joining because you don't know how it will relate to your current classes and schedule and want to make sure that it won't impede your ability to do well in those classes.

How do you live by the SFA Way?

I live by the SFA Way by making sure that I always treat my coworkers and other student leaders with respect at all times. I think that it is important for this to always be the standard because you never know who you will encounter and always want to make sure that you are respectful of others.

In what ways do you plan to utilize your leadership skills after college?

I plan to utilize my leadership skills after college by applying them to whatever role I may possess during graduate school, and continue being a leader in all circumstances. After graduate school, I plan to start my career as a Student Affairs professional and will need to keep these values in mind to succeed as a professional.

Amber Mendel

Classification: Senior

Major: Psychology

Hometown: Bastrop, TX

Organization/Position: FLA Student Instructor, Dean of Student Affairs Student Assistant

What organizations and/or offices are you involved in?

I am a Freshman Leadership Academy student instructor, I am involved in Talking Hands, Adaptive Sports, Alternative Breaks, The Big Event, The School of Honors, Honors Student Association, and I am a student worker in the Dean of Student Affairs office.

What have you gained from being a student leader?

I have gained many valuable lessons from being a student leader. A few of those are: learning to be more personable, utilizing my leadership style, and stepping out of my comfort zone. Through being a student leader, I've had the opportunity to meet many different people and I've learned how to socialize with them on a professional and personal level. I believe it is important to learn to balance the use of professionalism and personalism during a conversation, allowing the conversation to feel comfortable while also relaying effective communication. I have also grown to understand that everyone has a different style of leadership and each style is important in its own way. I've learned to evaluate and accept my leadership style so that I know my strengths and can apply them effectively. And finally, I have learned to step outside my comfort zone and be confident when doing it. This was a struggle for me for many years, but after becoming a student leader and being mentored by other leaders, I realized that stepping out of my comfort zone is sometimes the only way to gain new opportunities and positively impact others.

How do you balance your academic and co-curricular activities?

I balance my academic and co-curricular activities with effective time-management and a very detailed calendar! I've learned to use my time wisely and prioritize school, co-curriculars, and work at the appropriate times. I have a calendar on my phone where I schedule my classes, work, co-curricular activities, and study time so that I am not wasting hours in between classes and getting the most out of my day.

What advice would you give to a student thinking about getting involved?

Go for it! Getting involved on campus is so important and is a great way to meet friends, make an impact, and become a student leader. However, I would also add that it is important to get involved in an organization that you would enjoy. Don't just join any and every organization, really look into finding a few to dedicate your time to and really get involved in. It is also important to know your limits, if your schedule can only handle two organizations, then don't go join four; this will cause unnecessary stress and it is important to stay healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. But ultimately go out and find what you have a passion for, and if you can't find anything then make your own club! Be bold and step outside your comfort zone, it will benefit you in the long run!

How do you live by the SFA Way?

I live by the SFA way in my day to day activities, whether that be in my classes, at work, in my organizations, at my apartment, or just walking through campus. I try to do the little things that can really make an impact, such as picking up trash on campus, holding the door open for someone, saying good morning, speaking up for others and myself, and being dependable. The SFA way contains character traits (respect, caring, responsibility, unity, and integrity) that are vital for success in all aspects of life, and I strive to continue to improve these traits every day.

In what ways do you plan to utilize your leadership skills after college?

I plan to utilize my leadership skills after college in every way possible. Whether I choose to go straight into the workforce or go to graduate school (I am still unsure), those leadership skills will be put to use every single day. I also intend to use leadership skills outside of work and school, I want to be a leader in the community and truly be able to positively support people in the best way that I possible.

Andrea Flores

Classification: Junior

Major: Social Work

Hometown: Mission, TX

Organization/Position: OMA Student Ambassador

What organizations and/or offices are you involved in?

I am a Student Ambassador at the Office of Multicultural Affairs. I am the Vice President for Lumberjack Cultural Organization. I am the head coordinator and one of the founders of the Latinx Student Caucus. I am the Student Representative on the Hispanic Serving Institution Committee. I am the Event Committee Head for Jolt.

What have you gained from being a student leader?

I gained the ability to create meaningful events that are not only fun, but also educational and that cause a great impact on those who attend. I have become more connected on campus and I feel more confident in my ability to make real changes.

How do you balance your academic and co-curricular activities?

It has been a learning process. I really enjoy my leadership positions, and I find myself wanting to go to the events I plan rather than my classes. This is why I have really worked on teaching myself how to be disciplined. Although I love my positions, I have learned to keep my education as a first priority.

What advice would you give to a student thinking about getting involved?

It's really life changing, and not just for your college career, but for your whole life. I have learned skills that I will use and met friends that I will have long after I graduate.

How do you live by the SFA Way?

I live by the SFA Way because I make sure that everything I do is done out of love and ambition. I do my best to be intentional with everything I do and say, and I try and bring positivity and empowerment to the world, one day at a time.

In what ways do you plan to utilize your leadership skills after college?

I am going to use the skills I learned in order to be a community organizer and help people in the Rio Grande Valley. These skills are going to help me bring a sense of unity and empowerment in my community.