Successful Semester

I would consider Fall 2011 a pretty successful semester. Grades were just posted today; I’m thrilled to have continued my 4.0 streak, and I’m one semester closer to graduating in Spring 2013!

This semester proved to be an especially busy one (big surprise, right?), and winter break arrived just in time to rescue me from teetering off the edge. After finishing A Streetcar Named Desire, I jumped into rehearsals for The Nutcracker and taught a youth workshop at the Youngstown Playhouse. While teaching, I also continued to hone my own skills by dancing seven days/week (sometimes twice/day!) and keeping up on voice lessons. In terms of auditioning, I received two call-backs for a professionally-directed Shakespearean play and made great connections for future productions. I also performed in two, student-directed one-acts, which were shown the last week of classes. And that’s just the performance aspect of my semester!

In the realms of student organizations, I had a great time serving as secretary of the Student Nonprofit Leadership Organization. We went on several worthwhile site visits to local nonprofits (Oh Wow!, YWCA) and co-chaired the YSU United Way campaign. As part of the leadership team, I helped organize our first nonprofit mixer, at which I secured my spring internship with the American Red Cross! I also networked at the Wean Foundation’s annual Nonprofit Summit and conversed with the head of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust…a major artistic nonprofit.

I also served as a representative with the Student Government Association this fall. With SGA, I volunteered as part of the Student Life Committee during Welcome Week, Homecoming Week, and United Way Week. As part of my committee work, I have also secured our guest speaker for the spring Leadership Retreat…as well as another guest speaker for the following year! It sure helps to be involved in the community and know people, haha! With SGA, I’ve really enjoyed connecting to our faculty advisors, one of which happens to be the dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts. Both gentlemen are really great guys, and I look forward to my future involvement with the group!

My time taking company classes and rehearsing with the Dance Ensemble has really been a blast this year, much more than my freshman year…I think because I am only in two pieces instead of three, and the rehearsal periods have become shortened. That’s always a plus! But mainly, the girls are all so nice and supportive of one another, and I really enjoy creating moving art with such positive company.

A theater kid at heart, I have truly had a great time being a member of Alpha Psi Omega this semester. Although I haven’t been able to attend the meetings because they conflict with SNLO, I have been able to volunteer at the refreshments table for various shows, and I had a blast during induction week. The Halloween party was amazing, and the Christmas party was equally fun! I would enjoy mentoring one of our new pledgees in the springtime…

My involvement with University Scholars has been somewhat limited this semester, but I was grateful to have enjoyed a Fireside Chat with our university president, Dr. Cynthia Anderson. How many college students can say they’ve received a hug from their president? With the Scholars, I am also going to be one of the first official “Scholar Ambassadors” for the spring semester, returning to my alma mater to recruit new students. Should be fun! 🙂

WOW. That was my life this semester. Not even counting my time working at the Writing Center, volunteering for various events outside of school, and attending classes. Am I crazy? No. Just Mary Poppins on speed. 😉

Living life to the fullest! Love you all!
–Kayla

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