Candidate Profile: Megan Sims

Megan Sims

Candidate Interview

Describe 2-3 specific leadership experiences which have prepared you to serve as an International Officer.

My leadership experiences range from a variety of great opportunities. I graduated from high school two years early as Valedictorian of my class in May 2012. The following August I started attending Southwest Virginia Community College to earn my Associate's in Science and, through this, I had the opportunity to be a part of the Science Learning Community at Southwest. In January 2013, I was elected in as a senator of the Student Government Association on campus, and I currently holding the office of Secretary. Senators are responsible for making strict, disciplined decisions on student and community activities that benefit the college as a whole. We also provide as many of the services as possible to make these activities successful. The experience of working productively with peers and others on levels of authority is beneficial in both professional and personal endeavors.

During the 2013 fall semester, I had the opportunity to be a student ambassador for our campus and work with the high school seniors from all the local high schools. As the ambassador, I was responsible for guiding campus tours, introducing faculty and staff members to the students, maintaining a strict time schedule, and maintaining control over the group. This experience enhanced my ability to be responsibility, friendly, and self-motivated to keep the students interested in our campus. I also worked as a substitute teacher for the school year of 2012-2013. I worked with students ranging from kindergarten through fourth grade at a local private school. This short career provided the experience of fulfilling the responsibility of keeping others safe and meeting goals necessary to move forward.

I have grown and learned a lot about what it means to be a leader, not only through Student Government but also through Phi Theta Kappa. I joined Phi Theta Kappa in October of 2012 and was elected as President of our chapter in April 2013. When I began my journey as the president, our chapter was not really noticed; we were a zero star chapter. With the hard work of myself, my officer team, and advisors, along with the support of campus administrators, we became a four star chapter. By carefully organizing and directing our activities, we have already begun meeting requirements to position the chapter to move to the five-star status next year. Through our well planned fund-raising projects and matching donations, we have raised over $6,000 during the past four months to help cover expenses for students who attend regional and international conventions. I am also one of the five members in our chapter to be a Five Star Competitive Edge Member. It is very important that I meet the same expectations I hold for other members of our chapter.

Beyond giving back to the organization, what is the primary reason you are seeking International Office?

Besides giving back to the organization, my main reason for seeking International Office is for the amazing experience. I feel that this is such great opportunity to grow as an individual leader, as a chapter and a region. This is a great opportunity to get more of our region involved with one another and to come together and regain our sense of fellowship. Phi Theta Kappa, in my opinion, is about having the sense of fellowship and, throughout my campaign, I have gained so much support from many chapters in our region. I feel that it is a great chance to bring our region closer together. If elected I hope to bring this sense of fellowship throughout the organization. I look forward to learning and growing from the experiences in the future of campaigning.

In your opinion, what is the most important issue facing community college students today?

In my opinion the issue facing community college students today is the lack of fellowship. There was a time when everyone helped each other out. Now it seems that it is everyone for him/herself. We no longer take Jane her homework if she is sick; instead, we turn our heads and let her figure it out for herself. Without this sense of fellowship, I fear that community colleges are losing what they stand for. It is so difficult to get people involved in student activities. It seems people are less interested in the sense of community. I have experienced this first hand between Phi Theta Kappa, Student Government and being a student ambassador. It is difficult to get student involvement like we once had. I hope to this changes in the future and we go back to what it used to be where the college was like one big family—a time when we worried about student involvement and making sure we were taking care of one another.

Honors Study Topic Essay

Courage is a virtue. When faced with fear, it was courage that propelled every explorer into the unknown, just as courage led explorers to the new world, the North Pole, and the moon. It takes only seconds of courage to propel oneself into a new territory. By courageously overpowering the fear of failure, one can excel in nearly anything. Though fear is always with us, by letting courage drive you towards your goals, you will have the strength and determination to take a leap of faith towards success; success in the sense that we choose not to let fear restrain us from marching forward.

Had it not been for courage, Thomas Edison may never have overcome the fear of failure. All lights on earth, from your living room lights to the New York skyline, are lit with the courage of a man who overcame the fear instilled in him by a world that deemed him unfit to learn. Edison was courageous enough to begin his exploration and to see his journey through to the end. As Mary Anne Radmacher said, "Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow.'" We must remember this virtue: that the fear of one day does not exist in the next.

With courage, we embrace the possibility of becoming the next Thomas Edison, Charles Lindbergh or Walt Disney. With courage, we look into the unknown with a longing to explore it, and look to impossible challenges with a longing to accept them. And with so many possible new territories, it is courage that must inspire every great leader, for the courage to succeed and the fear of failure cannot coexist in the minds of mankind.