Women of Distinction


Emily Lamb (Middle Left)

Jian, Lamb, Barnard and Shier


  • KU Center for Community Outreach Co-Director, 2010-‘12
  • “The Big Event” Co-Outreach Director, 2010-‘11
  • Miller Scholarship Hall Outreach Chair, 2009-‘10
  • Mortar Board Senior Honor Society
  • Kappa Kappa Psi Band Honor Sorority, Alumni Chair
  • Mentors in the Lives of Kids, Coordinator
  • Alternative Spring Break, Site Leader
  • Blueprints Leadership Conference, Planning Committee Member
  • Big XII Junior Class Award for Community Service, 2011
  • Kansas University Strategic Planning Committee, Student Representative
  • Chancellor’s Awards Selection Committee
  • Honors Program Student Ambassador
  • Peer Advisor, New Student Orientation, 2010-2011

How I became interested in my field:

When I came to KU I thought I wanted to study social welfare, graduate, and then go on to change the world. As I became more involved in the KU community, studied a variety of different subjects I realized how much I enjoyed interdisciplinary work. With a wide variety of perspectives in an area of study, I realized I could see the world in a whole new light. I am passionate and interested in rediscovering and learning about the American story through a variety of lenses and voices. Through listening, trying to understand, and sharing these stories, I learned the world can be transformed into a better place.

An honor, achievement or accomplishment that is most meaningful to me:

I was completely thrilled and terrified when I was selected to be one of the Co-Directors for the Center for Community Outreach (CCO). I didn’t know if I was ready to lead a group of over thirty coordinators and thousands of volunteers, but at the same time I knew I had a vision for growth in numbers, meaning, and impact the Center in the KU and Lawrence community. As I was applying, a friend said “Don’t do this unless you think you will be the best candidate.” In reflection on the year, I am proud to say that I think we grew leaps and bounds, figured out the meaning and purpose of our Center, and learned how to make a stronger, more long lasting impact. We built a Board of Directors, created a more efficient managing system, increased visibility with a strong brand, and helped facilitate growth for many KU students. As I continue as one of the Directors for next year, our momentum and excitement will continue to make the CCO an even better service for students and Lawrence. I cannot even begin to recognize the impact this has made on my life and the trajectory of where I see life headed.

Someone who has been influential or had a significant impact on my life:

It’s hard for me to pinpoint one ultimate role model throughout my life. There have been a team of people who pushed me to be who I am today and who I can be tomorrow. Some of the largest influences on my life have been my mother Stacey Lamb, Dr. Mary Klayder, Many Shriwise, Xander Casad and Michael Wade Smith. These people in different ways encourage me to question, challenge, and grow on a daily basis in all realms of my life. Without each of these people I would not be in this very spot, and I thank them for all they do (if they know it or not) to make me a better leader, organizer, listener, team player, dreamer, and friend.

My favorite KU memory:

My favorite memories as a student all include the communities I chose to surround myself with. I had so many wonderful times talking for hours in the CCO office, or late night cookie runs with my roommates, or camping for basketball seats at Allen Fieldhouse, or birthday pie with my hall mates at Miller Scholarship Hall. I will always cherish my memories on my Alternative Break to Richmond, Virginia. On this break I learned so much about the importance of community and building fun, meaningful relationships. These people and relationships has made my time at KU extremely meaningful.

An important life lesson I have learned:

Although this seems extremely basic I have learned it is okay to allow yourself to change. Many times the greatest growth comes from the greatest changes. My personal expectations of myself have been my hardest critic and once I realized I need to supportively critical of myself to growThis was a hard lesson for me this year, as many of the things I expected of myself shifted and changed. But in the end, I became (and am still becoming) a greater person and leader.

If I had a sister just entering college, I would want her to know…

It is okay to explore, if means exploring different majors or career paths or students groups or jobs or even different hobbies. It’s so important to know yourself and know what makes you happy. I would want to pass on this advice: successful fulfillment is finding what makes you the happiest and then making that work.