Paige Blevins (Far Right)
Honors, achievements, and special recognition:
- KU Parent Association Student Representative (2010-2012)
- KU Core Curriculum Transition Committee Member (2012)
- Awards Chair, Homecoming Steering Committee (2009-2011)
- Counselor, American Legion Auxiliary Sunflower Girls State (2012)
- Judy L. Reudlinger Alumni Award (2010 and 2011)
- Kent E. & Marsha Gilkison Palmberg Housing Scholarship (2011)
- Fred McElhenie Housing Scholarship (2010)
How I became interested in my area of study:
I had a fantastic Advanced Placement English teacher in high school named Mrs. Eyestone, who recently won the Wolfe Award for Excellence in Teaching from KU. She made English fun, provocative, and challenging. She planted the seed of what eventually became a passion for English in college. We learned about Freud and archetypes, myths, and short stories that challenged the way people think. English is broad and fascinating – from rhetoric to literature, the uses are endless and everywhere. After a year spent in Political Science I really thought about the platform I would need to succeed after college while enjoying my time in college. I realized that English provided me everything Political Science did, just with a bit more fiction and creativity thrown in to the mix. It took two semesters and a summer of pro/con lists before deciding English would provide me the necessary skills to move on to any career or graduate school I decided to pursue.
An honor, achievement or accomplishment that is most meaningful to me and why:
Reworking the Dennis E. Rieger Scholarship Hall constitution is most meaningful to me and stands out as something that will last beyond my time living at the hall. The constitution, established in 2005 when the hall opened, touches the lives of 50 women every year that must live under self-imposed rules ratified at a final hall meeting every spring. In my three years as Vice President, I helped write language and mold the constitution into a document that aids the residents of the hall by holding housing staff to the same rules as residents, ensuring study rooms maintain their original purpose, and fine tuning executive positions to further benefit residents. While this impact is fairly small, only affecting members of this specific hall, I know that where one lives during college impacts the performance you have in school work. The community that scholarship halls create supports a student through their entire collegiate career, providing study space and a safe haven all in one. By creating rules that uphold the ultimate goal of creating that community, cooperative housing functions correctly.
Someone who has been a role model for me and why:
Alyson Rodee, a 2009 graduate who now works at the capitol building, comes first to mind when I think about role models I have had in college. Young women need examples like Aly, a woman who, by consistently working hard, achieves so much, even though Aly made her involvement at KU seem so effortless. The hours she put into her various roles (Student Senate, Student Alumni Association, and Homecoming, just to name a few) prove that the energy and passion you expend on any project will transform into huge results and have a positive and personal impact.
Someone who has been influential or had a significant impact on my life:
Stefani Gerson-Buchwitz, my former Student Alumni Association adviser and now the Coordinator of Student life at the KU Medical Center, completely changed the way I saw the world after entering KU. Stefani’s role extends from adviser to therapist, friend, and first responder in any emergency. She is one of the only people to have seen, first hand, my entire collegiate career from start to finish. Her professionalism, attention to detail, and compassion rub off on every student she meets. Stefani helped me mold myself into a responsible adult. She held me to high expectations, wherein she expected efficiency and a high level of quality in my positions at the KU Alumni Association. Further, Stefani acts as a model of the kind of young professional I want to be – someone who cares, who listens, and who helps to come up with viable solutions to problems.
My favorite KU memory:
My second traditions night (I’ve gone every year) when I was a sophomore stands out as a favorite KU memory. As a freshman, I don’t think I fully comprehended the experiences I was about to encounter at KU. My second time at traditions night, I remember sitting with friends rather than in a big pack of anonymous people, and feeling like I had my legs under me and I knew for sure that KU was my home. It was a powerful feeling and one that I have every time I go back to Memorial Stadium in August.
An important life lesson I have learned:
Life is what you think it, as well as make it. If you have a positive attitude about a bad experience, it will be a good experience. The power of your attitude and your thoughts can change the attitudes of those around you. If you walk into a task you don’t want to do with positive thoughts, it will go by quicker, smoother, and you might just have a good time. In the end, the energy you give to something, you will get back.
If I had a sister just entering college, I would want her to know….
This experience is what YOU make it. If you stay in your dorm room all the time, you will be lonely. If you make negative or dangerous decisions, there will be consequences. Follow the buddy system. Do your readings for class! Joining organizations will be the best thing you ever do. Try EVERYTHING that the school has to offer.
A favorite quote or saying and why it is meaningful to me:
Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie– William Shakespeare (Helena from All’s Well that Ends Well, Act I, Scene I)
Which we ascribe to heaven. The fated sky
Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull
Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull.
This quote means that we must look in ourselves to find the answers to problems rather than blaming others. This goes back to my life lesson about having a positive attitude and that with the positive power of thoughts we can change the environment around us. It also means that we have the power to forge our own paths while acknowledging fate sometimes steps in and helps move us along.