Although the male-to-female ratio at the University of Missouri-Rolla is still nearly 3-to-1, women aren’t the minority in student leadership. This fall marks the first time at UMR that all three top Student Council leadership positions are held by women.
“It is amazing to see people stand up and take notice when passionate women leaders break the norm and accomplish their goals,” says Student Council President Lauren Huchingson of St. Louis, a senior in information science and technology.
As president, Huchingson is the face of the UMR student body. She represents students in all capacities, both on campus and off. She’s joined in her duties by two vice presidents.
Beth Groenke of Gerald, Mo., a junior in engineering management, is vice president of external affairs. She serves as the council’s chief liaison with the student body and represents the students to faculty and staff.
“The president and I are the main voice of the student body, especially to UMR officials and those at the University of Missouri,” Groenke says. “We are working to foster better communication and collaboration between Academic Council and Student Council to make campuswide policies that benefit and satisfy both the students and the faculty.”
Kelly McCoy of Lebanon, Ill., a junior in electrical engineering, is vice president of internal affairs. As her title implies, McCoy manages all internal council business. Managing the executive committee and training new council members are two of her main duties.
“I look forward to great things from Student Council, and especially the executive committee, this year,” McCoy says. “We are here for the students. As our motto states, ‘Develop leadership. Serve the students. Represent the students.’”
The three are unanimous in their advice to UMR’s female population: Get involved, they say.
“Go for it,” adds McCoy. “Because women are in the minority, we need to get out there and show our skills.”
“And don’t be afraid to be yourself,” says Huchingson. “Regardless of what I thought when I was a nervous freshman, I learned that I could do anything I put my mind to if I could just learn to take a chance and be fearless.”