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Feb. 7, 2017
Hannah Sears, a political science major from Overland Park, Kansas, dreams of applying the skills she’s learned in student organizations at Northwest Missouri State University to a political career.
“Politics at all levels is a passion of mine,” Sears said. “It’s in everything we do, and I think it is something that I would use indefinitely.”
Involvement on campus is important to Sears. She participates in multiple organizations and committees on campus, including the Mock Trial team and the Young Democrats Club while serving as Student Senate president.
She’s learning valuable life lessons that will benefit her to be successful in her career as well as in her interactions with all types of people.
“My involvement in Student Senate has been one of the most character-building experiences that I have had in my entire life,” Sears said. “It’s taught me that it is more rewarding to empower others in pursuit of their passions rather than take over and do it for them. It’s given me a strong set of conflict-resolution skills and consensus building as well as helped me to celebrate the small victories. I’ve also learned that happy people are productive people.”
Sears came to Northwest looking for a change. Being raised in a predominately heterogeneous community, she was looking for more acceptance and diversity in the community of Maryville.
“I wanted to have a little change of pace, and I had ambitions of being highly involved,” she said. “I knew that an institution like Northwest would afford me the resources to help me do that.”
She describes Northwest and Maryville as accepting communities. The University continues to evaluate partnership opportunities with the community; develop methods to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion on campus; and prepare students for a successful career and life after graduation.
“Northwest is designed for all people,” Sears said. “We have a place to be plugged in where you don’t have to fit into a box. The campus will provide a place to work your way up. It’s about making connections.”
Collectively, University, students, faculty, staff and alumni are known for being a Bearcat family that continues to support and share in each other’s successes.
“To me, it’s such a dichotomy for being so cared for and caring so much,” she said. “It’s the fact that with the enthusiasm that you put in this place, there is an inherent promise that it will be given back to you. Northwest is an institution that practices those principles.”
Northwest prepares its graduates to be career-ready the day they leave the University. That includes having skills to adapt to surroundings, be a productive member of society and have the enthusiasm to change the world for the better.
“A large portion of what has prepared me for a career I’ve derived from the classroom,” Sears said. “The diligent and knowledgeable professors share their experiences and foster an environment that makes you think on your feet. Throughout my time as the Student Senate president, I have had the opportunity to speak at large events, create reports for the Northwest Board of Regents, plan and execute robust events, interview with local media and mediate diverse opinions to build consensus.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468