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Alyssa Lincoln, pictured in the Student Senate office at Northwest, serves as the student body president. In addition to being highly involved at Northwest, she used her knowledge and training last spring to help save a man's life. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Alyssa Lincoln, pictured in the Student Senate office at Northwest, serves as the student body president. In addition to being highly involved at Northwest, she used her knowledge and training last spring to help save a man's life. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Oct. 2, 2018

Student Senate President Alyssa Lincoln saves a life, serves students

By Kelsey Johnson, communication assistant

Northwest Missouri State University student Alyssa Lincoln was enjoying a night last spring with her family and a few co-workers on the patio of an Omaha, Nebraska, restaurant when she heard a cry for help in parking lot. Lincoln, who completed emergency medical responder training at Northwest just two months earlier, was about to put her knowledge to use.

Lincoln followed a small crowd to the commotion and saw an unconscious man in the front seat of a car. She told a nurse she is CPR-certified and joined to help.

Lincoln started chest compressions while the nurse gave mouth-to-mouth. Lincoln checked the man’s vitals and noticed his heart had stopped. She instructed the nurse to stop mouth-to-mouth and instead keep an eye on his vitals and watch for him to take a breath.

“Getting down there and realizing I might be giving this man CPR and potentially being the last line of defense for his life was a mix of pure adrenaline and an overwhelming sense of faith in the skills I had just learned from my course at Northwest,” Lincoln, a senior biology and psychology major from Omaha, said. “In the moment I knew it was my civic duty since I had these skills and knew how to perform them.”

Lincoln started CPR while talking with a dispatcher. After about two and a half minutes, the man took a gasp for air. An ambulance arrived about a minute later. Lincoln gave a report of what happened and returned to her seat at the restaurant.

“When I got back to my seat, people showed me appreciation by congratulating me and saying how amazing that was,” Lincoln said.

Lincoln says she owes her efforts to the emergency medical responder training she received at Northwest. Professor of Geography Dr. Mark Corson, Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Kathleen Spears and Professor of Biology Dr. Gregg Dieringer, an instructor of biology lead the training.

“I believe emergency medical responder training should be a general education requirement here,” Lincoln said. “The more people trained in basic level emergency medical response, the more lives would be saved. Bearcats practice civility, and having the training necessary to help, respect, and value every person’s life is an important skill to have.”


Becoming well-rounded

Lincoln is a true balancing act when it comes to her involvement at Northwest. As the 96th Student Senate president, she leads the organization through daily tasks, weekly meetings and holds Student Senate accountable to represent all students. Lincoln works to create better lines of communication with students and fosters an environment of passion and service that leads to a more functional, representative governmental body for students.

“My goal this year is to gain rapport with students by working and communicating extensively with them on all matters that come across our table,” Lincoln said. “It is on the top of this executive board’s list to serve the students in the most profound, effective manner.”

Lincoln also is a Lead Green mentor, serving as a student mentor for leadership and organizational success.

“Lead Green mentors host workshops for student organizations and help student leaders become even better leaders,” Lincoln said. “I love this role. It has introduced me to amazing people and many different opportunities.”

Lincoln is entering her third year as a peer advisor and was a residential assistant for one year to mentor first-year students.

“I just love freshmen,” Lincoln said. “They are genuinely happy to be here, and it gives me a chance to relive my freshman year with them.”

After Lincoln graduates in the spring of 2019, she plans to enter physical therapy school to become a doctor of physical therapy. She wants to work with children who have disabilities, specifically cerebral palsy.

“I had an awesome experience this summer at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and found myself wanting to work with children,” Lincoln said. “It is very rewarding to do physical therapy on a patient so they can be more comfortable in everyday life. To me it is more about survival when it comes to children with disabilities, rather than the ability to get back on the field or court. Being able to confidentially live and function is the ultimate goal for a physical therapist, and I think those affected by disabilities present unique challenges and rewards that I would be honored to be a part of.”

Lincoln says the Northwest experience for her is captured in the opportunity to walk across the stage at commencement as a well-rounded, educated person of society.

“Not only do students receive an education at Northwest, we engage in extracurricular, or research, or athletics, or intramurals, jobs and internships that challenge us to be a standout person within our community,” Lincoln said. “The information we learn in a classroom marries beautifully with the experiences we receive outside the classroom, preparing us for a successful life and career continually rocking that Bearcat paw print on our cars and clothes.”

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468