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Meet the candidates: college senators

Each candidate answered the following three questions:

  1. How have you contributed to make Drake University a high quality institution?
  2. What top three goals/priorities do you hope to address during your term in office? What makes you qualified to achieve these goals?
  3. What motivated you to run for office, and what do you hope to get out of this experience?

College of Arts and Sciences

Dan Pfeifle

  1. I have contributed to making Drake University a high quality institution by involving myself in organizations that work to better student’s college experience.

    Being on the Executive Board for the Student Alumni Association has helped me to connect current students with alumni of the university, allowing students to grow emotionally and professionally.

    As Hall Communications Coordinator for Herriott, I have worked to help create fun engaging events for students not only in Herriott, but also across campus. These programs range from alcohol alternative events to fundraisers for the 3 Mile Project.

  2. I want to continue the initial success J-Term has had by easing the registration process and I would also like to have other classes available, such as general chemistry or biology, so students could utilize the J-Term to take care of a class that would otherwise throw off a semester schedule.

    I would like to streamline the communication process between students and the administration. From personal experience, and from that of students I have talked to, finding a straight answer can be a difficult process full of referrals and few answers.

    My final priority is to increase communication and collaboration between the other schools on campus. I feel many issues facing each college could be improved by comparing methods to determine the best approach.

    I feel qualified to achieve these goals because I’m very motivated to establish these different lines of communication to better all of campus including Arts and Sciences. I’ve worked with many different groups in the past, ranging in size and composition, so I’m very comfortable working with others.

  3. My motivation to run for office came from a couple of different sources. I have Twitter, and I noticed that some of the tweets directed at @DrakeProblem were related to the College of Arts and Sciences. I had some friends who had suggested to me to run for Senate, and I thought that combining these two areas by running was my best option to address some of these issues.

College of Business and Public Administration

Ethan Gascho

  1. I am currently serving as the Vice President of Crawford Hall Executive Council, a member of Residence Hall Association Programming Board, and Sigma Phi Epsilon. I am also a member of Drake Actuarial Student Society (DASS) and Admission Cole-ition. I have completed Emerging Leadership Model (ELM) training and was one of the Balanced Man Award recipients earlier this year.
  2. I want to make an easier and more efficient way to make the voices of the College of Business and Public Administration students heard and respected. In doing this, I wish to set up online forums such as Facebook groups, Twitter accounts, etc. that would be devoted to hearing the concerns of those students. I also wish to get a bulldog statue placed outside of the College of Business and Public Administration. Lastly, I wish to work with the faculty to improve the ventilation systems throughout the college. I hope to find a common ground that will please both faculty and students, while creating the best learning atmosphere.
  3. I have had leadership positions in the past such as being captain of my high school’s varsity sports teams and Vice President of Crawford Hall and I hope to continue these in the future. I would put forth my best effort to make the College of Business and Public Administration the best work environment on campus. As Phil Davison would say, I believe my past experiences have trained me to hit the ground, come out swinging, and end up winning.

Innocent Mutanga

  1. I have been involved in organizations that promote diversity and morality on Drake Campus. I helped with the organization of the African Renaissance night, which helped Drake students to have a global view. I am involved in religious discussions group, and this has improved Drake community in terms of awareness and morality. I also hold group discussions pertaining life philosophies, in terms of self improvement.
  2. Diversity i.e.  addressing Drake’s lack of cultural sensitivity and racism

    Create more internships for students in the business school, through bringing more businesses/companies to Drake students

    Raise awareness and be more inclusive of International students, especially in jobs and internships opportunities.

    I am qualified because, I am business student, and also I am a good effective listener, who values people.

  3. Would like to change Drake (CBPA) culture especially when it comes to diversity. To promote equal opportunity and to have the face of Drake leadership changed, so that it will be more of a true representation of Drake Diverse culture, especially in the College of business.

School of Education

Joshua Abbott

  1. While at Drake, I have been involved in several organizations, two of which I currently hold leadership positions in. With these organizations I have been actively involved in the community, volunteering with numerous events, and other organizations in the area. I have been sure to always do my best when involved with these activities, helping maintain Drake’s reputation and image.
  2. During my term, I would like to address as many issues as I can which impact with both the school of education, and the any campus as a whole. I would personally like to help solve the transportation issue for education students getting to their practicums or the professional information in our earlier courses. I am highly motivated, and enjoy working with others to accomplish a similar goal. I am a hard worker, like to take on responsibilities, listen to others’ ideas, and initiative.  I feel are qualities that will help me achieve my goals, and those of others during my term.
  3. I was motivated to run for office when I realized there are always changes that can happen to better anything. I like to take initiative, and try to make changes to help create a better overall experience for everyone. I feel that being a part of student government improving the campus community will be an excellent opportunity to make a difference while strengthening my leadership skills and would be a great honor.

Fine Arts

Michael Terrell

  1. I have contributed to Drake as a whole by participating in many organizations in campus. For example, I was elected Co-First Year Representative on the Student Music Advisory Committee, the Student Senate Community Outreach committee, Floor representative in my residence hall, I am a soon-to-be member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the music fraternity here at Drake, and through this organization and Student Senate I hope to create opportunities for more students to demonstrate their abilities.
  2. My first goal that I hope to achieve if I am elected to Student Senate is to include the community in Drake’s fine arts functions. As a native to Des Moines I would love to draw this devoted community around Drake even closer while at the same time raising money for our programs. Secondly I would like to promote Fine Arts programs to our own friends and fellow students here at Drake to increase support in that way as well. Lastly I plan on talking with other senators and helping them to realize that Fine Arts at Drake is an important and growing program and it deserves the recourses necessary to maintain our status as a highly ranked Fine Arts program in the mid west.
  3. I want to run for Student Senate because I love everything that the Fine Arts department does at Drake, and I believe that I would do an excellent job representing all of the Fine Arts students. I want to learn more about Student Senate at Drake and I want to further develop my leadership skills and style.

Justin Hike

  1. I try very hard to achieve a sense of community at Drake. I provide various levels of leadership in the music department, and I really try to listen proactively to everyone.
  2. The top three goals I have for the fine arts college are building a better sense of community between all areas of the fine arts college, improve relations between faculty and students, and improve relations between senator and student/faculty. I believe I am qualified to achieve these goals because I work really hard and am very attentive.
  3. I wanted to run for office because I took a long look at my time here at Drake and realized that I want to do more for my community. I am very active in the fine arts college and I believe I would do a great job representing it. I hope this opportunity will give me experience and the confidence to be an effective leader.

School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Jessica Mattes

  1. In the past two and a half years on campus, I have served as a resident assistant in Crawford Hall, a public relations co-chair for Student Activities Board, a student assistant in the Dean of Arts and Sciences office, an editor of The Times-Delphic and an Iowa Private College Week tour guide. All of these positions have been a large part of my Drake experience; however, I have found my passion through serving others. I enjoy hearing multiple perspectives and appreciate honesty. Because these are qualities I value, I consider myself highly qualified to serve as a member of the 2012-2013 Student Senate.
  2. During the 2012-2013 school year, I would like to represent the school of journalism with the highest respects. I believe SJMC students have a lot more to offer than students and organizations outside of this college realize. I would like to increase the school of journalism’s presence on our campus through programming and open conversation with professors and students. As previously stated, I am qualified to achieve these goals because of my background in residence life, Student Activities Board and other exceptional organizations.
  3. Sean Walsh is a huge motivator for my campaign. He has done such a great job researching and developing the non-academic programs the School of Journalism and Mass Communication has to offer. I hope to follow in his footsteps and build relationships with all of the students who also represent SJMC.

College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Scott Morrett

  1. Drake University does an exceptional job of providing its students with opportunity. By getting involved in things other than academia, I feel that I have contributed to the growth and quality of this institution. Through various positions such as being an Orientation Leader, Resident Assistant, and a volunteer for Admission Coalition, I feel that I have helped to enhance the Drake Experience for students and their families.
  2. My first priority is to be a voice for the student body; specifically the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences as a College Senator. An open communication between administration and the student body is essential for success and I plan to work hard to recognize the needs of the students and make sure that decisions are made that will benefit students. The second goal I have is to go into the position with a level head about the budget and how money is allocated. As a paying student I would like to physically see my tuition dollars being put to good use in tangible ways that the everyday student can see and take advantage of. The third priority I have is to be very transparent about what decisions are being made and how those decisions will affect students. As for qualifications, I am heavily involved in a number of student groups and can easily find out the needs and wants of the student body.
  3. Frankly, I think a lot of people don’t know what Student Senate actually does and how their tuition dollars are being allocated. Additionally, I am running because I want to make a difference on Drake’s campus. Drake has done an excellent job providing me with opportunity and I feel it is right to do my part in providing other students those types of opportunities as well.

Nupur Chopra

  1. It is the experiences I have gained from Drake which have made me a well-rounded individual from peer mentoring programs offered to refugees residing in Des Moines to serving the community and campus through Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity. Other organizations that I have been involved in are Colleges Against Cancer, residence life– Service Chair and Floor representative in my dorm, ASHP and the CPHS Health Fair Committee. All have which been very rewarding and given me a chance to meet many people and service the community in different respects.
  2. First I want to focus on collaboration between health science students and college pharmacy. My second priority would be to expand the roles of health sciences in the college. Health sciences have grown immensely over the years and I would like to focus in on their involvement to the campus and in the community. Lastly, I want to keep expanding the connection between the school and the campus. I would like to continue implementing more outreach programs to connecting the students with the school. Through my past experiences with collaboration and positions, I feel qualified to take on a more challenging role that involves more input and a greater responsibility to help my college achieve greatness.
  3. I want to make positive changes within our school to benefit the students and Drakes overall quality. To be the voice of our college is an honor and I want to use this opportunity to the fullest by implementing student’s ideas and concerns. My passion is to make a difference and to act on something I believe strongly in. Through this experience I hope to see our school strive and meet great people along the way.

Natalie Gadbois

  1. I feel my contributions as a leader on campus have been especially impactful through the interactions I have with people on a daily basis.  As a Resident Assistant I have represented the university by helping students adjust to campus life and have directly seen the benefits of my contributions in this essential part of the college experience.  Learning at college expands beyond the classroom into many areas of life.  By creating positive relationships, I have had the chance to give back and uphold the high quality standards at Drake.
  2. Better integrate pharmacy and health science students into the campus community.

    Communicate with professional organizations within the college about resources Senate can provide and how it can serve as an outlet to voice concerns.

    Unite the campus around common visions and causes.

    I am qualified to achieve these goals because I will be in direct contact with the students whom I am representing and therefore can dialogue with them about opportunities and concerns.  I am also comfortable communicating with multiple types of people and will seriously value their opinions.

  3. I am motivated to run for Senate after being a member of the Campus Advancement and Community Outreach Committees.  It has been very enjoyable and after learning more about how Senate functions, I wanted to increase my involvement and impact.  I was compelled to run for the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Senator because I am very passionate about pharmacy as my career choice and I would love to serve as a representative for my peers in this academic area.  If elected, I hope to learn more about Drake through serving the needs of my fellow students and contribute to creating a better campus environment by implementing positive changes.
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