Kean University is an institution that prides itself in its ability to develop students into leaders who wish to make an impact for the Kean community. Alyssa Edgar is one of these prized students. Edgar, a sophomore studying communications with a concentration in public relations, is involved in the Student Organization of Kean University as the assistant secretary, a silver leader in the Leadership Institute and a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
The Student Organization of Kean University is an organization that aims to strengthen the intellectual, cultural and personal growth by acting as the voice for the full-time, undergraduate student body. With that being said, it is dedicated to maintaining an environment where diversity and free expression can benefit scholarly opinion, debate and education.
Being a silver leader in the Leadership Institute consists of second-year students learning how to maximize their ability to succeed and contribute to the campus as leaders. Students can also get involved through platforms such as collaboration, common purpose and controversy with civility.
As a public relations major, Edgar is able to master her studies by joining the PRSSA. This organization helps students in achieving experience and the practical knowledge and tools of the public relations field.
In regard to attending Kean, Edgar was pleased at the intimacy of each of her classes and the opportunity to be in contact with her professors. All the aspects of a college that were important to her could be found at Kean.
"When I was accepted here I got a scholarship, so I attended the scholarship reception and there I met one of the leaders from the Leadership Institute. In turn, he told me all about the program, to which I applied and got accepted," said Edgar. "As a part of the Transition to Kean requirement, the retreat was where I met Damion Wilson who was the former vice president at the time. He introduced me to the world of Student Organization and pushed me to give it a shot, because in high school I wasn't as motivated."
During her freshman year she ran for secretary and won, giving her the opportunity to build her craft and work with a good team that inspired her rise within Student Organization.
As assistant secretary, Edgar refers to herself as the "documentation person".
"The main thing we do is take the minutes for the meeting and during office hours we make sure everything is documented. We do filing and make sure that everything goes where it needs to go. Cougar Link is one of our tools when we are working with events," said Edgar.
Edgar notes that, without secretaries, events and other important documents would not go through. She wants students to know that all the events that come to Kean have legal documents and without that they would not happen.
"In return, the students come up to us. They know us and they get another reason to stay here. It builds so much because without us nothing would happen. We bring ideas to the table and listen to ideas as well. I believe that we help every student in the Kean community come together," said Edgar.
Juggling leadership and Student Organization, Edgar believes that these two positions are important assets that help build her skills.
"Leadership is filled with leaders who are big about being a leader in a team, which helps with the aspect of effective teamwork. Leadership also translates to Student Organization because there is no I in Student Org. It is fully a team [that] leans on each other to develop. We learn how to work with others and the necessity of patience which build bonds," said Edgar.
As a public relations major, Edgar understands that public relations is also a team environment. And as a future public relations person, the skills she is learning now can be applied to her career later on.
"Get involved, do it! As someone who is involved in Kean, I feel that it can help how you feel about college. Putting yourself out there will be scary, but giving things a chance can change your perspective about college and the benefits that come along with it," said Edgar.