With a bang of a gavel, Tina Nguyen, Ball State University Student Government Association (SGA) president, said good-bye to the university that ingrained itself within her.
Nguyen, legal studies major with a concentration in public law and a minor in political science, is a part of the 2023 graduating class. She has not only done work with the SGA but also established a role in her sorority Phi Mu.
In her years at Ball State, Nguyen has earned many accomplishments, such as establishing a fair wage commission for student workers as SGA President, and becoming the President of the Northwest dorm, all while being a resident assistant (RA) at Kinghorn Hall.
Two of Nguyen’s mentors, Abby Hayworth and Ro-Anne Royer Engle, inspired her to do her best work.
“They have helped me a lot throughout my journey because I literally came to college without any help. I literally moved in by myself; it was hard,” Nguyen said. “I had no support system. I was at ground zero, so having them pour into me and believe in me as not only a person but as a student as well [was helpful].”
Though the last four years have been a struggle with the effects of lockdown while Nguyen was in the middle of her campaign for student body president, she continued to work with her community.
“Don't be afraid to fail, because failing is literally part of the journey, but [it’s] not your ending. Failing is what it takes to learn how to succeed,” Nguyen said. “If you fail, that's one step closer to success. Don't be afraid to go out of the box and try new things … Take a leap of faith and believe in yourself and better yourself, and don't listen to what other people say, because at the end of the day, you have you.”
Although she is a legal studies major, Nguyen has decided not to attend law school. She plans to continue being an influence on her community no matter where she goes.
‘A Greater Purpose’
With the last event of the year for ASA being an ASA weekend in Bloomington, a collaboration with other Student Associations in Indiana, Jessica Serwah tipped her cap to the ASA and Ball State University.
Serwah has been the public relations head of the ASA, and after two years in the position, she will be graduating with a major in computer information systems. Something Jessica feels she has struggled with in college is feeling as though she deserves to be a part of the community she has built here.
“There's times where as a minority woman, I think there's only one of me in my capstone class, so I just feel like I have to work harder than the next person,” Serwah said.
Serwah has also been a part of her hall council, and she is currently on the public relations team of the Men and Women of Color organization. She was also a member of Information Technology Students of America (ITSA) (formerly Association of Information Technology Professionals - AITP).
“Find a greater purpose outside of yourself, and once you find that, everything that you're struggling to do or finding a hard time in school with,” Serwah said, “it will become easier because you're not only doing it for yourself, but you're doing it for the greater good of your community, of your family, your friends and anybody who wants to level up and be someone like you.”
After college, Serwah plans to work at the University of Notre Dame in the tech department. She plans on going back to university to receive her masters in business administration in the future.
“Keep going and know that there is a finish line at the end,” Serwah said. “There's different things that you're gonna do in life, and you can give up at any time because it's easier to give up, but once you reach that finish line, everything becomes much clearer. You're happier.”
‘Just Go For It’
Like Nguyen and Serwah, Andy Myers, fourth-year supply chain management major, has also been heavily involved during his university career.
In his first year at Ball State, he joined Delta Sigma Pi, a co-ed business fraternity, holding many positions within it, including president from December 2021 to December 2022.
When he started his presidential position, there were 25 members, and under his leadership, by the 2023 spring semester the membership grew to 75, Myers said.
Myers joined Delta Sigma Pi to be a part of “something business-like and more of a community.”
On top of that, he was an RA in the Dehority Complex for three years.
“I lived in Dehority my freshman year, [and] there's so many different majors and creativity there,” Myers said. “So I wanted to be a part of that, to be able to help incoming freshmen kind of have the resources they need to foster that creativity and the talents they have.”
Myers attributes his upcoming full-time job at Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis to the involvement he had in his four years at Ball State. Starting in September, he will be traveling to different brewers in the supply chain rotational program.
Being involved helped to “broaden [his] mind” and gain many different transferable skills, such as leadership skills and learning how to be a good role model. Along with the skills he picked up, the people in the hiring process were also involved at their universities, allowing Myers to connect with them.
Myers advises other Ball State students to “just go for it” when it comes to involvement on campus, to look at all the different organizations on campus and see what works for them.
“Just getting involved at least opens the door for you, for an experience that you don't know what can happen,” he said. “You don't know what could have been there for you if you don't take that step, and college is hard with all the schoolwork, but it's also about getting involved and going outside your social boundaries a little bit.”