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William Smith Leaders

Emily Earll ’08

English major Emily Earll '08 is the definition of an active and engaged William Smith leader. A 2007-2008 Student Trustee, Earll helps make important decisions about life on campus. She also makes an impact as a member of William Smith Congress and the Budget Allocation Committee. The Pennsylvania-native makes time to remain active in the community, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and the local Neighbor's Night program. She has served as a SIB Leader and an Orientation Mentor during Orientation and remains active as a William Smith Sidekick and Admissions Tour Guide. She also works as a legal aid in Geneva and is currently interning in the Office of Buildings and Grounds on campus.

How did you get interested in being a student trustee?
My interest in student government began in high school and continued throughout my life at HWS. Although I lost my first campaign for first-year class president, I became involved in William Smith Judicial Board and went to every William Smith Congress meeting. After my first year, I decided to try to run for another position and this time was successful; so, sophomore year I was the treasurer of William Smith Congress. I loved having an impact on student life and helping peers voice their concerns. It was a wonderful venue to make change. After WSC, I realized how amazing it would be to be able to alter HWS life at another level. My friends helped me campaign for the position, and lo-and-behold I was elected. It has been a wonderful, eye-opening experience that I’ll never forget.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I can actually say that I now have a job and an apartment! Starting in June, I will be working for a company called Cambridge Advisory Group, Inc., which is owned and operated by HWS trustee Stuart Piltch. Cambridge Advisory Group, Inc., is a consultant firm with headquarters located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit, meet the employees and work for a week during winter break. Although it seems strange for an English major and Public Policy minor to be a consultant, I can honestly say that my education at HWS has prepared me for any task at hand. Like most seniors, I am nervous for the changes, but also excited!

Why William Smith? 
Coming from a small town in southern Pennsylvania, I had never heard of HWS. After a family friend asked me what I wanted from a college, I replied, “Not to be shallow…but I want it to be pretty, besides, of course, the whole academic thing.” She recommended HWS. I ended up on arriving on a Sunday morning, which any student can tell you, is the most desolate time on campus. Nonetheless, it made an impression, and I later returned for the tour and interview. When it finally came to the decision time, I had narrowed it down to two schools. My supportive parents were kind enough to drive me the whole way up here and back down to the other school in the same day so that I could make a comparison. After reaching the second college, I did not even want to get out of the car. Something at HWS made me feel welcome – the people smiled at me even though they had no idea who I was, and I could just see myself walking to class through the Quad. It was at moment that I knew HWS, or more specifically William Smith, was right for me.

Has the coordinate system had an impact on your education?
Of course! It has been quite an experience to gain both the benefits of a co-ed college and an all women’s school. The coordinate system has afforded me the opportunity to not only have the same academics as men, but to also have the same leadership positions. It has even further taught me ways to cooperate and work with others. I have gained more respect for myself as a woman, more independence, more of an opinion and definitely more of a voice. What doesn’t HWS offer?!

Has William Smith College shaped your idea of leadership?
Easily stated: yes. Everywhere I turn, I am able to see individuals who exemplify the ideal definition of leaders...and they’re accessible. Not many other institutions can boast that their president actually meets with students and that their deans are there for more than discipline. Even my professors have added their own leadership piece to my definition. Their mastery of their subjects, care for their students and patience always amaze me. Besides the people that WSC has as employees, it also has given me huge opportunities to lead – whether it’s through student government or even in admissions. I now know that there are many different types of leadership and that each kind has its own specific needs.

How did you get where you are today? Can you trace it to a certain moment, experience or personality trait?
It has definitely been a process much like a rollercoaster, full of its ups and downs. I know that I could not have accomplished as much as I have without the support of my family, friends and mentors. Several adults have been amazing enough to have faith in me when I didn’t; I would not be the same without them. I can say for certain that I changed as a person in November of 2000 after back surgery that made me leave school for two months and quit volleyball (then, the love of my life). That made view life differently and also forced me to expand my extracurricular activities, leading to my involvement in leadership. As far as a personality trait, it could be my stubbornness to not give up (which I think I got from my Mom) or my ability to reason (which I think is Dad’s)...or it could just be that, over time, I have developed into a much more self-sufficient, outspoken woman than I ever knew possible.

What are you currently reading?
I wish I could say that I was reading some masterpiece of literature that would automatically make me sound brilliant, but that’s definitely not the case. As an English major, I already read a ton of novels, so what I’m ‘reading’ changes daily. Also, as an intern at the Buildings and Grounds Department, I have been reading a lot of articles on lighting. However, for fun, I still like to read and currently, on my bedside stand at my home in Pennsylvania, is a book called Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner. It’s definitely a “chick flick” type of story that discusses the trials and tribulations a young woman faces after a breakup.

 

 
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