ANISA OMAR: Creating an Impact by Accomplishing Firsts

Each semester, the Centennial Student Union recognized eight outstanding students who excel as leaders in the campus community or within the CSU student staff. The BEST Board, the 55-foot display in the CSU Hearth Lounge, is a way of Boasting Exceptional Student Talent. This eight-part series offers a glimpse of each of those student leaders for Fall 2020.

Anisa Omar of Mankato, Minn., will graduate with her degree in Political Science. She is currently involved in IGNITE Women in Politics and was the first Black Muslim woman who served as the student body president for the 2019-2020 academic school year. Following her undergraduate degree, she plans on attending law school and becoming a civil rights attorney.


Using your own experience, what advice for personal fulfillment and college enrichment would you offer to fellow students?

ANISA: “The number one advice I always give to students is to be as involved on campus as possible. Your experience here will be as good as you make it. Also, campus involvement provides you with the opportunity to network and showcase your talents.”

We often get asked, “How do I get on the BEST Board?” What do you think helped earn you your BEST Board distinction?

ANISA: “I believe my campus involvement was a driving factor in my ability to get on the BEST Board. It is important to find a way to leave your impact on campus for the better. At times you may feel unappreciated but your work never goes unnoticed.”

Why did you pick the quote used on the BEST Board? Please provide some background.

ANISA: “I picked my quote because it is reflective of the two driving factors that served as both a barrier and a blessing and that being my identity as a Black Muslim woman. Serving as student body president it provided me with the opportunity to represent marginalized student groups on our campus. As well as use my pain, struggle, and barriers and turn it into advocacy.”

What involvement or leadership experience at Minnesota State Mankato best defines you, your interests, or your proudest moment? 

ANISA: “My proudest moment was being elected to serve as student body president. I was the first Black Muslim woman to serve in this role. It provided me the opportunity to learn about policy and advocacy. It also gave me a purpose for my Political Science degree.”

Where do you hope to take your college education earned at Minnesota State Mankato (what are your career aspirations)?

ANISA: “I hope to attend law school following my undergraduate degree. I plan on becoming a civil rights attorney and doing my part to fix the inequities we continuously see across the nation and the globe.”

What words of wisdom would you share in these unusual times?

ANISA: “Do not let your misgivings hinder you at this moment. We are navigating a global pandemic as students most of whom are service workers and are greatly impacted. Do not punish yourself for just making it through at this moment you do not have to be exceptional your best is good enough and I guarantee this semester nor does this academic school year define you.”


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