EMMA ZELLMER: ‘Get involved in as much as you possibly can’

Each semester since Spring 2015, the Centennial Student Union honors eight students selected for campus student leadership and CSU student staff excellence. Nominated by staff members from Student Affairs, the Kearney International Center, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion selected students are recognized on the BEST Board, a 55-foot display in the CSU Hearth Lounge created for Boasting Exceptional Student Talent.

Nominator’s comments...

Emma Zellmer has been a “rock star” since day one. From her early work with RHA, to Speaker, to Students United, to now, the impact she’s made on this campus and beyond is impressive.

She’s thoughtful. She’s determined. She’s political (in a good way). She’s respected. She sees the big picture. She has a natural ability to think through an issue before acting too quickly. She’s confident, without being cocky. Her style, administrative panache, willingness to work with all, and intelligence, have been the perfect blend for success. She understands what it takes to get the work done, and knows the correct players with which to work.

In Emma’s own words…

How has campus involvement and/or campus employment enhanced YOUR COLLEGE EXPERIENCE?

Campus involvement has been the highlight of my college experience. Not only have I met life-long friends, but have also had once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that I will remember long after my time at Minnesota State, Mankato. By getting involved in Student Government and the Resident Hall Association, I made friends that would encourage me to attend other events with them and get more engaged with our campus community. We have attended numerous sporting events, International student association events, homecoming activities, and more. These events and experiences have helped me expand my world-view and created an unforgettable college experience.

How has campus involvement and/or campus employment enhanced YOUR FUTURE?

When I stepped onto campus in the fall of 2018, I fully believed that I would leave our institution with a degree in Construction Management, ready to work as a project manager and hopefully start an all-female construction company. By the end of the first week of classes, I had decided that I would go to law school and become a criminal defense lawyer. As I got more involved in Student Government and Students United, I quickly realized that I had been wrong all along. It was because of my time at Students United and in Student Government that I have been able to feel confident in my decision to pursue a future in higher education administration and student affairs. My involvement, and employment in the admissions office, have helped me grow my leadership skills, knowledge, and confidence that I hope to share with others throughout my life.

What advice would you share with fellow students in helping them make the most of their college experience?

Get involved in as much as you possibly can. My biggest regret as I look back on my time at Minnesota State, Mankato, is that I did not get more involved in things outside of Student Government. College is a time in our lives when opportunities are endless. Now that I am on my way out, I wish I would have attended more events outside of my comfort zone, spent time in offices that I may not have frequented, and joined more student clubs and organizations.

Throughout your college experience at Minnesota State Mankato, what has provided the greatest personal growth, memories, satisfaction and/or personal pride.

The experience at Minnesota State, Mankato that has provided me with the most pride, satisfaction, and memories was my time as a Community Advisor. Although our year on Preska K3 was cut short by the pandemic, during our short time together, our floor was able to bond and grow friendships that still prosper today, plan events and get further involved on campus. Some of the residents I had the opportunity to work with on K3 are now members of Greek life leadership, Presidents of campus clubs, and members of the Maverick Machine.

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