After choosing to apply for student regent last spring and undergoing a rigorous application and interviewing process, senior Kinesiology, pre-Physical Therapy major Monica Mathis is finally able to learn the ropes of her new role now that the fall semester has begun. Sitting in the Stoddard Hall lobby, Mathis’ quiet, but attentive demeanor and gentle tones speak to a reserved, yet open personality.
Later calling herself an ‘introverted-extrovert, Mathis explains: “TWU has made me the person I am today. I was definitely not a super outgoing, outspoken leader when I came in…and I have held a wide range of leadership positions on campus, and to me this was just the pinnacle of what it meant to serve TWU.” A passion to serve TWU and her peers is the reason why she decided to apply to be student regent, in addition to some encouragement from familiar faculty and staff.
Mathis expressed her hope that students will realize, like her, that they can be leaders even if they think they can’t or not at this moment in time. In fact, she believes students have been showing more interest in getting involved: “The culture has changed over the past four years that I’ve been here; I think that students are excited to be here and get more than just an education from this diamond-in-the-rough.”
With her participation in several campus organizations such as the Honors Program, Terry Scholars, and kinesiology club, Mathis swears that her planner and support system are what keep her going: “I seem to stay more focused the busier I am — because I have to stay focused.”
A passion for life, TWU, and her career path inspires Mathis to keep trying new things and building her leadership skills. She shared: “I have this quote hanging up on my wall that I love and live by; it says: ‘Find something you’re passionate about and stay tremendously interested in it’ and it’s by Julia Childs…I have a passion for people and a passion for this university, so waking up every day to a full day’s work, I love, because I know I’m getting to do what I love every single day.”
Mathis’ first day as a representative of the student body was at the Board of Regents meeting, Aug. 18 & 19, where she said her goal was to gauge where her understanding as a student would be needed and when she should speak up. “My focus, just in all, this year, is to make sure that every single student knows that they have a voice here on campus. That they are always more than welcome to contact me and I will do my very best to help them with whatever it is.”
In order to gain multiple student perspectives, Mathis has reached out to the Dallas, Houston, and Denton Student Government Association presidents. She’s also in active contact with the Campus Activities Board: “I’m just trying to get my face out there, let people know who I am and make sure that they know they have a connection to the Student Regent on the board.” Mathis will be running around during Family Weekend, one of the largest annual events on campus, so peers might catch her there.