SGA Executive Board Profiles

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Lauren Gorla

Jacob Jay

Junior biology major

Wants to see a more holistic approach to running SGA and make issues more tangible

Jay is running for president of SGA on the Jay-Bajc ticket because he hopes to guide discussions that spark actual change.

“I feel like one of the key things the president does is make sure people are in the right places at the right time and doing the right things. And so we need to make sure we’re doing that, meeting with the appropriate people, talking to the appropriate people and making sure those relationships are being built not only within Georgia Southern but also outside.”

The Jay-Bjac ticket consists of three main ideas: transparency, campus safety and community outreach. Jay wants to be able to show students, not just tell students, what SGA is. Jay is interested in going to student organizations and making sure they know that SGA is there for them. Besides presenting himself to student organizations, Jay wants to work on the transparency issue by hosting forums on various topics outside of senate meetings. One tactic Jay is interested in using is Eaglegrams. Community outreach is important to Jay because he would like students to realize that they are all citizens of Statesboro.

“The student body should feel like they trust us and they should feel informed about what SGA is really there for. And we do that by showing them and not telling them.”

Jay is interested in attending medical school once he’s done with undergrad. Jay is one of four boys who names all begin with J, and he also has one cat. A song that would best describe Jay’s campaign is “Turn Down For What.”

Azell Francis

Graduate engineering management student

Looking to bring analytical, critical and systematic ways of thinking through her engineering background

If elected, Francis will be the first international student to serve as president and the first female president since 2009.

Francis is running on the idea of “We the Eagles,” which entails Eagles being elected by Eagles to better serve Eagles. Francis wants to build on the GSU concept of being a student-centered university. Through service, outreach, accountability and respect, Francis looks forward to being an efficient representative and advocate for students.

“We recognized that in order to be a good advocate you have to have three bones. In order to be an effective SGA executive board, you need to have, one: a wish bone. So you have to have that strong desire to serve. SGA is not about a title. It’s not about a position. Rather it’s about willing to go the extra mile at any point to make sure that you’re really serving students to the best of your ability. The second bone you need in order to have a competent executive board would be a back bone, because as an advocate for students you have to be critical and ask those tough questions. What is the purpose of this change? How is this going to affect students? The third and final bone would be a funny bone. We’re all students. We’re all Eagles. And in order to be the best advocate possible, students must feel like they can come up to you. You just want to be that person that people can relate to.”

Francis is an international student from Trinidad and Tobago who is one of five children. Most of her family is still in Trinidad, but she has one sister in Atlanta and another sister in London. Francis’ ultimate goal is to one day become an United Nations ambassador, but until that day comes, Francis would like to work for a global company, so she can exercise her passions for language and diplomacy.

James “Major” Woodall

Junior political science major

Currently serving as an At-Large senator

“I’ve worked with the current Vice President of Academics as well as the one previously, and I’ve allowed myself to see and grow as an individual and see the direction the institution wants to go, the direction students want to go and the direction I want to go. And I think those three are all key to being one.”

Along with being a mentor, Woodall would like to increase the value of education for students. To Woodall, it’s not about the degree, but about the individual. It’s about making a student more marketable, more successful and more suitable for whatever it is that student wants to do in the future.

“I ask the people don’t vote for me because they know me or that they’ve seen me, but rather, I want them to vote for the dream. I want them to vote for me because they believe in what I believe in. They see the same things that I see, and they want to be successful. They want to be great. In order for that to happen, it has to start somewhere. And hopefully it’s with me.”

Woodall is from Riverdale, Ga. where he attended Riverdale High School. Woodall has a twin sister along with two brothers and a dog named Jasmine. Woodall is currently serving in the U.S. Army.

Sheila Francois

Junior Political Science major

Main focus is to be proactive rather than reactive and to be a liaison for students and faculty

“I am going to go to the people. We’re going to make sure you know about SGA, what it entails, what we can offer you, not just my position but with everybody else’s position. I would like to ensure that my peers are receiving adequate resources to further their academic achievement, leadership skills and awareness through Auxiliary Services.”

Francois is running on the ideas of integrity, passion and dedication. When Francois refers to integrity, she means her character, her ability and her attitude. She’s willing to learn while leading and she would love for students to continue to come to her with their concerns. Francois is passionate and dedicated to bringing concerns from students to faculty and informing students about changes that may affect students before those changes actually take place. Her passion encouraged her to initiate the informative Eagle Alert forum.

“There’s been a lot of focusing on dining, but I feel like we shouldn’t just be focused on dining, we should know what’s going on in the eye care center. We should know what’s going with other projects such as the Stadium Expansion Project and the new Health Services and Counseling building. Even though there’s limited things to what we can do, we can still be updated on what’s going on.”

Francois was born in Miami, Flor. but came to Georgia to have a better education. After graduation she looks forward to going to law school and getting a start in possible careers as an attorney, author or motivational speaker.

Charles Glover

Senior psychology major

Running for re-election for the same position he currently holds

Invested in serving the students and making sure the students know that SGA is there for them

“I love being VP, but what I miss about being senator is having more face-to-face contact with a lot more students and having more interaction. I really want to be more personable, so I’ve tried reaching out to more students.”

Glover would love for students to be able to voice their concerns to him so he can act as a better liaison and advocate for students.

Glover comes from Cordele, Ga. After graduation, Glover hopes to get his master’s in clinical psychology. Glover is also interested in working with at-risk teens and youth.

Errol Spence

Junior political science major

Spence would like to bring open-mindedness and experience to his position, building and expanding on what former position holders have started.

“In order to be successful academically, you need to do well in your extracurricular activities, and we need to promote opportunities to get involved. I know through research, student involvement is directly correlated to academic success.”

Spence would like to focus on not only visibility, but communication and also the idea of moving forward. Spence would like to continue to move forward by having another State of University address, a forum that was initiated by current SGA president Garrett Green. However, Spence would like to make it better by encouraging more students to come and participate in the State of University address as well as the weekly SGA meetings through social media. Spence prides himself on being approachable. He makes sure he devotes his time with different social groups and organizations so he can better serve and advocate for the student body.

“When you’re driving down here on I-16, and you’re not looking at anything, it may feel like there’s nothing to do. But once you get down here there’s a lot to do to keep your brain going, activities to challenge you, and there’s just so much room for growth and so many activities that you can get involved in here at Georgia Southern.”

Spence comes from a big Jamaican family. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and moved to Gwinnett County in Atlanta, Ga. with his mother and brother before starting middle school. After graduation, Spence would like to go to graduate school for a master’s in public administration so he can one day achieve his ultimate goal of becoming an U.S. congressman.

Kaitlyn Kidwell

Sophomore Political Science major

Wants to establish successful relationships with student organizations to gain knowledge about funding opportunities

While serving under and assisting the two former Vice Presidents of Finance, Kidwell gained experience and skills that sparked her desire to be more than just an assistant. Kidwell seeks to further help and lead students.

“It’s been a process to kind of organize things and get the ball rolling more, and I think that when I come in I’m very organized, and I’ve had a lot of experience with the past vice presidents of finance, so I can jump in and really just take over. I think I have really great enthusiasm for this kind of work. And I just really enjoy giving back to the students, so I just want to make sure I can help them out as much as possible.”

Kidwell considers herself to be a very organized, hard worker who is passionate about better serving the student body in more ways than one. Kidwell wants students to feel like in addition to having a say in SGA, students feel like they are a part of SGA.

“I really want to establish a greater relationship with all the organizations on campus. I want to create a better relationship with the Office of Student Activities, because they oversee the organizations on campus, and if SGA can get a great relationship with them they can really be a liaison for students.”

Kidwell was born in New Jersey and has a twin sister along with five other brothers and sisters. Kidwell is also a member of the sorority Kappa Delta. Kidwell is excited about going to law school after her undergraduate studies is completed.

Rodrick Leary

Graduate experimental psychology student

Leary started his involvement on campus through working in the Office of Student Conduct as well as in the office of SGA. Leary has been a part of the Financial Advisement Committee for the past two years. He feels that his statistical and research background, learned through his psychology studies, has prepared him for the demanding task of being Vice President of Finance.

“Being in psychology, I have a large statistical background. I’ve done a lot of research. I was a research assistant my last year of undergrad. I do my own research now as graduate student, and I’m in the process of being published for one project I’m working on. I just want [students] to know I can do the hard numbers that comes along with being Vice President of Finance.”

Leary considers his goals to be aligned with the goals on his ticket. He wants his position to be more transparent to students, making sure students know that the SGA is there for them and their organizations. Leary would like to encourage new and younger organizations to apply for the fund requests GSU has designated for student organizations. Leary believes his experience with the ins and outs of the process will only help him guide student organizations, and he wants student organizations to feel like they have someone who’s on their side representing them.

“For the position I’m running for, I’m very well informed. I know what the position requires. And I’m looking forward to displaying that to the students so the students know they have someone who knows what they’re talking about and have their best interests at heart.”

Leary is from the Fayetteville area in Atlanta and comes from a large extended family. Leary has a cousin who graduated from Georgia Southern in the 1990s. After graduation, Leary hopes to get into a Ph.D. program or start working as a private research assistant for a private company.

Will McKinney

Junior finance major

Interested in bringing knowledge to the position from his coursework and implementing a new computer program

McKinney felt like SGA would be a great opportunity to get more involved on campus and started his SGA career by becoming a COBA senator. McKinney is now ready to take his SGA career to the next level by running for Vice President of Finance.

“I would love to see the VP of Finance position begin using a program called Microsoft Access. It’s very similar to Excel, but you can save groups of data in the database, and then you can access databases. It’s just a lot more convenient. It’s just way more accurate. That way you don’t have to type of new spreadsheets all the time. You can keep better records long term.”

McKinney is interested in bring new ideas to the executive board and further expanding on what current and former position holders have done. McKinney feels that his undergraduate program has helped him gain the knowledge and talents needed for his potential position.

McKinney comes from a small family with a large extended Georgian family who can all be found in the same church on Sundays.

Ellen Hogan

Junior logistics major

Third year senator and current Vice President of Finance

In addition to bringing more personality to the position, Hogan would like to continue the hard work that was brought by the current board and to expand on what former and current position holders have done. With assisting in the idea of moving forward, Hogan helped implement the first ever FUND fair, which would showcase student organizations that received SGA funds. She also looks to bring her experience as a Southern Ambassador and a SOAR leader to her potential position.

“I’m just so happy [the FUND fair] happened, and it was ground-breaking. We know how to improve it. We know how to move forward with it, and these are the kind of things are going to get people invested, and that’s going to make people see this is what student government does for me.”

Hogan comes from a large Irish-Southern family in the Savannah area where she has 15 first cousins. After graduation, Hogan plans on getting involved in Savannah politics and she is also interested in possible taking over the family’s maritime business.

Madison Bajc

Junior biology major

Current COSM senator

“I think there are some avenues that we have available to us but haven’t been fully utilizing them. And I think that comes down to, not that there’s been a problem, but just not that we’ve ever thought to use those avenues.”

Bajc is interested in bettering student’s understanding of SGA and being more available to students through avenues such as emails in addition to encouraging students to come to weekly meetings. Another idea Bajc had in incorporating public relations majors in SGA marketing campaigns. It is important to Bajc to build on and bring a connection back to students. Furthermore, Bajc is also interested in having a more cohesive executive board through better communication, and she’s inspired to continue the greatness of SGA by effectively utilizing each candidate position.

“Student government elections is not only about who’s running, it’s about getting student government out there, for people to know about what we do and what we do on campus. A lot of people don’t realize that that’s out biggest marketing thing and our biggest campaign that we do.”

Bajc is interesting in becoming a veterinary and after graduate school, she plans on applying to veterinary school. Bajc lived in and finished high school in China. Her parents still live aboard but Bajc chose to come to Southern to finish her undergraduate degree.

Cliff Padgett

Junior logistics major

Numerous ideas on change from transportation to dining services

“I have a lot of experience working with people and working as a team, rather it be on SOAR or on BUILD, a lot of student organizations that I have been a part of. I think that it’s all built up to this, and I think it’s about that time for me to take that step.”

Padgett is also interested in making his position more transparent. He would like to hold meetings on changes that will affect students and get opinions from students and take those concerns to appropriate people before those changes are set in stone. Padgett would like to also hear more and see more come from the SGA meetings. Padgett is invested in continuing the success of SGA and would like the opportunity to help SGA accomplish more through bring innovative and new ideas to the executive board.