CAS senior finds his passion — and his pillars — at OSU
Thursday, September 30, 2021
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Oklahoma State University senior Jack A. Edwards has built his undergraduate career on the pillars of involvement and leadership. The Texas native is pursuing a dual degree in political science and psychology and is on track to graduate in three years despite being involved in countless organizations and research.
“I love the way the government is structured,” he said. “I love the way it functions. That has always been super interesting to me, and I’ve always had a passion for the law. I think political science and psychology degrees are really good stepping stones to law school, which has always been my endgame.”
Edwards plans to make his way straight to law school after he graduates in May 2022. Then he hopes to practice law for a few years with a goal of prosecuting for a district attorney’s office. Eventually, he would like to transition into public politics toward a more hands-on role in national leadership. OSU has helped him gain countless leadership experiences to use in pursuing his goals.
“My time has been defined by College of Arts and Sciences involvement and Student Government involvement. My launch points my first semester were the Freshman Representative Council, or as it’s now known First Year Representative Council, and the CAS Ambassador program. They came together when I became an SGA senator representing the College of Arts and Sciences,” Edwards said.
He also served on the executive teams for the CAS Freshman Student Council and as president of CAS Ambassadors. Last spring, despite the global pandemic, he was elected the SGA president.
“I think it started in the Freshman Representative Council. I met a good friend, Alex Bias, and also got to intern under the existing SGA president. I got to get a really up-close look at what the job would entail and it just inspired me and reaffirmed what I wanted to do.”
Edwards ran his campaign with Bias, who will be his vice president in the coming year. Their campaign was based on the word RISE — resources, inclusiveness, stability and engagement.
With multiple policies under each word, they had plenty of campaign ideas to discuss. They used Instagram and GroupMe in their campaigning, individually reaching out to thousands of students for feedback and adapting their campaign to what was important to their audience.
In the end, their strategy won. Some of Edwards’ key goals for the future focus on helping students learn about key resources on campus including things like mental health services, financial need, career guidance and food pantries.
“We have so many of those resources out there,” he said. “What we really want to focus on this next year is engaging the students and making sure that they know those resources are out there. Another way we want to do this is by interacting with the college student councils.”
Edwards wants to utilize the various college student councils to help connect even more with the student population.
Connecting with students has been different due to the pandemic that changed our world. Edwards was only in his second semester when it hit, forcing him to take his studies online and lose out on traditional experiences such as college internships. Yet he took the down time in stride, taking summer courses and prepping for his LSAT early. His diligence in the rough patches will allow him to graduate early.
Edwards’ last year at OSU will no doubt be busy, but he looks toward it with excitement. In the next year, he will help shape the future of OSU and leave yet another mark on both the people working alongside him and the university as a whole.
“I found what I love, what I’m passionate about, what gets me up in the morning. I’m going to pour 100 percent of myself into just that.”
Photos By: College of Arts and Sciences
Story By: Samantha Homann | CONNECT Magazine