Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Childhood Friendship Links Student Body Presidents

By Christian Brink
Gordon College News Service
(This story appeared Sunday, May 22, 2011, in a series for the Boston Globe North print and online editions.)

Wenham, MA – In the fifth grade Jesse Adams and Arthur Emma were called to the principal’s office for selling fireworks in their school cafeteria in Lake Geneva, WI. Years later when they left home to attend college in the Boston area, Adams at Gordon College and Emma at Boston University, the two decided to invest in something with a bigger payoff: leadership.

Adams, 22, a business major, and Emma 22, a business and philosophy major, spent the past year as student body presidents and are both graduating this weekend (Adams on May 21 and Emma on May 22). The childhood friends balanced demanding senior schedules, a social life beyond Facebook, and future careers to help lead their peers and other college leaders.

“There’s nobody who can really represent the voice of the students as well as student body elected leaders,” said Emma.

Not only have Adams and Emma focused on serving their schools, they’ve also built relationships between other local universities as founders of the Boston Council of Undergraduate Student Presidents (BCUSP).

BCUSP, a group of student body presidents and vice presidents from area colleges, have gathered throughout the year to discuss how best to improve and lead their respective institutions. In addition to Gordon and BU, BCUSP representatives include Berklee, Brandeis, Emerson, Endicott, Harvard, Tufts, and Wellesley.

Despite differences between Gordon and BU—Gordon is a small Christian liberal arts college on the North Shore with 1,600 students whereas BU is a large urban university with an undergraduate class of 16,000—Adams and Emma helped with each other’s election campaigns. As a result, they wanted to apply their successful collaboration on a larger scale by inviting other student presidents to join BCUSP.

Endicott Graduate Combines Hospitality and Presidency

By Jesse Poole
Gordon College News Service
(This story appeared Sunday, May 22, 2011, in a series for the Boston Globe North print and online editions.)

BEVERLY, MA- When Annie Bolton, 21, travelled to Phenix City, Alabama, this past spring break to help build homes with Habitat for Humanity, she dreamed of a career in nonprofit work. Instead, the Endicott College student body president—who graduated yesterday—knows she might need to refocus her professional goals in light of the current economic situation. 

Even so, Bolton is confident that her leadership experiences in college as well as her volunteer work uniquely prepared her for a step towards the corporate world.

Bolton, originally from Belgrade Lakes, Maine, served as class officer for three years on Endicott’s Student Government Association (SGA), but she knew she wanted to contribute more.

Not only did Bolton help make Endicott a more hospitable place, she majored in it, declaring her major, Hospitality Management with a concentration in events management. Her course work came in handy when she decided to run for the top SGA position.

“I wanted to be president in order to make the biggest impact possible on SGA and the Endicott community,” said Bolton. She set goals to improve communication with staff, faculty and administration, gain more involvement from other students on campus, and implement new ideas. “Each furthered SGA’s roles and responsibilities,” she said.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Salem State University Commuter Steps Up to Lead

By Alyssa M. Baxter
Gordon College News Service
(This story appeared Sunday, May 22, 2011, in a series for the Boston Globe North print and online editions.)

SALEM, MA- As students arrived on campus at Salem State University one day last October, Jessica Cousins, 23, set up a different kind of lesson for her peers: a simulator in the Commons Dining Hall on the distractions of texting and driving.

The hands-on anti-texting and driving presentation, planned by Cousins, president of the Commuter’s Association and SSU’s student government vice president, allowed students to see the dangers of texting and driving, Cousins explained.

“It went over really well,” she said.

Aside from her leadership in student government and with commuters, Cousins has held many other titles. She has been a junior senator and senior senator for the Student Government Association (SGA), the vice president of the Military Support Group (MSG), which sends care packages to the men and women overseas and has visited veteran’s hospitals. She has been rules chair/judicial affairs chair for SGA, which not only regulates the constitutions of the campus’ groups and clubs, but also attends the court cases as a student representative to ensure that the students’ rights are adhered to. 

“Leadership is being able to delegate to others, work with others and have compassion and understanding for what you’re working on,” said Cousins, who was drawn to Salem State because of its location and history faculty.

Merrimack Grads Consider Constituents, Coefficients and Graduation

By Alysa (Obert) Seeland
Gordon College News Service
(This story appeared Sunday, May 22, 2011, in a series for the Boston Globe North print and online editions.)

North Andover—Grade-conscious students with interests in physics, finance and math are not usually considered likely candidates for government personalities. Yet this is exactly how Timmy Smith and Scott Pirrello landed the most influential student positions at Merrimack College.

As president of the Student Government Association (SGA), Smith, 21, of Needham, MA, graduated May 21 with a bachelor’s degree in math and physics. As senior class president, Pirrello, 22, of Westin, MA, graduated with a degree in finance. Because of their combined work ethic and leadership, SGA won the College’s Outstanding Club Award in 2011, and Smith received the Outstanding Student Award for his efforts with SGA.

Since coming to Merrimack, Smith participated in SGA and decided early on he would one day be president. He hoped to increase the group’s visibility on campus and reinforce its mission. During his term, Smith launched a poster campaign that put SGA in the spotlight year-round.

“People should know who represents them and now SGA is cool again,” said Smith.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Graduation and the End of the World: May 21

By Jesse Poole, Class of 2011
Gordon College News Service
(This opinion column appeared Saturday, May 21, 2011, in The Salem News.)

The ­­ countdown to graduation is upon us. Do I have time to do the math? No. Do I have time to search “” on the web? Yes. And what I find is a countdown to the end of the world. Doomsday is apparently the day of my graduation.

If I were to believe the giant billboard—the one off of Cabot Street in Beverly—telling of this final, final event, I suppose I’d benefit . . . in some ways. For example, I could stop studying for finals and cease writing papers. I could sit back and enjoy spring, waiting for the Lord to ride down from the clouds on a chariot.

So with two significant events on one day, how do I plan? After all, one is filled with a lot of sitting, smiles and applause. The other probably leans more toward the clapping of thunder, chaos and death.

But because I am as learned as I amand an aspiring journalist­­­­––I knew I had to investigate.

Monday, May 16, 2011

For water’s sake, localize your garden

By Jesse Poole
Gordon College News Service
(This story appeared May 20 in The Salem News feature section.)

IPSWICH, MA-The headquarters of the Ipswich River Watershed Association (IRWA) is off the beaten trail, but by turning onto their long, narrow 5mph driveway in Ipswich, you’ll find yourself more local than usual.

They call themselves “the voice of the river” and are dedicated to protecting water quality. For residents across the North Shore, that means the IRWA advocates the growth of local plants. So on their property they reveal the beauty of native plant-life in a variety of gardens.

But the aesthetic benefits of their colorful perennials, ornamental grasses, and numerous shrubs are not the only reason the IRWA encourages native growth.

“It’s better for the environment and it’s much cheaper,” said Cynthia Ingelfinger, outreach coordinator at IRWA. “Typically, unless you’re growing vegetables, local plants require no watering and no chemicals, just rainfall.”

Ingelfinger believes that we use far too much drinking water for our lawns when we don’t need to. Salem, Mass, for instance, is responsible for much of the water control issues the IRWA is facing. Of all the cities and towns using the Ipswich River for water supply, Salem has not reduced its water usage.