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Student body president to attend AIPAC conference

13 Jan

Sydni Mitchell - SGA President

Sydni Mitchell, SFA’s student body president and graduate assistant in the Office of Student Affairs Programs, was recently offered a full scholarship to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference.

The annual conference, set for March 4-6, takes place in Washington, D.C. Mitchell is one of 200 student government presidents nationwide selected to attend, and the scholarship covers all costs for travel and the conference. More information about the AIPAC conference can be found at

Mitchell, a graduate student in the Master’s of Public Administration program, is also a former student member of the SFA Board of Regents.

“We are always thrilled to see our students receive opportunities like this,” Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service, said. “Sydni will be able to make so many valuable connections and bring back great experience to use in her involvement at SFA.”


Former ODK President awarded prestigious scholarship

13 Jan

By Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service

Jeff Briggs

Jeff Briggs, the president of SFA’s Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa in 2010-11, was recently awarded an Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation Scholarship.

The ODK Foundation chose 20 students out of more than 140 applicants to receive scholarships to help fund their graduate studies. Briggs, who graduated from SFA in 2011, is a first-year medical student at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth and will receive $1,000 toward his studies.

“We were thrilled to hear that Jeff had been awarded an ODK Foundation Scholarship,” Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service, said. “SFA’s ODK members are an amazing group of students, and it is always encouraging when their accomplishments are honored by the ODK national office and foundation.”

Omicron Delta Kappa is SFA’s leadership honor society and is housed within the Office of Student Affairs Programs. Students interested in applying for membership in ODK should have a 3.0 or higher GPA and be a junior, senior or graduate student with leadership experience. Applications will be available Jan. 18 at

The Gathering

26 Aug
Student leaders at The Gathering

Student leaders at The Gathering

More than 70 student leaders gathered at SFA’s Piney Woods Conservation Center Aug. 23-24 for The Gathering, a retreat for student leaders from areas across campus to come together to collaborate on how they can work together to make SFA a better place.

Students represented the following areas:

  • Orientation
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Student Activities Association
  • The BIG Event
  • Alternative Spring Break
  • Inter-Fraternity Council
  • Panhellenic
  • Traditions Council
  • Involvement Advisers
  • Student Publications
  • National Residence Hall Honorary
  • Residence Hall Association
  • Multicultural Greek Council
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council
  • Organization of Latin Americans
  • African Student Organization
  • Jack Camp
  • Lumberjack Cultural Association
  • Student Government Association
  • Fashion in Motion
The students brainstormed on issues they saw on campus and how they could make an impact in those areas, and ultimately decided as a group to focus on campus beautification. The students will be meeting regularly to follow up with each organization who committed to helping on this project and how they can move forward to make a difference on campus.
The retreat was put on by the Office of Student Affairs Programs and staffed by representatives from Student Activities, Leadership and Service, Greek Life, Orientation, Student Publications, Multicultural Affairs and Campus Recreation.

Represent your fellow students in SGA

12 Aug
Sydni Mitchell, Student Body President

Sydni Mitchell, Student Body President

This is one of many articles from our Parent’s Newsletter, sent three times a year to parents of new and returning SFA students. To sign up to receive the newsletter, please click here. 

By Sydni Mitchell, Student Body President

The purpose of Student Government Association is to ensure that the students are represented in every phase of their experience on our campus. For more than 70 years, SGA has contributed to the rich, independent tradition of the Lumberjack student. The projects and bills passed by SGA every year are an important stepping stone to real change in the life of the SFA student.

Your student could be part of making changes and making a difference on our campus by applying to be an SGA senator. Applications for senator positions will be available Aug. 29 in the SGA office, Room 3.304 in the BakerPattilloStudentCenter. For any questions or comments you can contact SGA at or by calling (936) 468-3500.

As student body president, I want to ensure that every student group is represented and that their concerns and issues are addressed. I hope to utilize our resources to their fullest while keeping a realistic mind-set for our goals. A few of the initiatives that I hope to accomplish this year are:

1) to create more resources for veterans on our campus by creating a Veteran’s Resource Center

2) to ensure that the voices of the students are heard on issues such as tuition increases and creating more accountability in the way that student fees are spent

3) to work in partnership with university officials on improving the commuter bus transportation on our campus

4) and to continue the Green Initiative to make SFA a more environmentally friendly campus.

A few of SGA’s recent accomplishments include the passing of resolutions that directly led to the construction of the SFA Student Recreation Center and the renovations to the Baker Pattillo Student Center. By partnering with the University Police Department, we were able to improve lighting and safety protocols on campus. We also have registered more than 500 students to vote in the state and national general elections over the past three years. The students involved in SGA strive to continue making changes on our campus to ensure that the students are able to have the best experience possible.

I am excited to serve SGA this year as the student body president, and I hope to be a resource to all students. During Welcome Week, students can learn more about SGA and its plans for the year at the annual State of the Student Body Address, set for Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. on the Baker Pattillo Student Center Plaza. I look forward to meeting students there and addressing the exciting year ahead of us.

Axe ’em, Jacks!

ODK student leader accepted for prestigious summit

15 Jul
ODK member accepted for Hesselbein Summit

ODK member accepted for Hesselbein Summit

Blanca Jahaziel Hiriart-Lozoya (“Jazi”), a Spring 2011 inductee into Omicron Delta Kappa, will be attending the prestigious Student Leadership Summit, which is run by the University of Pittsburgh’s Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.

Jazi, a Political Science major and International Studies minor set to graduate in August, was one of only 50 students worldwide accepted through an application process to attend the summit, which takes place July 23-26 in Pittsburgh.

“We are so thrilled to see our students taking advantage of leadership opportunities such as this,” Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service and faculty secretary for SFA’s ODK Circle, said. “To see one of our students accepted into such a small, prestigious pool of student leaders taking part in this summit is a great honor for SFA and the Office of Student Affairs Programs.”

Jazi was interested in attending the summit because of its vision of producing experienced, ethical leaders equipped to address critical issues throughout the world.

“It’s compatible with my passion and commitment for internationalization, cross-cultural education, diversity and global citizenship,” she said.  “I am most excited about joining other student leaders from across the world to learn how to be an effective and innovative leader, as well as learning from mentors and their expertise.”

The summit’s schedule includes sessions with CEOs and military leaders on a variety of topics of interest to future leaders, including focuses on philanthropy and civic engagement and creating dynamic businesses. Jazi is particularly excited about a presenter named Belinda Pinckney.

“She’s one of only a few African-American females who have been general officers in the United States Army,” she said.

“We learned about this opportunity through some advertising the Hesselbein group did, and made sure our student leaders knew about this chance,” Bouldin said. “Especially since the summit offers to cover nearly all of the student’s expenses, it was an excellent way for our students to take part in an exciting event at minimal cost. We look forward to hearing about Jazi’s experience and what she can bring back to SFA and ODK.”