Archive for Thursday, November 29, 2007

Creighton to test LHS graduate’s leadership

November 29, 2007

It may not be the White House just yet, but one Lansing High School graduate has made her way into a presidential seat.

Micah White was recently elected student body president at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., but this won't be her first time in such a lofty office. A 2005 graduate of Lansing High, White first took her place as president on the LHS Leadership council.

"(Leadership) taught me a lot of life lessons about how to deal with people, but it's a very, very different ballgame when you come to university-level politics," she said.

White said she remembers her time as president of Leadership fondly as well as the lessons she learned about how to work with people and how to treat others. She originally started her student government career as a way to give back, which she said was triggered by being raised in a family that focused on public service.

Nothing's changed now, even as a junior double-majoring in finance and accounting. She said she still thinks serving one's community is one of the most important tasks a person can do.

"Creighton is a great university that's already given me a lot," she said. "It's a great way to give back to the institution."

When she went to Creighton White got involved in student government as the representative of the Business School. She then moved on to vice president for finance. What's made her time on the student government so beneficial, White said, has been the experience it has given her for a future career.

Creighton's student government, known as Creighton Students Union, is different from many university governments, in that it is a separate corporation of its own with autonomy from the rest of the university. As president, White will be CEO of the corporation where she will represent the interests of 6,800 students.

White ran for Creighton student body president because she said she saw room for growth. During her year as president, she said she wants to focus on working with the community and getting the school involved in city politics.

White said her duties would be different than her time as Leadership president. University politics is a much larger process that will keep her in constant contact with administrators, sitting in on board of directors meetings and carefully watched as the model Creighton student.

Going from being president of a small school where she knew everyone, to representing 6,800 people, a majority of whom she's never met, will be a challenge. She said she was nervous and excited at the same time for January to roll around and for her new elected position to take effect.

Despite the differences in the offices at LHS and Creighton, in both cases White depended on her approachable personality to make it through, she said. She described herself as responsible, serious, a good communicator and a person others can easily talk to about issues, which in her mind are the makings of a successful president.

But don't be looking for her to move up further in the ranks anytime too soon. White said she wasn't sure if politics would be in her long-term future and for now is focusing on her interest in business.

"Politics isn't something you can plan on doing," she said. "You feel a call from the community and you feel if it's the right time."

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