Emma Hazen is a political science, nonprofit and NGO studies major from Urbana, IL
Hometown: Urbana, IL
Year: Expected graduation: 2023
What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
I received a scholarship through the NIU Honors Program for my participation in honors. I also received a merit scholarship for my GPA coming into NIU, and for retaining it throughout my academic journey. The financial support I received from NIU allowed me to focus on earning a degree, rather than worrying about affording classes.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
When I was growing up, I wanted to work at an animal shelter. I loved working with animals and wanted to be around them every day. Throughout my time at NIU, I have been able to work with a variety of nonprofits. I cherish that I'm able to work with animal rescues on a large scale.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
My majors are political science and nonprofit and NGO studies. I chose these majors because I have a passion for bettering communities. I found that government and nonprofits are routes to effective change, which I hope to create someday.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
I was surprised by the opportunities NIU offered me. I have been able to accept multiple internships and jobs through the university that will boost me into my career. Over the summer, I was able to intern for Congress in Washington, D.C., through an NIU program. NIU has demonstrated to me that it values providing students with unique opportunities.
How have you connected with other students to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
I connected with other students by participating in organizations and clubs. I especially found that taking on leadership roles within student organizations was a fast way to form new friendships and bond over a hobby.
Are you involved in any student organizations, mentoring programs or extra-curricular activities? If so, which ones? How have they added to your experience as a Huskie?
I'm president of Sigma Lambda Sigma, which is a service sorority on campus. This organization has added to my experience as a Huskie because of the friendships it helped me create. I also enjoy the volunteer work we do, as it allows me to utilize what I've learned in my majors.
What NIU offices, departments or resources have helped you succeed? And how?
The Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies has been a strong support system to my success. I've always felt welcome to ask for help or to just stop by the office. The NNGO office provided me with internships that I will always value and connections that supported me significantly.
What Honors Program opportunities or support have helped you get closer to your academic or career goals so far?
The Honors Program has been excellent in encouraging us to attend events or seminars that interest us. I enjoyed all that I learned at these events, and they were inspiring to attend. I also appreciate the honors advisors, who were always available to assist when I needed it.
What do you enjoy the most about the Honors Program?
I most enjoyed the little ways they would reach out to build a community. The Honors Program hosts occasional events and get-togethers that bring students together.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
Dr. Alicia Schatteman has been one of my favorite instructors at NIU since my freshman year. While I'm taking my first course with her in the upcoming semester, she led me on 40TUDE Nonprofit through NIU and my entire academic career. She has always been involved with students in the nonprofit program and has created a strong support system.
How have you benefited by attending class regularly?
The best way to understand your courses is to attend them regularly. A lot of us have tried to skip on classes, and we learn the hard way that attendance is vital to learning successfully. Regular attendance ensures that you don't miss important information on tests, homework and knowledge that isn't in a PowerPoint.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite spot on campus is the Holmes Student Center. I love that it has fun things to do, like bowling and Starbucks, in addition to quiet spots to study or breathe between classes.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
I would recommend that you capture the story of your life. While every student can list the activities they participated in or their test scores, you have a unique story that explains how you found yourself at that college. It's also a great way to explain why you're passionate about your future career path.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
When I came to college, I had to learn to put myself out there. It was out of my comfort zone to meet new people and go to unfamiliar events. I spent a lot of my freshman year learning how to introduce myself and meet new friends.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I feel recharged when I spend time with my pets. I love to watch a movie and relax with my dogs at home.