By Kierstyn Parker, Staff Writer — Rachel Emond, a junior political science major from Kodak, Tennessee, was elected as SGA president on March 31, but it’s not her first time she’s held leadership positions.

Emond, who serves on the current SGA executive board as secretary, traces her experience with student government all the way back to high school. When she came to UTC nearly three years ago, Emond says she decided to join the freshman senate due to her high school experience and to make new friends.

“Joining freshman senate was a combination of wanting to help the student body and wanting to be involved with on campus. It allowed me to get out of my comfort zone without being too overwhelmed during my first year of college,” Emond says.   

Despite her continued work with SGA, the idea to run for SGA President wasn’t always on Edmond’s radar.

“It started coming up in more conversations, when people would ask ‘What are you thinking of doing for next year?” Emond recalls. “I had been so focused on my job this year in SGA that I hadn’t thought too much about it until January. Drew Keil [Vice President-elect] and I discussed it over Christmas Break and came to the conclusion we wanted to work together. We got back to school then and made a plan to form the coalition. We knew we wanted our current Chief of Staff, Semaja Reed, on our team immediately, and we wanted people who would be intentional about working in SGA.”

The rest of their coalition, A New Vision, included senators Dominique Malone, Derek Stienmetz and Tucker McClendon.  

Along with serving as President next year, Emond will also be a Senior Resident Assistant in the Johnson O’Bear residence hall, and serve as treasurer on the executive board for the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature. Despite the busy schedule, Emond doesn’t anticipate any difficulties with time management.

“I made a point to know what responsibilities entail,” she says. “Based on my previous experience working with Housing and the exec board, I’m not too worried.”

As for her plans after graduation, Emond says she hopes to take a year off to do research abroad and work on getting accepted into the Fulbright Scholars program.

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