By Tom Ramstetter
NKU Marketing + Communications
Hattie Clark never saw herself as a leader before arriving at Northern Kentucky University from Marion High School in Lebanon, Kentucky.
“I was quiet and did my school work,” Hattie says. “I did theater, but never really helped lead an organization. I never really wanted to either. But in college, that changed. I got my first leadership position in Alpha Phi Omega (co-ed service fraternity), and after that I couldn't stop.”
In fact, the senior theatre and history double major now thinks she is “kind of addicted to being a leader now.”
She is the director of recruitment counselors for PanHellenic Council, the director of speaker events for the Activities Programming Board, the secretary/treasurer for Order of Omega, and the student life liaison for Alpha Phi Omega.
“These leadership opportunities have made me a more confident individual, all while networking,” Hattie says.
The Department of Theatre and Dance really sparked Hattie’s interest when she was searching for a university.
“As I learned more and more about this school, I just fell more and more in love with it,” Hattie says. “I wanted to go to a private school away from home because I felt public school was too large. Then I learned NKU had small class sizes and that I wouldn't just be a number.”
Going north on the Road to NKU was a great decision for Hattie.
“NKU has my heart,” Hattie says. “I am about to graduate, and I really don't want to because I love NKU so much. Where I'm from a lot of people have never heard of NKU. When I first came here, the only program I really knew about was the excellent theatre department. By taking classes here, I know that every department is phenomenal. I know that through the theater and history department the professors are here to challenge you and to educate you. There really is no class where you are going to get an easy A. And the professors here really do care about their students and their education.”
HOMETOWN: Lebanon, Kentucky
HIGH SCHOOL: Marion County High School
MAJORS: Theatre and history double major
In the Classroom
“I am studying history and theater,” Hattie says. “I have heard plenty of negativity about these majors, such as the ever popular ‘what are you going to do with these majors?’ or ‘you're never going to get a job.’
“I find that unfortunate because I have learned a lot through these majors. Obviously, I’ve learned public speaking through the theater degree, but also how it is important to society. The history major has helped me understand how the government works. Both have taught me critical thinking and why it is so important, and both have made me a better writer.”
Outside the Classroom
“I currently work at Coney Island in Cincinnati as a face painter,” Hattie says. “It's a really fun job. This year, I was honored to be a part of orientation programs as a cast member of the NKU Reality Show. I love to participate in talent shows, where I love singing in front of an audience. Besides that, I am an active member in five organizations: Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII), Activities Programming Board (APB), Alpha Phi Omega (APO), Student Government Association (SGA), and Order of Omega.
“I am also a member of PanHellenic Council. APO and AOII both require me to participate in community service, which I enjoy. These two organizations have allowed me to help within the community through various organizations and projects. I have helped with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and various philanthropic activities within the Greek Life community. Personally, my favorites have been when I helped the American Cancer Society with a child relay style event, and another (which I participate on my own for personal reasons) is the PurpleStride 5k in Cincinnati, which helps fundraise and bring awareness for Pancreatic Cancer research.”
Advice for NKU Students
“Get involved,” Hattie says.
“Getting involved helps you get out of your dorm or your house (if you are a commuter) and meet people. It helps you make friends, meet people you never thought you could meet (President Mearns and Dean Waple are two great examples), and helps build up self-esteem, believe it or not.
“Students should also see shows here. We aren't known for our Department of Theatre and Dance for nothing. The students and directors of the NKU shows are very talented and work very hard. Even if you aren't a theater enthusiast, you may be surprised by what you find in one of our shows.
“Thirdly, every student should study abroad. It's an amazing experience, and you may never be able to afford it quite like you can through college. There are plenty of scholarships available to students here, and students should use that. The prices for the trips are affordable, especially when there is the potential of receiving scholarship money for the trip. Not only is it affordable, but you will have some of the most amazing stories from studying abroad. For instance, my study abroad group met a West-End cast and created a connection with them, and we got Jude Law's autograph.”
The Best Part of Being an NKU Student?
“I feel like I am repeating myself, but I truly believe it is the connections you make,” Hattie says. “The faculty and staff truly care about the students. From my understanding, a lot of colleges and universities don't have that. By being a part of SGA, I see how much the faculty and staff care about us on a regular basis. Not only that, but I love the people here at NKU. The friends I have met are the best people I have ever met in my life. I believe the friends I've made here will stay with me for the rest of my life, which is something I have always been looking for.”