Senior manages time between athletics, class, extracurriculars
For Loper Emma Neil, a senior from Papillion majoring in 7-12 grade secondary education with an endorsement in ESL (English as a Second Language), being an athlete is not the only item on her agenda. She is also president of UNK’s Mortar Board Chapter, which she joined when she applied after she reached senior standing.
“Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes seniors for their scholarship, leadership and service to the Kearney Community,” she said.
Before joining the organization, members must meet certain requirements to be eligible for Mortar Board. “You have to be a full-time student, have a 3.3 GPA, a resume and answer two essay questions that deal with leadership, scholarship and service at UNK,” Neil said.
When she was accepted into Mortar Board, Neil was excited. She became president of the chapter when her fellow members elected her last spring.
Some of the events organized this past fall included Veteran’s Day letter writing, which offered a small token of appreciation to the veterans of the Kearney community. The group is also actively involved reading books to the kids at local elementary schools in the Kearney area. Mortar Board also hosts a faculty appreciation dinner, where each member of Mortar Board selects one faculty member from the school who has influenced the student in time spent at UNK. “As a chapter we really look forward to this event each year, because we all had professors who have played huge roles in our lives,” Neil said.
The Mortar Board’s campus clean-up day towards the end of the school year is upcoming.
Neil looks forward to each event with positive anticipation. “We split the work we have into groups so it doesn’t get too overwhelming,” Neil said.
The collective service was a big draw to serve as president of the Mortar Board. “I was excited, and I was looking forward to working with other students who are really involved on campus,” Neil said. “Mortar Board is a great organization and I am so thankful that I am part of it.”
Neil is also an athlete at the university, a captain on the women’s tennis team. That takes some coordination. “For me it’s all about laying out the week, and looking ahead to what I have to complete for the week, and having good time management,” Neil said.
Neil said she is excited for this semester. “I am excited for what this semester is going to bring with the Mortar Board chapter and my last tennis season at school. It is a bittersweet semester for sure,” Neil said.
You can catch her on the tennis court this year also at Harmon Park.
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