Senior Hayley Cormican, of Batesville, plans to make a career out of community involvement after graduation.
She was one of just 40 students accepted into the Clinton School of Public Service. She will enroll into a two-year master’s program in public service this fall.
“It’s different from public policy programs,” Cormican said. “This one focuses on service areas through government, nonprofit organizations and things like that.”
Her involvement in the campus community at Lyon College helped connect her with the Clinton School. She has served as both the president and treasurer of the Student Government Association (SGA). Through her roles, she met Skip Rutherford, a member of the Lyon College Board of Directors and the dean of the Clinton School.
“He actually told me once that he always recruits the SGA presidents,” Cormican said, laughing. “The more I learned about the program, the more it drew me to it.”
She liked that the master’s program would allow her to continue being “people-focused” like she has been in her roles on campus.
“It gets you out there into your community and surrounding communities,” Cormican said, “and puts you in a position to make a difference.”
She also found the small class size appealing, the small student-to-faculty ratio reminding her of Lyon.
“I wanted to go somewhere I wouldn’t just be a number,” Cormican said. “It was more personal than any other application I’ve done.”
She continued, “They wanted to know about my involvement with SGA and other roles on campus. It was fulfilling to do because they wanted to know me instead of my statistics.”
In addition to SGA, Cormican has been a member of Mortar Board, Kappa Pi, and Alpha Xi Delta while at Lyon. Through her involvement, she has learned the value of listening to others as a leader.
“If you give people a voice, then they in turn feel more confident and confide in you,” she said. “There are people I don’t interact with on a daily basis, but they know I was transparent and involved as SGA president so they still come to me with stuff.”
“The more you put into people, the more you get out of them.”
Lyon has taught her the importance of community as well.
“Lyon is a great example of a really close-knit community and how big an impact the smallest things can have,” Cormican said.
She is grateful to have had faculty mentors like Professor of Art Dustyn Bork and Associate Professor of English Dr. Wesley Beal.
“They have been so encouraging to me from day one,” Cormican said. “[Bork] is my example of someone I want to be like eventually. He’s doing something for Lyon all the time.”
She hopes to figure out her next steps while at the Clinton School.
“I don’t know exactly what I want to do with my life yet, but the Clinton School puts you in a position to figure that out,” Cormican said. “They pair you with local nonprofits and people in the community who know a thing or two.”
She is considering going into grant writing, nonprofit work or even local government.
“When most people ask, I tell them I’m going to be the president,” Cormican said, laughing, “and that kind of stops them in their tracks.”
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