Lyon College senior Elissa Douglass will attend Louisiana State University (LSU) next fall to work on a master's degree in leadership and human resources.
Douglass, of League City, Texas, has even secured a job at LSU as a resident coordinator, a similar position to her job at Lyon as a resident director.
“When everything lined up there, I could not begin to describe how excited I was. It was a dream come true!”
She expects that LSU will be different from anything she is used to, especially since the university has over 30,000 students.
“But I am excited to broaden my horizons and see new and exciting parts of life.”
She continued, “I am, of course, nervous because I know it might be a big adjustment at first, but I can’t get better if I don’t challenge myself! I think I will love it there.”
Douglass will graduate this May with a double major in business administration and Spanish. During her time at Lyon, she has been involved in a little bit of everything.
She competed on the wrestling team for four years and on the cheer team for two years. She has worked as a Resident Director, a SOAR Leader for student orientations and as a Lyon Ambassador for campus tours. She is also a member of the Phi Mu sorority and the Spanish Club.
Looking back on her senior year, Douglass considers it a success, even with so many things going wrong. She was awarded the “Ms. Lyon” title and received an Outstanding Leader Award at the Honors Convocations.
“Those are two accomplishments that I never would have envisioned when arriving at Lyon. Things like that make you see that your efforts to help people or make changes have been appreciated.”
Although nationals for wrestling were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Douglass got to compete at the conference tournament and had her first perfect performance since high school, not getting scored on once and pinning four of the five girls she wrestled.
“I ended up winning the ‘Most Falls of the Meet’ award, as well as a ‘Champion of Character’ award.”
She earned first place in her weight class, and Lyon College pulled through to become the 2020 winners of the Sooner Athletic Conference.
“I am so sad that our team did not get to wrestle at nationals. I know we would have accomplished amazing things, but I am incredibly proud of how we ended our season.”
Douglass is grateful for the close bonds she formed with friends and faculty at Lyon, especially her advisor, Associate Professor of Spanish Dr. John Herda.
“He has been a consistent source of support and encouragement,” she said, “and has always been so insightful and thoughtful.”
She also credits Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick, Professor of Art Dustyn Bork and Director of Counseling Diane Ellis for helping her grow into the person she is now.
“It is support from people like them that makes you really value being at a small college in Batesville, Arkansas! They all genuinely care and are so intentional with everything they do.”
Douglass said she will miss “absolutely everything” about Lyon.
“This place has been exactly what I needed to grow as a person. The close-knit community really helps, in that people see what you’re doing and provide so much support and love along the way.”
She said Lyon has helped her flourish and become a confident leader.
“It is going to be so hard to leave here because the people I have met, the things I’ve participated in and the memories that I have formed mean so much to me.”
Douglass concluded, “This is an outstanding place, and I am so grateful for every aspect of it.”
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