Lexi Tomkunas ’18 is more than your average Rollins student. You may know her as the Student Government Association (SGA) President, but she is also a Psychology and Philosophy double-major, an involved member of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, and a student coordinator for the Rollins Immersion program.
Taking the opportunity to travel during her time at Rollins has left perhaps the greatest impression on her. She attended four Immersion trips during her freshman year, and then she decided to expand her Immersion involvement by becoming a student coordinator. In this position, she does a lot of behind-the-scenes work, and she gets to go on some of the trips that she helps plan, as well. More specifically, her position oversees the Immersion Planning team, and that team oversees the facilitators of the trips.
These trips have taken her from Colorado to St. Petersburg, FL. David Lord, a member of the Board of Trustees, accompanied the trip to Colorado, and students had the opportunity to meet government officials. In addition, Tomkunas explained they also got to“explore impact areas of homelessness, poverty, [the] environment, the aging community, community building, and education.” In St. Petersburg, they worked with Habitat for Humanity.
She has also done Study Abroad field studies. Last January she traveled to India, and this January she will be going on a trip to Uganda and Rwanda with three other students and Lord. They will learn about non-profits and community needs in these countries.
Another integral part of her last year at Rollins is her position as SGA president. In her role, she oversees the executive board. She also goes “to a lot of meetings with administrators [and is] basically an information feeder for student government and senate.”
SGA’s big projects this semester included teaming up with popular student organizations to put on Rollins’ second annual Homecoming Week. Tomkunas also spoke about some of SGA’s goals for next semester. SGA will continue to have open forums for students, and they want to obtain a higher attendance since they “really want student feedback.” They also plan on using surveys to increase student participation.
One of SGA’s exciting ideas, according to Tomkunas, is to start sending out weekly emails to students discussing what was accomplished at the week’s meeting, such as what legislation was passed. Furthermore, with elections coming up next semester after spring break, there will be more campus involvement coming soon.
Before she is ready for graduation next semester, one of her final projects here is her senior thesis. She is evaluating the effectiveness of Philosophy for Kids, which is a national movement that is also taught at Rollins. It was implemented by Dr. Erik Kenyon in the Hume House Child Development and Student Research Center. The program is an intervention for vocabulary, reasoning skills, and class participation.
The hard work she has put in during her last three and a half years at Rollins has paid off. She is going to work for Teach for America after graduation in Miami, Fla., and her dream is to eventually pursue a career in education policy. The U.S. Department of Education is on the top of her list for future employers, and she is interested in policy research.
She speaks about her time at Rollins with great appreciation and says the part she will miss the most is the people that she has met here. “The relationships I’ve formed and all of the people that I’ve gotten to meet,” between students and faculty have all added to her experience, in addition to the expanded view of the world that she has gained through her service work. “I feel very prepared for my next steps.”