State Chair Feature || The Future is Bright

written by | Ola Abimbola

I’m Ola Abimbola, (It’s so nice, you say it twice) an Environmental Science major, Political Science minor, Senior Student of Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU). I am international student originally from Nigeria and my home is in Atlanta, Georgia. I am truly honored and delighted to represent over 65,000 State University students across Minnesota as the 2019-2020 Students United State Chair. Although this is a monumental task, I am confident in my ability to be successful and hit the ground running. I believe my experience, passion and enthusiasm will serve me in good stead to carry out this monumental undertaking. It has been the honor of my life to serve my fellow students over the past 3 years in various capacities 

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My journey with Students United began in September of 2016 as an Action Team member. I subsequently went on to become campus Legislative Specialist and Campus Coordinator in 2017-2018. I was so excited to be a part of this noble cause that I made it my goal to be the best that I could be at every role I undertook. Despite losing both the SMSU student presidential campaign and State Chair election in 2017, my resolve was unflinching and became even stronger for success. I went on to become an interim board member in May 2018 and full board member in July 2018. I had been elected SMSU Student Body President in April 2018 after losing a second State Chair election a couple of weeks prior. I held several positions position on my campus prior to my election as president including International Student President, Student Senator, and Student Center Governing Board Chair. 

Moreover, being a board member and student body president in the 2018-2019 academic year allowed me ample opportunity to implement Students United platform objectives and elevate students United influence on my campus. I was instrumental in introducing a new food shelf along with the Healthy56258 on SMSU campus. My government also introduced a campus-wide environmental 

sustainability committee and educational resource workgroup (textbook and OER committee). That was Ola - the Student leader in a nutshell. 

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Furthermore, as an Environmental Science Student at SMSU, outside of my student government duties, I am fascinated by all things Science from geology to biology to Quantum physics. Yes, I am geeky like that! I spent the best part of the months of May and June this year in the lab working on my capstone project which involves extensive research on pathogenic bacteria, E. coli and Salmonella. This was a fun and illuminating way to spend my summer holiday before starting my role as State Chair in July 2019. I learnt all kinds of cool and exciting things about our microscopic neighbors. Fun facts about me include enjoying sports and outdoors such as rock climber. 

I am excited and raring to get started with this new role and look forward to working with students, staff, the Minnesota State System. I am fully confident that this year will be a successful one due to the amazing student and professional leadership Students United possesses. The future is Bright!

Aly Hagglund