Welcome to Women in Politics: College Edition, where promising women leaders in student government on college and university campuses across the country will be featured on msnbc.com over the course of the year. Annie Greer has been nominated by The Ohio State University as a leader making a difference not only through key issues on campus, but in bridging the gender gap in politics.
As part of msnbc’s “Women in Politics” series, these hand-selected women become part of a larger discussion of women candidates and women’s issues on a national level. “Women in Politics” features newsmaker interviews, profiles, photos, and deep dives into the key conversations, including a series on “Women Leaders Bridging Tech and Politics in 2016.”
From the Ivy Leagues to the Big Ten to liberal arts colleges and beyond, young women are making a difference across the country – meet them here!
Name: Annie Greer
School: The Ohio State University
Hometown: Hudson, Ohio
Concentration: Industrial & Systems Engineering, Leadership Studies
Role in student government, organizations: Chief of Staff, Undergraduate Student Government; Ohio State University Ambassador
Dream job: Applying the efficiency and continuous improvement strategies of the industrial engineering discipline to the solution of more significant world issues, including education, poverty, economic development and governmental efficiency.
Class year: 2017
Why do you think it’s important for women to take on leadership roles on campus and beyond?
As a woman involved in both engineering and university governance, I am constantly inspired by the work ethic and intellect of the women that surround me. The number of women in STEM fields increases every year, and it’s exciting to see how women continue to push the boundaries in all disciplines. In my campus leadership experience thus far, I have learned that serving as a leader is not about proving your qualifications to others, it’s about learning from fellow leaders and, most importantly, from those you lead. This can be hard! Holding a leadership role is no easy task, but challenging ourselves is the best way to grow. This is why it’s important for men and women alike to seek out leadership experiences of all forms, so that we may continuously improve ourselves through serving others.
What is one of your proudest achievements so far?
While there are awards and other tangible achievements in which I take pride, I am most proud when I am able to inspire others to improve themselves and the world around them. This is why it is impossible for me to define my “dream job”—the goal I work toward every day is to leave an impact that inspires action, and this is the legacy I wish to leave wherever I go. My proudest achievement thus far is knowing that I have served as a role model for others, whether for my younger siblings or for my fellow student government members. Of course, I have set tangible personal and professional goals for myself regarding future offices I dream of holding and accolades I wish to receive, but these accolades mean nothing if I have not challenged myself to serve as an example in my day-to-day life.
Has feminism played a role in your life? If so, how?
My mother has taught me from a young age to work hard and pursue excellence, no matter what circumstances I may face. She’s the best feminist I know. She, along with my father, has pushed my siblings and me from a young age to pursue our dreams with fearlessness, drive and integrity. No matter what you think your limitations may be, people will notice excellence, and for me this is what feminism is all about: equal opportunity to work hard and pursue that excellence. Women around the world do not have the same fundamental rights that my sister and I grew up with, things like basic education and the opportunity to pursue a career in the field of their choice. As women, we should fight for these basic opportunities for our fellow women worldwide. But the true challenge lies in the way we deal with what many choose to see as cards dealt against us. Rather than complain about these hurdles, I choose to see each obstacle as an opportunity, letting my actions, my character and my determination speak for themselves. To me, this is what separates a good feminist from an excellent woman.
What issues are you most passionate about following this election season? Why?
Personally, the economy is one of the biggest issues that I have been watching in this upcoming election season; I’m sure many college students feel the same way. In one short year from now, I will be entering the workforce along with my classmates in the Class of 2017, but our stagnant economy has proven to be a serious challenge to recent college graduates seeking out employment following graduation. I have high expectations for our next president to prioritize the well-being of the American economy so that families, students and individuals can have access to an abundance of opportunity that is currently lacking. In addition to looking at the issues, however, character is something I look for when it comes to choosing a candidate. Our nation’s next leader must have integrity, compassion and resilience—this I am very passionate about.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Ever since I studied abroad last spring, I have been looking forward to the day I return to Caernarfon, Wales. My overseas experience taught me about the big picture, about the world and the cultures and climates that shape it. However, in this small Welsh town I learned about the small picture, how the people and the everyday details are what truly shape our world. I made some of my best friends and my favorite memories overseas, and I would give anything to go back and to experience those details again. Wales also has some of the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted, but that’s beside the point.
To nominate an exceptional undergraduate female leader in student government please email Anna Brand at Anna.Brand@nbcuni.com