One of the inaugural inductees into Lynn University’s Student Leadership Hall of Fame, Taryn Hamill, is a shining example of a leader and believes leadership is an “extremely important component of the college experience.”
Her leadership “resume” at Lynn is extensive: from Greek Life to student government to student activities. Her participation at Lynn as a student shaped her future as an employee. Simply put, she says she never left Lynn because “I love it here.”
Hamill has been instrumental in creating an award-winning and robust campus visit program and now concentrates her efforts on retention. She knows from firsthand experience the importance of getting involved on campus. “Connecting outside the classroom is just as important as connecting inside the classroom,” she says.
Here is what she had to say about her Hall of Fame nomination, her years at Lynn and her advice to other students.
• Why do you believe you were nominated?
I feel so humbled that I was even considered for this award. When I was enrolled at Lynn, student leadership was very important to me, and I believe it’s an extremely important part of the college experience here. I had phenomenal professors and made sure academics was my first priority, but the biggest reason I stayed at Lynn was my engagement outside the classroom. I tried to take advantage of every opportunity I could.
• What does it mean to you?
It’s an incredible honor. To me, being a student leader (or any kind of leader really) means that you inspire others to become leaders themselves. Being able to make that kind of positive impact on even one other person is the most rewarding opportunity out there.
• What activities were you involved in during your studies on campus?
I was not involved in many extracurricular activities before I came to Lynn. Here, I had a lot of encouragement from the Student Affairs staff. I was president of Tri-Sigma sorority, vice president of student government, oversaw the student activities board, helped run community service events like the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, worked part time in Student Involvement and was a member of Knights of the Roundtable. I studied abroad in Germany, France and Switzerland my senior year, and I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to reflect on my experiences at Lynn as the student commencement speaker in 2008.
• How do you stay involved with Lynn?
Well, I never left because I love it here. I’ve been with the Office of Admission since 2009, and started recruiting students—primarily from my home state of New Jersey. After two years, I had the honor of becoming the university’s first campus visit coordinator and was tasked with creating a new kind of campus visit experience. Thousands of visitors later and national recognition from University Business, Inside Higher Ed and The New York Times, Lynn is now known for one of the best campus visit experiences in the country. Then in 2014, I was provided a new opportunity to contribute to student persistence efforts and to help see students through to graduation. We’ve seen first-year retention and graduation rates move in a positive direction, and I still remind students about the positive impact getting involved on campus can have on their experience at Lynn.
• Any advice to current students?
Lynn provides so many opportunities to create a memorable college experience, so I recommend taking advantage of them. You never know what each role can teach you and where it can take you. Several things I learned through being a student leader on campus I carried over to my professional career. Connecting outside the classroom is just as important as connecting inside the classroom.
My other piece of advice is to remember that creating a legacy of leadership means inspiring others to be leaders themselves. If you remember to “pay it forward,” you have a great chance of leaving a positive impact in everything you do.