Jackie Malayter, Daphne Fauber, and Zeba Kokan are three of the six recipients of the Charles O. McGaughey Leadership Award. This award is given to students who demonstrate “outstanding leadership abilities and have made a significant contribution to the community.”
Jackie is a senior from Fishers, Indiana, and is studying Electrical Engineering. She says that most of her involvement in the Honors College has been because of the Honors Mentor Program.
She says, “By far, the Honors Mentor program has shaped me into the leader I am today. I was involved with the program for 3 years, and those 3 years were filled with some of the most important leadership learning experiences I have had.”
Jackie’s leadership is highlighted through her role as president of the Honors Mentor Council. In this role, she helped lead the mentor council towards a shared vision and goal, which is to both serve first-year students and provide mentors with a leadership learning experience.
In regard to her past experience, she reflects, “I think that we did an excellent job engaging first-year students and welcoming them into the Honors College. We also supported other Honors College organizations to create a tighter-knit community. I think the biggest lesson I learned was how to be resilient. There are many times that you are going to mess up or not perform as well as you hoped to- and that’s okay. I learned to get back up, not beat myself up, learn from my experiences, and keep on going.”
Jackie is grateful that the scholarship will help her achieve her dream of attending graduate school. Giving one piece of advice to younger Honors students, she says, “My advice is to find an Honors organization to get involved in as soon as you can; this will help keep you active in the Honors community even if you move out of the Honors dorms. The Honors Mentor Program is what kept me connected to the Honors College, and I am very grateful for the amazing relationships I have built because of it.”
Zeba is a junior from Carmel, Indiana studying Brain & Behavioral Sciences and Global Studies. She has had various leadership roles in Student Government, Purdue Muslim Student Association, and Muslim Youth of North America’s National Program.
Zeba was also able to gain opportunities in research from the Honors College. Recently, she started a research project from a class called HONR 399: Private Selves and Public Personae: The Philosophy of Identities and the Sciences of the Mind.
Zeba’s time in the Honors College has been special to her. She says, “The Honors College allowed me to engage with professors from multiple disciplines. This heightened my understanding of how to address challenging problems. I enjoyed my time living in the Honors College–meeting many people from different majors and walks of life.”
She hopes to continue working on local projects that will help foster dialogue. She dreams of her future career at the intersection of mental health, global affairs, public health, and medicine.
Zeba comments, “In my personal experience, it is better to pick a few things you are passionate about and go deep. Depth is better than just breadth. I think it’s really easy to play this game where we are all checking off boxes for our resumes, but it’s much more enjoyable and beneficial in the long term to pursue things that truly resonate with you. Initially, it can be hard to find areas that are a good fit. It is important to take some time the first couple of semesters to see what speaks to you.”
Daphne is a sophomore from West Lafayette, Indiana studying Engineering Technology Teacher Education with a K-12 Integrated STEM Concentration and minors in Biological Sciences, Design & Innovation, Global Studies, Biotechnology, and Computer Information Technology.
Daphne’s leadership shines especially in her commitment to improving the experience for other teacher education students at Purdue. Currently, she is the President of the Technology Engineering Education Collegiate Association (TEECA) both nationally and for the Purdue chapter. She also serves as Treasurer of the Purdue Student Education Council, representing secondary STEM education majors and propose legislation to provide benefits to other education students.
She has also participated in various conferences. She attended the International Technology Engineering Education Association (ITEEA) Conference two years in a row. Particularly, taking Dr. Ware’s Introduction to Research class helped her create an outline for the research project on Lyme Disease she presented at the Posters on the Hill Conference.
Daphne reflects on the conference, “I had the really cool opportunity to directly explain the implications of my project to policymakers and tour the offices of Indiana elected officials. This look into how research can inform policy decisions was very interesting and has led me to consider a career in STEM education policy. This experience was one that I was only able to achieve because of the support of the Honors College, who paid for my travel and housing during the conference.”
Daphne is extremely grateful for her opportunities from the Honors College. She says, “Without being in the Honors College, I would not have had the opportunity to visit as many places or accomplish nearly as much. The Honors College’s mission is to support students and provide them opportunities to grow as scholars and people, and in my experience they have truly accomplished that for me. I could never thank the Honors College enough the monetary, academic, and social support they have given me during my time at Purdue.”