Plattsburgh State senior Taeko Kelly knows how to manage time effectively. The communications major and a psychology minor holds a variety of different roles on the PSUC campus.
From taking on leadership positions in the Student Association to being a member of the Housing and Residence life, it isn’t surprising that her advice to other students, first year students especially, is to get involved on campus.
“It’s the best way to get to know yourself and other people,” she said. “What more can you ask for in college?”
Kelly is a Resident Assistant in Moffitt Residence Hall this year, tending to a floor of 24 first-year residents.
Kelly said although move-in weekend was very busy, she managed to get through it with ease.
“It wasn’t as chaotic as I thought it was going to be,” she said. “It was really fun. Everyone was really excited, and you could tell that the families were sad when they were dropping their child off.”
Even though she’s only been an R.A. for a few weeks, Kelly is already finding her new role very exciting.
Kelly is also the Vice President of Clubs and Organizations in the S.A.
As VP, Kelly checks her email frequently and said she receives 15 to 20 emails each day.
“It’s kind of just never ending,” she said.
Coordinator of Student Activities Jacob Avery met Kelly through his role as the advisor for clubs and organizations in the S.A.
Avery describes Kelly as outgoing.
“She is one to bend over backwards to get the job done,” he said.
Avery has seen changes in the VP of Clubs and Organizations position since Kelly was elected last fall.
“I feel like clubs on campus feel better communication with the S.A., and I feel like Taeko has gone above and beyond to make it easier for people to come into the S.A. and ask questions,” he said.
Vice President for Student Affairs Bryan Hartman met Kelly when she was elected as the V.P. of clubs and organizations in the S.A. Hartman said that Kelly’s positivity is one of her most dominate personality traits.
“She always has a smile on her face,” he said.
Kelly also chairs the Clubs and Organizations Affairs Board meeting once a week.
“We approve new provisional clubs and already existing provisional clubs that are becoming permanent,” she said.
Kelly works with clubs to find grants for additional funding and review its constitution to make sure that it follows S.A. guidelines.
Kelly is motivated by progress and likes to set goals for herself to work toward each semester.
“If I want to improve something within my position, I’ll work on it all semester.”
Her project for this semester is the Student Associations Collaboration Grant. One change Kelly is making is changing the name to “The Social Justice Advancement Grant.”
“Clubs can apply for it, and receive extra funding for an event if it advances social justice on our campus,” Kelly said.
The changes to the already existing grant stemmed from Kelly’s passion surrounding the topic, and she sees that same passion being expressed by other students on campus as well.
Hartman thinks that Kelly’s attitude and outlook is responsible for the success that she’s had with her position in the S.A.
“She wants to help students, she wants to help the clubs and organizations that exist,” he said. “A big part of her position is working with interest groups that emerge and she done a great job with helping people through the process, making it a much friendlier experience.”
Kelly is also very passionate about the role she plays in Minor Adjustments, the a capella group on the PSUC campus.
Kelly joined Minor Adjustments her freshman year and took over as the musical director during the spring semester of her first year and has held the role ever since.
Kelly has always had an interest for music and enjoys taking on leadership conditions and Minor Adjustments has given her the opportunity to combine the two.
“I think because music is like my forte, it’s easier for me to foster a good team,” she said. “It’s like the best mix of accomplishing things and having fun while doing it.”
Kelly selects the music and teaches the songs to the group while also making time to set up performances.
“I’m constantly in contact with other groups about performing for their events,” she said. “We also host an annual event where we raise money for the save the music foundation.
Kelly enjoys spending her downtime with friends like many other students and enjoys exercising as a form of stress relief.
As for keeping track of her commitments, Kelly often refers to the Google application to help her keep track of her busy schedule.
“She does a good job of managing her time which isn’t always easy for students,” Hartman said.
Kelly said learning to set boundaries and making time for yourself is very important.
“I will check my email constantly, and that probably isn’t healthy because I get so many,” she said. “I’ll check them while I’m in bed and I realize that I have three new emails and then I stay up to answer them, and that isn’t good for me.”
Hartman thinks Kelly has been a great role model for other students and student leaders on the PSUC campus.
“She’s dedicated and very focused,” he said. “You can tell that she wants to do good work on behalf of her peers and other students.”
Kelly said she’s always had an interest in student affairs.
“I don’t think I’ll want to work in the administrative side of things but more of the diversity and counseling aspect of it,” she said.”
Kelly hopes to graduate magna cum laude in the spring and has her sights set on graduate school.
She plans to apply to SUNY Plattsburgh, Binghamton University and The University of Buffalo for the students affairs and higher education program.
“She always had that caring side but I’ve seen the growth that’s come from being an R.A. and the focus that she puts on her residents,” Avery said. “She’s extraordinarily caring.”
Email Madison Winters at firstname.lastname@example.org