Emilee O’Dell is one of this campus’s confirmed movers and shakers. Everyone who knows this Religious Studies major knows she is someone who adds to the value of this campus.
This incredible junior, who was a lovely Mrs. Incredible for Halloween, is known to all her many friends and acquaintances as a responsible, vibrant person who will get the job done! Emilee is almost always seen with a bright smile, so I naturally had to ask her what she thinks one of her favorite memories of college has been! Her response goes, “I don’t know off the top of my head. A good portion of my happiest memories seem to be related to food like my last-minute drives to Chipotle on Sundays or walks to Mac and Bob’s when I crave a Boston zone calzone.”
Besides being a compassionate person, Emilee is also a busy person. She is currently finishing her term as the President of the Student Government Association (She began her term in spring 2019). When asked about what prompted her run for office she said, “Well, it’s kind of a cheesy story but during SIM day before freshman year I heard about Roanoke’s SGA. I had been involved in SGA during high school and wanted to continue working to help others on a larger scale. Thus after hearing about SGA, I sort of made a mental note that I should be apart of the organization and eventually run for President. Then last December I made the impulsive decision, with support of all my friends to actually run for the position. So, pretty much nothing prompted it per-say, it was always kind of a dream or goal, and I was a lucky enough individual to have so many people support me during my campaign that the outcome just happened to fall in my favor. I also just recognized that SGA needed to, and should always, play a larger role in communicating with the administration of the college about the topics too many people shy away from. I wanted to provide my peers with said opportunity as well as simply be more willing to talk about the issues on campus in a more professional capacity… so maybe these issues would be addressed and solved.”
President O’Dell also credits her position as the head of SGA as teaching her one of the most valuable lessons that she has learned at RC. “One lesson I have learned at Roanoke College and as SGA President is to not be scared of loss and losing—either a person or a job opportunity or honestly anything. Change and loss helped me grow so much and learn to not be scared of absolutely anything unless it can actually kill me. A lesson I’ve learned in class is to always speak up even if what I said is wrong or unpopular. Nobody remotely interesting ever was universally liked, so why worry about ruffling feathers when the alternative is to go unspoken.” Next time you’re trying to find the courage to speak up think of Emilee. She is a living breathing example of how to make your dreams be easily met goals.