The 2017-2018 school year is fast approaching with classes scheduled to begin August 21, and Stephen Hemmerly is ready to begin his tenure as Lipscomb’s SGA Vice-President.
Not only is the senior biochemistry major serving as Vice President of Student Government Association, but he was also elected as social club Sigma Iota Delta’s Vice President for this upcoming year. In addition to these responsibilities, Hemmerly is doing biochemistry research for Lipscomb under Dr. Kent Clinger to work on structural determination of small peptides by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. He will also be serving for the second year on Lipscomb’s Presidential Ambassadors Council and will be working as a tour guide for the Office of Admissions for the second year.
On top of all this, he, like SGA President Carson Panovec, will be applying to medical school this year.
While all of these responsibilities may sound like a lot handle, Hemmerly said being involved on campus is exactly what he, when he began as a college freshman, intended to do during his time at Lipscomb after graduating from Lipscomb Academy, and he is excited to begin his senior year.
“Coming into college, I wanted to be more outgoing and more involved,” Hemmerly said. “SGA was an opportunity to do so, but I never took the initiative to apply for Freshman Leadership Council. I was also unable to run for sophomore senate because I chose to study abroad in Florence, Italy, in the fall of 2015. Finally, I jumped at the opportunity to run for Junior Senate. I lost but was elected as a Senator at Large.”
Coming into college, Hemmerly said he never expected to serve as Lipscomb’s SGA VP his senior year, as he was not involved in SGA in high school at Lipscomb Academy.
“I never imagined that I would become SGA vice president when I came in,” Hemmerly said. “I knew early last fall that I had interest in running for an executive office, but when Josh Roberts [SGA sponsor] encouraged us to pray about our positions next year, the Lord placed the office of vice president on my heart.”
Hemmerly almost didn’t decide to come to Lipscomb after graduating high school. Since he went to Lipscomb Academy, Lipscomb University was always on his radar for college, but initially, he wanted to “go anywhere but Lipscomb University,” so he went on an expansive southern college tour.
It wasn’t until he sat in on Dr. Lowrance’s virology class, which he cites as the most interesting class he had ever been in, that he finally decided Lipscomb University would be his home for the next four years.
“With Lipscomb’s reputation for having excellent programs for Pre-Med as well as a number of things that fell into place that day and in the weeks after, I felt like the Lord called me to Lipscomb,” Hemmerly said. “It has been the best decision I’ve made to this point.”
Despite Hemmerly almost not coming to the university, he’s made the most of his time at Lipscomb. As vice president, Hemmerly said he has three main goals he would like to accomplish during his time serving.
“My primary goal is to serve as a resource for the senators, especially the committee chairs, by empowering and motivating them to pursue their personal goals for campus improvement,” Hemmerly said. “Additionally, I want to allow our students in the College of Entertainment and Arts a bigger stage on campus by turning some of their primary events — fall musical, final contemporary music concert, etc. — into campus wide events. CEA students are some of the most talented students we have, and the CEA as a whole is booming in growth.
“Finally, I want for SGA to shed the stigma of being an ‘event planning’ committee,” he said. “We work with a portion of the student fund to lend financial support to a number of events and organizations on campus, but I wish to not only make sure their events can happen, but that we also work alongside them to make sure they happen successfully. Tangibly, this means that we will work to help them advertise and do what we can to encourage students to attend the events.”
With these three personal goals in mind, Hemmerly noted that, additionally, he wants to help other executives and senators realize their goals for the campus.
“I don’t much care for the credit because at the end of the day, I am satisfied knowing that I made a difference from the background, which is a huge reason that vice president was an attractive office for me,” Hemmerly said.
“I am most excited about leaving the campus a better place than I found it. This is my senior year, but truthfully this is the underclassmen’s campus because I’ll be gone in a year. I am excited to mentor and encourage them to take charge and continue to improve life on campus.”