We are pleased to welcome Summer Crick ’14 back to campus as the director of alumni relations. Take a few minutes to learn more about Summer here, and better yet, stop by the Martin Alumni Center and attend upcoming alumni events to meet her.
Why did you choose to attend KWC?
“My best friend, Sara Fleischmann ’15, and I had made plans to attend a large state university, but we had some ‘college days’ to burn in high school, so we planned a visit to KWC just to visit our Madisonville friends who were already students at Wesleyan . . . On the ride home the next day, we were both really quiet and finally, we both blurted out that we wanted to come to KWC, and that was that. KWC has felt like home from the minute we stepped on campus.”
Who mentored you during your Wesleyan years, and how did your KWC experience help prepare you for your life and career?
“My most influential mentor was Margaret Cambron ’78 in Career Development. We hit it off from the moment we met, and she taught me many lessons. One that I’ll never forget is when she said, ‘When you’re looking for something (in this case a job), tell everyone you can about it. You never know where there’s a connection you have no idea about.’ I’ve used this lesson many times when searching for new jobs, starting our young professionals’ organization in Hopkins County, and even in my social life. When you’re honest with people about what you want in your life and career, you’ll be surprised how many people are willing to help you. I distinctly remember that Madison Silvert, then president of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation (GOEDC), spoke to my organizational leadership class, and I went to Margaret afterwards to tell her how fascinating I found the work that he was doing . . . She suggested I send him an email thanking him for coming, letting him know I was really interested in his work and encouraging him to consider me if he ever had a position. A week later, I started an internship with him for college credit, which translated into a paid summer internship upon graduation, and eventually helped me get my first ‘real’ job at the Green River Area Development District (GRADD) in community & economic development that fall. Looking back, those experiences set my career path, and I will always be thankful that Margaret took the time to mentor me. She genuinely cared about students, and I always appreciated that.”
What are other special memories of your years here?
“There are so many. One of my early fond memories is when Sara and I won the freshman residential seats on student government. We loved serving on SGA, and I felt like our group really left a lasting impression on campus. Another big one was being named Sigma Nu Sweetheart . . . I’d been buds with the guys since freshman year, and they’ll all always hold a special place in my heart. I was the College’s Mountain Laurel representative and traveled to the big city of Pineville, Ky., with my escort, Jordan King ’14, to represent KWC in what I describe as a mix between a pageant and a southern belle competition. The residents of Pineville looked forward to the ‘queens’ and their escorts arriving every year and treated us like royalty. We were showcased in the annual parade, got to meet with many other students and community leaders, and even curtsied in front of the governor (I’m still not sure how I feel about that one). Although I didn’t come back as the winner, I was in the top five for the state and Jojo won best escort! It is definitely a memory he and I will cherish forever, and I’m so thankful KWC allowed me the opportunity.”
Tell us about your career.
“Following my internship at GOEDC after graduation, I got my first real job that fall as a public administration specialist at GRADD and began my MPA. While finishing my master’s degree, I returned home to Madisonville to be close to family. I began a job as the executive assistant to the mayor for the City of Madisonville and was eventually promoted to community development director in 2017. I held that position until January of this year when a new administration took over. I was offered a similar position in Webster County soon after leaving that job, and I had been there for about four months when KWC called. I hadn’t been looking for a new job and debated whether to even apply, but after some thought and lots of prayer, I applied, got the job, and happily returned to my alma mater.”
What was your first job, and what did you learn?
“Gosh . . . My first job was at Dairy Queen when I was 16. Of course, the best lesson I learned was how to make a mean blizzard, but there were lots of other lessons! I learned the importance of being punctual, providing good customer service, and I eventually even had my first opportunity to manage people.”
Why you recommend KWC to prospective students?
“I’m big on gut feelings. KWC felt right to me. If it feels right to you, go for it! Don’t let reticence about being on a small campus convince you there won’t be things to do or groups to get involved with.”
What advice would you give to our incoming freshmen?
“This is the time in your life when it’s more acceptable than it ever will be again to mess up. So if you are considering a different major, rushing a fraternity or sorority or running for student government, now’s the time to take the leap. If it doesn’t work, you really will be okay.”
Why did you want to return to KWC as a staff member?
“KWC has always been home to me . . .Every time I step back on campus, I feel welcomed. I want to help ensure our students and alumni continue to have that feeling and always want to come back. I’ve told anyone who’ll listen what a special place KWC is. Now I have the opportunity to do that full time!”
How does your alma mater look from the other side of the desk?
“I’ve been assured that all the feelings I had about Wesleyan as a student were genuine. The faculty and staff aren’t putting on a front just for students. They really care, and I’ve felt that same support on this side of the desk.”
What are your first goals in your new position?
“I have two overarching goals – I’d like to really connect with our students while they’re here, so they naturally phase into active alumni upon graduation, and I’d like to furnish the Martin House in a way that is inviting and encourages our alumni to drop in (and hopefully update their info) with us any time they are in town.”
A favorite book?
“‘Nineteen Minutes’ by Jodi Piccoult, which tells the story of a school shooting from many different perspectives, including the shooter’s. It really challenged my thoughts on the topic and stressed the importance of being kind to one another – a lesson we need more than ever.”
Who would you like to enjoy a cup of coffee with and why?
“Gosh . . . I love coffee, and I love to talk. There are so many cool people to choose from! I’d have to say, though, I’d choose having coffee with my nana and younger sister over anyone, any day. Coffee time has always been our time to catch up and vent, and whether it’s in person or via Facetime or a phone call, it’s always a moment I cherish.”