Student Life

Student of the Month

 

February Student of the Month - Tracy Byram

 

Tracy Byram Tracy Byram loves to help people. In fact, she’s so busy helping people that she has little time to do anything else.

Byram, a sophomore pre-dental hygiene major at Cowley County Community College, recently was named the February Student of the Month. The graduate of Campus High School is the daughter of Susan Downing and Tim Byram. She has one older brother, Toby Byram. She holds a 3.84
grade-point average and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa.

Volunteering is a priority for the Wichita native. Last semester, she and seven other students started the wheels rolling to create a campus chapter of the international housing organization, Habitat for Humanity. The project came about from her Community Service and Civic Responsibility class. "The goal in that class was to get Cowley a chapter," Byram said. "As a
group, we had to decide on one thing. We could either go out of the book and pretend to do something, or pick a project and go for it." At the same time, the city of Arkansas City was trying to get Habitat for Humanity organized locally. "Once they get going, we can help them out," Byram said. Cowley students helped build a house in Haysville last year through
Habitat for Humanity. "We caulked windows, but the family was there and was so appreciative," she said. "The people you work with are amazing."

Byram is president of the Cowley College Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter. It’s a small group of students now, but an energetic group. At least one member made a trip to Mexico in January to help build a home. When Byram isn’t involved with the Habitat for Humanity chapter, she’s working on her career. She’s an intern at the dental office of Dr. Nick
Rogers in Arkansas City. She volunteers three hours per week, and works three days. She also volunteers three hours in Service Learning Central, the volunteer program at the college. Byram said she’s changed a lot since high school, although she’s still shy.

"I’m dedicated to whatever I start," she said. "And I like to stay busy all the time. If not, I feel I’m accomplishing nothing. I’m also a very determined person. "I’ve grown up so much. Being on my own has changed me a lot. I don’t have Mom to fall back on. I’ve learned from my mistakes, and I’m learning to take responsibilities and follow through with them."

Byram said she had a choice to make after graduating high school. In the end, Cowley’s volunteer program won out. "I wanted to be away from home, but I didn’t know how far," Byram said. "I was looking into Cowley, and I talked to (SLC Director) Mark Jarvis and the volunteer scholarship caught my eye. That was the main thing that brought me here. Plus, it’s just far enough away from home." Byram is happy with her decision to attend Cowley.

"It’s a good start," she said. "It’s priced right, and it’s leading me into the field of dental hygiene at WSU." Byram is one of an estimated 200 people who have applied for dental hygiene school at Wichita State University. Just 30 will get into the program. Her reason for wanting to be a dental hygienist is simple. "I enjoy volunteering so much," she said. "And I get that same reward helping others. I get to see visual improvements over time. It’s also that one-on-one relationship with the patient. It’s an awesome deal." Believe it or not, Byram always has enjoyed going to the dentist, a task most people despise.

"It (dental hygiene) was kind of a thing to fall back on, but ever since I’ve worked at Dr. Rogers’ office, that’s what I want to do," she said. "Every day, the more experience I get, the more I want to do it." When Byram has time, she enjoys working out and attending campus events. She also likes to water ski. "Anything that keeps me out of the house," she said. "I can’t stand to sit around and do nothing."