Student Life

Student of the Month


SGA President named November Student of Month at Cowley


November 2002

Julie ClevelandJulie Cleveland, president of the Student Government Association at Cowley County Community College, has been named November Student of the Month at Cowley.

Cleveland, the daughter of Helen Thilsted and Rick Cleveland, is a sophomore liberal arts major carrying a 4.0 grade-point average. She’s proud to receive the award.

"It is a great honor to be considered this early (in the school year) and with the people previously honored," she said. "It’s a great honor to be in that category with them."

Cleveland, an Arkansas City High School graduate, is a busy student at Cowley. Besides holding the highest student office, she’s also a member of Campus Christian Fellowship, Act One drama club, the concert choir, and she is a Student Ambassador. In October, she was first runner-up for Queen Alalah, and recently was nominated for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship.

The $30,000 annual scholarship is awarded to 30 students from Kansas community colleges. Cleveland said she’d probably know her status next spring. She also was a member of the cast of the fall musical, "42nd Street," and plans to audition for a role in the spring play, "Crimes of the Heart."

She holds a part-time job at STAGE in Arkansas City, and has work-study jobs on campus for the Social Science Department and the Student Life office. She also is a resident assistant in the Fifth Avenue Dorm. To say she’s involved would be an understatement.

She said, a student of the month "is somebody who goes the extra mile. Somebody who does their very, very best all the time. Not everybody can do it all the time, and I feel really, really bad when I don’t."

Cleveland, who plans to transfer to either Kansas State University or the University of Colorado to study child psychology, said serving as SGA president has been a learning experience. "I’ve learned you can do some things that will work and some that won’t," she said. "If you do too many things, it gets really busy and you won’t be able to do those activities as well as if you did a few.

Next semester, I’ll do better. I’ve learned to space activities better so that I can devote more time to them. Now, I feel I’m not doing my absolute best."

With Cleveland’s leadership, SGA has tried several new student activities this semester. Her goal at the outset was to increase the number of students participating. For the most part, she’s done that.

She announced some plans for the spring semester. "I definitely want to do flag football and soccer," she said. "And I want to have a really good homecoming, good attendance. Hopefully, we’ll be having Singled Out, the game show, Also, I want to see a good turnout
for the Best Fan competition."

Cleveland also plans to work with school officials to try to get the Wellness Center hours extended, particularly on Friday nights.

Cleveland has two older sisters, Jobie Nudo, 27, who lives in Ponca City, and Jennifer Cleveland, 23, of Arkansas City. Younger brother Ben, 15, is a freshman at ACHS. Julie is the granddaughter of Bill and Wanda O’Dell of Enid, Okla., and Irene and the late Ben Cleveland of ArkansasCity. Her great-grandmother is Jennie Mae Cleveland of Bartlesville, Okla.

Next summer, Cleveland said she plans to spend three weeks in the Philippines, where she was born. She plans to travel to the Agoo La Union province, which is four to five hours from the capital in Manila. "My older sister, her husband and two girls and my brother are planning to go with me," Cleveland said. "I plan to visit old friends during that time. Hopefully, I’ll be fluent again. It’s all in the back of my brain. It’s only been seven years."

Cleveland was born in the Philippines while her parents were part of Conservative Baptist International. Cleveland said the family lived four years in the Philippines, then four years in the states, then back to the Philippines. She attended preschool in Arkansas City when younger brother Ben was born. Then it was back to the Philippines, where she and the rest of the family became trilingual, speaking English, Tagalog (the main dialect in the Philippines), and Ilocano. She maintained contact with Filipino friends for a time, but Cleveland hasn’t been in the country in seven years.

"We moved back the summer right after sixth grade," said Cleveland, 19.

At ACHS, Cleveland was a shy girl who was easily intimidated. "I’ve matured a lot since then," she said. "My freshman year, I wouldn’t talk to people unless I was talked to. People always told me later that they thought I was stuck up. I’d say no, I was just shy. Now, I’m a little more outgoing. I’m still shy at times, but I’m better at it."

Her decision to enroll at Cowley came at the last minute. "I didn’t decide until two weeks before (high school) graduation," she said. "Mrs. (Mary) Young called Mrs. (Dejon) Ewing to get me a tryout for theatre."

Cleveland read lines from the Female Version of the Odd Couple, and earned a scholarship.

"Cowley has been such a good experience," she said. "Everyone is so nice. The atmosphere is just pleasant. The staff, faculty and all the students, you’re just really welcomed here."