Building Bridges That Lead to Success
Timothy Thomas came to Emporia State for a degree in building bridges.
OK, not really. Thomas, who grew up in Chicago and Mt. Vernon, is a Criminal Justice, Crime, and Delinquency Studies major. He decided to enroll at Emporia State because he had “ties and connections” here, and because he found the size, family atmosphere, and opportunities to be involved a good fit.
And he found Emporia State was a perfect place for him to build bridges — not the kind which spans, concrete, and steel — but bridges of the human kind.
As American novelist and musician Ralph Ellison once noted, “Education is all a matter of building bridges.”
Thomas says he would pass a similar sentiment on to students starting their college careers. He advocates future Emporia State students enter with a purpose and be consistent, as well as strive for excellence in everything they do. Prior planning, Thomas believes, prevents a poor performance.
“Success is given only to those who go out and take it," he adds. "I would let them know to build as many bridges as possible, because the more bridges you have, the more rivers you can cross.”
Thomas has certainly walked his talk and crossed many rivers in his time at Emporia State. He is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, an international sociology honors organization, and is an officer with Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors. He will be president of that group next year. Thomas also is an officer in the Emporia State Anthropology Club and attended a national leadership conference.
"I have found Mr. Thomas to be a delightful young man with good leadership skills," says Nate Terrell, chair and associate professor in the department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Crime and Delinquency Studies. "He is a young man who is not afraid to step out and take charge of a situation or infuse his energy into a group to accomplish a task. I love his energy. He is a great young man to work with."
"Just the building of bridges at Emporia State and leading by serving people are my highlights," says Thomas. "[Students] should stay involved on campus because Emporia State is full of leadership opportunities. But don't do it for your resume, do it for a change in life."
One final tip Thomas says he would pass on is for students to build a solid bridge to Mary Shivley, Emporia State's Director-Leadership in the Center for Student Involvement.
"She is on your team."