University of Alaska Anchorage senior Emily Wood may be new to this year’s Club Council board, but she is a veteran of the position.
Elections for a new chair and vice-chair of the Club Council board were held at the Club Council meeting on Sept. 27. Two students ran for each position, and after a bit of discussion by the council, Emily Wood and Matthew Isada were selected for the positions of chair and vice-chair, respectively.
Wood’s involvement with UAA goes beyond Club Council. She has taken part in several activities at UAA throughout her time at the university, including joining sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha in the fall semester of her freshman year and being a resident adviser in the dorms for a semester. Wood has also been a part of UAA’s Glee Club, Model UN and has helped with UAA’s Student Government, USUAA, on the election committee for over four semesters. Another role was serving as a former Club Council chair in fall of 2017.
Currently, Wood works at the Student Clubs and Greek Life Office in the Student Union, helping students navigate the university’s extensive student club and greek programs.
For Wood, being involved at UAA is part of who she is.
“I just kind of started getting involved, which was my goal when I started college, because I was really involved in high school and I thought I’ll just do more of the same because that’s what makes me happy,” Wood said.
Being willing to step in and help in any organization or environment can lead to wearing multiple hats for a variety of responsibilities, according to Wood.
“I’m just naturally a helper, and I figured, I’m here on Friday all day, I know how to do what needs to be done, I know how to run Club Council,” Wood said. “There’s a hat that needs to be worn, I can do it, why shouldn’t I?”
If Wood sees a need for leadership or assistance, she is willing to step in and help out, which is how she ended up being chair of the Club Council board in 2017.
“I had never been to a Club Council meeting or heard of it, but someone emailed me that they had nominated me to be chair, so I went to my first meeting and I said ‘hi, I’m Emily, I’ve run some things before, may I run this?’ and they said ‘yeah,’” Wood said.
Wood’s goal as Club Council chair for this academic year is to use her experience as a resource for the council.
“I think mainly [my goal is] to keep things just calm and consistent, and be the best resource that I can for students who are trying to be involved and trying to help other students be involved,” Wood said.
Having served in numerous leadership roles, Wood understands the need for having student leaders in key positions, as well as the benefits.
“I know that [leadership] can be a pretty time-consuming responsibility to take on, to be in any role of leadership, but I think that it is necessary for someone to be doing it,” Wood said. “[It’s necessary] for someone to be holding positions in clubs, someone to be making clubs, because that’s what really enriches student life on campus.”
Her ultimate reason for taking on a leadership role in Club Council is summed up easily, she said.
“I just appreciate people who want to be involved, and I just want to make it easier for students to do that,” Wood said.
While working in the Student Club and Greek Life office, Wood helps with events that the Club Council is involved in, such as the upcoming Haunted Halloween Fun Night. She hopes to take her previous experience as chair to help manage some of the instability that Club Council has experienced after a summer of challenges at UAA.
Outside of Club Council, Wood enjoys the outdoors and recently spent three months this summer at Lake Clark National Park doing a fisheries internship. Wood describes weeks of camping, counting fish and taking genetic samples as the time of her life.
“That’s really what I like to do and what I really hope to do after I graduate, just be outside,” Wood said. “I’m majoring in outside.”
Wood plans to graduate in the spring of 2020 with a bachelors of natural science with a concentration in environment and a minor in geographic information systems.
The essence of Wood lies in her stepmother and her father, she says.
“My stepmom was an Iditarod musher, and my dad is a pilot,” Wood said. “They both met because they’re pilots, and so my whole childhood was ‘go outside, and stay there’, and that’s how I became me.”
Wood wants to find work after graduation in a field like conservation biology, but being outdoors is a definite must on her employment checklist. She would like to take on employment with the State of Alaska by working in the parks to help with studies or conservation efforts.
Wood has also been certified as a scuba-diver since she was 10 years old. She is a self-described ‘closeted horse-girl’ and grew up riding horses competitively in trail-riding.
Be it outdoors or on-campus, Emily Wood looks forward to this academic year, and a chance to use her involvement to foster the future involvement of UAA students yet to come.