Junior Bible and Missions and Pre-medicine student Dakota Ellis won the Student Association (SA) elections held Wednesday, April 5. Ellis’ campaign included a reference to the International Programs slogan “Ask Me.” He ran with his two friends, Davis Nossaman for vice president and junior Curt Baker for treasurer, who won their respective elections as well.
Q: Why did you decide to come to Harding?
A: It was because of the opportunity to be part of a Bible and missions program and also study medicine, which are two things I’m very passionate about.
Q: Why did you initially decide to run for SA president?
A: I was presented the opportunity to serve as Impact co-director, and I was also given the opportunity to serve as SA junior representative in charge of the chapel committee. I think both of those showed me ways in which I can help better the student body … I saw myself as somebody that had the ability and some of the networks already in place.
Q: How did you decide on your campaign strategy?
A: Davis and Curt actually contacted me saying they wanted to run before Christmas break, and I had just pushed it off. Eventually, I decided that was something I would look into. Since January, we’ve been meeting once per week on Thursdays, formulating what it would look like if we served as SA executives. We had a vision, we had passion and we had the desire, so it made sense. The “Ask Me” just kind of made sense as well. It was the best way we thought we could link ourselves together; we could all do something that was noticeable on Harding’s campus. We were sure to get permission from Ashel (Parsons).
Q: What are some specific plans that you’ve made already for next year?
A: I’ll give you three. Number one, engaging the Business Office along with Aramark to see if there’d be any way that at the end of the semester, if any individual has 25 caf swipes or more for that to be transferred in to $25 DCB. Another would be the renovation and development of Gin Creek into a recreational area, putting a sidewalk along the side, with park benches and grills, perhaps with lights. The last thing would be forming the White County Relations Committee. This would have two purposes: one to link White County in regards to mentorship where students can join whatever their profession is and then network them, and also service.
Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: My immediate plans are to hopefully get accepted to medical school. After that, I’ll pursue a degree in medicine and get a master’s in bioethics and serve on an ethics board, and then perhaps work at a missions clinic overseas.
Q: What are some of your personality types and how do they speak to your strengths and weaknesses?
A: With the DiSC profile, each individual is given a different letter for how you work in teams. Mine is D, which is the domineering type, seeking innovating problem solving methods. Naturally, I have a leadership quality. The negatives of that is that I would be wanting to do everything by myself, thinking I had all the answers and thinking that my way is the best way. The positives are that I’m going to think of innovative ways hopefully and that I’m going to get the job done by all means possible.
Q: What makes being at Harding great to you?
A: My favorite part about being at Harding is the opportunities it presents. I think Harding is an extremely relevant and engaged place in our culture but also harbors the tenets of our faith. I think it really allows us to engage in all areas of life while being in a sense safe and actually being able fail at this time in life and you can still have a safety net. Harding’s a safe place to try and to fail or try and succeed, and I like those opportunities. I like the opportunity to travel. I was presented with the opportunity to go to Africa freshman year through Global Outreach and travel to Harding University in Greece. It just presents a lot of opportunities to students I think, and that’s the reason it’s great to be at Harding for me.