Executive Ticket #4

Jemimah Davies & Elliot Rodriguez Santiago

"Together we climb!"

Jemimah & Elliot's photos were captured by:

Andrew Harker / The Avion

Meet Your President Candidate Jemimah!

Jemimah Davies

Junior, BS Aerospace Engineering

"I don’t run from big challenges; I overcome them. When I was a freshman, I joined the African Students Association (ASA) and supported it. Soon, I became a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and joined their board as a Programs Chairperson. These accomplishments propelled me to a Freshman of the Year award. My second year as Programs Chairperson, I raised the bar, organizing a gala with over 100 guests. I also won an award for Ms. NSBE for exemplifying our mission statement and the Elite Eagle Award for my dedication to my organization. Now, I am a student researcher, the current President of NSBE, and an officer at LoveWorld. Throughout, I have helped open doors of opportunities to people around me.

I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and now live in Illinois. I have great ambition. I do not back down and will not settle for a status quo. With my diverse range of experience, academic excellence, and community involvement, I can make our campus a better place."

  • What is your platform for this campaign? How does it stand out?

    "'Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?' Michelle Obama asks this question in her book, 'Becoming'. The quote speaks to the way I strive to make a positive change around me. 'Together we climb' seeks to capture that same sentiment. It is an assurance that we want to go above and beyond within the SGA and on campus - together as a student body. My goal is to increase your sense of belonging on campus. I have had friends who have left the school because they didn’t feel like they fit in - a lack of inclusion I hope to fix. I have a track record of helping revamp an organization from bottom up, by organizing events, implementing new rules, unifying, resolving conflicts, making an impact, and building a community.

    Here is how I plan to do same in the SGA: Starting from the SGA, working our way through the student body, we hope to unite, brainstorm ideas, revamp processes, and create strategies that benefit everyone. We want to reach out to you so that you can know who we are, and we can know what you want. We don’t want to wait for you to come up to us. We want to work for the campus that we should have rather than settle for a less-than-perfect SGA. We want to provide resources to smoothly transition students in and out of college. All together."

  • What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?

    "I embody passion, ambition, and compassion. I have shown passion by desiring to make a positive impact on everything I touch on campus. I have also been able to instill similar passion among my peers. Because of this trait, I understand what it takes to develop leaders who are willing to serve people out of passion. I have shown ambition in my career by always aiming higher. Coming to the U.S. six years ago would have been a challenge for anyone, but setting my sights higher, winning awards, gaining work experience, engaging on campus, and developing as a leader, I have stayed dedicated and motivated the entire time. I know what it means to find it hard to fit in a community and throughout the years I have gained experience in creating one. I hope to continue this cultivation in the SGA. Finally, I have shown compassion by always putting people first in my leadership because I care about people’s growth and satisfaction. I know what it means to run an organization on kindness, I have been doing it since my freshman year in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)."

  • As President, you would be a connection between students and the Administration. What do you do to ensure the voices of students are heard?

    "I believe that one of the most important parts of making sure that the voices of students are heard is showing how feedback is acted on. The SGA probably does more than students may think, but they won’t be able to know that unless we show them and give them a progress report, consistently, and visibly through the SGA General Sessions, forums, tabling, and, perhaps most of all, an effective website.

    A key part of that process is having conversations with students, genuinely caring about their experience, and offering to help even if they do not ask. Likewise, I am not afraid to advocate to the Administration on behalf of the students. I had an experience with a student in NSBE who was struggling with a project for a competition and needed to use an engineering lab. I was able to set up a meeting with a faculty to demonstrate the needs of the student and they were able to get the help they needed. I plan on implementing this process in the SGA for the student body. It doesn’t matter what demographic of student you are. I want to make sure international students have all the help they need to find a new, welcoming community on campus. Aviation students deserve transparency and a streamlined process in their path. I want to provide resources for business students to develop professionally. I want to cater to the engineering students, the veterans, ROTC, athletic, Greek life, everyone."

  • How will you improve the SGA to better serve the student body?

    "The SGA cannot properly help the student body if the foundation of the leadership is not strong, unified, and motivated. The SGA should have thorough leadership training or seminars so they can know the true definition of leadership and what it takes to be a leader. They should also put themselves in a position where they can interact with as many students as possible, collect their feedback and act on it. In my previous leadership experience, I have redefined the quality of our work. Transparency is a key topic that needs to be constantly addressed in the SGA. Having a good line of communication between the SGA and the student body can help improve transparency and the overall operating success of the SGA. Transparency is the key to having an SGA that will be more unified, holistic, and successful in addressing student needs. It is one of the essential parts of our mission of 'Together we Climb'. Interacting and connecting with the students will contribute to our ambitious agenda."

  • What does the SGA mean to you?

    "I am an outsider to the SGA, but that is a good thing. I bring fresh new ideas to SGA that have not been done before. Sometimes we need someone to breathe fresh air into a body like the SGA. I believe this experience is almost more important than being in the SGA itself. To me, SGA is a place where I can expand my reach and support the community as a whole - just as I have been doing.

    Coming in from a different country and having to find a community taught me the importance of having a strong one. To me, SGA is an opportunity to set a structure so that anyone who comes into the school from any background can feel like they have a supportive community here. I am excited to take on these challenges on behalf of my peers and to work with the SGA team to pursue my ambitious goals."

Meet Your Vice President Candidate Elliot!

Elliot Rodriguez Santiago

Junior, BS Aerospace Engineering

"My name is Elliot, I am a junior in Aerospace Engineering. I am currently an Ambassador for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coalition (DEI) and the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Student Government Association (SGA).

I was able to take on the two aforementioned positions because of the passion I have when it comes to helping people. I am an extrovert and I love to make friendships. If I am not in my office working or on campus studying, you can find me outside playing pickup basketball or attending general meetings/events of the Registered Student Organizations I am a part of. I believe that as a leader you must have a good connection to those you lead. By being part of the Embry-Riddle community in different ways I can connect to more people with diverse interests and backgrounds.With the Vice President position, I am excited to have a larger platform to help more members of the student body and get to learn more about our diverse community."

  • What makes your Executive Ticket stand out?

    "We have a distinct background compared to other candidates. Both of us are very involved with diverse groups of people, being in Registered Student Organizations like the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coalition (DEI).

    With participation in these RSOs, interacting with leaders and professionals is a daily occurrence. We are well experienced in interacting with diverse communities in both professional and casual settings. Alongside that, we also have well rounded knowledge of how students outside the Student Government Association view the Student Government Association and what changes they want to see for the present and the future.

    In addition to that, my personal experience in the Student Government Association has shown me the strengths and weaknesses that can be expanded on and resolved. Having both views on one ticket is something powerful that can lead to new growth within the Student Government Association and, in result, out to the student body."

  • What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?

    "I believe that I am the most qualified candidate for this position for several reasons. One reason is that I have the experience and the passion to climb up the leadership ladder and be the Vice President. I understand what it is to be a leader by example, not just in name alone. I have never stopped trying to earn leadership positions within the university. My second reason is my ability to connect to those on campus with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. I have had to work with such diverse communities since my freshman year being in SHPE, then becoming a DEI ambassador, and now as a member of the SGA President's Cabinet. My last reason is that my classmates, clubmates, friends I have made playing pickup basketball, and all the people I have connected with know that I am always willing to help and I can find someone who can help them. I beleive that all of these reasons are important because as the Vice President I will be working with different senators of different walks of life in order to support and advocate for every community on campus."

  • As the Vice President, you have a supportive role to the President as well as being the head of the Senate. How will you use your position to ensure the needs of students are met?

    "As the Vice President, I will actively be part of every senator's efforts in bettering their subject of focus. There are so many great ideas to help better each college and the experience on campus. The first step to acting on those great ideas is knowing exactly what the students need. I would like to encourage the Senate to approach their departments or colleges and have open discussions of what is needed by both faculty and students. We do not want to assume everyone’s needs and then only cater to one portion of the whole population. This first step acts like a catalyst and leads to creating a roadmap to work on those needs. Communication really is the easiest method of quality collaboration. The next step is to act on the prepared roadmap and set the foundation to make the ideas into reality. One last thing is to have roadmaps/plans and progress on visual display for the entire Embry-Riddle community to have quality transparency."

  • How would you use the position of Vice President to create a positive and productive environment in the SGA and around campus?

    "I want the Student Senate itself to be a hub of productivity and positivity. Everything starts with the top, so if the Student Senate is being positive and productive, then the groups of people that the Senate supports and interacts with will also have the ability to be positive and productive. In order to acheive this, the Student Senate reputation has to increase for the better by continuing and creating projects to better student life and experience on campus. Any plans of improvement brought up to the Student Senate will not be completed if the Student Senate is not productive. This cannot happen. My role as Vice President will allow me to be a part of so many projects and initiatives to help better the campus and the student experience little by little. I see the value of working hard with a mission and a goal. Being able to take part in so many events, projects, and efforts to better the student experience is the reason why I want to be the Vice President of the SGA. By overseeing and supporting the Student Senate with all of their endeavors, I can help create a more positive and productive environment in the SGA and around campus."

  • What does the SGA mean to you?

    "The Student Government Association is a group of students that strive to represent the student body while also dedicating themselves to support the growth of the Embry-Riddle student population -- academically, professionally, mentally, etc.

    The Student Government Association officials are chosen by the students because the goal is to represent those students' ideas and aspirations. This makes the SGA a platform for advocacy and growth. With this platform, SGA is a core part of student engagement and student life on campus. Any Touch-N-Go or WIKD event is SGA, their SGA tailgates; everywhere you go there is an SGA related or sponsored event. The reputation of SGA is to improve and grow because as the student population increases, so do the students' needs. This should also mean that the motivation and efforts of the SGA should as well. Being a member of the SGA, I work as a part of the President's Cabinet, [and this] has allowed me to see the efforts of the President and Vice President firsthand and has became a motivation for me to run.

    The passion and drive to create positive change for the present student body and the future student population is the main idea and purpose of the SGA."