(Editor's note: Today's Question and Answer feature is the first in a weekly series that will run every Monday in Southern Miss Now)
Kasey Mitchell, student government president at The University of Southern Mississippi, harbors a deep appreciation for public service and hopes to parlay that interest into a career in politics.
Mitchell, a senior Business Management major from Picayune, Miss., recently took a few moments to reflect on the opening months of her tenure as SGA president and outlook for the new year.
Q:Have you always been interested in politics?
A:Yes. I have always enjoyed researching candidates and deciding whom I would vote for even before I was allowed to vote. I was so into it that when I was 16 my aunts and uncles would call me before election days to get my thoughts on the candidates in our district.
Q:Do you have aspirations of running for higher political office someday?
A:I do aspire to a career in politics in the future. I have a strong interest in government and love serving people. I can think of no better field to be a part of than one in which I could directly represent the people I care about in a way that really matters. I am particularly interested in running for the Senate one day.
Q:Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
A:I would have to say my grandmother, my Maw Maw. She was the epitome of a selfless person. I admire the way she lived and always held true to her beliefs while putting others first. If I can be half the woman she was, then I will feel that I lived a significant life.
Q:Why did you want to become SGA President at Southern Miss?
A: I had been involved in SGA since my freshman year when I served as president of Freshman Associates. That opportunity opened a lot of doors for me and allowed me to attend a student government conference as a freshman and attend cabinet meetings. I was able to see the opportunity that this organization had to make a difference for its fellow students and I loved being a part of it.
Q:What are your primary objectives as SGA president?
A:Although my platform for president included many different things, the main keywords I focused on were vision, passion and commitment. I am striving to unify the various branches of student government and really brand the organization for what it is and what it can be. I wanted to put together a team that would be passionate and put the student body first, which I feel the group has strongly succeeded in doing.
Q: What animal best describes your personality?
A:I would say a hummingbird. Hummingbirds are energetic animals that have very quick wing strokes. I feel this best describes me because I’m a high energy, excited person who enjoys staying busy.
Q:What is on your iPod or car stereo most of the time?
A:I really enjoy a good mix of oldies and Top-40 music. My interests go back and forth between those two.
Q:Barack Obama or Mike Huckabee?
A:Although I have a great amount of respect for President Obama, if he were to run for re-election and Huckabee ran against him, my vote would be for Huckabee as my views more closely align with his, especially on fiscal matters.