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Kayla Schehr brings spirit of service, compassion to Saint Vincent

“Get involved” is advice many freshmen receive when they first start college. Kayla Schehr took that advice to heart three years ago. Now a senior, Schehr has participated in SGA, worked both in the service learning office and as a prefect, and contributed to m

any other activities. An early childhood education major with a special education minor, Schehr balances academics with work studies and SGA. But for Schehr, the ultimate focus is serving others.

“At the end of the day, with the connections I’ve made with […] people from Saint Vincent, it’s been absolutely well worth it,” Schehr said.

Schehr decided to come to Saint Vincent because it felt like home. She liked the supportive community and has worked hard to be a part of that support.

Dr. Stacie Nowikowski, Schehr’s academic advisor, said that her first impression of Schehr was that she was very organized and driven.

“[Schehr] likes to look at the big picture,” Nowikowski said.

Schehr has been very active in the education department, even being the president of the education club during her junior year. That year, Schehr said, the club was finally able to do a new project that Nowikowski had been wanting to do for a few years. The education club hid rocks around campus for people to find and take pictures with. The project, called “Spread the Love of Reading,” will now happen every year.

“It’s just nice to know that [Dr. Nowikowski] and I kind of worked on starting that up,” Schehr said.

Schehr’s activities at Saint Vincent will serve her well in the future as she begins a career in teaching. Nowikowski described her as “compassionate” and said that Schehr will be an excellent teacher because of that quality.

Jessica Parsons, Schehr’s supervisor in the service learning and outreach office, also thinks that Schehr will be a wonderful teacher.

“She’s always willing to give of herself to help others figure out where they’re going or what they need,” Parsons said.

Schehr’s willingness to give led her to serve Saint Vincent students as a member of SGA, which she joined in her freshman year. Schehr is currently the secretary of the executive board, a position she enjoys. According to Nowikowski, Schehr has also served as the student representative on the educational policies committee through SGA. The committee helps decide in which direction the college is heading regarding academics, Nowikowski explained.

“As a student representative […] you are with all full-time faculty who are either tenured or on the tenure track, and you’re having to speak up for the student voice […] I was really proud of [Schehr] when she represented so well,” Nowikowski said.

Kelly King, who also works with Schehr in the service learning and outreach office, described Schehr as a “quiet leader.”

Parsons agreed.

“[Schehr] likes to fly under the radar a little bit, and is the last person that would promote herself,” Parsons said.

Schehr said that time management is key to being able to be as involved as she is. She had to figure out what she could and could not do, and make sacrifices. But Schehr focuses on helping others, and that makes it worthwhile.

“It’s a small campus here, and there’s a lot to do if you make yourself have a lot to do, but I think the people here are what make it so special,” Schehr said.

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