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Meet Reagan Swatosh and Elly Smith: Our October Leading Women

Name: Reagan Swatosh

Major: English & Economics

Hometown: Ava, Missouri

What are your career/life goals?

Upon graduating I will be opening my own consulting firm that specializes in providing coaching, leadership development, and facilitation for secondary education, higher education, and corporate settings.

What is your favorite part about your major and why did you choose it?

I initially chose English because it matched my skill sets, but I have grown to love all of the fun classes Mizzou offers, and I love how it has changed my worldview and strengthened my understanding of history and culture. I chose economics because my brain has always loved both math/science and english/reading/writing, so it only made sense for me. I had a mentor that ultimately was the reason I chose economics, but I enjoy the classes and the way it allows me to think critically about important topics in our lives- healthcare, education, workforce, international trade, and more.

What does being named a member of Homecoming Royalty Top 10 mean to you? What organization did you represent and why is it important to you?

The Homecoming royalty represent Mizzou, and they represent all of the amazing organizations, clubs, and activities on campus. I applied for Homecoming royalty because I wanted to represent and stand for many of the organizations that are so close to my heart. I want the opportunity to share my passions with the rest of the campus and community, and I want to bring light to organizations that might not be traditionally represented. These groups and people have been integral to my time at Mizzou, and they have fundamentally shaped me. This is the spirit of Mizzou to me. I want to share how American Sign Language (ASL) Club and ASL classes have changed my worldview and how we all can better support the Deaf community. I want to talk about how volunteering to help foreign delegates at the Asian Affairs Center led me to forming friendships that transcend continents and time zones. I want to give representation to the students at Mizzou who are navigating college with a disability and might feel isolated, because I know it’s challenging.

How have your experiences in Theta changed you?

The amazing people I’ve encountered have taught me that success is not found in awards or accolades. True success is measured by the way you make others feel- the way you support, serve, respect, and encourage them. Academics are important, but so is being a kind and loving human being. I’m grateful for the incredible support system Theta has given me. I am also thankful to have a group of people that inspire me daily.

Do you have any advice for the underclassmen?

My advice is to do it all! And no, I don’t mean actually doing everything. I mean doing things that push you out of your comfort zone or things you wouldn’t normally do. All of my experiences that have come from this mentality have seriously shaped who I am now, and they are responsible for much of my growth. This saying is why I took ASL classes, and it’s why I ultimately pursued economics and have joined many of the organizations I’m involved in now. It’s also the reason why I’m planning on opening my own business. Take a chance on the things you’re interested in, follow your heart, and embrace new experiences that challenge you.

Do you have a specific favorite Theta memory?

My favorite Theta memory is honestly ever-changing. However, one of my very favorite parts of Theta is my ever-growing pledge family- I cannot describe how much each of them means to me. I love getting to know and love so many other thetas through this, and this past big/little reveal is certainly one of my highlights. These relationships truly mean the world to me, and I’m grateful I get the opportunity to connect with other members of all different ages.

Name: Elly Smith

Major: Chemical Engineering

Hometown: Washington, IL

What are your career/life goals?

My career goals involve changing the innovation landscape for feminine care products. Starting next summer, I will be working on the research and development team for brands such as Always, Tampax, and Elle.

What does being chosen for Homecoming Top 10 mean to you?

Out of any experience at Mizzou, being chosen for Homecoming Royalty Top 10 made me feel seen as a student. I felt recognized for both my dedication and for the impact I have sought to make on campus.

What organization did you represent and why is it important to you?

I represented the Mizzou Engineering Student Council (MESC). To me, engineering is the heartbeat of the campus and my college experience. It meant so much to me to represent an organization I feel represented by.

What orgs/hobbies are you passionate about?

On campus, I love being a Peer Mentor, where I regularly meet with first year engineering students. In our meetings we play games, discuss important career topics, and take tours of the very confusingly built Lafferre Hall. Personally, I am passionate about baking and cooking. Nearly every weekend you can find me trying a new recipe with whatever I can find at Aldi.

How have your experiences in Theta changed you?

My experiences in Theta have ensured I could find friends across campus. I have loved meeting such a diverse group of people, studying a myriad of subjects, all while sharing the same values.

Do you have any advice for underclassmen?

My advice to underclassmen would be to find an organization that brings you joy. Mizzou is home to more organizations than you could ever possibly join, so join one that makes your days a little brighter and the campus feel like home.

Do you have a specific favorite Theta memory?

I'd never be able to pin it down to one but a favorite memory that comes to mind is spontaneously buying train tickets out of STL with my Theta friends, Maggie and Addie. The train left around 4AM so we left Columbia at a time I would normally be going to bed. It was such a fun adventure, and I was able to go home and surprise my family.


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