Student Senate Executive Board Members
Donny Whitton, President
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
High School: North Kansas City High School
Why did you choose JCCC? I decided to go back to school and looked at a few schools. I was almost sucked into one of those for-profit schools. They seemed more interested in getting my GI Bill set up to start issuing them payments than they did answering my questions about their program. I did some research and found out that their credits would not transfer to most institutions. I decided to check JCCC and was very satisfied with what I found. It seemed like everyone went that extra mile to ensure I was on the right path. The Veteran Services office provided unparalleled support and an environment that had comfort and stability.
What clubs or extracurricular activities are you involved in? I have been involved with Active Minds, Veterans Club, Muslim Student Association, Engineering Club, Educational Affairs, KOPS Task Force, Conversation Partners, and the Cavalier Leadership Development Program.
What is your favorite part of JCCC? I really think that the majority of the people who attend or work at this institution have the pay-it-forward attitude. I have met some truly amazing people here. I feel like this school fosters an environment that encourages a sense of community service and well-being.
Why did you join Student Senate? I joined Student Senate because I wanted to be more involved on campus. I had no idea what it was or what I was going to do after joining, but I knew that I would be able to add valuable contributions. It was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be. Last year, I met and worked along some amazing Cavaliers who all wanted to make JCCC a better place. I am looking forward to another year of progression with a great group of senators.
What do you hope to see Student Senate accomplish this year? I would really like to build some school spirit. One of the ways we can do this is to increase attendance for our many talented athletic teams. I think we could probably get some fitness equipment around the track or other areas on campus to encourage health. I would like to see some changes to the textbook system here on campus. One idea is to require any instructor who orders text books to complete annual training, just as anyone that hires an employee is required to do. I think that advocating for some changes to the financial aid and the add/drop policies could help a lot of students.
Why is it important for students to get involved at JCCC? Students who are involved tend to be more successful. Involvement gives the student a sense of pride, ownership, and belonging. The majority of students here are planning on moving on to another university upon completion. I think that it is easy to look past JCCC and the opportunities to have a fulfilling experience here. It is important to remember that it is not the pursuit of happiness but the happiness of the pursuit in which true fulfillment lies.
Amanda Wang, Vice-President
Hometown: Medan, Indonesia
High School: Singapore Piaget Academy
Studying: Biochemistry, music
Why did you choose JCCC? My older brother studied here and recommended that I attend JCCC as it had a positive impact on his studies. A few of my friends from high school also attended JCCC, and they all gave me really good feedback about the school. I have enjoyed and learned a lot being here, and I'm really glad I chose JCCC.
What clubs or extracurricular activities are you involved in? I am involved in the Honors Student Association, International Club, Student Sustainability Committee and Phi Theta Kappa.
What is your favorite part of JCCC? Inclusion. I really enjoy how encouraging professors are to make me want to do my best as a student. JCCC has a really great study environment, from the library to all the resource centers. There is always help provided as long as you look for it, and I think this is important in a school.
Why did you join Student Senate? I joined Student Senate my first semester here, because I enjoy being a part of and contributing to a group that is able to make a positive impact to its surroundings.
What do you hope to see Student Senate accomplish this year? I hope that we can be an impactful group of people to our school and community by organizing events. I also hope we can make Student Senate known to more students to influence them to be part of the Senate as well.
Why is it important for students to get involved at JCCC? I think being involved is important, especially on each students' areas of interest because it is a great way to meet different people who share the same passion and to have a chance to learn from one another. It will build a good network and make new friends, and it has helped me learn to communicate effectively. I am an international student and being involved has helped me identify with different people in a new environment, and I am able to adapt better here.
Ali Zinati, Secretary
Hometown: Columbia, Missouri
High School: Rock Bridge High School
Why did you choose JCCC? It's nearby, convenient and provides top-end education with low tuition costs.
What clubs or extracurricular activities are you involved in? Muslim Student Association, International Club and Latinos United Now and Always.
What is your favorite part of JCCC? The atmosphere. I've never been to a college campus that was happy to accept me, especially coming from another state. I felt right at home.
Why did you join Student Senate? To expand, challenge myself, and help the college become something more, improving upon what it has already achieved.
What do you hope to see Student Senate accomplish this year? To serve students of all kinds and really get involved so that they may know all that JCCC has to offer in the short and long run.
Why is it important for students to get involved at JCCC? It is a learning experience in and out of the classroom, and this, I feel, can really benefit students here on campus and in the workplace.
Frankie Zeng, Treasurer
Hometown: Guangzhou, China
High School: Hunan Province Xinhua First High School
Why did you choose JCCC? My English was not good when I arrived in America. However, JCCC has a very cheap and high-quality English program for foreign students. In addition, JCCC is one of the best community colleges in United States, so I was thinking I would have good opportunity to transfer to a great university in the future. As a result, I came JCCC to study. I have been JCCC for two years, and I noticed that JCCC is a really great college. Choosing coming to JCCC to study is the best decision I made so far in my life.
What clubs or extracurricular activities are you involved in? The JCCC Student Life Department provides so many opportunities for students to get involved at campus. I am the vice-president of International Club and an officer of the Honors Student Association. I am also a member of the Student Sustainability Committee, Model United Nations, JCCC Fútballers United, and Chess Club.
What is your favorite part of JCCC? In the past two years, I do notice that JCCC has many advantages for students, especially for international students. For my favorite part of JCCC, that should be JCCC provides many opportunities to student to get involved in school organizations and participate activities. Like Student Life and Student Activity Department organizes many good and fascinating events for students, such as: Photo with Santa, Kick-Off, Cav-Craze, etc.
Why did you join Student Senate? I involved in Student Senate when I was in high school and I loved to do Student Senate affairs, so I want to continue to do what I love to do in college. JCCC Student Senate also is one of the best organizations at campus. Joining Student Senate is one of the best way to contribute to JCCC and help students.
What do you hope to see Student Senate accomplish this year? I would love to see Student Senate continue to increase its awareness at campus. It would be awesome if Student Senate can let more students to get the benefits from Student Senate’s actions than last year. I also would love to see Student Senators involve more with students in order to find more real common problems of students and our campus. Then Student Senate can do our best to help students to resolve those problems.
Why is it important for students to get involved at JCCC? JCCC is just like a big family. In this big family, every person is related to each other, so this family need every student and staff to take care of. Building a better JCCC is not only the goal of the Student Senate, but it should be the goal of every student as well. Therefore, getting involved at JCCC is really important for students.
Alex Rowe, Parliamentarian
Hometown: LaGrange, Kentucky
High School: Shawnee Mission South High School
Why did you choose JCCC?What’s great about JCCC is that students don’t have to be studying for a certain degree or pursuing a specific program to want to come here; our campus has so many academic offerings, and our faculty so passionate and knowledgeable across all departments that we appeal to students in any field imaginable. I enjoy being able to meet people with so many different interests and goals in an atmosphere that allows us to have a sense of familiarity and closeness. I feel this is a merit few other colleges boast.
What clubs or extracurricular activities are you involved in? As many as I can. I am a currently a member of the Debate Team, Students for Responsible Drug Policy, International Club, and Latinos United Now and Always.
What is your favorite part of JCCC? Johnson County is blessed with a very diverse population, hosting a wide range of ethnicities, nationalities, religions, and creeds. I am proud that JCCC reflects this diversity and offers a very welcoming, tolerant, and integrated environment.
Why did you join Student Senate? I attended my first Senate meeting out of curiosity, but it didn’t take long before the friendliness and dedication of its members inspired me to join. Everyone here is genuinely committed to improving the experience of being on campus. I’ve also had the opportunity to advance my leadership and communication skills, so there’s really been no downside for me.
What do you hope to see Student Senate accomplish this year? I'd like to see that Senate is as active on campus as possible, both by filling our open positions, as well as reaching out to the student body. Coordinating with clubs and organizations will ensure the issues we pursue, including lockers, campus safety, and gun policy, fully represent what the student body expects from its leadership.
Why is it important for students to get involved at JCCC? Education occupies a large part of our lives, and at the college level is especially meaningful, challenging, and rewarding. Ensuring that one gets the most out of their time here, both academically and socially, is absolutely in their best interest.