Profile: Marisa Potate
Describing senior psychology major Marisa Potate takes only one word: nontraditional.
She's a nontraditional student attending Mississippi State's largely nontraditional campus in Meridian. As the campus' Student Association president, Potate works hard to ensure the MSU-Meridian's student population has opportunities similar to those available at the main campus.
"I saw a need on this campus for more activity: We have a nontraditional campus, so my goal in being Student Association president is to make a more fun campus," she said. "We saw a real need for more activities for nontraditional students, so they can have their kids here at a time of day that works for them."
Since she took office, Potate helped develop several new activities for Bulldogs taking classes on the 1000 Highway 19N, Meridian campus. Among them was Fall Fest, a carnival-like event for all ages. Plans for the spring semester include an Easter Egg hunt.
Community service also is an important part of Potate's SA leadership. Not only has she encouraged more members to get involved with Habitat for Humanity Projects, Potate also advocated the SA's participation in the Breast Cancer Awareness Month Street Strut activity.
"Sometimes it gets hard to balance my responsibilities with the cabinet with my schooling," she admitted. "Our schedules are so spread out, and for me personally, I do all of my SA work during the day and I go to classes at night. I just treat Student Association like my job, and that's how I balance."
In addition to her work with SA, Potate serves as historian for MSU-Meridian's Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology and as vice president of the Psychology Club.
Potate said she always knew she wanted to be a Bulldog, long before transferring from nearby Meridian Community College. MSU-Meridian was the perfect choice for her because it allowed her to stay at home and get the same great education equal to the one available on the Starkville campus.
"I really love how supportive all the professors are here and how they get to know you as a person," Potate said. "They're here to teach you about life and how to be as successful as you can be. We have adjunct faculty that will come to campus after hours to teach. I really love how dedicated the whole faculty is—they're all so supportive and helpful."
"It's nice to know everybody you're around every day."
Writer: Leah Barbour | Photo: Megan Bean