Campus Celeb: Hannah Fussell ’14

If you’re looking to get more involved on campus, Hannah Fussell is the girl to talk to. Even before her acceptance to UNC she knew she wanted to become very involved in campus life. This goal has paid off as she has discovered her many passions in teaching, leadership, public relations, Student Government, and service in non-profit organizations.

HC: What are you studying at UNC?
Psychology with a minor in Medical Anthropology.
HC: What roles do you have on campus?
HF: I began my involvement in leadership roles as an orientation leader and as an RA. I was also on the first-year focus council chair in student government. I loved being a mentor for first-years. The amount of information thrown at freshmen is overwhelming and I wanted to do anything I could to help their experience. Through the committee we introduced a lot of new projects, such as brown bag lunches, first-year class t-shirts, how-to interview workshops, and the Carolina Priceless Gem series. I also became involved in Student U by being a member of the NC Fellows Program. Student U is a nonprofit organization in Durham which works to empower at risk students through mentorship and academic enrichment. I participated in their summer program where I taught a 6th grade class. It involved intense training and lesson plan development but it was amazing. I loved teaching. When you step out of our campus bubble you realize that there are so many kids nearby that need you and what you can really do to help close the achievement gap. Through Student U in Durham I discovered that I loved working with women empowerment and became involved with 3D women. 3D women is a non-profit program in Durham that works to create mentor relationships in order to encourage and empowered women from all backgrounds who are in need of support. I currently work as a board member and social media coordinator.  Through Student U I was also introduced to Teach for America. I admire TFA’s successful platform and program mission so I am now working as a TFA recruiter. I work to coordinate their outreach and on campus events. I have also been in EROT (a spoken word group) for a few years and participate in campus theater performances.
I am currently serving as Student Body Secretary as well. It has been such a cool role! I manage an outreach and design team, along with the social media and PR press components. There is really so much going on in Student Government and we do whatever we can to bring about positive change for our students. For example, we organized the Defend the Drop campaign as we realized it was an important issue for our students. We were able to collect 5,000 signatures from students in just two days! I love being able to see actual change happening because of what we are able to accomplish.
This past summer I traveled to Vietnam through the Duke Engage program. I have always wanted to work globally from the start and wanted to use my current experiences I’ve developed at Carolina overseas. I worked with a 5th grade class in Ho Chi Minh City, where the after effects of the Vietnam War are still very much present. Nothing I could’ve read in a book would’ve prepared me. It was sad but I loved it. The children were great and I was motivated to do anything I could for them.

HC: What are your plans for next year?
No set plans yet. I love my current involvement with Teach for America, so that is something to think about. I also want to take some time to explore options in non-profit organizations in DC and New York.
HC: When you have free time, what do you like to do?
I enjoy hanging out with my friends and spending time with Jack - my adopted dog/cat. I really love animals - I used to be really involved in UNC Helping Paws. I actually found Jack when I was working late one night at the Clothing Warehouse. I was going through one of the racks when I came across a massive orange fur ball – It was a huge cat staring up at me! I had no idea what to do so I called my manager and the animal shelter and was told to place him in the bathroom overnight. After placing him in the bathroom, I found him hanging out in the sink! He was so sweet I decided to take him home. After taking him to the animal shelter, they discovered that he has FIV (cat aids) and were going to put him down. I couldn’t have that – I adopted him. I love him and so does my roommate – we named him Jack O’Malley. We aren’t sure how long he is going to live, but for right now he’s healthy and happy.
HC: What is your favorite part about UNC?
From the start, the University has always been about the people. I don’t think you will find a University that has so many students so passionate about being involved. UNC is great about taking steps to make the world a better place, as so many people are about where they are from and what they are doing for the world and community. Students here are also about collaboration, innovation, and social good. I also love that it’s such a progressively focused institution – I’ve met so many great people!
Hannah invites Her Campus UNC to check out what is going on our campus and how we can get involved. Check out the UNC Student Government site and the Student U Durham site.