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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at IUP chapter.

This week’s campus celebrity is Whitney Williams. She is a sophomore student studying Management and Journalism; she plans to go into public relations. She aspires to being part of a management department within the entertainment field such as the BET Network. Whitney has been an office aide at the African American Cultural Center since her freshman year. She is also a member of Black Business Leaders of America.

Whitney is a growing leader on the campus of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and someone to look out for in the future. With 80% of IUPs student body being white Whitney believes that it is important to have minority student organizations on campus to make everyone know they matter. During the semester of fall 2012 Whitney was first-runner up in IUP’s first plus size pageant ‘Miss Thicker than a Snicker’. 

Whitney said, “[MTTAS] helped with my confidence and be more open on campus and show others what type of person I am. I stepped out of my comfort zone and met some great people. No matter what size you are, you shouldn’t let that affect how you feel about yourself.”

Whitney chose IUP because of the good business program that is accredited and not too far away from home.

“Compared to all of the other schools I looked at, it was cheaper,” Whitney said.

Like many college students she struggled with financial aid. However with the support of family and friends she got through these issues.

“My aunt gave me over a $1,000 to pay for my tuition, because I had trouble getting loans,” says Whitney.

She remains positive from her inspirations—her mother and Debra Lee.

“My mom [is my inspiration] because she always helps me to stay positive and not worry and that helps me stay in the right mind set.”

Ms. Debra L. Lee, Esq. is an African-American business woman and is the Chairman and CEO of BET Network and has sat on the board of a plethora of companies and organizations, including the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the Ad Council and the National Cable Television Association.

“Debra Lee, she is the type of business woman that I aspire to become. She knows what she’s doing and has respect from many and is successful.”

Whitney’s advice for incoming freshmen is to be in the right mindset and don’t let the fact that you’re in college mean you can get off track. Have your priorities straight and an idea of what you want to do.