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Checking in with Hannah and Cheyenne: A Winona Campus Spotlight

We recently had a chance to connect with Her Campus at Winona. This chapter, led by Hannah Hippensteel and Cheyenne Halberg, is a part of Winona State University, in Winona Minnesota. Over the last few weeks, we had a chance to chat and pick their brains about what is happening at another Her Campus chapter, 775 miles away! Check out what they had to say:


1. What’s been your favourite Her Campus memory so far?

Hannah Hippensteel: My favorite memory was being affirmed that my writing was good and worthwhile by being given the Queen of Hits award my first semester freshman year. My first ever article (!!!) had gotten the most page views for the whole fall semester of Winona writing in 2017, so it was a special moment to share with those who support me as a writer outside of the club, as well as my fellow HC Winona writers who continue to make me feel heard in the articles I post. Also, all our events give me a chance to know my writers beyond their articles which is always so fun.

Cheyenne Halberg: My favorite Her Campus memory so far was during Spring Semester of 2019. We had a Valentine’s Day themed Team Bonding Event where all of the members drew a name and proceeded to write a message on a heart-shaped piece of paper addressed to the person whose name we drew. At the end of the event, we handed out the heart messages. Hannah Hippensteel, my current Co-Campus Correspondent, gave her heart message to me. It was the sweetest note that I have probably ever received in my life, and it definitely made me tear up. From that day on, I looked at Hannah, not only as another member of Her Campus, but also as a trusted friend.


2. What made you want to join HC?

HH: My head is always swirling with things to say, so I knew I needed an outlet for all of that. I saw the HC Winona table at the freshman orientation club fair in 2017 and was hooked by the bright pink and brighter personalities who welcomed me in with open arms! Shout-out to Kasey and Emily for that.

CH: Coming to college, I knew I wanted to join an extracurricular club that allowed me to help others and share my voice. After stumbling upon the Her Campus table at my freshman club fair, I knew it was just the place for me. 


3. How do you increase engagement within the community (I.e. events, article views) with online school?

HH: We are still working on how to stay engaged with our campus. We are looking to have more student-led talks on social media and collaborate with other organizations by writing articles on their events! We’re all about being supportive, even if it has to be from a distance right now.

CH: As Hannah said, we are definitely still working on new and safe ways for our club to stay engaged with the community. We currently share a lot on our social media pages and are still participating in all campus-wide events hosted by our university which also follow COVID-19 guidelines. Her Campus at Winona as a whole is trying our best to navigate through this new terrain just like everybody else in this ever-changing situation.


4. How do you balance school and Her Campus duties?

HH: Oh man… that’s a tough one! I truly have always loved school and have liked a challenge when it comes to doing all that fulfills me as a person, so I make it work. I live by my planner 100% but it’s important to schedule in rest (as crazy as that may seem). I’m a senior in college trying to soak up her lasts in a very unconventional way, so HC is my escape and bliss. It also helps me engage more with my professional side, to have a supportive, creative outlet like HC to channel all that other energy into.

CH: It is quite a challenge at some points. I suppose my simple answer for the question is my support system and planner. My planner is a blessing to say the least. I color-code my classes, homework and due dates, exam dates, Her Campus duties and work schedule in my planner and calendars. There are some weeks where it is so packed that it is still challenging to follow, but that is where my utmost gratitude for my support system—friends, family, coworkers and fellow Her Campus members—come into play. 


5. What has been the most fulfilling part of Her Campus?

HH: The people 100%! It has been so incredibly cool to watch the girls I joined with flourish in the HC Winona environment and for us to help each other grow. That also extends to how I try and shepherd new girls into the club so they can find their niche as well and fall in love with writing and the doors it can open like I did nearly 4 years ago.

CH: I think the most fulfilling part of Her Campus for me is witnessing the stories and growth of my fellow HC women. Spending time editing and reading some of their personal stories is such a blessing. It is truly beautiful to sit down and witness each of their hearts unfold through their words. Then on top of that, I get to spend quality time with the ladies every week during our editing sessions or team bonding events. The HC women are the exquisite diamonds that make this club shine.


6. What does writing mean to you?

HH: Writing is one of the only things I’m not humble about. I’ve always had a lot to say, and I know I can say most of it in articulate and entertaining ways. It’s my lifeline to connect with myself and my audience, whoever they may be! It’s where I turn to express myself. 

CH: Writing is everything to me. It is how I convey my innermost thoughts and remember my favorite memories. I recognize the importance of writing, not only on a personal level, but a societal level as well. Every stroke on a piece of paper and letter typed on a computer is documentation of history. There is nothing I can compare writing to because, in my mind, it is the most important and beautiful thing in this world.


7. What was your favourite topic that you have written about?

HH: I have a series called “Hannah-LYZE This” where I look at different ideas in society and analyze them. My favorite piece from that is Hannah-LYZE This: Body Positivity in the 21st Century! It looks at body positivity and struggles for self-love in historical, social and personal lenses! It’s been so impactful for me to go back and read, as well as others to read.

CH: My favorite piece is a fairly recent one titled “Not Your Princess: My Body Is Not Your Property” from November of 2020. It is a serious piece, and the message is extremely important as it deals with sexual assault and rape. My goal in life is to leave a lasting impact on the people around me, and if that is educating, helping or empowering them, then I will do everything in my power to do so.


8. Looking back at your first year as a chapter, what are some pieces of advice you’d give to new chapters?

HH: I am so lucky that HC Winona was already established by the time I joined in 2017. I would say some advice from someone who has been a Co-Campus Correspondent for two years would be to not shy away from controversial article ideas. The joy of HC is diversity and individuality! Also, take opportunities to join forces with other clubs on campus… they can make great profiles and connections in and out of Her Campus <3

CH: I am in the same position as Hannah because Her Campus Winona had a solid foundation by the time I arrived. However, I think my first semester as Co-Campus Correspondent has given me some insight. From that, I think my key piece of advice is to be willing to expand your horizons. A lot of writers, like myself, can be quite introverted at times causing them to shy away from trying new things. However, Her Campus has made me break out of my comfort shell, and it has been an extremely rewarding experience. There is nothing wrong with a little trial and error. After inventing the lightbulb, Thomas Edison once said, “I haven't failed—I've just found 10,000 that won't work,” and I think that perfectly captures the essence of what it means to discover something—even a new Her Campus Chapter.


If you’re a fan of HC McMaster, we know you’ll love the content on HC Winona’s page. I especially loved reading their article reviewing pickles - yes pickles. Check it out if you don’t believe me, but fair warning: it definitely made me hungry!

It was so great getting to interview these lovely ladies! While COVID-19 has certainly brought its fair share of struggles, it has given me the opportunity to connect with some Campus Correspondents 11 hours away! Many thanks to Hannah and Cheyenne for taking the time to answer our questions! Your experience, dedication, and commitment to producing great articles is to be commended!


Your new friend,


Hilary is a third year student at McMaster University, majoring in English while pursuing a concurrent Certificate in Leadership & Cross-Cultural Literacy. Outside of school, she loves to sing, cook/bake, and spend time with family and friends. Her happy places include the grocery store & outdoors (most likely hiking)
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