Kayla Stepinac '15: A True WPU Pioneer

Name: Kayla Stepinac
Hometown: Yonkers, NY- currently reside in Peekskill, NY (Westchester County)
Major: Double Major in Political Science & Criminal Justice
Minor: Public Relations    
Year: Senior 
Involvement: SAPB Lectures Chairperson, Student Government Vice President of Student Life, Peer Leader, PASS Leader & a Technology Consultant on campus; general member of Chosen & B.A.B.Y. Dolls
Fun Fact: My eyes change color from their original hazel color to brown or green in direct sunlight. 
Favorite Quote: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Kayla Stepinac should definitely be a familiar face on campus to many. If you don't know her yet, it is our pleasure to introduce her to you here. Kayla is an extremely self-motivated student who took advantage of all the wonderful leadership opportunities and activities that have been offered to her. She has made a lasting impression on all of her peers and faculty due to her dedication and devotion to the WPU community. We are pleased to highlight her many achievements and contributions she has made thus far. Her resume is incredibly impressive! If you are a freshman looking for some inspiration this semester, Kayla is a wonderful example of a go-getter and WPU success! 
HC: You are a very active student at WPUNJ, especially in Student Government. What have been your various roles and responsibilities for SGA over the years? 
KS: I have served as a treasurer or financial representative each year since I was a freshman at William Paterson University. I grew attached to the financial committee and their important role on campus that directly worked with the student leaders of clubs on campus and wanted to be a part of that. Also, I was a part of SAPB at the same time, programming as Multicultural Chair and then budgeting as the SAPB treasurer, so I had a burning passion for event coordinating and programming. I felt I would be a great asset to the committee and the organization as a whole. Now, I serve on the Executive Board of SGA my senior year under the newly formatted Constitution as the Vice President of Student Life. The Student Life Committee that I am in charge of handles student concerns on a personal level with regards to residence life, public safety, hospitality, food services, counseling, health and wellness, etc. 
HC: Wow! What has been your favorite experience from being a part of SGA?
KS: I have enjoyed the many new friends I have made through this organization and the faculty and staff the most. I came to this university not knowing anyone at all because I was an out-of-state student from NY. I had no family in Jersey nor any familiar faces to help me adjust to being in a new place. Between SGA and SAPB I was able to find my niche and where I belonged and have met some of the best people ever through my work in both organizations. In anything you do in life now, it's more about who you know and not so much what you know, and I am confident that I have maximized my experience at WPU when it comes to connecting and networking with others. 
HC: What has motivated you to be involved in so many things on campus? 
KS: What motivated me was my drive to feel a part of something bigger than myself. I wanted to find my passion and somewhere where I fit in and I could be of help to this university. I am not someone who enjoys idle time which is why I have my hands in quite a few organizations even if only as a general member. 
HC: What do you hope to accomplish within the next year?
KS: I hope to graduate with honors this upcoming May 2015 and to start the new chapter of my life as a graduate of William Paterson University. I intend on attending law school most likely at Rutgers-Newark and do a dual degree program, getting my JD as well as an MBA in Criminal Justice. And a fun fact would be that I plan to be moving to North Jersey after college to be closer to school with some friends and my boyfriend.
HC: What has been your greatest achievement here at WPUNJ?
KS: My greatest achievement has honestly been my academics. In school, people tend to sometimes forget that the priority of being here is school first. I never lost that focus. I have a current GPA of 3.5, and I have maintained a place on the Dean's List since I came to William Paterson my freshman year. I won the Dean of Students Award my sophomore year as a result and was inducted into the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science National Honors Society. 
HC: What is your favorite thing about WPUNJ? 
KS: My favorite thing about WPUNJ is the tight-knit community we have of student leaders on campus. We all know one another, and we all work well together. Since our university isn't extremely large, the community built on this campus is very strong. I enjoy seeing familiar faces almost everywhere I go on campus, whether it's to class, the library, the food court, a club meeting, or just sitting out on Zanfino Plaza. 
HC: If you were to give your younger-self a piece of advice, what would it be?​​
KS: I would say to tell my younger self to just do it. I was always the type to hesitate because of my overly-cautious persona, and I would miss out on great opportunities at times. Just go for it and take a leap of faith. I've done that in college, and it has rewarded me so much from trying new things and meeting new people. You cannot walk through life in fear of the unknown. We only fear what we do not know. So if we further tap into those new things, all hesitation or caution should disappear and then we can conquer anything.