SAU student-athlete Serena Gill has certainly found ways to be involved on campus during her time as a Mulerider. Gill has been a member of the SAU Women’s Tennis team since the program was revived for action in the fall of 2018. She has been named the Great American Conference’s Player of the Week and has played a key part in 36 team victories.
In the fall of 2020, Gill was named SAU’s Homecoming Queen, and her campus participation extends to the Rankin College of Business where she currently serves on the student advisory council and to the SAU Department of Athletics where she presently holds the position of president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
But her latest involvement on campus could arguably be her most vital to the University’s long-term success. Gill is one of seven current SAU students that make up the Division of Advancement’s new initiative, a student organization called Muleriders4Life. The mission of Muleriders4Life, which debuted in the fall of 2021, is to “instill a philanthropic spirit in current students and boost their engagement with SAU both as students and as future alumni.”
“I was nominated by the SAU faculty, and through the Advancement team’s interview process, they were really able to key in on students that are passionate about the University and that take the time to become involved on campus,” noted Gill.
The organization aims to become multi-faceted and multi-purpose, with the first priority being to educate students on how alumni impact, remain engaged, and support their alma mater. M4L strives to accomplish its mission through engagement, investment, and education for current students throughout the year.
“The best part is that we get to be involved in all of the student activities, while serving as a voice for the University with the goal of developing a relationship with the students rather than just serving as a point of contact,” noted Gill.
As an international student, Gill, who came to Southern Arkansas University from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England, understands the impact that she can have and currently has with Mulerider students, especially those that are far from home.
“It’s very easy to relate to international students,” stated Gill. “Like with any student, our focus is on establishing a connection with them and building a relationship with them. It is more than just about money. We are a relationship team. I feel like I already have a connection with many international students because I know how difficult the journey can be at times and that’s why I am so excited to be a part of this new initiative.”
Muleriders4Life has big plans moving forward in 2022 and beyond which includes the development of a board to help bring more direction for the group’s involvement, growing its core membership of student leaders, and continuing to be more active on campus through both student-based activities and events tailored towards alumni and donors.
“We really hope to begin to strengthen the bond between current students and alumni and help both groups feel more connected with SAU and present more opportunities for involvement,” stated Gill.