An in-depth look at the next student body president, Kathryn Edmunds

Edmunds shares how she is able to balance life with her new responsibilities


Photo by Max Jackson | Photo Editor

Patrick Martin, Contributing Writer

Walking through Student Union at 8 a.m. and greeting everyone with a smile on her face is Student Body President-elect Kathryn Edmunds. But it’s just the start of her day — one that won’t end until well after midnight.

This will be the same routine she will endure for the next year as she attempts to balance the responsibility of being president, a member of a sorority and an active family member — all while having a full course load.

Sitting behind her oversized desk, peering at sticky notes perfectly aligned across a computer monitor, she starts her day by prioritizing all of the events she will have to attend. The amount of hard work that the presidency requires doesn’t seem to phase Edmunds though.

“I don’t look at it as the duress, it’s more of an opportunity on a larger scale,” she says about the long days and countless meetings that are ahead of her.

She hails from Macon, Georgia, but has lived all over from South Carolina to Texas — a result of her parents’ missionary work and military background. A beneficial one at that, as it has helped her develop the social skills to adapt to many different situations and talk to anyone, starting with a simple, “Hi, how are you?”

Kathryn Edmunds (top right) with her sisters. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Edmunds
Kathryn Edmunds (top right) with her sisters. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Edmunds

Ashley Edmunds, the oldest of her three sisters says she always loved the story that their mom would tell about when Kathryn was three. They were staying in a hotel and Kathryn left the room to go talk to everyone on the floor.

Her sister isn’t the only one who recognizes Edmunds’ ability to strike up a conversation; coworkers of hers believe she is outgoing too. Sakaia Gabriel, the office assistant for Student Government says, “She’s always willing to talk to you … Her personality is very infectious and puts you in a good mood.”

As a communication major, Edmunds is interested in the business side of Student Government and communicating with the student body. By taking the job of president, she will be able to speak with and hear the stories of her fellow students on a grander scale.

“Most of the stories are really intense,” says Edmunds. One of the most impactful stories she has heard was about a student who was sexually abused, but was able to push past the incident. “The FAU community told her she was worth something and it empowered her,” says Edmunds, who believes that was one of the most inspiring conversations even though she only met the girl once.

But for the current governor and president-elect, coming to FAU was a toss up. She had another school, High Point University in North Carolina, also in mind when application time came around.

“I came to FAU because it was the perfect fit, not the original plan, but it ended up becoming the best plan,” says Edmunds. “It just turned out that FAU provided the most opportunity.”

And while obligations to the university do take a lot of time out of this ambitious student’s life, she still sets time aside to hang out with her family, friends, her dog Peeta and attend events for her sorority Phi Mu.

Edmunds is the oldest of three sisters who she tries to talk to everyday, whether by phone or Skype, and she considers them her best friends.

“For funwise, it’s hanging with family and friends in that little spare time we do have, so it’s not often but when it is, it’s awesome,” says Edmunds.

The future president also places a lot of importance on her spirituality and strongly believes she was brought to FAU because that was her life path.“For me, my personal faith is part of my core values and defines my work ethic,” says Edmunds.

Photo by Max Jackson | Photo Editor
Photo by Max Jackson | Photo Editor

But the road hasn’t always been so clear — she has encountered obstacles. “It has been the hardest experience of my entire life hands down,” says Edmunds on her life in college.

Like most other students, this is the first time where she is out on her own. Just last year, while juggling several extracurricular activities and school, there was a death in her family that crushed her. What it taught her is that no matter the challenge, life keeps moving on. “You don’t just get to stop … Life keeps going on.”

Ashley Edmunds noticed the effect the tragedy had on her sister. “It taught her life is short. You don’t know if you’re going to have your next day, your next hour,” she says.

Kathryn’s advice to students on the challenges that they face is to stop and breathe. “Step back and instead of thinking the glass is half full or half empty, just be happy you even have a glass.”

With the responsibility and workload that Edmunds endures, one may ask how she does it. Edmunds’ response is simple. “I take it one day at a time,” she says with a slight giggle, realizing how crazy her life can be. “Where that may sound mundane or cheesy, you have to take it one day at a time. If you look at all the stuff, it can be overwhelming.”

Edmunds still has two years left at FAU, but during that time she hopes to get a better grasp on what her next endeavour will be. “I had it all figured out. I had a 10-year plan, but it’s changing a lot right now,” she explains. “I want to do motivational speaking and leadership development on a national level.”