July 30, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Kayla Malone hit the ground running when she enrolled as a student at John A. Logan College in the fall of 2011 and hasn’t slowed her pace much the last three years.

Malone joined the Student Senate, where she eventually served as president, and later added her time and talents to the JALC choir, Community Band, Phi Theta Kappa and the Lifesavers Club.

Moreover, the 21-year-old has represented the student body as trustee on the JALC Board of Trustees for more than a year.

At the end of this forthcoming school year, the Benton native will have completed two degrees – Associate of Arts and Associate of Science.

“My plans are to transfer to McKendree University next year and possibly pursue a degree in public relations,” Malone said. “I enjoy working with people and helping those that I come in contact with on campus and in my community.”

That certainly comes as no surprise to Adrienne Barkley Giffin, Director of Student Activities and Cultural Events at Logan.

“Not at all. Kayla is a compassionate, giving person. She came to this campus with a personal drive and immediate interest in being involved on campus,” Barkley Giffin said. “It’s been a joy to watch her develop leadership skills and put them into practice, both here and at the state level.

“After attending a core values session at a student leadership conference, Kayla came back to campus and led the Student Senate in an exercise that helped each member identify his or her core values,” Barkley Giffin said.  “Last year, she attended a discussion on campus based on a talk called ‘How to Start a Movement.’ And then again, this summer, at a meeting of Illinois student trustees, she used techniques from that discussion to get her group to create an improv-style presentation for the other attendees.”

Malone has maintained a strong academic standing throughout her time at Logan despite a heavy workload. She said she has thoroughly enjoyed all of her endeavors on campus.

“What I like about serving on the board of trustees is seeing how a school like ours works behind the scenes. It’s been enlightening. While my vote is only advisory, I would like to think that my opinion means a lot to the other board members.”

Malone added that special projects with the Student Senate like collecting food for fellow Logan students around Thanksgiving and toys for children through Project Angel Tree warm her heart.

“I have just always been one to believe that I should lend a helping hand where I can.”

Malone was quick to credit her family and Barkley Giffin for their support.

“My parents (Michele and Scott) have always backed me in everything that I do, as have my grandparents, (Vicki and Larry Grove, and Linda and Ronald Malone). As for Adrienne, she has kept me on track and been a real inspiration to me.”

Dr. Steve O’Keefe, Director of College Relations, and regular attendee of board meetings, said Malone is one of the school’s more accomplished and dedicated students.

“Kayla has been an outstanding trustee and ambassador for John A. Logan College,” he said. “She has taken very seriously her role as a leader on this campus and among other student trustees from throughout the state. I am certain that she will be successful in whatever career path she takes. We will be sad to see her graduate and move on, but our student body will have long-lasting benefits thanks to her efforts here.”

Barkley Giffin added, “Kayla is incredibly generous and it’s no surprise that she has a strong work ethic and moral character after getting to know her parents and family. She’s a giver and I think that’s an important key to her happy personality.”