Hometown: Follansbee, West Virginia
Major: Social Work
Stacy Boston, a junior, is heavily involved at Bethany College and the Bethany Community. During the summer months, she is a student worker for Bethany’s Summer Camps and Conferences. During the school year, she serves as the President of Bethany College’s Chapter of Student Veterans of America, and the Public Relations Chair for the Social Awareness Club. Her duties as a leader transcend from the position she had with 10 years of active duty experience in the United States Army.
“Before I graduate, my goal is to make Bethany College one of the best military-friendly liberal arts schools in West Virginia,” said Boston.
A social work major, Boston is also working to create an area on campus that will provide military members and dependents peer support for issues with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, trauma, learning disabilities, physical disabilities and family member deployments.
“Providing an area on campus to share and support these peer-related experiences will enable students to enjoy the Bethany Experience just as their civilian peers,” said Boston.
Boston has also collaborated with other colleges in the area to develop partnerships to help the Ohio Valley.
“My presidential position with the Bethany College Chapter of Student Veterans of America has afforded me the opportunity to work closely with West Liberty University,” said Boston. “Students from West Liberty University reached out to me for guidance in starting a SVA West Liberty Chapter on their campus. Together, our organizations will be able to provide service work projects in the Ohio Valley Area for military members and veterans, such as providing food, clothing, toiletries and comfort items to deployed soldiers and veterans.
I love my experience at Bethany College. I want my military brothers and sisters to experience Bethany College and its traditions.”
In addition to her leadership, Boston holds a strong sense of Bison Pride. Her favorite memory of Bethany includes the installation of Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg as the 20th President of Bethany College.
Q: Why did you choose Bethany College?
The day I visited Bethany College I fell in love! I saw the small class sizes, the one-on-one interaction with professors, the Christian principles, the beauty of the campus, and the uplifting environment. Learning about Comprehensive Finals, I knew I would stand out from the competition when searching for a job. It was a blessing selecting Bethany College, they are one of the only accredited Social Work programs in the state of West Virginia. Professor Furbee and Sinclair work year-round to improve the program. Not only do I continue to attend Bethany because of the excellent education, people here have become part of my family. I can walk in most offices on campus and the staff actually care about me. Staff and faculty cheer on my accomplishments, listen when I need support, and even send e-mails to ensure I am okay when I miss class. At Bethany, I'm not just a number. I am Stacy Boston and people care about me.
Q: What is your favorite Bethany College memory?
A: My favorite memory of Bethany College was being involved in the Inauguration of Dr. Tamara Rodenberg as Bethany College’s 20th President. As I sat watching the event, I realized one day this is going to be a large part of Bethany history for future Bethanians. I've listened to Bethany Alumni talk about the amazing things they were able to take part in during their days as students. I knew this particular day was my amazing moment. My 10 years of active duty in the United States Army even allowed me the honor of carrying the United States Army Flag during the ceremony. Her accomplishments allow the female student to see that we can be leaders with hard work and dedication. Presidents are not inaugurated during every student’s time at Bethany. Not only was I part of the inauguration of a President, I was part of a female Presidential Inauguration.
Q: What advice do you have for incoming students?
A: Step outside your comfort zone! I've never spent so much time out of my comfort zone as I have during these last few years. If there is anything you want to try and fear you might fail, do it here at Bethany. If there is an event you want to attend and none of your friends will join you, go by yourself and enjoy the experience. Do not be embarrassed to go to events alone, it strengthens your confidence and you will meet new friends. This is your experience, you have the ability to shape that experience and have no regrets. This is college and the time to explore and learn who you are, what you like, and understand your talent wheelhouse. College is not just about getting "book smart", it’s about education. It’s okay to become educated about yourself during these years; find your passion; learn about others; learn about life, and even if the experience is negative, learn how to avoid it in the future and find some lesson in the experience. Bethany is a small school, faculty and staff recognize our accomplishments. Don't settle just being a part of the crowd, be different, and stand out among your peers. Bethany College and its alumni are always willing to lend a helping hand for students that stand out in a crowd. Four years can feel like a lifetime when you're young. As we get older, four years will only be a small blip on a radar the size of the universe. Four years will be over in a flash, take advantage of this time, learn, grow, and experience something new every day.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A I would like to attend the Hazelton Betty Ford Addictions Studies Program in Center City, Minnesota or Adler Universities Military Psychology Program in Chicago, Illinois. No matter if it's one of these schools or another, I will attend graduate school directly after graduation. I hope to get my doctorate degree, but for now I'm focusing on what needs to be done to be accepted into graduate school. After receiving my master’s degree, I hope to counsel military members or college students with a special focus on addiction. Sometime in my life I'd love to own and operate a non-profit community organization for the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of addiction. Family members and those with the disease of addiction will continue not asking for help until we remove the negative stigma attached to the disease. I'd like to create a safe, non-judgmental, educated program in the Ohio Valley area that will help save the lives of those caught in the grip of addiction.