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Honoring the Class of 2020: Kennedy McCutchen

Kennedy McCutchen
Kennedy McCutchen

Leading up to what would have been the Class of 2020’s graduation ceremony, the Division of Academic and Student Affairs is highlighting some of its seniors in Leadership and Civic Engagement.

For this article, we interviewed political science major Kennedy McCutchen:

What organizations are/were you involved in at NC State?

Multiple programs through Leadership and Civic Engagement: a team leader for the Alaska Alternative Service Break, participant in the Leadership Development Program, and coordinator of their ambassador program. I was also a correspondent and an assistant news editor for the Technician. I am also in the University Scholars Program.

Kennedy McCutchen (center) and her fellow students in Leadership and Civic Engagement.

What is the most impactful leadership experience you had at NC State and Why?

The most impactful leadership experience I had was serving as the ambassador student coordinator for Leadership and Civic Engagement. The office gave me so many opportunities to prepare for that position, from the Alaska Alternative Service Break to the Leadership Development Program. I learned how to be myself as a leader and how to lean into my natural strengths and talents to enhance opportunity and social justice for others. As a student intern, I built relationships with my team of ambassadors and was able to help them grow as students, young professionals, and people. I was challenged to coordinate and execute a number of projects and events, learning how to lead and collaborate as a team. The personal investment from every office member was incredibly inspiring and was a constant source of motivation and commitment to each of its programs.

Kennedy McCutchen and a classmate during the Alaska Alternative Service Break trip

What would you say is your lasting impact on NC State?

I hope that I’ve left behind a source of empowerment for others. My goal, if I’ve ever had one, is to make people feel good, to make them feel that they’re worth the world, and that their uniqueness is what makes our communities special and strong. Valuing each other and our strengths only makes positive change more palpable and possible; I hope that the spaces I occupied felt they received as much from me as they could and that they continue to do so for others.

What are your plans after graduation?

So much is up in the air! Pursuing job opportunities with philanthropic and social justice initiatives is step one, and then on to graduate school, hopefully to study women and gender studies.