Kylee Gillespie - Associate in Arts; Arizona General Education Curriculum; Associate in Applied Science, Public Relations
Service and leadership have always been core values to honors student Kylee Gillespie. Her involvement in school and community events growing up in Mesa is what pushed her to do more at Mesa Community College.
“I believe service to one's own community and school campus instills responsibility and self-action to take charge in making a change for others and bring awareness toward issues present in society,” she said.
Gillespie demonstrated this commitment by providing over 250 service hours while at MCC. She exemplifies the college’s values of upholding communication, critical thinking, civic engagement and global engagement by earning leadership roles as an MCC chapter officer of Phi Theta Kappa, the National Honors Society for Community Colleges, and president of the National Communication Association Honors Society, Sigma Chi Eta.
Gillespie says Erica Horihan, the Student Life & Leadership coordinator at the Red Mountain campus, gave her the opportunities to become more involved in MCC when she first became a student.
“Erica was the person who shaped my whole experience at MCC. She introduced me to Leadershape, a program which changed my career path and mindset on leadership. Once I participated in Leadershape, I met many student leaders from different colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. It seemed as though once I was involved in one club, I would join another and the opportunities became a trickle effect thereafter,” Gillespie said.
As a presidential scholar and chancellor’s scholar, Gillespie maintained high academic achievement while taking advantage of opportunities to lead through participation in student government (ASMCC) and campus clubs.
She explained, “My time here has taught me to balance a stressful workload with school, work, clubs/ organizations and interning. I feel this has helped to prepare myself for even more challenging paths.”
Gillespie’s honors include a National Communication Association Sigma Chi Eta Advisory Board award and being named an All-MCC scholar, a D & B Milner Journalism Foundation scholar and a Mesa Tribune Journalism School Scholar.
Additionally, she attended and presented at leadership workshops across the country, enhancing her skills and making connections with other student leaders.
“The best part about creating relationships with fellow students and faculty is the mentorships that come out of it,” she said. “If it wasn’t for my journalism professor Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez, I would not be interning with the Institutional Advancement Department at MCC.”
Gillespie says MCC was the right place to start earning a bachelor’s degree and hopes to see more students take advantage of the opportunities that community colleges offer.
“When I first started at MCC, I was envious as I saw many of my friends at universities; however, I believe I am better prepared for ASU because of MCC and the support from faculty, staff, student leaders and mentors,” she added.
This fall, Gillespie is pursuing a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in public relations at the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She has been accepted into the Next Generation Service Corps, part of the Public Service Academy at ASU, which pays for her base tuition.