Junior Lauren Kalo has big plans for after graduation: a job at a Fortune 500 company, an MBA, and a long-term career in brand management.
The marketing and entrepreneurship major has been hitting the books hard in order to reach her goal. This past summer, she spent four weeks taking MBA-level coursework as part of Vanderbilt’s Accelerator program.
But it’s the service and leadership opportunities outside of the classroom that have arguably been most impactful for Kalo. She’s an honors student, part of the National Millennial Community, a Chancellor’s Ambassador, and this year, Student Government Association (SGA) president.
“SGA is a governing organization, not a programming organization. We’re about creating lasting impact.”
Kalo was involved in student government in high school. When she came to UNC Greensboro, she decided to give SGA a try. As a freshman senator, she realized that SGA was much different than what she experienced in high school.
“It’s a lot easier to make change in college,” Kalo says. “SGA is a governing organization, not a programming organization. We’re about creating lasting impact. We work with University leaders and pass legislation to help affect the everyday lives of students.”
One example of this real impact on students? The Feminine Hygiene Initiative, which started two years ago with then-president Holly Shields and continued last year with then-president Samaya Roary. Kalo served as Roary’s chief of staff and was involved in bringing free feminine hygiene products to student spaces on campus such as the Kaplan Center and Elliott University Center.
Her priorities for this year? Awareness, collaboration, and transparency, or “ACT.”
Kalo, vice president Hunter Martin, and the rest of her team hope to raise awareness of SGA and campus resources. They plan to collaborate with groups they haven’t worked with as much in the past, such as UNCG Athletics. And they want to be transparent in the work that they are doing.
“I feel like a lot of people don’t know what the SGA president does,” she says. “We want to share what we’re doing with the student body.”
Kalo is specifically focused on mental health initiatives, as well as looking for solutions to food insecurity among students. She’s also exploring democratic education programs, in which students teach classes on a variety of relevant topics.
Additionally, as president, Kalo is a member of the UNCG Board of Trustees. She serves on the Athletics and Academic Affairs Committees.
Kalo is already getting recognized for her work. Last month, Kalo was named a Forbes Under 30 Scholar and will represent UNCG at the Forbes Summit in Detroit in October.
Her advice to new Spartans?
“Get involved on campus. It can seem scary, but SGA has given me more quality friendships and connections than I could have ever asked for,” she says. “Take risks. Do something that pushes you outside of your comfort zone.”
On Monday, Sept. 9, SGA will host a Community Cookout before the UNCG men’s soccer game against UNC Chapel Hill. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications
Videography by Grant Evan Gilliard, University Communications