By Julie Watterson

This week we highlight three individuals from NC State’s Wilson College of Textiles (COT) who are dedicated not only to academia, but to the NC State community. “Think and Do” is visibly seen as a part of their daily motto as they reach out to students and get others involved. These three share a passion for leadership. Jamie Plummer, Jacob Capps, and Julia Kempf elaborated on how leadership is present in their lives and individual positions. From student government to Greek life, these driven members of the Wolfpack represent textile students in a variety of roles on campus.

“A person doesn’t become whole, until he becomes a part of something that’s bigger than himself.” – Jim Valvano

Jamie Plummer, president of Student Senate

jamie-plummer Jamie Plummer is a senior studying Polymer and Color Chemistry with an American Chemical Society Certification. She was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., and raised in Fayetteville, N.C.. Early on, she sought leader positions. She was a drum major in her high school band and a captain on the swim team. She’s interned for a pharmaceutical company in Boston for the past two summers. Jamie is open to additional opportunities and appreciative of the Wilson College of Textiles for preparing her for a post-collegiate career.

During her sophomore year, Plummer got involved with Tompkins Textile Student Council meetings. She discovered there was no Textiles representation in the Student Senate, and it was then that she was appointed a seat in the Senate and began advocating for the needs of students and voting with them in mind. Her goal is to connect students to the people who make the rules and govern the university, and ensure that those rules and regulations are still functioning as students need.

Why is student leadership important to you?

“I feel a responsibility to be sure that the voice of students is considered when key decisions are made. We need to continue to emphasize the need for students on this campus to have their voices and opinions carry some weight in the decision process at this university. The real priority of the university needs to be to create a system that allows students the space to voice their concerns. Without the viewpoint of students and student leaders, we no longer have an institution that is focused on its purpose.”

What is your favorite quote regarding leadership or involvement?

“Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” -Ruth Bader Ginsburg

How do you think the Wilson College of Textiles teaches and forms leaders?

“The curriculum required in the Wilson College of Textiles requires students to take courses in a wide variety of disciplines, which helps to ensure that students receive a well-rounded education.  In addition, enabling students to develop technical expertise in the key elements of textile design and manufacturing enables students to be in a position to provide technical leadership in their chosen career.”

Jacob (Alan) Capps, president of the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program

Jacob CappsJacob Capps is a senior studying Textile Technology with a minor in Agribusiness Marketing. He is from Graham, N.C.. In high school he served as president of the school’s Future Farmers of America chapter. He says that position taught him everything he knows about leadership. Three years ago he became an Student Ambassador for the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program (AASAP) and immediately realized he had found a home away from home and a place where he could grow and help lead activities and traditions on campus. Capps first served as the membership director for AASAP, which allowed to him to assist with bringing new members onto the team. As president, he now has been handed the great responsibility of representing AASAP and the Alumni Association.

What do you hope to accomplish with your position and as a leader on campus?

“My hope for AASAP is that we can continue to enrich student’s campus life through promoting traditions and interacting with the student body.”

Why is student leadership important to you?

“Student leadership is important to me because it gives me the skills and confidence to enter into a leadership role in my future career. Every student grows during their college years and having a chance to develop in a leadership role can only better prepare them for the future, just as it’s doing for me.”

What is your favorite quote regarding leadership or involvement?

“Choose what truly matters most: to be successful not in what you do, but in who you are.” – Tony Dungy

Julia Kempf, president of Alpha Omega Epsilon

Julia KempfJulia Kempf is from Charlotte, N.C.. She is a senior in Textile Engineering. As a leader in high school she enjoyed her summer job as an assistant swim coach. During her freshman year at NC State she joined Alpha Omega Epsilon (AOE), a women’s engineering sorority. As a sophomore, she served as the professional development chair and served her first position on the executive board in 2015 as corresponding secretary.

In January of 2016, Kempf became president of AOE. This past summer she had an internship at HanesBrands Inc. and is currently enrolled in the Accelerated Bachelor’s Master’s program in hopes of receiving her Master’s of Textile Engineering next year. Her time as a president ends in December as the sorority transitions to a new executive board.

What do you hope to accomplish in this position and as a leader on campus?

“I hope that as president, I have been able to strengthen the bonds between sisters so that our chapter can be a stronger unit. As a leader on campus, I hope that I have been able to increase our presence on campus, highlighting the importance of women in engineering and bringing a different perspective to the fraternity and sorority life community and campus as a professional sorority.”

Why is student leadership important to you?

“Student leadership is important to me because it teaches you so much about how to work among a group of people and take initiative to accomplish things. It has really developed a lot of confidence in myself and has stretched me in new ways that just being a student in class would not.”

How do you think the Wilson College of Textiles teaches and forms leaders?

“The Wilson College of Textiles teaches and forms leaders because of its smaller size. The size of the college allows students to get to know those in leadership, whether its other peers or faculty and staff, in a more personable way. I think this would be more difficult in a larger environment. Being able to know someone who is in leadership not only as a leader but as a close peer, makes a huge difference. It improves respect and trust with the leader because you don’t see them as some distant leader who is always in charge since a closer relationship exists.”

In addition to Plummer, Capps and Kempf, two other students from the Wilson College of Textiles hold key leadership roles. Rysa Ruth and Jack Smolarek are both COT senators. These students are just a few among our many COT leaders we will be profiling throughout the academic year.