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Student leader accomplishes a great deal in a short time

May 1, 2019

“It feels like my time at DSU was very short,” said Dakota State University senior Nelofar Sultan, but the English for New Media major has made a significant impact on the campus community over the last four years.

Starting at DSU as a freshman, she learned that her residence hall council needed representatives, so stepped in as president of Higbie Hall Council. Her sophomore year, she became a resident assistant.

“I saw the direct impact I could have on the way my residents felt,” Sultan said. She also served as Student Senate vice president, because “I thought I could do more as vice president.” Additionally, she has served on several campus clubs, and even started a new club, a student chapter of the American Association for University Women.

“I could see how much impact leadership roles have on the way things happen on campus,” she said. “If you put in the work, you will see the results.”

Looking back, the best results came from a candlelight vigil she helped organize in 2017. After presidential executive orders regarding immigration, the event was intended to show support to the campus international community.            

About 100 people from the campus and Madison communities braved cold temperatures to show support to the students, so many that “we ran out of candles” she recalled. “I will never forget how overwhelming and overjoyed I was to see that people cared,” she stated. “I couldn’t have asked for a better community.”

Sultan also couldn’t have asked for a better major. English for New Media takes traditional English studies such as reading and writing, and adapts them for new media, including websites, videos, or video games.

“What I love about the major is how diverse it is, and how it opens so many avenues for students.” Graduates can get jobs in publishing, teaching, marketing, newspapers, or content writing. She credits the faculty’s knowledge and intelligence with the success of the program.

“You not only learn writing skills but also critical thinking skills,” she said. Classroom discussions “make you think in different ways and apply the theories we learn in class to the real world.”

Sultan plans to work in the real world for a year, then attend graduate school for media studies, focusing on marketing and communication research. After that, she doesn’t have a specific plan, but “I have always wanted to work with an organization that supports women, or to create an organization that can support women,” she said. This organization, she hopes, would be based in her native Pakistan.

“I feel like I have an obligation to give back to place I came from,” Sultan said. “I have gotten so much from my education and experience in the U.S., I feel the need to share this and hopefully have an impact on people in this world.”