Jacqui Rogers ’14 began her Millikin career with uncertainty. “I was very quiet my freshman year, but I had a really great First Year Experience Mentor (FYEM), Kale Ewing ’13. He always made sure to say ‘hi’ and reach out to me.” Today, Rogers is the one reaching out to unsure freshmen as an FYEM for her second year in a row. Between the freshmen in her residence hall and the seminar class she oversees, she has about 60 first-year students to look after. In addition to serving as an FYEM, Rogers is president of Student Senate, co-founder of College Republicans and a member of Millikin’s wind ensemble.
She successfully juggles a double major in political science and philosophy with a minor in music performance. She even managed to receive the Scovill Prize as a sophomore. However, Rogers’ campus involvement goes beyond her major and the positions she holds. “I interned at a law firm in Washington, D.C., for criminal defense this summer,” Rogers says. In addition to experience in the workplace, she has also gained a better understanding of her goals after Millikin. “I learned that I want to go into criminal prosecution instead of defense,” Rogers says. “Sometimes it would be frustrating because I knew the client was guilty, but I had to help them. That’s what the justice system is about. Everyone is given their due process.”
As a freshman, Rogers attended the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Keep Fear Alive,” led by talk show hosts Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart in Washington. “They made it a big theatrical event to parody all the theatrics in politics today. The entire national mall was crammed with people.” Rogers then returned to Millikin to complete her freshman focus project, “Attack of the Attack Ads,” which analyzed one advertisement from President Obama and one from Senator McCain in the 2008 campaign. “Very often,” Rogers says, “their ads didn’t talk about themselves at all. They only attacked the other candidate. How can people make educated decisions if they’re not getting accurate information about the candidates?”
“Jacqui is certainly a citizen of the university,” says Dr. Bobbi Gentry, assistant professor of political science and Rogers’ adviser. “She is continually working to improve the institution as a student leader, a service leader and as a leader who seeks to improve the community.” Rogers plans to focus her remaining years at Millikin on the success of her first-year students, the growth of Student Senate and her own intellectual growth as a democratic citizen. “I hope to be re-elected and serve as Student Senate president my senior year,” she says. “I’m also starting my James Millikin Scholar (JMS) project. I’m going to look at conspiracy theories in politics, how they came about and why people continue to push them.”
After Millikin, Rogers plans to continue her personal development. “My dream is to go to Georgetown for law school,” she says, “and then go into criminal prosecution from there.” Dr. Eric Roark, associate professor of philosophy, says: “Jacqui has given more than anyone could ask of a student through her academic curiosity, her leadership, her support of students and her willingness to spread the virtues of Millikin.”
by Jackson Lewis