By Zach Wadley
For a freshman at any university, the first year can be a time to figure out personal strengths and interests. While many freshmen get involved in extracurricular activities, very few actively pursue leadership roles until they’ve completed their first year. This is not the case for Chelsa Lee, an Anderson University student who, as a sophomore, has already secured a leadership role as the director of AU’s New Image Gospel Choir. This is a position she actively pursued her freshman year.
Lee, a business management major, involved herself in several activities in high school, participating in band, orchestra, choir, theatre, and the debate team. That involvement led her to pursue opportunities at AU, and during her freshman year she was a member of the gospel choir, dance team, and Chorale.
“Coming in, I wanted to get involved, but I wanted to see what the school was about first,” said Lee. “As the year went on, though, opportunities came my way, and that’s how I got involved with the gospel choir.”
Now a sophomore, Lee is the head of the gospel choir, which has more than 50 members, and she is still a member of Chorale. However, leading the gospel choir was not always her plan, as she was prepared to apply for a resident assistant position last spring. Shortly after making that decision, she learned there was a position open for the gospel choir director and subsequently chose to pursue it instead.
“My aunt and uncle had graduated from AU, and they were the original founders of the gospel choir,” said Lee. “When I saw that position was open, I kind of considered it fate and applied to be the gospel choir director instead of pursuing the RA position.”
Josh Smith, a junior at AU and member of the gospel choir, has noticed Lee’s positive leadership. “Chelsa has done a great job stepping up as the gospel choir director,” said Smith. “She not only pushes us to improve as a choir, but she pushes each of us individually to develop confidence in ourselves and in our ability. She is extremely encouraging and is a great leader to follow.”
A year into her college career, Lee has recognized certain things that would be of help to incoming freshmen. She appreciates getting involved right away and believes that a full schedule isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “When you get involved, it helps you manage your schoolwork better because you know when you have something coming up. You have to focus and get work done on time,” said Lee.
Lee feels the smaller campus has been an advantage to her. “I don’t feel like I would have wanted to be as involved at a larger school,” said Lee. “There are just too many other things going on, and it’s easy to get distracted. Here, I feel like I can use my talents to worship God, and that’s really what it’s all about.”
— Zach Wadley is a junior from Bourbonnais, Ill., majoring in communication arts with a focus in journalism and minoring in public relations. Wadley is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications. Photo credit: Haley Burger.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America’s top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.