Student Spotlight: Hannah Higdon

NSU Sophomore Hannah Higdon. Photo credit: Kyla Schuster.

     Meet Hannah Higdon. Her hometown is Dupree, South Dakota, and she grew up on the Cheyenne Sioux Reservation. She is an accomplished and active sophomore here at Northern State University.
     Hannah’s majors are political science and communication studies, and her minor is history. She is involved with several campus clubs and organizations at Northern. One of which is the Campus Activities Board (CAB), and it is because of all the student involvement opportunities that she has experienced that she really enjoys NSU.
     Hannah is also the President of History Club and a mentor with the Jumpstart organization, which is for students to get a head start in their college careers. She is involved with Trio, and the Honors Program as well. This is her second year of being an NSU cheerleader, and she is an active member of the Speech and Debate team.
     Outside of Northern, Hannah recently gave up her crown for the South Dakota Snow Queen, and she has been a part of various types of volunteer opportunities through the Snow Queen program.
     She is still an active member on the Snow Queen committee and remains involved in activities, including helping with various events.
     Hannah maintains an incredibly busy schedule, and she has the awards and accomplishment to prove it. Just this past year, Hannah was honored with Northern State University’s Freshman of the Year award. She believes that “This is such a great honor and with so many prestigious students to choose from my being chosen to be NSU’s Freshman of the Year was a great thing for me.”

I wanted to thank Dr. Wachs…for helping me find my passion. I’ve learned so much throughout the past year through speech and debate.
Hannah Higdon

     She has also won scholarships through the NSU Speech and Debate Program for being an active member. Just this past year, she and her partner, Jacob Sigurdson, were ranked 5th place for Novice Parliamentary debate at Nationals.
     To conclude her list of accomplishments, she is also a Gates Scholar. Since she was South Dakota’s Snow Queen last year, she received a wonderful opportunity with the Gates Millennium Scholarship that provides for all expenses for her secondary education. She is one of only eleven South Dakota students chosen in 2015 out of 57,000 applicants.
     The most influential professor to Hannah is her speech and debate coach, Dr. Anthony Wachs, Assistant Professor of Speech Communication at Northern.
     Hannah came to Northern as a business management major, but after she took one of Dr. Wachs’ classes, it completely changed her perspective.
     Through her experience in the class and what she learned she saw what she wanted to do and what she was passionate about.
      “I wanted to thank Dr. Wachs for showing me that and for helping me find my passion,” said Hannah. “I’ve learned so much throughout the past year through speech and debate, and he has really helped me with that.”
     Hannah chose Northern because she liked the feel of the campus; it felt right to her in how it was set up and how small the campus was. “I chose Northern because it was close to home, and the small campus was a better feel for me. I love Northern, and I love the community. I love… everything.”

Alysha Martinez