When SMSU senior Rachael Posusta transferred to SMSU after a semester at North Dakota State, she didn't know a soul on campus.
Today, the Silver Lake, Minnesota, native is the student body president.
When she began her college career, "I started out as a political science major," she said. "Then I switched to public relations." In May, she'll graduate with an accounting degree. She chuckles at the circuitous academic path she's chosen.
She earned a lot of concurrent credit while at Glencoe-Silver Lake High School taking College Now courses, and entered college as a second-semester freshman, credit-wise. "I could have graduated in three years, but I could not pass up this opportunity to stay here as the Student Association president."
Posusta is the daughter of Roger and Sandy Posusta. In high school, she was a high achiever. She was a member of the National Honor Society and served as the student body treasurer and, later, president.
At SMSU, she has been a Student Association senator, treasurer, a member of the Judicial Board and special assistant to last year's president, Josh Anderson. "He recruited me (to run for president)," she said. "I shadowed him, and couldn't pass up the opportunity."
She's still amazed at where here SMSU journey has taken her. "I pinch myself," she said. "When I got here, I didn't know anyone. I couldn't be more blessed.
"Originally, I wanted to graduate in three years and get a job. Now, I'm not graduating early. I looked at my dad and said 'I'm not ready to leave yet.'"
And she won't be done next May, either. She will be pursuing her MBA degree starting in 2015-16, and will be a graduate assistant in the Alumni Office.
As Student Association president, it's her immediate goal to fill open senator seats. "We're kind of rebuilding right now," she said. "We're hoping to recruit younger faces so we don't have as much turnover. Our executive board is set, and we are recruiting."
She would like the Student Association to "open up to students. I want them to know who we are, and know they can come to us. I want us to connect, so we're not our own separate entities."
Her uncle, Scott Tschimperle, is the head football coach at Glencoe-Silver Lake, a traditional football power, and she's an avowed "football freak." Want to get her going? Ask her about Glencoe-Silver Lake football, and then sit back and listen.
Posusta said she came to SMSU "because it was just the right fit. I liked NDSU, it just wasn't right for me. I like the small class sizes here. I like the fact you can connect with the professors, and I like the opportunities on campus."
She has special words of praise for accounting professor and advisor Will Thomas. "When I moved into my first (off-campus) apartment, we had two break-ins. My dad was out of the country, and he was the first person to say to me, 'If you need anything, just ask.'"
With 20-20 hindsight, she said involvement is a key to college happiness. "Involvement is the number one thing. You meet friends with the same interests and ambitions, you meet faculty, you network and build your resume. It connects you to campus, and someday, you'll be a connected alumni, too."
Students like Posusta often find themselves working in the Office of Admission, and she is no different. She is an SMSU Ambassador, and often gives campus tours to prospective students. It is on these tours that she is able to give prospective students and their parents her personal insights into what makes SMSU such a unique place. "I love it here," she said.