Student Spotlight: Jeff Wilcox and Meghan Blackwell
As the College of Business Administration continues to rapidly grow, its faculty and staff are proud that college is attracting many of the university’s best and brightest students. So it is no surprise that both the president and vice president of the Student Government Association, one of the most influential student organizations on campus, are undergraduate students majoring in business.
Student Body President Jeff Wilcox and Student Body Vice President Meghan Blackwell are no strangers to busy schedules. Both have played active roles during their time at UT Knoxville, starting in the summer of 2005 when they met at the Ignite Summit, a leadership event for young adults. Along with the long list of leadership positions and memberships that the two student leaders hold, Wilcox is pursuing an enterprise management major with a collateral in marketing as Blackwell works toward her degree in finance with a minor in political science.
Both Wilcox and Blackwell have performed countless tasks related to student government and many other areas.
Getting an early start on his campus involvement, Wilcox served on Freshman Council during his first year on campus and, from 2006-2008, served as a senator in student government, representing student commuters and the College of Business Administration. He also served on the City of Knoxville Student Advisory Board from 2007-2008. Wilcox is currently an Ambassador Scholar, assisting the university’s undergraduate admissions office by guiding tours of the Knoxville campus. He is on the UT Athletic Board, a member of the Chancellor’s Associates, and a member of the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy Board of Directors. During his work in all of these capacities, Wilcox feels his business education has provided him with an excellent background to lead and participate in numerous organizations.
“When introduced as president of the Student Government Association, I am often asked, ‘Oh, so are you a political science major?’ said Wilcox. “I am happy to answer that, in fact, I am in the College of Business Administration. While great leaders can be found across all areas of studies, I have found it quite beneficial to have a business mind when facing problems in the capacity of SGA president. This is simply because business students often have a unique perspective on situations. Applying knowledge from the classroom in my meetings…is very rewarding. However, the skill I have found more helpful than any other when making decisions, is one we have heard in almost every business class, ‘return on investment.’ These helpful and strategic decision-making processes are a direct result of my studies as a business student at the University of Tennessee, and the ability to apply this knowledge to real-world situations definitely contributes to the reasons I value my education here.”
Since the fall of 2005, both students have been active in their Greek organizations on campus. Wilcox is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and has served as the alumni relations chair for the group of young men; additionally, he has been a part of Alpha Kappa Psi, the college’s business fraternity, for which he has worked with the fraternity’s recruitment team in efforts to recruit strong business students into the organization. Blackwell is an active member of Phi Mu, one of the largest sororities on campus. She has held multiple leadership roles during her collegiate membership including assistant vice president of recruitment for Phi Mu, assistant philanthropy chair, and sisterhood development chair. Additionally, Blackwell has served in multiple roles within the Panhellenic community, which coordinates 18 sororities. In this position, Blackwell has served as vice president of Panhellenic recruitment, which hosts almost 1,000 young women each year. Related to this position, she has served as a Gamma Chi, a leader to the young women participating in recruitment, speaking at UT Knoxville’s freshmen orientation groups and serving as a host at the South Eastern Panhellenic Conference. Perhaps one of Blackwell’s most exciting accomplishments during her work with the Greek community was serving as a North-American Interfraternity Conference Delegate; in this role, Blackwell served as a lobbyist on behalf of the Interfraternity Council in Washington, D.C. to promote legislation for non-profit, non-university-owned student housing.
In addition to her work in the Greek community, Blackwell has served in various roles across campus. Like Wilcox, she served on Freshman Council during her first year at UT and went on to serve on the VolAction Student Services Committee the following year. In addition to being vice president for the Student Government Association, she serves as president of Student Senate, advisor of Freshman Council, a member of the Chancellor Search Committee for the UT Knoxville campus, a member of the Dining Services Committee; and a member of the Library Advisor Committee. Blackwell has been active in philanthropic efforts across campus such as Dance Marathon (which raises money for Children’s Miracle Network), Relay for Life, and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Phone-a-Thon. She was selected by her peers for the 2008 Homecoming Court and has been recognized for her service to the campus by being chosen as Panhellenic Greek Woman of the Year for 2008 and by receiving Phi Mu’s Most Outstanding Service Award for 2007 and Phi Mu’s Campus Leadership Award in 2008. She also has been recognized for her academic and leadership achievements by being invited into Order of Omega Honor Society. Additionally, Blackwell has maintained both her HOPE Scholarship all four years on campus and a University of Tennessee Academic Scholarship. During Blackwell’s “free time,” she has worked on the Ed Bryant for Congress campaign (2006) and currently works as a law clerk for Baker, O’Kane, Atkins, and Thompson law firm.
The College of Business Administration is proud of Jeff Wilcox and Meghan Blackwell as successful, active members of the university and college community.