Five Questions With Student Jasmine Major
By Paige Caldwell
This summer, University of Houston-Downtown’s (UHD) chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) achieved Silver Star Status. This designation distinguishes the University’s organization among more than 320 chapters throughout the country. All Silver Star Chapters were leaders in implementing engaging, student-centered events on their respective campuses and in their local communities.
NSCS is a nonprofit honors organization that recognizes and elevates high-achieving undergraduates who excel academically during their first and second years of college.
UHD News sat down with senior social work major and NSCS Chapter president, Jasmine Major, to talk about her experience growing the organization and why being engaged on campus is important to her.
UHD News: What led you to get involved with this particular honors organization?
Major: The organization is geared toward students who excel in their first or second year of college. I was invited during my sophomore year and even though I was already in two other honor societies, I decided I would give it a try. I really felt a connection to NSCS. I was also in a place where I wanted to take a more active role on campus so the opportunity to step into an officer position with the organization was attractive to me.
UHD News: How has being involved in NSCS positively affected your life?
Major: NSCS' three pillars are scholarship, leadership and service. One of the initiatives I’ve spearheaded is the NSCS drop box for donations throughout each semester. Each month we give whatever is in the drop box to a community organization, such as the Houston Area Women’s Center. Thanks to these donations, we have been able to help the Houston community on a consistent basis. NSCS also gives out more than a million dollars in scholarships, awards and chapter funds annually. Overall, NSCS is just a positive network to be involved in.
UHD News: What role did you play in helping the organization reach Silver Star Status?
Major: After one semester as a member and another as executive vice president, I was excited to become the organization’s president. I created a plan to grow our membership and increase engagement. My main focus for NSCS was to remain active. I believe that it’s not about how much you do, it's how consistent you are. We remained consistent by hosting monthly activities for members and sending out a monthly newsletter with events and highlights.
UHD News: What other ways do you stay active in the University community?
Major: The University Honors Program has really been helpful in pushing me to get involved more and I am a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, as well. Also, as a social work major, I was able to participate in the study abroad course, Public Service in Costa Rica. It was a great experience to represent UHD in a foreign country while also learning about the language, culture and people of Costa Rica.
UHD News: Why is it so important for you to stay engaged on campus?
Major: Staying engaged creates so many opportunities to network and experience interacting with peers as well as gaining leadership experience. I understand that a lot of people are busy so in my leadership, I wanted to create an avenue for everyone to participate. We have a unique opportunity here at UHD because it's a smaller campus, which allows us to establish ourselves and shine.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD)—the second largest university in Houston—has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.
As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz. Annually, UHD educates more than 14,000 students; boasts over 45,000 alumni and offers 43 bachelor’s and eight master’s degree programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service, Sciences & Technology; and University College).
UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates of any four-year university in Houston and Texas and is noted nationally as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority-Serving Institution. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.