Pictured above: Kayla Demel, athletic training senior, waves at the crowd during the Homecoming parade. She was part of the 2016 homecoming court. (Kylie Stamper/Staff photographer)
By Tanner Carlson
Kayla Demel is a senior majoring in athletic training, minoring in biology, part of the women’s basketball team, Student Government Association (SGA) President, treasurer for Southwestern College athletic training society, and a student ambassador on campus. That is a long job title for someone who hasn’t even graduated yet.
Demel stays extremely busy. However, she has the initiative and the work ethic to complete her daily responsibilities. Her organization skills is what saves her from being late to meetings, classes, keeping up with her homework, and basketball practice.
“I don’t have a lot of free time, but I don’t like to have a lot of free time,” said Demel. “Because then I don’t feel like I’m doing enough.”
Staying busy is almost a hobby for Demel, she says “I have my planner, and it is my life line.” Her life is planned all the way up to spring break in her planner and is color coordinated based on when assignments are due, events to go to, practices, and meetings to attend.
Demel has no previous experience in student government before she took on being the SGA president. She attended Bishop Carroll Catholic High School where she strictly played basketball, and the only activity she was involved in other than that was yearbook.
“After my freshman year, I wasn’t making the grades I should have been making, and I didn’t feel like I was as involved as I should be.” Demel explained. “Maybe, it’s because I’m not making those connections with people, and maybe I should be making connections with those people, so that’s when I applied to be a student ambassador.”
During her junior year she was invited to an SGA meeting by former president Aiden Goodrich. That was when Demel found her purpose at Southwestern. She would set her mind on becoming President for the organization that she loved most.
“I was talking with Aiden Goodrich about who could possibly replace him for next year.” Anjaih Clemons, director of Campus Life, said. “And he said ‘I know someone, Kayla Demel!’ I had known Kayla from the past, and she does just stick out as a leader.”
Demel will rarely pass up an opportunity to take initiative and take the lead on any kind of project. Her outgoing personality is an important trait of hers that has become an asset when working on group activities or meetings.
“I feel like as SGA president you have to be engaging and approachable so people can feel comfortable talking with you.” Clemons said. “I feel like Kayla possesses both of those qualities.”
Demel’s life can get stressful, as well as a bit overwhelming. However, she never lets that stop her from completing the task at hand. “Even though she may complain sometimes, she gets through it.” Clemons explained. “She picks up the pieces, and she just rolls on because she knows she has to do it, because she has a goal in mind.”
Demel is in her fourth year as a player of the Southwestern Lady Builder Basketball team. She has left a lasting impact on the court, but what is most important is her leadership, and the example that she has been to the young players on the team.
“I know part of her development as a player was using that personality, passion, and excitement that she has as a woman.” Whitney Corley, head women’s basketball coach, said. “She’s definitely been a good mentor to some of our younger players wanting to get involved the way she is.”
Demel’s commitment to her team is one of her top priorities. She has to be at practice, on time everyday, even if one of her many meetings run late. Demel will always be one of the first players ready for practice.
“If anything she’s earlier than everyone else.” Corley said. “The only thing we see occasionally is if she had a meeting that ends at 3:30 p.m. and practice starts then, but that’s the communication that we have and the understanding that she is very busy.”
Being from Wichita, Demel has impacted multiple communities with her hard work and dedication to make wherever she is at a better place.
“To see her out in not only our community, but to see her in other communities,” Corley said. “Representing our school in such a proud, exciting way she’s definitely an asset to our school.”
Having basketball in her life is imperative to her success in the other organizations she is a part of. The love of the game has never faded for her, and she plans to keep it that way.
“It gets to be pretty intense, but I think back and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Demel said. “I’ve been doing it for so long, and this is my love, and I only have a month left of basketball so I have to take advantage of it.”
There is no doubt that Demel will have a bright future in the career path she will choose to go into to. Southwestern will never be the same after her positive impact she has made in her four years here.
Demel explains, “The biggest thing for me is to leave Southwestern better than I found it.”
Tanner Carlson is a junior majoring in communication, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org