Senior psychology major Elsa Dickson is a passionate and a natural leader who serves as a prominent member of the UCA and Conway community. On campus, she currently serves on the executive board of both Psych Society and Alpha Sigma Alpha. In the past, she has served as the public relations chair for students of pre-occupational therapy.
Her natural leadership is illustrated by her democratic leading style. She wants everyone to be heard and known as she values fairness and respect. With this quality, she tends to do more than her share of the work in hopes that others will follow her lead. Her desire to put others before herself to create a positive and safe environment has made a great impact on the dynamic of the committees and RSO’s that she has been involved in on campus.
“To be a good leader, you must be a good follower. So as a leader, I would never ask someone to do something that I wouldn’t do,” Dickson said.
Psychology has always been her passion — as she loves the study of people and how they think and interact with the world. Her graduate school emphasis will be on school psychology which she has become passionate about through the opportunities to explore different options that UCA offers. She conducted and presented research for the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences Student Research Poster Symposium.
She looks up to two women who have empowered her to be who she is academically and personally. Emma Watson, an English actress, is one woman that Elsa looks up to for her leadership inspiration.
“I think there is so much we can learn from [Watson] in leadership, tolerance and love for one another,” Dickson said.
Morals and deep-rooted values are what Dickson believes makes all of us who we are, and they connect us to one another. She consistently finds herself admiring Watson’s character, and she believes we can all learn from a powerful and proactive woman like her.
Another woman, much closer to home, whom Dickson views as a role model, is Kaity Heaps-Davis, a UCA and Alpha Sigma Alpha alumna.
“She has consistently poured into me since I was a freshman at UCA and has shown me that there is grace with very step that we take,” Dickson said. “Even if we slip up, there is a growth opportunity that comes with that.”
Dickson has learned to be intentional with everyone; it is a value she holds to high standards.
Her hobbies include hiking all around Arkansas, getting brunch with her friends and going to as many concerts as she can. She also loves working with kids. Her experience of working as a camp counselor for a summer camp, Camp War Eagle — a sports and adventure camp with an emphasis on relational evangelism — has changed her life.
“I really encourage anyone who is on the border of working as a counselor to do it because it was such a life changing experience that I didn’t even know that I needed,” said Dickson.
Dickson sees herself as a strong leader and desires to change the lives of others for the better through her leadership — and she is not opposed to allowing others to influence her as well. Her impact on the community at UCA will be a lasting one as her passion to better the campus and those that make it up affects all students and faculty around her.