Meet Your SGA President and Vice President
Howard Community College is pleased to introduce Maheen Ahmed as the Student Government Association (SGA) president and Karina Soto Perez as the vice president for the current academic year. In this interview, Maheen and Karina talk about their inspiration for running, plans for the year, and their favorite parts about HCC.
What are you studying at Howard Community College?
Maheen: I am currently pursuing a computer science and general studies associate of arts.
Karina: I am a second-year student pursuing an engineering degree and plan to transfer to a biomedical engineering program for my bachelor’s [degree].
What do you like most about Howard Community College?
Maheen: I am grateful for the community and support at our college. When I came to HCC, I was under the stress of self-financing my education and that impacted a lot of my decisions. I felt very intimidated and confused when I started delving into the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) process, but fortunately, the college’s financial aid advisors assisted me with compassion and guided me in the right direction. Working with the faculty at HCC has given me the chance to improve my performance as a student and seek scholarships to help pay for my classes.
Anytime I approach my professors with questions, attend office hours, or seek help, they never fail to give me their time and attention. Seeing them invest in me gave me the motivation to do well. I owe it to them for giving me the support I needed to get on the Dean’s List and join our college honors cohorts, Schoenbrodt and Phi Theta Kappa.
Karina: My favorite thing about HCC is the sense of community and involvement. I really love that, even through COVID, HCC found a way to make me feel like I am a part of the community through events, clubs, and fun games.
What inspired you to run for SGA?
Maheen: When we switched to remote learning earlier last year, I was starting my financial aid process and spent a lot of time on Zoom with the Financial Aid Office. I was meeting with them 3-4 times a week. Through these interactions, I empathized with how hard they were trying to adjust to the online environment while helping students at the same time. I was touched by how they would reach out and encourage me to keep going. We were able to harbor a connection through this new online setting and at one point, one of them reached out to me saying that she thought I would be a good fit for SGA. A special thank you to Mrs. Selena Johnson for having my back!
Karina: The culture here at HCC inspired me to run for SGA Vice President. As a member of the SGA, I got to see firsthand how fun and inclusive HCC really is. There are so many ways to get involved and through COVID I felt even more need to stay connected with fellow students, professors, and staff and what better way to do that then through SGA?
What are some of your goals at SGA president and vice president, respectively?
Maheen: My main goal is to create an atmosphere that encourages students to engage with student life and encourage them to seek the resources they need. HCC has so many resources that support students with unique needs. My hope is that my year as President will be filled with connecting with lots of new people, motivating them to join clubs, come out to events, and find the support they need.
Karina: I would like to work on creating a sense of unity and family on campus now that we will be returning to in-person classes, while making sure that students from all backgrounds feel supported and a part of the conversation. I would also like to become more involved with the local community through outreach efforts and focus on the well-being of our students.
What are you most looking forward to this semester?
Maheen: I am looking forward to being back on campus and connecting face-to-face with students and faculty again!
Karina: I am most looking forward to returning to campus and seeing everyone in person. I can’t wait to participate in fun activities on campus where we can interact with each other and really get to know what the students want!
Is there anything else you’d like to tell the student body?
Maheen: Don’t be shy, come say hello! I love meeting new people. That’s why I am here!
Karina: I promise to do my best to support Maheen in making this year the best for our students. I want to encourage everyone to get involved where or when they can. We are here to support you with open arms! So excited to get started!