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SOE’s New Student Government Leaders

Meet Bailey Haines and Joe Molloy, the new presidents of SOE's student government organizations.

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School of Education Graduate Student Bailey Haines and Undergraduate Student Joe Molloy

The School of Education has new leadership in its two student government organizations. Education Policy and Leadership (EPL) master's student and the program's graduate assistant (GA) Bailey Haines is the president of the school’s Graduate Student Council (GSC). Elementary education major Joe Molloy, also a student worker at SOE, is president of the Undergraduate Student Council (UGC).

At the beginning of the year, Haines exercised her penchant for leadership and initiative, volunteering as the GSC’s interim president to resurrect the program following a period of dormancy. She worked with EPL Graduate Program Coordinator Emma LaPrade and SOE leadership to reestablish the connection between SOE and AU’s Graduate Leadership Council (GLC). She then began representing SOE at GLC meetings; holding meetings with members of SOE’s leadership team; drafting the organization’s intent packet; and organizing the April elections for GSC executive board members. Next, she was elected president. Now, she is ready to lead and serve.

The leadership team at SOE is excited about the return of its graduate student council. How did this come about?

Earlier this year, the university’s Graduate Leadership Council contacted members of SOE’s leadership team about the status of its Graduate Student Council. Subsequent collaboration and support between the GLC, SOE leadership, and me is the reason for the SOE GSC’s successful revival as it allowed for efficient information gathering and innovative thinking regarding re-establishing a meaningful council. 

What areas will you and the organization be focusing on this academic year?

The Council recently met to establish our priorities and initiatives for this academic year, and a desire for community and professional development came to light. Therefore, the GSC will focus on holistic community engagement between various SOE programs and cohorts as well as creating opportunities for professional enrichment for graduate students. 

How will you use what you have learned, thus far, from the EPL master’s program and your position as the program’s GA to help you carry out your role as GSC president?

The EPL program’s commitment to antiracism translates to an emphasis on understanding the context of a situation. This has equipped me with the tools to better understand reasons for barriers to community involvement within SOE, such as graduate students having loaded schedules by working full-time and taking in-person or online classes in the evenings. The EPL program has allowed me to recognize these – and more – realities and has motivated me to consider ways to meet the myriad of students’ very valid needs. The GA role is one that I am fond of, and being able to regularly engage with the SOE community as a colleague is an experience that continues to make me smile. In this role, I have gained much institutional knowledge about AU and its SOE. I imagine, and hope, that this insight will allow me the ability to navigate logistical challenges that may arise within GSC efforts.  

What are the main three things that you would like to accomplish in this role?

I want to understand the needs and wants of the SOE graduate student community, centering the student voice in our work and what they, the students, want the GSC to focus on. I would also like to increase collaboration among other GSCs on campus to bring graduate students across schools together in meaningful ways. Additionally, I hope to build more graduate program-related diversity within the executive board of the SOE GSC as we, currently, only have representation from the EPL program.


Now in his junior year, Molloy is another example of an industrious and exemplary student leader. In addition to being a full-time student and part-time front desk receptionist for SOE, he is in his second year of being a resident assistant for AU’s Leonard Hall dormitory, where he oversees a floor of twenty-seven rooms with fifty-three residents, a role which requires him to be on-call around the clock. He also began tutoring with SOE’s AU Future Teacher Tutors program, designed to bring high-impact tutoring to schools in underserved communities throughout Washington, DC.

What are you and the organization seeking to accomplish this semester?

To be the foremost advocate for undergraduate students. Our time at SOE is short since we usually spend our first two years on the main campus, away from the Spring Valley Building where SOE is located, so we want to make sure that requests, if realistic, are granted so that students can benefit during the short time while we are here. We also want to increase community interaction with faculty. We hope to have a few events with them or in collaboration with them.

How can SOE leadership help you be most effective with the attainment of UGC's goals?

We definitely want to continue the communication that the previous UGC executive board had with SOE leadership, such as having regular meetings with the SOE dean, to ensure that we have open communication and that the voices of undergraduate students are heard. So far, those voices have expressed that students want improved evening shuttle service and, especially, better food access and options at the Spring Valley Building so we can use our meal cards there and have choices other than potato chips or the expensive restarants nearby. They would really like the sixth floor cafeteria to re-open. Now, it's used mainly for catering events in the building that aren’t attended by undergrads. Students also want better lighting, or navigational lighting, to walk from Spring Valley to their main campus dorms at night. Overall, we are fortunate that SOE is a great school, but there is always a topic where improvement is the solution, and we really need the assistance and influence of SOE's leadership - who are clearly passionate about making their students’ lives better - to help make these important improvements happen.

You will study abroad in Rome next semester. How will the resulting leadership transition affect students? Will there be a race for vice-president as your current vice-president, Shayna Caruso, resumes the role of president in your absence? Are you planning to run again for the '24-'25 academic year?

I have always wanted to visit Italy and am excited about being able to study there. I appreciate AU for creating the opportunity for this to happen. To make the transition as unnoticeable as possible, when Shayna becomes president, each board member will likely move up a position because they are already familiar with everything, and we will need to then fill an executive board opening. I will definitely run for president again after my study abroad semester, so I can have a full year as UGC president.

You are prominently featured in a new promotional video for SOE. What was that experience like?

Being in the video was fun although I was a little nervous. Being able to contribute to the promotion of all the good things SOE has to offer is something I have wanted to do, so getting the opportunity was amazing. I love SOE and want to help in any way that I can. This video makes me connected to SOE's messaging for life, and that’s great. I also like that, in the future, I can look back at it while I am older and a teacher somewhere and reflect on how much I have grown.

Joe Molloy featured in a videoWatch the video here.




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