Taking the lead

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Shayla Woodhouse thrives in leadership roles at NAU.

Leadership runs in Shayla Woodhouse’s blood. Ever since her freshman year at Northern Arizona University, the senior environmental engineering major has been involved with student government, culminating in Woodhouse’s current role this year as the Associated Students of Northern Arizona University’s Vice President of Academic Affairs. Despite the extra demands required by these leadership roles, Woodhouse has learned how to balance her coursework with her extracurricular responsibilities, developing as both a student and a professional.

“My experience in student government has been great. It’s taught me about the significance of working together as a team, owning up to your mistakes, and of course, being yourself.”

Political engagement   

It all started her freshman year, when Woodhouse and a few of her friends decided to join New Student Government, a club that engages transfer and first-year students in campus events and issues.

She was hooked almost instantly. 

“Growing up in California, moving to Flagstaff was a difficult transition just because I lived in the same house, the same community, the same neighborhood my entire life, so that first week of school was definitely a huge change for me,” says Woodhouse. “As a freshman student, government was a way to get involved on campus and meet new people, as well as develop myself as a leader.”

From there, she served as an ASNAU senator during her sophomore and junior years, leading to her current role as the vice president. Being involved with the student government has enabled Woodhouse to become connected to the university in ways most others could not.

“My leadership positions on campus have been very different,” Woodhouse says.  “Being an orientation leader has developed my leadership skills and has further helped me in my position this year in ASNAU."

Real-world leadership

Now in her senior year, Woodhouse is collaborating with her peers on her engineering capstone. The group is working to re-sequence the Cinder Lake Landfill to optimize space. Relying on the years of experience under her belt, Woodhouse is confident in her leadership role on this project.

“My opportunities and growth through student government have definitely been assets to my college career,” Woodhouse says. “I enjoy being a part of a team that creates successful projects, and I enjoy taking on leadership roles in order to ensure success.”

Woodhouse is thankful for the opportunities she’s had at Northern Arizona University, and plans to continue growing and developing beyond graduation. 

“I have been very grateful that I was able to hold various government positions around campus, and for how those positions have helped me grow as a person and develop as a leader,” Woodhouse says.