Secretary-elect shares love for teaching and cupcakes

Student Government Association Secretary-elect Jessica McAlister listens during a Senate meeting March 17. “(McAlister) is always looking at the bright side of things, but she’ll tell you like it is if she needs to,” said Vice President of Senate Nicole Gallups in an email.

The Student Government Association Secretary-elect Jessica McAlister is a strong shot of honesty with a soft spot for cupcakes.

McAlister’s straightforward personality is a quality her friends appreciate.

“(McAlister) is always looking at the bright side of things, but she’ll tell you like it is if she needs to,” said Vice President of Senate Nicole Gallups in an email.

McAlister is feisty and blunt in a good way, said SGA President-elect Sarah Green.

“She’s one of those friends you want around because she’s not afraid to tell you ‘you’re doing something stupid,’” Green said.

Being a dependable friend is what McAlister prides herself on, she said.

“If one of my friends calls me in the middle of the night needing something I will get up, no questions asked, and help them out,” McAlister said in

an email.

While dependability and honesty are her strengths, cupcakes are her weakness, McAlister said.

When she is not indulging in the occasional pastry, students can find McAlister outdoors or with her nose in a history book.

“I love to be outside, but I don’t own an Eno,” McAlister said.

McAlister is a history buff who hopes to share her knowledge with others by teaching 11th grade U.S. history.

“I think that high school kids have a lot to offer to this world, and I want to show them and help them realize their potential,” McAlister said. “I want them to know that they are more than what they think they are or what someone says they are.”

While teaching history lessons is in McAlister’s future, teaching dance lessons is not.

McAlister’s and Green’s friendship blossomed when they found common ground in their lack of dancing ability, Green said.

“We started getting close in 2014 at Step Sing practice where we were both in the very back row,” McAlister said.

This behind-the-scenes position created a one-of-a-kind friendship between the two sorority sisters.

“We bonded over being in the back row together,” Green said. “We always called each other ‘backrow besties.’”

McAlister and Green got creative during their time at Step Sing, perhaps scoring a win for their sorority.

“We were just making up our own moves in the back of Step Sing,” Green said. “But (Phi Mu) won that year, so maybe it was me and Jessica that pulled it through. Probably not.”

What McAlister lacks on the dance floor, she makes up on the SGA senate floor.

“Over the past year she has done a lot on the Legislative Affairs committee to help the university advocate for more money from the state,”

Gallups said.

McAlister has a diligent work ethic and works well with others, said SGA Secretary Jensen Joiner.

“She has a funny sense of humor that makes it easy

for people to work with her,” Joiner said.

McAlister has created many great memories in SGA, she said.

“The Voters’ Registration Drive last fall was definitely special,” McAlister said. “A girl had just gained her citizenship to the United States, and she was registering to vote.”

It was a very humbling and eye-opening moment for how truly grateful I am to be an American.”

Although McAlister is grateful for the life she has, sometimes it still stresses her out, she said. When it does, she leans on her faith, she said.

“When I am stressed out I pray and tell myself that God already knows my future and He has a plan for me far better than anything I could ever come up with,” McAlister said. McAlister wants students to know she does not have the answers to all life’s questions, she said.

“One of the most important things I want the students to know about me is that just because I am SGA Secretary-elect does not mean I have it all together or that I have something figured out that they don’t,” McAlister said.