As a family oriented and somewhat introverted person, Junior Hayley Nemmers still gets sick for her home back in Des Moines, Iowa. However, as a social justice oriented leader and outgoing, cheerful student, Hayley has found herself a comfortable niche within the Gustavus community that she’s learned to appreciate as her home away from home.
“Hayley encompasses all the pillars that Gustavus holds in high esteem. She engages intentionally with the community.”—Katalina Traxler
“My first year here was admittedly very rough. I didn’t have a car, so I couldn’t go back home that often and I’d get very homesick. But after getting more involved with the community and then coming back to see all of the familiar faces I had met along the way, I very quickly came to view Gustavus as a second home,” Hayley said.
Now Hayley’s involved in a multitude of different activities on campus. She’s the secretary for the Diversity Leadership Council Executive Board, Chair of the Education Committee, Chair of the Paradigm Speaker Committee, a member of Peer Educators for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Gustavus Ambassadors, and Co-Founder of Fair Trade Gustavus. She’s also a Collegiate Fellow and an employee in the Counseling and Academic Support Center.
“Hayley encompasses all the pillars that Gustavus holds in high esteem. She engages intentionally with the community as a leader who acknowledges her blind spots and works very hard to expand her perspective. Regardless of all the initiatives that she holds important, she gives 110 percent to everything she is passionate about. Her social justice lens is always on and her innovative approach to academics, social life, and involvement make her an incredible example of what a ‘Gustie’ should be,” Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Programs and Services Katalina Traxler said.
Hayley continuously balances all of these activities alongside her Sociology Anthropology Major and Peace Studies and Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies minors.
“She is incredibly passionate about social justice and it really shines through in anything she does. She’s a leader.”—Abby Nistler
“I found Hayley to be an unusual mix of maturity, intellectual sophistication, with real academic drive and passion and on the other side, a very delightful, cheery, even fun-loving and playful, kind of person with a very good sense of humor,” Associate Professor in Sociology and Anthropology Patric Giesler said.
Hayley believes that she’s able to balance everything and keep hold of her sanity and positive attitude, because she’s dedicating her time to what she feels truly passionate about; social justice.
“I would say that Hayley is instrumental in bringing about social change here at Gustavus. She is incredibly passionate about social justice and it really shines through in anything she does. She’s a leader on campus and does so in a variety of ways,” Junior Abby Nistler said.
Hayley has many plans for her time after Gustavus all of which involve working for social justice through activism. She’s not entirely sure because she has so many different aspirations but she’s hoping to be accepted to study abroad in India next year and continue to find her path before graduating.
“I’m very nervous to graduate because I have so many passions I want to pursue. The freedom is kind of nerve wracking in a sense. But I think, for now, I want to continue growing as a person, finding specific passions, and making connections with people. It’s always important to make the most of the time you have here,” Hayley said.