Student gains leadership experience through Spirit Master organization
- Alicia Carter
- Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
When Michael ‘Briar’ Holt, a biology major and senior from Hodgenville, began his college journey as a freshman in fall 2017, he set his sights on becoming a Spirit Master. Not only did he achieve that goal, this past spring, he also began serving as Spirit Master Chair, the top student leadership role in within the organization.
Holt said he first learned about the Spirit Master organization during the Mahurin Honors College’s H4 program. The Honors Freshmen Orientation Retreat, H4, is a chance for students to become familiar with the college and get to know other students, as well as counselors, faculty and staff.
“As a freshman, I decided I wanted to dive into the college experience,” Holt said. “During the H4 retreat, I asked the counselors how to be involved, and that’s where I first learned about the Spirit Master organization.”
As the official student ambassadors of WKU, Spirit Masters focus on serving the university through preserving traditions, striving for excellence, and making the spirit of WKU contagious. Their role at the university involves promoting WKU’s spirit of hospitality to guests and inspiring the student body to strive for excellence.
Holt said the organization’s mission resonated with him, and by the spring semester of his freshman year, he was selected as a Spirit Master and began the work of representing WKU.
Serving as a Spirit Master often means giving campus tours to visitors and serving as a greeter at various official university events. Holt said being part of this student organization has been a life-changing event for him.
“In the time that I served as a Spirit Master, my life has completely changed. I’ve seen students that I gave tours to when they were first thinking of coming to WKU on campus, and they’ve even thanked me on several occasions,” Holt said. “That’s one of the most amazing feelings in the world to have such an impact on someone’s life, and helping them find the university that is truly their home.”
Holt said despite challenges that come along with leading an organization during a pandemic, being elected to serve as Chair of the Spirit Masters has been a blessing.
“The work we do benefits not only the university, but also the Bowling Green community as well. Whether it’s serving during charity events, such as the Med Center 10K Classic or the Med Center Charity Ball, or serving our university directly through recruitment, helping with donors, or promoting events on campus, as Spirit Masters, we strive to embody what it means to be a Hilltopper no matter where we go.”
The pandemic added an extra level of responsibility to serving as a Spirit Master this year. Holt said they have to approach assignments differently in order to follow WKU’s Healthy on the Hill guidelines.
“With all the new safety guidelines we follow the university’s policies regarding safety to ensure the safety of both our Spirit Masters and the ones we serve. Spirit Masters are required to wear a mask on all assignments, follow social distancing guidelines and make sure to accept assignments that are safe,” Holt said.
In addition to Spirit Masters and the Mahurin Honors College, Holt also takes full advantage of the applied learning opportunities offered within his biology major. He said he’s especially grateful for the experience that he is gaining in his genetics lab.
“At WKU, I’ve received the tools I need to succeed in my future career. My courses have all benefitted me by helping shape me into someone that has the ability to succeed. It has also allowed me to meet the people that I know will always be there to push me to be the best version of myself no matter the circumstance,” Holt said. “The experiences I’ve had in my genetics lab have allowed me to understand the processes that I will utilize in the future, and that will make all the difference as I transition into the workforce.”
Holt hasn’t slowed down since starting his college career. He’s played intramurals, participated in the Red Wave student organization, and in several leadership roles within his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta. After graduation, Holt plans to pursue his master’s degree and a career in genetic counseling.
Spirit Masters will host a Meet and Greet event this Wednesday, October 21 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Downing Student Union in rooms: 3005, 3024 and 3025. Students can RSVP in advance at https://bit.ly/34fRVj0. During the event, students can speak with current Spirit Masters to learn more about the organization, responsibilities and the application process.
For more information, visit www.wku.edu/spiritmasters.