James Whalen, University of North Carolina Asheville
James Whalen is the student leader of our future who does not end with basic requirements. His passion for creating an educational structure that necessarily complicates our learning with our real world experience is pervasive in all that he does. A junior dual major in Philosophy and Mathematics, James works to empower his community to create change and address foundational social disparities. Through his relentless work both on and off campus to ensure that all students are engaged with real world issues and his never ending commitment to ensuring all voices are a part of our community’s decision making, James’ efforts to register voters and educate citizens about their rights and responsibilities is remarkable. Through his engagement with multiple student organizations, he educates his peers about the potential impact they can have on local and national issues. President of his fraternity, recently elected Student Body President and dedicated Student Supervisor of University Clubs and Organizations, there are few platforms that he does not utilize to advocate for the integrated and active education that does not accept our passive participation as our end result. James’ work will continue to shift our engagement standards and guide us to be an ever more authentic voice in our community.