Behind the Presidency: An Interview With Jantzen Michael

Media by Justin Cross

With today’s advancement in media, we seem to know every time the President of the United States even takes a breath. But, as a student of Greenville, how much do you know about the student body president? Our president is Jantzen Michael, senior at Greenville University. On top of her GSGA presidency, she is a biology major who hopes to move onto either medical school or seminary. As for future plans, Jantzen would love to be a primary care physician or obstetrician because, as she states, “there is such a need for physicians who want to do primary care and there is so much opportunity for ministry through primary care and prenatal care.” In addition to her position in government, her leadership continues in the lines of the basketball court, as Jantzen is one of the Greenville University Women’s basketball team captains. Basketball has challenged her to grow stronger with the Lord and has added value to her college experience by spending time with a wonderful group of women whom she loves and values.

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Jantzen also shared who has had a tremendous impact on her as a leader. She stated, “When I think about who impacted my leadership, I would have to start with my parents. They taught me about sacrificial love. Both of my parents are generous with their time and money and it is inspiring to me. In their own unique way, they put myself and my five brothers above their own wants while continuously honoring and investing in their marriage.” Jantzen also spoke about former GU Women’s Basketball assistant coach, Skylar Bareford. “Through college, my most influential leader has been Coach Sky…her deciding to take a new job proved that she is willing to follow God’s call even when it is difficult and her moving to an unknown place shows her deep faith in Jesus.” Coach Sky has left such an impact as both a leader and a teacher, demonstrating how to look on the bright side of sticky situations and not being too quick to judge others. She also served as a guide, challenging the women’s team in their faith and never letting them settle for the easy way out. Whether it be through prayer, unconditional love, or affirming each player in her worth and identity, Coach Sky was present. “I don’t really know how to put into words all the things Coach Sky has taught me about life, but I know that I would not be the leader I am today without her.”

Media by Abby Modaff

When asking Jantzen what she believed would be one of the biggest challenges she will have to face this semester, she responded, “I think the biggest challenge I will face this year is being student body president. There is a lot of influence that comes with that role and understanding when it is appropriate and necessary to use my voice has already been a challenge.” She elaborated, saying, “Within being president the biggest challenge is representing students. It can be very difficult to discern what is best for the student body because I am often asked by administration what students want and I try to avoid my own personal agenda from clouding what may be best for the greater student body.”

Media by Jantzen Michael

Jantzen does an excellent job of keeping her personal life out of government judgement calls. This might be because she manages her free time so well. When asked how she does this, especially since so many report she keeps a busy schedule, Jantzen responded, “I really try to not use the word ‘busy.’ I know it may not seem like a big deal, but the word ‘busy’ usually comes with a negative connotation… I make time for the things I care about and I always try to value people over tasks. I have learned that people are long lasting and to-do lists come and go.”

So, where can you find our GSGA president outside of the classroom and off the courts? Jantzen enjoys the outdoors, so you could see her relaxing in a hammock reading an intriguing book or maybe painting an original work of art in her free time. Whether it be frisbee on Scott Field or a classic dance party, you are more than likely to find her staying active as well. Jantzen is also a barista at Adam Bros, which makes sense as she is an avid coffee drinker and enthusiast.  If you ever want to get to know our well-rounded student body president even better, asking her to go for coffee would be a great start!


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