Alumni Story

May 2015

Allison Walker ’09

by Jason Linkes ’99

Allison WalkerFor some students, the Saint Leo experience starts when they are 17 or 18, but for Allison Walker, her experience started at age 14. In 2001, then a resident of Holiday, FL, she found Saint Leo via a confirmation retreat through Our Lady of Lourdes Church. In 2004 when Allison was starting her college search, she explored many options. She wanted a strong sport management program, small classes, and solid values, and realized that the perfect fit for her was on the other side of Pasco County at Saint Leo University.

At Saint Leo, Allison was not someone who sat on the sidelines. Veteran newscaster Tom Brokaw once said, “It is easy to make a buck. It’s tougher to make a difference.” Allison Walker, a sport management major, is one of the rare people in the world who truly looks to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Allison was heavily involved in campus activities from the time she stepped onto University Campus. As an undergraduate she was the PR chair for the Sport Management Association, an orientation leader, orientation coordinator, Student Government Union senator for the Humanities Club, Campus Activities Board member, and the PR chair for the Students Against Irresponsible Decisions (in her last semester). According to Allison, “Serving as an orientation leader for two years was an amazing experience. It was an unbelievable opportunity to show incoming students why Saint Leo was, and still is, an amazing institution.”

After graduating from Saint Leo in 2009, Allison pursued a master’s degree in college student affairs at Nova Southeastern University and graduated in 2012. While at Nova Southeastern, she continued to give back to others as an active member in the College Student Affairs Association, club advisor to a student group raising awareness for cancer research through Locks of Love, and volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Orlando and in New Orleans for the Hurricane Katrina relief project.  

After receiving her master’s degree, it didn't take Walker long to find a career path that would allow her to continue to give back to others. In 2012 she was hired by Polk State College as the coordinator of Student Activities & Leadership at its Winter Haven campus. In April of this year, she was elected by her peers to be the District 3 advisor to the Florida College System Student Government Association (FCSSGA). She will serve a two-year term, and some of her many responsibilities will include serving on a student executive board for the district, attending all FCSSGA and district events, verifying the eligibility for the district officers, overseeing the scheduling of all district functions, and assisting the state advisor. District 3 consists of the following Florida colleges: College of Central Florida, Hillsborough Community College, Pasco Hernando State College, Polk State College, State College of Florida: Sarasota-Bradenton, and St. Petersburg College.

What does the future hold for Allison? Her goals for the next five to ten years include progressing in her student services career and leadership within the university/state college system and working toward her doctorate and a second master’s. She also hopes to find ways to give back to Saint Leo University through the Alumni Association and mentoring fellow graduates.

Allison’s advice to a prospective Saint Leo student is simple. “Make sure to visit University Campus and get an opportunity to meet with students and experience campus. Saint Leo is very student-centered and focused. The university lives its core values and mission, and it is very evident around campus. There are so many ways to make the most of your college experience and be able to walk away saying you loved your experience at Saint Leo.”


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