Alumna returns as new coordinator of student activities

As of this year, Hastings College Alumna Bethany Simoens is the new Coordinator of Student Activities. Simoens graduated from HC in 2018 with a double major in math and economics, and plans to continue her schooling at a later time to get a Doctor of Philosophy in environmental economics. 

During the year between her graduation and now, Simoens traveled in Europe for six months teaching English in Spain, then came back to Hastings and filled in a position at her previous job at Odyssey in downtown Hastings. While working at Odyssey, Simoens was approached by Executive Vice President of Enrollment and Student Experience Susan Meeske, who offered her the job of Coordinator of Student Activities. 

“Everything just kind of happened after that,” said Beth Simoens.

Simoens had a long history of involvement while she was a student, including being president of her sorority her junior year, president of the Inter-Greek Council her senior year, a resident assistant for three years and treasurer of the Student Association Cabinet her senior year, along with helping as many groups as she could from her positions. 

“My position as treasurer of the student body cabinet is ultimately what set (this opportunity) up for me, because that’s really what allowed me to get into conversations with faculty and staff. It also helped me in meeting (President) Travis Feezell, who’s been extremely helpful in this process of just getting me here and helping me figure out my plans,” Simoens said.

As Coordinator of Student Activities, Simoens acts as a bridge to help students get their ideas for events heard, ensures events are accessible, helps the Student Association continue to plan more smaller events along with a few big events per year. She also works with getting funding for different groups on campus and wants to fill in the gaps where people do not necessarily know who to contact for activity-related matters. 

“If there are students who are interested in things other than the classic Bronco Bash-type event, those students (have availability) in bringing those ideas to the table, (so I) would like to make a transition between how it was when I (was a student)to something that’s more inclusive, involved and constant,” Simoens said.

Simoens commented that the shift from being a student to occupying a staff position was fairly easy due to a previous history of engagement on campus, established connections with staff and faculty and the year between graduation and now making an easier divide between her and students who were her underclassmen. 

“A huge aspect of my job now is helping to run Greek Life, which I think has been a really easy transition for me,” Simoens said. 

Simoens is optimistic for what can be accomplished, looking forward to what she can provide and bring back to student activities at HC.