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Highlight: Erika LeMaster

August 3, 2020

Erika LeMaster showing the Heart of Texas hand sign in the Texas State University quad area

By Erika LeMaster
Marketing Manager, Aviso Retention

My Own Common Experience

I first heard about the Common Experience at my freshman orientation. I was so excited to start college, make new friends and learn new things. I immediately witnessed how diverse and inclusive Texas State was. I was a hopeful and eager freshman, ready for new opportunities and positive challenges.

The Common Reading book in 2014-2015 was Coming of Age in Mississippi, a powerful memoir by Anne Moody about her struggles against racism and sexism in the 1960s. The book echoed the 2014-2015 Common Experience theme, Exploring Democracy’s Promise.

Many freshmen arrive on campus nervous about what to expect and how to feel. I had such a positive and welcoming experience and immediately felt at home here. I knew I had a bright, challenging, and exciting four years ahead of me. I was further introduced to the Common Experience and what it meant in my US 1100 class, which also provided me with great memories and friendships. I knew I made the right choice to attend Texas State when I saw how much they offered students.

Part of Something Meaningful

I was lucky to play a role in many wonderful events through the Common Experience in 2018. Being a member of the Common Experience team meant being part of something meaningful and important. I worked with and got to know the people behind it all that put amazing events together for students to help them connect with each other. These incredible people were not only my teammates and mentors, but people I still consider friends and stay in touch with today.

The best part about the Common Experience is the conversations it promotes. Every year, each new theme pushes boundaries and aims to create a positive impact on the Bobcat community.

Erika LeMaster leading a book club discussion
Erika LeMaster leading a Common Reading book discussion with University Seminar faculty in 2018
Erika LeMaster and her father at graduation
Erika LeMaster and her father at her Texas State commencement ceremony in December 2018

Erika LeMaster

Texas State Class of 2018

Marketing Manager, Aviso Retention

Higher Education
Student Success Software

Texas State Highlights:

– Major in Public Relations and Mass Communication
– Minor in Psychology
– PACE Center Social Media Coordinator, 2018-2019
– University College Social Media Coordinator, 2018-2019
– Common Experience and Common Reading Committees
– Member, Latinas Unidas

Favorite Moments

José Hernández and Father Gregory Boyle

Having to work and attend school full time, I wasn't able to be as involved as I would’ve liked my first three years. But during my senior year, I worked as the social media coordinator for the PACE Center and University College, along with roles on the Common Experience and Common Reading teams, allowing me to be a part of the most memorable events on campus. We got to make history and break national records together for student engagement and involvement. One of my favorite memories was the opportunity to see astronaut José Hernández and Father Gregory Boyle speak and inspire. A few of the many famous speakers the Common Experience pulls.

Astronaut José Hernández delivering the LBJ Distinguished Lecture
U.S. José Hernández delivered the LBJ Distinguished Lecture at Texas State in September 2018
Father Gregory Boyle speaks onstage at Texas State
Father Gregory Boyle delivered the Common Experience Insight Series lecture in September 2018

In Conclusion

I learned so much about the Common Experience my senior year that I wish I knew as a freshman. It was a big part of my first and last year at Texas State. I grew both personally and professionally, and I felt more prepared for my career after graduation. The Common Experience motivated me to continue pushing for positive change, no matter where I am at in life. Being a part of something so special really pushes you to create and continue these important conversations outside of college.

Attending Texas State and being part of the Common Experience are things I will proudly speak (brag) about for years to come. I highly encourage students to get involved — not only with the Common Experience, but any other organization on campus. These experiences will help shape you and stay with you forever.

Go Bobcats! ✯

Erika LeMaster

Erika LeMaster is a marketing manager at Aviso Retention, a higher-education student success software company based in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated from Texas State University in 2018, having served as social media coordinator for both the PACE Center and University College.