Student News — 01 December 2016

MURRAY, Ky. — As Abby Siegel, a senior double majoring in nonprofit leadership studies and public relations, finishes her final year at Murray State University, she reflects on how she was able to cultivate her love for nonprofits.

When asked why she wanted to go into nonprofits, Siegel replied, “I have always been enthralled by helping others.” It was on a mission trip to Guatemala that sparked her interest in the nonprofit sector.

“I began to understand the size and scope of the work organizations do,” said Siegel.

Then, when Siegel toured Murray State University in 2012, she met Dr. Bob Long. He discussed the option of joining the nonprofit leadership studies program, and Siegel’s pursuit of the nonprofit sector has been unwavering ever since.

She commends Nonprofit Leadership Studies Director Dr. Peter Weber for “really bringing a new level of rigor to the program.”

Now that Siegel has been in the nonprofit program, she has been able to get involved in the service learning and hands-on components of the program. For instance, she was able to study abroad in India, teaching English to impoverished, elementary-aged children.

Siegel also completed an internship this past summer in Louisville, Ky. for Orphan Care Alliance.

“I was given the task of completely rewriting all content for the organization’s website as it was undergoing a rebranding project,” said Siegel. “I also wrote social media content and blog posts for events in the final quarter.”

In addition to double majoring, Siegel is also a student in the Honors College and therefore is required to write a thesis. Her research focuses on “storytelling as a communication technique and highlights the importance of messaging that is compelling and effective for organizational success.”

Siegel has written eleven brief stories about the advocates for United Way of Murray-Calloway County’s nonprofit partners. Each story focuses on how each have been impacted by the work of the nonprofit sector in the local community. The stories can be read at myimpactstory.wordpress.com or the United Way’s Facebook page.

As for Siegel’s future plans, she is passionate about adoption — specifically, international adoption — and hopes to use storytelling to advocate for vulnerable children and families with an interest in refugees and adoption.

“Murray State has afforded me the opportunity to get to know the world in the heart of western Kentucky, to become friends with people who have experiences entirely different than my own and share the stories of people who will soon influence every sector of our advancing society,” said Siegel. “My experiences have been coupled by a quality education, and I know I will be ready for what the world offers me outside the boundaries of my beloved Murray State.”

 Murray State University nonprofit leadership honors student Abby Siegel is completing her final year at Murray State.

Murray State University nonprofit leadership honors student Abby Siegel is completing her final year at Murray State.

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Allie Douglass

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