Big events like DanceBlue don’t just happen overnight. They take months of careful planning by dedicated workers. In DanceBlue’s case, these dedicated workers consist of Dancers, Team Captains, Committee members, Coordinators, Chairs, Advisors, and more. Each of these groups of people has a role that contributes greatly to DanceBlue as a whole, and each person does so much work individually to fuel this contribution. One person who exemplifies this is the Assistant Director for Student Organizations and Activities, Ely Medina.
In her position, Medina specifically advises DanceBlue and the Center for Community Outreach. With this task, she works with students to help them navigate University of Kentucky processes and their own student development. This will be her third year advising DanceBlue, in which she advises the Dancer Relations, Family Relations, Corporate Relations, Fundraising, Marketing, and Technology Chairs and co-advises the Overall Chair. Besides meeting with people, her job also largely consists of calling campus and community partners, making purchases for events, and filling out lots of forms. “My goal is to help students develop and meet their goals, which include having hands-on experiences as well as helping them navigate through deeper questions of understanding and being able to work with people from all different life experiences,” said Medina.
The Chairs have seen her accomplish this goal time and time again. When asked about working with Medina, they raved about her. Marketing Chair Christina Stephens said, “Having Ely as an advisor provides us with the perfect balance between someone who listens to and trusts in what we believe is best, while also challenging us to make sure we are making the best decisions we can for DanceBlue. Ultimately, we are serving this incredible organization together, and she truly helps us each reach our full potential as Chairs for DanceBlue”. Overall Chair Sally Martin agreed, saying “When I’m angry, Ely is calm. When I’m ready to make a quick decision, Ely makes sure I’m thinking through all the options. She is there for any question, big or small, and is always my biggest cheerleader.”
In the past three years, Medina has had the great opportunity of watching DanceBlue grow and change. Whether it was Committee adding more members, new organizations wanting to participate, or new mini marathons emerging all over the state, she has seen DanceBlue grow immensely and quickly as an organization. In addition, her own perspective on the organization has grown and changed. “At first, I thought it was just another student organization, but now I understand that it is that and so much more. It’s people caring about people. This organization impacts so many people, and I feel super lucky to be a part of it,” she said.
DanceBlue simply would not be possible without the hard work of so many, but especially Medina. Thank you so much for all your hard work for the past three years, Ely! You exemplify what it means to be FTK!