Student Spotlight: Alyssa Hayden

Alyssa Hayden
Alyssa Hayden

Alyssa Hayden, 19, is an extraordinarily active and engaged student on campus and off at Inver Hills Community College. Alyssa serves as president of DECA, a nationwide student business organization, and vice president of the Alpha Omicron Beta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

Alyssa is a Travelers EDGE Scholar, belongs to TRIO Student Support Services and works for the college’s Center for Experiential Learning (CEL). In the latter role, she covers CEL social media and serves as the contact between students and employers; she also helps coordinate the Career Ready Internship program.

As a Travelers EDGE Scholar, Alyssa will be starting a marketing and communications internship for the River Heights Chamber of Commerce in spring 2018. Alyssa’s involvement in Travelers EDGE led her to connect with TRIO SSS.

“The TRIO advisors are super-helpful,” Alyssa said. “My advisor, Carolyn Vue, always goes the extra mile to make sure I’m succeeding in college.”

Matt Kruger, TRIO SSS and Travelers EDGE director at the college, has worked with Alyssa and is proud of her accomplishments.

“Alyssa is an exemplary college student,” Matt said. “She works hard, pursues excellence in everything she does, and engages with all of the resources and opportunities available to her. In addition, she commits her time to helping out others by, for example, leading DECA in organizing a coat drive on campus to provide warmth to fellow students in need.”

Alyssa puts in the extra effort that it takes to be an outstanding student. Alyssa and I have developed a great relationship because she went the extra mile to connect with me when she was first a student in my class.

Because of this, I have been able to learn more about Alyssa the person, not just Alyssa the student. I’m proud of how involved she has made herself on campus.

From her involvement in DECA to her commitment to her family, Alyssa puts everything she has into what she is focused on, and that is what has made her such a successful young woman.

Patria Lawton, MA, MBA
Communication Faculty, Inver Hills Community College

A 2016 graduate of American School, a distance-learning high school, Alyssa is pursuing her Associate of Arts (A.A.) at Inver Hills and is on schedule to graduate December 2018. She plans to transfer to Augsburg University and double-major in communications studies and marketing. After earning her bachelor’s degrees, she has plans to pursue a Master of Arts in Leadership.

“I am not sure exactly what I want to do, but I have a few things in mind,” Alyssa said. “I would love to start a nonprofit, work in higher education or work in public relations. Growing up, I always wanted to be a reporter, but that changed when I was a freshman in high school. I chose marketing and communications because of all the different career path opportunities.”

Take over Inver Hills Instagram for a week

Ryan Walfoort: Inver on Instagram

Are you a photographer looking for a fun challenge? Are you an Inver Hills student interested in showcasing your involvement in student clubs and organizations? Do you want to let our campus community know how Inver is helping you discover the power and promise of higher education?

We are looking for enthusiastic, innovative students who would like to take over the college’s Instagram account for one week. Our goal is to give the world week-long glimpses into the varied, on-the-go lives of as many Inver students as we can.

Alyssa Hayden will be taking over Inver Instagram the week of January 15, 2018.

Follow the link below to complete and submit a short online form:

Inver Instagram for a week

More about Alyssa…

Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Alyssa commutes to Inver Hills from Prescott, Wisconsin. She has received two scholarships at Inver Hills, a $1,000 Ellen McGee Scholarship and her Travelers EDGE award, which includes $1,000 a semester and continued help paying her tuition at Augsburg.

Alyssa is a single mom with a 3-year-old daughter, Jacelyn. Alyssa’s boyfriend, Dillon Dale, is double-majoring in accounting and finance at Augsburg; he also takes a class at Inver Hills. Alyssa has a shelter-cat named Mittens, who has thumbs on his front paws. She has two younger sisters, Alexis, 15, and Adelyn, 7.

In her free time, Alyssa enjoys reading novels by James Patterson and Sarah Dessen. She loves traveling and has recently completed road trips to a number of U.S. states, including Florida, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Iowa and Georgia as well as the country of Mexico.

Alyssa Hayden Q & A

Alyssa Hayden

Alyssa Hayden

Why did you choose Inver Hills?
I chose Inver because I really liked the people, class sizes and student activities.

What has been your toughest challenge in life?
My toughest challenge in life has been overcoming the stereotypes people attach to me because I am a teen mother.

Three words that describe you as a student:
MOTIVATED. BOLD. PASSIONATE.

What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
So far my greatest accomplishments are being a mom, graduating high school a year early, and being a Travelers EDGE Scholar, the latter program granted me an amazing scholarship to Augsburg and an internship for this coming spring.

What person has influenced you the most in life?
My greatest influences have been my parents. I think my greatest influences at Inver Hills are Emily Johnson [Career Services director], Matt Kruger [TRIO SSS director], and Pat Lawton [communication faculty].

Alyssa Hayden gallery

More about DECA…

DECA, which stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America, is an international business club that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in business through educational and personal development seminars and activities as well as state and international competitions.

DECA has touched the lives of more than 10 million students, educators, school administrators and business professionals since it was founded more than 60 years ago in 1946. Strong student connections with the organization have resonated into a brand that people identify as a remarkable preparatory experience for future entrepreneurs and business leaders. DECA programs and activities have constantly evolved through the application of the latest technology and cutting-edge educational research. DECA’s core focus has remained consistent and is captured in the organizational mission.

— Courtesy of Minnesota DECA

As president of DECA at Inver Hills, Alyssa Hayden has several core duties, including helping with event planning and fundraising, overseeing organization activities, connecting with other clubs and groups, and coordinating volunteer work.

“We have volunteered with Loaves and Fishes, a free meal program in Minnesota,” Alyssa said. “We’ve also done work for the Jeremiah Program, a national nonprofit that helps single mothers and their children succeed in the workforce and in school.”

At the Minnesota DECA State Career Development Conference (CDC) in March 2017, Alyssa and her boyfriend, Dillon Dale, took third place in Event Planning; Alyssa also took third place in Hotel and Lodging.

DECA CDC 2017

DECA CDC 2017

DECA Month Celebration

Alyssa reported that the DECA Month Celebration in November 2017 at Inver Hills was a success. “We were able to pie faculty and that resulted in collecting twenty-five coats for the college coat drive,” she said. “At the event in the Green Room, we tie-dyed shirts, played Monopoly, created Christmas cards for children at U of M Hospital, handed out awards, did career tests administrated by Emily Johnson, career services director, and gave away prizes.”

Emily Johnson attended the Green Room celebration hosted by Alyssa and DECA, noting the event was well done and well attended. Everyone enjoyed the activities, especially the pie-in-the-face portion for the coat drive. Emily knows Alyssa from her work for the Center for Experiential Learning (CEL).

“Alyssa is the reason our CEL Facebook page has been so great,” Emily said. “She creates at least ninety-five percent of the content. Alyssa is a model student—she really is exceptional.”

Alyssa Hayden | 21 Answers

Alyssa Hayden

  1. aaa_devilsFavorite season: Fall, it’s not too hot or too cold. I also love Halloween.
  2. Favorite natural feature (e.g., waterfalls, oceans, mountains, etc.): Waterfalls, they are so beautiful. So far my favorite is Devil’s Kettle Falls.
  3. Favorite sport or physical activity: I loved cheerleading in middle school and high school.
  4. Your national bird if you could have one: Goldfinch, it’s Iowa’s state bird and my favorite color. My state reptile would be the sea turtle.
  5. Place you would most like to visit: Amsterdam
  6. Favorite holiday: Christmas and Halloween
  7. Your national mammal if you could have one: Wolf
  8. Favorite actor or actress: Jennifer Lawrence, because she isn’t afraid to shut down the unfair standards set on women today.
  9. aaa_riverdaleFavorite music genre: I like to listen to 95.3.
  10. Your personal motto if you had to have one: “Forever is composed of nows.” — Emily Dickinson
  11. Coolest thing in the world: My daughter, Jacelyn
  12. Scariest thing in the world: The unknowns of life
  13. Favorite all-time TV show: Right now I really like Riverdale.
  14. Favorite all-time movie: Mona Lisa Smile
  15. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Getting my doctorates; at some point, I would like to teach at a university.
  16. Most precious material possession: A locket my parents got engraved for me.
  17. aaa_jeanFirst thing you would buy if you won the $1.5 billion Powerball: A house
  18. Dream occupation: I would love to start my own non-profit to help young mothers succeed through high school and college.
  19. Person you would most like to meet: Jean Kilbourne, she was a model who is now known for her groundbreaking work on the misrepresentation of women in advertising.
  20. Skill you would most like to learn and master: I would like to master public speaking.
  21. Humankind’s greatest challenge: Being happy and grateful.
To learn more about Phi Theta Kappa at Inver Hills, contact:

Vicky Knickerbocker
Humanities and Human Services Faculty
Phi Theta Kappa Faculty Advisor
651-450-3745

Nicki Bottko
Associate Director of Student Life
Phi Theta Kappa Staff Advisor
651-450-3530

Jenni Yamada
Student Life Activities Coordinator
Phi Theta Kappa Staff Advisor
651-450-3754

To learn more about TRIO Student Support Services and Traveler EDGE at Inver Hills, contact:

Matt Kruger
TRIO Student Support Services Director
Travelers EDGE Director
651-450-3701

Alicia Atwater
TRIO Student Support Services Advisor
651-450-3558

Carolyn Vue
TRIO Student Support Services Advisor
Travelers EDGE Advisor
651-450-3742

To learn more about the Center for Experiential Learning at Inver Hills, contact:

Emily Johnson
Career Services Director
651-450-3241

To learn more about Communication courses at Inver Hills, contact:

Shiloh Gideon-Sjostrom
Communication Faculty
651-450-3658

To learn more about earning an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree at Inver Hills, contact:

Admissions Team
651-450-3000
College Center

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *