Brittany McConathy and Matthew Whitaker have big plans for their time representing Northwestern State University.
McConathy, a senior business administration major from Deville, was named Miss NSU and Whitaker, a senior psychology major from Winnfield, was named Mr. NSU. The honor is one of the highest a Northwestern State student can receive and is selected by the student body based on academic achievement and involvement in campus activities.
McConathy is the daughter of Brent and Julie McConathy. She is in her second year as president of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority. McConathy was the 2015 Freshman Connection coordinator. She is a member of Blue Key and Purple Jackets honor societies, Demon Volunteers in Progress and Presidential Leadership Program alumni. McConathy is a Dean’s List student and was the 2014 Greek Woman of the Year.
Whitaker is a senior psychology major. He is the son of Curtis C. Whitaker II and Brenda Mathews. Whitaker is the 2015 Greek Man of the Year. He is president of the Student Government Association and a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Whitaker is a member of Psi Chi and Blue Key Honor Society. He was a freshman orientation leader and a member of the Student Activities Board.
“It is humbling to receive an honor like this especially when your peers nominate and vote on you,” said Whitaker. “It’s pretty incredible. I have tried to be involved and relate to my fellow students in and out of the classroom.”
McConathy was queen of the 2015 Homecoming Court and Whitaker was King.
“I was very surprised to be named Miss NSU and it was ironic since Matthew and I came to school together as freshmen in 2011,” said McConathy. “I feel like I just got here. You blink and your time in college is over. When I came here, I never imagined I would receive honors like this. I love Northwestern with all my heart. It is such an honor to serve the university.”
McConathy said after being selected she and Whitaker asked what their duties would be.
“They told us we would be recognized at a football game and a basketball game,” she said. “And we both said, ‘That’s it?’ We decided we wanted to do more with our opportunity to represent the university.”
McConathy and Whitaker are working with Professor of Psychology Dr. Patrice Moulton on a project, “Empower Nepali Girls,” to raise $3,500 to adopt a school in Nepal.
“We want to create a safe learning environment and provide needed supplies for the school,” said McConathy. “We are about one-third of the way toward our goal after holding a fundraiser during Homecoming.”
Neither Whitaker nor McConathy planned to be as involved in campus activities when they enrolled four years ago.
“I just wanted to make my grades and graduate,” said Whitaker. “But once I got involved in Greek life, it snowballed and led to opportunities in SAB and SGA.”
McConathy credits the Presidential Leadership Program with helping get her interested in joining student organizations.
“The Presidential Leadership Program helped me get my toes wet, then started making other connections,” said McConathy. “Being involved has added so much to my college experience.”
Whitaker has several objectives to accomplish during his term as SGA president.
“I want to do my best to tackle every student concern and be their voice,” he said. “One of my main goals is to make students more aware of financial resources we have available such as SGA loans and the organizational relief Fund which can help an organization get funds to attend a conference or workshop.”
According to Whitaker, he also wants to start a campus debate series addressing current topics.