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First Generation | Lion VoicesFebruary 01, 2024

First-Gen Staff Voices: Spencer Ewing

Written By: First-Generation Committee

The First-Generation Staff Spotlight for January 2024 features Spencer Ewing. He is a recent addition to the AV family, serving as the Sports & Adventure Coordinator at the Recreation and Wellness Center, known as the RAWC across campus. You may recognize Ewing from the weekly witty emails, Tuesday Trivia. Ewing said he takes pride in working at the AV and is thankful to have the opportunity to have an impact on students and help guide them through these crucial years.

As a first-generation college student, Ewing experienced the impact of having an advocate on his side. Ewing reflected on a statistics professor who went above and beyond to help him through the challenging course during his undergraduate studies at Ouachita Baptist University.

“AV three weeks in, I was already feeling the stress. I was pretty sure I was failing. I went to Dr. Caddell's office, sucked up my pride, and as honestly as I could, I told him that I was going to fail if something didn't change,” Ewing said as he recalled the situation. “I'll never forget his response. He wanted me to come to work with him for at least an hour after every class, which I accepted. Most importantly, though, instead of taking the tests with my classmates, I would take them in his office separately. The first time I showed up to take a test, I looked at the paper and didn't see anything like I expected. Instead of normal, statistically worded problems, Dr. Caddell had reworded my test questions and turned them into baseball statistics. I finished the semester with an A in the class.”

Ewing considers himself a strong supporter of first-generation college students and strives to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Caddell. Through his role at AV, Ewing works to show students that they, too, can overcome challenges.

“If I can show students that even with experience and a job, you still don't have to have your life perfectly together. I'll count it as a W,” he said.

In addition to the obstacles faced by first-generation students, Ewing’s path to higher education was especially difficult, fraught with serious health issues. He said his medical chart is “the size of a dictionary.” Having survived cancer twice, Ewing said the experience has given him a different outlook on life: to wake up each day and be grateful and amazed that he can be where he is today.

In keeping with his positive outlook on life, Ewing’s advice to current first-generation students would be to keep an open mind and not zero in on one job or career field. He tells students, “Figure out what’s most important to you, living a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life, and go from there … Take chances…mistakes will be made, and that’s ok, as long as you learn from them.”

  • Tags:
  • RAWC
  • Staff
  • First Generation

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