Cougar Spotlight: Haley Perko
By Jasmine Demers, Tukwut Life Student Assistant—Communications, 2016
Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) President Haley Perko is a student leader whose desire for success shows through her strong work ethic, motivated attitude and passion for making a difference at CSUSM.
The Escondido native is a fourth year kinesiology major with an emphasis is pre-physical therapy and is set to graduate in May. She strives to act as a strong advocate for the student population and is a dynamic representative of the university.
Why did you choose CSUSM?
I don’t think I really chose CSUSM, I think CSUSM chose me! I was planning on going to Sonoma State but some things fell through at the last second and I ended up enrolling at Cal State San Marcos. I wouldn’t have it any other way. This was the perfect school for me because it is small, family like and close to home. I have really grown up with the University in these past four years.
What do you like the most about this university?
I love the potential of CSUSM and I look forward to seeing how much more it has to offer down the road. This university has given me so much and I cannot wait to give back in any way I can. Also, our campus is so beautiful—all of the other CSU campuses are jealous! Finally, I love the close-knit kinesiology department because all of the faculty and staff in this department are amazing and are always there if you need a helping hand.
Cal State San Marcos has given me so much and I cannot wait to give back in any way I can.
Can you tell me a little bit about your career with ASI?
This is my third year of being a part of the ASI Board of Directors. I was a college rep for the College of Education, Health and Human Services, the chair of the Board, and now I am president. My freshmen year I was a volunteer for Campus Recreation, which was formally an ASI entity, so I guess you could say I have been involved since the beginning.
My responsibility as president is ultimately to be the voice of students. ASI’s mission is to serve, engage and empower the students. I am able to do this through meetings with different University officials such as President Haynes and Provost Oberem, as well as sitting in on many University-wide committees such as the Academic Senate, the Academic and Student Excellence Success Fee Task Force and the 25th Anniversary Committee. Along with this, I help oversee the Board of Directors and their actions. It is also my job to promote team work and have fun while doing it, of course.
Are you involved in any other student organizations?
Yes, I am a member of the Kinesiology Club and a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. I was also a resident advisor at the University Village Apartments for two years, and that really became my home away from home. I have to give it credit for many of my successes here at CSUSM.
What are your future goals?
I will be moving to Austin, Texas, next year to partake in a year of service with AmeriCorps. I will be working with the non-profit organization College Forward as a college completion coach.
As far as long-term goals, I would like to attend grad school and focus on something that will eventually lead me to a career in higher education. It is amazing to see how your career goals shift as you gain more experience and knowledge throughout your undergrad career. What you do outside of the classroom is just as important in helping find yourself as it is inside of the classroom. It is hard to say where I will be a year from now, but I think if I was looking far, far, far out into the future I would like to be a university administrator and return to where my college career and self-growth began!