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Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024
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Moody Musings: What’s Inspires You? with Perry Hicks

Junior chemistry major Perry Hicks wants to use her skills and her story to make the world a better place for others.
Junior chemistry major Perry Hicks wants to use her skills and her story to make the world a better place for others.

Junior chemistry major Perry Hicks wants to use her skills and her story to make the world a better place for others.

During her first two years at Mercer, Hicks served as a member of the Student Government Association as a committee chair.

She’s also a member of Common Ground, the gay-straight alliance on campus.

“As an LGBT+ individual, I feel an even bigger drive to represent my community the best I can,” Hicks said. “That includes reaching out to other marginalized groups as well.”

While Hicks was a part of SGA, she said the majority of the Senate was white and members of the Interfraternity Council and The National Panhellenic Conference on campus. She recognized that there were a lot of other groups on campus that were underrepresented.

“I made it my mission to make better connections with underrepresented groups by doing outreach to organizations for minorities and making sure that they’re connecting with the student government,” Hicks said.

She also made sure that they were voting, knew about elections and got involved in elections.

This year, only 5 percent of SGA members are from previous years.

Hicks considered going back to The Student Government Association, but she believes that it was time for someone with similar goals to take that position and get some work done themselves with their own method.

“I feel like I can still do what I want to do and pursue those things outside of SGA,” Hicks said.

Hicks has always had a passion for equality and representation, she said.

“Coming in as a freshman, I was lost, especially being aware of who I was,” she said. “I was really looking for a community that I feel safe with and connected with to explore who I really was.”

Hicks said she joined the exec board freshman year and has been a part of it ever since.

“You really don’t know how strong you are until you lift the weight,” Hicks said. “I want to help people who are in the same situation as me.”

Hicks said she loves that they have kept their traditions of having open conversations, but they are also beginning to make sure their opinion is represented.

Common Ground recently organized a peaceful protest for Founders’ Day against the selected speaker Jay Sekulow.

They encouraged students to wear rainbow flags or instead of attending the event go to The Beloved Community Symposium, an alternative event occurring at the same time.

“The administration has a terrible history of repressing this group of students and changing their opinions,” Hicks said. “I think we have a more open administration than we’ve ever had now.”

Hicks is excited to be a voice for herself and people just like her.  

“I think with this freedom that we have, we need to open our mouths and take advantage of this,” Hicks said. “Twenty years ago, there are people who would have killed for this.”

Hicks said she’s looking forward to hearing what Sekulow has to say.

“But, I think it’s important that we are representing ourselves,” she said. “I want incoming students to see that we are representing ourselves and our opinions.”

Hicks wants to pursue a career in research after receiving a Ph.D. in Chemistry. She’s interested in working in a  government setting or even teaching.

“I love sharing my knowledge,” Hicks said. “Presenting research or tutoring, I love being a part of that.”

Hicks is interested in physical chemistry. Right now, she’s working in the chemistry department on quantum dots.

“They’re used in solar panels, and the end goal is to revolutionize the way quantum dots are used which could make things a lot cheaper and more efficient for obtaining energy from the Sun,” she said.

Hicks said her mother has always been her example of trailblazing women in science and the reason she wants to continue that legacy.

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