Alex Mazur and Kelsey Loftin
Alex Mazur (left) and Kelsey Loftin found inspiration in two former Heavener Hall of Fame recipients, and it helped lead them to the Hall of Fame as well.

Following in their footsteps

Three years ago, Kelsey Loftin went looking for inspiration and found it in Hannah Wampole, a dynamic senior who Loftin admittedly idolized.

For then-freshman Alex Mazur, inspiration found her in 2012 when senior Mikaela Moore delivered an impactful speech during a Florida Leadership Academy banquet.

Later that year, Wampole and Moore were inducted into the Heavener Hall of Fame. Now, Loftin and Mazur follow in their footsteps. The pair will officially become the Heavener Hall of Fame’s newest members during the Center for Career & Leadership Development banquet at 6 p.m. tonight at the Sweetwater Branch Inn.

“It’s an overwhelming feeling,” Loftin said.

Loftin, then a freshman, was impressed with Wampole’s accomplishments as an undergraduate, and wanted to replicate her success. She went so far as to pretend she needed help with her résumé so she could visit with Wampole (BSBA ’12) during a Career & Academic Peer (CAP) mentoring session.

“Hannah was really inspirational,” Loftin said. “I tried to follow her path the best I could.”

Their paths shared many of the same stops. Both held leadership positions with Warrington Diplomats, the College’s official student ambassadors. Both were Peer Leaders for Warrington Welcome, a one-credit course designed for incoming business students. And both served as Teaching Assistants.

Where their journeys veered apart involve Florida Leadership Academy, a select student organization that recognizes the Heavener School’s top 100 sophomores. Wampole was an FLA member while Loftin was not.

“Honestly, I struggled with that,” said Loftin, who will begin her career in General Electric’s Financial Management Program in Cincinnati. “But I decided I had to create my own path, and aligned myself with organizations that focused on my passion.”

That passion is mentoring. Loftin has been involved with the Heavener School’s Business Undergraduate Mentorship Program (BUMP) since 2012, and currently serves as the program’s Executive Director. Applications increased by more than 200 percent this past year making BUMP the Heavener School’s second-largest Career and Leadership Program.

“If I could be a full-time mentor, that’s what I would do,” Loftin said. “Success isn’t about what you accomplish; it’s what you inspire others to do.”

Like Loftin, mentoring is also one of Mazur’s passions. Mazur mentored 47 students this past year as a CAP Mentor, and served as an FLA Mentor in 2013-14. This past year, she served as FLA’s Chief of Staff leading a 24-member advisory board. Mazur credits her peers for helping her reach this impressive milestone.

“I’ll be graduating with some of the most incredibly talented students you’ll ever meet,” Mazur said. “They encouraged me to perform to my very best.”

One of Mazur’s first encouraging moments at Heavener was listening to Moore’s speech three years ago.

“It wasn’t about the specifics of what she said,” Mazur said. “It was more about the feeling she left me with: To believe in myself, and that I have the capability do whatever I set my mind to.”

That self-assurance helped Mazur introduce innovative changes to Heavener’s Career and Leadership Programs. She created FLA’s New Member Orientation, which helps bridge the three-month gap between being accepted to the organization’s first session. Sensing a disconnect among the CCLD’s major programs, Mazur also created the Leadership Council, a committee composed of student leaders of those top programs to help improve communication and exchange best practices and strategies.

Mazur will take her innovative talents to New York City where she begins the IBM Watson BlueSpark Development Program. And who helped Mazur prepare for those competitive and pressure-packed interviews? It was Moore (BSBA ’12), who works in IBM’s Software Solutions Group.

“She mentored me through the whole process,” Mazur said. “It felt pretty incredible to leave my interview with a job offer.”

As Loftin and Mazur begin their professional careers, they hope to mirror their Hall of Fame predecessors in another way: By continuing to mentor Heavener students. Just as Mazur was helped by Moore, Loftin credits alumna Blaire Shoor (BSBA ’14)—a member of GE’s Financial Management Program—for helping her secure her position.

“I don’t know what I would have done if not for Blaire coaching me along through the process,” Loftin said. “Someday I want to be able to give back like Blaire did for me.”