Meet Emma Hill
Emma Hill firmly believes that an experience is what you make of it, so when she arrived on ETSU for her freshman year, she was determined to make this journey a positive one.
Her post-high school journey had already taken a different course from the one she had initially planned. Her original plan was to enlist in the U.S. Air Force. She was all set, but at the last minute, a past shoulder injury she sustained as a cheerleader medically disqualified her. Emma later inquired about enlisting with the Navy, but again she was not able to pass the medical exam.
So Emma spent that first fall season deciding what was next. Her father was an alumnus of ETSU, and when she first stepped on campus for a visit, she knew this was the place for her. “The first thing I fell in love with was the trees. They make this campus so beautiful.”
Though she started a semester later than most of her freshmen peers, she has caught up and is on track to graduate a semester early in May 2021.
A human services major in the Clemmer College, her dream is to someday become a marriage/family therapist, and even though she is just a first-semester junior, she is already paving the way for a promising career in the field of human services.
She recently received an impressive honor, an invitation to present at the Southern Organization for Human Services 2020 conference. Emma and her faculty member Audrey Besch were selected for this opportunity, and they will present on a faculty/student partnership model with a local organization, which will reflect on Emma’s work with the YW Cares organization in Bristol.
Emma is also working with Dr. Michelle Hurley to reorganize the human services student organization.
“We had an organizational meeting, and now we are spending time envisioning what we want this to be and also recruiting members,” Emma said. “When the Culp opens, we want to have ‘coffee and conversations’ events so students can learn more about who we are and what we do.”
Getting involved on campus is something Emma believes every student should do. “Don’t be afraid to walk up to an informational table at the Quad and tell the students who you are and ask them what their organization is all about. Put yourself out there!”
For her, she has found her experience with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry organization very rewarding and as a great place to make friends. “My faith is very important to me and has helped me through some challenging times in my life,” she said.
While Emma was a student at Carter High School in Knoxville, her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, Emma had just begun driving, and she was there with her mother throughout all of her treatments. Her mother is approaching her five-year mark as being cancer free.
Not long after Emma arrived at ETSU, her father received a diagnosis of stage III colon cancer. He continues to fight the battle, and Emma says her faith has helped her deal with the difficulty of not being at home with him each day.
“I always hold on to the belief that everything works out for a peaceful purpose,” she said.
Emma’s favorite hobby is to go camping with her parents. She and her mother love to take their kayaks and explore the calm waters.