Originally, business management major Megan Tychsen started college in her home base of South Africa, pursuing a degree in biological sciences. “I realized it just wasn’t where my interests lay. So, I decided to change to business because I was really interested in businesses and what they were doing, so that’s why I changed over.”
In the first semester of her junior year, Megan has been involved in multiple student organizations, including being the new member coordinator for the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, the volunteer coordinator for She’s the First, and an 1828 Ambassador, giving campus tours to potential students. Megan is also deep in the process of starting her own student organization. “We’re going to be starting up in the fall. We’re going to be an environmentally friendly, environmentally conscious organization. I notice that there are so many student organizations, but none of them are environmentally focused, so I wanted to start my own.”
They’re right on schedule to start, Megan says. “I already have my officers and my advisor, Dr. Ashley Gess from the Department of Teaching and Leading. I wanted to start it, because I was in Mr. Purdy’s Humanities class and our focus was the environment and how important it is, and he inspired me to step up and do something. Instead of being upset about how things are, to do something to change it.”
Megan’s interest in people, the environment, and being involved on campus stems from the chaotic year she experienced while a freshman at her university in Pretoria, South Africa. “There were student protests going on across South Africa, all the major universities…There were permanent riot police, permanent fire assistance on campus at all times…students were burning down buildings across the country. Some students died during the protests because they would lie across the highway to block traffic and they would get run over by cars, people would get stabbed on campus. It was just very violent, angry…there was a lot of unrest. I was a freshman in college and I couldn’t handle the pressure of all that.” Her father quickly started looking for somewhere else for Megan and her older sister Sarah to attend, and heard from a friend about Augusta University.
Megan didn’t intend to stay. “When I first came, my dad was like, just go to Augusta University for a semester, and then we’ll transfer you to…somewhere bigger,” Megan says. “But I got here and immediately never wanted to leave again.” Along with the continued support of her big sister, Megan appreciates the guidance given her by Ms. Melissa Furman, Assistant Dean of James M. Hull College of Business and one of the first professors Megan took while in Augusta. “She’s very knowledgeable about what she does, she’s very passionate, she’s very focused, very driven, very hardworking. I see her as how I would like to be in a professional business environment…She’s really been a huge influence on my life here at AU. She’s been the professor that I’ve really gotten on the most with.”
The community between professors and students, and the opportunities to use her outgoing personality to help others, drew her to Augusta University. “Compared to not knowing a single one of my professors, I now know all my professors, I can talk to them, I can get involved on campus, and I love getting involved on campus. I’ve been able to meet so many great people, both students and faculty…I’ve never felt more at home away from home—and I really am far away from home. This is a second home for me.”