From the moment Zoe Mervis stepped on Miami University’s campus, she made it her goal to get involved in extracurriculars. Her involvement not only helped her become a part of a community, but it helped inspire other students to join extracurriculars too.
A sophomore psychology major at Miami, Mervis’s extracurriculars include Hillel, Miami's Goggin Ice Center, Alpha Xi Delta, Miami University Fashion and Design (MUF&D) and more, all while being a full-time student and working part-time at Chipotle.
When it comes to balancing school and extracurriculars, Mervis said she has to organize time.
“I use Apple calendar for everything,” Mervis said. “Even just something as simple as hanging out with a friend, I put that in my calendar because if it’s not a block of time that I’ve set aside then that’s time that I’m using to do homework or something else. Time management is key to being able to do so many different things and have a lot of commitments.”
Mervis is on the board as the Israel intern for Hillel, a Jewish organization on campus, where she plans events and is a spokesperson. She said it’s important to be a support system for fellow Jewish students.
“I actually went to a Jewish boarding school for high school, and I spent two and a half months abroad studying in Israel, so I would say that I’m pretty connected, and I know a lot about the communities,” Mervis said. “It’s important for me to just kind of be around and especially help the younger students who might not feel very strong in their sense of self identity.”
Yonadav Grossman, the Israel Fellow for Hillel, said he enjoys working alongside Mervis.
“She’s an awesome person with a lot of awesome ideas,” Grossman said. “It’s fun to work with her, and she adds to the energy in the room.”
In addition to Hillel, Mervis is involved with Goggin. She has worked at Goggin since the first semester of her first year as a scorekeeper for intramural hockey and broomball games.
Mervis said she has played hockey for a long time, so she loves working at Goggin.
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“I’ve been skating since I was three, so it was important for me to just kind of be around Goggin,” Mervis said. “I’ve kind of found my place within there when I walk in, I’m really welcomed. I feel like if I clock in or even if I’m not clocked in, I can live there and talk to anyone, especially my bosses and coworkers.”
Alex Brennan, intern for programming at Goggin, said Mervis has always had a good attitude since her first day working at the center.
“Ever since the first shift, she comes in with a smile,” Brennan said. “Some people come in with bad attitudes, which she never does. She always makes sure everyone else is in a good mood too, so it just helps morale a lot.”
Brennan said he also appreciates her commitment to working hard.
“This is her third semester,” Brennan said. “Most people don’t stick around for that long just because of the late hours, and she’s always there to help people out. She will fill in shifts for them or just do a little bit of extra work that’s not part of her job description.”
Mervis is also in the sorority Alpha Xi Delta at Miami, where she planned a sisterhood event this fall.
“Being in a sorority was something that I had dreamed about since I was eight years old,” Mervis said. “I’d always wanted to be in one and my mom was in one … Alpha Xi Delta really took me in, and I felt really supported by the girls that I would now call my sisters and some of my closest friends.”
For MUF&D, Mervis applied her experience working as a photographer a few summers ago to help take pictures for its Committee Magazine.
Beyond that, Mervis is also involved with Best Buddies, Opening Minds Through Art, Ski and Board Club, Scuba Diving Club and Women in Law.
Mervis said she hopes to put more time and effort into Ski and Board Club.
“I was on water ski club last year and that was so fun,” Mervis said. “I went snow skiing for the first time, and I fell in love with it, so this year I made it a point to seek out the ski and board club and join.”
As for Women in Law, Mervis said she looks forward to the meetings because she wants to go to law school in the future.
“We’re all different majors, but we all have a shared common interest of going to law school or taking the Bar [exam],” Mervis said. “They consistently almost every two weeks bring in speakers … I really like being in it because it’s something I see in my future career path. The fact that it’s all women is pretty empowering.”
By joining all of these different organizations and extracurriculars, Mervis said she found her place at Miami and hopes to inspire other students to do the same.
For students who are interested in getting more involved with organizations on campus, Mervis said she recommends reaching out to each of them.
“There’s a community for everyone on this campus and it might be scary to take that first step,” Mervis said. “If you think you might want to be involved in a community, the chances are so high that the community wants you too, and it’s just out there waiting for you.”