McCrea confronts challenges with smile

Although she enjoys her work with the Prevention Center and Iota Delta sorority, sophomore Shannon McCrea has a silly side and likes to expose the child in her. / photo by Melissa A. Collett
Although she enjoys her work with the Prevention Center and Iota Delta sorority, sophomore Shannon McCrea has a silly side and likes to expose the child in her. / photo by Melissa A. Collett

by Christie Reed
Staff Writer

As Shannon McCrea sits in the Spot browsing over Study Abroad brochures and sharing her La Verne experience, she is interrupted by a steady stream of her Iota Delta sisters and various wingmates, all with something important to discuss with her.

All smiles, she apologizes for the frequent interruptions but that’s the life of the busy sophomore, and she loves every minute of what she refers to as “the confusion” that is her life.

Her current truck-load of extra-curricular activities include being a Sigma Alpha Epsilon violet, a mentor participant in the La Verne mentor program, student health coordinator at the Prevention Center and vice president of Iota Delta sorority.

Just last week McCrea could be found sitting outside of the Student Center proudly promoting the sale of condom grams for Valentine’s Day. She hopes that this creative gift encouraged safe sex over the Sweetheart’s holiday. This task is in the job description of health coordinator, along with planning and carrying out other activities that help students lead healthy lifestyles.

McCrea admits that being health coordinator requires a lot of time from her busy schedule, but by far, her busiest position is as vice president of Iota Delta, which leaves her constantly on the go. From attending meetings, planning fundraisers and spending valuable time “bonding” with her sisters, she is virtually never in the same location for more than an hour. McCrea says that the sorority has “fine-tuned her people skills” and quickly brought her out of the shell she had been hiding in since her graduation from Moreno Valley High School.

She entered La Verne as a freshman a year and a half ago and admits choosing the campus for one true reason. As opposed to larger UC and Cal State schools, the environment reminded her of high school, where she had felt safe and comfortable.

Much to her surprise, within a few weeks of living in Stu-Han and in close proximity to friendly, energetic girls, she was convinced to rush a sorority. She hoped that this would be a good opportunity to get to know the activities and people that are an important part of ULV.

After pledging Iota Delta in January of her freshman year, she was elected secretary, and due to her dedication to the Greek cause, she was chosen as the vice president in the re-elections. Within two years she had become more than just an Iota Delta sister and an active part of the Greek cause.

McCrea was immediately attracted to being a leader and jumped at the opportunity of applying for the position of Orientation Week Leader (OWL) last semester. With her brilliant smile, McCrea could barely contain the excitement she felt at the memory of her OWL experience.

“This was definitely my best experience (so far) at ULV,” she said. “It allowed me to talk to complete strangers, delve into their thoughts as a beginning college student, without prying or coming off as odd.”

In her spare time, which she says is hard to find, McCrea can be found shopping, talking on the phone or listening to the radio. On certain nights she can be heard letting out little shrieks and holding onto a wad of tissues while watching a series of scary movies.

“I typically subject myself to such torture,” she said. “It gives me a thrill.”

McCrea is deciding whether she will study abroad in Greece or England next year for a new experience. But McCrea is reluctant to leave ULV for even a semester, unsure of what she will miss while she is gone.

“There is still so much for me to do here on campus,” said McCrea. She credits the small size of the La Verne population for allowing her to get so involved upon entering the campus.

“I have grown so much through my extracurricular activities and I would recommend that every single student here on campus get involved” McCrea said. “There is so much opportunity.”

McCrea is quick to add that she has remained on the Dean’s list for the past three semesters and deems that her academic career still takes precedence over all her other activities.

The 19-year-old McCrea is currently pursuing a major in Behavioral Sciences and a minor in ethnic studies. She foresees either social work or family counseling as her chosen profession.

With her usual smile, McCrea adds, “I want to work with people, listen to them, talk with them and help them solve problems.”

There is no doubt that Shannon McCrea is striving for the goal of every single college student—to develop into a person that can survive and prosper in the professional world. Only two years into college, McCrea is more than halfway there.

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