Ikari volunteers time to activities

Nancy Ikari tutors sophomore Stephanie Setmire on a typical busy day. The dedicated senior is known and recognized for the amount of time she puts into ULV, both as a student and as a volunteer. When asked how she is able manage and find time for it all, she simply replied, "You just find time for something you love." / photo by Juan Garcia
Nancy Ikari tutors sophomore Stephanie Setmire on a typical busy day. The dedicated senior is known and recognized for the amount of time she puts into ULV, both as a student and as a volunteer. When asked how she is able manage and find time for it all, she simply replied, “You just find time for something you love.” / photo by Juan Garcia

by Jeanette M. Neyman
Staff Writer

You think you’re busy? Try being senior Nancy Ikari for a day.

While serving as L.E.A.D. (Leadership Education and Development) coordinator for student affairs, Ikari also manages a full-time course load, works part time as a waitress, tutors students in behavioral science and is active in her sorority.

“There are sometimes when I say, ‘Hey, why am I doing this?'” Ikari said. “But college is what you make of it, and I can honestly say I’ve made the most of it.”

“Passionate, outgoing, committed, organized and a person with high integrity,” said Dr. Loretta Rahmani, dean of student affairs, describing Ikari.

“She has great leadership skills and is highly respected by the faculty, staff and her peers.”

Dr. Rahmani recalled when Ikari was president of the R.H.A. (Resident Hall Association).

“She had a real challenge to get the students motivated into having a sense of community. But she had the passion to stay with it. She was also a pioneer in reframing that structure, which is now the R.A./P.A. program.”

In just four years, Ikari has served positions as L.E.A.D. coordinator, R.H.A. president, vice president and treasurer, stunt team captain, orientation week leader, O.W.L. coordinator, career development coordinator, yearbook staff member and Associated Student Federation Forum member.

“I am a person who likes to get in front of people and since I love ULV so much I want to share it with people. I want to give back to the university all that it has given me,” Ikari said, about what motivates her to commit so much of herself to the school.

Recently voted membership recruitment chair of her sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, Ikari said that she really loves her sisters in the sorority, but she hasn’t made it her life.

“My sorority is great, but it’s not my first priority. I think that would be a mistake. My first priority is school, it has to come first,” Ikari said.

Her best experience at ULV was when she took a road trip to New Mexico to participate in a poster presentation for the psychology department.

“It was great. We listened to Danielle Steele books-on-tape the whole 10 hours and ate from a large ice chest filled with junk food for the drive,” Ikari said.

“I loved New Mexico and they had the best country music there.”

Speaking of country music, Ikari said her greatest passion is line dancing.

“I was the original Cowboy Boogie queen,” said Ikari. “I used to spend three nights a week there, before it became popular.”

A low point for Ikari was graduation day last year.

“Since freshman year I hung out with these three girls, Par Nag, Jennifer Pashone and Tracey Landisi,” Ikari said.

“We were best friends. We did everything together. We ate together, checked our mail together and ran for committees together. If one of us had to go out to get tampons, we all went. It’s like we were joined at the hip.

“I always looked forward to walking across campus and seeing one of them. After they all graduated I felt alone and left behind. Although it was a loss, at the same time it became a new beginning for me, because I deepened my friendship with other friends.”

In Ikari’s spare time she hangs out with fiance, Josh Sherod, a ULV alumnus, whom she met in the leadership program at ULV.

“Josh is real supportive of me and he knows how I have to stay constantly busy…but he’s like that himself,” Ikari said.

Her hopes for the future are uncertain.

“Every year I change my mind. Right now I am looking into maybe getting my teaching credentials after graduation and working as a kindergarten teacher. Then maybe go on to become a high school counselor,” said Ikari.

Although Ikari has done everything she set out to do, she says she has one regret, “I wish I would have studied abroad, but I am still happy.”

Ikari graduates cum laude this spring with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and 11 leadership positions to her credit.

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