Each year, the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity at the University of Kansas recognizes KU men who challenge norms, lead by example and contribute to KU and the Lawrence community. Among the 15 men selected for 2013 are two students from the School of Business: Eric Driscoll and Thomas Plummer.
Driscoll is a senior in accounting who will graduate in May and Plummer is a junior majoring in management and leadership.
“I definitely caught me off guard,” Driscoll said. “I know fellow students who have gotten it in years past and I always thought it was a great goal.”
He said the many organizations and events he’s been a part of have expanded his horizon. One of those events is LeaderShape, a week-long leadership enhancement program. Participants learn about their own strengths and weaknesses and about other students who attend. Driscoll said the week made a big impact on him.
“You realize that even though we, on the outside, look so different or are involved in different activities,” he said, “there are so many things that are the same.”
Driscoll also served as vice president of administration for Student Union Activities and treasurer for Mortar Board honor society.
Thomas Plummer is no stranger to student organizations either. Last summer he studied abroad with the CIMBA program and he is currently the chief of staff in the Student Senate.
“The experience has taught me enormous amounts about dealing with people and understanding the ideas and concerns of groups that may not usually be heard,” he said about his time in the Student Senate. “It’s about being as inclusive as possible and helping to enhance the student experience at KU.”
The honor of being named a 2013 Man of Merit was also unexpected for Plummer, but he’s not the only one from his home town of Towanda, Kan., on the list. One of his friends from high school, Coulter Cranston, received recognition as well.
“I was unbelievably excited and honored to be selected,” Plummer said. “It’s very humbling to be in the same club as many friends and mentors of mine.”
Both students are familiar with making decisions that will have an impact even after they graduate.
“Making change happen is like dropping a pebble into a pond,” Plummer said. “The action doesn’t need to be big, dramatic and obvious. The importance are the ripples that are created.”
Joining SUA was one of the best decisions Driscoll said he’s made while at KU because it teaches students how to interact with people and how to wisely manage time. He stayed involved with it because of his experience as a freshman.
“The executive committee we had when I was a freshman really made a positive impact on everyone involved,” Driscoll said. “I truly enjoyed it and wanted to have that same impact while I was there.”
Both men realize the meaning of this recognition and see it as encouragement.
“It’s a friendly reminder to show you that you’re doing things in the right light,” he said, “and to continue in that way and it’ll help lead you to be successful in the future.”
Plummer has one more summer before he graduates and is currently looking for an internship.
“This honor will hopefully tell potential employers that I am not your normal, cut and dry college student,” he said. “I don’t think it alone will get me a job, but it allows them to see more into my personality and who I am as a person.”
The Men of Merit program is in its fifth year and complements the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity’s annual Women of Distinction calendar.