Amanda Hammonds is not just a Southeastern 101 teacher and Center for Student Excellence advisor but she is also a great example of a Southeastern Lion. Hammonds has not one but two degrees from Southeastern. Hammonds graduated from Southeastern in 2008 with a bachelor’s in marketing but then went back and graduated with her master’s in 2012 in organizational communication. Hammonds then decided to take the position as coordinator of recruitment for southeastern in the Office of Admissions. After five and a half years in that position, she moved into the role of an academic advisor in the Center for Student Excellence.
During Hammonds time at Southeastern she was a very involved student on campus. She was a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, served as a sorority recruitment counselor, a 2008 Orientation Leader, and was a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Hammonds said, “My favorite thing about Southeastern is that no matter how big it gets, no matter how any students we have, it still feels like a small university”.
Between 2008 and 2012 when she was not in school, Hammonds worked as a graphic designer in New Orleans. She described the job as s high-pressure, stressful job where she had to meet weekly deadlines and work with a printer who was half-way across the country. Hammonds saw that this was not what she wanted to do for the rest of her life, so she decided to go back to school to get her masters. Hammonds sees receiving her master’s degree as her favorite life achievement.
After receiving her masters, she started as coordinator of recruitment. Hammonds served as the primary advisor for the orientation leaders for Southeastern and worked recruiting events for the university. Hammonds worked orientations and helped bring thousands of freshmen to Southeastern. Through advising the orientation leaders, she has been able to help and guide many of those leaders.
2014 Orientation Leader and Southeastern alum Myranda Triche said, “My favorite thing about Amanda is her willingness to help with anything. She played a key part in my growth as a leader and young woman while I was in college even pass my year as an Orientation Leader. She is a true example of Lion Pride.” Other students and coworkers have also described Amanda as a perfect example of what it takes to be a true Southeastern Lion.
2013 Orientation Leader and former coworker Hunter Waddell said, “Southeastern Louisiana University is all about that personal connection and friendly atmosphere; Amanda Hammonds embodies this and makes sure students/faculty/staff feel welcome and included on campus. Amanda is one of the reasons I have so much lion pride and I’m sure she will continue spreading her positive attitude in the Southeastern community”.
Former Orientation Leader and sorority sister, Kayla Scurich said, “I am very thankful and blessed to know someone like Amanda. She is the main reason why I now have a graduate assistantship in the Center for Student Excellence. She knew I was looking for one connected to my potential career as a high school guidance counselor and contacted me as soon as the position opened”.
After her tenure at the office of admissions, Hammonds knew it was time for a change. She moved over to the Center for Student Excellence as an academic advisor. In this role, she teaches Southeastern freshmen SE 101 class, and advises them through their first year. She has assisted in the restructuring of SE 101 and how the Center for Student Excellence functions. The center is now doing more event planning to help the students with not just what goes on in the classroom but also outside the classroom. She played a part in planning the first ever “Cool, Calm, and Connected Browse”. This was an organizational browse for just this year’s freshman as well as have some ice breaker games to help the students connect with students outside of their own SE 101 class.
Hammonds does not stop there, she also has her own small business. In 2014, she started her own small business to create an outlet for herself. “I currently have an Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/artfulhappiness) where I sell printable invitations, stationery, party decor, signage, and much more.” Hammonds explains when talking about her business. “This was a difficult decision for me because the concept of putting my artwork into the world was a lot to handle”. This job puts Hammonds back in her original comfort zone of graphic designing but with less pressure than the corporate version. “I was nervous that people wouldn’t like my art, and I had thoughts that no one would buy it. One day I just decided that I had nothing to lose – I was creating artwork because it was something that I enjoyed, and that would have to be a good enough reason to sell my artwork”.
It took a while to get her first sale, but after that, her business took off. Hammonds says, “There is no greater joy than seeing other people getting excited about and being interested in something that you are creating”. Over the past three years, she has grown to sell her artwork locally in the Hammond and Northshore areas. When the flooding happened in Louisiana last August. Hammonds made a shirt design to sell where the proceeds went to flood relief efforts. Not only is Hammond’s a successful business woman but one that gives back to her community when she can.
Hammonds currently resides in Hammond with her husband Luke and dog Scout. She sees herself in five years at Southeastern. Hammond’s said, “My heart is in higher education, and Southeastern has given me so many great things in my life. I feel it’s only natural for me to stay at Southeastern.”