Bauer student betters world, self through community projects
As the semester reaches the halfway mark, the back drum of Melcher Hall has become a bustling hive of business students rushing around in their professional attire.
One of these students is Emma Armer, a marketing senior at the Bauer College of Business.
“I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Bauer,” Armer said. “When I applied to UH, I had no clue what an amazing decision it would turn out to be.”
During her four years at the University, Armer has established an academic career that includes a wide range of charitable endeavors. The most notable one is her involvement with Enactus, a project-based student organization that empowers communities through entrepreneurial spirit.
Armer has held four positions within the organization, including president. During her presidential term, she oversaw four Enactus projects and led a team of eight students to national competition in St. Louis, Missouri.
With her help, Enactus has brought increased access to free suit rentals to Bauer students, which is soon expanding campus-wide. The project is called the Rockwell Career Center Suit Closet.
Enactus members plan to open this service to the entire university by partnering with the University Career Center.
“Without a suit, business students lose the ability to attend networking events and interview competitively for jobs,” Armer said. “So, to some students, these were million-dollar suits.”
The program had a lot of potential, Armer said, but needed some improvements. She worked with eight other students to survey more than 100 business students on clothing size to determine the most-needed sizes, streamline the checkout process and spread the word.
Jamie Belinne, a business professor who also serves as the Enactus faculty advisor, said Armer’s leadership of Enactus brought the team to national championships and expanded programs like the suit closet.
The latter is now a model for other offices and universities.
“Emma brings a spirit of enthusiasm and dedication to the projects she undertakes,” Belinne said. “There were many times when projects were not going as we had planned, and Emma could always be counted on to get creative about alternative solutions rather than giving up.”
To several of her fellow Bauer students, Armer is an inspiration and a guide.
“Emma truly embodies the ideal image of a leader,” said accounting sophomore Jesus Juarez. “She is kind and humble, yet knows how to be assertive and direct.”
Meanwhile, Armer is working on another Enactus project with Plant It Forward, a Houston-based nonprofit that helps turn Congo war refugees into farmers.
“Being outside your comfort zone is where you grow the most,” Armer said. “Adventures aren’t just found when you’re traveling. You can find adventure in joining a student organization you think is interesting or by reaching out in your community to make an impact.”
They will create and teach a curriculum that will enable these people to transform into entrepreneurs capable of supporting their families out of harm’s reach.
“Here at Bauer, we have a saying, ‘Bauer. This is where awesome happens,” Juarez said. “Emma is one of the reasons why Bauer is awesome.”