With a passion for theatre, music and community, Megan Hovinen ’18 leads by empowering those around her.
Megan Hovinen ’18, Cambridge, Minn.
Majors/Minor: Communication and Theatre Art; Women’s and Gender Studies
How did you decide to come to Concordia?
I began my hunt for a college in search of somewhere I could major in biology but be an active participant in theatre and music. A friend who I grew up with, Jonathan Wells ’16, was in “Into the Woods,” so I traveled up I-94 to visit him and see it. I toured because I was a junior in high school and knew I needed to start looking at colleges, so I figured “Well, why not?” And I fell in love. Needless to say, I was only a biology major for about three lecture sessions before I realized my heart wasn’t in it.
Why are you passionate about theatre? Why do you enjoy being involved with Concordia Theatre?
My continuous favorite part about theatre is the community it brings. In every production I’ve been in, I’ve connected with so many new people. Theatre at Concordia brings in such a variety of students as a cocurricular and extracurricular activity.
What have you been involved with on campus?
I have been a member of Cantabile and The Concordia Choir, an Orientation Leader, Homecoming Committee, Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honor Society, various theatre productions and positions, Lasers with a Z improv team, and the Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society.
What were some of your favorite classes/professors during your time at Concordia?
It’s so hard to pick favorites because I’ve had amazing professors throughout my time here. I could list every single one, but I want to mention three: Dr. Stephanie Ahlfeldt (communication studies), Dr. Mallary Allen (sociology, women’s and gender studies), and Dr. Kirsten Theye (communication studies). These three women have been role models for me throughout my time at Concordia.
Dr. Ahlfeldt was my Intro to Communication Studies professor and she is THE reason I am a comm major. Dr. Allen took me on an incredible independent study to finish up my WGS minor where I developed my own research to examine the hookup culture at Concordia. She always encouraged me and has been an amazing mentor. Finally, Dr. Theye, who has been an incredible advocate for me and my fellow seniors all searching for the (impossible) greatest first job out of college.
Tell us about your experience in The Concordia Choir and being the student choir manager.
Being the choir manager has been one of the most influential experiences of my life. Every year and moment in The Concordia Choir has been special and unique, but this year was indescribable. Through the leadership role, I have learned so much about my values, who I am as a person, and what impact I want to have on others. The word “empower” continued to pop up in my life this year. Many times it was used to describe me as a manager.
Last winter, I received an anonymous note from some first-year women commenting on the importance of having a strong and capable female leading a primarily male-dominated group. The note read: “Empowered women empower women.” Empower quickly became the active word relating to my own leadership style. I thought my motto was “I’m good at this, so let me show you that I’m good and can make this happen.” My motto turned out to be “I’m good at this, so let me share the knowledge I have with you to be the best person YOU can be.” Through management, I realized how much I thrive on watching others succeed. If my encouragement can be a small thing that gets someone to their full potential, that’s the easiest thing I can do.
What is your favorite Concordia memory?
It’s super cheesy, but meeting, dating and getting engaged to my life partner, Wyatt Steinke ’17, is my absolute favorite corny Cobber memory. He proposed beneath the bell tower after a walk around campus, so it’s about as Cobber-y as you can get.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming freshman?
Work hard, don’t worry, and surround yourself with people who uplift you and support you.
What do you plan to do your first year out?
I will be touring with Missoula Children’s Theatre. I will travel around the United States, visiting a new place every week for a year, bringing theatre to the youth in that area. After my year on tour, I would love to work with another company whose goal and mission is to encourage and empower others to be all they can be.
Will your new position bring you near Fargo? We would love to support you!
I don’t know where I’ll be on tour yet, but it more than likely won’t be around here. I never thought I’d say this, but I will really miss the Fargo-Moorhead community. It’s been an incredible place to grow as a young adult. I’m sure I’ll be back very soon.
Danyel Moe '17 is a content specialist at Concordia.