For some, Austin Peay was the next step after high school, while others first chose
to serve their country. Some grew up in the shadow of its campus, while others saw
Austin Peay as an opportunity to challenge themselves away from their hometown, state
or even country. Many saw one of Austin Peay’s nationally recognized programs as the
path to their dream career, while others arrived as freshmen still looking to discover
But regardless of what brought them here, every student’s story is one of someone
impacted by Austin Peay’s mission to find the leader in everyone.
We invite you to meet some of Austin Peay’s past and current students, and discover
for yourself what makes each #GovLife unique.
As a community of creators, critical thinkers and performers, our students challenge
the status quo. They bring a unique perspective to their medium and create new experiences
Carlos Carpena I Art + Design
“To me, Austin Peay’s Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts (CECA) is like a
portal of endless possibilities for students, where you can take the most relevant
information from diverse sources to use it for your benefit. You can take drawing,
painting, anything you like, and use it to your benefit. You choose what you want
to do, and CECA provides that to you, helps you do that.”
“At Austin Peay, you are an individual. All the professors here are willing to give
you any opportunity you can dream of. That’s so rare. I wouldn’t have experienced
all that I have if it hadn’t been for Austin Peay.
“When I went to the Military Student Center, that helped me stay focused and encouraged
me to want to do better, because when I was struggling in some of my classes, like
biology and math, they had people there who were majoring in that type of thing, and
they were more than happy to help, or find help for me.”
Austin Peay students lead innovation across all industries through collaboration,
work ethic and a willingness to take risks. During their college careers, our students
mold the future of some of the fastest-growing fields.
Jason Chavez-Rivas I Biology
“I’ve grown up here, so Austin Peay was a popular landmark. My dad and brother went
here, so I knew this was a good option.”
“Austin Peay has provided a lot of opportunities for me that I might not have gotten
at a bigger school. You get a lot of individual-level learning with your professors.
It feels more approachable. I’ve definitely learned more about myself.”
“As I’ve learned more and different (computer) languages, I feel so much more confident.
My communication skills are better, and now that I’m a senior, my leadership skills
are on point, and I know they’ll get better.”
There's no one place an Austin Peay student might land after their graduation. Some go
on to become elected officials or take their skills abroad to fight human trafficking.
Others become established businessmen and women, while some find their place reporting
on the largest news items of the century. The one unifier for all these students is
their ability to make a lasting change to the world.
Isabelle Stapp | Political Science
“I get to do a lot of stuff with the community. I work with a lot of local politicians,
and I’ve met the secretary of the state and do a lot of voter registration drives.
That’s a big part of it, getting people to vote and do their civic duty.”
Sometimes, making a difference happens from counseling the mentally ill or giving
comforting care to a patient in need. Other times it's about teaching new students
how to be successful, using your own story as an example. All of these students work
daily in their own communities to make a difference in impactful ways.
Sibyl Brush I Pre K - Third Special Education
“If you’re interested in any organizations at APSU, join. It is a scary thing, but
if you’re doing something that you love, chances are you will meet life-long friends
and it will change your outlook on college.”
Austin Derden | Graduate, Mental Health Counseling
“I get to do a great service to not only military-affiliated students and veterans,
but anybody can come use the (Military Student Center) and use our textbook program.
I greatly enjoy expanding on that program. We really provide a heck of service.”
Leaving home is hard. Taking the leap of faith that there will be opportunity for
you in an unfamiliar place comes with a great deal of uncertainty. At Austin Peay,
any student can find opportunity. Any student can find success.
Skylar Smith | Criminal Justice
“Whenever you are entering different majors, you feel like you don’t know what you
are doing, and my professors have been more than willing to help me understand the
next steps I must take to go in the direction of the field I want to go in."
“I knew I wanted to go out of state for college. When I saw an email from Austin Peay,
I researched their pre-vet program and the city of Clarksville and absolutely fell
in love! I had a strong feeling that this is where I wanted to be.”