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GovLife

Kyrstin Young on the 3rd floor of the Morgan University Center.
Kyrstin Young – Business Management

“I really want people to just take a step back and realize the world we live in and understand that it’s only going to change if we change it.”

Jason Chavez-Rivas – 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.”

Alex Edwards – Mathematics Education

“I continue to choose Austin Peay every single day because these people have become my second family.”

Everyone at Austin Peay has a story to tell.

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 their passion.

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 every day.

Carlos Carpena
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.”
Read Carlos's story here
Alyssa Amos posing on a balcony
Alyssa Amos I Business & Theatre
“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.
Read Alyssa's story here
Katie Boyer oustide
Katie Boyer I Graphic Design
“I think what is so special about Austin Peay is the number of opportunities you are given. There are so many things I’ve done here that I would have never thought I would be able to.”
Read Katie's story here
Erica Harris poses for photo on Browning lawn
Erica Harris | Theatre and Dance, Student Veteran
“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.”
Read Erica's story here
Jeremy Vega
Jeremy Vega | Art
“Before college I wasn’t social at all, I didn’t have anyone to show my ideas, but here I can show my work and see their reactions, and that makes me want to create more.”
Khari Turner
Khari Turner | Studio Art
“The education I'm receiving is important because my painting is informed only by the things I know. If I don't know anything, then I'm not painting.”
Read Khari's story here

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 sitting under a pavilion.
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.”
Read Jason's story here
Robyn Yates poses for photo in Maynard building
Robyn Yates | Computer Science
“Austin Peay gave me a new beginning, an opportunity. I had no direction, no clue what I wanted to do. Now I’m so excited and ready to rule the world with code. I’m stoked.”
Read Robyn's story here
Elijah Carter plays violin in front of MUC
Elijah Carter | Computer Science
“To me, ‘Be a Gov’ means to know that you're going to meet incredible challenges and roadblocks but to still work and push through them.”
Read Elijah's story here
Jane Seage poses in Harned breezeway
Jane Seage | Classics, Physics
“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.”
Read Jane's story here
Celeste Malone poses for photo outside MUC
Celeste Malone | Graduate, Communication
“APSU has continuously challenged and pushed me to become the person I am today.”
Read Celeste's story here
Amanda McNair
Amanda McNair | Computer Science
“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.”
Read Amanda's story here

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 headshot
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.”
Read Isabelle's story here
Rebekah White Headshot
Rebekah White | Business Marketing
“I think the biggest thing about being at Austin Peay is the connections that you make. Just with the professors I know, they have taught me so much about marketing and the world of business.”
Read Rebekah's story here
Sierra Salandy poses in Browning lobby
Sierra Salandy | Political Science
“I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve definitely learned a lot about politics. It’s challenged me in all the right ways.”
Read Sierra's story here
Michael Hunter
Michael Hunter | Graphic Design
“There’s a lot of personal growth that I’ve experienced here. It’s really changed my outlook and perspective on not only my career path but life in general.”
Read Michael's story here
Meghann Stamps poses for photo outside of MMC building
Meghann Stamps | Broadcast Media
I always knew from a young age – from a very, very young age – that I enjoyed talking, especially on camera. I just knew this is what I wanted to be.”
Read Meghann's story here

Emmanuel Méjeun poses for photo in MMC
Emmanuel Méjeun | ('17) Music Performance
“Everything about my story is tied to music: it’s my passion, it’s my love, it’s going to be my job — It’s everything to me.”
Read Emmanuel's story here
Alexis Hill poses for photo on Softball field
Alexis Hill | Biology
“Austin Peay has treated me way better than I ever thought it could have, and if I had to do it all over again, I’d still choose to go to this University.”
Read Alexis's story here

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
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.”
Read Sibyl's story here
Alex Edwards infront of a mural.
Alex Edwards | Mathematics Education
“I continue to choose Austin Peay every single day because these people have become my second family.”
Read Alex's story here
Hunter Burkhart poses for photo in McCord
Hunter Burkhart | Nursing
“The program at Austin Peay has been great for building my confidence and showing me that Austin Peay nurses really do make some great nurses.”
Read Hunter's story here
Adolph Dagan poses for photo in his Rossview High School classroom
Adolph Dagan | ('14) Education
“I want to encourage others to excel, that come from other countries and believe that learning and the curriculum at Austin Peay is difficult. They can do it and it can be done.”
Read Adolph's story here
Austin Derden poses for photo in Miltary Student Center
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.”
Read Austin's story here
Sarah Sullivan
Sarah Sullivan | Nursing
“If you aren’t challenged, you aren’t learning.”
Read Sarah's story here

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 headshot
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."
Read Skylar's story here
Alex Baum
Alex Baum I Agriculture
“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.”
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Christaine Patton in her cap and gown.
Christaine Patton | Broadcast Media
“Going back to school with a daughter is challenging but rewarding. I really want to set an example for my daughter and show her that it doesn’t matter what you go through in life.”
Read Christaine's story here
Derrick Tims poses for photo in Library
Derrick Tims | Psychology
“To me, being a “Gov” means that you constantly challenge yourself to be better than you were the day before.”
Read Derrick's story here
Natalie Castillo
Natalie Castillo | Psychological Science
“I like to think everyone is a superhero, but we just have to unlock our own unique superpowers — and a degree in psychological science is going to help me unlock and use my superpower.”
Read Natalie's story here
Wesley Gray poses for photo in Kimbrough
Wesley Gray | Business Management
“I really like online classes for my schedule. On top of being a student-athlete, being in ROTC and a few other organizations, it’s made my life much easier.”
Read Wesley's story here