Leadership Profile: Turner Altman, Georgetown College (Kentucky)
From a young age, Turner Altman remembers watching his father day after day enter the business world to do what he loved. Altman knew he wanted a sliver of that life. The question he had to answer for himself, though, was how he would make his mark; what would he do to create a passionate career, like his father?
Hailing from a small town in eastern Kentucky, Altman decided his calling lay in biology at Georgetown College in Kentucky and the prospect of helping people through the healthcare system.
What Altman didn’t see coming was his heavy involvement with student government.
After noticing the need for growth and campus involvement in student government, Altman took it upon himself to run for Student Government Association (SGA) president his sophomore year. It came as somewhat of a surprise to Altman when he clinched the position, but he set to work immediately with a clear goal: change student government into a voice for all students.
“I kind of took my position and wondered why are we not being influential, why are we not making changes on the college campus,” said Altman.
Change is exactly what followed. During not one term, but two, as SGA president, Altman aided in reimagining the student government’s constitution, created many new traditions, including a Christmas light competition benefitting charity, and starting a green club with funding.
While Altman’s successes were numerous, he does not forget the uphill climb that Georgetown student government has endured in the past few years.
“Before my time in student government, we had years where there were people running unopposed and there wasn’t a belief in student influence at the administrative level, there wasn’t student influence at all,” stated Altman. “I whole-heartedly believe that has changed and we see that now we are having leaders run for student government; for three years in a row since my first term, no has run unopposed and that hasn’t happened in 17 years.”
Along with his strides in student government, Altman is known as a leader in both Lambda Chi and the residence life community. Just last year, the senior was selected as the Most Outstanding Residence Life staff member in the state of Kentucky for his work as the Residence Life Director for the Lambda Chi house.
But the humble Altman will say that much of his success as a leader on campus has come from those around him, specifically in Lambda Chi.
“Lambda Chi has given me the chance to lead and through leading and through Lambda Chi, I have learned a lot about myself,” assured Altman. “I had a lot of guys around me, challenging me to be the best version of myself; those alumni, those brothers who were there for me and talked to me and supported me, they made student government possible. They have been a huge part of everything I have done on campus.”
After graduation, Altman will be attending the University of Alabama-Birmingham to study optometry. He then hopes to move back to his roots in Kentucky to open his own practice.
As for the politics side of Altman, that is part of his life which he hopes to always remain passionate about. Following opening his own practice, Altman has expressed interest in continuing his stint in politics for the state of Kentucky, eager to be a part of the fight for good.
For now, however, Altman is content making a difference on his campus. To his brothers and other student leaders, he leaves this final thought: work hard, be prepared, and capitalize when you get your chance.
“Opportunity comes around every so often,” said Altman. “You never know when that opportunity is going to come, so all you can do is prepare so when it does come, it doesn’t pass you by.”