Each year, hundreds of Edinboro University students contribute to the worldwide Love Your Melon campaign, which aims to provide hats – as well as treatment, support and hope for a cure through support for research – to every child battling cancer in the United States.
With each contribution, the Edinboro community supports nonprofit programs that lead the fight against pediatric cancer.
Emily Kam, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences with a dual minor in Biology and Psychology, serves as the captain of the EU Love Your Melon campaign. Through her academic work and contributions to Love Your Melon, Kam said she is prepared for her next step after graduation.
“Having met so many supportive people along the way has led me in the right direction and helped me end up right where I want to be,” said Kam, a senior who plans to graduate in May.
The Wilson, N.Y., native isn’t entirely sure what’s next after Edinboro, though she hopes to attend graduate school to become an audiologist.
“Plans change all the time,” said Kam, who discussed her Edinboro experience in a Q&A session. “I am just going to see where life takes me.”
How do you balance your academic studies with your activities?
We meet biweekly for Love Your Melon. I get ahead on school work when I have free time, and when our meeting day approaches, I set aside a few hours to plan the meeting. If we have an event on campus, I make sure that as a crew we get together and plan it all out so we are prepared to spread the word about this great cause. Without my crew, I wouldn’t be able to balance both things. They are an amazingly helpful and giving group of people.
How can people get involved in the local Love Your Melon campaign?
To help support Love Your Melon, people can go to the Love Your Melon website and purchase hats, apparel and accessories. When they reach checkout, there is a drop-down menu that allows you to select the university crew that you would like to support. For everything purchased through LYM, 50 percent of the proceeds will go to Love Your Melon’s nonprofit partners, such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Pinky Swear Foundation, and Be the Match, just to name a few.
How has Love Your Melon helped you become aware of community service?
Love Your Melon's campus crew members raise awareness for pediatric cancer, represent the brand through promotional events, and dress up as superheroes to deliver beanies to children battling cancer. As a crew, we have had the opportunity to become more connected with our peers and professors on campus through spreading the word about LYM. Together we have discovered firsthand the amount of hard work and commitment it actually takes to make our events successful and that more gets done when you work as a team.
What is your proudest accomplishment so far at EU?
I would have to say that my proudest accomplishment at EU is being able to graduate in three short years with a Bachelor of Science degree with a dual minor in Psychology and Biology.
Who has played an important role in your success in life?
Despite being three hours away, my parents have been my biggest supporters and have pushed me to always do my best. They are always a phone call away and have the most amazing words of encouragement. Not only have my parents been a part of my success, but so have many of the professors here at Edinboro University. A special thank you to both Dr. Roy Shinn and Dr. Skye Lewis for guiding me through all of my schooling and helping me achieve my goals. Without the help, both in and out of the classroom, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
How has Edinboro University helped reach your highest potential?
The Edinboro campus is big enough to offer something for everyone, but small enough to be a tightknit community. By joining different clubs here on campus, I was automatically a part of something, got to know more people, and made new friends because of it. Being a part of such organizations, like the professional sorority Delta Zeta, I was urged to always do my best and to focus heavily on my academics and grades. Having met so many supportive people along the way has kept me on the path to end up right where I want to be.
How has Edinboro University prepared you for a career or future studies?
The professors in both my major and minors have given me the knowledge and advice necessary to succeed in the future and in higher levels of education, such as graduate school. Even the university president’s wife took the time to meet with me to share her experiences as an audiologist. Edinboro, as a whole, has given me the opportunities to break out of my shell and take on new challenges.
Do you have advice for students who are considering a career or education in your program of study?
I absolutely love Speech and Hearing. It is a field that requires patience and compassion and is so rewarding. It is a diverse field where you can work with children or adults and is continually growing. Advice I would give to future students is to go out and shadow speech pathologists and audiologists to see if this is the right field for you. I can promise you that you will know right away if it is or isn’t.
To learn more about the Edinboro University Love Your Melon efforts, visit the group’s Facebook page.
Photo caption: Edinboro University senior Emily Kam displays the Love Your Melon flag. A senior graduating in May, she is the captain of the Edinboro University Love Your Melon crew, which raises money for pediatric cancer research, treatment and support. Contributed Photo