Community minded

Wright State student trustee and Wright-Patt Credit Union scholarship recipient Madisyn Crabtree reflects on the power of community to change lives

Madisyn Crabtree, a marketing major and student leader at Wright State, is driven by a passion for community and a sense of belonging.

With all of the student leadership activities on her plate today, it’s hard to imagine that when Madisyn Crabtree first arrived at Wright State University, she was intimidated and hesitant to get involved.

During a first-year seminar, Crabtree was encouraged to go to First Weekend and Fall Fest.

“That opened the door for me,” said Crabtree, who majors in marketing.

Overwhelmed at the sight of so many people on the Quad, Crabtree locked eyes with another young woman who looked familiar. The two began talking and realized they had met before at a concert.

The other student was a member of Delta Zeta, and Crabtree joined the sorority shortly thereafter.

Joining Wright State’s Greek community opened doors for Crabtree and introduced her to many different people. It also launched her journey as a student leader.

Crabtree has served as Delta Zeta’s fundraising chair; director of public relations for the College Panhellenic Council; director of student affairs for the Student Government Association; and as a student trustee on the Wright State University Board of Trustees.

For Crabtree, the student trustee position ties back to everything she has done as a student leader, from serving on Student Government to being a member of the Greek community.

“I’m required to be knowledgeable about student life to do the job. It’s challenged me in so many different ways, and I love a challenge,” said Crabtree. “I’ve definitely learned a lot about the university.”

In addition to maintaining a full load of classes and an active student life, Crabtree juggles work into her already packed schedule.

She is a manager at Winans Coffee & Chocolates and a marketing intern at Brixey & Meyer, an accounting firm. She also works in the Office of the President at Wright State.

A first-generation college student, Crabtree is financing her college education on her own. Her older brother, Alex, is also a student at Wright State.

“I’m constantly working because money and finances are important to me,” she said. “We didn’t grow up financially fortunate. We were very conscious of money and what we were spending.”

Scholarships help to lift some of the financial burden for Crabtree. As a big believer in the power of community to change lives, it only seems fitting that she would be a recipient of a scholarship honoring community leader and philanthropist Douglas A. Fecher.

The Douglas A. Fecher Excellence in Learning Scholarship is provided by Wright-Patt Credit Union’s (WPCU) Sunshine Community Fund for credit union members who are enrolled as undergraduate students at Wright State.

“This scholarship reaffirms the WPCU Sunshine Community Fund’s — the giving arm of Wright-Patt Credit Union — commitment to supporting our communities by promoting academic opportunity for students in need,” said Tracy Szarzi-Fors, the credit union’s senior vice president of marketing and business development and executive director of the Sunshine Community Fund. “At WPCU, we approach our work with a servant mindset across all levels of leadership, especially from the top down. For 21 years, our former President and CEO Douglas A. Fecher led the charge to not only serve our membership but also our communities at large. We’re proud to award Wright State University students, who are the next generation of servant-leaders right here in our own backyard, this scholarship in his name.”

While Crabtree is thankful for the financial support provided by the scholarship, she also appreciates the opportunity to get to know her scholarship’s namesake. Since Crabtree and Fecher both serve on the Wright State University Board of Trustees, they see each other at board meetings.

“He’s always a pleasure to talk to. He always checks on me,” said Crabtree. “It’s very nice to know there are people in your corner who care.”

Crabtree has also been touched by the kindness of Wright-Patt Credit Union staff. She met several of their team members at a dinner they hosted for scholarship recipients.

“They were interested in our lives, goals and aspirations,” said Crabtree. “I can’t express my gratitude enough.”

As she looks toward the future, Crabtree is eagerly awaiting a 10-day study abroad experience in Berlin this May. She also hopes to join the team at Brixey & Meyer full time after she graduates in two years.

Wherever life may take her, Crabtree plans to continue to say “yes” to opportunities that come her way and to contribute to the community, just as she has done at Wright State.

“My number one passion is community and sense of belonging,” said Crabtree. “When people feel like they belong so many things can change for them and for everybody else around them. To have that feeling and to be able to share it with other people has changed my life.”

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