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Kennett Native is First Rowdy the Redhawk
Some people might say that Brooke Privett, who is pursuing a bachelor of music in instrumental performance for the trumpet, has a biased opinion of Southeast Missouri State University. Brooke’s father was on the Board of Regents for nine years and her brother is a Southeast graduate.
Because of her family's involvement around campus, she had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people and fell in love with the beauty of Southeast. As a result, attending Southeast was an obvious decision for Brooke.
Although members of her family were very successful at Southeast, Brooke has had the honor of being “a first” in the history of Southeast Missouri State University. She was competitively selected to be the first Rowdy the Redhawk mascot at Southeast in January of 2005. What is even more impressive, Brooke is one of only a few female college mascots in the nation.
“I know this sounds corny, but being Rowdy has really been a blessing in my life,” explained Brooke. After Brooke was selected to be the new mascot, she says she began to overcome some of her fears involved when communicating with people.
“I was never really able to interact with kids until I became Rowdy. It was like I became a kid again and could understand them much better. Also, being Rowdy has taken a lot of the shyness out of me. When I get nervous, I like to pretend I have the costume on, and the jitters go away,” she said. Brooke, as Rowdy, recently made an appearance at the Relay for Life event in her hometown of Kennett, Mo. She said she has become somewhat of a hometown celebrity.
“Everybody now knows me as Rowdy. It is fun having an alter-ego; I feel like Superman!” she said.
Brooke believes her participation and success as Rowdy the Redhawk will lead to more women trying out for the position in the future.
“After seeing me as Rowdy girls might start thinking, 'this isn’t just a guy thing. I can do this too,” explained Brooke.
Brooke’s participation as the mascot at Southeast has not affected her performance in the classroom. She has learned to manage her time, which was never a strong point for her before she became a Southeast student.
“I have absolutely loved all of my music classes and the professors are top notch. I have also enjoyed the courses outside of my major as well,” she added.
Besides being Rowdy the Redhawk, Brooke is also a Presidential Ambassador, a member of Alpha Phi Omega and is involved in many of the music ensembles.
In her free time, Brooke loves to participate in softball and golf. She enjoys fishing, solving jigsaw puzzles, counted cross-stitching and watching musicals. Brooke has an enormous collection of Mickey Mouse memorabilia, but she notes that her Rowdy the Redhawk items are slowly catching up.
Brooke hopes to eventually obtain her master's degree in performance art or music history, and truly hopes that Southeast will offer such degress through its new River Campus. But if those plans fall through, Brooke admits that she would settle for being Mickey Mouse the rest of her life!