Meet Your Alumni Board Members

October 26, 2021
By Larry Isch
Posted in About

Meet Your Alumni Board members is an ongoing series where we highlight members of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. This month we are featuring board members Brittany Brantley ‘13, an attorney in Fort Worth, Texas; and Loscar Mejia ’01, a distribution center general manager for The Container Store in Dallas Texas.

Brittany Brantley ‘13

Tell us about your time at Ozarks. What did it mean to you? How did that time change or impact your future?

My time at Ozarks was the most meaningful period of my life filled with growth and learning. I am from a small town in Missouri and this was my first time leaving the area I had grown up in. Ozarks provided a safe and comfortable environment that allowed me to expand my mind. I am the type that would have gotten lost in the cracks at a larger institution but at Ozarks they provided me with the attention and care to help me thrive while away from home. This allowed me to eventually move further away from that small town in Missouri and go to a larger university in a much larger city for Law School without fear.

Why is being involved with Ozarks after you graduated important to you? Why have you chosen to give back to the University?

It is important for me to be involved in Ozarks after graduating because I would not be where I am without them. They gave me the education necessary to be successful, but more importantly they helped teach me how to build relationships, they provided services that promote self-confidence, and they instilled values that I hold close to me today, including serving my community, righting injustices, and always finding time to get back into nature (even if it is not as beautiful as the nature that surrounds the Ozarks campus).

What is your favorite Ozarks memory?

My favorite Ozarks memory is actually a compilation of memories. I was lucky enough to serve on the Student Foundation Board and I loved the preparation for Orientation week. There is a certain comfort in the chaotic energy of learning the skits, dances, and preparing for a new year with new faces on campus.

Who is your favorite/most impactful professor at Ozarks and why?

The most impactful professor for me at Ozarks was Dr. Heather McFarland. While she was great in the classroom, it was the extra effort outside of the classroom that helped show me she cared. I was preparing to take the LSAT but I could not afford a formal class. So, Dr. McFarland took it upon herself to purchase LSAT Prep materials and spent every Saturday morning for two months prior to the LSAT helping me prepare. The night before the LSAT she invited me to have dinner with her family where she cooked me a home cooked meal to make sure I was fed properly and fully prepared to take the test the next day. This is just one example of the many ways Dr. McFarland helped me, but I am certain that I would not have gotten into the law school that I wanted to and went on to become an attorney had I not been lucky enough to cross paths with such a kind and caring professor that went out of her way to ensure that I would succeed.

Why have you chosen to continue to serve Ozarks by sitting on the Alumni Board?

I have chosen to continue to serve Ozarks as a member of the Alumni Board because the school has provided me so much and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue that by providing to the current students and by connecting alumni.

What is your favorite thing about Clarksville or Johnson County?

I am not sure if Clarksville still does this, but my favorite activity was the Spring Greening Festival. It was put on my junior and senior year (2012 & 2013). There were live bands, vendors, and fun activities for families. It was a nice time to step out of the classroom just before the stress of finals and enjoy the outside with friends.

Loscar Mejia ‘01

Tell us about your time at Ozarks. What did it mean to you? How did that time change or impact your future?

At first, I came to Ozarks only because I wanted to play soccer at a collegiate level. I knew next to nothing about Ozarks when I was recruited to play and I would not have come here had it not been for the chance to help build the soccer program. As I started involving myself with the campus and the people, I realized that the values and beliefs of our institution lined up with the person I wanted to become. A small university like ours sometimes gets a bad rap because people think we won’t have access to the same opportunities as those who attend larger universities but that’s not the case. Attending Ozarks has opened so many doors in my career, particularly as I first graduated.

Why is being involved with Ozarks after you graduated important to you? Why have you chosen to give back to the University?

It took me many years to see the value in being involved with the University. There are so many priorities after college that seem to take precedence but over time, I came to realize that I could give back to the University not only monetarily (through the 1834 Club!) but also with my time. Our administration is so grateful to all of us who come back to campus to give back and they make it so easy to get involved. Dr. Eric Steinmiller, one of my best friends and teammates from college, really challenged me to find a way to get involved and helped me to see the value in giving back to my alma mater. I love showing my school pride and touting the amazing things that our University is doing.

What is your favorite Ozarks memory?

When we made it to the finals of the ASC playoffs my senior year. It was such a cool way to culminate the rise of the program from our inaugural season in 1997 at the bottom of the conference to the top within 4 years.

Who was your favorite/most impactful professor at Ozarks and why?

Dr. David Strain. Early in my freshman year, he saw potential in me and really invested his time in helping me succeed. He pushed me all four years and continued to challenge me even after I graduated. I appreciated and was so grateful for his influence in my life at Ozarks that I asked him to be best man at my wedding!

Why have you chosen to continue to serve Ozarks by sitting on the Alumni Board?

As I’ve grown older, I realize that I must find ways to give back to people and places that influenced and helped get me to where I am today. Ozarks played an integral part in molding me into the professional I am and I want to help the institution continue to have the same or bigger impact on the next generation. Being part of the board helps me to stay connected with the University and its mission and allows me to contribute to the institution’s success path.

What is your favorite Clarksville or Johnson County activity?

Friday/Saturday Dodge’s Chicken runs at midnight or later for a couple of pizza sticks and chicken strips.

Anything else you would like to add about Ozarks?

I encourage our alumni to step up and get involved in promoting and elevating Ozarks across the world! If you haven’t done so, come join me and other alumni as part of the 1834 CLUB!

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