Jessi A. Collier (Student)

Jessi A. Collier

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

If any other motto better describes Mississippi State University senior Jessi Collier, she said it would be “Live with no regrets.”

A Starkville native, Collier has a double-major at MSU. The first is chemistry, because she wants to one day go to medical school or eventually work in the medical field. The second is Mandarin Chinese, an interest she picked up on a lark in high school because she “thought it would be fun” to learn a foreign language.

Turns out, she’s no slouch at either subject -- she said she’s carrying a strong grade point average into the home stretch of her undergraduate studies. She’s a member of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society, Chemistry Ambassadors, Language Emissaries and the Student Conduct Board.

Also a strong proponent of community service and civic duty, Collier was the youngest candidate for public office in Oktibbeha County in 2015, running for District 1 justice court judge. Though she didn’t win, she said she learned more about herself, the county court system and how to effectively deal with the public.

“I didn’t get disappointed because I look at failure as an opportunity to learn and do better,” she said. “I ran because I believe everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and I had ideas to improve the system for everyone involved. It was a great experience and a lot of fun.”

Collier began volunteering locally as an elementary school student, she said, helping the American Red Cross prepare care packages in 2005 for Hurricane Katrina victims on the Gulf Coast. She continues to help with a local church food pantry, and she said she’s volunteered for a handful of local political campaigns in recent years.

Running for political office in the future is not out of the question, Collier said. Basically, she added, if it serves the community and “puts positive energy into the universe,” she’s up for it.

“If you have it to give, you should give it,” she said. “I want people to be able to say that I added benefit to their lives and made a positive impact on society, whether it’s through helping them as a physician, through volunteering or some other way. Mostly, I want to enjoy life and not leave it asking ‘What if?’”