Health Care Administration graduate leaves legacy of leadership

By Marc Speir
University News Service
June 19, 2007

If leadership roles were a prerequisite for earning a diploma, Andrae Turner would have graduated with high honors from Texas State University-San Marcos. The Houstonian recently received his degree at spring commencement in May, adding to his substantial list of accomplishments.

While at the university, the health care administration major was vice-president of judicial affairs and president of the Intra Fraternity Council (IFC). In addition, Turner served as president of the Student Organizations Council (SOC), chief justice of the Associated Student Government (ASG) Supreme Court, and vice-president of the recently re-founded Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol (GAMMA).

Extracurricular activities didn’t end there for Turner, as he maintained membership in the Student Foundation, as a mentor for entering freshmen through the Mentoring Program, and as chair for Alumni Relations.

Actively involved in his fraternity, Turner’s efforts were recognized nationally when he was elected president of the Mid-American Greek Council Association and on-campus when named Greek Man of the Year at Texas State in 2006.

Turner said that leadership qualities are acquired traits that are built upon in succession, dismissing the old adage that leaders are born.

“Leaders aren’t born as much as they are cultivated,” Turner said. “Having a vision of what your goal is and doing your best is the simplest way to put it.”

Shortly after arriving to college, Turner saw himself drawn towards the governance of group behavior.

“I didn’t get involved as much for myself as it was that other people encouraged me to get in there because they believed in my abilities,” Turner said. “I’ve always wanted an organization that I was involved in to be stronger when I left it.”

He says leadership roles are intriguing to him because of his interest in people and describes his leadership style to one of inclusion and open communication. 

“It’s important to listen to all the voices to ensure that everyone is on the same page and everything is clear,” Turner said.

Beginning his college career as a biology major with visions of medical school, Turner saw himself drawn to more administrative fields of health care.

“I realized that I didn’t want to go to med school because I really like the business side of healthcare,” Turner said. “I’d like to get into politics with health care as my focus because politicians seem to know little about what is a very complex industry.”

He says the most important things he learned at Texas State related to a mix of social interaction and classroom knowledge.

“We should work to better ourselves through helping others,” Turner said. “People don’t remember what you did, but how you treated them.”

Turner plans to work for at least a year at the national headquarters of his fraternity in Charlotte, N.C., starting in July. Upon completion, he says he will apply for a dual master’s program in health care administration and business administration before pursuing a doctorate in public administration.