College Republican chair takes initiative

Jess Wagner and Jess Wagner

Maybe it’s her smile that takes in more than the world, or maybe it’s that all her peers describe her as a natural leader that made Monika Winkler the perfect candidate for chairperson of the University’s College Republicans.

Winkler, 21, has a long list of academic achievements including memberships in the University’s business club and the American Marketing Association.

Being the newly crowned chair of the College Republicans has only added to the list of tasks Winkler takes on with a passion.

Politics has not always been a driving force in Winkler’s life. When she joined CR as a freshman, her younger sister, Maria Winkler, said her family was surprised by Monika’s interest in politics.

Although she had been brought up in a conservative Republican family, it took coming to college to peak Winkler’s interest in politics and make her voice active.

“We always used to talk politics around the [dinner] table,” she said.

Since joining CR, Winkler has become more comfortable in sharing her political viewpoints.

“Now that I’m a senior, I know what I believe. I had my ideals set and wanted to share them with other people,” she said. “I’m pretty consistent in what I say and put a lot of effort in what I do.”

As secretary of CR last year, Winkler was more than surprised to hear she was replacing her friend Dan Brown as chairperson.

Brown said he is comfortable seeing Winkler in his old position.

“She brings energy and zest into everything she does,” he said.

Knowing her since sophomore year, Brown is proud of the energy she brings to the College Republicans.

Winkler has not only shown leadership to the CR, but an appetite to improve the club.

“We’re the foot soldiers of the Republican Party. Monika has consistently been involved in the club and has always went the extra mile,” Brown said. “I think Monika will take College Republicans to a new level. She’s become more politically savvy and she’s got a good team behind her.”

Winkler’s goals for improving the club include higher participation and bringing more awareness of the upcoming election, she said.

Maria Winkler credits her sister for getting her involved in CR.

“She’s the one for me to look up to,” she said. “I’m so proud of her.”

As a marketing major, Winkler is a goal-oriented and hard-working woman.

“I think she has a huge foot in the door,” Maria Winkler said.

Monika is secure in her ability to take this year’s CR to a new level, she said. With their first meeting of the year bringing in about 200 people, this will be a pivotal year for the club.

Winkler’s recipe for success is simple.

“When you put your whole heart into something, the rewards will be greater than you expect,” she said.