People of Columbia

A former vice prez and a reading advocate

Zach Beattie
Former vice president, current entrepreneur (and app designer … and comedy warrior)

So, what exactly does a former Missouri Students Association vice president do?

Turns out, a whole lot.

Zach Beattie of Savannah, Mo., whose term ended in January, is one of the co-founders of MU’s Quirks Consignment Store, the student-run store that sells student-made wares.

Beattie is also the co-founder of SafeTrek, an app designed to keep students safe as they walk home late at night. Available now on the App Store, the app can be used anywhere in the U.S.

When the Trulaske College of Business senior isn’t honing his management skills or working to keep students safe, he can be found hamming it up as a member of MU’s Comedy Wars troupe.

Beattie credits his involvement at MU with making the large campus feel smaller. While MU boasts approximately 34,000 students, Beattie says he runs into friends anywhere he goes.

So, how does he do it?

“It can be stressful to be over-involved,” he cautions. “It’s better to focus on something you’re passionate about early. Pick things you care about.”

Joe Chevalier
Yellow Dog Bookshop owner

Last summer, Joe Chevalier became a book savior for downtown Columbia when Get Lost! Bookstore closed.

Chevalier and his wife, Kelsey Hammond, purchased Get Lost! in July 2013. Fulfilling a dream, the pair opened Yellow Dog Bookshop on Aug. 1.

“I’m glad we stepped in,” Chevalier says. “Otherwise there’d be no downtown bookstore. Most people that come in think (the bookstore) is an important part of the downtown scene.”

As an English major at Stanford, Chevalier made sure he was reading one book outside of class for fun. He would take a 20-minute walk to a local bookstore on Friday afternoons. After finding a sunny spot and a good book, he’d settle down into a different world.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if college students hung out in a bookstore and not a bar?” a friend of Chevalier’s once asked him.

For the stressed college student, “reading is partially therapeutic,” Chevalier says.

The daily 15 minutes of reading for fun he recommends are more than just a time for relaxation.

“Most people haven’t had much (life) experience,” Chevalier says. “Reading helps widen thinking; you learn about others’ experiences besides your own.”

Chevalier said he hopes Yellow Dog will become a center of learning and thinking and stay a vibrant part of downtown.

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