- What was the moment you knew you were a Jayhawk?
About two weeks before my first day on campus, I attended Chicago’s Lollapalooza music festival and wore a KU hat on one day and a KU shirt on another. To my pleasant surprise, I lost track of the amount of people yelling “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” at me. It was during that weekend that I knew I was a part of something special.
- As a student, how did you contribute to KU’s culture?
As a pre-education advisor, I worked with dozens of students pursing various programs within the School of Education. I also worked as a desk assistant at Oliver Hall where I greeted and assisted residents and their guests. In addition, I was a four-year member of the Kansas Jayhawks Rugby Football Club, serving as the team captain my senior year.
- What new experience did Jayhawks encourage or “push” you to try?
As a student, I was strongly encouraged to attend an Alternative Break. In the spring of 2011, I traveled to Chicago to shadow at a charter school. This weeklong experience opened my eyes to the world of teaching while exposing me to an educational setting different than the one I was used to.
- Share a single real-life moment you personally experienced that epitomizes “the Jayhawk spirit.”
In the summer of 2013, I was fortunate enough to travel with the KU rugby club to South Africa for a two-week tour. Despite stiff competition on the playing field, my teammates and I put ourselves out there and experienced all we could in a beautiful country by trying new foods, meeting new people, and experiencing new (and wild) things. We even won a few matches! I was proud to be a part of a Jayhawk group representing American rugby overseas.
- Describe the biggest difference between you and all other Jayhawks.
The biggest difference between me and all other Jayhawks is my incomparable love of Bruce Springsteen. While I have met other fanatics of “The Boss,” I cannot think of another that filled out an entire NCAA-style bracket of Springsteen songs with his roommate…
- Which relationships made at KU have you maintained, and how have they continued to affect your life?
From the friends I met freshmen year in the residence hall, to my professors in the School of Education, I have been able maintain several of my relationships from KU. These relationships have helped me grow as a person, and have been with me in both joyous moments and in times of doubt. I can honestly say that those individuals embodied the most important aspects of my KU experience.
- Describe the scene of your fondest campus memory.
My fondest campus memory would have to be the final lecture delivered by my social studies education professor, Dr. Joe O’Brien. In fifty minutes, Dr. O’Brien reminded my fifteen classmates and me of the great and incredible responsibility we have as future educators. It was a class I will never forget.
- What comparisons were you able to draw between how you and your peers pursued your major at KU and how students at other universities pursued the same major? What made your degree program distinctly KU
While many teacher education programs share similar features, such as a diverse course load and the student teaching internship, I believe the KU School of Education is unique to those of most universities in both academic rigor and its mission. Aspiring teachers at KU are not only challenged significantly in their classes and field experience, but also challenged to think of teaching as an avenue for social change and positive impact in the lives of young people.
- In what situations do you feel the strongest connection to KU tradition?
I always feel the strongest connection to KU tradition when I am back home in the Chicago area and spot something KU related. Because the Jayhawk is not as prevalent there as in Kansas, it becomes sort of a novelty when I approach our lovely mythical bird. If the situation is safe, I instantly drop whatever I am doing to shout “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk” to whoever is donning something representing the University of Kansas.