In our final HCND Graduate profile of the year, we recognize Katie Fusco, recent alumna and Farley girl, who came to HCND early in the project. When not writing or dancing, could be found in her dorm room, where her open door policy saw a constant stream of friends in and out during her last year. At graduation, she sported her pink Her Campus cords proudly. We at HCND will certainly miss Katie, but we wish her all the best in her big move to Washington D.C.!
Name: Katie Fusco
Hometown: Chatham, NJ & Omaha, NE
Dorm Allegiance: Farley
Major: American Studies, English
NDH/SDH: South for lunch, North for dinner
Campus Activities: TransPose [dance collective], Dance Company of Notre Dame, The Juggler (literary magazine), Scholastic magazine, Her Campus Notre Dame, and I work at the University Archives (6th floor of the library)
What is the most played song on your iPod right now?
Brave by Sara Bareilles– it’s my happy jam.
What is a little known fact about you?
I have a photo with Fabio (you know the model with the long hair on covers of romance novels) from when I was a pre-schooler. He was doing something at our local mall and my babysitter wanted to meet him so she brought me.
Who is your celebrity crush?
Aaron Tveit at the moment
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Creative. Enthusiastic. Nostalgic.
What’s your favorite movie quote?
“I’m going to steal the Declaration of Independence.” Just kidding (kind of…)
“But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening. I am here and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song and that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite.” – The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Charlie)
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Emma Stone with her blonde hair from Spiderman….but AnnaLee said that too (#twinning?). Backup choice? Diane Kruger, because well National Treasure and she has my dream job.
Katie and ND!
If you could go back to freshman year and tell yourself one thing you know now, what would it be?
You’re not going to be compatible friend-wise with everyone, but don’t let that make you feel inferior.
What did you think you were going to do when you came in as a freshman?
Stay in my dorm for four years and have the best time ever. Lies. If your random dorm doesn’t work for you don’t be afraid to transfer halls. Best decision I ever made. #Farleyforever
What’s the favorite item on your ND bucket list that you completed?
What is your best ND memory?
I have so many that I can’t call just one “the best.” I have many memories that I return to often to remind myself how blessed I am and to stay grounded. This is one of them:
Saturday, October 27, 2012: A hoard of my friends huddled in my friends’ tiny Farley dorm room to watch the Irish take on the Sooners. After we got the W we heard the beginnings of a cacophonous celebration huddling around Stonehenge (another perk of living on North Quad!) and then we headed over to celebrate with our fellow domers. Unfortunately Stonehenge’s fountain was turned off so my friends first thought was, “We need water to jump in! Let’s go to the lake!” And thus, on October 27, 2012 I jumped in St. Joe’s lake for the first time. I also climbed the highest fence I’d ever climbed. For Katie Fusco, this was a big deal. It was a wonderful way to bond with my friends and celebrate the hype of the undefeated season. You know you have good friends when they help you climb a fence, and even jump back over the fence to grab your forgotten towel.
Moral of the story: Jump in the lake, kids.
What are the best and worst things about ND?
The best part is the worst part and vice versa. It’s a welcoming community full of amazing individuals who will intimidate you everyday and make you question your acceptance letter. However, the best part of this overwhelmingly talented community is that it challenges you to identify your gifts and strengths. At Notre Dame, we’re all successful students but success doesn’t just apply to grades and honors. It applies to the relationships you make, the underclassmen you mentor, the clubs in which you participate, etc.
Ultimate worst part: That college is only 4 years.
If you could change one thing about Notre Dame, what would it be?
I wish we’d put more effort into creating community in the College of Arts and Letters. More dialogue between departments and support for students doing unique projects.
Best class you’ve taken/professor you’ve had at ND:
Contemporary Thinking in the Philosophy of Education with Dr. Maria McKenna – Changed my life and helped me build confidence in myself as an academic.
Favorite spot on campus:
Building: Washington Hall; Spot: When you’re walking from the library towards LaFortune, just as you cross the street before Stonehenge, you know this scene:
Favorite Domer – dead, alive, or fictional?
Mama Fusco. SMC grad. Yes, she counts as a domer.
In 25 years you will be…
Happy, and doing meaningful work that I believe in and love.
What campus activity will you miss the most?
TransPose [dance collective] – it’s not just a dance company, it’s a family.
What activity do you wish you had gotten involved in on campus?
Project Fresh. As a member of TransPose [dance collective] I’ve been able to compete in four PFresh shows throughout my collegiate career (three of our pieces won!). I’ve been dancing for 18 years and counting but I’ve never delved into hip-hop. I admire the creativity and community PFresh fosters and I wish I could bust a move like them!
What are you going to miss the most about ND?
Dorm life and having so many wonderful people consolidated in a few square miles. Community is nothing without the people who compose it. I feel like I make a new friend every other week. While it can be scary to be plopped into a giant sea of students, I like to turn that around and remind myself how big of a support system I have on campus.
HCND Welcomes Katie
Why did you want to get involved in HCND?
AnnaLee [Rice] advertised asking for writers and I immediately jumped on board. AnnaLee and I first met in our Freshman Seminar class and I was eager to work with her. I wanted to get involved because I love writing and I wanted a more flexible outlet in which to do so.
What was your biggest challenge in working with the chapter?
Holding our writers accountable. We try to maintain a fun, candid environment but I just wish people submitted articles on time.
What are you most proud of, in regards to HCND?
How many Top Chapter stories we’ve gotten on the HerCampus.com homepage! I’m proud of our writers for reporting on what’s important to them and challenging their peers.
What was your role with Her Campus ND?
What HCND article was your favorite?
Favorite of my own: “Working with Each other: Reflections on the Professor-Student Relationship”
A fellow writer’s: AnnaLee’s “An Open Letter to Underclassmen”
What is the best part of working with HCND?
As CC, I’ve discovered how rewarding it is to be an editor. I truly enjoy working asan editor and mentoring our writers. It’s wonderful to see them improve in their writing and develop a voice and style. I also love reporting on a wide variety of topics. Campus Celebrity is a great way to get to know about all the wonderful people on campus.
What’s your personal next step?
Working in communications/media in Washington, D.C. Ultimately I hope to cultivate a career in media, education, or museums. Trying to figure out how to combine all three!
How has being a part of HCND impacted you?
It’s allowed me to become a more autonomous and independent worker. Moreover, it’s taught me how to work within a team to improve my communication skills. I also understand the value of compromise. Throughout the past few years, HCND allowed me to write on the topics I found important (education, gender, student clubs and initiatives, etc).
What would you like to see from the chapter in the future?
A commitment to clean, innovative journalism. Use new media – try making a mini documentary for your article. Take advice and input from your peers who read the page. And, most importantly, take chances. Don’t shy away from the long articles that require interviewing more than one person or more than one writing session. Those are the articles you’ll look back on with pride. Also get to know your fellow writers. Be a supportive, inspiration community.
What advice do you have for someone looking to get involved in HCND?
Hone your grammar skills and make writing a priority. It shouldn’t be a chore submitting your weekly article. Just always write about what you know is important and even what you’re passionate about and you’ll always find HCND on your list of blessings!
You just graduated from the University of Notre Dame. Congratulations! Last thoughts?
Don’t “network” – make connections and relationships with people.
Thanks for everything, Katie! We’ll miss you!
Images provided by interviewee, image 1 by Laura Gruszka