Name/Year/Major/RSOs or other involvement/Favorite Color/Favorite Dessert?
4th Year (Class of 2016)
Sociology Major, Human Rights Minor
RA for DelGiorno, Campus Organizing Director of Students for Hillary, Senior Class Gift Committee Member
Chocolate Ice Cream
Can you briefly tell us a little about what you’ve been involved in the past here at UChicago, and what you are up to presently?
I was a member of Crown House for my first three years of college, and was always part of house council. I was social chair my first year, president my second year, and PSAC rep my third year. I also was a part of Peer Health Exchange for three years. My first year, I was a Health Educator that taught about tobacco. My second year, I was a Leadership Council member who led a workshop on abusive relationships. My third year, I was one of two Co-Coordinators (they’re like the presidents of the RSO). I currently am an RA in DelGiorno House, and am also the Campus Organizing Director for Students for Hillary. Recently, I became part of the Class of 2016 Senior Class Gift Committee.
You had a very interesting summer experience, can you tell us a bit about it? Has it influenced you this school year thus far?
I worked as a communications intern this summer in Iowa for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Communications teams deal with everything press related, from newspapers to blogs to television. I really came to appreciate how the news cycle is formed: the communications team releases a piece of information, the press reacts to it in some way, and the communications team monitors that press to follow up on anything that is misrepresented. I found that the people I worked with this summer had so much pride in the work that they did because of the candidate they were working for, and I definitely have much more pride in all the work I do after my internship this summer.
What are your sentiments about being an RA? Any anecdotes? Discoveries? Revelations?
For me, College Housing is the best thing about UChicago. Some of the most important lessons about working with people I learned is through the housing system. Houses are (for the most part) completely random groups of people, yet the most incredible, supportive communities can be formed from them. I love being an RA because I love being a part of creating and maintaining those positive communities. It’s hard emotional work, but I’ve always believed that hard work is work worth doing.
Are there any big projects or endeavors that you are looking forward to this coming year, and can you tell us a bit about them?
I’m currently working on a BA, and am really enjoying the process so far. I’m writing about presidential candidates’ visits to the Iowa State Fair, analyzing speeches that they gave to try to understand how they create an image at the fair. I’m in the collection stage right now, so everything is really exploratory. I changed my topic pretty drastically over the summer, so I was nervous about being behind. My advisor was really excited about the change, and recommended a bunch of books for me to read (he probably had 300 books in his office, and still was able to recommend six or seven off the top of his head). I’m still working through everything now. The project itself is really enjoyably chaotic with trying to sort through everything and learn as much as I can as quickly as possible. It’s the first time in a while I’ve gotten to research something of my choosing.
What would you say inspires or drives you? Is there anything that has guided you throughout your experiences in college or in life?
I received a fortune cookie in high school that said, “Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” It makes a lot of sense to me: if you can find a thing to make someone else happy, that thing should make you happy too. My big thing that guides me is a desire to help people, and I think it goes back to this whole happiness/positivity thing. I think that everyone deserves dignity and love, and I want to do what I can to make sure there’s more of it in the world. I’m a very big fan of The Beatles because the positivity of their music taught me how to see the best in situations. I actually wrote my college essay about why I think everyone should grow up listening to The Beatles, and it’s because of the positivity that it fosters.
So you’re officially a Campus Celebrity, but could you name a celebrity/idol that you’ve always wanted to meet?
I have always wanted to meet Carey Mulligan. I’ve always admired her style and often find myself walking through stores judging clothing on the basis of whether or not Carey would wear it. In interviews, Carey always strikes a balance of taking her work seriously but not taking herself too seriously. She will easily transition from a conversation about the history behind a film she’s staring into an embarrassing anecdote about a game she played with her co-stars. Carey recently had a baby daughter, and she never officially announced she was pregnant. She wore a series of dresses that masked her baby bump earlier this year, then disappeared from the spotlight for a while. A few weeks ago, she reappeared with no bump! She seems to march to the beat of her own drum, which I find incredibly refreshing.