Antonio Banderas or Andy?

Meet Andy Emond, super hilarious guy who at one point was supposed to be named Antonio Banderas --Yes, Puss in Boots Antonio Banderas! Check out the story and more below!

Name: Andrew Thomas Emond, but prefers Andy

Year: 3rd year

Major: Professional and Organizational Communication

Minor: Business Administration

Hometown: Lakeville, MN and Rhinelander, WI

PGPs: He/Him/His

J: Do you have any nicknames?

A: Not really. I mean basically Andy; That’s what I prefer. My parents gave me some weird a** nicknames but no one knows, so … I don’t go by those ... um ... that’s really it. I don’t get called too many things – Shawty.  

J: Are you involved in anything on campus?

A: Yes, I’m involved in Awareness Through Performance. It’s a good way to broaden my horizons and analyze our privileges and bias' and encourage an inclusive environment to better our campus. I’m loosely involved with AMA (American Marketing Association). I’m not heavily involved, but with other groups I try to attend their events and such – like Black Student Unity meetings.

J: What is your favorite thing about UW-La Crosse?

A: Hm … There are a lot of good things about UWL that I like, but what I really like is all of the different people that I’ve been able to meet and interact with here, as well as the wealth of educational avenues that I can pursue. I also like that the La Crosse community offers the best of both worlds: giving it that small town feel, but also a big city vibe, with some pretty fun things going on here and there.

J: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

A: I don’t know if I can say one specific thing, because every experience I’ve had in my life or significant experience I’ve lived [through] in my life has given me another piece of advice that I can take with me. But I think above all else, the best piece of advice I’ve ever received and has been an overall theme in my life is: “always do your best” and “always be yourself." Always do your best and always be yourself, because no one can be you better than you.

J: Do you play any sports?

A: Nothing organized. No. I did in high school (Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Track), but I don’t right now.

J: What is your dream job?  

A: Ugh! [Drops fork] I think the answer to that question is ever evolving. I’ve been involved with the auto industry for about five years now and it’s been exciting. Everything is exciting to me and everything appeals to me. So, I think I’d like to work in that industry, whether it be with marketing or owning and managing dealers and franchises. I’d definitely like to stay involved in this industry and pursue my interest in that regard. Skurt skurt--you can add that too.

Side conversation:

A: I’m trying to speak educated but be myself.

J: No be yourself...If you could go on a date with any famous person, who would it be and why?

A: Are you serious? Any famous person? Man … Ugh… let me think ... There are a lot of cool famous people out there that it would be fun to meet. I think JoJo, the R&B singer, has forever been my celebrity crush, ever since middle school and still is to this day. I’d love to kick it with her for a quick minute if I could. She bae. JoJo if you see this hit me up!

J: What is your favorite thing to eat?

A: I like food so that [question] sucks too! You’re really hitting hard with these questions. [Laughs] It depends on my mood, but I love pizza. What college kid doesn’t like a good pizza? When I think about it, you can have so many different kinds. It won’t go out of style. It’s just lit.  

J: What’s your favorite childhood movie?

A: I love the "Toy Story" series. Not because the kid's name is Andy, but because it was a really unique movie and really popular. I think a lot of kids could relate to it, and let’s be real: what kids didn’t pretend their toys were talking when they weren’t around. 

J: What’s your most embarrassing childhood memory?

A: Well … I mentioned earlier I was a skier in high school for a very short amount of time. I think that whole freshman winter year could have been embarrassing. There were several instances where I fell off the chair lift or knocked somebody over or ran into the fence or just flat out ate s***. So skiing, yeah, super embarrassing.

J: What are some of your pet peeves?

A: I have a big one with toilet paper. It sounds weird, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to put the toilet paper on the dispenser in the bathroom. You got to have the toilet paper coming over the top down in front of you, because when people put it in where the tissue is coming down the backside it is just more tedious to pull out some paper when you have to wipe you’re a**. You know what I’m saying?

I have numerous pet peeves with bad drivers and others on the road, which contributes to road rage, but let’s not go there. And I hate it when people chew or talk with their mouth open, or lick their fingers while they’re eating. I just think it’s kind of nasty. I’m not holding it against anybody; I just think it’s nasty when you’re sitting there and you’re licking your hands and stuff. I can pass you a napkin if you want me too; That’s why I grab 800 or so.

J: If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be and why?

A: If I could be any cartoon character … I don’t know why he’s popping into my head, but I like "The Incredibles" movie too. Dash, the little boy, always seemed super energetic, just bouncy and always having a good time no matter what. So, I think it would be fun to be him.

J: If you had to pick a new name for yourself, what would you choose?

A: (Laughs) it would be Antonio Banderas. There’s a back story. You see, I have a younger sister and when we were younger, in elementary school, my sister would always ask my parents what they would have named me besides Andy. My dad thought he was funny like he often does, and he said Antonio Banderas, and my sister went with it. She told all her friends, everybody, saying, “My brother was supposed to be named Antonio Banderas." So [she told] everybody at school, and she probably told some teachers at school too, that my name was Antonio Banderas. So, I’d do it just for s***s and giggles.

J: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?  

A: How old will I be? 31? Hopefully I will be seizing all of these new opportunities that will be present in my career, more specifically opening or managing a dealership, perhaps finding a life partner and a partner in crime to share some special moments with, and I also see myself having a pug, because pugs not drugs. Pugs are the best, man. Ya’ll know I love pugs.

Thanks so much for the interview, Andy! Ya’ll make sure ya’ll say hello when you see him!