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Meet Abby Horan, Incoming President of Dance Marathon!

When I first met Abby Horan freshman year, I was immediately struck by her contagious positivity. She became fast friends with everyone in our pledge class, and it isn’t any wonder why- she’s such an awesome girl! I’ve been lucky enough to get to know her as a friend since then, and now that she is the incoming president of Dance Marathon, she definitely deserves to be deemed a campus celebrity. Abby is one of the most involved girls on this campus, so read on to see how she manages all of her responsibilities while staying super committed to DM!

1. What all are you involved in? I’m President of Dance Marathon, as well as the Vice President of Vandy Go Figure and a Sisterhood Chair for Kappa Delta. I’m also the Project Lead for the Healthcare Business Club’s first consulting project, and I’m a three-year associate member of Best Buddies. 

2. What inspired you to get involved with Dance Marathon? I attended an info session called the “Path to Leadership” at the beginning of freshman year, and I was especially inspired when Lisa and Taylor, Dance Marathon’s then internal and external directors, spoke about their experience. In middle and high school, I led several fundraising events for various foundations that support children with serious illness, so DM’s tagline– For The Kids– was already a personal mantra. I saw Dance Marathon as a way I could support kids right here on campus, improve my leadership skills, and make friends! Three years later, I’m happy to say that it’s done just that and more! 

3. What has been your most memorable Dance Marathon moment? This is such a tough question– every DM-related memory is a memory I would never trade for the world. If I had to choose, I would say that this year’s Big Event was full of unforgettable moments. At one point during the day, I remember standing alone and just looking around the SLC Ballroom in awe, amazed to see all of our hard work in action. Everyone was dancing, smiling and celebrating… it was so rewarding. Best of all, there were our Miracle Kids, running around like “normal” kids. They are why we do what we do, after all.

4. What goals do you have as President of Dance Marathon next year? One of my biggest goals as President is to improve DM’s collaboration with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Obviously, our efforts benefit the hospital so we work together in that way, but I think there are areas of improvement when it comes to really helping each other out to make sure that DM is as successful as possible and that we’re supporting the hospital to the best of our ability. I’d love to see more Miracle Kids join our DM family, as well as provide more first-hand opportunities for Vandy students to get to know the families that we’re helping. FTK takes on a special meaning when you get to play with the kids who are benefiting from our fundraising efforts. I also want to do my part to shift DM’s presence on campus. As it exists today, too many people think of DM as just another club that floods your email inbox, or as yet another event your sorority/fraternity/group obliges you to attend. DM isn’t a club– it’s a movement! We’re changing families’ lives for the better, and we’re boosting campus morale while doing so. I want to spread my passion for DM across campus.

5. How do you balance all of your commitments? A lot better than I used to manage all of them, that’s for sure! Like most Vandy students, for a long time I had a bad habit of over-committing myself to various causes without even realizing that I was stretching myself too thin until it was too late. This past year, I’ve become much more self-aware and I pay special attention to my anxiety levels at all times. I’m not afraid to say no if I feel overwhelmed, and I’ve learned to delegate, which is probably the most important key to maintaining my well-being! I also consider myself a pro at time-management (i.e. I’m currently preparing for an exam that I have in a week-and-a-half because I am the worst crammer ever), and that helps a lot. Oh, and I make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night! That’s super important to staying on top of everything. I definitely make sacrifices, but it’s worth it because I’m doing what I love most.

Speed Round! Fave ice cream- Salted Caramel Fave Nashville spot- Tavern!!! I don’t do much site-seeing during the year but I make sure to hit up my fave restaurants on the regMusical artist of the moment- Miley Cyrus. I downloaded Spotify specifically to listen to Bangerz on repeat.Celebrity crush- Zac Efron… as hard as I try, I can never move on!

Stacey Oswald, originally from South Florida, came to Vanderbilt as a member of the class of 2015 and got involved with HerCampus her freshman year. She became assistant editor that year and is now the Campus Correspondent for Vanderbilt HC as a sophomore. Stacey is currently a columnist for Ask Miss A- Nashville and the life section of The Hustler. She's also very involved in her sorority, Kappa Delta, as well as Invisible Children. Outside of school and her extracurriculars, Stacey finds happiness in many sources, the most crucial being exercise and the sun. She loves to attend exercise classes and is an avid runner; she recently completed the Country Music Half Marathon. She also loves Vitamin D, especially when on the beach- though of course, she only soaks up the sun after applying SPF. A few of the things Stacey couldn't live without? Good food (especially from Sweet Cece's, Bricktops, and Samurai Sushi), great books (The Hypnotist's Love Story is a recent favorite), her family back in Florida, her wonderful boyfriend, and all of the great friends she's made at Vanderbilt.
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