Hometown: Greenwich, CT
Finding time in between her various meeting, this week’s Campus celeb, Kate Weiner, sat down at Starbucks with HerCampus to talk about her wildly exciting life at Yale. As usual, Kate was bearing a huge smile, partially because her last meeting had given out free ring pops—as evidenced by her blue lips! While Kate is known around campus to be an art enthusiast, she simultaneously is adored for her friendly demeanor, great taste in food, and commitment to philanthropy. With a secret love for archeological exploration, Kate Wiener is always doing something exciting, whether it is giving a tour at the YUAG, producing a play for children’s theater, or watching Sherlock. Read below to find out more about Kate!
Late night snack: Peanut M&Ms
Guilty Pleasure: Going to bed absurdly early
Favorite New Haven Restaurant: Barcelona
Best Yale tradition: Halloween Show
Favorite movie: Zoolander
Favorite study spot: Sixth floor of Sterling
Celeb crush: Benedict Cumberbatch
HC: What are you involved in on campus?
Kate: Well, I am at tour guide at the Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG), a FOOT leader, a Master’s Aide for Calhoun, and am on the Executive Committee for Relay for Life, which is coming up this Friday! I am in the Yale Chapter of Pi Phi, and was actually pledge mom last year. I do work for the media start-up, Nation Swell, that I helped bring to Yale this past year, am going to be a Freshman Counselor for Calhoun next year, and am involved with the Yale Children’s Theater doing the student show side, and am actually producing the senior show right now.
HC: What inspired you to become involved with the Gallery Guides program at YUAG?
Kate: Really, I was prompted towards the program because of my dad. He is an incredible collector, but also just so unbelievably knowledgeable about art. I essentially grew up in a museum because of his home collection and really missed that exposure to art when I got to Yale. I found out about this amazing program at the YUAG where students can become involved with the collection and fashion a tour based on their own personal research; tours can be geared towards any type of audience, ranging from young children and middle school groups to people with mental disabilities in the New Haven community.
HC: You also became involved in FOOT. What has been your favorite part about being a FOOT leader?
Kate: I had the best FOOT leaders you could possibly imagine my freshman year. They were fun, they were supportive, they became like my family. I came back from that freshman orientation trip having never spent time in the woods before, and I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of that first week of life at Yale for students in the future. My co-leader for this past summer was amazing as well; we were assigned to the “allergy trip,” which meant that each of our students had a deadly allergy. We had to be so careful and carry around over one thousand dollars worth of medicine in case anything bad happened. We had such an amazing time, though, and the group still gets together. Sadly, I won’t be able to be a FOOT leader for this incoming class, because I chose to become a Freshman Counselor.
HC: Why did you decide to become a FroCo, knowing it would mean you couldn’t be a FOOT leader again?
Kate: I absolutely love Calhoun College, especially its Dean and Master. I first became really involved with Calhoun through being a Master’s Aide. The Calhoun community is really amazing and becoming a FroCo was another outlet through which to be involved in it. Being a FroCo is similar to a lot of things other things I do on campus, from giving tours at the YUAG to being a Pi Phi pledge mom, where I have to make sure that people are comfortable in a new social setting and make myself available to people who need someone to talk to. I have found these experiences truly incredible and know that I want to do something similar for the rest of my life. I am going to be the Head FroCo next year and I got incredibly lucky with the FroCo group as a whole, which includes my roommate since freshman year! It’s going to be an amazing experience.
HC: So, you also started Nation Swell this year. Can you tell us more about why you chose to pursue that?
Kate: I love doing community service work, whether it’s through community theater here at Yale or giving tours at the YUAG. I worked for Robin Hood in New York City this past summer, which is a non-profit organization that helps allocate funds to other non-profits. I was then contacted by a recent Yale graduate, Charlotte Parker, about starting a branch of Nation Swell on campus. Nation Swell is a really cool project where they write news stories that are inspiring, and then pair that news story with a way for people to get involved with the cause. So, if you’re super inspired by something that Nation Swell promotes, you can tweet your representative about that cause or make a small donation. It’s a great way to promote fast, effective social action. Here at Yale, we decided to make a model where each year we pick one student doing something really cool for the community, write an article about that student, and then set up a day for social action around their project. Last weekend, we had an afternoon of science for Lab Candy. The volunteers for Lab Candy are incredible girls, doing amazing research for an amazing cause.
HC: What do you like to do with the free time you have on campus?
Kate: I really love exploring New Haven and venturing to new places on campus. I think we get stuck in the Yale bubble a lot because students get so caught up in all the activities going on, whether it be their own or their friends’. I love going off-campus when I can, especially to some of my favorite restaurants, which are actually in East Rock. Most Yalies haven’t even heard of them! That whole area is so cute and fun, I love going there.
HC: What are you looking forward to during your senior year?
Kate: I am really looking forward to being a FroCo. I am so excited to meet the new freshmen and just really looking forward to our last year on campus as a senior class. I cannot wait to continue spending time with people who have basically become my family. I feel really good about senior year and want it to be here already! Also, I am being a senior interviewer, which I am really looking forward to.
HC: What is a senior interviewer?
Kate: I am going to be a Senior Interviewer for the Yale Admissions Office. Students who come to Yale for an on-campus interview can talk to a soon-to-be senior about their personal experiences. The whole discussion is treated like a formal interview for admissions. It’s great that prospective students can talk to someone who’s been at the school for three years already and who is excited to share their experiences.
HC: What is your favorite thing about Yale?
Kate: Honestly, Yale has been so good to me and I feel so lucky all the time. This is an incredibly hard question! I just love this place, love the people; I love its heart and soul.
HC: Favorite Yale memory so far?
Kate: This is incredibly corny, but my favorite Yale memory is probably when my boyfriend and I officially started dating. It was essentially right at the end of exams during my freshman fall. First semester of Yale had just ended, it had been so blissful and I was in the best mood. I started thinking seriously about dating my current boyfriend (we have been dating ever since) and that realization of completing my first semester at Yale, having great friends that I would miss over spring break, and embarking on a relationship with someone I really liked all came together at the same moment.
HC: What is something people probably don’t know about you?
Kate: I worked on an archaeological dig for five summers before coming to Yale, in Mycenae, Greece. I was there with an excavation team of mostly college students, both American and Greek, plus some Greek workmen. We were trying to find a settlement outside of the palace of Mycenae where ordinary people would have lived in the distant past—we were trying to find the public settlement, but ultimately didn’t find what we had been hoping to discover. It was an amazing five summers where I made lifelong best friends. Those summers also introduced me to amazing food that I now know how to make! My host family and I made lots of wine and olive oil. I do miss the dig and those summers a great deal and unfortunately haven’t gotten to go back since I’ve been at Yale. A fun fact that most people don’t know is that the family that owns Yorkside Pizza is Greek. So, every time I am feeling Greek-homesick, I just go to Yorkside, they make me Greek food, and we talk about Greece. It’s great.
HC: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Kate: Somewhere on the East Coast, maybe in grad school, but I don’t know what kind yet. I definitely want to work before any of that happens.