Educational Studies and History Double Major
What about Knox stood out during your college search?
A few Knox alumni came to my school to find me and tell me about how great Knox was. I found out that the principal of my school also was a Knox graduate; after that I was sold. If alumni can find the time to get together and speak with me about the school, then the school must be worth it. I did my application and waited for a response. About a month after I sent my application, I got in touch with DeVon Eurales (associate director of admission), who was in Chicago to talk to me and a few other prospective students. He told me at an interview that took place at the Hilton Hotel that I had been accepted into the school. I've been here ever since then.
What activities do you participate in on campus?
I am in ABLE (Allied Blacks for Liberty and Equality) as this term's secretary. I am the scholarship chair for Phi Gamma Delta, and I am also the artist and assistant for C4K (College for Kids). All of the things that I have been able to do here have given me confidence and endurance. I have to be energetic, kind, and strong to be able to continue on with my college education. The clubs and opportunities that I have the ability to be a part of challenge those three requirements for success. It's great to be challenged while also doing what I love to do, so they have influenced me to keep my head up and never be afraid of the challenges that are placed in front of me.
What is your favorite place on campus? Off campus?
I love to visit the comic book shop off campus. I am a huge comic book geek, and it's one of the things that helps me relax after a long day. I also like to be at my fraternity's house. Phi Gamma Delta is my home, and I love the people that live there.
Is there a professor that has had a significant impact on your education?
I have had three professors that have given me guidance and have put faith in me -- Stephen Schroth, Jason Helfer, and Fred Hord. All three have been great influences on me, and they also impacted my education here at Knox. I owe my confidence and opportunities to those three professors.
Describe any research you have undertaken.
The main research I have been a part of is the Lincoln Studies Project with the Education Department. My job, as of the moment, is to condense a book of different quotes from the Lincoln-Douglas Debates so that a teacher can teach them in a more systematic way. It's a lot to go through, but the end product is what I am hoping to see flourish soon. Outside of that, I have the opportunity to work with Professor Hord on the second edition of his book. (Photo right: Jamal Nelson, right, and Alejandro Varela discuss their new study guide for the Lincoln Studies Center.)
What are your interests and hobbies?
I mostly draw, read, write a little here and there, play video games, and play basketball even though I am not that great at it. But I mainly pick up the pencil and pad to draw. Me and this art thing got something going on. It's my stress reliever -- my love and my heart.
How would you describe campus life at Knox?
I have to say that Knox has a great cordial system; people from all places can come and feel welcome wherever they stay on campus. Though sometimes campus can let its collective ego block itself from understanding concepts that aren't as easy to grasp. But that's the thing about campus; we know that we can be ignorant to some aspects of life. Eventually, we will understand by way of hanging with those who we don't quite know. We are a group of learners; every day we learn, and we learn from every person.
Any advice for high school students on their college search?
I would say: 1) Shoot for the stars. Whatever is your dream school, go for it and you might get in. 2) Be careful with money. You need funds to stay in school and also eat, so open a savings account and save as much money as possible. 3) Don't get stuck on one school. Make a list of at least 10 schools, look into all of them, and find that right fit for you. And finally, 4) Don't ever give up on your grades. Even if you are going through a tough time in life, make school your escape and put your best foot forward with each and every endeavor.
What surprised you about Knox?
What mainly surprises me about Knox will always be the freedom to flourish. That is a statement that holds no lies. Most of my friends that are not Knox students feel confined and sometimes limited at what they can do at their colleges. But here I feel that I could do and be whatever I want to be. I am amazed almost every term at how many different opportunities that Knox students have in front of them.