Hometown: Akron, Ohio
1. How was your first day of college?
This is hard because I just remember scenes from that day; the huge line of cars, people in yellow shirts screaming, awkward roommate encounters, a tearful Presidential welcome, and then saying goodbye to my family. But the whole experience was so fast and turbulent that I didn’t have time to cry until that night. To this day, I couldn’t tell you if they were tears of sadness, excitement, or what.
2. What Xavier Clubs and Organizations did you take part in? How have you learned from those experiences?
I started out in Men’s Rugby and ROTC, but my life was soon consumed by everything in the Center for Faith and Justice. Here I led the Men’s Retreat, facilitated the Common Ground worship service, and coordinated Dorothy Day Immersion trips. Outside of this, I was in German Club, and a good friend and I started Students for an Informed Society, a club through which we worked on student activism. What I learned through the CFJ is a story for another day, but through the other involvement, I was forced to learn that people won’t just buy into what you’re doing, but they’ll join in when they agree with why you’re doing something. I stopped being someone that tried to be interesting to others, and instead became interested in others.
3. What are some of your favorite memories here?
The casual all-nighters or late nights, when we wouldn’t worry about homework and just focused on the people surrounding us. There’s something sacred about spending hours with a few people as we talk about life, love, fears, God and all the while sleep-deprived.
4. Who is an influential person on campus who has impacted you these past four years?
Wow. I could name a few, as I’m sure we all could after three and a half years, but by far the most impactful person has been Dr. Anas Malik. First, he’s probably one of the best professors in the Political Science department. Second, he has a wealth of knowledge that surpasses everyone I know combined. But above all, he changed and challenged how I look at the world; how I encounter others from different faiths and nationalities; how I approach school and life and love… I’ve never told him and he may never know all this. He’s one of those people who have had such an impact on you, yet it’s hard to put into words what they’ve done for you. He’s incredible, and I am going to miss him dearly.
5. How did you choose your major?
I study political science and international studies, with minors in Spanish and peace studies. Honestly, I just chose what I was most interested in and something that would challenge me and help me make sense of the world. Looking back, I don’t know what else I would’ve chosen… not science or business, maybe English or education, but nothing else felt right. No, I am not super successful in these fields, I don’t have the best GPA in the classes, nor do I know everything “political,” but the classes make me think and they make me scared and excited, and passionate, and pissed off, even sick to my stomach some days… but they’re great.
6. How has Xavier helped shape who you are today?
I have been dedicated to a myriad of different organizations, but in my last weeks I find myself falling back on the words I have heard every Sunday night for the last four years at Common Ground. In every sense of the phrase, my experience at Xavier has given me the confidence to go forth into the world with compassion and justice in my heart. To give voice to the silent and strength to the weak. To hear one another, see one another, care for one another, and love one another, because it’s all that easy and it’s all that hard. So yeah, it’s been good.
8. What advice would you give incoming Musketeers?
To quote "Meet the Robinsons," “Keep moving forward.” No matter what, keep taking those steps. Even if you can’t tell what direction you’re stepping in, don’t idle and be stagnant. You’re alive, so live.
9. What is at least one thing you must do before graduating?
Stay up all night walking around campus. Like one last hurrah, a chance to take in campus and dwell on the last four years I spent at this place.