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Q&A with the 2018 homecoming court



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Andres Ayala

Sophomore from Vincennes, Indiana, majoring in international studies

Why did you apply to be on homecoming court? I received an email from Ben Agan, the director of the Cox Scholars Program, and he said I would be a nice fit.

What is your favorite homecoming activity? As a student, I’m stuck between the football game and the parade. The energy at the homecoming game is unparalleled to any other home game of the year.

What is your favorite IU memory? The floor mates I had last year in Teter Boisen. Easily half of the 52 residents on this floor were close. It was special to matriculate into college with like-minded people.

What has been your most rewarding activity at IU? The study abroad program in the Netherlands. It was incredible to bring IU values to an easily dismissable region of the world.

Malique Boothe

Senior from Elkhart, Indiana, majoring in human resource management

Why did you apply to be on homecoming court? I feel like IU has given so much to me. I wanted to show my IU pride, and this shows how much I’m going to miss IU once I graduate.

What is your favorite homecoming activity? Reconnecting with my fraternity brothers in the Alpha Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi and the alumni. I’m looking forward to the parade this year because freshman year I was just a spectator.

What is your favorite IU memory? My favorite IU memory is studying abroad in London. It was just amazing. Being able to be in another country with IU students that I didn’t know going in, was great.

What has been your most rewarding activity at IU? My most rewarding activity was being a part of the Washington Leadership Program in fall 2017 because we had the opportunity to take classes in the nation’s capital and I was able to build relationships with the other students in the program.

Emma Brown

Senior from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, studying speech and hearing sciences

Why did you apply to be on homecoming court? I think it’s a really big honor to represent IU and be one of the few chosen to embody the Hoosier spirit. It would be a memorable homecoming in the last of my undergraduate years.

What is your favorite homecoming activity? I love the parade. I’ve gone as a participant or observer every year and I just love seeing the community come together before the weekend. It’s a great kickoff event before the game itself.

What is your favorite IU memory? Traditions and Spirits my freshman year. It was the first moment I felt like a Hoosier.

What has been your most rewarding activity at IU? Orientation Team. It has been the best way to pay forward the Hoosier experience to new students coming after me.

Adam Day

Senior from Fort Wayne, Indiana, studying marketing

Why did you apply to be on homecoming court? I’m a part of the Student Athletic Board, and we make it an initiative for all of the seniors to apply because it’s an honor to be a part of this tradition. When I got the form, I just wrote how I felt.

What is your favorite homecoming activity? I’ve been involved with the parade each year with the SAB float. Last year, we brought out the T-shirt gun and it’s fun to see a kid’s face light up when a shirt is coming their way.

What is your favorite IU memory? I’m a member of the Hoosier Hype Crew and our first basketball game was against Duke last year. Being a part of the inaugural season was really special.

What has been your most rewarding activity at IU? Through SAB and on my own, I’ve been involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington. Through their Reading Buddy Program, I mentored and motivated a kid named Blaise to become a better reader. It was special to watch him grow as an individual.

Gamaliel Garcia

Senior from Lagrange, Indiana, studying informatics

Why did you apply to be on homecoming court? I thought it would be a good opportunity to express my love for IU. IU has given me so much, so what better way to embody my love for IU than this?

What is your favorite homecoming activity? Definitely the football game. Supporting IU through the thick and thin is a passion of mine. People from all corners of the map come back here to rekindle friendships.

What is your favorite IU memory? Supporting the men’s soccer team as we made it to the finals. It was cool to see the team come together and represent IU on a national stage.

What has been your most rewarding activity at IU? It has been through an organization I co-founded, Honors First Generation Leaders Association. As a first generation college student and an honors student, I saw there was a need for a group of students to find faculty mentors. Mentorship has played a key role in my time as a college student, and I want to pay that forward.

Andrew Hennessey

Senior from Fort Wayne, Indiana, majoring in sociology and gender studies

Why did you apply to be on homecoming court? I was contacted by a friend and colleague who thought I would be a great representative for the student body. I’m excited to represent the campus and share with people why I love IU.

What is your favorite homecoming activity? I like to go to the game and cheer on the Hoosiers. My best friend’s birthday was on the same day as the game freshman year, so we had a lot of fun between the game and that.

What is your favorite IU memory? My favorite IU memory has to be getting to know people from all walks of life. While it’s not a memory, it’s something that has given me a diverse perspective in my time here.

What has been your most rewarding activity at IU? Working as an Advocate for Community Engagement at Fairview Elementary School has been incredibly rewarding. I’ve been able to connect with the Bloomington community and learn a lot about myself.

Maggie Hopkins

Senior from Bloomington majoring in policy analysis

Why did you apply to be on homecoming court? It felt like an appropriate culmination of how much I love IU — not just for four years, but for 22. I’ve made it a goal this year to throw myself into the traditions and spirits of IU.

What is your favorite homecoming activity? I really enjoy the parade. My sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, is along the parade route and I love standing on the lawn with my sorority sisters watching the parade go by.

What is your favorite IU memory? Hearing that my student government ticket, Voice IUSA, won the election last year after three months of hard work. Seeing the team I helped build become our campus’s student government was really impactful.

What has been your most rewarding activity at IU? Serving on the Mental Health Task Force established by the provost two years ago. CAPS hired four new counselors as a result, so knowing that we identified, advocated for and saw our goal to completion was pretty phenomenal.

Hayley Kwasniewski

Senior from Munster, Indiana, studying biochemistry

Why did you apply to be on homecoming court? I’ve really loved my time here at IU, and this school has been amazing to me. It would be an honor to represent the school, and it’ll be a privilege I’ll take with me for the rest of my life.

What is your favorite homecoming activity? The parade. I think it’s really interesting to see all the students showcase their talents and activities. I just think it’s a fun time to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments.

What is your favorite IU memory? During the 2018 Little 500 race, my team was in an accident, and we tried really hard to catch the pack. It was a team effort, but I was lucky enough to be the one to reach it. I remember looking at my team and thinking, “We’ve accomplished something amazing.”

What has been your most rewarding activity at IU? The Little 500. It’s helped me become a stronger, more confident version of myself. It’s brought me to a multitude of people that I’m proud to call my friends.

Olivia Malone

Senior from Columbus, Indiana, studying informatics, and law and public policy.

Why did you apply to be on homecoming court? I’ve been a part of the parade since I was a freshman, and this is an opportunity for me to represent other communities and shine a light on other organizations.

What is your favorite homecoming activity? The parade. I always love it because it’s so loud and bright and colorful. It brings out the community, plus all sorts of organizations work together on it. It’s a celebration of IU, period.

What is your favorite IU memory? During my junior year, I was able to get close to a lot of Jacobs students and see a lot of their performances. I really got to see them for the wonderful musicians that they are. You change so much during college, and each semester experiences like this push me to go a little further and find new parts of campus.

What has been your most rewarding activity at IU? I’m the lead intern of Black Women in Technology. It’s a very personal involvement for me and it’s very close to my heart, and it’s also a marriage of both of my academic interests.

Allison Newman

Senior from Southlake, Texas, studying human biology

Why did you apply to be on homecoming court? Homecoming has always been important to me as a member of the Marching Hundred, so being able to represent IU in a different way seemed exciting.

What is your favorite homecoming activity? Performing with the Alumni Band. They come onto the field before the game with us and it’s fun to be a part of.

What is your favorite IU memory? The first time I watched a Big Ten basketball game at Assembly Hall. All of the upperclassmen told me it would make me feel like a Hoosier.

What has been your most rewarding activity at IU? Serving as vice president of membership for my service fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi. Last year, we brought in 14 new members, and it made me feel like I was passing on the torch to a new group of students.

Angela Perez

Senior from Crown Point, Indiana, studying supply chain management and technology management

Why did you apply to be on homecoming court? It’s my last year at IU as an undergraduate, and I want to experience all I can before I have to say goodbye.

What is your favorite homecoming activity at IU? It has to be game day — Specifically, hanging out with my friends. I get excited cheering for IU alongside them. I just love getting in on the Hoosier spirit.

What is your favorite IU memory? Participating in the Bicentennial Campaign as the Student Scholar Speaker. I’ve served alongside IU President Michael McRobbie and IU Foundation President Dan Smith at events across the country. We’ve been to D.C., New York and Chicago.

What has been your most rewarding activity at IU? The highlight has to be giving back to my community and mentoring others through the Cox Scholars Program and my business fraternity Phi Gamma Nu. In my first two years with Cox, I served at the Project School. Now, I am the lead advocate for community engagement and I help educate and mentor the incoming freshmen scholars.

Gabe Starms

Junior from Indianapolis studying economics

Why did you apply to be on homecoming court? I applied because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’ve always been fascinated with the traditions here at IU, and I wanted a way to get involved.

What is your favorite homecoming activity? I love the atmosphere — specifically the parade, tailgate and game. Together, they create one hell of a day.

What is your favorite IU memory? All the sporting events, but specifically quals for Little 500. It sparked my interest to join IUSF and be a part of the race and contribute to it.

What has been your most rewarding activity at IU? Being selected as an RA at the KLLC in McNutt. I’m in a position to make a positive impact on freshmen.

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