Homecoming Court 2014

Bobby Shipman

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Check your email to vote for the 2014 Homecoming King and Queen.

Ryan Smith (1)Ryan Smith

Junior accounting and professional services major

Vacation spot: Destin, Florida

Dream Country: “England or Australia so I could have an awesome accent.”

Music: Country

Restaurant: Qdoba

Goals: Obtain an MBA, pass the CPA, have a family

Favorite Quote:  “Be the change you want to see in the world.” -Muhatma Ghnadi

Why are you proud to be a USI student?

“I’m proud to be a USI student because I am proud of who USI students are. Many of us work several jobs, go to school, and find themselves involved in something else on campus. I believe USI students are some of the hardest working students in the state.”

What will you take from your USI experience?

“If you set your mind on something, you can accomplish anything and make a lot of friends alone the way.”

Favorite USI Event?

“USI Dance Marathon for Riley Hospital for Children-but I am a little bias.”

Organizations: President of USI Dance Marathon for Riley Hospital for Children, President Assistant for the Business LLC, former AMIGO


Sarah KrampeoSarah Krampe (1)

Senior marketing and finance major

Vacation spot: “I like to experience a new city every time I take a trip.”

Music: Hip Hop/R&B

Restaurant: Yen Ching

Goals: Become a marketing executive, pursue my MBA, live to be 100

Favorite USI Event: International Food Expo

What will you take from your USI experience?

“Any goal you have is within your reach.”

Dream Country: “Switzerland because they are politically neutral (kind of) and have great chocolate.”

Why are you proud to be a USI student?

“I don’t think I can adequately express this in such a short space, but my favorite part of USI is the close relationships students are able to build with faculty.”

Idol: “Anyone who has the courage to stand up for what they think is right.”

Organizations: Student Government Association, Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, Springfest Programming Committee, Royal Roads Case Competition Team, Girls in Bloom Board Member

oZack Mathias (1)Zack Mathis

Senior marketing major

Vacation spot: “Anywhere with my family or friends, but North and South Carolina are both beautiful and relaxing.”

Music: Alternative/Rap/Folk

Restaurant: Charlie’s Mongolian BBQ

Goals: Become a creative director, a consultant, and eventually own my own business, likely a marketing firm or a craft brewery.

Idol: “While I look up to people like my parents, I don’t idolize anyone. I just try to be the best person I can and improve the lives of those around me.”

Why are you proud to be a USI student?

“There are so many opportunities for students at USI. By getting involved, you open a lot of doors for yourself.”

What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?

“I became over-involved my first three semesters and ended up changing my major  and picked out which groups I would dedicate my time to.”

Organizations: Founding Father of Sigma Tau Gamma, Student Government Association President, SpringFest Committee member, Global Edge Movement, former AMIGO, Technology Commercialization Academy participant


Samantha Ray (1)Samantha Ray

Junior psychology major

Vacation spot: London, England

Music: Justin Timberlake

Restaurant: Turoni’s

Favorite USI Event: Basketball, Baseball games

Idol: “My family, friends, and other supporters. It would be too hard for me to pick just one, each has provided me with a unique perspective on life.”

Goals: “To attend graduate school for Student Affairs and to continue my love for higher education by working at a university with student involvement.”

What will you take from your USI experience?

“To never limit myself and always set high goals – you’ll never know your limits until you push yourself to them.”

What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?

“Making a name for myself at a university where I knew no one. Being away from home is certainly a learning experience and I continue to learn from it everyday.”

Organizations: Former Resident Assistant, Intern for Dr. Kiessling, former AMIGO, Student Government Association member, student worker for Athletic Office


Elizabeth Behrens1Elizabeth Behrens

Junior biology-pre med. major

Vacation spot: Bahamas

Music: Ellie Goulding/Frank Sinatra

Restaurant: The Mellow Mushroom

Goals: Go to medical school

Idol: Carynn Koch. “She gives me balance.”

What will you take from your USI experience?

“I will take away great memories of my college career and much knowledge that will apply to many aspects of my life.”

Why are you proud to be a USI student?

“USI is a fantastic college. There is a wonderful sense of community here that I am proud to be a part of.”

What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?

“With each semester my classes have required more time and work. The stress of a challenging course is a feeling everyone can relate to. I have learned the importance of slowing down and taking one day at a time.”

Organizations: Academic Skills tutor, Genetics search committee, Pre Professional Health Club member, EURP research


Carynn (1)Carynn Koch

Junior biology pre-med. major

Vacation spot: Indian Rocks Beach, Florida

Music: Phil Collins/Tarzan soundtrack

Restaurant: Starbucks

Goals: “I want to go to medical school and return to the area and practice.”

Idol: Elizabeth Behrens. “She gives me an edge.”

What will you take from your USI experience?

Apart from the friends that I have made this undergraduate experience unforgettable, the professional opportunities presented to me at USI are what make USI unique in preparing me fully for my career.”

Why are you proud to be a USI student?

“I am surrounded by students and professors that I have huge respect for, and to think that I get to go to a school that attracts and graduates people of such a caliber means a lot to me.”

Organizations: President of Student Ambassadors Organization, President of Pre Professional Health Club, Academic Skills tutor, Pott College Student Advisory Board, Early Undergraduate Research Program


Vanessa (1)Vanessa Higdon

Junior criminal justice major

Vacation spot: Home “Someplace warm and comfortable.”

Music: Country

Restaurant: Buffalo Wild Wings

Goals: Find a job I love, maybe go for a Master’s degree.

Favorite USI Event:Student Success Week

Idol: “ I idolize my sisters. They call me out on my bull and they were the best role models I could ask for.”

Dream Country:

“Spain. I loved visiting there and there is so much history and cool architechture in each city.”

What will you take from your USI experience?

“A great education, great friends, and years of memories.”

Why are you proud to be a USI student?

“When I go to class I feel like I matter. The professors know my name and take a real interest in my life. I love how the school feels like a small town but there is a variety of people.”

Organizations: Honors Program, Track and Field


Spencer Purdy (1)Spencer Prudy

Senior elementary education major

Vacation spot: Florida/Michigan

Music: Pop/Rock

Restaurant: Chick-fil-a

Goals: “Graduate, find the job God wants me to have, start some cool hobbies, get married, start a family and learn to surf.”

What will you take from your USI experience?

“I’ve really grown in so many ways while being in college. Becoming more independent is a big thing. As well as having a passion to form goof relationships with people I can learn and grow from.”

Idol: “Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I try to be more like Him each and every day because He lived the perfect life. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Living for Jesus helps me become the best version of myself, living with passion and purpose and acknowledging that this life is so short compared to eternity.”

Organizations: Corraggio Young Catholic Adult Group of USI and UE students, participate on Occasion with the Newman Group Community Activities, RFWC employee, PAC lifeguard,  former Academic Skills tutor


Joey Tadros (1)Joey Tadros

Senior biology major

Vacation spot: Paris, France

Restaurant: Bonefish Grill/Red Lobster

Goals: “I’m attending medical school and what to be a physician, would like a family, would like to live near the beach, and would like to help others in need.”

Idol: “I really love Kobe Bryant because he is passionate about the game of basketball and he has heart.”

What will you take from your USI experience?

“USI has made me a more humble individual and one that cares and respects other people for who they are. I had a great education that will help me succeed later on and I’ve made great friendships with many students and professors, both of which I will keep in touch with.”

Why are you proud to be a USI student?

“USI has provided me with all the opportunities to succeed, get involvement, and be a part of the community. The atmosphere is friendly and staff are extremely helpful.”

Organizations: Student Ambassador Organization, AMIGO, Honors Program, Sigma Tau Gamma, Pre Professional Health Club member, Dream Center volunteer, REC Fitness Consultant


Tyler (1)Tyler Robling

Senior history major

Vacation spot: Macinac Island

Music: Punk/Pop

Restaurant: Buffalo Wild Wings/ Crazy Buffet (East side)

Goals: “I want to get my Master’s in student affairs and hopefully become a Program Adviser for a universities Fraternity/Sorority Life.”

Idol: “I try not to ‘idolize’ anyone other than God, but a person I look up to is my mentor, David Stetter, my favorite quote from him is, ‘Leadership is about action not position.”

What will you take from your USI experience?

“I’ll take away a bunch of memories of my friends, brothers, and staff. I’ve worked hard at this university and it has given so much to me that I can never forget it.”

Why are you proud to be a USI student?

“I’m proud because USI gives students an experience unlike any other college. You get a good, affordable education as well as a place that feels like home.”

Organizations: Humans vs. Zombies member, Student Assistant of Leadership Programs for the office of Student Development, lead mentor for Emerging Leader Program, New Member Educator and Community Service Chairman for Sigma Pi Fraternity, International, AMIGO, Interfraternity Council President


Rachel Seivers (1)Rachel Sievers 

Senior health services – administration major

Vacation spot: Florida

Music: Country

Restaurant: Los Bravo’s

Goals: “To be an administrator in a hospital, to be someone who is admired for her accomplishments and kindness, and to have a family.”

Idol: “My mom. She has a quiet strength and is the base for our family. She isn’t always the focus but always around. She has more impact by her small actions.”

What will you take from your USI experience?

“A strong educational framework and a network of friends.”

Why are you proud to be a USI student?

“I am proud of the structure and atmosphere of USI. People are friendly and faculty is helpful. You don’t always get that at other universities.”

What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?

“Finding myself and who I want to be. College was the first time I wasn’t surrounded by people making decisions and leading me. I had to decide what I wanted. Sometimes (it is) very hard to sort out everything running through my head.

Organizations: Alpha Sigma Tau, Delta Epsilon Iota Society, Order of Omega, Honors Society


oNehal (1)Nehal Ninad

Sophomore bio-chemistry major

Vacation spot: Switzerland

Favorite food: Indian cuisine

Music: Bollywood music

Goals: “Become a doctor, publish a novel and my collection of poems, elevate the status of humanity on Earth, and find a cure for a disease.”

Idol: Mahatma Gandhi/My grandfather

What will you take from your USI experience?

“I will take away all the lessons that I have learned at USI. When I came here I was unprepared to ascend the next ladder of life. USI taught me leadership lessons to deal with various situation in life.  Those lessons are a treasure to me.”

Why are you proud to be a USI student?

“USI gave me an identity. I came from India three and a half years ago. Nobody knew me, I had no friends and no identity. USI helped me establish one with plethora of involvement opportunities. Today, I am a Sigma Tau, an SGA member, a student, a CAC member, etc. I don’t think I could have done this in any other university.”

Organizations: Sigma Tau, Student Government

Association, Center for Academic Creativity, Honors Program, Honors Student Council