When you go to college you don’t think about teenagers/early twenties students running branches of national organizations, attending conferences, putting on events that cost thousands of dollars and more. Yet in my experience that is the responsibility and opportunities available to students in college and at UPS. We’re representatives of our university, clubs, honor societies, departments, labs, fraternities and sororities and more all connected through a national network. We have opportunities to be national leaders for our respective organizations, regional representatives, and sit on communities representing our peers to professors, deans, professionals and more.

I’m constantly in awe when I think of my experience in my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. We’re at a small university and still our executive team, for some its their first time in a leadership position and even so its a role that is very different than limited high school responsibilities. We handle thousands of dollars putting on our philanthropy and formal for over 100 people, we coordinate events with other houses and community organizations to do fun activities and service projects. Many other campus organizations do the same, some planning rallies, and workshops!


Even the opportunity to live off-campus, we as students have to find roommates/housemates, reach out to landlords, set up our utilities with various companies and preferences. We furnish our own homes for a few months to a few years during our time year, choosing to live off-campus, walk or drive to campus and begin to stop relying on the campus meal plan but rather cooking (or trying to cook) for ourselves. These are all valuable experiences heading off on our own whether its a graduate program where we must find our own living situation, even finding a job in a different field than we expected to pay the bills.

The This or That Challenge

Often times in college we feel like we’re being pulled in two or more different directions. We came to college for one thing but once we’re here there’s something else we want to do. And many times college is the growing years, to figure out what choices will we make and what that means for us down the road. It’s as real as trying to figure out the things we won’t remember to the things we know we’re supposed to do. It’s as simple as this, or that.

Going to the library on a friday to work on things or Going home and taking a nap

A Memo’s study break run at 2AM or A catnap turning into normal sleeping

Thai food or Vietnamese food (pho)

6th Ave or Proctor

Sleep in on Saturday morning or get sweet breakfast at the sub (Waffles!)

Sub food or cafe drinks & muffins all day

Oppenheimer or Diversion or Lillis

Cellar or Domino’s delivery

Trappers ALL YOU CAN EAT sushi or Gateway to India ALL YOU CAN EAT Indian

Netflix or Youtube

studying in a cafe surrounded by people or studying in a classroom by yourself

Polar Plunge or snuggling in bed

vest & scarf or patagonia & scarf

(notice a pattern of food this or that, that’s totally a critical part of being a college student!)

Spring 2016 Sketch

As my final semester as a Puget Sound student comes to a close, I thought I’d post about one of my favorite things I participated in as an undergrad: Ubiquitous They Sketch Comedy. This group is my family away from family. Every semester, we put on a comedy show written, directed, and acted by students. Tech week is terrible, being in Rausch’s tiny theater 6 to midnight every day… but in reality I love every minute. Getting to spend so much time with such genuinely good and funny people has defined my Puget Sound experience.

BUT ENOUGH WITH THE CHEESE. Let’s get to the funny stuff. Here’s a look at my final sketch show with UT Sketch Comedy — UT Presents: I ate a nickle!

The fantastic poster advertising the show, designed by senior and sketch mom Michelle Leatherby

The fantastic poster advertising the show, designed by senior and sketch mom Michelle Leatherby

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Do You Know Your Professors?: Interview with Professor Nick Kontogeorgopoulos

Do you know your professors?

I mean – do you know your professors beyond their names, departments, classes, grading styles, etc.?
One of the most valuable aspects of liberal arts education, in my opinion, is the close connection you could establish with the professors.
Sure, they could seem intimidating with their crazy educational backgrounds and sophisticated word usage skills, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting to know them.
They are always there – willing to help, and get to know you.

In saying so, I’m presenting you with the first edition of the “Do You Know Your Professors?” Series: Interview with Professor Nick Kontogeorgopoulos, the Distinguished Professor of the International Political Economy (IPE) Department.


BeFunky DesignSo, to start off – Professor Konto, did you always want to be a professor since you were young?
Well, I knew I wanted to be a professor since my freshman year in college. Fun fact actually, I was originally going to study engineering at University of Toronto, because I was doing a lot of math and science in high school. But I got a four-year scholarship called the Morehead-Cain from North Carolina Chapel Hill, so I ended up going there from Toronto, Canada – where I was in High School. North Carolina Chapel Hill did not have engineering, so I started down another path – thought I’d do International Relations. I enjoyed it very much since First Year, so yea. I knew pretty early on – which was nice.

Wait, did you say you grew up in Canada?
Yes. I was born in Canada; I grew up in Vancouver until I was 6, then my family moved to Toronto. Oh, but my family is from Greece. My parents were immigrants from Greece, and they met in Canada, where I was born.

Wow; I did not know that! And your college experience – was North Carolina Chapel Hill different from/similar to UPS? How?
It was totally different, because North Carolina Chapel Hill is a huge research school with thousands and thousands of students. Classes are very large, especially in the first couple of years. So, it was a completely different experience. My first knowledge and exposure to liberal arts was when I got hired to come here.

Due to its nature of being a big university, would you say that the relationship dynamic between a student and a professor at North Carolina Chapel Hill was different compared to that of UPS?
Yes. It was more difficult to get to know the professor, but the professor to get to know you – it was definitely more difficult, and you had to be a lot more proactive. It was a lot easier to melt into the crowd and be anonymous, which is good and bad, but you had to really make sure you got good education. It was very up to you. You really had to make the choices to make the most out of it. Here at UPS, it is naturally set up in a way to ensure students get good education.

How would you define good teaching? What is your teaching philosophy?
When I think about good teaching, I think about the teachers that I enjoyed the most, and what those teachers had in common were high level of organization and genuine passion for the material, but also for teaching the material. So – professors who are excited about learning new things to teach, and being in the classroom in front of students. Professors who have good plan, and intensity… I think I responded to those the most – So I try to do that in my own teaching.

So, How long have you been teaching at UPS?
This is my 18th year.

Oh my gosh.
Yea, is it 18th? Yea. It is.

Has the school changed at all since you first came here?
I think this School has changed, and there are certain things that improved since I have came here, in terms of the reach of the school nationally – its profile – has improved since I got here.

You earlier said that you aspire to be a professor who is always excited about learning new things to teach; do you have current research interests?
The current research I’m doing is volunteer tourism, in which tourists travel and volunteer for short periods of time; and I’m interested in what motivates them, and what impact they have on the communities. In general, my research is related to alternative forms of tourism.

And Lastly, what piece of academic, or even life advice would you give to all of your students?
I would tell my students that it is never too early to think about what you want to do down the road. There are lots of options available to students, and it seems like a daunting task, but often students wait too long to think about what they want to do because they are afraid to make decisions. So, many end up very close to graduation without preparations or plans – it might seem early to think about your future, and of course, young people should keep their options open and explore their choices, but at some point, you should buckle down and make some decisions for career. Another – is to not put too much pressure on yourself to have something perfect when you graduate. People shouldn’t feel so pressured to get paralyzed by it.


~Fun Fact About Professor Konto~

Nick in studio

Professor Konto in KUPS Studio

Did you know that, for 10 YEARS, Professor Konto with Professor Jeff Matthews (from the Business department) hosted a KUPS show called “Back and Black” with seventies to nineties hard rock? YES – he is big on music.

His favorite band is Rush – the Canadian band, because he grew up with them in high school. He really enjoys classic rock from the seventies and New wave music from the eighties. He also likes some contemporary stuff from England – like the Artic Monkeys, and Brit pop from the nineties – like Oasis. Oh, and of course, disco as well – from the seventies.


*Thank you Professor Konto!*

Our adult responsibilities

I was texting my little sister yesterday and was surprised to find out she didn’t have school today! I knew today was Election Day but why did that mean they didn’t have school? As I thought it over I realized it’s because it’s Election Day! But not because of how amazing an American right it is and everyone should go out and vote but because in Hawaii many public schools are used as polling places for the various districts. And I think that’s kind of amazing to make it easy for people to vote as many people don’t specifically get time off to vote. I also learned via the internet earlier today that the state of Washington mails in their ballots. That’s really cool because it puts the accountability and the right and power directly into the hands of all their constituents which I can relate to because I completed my mail-in ballot last week. And it’s an interesting process since I’m away, I don’t see the political ads on TV, the radio or people sign-waving on the streets (is that a thing only in Hawaii?). And I think politics are so messy with negative campaigning and fighting to control the power cajoling during the campaigning and not following through during their terms. And that’s something we hope to change, that in college, in life we see how truly valuable hard-working people with good intentions are and being fair. Voting is a right we all, over 18 year olds, have and must use to the fullest, WE decide how our future will be by choosing the ones we believe will do the best to fulfill our county’s, district’s, state’s, and nation’s needs. Here’s a cool video that promotes voting among young people. Everyone has a story and is affected by the daily actions and bill politicians constantly argue over, they are our voice and we need to choose them wisely to help us tackle the issues we want to fix, and there are many as the video shows. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rijpU5yD55I

Voting is also just one of the many adult-like responsibilities being a college student with. It’s a lot to realize how different college is from high school but there are still so many things that we need help figuring out. Money is the first and biggest hurdle to learn and deal with as a college student. It’s crazy to think about how much money it costs to attend higher education now and the multitude of ways we must figure out to afford it. And then there’s spending and living money we college students need to have, but we must learn to budget our money to last the year, going out to Silk Thai or Trapper’s Sushi, Met cookies and more.

Last week I attended a Panhellenic sponsored Finance Talk by Professor Linda Livingston titled Saving, Investments, and Retirement. She brought up a lot of points I didn’t realize that I think are invaluable to know. Saving is short-term, and you should have enough savings to live off of for 8 months without pay! And the best way to save is through credit unions (shoutout to my Mom for signing me up for a credit union)! Credit unions are non-profit federally insured and way better than banks because they have shared branches, higher interest rates than banks and no hidden fees. Linda then goes on to explain savings should NEVER be used in investments. The stock market is volatile, but it’s the only market to invest in and make a gain, you have to be patient and wait for the return driver, you gotta play the game. And in the market, the cheapest one is the BEST one, if you play it safe there’s no way for you to win! Retirement does seem so far off into the future, we’re only in college right now! But it’s never too early to save, to think about paying traditional IRAs, paying taxes at your retirement with a tax deduction now or ROTH IRAs, paying taxes now but not at your retirement. This summary was just that a quick introduction into the many opportunities and pitfalls of dealing with finances, something in the very near future for us. And I think the least we can do now is start saving, we don’t want to be broke college students forever.

A Poorly Written Ode to Fall Break Among Other Things


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GeekGirlCon last weekend with the WACM(Womens’s Association for Computing Machinery) was FANTASTIC! One of my favorite panels was examining why villainesses and vixens have disappeared from comics overtime and the role they played during the golden age of comics. One … Continue reading

An Introduction (of sorts)

Hello Internet people!

My name is Kelly and…I am not that good at introductions. But, I thought that it might be a good idea to tell you something about myself for my first post. I am a double major in Sociology and Anthropology (SOAN) and Computer Science. A very specific major that will hopefully allow me to reach my dream of becoming Intel’s Director of Research and Experience. (My other dream is to attend the American Library Association’s Conference.) I am a sophomore. I love pie, the ocean, and fog. I think that’s good for now.

Oh, fog. How can I count the ways I love thee?

Oh, fog. How can I count the ways I love thee?

It is mid-terms week. (Or mid-terms time?) So, like my peers I have been really busy. Most of this ‘busy-ness’ is because I decided to change the topic of my research paper for my one of my SOAN classes. Originally I was going to research how globalization in the technology industry creates economic inequality. But, then I decided to focus on the manufacturing practices of companies in the Silicon Valley and how businesses incorporate corporate social responsibility into their off shore manufacturing. And, now….I might change my topic again. I am an indecisive person.

On the bright side this week has been a lot of fun. I am part of the Nerdfighters club on campus (What is a nerdfighter?). We recently had a scavenger hunt that involved activities like creating a psychological landscape, yodeling, and creating sentences of out of library books. I got to dress up as a beekeeper at one point.

I am also part of the WACM. Which is Women Association for Computer Machinery (the Computer Science club in other words). The WACM is a new addition to the general ACM this year. We have scheduled for women in technology to come and speak on campus! So excite! Much anticipation! And a few of us are going to GeekGirlCon in Seattle tomorrow. I plan on dressing up as a Gryffindor student. Or Clara from Doctor Who. Again. The indecisiveness.

For my SOAN 101 class we watched the film Slumdog Millionaire and then dissected the film through a sociological lens. Slumdog, despite its’ sadness, is one of my favorite movies of all time. It was weird to watch a movie in a room full of people. Weird in a good way. It’s just that I haven’t been in a theater for awhile and Netflix is my pal. Do you ever feel that way? As in “Wow, it’s so nice to do stuff with people”?

Maybe that just speaks to a certain part of the twenty-first century lifestyle.