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Kyra Blacketter

Undergraduate Student
Presidential Fellow

Read about our other Presidential Fellows

Expected Graduation Year: 2018

Hometown: Milford, CT

Tell us about yourself:

Ever since I have been a child, I have always had a passion for art. As I grew up I devoted this passion to different media outlets, exploring painting, drawing sculpting, and even got a job working as an apprentice at a jewelry store.

When I’m not making art of my own or admiring the works of others, I enjoy playing basketball, reading books of all genres, and listening to music. However, one of my favorite things to do is travel and experience new cultures. In fact, for the past three summers I have traveled to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reservation with an organization called Simply Smiles to help restore the community and host a summer camp for the children. This experience is especially near to my heart because I am Native American, however wasn’t able to experience my culture growing up. I hope that in future years I can not only continue to work with this organization but that I will also be able to travel around the world and experience all of the diverse cultures present.

Hopefully, over the course of my college years I will be able to discover a career which will allow me to incorporate all of these passions into my future life.

Tell us about your experience as a first year student at Stevenson:

Being a freshman at Stevenson University is truly an amazing thing. Initially, like many students, I was irrationally worried that I would make no friends or that I would not be able to keep up with my classes. However, after living on campus for only a week, all these worries disappeared and I realized that Stevenson promotes a strong sense of community comprised of people who genuinely want to help you achieve your goals. In no time at all I was making new friends, forming study groups, and getting involved in clubs and activities that occurred on campus. If I need help, I have found that there is always a resource that I can go to.

How do you think Stevenson helps first year students become acclimated to the University?

Not only does Stevenson University aid in the acclimation of first year students socially, but they also provide numerous opportunities for students to get the academic and practical help they may need during the transition into college. In the first week when first year students stayed on campus, there were numerous events hosted that promoted the creation of new friendships through fun activities, during which I can personally attest to making a bunch of new friends.

Similarly, for students who may find themselves struggling to maintain a healthy lifestyle in college, they offer informational talks on practicing good study habits and time management as well as support groups on how to make the transition into college. Through these two options, first year students are provided with the resources to successful acclimate to the University.

How have you become involved on campus?

Currently I am involved in the Women’s Club Basketball program and Stevenson’s Environmental Club. I am extremely happy with my involvement in both as club basketball has allowed me to make new friendships with my teammates as well as provided me with a fun way to stay in shape and Environmental Club has opened up numerous opportunities to branch out into the community and take part in service which helps the environment.

Why did you choose to attend SU?

Stevenson University offered numerous programs and advantages that led me to choose to attend. First, I initially came into Stevenson University as a deciding student, not completely sure of what career path I wanted to choose, and despite having chosen a major, I still am not completely positive on what career I want to pursue. This being said, Stevenson’s Career Architecture program gave me hope that there would be a supportive community to aid me in my decision and provide me with opportunities to explore different paths and gain valuable experience.

Along with the obvious appeal of the Career Architecture program, Stevenson was also the perfect size. From the moment I stepped on campus for my first tour, the first of five visits I made to Stevenson, I felt a strong sense of support from the community, and that at Stevenson I would not just be a number.

I really appreciate the small class sizes at Stevenson, which allow me to establish helpful and supportive connections with my professors as well as voice my opinion without the intimidation of a whole lecture hall full of eyes on me. In fact, the smaller class sizes also allowed me to form closer friendships with my peers and promote class discussion.

I could go on and on about all of the reasons I chose to attend SU, such as the high quality of housing and plethora of events they host for student entertainment, however that would likely result in a very lengthy answer, so I will conclude that Stevenson was the perfect fit for me!

What are your career goals?

I initially enrolled at Stevenson University as a deciding student because I really didn’t know what I wanted to do career-wise, and now that I have declared as a Visual Communication Design major, I still don’t really know what I hope to pursue as a career. However, whatever I do end up deciding, a general career goal I have is that it will have a positive contribution to society and benefit those in need.

What do you like best about SU?

I continue to have a tremendous appreciation for the community which Stevenson has developed to support students in their education. Before I even enrolled in Stevenson, I felt the overwhelming sense that there were people here who provide support to students and wanted to see them successfully graduate and achieve their goals.

This community is not only present in the admissions staff though, as I have observed a strong focus on networking and encouraging students to form connections which will help them later in their lives. I have even observed this support from my professors, who encourage students to come to seek out help where needed and take an interest in their students. I have no doubt that if/when I need help, there will be a supportive network of people to help me be successful.

What is your favorite part about your major?

Although I just recently declared my major in Visual Communication Design, I am greatly looking forward to all of the classes which I will be taking next semester. As a deciding student in my first semester of freshman year, I was unable to take any art-related classes, which left me feeling as though something important was missing from my schedule. So, I am most excited that being a VCD major will allow me to fill this gap.

What has been your biggest challenge as a student at SU?

My biggest challenge so far as a student has been time management. I understood that the course load in college would be different from that of high school and that it would be my responsibility to manage my time, however, it is often easy to get carried away with social activities and push off academic responsibilities until the last minute.

Therefore, I have had to employ a greater usage of planners and calendars to maintain a responsible balance between social and academic responsibilities, while also ensuring that I am maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

How would you describe your experience living on campus?

My experience of living on campus has been really incredible! The dorm facilities are very accommodating and impressive, and I definitely have no complaints about having our own bathrooms within our suites.

There is also no shortage of events which Stevenson has every week! Whether it’s going to a game or attending a Patio Jams session, there is something which students can go to for fun almost every night. Also, our dining options are very versatile, allowing students to either enjoy a meal at Rockland or take food back to our dorms from Pandini's. All in all, my experience of living on campus has given me a sense of responsibility and freedom which also providing me with opportunities to have fun and interact with others in the community.

What do you do for fun on the weekends?

On the weekends, there are a bunch of things which can be done, both on and off campus. Generally, Stevenson always hosts some sort of event on campus during the weekend, whether it be a dance or a sports game. However, one weekends I also take advantage of our proximity to the inner harbor and will often take trips with my friends into Baltimore to eat dinner or shop. My friends and I have even developed a weekly tradition of baking every Sunday night in the community kitchen in Ratcliffe.

"From the moment I stepped on campus for my first tour, the first of five visits I made to Stevenson, I felt a strong sense of support from the community, and that at Stevenson I would not just be a number."
 
 
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