|What is your most memorable childhood experience?
|When I was six years old, my family decided it was time to finally give in to my pleas to get a dog. I picked out a yellow lab and named her Niko. She grew up with me and I have so many fond memories of her being at my football games or waiting for me after a rough day at school. Sadly, the story doesn't have a happy ending as my mom and stepdad divorced and my stepdad wouldn't allow me to see the dog anymore. Through my half-brother I was able to find out that she lived 15 long years though.
|What immediate family member do you closely identify with and why?
|I have always been very close with my dad, as I think we've gone through similar struggles in our life and have come out of these struggles as much better people. He has always been there for me emotionally, and he isn't judgmental. He's always willing to listen and knows when to give advice and when I'm going to be too stubborn and have to learn things the hard way. He has helped shape me into the person I am today which I'm very pleased with.
|What character traits do you admire in an individual?
|I admire people who can be themselves, and in turn people who can be honest with themselves and others. I believe in quality over quantity when it comes to people I associate with, so I look for people who have similar goals as me. People who can be selfless but not let people walk over them also have my respect, as they show compassion and empathy, yet have set boundaries.
|What is the funniest thing ever to happen to you?
|I can't think of the "funniest" thing to happen to me, but I do remember a couple years ago when I was going to college and living with 6 roommates, we had a bat somehow get in our basement. We had probably 15 people in the house at the time and everybody was scared of the bat, literally everybody. Nobody wanted to be the one to try to get it out but we all wanted to see the action going on so we gathered around right next to the staircase leading to the basement and would take turns trying to shoo it out the back door. Eventually we got it out, but we were all pretty hysterical about the situation in the moment. There's also another time in that house where there was a bunch of ice right outside our back door, but we lacked an ice chipper or shovel. Our brilliant idea was to take a wooden plank and take turns banging it against the ice until it broke. Definitely not smart but the video still cracks me up every time. One more escapade: one of my best friends was born on the same day and year as me, so we were celebrating our 21st birthday with a few of our friends and he ended up drinking too much. We made it to Perkins at about 2:00 AM and right when we got our waters, he threw up everywhere on the ground next to our table. We all felt terrible for the waitress and helped her clean it up, but he ate an entire meal after that, which I found pretty funny.
|If time and money were not an issue, where would you travel and why?
|I would go to Germany, which is a place I've fancied since taking German in high school. Germany has some of the world's best engineering practices and achievements, and I'd like to explore that as well as the culture and land over there.
|When and if you ever have children, what would you like to pass on to them?
|I would like to pass on to them the wisdom that I have been taught by my elders, the good and bad in life that creates a balanced world. I would teach them not to practice things that they don't want to be defined by, as habits form early in life and neural connections are always being made or strengthened. I, over everything, want them to be happy and peaceful, and to know that there is at least one person that loves them in me.