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University of Kansas

Name: Michael Walrod
College: University of Kansas

1.What first drew you to The University of Kansas

I liked that KU had a solid liberal arts program along with a reputable business administration program at a reasonable price. I also liked that the student population was pretty large.  Having attended small, private schools since middle school, I felt I was ready for something different.

2. What other colleges were you considering?

The other college that I strongly considered was DePaul University in Chicago.  Going to school in Chicago had a strong appeal to me, but finally I picked KU because I believed I would get a strong education without having a mountain of student loans.

3. How was the adjustment from high school to college?

Going from Rockhurst High School, a small, private school, to a large, public institution was dramatic.  When I attended Rockhurst, the entire school had less than 800 students.  KU was probably close to 24,000 students at that time.  I was definitely a small fish in a very big pond.  It took a couple of months to get used to the larger class sizes and the larger student population, but I believe it gave me the opportunity to meet more people.

4. What was your favorite class?  Why?

My favorite class was Quantitative Methods, which I took my senior year.  I appreciated the ability to use all of the math and statistics I learned in prior years and apply the disciplines to real world business problems.  Our professor constantly challenged us to look at things from different perspectives before jumping to a solution.  This was probably where I was first exposed to data analytics, which I still enjoy.

5. What clubs or groups were you involved in?

I did not join a lot of clubs or groups while I was in college.  I worked all through college to help pay for my education.  I really wanted to graduate without any student loans to pay off. It seemed that I spent all of my time on work, studying, and projects.

6. Anything else you want to tell us?

I was lucky enough to attend KU when the Jayhawks won the championship in 1988.  It was an unbelievable experience that I wasn’t sure I would ever enjoy again.  I feel fortunate that I was able to celebrate the experience again in 2008 – this time with my wonderful wife.

7. In one sentence, what do you love about your school?

I love that KU draws students and faculty from all over the world, but maintains the feel of a small-town school with Midwestern values.

Michael Walrod is the Owner of Get Smarter Prep.

Fun Facts about Gina Claypool

Fun Facts About Gina Claypool

1. I have an adorable daughter named Jemma.  She’s the cutest baby in the world. I’m not biased: she really is the cutest baby in the world.  As far as I know, she already knows how to ace the ACT and SAT, too, because I told her to listen while I was still pregnant.  Since she can’t tell me otherwise, I assume her baby babble is all grammatically correct.

2. While I do love chocolate, if given a choice between a chocolate and a fruity dessert, I will usually choose the fruity one.  No question if it’s lemon.  Yes, I’m the weird kid who likes the lemon Starbursts.  Chocolate might earn you brownie points with me (har har — get it? Brownie? Like chocolate?), but fresh fruit or lemon desserts are even better.

3. I love puns! The stupider the better! For example, after I explained the volume of any right prism is equal to the area of the base times the height, a student asked me “even juvenile prisms?” I laughed.  As a child, I used to make up my own jokes, and they rarely made sense, so I have a soft spot for dumb jokes.  Don’t be surprised if I crack myself up in class.  You aren’t obligated to laugh.  Really.

4. I used to be a camp counselor at Camp Chief Ouray.  I love hiking and camping (and doing arts and crafts like tie-dye and shrinky-dinks).  As a camp counselor (and as a new mom), you get exposed to some gross stuff.  I’m not sure which direction the cause and effect goes, but I find poop humor hilarious.  Especially poop puns.

5. I love to watch sports! I’m a big fan of college basketball (go Jayhawks!), but I enjoy watching football (college or pro) and baseball, too.  As a kid, I played basketball, soccer, and softball, but I never played volleyball or field hockey.

6. I don’t have a favorite color.  I really like red, and I really like green, but I don’t really like red and green together unless it’s Christmas-time. 

7. I like to sing, and when I can, I like to participate in community theatre.  The Kansas City metro has a great theatre community, and there is always a great show to see.  Go support the companies at Theatre in the Park (Guys and Dolls is this weekend), The Barn Players, and The White Theatre at the Jewish Community Center (Spamalot in July!).

8. My first job out of college was as a Project Engineer for RTS Water Solutions.  I got to travel the country to do water audits.  In other words, I got to count a lot of toilets and sinks.  I used to do a quick audit of ever public restroom I used out of habit.  If you ever have a question about sink flow, toilet valves, or waterless urinals, I’m the gal to ask.

9. I am blessed to have a father who passed on his love of math, logic, and numbers.  Nearly every day (except on the day I did), my dad would ask if I had learned binary at school.  When I turned nine, my dad made a birthday banner that read “It’s your birthday, oh what fun! Today you’re the square root of 81!”  It’s no wonder that I love to teach math so much!

10. I’m equally blessed to have a mother who instilled in me a love of reading and words.  My mom not only proofread my papers for school, but she explained to me why I should make the changes she suggested.  I credit her for my good grammar and spelling.  My mom would also read aloud to my sisters and me long after we needed her to (and she’d do all the voices – the best!).  To this day, I read nearly every day.  Much to her chagrin, I do not enjoy her favorite author.  If you’re into accurate historical fiction, though, check out Dorothy Dunnett!

Now you know a little more (than you ever wanted to know) about me.

Gina Claypool is a Tutor at Get Smarter Prep.

University of Kansas; Indiana University – Bloomington, Maurer School of Law

Name:  Amanda Meglemre
College: University of Kansas (undergrad); Indiana University – Bloomington, Maurer School of Law
Major: Political Science, French; law

1. What first drew you to KU?  

Being from NE Kansas, I was always a KU Basketball fan.  I grew up watching a lot of basketball (Kansas and Indiana were the teams my parents followed, so I did too!).  I had a vague idea that I wanted to be an international business woman who wears fancy suits and flies to Paris.  I toured the campus and learned more about KU’s programs in French and in Business.

2. What other colleges were you considering? 

I considered Indiana.  My family is a legacy family there, and they have a beautiful campus and a lot of great programs.  Indiana offers language houses which allows for language immersion, I sometimes wonder if I would be more fluent in French if I’d made that choice instead.  I also looked at Connecticut as a good public university option in the North East.  At the end of the day, Kansas was the most affordable (in-state!), offered me the best scholarships, and was close enough to home for me to do laundry at my parents’ house if need be.

3. How was the adjustment from high school to college? 

I found it a little rough for me. In high school, I was very involved in extra-curricular activities: sports, band, orchestra, and musicals. Comparatively, college was unstructured.  After a mediocre semester or two, I got more involved in my scholarship hall, the student senate, and other campus groups.  I found the structured niche I needed to be successful.

4. What was your favorite class? Why? 

Astronomy.  I took Astronomy because it seemed like the easiest of the lab sciences and the “lab” portion consisted of looking at cool stuff through a telescope.  It was NOT easy, but it was incredibly interesting.  Astronomy was basically physics in space, but Professor Twarog made the material come alive.

5. What clubs or groups were you involved in?

In undergrad, I was involved in the governance of my scholarship hall (Yay Douthart!), the All Scholarship Hall Council, Student Senate, Finance subcommittee, Student Rights subcommittee, Environmental Advisory Board, Judicial Board, KU Habitat for Humanity… I’m sure there were more.

6. Anything else you want to tell us? 

If you’re considering KU, I hope you’ll give a serious look to the Scholarship Hall Community.  The halls are smaller than residence halls and have committees and programs that engage students.  Douthart kept me from feeling anonymous at a larger school and eased my transition to KU.

7. In one sentence, what do you love about your school?   

KU has the programs and pride of a large school with the cuisine and community of a diverse small town.

Amanda Meglemre is  Tutor at Get Smarter Prep.

University of Kansas – Tutor

Name: Gina Claypool
College: University of Kansas
Major: Mechanical Engineering

1. What first drew you to The University of Kansas?

The campus is beautiful — especially in the fall with the vibrant colors of the leaves, and in the spring when the whole campus is in bloom.  I’m a die-hard KU basketball fan, so being able to attend the games was a bonus.  Plus, with in-state tuition and academic scholarships, KU was by far the most affordable option for my family.

2. What other colleges were you considering?

Bradley in Peoria, IL, and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.

3. How was the adjustment from high school to college?

Socially, it was rough.  I was a camp counselor in Colorado over the summer before I started college, so I missed orientation, traditions night, and all the other events that KU put on to help students get acclimated to campus.  As a result, I didn’t meet a lot of people before classes started, and my roommate and I weren’t exactly friends.

Academically, the transition was great! I scheduled all my classes back to back in the mornings, so that it would feel more like my high school schedule.  Since I had all my classes in the mornings, I was able to spend the afternoons working on assignments.

4. What was your favorite class? Why?

I enjoyed a lot of my classes.  I had some great English honors classes (105 and 205), and I also enjoyed my prose fiction writing class.  Another class I enjoyed was my Sociology class my freshman year, and my Environmental Policy class my senior year.

5. What clubs or groups were you involved in?

Some of the groups I  got involved with was a choir at KU, called Genuine Imitation — the pop acappella group on campus.  I danced with the KU Swing Dance Society, watched basketball with Neil’s Atomic Fireballs and Buddy Hawks (camping groups), and taught math through the Kansas Algebra Program.

6. Anything else you want to tell us?

Even though I had a hard time meeting people my freshman year, things got better.  Since I was in a specialized major, I had most of my classes with the same core group of about 20-30 students.  Studying in the engineering library can actually be fun!

7. In one sentence, what do you love about your school?

I love the opportunities that the University of Kansas offers to students with all different interests, backgrounds, and life goals.

Gina Claypool is a Tutor at Get Smarter Prep.