"see blue." #selfie: Trent Patrick and Pete Comparoni

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 16, 2016)  Want to get to know the people behind some of the biggest student leadership positions on campus? We did, too! That's why we've introduced "see blue." #selfie  a series on UKNow that lets student leaders from across campus tell us a little bit more about themselves and their organizations. Up this week, the 2016 K Week Coordinators Trent Patrick and Pete Comparoni.

Trent Patrick and Pete Comparoni are this year's K Week coordinators! Next week, thousands of incoming students will have an exciting welcome to campus called K Week all due to the behind-the-scenes organization by these two. This pair pours all their energy into making sure incoming Wildcats are beneficially impacted as soon as they step foot on campus! Meet these fun-loving, upbeat and caring leaders in their "see blue." #selfie!

UKNow: What are your majors and what year are you?

Trent Patrick: I'm now a senior and I'm a double major in political science and sociology. I'm pre-law.

Pete Comparoni: I'll be a senior. I also am a sociology major.

UK: Where are you from?

Comparoni: Whitley County, Kentucky, which is the southeast corner of the Kentucky-Tennessee line.

Patrick: I'm from Menifee County, Kentucky.


UK: Tell me about each of your positions as K Week coordinators this year!

Patrick: We oversee the 30 Super Crew leaders. We supervise the vast number of K Crew leaders and make sure they are prepared for new and incoming students. We put together retreats and plan different events.

Comparoni: We work with anything behind-the-scenes. We hold meetings and a retreat, like Trent mentioned, for K Crew and we have spent the summer getting everything in order and answering new questions for incoming students.


UK: Did you two meet once you both were given these positions as K Crew coordinators?

Patrick: No. We were actually on Super Crew together last year. So, we met during K Week 2015!


UK: Leading up to the actual K Week, what are some major events that you have been working on?

Comparoni: I would say our separate events have taken up a lot of our time. I'm coordinating Lex-Mart and Trent does We Are UK. From the start, they've been ours to plan. The staff will prepare their things — both of these have been us from the ground up. Lex-Mart is a community vendor fair, so we ask Lexington businesses to participate. It gives new students and Lexington a chance to connect and know about Street Craves or Firehouse and other businesses that are local! On a business side, it gives them a chance to showcase themselves to students. They hand out food and cookies and play games. They can pay to be in Lex-Mart or donate a gift and we will give those out at the K Crew celebrations! It's one event, but it goes throughout the entire week.

Patrick: Like Pete said, We Are UK has really been my event from the start. Pete and I were really excited to see which events we would be planning for K Week 2016. We Are UK has meant so much to me because I have always felt that highlighting the differences in a group of people is so important for us to celebrate. We Are UK does just that, it brings us all together to celebrate the multitude of differences that make up the University of Kentucky community. With that purpose in mind, I have poured my heart into We Are UK, and I am so excited to share it with the UK community in August!

UK: What is one vision you have for K Week 2016?

Comparoni: I would say to leave new students and the K Crew with a lasting experience. We want to make sure that each student has a valuable experience, and that each K Crew leader has a valuable leadership experience.

Patrick: For me, I want to see change where it's necessary and needed and I hope we change for the better so new students, as well as the leaders, get out of K Week what they need. That's our hope! The main thing we want to see is to leave an impact that continues the idea of K Week.


UK: What are some major changes we will see during K Week 2016? 

Patric: There are some big events coming up and changes we are all excited about. Some are kind of new … and we don't want to spoil the surprise!

Comparoni: There are a lot of changes that will make this K Week the best we've ever had. We are very excited about new activities we haven't had the opportunity to have in the past. Kick-off will still be the same and Big Blue U will still be there!

UK: Why are you two so passionate about K Week?

Patrick: I consider myself a very extroverted person. I was lost when I came to college. I had toured UK maybe once and so K Week as a new, incoming student — that was everything. I figured out how to get to classes and met people in my residence hall. I made relationships that I still have today. That was my moment that I realized college was real. If it weren't for K Week, I wouldn't know where I would be. I was a K Crew leader the next year and I loved that experience, but I wanted to go higher and see that experience, so I joined Super Crew. I love it because of all those experiences I had. That's why I'm passionate about it and how I want to make new students feel.  

Comparoni: My first semester at UK was awful. No one from my high school came here. I knew a lot of people from the Governor's Scholar Program that came here, but that was it. I'm such a people person, so when I saw the opportunity to expand I ran with it. My K Crew leader was not great, so I didn't do much during K Week. When the application came out though, I jumped on that. I like being in the administration side — to make new students' first week better. I loved hanging with them and leading discussion. We became very good friends! To me, that was super rewarding. So after that, Super Crew came along. I liked to help K Crew leaders become the best version of themselves. With coordinator, we get free reign. That's me being a maximizer.

UK: What else are you involved in?

Patrick: I was in the Freshman Leadership Development Program. That was something I loved and once that ended K Crew was my go-to. K Week was something I wanted to hone in on and make it my own.

Comparoni: Once you get involved, you just grow. I had done the Certified Nonprofit Program — I'm still part of that too. This though has been it for me! I'm really happy I chose K Week to put all my time into.


UK: What is your spirit animal?

Comparoni: My favorite animal is different than my spirit animal. So I lose …

Patrick: Wait, let me explain it. Have you seen "Up?" So, the dog that says "squirrel" — that is Pete. Pete is the human version of that dog.

Comparoni: I love dogs. I will stop my car and pet them. I love otters too, but I can't deny dogs.

Patrick: I have no idea what mine is. A giraffe comes to mind. Giraffes are cool. I used to say my spirit animal was Judge Judy.   


UK: Pete, if Trent had a warning label what would it say?

Comparoni: So, you know the tow away signs that say "First Thursday of each month …" If Trent had one, it would be all those tow-away signs over his desk because he has this super frazzled look on his face over the smallest things. We are never more than six feet from each other. I'm like, "man, Trent, you are stressed." So definitely a tow-away zone sign but something more graphic. It will say, "please do not talk to me if I'm doing any sort of work whatsoever."  

UK: Trent, if you and Pete were stranded on a desert island, what would he do to drive you over the edge?

Patrick: Well, Pete would bring a dog, but if Pete had bubble gum he does this thing where he can pop it five times in a row … like 30 to 40 times in a row … so it would be that. It's really loud. That would drive me over the edge. I have no clue how he does it. It didn't bother me at first, but now it does.  


UK: You came to UK because….

Comparoni: My dad actually came here in 1978. He came from nothing and he worked to get into UK and it was the pinnacle of his life. He said it was the greatest time of his life. And here I am, doing the exact same thing. Dad coming here had a huge influence on me. I was stuck between here and Chicago, and it was too cold up there. UK was a clear choice for me.

Patrick: So for me, UK was always where I wanted to go. Being from Eastern Kentucky, UK was all I heard about. One parent went to Morehead and the other went to Eastern. I was never going to either. UK was where I wanted to go. I'm the first in my family to be at UK. I toured one time and it was everything that I wanted.  


UK: What advice do you have for an incoming freshman?

Patrick: I have two things. Meet as many people as you can. That's one of the largest pieces of success. Then you open up about who you are and you get connected. And make as many memories as you can.

Comparoni: Don't cut yourself off from opportunity or don't think you're too cool to miss out on trying something new. If you're here, you're here for a good reason! Become the person you can be while you're here. There's millions upon millions of opportunity at this university.


UK: What's one word or phrase you're guilty of saying too often?

Comparoni: Okay, so Trent in conversation has to have the last word. He says "interesting" in the exact same tone and inflection.

Patrick: Okay, I agree with that, but if something actually is interesting I will say it then too. Today I said "interesting" and I actually meant it! But Pete has a lot of catch phrases.

Comparoni: Do I? Such as……

Patrick: I feel like you say "well …" a lot. He is more of a noise person. He makes a lot of noises.

Comparoni: A good facial expression is so much better.  

"see blue." #selfies will appear every other Tuesday on UKNow. Know a student leader we should feature? Contact Rebecca Stratton at rebecca.stratton@uky.edu to nominate someone.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton, rebecca.stratton@uky.edu, 859-323-2395