"see blue." #selfie: Erica Shipley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 19, 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're excited to introduce "see blue." #selfie  a brand new series on UKNow that lets student leaders from across campus tell us a little bit more about themselves and their organizations. Up first, the 2016 overall chair of DanceBlue, Erica Shipley.

Erica Shipley, a senior integrated strategic communication major from Washington D.C., serves as the 2015-16 DanceBlue overall chair. We sat down with Shipley to get to know the true student leader behind the DanceBlue title. This driven, passionate and spunky leader relays her passion "For the Kids" and for the university in her "see blue." #selfie! 

UKNow: What is your major and where are you from?

Erica Shipley: I'm a senior integrated strategic communication major with a minor in digital media and design and I'm from just outside of Washington D.C.


UK: When did you become involved with DanceBlue?

ES: September of freshman year. I started fundraising to be a dancer during that time for the 2013 marathon!


UK: Why are you so passionate about DanceBlue?

ES: I think it’s an amazing organization because it’s mutually beneficial. DanceBlue allows students to be involved in something bigger than themselves. Dancers get to partake in the celebration of life and watch the kids at the marathon forget about the worries of cancer. All parties involved are impacted. I also get to watch students grow into leaders and learn about themselves and how they can impact the world in other ways.


UK: What’s your most frequently used emoji? 

ES: The one with the big smile with eyes closed because it’s saying “eeee” and I do that a lot!  I also use the new thinking/pondering one. I use that instead of questions marks a lot.


UK: What are three things you consider essentials for any student on campus? 

ES: Your student I.D., an umbrella — with Kentucky weather you never know when it’s going to rain — and a phone charger because I find myself on campus very late.

UK: What is your favorite class you've ever taken at UK?

ES: I just finished it- ISC 497, which is a graphic design class. I loved learning about different ways to use the computer, and the professor gave us the flexibility to incorporate our own interests and ideas.  It made me excited to start doing work for the causes that I love! 


UK: Are there other organizations on campus that you’re involved in?

ES: I was vice president of Best Buddies for two years, which works to create friendships between students and adults in the community that have disabilities. I was chairman for Wrap Up America where I planned the fort building competition two years ago.


UK: When you’re studying late at Willy T., what Starbucks drink keeps you going? 

ES: Iced caramel macchiato with extra, extra, extra caramel!


UK: What’s one word you’re guilty of using too often? 

ES: Fabulous. Fab. Really any variation of fabulous. Maybe extra a’s added to the word or I say it high pitched. I definitely love that word.


UK: Growing up, what did you aspire to be?

ES: I always loved weddings. I wanted to be a professional wedding planner … ever since I was 13 that was all I wanted to be. I still might do it — we will see! I love weddings.  


UK: Favorite UK basketball player?

ES: Marcus Lee because he came to DanceBlue, and he is very supportive of the kids! He came and he didn’t want anything to be about him. He was in the talent show, and he really didn’t want anyone to know he was there. It was so cool! 


UK: Favorite thing you like to do off campus in the Lexington community? 

ES: I love to explore Lexington’s coffee shops! I have found some really good ones! While I love being on campus, sometimes finding a quiet spot off campus is good too. I just discovered Southland Perk on Southland Drive.


UK: Most memorable place you’ve joined in on a CATS cheer?

ES: So, sophomore year during DanceBlue the basketball team was playing against LSU. The game was really close and at the end everyone participating in DanceBlue did the CATS cheer and it was wonderful! 


UK: What is your favorite place on campus? 

ES: I love the area between White Hall, Lafferty and POT — the courtyard! We table there for DanceBlue all the time, and I love seeing students moving back and forth to classes. All of campus comes together at that one little spot at random times throughout the day. 


UK: What residence hall did you live in your freshman year? 

ES: Blanding IV (what, what?!). 


UK: What is one thing you know as a senior that you didn’t know as a freshman? 

ES: How many resources there are on campus for things other than education and classes. There are so many ways that you can learn about things that you wouldn’t normally, such as Leadership Exchange Ambassadors, the Center for Community Outreach and Student Activities Board. 


UK: What would you tell an incoming freshman? 

ES: Make as many friends as you can because they all bring something different to the college experience — whether it be about a new class you should take or having someone to go to a basketball game with. I have loved immersing myself in the culture of UK students. 

"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.