LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 18, 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, 2016-17 Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) and TEAM WILDCAT Co-chairs Katie Sterling and Alex Isler.
Katie Sterling and Alex Isler are this year's STAT/TEAM WILDCAT co-chairs! Although Isler plans unique athletic opportunities for students and Sterling works with the UK Alumni Association to reap the benefits of the association while being a student, they work cohesively to help grow STAT/TEAM WILDCAT, build friendships and enhance members' opportunities during their time at the university. Learn more about these leaders, their UK experiences and their positions in STAT/TEAM WILDCAT in their "see blue." #selfie!
UKNow: What are your majors and where are you two from?
Alex Isler: Nursing major from Union, Kentucky. I'm a senior.
Katie Sterling: I'm from Independence. I'm an integrated strategic communication major. I'm a junior.
UK: Tell me about your positions on STAT/TEAM WILDCAT.
KS: So, I handle the STAT side of things. I work in the alumni house and I coordinate with them and various others. I bring light to reaping the benefits to being part of the Alumni Association while being a student.
AI: I'm on the TEAM WILDCAT side, which is the official student organization with UK Athletics. I work with them to give benefits to students they usually wouldn't get. We have about 2,000 members.
KS: And we are continuing to grow!
UK: When did you first become involved in STAT/TEAM WILDCAT?
KS: I joined at my freshman orientation and I became a leader my sophomore year. Now, I'm a junior and I'm a co-chair.
AI: Same with me. I joined at freshman orientation, met the leaders, was on leadership committee sophomore year and now I'm a co-chair.
UK: Why are you so passionate about these organizations?
AI: I think it's the friendships.
KS: We can both say some of our best friendships were built within these organizations. I always dreamed to go to UK, so this is really exciting for me; my college experience has been enhanced because of this organization.
UK: What's your favorite part?
AI: For me, it's getting to plan unique athletic opportunities and giving students opportunities that they wouldn't otherwise have.
KS: I like hearing students at Big Blue Madness and how they are enjoying it and they are telling their friends they got to do this because of STAT/TEAM WILDCAT.
UK: What are some things you do to get ready for football games?
KS: Our student section committee will send us a report on the Monday before the game with ideas and we run those through UK Athletics and talk about what we can do on game day.
AI: We get there three to four hours early, hand out shakers, take the UK flag and get people hyped!
UK: What made you want to apply for these positions?
KS: I took over for Kyle Richardson and he did such a great job, so I wanted to build upon what he had already done. I think this year it's a lot different because it's the first time we have had two female chairs and Alex is the first ever TEAM WILDCAT female chair.
AI: We've been involved in STAT/TEAM WILDCAT so much prior to this year, so this was taking the next step forward.
UK: Last year, Nick and Kyle really enjoyed having these positions. What are some initiatives they started that you are building on this year?
AI: They have given us a lot of advice! Nick is still here to help us.
KS: He's giving us advice and guiding our public relations and marketing committee right now since that's such a big role.
AI: They helped with BBN Rewards and so we have been working on making BBN Rewards and Team Wildcat more seamless.
UK: What is your favorite UK tradition?
KS: Mine is "My Old Kentucky Home." Anywhere you go, I've been to different cities for March Madness games and all the Kentucky fans still stay and sway for "My Old Kentucky Home."
AI: I would probably say the same!
UK: What is your most used emoji?
KS: Mine is the laughing/crying emoji.
AI: I think mine is the heart eyes emoji.
UK: What is your favorite part about being a leader on campus?
KS: Mine is interacting with Leadership Committee. I also like getting to know new leaders and returning leaders. It has been really rewarding.
AI: I would also say interacting with leaders and students, planning events and even starting new traditions.
UK: What made you decide to come to UK?
KS: There was no other option for me.
AI: I didn't apply anywhere else.
KS: I've wanted to come since I was little!
AI: Nursing was really good here and I grew up watching UK basketball. I have a picture of me in a UK cheerleading outfit when I was three.
UK: Who's your biggest role model?
AI: This is going to sound cheesy, but probably my mom.
KS: I know! I don't want to be cheesy, but I would say both of my parents. We are both raised in really great homes and have great families!
AI: I tell my mom everything, I talk to her like 50 times a day.
UK: Alex, what made you decide to work with TEAM WILDCAT and be more involved with the athletics side?
AI: I was applying to leadership and this summer I worked with UK Athletics, so now I feel like I have people I can go to if I need help with anything, like an event. I feel comfortable with people there.
UK: Katie, what do you like most about working with the Alumni Association?
KS: I have always been infatuated with the university and I have met really great people at the Alumni Association. I wanted to help build upon the UK family for other people.
UK: Aside from school and your involvements, what do you all do for fun?
KS: We love "Grey's Anatomy," so when we have free time … well Alex is really far behind … but we like Netflix. I'm a movie buff so when I have free time I'm at a movie theater.
UK: Would you say that being co-chairs together has deepened your friendship?
KS: For sure. We are always texting each other about unrelated stuff.
AI: … having Starbucks dates.
KS: …. eating Mexican food.
UK: So, did you two meet through STAT/TEAM WILDCAT?
UK: What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
AI: I’d say school does come first, go to class, but have fun because college is a once in a lifetime experience you won’t get again. Meet a lot of people, go to events and just be involved.
K: I would agree with Alex. College truly is the best four years of your life and enjoy it because it really does fly by.
UK: Why are you thankful for the University of Kentucky?
KS: Besides my education, UK has given me a home away from home even though my home isn't far away. I can connect with anyone through the university if I decide to go outside of Kentucky.
AI: For me, mine is clinical and what I want to do with my life. I can have references with my instructors — I feel prepared to go into the real world.
"see blue." #selfies will appear every other Tuesday on UKNow. Know a student leader we should feature? Contact Rebecca Stratton at firstname.lastname@example.org 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, email@example.com, 859-323-2395