First things first: tell us a little about your background.
I grew up in the small Central Indiana town of Winchester which is “famous” for three things: we have the Winchester Speedway which, according to their website, is the fastest half-mile racetrack in the world; we have the factory that makes Wick’s Pies, the state sugar cream pie; and Robert Wise, director of The Sound of Music, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story, etc., was born there.
I went to college at the University of Evansville, first for archaeology and then, after having many classes involving the Greeks and Romans, I added classical studies as a second major specializing in language and literature. During my time at UE I also participated in our study abroad program in fall of 2006 at Harlaxton Manor in Harlaxton, England. I had never traveled outside of the country (or flown on an airplane) before so this was a very eye-opening experience, being able to see places of antiquity that I had only ever read about. Since we had classes Monday through Thursday we always had a three-day weekend to use for travel. I was able to go on various trips: England (London, Lincoln, Oxford, Rushock, Salisbury, and the Lake District); Scotland (Edinburgh and Roslin); Ireland (Dublin and Cork); Barcelona, Spain; Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany; Prague, Czech Republic; Italy (Rome and Pompeii); and Athens, Greece.
My wife Stacey and I went to UE together but didn’t know each other at the time. We met later in 2012 through a mutual friend, started dating, and got married September 19, 2015. We live in Lawrence with our two fur-babies Edmund and Margo, both rescue dogs of unknown origins but each with plenty of personality.
What drew you to your role at The International Center?
The main thing that drew me here is that I wanted to have a job where whether directly or indirectly I was making a positive difference for people. Even after my short time working here, I can see that The International Center does this.
What are you looking forward to most in your new position?
I’m looking forward to finding various ways to use the tech and administrative skills I’ve acquired in past roles to support operations.
If you have traveled or lived abroad, which location was the most impactful on your life? Why?
I loved all the places I traveled so it’s hard to narrow it down to one that was the most impactful. I’m going to cheat and say that my whole semester abroad was impactful because in all the places that I went, I saw that regardless of where you are, people are basically the same. Everyone has the same needs, hopes, and desires, and I think people often lose sight of how similar we all are in spite of our differences.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
While I don’t make it a point to frequently go to concerts, I’ve seen three of my five favorite classic rock bands live: The Who, Eric Clapton, and the Rolling Stones. This leaves Bruce Springsteen and Led Zeppelin on my bucket list (though with the famously differing opinions of the band members about touring ever again, Led Zeppelin seems like a longshot).
Speed round (answer with only one word):
- Favorite food: Pizza
- Favorite country you’ve visited or lived: Greece
- Language you’d love to learn: Japanese
- Favorite IC brand color (orange, blue, green, yellow): Blue
- Social media handle: smoot.5 (Facebook)
Profile completed by Tyler Smoot, Office Manager