Senior Spotlight: Kelsey Schott


Photo: Tanner Krueger/The Simpsonian

by Kayla Reusche, Staff Reporter

Q: Where are you from?
A: I am from Bowdoinham, Maine. It’s 26 hours from here.

Q: What is your major?
A: I am a double major in political science and religion, and I have a math minor.

Q: What activities are you involved in on and off of campus?
A: I am on the speech and debate team at Simpson, I’m on student government, I was on CAB for three years, I was CAB president my sophomore into junior year, I work for Residence Life and I am a mentor for the Simpson Youth Academy. Off campus, I work as a nanny. I’m also in Tri Delta.

Q: How do you manage such a busy schedule?
A: I keep a very organized calendar. I am very much a people person. I like staying busy, so for me, it hasn’t been a huge issue. I’m really passionate about all the things I’m involved in.

Q: How did you hear about Simpson, and why did you choose it?
A: I lived in Fort Dodge, Iowa when I was younger, then I moved to Maine when I was in middle school, so I applied to schools in New England and schools in Iowa, and everything just kind of fell into place senior year of high school for me to come to Simpson. I visited my senior year of high school, and it felt like a community, and I loved the campus, so here I am.

Q: What’s it like being on a speech and debate team that has now won nationals twice?
A: It feels amazing, especially since we’re such a new team, and I am one of the people on the team that does not have high school speech and debate experience, so for me it’s been really cool that I’ve done really well at both our national competitions and competitions throughout the year. This year, I made it to the quarterfinals in open Parliamentary debate, and then my sophomore year, the other year we won nationals, I made it to octofinals, so it’s really cool to have a winning record the year that we win nationals because I know that my record and my wins are part of the overall team national championship.

Q: Why did you join speech and debate?
A: I just kind of showed up to the first meeting my freshman year. Some of my friends were planning on doing debate, and I wanted to learn more about it, so I showed up to the first meeting. I absolutely fell in love with everyone on the team. I was super excited to learn how to debate, and then there’s a lot of educational value in public speaking skills that go into the activity, so I stuck around. After my first tournament, I fell in love with debate, and I’ve never left.

Q: What is your favorite Simpson memory?
A: One of my favorite Simpson memories is actually first-year move in day. For me, moving in as a freshman, that was terrifying because I knew zero people all the way from Maine. We had our Maine license plates on our minivan, pulled up, and then everyone from Greek Life and Residence Life just moved all of our stuff in. It was just incredible. Everyone was so friendly, and I wasn’t expecting that. And then working for Residence Life for the past three years, every year I’ve been involved in the first-year move-in day, and it’s just so fun to meet all the new first-years and watch them and their families interact with current students and with the college. It’s just always a really fun day for me. And then if it’s not first-year move-in day, honestly, any debate tournament. I love traveling with the debate team. My happiest moments are always when I’m traveling with the team, regardless of how I do.

Q: Do you have any advice for freshman?
A: My biggest advice to freshman is to take every opportunity that’s thrown your way. Just be involved in everything that you can be. Simpson kind of sets people up to be super involved, which I think is very helpful. For me, I always have the mindset that I’m doing it for the memories and for the opportunities. I’m going to make connections, I’m going to have stories to tell, so if I’m missing like three or four hours of sleep because I’m going to be hanging out with friends or whatever it is, I’d rather have those opportunities than a couple hours of sleep.

Q: What are your future plans?
A: I actually accepted a job today. It’s a debate coach position in England, so I will be coaching debate at Eastbourne College. It’s a boarding prep school in East Sussex, so I’ll be directing their debate curriculum, I’ll be assistant teaching American Government and Politics courses for them, and then I’ll be living in the boarding school with them and doing some of the residence programming for them as well.

Q: Have you ever been abroad before?
A: I have not, so I’m super excited to.