- You are, as they say, somewhat of a legacy at Miami University. Tell us about your family and their history of attending the school.
Well, my parents were Miami mergers. Almost all of my aunts and uncles were Redskins as well. My little brother and I grew up spending time in Oxford and fell love with it. My little brother will be joining me in Oxford to attend Miami in the fall.
- You’ve been all over the world, including spending an entire summer in Mexico. Tell us about that experience and what you did while there.
Last summer I had the opportunity to live in Monterrey, Mexico while interning at Back2Back (B2B) Ministries. Back2Back Ministries is an international Christian non-profit organization that is dedicated to being a voice for orphans. They exist to love and care for orphans and vulnerable children. I was living and working there doing video production and branding for all of their locations in Mexico. It was really humbling to be able to hear the stories of resilience and hope and be able to share them through video.
- You’re Miami’s mascot, Swoop. Essentially you’re a celebrity. How did this come about and what does the job title consist of?
I was my high school mascot for 4 years and I heard that Miami was looking for a mascot. While I was in Mexico I got to know a few of the Miami cheerleaders and they pressured me into trying out. One thing lead to another, and now I will be traveling with the football team and making a fool of myself on the field every Saturday this season.
- Tell us a memorable story of yourself when you were a kid. It can be funny, surprising, warm and fuzzy, whatever. Just make it a good one.
When I was really little, my brother and I were huge Barney fans. Huge. And apparently Barney knew about us and cared enough to come to a few of our birthday parties. It was AMAZING! It was pretty cool to be the kid who had an in with Barney. You’d better believe that my birthday invites were the hottest ticket in kindergarten. After a few awesome years of rolling with Barney at many raging birthday parties, I started investigating why he was so interested in my brother and I. After searching my whole house, I found two black trash bags in my basement that looked suspicious. I opened one and could not believe my eyes. Barney’s head was in the bag. Obviously this was traumatic for me and to make matters worse, there was a beer can crammed into his mouth to hold it open. To this day I haven’t gotten the full story on how this Barney costume ended up in our basement, but I still have Vietnam-like flashbacks to finding Barney’s decapitated head with a beer can in his mouth.
- What is the most ridiculous thing you have spent more than $10 on?
A package of fine artesian toothpicks. I would not do that again, but if you are into that kind of thing check out daneson.com.
- Favorite fast food that makes you want to cry in the shower after eating. (i.e. Nachos BellGrande, Sausage Egg McMuffin, Cinnabon, etc.)
Taco Bell sends me into a shame spiral. Crunch wrap supreme. Need I say more?
- What is a nerdy thing about you? (i.e. are you a Star Wars buff? Do you know a stupid amount about a particular book, period of history, or hobby?)
I am a huge fan of Star Wars (original trilogy—don’t even get me started) and Lord of the Rings. So what if I watch Fellowship of the Ring (special extended edition) once every two weeks? So what if I have a Gandalf pipe? Does that make me a nerd? Probably.
- Favorite meal to cook for someone else?
Duck a l’Orange