Info for Parents Counselors

Kelli Conley '13

Hometown: Long Beach, California
High School: Long Beach Polytechnic High School
Majors: History, English Literature

Why did you choose University of Puget Sound?

It's hard to describe a specific aspect of Puget Sound that made my decision, other than the unquantifiable "je ne sais quoi" that my relatives and I listed as one of our checklist criteria when visiting colleges. Puget Sound did have everything I wanted - a supportive community, academic programs that interested me, and a gorgeous campus to boot - but some intangible quality kept drawing me back to it. I am usually a very analytical person, so to have something speak to me so intuitively was rare. I think that realization helped me recognize how easily I felt I could live and grow at Puget Sound, and that gut instinct has been proven right more times than I can count over my three years here!

What professor has especially inspired you during your time at Puget Sound?

It's hard to limit this to just one, but if I'm allowed two I would say my advisor Alison Tracy Hale and Nancy Bristow. I had Alison for my very first English class at Puget Sound and found myself drawn to her knowledge and her sense of humor. She is smart, supportive, and candid, and I have gotten a lot of great academic and life advice from her. Nancy is a living legend in the History department at Puget Sound, and after taking her Vietnam War class I understand why! She, too, is an impressive scholar and a great human being. She expects a lot, but she has an energy and enthusiasm that really boost your confidence even as she pushes you to do better work.

What has been your favorite class?

Content-wise I would say Katherine Smith's section of Doing History, because it allowed me to do my first college-level research in my area of academic interest (medieval English history). Methodology-wise, I would say Nancy Bristow's Vietnam War class, because I learned how to reconcile academic interest and emotional investment in a given subject; I came out of it a lot more self-aware.

What campus activities do you participate in?

As well as being involved with Admission/Campus Visit Program, I am a member of Greek Life, a writing advisor at the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching, and a professional coffee consumer!

What is your favorite place on campus?

If I'm not in a hurry, I like walking through the pathways that weave through the woods over to Wyatt. When it's just been raining, it's really peaceful and the evergreens make it smell like Christmas.

What is your favorite food in the Wheelock Student Center?

I love getting a grilled cheddar cheese sandwich and adding bacon strips and chipotle mayo. It's not healthy by any means, but it is SO good.

What advice would you give to a prospective student or first year about the Puget Sound experience?

Be open to change in yourself! It will involve smiles, tears, and a fair few awkward moments, but it is beyond worth it when you look back and see the positive transformations in yourself even a couple of years later.

What quirky or fun thing do you wish you had known before you came to Puget Sound?

I wish I had known there were so many cool people like Big Mama and Arlene who work in the dining hall so that I could have started befriending them sooner!

Who is your favorite character from a movie/book/television series?

I'm kind of biased because I just watched Titanic recently, but I would have to say Jack Dawson. I was never part of the 90s-era Leo obsession, but his character in that movie is just so encouraging and really knows how to live life to the fullest - I admire his spontaneity.

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

I would love to observe myself during my first year here at Puget Sound, because I'm pretty sure the material would read much like an episode of New Girl.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iTunes/Spotify?

It's hard to say because I go through periods where I'll play one or two songs on repeat all day, every day. Right now I'm really into "Drive By" by Train.

If you could have one person with you on a deserted island, who would it be and why?

MacGyver, so he could make a cool contraption and get us off the island! Preferably MacGyver sans mullet, though.