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Rylan’s Adventure Book

Mr. Rylan Good

Mr. Rylan Good

I have been sitting in front of my computer screen for about 20 minutes, staring at a blank document and trying to put my life into words.  I can’t even imagine writing an autobiography.  I think mine would just be a picture book–of food.  With coffee running through my veins, I feel as if I’m now prepared to give you a snapshot of my life in hopes that you feel you know me a little bit better. Please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, and hold all of your questions until the end.

Color Me Rad 5k in Washington D.C. (I’m the one in the middle)

Color Me Rad 5k in Washington D.C. (I’m the one in the middle)

Food.  I wasn’t kidding earlier.  Yes, I know it’s cliché to Instagram a meal, but I do enjoy food.  No, not sitting on my couch eating bonbons, but trying new foods and restaurants.  When asked at a job interview about my goals, I say, “visit as many restaurants that have been featured on national television that I can.”  So far, I have been to around 20 nationally acclaimed restaurants with my favorites being Katz’s Deli in NYC, Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh, PA, and Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse, NY.  If you’d like, we can talk more about my food adventures and my food bucket list some more over a meal, preferable sushi or Thai. I will eat almost anything except black olives, grapefruit, banana-flavored Runts, Swiss Cheese and black licorice.

Reuben with Corned Beef from Katz’s Deli in NYC.  Stop. You’re starting to salivate.

Reuben with Corned Beef from Katz’s Deli in NYC. Stop. You’re starting to salivate.

Concerts.  What’s better than music?  Live music.  If a band that I want to see is within 4 hours of my present location, there’s good chance that I will be at that concert.  My favorite genre is Indie Rock, and I’m convinced that I would like country music if it didn’t sound like country music.   It’s probably safe to say that I’ve been to at least 40 concerts with my favorites being Jimmy Eat World at Crocodile Rock Café, Of Monsters and Men at 9:30 Club, and Mumford & Sons at the Susquehanna Bank Center.

Brand New playing the Movin’ On Festival at Penn State University this past spring. I almost died in the mosh pit, but fortunately lived another day to write this blog.

Brand New playing the Movin’ On Festival at Penn State University this past spring. I almost died in the mosh pit, but fortunately lived another day to write this blog.

My friends and I at the Motion City Soundtrack/Jukebox the Ghost concert in Philadelphia, PA

My friends and I at the Motion City Soundtrack/Jukebox the Ghost concert in Philadelphia, PA

Travel.  One of the many perks of working in admissions is that I get to see places that I would have never gotten to see otherwise.  From NYC to Boston, Denver to Burlington, or Rome to Venice, there are really cool places in the world to be explored.  Stop reading this blog and go explore.  Just kidding.  Please finish reading my post. I think the best thing a person can do in their life is leave the city or town that they were raised in– even if it’s just for a little bit. Whether you come back to it or stay in your new location, I think a person can learn a lot about him or herself when they’re not surrounded by familiarity.  “Everybody has to leave, everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons.” – Donald Miller

Food, concerts and travel sum Rylan Good up pretty well, but maybe you and I still haven’t found anything we have in common.  Let’s keep trying…

  • I enjoy shopping.  I don’t enjoy spending money.  This is a daily struggle.
  • My guilty pleasure is The Bachelorette/Bachelor on ABC.
  • I have a niece and a nephew.
  • I was adopted from South Korea.
  • Favorite bands: Brand New, fun., Nickelback,  Mumford and Sons, Of Monsters and Men, Passion Pit, Two Door Club Cinema, and Twenty One Pilots. Just kidding about Nickelback.
  • Favorite Television Show: The Office. Boy Meets World is a very close second.
  • Favorite Movies: Perks of Being a Wallflower, Silver Lining Playbook, Garden State and 500 Days of Summer.
  • Favorite Sport: Ultimate Frisbee
  • Favorite Books: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, Love Does by Bob Goff, and Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

So that’s me, Rylan Good.  I try to live life everyday by taking advantage of every opportunity that is presented to me, and I challenge you to do the same.   If you have any questions about Juniata College admissions or myself, my door is always open.  Until next time, you stay classy, San Diego.

(Office Phone) 814-641-3430

(Email) goodr@juniata.edu

Josh Wants to Take Over the World?

In Kent Island, Virginia.

In Kent Island, Virginia.

There are so many days I wake up and feel like that mouse, the Brain, from the cartoon Pinky and the Brain. I am starting to realize that many of the readers of this blog probably have no idea who the Brain is. That’s a shame.  You really should google it.  I do have big ambitions, like the Brain, whose infamous tag line in response to his fallible comrade’s inquiry of how they will spend that night was: “The same thing we do every night —try to take over the world!”  I should clarify that I would like to change the world, not maliciously take over it.  That would be an inappropriate message for this blog. However, what I love and how I use those passions helps me see how I can change the world.

Connecting with others is something I constantly strive to do.  That’s why I became an admission counselor I suppose and why I am still so excited about what I do everyday.  Art, particularly performance art, is my favorite form of communication.  I’ll never forget my first performances in my parent’s living room for the home video camera.  My mom was working late on Christmas Eve and my siblings, dad and I decided to create a Christmas Carol video for her.  After screaming every holiday song I had ever learned, I knew I was hooked.  I have gone on to train as a dancer and actor and perform in some of my favorite shows.  I was even fortunate enough to study in the best college theatre program in the world…Juniata Theatre!  I would love to continue work in the arts as a vehicle for change.

Performing on trapeze in Juniata Theatre's airstonewater 2006

Performing on trapeze in Juniata Theatre’s airstonewater 2006

I love cultural differences.  Learning about others and where they come from is very exciting for me.  I find people fascinating and continually realize how lucky I am to meet so many different types of people. As the Associate Director of Western Admission, I have the privilege of working with students in the Western United States through the admission process.  About a year ago I actually moved to Portland, Oregon and currently reside there.  It has certainly been an exciting year of travel and cultural understanding.

With friends exploring the beaches of Lincoln City, OR.

With friends exploring the beaches of Lincoln City, OR.

As far back as I can remember, I have been a ridiculously excited student.  I was the first on the school bus and the last to recess.  That kid that couldn’t simply raise their hand but had to physically remove themselves from their seat and waive their hand until it was noticed that they had the answer…that was me. Even in dance class at five years old, I was dead center in the front with my shiny tap shoes following closely along.  Curiosity is a part of me and I credit it for most of the life epiphanies that I have had.  I love learning how something functions or how an event happened.  I’m just full of questions!

So at the end of each day, I guess I can sit back and relax.  As I try to change the world, I can see tiny fissures; minute cracks in the shape of the world around me.  (Mr. Rogers moment) I am changing the world, just by being me.  I could say the same for all of the students that I work with.  When I meet a student who has identified their passions and is excited to learn, I can’t help but believe in them and their ability to make real change.  It’s contagious.

Joining my niece Makaehla for her first time ice skating along with my mom.

Joining my niece Makaehla for her first time ice skating along with my mom.

What’s the story…Sarah Diane?

At the Lehigh Valley's very own Yaco's.  One of may local places that make for a great story.

At the Lehigh Valley’s very own Yaco’s. One of many local places that make for a great story.

Have you ever been so captivated by a story that you just don’t want it to end?  Whether it’s a book, movie, family story, or even just talking to a stranger, I love them all.  As an Assistant Director of Admission, I have found a career where I get to revel in storytelling every day.  It’s my job to find out my student stories, through interviews, high school visits, applications, and even standing at fairs.  I believe every student, every person, has a story, and I want to hear it.  But sometimes it can be intimidating to open up to a strange woman, so here’s a bit about my story to make you feel more comfortable.

 My story is a series of vignettes that have all been structured around the great life changing moment of moving from Delaware to Kansas my senior year of high school.  Although I originally resisted, I am proud to call Kansas my home state.  As much as I love figure skating (thanks, Delaware!), there is nothing like a good Boot Scootin’ Boogie line dance at a wedding.

Meeting Michelle Kwan at a Kansas City Royals Game.  I have no idea who is photo bombing my picture.

Meeting Michelle Kwan at a Kansas City Royals Game. I have no idea who is photo bombing my picture.

While in Kansas I learned more about my favorite animal (cows), state fairs (Minnesota has the best I’ve ever been to), fried food (even Fried Twinkies), wide open skies (best star gazing of my life), and tornadoes (I really prefer not having to take shelter in a grocery store.)  And it was in Kansas I learned how to start telling stories while studying English Literature and Creative writing at Emporia State University (go Hornets!).  After earning my Bachelor of Arts, I moved cross country again to Boston, Massachusetts for my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (can we say culture shock twice in 4 years?) from Emerson College.  In Boston I adopted the nickname SD.  While working in Graduate Admissions, almost every day I would get a simple stress induced request: “I need an SD story!”  And there it began.  I realized those little vignettes (like a cupboard falling off the wall on top of me while just trying to get orange juice – and never getting the orange juice) when told properly can change a person’s day.  I may still be a writer of fiction, but those weird, little ridiculous life occurrences are as valuable in storytelling as the great life changing pivotal moment.  Really, people love me, mostly.  Okay, I don’t really know, but some people love my stories.

A popular SD story series revolves around my 10 year pilgramage to my favorite childhood writers' houses and their writing desks.  I finished it with a trip to Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House.

A popular SD story series revolves around my 10 year pilgrimage to my favorite childhood writers’ houses and their writing desks. I finished it with a trip to Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House.

Perhaps it’s because of my love of stories that I really appreciate the simple things in life.  Even on the hottest days, a good cup of tea will help any problem out there.  I find few things more peaceful than the feel of my figure skating blade across freshly cut ice (GO MICHELLE KWAN!).  If there is a waterfall, I’ll hike as far as I have to so I can see it.  I can’t think of any greater joy than singing, whether it is listening to the radio as I read applications (it helps me focus, really), in a Nashville bar, or at church.  As far as food goes, I believe watching someone savor food you worked hard to make is one of the most satisfying feelings.

Making my Nashville debut.  Terrible picture, but fantastic story.  Really.  Ask me about it.

Making my Nashville debut. Terrible picture, but fantastic story. Really. Ask me about it.

At the summit of a Swiss Mountain that I hiked to see Geissbach Falls. (The falls were amazing, but the hike made it even better.)

At the summit of a Swiss Mountain that I hiked to see Geissbach Falls. (The falls were amazing, but the hike made it even better.)

So if you’re from the Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg, Northeast Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, Kansas, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee, I want to hear your story.  (Even you aren’t from there, I want to hear it.)  I hope you’ll come visit Juniata or I have the chance to meet you when I’m out on the road.  Give me a call at 814-641-3434 or e-mail me at sadowss@juniata.edu and we’ll start your Juniata story.

Have you met Steph?

Stephanie at the summit of Mount Elbert

Stephanie at the summit of Mount Elbert

If this blog is a little disjointed, I was up late watching hockey and am only on my first cup of coffee for the day, but here we go! So, hi! This is Stephanie Strauser writing to you all this week. I work at Juniata as an Admission Counselor, recruiting the brightest, coolest, and most interesting students- which means I have the pleasure of working with students from Western PA, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Florida! (to the 44 other states and Eastern PA- you all are great too, but I sure love the folks in my region!) I am a native to the Huntingdon area, though my gypsy soul has taken me all over the United States. Road trips are some of my favorite things in life. But there must be friends along and you must have good music. That is imperative. My destinations have been varied, a random sampling looks like Times Square for the ball drop, Cheyenne, Wyoming for the World’s Largest Outdoor Rodeo, Mt. Elbert to summit the tallest peak in Colorado, and Pimlico Downs (home of the Preakness) for a horse race. And if you travel with me, you should know that I do brake for roadside attractions, such as the World’s Largest Porch Swing and the World’s Largest Ball of Twine.

The largest porch swing.

The World’s Largest Porch Swing.

I did my undergraduate work in Western PA, so that is an area near and dear to my heart. Pittsburgh is one of my favorite US cities- where else can you put fries on your sandwich or salad, not to mention home to 6 Super Bowl Championships and 3 Stanley Cups (hoping for 4)! I love sports- both watching and playing, everything from kid’s leagues to the pros! This summer I’m playing in community softball and basketball leagues, and hoping to get some volleyball games thrown together as well! What else can I share with you… My favorite color is red, my dream car is a Cadillac CTS with a corvette engine (or a 69 Chevelle SS), I could eat hummus everyday, and one day I’d like to have a Corgi for a pet.  Pearl earrings are my favorite, I prefer mountains to the beach-visiting  the ruins of Machu Picchu are on my bucket list-and I have zero musical talent (though I have a pretty eclectic musical taste).  It drives me crazy when my socks don’t match, I really love Marvel Comics, there are currently 12 tomato plants  and 4 zucchini plants in my garden, I’ve had stitches twice in my life, I like a good wristwatch and a good book.

That’s just a bit about me, but really, I’d love to hear more about you! Please let me know if you have any questions about Juniata or if you’d like to come visit. I’d be more than happy to sit down and chat with you!

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