Centre News

Getting to know...the Student Life Office’s Elizabeth Wisman


November 25, 2010
Wisman Elizabeth Wisman, Bonner Scholars Program Coordinator,
pictured here in Patagonia

Wisman Before joining the Student Life staff, Wisman spent two years in
Madagascar in the Peace Corps. Here, she waits at a bus stop in
Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. “I was waiting to go
back to my village,” she says. “The bus as shown is at about half
capacity per Malagasy standards.”
1. Position at Centre?
Bonner Scholars Program Coordinator; I’m a member of the Student Life Office staff, and I work with Bonner Scholars and other service groups on campus.

2. Where did you grow up (and describe the place in one phrase or sentence)?
I grew up in the suburbs of Louisville and attended magnet schools in downtown Louisville for most of my youth. Basically, I’ve seen it all—or at least all of Louisville.

3. What are your hobbies? I like to tell people my hobbies are jogging, reading novels and journaling. That’s partially true, but I also like reading gossip magazines, napping, and I just subscribed to Netflix.

4. What is your dream vacation?
It gets complicated because I’d love to visit Siberia and to travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway, but I hate being cold. If there are heated snowsuits, that could work.

5. Favorite artist and/or work of art?
My nephews and niece are really great visual artists. They are between the ages of three and five and draw anything from a dinosaur to a car, although I sometimes have to ask which one it is because they’re abstract.

6. Favorite novel or poem?
The Poisonwood Bible by Kentucky native Barbara Kingsolver. This book completely changed my worldview.

7. Favorite sport (to watch or play)?
I can stand to watch professional football on television if the Saints are playing. I don’t like watching sports in person without commentary.

8. Favorite TV show?
It’s a tie between Modern Family and 30 Rock.

9. Favorite album? Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas, the original

10. Favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving, the most delicious day of the year

11. Favorite food?
Beans and rice

12. Most prized possession?
I love my washer and dryer and all they do for me. Call me superficial, but I’ve had to wash all of my clothes by hand before.

13. Three people, living or deceased, who you’d invite to the same dinner party?
I’d love to have David Sedaris, Kathy Griffin and Wanda Sykes over for dinner. They’d be hilarious, and I think we’d be fast friends.

14. Favorite aspect of your job?
Part of my job entails leading weekly meetings with the Bonners where we talk about all kinds of issues like privilege and prejudice. I love seeing students come to understand how these huge issues affect our community and our campus and try to figure out how to make it better.

15. Most memorable experience of your youth?
I remember once my mom took my brother, sister and me to Wayside Christian Mission in Louisville to serve Thanksgiving meals when I was in fourth grade. I spent less time doling out food than I did getting to know the people who came in. It was that experience that led me to a career in service.

16. What would you be doing if you weren't working at Centre?
I’d probably be working for a non-profit that helps kids. That or a backup dancer for a pop star.

17. Educational experience that's been most helpful to you?
The two years I spent in Madagascar in the Peace Corps were the most formative of my life. More than anything, the experience taught me that I’m strong and independent, which is helpful to know every day.

18. Fictional character in whose shoes you’d love to spend a day?
I choose Mary Poppins. I’d like to fly by umbrella and tidy up while teaching life lessons.

19. Favorite place on campus?
The path leading from the Campus Center to Old Centre where it turns uphill

20. Advice you'd give to a first-year college student to make success more likely?
Enjoy being in an environment where everyone is here to learn and grow. Classes, convocations and Norton Center events are privileges, and you should get the most out of all of them.

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail Leigh Cocanougher with your feedback.



Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 24th among all the nation’s colleges and universities and No. 1 among all institutions of higher education in the South. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices.
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