Centre News

20 Questions with Bonner Program coordinator Rachel Skaggs ’11

August 18, 2011
JH Atkins Bonner Program coordinator Rachel Skaggs '11.

JH Atkins Skaggs (above, left) poses with sociology professors Beau
Weston, Robyn Cutright and Phyllis Passariello on graduation
day. "Classes with those professors were my favorite part about
Centre," she says.
1. Position at Centre?
I am the Bonner Program Coordinator. That essentially means that I work to be a liaison between community nonprofit agencies and our students to create deep service-based partnerships. I also get to do meeting programming on issues pertaining to service, social justice and civic engagement.

2. Where did you grow up (and describe the place in one phrase or sentence)?
Nashville, Tenn., is my beloved hometown. To quote country music star Jason Aldean, 'It's a crazy town full of neon dreams; everybody plays, everybody sings.'

3. What are your hobbies?
When I'm not doing something in the community, you can find me scrapbooking, crafting and reading. I am obviously risk-averse.

4. What is your dream vacation?
Since I already got to live in paradise for a semester (while studying abroad in Merida, Mexico), I would love to visit Southeast Asia. Thailand would probably be my top pick.

5. Favorite artist and/or work of art?
Degas is probably my favorite artist, but I love all of the Impressionists.

6. Favorite novel or poem?
I still love The Hobbit after rereading it many times.

7. Favorite sport (to watch or play)?
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am athletically challenged, but I have been an archery and high ropes instructor and enjoy watching downhill skiing in the Olympics.

8. Favorite TV show?
I don't watch TV very much, but I like the Food Network and Glee.

9. Favorite album?
Right now it is Mumford and Sons' album Sigh No More, but Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits will be one of my favorites forever.

10. Favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving! The entire fall season is glorious, and I am ready for it to hurry up and arrive!

11. Favorite food?
My mom's corn casserole is pretty amazing, but, given my favorite holiday, you could probably guess that I like Thanksgiving food best.

12. Most prized possession?
My cat Winston! He is a British Shorthair and is so adorable. (I want to get another and name him Neville.)

13. Three people, living or deceased, whom you’d invite to the same dinner party?
Eleanor Roosevelt, my mom and the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Lowe.

14. Favorite aspect of your job?
I get to see the best in people. Between working with the community and with motivated, caring students, I get to see people supporting each other and discuss interesting social issues.

15. Most memorable experience of your youth?
Sweet Adelines. I was in a competitive barbershop quartet in high school, and the memories I have of competing, practicing and singing are some of my best.

16. What would you be doing if you weren't working at Centre?
Realistically, I would be starting law school this week. Ideally, I would be continuing my research on the culture of the Nashville music industry or starting in a sociology Ph.D. program.

17. Educational experience that's been most helpful to you?
I have had more amazing professors and educational experiences than anyone is interested in hearing, but the one that was most pivotal in shaping my academic journey was Dr. Weston's Class Culture seminar and the John C. Young project that it inspired.

18. Fictional character in whose shoes you’d love to spend a day?
As part of the generation who grew up on Harry Potter, I will have to say Hermione Granger.

19. Favorite place on campus (and why)?
Either the hill in front of Old Centre or in class with Dr. Weston or Dr. Passariello. The hill is nice and peaceful while still being in the middle of everything, and classes with those professors were my favorite part about Centre.

20. Advice you'd give to a first-year college student to make success more likely?
Get to know your professors; your relationships with them will make all the difference in your Centre experience.

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail elizabeth.trollinger@centre.edu 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 has named Centre No. 1 among all institutions of higher education in the South for two years in a row. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, click here.

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