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My Manchester Story

Travis Adkins

by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019
Travis Adkins

Travis Adkins ’14, Senior Admissions Counselor from Mexico, IN

“What brought you to Manchester?”
“During the college process, I was between two schools, Manchester and Purdue. I had my heart set on Purdue, and I actually took some classes there when I was younger, like in middle school, they had some for younger kids and I was set on that. It sounds really corny, but I came and met with Admissions here at Manchester because I felt like Purdue was just a little too big and I just felt like a number. So I came and met with Brandi, which is surreal now because she’s my boss. I took the campus tour and just fell in love with it. I met Marci [Coulter-Kern] my very first time here and she sold me on the Psych department, and the rest is history.”

“What did you do after graduation?”
“I actually went and managed a Kroger for a while. I worked at Kroger in different roles during my time at Manchester, then went a little farther into it afterwards for 2-3 years after graduation, then came back in January for Admissions. I always feel like it’s coming back home, because I liked it here, and it’s a good place to work.”

“What was your favorite class?”
“My favorite professor was Rusty Coulter-Kern. He was never my advisor, but he always had the fatherly feel and always seems to look out for me and give me advice on which paths to take, and really made me feel invested in my growth and potential. My favorite class was probably ‘Introduction to European History’ with Mark Angelos. It was super intense, I remember really cramming for it, but for some reason it was just so much fun. He made me want to go to those places in Europe that we learned about.”

“What kinds of things are you involved in on campus?”
“This year, I will be the lead of the Spartan Ambassadors, so I’m super excited about that. It’s kind of part of my job, but it’s a special little spot. I just recently realized we’re going to be working on the Walk Into My Future event, which is just crazy to me, so that’s pretty exciting. We’re going to have a thousand extra students than we did last year, so that’s pretty fun to work on. I’m working on my Master’s in Organizational Leadership so that takes a lot of time too.”

“What are your hobbies and interests?”
“I like to travel, I’m a Netflix binger, and I have a seven-month-old puppy—a chocolate lab named Cooper—so he takes up a lot of my time. It’s lame to say the Master’s stuff, but that really does take up a lot of my time. I’m also really into farmers’ markets. When I was in high school I worked at an apple orchard, so I like that kind of stuff. I like making people laugh, not really like, ‘Do you have any jokes?’ … no, but just how I present my life makes people laugh.”

“Do you have a favorite place you’ve traveled to?”
“As far as at Manchester, I did go to Disney with the Coulter-Kerns in the Industrial-Organizational class. I sat with Marci on a plane for two hours, and I dumped her tea all over the floor within the first ten minutes. This was before take-off, and I was like, ‘I think I just kicked this over,’ because she had it on the ground, and I’m like ‘Oh… no. That sucks.’ As far as outside, last year I actually had the opportunity to go to Hawaii twice, which was kind of nuts, and I went with myself, which people think is crazy, because it’s like 5,000 miles away, and just did some sight-seeing.  I didn’t have a plan going so it was neat to just explore, and what things came up, I did, so that’s probably my favorite trip. It’s super cool and I highly recommend it.”

“Do you have a favorite memory from your time at Manchester?” 
“This is one that I kind of relate to people and Admissions. A lot of people get worked up if they don’t get into the [residence] halls they like. I always like to say to my prospective students, ‘I lived in Oakwood, I was fortunate enough to start off there. But I would go to Schwalm, and that’s where I was at almost all the time, because that’s where my friends were.’ So I think just the late nights, not really doing anything, just talking and hanging out. As far as a cool opportunity, I was actually able to present my psychology [research] at a national conference, and I got a scholarship grant from Psi Chi to go on the travel grant, so it was free. So we went to Chicago and presented at the Midwestern Psychological Association meeting, so that was exciting with schools around the country that were able to present their work.”

“What is something most people don’t know about you?”
“When I was growing up, like in elementary school, I used to write horror stories. When I was little, they were kind of gruesome. I remember in first grade, I wrote a story named ‘Jeremiah and the Bear’ and my best friend was named Jeremiah, and I had him eaten by a bear! We had to make books with construction paper, and you had to do drawings of it. I was in first-grade!”