Caleb Bobo, c’16, is a native of St. Louis who earned a degree in political science with a minor in African and African-American Studies. He is currently a first-year graduate student and diversity fellow at Saint Louis University. Caleb is a member of the KU Alumni Association and served on the Student Alumni Leadership Board as an undergraduate.
I became a Jayhawk because…
Simply put, there was no competition. I applied to and visited several universities, but none gave me the same feeling that the University of Kansas did. It was the perfect size and distance from home. I found it to be the perfect balance between the social scene of a major, state university and the academic rigor of an elite research institution. Everything one could want out of their college experience, they can get at KU.
How has KU propelled you into your current career?
Graduate school is difficult for many reasons. Professors expect a lot out of their students and most of us balance professional opportunities with classes. Luckily, KU’s academic programs prepared me extremely well for my graduate studies, and the emphasis my professors and advisers put on internships during my undergraduate career allowed me to find employment in my new city.
What’s your favorite spot on campus? and/or What spot do you return to whenever you’re back on the Hill?
The Nunemaker Center is the home of the KU Honors Program. Not only is it an awesome place to study on The Hill, but the staff who works there always made me feel so welcomed when I walked through the doors. I’ve remained very close with several of the faculty and staff I met through KU Honors, and I always try to visit when I come back to Lawrence.
My best advice for college students:
Be flexible with your academic program! A lot of students, myself included, think we have our lives figured out at 17 or 18 years old but that’s often not the case. Allow yourself to be challenged through classes, projects and extracurricular activities outside of your chosen discipline. You never know when you’ll discover an interest or passion that you didn’t know existed.
Describe a moment, during or after your time as a KU student, when you felt the greatest sense of Jayhawk pride.
I was really fortunate to make a great group of friends at the University of Kansas and after we all graduated, it’s been amazing to watch each of them begin their lives post-undergrad. Several are working for major corporations in New York, Chicago and Kansas City. A few moved to Washington D.C. to work for members of Congress or other governmental organizations. A handful ended up in elite graduate, legal or medical programs across the country, and I know a few who became officers in the United States Military. Each and every time I’m able to touch base with them over the phone or via social media, I always feel so much pride knowing that although we have a wide variety of interest and goals, we all walked the streets of Lawrence together.
Judy Nelson, a graduate of the KU School of Law and international leadership coach, released her book “Intentional Leadership: Using Strategy in Everything You Do and Say” to share wisdom she has gained over the past 30 years as a CEO and in other leadership roles. Read full article.
A winter break fundraising campaign raised more than $30,000 to help more students study abroad. The University Honors Program and KU Endowment created the Mary Klayder Study Abroad Fund, in honor of the professor who has coordinated Honors Program study abroad trips for 27 years. Read full article.
The University of Kansas will award an honorary doctoral degree at this spring’s commencement to alumnus William McNulty, a former Marine and co-founder of Team Rubicon. McNulty, c’01, was featured in Kansas Alumni magazine, issue no. 2, 2016. Read full article.
Marynell Reece, a late alumna with deep connections to the University, left a $100,000 donation when she passed away in July. The donation will be split between three University organizations that she had a strong connection to: the Dole Institute of Politics, the School of Nursing and the Spencer Art Museum. Read full article
A previous “Jayhawks in the News” post mentioned that former KU basketball player Jamari Traylor’s father was a candidate for clemency. On Jan. 17, Jessie Traylor received a commutation of his sentence from President Barack Obama. Read full article.
Amanda Wright will work on achieving two main goals this semester: to make students aware that her position exists and is there to advocate for them, and to establish more connections with faculty providing solid resources for them. Wright, g’15, is the new academic inclusion coordinator for the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Read full article.
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It only took 18 years and nearly 40 college-campus visits for Rob Nickel to determine he wanted to go to KU. Although he hailed from a proud lineage of diehard Jayhawks, his decision to follow tradition didn’t come easily.
“Throughout high school I was convinced that I wasn’t going to KU,” says Rob, who enters KU as a freshman this fall. “I thought it was too close, that too many of my friends and people from my school were going there. I wanted to go somewhere new.”
Rob’s family waited patiently for him to find his own path and fielded questions from inquisitive friends who wondered if the Nickel’s middle child would go where generations of family members had gone before him.
Not only did his parents, Mike, b’89, and Lisa Karr Nickel, c’89, graduate from KU, but his grandparents, Michael, ’64, and Janet Phelps Karr, ’66, and great-grandparents, Robert, l’32, and Dorothy Winsler Karr, c’29, and Edwin, e’36, and Yvonne White Phelps, ’35, attended the University. Even his great-great-grandparents, Thomas Jefferson Karr, l’00, and Benjamin, c’12, and Beulah Murphy White, c’12, were Jayhawks.
After Rob narrowed his list of prospects to 12 schools, he applied to seven, including KU. Once he got accepted into the University’s Self Engineering Leadership Fellows (SELF) and Honors Programs, he happily announced his decision in the most unique way: by making a video for his family, which featured all the schools he considered and ultimately, the one he chose.
“I figured that’d be a cool way to make this decision and have it stand out,” Rob says.
His family is delighted with his choice, not only because they’ve added a 5th-generation Jayhawk to their flock, but also because it was the perfect fit for Rob.
“While we were thrilled he wanted to be a Jayhawk, it wasn’t just because he wanted to be a Jayhawk,” says his mother, Lisa. “It was because he found the program, the school and the opportunities that were best for him. We’re proud that our alma mater provided that.”