Members of Sigma Nu at the University of Minnesota are featured periodically in order to provide a better idea of what individuals in our chapter are all about. For this edition, we feature Alex Kunkel.
Alex Kunkel is a junior in the College of Liberal Arts majoring in History. He is originally from Geneva, Illinois. Alex joined Sigma Nu as a first-semester freshman in the Fall of 2013 and served as the Social Chair in his sophomore year.
NICK: Tell me about your major. How did you decide on history?
ALEX: I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I came here so I waited to kind of figure out what I was interested in. Eventually I decided I wanted to become a high school teacher. I have three younger siblings and I’ve always been the older mentor, I’ve always liked working with kids. My favorite subject growing up was history, so I’d like to be a high school history teacher.
NICK: If you didn’t decide on being a teacher until college, what did you want to be when you were little?
ALEX: I think I went through all of the phases when I was little, I know at some point I wanted to be an astronaut.
NICK: What is your spirit animal and why?
ALEX: Well I don’t know for sure, but I’ve been told by other people that it’s a Grizzly bear, because I can be nice and friendly, but I get aggressive when playing sports, but if you don’t poke the bear then I’m an easy going guy.
NICK: Have you ever had a role model or someone you’ve really looked up to?
ALEX: I looked up to my grandfather a lot when I was little, he was just this awesome dude who did so much throughout his life. He fought in World War II, played professional soccer in Cecil, Pennsylvania, worked in the mines, built his own house on a hilltop, married my grandmother at the age of 16 because they both just knew, and he fostered this amazing family that still lives on that same hill. He lived to be pretty old before he died of leukemia. But he was always smiling, even right up to the end, and I’ve always tried to be like him.
NICK: Last year you won Alpha Omicron Pi’s Omicron Week. What made you want to participate and what has the experience been like?
ALEX: Well I’ve been friends with the AOII’s since the start of freshman year and a couple of the older members told me I should participate. The competition was a lot of fun. Since winning, I’ve gotten to know a lot more of their members which has been really cool. I also really enjoy having dinner with them when I have the chance. They’ve really become another chapter that supports me and that I can fall back on, they’re great!
NICK: How has Sigma Nu impacted your college experience thus far?
ALEX: It really has become my college experience, there’s not really an aspect of college that I can’t tie back to Sigma Nu. The classes are important, but you remember the friends and good times you’ve had a lot more, and all of my memories tie back to Sigma Nu. I really couldn’t tell you what my college experience would’ve been like if I hadn’t joined Sigma Nu. It would have been completely di×erent.
NICK: Lastly, we’ve got a tougher question for you. Would you rather only be able to whisper every time you talked, or only be able to yell?
ALEX: Only be able to whisper, that way I could still have one on one conversations without everyone overhearing me. If I yelled all the time, everyone would be able to hear me all the time, and people would probably start to tuning me out.
This interview was conducted by Sigma Nu, Gamma Tau Chapter’s Reporter, Nick Ohren. Nick is originally from Altoona, Wisconsin and is a junior in the College of Liberal Arts studying English and dance.