Passion Projects

When we think about passion projects we typically recall our team building days. When asked to host a passion project, we typically recall something we’re good at or something we have that we could share with everyone. Scratching the surface of that is an entire world outside of the window we look out of into the Advisor, Coach, or Director’s life. It’s exciting to discover a whole world of memories that make up a complex human that they share for a brief moment with us.

I find that if you ask the right questions, you can learn a lot about a person, most especially what they would teach and share with others if given the opportunity.

Kelsie Patton, Biology Advisor

Ice Skater + Bunny Mom + Tiger Conservation+ Listener = Inside Out Empath

Have you ever considered that animals speak a language that humans can’t even perceive? Until I asked Kelsie what her dream passion project would be, I have visions of all animals speaking like the one on Homeward Bound (With Michael J Fox’s accent naturally).  Kelsie is a devoted Bunny mom and her dream passion project would be to teach an interactive bunny class. In her own words, “They are pretty unique pets and a pretty fun passion project.  Plus- they are fluffy!”

Kelsie loves ice skating and she would do it all day, every day if given the chance. I think we can all agree with her on the oppressive nature of Florida summers, so imagine going through those summers with a passion for ice. Torture.

Something I found that Kelsie and I have in common is our preference and our love for Harry Potter and Dr. Who (any other Harrynatics or Whoniacs in AF?)

Not only does Kelsie have a passion for bunnies, but she also rode for her college’s equestrian team and her dream job is to be a tiger conservationist. Yes, specifically tigers and preferably on Tiger Island in Australia. Look it up – it’s incredible.

Professionally, Kelsie’s biggest strength is her ability to listen and observe. She claims that she isn’t very talkative and I readily link that to her having lived in seven different states. Change leads one to be observant of their space and the ability to be flexible with different environments and people.

Also, watch out 2018 Olympics, I think Kelsie has found the ultimate winter sport: Napping.

Ivan Myers, College Life Coaching Assistant Program Manager

Sports Fan + Attention to Detail + Social Justice = Altruistic Leader

Ivan’s dream passion project offers a unique perspective on the criminal justice system, calling his peers to move from conversation to action. In his own words: “From racial disparities, to profit-driven prison systems, to the numerous issues with the death penalty, the entire system needs to be restructured. I’m not sure exactly what I have to offer to the conversation besides sharing what I’ve learned and engaging in conversation with people about how to make changes now.”

One of the most interesting things he shared with me was about his dream hobby, getting his dog Samson involved in Dock-Diving. Dock-Diving is a competitive sport in which dogs compete for distance and height while jumping from a dock into water. Samson is very athletic and spending time with him is top of Ivan’s list of hobbies.

As our new Assistant Program Manager for College Life Coaching, it’s not hard to extract his leadership skills once he highlights his attention to detail. He avoids leaving cooking time on a microwave (I’m so guilty of this) and he likes to have a plan to put to action and not the other way around.

If Ivan could have any job, if all jobs had the same pay/hours, he would run a sports bar in the mountains of Guatemala on an avocado farm. He’s a big sports fan, so this combines his passion for the country and his ability to keep up with athletics. His ties to Guatemala stem from the relationships gained and time spent there during his thirteen separate visits to the country.

My favorite questions to get to know someone:

What would your perfect room look like?

What job do you think you’d be really good at?

What songs have you completely memorized?

When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

What takes up too much of your time?

What do you wish you knew more about?

Who is / was your most interesting friend?


Stay tuned for more insights into the passions of our fellow AF team members.


About the Writer:

Sarah Lovins - about the writer








Sarah Lovins, Exploratory Advisor
Girl. 28. Charming, but insane.
Looking for students who love dachshunds and answer emails promptly.  Must love obnoxious humor and random facts: A mantis shrimp can swing its claw so fast it boils the water around it and creates a flash of light.