SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: TORI BACHMAN-JOHNSONBy VICTORIA ENGELHARDT Dynamic Duo #1
Tori Bachman-Johnson, a senior from Illinois, has deep roots in Georgetown, Ky. Her family moved to Kentucky when she was young, and in her 20 years she has never gone to school outside of Scott County. Growing up going to Faith Baptist Church with Georgetown professors and staff helped Tori decide that she wanted to go to Georgetown College.
Right before her senior year of high school, her family moved back to Illinois, “so when I chose GC, I still got the chance to be independent without leaving the place I consider to be home,” Tori explained. Her time at GC has been well spent, but what she has done is not nearly as important to her as the journey she has taken and who she has become.
Though she named several professors, including Dr. Allen, Dr. Burch and Dr. Klopfer as among her favorites, this English major found her way at Georgetown under the tutelage of Dr. Holly Barbaccia. “While I was in her Lit Survey class, she came to me and asked if I wanted to be an English major and if I needed an adviser.” Since then, Tori credits Dr. Barbaccia with teaching her how to research, write and navigate the UK library.
“Dr. Barbaccia also did my practice tutorial, Medieval Literature, which allowed me to study English at Regent’s Park College at Oxford,” she said. Of her time abroad, Tori said, “It was challenging to get in, and challenging while I was there, but I learned so much and it was worth every single all-nighter I pulled.”
Tori has grown up a lot in her time at Georgetown. “I have a better sense of who I am—the good and the bad— and I am more comfortable with myself,” she said. That comfort has come to her in part with a major life decision she made in her junior year: to convert to Catholicism. After her mother converted, Tori began attending mass and eventually was confirmed at St. John’s in September of this year. During her years at GC, she has also “developed new friendships and a stronger support system,” which includes her church family, the GC community and her family back home in Illinois who have supported her throughout her time in college. “I am much more appreciative of my background, specifically my amazing family and the values they taught me,” she said.
Her family has taught her to value many things, including music. “I grew up with my dad singing all the time and playing guitar so my sister and I could fall asleep,” she said. “I don’t sing well at all, but my family is always singing to and with each other.” While she may not be able to sing, Tori has been in band since the sixth grade, and is a proud French horn and mellophone player in the Tiger Bands at GC. She thinks of the band as “like a family, and Dr. Pete is the crazy dad.”
Her favorite college band memory is accompanying the men’s basketball team to Kansas City, Mo. for the NAIA Tournament last spring. “I loved spending so much time with the band, traveling and supporting the team,” she said. “We all enjoyed just being ‘chipper’ and a little crazy.”
While not tutoring for ENG 211 and 213 or the Writing Center or playing in the band, Tori can be found reading, running or working for The Georgetonian. Since coming in as a copy editor her freshman year, Tori has held several roles which culminated in her becoming the Editor-in-Chief last January.
“I have learned so many things, often the hard way, through working at The Georgetonian,” she said, “and I got to meet and talk to a lot of people and hear their stories.” Though at times the work can be stressful, Tori described it as “the best student job (with the best coworkers) on campus.”
While Tori is finishing up her last week of classes as an undergraduate student, she will not officially graduate until May. Though she’s been considering future careers, for the time being Tori plans to head home. “I’ve worked hard during college, and honestly, for now I just want to find an easy 9-5 job and spend time with my family,” she said. “They’ve been eight hours away from me since high school. I’m ready to be close to them, and I need the chance to reflect a little before I dive into the next part of my life.”
SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: VICTORIA ENGELHARDTBy TORI BACHMAN-JOHNSON: Dynamic Duo #2
Victoria Engelhardt, a Paducah, Ky. native, has thrived at Georgetown College and become prepared for the real world thanks to the people she has met and the experiences she has had over the past three-anda- half years. This Communication and Media Studies major with a Religion and Church Music double minor credits the majority of her success at Georgetown to two Student Life workers she met on Directions, before her freshman year.
“I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today without Angela Taylor and James Koeppe—my life would be exponentially different if it wasn’t for their guiding influence my freshman and sophomore years.”
Their guiding influences have helped Victoria become involved with a staggering number of activities. These include serving as a Board of Trustees Senator for SGA, GAC VP of Education and Lecture, United Nations of Georgetown President, Alpha Gamma Delta President, Omicron Delta Kappa President, Phi Kappa Phi Student Vice President, Chorale Historian and Public Relations ofcer, Panhellenic Council Treasurer and IMPACT Council Conference and Event Chair, as well as being a member of SNATS, Alpha Lambda Delta, Order of Omega, Lambda Pi Eta and the Lyric Theatre Society. One of her favorite activities was having a leading role in the opera “The Gondoliers,” which Victoria called “the second hardest thing I’ve done” in college. Victoria, who studies voice under Dr. Rebecca Miller, credits Miller and Dr. Heather Hunnicutt for “helping me succed in such a challenging endeavor.”
For the past four years, Victoria has been also been involved with The Georgetonian. She has served on staff as a copy editor, news editor and features editor, but says her favorite part of working for The Georgetonian is being a staff writer. “Writing articles has given me opportunities to get to know and tell the stories of a variety of students, faculty, staff and administration throughout the years.” She also credits The Georgetonian for opening her eyes to her life’s calling: being a journalist. “The Georgetonian showed me that what I want my career to be is telling other people’s stories; it doesn’t seem like work because I love every minute of it!”
Her future career has also been influenced by her professors in the Comm. department. “Communication faculty Dr. Susan Dummer, Dr. Kenny Sibal and the late Dr. Bill Gillespie have prepared me well for a career in journalism and for life in the real world.” With a little prodding from Dr. Dummer, Victoria found the form of journalism she wants to pursue, broadcast news, through broadcasting internships at WPSD-TV in Paducah, Ky. and WLEX in Lexington, Ky. “Jennifer Horbelt, anchor at WPSD in Paduach, saw potential in me and gave me the tools and opportunities I needed to break into broadcasting.”
While at GC, the opportunity Victoria has appreciated the most was serving as Alpha Gam President during her junior year, a time in which she helped grow the sorority from five members to 25 members in one semester. “I wouldn’t have gotten that opportunity without a lot of help and encouragement from Emily Brandon, who gave me my first chance to step up and lead and never stopped believing in me,” said Victoria.
Victoria also credits Brandon as the first person who encouraged her to apply for the Oxford program.“With her encouragement, and the battering I took from Drs. Hadaway and Clark, I’ll be attending Regent’s Park College during the Hillary term this January.” While saying applying to Oxford was “by far the hardest thing I have ever done,” she acknowledges it as the best experience she has had in preparing her for her future.
While Victoria looks forward to studying Theology at Oxford next semester, she has also been looking farther into the future, where she hopes to have a career in broadcast journalism. For now, Victoria has applied to four grad schools, Teach for America and for a Fulbright grant. “I would’ve never felt confident enough to apply were it not for Dr. Allen, Emily Brandon and Angela Taylor.”
Her favorite memory at GC is one that will last a lifetime: being the first Alpha Gam to win Belle of the Blue. “Winning Belle of the Blue helped me meet Dr. and Mrs. Crouch, who have been an enormous blessing and support system throughout all my endeavors at Georgetown and beyond.” Victoria’s advice for freshmen is borrowed from fellow senior and long-time friend Katelyn Harris: “Remember, today is just a drop in the bucket compared to eternity.”