Alex Werder is a New Jersey native who shipped out to Kalamazoo in 2011 for his first year as a K student. After joining the Office of Admission upon graduating from K in 2015 he’s still not comfortable with the title of mid-westerner but is thrilled to call Kalamazoo home now. Busy is probably the best word to describe Alex’s extracurricular activities while he was a student on his way to studying abroad in China for a year, completing a Senior Individualized project about American constitutional culture, and graduating with a B.A. in International and Area Studies. In addition to being a member of the Michigan Association for College Admission Counselors (MACAC), Alex is also a big time volleyball fan, snowboarder, political nerd, food-lover, and traveler.
Hometown: East Brunswick, NJ.
Favorite Food: I am seriously torn between scallops and risotto so I am going to say scallops over risotto.
When you visit Kalamazoo, you must… have brunch at The Crow’s Nest and make sure you get the banana bread as your toast. You won’t be sorry. Or, if you really feel like indulging your sweet tooth get the banana bread french toast. It tastes as good as it sounds.
Favorite question from a prospective student: “How awesome would I have to be to get into and do well at K?” I think we all acknowledge that the college search process comes with some stress. But it was so incredibly refreshing to hear someone frame that question in a way that presupposes awesomeness instead of asking “am I good enough?” The college search should be more fun than stressful!
Favorite college memory: It is really hard to pick just one so I am going to cheat and say my study abroad year in China as a whole. The chances in life to pick up and live on the other side of the world for a year are so few and far between and the lessons that I learned while there were so formative that it has to be my favorite memory. My proudest moment though was negotiating my way out of a checked bag fee for my return flight. Sure I had already taken all my final exams but that really felt like passing the ultimate test.
Advice for prospective students: The essay on the common application is called the “personal essay” for a reason. Don’t try to enlighten me about something new about Kalamazoo College and don’t tell me how cool the organization you worked with over the summer is. I want to read about you and who you are. If you’re funny, be funny. If you’re not funny don’t try it out for the first time in the college essay. Be yourself! Easier said than done, I know. But you are the only expert on you so trust yourself.