Kara Covert is the Assistant Dean for Advancement for A&S. Before arriving at UK in October, she worked as the Associate VP for Advancement at Transylvania University. Prior to that, Kara served Eastern Kentucky University as Associate VP for Development, and Washington University in St. Louis working in both Alumni Relations and Development. Kara’s undergraduate degree is from Transylvania and she holds a Masters degree from Vanderbilt University. Despite growing up in Louisville, Kara credits her late grandmother for instilling a love of blue early in life. Kara lives in Lexington with her husband Michael, who is the Associate Dean of Students at Transy, and their nine-year-old son, Evan.
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” -William James.
How many different ways, formats, styles, and schemas have you devised as the secret to your time management? Whether you draw up to-do list, set schedules or fill your desk with post-its, chances are you work to discover how to get ahead and make the most of the time you have.
Turns out there is a mathematical law called the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule), which says that for many phenomena, 80% of the consequences stem from 20% of the causes. In most cases, we obtain 80% of our results from 20% of our actual effort. Think about it, isn’t this true?
Becoming part of the A&S Wired LLP is to this day one of the best choices I have ever made. This is not because I was given a fancy new iPad, and a guaranteed spot in a suite style dorm, but because I met some of the most amazing people, and felt like I was actually known in the huge sea of students at UK. Being part of Wired gave me the opportunity to become part of an actual small community that throughout my freshman year became more of a family. It never failed that someone else from Wired was in one of my classes, and I always saw someone to say greet when walking around campus. I met some of my best friends through wired, that I otherwise may never have known (despite the fact that we had gone to rivalry high schools and lived twenty minutes apart out entire lives). These are friendships that I will have forever regardless of where we may go in our futures. When looking ahead, I see these friends at my wedding, sharing family vacations, and reliving our best days as Wildcats at college reunions. Any incoming freshman that is traveling far from home, feeling clueless about the college life, or just interested in meeting new people they have something in common with should consider joining Wired.
If you clicked on the link to this article, there is a very good chance that you have already at least heard of A&S Wired. There is also a good chance you know that A&S Wired is one of several organizations that the University of Kentucky refers to as “living-learning communities.” At this point, you may think to yourself, “This all sounds good, but what exactly is the point of A&S Wired?” I wondered this very same thing during the college selection process while I was looking at UK and first heard of A&S Wired. After being a part of the program for nearly two years now, I have realized that A&S Wired can be described in detail by looking at the three words that make up its title – “living”, “learning”, and “community.”
You may be thousands of miles away from home, a few hours away, or live right down the block. Your entire high school may ‘bleed blue,’ or, you may be one of two. You’ll encounter several new faces throughout your first few weeks, yet will remember only a few. A&S Wired unites first-year students of similar majors, with similar interests, all with the common goal of achieving academic success.
The people you live with are students you’ll sit next to in your biology classes, math classes and English classes too. You study together, brainstorm with each other, and learn from one another as well. Wired is the support system each freshman wishes to have when stepping foot on the college campus.
As time nears for you all to make huge decisions that will affect your future to come, one thing most people forget about is community. When most people think of a community, they think of where students will be living. But what people do not realize is that it means so much more than that. Any freshman can just live in a residences hall, but to actually be a part of a Living Learning Program is a big deal. Not only do you get to meet your fellow neighbors, but you build a bond that is stronger than the normal residence halls. This is because the students learn and grow in common classes that teach a variety of skills. Skills that will help them in the future like team building, public speaking, and thinking outside the box. Students are normally asked to work in groups for long periods of time, and this helps to build relationships that are long-lasting and can last outside of their first year. Also, most of the Wired classes help students become familiar to Lexington due to minor projects that relate to the University and how we fit in Lexington.
As undergraduates, we look for opportunities that will ground us in a university that we applied to go to, but had no idea how vast, deep, and wide it was until we moved in. As scholars, we look for ideas that we can apply to our own studies. Everyone else who works on UK's campus is looking for something different as it applies to their own work. But, when we peel away the labels of undergraduates, graduates, faculty, scholars, etc., we are humans. And, as humans, we look for connections to others. We look for the support and inspiration of others. We look for a community. The way I see it, A&S Wired, part of the powerhouse Living Learning Programs on campus, provides such a community by bringing together majors from many colleges and bringing in community speakers.
My time in A&S Wired was one I will cherish forever. I enjoyed my time in the Wired program, not because of the free iPad. The friends that I made through the Wired program will be friends that I will have forever. Some of the guys I met will become best men at my wedding. I still see the majority of these friends everyday and some are in all of my classes. While some have moved off campus and into apartments, we still see each other every single day. The ones that have moved into an apartment this year still wish they could come back to the Wired program. Out of state, first generation, and even up and coming college students who live in the Lexington area should join Wired.
I myself am out of state and a first generation college student. I knew absolutely no one when I moved to campus and into the Wired program. That changed quickly with K week and the Wired program’s need to get people involved. When I say need it’s because the directors of Wired honestly want all students involved in Wired. I met so many new people. The Wired program was about half the size of my high school graduating class. The Wired program made me know almost everyone in the first few weeks. This was crazy considering that I had 12 years to learn my class.