Staff, faculty and students share stories from winter break


Courtesy of Amber Peterson

Amber Peterson welcomes in a new puppy over the holidays. Other students, faculty and staff traveled over the winter break.

For many, Christmas is the perfect time of year family gatherings, a bunch of food, presents and joyous spirit.

Faculty and students at the university shared what they did over the break and what made their Christmas special.

Freshman Kinesiology major Amber Peterson explained that her family got a new puppy over the break.

“My family adopted a puppy, which was a huge change for us because we’re all predominantly cat people,” explained Peterson. “I spent my Christmas Break trying to help train him and cleaning up a lot of pee along the way.”

Peterson shared that she got to spend a lot of time with her god family and immediate family.

“As for the actual holiday, I spent my day with my godparents and my immediate family,” shared Peterson. “It was nice that COVID didn’t really affect our plans because we celebrate in a small group for every holiday.”

Eric Summers, vice president for student affairs, gave details about how his Christmas break went.

“My holiday break was uneventful, mostly,” expressed Summers. “I mainly took care of projects around the house — I did a great deal of painting. On Christmas Day, we loaded up the car and did a few ‘drive-by’ gift deliveries. Our parents are older, so we couldn’t really spend a lot of time with them. We didn’t have the big dinner that we all look forward to. I really missed that part of the holiday, but it was special nonetheless.”

Management major Mason Fuller explained that he spent time with his immediate family for the first time since quarantine over Christmas break while following the COVID-19 protocols.

“My Christmas break was great despite all the difficulties everyone, including myself, went through in 2020,” explained Fuller. “I spent quality time with my immediate family for the first time since the quarantine. Money for gifts was tight for everyone, but that did not matter when the best gift was just seeing each other.”

Gabe Willis, dean of students, welcomed a new life into his home over the holidays.

“Christmas break was awesome,” shared Willis. “We welcomed in a new baby girl on December 4th: Morgan Olivia Willis. The highlight of the break was spending time with family!”

Times were tough for junior Nick Riley, who lost both his job and girlfriend over the break, but his friend Bailey helped him overcome his adversities.

“Honestly just a boring mess,” described Riley “I lost my job, my girl. Just been struggling really but managed to stay cheerful and overcome obstacles. Bailey’s the main dude right now, like, he’s giving me so much motivation at the gym. I feel accomplished every time he trains me.”