Short Feature with Volleyball Rising Junior Erika Foose

Erika with her dad and dog after a hike near her hometown
Erika with her dad and dog after a hike near her hometown

Rising junior Erika Foose, a behavior economics major from Allentown, Pennsylvania, answers a few questions about student life at Carnegie Mellon, how she decided on her major, what classes she's enjoyed, and a memorable moment she's had as a member of the volleyball team.

1. What do you enjoy about campus life?

My favorite part about campus life is the ever-active cut. There is always some org running some kind of activity, fundraiser, or info booth. I think our widely diverse org offerings is something that makes CMU special, so it's great to see people out there spreading the word about things they're passionate about. If CMU students all have one thing in common, it's certainly passion.

2. What do you get involved in outside of volleyball?

Outside of playing volleyball I am the PR chair of the Plaidvocates, which I suppose is still kind of tied to sports but it is very important to me and we are always working to expand our efforts past just the athletics body. I am also a member of CMU's marketing club. This past year we worked closely with a Pittsburgh startup called expii, taking on marketing R&D and projects. The past two springs I have also pushed Buggy for Pika racing. It's always a blast with that group and I have made some great memories and even better friends.

3. What are your summer plans?

This summer I headed home to be with my family and my dog, Bert (which I am very excited about). I got a job for the summer working at PetSmart and I shouldn't have even bothered buying a gym membership because my arm muscles are bulging with strength from all the dog food I've been lugging around. I will also be taking a history course at Muhlenberg College starting in July. For the most part, I am just trying to enjoy the last summer I have before I need to be a real adult :)

4. What are you excited about next semester?

I am excited for my junior fall semester because I finally get to dive into some major/track specific courses. Though I have enjoyed several courses so far, the majority have been gen eds and this coming semester I will finally get to get into the nitty-gritty of marketing/advertising. It sort of goes without saying but I am very excited for the volleyball season. Like every year, we said goodbye to some more great players and friends but I think we still have a very strong team and I know we all cannot wait to get back on the court and sweat it out during preseason (as painful as it sometimes...often...is). I am also very excited to welcome in my two new roommates! My fellow teammate, Kayla Yew, and basketball player, Laura Ochsner, will be moving in and we are all very excited to be staying with each other the next two years.

5. Why did you select your course of study – what class have you enjoyed the most?

This past spring semester I actually transferred into the Tepper School of Business to study marketing and graphic media management.  I love this course of study because I feel like it is a great combination of data analysis, human behavior, and artistic creativity. I always enjoyed a lot of different subjects in school so choosing just one thing to study in college seemed like an impossible task, luckily I discovered I could have it all with this major. This past spring semester I took the intro to graphic media management course and it was so fun. I learned so much about human existence honestly -- why we love color and why we feel the need to photograph, how things like printers and paper and cameras and things we all just have in our lives and take for granted were made and developed over time. The professor, Anthony Stanton was such an exciting lecturer, and clearly very experienced and passionate about his field. I will be taking another one of his media courses this coming semester. I am also so excited to see the new Tepper Quad, I hope I have some classes in it this semester!

6. What class has been recommend as a MUST take class at CMU?

Lizzy Thrasher should get paid by CMU because that girl knows how to sell you on CS classes. She's definitely not alone though, pretty much everyone I've ever talked to at CMU has recommended 15-112. I tried to take it during freshman spring, made it about 4 weeks before I had to drop down to 15-110. And even though I was putting in 20 hours a week for that class, I was terribly sad to leave it because it was so fun and I can't say I've ever learned more in a 4 week period than I did in that class. 15-110 was a much better pace for someone brand new to programming and I of course learned a lot from that class too. So, I will jump on the intro CS bandwagon and encourage everyone to take one or both of these courses.

7. What have you enjoyed about living in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh has its charms, I must say. When we drive back at night from a tournament weekend and come around that one corner where the skyline and bridges emerge into view, it really is breathtaking. It's a beautiful and unique city with a lot of character. There are so many restaurants and activities and shops, I don't think I'll ever get bored living here.

8. What has been a memorable moment as part of the team?

This past season we hosted a weekend tournament sometime towards the end of September. On day 2, we were scheduled to play Otterbein and Mount Union -- two matches that would definitely present some challenges. I think those two games might have been some of the most exciting volleyball I've ever been a part of. We fought hard to the end against Otterbein and came out on top and then went on to wash  Mount Union 3 sets to none. We were making crazy plays -- pancakes and point saving free balls from across the gym, rare stuff you see only a few times in a career was all happening in this one game! The team was on such a high and it was nice to be in our own gym with that infamous Skibo heat we know and love. That was a great weekend.