Life at KU, KU Academic Accelerator

Meet the Team: Harry Swartz


IMG_2871.jpgHarry Swartz is one of our Student Services Advisors. He holds a Master’s degree in Spanish Literature and Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Kansas. As a Student Services Advisor, Harry provides one on one advising for students, helps coordinate the new student orientation, and partners with departments on campus to collaborate and create academic and social events and programs for students. He is also our sports expert in KU basketball. We sat down with him to learn more about him. Here is what he had to say…

Where have you traveled?

I have traveled extensively in Europe and I have been to four Latin American countries.  I also enjoy traveling in the U.S., and most recently have gone to New York, California and Hawaii.

What are your hobbies?

I like music. I play the guitar and the string bass.  I love to exercise. I’ve been a runner since I was in middle school.  I enjoy learning languages and getting to know new cultures.

Favorite place at KU: Allen Fieldhouse…it’s a national treasure.

Tell us about your experiences living and traveling abroad:

While a KU undergrad, I studied in Puebla, Mexico at the Universidad de las Americas-Puebla.  It was my first extended period of time abroad and it made me fall in love with traveling, the Spanish language, and authentic Mexican food.  After graduating with my undergraduate degrees, I spent two semesters teaching English as a volunteer in Chile.  This was an incredible cultural experience, and the Chileans I worked and lived with truly made me feel like part of their community.

Finally, after completing my master’s degree, I spent two years teaching English at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. Santiago de Compostela became a beloved second home for me and it allowed me the opportunity to do quite a bit of traveling in Spain and throughout Europe.

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As a Student Services Advisor and UNIV (Live, Learn, Grow) instructor, tell us more about what you do:

Student Service Advisors do many different things and it seems that no two days are alike.  Our primary task is to work one on one with students to make sure they are succeeding in their classes and making the most of their experience at KU.  We can act as troubleshooters for students when issues or problems arise. We are often are their first point of contact and we help them resolve whatever it is that is bothering them, whether it has to do with academics, housing, culture shock or any other number of issues.  We all have our own areas that we specialize in.  I focus on involvement on campus and connecting students to all that KU has to offer: clubs, athletics, student organizations, musical ensembles, government, and so on.

As a UNIV instructor, my course curriculum teaches students about time management and academic/career planning.  The UNIV courses help set students up to be successful at KU after they progress out of the AAP.

What is your favorite KU memory?

My favorite memory of KU is when the men’s basketball team won the national championship in 2008.  After the game there was an impromptu party in downtown Lawrence with 40,000 people.  I have never seen so many extremely happy people in one location.

What is your favorite KU tradition?

My favorite tradition is singing the KU alma mater and Rock Chalk chant before big events on campus.  I am also a big fan of the Kansas Relays, an annual track and field meet that has featured world-class competitors for the past 90 years.

How would you describe KU in your own words?

KU is a genuinely friendly place that has something to offer everyone.  It has excellent academic programs, seemingly endless extra-curricular activities and opportunities, and is located in a vibrant and safe college town.  KU is also the kind of place that creates fierce loyalty.  Once you become a Jayhawk, you are a Jayhawk for life.  Rock Chalk!



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