Allison Weihe, Assistant Director of Student Activities and Traditions, grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated from Atherton High School. She graduated from Northern Kentucky University (NKU) in 2021 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in social justice and from Clemson University in 2023 with a master’s degree in education and student affairs in higher education. As a recent graduate, Weihe believes her different college perspectives and relatability to the student body will help improve campus events as well as campus life for USI students.
What brought you to USI?
I'd been to NKU which is more of a small school-type feel, similar to USI. Then, I went to Clemson, which is a big school, big on sports. Everybody bleeds orange there. So, I had both of those experiences and was interested in returning to a tighter-knit community when it came to looking for new campuses to go work at. I think USI fits the bill there as far as the small community and being able to get to know people on a one-to-one basis— not seeing students as just a number necessarily. You can meet students and know them for a long time. Also, during my senior year of college at NKU, my parents actually moved from Louisville to Evansville. Even though I didn't grow up here, Evansville is home now. So, I also had the goal of getting closer to them. In addition to that, my brother (Adam Weihe) is a student here, and he is on the baseball team as a junior this year. It’s great getting to come back and see him play and just be close to family and see them again because I've been so far away for a couple of years.
What was your work experience before coming to USI?
I graduated from NKU in 2021, and then I went straight into grad school at Clemson. At NKU, I mainly did on-campus work. I was a resident assistant. I was paid for my role as President of Panhellenic, and I was also a student employee for the Student Engagement Office at NKU. Moving to Clemson, I was the graduate assistant for LGBTQ+ programs in their multicultural center. In addition to that assistantship, which I did for both years that I was in the program, we did different field experiences. I got experience in assessment and leadership development programs—stuff like that.
How did Greek life impact your college career?
Had I not joined my college experience would not have been what it was. I joined knowing I wanted to go in and seek out leadership experience. I really was interested in taking on leadership roles, whether it was in a chapter or other areas of Greek life. That's kind of the first thing I did and got a role in my chapter then continued to get roles on Panhellenic Council, which is the overarching organization for Panhellenic sororities on campuses. Doing that introduced me to the idea of student affairs as a career. I worked on the Panhellenic Council for a while as the Director of Inclusivity and then as the President. I connected with the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at NKU, and said, “Hey, so I really like doing this. Is it possible to do this forever?” She replied, “Actually, yes.” She gave me the rundown of how she pursued it, and how I could go about things.
What is your role in the Center for Campus Life?
I advise the Activities Programming Board and help them implement all their event ideas. I help them run their training, meetings, retreats and so on. I do the contracting and help them manage their bodies, but ultimately helping them see their ideas through when it comes to all the events they try to plan throughout the semester. In addition to that, I do Explore Evansville, which just happened during Welcome Week. I do Homecoming as well as Spring Fest. We're starting up our Homecoming Committee here soon to get those activities planned out, as well as Springfest to try and figure out what artists students might want to see on campus for the show.
What do you hope to bring to USI?
A reason I'm an asset to the USI community is that I can bring that blended perspective to student activities. I've seen what huge schools do for student activities, and I've seen what schools similar to USI do for student activities. So, trying to bring in things I know will work for the student population, as well as some new things that I think they'll be really excited about and maybe they haven't seen before at USI or other similar institutions. I think it is a good perspective to have. Also, as a recent graduate, I can relate a lot to the student body and the age group of the current student body. Being able to grasp onto that relation and use that to my advantage when it comes to trying to implement things I know students will be interested in.
How do you hope to connect with students at USI?
One of the biggest things I learned from my undergrad and grad experience is that showing up is really important. Coming to student events, supporting student efforts and showing my face and getting people used to seeing me around. Then going further to build relationships with students and really engage with them to understand who the students are at USI, and just watching that go from there.
How do you hope to improve campus organizations and student involvement on campus?
I think just an increased opportunity for collaboration on events is a big goal of mine. A goal of mine right now is to make Homecoming more of a campus-wide effort, rather than just something the Center for Campus Life does—pulling in a bunch of different campus partners and offices to have a say and have a hand in creating USI Homecoming while our office acts as a facilitator of that. We'll be able to touch more student populations, rather than just the students who are always here. If I'm working with an academic college on an event, then they're going to be able to market to those students who maybe don't engage a lot with our other events. I also advise the Activities Programming Board, encouraging them to do the same thing across other student organizations. Increasing collaboration with other student groups will be important to create a more tight-knit community when it comes to engaging together.
What are your hobbies, interesting facts about yourself, community involvement, etc.?
I enjoy reading. My favorite series ever is the Percy Jackson books. I’m pumped for the show to come out in December. I really love V.E. Schwab. I’m also a big fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid, but historical fiction is where I like to live. I collect records. I've been collecting records since I was maybe 16. I got my first record player, and I just upgraded to a really cool one. I have about 50 records, and I enjoy going to record shops and picking out old and new stuff. I have Taylor’s Version of a couple records like evermore and folklore, those are my two favorite Taylor Swift albums. But I also have older soul and R&B artists, like Patti LaBelle, The Temptations and Earth, Wind & Fire—all kinds of stuff really. My family and I like to go play golf and pickleball. I enjoy taking walks down the riverfront. I'm a volunteer at the Warrick Humane Society. I'm working on getting some more volunteer engagement at some point. I'm pretty new to the area, so I’m trying to feel things out and make friends, things like that.
What advice do you have for students heading into the new year?
When it comes to your college experiences, and really anything, you're going to get out what you put in. You can't just walk onto campus and not do anything but come to class and expect it to be the most magical time you've ever had. It's a two-way street. We want to do everything that we can at the Center for Campus Life to provide opportunities for students to get involved and feel like they belong at USI. But in order for that to happen, students need to come and get engaged. We want to do things they're interested in. but we need them to tell us what they want—kind of that mutual agreement of we can help you make this the experience what you want it to be as long as you are just as invested as we are. Definitely just keep that in mind. You get out what you put into it and get involved.
This piece was written by University Strategic Communication student worker Tegan Ruhl.