Alumni Spotlight - Nick Pearce


11/02/2017

Nick Pearce is a recent alum of St. Ambrose, graduating just last year. He quickly began helping his fellow man as a Team Leader in the AmeriCorps FEMA Corps and is dedicated to continuing his incredible work. We are all very proud of him, and look forward to the next time we see him! Keep up the good work!

Year Graduated
2017, I'm a NewBee (pun intended) to the real world!

Major: 
Theatre, with a double Minor in Communication Studies and Public Relations.

What were you involved with during your time here? 
I was a member of SAAT, PRISM, Mock Trial, and Bees International, the student organization for international scholars. I was President of PRISM and Bees International. Work-study wise, I was a tour guide and ambassador for Admissions, an RA for two years, and an office lackey for the Study Abroad office. In addition, I was the mascot (Barney T. Bee) for the Cheer Team.

Favorite role at Ambrose?
Britt Craig from Parade, he is a really fun villain to play. He has a couple of great songs, an amazing costume, and a chance to scream "REAL BIG NEWS" to the cast and audience every day.

Favorite memory of the department?
Receiving a Letter of Merit from the KCACTF for Production Dramaturgy with The Tempest. It was a really long and worthwhile task to adapt Shakespeare (without Dr. Nancy Hayes, it would have been impossible) and the process of working on a play for so long, and then getting to perform in it is an amazing experience.

What are you doing post-grad? 
I signed up as a Team Leader in the AmeriCorps FEMA Corps. AmeriCorps is basically Peace Corps inside the US borders, with my unit specially designated as Disaster Relief Specialists. Currently, I'm running a team of 6 people doing Disaster Service Assistance in East Texas for Hurricane Harvey.

How did you get into that?
I wasn't planning on going into the "Real World" after graduating, so I looked up programs that would help me serve my country and community. I lost my home in the Iowa floods of 2008, so disasters were a personal field for me. Plus, every year I serve, I'm awarded a Segal Education Award to help pay off my student loans.

How are you implementing what you have learned at Ambrose to what you are doing now?
I use the communication skills taught to me by the Theatre and Communications departments daily. Navigating and leading a team toward the goals we have is what I did as director of a staff of production heads. Community meetings are shows where instead of getting applause, I get people signed up for federal aid. The 18-hour school/rehearsal schedule I had for shows is what I ran for a month when I was first deployed. It's a lot like the department, but less people join in when I burst into song.

You are doing something very meaningful; how can others get involved?
It sounds callous but send money. Your thoughts and prayers are very kind and much appreciated, but $5 to the Houston Food Bank or American Red Cross can help so much. Furthermore, AmeriCorps is always hiring! Stipends, free room and board, and college tuition are all excellent benefits to someone right out of higher education. It's also an adventure that I'll remember for a lifetime.

Advice for current students?
I can still recall with horror every Cory disappointment dream I had. I recall with triumph every time Cory said she was proud of me, or that I deserved my (Kennedy) Scholarship. You probably will as well. Learn your lines. Memorize your blocking. Stay after to run it again. Make it great. Going the extra mile is the biggest difference between the superstars and people who burn out.

What do you miss most about the department?
I'd like to be nice and say all of my amazing friends and mentors, the wonderful hours spent reading plays off the Play Reading Test, or smuggling home as many nuggets from the cafe as possible, but that would all be a lie. I miss Dianne Dye the very most of all. As someone who could be very insecure about how I look, she made me look drop dead gorgeous in everything she had me wear. When I look at myself in the mirror on a bad hair day, I still think about calling Dianne for help.

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