Kacia Anderson is a junior at Duke studying Sociology from Fort Lauderdale, FL. Since being introduced to DUU, and specifically Duke@Nite, as a member of the one-and-only Duke Leadership Cohort, Kacia has stayed involved within the organization, currently serving as the Vice President of Administration. She is interested in public policy and public health, in particular, equity with minorities, immigrant populations, social inequities, and finding a structure for change in how we can combat these for a more equitable society. Vowing to ensure that being pre-med is not the sole component of her identity, she thanks DUU for keeping her grounded and also for introducing her to her best friend. Kacia is currently focusing on taking this year day-by-day, avoiding her typical habit of trying to be overly ambitious and plan everything out. Explore more of who Kacia Anderson is in the interview below!

How did you first get involved with DUU?

I was a FIP my first year, (DLC: Duke Leadership Cohort! The only ones!). Then, I was on the Duke@Nite committee when Frank Thomas was chair. I stayed on Duke@Nite my sophomore year, then applied for exec junior year

Can you share briefly about your role?

On Exec, I am currently VPA. I receive events from the committee chairs to curate the blast. Then, I send out the weekly blast to the student body. I host General Body Meetings that consist of Instagram Takeovers, Among Us, Trivia, and a What DUU Can Do For You Alumni Panel.

What is your favorite part of the work you do?

I really like sending out the blast. I have a lot of leeway with the title and format. I always hope that people will understand the joke, and they’ll laugh at the subject line. For Duke@Nite anime trivia, I needed an anime themed subject line. and I wanted a subject line that people would know that the person writing this watches anime and understands. I hope at least someone will get it! I also really liked how DUU trivia went (> 500) old advisors and alumni playing.

What academic interests are you pursuing at Duke?

I am a Sociology major, though by the time this is published, I might be an IDM with Public Policy and Sociology if I can find an advisor. I am interested in public policy and public health. In particular, equity with minorities, immigrant populations, social inequities, and a structure for change in how we can combat these for a more equitable society. I am doing pre-med reqs and am planning on applying to med school, but we will see how that goes.

Are these interests related to your involvement with DUU?

Not really, DUU is just that fun thing I do to remind myself that I’m still a college student. Pre-med is not very encompassing for me so I need DUU; they’re separate but they’re things that I love. I don’t want pre-med to be all there is to my identity and DUU keeps me grounded. I met my best friend here and currently live with her. DUU’s community is what keeps me coming back though not aligned with inequities.

Are you involved with other clubs or organizations on or off-campus? What do you like to do in your free time?

On campus, I am involved with Hoof & Horn. I am the Spring Virtual Musical Producer for Dream Girls. I am also in the Penny Pilgrim George Women’s Leadership Initiative Cohort, Duke & Duchesses, and Community Empowerment Fund.

What is one experience at Duke that has grounded you or shaped your perspective significantly?

COVID. Sophomore year, especially sophomore fall, I was getting my stride. As a first-gen low income student, I was struggling with finding community. It was hard to find my niche freshman year and what I’m passionate about. Sophomore year, I figured out the pacing of when to apply for study-aways, Duke Engage, recommenders, etc. By sophomore fall, I was like I’m going to do this — Duke in Spain, Marine Lab Summer II. My best friend was going to be in Paris while I was in Spain. End of February was supposed to be in China for DukeImmerse. I went on a different trip, but China was cancelled. School closed, and it’s fine. I had a very naive outlook on that I will still have April and summer. Everything got cancelled, fall looked uncertain, and I was just going to be home for summer. I realized that I need to go for things that I’m scared of, even if I don’t have all the knowledge. I don’t put things off and need to live in the now. My freshman year mindset was that there will always be another event or another chance. COVID showed me that there won’t always be this.

What is one thing you’d like to do, learn, or try in 2021?

I don’t know, I’ve been taking 2021 day-by-day. The last time I thought I had my life planned out was 2020. When I was visiting my uncle in Colorado, I was like I’m going to travel and do all these things for the next 6 months. Now, I’m not going to be overly ambitious and plan.

How do you stay inspired? Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, artists, etc. that you’d recommend?

I’m not a big podcast person, but I listen to anything music wise. When I think of the subject line for the blast, my inspiration depends on the blast’s content. Sometimes I will do weather themed (currently waiting for a snow day). I try to do a play-off of DSG whenever they take a shot at DUU, but I try to be funny and screen for insensitivities). If the weather is nice and shining, sometimes music is nice!

What’s a piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

Just do it and go after what you want — worry about details later. Growing up, I was uptight and an intense planner. I have learned that things work out in the end though I don’t always see how it does.

Rapid Fire Fun Questions:

Favorite spot on campus?

Perk or 2nd Floor WU

Favorite place to eat in Durham?

Namu

Go-to meal at WU?

Farmstead and Sprout: salmon, mac & cheese, and brussel sprouts

Favorite Duke tradition?

LDOC

Country or city you’ve always wanted to travel to?

South Korea, my uncle is currently living there and I’m supposed to go when COVID wraps up!

Favorite album or song?

Ungodly Hour by Chloe X Hallie

New quarantine hobby?

In the beginning, I did NYTimes minis but I slacked off in the Fall Semester.

Best gift you’ve ever received?

I like intentional gifts, my friends got me an Apple Watch band because I have always been saying I wanted one.

Favorite color?

Soft Pink

Favorite scent?

Lady Gaga x Valentino

Something you’re looking forward to?

Getting vaccinated since I’m immunocompromised.