It’s doubtful that any Kenyon student knows more about goats than Laura Duncan ’17. Goats are her specialty—particularly pygmy goats, a miniature domestic breed usually kept as a pet.
Duncan began breeding and raising goats in the sixth grade, primarily for sale to 4-H Club members. She is the owner and operator of Lucky U goat farm on her parents’ property in Fremont, Ohio. “The money is just kind of a bonus,” she said. “I like the goats and can become very attached to them.”
She has 10 goats on her farm and has sold about 20 since she began her venture. Duncan trims their hooves, dehorns them for safety and cosmetic reasons, and castrates male kids not needed for breeding.
She is among 484 members of the Class of 2017—the largest in Kenyon history—who bring a wealth of talents and interests to the Hill. Also included in the class are:
Pitching researcher: Thomas Morris
Sometimes rest is a pitcher’s best friend. Thomas Morris ’17 is trying to see that young hurlers get more of it. Before being recruited for the Lords baseball team, Morris launched a research project indicating that the injury rate among baseball pitchers is higher in his native Hawaii than on the mainland.
Morris hopes that his findings, which attracted the attention of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association, contribute to the adoption of pitch limits in high school baseball. “This is something I am very passionate about because I had arm surgery from an overuse injury,” he said.
Slam poet: Henry Nash
The first time he attended a slam poetry event, Henry Nash ’17 was hooked. “I thought, ‘I have to do this.’” he said. Nash went on to become captain of the slam poetry team at Walter Payton High School in Chicago, where he also served as captain of the varsity soccer team.
According to Nash, slam poetry is a competition in which participants perform short works judged by audience members. “It makes poetry accessible because it lends itself to an emotional response,” Nash said. “A good slam gives you chills and is incredible literature.”
Scrabble champion: Cameron Thomas
Not just any Scrabble champion, Cameron Thomas '17 is a Latin Scrabble champion. He’s a two-time winner of the Bay Shore High School tournament in New York.“It’s played the same as regular Scrabble, but a little more difficult,” he said. “Some point values are different because some letters are less common in Latin than in English.”
Thomas studied Latin seven years through middle and high school. It gave him a better understanding of English because so many English words have Latin roots. His interest paid big dividends at tournament time. “I got more homework passes because I won so many games,” he said.
Political campaigner: Anthony Tellez
Curiosity compelled apolitical Anthony Tellez ’17 to serve an internship last year in his hometown of Tucson for the Obama presidential campaign. “I wanted to see what I could learn from it and become more politically aware,” he said. “I met people who worked on the John F. Kennedy campaign and are still campaigning. It was neat to be part of that.”
Tellez worked phone banks and knocked on doors, trying to register Obama voters. He enjoyed the people more than the partisanship, electing to take pre-med over political science classes at Kenyon. “I’m kind of reserved, so the experience of interacting with total strangers was good for me,” he said.
World traveler: Sewar Quran
Leaving her native Jordan to attend college in rural Ohio seemed like a logical choice for aspiring diplomat and world traveler Sewar Quran ’17. “I want to experience the ways countries function with so many different cultures and backgrounds,” she said.
Quran is off to a fast start. While a student at King’s Academy, a co-education boarding school near Amman, she participated in exchange programs in Colorado and South Korea.
Though she is the only Jordanian on campus, Quran already feels at home, crediting her involvement in Kenyon’s pre-orientation program for international students and Middle Eastern Student Association. “It makes me feel like I have a family here who understands exactly what I am going through.”