The Kenyon Ten: Katie Sparvero

Collegian Co-Editor-in-Chief Katie Sparvero ’25 shows her love for family, crocheting and the Pittsburgh Pirates.


Katie Sparvero ’25

As co-editor-in-chief for the Kenyon Collegian, Katie Sparvero ’25 oversees the production and distribution of the weekly student paper. A big sports fan from the Pittsburgh area, she also helps broadcast Owls athletics games — primarily field hockey, basketball, baseball and softball — and volunteers at Wiggin Street Elementary school in a first grade classroom.

Besides Gambier, where is your favorite place in the world to be?

I’m going to cheat and give two answers. First would have to be the little lake in upstate New York that my mom’s side of the family has been going to since my grandma was 18. My mom is the middle child in a family of five daughters, so the two weeks that we spend together in the summer is a great time to see all of my cousins and for my mom to see her sisters. The time together always passes too quickly, and I always wish I had more time to read or swim or just be lazy with my cousins. 

And my other answer would be a seat in the 300-level of PNC Park next to my mom and dad. My parents and I always try to make it to a few Pirates baseball games as a family, and I truly believe that the view of the Pittsburgh skyline from PNC Park in the middle of a June game against the Cardinals or Cubs is one of the best ways to see the city, even if the Pirates lose.

Why did you come to Kenyon?

I applied to a lot of small liberal arts colleges in rural/small town locations, and, by the end of senior year, I was entirely exhausted with the college application process, and all of the colleges were starting to run together. Then I visited Kenyon with my parents and I just kind of knew. My college counselor had mentioned that Kenyon was a great place for writers, and seeing campus convinced me that Kenyon was somewhere I could belong.

Fill in the blank: My experience at Kenyon would not be the same without ______.

My friends. As a first-year, I had a lot of difficulty making friends, but I was lucky enough to find friends at the Collegian and from other places, like the “Roommate Needed” form in the spring of 2022. Being able to sit down on New Side with friends and just talk through classes or work or do nothing at all makes Kenyon so much better. I have a lot of friends studying abroad right now, and I can’t wait to see them again.

What is your favorite Kenyon tradition?

Walking through the same side of the Gates of Hell. I think it’s really an unconscious practice at this point. Sometimes one of my friends will still say “left” or “right,” but, for the most part, we just know to walk together. I don’t know that it’s actually that deep, but it’s a nice little way to say to your friends that you care about them and want to stay friends with them.

What Kenyon class would you love to take — again or for the first time?

I still think about what I learned in “Becoming a Linguist: From Theory to Practice” (MLL 191) with Visiting Instructor of Spanish Agnė Karosaitė all the time. I had never really thought about language from that perspective, and I would love to take more linguistics classes. Also, I had to stop singing in the Community Choir because it conflicted with the Collegian’s production nights on Wednesdays, but I miss having those two and a half hours just as a chance to leave my other work behind and focus on singing.

If there was a soundtrack to your Kenyon experience, what song would be on repeat? 

“This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” by Talking Heads. The lyrics “Home is where I want to be / But I guess I’m already there / I come home, she lifted up her wings / I guess that this must be the place” reminds me of really finding my friends during sophomore year and realizing that this place that I’d already been for more than a year was more of a home than I’d realized. Plus, I think it’s hard to listen to this song on a sunny spring day in Gambier and not feel better.

Where do you find satisfaction outside of your work?

My paternal grandma was a talented crocheter who kept my dad’s side of the family well-outfitted with slippers (snuggies) and blankets. I can’t pretend to be half as good as she was, but I love to knit and crochet. It’s a great way to feel like you’re being productive while you’re watching television, and I felt really proud the first time I finished a pair of socks.

What is something interesting that you have read recently?

I generally prefer to read fiction, but I’ve recently been reading a book called “How to Watch Basketball Like a Genius” by Nick Greene. It essentially connects lots of different aspects of the game of basketball to physics, economics, sleight of hand, etc. I only ever played basketball when I was required to in gym class, so I started reading it to try to improve my broadcasting skills, and it’s been really interesting to approach basketball from a lot of different non-basketball angles and it’s made me appreciate basketball even more.

What new skill would you like to learn?

Both of my parents have unsuccessfully tried to teach me how to ride a bike (and this lack of success is primarily due to my stubbornness), so I think at some point I should learn how to ride a bike. But probably not at Kenyon. I don’t think I have the constitution for being a Middle Path cyclist.

What is the best piece of advice that you've ever been given?

I think that “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good” is important advice both as a writer and throughout life. I think it’s highly unlikely that any article or short story that I’ll ever write is going to be the perfect piece of prose, but it can feel easy to give up on something I’m writing when it doesn’t feel perfect. I’ve tried to remember instead that what’s most important is continuing to work to improve and grow. You’ll probably never reach perfection (unless you do — kudos to you!), but making something you’re proud of is even more worthwhile.

The Kenyon Ten is an occasional question-and-answer feature that highlights students, faculty and staff.