Anna Gingrich helps lead the Honors Rebellion team through mud and barbed wire at Tough Mudder LA 2016.
Aug. 29, 2016
Anna Gingrich knows what it takes to get the most out of the college experience. She’s done more than succeed academically as a Nutrition major in Honors College – she’s conquered multiple Tough Mudders, served as a Resident Assistant on campus, studied abroad, mentored incoming Honors students, and much more. This year, she’ll add the titles “Honors Student Council President” and “HON 105 Instructor” to her already impressive resume.  
We caught up with Anna to ask her a few questions about her experience so far...

What did your path to UNLV look like?

I initially thought I wanted to be an event planner, which is why I chose UNLV. I was out of state, so I had to figure out what I could do make the cost more reasonable. I took my first year out of high school off so that I could live within the state and "build" Nevada residency. When I applied for residency in August of 2013, I was granted in-state tuition and with that cost, loans didn't bother me so much.

Why did you choose Honors College?

Before my first semester, I stumbled upon the Honors College’s website. After reading about the program, I knew that I couldn't be at the UNLV without being in the HC. In my application essay, I wrote a detailed analysis of how I would manage my time each week, hour by hour, to prove that I had the time and energy to dedicate myself to my studies and demonstrate that I was worthy of admission. I guess it worked!

What are you studying at UNLV and why?

After my first semester at UNLV and countless health-related documentaries, I discovered that my true curiosity was in nutrition. I have a fascination with the simplicity of clean eating and the numerous benefits that come along with it. That curiosity led me to pursue research regarding the prevention of disease through nutrition. I am also minoring in Spanish and took the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica this past summer! I have achieved fluency in a language that I adore and an appreciation for an amazing culture that has shaped me.

Most memorable experience so far in Honors College?

So far – completing the Tough Mudder obstacle course races with my Honors Rebellion family. The Honors Rebellion, which is my go-to group of people on this campus, has given me the opportunity to discover my love for running, climbing, jumping, lifting, and pushing my physical limits. It’s given me a community where I can have fun and learn more about myself with the help, support, and love of other like-minded individuals. HOORAH!

What can’t you work/study without?

I have to have a bowl of popcorn. A big one. I use a WhirleyPop on the stove with some olive oil and sea salt. It's a high-fiber snack that is terribly addictive and it helps me focus while I get down to business.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am an organizing freak. If I can color-code, alphabetize, label, divide, staple, paperclip, binder clip, etc... I will. I will create weekly schedules, keep track of my monthly income and spending, as well as keep tabs on a master syllabus for my entire semester, all in excel spreadsheets that I have designed. It is a guilty pleasure, as in, sometimes I will opt to organize my week instead of get started on the actual work!

What difference do you want to make in the world?

I have always daydreamed about being someone who makes an impact and incited lasting change, someone who was later taught about in history classes. I’ve realized that the people we read about in history books who altered their surroundings were just normal people with an unshakable code by which they lived. I want to live as they did – to incite lasting change by being a guiding light for those who find themselves in the dark.

How is Honors College preparing you to make that difference in the world?

I can be this guiding light right now through the opportunities that I have been given through the UNLV Honors College. I am a Bennett Mentor, which means that I am helping groups of incoming students now become more confident about their surroundings and college expectations. I am a first-year seminar (HON 105) instructor, which means I get to have multiple conversations with students and help shape their mindset for the next four or five years. I am the President of the Honors Student Council, which means that I can help to lead Honors students by example and help coordinate some of the most successful and exciting events for our Honors Students.

Because of Honors College, I know what it feels like to make a difference in my own community here, and I will always carry that with me wherever I go.