Avery Parker

Nashville, TN

Academic Interests

Extracurricular Activities

What is your favorite thing about the city of Rochester?

I am a foodie, and Rochester has no lack of unique restaurants to try. My favorite recent discovery is a tiny cafe called Orange Glory, which has only six two-person tables. It is open for lunch on weekdays, and it can be very difficult to get in! They specialize in artisan sandwiches, and last time I was there I ordered a chickpea and eggplant sandwich. Yum!

What unique opportunities have you taken advantage of at Rochester?

Applying for the Meridian Society was a personal challenge, and definitely has been one of my most rewarding experiences on campus. Up until now, I was terrified of public speaking! The application process was daunting, because after the first written submission and group interview, you have to tell a two-minute story showcasing your personality in front of the current Meridians, as well as everyone who is applying. After getting up the courage to go through with it, I have learned invaluable interpersonal and public speaking skills that will continue to benefit me later in life.

What is your dream job after graduating from the University of Rochester?

My dream job is to combine my interests in anthropology with my study of business to open my own tea store. Studying other cultures has really deepened my appreciation of the different meanings of products in various countries. The tea culture in China is vastly different from the usage of tea in England, which is also distinctive from tea’s image in the United States. I would love to continue to study these nuances through travel for the purpose of purchasing different teas to sell.

What is your favorite off-campus event and why?

I became involved with ArtAwake very recently, but it is already my favorite off campus event! ArtAwake is a massive artistic collaboration between Rochester students and students from the surrounding community and colleges. In conjunction with the Urban Explorers Club, ArtAwake turns an abandoned urban space into a daylong exhibition with all kinds of artmusical, visual, and interactive. It is student-run, which provides great opportunities for leadership development; next year I plan on not only entering my paintings for exhibition, but also on applying for the role of art director.

What’s been your favorite class? Why?

My favorite class (so far) is definitely Asian Search for Self. This was a 100 level class in the religion department taught by Professor Brooks, who spent over sixteen years studying Hinduism and Buddhism in India. I didn’t have much exposure to religions prior to my enrollment in the class, and this was the best to get started! Learning about these religions from cultures much older than my own was not only interesting from a historical perspective, but I have found that I am able to apply concepts from these religions into my everyday life as well! I ended up keeping all of the books required in the course, and have lent them out to my friends from home. Professor Brooks is hilarious and engaging, using anecdotes from his extensive experiences abroad to make the material more relatable.

How would you describe the “typical Rochester student?”

Although we pride ourselves on not having a “typical Rochester student,” there are characteristics common to the Rochester way of life. Each student is internally driven and focused when it comes to academics. There is no hostility or negative competition surrounding grades, research, or internships. I have often walked through Gleason Library only to stumble upon a study group for the class I am in. This collaborative environment is exactly what I was hoping to find in my undergraduate experience.