Why did I choose UP?


(First soccer game as a Pilot.. orientation weekend!!!)

Thank you again for submitting your questions!

Recently why I was asked why I chose University of Portland and honestly write a book on why I love UP so much.  Here is just a few of many reasons why I chose UP.

During my senior year, I had been accepted to a few other schools and didn’t commit to UP until May. I just knew the moment I drove on campus that this was the right place for me.
I don’t know if you have visited yet, but it is an absolutely beautiful campus. We are located on a bluff with 3/4 of the campus surrounded by water. In between classes I am also guaranteed to run into someone I know. The campus is big, but small enough where you can always look around see a familiar face. There is definitely a community feel on campus which I really love.
Another thing that sold me about UP was the location. It is located right outside of Portland so you can still have the small campus feel while still being close to a city. Freshmen are not allowed to have cars the first year, but public transportation is pretty easy to figure out and we are close so you can still explore on the weekends.
The class sizes are also small so you never have a class bigger than 40 people. I am usually able to talk to my professors during there office hours and after class, they are always more than willing to help and support you. We got a new library last year which is really nice and they are also building a new rec center that will be open by next fall. Lots of exciting things happening on campus this year!
I could go on forever talking about UP. I can honestly say that coming to UP is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I would strongly urge you to check out the school if this sounds like it is something that fits you. In the end you have to choose where you are happy and see yourself fitting in.
Please let me know if you have anything other questions!
Best of luck in 2015!!
McKenzie Strickland


UP Dorm Life


(Recent post from my wing in Kenna Hall wishing you a Happy Holiday!!)

Hello there!!

I have gotten a few emails with questions regarding life at UP and what the dorm buildings are like so here is a little breakdown…

There are lots of dorm options on campus. I know you may think I am paid to say this, but there is honestly no bad dorm on campus. Each has its own personality. There are two main quads, East and West that have student dorms and then another building, Fields and Schoenfeldt that is a little farther away on campus.

In East Quad there is Shipstad, Kenna, and Christie.
Shipstad- is a coed dorm. It is known as the more lively dorm on campus. Everyone usually has their doors open and its a really open community. Everyone that lives there has a lot of pride for Shipstad and some are even known as the “Shipsters.” It’s an older dorm, but has a lot of character. Every year they usually have a nautical theme! All of the furniture is movable in Shipstad.
Kenna- is an all girls dorm. I currently live and am an RA in Kenna. It is a wonderful community. Everyone is really friendly and accepting. This year and hopefully next year our there is Kenna Lodge so lots of plaid is incorporated in everything. Kenna is actually older than Shipstad and all of the furniture except the beds are built in so there isn’t a lot of options to configure the rooms. I love living here so I would consider it if that sounds like something that could fit you!
Christie- is an all guys dorm. It is the oldest dorm building on campus, but has some of the nicest rooms as it had been remodeled. Christie is definitely quieter and has a lot of character. All the guys that live there are super friendly. They host Christie Pub every year to raise money for Holy Cross Charities. They are often seen wearing body paint at the soccer games. All of the furniture is movable in the rooms.
In West Quad there is Mehling, Corrado, and Villa.
Mehling- is also an all girls dorm. It is the largest building on campus with 8 floors. The best part about Mehling is the large closets, bigger rooms and lots of counter space around the sink, which is really nice. Mehling also has an awesome community and is close to the main quad.
Corrado- is a coed dorm which an awesome community. Everyone is also really friendly. When you walk into Corrado everyone is usually hanging out in the lobby and watching movies. The building is newer than most, but the rooms are a bit smaller. All of the furniture is movable in Corrado. It is a little bit quieter, but most people are encouraged to keep their doors open.
Villa- is an all guys dorm. Known to have a giant gorilla on the top of the building during move-in day. Villa is quite the lively dorm with lots of traditions like Sunday Night at the Races and Villa Man Auction. You will see the Villa Drum Quad at the soccer games usually wearing kilts. Villa has moveable furniture and a very friendly community.
A bit farther away from the main quad, but next to our soon-to-be brand new rec center is Fields and Schoenfeldt.
Fields- is a coed dorm..sort of. One half of the building is Fields which is all girls and the other half is all guys which is the Schoenfeldt part. They are each ran by their own staff, but share a building. It is the newest dorm on campus. This would probably be the quietest dorm as the doors are heavy so most people keep the doors shut. Every is really friendly and it is nice that they have ties with Schoenfeldt. The rooms have moveable furniture as well. A lot of nurses tend to live in Fields.
Honestly, you can can’t go wrong with any of these dorms! When you fill out your housing application you put down your top 3 and hope to get your first pick!
Let me know if you have any other questions! I would encourage you to come and take a tour of our beautiful campus!
Happy New Year!
McKenzie Strickland

The Day and a Life of a UP Student


My friends and I on the first day of school!

You may be wondering… what it is really like to be a student here at the University of Portland? Well not that my day is all that exciting, I thought I would share a day in the life of a UP student.

6:30am  My day usually starts here (guys… you will probably roll out of bed at 7:45) because I have an 8:10 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You may think 8:10 isn’t early, but in college time this is like waking up at dawn especially when you stay up till 2am the night before to finish that english paper you put off doing until the night before.

8:00am  I swing by the Cove where there are lots of grab and go items especially the EZ Riser. Some students here have not been graced by the gloriousness of an EZ Riser and I still don’t know how they live. An EZ Riser is an English muffin with egg, cheese and bacon and it is the BEST way to start my morning. Trust me, when you get here, you will know what I am talking about. Then I just barely make it to my 8:10 which happens to be accounting this semester.

Every schedule is different. Some days you could have all 5 classes in one day, 4 in a row, or none at all on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That’s the beauty of college is that you can choose your schedule.

9:05am  After my 8:10 I head to the Commons for a second breakfast which usually just consists of fruit and a coffee and we all gather around the Jesus tables (large, long wood tables in the Commons…they are the best) and talk as long as we can until we have to eventually study or do something.

11:25am  I head to my marketing class and by 12:30pm I go back upstairs in Franz (business school…most of the business classes are in here) to my bus law class.

1:25pm  I am free!…well as least free of classes. Then I head back to the Cove to get what is the second greatest thing on campus, the turkey pesto sandwich. This is the best sandwich ever as it is complete with homemade pesto. I usually eat with friends outside which is always a bonus on a sunny day!

2:30pm I get to go to my amazing on campus job at the Admissions Office. If you call in the afternoons then I will most likely answer the phone to answer any questions you may have! Like I mentioned before, I love the people I work with and love being able to help possible incoming freshmen and their parents.

5:00pm  I usually head to the library or back to my dorm room before I head to the Commons again for dinner. The new Clark Library is absolutely amazing. It had awesome study rooms for can reserve for those late night study sessions with your friends, lots of great study spots and so many resources it’s hard to count! If I am not in my dorm room, then I am probably in the library. When you come to campus for a visit you need to check out the library!!

The rest of the night I usually spend studying or going to a club meeting or staff meeting. I am lucky if I am in bed by 11pm, but realistically my usual bedtime is midnight. This is just a small snapshot of the day of a UP student. As always I am here to answer any questions you may have!

Best of luck in your college searching!


The Beginning

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(Left: The team on opening day! Right: My fellow Salzburgers who are now RAs too!)

Well currently I am sitting on a Washington State Ferry headed to the good ole Olympic Peninsula to visit my grandma. It’s always nice to get away as everything is slow-paced and of course I get to see my family!

It also happens to be Fall Break! It’s this glorious time of year where you are the only one of your friends out of school and you get to come home for a random week in October. By mid-October, trust me, this break is perfect timing to catch up on homework (It’s Friday and I haven’t started yet, but I will get there) and most importantly sleep (which I haven’t done much of either). Regardless, fall break is the perfect time of year to enjoy the season and escape from school for a while.

Since it is fall break and it is the first time I have had a chance to actually sit down and reflect and I am going to rewind to August to catch you up on my life since summer. August began and I was busy preparing for RA training. We are required to come down two weeks early for intensive two week training. Since you all know I was in Salzburg for my entire sophomore year so I had not been back on campus for over a year and a half! I piled up all my things in my dad’s giant van and we he headed to the magnificent rose city. Surprisingly, all of my stuff fit in my room complete with a couch! I have settled nicely into my Kenna Hall room. I spent the two weeks of RA training get to know my fellow RAs in the building and my Hall Director and Assistant Hall Director. They are all amazing! This year the theme for Kenna Hall is Kenna Lodge so we decked out the hall in trees, pine cones and plaid. It was an exciting day to welcome all of the freshmen into the hall and I was excited to meet all 55 of my residents.

Being an RA has been a lot more than I expected on both sides of the spectrum. On one side it was been a wonderful experience to get to know my residents. I love watching them grow and learn and support them every step of the way. I had such an amazing freshman year and I want to help them in any way that I can to ensure they have an amazing year. On the other hand, it has been a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Just trying to balance work life with school life and a social life. It is still a work in progress, but I am so grateful to be a support to the freshmen and a role model within the hall and on campus.

Outside of RA life, I am still working at the front desk in Admissions, which I absolutely love. I love the people I work with and I enjoy being able to help hopeful incoming freshmen and their parents with college decisions. My classes are also a bit of a challenge that I wasn’t expecting either. In Salzburg I took most of my university prerequisites like math, theology and philosophy so now I have to complete my business school requirements which include OTM (Operations and Technology Management), managerial accounting, business law, marketing and a creative writing class. All of these class keep me pretty busy, but it interesting to learn about a wide range of business areas. I still can’t wait to dive into all of the marketing classes, as you know, that will be my major!

Now that I got you caught up, I am actually on my way back home now on the ferry finishing up this blog post. It is a pleasure to share with you my time at UP. Please watch for more posts and feel free to submit any questions that you may have!

Thank you so much for your time!

All the best from Portland,

McKenzie Strickland

Last One!!!

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(1. Group in Mirabell Garden 2. Konigsee 3. Me in front on Guinness Storehouse 4. Giant’s Causeway)

Since I am typing this it means I made it through finals. And actually this year I did not have Ben and Jerry to help me through it so that’s an accomplishment. (Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream in Europe costs about 12 dollars…couldn’t do it) I surprisingly made it out with good grades!

The last couple weeks in Salzburg were the absolute greatest. We wanted to treat the city as if we hadn’t lived there for the last 7 months but rather first-time tourists. We went to Augustiners (out favorite beer hall) almost every weekend for a liter, had coffee at the swanky Hotel Stein where they have views of all of Salzburg, and just enjoyed each other’s company in the Center. Over Easter weekend, we rented a car and drove to Kӧnigsee in Germany and saw the beautiful sights and then drove back to Austria and drove through the Lake District. We lucked out on the weather that day, blasted the music in the car and just drove. It was one of my favorite days of the year. We had the freedom to stop whenever we wanted, had a picnic on a lake and stopped and saw some ponies and bunnies in the countryside. For Easter we went to a fancy art show in Salzburg and made dinner together as a group. We had stuffed pasta shells that I bought from Italy with salad and fresh asparagus. I also made my grandma’s carrot cake and it was a total hit! We popped some champagne and sat there for hours. It was definitely a memorable holiday! The year rounded out with finals and an End of the Year BBQ with all of our professors. It was definitely a bitter-sweet ending because I was very ready to come home but also know that I will never have another chance to live in Europe like that. Plus the friendships and bonds I made will last for a life time.

The day the program ended two friends and I headed for Dublin again. I just couldn’t get enough of Dublin the first time I went in December so I had to go back! We stayed in a hostel again and by this point I was SO DONE with hostels it was unbelievable and I was ready to go home. We toured the city, went on a pub crawl and toured the Guinness Storehouse. We also went on a day tour of the Wicklow National Park and saw many sights from the movie PS I Love You. Then we took a bus up to Belfast where we saw the Giant’s Causeway (if you have never heard of it…look it up) which is a volcanic rock formation on the coast and it’s like nothing you have ever seen before! We also walked over the Carrick-A-Reed bridge and ate some delicious traditional Irish food. Then the next day my friend Kelin and I missed our flight to Scotland so then we found ourselves in Northern Ireland homeless because we didn’t have a reservation for a hostel. So we went to the Titanic museum in Belfast and then took a bus back to Dublin where we got a hostel for the night. I just burst out laughing when we figured out we had missed our flight because I just couldn’t believe it! Then we had an extra day in Ireland so we took the train up to Howth a little beach town outside of Dublin and hung out for the day. The best part  of the trip was sitting down and drinking a Kilkenny (favorite Irish beer) and going to O’Neils (favorite PUB in Dublin) and listening to the live music every night! I am glad I went on this trip but was very happy to be heading home!

I returned home on May 9th after almost 20 hours of flying! It was a very long to day to say the least but I was so happy to finally sleep in my own bed, see my family and hug my dog. Of course… the first thing I did when I got off the plane was go to Dick’s…it was magnificent! I had been waiting 8 months for a Dick’s Special, fries and a chocolate shake! Since returning I have already been busy babysitting, working for my mom at her salon and just relaxing. I am very happy to be home!

I will behome for the summer and then I head down to Portland August 9th for RA training!! I will be an RA in Kenna Hall! I am very excited! Then my brother (who is graduating next week) will be heading down to Portland a few weeks later for orientation!! Can’t believe we have two Pilots in the family! GO PILOTS!!

It was a pleasure sharing all of my Salzburg adventures with you! Good luck on your future and I hope to see you on campus next year!

All the best from Seattle!

McKenzie Strickland

Answers to Submitted Questions

What’s the ratio of men vs. woman at UP?

The official UP Institutional Research website lists the ratio as 59% female to 41% male.

Do you recommend bringing a bike to campus?

It depends. I have lived on campus over two summers and used my bike both times. It was very helpful to have and came in handy when I needed to get somewhere quickly. During the regular school year I never had my bike around and really never missed it. There is definitely a shortage of bike parking on campus near academic buildings and other facilities (like the Commons), but the dorms have their own bike storage inside as well as bike racks outside. Personally, I wouldn’t want to bike in the rain, but there are many students here who use their bikes actively year-round. My recommendation is that: if you want it, bring it — if you think you can get by without it, don’t bring it. I hope this helps!

Answers to Submitted Questions

Below are answers to questions that have been submitted via our “submit a question” button. It’s anonymous and easy to do, so fire away if you have questions!

Will any part of the new rec center be open by the start of the 2014 fall term?

Unfortunately, no. They will break ground on the new rec. center (<– check out this link!) over the summer almost immediately after graduation as I understand it. Currently, the plan is for it to open in the Fall of 2015. Howard Hall, the current rec. center, will still be open next year. If you are entering school next year, then you will get three years of a brand new rec. center, if you are entering after that, then you will have it for your whole time here at UP. For perspective, my first two years here included the old library. Then, my junior year we were without a library completely. This senior year of mine I have had a wonderful renovated library that was worth the wait. This new rec. center will be worth the wait too. I might even come back just to see it!

Have you found that most of the students go to the religious events held at UP and that through their popularity they’ve become a central community event at the college? Do you become a little bit of an “outsider” if you don’t go to them?

It is tough for me to say exactly how many students go to the religious events here, but it is certainly a good chunk of students. I am sorry that I cannot put a number on it, but it is hard to describe. There are also a good number of students who go to off-campus religious services as well as many students who will never go to a religious event at all. We are a very diverse school in that regard. Approximately half the campus would describe themselves as Catholic. Some religious events like Hall Masses in the dorms are central community events, but no religious event is required here other than three theology courses as part of the Core Curriculum (see that link for more info). There are just as many non-religious events (sports, dances, concerts, plays, destressing events, intramurals, speakers, and much much more) here as they are religious ones (like Mass, retreats, Bible study, and discussions). If you are looking for religious lifestyle here at UP, then we have it. And, if that is not your cup of tea, then you can avoid it. I would not describe myself as highly religious at all, but even I have been to a few Hall Masses for the communal aspects. There is no pressure. You will never be an outsider here. We are too tight-knit a community.

Answers to Submitted Questions

“Which dorm would you consider to be the best for women?”

 I know that you might think that I am paid to say this, but I can honestly tell you that there is no bad dorm at UP. Each has its own community and personality and you can’t go wrong with any of them!

Shipstad- Shipstad is a coed dorm that is in the east quad closest to Kenna and Christie as well as Howard Hall. There are many intramural sports out on the front lawn as well as an outdoor volleyball court. As far as for girls this dorm is definitely more outgoing. It is usually encouraged to keep your dorm and this is known as the louder dorm. Shipstad is has movable furniture and a good size wardrobe closet.

Kenna- Kenna is an all girls dorm that has a friendly community. There is a sauna in the basement with a big screen TV and living room as well as study rooms. The rooms are a good size and there is an option to bunk or loft the beds. The bathrooms in Kenna are brand new! The desks are not moveable. Kenna is a close walk to the commons and Howard Hall.

Mehling- Mehling is in the west quad and the largest building on campus. It is an all girls dorm with a nice community. The rooms are the most ideal for girls with large countertops, moveable furniture and a large closet. This dorm is closest to the all guys dorm Villa and coed dorm Corrado.

Corrado- Corrado has a laid back community with friendly people. The rooms have moveable furniture and is one of the newer dorms on campus. There are nice bathrooms and a large desk and wardrobe in each of the rooms. Corrado has a great community and is also a quieter dorm on campus.

Fields- Fields is a coed dorm and also the newest dorm on campus. Fields is also the longest walk to the commons and library, but has its own gym. The rooms have similar furniture to Corrado with movable furniture and a wardrobe. This is a quieter dorm on campus as the doors are heavy so not many keep their dorms open.

Each dorm has its own kitchen as well. You really can’t go wrong with a dorm on campus, it just depends on your preferences and what might fit you best. If you have any further questions please email me at stricklm16@up.edu.


Spring Tour in Italy and Greece


Hello all!

It has been as while since I have posted!

Since I last checked in! I was trying to get ready for midterms but that quickly changed after I went to the hospital for 3 days for an organ infection. I rested up until we left for the trip and was trying to gain my energy back as I will still in a lot of pain. My friends came up with the great idea of getting me a wheelchair so we lugged a wheelchair through the first week of the trip so I was able to gain my energy back! We left early on a Saturday morning and headed to Padua, Italy. We stayed in a hotel there for two nights. The first day we took a train for a day to Venice. Venice still seems like a dream! The weather was fantastic, everyone was happy and we had the freedom of wondering the city for a day! I was using the wheelchair at that point and my friends were nice enough to push me around all day AND carry my wheelchair over all the bridges! I will still never get over the looks I got each time I stood up and started walking. It was so confusing to people who saw me being pushed around and then all of a sudden get up and start walking up stairs. It was priceless. Sometimes all my friends would joke and start acting surprised and yelled, It’s a miracle!! She can walk!” The next day we spent the day in Ravenna and toured one of my favorite churches that I have seen so far in Europe, San Vitale. After Padua we headed to Florence and stayed there for 4 nights. Our hotel in Florence was in the perfect location in walking distance to all the famous sights. I was still using my wheelchair at this point so thank goodness Florence was wheelchair accessible. (Most of Europe isn’t- all those cobblestone streets) There we went to some famous museums, saw the Florentine Chapel, San Lorenzo and toured through the markets. We were fortunate to have a few sunny days so it was nice to just wander, eat lots of pizza and of course stop for multiple gelato breaks. Florence was one of my favorite places in Italy because it was beautiful, it was small but not too small and there were lots of interesting things to see and do. I even met up with a friend who was studying abroad at the University of Firenze.

After Florence we headed to Rome, but not before stopping in Assisi. This afternoon was especially cold and rainy, however we made the most of it and it turned out to be a lovely afternoon. Assisi is a small, quaint town with picturesque streets. If you were to a picture a small, typical town in Italy, Assisi was exactly that. We visited St. Francis church which was gorgeous full of beautiful frescos and then sat down for a giant plate of spaghetti under a giant umbrella outside while it continued to rain. After that rainy afternoon we continued on to Rome where we stayed for 4 nights. By this time I was feeling a lot better so I was free of the wheelchair! The first day was absolutely wonderful weather and we were scheduled to visit the Vatican. We toured the famous art museum, the gardens and finally St. Peters. It was really cool to tour and is definitely a must see if you go to Rome. After a long tour we set out for lunch. I found my hardest decision in Italy was whether to have pizza or pasta. It was a constant struggle, but not a bad problem to have J We walked for what seemed like forever and was ready to give up and just go to the nearest restaurant when one of my friends walked down what seemed like an empty alley and stumbled upon a highly rated (on Trip Advisor) restaurant. The 7 of us piled around a table, opened a bottle of wine, and had one of the best meals I have ever had. The bread basket just kept coming and I ordered their most famous dish, the orange peel ravioli. It sounds strange, but it was absolutely delightful, so much so that a friend and I went back a few days later. Later we toured some more famous sights like the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and Piazza Novella, where of course, we stopped for some more gelato. The next day we headed out with our guide again to some more famous sights like the Coliseum and the Forum.  A few days later our journey to Greece began. On our way we stopped at Mt. Vesuvius where we spent the afternoon hanging next to an active crater and saw the gorgeous view from the top…. Greece here we come!!

The only way to get to get to Greece on our time limit was to drive to the coast and board what they called a car ferry, but was actually a mini cruise ship. We had dinner on the ship and slept in a 4 person cabin the size of my closet. The next morning some of us watched the sunrise over the Greek coast. Soon we found ourselves in Greece and our first stop was Olympia. We saw the ancient ruins and some of us ran the original field in the arena for the Olympics. We then set out to Nafplio where we stayed for 4 nights. The next day was probably my most favorite day in Greece. The weather was lovely and we headed to Mycenae and toured the ancient ruins. The best part of the day was sitting atop the ruins with a magnificent view of the valley and mountains while making flower chains. We also saw the famous Lions Gate and beehive tomb. On our way day the mountain we slurped down fresh squeezed orange juice and enjoyed the sunshine. (As it has been so cold in Salzburg) After Mycenae, we went to Epidaurus and saw some more ancient ruins!

The weather sort of took a turn for the worse and the sun no longer made an appearance for the rest of the trip. We then headed to Athens for the day. Much like Rome, I think that Athens is worth seeing for the famous monuments, but other than that I am glad we didn’t spend too much time there. Both Athens and Rome are such huge cities because it is so hectic and hard to enjoy the culture. We went to the archeological museum and then toured the Acropolis museum and finally the Acropolis. The view of the city from the Parthenon is beautiful and it was so cool to be engrossed in so much history. After our day in Athens, we had a free day in Nafplio so a few friends and I hiked up 999 steps to the top of castle overlooking Nafplio and walked around the adorable town for the day. Everything about Greece is so unique, there is wonderful shopping full of artistic souvenirs and the food is delicious! The people are also so friendly and I never ran into anyone who didn’t know how to speak English. Despite the cold and rainy weather in Nafplio is turned to be a relaxing and wonderful day in Greece.

In order to get back to Salzburg, we need to take the cruise back to Italy where we would drive the rest of the way home. So to make it to the boat we stopped in a few towns along the coast of Greece. First stop, Delphi. We stayed in Delphi for the night and saw the Temple of Apollo and other ancient ruins. This was a small and what seemed liked a deserted town because it was off season but a very delightful town. After Delphi we left to go stay in Kalambaka for one night. The next day we toured 4 monasteries. These were not just any monasteries; they were monasteries sitting on giant cliffs/rocks overlooking the entire valley. One monastery we visited took 22 years to carry all of the materials needed to build it. There was definitely a hike involved at each one, and it was so fascinating to see each monastery and the gorgeous view from the top. After a long day we headed to the ferry and were on the boat for 16 hours. After the long boat ride it was a 10 hour drive back to Salzburg! Home sweet home!

All the best from Austria!

Liebe Grüße


Answers to Submitted Questions

Thanks for reading and submitting questions as you have them. Please keep sending in questions via the “submit a question” tab up top! It’s anonymous and easy.

Do you have to live in Fields/Schoenfeldt to use the workout room?

Officially, I believe that you do. In the past they have asked us that live in Tyson/Haggerty if we would like access to the room, although I do not know if that practice will continue in the future. I’m sure that you would make friends with people living there if you do not who could help you out.

Additionally, that workout room might become washed out by the fact that they are building new Beauchamp Recreation and Wellness Center on the field across from Fields/Schoenfeldt (where Public Safety is currently located). That project will start construction at the end of this school year, continue on through next year, and officially open Fall 2015. For those of you who will be around for that new Rec Center: enjoy!