Otterbein Homecoming Royalty Found their Home at Otterbein
Posted Oct 29, 2020
By Madelyn Nelson ’23
Despite the unique circumstances of this fall semester, including a virtual Homecoming and Family Week celebration, Homecoming Royalty Angel Banks and Kevin Diaz have found a way to make the most of the situation. As high-profile members of the Otterbein community, they are setting an example for their fellow students of how to be involved in student life.
“Before COVID, I had lots of hangouts in the Campus Center and was intentional about how I interact with others. I like showing people that they’re not alone and everything they’re experiencing is normal,” Banks said. “I try to do the same now, even virtually, and show people that I am an open door.”
Banks, a psychology and criminology and justice studies double major from Chicago, is vice president of Otterbein University Student Government and president of the African American Student Union. She’s served as a peer mentor, orientation leader, resident assistant and Nurturing Educational Success and Transitions (NEST) program mentor.
“I think people should get involved because it allows you to leave your comfort zone and come out of your shell. I’m more introverted, and if I hadn’t gotten involved, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” said Banks. “It helps boost your confidence and allows you to make friends that will last a lifetime.”
Columbus, Ohio, native Diaz is a public relations major and president of Sigma Delta Phi Fraternity. He is involved in Concert Choir and serves as an orientation leader and Otterbein tour guide.
When asked why campus involvement is so important, he said, “Joining a student organization presents you with many opportunities to learn more about yourself as well as networking with diverse groups of people. Making those connections and building relationships will help with your overall college experience.”
When choosing a college, both students valued how comfortable they were being themselves at Otterbein and having the feeling of being at home.
“Instead of student 26,432 or whatever, I’m Kevin,” Diaz said.
When asked about her best Otterbein experience, Banks recalled the supportive community she is surrounded by on campus. Banks was surrounded by professors, advisors and mentors that lend their support in and out of the classroom.
“I want to succeed, but the people at Otterbein want to see me succeed as well. It sometimes seems like they want it more than me,” she said.
Although travel is grounded for the academic year, Diaz traveled to Germany with the Concert Choir during his first year at Otterbein. He began to see there is so much to the world, which ignited his passion to see much as he can.
“Although traveling the world is exciting, no matter where I am in the world, Otterbein will always be my home away from home.”