XASS: What year are you and what are you studying?
Taylor: I am a junior, studying Management Science and Engineering.
XASS: Why MS&E?
Taylor: Well, I’ve wanted to study MS&E since I was in high school because of the mixture of business and engineering. I’m more interested in business, but I wanted a foundation that was more technical and I really enjoy math. MS&E is the best of both worlds.
XASS: Are you thinking entrepreneurship someday?
Taylor: Maybe. When I graduate I’m planning on going into consulting, but long-term I would like to consult in the non-profit sector pretty exclusively, and I’m not sure if that is going to require me starting my own firm.
XASS: So where are you from?
Taylor: Houston, Texas. Born and raised.
XASS: That’s an underappreciated big city. What was one of your favorite things about growing up in Houston?
Taylor: Okay, so I have a spiel I give to everyone to convince them to move to Houston, so here it is. In 2014, Houston was the most diverse city in the nation and it is the fourth largest city in the nation. It’s an energy capital, which is why it’s so diverse and brings immigrants from all over the world. This also means that we have a wide variety of amazing food in Houston, which is absolutely my favorite part of living there. We even have a restaurant “week” that lasts a whole month every summer, in which you get awesome deals on food from all of the participating restaurants.
XASS: Do you hope to move back someday?
Taylor: Yes, that’s the plan!
XASS: How did you get connected to Chi Alpha?
Taylor: I just happen to know a lot of people in Chi Alpha plus there’s a good-sized Talisman cohort here. For a while I was in RUF, but they only meet on Tuesday nights, which was difficult for me with my Talisman rehearsal schedule, so I decided to switch.
XASS: Were you raised in church back home, or how did you come to make a faith decision at Stanford?
Taylor: Yes. I grew up in church and attended the same large multi-cultural church from third grade until I graduated. Sundays were truly my favorite day of the week because I was very involved in my church community and worship team. I also went to a classical Christian school for middle and high school. I learned about theology and apologetics and got to ask a lot of my hard questions about faith, which really helped solidify me in what I believe and why I believe it and gave me the confidence to come out here and attend school in California.
XASS: So you’re a junior at Stanford. Has Stanford been generally positive here for your faith? Neutral? Negative?
Taylor: Stanford’s been hard for my faith in the sense that it took me a long time to find a solid Christian community and I felt very alone in my belief system. I found other people who called themselves Christians but didn’t live their life in the same way that I seek to live mine. It seemed like many of my friends liked to adapt the Bible to fit their lifestyle instead of the other way around, which was just hard because growing up I was very close to my Christian friends.
XASS: Would you say you have that now?
Taylor: Yes, I think I am slowly getting to know more people who prioritize their faith.
XASS: Awesome! Do you have a favorite Bible verse or passage?
Taylor: Yes, I’ve got two. Philippians 2:1-11. It’s about the humility of Christ and unity within the body of Christ. And then Matthew 6:25-34, which is about not being anxious or worrying because God provides for the birds and the plants and will provide so much more for us.
XASS: Do you have any nonacademic hobbies or passions that people should know about?
Taylor: Yes, I sing a lot. I sang for Talisman, both my freshman and sophomore year and plan on going back next year. Other than that, I love board games! I love board games.
Taylor: Yes, all of them anytime. Monopoly, Catan, Risk, Cards, Canasta are my favorites, but really anything.
XASS: And now the classic Chi Alpha question, the infamous Chi Alpha Spotlight Series question. Taylor, are you in a relationship?
Taylor: I am not.
XASS: You guys can’t see the look on her face, but that was an expressive “I am not.” Do you have any commentary to add to that?
Taylor: Nope, just not in a relationship right now.
XASS: Taylor, thank you for your time!