Ainsley Counce

Ainsley poses outside for a professional photo.

Why did you choose to attend UM?

Being from Mississippi, I originally wanted to go out of state for school, but after multiple college tours and applications, I realized that University of Mississippi was the only place that felt like home to me.

I'm so glad I chose UM, because so many of my family and friends have attended and I'm excited to be a part of that legacy. Looking back now, I know I made the right decision and I'm so grateful for all that the University of Mississippi has given me.

When and how did you choose your major(s)/minor(s)?

I chose my first major of IMC while I was still in high school, so I knew coming into college what major I was pursuing. This major stuck out to me because it was very broad with multiple specialties to choose from.

I chose my Rhetoric major during my sophomore year of college when a professor of mine reached out and told me it would be a good fit for my future and how she knew I would excel at it. After meeting with the advisor and discussing it with my parents, I decided to give it a try and I have stuck with it since.

I love the classes for both of my majors and I'm really thankful that the Rhetoric degree works so well as a second major.

What would you tell a high school student about your major?

As an individual who had never heard of the Rhetoric major before it was suggested to me, I would tell high school students that it is a Professional Writing and Public Speaking equivalent field of study. The major is also designed to be added to another so a lot of the required courses overlap with other majors, and it's overall really helpful for people who are applying to law school, corporations, etc.

What are your 3 favorite things about your major/department at UM?

My 3 favorite things about my Rhetoric major are:

  1. It works well as a second major
  2. Classes are beneficial for multiple career fields
  3. It sets a student apart on applications and resumes

Can you tell me about a professor or a class you’ve taken that has had the most impact on you?

A professor that has had the most impact on me has definitely been Professor Kate Hooper. I took a public speaking class of hers my sophomore year to fulfill a credit requirement for my business minor. I was nervous about the course but she was incredibly welcoming and her willingness to help students excel was beneficial to not only me but others in the class as well, and we all greatly appreciated that.

Professor Hooper was the one who suggested I learn more about the College of Liberal Arts and what all the Rhetoric major has to offer. She saw something in me that I would've never seen in myself. Without her guidance and push to step out of my comfort zone, I would be in a completely different place than I am today. For that, I am truly grateful.

What has been one of your most memorable or enjoyable moments at UM?

There has been so many memorable and enjoyable moments that I have had at UM. From game days in the grove, to Greek life, to campus and religious involvement, there are simply too many count and don't believe I could pick just one overall moment. I could probably fill a couple pages about my favorite moments and I'm only halfway done with college!

Apart from school, how do you spend your time in Oxford?

Apart from school, I am involved in greek life and other student organizations. I am an active member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. I am also an active volunteer for both Pine Lake Church-Oxford and PL College Oxford, and have had involvement in other organizations such as Theatre Oxford.

My hobbies include assistant cheer coaching for a local gym in my hometown part time, hanging out with friends, ice cream runs, movie nights, shopping, and anything that just seems fun to do with friends.

What is your go-to meal in Oxford?

My go-to meal in Oxford is always Mexican. After many nights of grabbing dinner with my friends we have tried a couple of the many Mexican restaurants that Oxford has to offer, and so far our favorites are El Agave (their guacamole is so good) and Casa Mexicana.

What are some dream travel destinations?

My bucket list of dream travel destinations is probably a mile long, but some of my top picks are Hawaii, the Bahamas, London, Paris, Greece, Italy, or Australia!

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