MU Spotlight 20/20
Elainea Horan '16
What is your role at the University and what is something many may not know about the work you do?
I am a senior double major in physics and philosophy, a tutor for the mathematics department, a writer, a painter, and a daughter, sister, and aunt. I’m from Puyallup, Washington, a small town outside of Tacoma, about forty-five minutes outside of Seattle. Many may not know that I am the youngest of five children, with nine nieces and nephews, and well over fifty cousins, and am the first person out of my entire family, immediate and extended, to graduate from college.
My favorite spot on campus is…
The second floor of PPHAC next to the breezeway to the hall of science because the giant windows provide a great view of the campus—specifically the deciduous trees, which I had not experienced much of hailing from the Evergreen State.
What’s your favorite Moravian University tradition?
My favorite Moravian University tradition is to see Mo walking around campus because I grew up with many pets and it reminds me of home. I also like the Moravian University cornhole boards, as many of my siblings play cornhole.
One thing that many of my colleagues don’t know about me outside of my Moravian University responsibilities is …
In much of my creative writing, such as the creative non-fiction piece that I presented at the LVAIC Women’s and Gender studies conference, I write about my experience with sexual assault. I am sharing this with you because many survivors, especially women, carry a lot of shame regarding rape and molestation, and it is my strong belief that this needs to change. There needs to be open and honest communication about sexual assault, especially on college campuses. While this communication is often uncomfortable and painful for many, one of the best ways for our society to grow is to create the opportunity for communication.
My typical weekend goes something like this:
After my husband is done teaching his Friday afternoon physics lab at Lehigh University, where he is currently studying to get his Ph.D. in physics, we often spend time watching an episode of one of the many Star Trek seasons they have on Netflix, which we’re hoping to get through before the new Star Trek series premieres next January. Afterward, I’ll spend time working on a new creative project, usually various art projects for family members’ celebrations of birthdays, marriages, or pregnancies. If the weather is nice, Saturdays are spent hiking or playing catch with a football or softball, talking but regardless of the weather, my husband and I both spend many hours studying. Sunday mornings are spent at church, and the afternoons are spent calling and talking with my Mom and Pops, and at least once a month, Sundays also include calling my siblings.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not on campus?
My favorite thing to do when I am away from campus is to go to the beach because I spent a week every summer growing up at Kalaloch, a secluded beach on the coast of Washington, about forty-five minutes from the town of Forks, WA.
Finish this sentence: “When I grow up, I want to be _____.”
A physics teacher, because I love teaching and I want to encourage future generations of women to join STEM fields.
Who is your hero? Why?
I have three heroes—my mother, Anna, my father, Mark, and my stepfather, Curtis. My mom is the strongest woman I’ve ever known; she’s the main glue that keeps all of her seven siblings together, has raised five kids, practically adopted my brother’s best friend, and is somehow still sane. My Pops taught me that time with family is priceless, especially when it’s outside in God’s beautiful creation, and that all you can ever do is try your best, because at the end of the day, it’s just another fine day in paradise. Curtis knows the importance of laughter, regardless of the circumstances you always need to laugh.
What sound do you love? Why?
Laughter from my family. I love hearing my nieces and nephews laughing and playing together, especially because they range in age from two to fourteen. I love hearing all of my parents, brothers, and sisters laughing together too. I believe there is enough darkness and sadness in this world, and we could all use more joy.
What makes you happy?
Creative expression combined with my nerdy tendencies makes me happy. I love creative writing and painting, but I also love Marvel Comics, Star Trek, and Jurassic Park. When my loves are combined, like in some of the paintings I had on display in the H. Paty Eiffe Gallery, I am ecstatic. While creative writing, like poetry, fiction writing, and creative non-fiction, allows me to work with much of my pain from the past, painting allows me to deal with the loneliness I face being 3000 miles from my very large family. I took up painting about a year ago, and have since painted over 30 paintings, including family portraits for all of my siblings, my parents, my grandparents, my husband’s parents, and my husband’s grandparents.