Keelin Bielski is graduating with a major in neuroscience and minors in sociology, chemistry and geography during her time at UM. She became a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority as a freshman and led it through suspension and reinstatement in 2015. She is the vice president of No Zebras: ‘Canes Against Sexual Assault and also has been a part of several honor societies, including Iron Arrow.
The Miami Hurricane: What did you study in undergrad?
Bielski: I’m a neuroscience major and I have sociology and chemistry minors. I actually ended up accidentally getting a geography minor. I took one medical-geography class when I was a freshman or sophomore, and I liked the class so much that I kept taking the same professor over and over again, Dr. Stoler in the geography department. All of his classes are really great and really interesting to me.
TMH: Are there faculty members that have been particularly helpful?
B: Dean Lake is the Panhellenic advisor for sororities, so he’s been really helpful in guiding me through everything that I’ve done for Kappa, and always being able to talk to me.
TMH: How long have you been involved with Kappa Kappa Gamma?
B: I became involved with Kappa my freshman year. As time went on, I had the opportunity to have a leadership position as a sophomore, and then I got to move up in my leadership midterm. Our previous vice president of standards stepped down so I was selected to fill the role. After that I became president the next year, my junior year.
TMH: What was the process like of reinstating KKG on campus?
B: It was a really interesting five days. Basically, our headquarters came in and that in order to preserve something or another, they wanted to suspend our chapter for two years at the end of the year. But the university did not like that; we had so much support from Dr. Whitely and even from President Shalala, so we let them support us and fight for us. Five days later Dr. Whitely called and said, ‘You guys are back!’
TMH: That must have been very stressful, right?
B: It was very stressful because it would have been so easy for our members to act out or do things that they really shouldn’t have been doing. But we just stood strong and really realized that even if this was going to be our last semester on campus, we were going to make it the best semester that we ever were going to have. Kappa has certainly made me who I am today. I’m proud of all of my sisters, but it’s also all of them who have helped me become the leader and the person I am today.
TMH: What was your involvement like in No Zebras?
B: No Zebras, or ‘Canes Against Sexual Assault, is an awareness group on campus. We’re just trying to educate the campus because sexual assault is obviously a hot-button topic across the nation, but it’s something that does happen on our campus. We just want to educate the student body and the campus. I’ve been the treasurer and this year I’m the vice president.
TMH: When did you decide you wanted to go to law school?
B: Obviously it’s weird being a neuroscience major and going to law school. But I had been pre-med for three years. Last spring I was starting to get ready to apply to med school and I realized that every single science class I took I did not enjoy, so I thought, ‘Well, maybe I should not do this for the next four years of my life.’ Law school is something that I had thought about in high school, and after going through everything with Kappa I thought it would be a really great opportunity to help other people.
TMH: Have you already committed to UM law school?
B: I will in about 15 minutes when I walk over there. I’m really excited. I realize that I love UM so much and there’s no reason to leave if I have such a great opportunity right here.
TMH: So you don’t know your plans after law school?
B: Yeah, and I think that’s good for me. Going into college, I was so sure I wanted to be a doctor, and I ended up switching pretty late. So I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for me to go into law school and take all the classes and figure out what I like, as opposed to thinking I know what I liked and then realizing that I was just forcing myself to like that kind of stuff. So, I think it’s a great opportunity.