When Gabby Pruchno arrived at Case Western Reserve in 2009 from Iowa City, Iowa, she—like many other new students—knew relatively little about campus. So she made it her mission to learn as much about her new home as possible. Now, it seems campus has gotten to know about her as well, as Pruchno was crowned homecoming queen Sept. 29.
As a senior nutrition and psychology double major working toward a film studies minor, Pruchno has expanded her campus knowledge exponentially through her studies. But she’s also grown her social network across campus through participation in a variety of organizations.
Combining her educational training with her organization involvement, Pruchno is a SMARRT (Students Meeting About Risk and Responsibility Training) Leader for Healthy Living and Wellness, where she presents to organizations across campus about the importance of good nutrition, exercise and sleep. In addition, she’s a member of the all-female a cappella group Solstice and of the Student Turning Point Society. Throughout the past few years, Pruchno has dedicated her time to other groups on campus, such as Case Concert Choir, and to area organizations, such as the Cleveland Food Bank and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
Above all, though, Pruchno prizes her role as president of the Phi Mu sorority, of which she previously served as public relations chair and first vice president.
“Being involved in my chapter has given me amazing leadership, philanthropy, service and academic opportunities that I don’t think I could have gotten anywhere else,” she said. In addition, Phi Mu has instilled in me a fantastic set of values that I strive to live by every day. I have wonderful sisters who support me as president, and who supported me through the entire homecoming process. I derive a lot of my strength, passion and dedication from them.”
Learn more about Pruchno through this week’s five questions.
1. What are you reading—and how are you reading it (print vs. digital)?
I am currently going back and forth between The Help and Fifty Shades of Grey.
I just got a Kindle reader for my birthday last year, so I now read on that. I love it because it can fit in my purse and I can read it while working out without it falling off the exercise machine.
2. What can’t you live without?
Breathing. Just kidding (but seriously). I can’t live without my friends and my little brother, David. My life is definitely very stressful at times, but my friends always brighten my day, and my brother always makes me laugh.
3. What’s your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite spot on campus is the Mather Quad. The buildings are beautiful and old and have so much character. Now that the leaves are changing, that area is even more tranquil.
4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I learned this in my social psychology class a couple of years ago: In the long run, you almost always regret things you didn’t do.
Although this was not initially given as advice, it ultimately became a tenet by which I strive to live. Being in college is about learning—not just in the classroom, but through life experiences. I am definitely the type to get bogged down in all my work, and sometimes I forget to go out and just enjoy life. For me, it’s helpful to remember that although studying is important, you need to have a balance.
5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve University?
I love CWRU for a lot of reasons. My top two reasons would have to be the people and the great opportunities that you are able to have here.
I think that the people are very welcoming, intelligent, and driven. Every day, I walk around campus constantly impressed by the students here. During my interview for homecoming court, I mentioned that I love that this school is so “nerdy.” When the interviewers asked me why, I told them that it all comes down to passion.
When you speak to the students at CWRU, we come off as nerdy because we are so impassioned about what we are learning or involved in. I definitely fit right into that “nerdy” world! When I become interested in something, I get very excited and just want to share it with everyone I talk to. I really like the comfort of knowing that I can have those excited, passionate conversations with people on this campus without fear of being judged for being too much of a “nerd.”
Second, I love CWRU because I truly believe it is a place where if you want to get involved in anything, you easily can. There are countless opportunities everywhere, you just have to get out there and get involved.