Alexander Nadolishny is a junior political science major with a minor in emergency management. He is the president of Weekend Warriors.
Triangle Talks: What brought you to Drexel?
Alexander Nadolishny: I transferred to Drexel after my freshman year of college at the University of Dundee in Scotland — I’m from New York originally. I came to Drexel because of its co-op program and its location.
TT: When did you become the president of Weekend Warriors? What attracted you to it?
AN: I was raised in a suburban sweet spot in Westchester, N.Y., that rides the edge between the big city to the south and the mountains to the north. Moving into a city and away from the hills and trees was hard for me to do. Weekend Warriors attracted me at first because it promised at least periodic escapes from skyscrapers and concrete sidewalks, but a few months in the club made me the best and closest friends any out-of-state transfer student could ask for. Almost off the bat, I began to see how huge of an opportunity there was at Drexel for an outdoors program. Drexel is an urban school that’s seen an astronomical rise in its rankings over the last few years because it can offer something existing names like [the University of Pennsylvania] and Temple [University] can’t — experiential learning. Drexel is all about giving students the experiences they need to grow both professionally and academically. An established, student-run outdoors program would not only help Drexel compete with other schools with similar programs, but it would add an opportunity for students to grow on a personal and individual level through unique and exciting experiences. It’s this opportunity — to grow Weekend Warriors from a popular student club to an established part of the school, on par with other organizations like the Campus Activities Board or club sports in size and influence — that drives everyone in Weekend Warriors to do their best and give their all to the club. I became vice president in summer of 2012 and came to be president in spring of 2013.
TT: What’s your favorite part of being the president of Weekend Warriors?
AN: Growth is the best part of my job. A quiet student becomes a fearless paintball warrior. An awkward group of strangers becomes a tight-knit circle of friends. Shy and uncertain underclassmen become calm, confident leaders of their peers. A small organization of five young dreamers turns into 25 gung-ho trip leaders leading hundreds of students off campus every term, hosting wilderness medical conferences, facing new challenges and breaking down barriers. We’re only in college for a few years — this time is about expanding horizons and embracing new experiences. That’s what Weekend Warriors is about for me.
TT: What has been your favorite event with Weekend Warriors?
AN: I am a paintball junkie. I’ve led every single paintball trip Weekend Warriors has done since I joined two years ago. I think it’s an awesome experience for both trip leaders and students — a good chance to face and overcome fears in a very tangible, in-your-face kind of a way. Everyone always has a lot of fun and we see the same people coming back over and over again for more.
TT: Do you participate in other extracurricular activities?
AN: Being a trip leader for Weekend Warriors is a pretty demanding extracurricular. Being president is like running a small business; we have 25 trip leaders now, and we’re running a trip almost every weekend of the term. We have high expectations for our trip leaders and doubly so for our officers. Even if I’m not going out with the trip leaders, I’m still involved in making sure everything runs smoothly and everyone gets back okay. Between my co-op, class, a shift at the [rock] wall, some research work and Weekend Warriors, there’s not much room for another extracurricular.
TT: What do you do outside of school for fun?
AN: Mostly see above, but is it sad that the weekends I’m not with Weekend Warriors I’m usually heading out into the woods anyway? I love hiking and I’m looking to get more into outdoor climbing — something my treasurer (and president of Climbing Club) Ian Riley is getting very good at. As for a social life, Weekend Warriors are the coolest and most diverse group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet anywhere and we spend non-business time together pretty often.
TT: If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
AN: Winston Churchill. The man drank like a fish, smoked like a chimney and held Nazi Germany at bay for a couple of bad years — and had some wicked one-liners.
TT: If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
AN: Selfishly? Lots of money, the ability to speak and understand many languages, and an any-era-you-want pass for time travel. Realistically, I’d probably go for a lot less people killing each other all over the world and tell the genie to keep the change.
TT: What are your plans for after graduation?
AN: After graduation, I’m hoping to win the Fulbright Fellowship to Ukraine that I’m currently applying to. If that plan and other fellowship applications don’t pan out I may return to my co-op at Outward Bound or seek a job in other outdoor leadership organizations. Ultimately, I want to travel and make a difference in the world so anything that’s in the neighborhood of that will be good.
TT: What do you want to be remembered for?
AN: My excellent taste in coffee and individuals.
TT: Describe Drexel in one word or phrase.
AN: Drexel. Nah, really. Hands-on. Engaged. Driving. Pick your favorite.
TT: The best thing about Drexel is …
AN: That we get to go on co-op and see what the world is actually like.
Triangle Talks is a weekly column that highlights members of the Drexel community.