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Kepa Seward

Kepa, standing on a beach in swimming trunks, holding a guitar and looking toward the sand.

*Student-supplied profile photo due to COVID-19. Thank you, Kepa!

Kepa Seward (he/him) 

Class Year: 2021
Hometown:
 
Honolulu, Hawai’i
Major: Mathematics and Computer Science
Overseas study: India

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Expressive, liberating, cultivating

What was your favorite class? How did it expand your knowledge?

My favorite class is Electronic Music with Jeffrey Leonard. This class is the most useful thing for a musician trying to get their music out and learn production. I am currently taking it and am already working on things I will release on Spotify. The creative freedom of the projects coupled with Jeff’s helpful explanations of the program jump started my song production. The skills you learn are helpful regardless of what genre of music you like.

Who is your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?

It is hard to name just one person, as there are so many helpful and inspirational role models on campus. One person who has guided me with my entrepreneurship interest is alumni Chris Bailey BA ’08. We met in the weight room where I learned that he also went to the same high school as me back in Hawaiʻi. We’ve met up multiple times now to talk about food business ideas I have.

“If you have a drive and a dream, then there are resources and people who will help you on your path.”
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

There were a few factors. First, the campus was the most beautiful one I’d ever seen. It feels like a movie set or country club. Second, I liked that it was near Portland but still up on a hill in the trees. Having peaceful getaways like Tryon Creek State Park nearby offers the stress release of being in a forest, but I can still explore all the cool neighborhoods of the city.

How do you describe the liberal arts?

A liberal arts college is an environment that values passionate learning and cultivates unique ideas. It is a mixing pot of different backgrounds and studies that can work together in creative ways. I went into college thinking I would become an engineer. Thanks to the freedom of the classes I have been able to take, I now know I want to be a musician and entrepreneur. If you have a drive and a dream, then there are resources and people who will help you on your path.

If you have studied or will study overseas while at Lewis & Clark, how did you choose your program? What did your overseas study add to your L&C experience so far?

I studied abroad in India and Sri Lanka in 2019. This opened my eyes to the harsh reality of billions of peoples’ lives, but also to the immense beauty and history of each country. We traveled all across India and Sri Lanka visiting holy sites, schools, and amazing stretches of nature. In just three weeks of living in India I was speaking conversational Hindi with locals. I wanted to go to South Asia to pursue my spirituality and to taste all the amazing foods. From the bustling bazaars of Delhi to the elephant safaris of Sri Lanka, I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing experience. I am very grateful to have had a guided and wholesome journey through potentially dangerous countries. Much thanks to our trip leader Blair Orfall for organizing everything and putting together the month in Sri Lanka!

Did you visit campus before deciding to come to LC? How did your visit influence your decision to attend?

Yes, and this was very influential to me. I got to see how ridiculously beautiful the campus is.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Try as many things as you can. You never know what you might enjoy. I tried out for a cappella my first year and it has become one of my favorite activities. Also definitely do Winterim! Even if you are not interested (or don’t think you are) in entrepreneurship, this is still an amazing and informative crash course in business, investing, and networking. Plus the staff at the Bates Center who organize it, Chrys Hutchings and Catarina Hunter, are awesome people and will help you pursue your ideas.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

I love the gardens by the reflecting pool, especially when the flowers are blooming. I practice guitar out there on sunny days.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?

Spring time. The flowers and sunny weather are like nothing else. After all the winter rain, the plants are so green.

What’s your best Lewis & Clark memory so far?

My best memory is of Winterim with the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership. Coming back a week early from winter break might not seem like a nice thing, but it is so worth it! Everyday that week I connected with new mentors and learned new things about being successful in life. It was definitely the most useful week of my college experience, and I hope to do it again.

How do you manage stress?

AI like to work out, go swim in the pool, do some bouldering at the circuit, or just walk through the forest to the river.

Where do you find community on campus?

My a cappella group is my family on campus. I feel like I can really be myself around them.

How has Lewis & Clark changed you?

I know what I want to do with my life and have gained the connections to get me there.

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