A day in the life of a Kent State student tour guide


Alex Zito

Student tour guide Hannah Hapanowicz points out key buildings on campus to prospective students in the library.

Alex Zito, Reporter

Despite frigid temperatures and flying snow, student tour guides, high school students and parents toured the Kent State campus on Feb. 3.

Student-led tours can be an important tactic to pique the interest of prospective students.

Tour guides are Kent State students who give tours to prospective students and answer any questions they have about the university.

While finding the right college to call home may be difficult, these guides can make everyone feel welcome. Hannah Hapanowicz, tour guide and junior nursing major, embodies what it means to represent Kent State, its programs and its rich history.

Giving tours to students is more than just a job for Hapanowicz. It has been a way for her to express her love and passion for Kent State and the family she has been a part of with other student tour guides.

Hannah Hapanowicz is a tour guide and a junior nursing major. (Alex Zito)

Once in the shoes of the prospective students, she now has a greater appreciation for the tour guides and their privilege to be the first impression of Kent State.

“I feel like we’re pretty important because we’re one of the first students that they talk to, and we get to know their stories,” Hapanowicz said.

This job also helped Hapanowicz build long-lasting relationships with students, which have turned into friendships.

“I’m lucky enough to have a lot of friends on staff,” Hapanowicz said. “So it’s like every time I work, I’m working with some of my close friends.”

Aside from the memories and relationships this position has given her, being a tour guide comes with challenges involving her schedule and all the knowledge she needs to have on hand.

Hapanowicz gives tours on Wednesdays and Fridays with a quick turnaround time to get her tour group ready.

“Maybe about 10 to 15 minutes before we get our people out, they tell us what groups we have and what majors we have,” Hapanowicz said. “So it’s kind of that quick lookup, what do I have to tell you and why.”

Once the groups are out walking around, she performs a balancing act of walking backward, answering questions and describing the many buildings on campus.

After handling all those duties, she still has to be prepared for whatever weather Northeast Ohio brings.

Even though temperatures hovered around 12 degrees Fahrenheit on Feb. 3, that did not stop parents and students from visiting the campus.

One of the prospective students on the tour was high school junior Payton Haynes, an aspiring nursing major from Wooster.

The most prominent part of Kent State that stuck out to Haynes was the sense of community that could be felt wherever on campus.

“I think having a good community to be around is really important for me,” Haynes said. “Especially because sometimes you feel lonely, so it’s nice that you at least have a roommate.”

Although the weather was less than ideal for student tours this past weekend, it was evident that nothing would stop students from sharing their pride and spirit for Kent State.

“Honestly, I love talking to people,” Hapanowicz said. “ I always make the joke that I love my job because I get paid to walk and talk at the same time and kind of just get to share that love with Kent State and the prospective students.”

Alex Zito is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]