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Student Spotlight: Duncan Rebilas

By Trey Crumbie | Photography by Scott Beseler | Published June 2021
Duncan Rebilas

NAME: Duncan Rebilas
HOMETOWN: Newark, Delaware
MAJOR: Computer information technology
MINOR: Business
YEAR IN COLLEGE: Sophomore/Junior

Tell me about life pre-NKU. Where did you grow up?
I started NKU right out of high school in hopes to get a degree and a career. After only one year, I could not focus anymore so I decided to drop out. I chose to find different jobs in hopes to find what I like to do. I could not commit to college because I didn’t actually know what I wanted to do. I worked in numerous restaurants and found great success in management and leadership, and even worked in a few call centers. Before trying NKU for the first time, I was a pretty average kid. I kept to myself in high school and loved afterschool activities like soccer and, of course, video games. After eight years away, I found my passion in computers and am chasing a career in IT to further advance my knowledge and skill.

Why did you choose NKU? What kept you here?
I chose NKU because they were local. I lived in Florence, Kentucky throughout all of middle and high school so coming to NKU was a no-brainer. I never heard a bad thing about the college and I wanted to get a better experience than any community college could provide. The teachers and staff along with all my advisors were fantastic in keeping me in line as well as giving me focus on the next objective.

Can you tell me a little about what you're studying?
I’m studying everything in the world of IT. From creating business-class networks to programming functions to make everyday life more efficient, I want to learn everything there is to be the most well-rounded IT professional there is.

Describe NKU in one word.

What’s your favorite class?
My current favorite class is advanced business programming. I love learning how to code and the teacher is top notch!

Where is your favorite spot on campus? What makes that spot so special?
My favorite spot is the NKU esports arena. Our university has worked so hard to give the esports players a spot to advance their skills and give us a place to relax outside of the classroom.

Where’s the best place to study on campus?
I try to do my studying at home. I have been in a couple study rooms, but nothing beats the serenity of the living room couch.

What is your greatest passion?
My greatest passion is gaming, of course! It's my way to unwind after a hard day of work or just to gather with friends without having to go anywhere.

What’s a favorite NKU memory you’ll never forget?
The grand opening of the esports arena is one that will stay with me for a long time. Everyone worked so hard to make this dream a reality and I’m just glad I got to be a part of it.

What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
If the day is nice, I like to play disc golf. We have so many nice courses to play in Northern Kentucky, it's easy to spend a day walking around and taking in the beautiful scenery.

Who’s your favorite professor or staff member? Why?
This is a hard one. I would honestly say it’s a tie between Mark McFadden and Darci Guriel. Mark because he is incredibly patient and helpful and Darci because she makes IT work fun in a relaxing classroom environment.

How do you stay focused?
Focus is never a problem when you have a goal in mind (great grades and graduation). If I ever find myself spacing out, I just take a break. That homework will still be there in an hour.

What advice would you give to a first-year student?
Don’t procrastinate and never hesitate to ask questions. Even if you think the question is dumb, the information they teach you is important to get down.

What has been your most challenging academic experience so far? Why?
I would say that the most challenging part is balancing work and school. With a full-time job, it’s hard to come home after work and still have to do all the course work. I would say it’s easier online since I can work at my own pace.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?
Getting that degree and start changing the IT world.

What kind of job would you like to have after you graduate?
I am actually in a similar position now for my degree, but I would love to get into development or coding for my company.

What does getting your degree mean to you?
It means the beginning of the rest of my life, and it can’t come any quicker.

What are a few things every NKU student should do here before he or she graduates?
Experience the great clubs and organizations at NKU. It's so fun to be apart of something bigger than yourself and help make the NKU community a greater place for everyone.

Tell me anything else about yourself and/or NKU that you want folks to know.
There is an organization for everyone. Even if you have problems making friends or just don’t like going out after class, there are so many people out there that share your interests and I have found numerous lifelong friendships at NKU by joining an organization. Don’t be afraid to get out there.