Connections

THEIR LIFE'S WORK

10 Questions for Serena Viktor and Kaylee Gray

Getting to know social worker Serena Viktor ‘21G and music therapist Kaylee Gray ‘21.
Serena Viktor

After earning a master’s degree in social work, Serena Viktor ‘20, ‘21G plans on pursuing a law degree and intends to advocate for communities facing multi-layer disparities both in the United States and Zambia. Viktor was voted to be the graduate student speaker for Nazareth's 94th Commencement in May 2021.

1

What trait do you most like about yourself?

My ability to connect with just about anyone. I love people and meeting new people.

2

Who are your heroes in real life?

My mother Cecila Chaze Sang'andu, Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, and Stanley Martin.

3

What books are currently on your nightstand?

The Shaman's Body, Emergent Strategy, The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity, Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit.

4

What is one thing on your bucket list?

Visit Ghana and Kenya in one trip.

5

What’s your favorite meal and why?

Sauteed red or green kale in onions and tomatoes served with pounded yam. It is tasty and makes me happy to eat such nutritious food.

6

What is your motto?

Be grateful for everything you have and go through. Understand that you have a calling/purpose in your life. Trust your intuition; it knows more than you could ever imagine.

7

In the movie of your life, who would star as you?

The Great Lupita Nyong'o.

8

What would be your ideal job?

Being a motivational speaker, author, and anti-racist/personal vision consultant.

9

What is your favorite book and why?

Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl and Heart Talk by Cleo Wade. Man's Search for Meaning is a reminder that the human spirit can transcend the toughest of any dire circumstance. Heart Talk is a simple call for us to walk out our purpose.

10

What’s your favorite place to hang out?

My backyard is simple and a reminder to remain grateful for what I have.

Kaylee Gray

Kaylee Gray ‘21, a music therapy major, was a member of the class of 2021 officers, a Musica Mundana member, a student ambassador, and an ACS Peer Mentor. Gray was selected as undergraduate student speaker for the class of 2021 Commencement ceremonies.

1

What is your happy place?

I would say that my happy place is anywhere that I can be with my best friends. My friends and I love going on adventures together, having new experiences, and making memories. These moments are what make me happiest.

2

What is your most-used emoji?

The yellow heart emoji, because it reminds me of happiness. Every time I use the yellow heart emoji it feels like I am spreading happiness!

3

What is your motto?

“Never let the world change your smile; let your smile change the world.” It’s so common for us to be affected by our surroundings, and I think it is important to remember that you always have the power to bring positivity into this world.

4

What is one thing on your bucket list?

To see the aurora borealis in person!

5

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself when you were a junior in high school?

Don’t be afraid to try new things and put yourself out there for the world to see. There will be many instances where life will try to knock you off of your feet, but you are so much more resilient than you know!

6

If you could choose a person or a thing to come back as, who or what would it be?

Definitely a weeping willow tree. They are just so beautiful and majestic. They can also provide a place of peace and solitude to all who need it.

7

Who are your heroes in real life?

My mom is my biggest hero in life. She always keeps me grounded and reminds me that the only thing that matters is that she loves me. My world could be upside down and she would remind me of her love and suddenly everything is right again.

8

What’s your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is any type of salty snack. I love pretzels, Cheez-Its and really anything that is savory.

9

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

I would paint! I love to paint old vinyl records that cannot be played anymore. I can honestly say I have lost some sleep trying to finish a painting in the past. 

10

What is one of your hidden talents?

I have recently started to dabble in photography and I’ve taken some really fun pictures of campus, my friends, and places around Rochester that I’ve visited.