Fried chicken with Julia, Taylor, and Stephen


Brady Rainville is a staff advisor in Dewey Hall.


How did you end up in advising?

I went to grad school at Stony Brook University in Long Island. When I was there, I was in a psychology program and we had to pick a graduate assistantship and I had it narrowed down to one that was research-based and one that was in an advising center there. I honestly didn’t know which one I wanted to do at the time, and I ended up being placed at the advising one. In that time, I got to work with two advisors at Stony Brook who were really passionate about what they were doing and made my assistantship fun but also engaging. I learned a lot about connecting with people. Then, after I graduated, I knew I wanted to teach. I came back here and started teaching a couple classes. Eventually, a position opened up in advising that was actually almost exactly aligned with the type of work that I was doing in my assistantship. I applied for that, having had that prior experience during my assistantship, which is always why I encourage students to jump into internships or assistantships when they can; you might find something that you’re really passionate about that you didn’t even know existed.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to incoming freshmen?

The biggest piece of advice is knowing to ask for help. Being able to say they don’t know what they need to do is going to be really important for them to be able to get the support they deserve. Students are paying a lot of money to be here, and with that comes support services. It’s important to utilize them. If a student doesn’t know what’s going on or they’re confused about something, there’s someone on campus that can help them. Just not seeing that as a sign of weakness but seeing it as a sign of strength is important.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Overseeing a youth leadership program; it’s called the HOBY. I oversee the Vermont seminar, and we had a month once COVID hit to transform our in-person seminar to an online seminar. I worked with a team of people to do that. It was really stressful, and a lot of work. We pulled it off and it was really meaningful experience for the students that attended. And I think I’m probably most proud of being able to pivot and do that with my team.

What brought you to Johnson?

I went here as a student and what brought me here as a student was a couple of things. One was my brother was a senior at Johnson, so I had seen the experience he had here and knew that it was a positive one. Additionally, it financially made a lot more sense for me to come here than my other choice that I was considering at the time. With that and the small community here, I remember Penny Howard from admissions, just really connecting with her, and connecting with other people. I felt really welcome here. So I came here as a student and then after grad school, Gina Mireault had asked if I wanted to teach a class. I really wanted to do that, so I came back.

What three things would you bring to a deserted island?

I would definitely bring a book, I’ll go with “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing” by Hank Green. I would bring an iPod loaded with all of Taylor Swift’s songs. Oh, and a laptop loaded with all my favorite movies.

What is one thing that you think everybody should do if they can?

I think probably more just experiencing new places. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to do that. And I know not everybody can, but if people are able to just see the world and get those experiences, they should.

What is the best thing that anyone’s ever said about you?

I’ve had some friends in moments just really appreciate me being there for them, just thanking me and saying, you were here for me during a really tough time. That’s always something that I really appreciate hearing because I want to be able to support the people in my life.

What three people, dead or alive, would you most want to have over for dinner and why?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus because I think she’s one of the funniest people that’s ever lived. Taylor Swift because, I don’t really feel any reason needs to be said. I love her. I’m gonna throw in Stephen King. I started reading his books a year ago, and I’ve read maybe twenty of them, they keep me busy. It might be a weird group of people, but I would be entertained.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I’m not really ashamed of my guilty pleasures, but I think what most people would consider one would be that I recently got into “The Real Housewives,” specifically “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City”. So I really enjoyed watching them.

What fictional character do you most relate to?

There’s a lot that I don’t necessarily relate to about him, but Ted Mosby from “How I Met Your Mother.” So there’s some parts I’m not connected with, but there are other parts in that show that I really related to. Just his search for a partner, his experiences with life, the ups and downs and trying to remain positive at times.

What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

I would say going to grad school in Long Island. I was born and raised in Vermont, went to undergrad here. I didn’t know anyone in Long Island, didn’t know anyone in the program. It was a little nerve wracking at first but I really enjoyed it.

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received?

When I was at a low point when I was in college, some of my friends really encouraged me to utilize the Wellness Center. And that was something that was really important to me. I hadn’t really talked about counseling with other people. I didn’t know that as many people were seeking help as there were. There was a lot of stigma against it. My friends really encouraged me and then once I got there, I realized how powerful it was.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

I’m sure there’s something that’s probably bigger, but between either lip smacking when chewing or people being late. I think the one that probably gets to me the most though is the lips. There can be different reasons for being late but when it’s someone chomping away, I get mad.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would you change?

I would have the world be more open to others’ perspectives and ideas. I think we are at a place where people are really entrenched in their beliefs and have a hard time opening up and listening.  I think just being a more open place.

What is one thing that you can’t live without?

I would say family and friends would be priority, if you want an object I can try to come up with something but I think family and friends is my top one.

If you have a bad day, what’s the first thing that you do when you get home?

First thing would be calling my boyfriend. And then the second thing is food. My comfort food is fried chicken. I rotate, but I really like Moog’s in Morrisville. Their chicken island sandwich is so good. It’s not fried, but it’s delicious.

What is the single thing you are most passionate about?

I have a lot of passions. We’ve talked about Taylor Swift. I really love reading, pretty passionate about that. But I think I’ll go with Taylor Swift. I think I’m really very hyper fixated on different things. I get very intense passions about things but she’s been consistent in my passion column.

So what three bands or musical artists would best encapsulate your music tastes as a whole?

Well, Taylor Swift. Harry Styles. I’m very seemingly basic when it comes to my music taste. Let me pull up my all-time artists here… It’s not number three, but I’m gonna go with Andy grammar. Most people just listen to the main singles from people, and that’s fine. But if you get into Taylor Swift, some of her less-known songs are just so powerful and the lyrics in them are so deep. But I don’t care if something is basic or mainstream, I just enjoy it.