5 Things: Tommy Severson

Tommy Severson was “this close” to mailing in his deposit to another, smaller school, but he had a last-minute change of heart. There was just something about Heidelberg he couldn’t shake. “I’d always known about Heidelberg and always liked it,” he says. Maybe it was the familiarity with the campus or the perfect size, but now, as he begins his final semester, he’s glad he made the choice he did.


In high school, Tommy followed in the footsteps of his older sister, Gabrielle Poliseno. He didn’t want a replay in college. “I dreaded going to the same school as my sister,” he says. “But I just fell in love with the small town and campus.” Gaby, who graduated from Heidelberg in 2016, had a great experience here. Tommy has successfully carved out his own identity and has found that his own experience, while completely different, has been equally awesome.


As a communication major with an integrated media minor, Tommy was a radio personality of sorts. For two years, he sat behind the mic in the MCC (now the GEM Center) to pull off his own radio show. It was a fun variety of music and talk – “whatever happened happened,” he says. Within his com major, he credits Dr. Robin Heaton for her helpfulness and specifically, the confidence and skills he was able to take away from her Interpersonal Communication class. After graduation in May, Tommy will be looking to start his career in PR or marketing.


As a member and officer for Nu Sigma Alpha (Heids), Tommy has developed great leadership and event planning skills. He served as treasurer, vice president and president. Most importantly, he’s made a group of diverse friends he knows he’ll have for life. The same holds true with his four-year membership in the Student Alumni Association, which helps with various major campus events. A favorite assignment among SAA members: transporting guests in golf carts. “It’s been really interesting to see the diversity of alumni we have,” he says. He shared a favorite SAA story from freshman year: “My first time driving, I had Pat Adams in my golf cart, and I didn’t know it was Pat,” he confesses. “She loved it.” When he put two and two together, he apologized, and she was very gracious.


Tommy holds the distinction of being a member of the first-ever men’s lacrosse team, when the sport became official at Heidelberg in the spring of 2016. “It was so much fun,” he recalls. “Lacrosse is huge in Columbus. It was definitely weird when I came here and some people didn’t even know what lacrosse was.” He played pick-up in middle school and his freshman and sophomore years at Heidelberg. “We used to joke the there’s really no difference between middle school and college except people look like they wanted to hurt me more.”


For the last eight years, Kingston, the parrot, has lived with Tommy and his family in Columbus. Kingston is a typical parrot in some ways. He likes to chatter. “He tells me to go away, to go to my room,” Tommy says. But perhaps he’s not the ideal pet. “I hate him. He’s so mean. Everyone’s afraid of him.”

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