The PROPS program includes a monthly profile of an A-State staff member that works every day behind the scenes to improve Arkansas State University… because EVERY Red Wolf Counts!
Staff members are selected from a pool of candidates that is created from the PROPS nomination form.
Caleb Keating was nominated by Jerry Cooper for P.R.O.P.S. recognition. Jerry said “
P.R.O.P.S. subcommittee members Cathy Naylor, Kelly Sabin, and Greg Umhoefer spoke with Caleb recently to learn more about him and his experience at A-State.
In school I was most know for...
I was always the guy with weird hair. I was in ROTC my freshman year of high school, and after having to get a buzz cut every two weeks, me and my buddies made a pact that we wouldn’t cut our hair until we graduated.
I made it all the way, so I ended up winning “best hair” in high school because I went from the really long hair and ended up getting my hair dreadlocked for a year.
That was my shtick, random, always going to have weird hair.
What is your favorite hobby?
Currently, my favorite hobby is playing video games. I’m starting to go through that transition where a lot of my local friends are moving away, so for me the best way for me to keep in touch with friends has been video games.
I’ve always had a liking of them, but we’ve taken it deeper because it’s where we can all get together and hang out, no matter where we’re at.
Can you describe your biggest obstacle and how you’ve mastered it?
My personal biggest obstacle in life was when I was a sophomore in college, I had been working a job at Wal-Mart as a supervisor, and during one of the shifts late at night we ended up going through an armed robbery. Being a 20-year-old kid at that point, it was that first life is real moment. My eyes being opened up to that was my biggest obstacle.
Who is your role model?
My role model has always been my dad. He struggled so I didn’t have to. Just watching him and what he did put a good perspective into me, that you have to make sure you’re okay before others are okay but you can also sacrifice a little bit.
And I can now see the sacrifices that he went through when I was a kid. He’d wear the Wal-Mart shoes and get me the Nikes, and little things like that.
Also, it was really admirable to watch him go back and get his master’s degree at 36 years old when I was in second grade. He’d stay up until 2 o’clock in the morning studying. I could hardly do it when I was 20, I don’t know how he did it at 36. Especially with a wife, me as a kid, and a job.
If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
I guess, really, Alaska or the Canadian wilderness. I’ve seen a little bit of Europe; I’ve been to the beaches in Florida. I’d really like to see the wilderness and more mountainous areas. The shows like Living Alaska really catch my eye. I’d like to see the tips and trick of how people live in the cold. I’d really like to see that perspective of life.
What music is playing in your car right now?
I’m going to sound like an old guy, but usually I ride around listening to CCR, Credence Clearwater Revival. I just put on their radio station on Spotify and it’s kind of meshed into a CCR, Chuck Berry, little Jimi Hendrix radio station.
It’s either that or ‘90s country- Allen Jackson, Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, all those guys. I’ll listen to that but mostly it’s chill music. After a long day of work, I don’t want to think about too much, so I like to roll my windows down and listen to some songs that have a pretty simple guitar and drum behind it with a guy just singing.
Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
Quotes and sayings aren’t really my inspiration, I’ve never really lived by them. But the lyric “castles made of sand fall in the sea eventually.” Everything in life is going to go away, so enjoy what you have in the moment.
The Band’s song Atlantic City is about being in the moment and living your life. Be there. “Be there don’t be square” I guess there’s my quote.
What do you wish that everyone on campus knew about your job?
I guess I’d really like people to understand how small of a team we have, and how much we actually cover. And just how awesome of a job they do and how proud I am of them. A lot of times a request will be put in and they’ll be there within 30 minutes to an hour, sometimes sooner. I’m proud of how much this teams gets done with the resources we have. I’m blessed to have a team like them.
What is it you like most about A-State?
What I like most about A-State and the reasons I’ve stayed here so long are my bosses. First, Clint Roberts and then David Engelken. Just being able to have those two people to really lean on and go to, we know we have each other's back no matter what. We can be honest with one another and want to see each other succeed.
Also, the ability to fail. I don’t think people put much of a spotlight on that. A lot of jobs want you to come in and do it right the first time. With A-State you’re given that ability to learn and grow, and that’s really helped me as a person.