Admissions Blog The blog of William Woods University Admissions

27Sep/130

Gaining an Advantage at the Woods

How did you spend your summer?  Were you stationed by a pool, beach, or swim dock?  Did you travel and go on all new adventures?  Did you slave countless hours for minimum wage or did you earn credit at an internship?  Whatever you did, I’m not sure it could compare to how I spent my summer at William Woods University’s Freshman Advantage!

basic design fa

FA students Alexis Binkley and Lori Nichols holding up their finished t-shirt projects in Basic Design!

When classes let out and the residence halls closed in May, I packed up my belongings and said tough goodbyes to my friends and my home-away-from-home, WWU.  All of my friends and classmates would linger after their finals just to take in as much of the Woods that they could until next fall.  Although I was sad to go back home, I knew Freshman Advantage was in less than a month and I would have the opportunity to return to campus for a month of fun, friends, and soon to be family!

fa zach

During an event, the FA students helped make a banner! Here is Zachary Likens laying down his hand print.

What is Freshman Advantage?  Freshman Advantage, often shortened to FA, is a kick start program for graduated high school seniors that plan on attending William Woods University.  The program gives students real insight into what college is really like!  For starters, students at FA take seven hours of class in three weeks and live in the residence halls.  It’s a great opportunity to meet some of your future classmates as well!

My job at FA was to be a mentor and leader for the freshman students.  I was there to tutor students in their classes, coordinate events and activities for the night, and be a friend and a guide.  There was a fun activity planned for every week night.  These ranged from a wiffleball tournament, to tie-dying t-shirts, to sand volleyball.  The events were especially important because we got to learn more about the students and also bond as a group.  On the weekends, we went off campus for activities like the St. Louis Zoo, the City Museum and Six Flags. I’ve lived in Missouri my whole life, but I had never visited these places before, so it was a lot of fun to experience St. Louis!

One of my favorite memories as a mentor was on the day of Costume Dodgeball, and all of the mentors got decked out in American flag gear.  We had about an hour of down time and decided we didn't want our costumes to go to waste!  What better way to show off your patriotic pride than standing outside and cheering for the USA?  We made signs that said "Honk if you love America" and stood on the sidewalks for passing cars.  It was so fun to see the looks on the drivers' faces when they saw us!  There was so much honking and waving!  I bet the mentees were embarrassed for us, but we really enjoyed singing and dancing and cheering.  By the time we went for dodgeball, I was so worn out from jumping around that I could hardly even play!

I loved the activities we participated in, but my favorite part of Freshman Advantage, by far, was watching the students grow.  As mentors, we got the chance to observe study habits, social interactions and each student’s interests throughout the month.  Some students came in very shy and left as confident leaders!  Some students came to WWU very uninterested but left as the most involved ones of the group!  Students walked away from FA with the study skills, and true advantage of living as an independent college student.   It was so rewarding to see what FA could actually do.  When I see my mentees across campus now, I cannot help but smile because I am so proud of all their accomplishments!

USA mentors

My mentor family! I had such a great time getting to know this staff! We dressed up in patriotic gear for Costume Dodgeball, and had so much fun playing with the students.

Overall, the only thing I regret about Freshman Advantage is NOT going as a freshman!   So for my closing comments, I would like to invite and encourage incoming freshmen to go out of your comfort zone and sign up for FA.  It was so much fun being a mentor, so I cannot imagine how life changing it could be as a freshman.  If you’d like more information about the program, check out it out at http://www.williamwoods.edu/admissions/freshman_advantage/index.asp.

Have a great day, and I hope to see you June 2014!

24Sep/130

Summer Fun!

This summer was full of work, fun, family, and friends. When I left school for the break, I drove home and turned around two days later to take a trip to California. My cousin is a very successful small animal veterinarian in Sacramento, so I went to do an internship with her for three weeks.

 It was an absolute blast! I learned a lot about the ins and outs of running a small animal practice, and I even got to help hold animals, administer vaccines, and watch surgeries! My mom was very surprised that I went to California for the first time and spend the entire trip in a vet hospital and didn’t see the beach once! The best part was probably calling home and telling my family all about the things I had seen that day. You see, they are actually quite squeamish and it was fun to hear their reactions to some of the surgeries and procedures I saw.

From California I flew to Oregon to watch my best friend Kelsey graduate from college. I saw the beautiful city of Portland (decided that rain is not for me) and got to celebrate with her family and friends! When the weekend was over I was ready to go home to see my family.

By the time I arrived home, summer was already in full swing! My little sister Ali, who really isn’t all that little given she is now a sophomore in high school, started her first job lifeguarding for the City of Longmont. It was fun to watch her learn the ropes and tell funny stories about what little kids will do at the pool. My older sister Grace, now a senior in college, worked up in the mountains in a town called Estes Park. My dad, who stays at home and runs the house, worked on putting in hardwood floors upstairs and took care of driving my sister to work, cooking dinners, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Mom worked some, but also took time to spend with us, which is always nice!

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, near where my older sister worked!

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, near where my older sister worked!

I started the summer working at the barn where I grew up, which also has a dog kennel business that took me on as an employee a few summers ago. I loved teaching kids to ride and then going straight to the kennel to play with the dogs! Halfway through the summer an excellent opportunity knocked on my door. A mobile equine veterinary practice I’d been shadowing had an opening for a veterinary assistant and they offered me the job! I had to leave the ranch and the kennel (I’ve known the owners since 7th grade), which was scary, but I simply could not turn down the opportunity.

waterpark_fun

Water park fun with my sisters!

I spent the rest of the summer learning about equine mobile practices and I was able to assist with a lot of exams and some procedures. It ended up being a summer full of animals for me, which is exactly how I wanted it to be! Of course there was plenty of time for family, friends,fun, and relaxation. I enjoyed going to the water park, the amusement park, the mountains, and just hanging out by the pool. It was a very awesome and busy summer, and I was ready to return to the beautiful William Woods campus for fall semester!

Hiking in the mountains with my best friend

Hiking in the mountains with my best friend Kelsey

 

Last Sunday marked the end of summer, and the start of fall. There is a nip in the air, classes are in full swing, and my friends keep me grounded with fun trips to Columbia, movie nights, and study breaks. I can’t wait to watch the trees on campus turn shades of red, orange and yellow!

I hope you’re enjoying the beginning of fall!

Joanie

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14Feb/130

Winter Holiday

I loooooove winter time. Love it. Love the cold, love the snow, love the bundling up to go outside, love the flushed cheeks and cold hands, the snow angels and snow forts that are built - I could go on!

It's one of my favorite seasons by far. I think I also love it a lot because when it rolls around, that typically means I'm home in Minnesota and snuggling with my cat and dog and what's not to love about that?!

My dad was awesome enough to fly down and ride back with me so I didn't have to make the trip alone. My car broke down in the middle of an intersection during rush hour in St. Louis in October, so since then I've been fairly neurotic cautious and aware of every little noise my car makes. I had also only seen him twice between May and December so I thought it was a great way to kick off my break by spending time with someone I love so much.

Almost home! Minnesnowta!

Minnesnowta! This was taken when I was almost to my house!

If you've never experienced snow before, let me tell you - it's awesome! Alright, I'm a bit partial, but after it's done snowing and there's this fresh layer, it's so beautiful! Unfortunately {to me!} Missouri really doesn't get that much snow - the most snow I remember ever seeing down here was in February of 2011. I actually had my first snow days ever in my life then! Yes Minnesota gets a lot of snow, but that means we have the equipment to deal with it so school was never cancelled for me.

I haven't really seen any snow in Missouri yet this year - maybe it means we're in for another big storm soon! One can hope ;)

Snowpocalypse in February 2011

Snowpocalypse in February 2011. There are cars buried under there!

This is what Minnesota looks like in the winter - and this picture was taken in December!

This is what Minnesota looks like in the winter - and this picture was taken in December!

My winter holiday was pretty great - I was able to catch up with old friends, spend time with family, and relax. One thing that I have done for the past three years is jump into a lake with my dad on New Years Day.

It's called the "Ice Dive" and it's become a tradition with the two of us. This year, it was -1 when we jumped (without the wind chill factored in) and it wasn't that bad.....I always say that after we jump but before we do it, it's a different story! The lake we jump into is a really popular one in Minnesota and is pretty big. For you Missourians, I suppose you could say that it's comparable to the Lake of the Ozarks. It's called Lake Minnetonka (in Dakota it means "Big Water").

Dad and I last year after jumping.

Dad and I last year after jumping.

Every year you jump you move up in the ranking system they have in place. Everyone who has never jumped before is considered a "minnow". After five years and five different fish names, years 6-9 you're a "barracuda 6, barracuda 7", etc and then when you hit 10 years of jumping, you become a "shark"! After 20+ years, you're considered a "whale". My dad has now entered the ranks of barracudas and I am a "muskie".

All of the lakes/ponds/bodies of water in Minnesota freeze during the winter so in order to jump into the lake, the ice needs to be cut out. We're talking ice blocks that are over a foot deep! The hole cut is probably about 10 to 15 feet long so after you jump, you have to swim to the other side and climb out using a ladder. Because it's so cold, the ladders have ice formed over them but luckily you're so cold numb you can't feel it.

So that was one of my great adventures while I was home, but I am excited to be back at The Woods to see all of my friends, make new memories, and celebrate my last semester.

I hope you all had a great Holiday break and Happy Valentine's Day!! I love love!

Sally

 

31Jan/130

LEADing by example

Well hello there! Long time, no blog! I can’t believe we’ve already been in classes for two weeks! I guess that really goes to show that time flies when you’re having fun. :)

What have I been having fun doing, you ask? Well, lots of things! Between work, classes, my sorority, other campus organizations, friends and family, my schedule is packed full of fun things to keep me busy! But there’s one thing that I don’t need to put on my calendar anymore: LEAD events.

    Since this is my last semester at The Woods, I do not have to participate in the LEAD program as long as I am in good standing and have signed off on my senior status waiver. Even though I'm not attending weekly events, I'm still earning the scholarship money. How cool is that?!

Since this is my last semester at The Woods, I do not have to participate in the LEAD program as long as I am in good standing and have signed off on my senior status waiver. Even though I'm not attending weekly events, I'm still earning the scholarship money. How cool is that?!

I’ve been mentioning LEAD a lot over my past several posts, but I haven’t really explained what it is. Luckily for you, this post is dedicated to LEAD and LEAD only!

LEAD stands for Leading, Educating, Achieving and Developing. This program was enacted by Dr. Barnett (our university president) in 2000 and has been going strong ever since! The intent of this $5000 tuition award is to encourage campus involvement and enhance our education here. And guess what? It’s available to any accepted WWU student! Love it!

Attending LEAD events during these past four years has been one of the highlights of my Woods experience. Lots of fun memories have been made either hanging out with my friends at a concert, listening to an inspirational speaker, or experiencing a different culture or lifestyle.

As I mentioned in my first post, I LOVE taking pictures. I’ve basically been documenting my college years ever since I stepped foot on this campus! While thinking about what I wanted to tell you about the LEAD program, I decided to look back at some of my older photos and videos. My conclusion: Man, oh man, I’ve had some fun! :)

As I was looking through my pictures, I noticed a recurring theme. There are three main types of LEAD events: educational, concerts and performances. I know the idea of LEAD may still seem kind of arbitrary. However, a picture speaks a thousand words, so check out these photos and enjoy!

EDUCATIONAL

The Student Activities Fair at the beginning of the fall semester is always a great way to meet new people and learn how to get involved. Each organization has their own booth, so you can go around and sign up for what you think looks interesting. Plus, there's always free stuff!

The Student Activities Fair at the beginning of the fall semester is always a great way to meet new people and learn how to get involved. Each organization has their own booth, so you can go around and sign up for what you think looks interesting. Plus, there's always free stuff!

Earlier this year, Dr. Lori Hart visited our campus and spoke about the gender theories and gender communication. Her presentation was one of the funniest and most informative LEAD events I'd ever been to!

Earlier this year, Dr. Lori Hart visited our campus and spoke about gender theories and gender communication. Her presentation was one of the funniest and most informative LEAD events I'd ever been to!

Fire safety is always an important topic to cover, and last year the Office of Residential Life made it even more interesting by asking the local fire department to set a room on fire to show how quickly it burns. The heat was so intense!

Fire safety is always an important topic to cover, and last year the Office of Residential Life made it even more interesting by asking the local fire department to set a room on fire to show how quickly it burns. The heat was so intense!

Rev. Billy Kyles was a close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's and was a witness to his assassination. His presentation during Black History Month was incredibly powerful; meeting him afterward was even more amazing.

Rev. Billy Kyles was a close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's and was a witness to his assassination. His presentation during Black History Month was incredibly powerful; meeting him afterward was even more amazing.

Two Deaf Native American men visited campus during Deaf Awareness week a few years back. They were so much fun to watch and had some very impactful stories to share.

Two Deaf Native American men visited campus during Deaf Awareness week a few years back. They were so much fun to watch and had some very impactful stories to share.

Since our school mascot is Screech the owl, it was only appropriate for the Biology Club to host a bird sanctuary LEAD event. The people from the sanctuary brought birds that were tame enough to fly around the gym, swooping over our heads and landing on their trainer's arm for a treat. I'm not a fan of birds, but I did enjoy this event!

Since our school mascot is Screech the owl, it was only appropriate for the Biology Club to host a bird sanctuary LEAD event. The people from the sanctuary brought birds that were tame enough to fly around the gym, swooping over our heads and landing on their trainer's arm for a treat. I'm not a fan of birds, but I did enjoy this event!

One of my favorite things is learning about different cultures, so I was very excited when Multicultural Affairs Club brought in a woman from Mexico to perform traditional dances and talk about her culture. Can I have a swooshy dress like that, please?

One of my favorite things is learning about different cultures, so I was very excited when Multicultural Affairs Club brought in a woman from Mexico to perform traditional dances and talk about her culture. Can I have a swooshy dress like that, please?

Marcus Engel was another powerful speaker that visited campus last year. His story of how he became blind was awe-inspiring; even more touching was his attitude about moving beyond his blindness and encouraging others to be their best no matter what. I loved it! (Plus, his seeing-eye dog was SO cute!) :)

Marcus Engel was another powerful speaker that visited campus last year. His story of how he became blind was awe-inspiring; even more touching was his attitude about moving beyond his blindness and encouraging others to be their best no matter what. I loved it! (Plus, his seeing-eye dog was SO cute!) :)

PERFORMANCES

The most recent LEAD event I attended was a performance by the Missouri Contemporary Ballet. You cannot imaging how strong and graceful these dancers are until you see them in person. It is absolutely amazing!!

The most recent LEAD event I attended was a performance by the Missouri Contemporary Ballet. You cannot imaging how strong and graceful these dancers are until you see them in person. It is absolutely amazing!!

You know what's even more fun than watching professionals perform? Watching your friends perform! Every spring WWU sponsors the Fine Arts showcase. At this event, all the dance groups, dance classes and singing groups have the opportunity to perform a couple numbers. Cheering for my friends is my favorite part!

You know what's even more fun than watching professionals perform? Watching your friends perform! Every spring WWU sponsors the Fine Arts showcase. At this event, all the dance groups, dance classes and singing groups have the opportunity to perform a couple numbers. Cheering for my friends is my favorite part!

CONCERTS

The Truman Brothers were a fun little duo that came to campus my freshman year. They were incredibly talented; in the middle of the show, they switched and played each others'  instruments! Way cool!

The Truman Brothers were a fun little duo that came to campus my freshman year. They were incredibly talented; in the middle of the show, they switched and played each others' instruments! Way cool!

One of the great advantages of going to a smaller school is being able to meet artists after they perform for us! Shannon Curtis was such a sweetheart when she came-now we're Facebook friends! :)

One of the great advantages of going to a smaller school is being able to meet artists after they perform for us! Shannon Curtis was such a sweetheart when she came-now we're Facebook friends!

Tim McGraw was busy the day we wanted him to come, so we invited the next best thing to come sing for us: Adam D. Tucker! Adam travels around performing a Tim McGraw tribute show, and let me tell you, it was SO much fun!!

Tim McGraw was busy the day we wanted him to come, so we invited the next best thing to come sing for us: Adam D. Tucker! Adam travels around performing a Tim McGraw tribute show, and let me tell you, it was SO much fun!!

con collage 4

If you've never seen or heard of Recycled Percussion, then I suggest you Google them right now! They play popular songs on things everyone else would consider trash: ladders, buckets, saws, etc. Their performance was, without a doubt, one of my favorite LEAD events ever, and they came my freshman year!

If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to balance everything, along with the LEAD program, don’t worry! As a residential student, I only needed FOUR points per month, TWENTY by the end of the fall semester and FORTY-FIVE by the end of the year. That basically means I went to one event per week, sometimes more. (Each event lasts about an hour.)

Everyone about the LEAD program is online. The events calendar is always accessible through a link on the LEAD homepage. You can also check how many points you have just by entering your student ID on another link on the homepage. Gotta love that internet! :)

One time my friends calculated how much we as students are “making” attending LEAD events. It equaled out to between $150-$200! Talk about makin’ bank! Think about getting paid to cheer on your school’s team at a basketball game or laughing hysterically while your friends get hypnotized. I think that’s something we can all agree with!

Let's face it-some LEAD events are just plain fun. A few years ago, we had a hypnotist come during a prospective weekend, and I laughed till I cried! I had no idea some of my friends would do the things they did! :)

Let's face it-some LEAD events are just plain fun. A few years ago, we had a hypnotist come during a prospective weekend, and I laughed till I cried! I had no idea some of my friends would do the things they did! :)

The LEAD program is just one of the many unique things about William Woods, and one of the countless reasons why I chose this school as my home for four years. If getting paid for not sitting on your room and going to a fun event sounds good to you, I think you need to schedule a campus visit!

I’d better stop blabbering on about the LEAD program now because I could probably type all day! I hope you are having a fantastic week and trying to stay as warm as possible with this crazy winter weather! (For those of you who aren’t experiencing the wrath of Mother Nature-consider yourselves lucky!) :)

Smiles and sunshine!

Katherine