Student Blog The blog of William Woods University Undergraduate Students


Hanging with the Hounds

It's been a while since my last post, so you may want to check out my bio.

There are three guarantees when it comes to being a college student:

  1. you will eat a lot of ramen,
  2. you won't sleep enough, and
  3. you will get stressed out.

Multiple studies have shown that interacting with animals helps reduce the immediate feelings stress felt by people, along with getting their mind off of the things stressing them out.

Students with dog

Koda, the Lab-Rottweiler, helps students relieve stress.

One of the awesome benefits of going to a small school like William Woods is the opportunities available for undergraduate research through the Mentor-Mentee program. This program allows for students to work alongside professors in their field of study to complete a research project of their choice and design. Then, the projects are presented to students, faculty and staff at the end of the year.

Social Work student Sam Harris relaxes with a kitten

Social Work student Sam Harris relaxes with a kitten.

For my Mentor-Mentee project, I got the opportunity to work alongside one of our social work professors, Dr. Elizabeth Wilson. We are studying the effects of recreational activities on the immediate stress levels of students. Our first event was to bring dogs to campus and allow students to sit and play with them for as long as they wanted. To support our project, we enlisted the help of the Central Missouri Humane Society and Puppies with a Purpose to bring dogs and kittens to campus. Puppies with a Purpose is a group that helps to socialize and train dogs to become support animals later in life. Our Mentor-Mentee program is just now starting up, so there will be a few more events coming up helping students reduce their stress!

Students with dogsThe goal of my project is to hopefully bring these amazing stress reducers back to campus on a regular basis to help students relax.

Keep an eye out for more of my posts as I showcase the different events and cool projects put on by the Social Work department here at William Woods!



Phired Up at William Woods!

Last Friday, as a part of the President's Concert and Lecture Series, the William Woods community welcomed guest speaker Tina VanSteenbergen from Phired Up. Tina gave an inspiring motivational speech to the community at large and brought us closer with one another through a series of interactive tasks throughout the presentation. The entire goal of the event was to pull our community nearer to the idea of Social Excellence...


My favorite piece of advice from the presentation. Great tip for incoming college students. "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."

Social Excellence [n]: A state of perpetual generosity, curiosity, positivity, and openness to limitless possibility. A desire to intentionally connect with others. The ability to engage in deep, meaningful conversation. Acting in a responsible and respectable manner with high expectations of others. Being authentic and living everyday with integrity as the best version of oneself. Being confident and vulnerable. Being fun and compassionate. Being open, kind, and bold. The highest level of societal participation and contribution.


I got my very own picture with the VIP Guest Speaker Tina VanSteenbergen!

Tina had everyone rise from their seats and go meet someone new. Once we met our new person, we sat with them throughout the entire presentation. Taking breaks to have conversations on random topics with our newly found friends. By the end of the presentation, I had made a new friend who I new a lot of new details about, such as the people he idolized, his likes and dislikes, and his family. Tina encouraged us to adopt several new principles of social excellence including generosity and authenticity, and how to build masterful social skills and how to push one's social comfort zones to the max. Social Excellence increases social confidence and prepares individuals for success in college, business, relationships, and life. In today's technological world, human connections remain vital to professional and personal success and must remain an integral part of everyday life.

This LEAD event helped me to understand the importance of face to face interaction and make a new friend. For that, I am grateful.


I’m going to be in the Talent Show!

The annual Woods Factor Talent Show is this Friday, tomorrow, at 7 p.m.

A girl in my sorority, Baylie Borman approached me and asked if I would like to be in the show because they wanted more acts. I of course said YES! Then the next step was figuring out what I was talented at. After some thought I decided I wanted to do something fun, not serious, so I am going to rap and Eminem song dressed as an MnM. What do you think of that idea?

I didn't want to do it alone, so another sorority sister of mine, Melissa Williams, is going to come on stage and sing the chorus for my rap. The song I am doing is "Space Bound" by Eminem, it is on his Recovery CD. I chose this song because I already memorized the lyrics. I was a big fan during the summer between my sophomore and junior year in college when the CD came out.

Now that I have the song and the costume, I am extremely ready/nervous/excited/nervous/nervous/nervous for tomorrow, please wish me luck!

I am the second act, how nerve wracking! This is never something that I could have done as a freshman. I have gained so much confidence and skills here at the Woods just from having such a great support system.

Did I mention I was nervous?

Either way, tomorrow is EQS* weekend and the Talent Show which will prove to be a very busy and fun day for me.

Want to know more about the Talent Show? Here is a news release that I wrote about it.

I promise I will post pictures!

*EQS is William Woods lingo for Equestrian Studies!


Soak Up the Sun!

It has been beautiful out for the past few days here at The Woods! Spring is starting to roll in. The sun is shining, it has been warm, and everyone is enjoying time outside!

Yesterday when I was walking back to my room from class, I felt all the happiness that comes with getting outside after winter. The fraternity and sorority houses had their front doors open with music blasting, and a lot of students were outside playing catch. Everyone seems to have a little spring in their step!

At my sorority, the girls like to lay out on the lawn to get some sun. We have a small pool that we fill up when it's warm enough to dip our feet in. Sometimes we get creative, and put a tarp in the bed of a pick up and then fill it with water! Yesterday the girls were outside with their feet in the pool, and a few more were laying in the grass with the music going and a gentle breeze. Everyone welcomed the study break!

Hanging out in the sun!

Hanging out in the sun outside Alpha Phi

Another great thing about the beautiful weather is that there are chances to get LEAD points outside! In the fall people often go to the soccer games. This time of year, baseball is playing. It's a super fun way to earn a LEAD point. You just bring your bottle of water and a few snacks and watch the game with your friends!

Watching the ball game

Watching the ball game


Big Sis and Little Sis fun at the baseball game!


Another fun way to get some LEAD points outside is through frisbee golf! I had never hear of this game before I came to The Woods, but apparently it is pretty popular. You just check out some discs from Weider Fitness Center, and there is a course than runs all over campus. The object is to throw the disc into the metal nets with the fewest tries. I've done it a few times and even though I don't have the best aim, it is a lot of fun to run around our beautiful campus with a group of friends.

Campus Activities Board also hosts some outdoor events where you can get LEAD points! Last fall they hosted an outdoor moving night and we had a concert on the dock. I really enjoy all the different types of LEAD events at The Woods, especially when I can take a break and go outside.

I love spring weather! Everyone seems a little brighter and it is great to get outdoors. We are getting ready for Spring Break here at The Woods, it is just over a week away! I'm excited to go to Disney World with my family. Then we will come back and I'm sure the rest of the semester will just fly by! Enjoy the sunshine :)