Student Blog The blog of William Woods University Undergraduate Students


At William Woods University, EVERYONE MATTERS

Hey everyone! I’m sorry I’ve been such a slacker on the blog lately! The few weeks leading up to finals are the craziest, but thankfully things have calmed down a bit and I can fill you in on what I’ve been up to! 🙂

Recently, a new and amazing campaign was introduced to our campus called Everyone Matters. This program is being spearheaded by the one and only TaLisa Maxwell, WWU’s Director of Multicultural Affairs.

According to their Facebook page, Everyone Matters is “a global Inclusiveness campaign…with a collective message to judge others less, see the humanity in everyone, and emphasize that everyone has the right to be who they are.” Sounds like a good plan to me!

When TaLisa first told me about her plan to bring this program to campus, I was super excited! I think it is so important to respect everyone for who they are and to stop judgment in its tracks, so being involved with Everyone Matters seemed like the perfect way to spread that message!

The first thing TaLisa did to kick off the William Woods Everyone Matters campaign was to host an event during dinner in our dining hall. During this event, students were asked to fill out surveys that asked for one or two word answers about themselves. The questions were things like, “How would you describe yourself in three words?” and “What is something that makes you happy?”

Once all the surveys were filled out (there were LOTS!), TaLisa entered them into this website called Tagxedo that takes simple words and colors and transforms them into really awesome collages! Check mine out!

I think it turned out pretty great, if I do say so myself!

The next phase of the campaign was to combine all of the collages onto one giant banner and take pictures of students holding it. Seeing everyone’s collages together was really cool and inspirational. Even though we are all unique in our own ways, seeing the student body come together for something like this made my heart smile. 🙂

My friends Jen, Michael and Maggie were pretty excited to hold the banner, too!

The final stage of Everyone Matters was less of a group effort and more on an individual basis. TaLisa had students write “I am” statements on a piece of paper and took photos of them that would later be posted to the official Everyone Matters website. Students also had the option of recording videos beginning with the words “I matter because..” and “Everyone at William Woods matters because..”

My "I am" statement was "I am full of love!"

Check this out! I got to be on the Everyone Matters Facebook page!

Everyone Matters is such an important campaign because I think sometimes we get so caught up in our own little bubbles that we forget about the big beautiful world that surrounds us and the people that fill it. No matter what race, sexual orientation, religion, gender or age, everyone DOES matter and they are IMPORTANT.

I am so proud to have been a part of such an incredible movement at William Woods. Having the opportunity to make a difference to the people I see every single day through Multicultural Affairs Club reminds me why I love WWU so much and why this campus community has become my home away from home.

Just so you know, YOU matter too! I hope you check out the Everyone Matters website to see just how cool this campaign is and why I’m so excited it’s now here at WWU. What a great thing to get involved in once you’re a student here! 🙂

Well, I hope you have an amazing rest of your week and have lots of opportunities to smile! I challenge you to tell someone in your life why THEY matter to YOU-talk about making their day! Good luck!

Smiles and sunshine!



Counting my blessings

Hello from my basement! I am writing this week’s blog from home because I’m on Thanksgiving break! Woo hoo! Gotta love time off from classes to spend some much needed quality time with my crazy family. 🙂

We're uh...somethin' else..

You’ve probably seen the “Thanksgiving Challenge” all over Facebook this month-people posting something they’re thankful for as their status every day. I haven’t done that myself, but I’ve enjoyed reading what everyone else considers important in their lives.

Those “challenges” are always hard for me to participate in because I get too stressed that I’ll leave something out or place more importance on one thing over another. BUT I’ve decided to use this blog as my platform for letting the world know what I’m thankful for this year.

Of course I’m thankful for my family, my friends, my pets, my health, my freedoms, etc. Those are no-brainers. But today I’d like to focus on something else I’m thankful for: my education. My four years at William Woods University have FLOWN by, and I’m SO thankful for every moment I’ve spent here.

Freshman year first day of school selfie vs. senior year. My how times have changed..

When I started here as a freshman, I had no idea how much of an impact WWU would have on my life and the person I have become. I have learned, been challenged, struggled and succeeded. I have studied and explored, laughed and cried. Why? Because of everything I have experienced here at The Woods.

I am thankful for the professors who’ve had patience with me and my bosses who’ve hired me. I am thankful for the maintenance staff who has cleaned my bathroom and the cooks in Tucker who have fed me every day. I’m even thankful for those silly geese who sometimes hiss at me when I walk a little too close to them.

I'll just keep my distance..

But most of all, I’m thankful for the fact that I love my school so very much. I’ve seen so many of my friends’ statuses saying how they can’t wait to get back to good ‘ol Fulton and see everyone, and while I love being with my family so much, I feel the same way. I don’t think there are many people in this world who can say that they miss their school when they go home for breaks, but I’m happy to say that I’m part of the minority!

If you’re looking for a home away from home, a second family, a place that will be hard to leave when it’s time to graduate, then you need to check out William Woods University. Call the Office of Admissions, make an appointment and come learn about all the great things WWU has to offer. And since this is the season of being thankful, you can thank me later for encouraging you to visit. 🙂

Anyway, I’m gonna head upstairs now and watch “Home Alone” with my family (a Wortmann favorite!) I hope you’ve had an amazing Thanksgiving with your family and I hope even more that we’ll see you on campus very soon!

Until next time, smiles and sunshine! 🙂



A whirlwind of a weekend!

First of all: HI! 🙂 Second of all: oh my goodness, have I got a story for you!

So this past weekend I had the opportunity to do one of the most spontaneous things I’ve ever done: fly out to Washington D.C. by myself on Friday and attend a weekend-long conference with a bunch of people I don’t know, then fly back home that Sunday night. WHAT?!

Now, if you know me, I like to say that I’m a spontaneous person, but that’s all in my head. My planner and I are best friends and we rarely part each other’s sides. But doing something out of the ordinary like this came with such excitement that I couldn’t pass it up!

Let me backtrack just a little bit before I proceed. For the past two years, I have had the honor of being invited to the Missouri Governor's Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values  at our state capitol, Jefferson City, MO. This weekend-long conference gives student leaders from around the state a chance to convene in one place for a weekend of fellowship and learning. There are speakers, trips to different places around Jeff City and time to chat with a small group of people that become your core group for the duration of the forum.

This past year, one of the facilitators of my group, Monica Hashemi, and I made a really great connection and still keep in contact today. At the beginning of the semester I received an email from the National Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values saying that Monica had nominated me to attend. I was SO EXCITED!! What an honor!

There was a little bit of money involved, including buying a plane ticket, so I waited to sign up at first until I knew I had the money. When I thought I would be covered, I went ahead and applied, but I was put on a waiting list because there were so many people interested in attending! (Insert sad violin music here..) I was sad for a second, but decided to keep my chin up and hope for the best.

And guess what?! My prayers were answered! At the beginning of the week of the forum, I received an email saying a spot had opened up if I still wanted to go. WELL DUH!! Immediately I got on planning for the weekend, booked my flight and got all my arrangements in place. Whew!

I’ve flown several times through different trips and things, but never by myself, so this was a whole new experience for me, but an exciting one! When I arrived at the airport, I did all the checking in and everything, got on my plane, and waited for my adventure to begin. 🙂

When I finally arrived in D.C., the smile on my face became permanent. It was SO COOL! And you know what else? My hotel was right. down. the. street. from the capitol building. Gaahh!!

Oh hey, Capitol! Just standing outside my hotel looking at ya!

After checking in to my room, it was exploring time! I grabbed my faithful camera and set out to capture the beauty of our nation’s capitol. It was so much fun just to walk around and see such amazing and integral parts of history right before my eyes!

What a beautiful fall day!

Playing tourist for the day!

Later on that night, the forum officially opened, and I met my small group for the first time. Immediately, I felt at home.  The women in my group were so open and compassionate and giving that it made me want to be a better person. So to Group Nine, I want to say THANK YOU! 🙂

I love my group so much!

Later that night, all 200 of us students who were attending the forum went on a “monument walk.” W.O.W. Obviously everything is beautiful during the day, but at night, the lights make it ten times more magnificent! I was in hog heaven with my camera!!

The flags were blowing so loudly in the wind!

This fountain at the World War II Memorial was so mesmerizing!

Getting to visit 'ol Abe at the Lincoln Memorial was my favorite part of the monument walk!

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out with my group, listening to amazing speakers, visiting the House of Representatives (those chairs were really comfy!) and soaking in the awesomeness of the forum.  I definitely wasn’t ready to head back…

Not a pretty crier..

The major thing I want you to take away from this accidentally long story (sorry about that..) is how many doors William Woods University can open for you. If I hadn’t been a student here and gotten involved, I wouldn’t have been invited to the Missouri Governor’s Student Leadership Forum, I wouldn’t have met Monica, and she wouldn’t have nominated me for the National Student Leadership Forum. It just all fits together like a pretty puzzle!

WWU might be on the smaller end of the scale as far as size is concerned, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do big things while you’re here. I am so thankful for a school where I've had my eyes opened to things I never even thought possible.

If you’re looking at The Woods, I sincerely suggest you come check it out. Plan a campus visit, eat lunch in our dining hall and maybe even stay the night! I promise you you’ll have a good time. (You can thank me later.) 🙂

Anywho, that’s all I have for now, but I hope you enjoyed my story! Have a fantastic week and check back in soon!

Smiles and sunshine!



Welcome to The Woods!

Hello all you handsome and beautiful people! My name is Katherine Wortmann and I am so happy you have decided to visit my blog! 🙂

Before I dive too deep into this post, first I’d like to tell you a little about me! I am a senior this year (ahh!), majoring in American Sign Language Interpreting and American Sign Language Studies. I am from Mexico, MO, which is a whole 20 minutes away from Fulton. You might think that I am a commuter since I live so close to WWU, but no! I am a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority and live right here on campus with all my sisters!

I am all about being involved here on campus, which you’ll learn more about in my future blog posts, but the main organizations I participate in are Student Alumni Council, Hands Up Club, University Ambassadors and Phonathon. All of these are groups are fabulous to be a part of and I can’t wait to tell you more about them later on!

My school spirit started early. Check me out freshman year!

As you’ll find out really quickly (because you’re oh-so-smart!), I am a huge goofball, so I love just hanging out with my friends, having a good time and laughing till my sides hurt. I also really enjoy being creative-98% of the time I’m crafting something, and the other 2% I’m thinking about a craft I could be making!

Movies are something I really enjoy, too! Chick flicks? Heck yeah! Musicals? Yes please! Scary-gory nonsense? No, thanks.. There is a really awesome movie theater right here in Fulton, so you can find me there slurping on a blue Icee when a really great movie hits the theaters. 🙂

Have any other burning questions about who I am? Then head on over to my "About Me"  section and read on!

Ok, now to the good stuff. One thing you should know about me is how much I love William Woods University. I have so much pride in this school and absolutely love sharing it with everyone I meet. No matter if I’m at a soccer game, a theater production, an art gallery or a Greek philanthropy event, I’m always happy to be a part of The Woods community and represent my Owls!

My hope is that through these next few months of blogging, you’ll be able to pick up on how wonderful WWU is and want to see it for yourself! It is such a fun and beautiful campus with lots of great people. As you can see, I’ve got school spirit oozing out of me and can’t wait to share more with you!

Senior year and still going strong! Love my Owls!

From alllll the way back four years ago to where I am now, WWU has helped shape who I am today and I couldn’t be more thankful. This blog is not only dedicated to helping you figure out why WWU is so great, but also sharing the best things about The Woods as a thank you for all this community has given me.

This next month/semester is going to be lots of fun. Why? Because it’s my SENIOR YEAR! I hope you’ll tag along for the ride as I take my last few classes, get ready for graduation and start planning for my internship! Buckle up, people. Life’s about to get crazy!

Until next time, smiles and sunshine! 🙂