‘The Honors College became the most rewarding community I have ever been a part of’

If you had told me in high school that I would be graduating from the Honors College at Western Kentucky University, I would have thought you were crazy. I had decided long ago where I was going to go to school, and it certainly was not on a hill in Bowling Green, Ky. All of that changed when I got the opportunity to meet with Lindsey Westerfield (then Lindsey Thurman). Sitting in Lindsey’s office, she made me feel like the Honors College was a place I could belong. She took the time to get to know me, and she handled all of my parents’ concerns with grace. We were sold.

That following fall, I moved six hours from northern Indiana down to Bowling Green. It wasn’t long before the Honors College became the most rewarding community I have ever been a part of. By sophomore year, I was a leader in the Honors ambassadorial group, HonorsToppers, and I was the Student Assistant for Recruitment at the Honors College.

Working in the Honors College has been everything I could ask for in a student worker position. I have developed skills and grown as a professional more so than I had in any other job I have been in. I have had the chance to work alongside the most talented students, staff and faculty at WKU. The Honors College office has continually been an environment where excellence is the norm. 

That same passion is extended to HonorsToppers as well. This organization has given me the chance to get to know some of the most extraordinary Honors students, as well as high school students trying to make a college decision. WKU and the Honors College have given me a phenomenal experience, and I love sharing that with prospective students.

Aside from a job and an ambassadorial position, the Honors College introduced me to some outstanding people. I managed to align myself with a group of Honors friends that have become an irreplaceable force in my life. 

Sophomore year, I was assigned a random roommate, Danielle Tosti, in Bates-Runner Hall. Junior year, she and I moved off campus with Sarah Ward, and Kaitie Vonderschmitt. We planned our living arrangement with other Honors students, and we have managed to maintain the sense of community we found in Honors housing. I have grown more as a person with these people in my life than ever before. We have challenged each other and found a way to come out better for it in the end. 

Now as we are about to graduate, I cannot imagine what my day-to-day life is going to be without each of them. My friends are starting doctorate and master’s programs, coming into meaningful positions in the community and becoming teachers and advocates. I could not be more proud to stand among them at graduation.