News from The Mahurin Honors College
Will Hemenover - Scholar Spotlight
- Sydney Windhorst
- Friday, October 14th, 2022
The Mahurin Honors College (MHC) wants every scholar to have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a field they love during their college career. For some scholars, internships are the most logical way to explore their future career. For Will Hemenover (MHC ‘24), he took his summer internship as an opportunity to try something new related to his major that he had not really considered before.
Will Hemenover is currently pursuing a double major in Biology and Environmental, Sustainability, and Geographic Sciences. In addition to his studies, he is very involved on campus. He is involved in WKU’s Student Government Association, is a member of the disc golf club team, and is an ambassador for the department of Earth, Environmental, and Atmospheric Sciences. Within the MHC specifically, Will is an HonorsTopper and was an H₄counselor the past two years. H₄ is the Mahurin Honors College’s annual first-year orientation retreat.
This past summer, Will was an intern for WKU’s Farm-to-Table Program as a horticulture student. In this role, Will was responsible for taking care of the plants in the greenhouses, making sure crops were growing, and fixing any damage to the greenhouses and other similar structures. All told, this experience allowed Will to gain new perspectives on how he can use his majors following his time at WKU.
Although Will has a passion for sustainability, working in agriculture was definitely not his first. So how did a Biology and Environmental, Sustainability, and Geographic Sciences student end up working with a farm-to-table program you may ask? Simply put, it was through the encouragement of his MHC advisor Meagan Chapman.
“Me being in this internship was a product of what the MHC does. I had a lot of support before it, through it, and after it”
This experience really gave Will “a new perspective on how to use [his] major.” He has always looked towards the National Park Service or using urban sustainability, but this summer internship gave Will another avenue to really consider.
In addition to his roles on the farm, Will explained how it also taught him “how to carry yourself during an internship, how to be professional, but also, to be ready to do things that you may not be ready to do.” He also learned that there are many avenues he can follow in pursuit of his career path. This internship made Will realize that, “in the future, I shouldn’t have a closed door to any new opportunities.”
“ I think the MHC prepared me for working with new perspectives and people all of the time. It really set me up and put me in the mindset that I am only going to succeed if I pursue those opportunities myself. The MHC will provide me with the opportunities and the encouragement, but it really becomes up to you to take that opportunity and just go for it.”
Will’s goal after graduation from his undergrad would be to get his masters in Biology or Sustainability, or maybe even Agriculture. Eventually, Will would like to work with some type of sustainability of conservation in a government agency whether that is the US Department of Agriculture or the National Park Service, or even working as some type of contractor working with land conservation.
Will’s advice to any MHC scholar who is interested in pursuing an internship is that, “how you carry yourself is very important. You want to be professional, but also relatable and that can be kind of a hard balance torun on, but don’t be afraid to fail…I went into this with not a lot of knowledge in what I actually needed to be doing, but that is a whole part of the process. “
We are so proud of all you have accomplished, Will! We can’t wait to see what you do next!