Western Kentucky University's commitment to an international reach and a thriving academic environment led me to choose WKU as my home for my undergraduate career. WKU was the perfect place to figure out what I wanted to do. The support of professors and small class sizes allowed me to have an incredible interdisciplinary undergraduate experience that I will always cherish. I had the support of professors to work in summer internships related to my field at local museums and arts organizations and was supported in my undergraduate research endeavors.
Western Kentucky University truly felt like my home. I found friends within and outside of the Honors College, joined as many student organizations as I could, and enjoyed life in Bowling Green. In the spring of 2011, I left the country for the first time and studied abroad in England at Harlaxton College, an amazing manor house where I was able to experience British culture in and outside of the classroom, as well as visit four other countries. I made it my goal to make it back to the United Kingdom someday. With the assistance of The Office of Scholar Development I applied for a Fulbright Postgraduate Award to receive my Master’s in History of Art in the United Kingdom. Because of the personal attention from OSD, my mentors in the Art History Department, and the professors I met at Harlaxton, I was selected as a Fulbright recipient.
I would have never imagined living abroad for a year in England, meeting new people, studying fantastic art in the world class Sainsbury Centre at the University of East Anglia, and even getting to meet the US Ambassador to the UK! In my time there, I worked with the volunteer charity "Team V" and attended early meetings for the charity It Gets Brighter. Both of these organizations allowed me to discover my passion of raising awareness for social issues, particularly that of mental health. After my year in the United Kingdom studying art, I redirected my path and am now at the University of Oklahoma obtaining my second master’s in sociology. I am working as a research assistant on a study funded by the National Science Foundation on gender and mental health stigma.
I gained so many skills from WKU. I learned so much about leadership, effective communication, responsibility, and was more than prepared academically to take on graduate school. My Fulbright award has opened so many doors, but Western Kentucky University gave me the key.