Grad profile: Emmi Collier

Name:  Emmi Collier
Age: 22
Major/Minor: Exercise science/focus in physical education
Hometown: Warrenton, Ore.
Favorite campus event(s): Home Track & Field meets, WOUMania, and New Student Week
Best study spot: Third floor of Hamersly
Advice to incoming freshman: “Make friends with new people while at Western! You may come here with friends from high school, but make sure you get out there and meet new people.”

The Track and Field program is what sparked Collier’s interest in WOU. It helped that the university was close to home, and also happened to be her mom’s alma mater.

As a thrower for the Track and Field team, she has strived to strike a balance between her studies and athletics.

“Track was behind everything I did as a student. It’s been such an experience and I’ve been able to travel around. This year we went to the National Competition for Indoor Track and Field in Kansas and that was so exciting.”

Collier looks back on her campus involvement as one of the highlights of WOU. Throughout the years she participated in PLUS team and hall government, as well as a trumpet player for wind ensemble, pep band, and symphony.

“I was on PLUS team for two years. That was fun because I both got to help students who were new to campus but I also got to help students who were new to PLUS team. All and all, helping students figure out what they are doing here and feeling comfortable.”

As graduation approaches, the fruits of all her hard work are evident. Two years in a row she won the shot put in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference for outdoor season, and recently she was accepted into a graduate program at Oregon State University.

The last two years, Collier has been busy completing the non-licensure physical education program at WOU.

“I’ve been working with kids, learning how to teach different types of dance and sports, and outdoor adventure education activities.”

Reflecting on professors that have made an impact on her education, Collier immediately noted Dr. Gay Timken.

“She has really shown me what I can do and encouraged me to get better. I could literally go to her for anything, I always joke that she has my ‘mom-away-from-home.’ She’s consistently been supportive and interested in my education. She’s one of the main reasons I’m pursuing graduate school at OSU.”

At OSU, she will earn a Master of Science in Physical Education Teacher Education. The 14-month program will begin a week after graduation. After her summer courses, student teaching will begin in August and go through the school year. She will complete the program with licensure to work students K-12 and hold a certificate to teach for adapted physical education.

“Graduating means being one step closer to career I want. I knew starting off that I wouldn’t start my career right after Western and that graduate school and certification would be part of my education. It’s so exciting to be a year away from that goal!”

She will miss the home Track meets at WOU and grabbing pizza with friends at Yeasty Beasty, but Collier focused more on the gratitude she felt for those at Western.

“A huge thanks to anyone who has ever helped me with anything on campus, I definitely could not have done this by myself. And a huge thanks to my parents. Overall, a huge thank you to everyone!”