Congratulations to Whitney Gilman, of Salem, for completing her bachelor’s degree in Business with a minor in American Sign Language! Gilman transferred to WOU from Chemeketa Community College and is the first in her family to graduate from college.
Why did you choose WOU?
I chose to attend WOU because it is close to home (Salem) and smaller than the other universities; therefore, classes are more intimate and you actually get to have relationships with your professors.
What do you love most about WOU?
I love that WOU has smaller classes because it allows you to feel more connected to your professors and peers throughout your college experience. As a result, class discussions feel more open and intellectual, and you have the support you need to guide you through.
What do you love most about the major/minors/degree you completed?
I love American Sign Language because it is such a beautiful language that allows you to connect with other people in a way that has almost been lost since technology has emerged. In addition, I enjoyed how a lot of what I learned in my business classes could be applied to my current life and business in the beauty industry.
Are you an honors student?
Yes. However, it has been a long road to get to where I am now. Unfortunately, at the beginning of my college career I didn’t appreciate knowledge and education the way I do today.
Has there been a class or professor that has been particularly inspiring to you?
The professor who has inspired me the most is Mr. Disney because he has always seen my potential – something that I struggle to see in myself sometimes. I took his courses in business ethics, organizational behavior, and business leadership, all of which have really impacted me because I had epiphany after epiphany in these courses! I appreciate the way Mr. Disney incorporates real life skills and concepts into his lessons that are useful because they help prepare you for the future. Overall, he has encouraged me to push myself, which has ultimately given me more confidence, a gift that is priceless.
What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation I plan to focus on the things that have been deprived of my attention while in school. Now, I will have more time for the important relationships in my life, and, for my business and career as a cosmetologist. I particularly plan to work on marketing my services to the Deaf community so that I can continue to strengthen and use the skills that I have developed during college.
What advice do you have for current and future Wolves?
In your pursuit of self-fulfillment, don’t forget about the people who helped you get to where you are today!
What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?
That perfection gets in the way of progress. I have always been such a perfectionist that it has had a tendency to interfere with the learning process.
What is your favorite spot on campus and why?
The Richard Woodcock Education Center because it is beautiful such a beautiful building, as well as a good place to chill or study.
What’s the most important lesson you learned about yourself while in college?
I am capable of more than I ever thought possible! My college experience was more about reaching self-actualization rather than landing an awesome job.