Grad Profile: Tristan Aldous

Tristan Aldous, from Drain, Oregon, will earn a degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Organizational Leadership from WOU.

Why did you choose WOU?
The reason I chose WOU isn’t the reason I stayed. I originally came to WOU because I was a Theatre Arts major and the program here. I chose WOU because of the small campus and it mirrored the same small town feel that I grew up in. I wanted the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone but still feel relatively close to home. I had family close which helped the transition to college as well. I stayed because of the leadership and the opportunities that WOU provided. I got more and more involved on campus and came to love the people, community, my academics, and the opportunities I have taken part of.

What do you love most about WOU?

What I love most about WOU is the community and the opportunity for growth and leadership. The community that I have developed who have the same passion for leadership and love for WOU that I do and the relationships that I have been able to build because of it. My friends, the faculty and staff that I have developed friendships with have all challenged and inspired to be the best student and best student leader that I can be.

What do you love most about the major/minors/degree you completed?
What I love most about my major (Communication Studies) is that amount of information and coursework that can be developed out of communication. Whether we are analyzing rhetoric in politics or the women’s movement or communication in health or family, communication in the field, or even rhetoric that involves persuasion. There are so many different avenues of study that can someone can go down with communication. My favorite classes include the Dark Side of Family Communication, Rhetoric of the Women’s Movement, and Communication and Controversy. Communication Studies has so many aspects to it that it can really pique any interest that
someone has.

What has some of your extracurriculars been? 
As a first year, I was involved in the Heritage Hall Government for Spring 2016. As a second year, I got involved in the Student Activities Board as a General Board Member and continued in Hall Government in Fall 2016. I also started working for the Campus Dining Catering Staff in the Werner University Center in July 2017. As a third year, I joined the Student Activities Board as an executive board member, the Campus Traditions Coordinator, I joined PLUS Team in Spring 2018 and was hired as the SAB Director for the 2018-19 academic year. I was also hired as a Student Ambassador for Admissions for the 2018-19 academic year. I took on a volunteer opportunity during the summer for the National Association for Campus Activities as a Showcase Selection Committee member for the WestRegion Conference. As a fourth year, I started as Director for SAB, started as an Ambassador for Admissions, I became a Discover Leadership Mentor for Student Engagement in Fall 2019, I got involved in Alternative Break in Spring 2019 and I started working for the WUC Information Desk in Fall 2019. I also joined several committees throughout my senior year: WUC Advisory Board, RFP Soda Contract Committee, Parking Review Committee, and the Maurice Creativity Prize Committee.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?
Werner University Center in the Student Activities Board office. That is the place where I feel the most comfortable and where I feel most at home. I get to be with and hang out with those I work with. I have been involved in SAB for three years and seeing where we have come from makes me never want to be anywhere else!

What has been your biggest achievement, success or accomplishment in college?
My biggest achievement in college has been this year by being awarded the Distinguished Student Leader award at Leadership Recognition Night. It showed to me that all the work, love and effort I have put into leadership here at WOU was recognized and being able to be surrounded by my peers during that time was such an honor and memory that I won’t forget.

Has there been a class or professor that has been particularly inspiring to you? Please tell us
about it!
My Communication Studies professor and adviser, Molly Mayhead has made such a big impact on my studies in the major, my abilities as a speaker, presenter, and writer, and has influenced me to always challenge myself and others. Without Professor Mayhead, I don’t know if I would have stayed in the major and I don’t know if I would be the student I am today.

What will you miss most about college?
The people! The people at this university and who I have come to know has become a family to me and leaving them will be one of the hardest things to do!

What are your plans for after graduation?

Attending the University of Northern Iowa for their graduate program for Post-Secondary Education Student Affairs. I want to inspire and help students find their passion for leadership and Student Affairs just like my advisors in my leadership positions have done for me.

What advice do you have for current and future Wolves?
Don’t be afraid to get involved! There are so many opportunities for you that you can cater to your interests and meet others who have the same passion and love for things that you do!

What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?
Just how different college would be. The people that I met in college are people that I am going to have in for the rest of my life. Being independent and being able to make choices for me and take care of myself has allowed me to grow in so many ways.

Did you have any funny mishaps or moments of confusion when you first started at WOU?
When I first started at WOU, I actually ended up in the wrong classroom during the first week of school. I read the room numbers wrong and I even called the professor by the wrong name too! Overall, it was a funny situation that others and I found the humor in and I quickly figured my mistake and found my classroom!

What’s the most important lesson you learned about yourself while in college?
Honestly, to not take myself so seriously. College is the time where you get to learn and figure out who you are. Yes, academics and other involvements are important but discovering yourself and who you thought you would be in high school and who you are now is such a major difference and even recognizing that difference is so important too!

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