Maddie Hannah will be graduating from WOU’s Master of Arts in Teaching program. Originally from Rome, Georgia, she graduated from WOU with a major in Humanities and a minor in Linguistics, and has worked as a graduate assistant for the Writing Center.
Are you a transfer student? What has the experience been like?
I transferred here after spending my freshman year at Georgia State University. It was a big change, but a positive one! I love Oregon, I love going to a smaller school, and I love all the people I have gotten to interact with at WOU.
Why did you choose to return to WOU to complete your MAT?
While in my undergrad, I got the chance to see how excellent the education program at WOU is. When I decided to become a teacher, WOU was the logical place for me to come to get my graduate degree and license. I already had a wonderful community of friends, professors, and coworkers on campus, and Monmouth had become my home by that point. I was also offered an amazing GA position that would allow me to keep working at the Writing Center while attending. How could I say no?
What has been your favorite annual event at WOU?
I love the Holiday Tree Lighting because it’s an opportunity to spend time with friends and celebrate before everyone goes home for the holidays. My friend and I have a tradition of going out for sushi afterwards, and it’s always great to spend some quality time together and relax in the midst of the chaos of dead week and finals.
What have some of your extracurriculars been? How did those impact your time on campus?
Out of all my extracurriculars, the most meaningful by far has been my work at the Writing Center. Not only did I make some of my best friends there (both with my coworkers and the students I tutored!), I have been enriched by the many opportunities to grow as a student, person, and professional. I would not be in graduate school pursuing my teaching career if it weren’t for the experiences I had at the Writing Center and the support provided by the people there. The environment at the Writing Center is all about fostering kindness, building community, and helping each other grow. I know I am a better person because of the years I have spent there.
Do you have any advice for students?
Do things that are outside of your comfort zone! Go to weird events, hang out with people you just met, go on adventures exploring campus and the surrounding areas. Don’t just take classes that feed into your major and minor. Some of my favorite classes have been the ones that I would never have seen myself taking, and those classes also ended up impacting my college career in ways I would never have expected. College is a time to try new things and figure yourself out. Embrace it!
What was your most visited spot on campus?
In true nerd fashion, one of my most visited places was definitely the library. There is one computer on the second floor that I particularly like, and I probably wrote hundreds of pages worth of essays there. It’s nice to have a quiet place where you can focus but still be around other people. I’m a big fan of books, so even if I was mostly there to use the computers, they were a comforting presence in the background. The Press is also right there for you when you need some caffeine or a snack to keep you going. And hey, shoutout to the librarians! The people who work at the library are always so kind and willing to work with you. They know practically everything, and if they don’t know, they’ll connect you with a resource or person that can help. They’re a big part of what makes the library so great.
What is your favorite building on campus?
My favorite building on campus is Campbell Hall. I have only had a handful of classes there, so it’s not like I have strong memories attached to it like I do with a lot of other places at WOU. But Campbell stood out to me when I was taking a campus tour, before I even applied to WOU. I remember that I liked the big windows. Later, when I went inside, I was struck by the architecture and old brickwork. I love being able to see the student art projects displayed around the building, and I always try to check out the gallery when they have a new exhibit. I also love the history of the building–it got decapitated in the Columbus Day Storm! How cool is that?
What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to teach. I don’t have a concrete idea of where I’d like to go, although I would prefer to stay in Oregon for a while. While I’ve been planning and preparing to teach high school language arts, I know from my experience tutoring and going through the TEFL program that I would be happy teaching in a lot of different environments. Alongside teaching, though, I know I will keep on learning, because that’s a lifelong process that won’t end with graduation. I can’t wait to see what I learn next!