Eva Batenhorst will be graduating this spring, with a double major in Biology and Dance, and a minor in Physical Science. Eva is from Eugene, Oregon, and has participated in many extracurriculars during her time at WOU, including the Honors program, RHA, and PLUS team.
Are you an honors student? What has your experience been like?
Yes, I entered the honors program as a first year student. It has been a very interesting and rewarding experience. I enjoy being in classes with extremely academically driven peers who always challenge me to do my best. Courses I have taken because of the honors curriculum are not ones that I would have chosen but I have gained valuable insight from them. I am also deeply appreciative of Dr. Keulks, the honors director, because of his passion and dedication to the success of his students, we never have to doubt whether he is on our side.
Why did you choose WOU?
Honestly, before touring the campus, WOU was one of my last choices for college. I was mainly looking at private, out of state schools that offered both of my majors. Once I came to campus for a tour, things just felt right. I enjoyed the small campus and class sizes which would allow for more professor interaction. I also liked the idea of not getting lost in the crowd, like I would at a larger school. Additionally, the main reason I was looking at WOU in general is because it is one of very few schools in Oregon that offer a dance degree, which is my second major.
What has been your favorite annual event at WOU (Homecoming, Tree Lighting, Drag Show, etc.)? Why?
As a dance major, Spring Dance Concert is always my favorite event. It takes us two terms of rehearsal and more than that to prepare for it. It is a stunning showcase of student work and passion and a great event to stimulate comradery in the dance department. Even though we have long nights and our bodies are tired and worn, I have always walked away from a concert feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride for what our department was able to showcase to the community.
What have some of your extracurriculars been (student clubs, jobs, internships, etc.)? How did those impact your time on campus?
Campus leadership is another passion of mine. I held positions as the Residence Hall Association (RHA) Programming Coordinator and Vice President, National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) Program and Finance Coordinator and President, Alternative Break team member and team leader, IFC member, Student Conduct Committee member, PLUS team member, Housing Front Desk Assistant, Biology Research Assistant, Diversity Scholar, and Chemistry Lab Assistant. I have also been a part of a dance company called Company Pimiento which performs in the Eugene and Monmouth areas. The absolute best thing I have gained from these positions are the connections I have been able to make with my fellow student leaders. I have gained some of my best friends because we were on staff together.
What will you miss the most about WOU?
I will miss the people the most. The faculty here truly care about their students and that has always been evident to me in my own interactions with my faculty members. I will also miss the tight knit community I have enjoyed here. One of the biggest things I have missed during the online courses due to COVID-19 has been walking around campus during a passing period and inevitably seeing at least a handful of my friends every time.
What do you love most about the major/minors you completed?
I have loved the diversity they have provided me with. Not too many students have a schedule where they start the day in a chemistry lecture, have a dance class, go to a biology lab, and end the day in rehearsals. They keep the two sides of my brain equally active. Also due to the nature of science sequences, I am often in a course with the same people for the entire academic year. I have friends who I have been in courses with for every term my first year. That has really helped build peer to peer interactions in my classes.
What are your plans for after graduation?
The summer after graduation, I plan on completing a course to become a Certified Nurse Assistant. With this I will begin working on my experience hours and once I have enough I will apply for my Masters in Physician’s Assistant programs.