Grad Profile: Natalie Legras

Natalie Legras is a graduating student who is completing a double major in Information Systems and Humanities, with a minor in Business. She is from Scio, Ore., and has participated in the Honors program while at WOU. 


Are you a first-generation student? What has your experience been like?
Neither of my parents graduated from college, so I didn’t have anyone to tell me what to expect. I had to figure things out on my own, like financial aid and scholarships, degree planning and registering for classes, and how to study or address my professors. My family has been very supportive, but it can be difficult when they don’t relate to the things I’m going through.


Are you an honors student? What has your experience been like?
My experience in the Honors Program has been phenomenal. The level of personalized support from Honors faculty and the Honors Program Director, Dr. Keulks, inspires students in the program to expand their academic, professional, and cultural perspectives. 


Can you tell us a little bit about your Honors thesis?
My Honors thesis, A Path to Graduation, is an exploration of degree planning tools at WOU. I have conducted research and interviewed students and advisors in an effort to provide information that will be useful to the Office of the Registrar in their implementation of additional degree planning software.


What have some of your extracurriculars been?
Working on campus has been one of the most fulfilling parts of my time at WOU. I’ve learned so much from the wonderful faculty and staff, and I’ve seen how close the WOU community is. Because of my campus jobs, I feel connected with the campus community on a very personal level.


Do you have any advice for current and prospective students?
I would advise current and prospective students to enjoy every minute of college. Participate in new things, get a job on campus or get involved with extracurriculars like service trips, clubs, or student leadership. You’ll have more fun if you keep an open mind!


Who stands out from your time at WOU?
Dr. Keulks, the Honors Program director, has made such an impact on my education. He inspired me to not only complete a degree, but to invest in myself. He has encouraged me to explore new subjects and perspectives and expand my education.


What is your favorite building on campus?
My favorite building on campus is the ITC. All the students in the CS/IS department go there to study and hang out. You can talk to faculty and peers and get to know everyone better. It’s a great little community.


What will you miss the most about WOU?
I think I’ll miss the sunsets most. Seeing the beautiful colors over the trees on campus is amazing. I love taking walks through campus in the evenings and seeing the sky change.


What has been your biggest achievement, success or accomplishment in college?
I feel that my biggest accomplishment is finishing my Honors thesis and a capstone project for each of my two degrees all in the same term. Since WOU went all online, this term has been challenging, but I’ve worked hard to stay committed to finishing my degree strong. 


What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?
I wish I knew how to write an email to professors. If you research one thing before coming to college, learn how to write a professional email. It has been a lifesaver!

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