Grad Profile: Erin Ritchie

WOU grad Erin Ritchie smiles in front of red flowers. She is wearing a white floral dress and a brown jacket with matching boots.

Graduating student Erin Ritchie will be completing a degree in Sociology this spring, with a minor in Psychology. Originally from Newport, she transferred to WOU from Linn-Benton Community College, and has been involved with CIP, Abby’s House, and Student Success and Advising during her time at WOU.


Where did you transfer from and what has the experience been like?
I started out at Portland State freshman year, then transferred to Linn-Benton Community College for two years, then came to WOU. My transition was pretty smooth, but it took me about a year to find my place on campus, and I am so happy I was able to come to WOU and participate in the organizations that I did.


What has been your most memorable class?
My most memorable class was SOC407 with Dr. Maureen Dolan. It was one of the first courses I took at WOU, and only had about 6 students in it, but it was such a fascinating class. We were able to learn a lot about South American prison systems and history, which seems really random, but was such a fun and interesting class!


What have some of your extracurriculars been?
My first year at WOU I didn’t do anything on campus, but I really tried to get involved for my senior year. This year I was a peer advocate at Abby’s House, a peer tutor for SSA Tutoring, and an intern through CIP. I was able to find a little community through Abby’s House and my other student jobs, and I loved working with everyone!


How has participating in the Community Internship Program (CIP) helped you grow during your time at WOU?
I am the Transfer Student Support Intern for Transfer Pathways, working with the wonderful Kristin Mauro. Working through CIP has been a great way for me to branch out of my comfort zone and has really helped me decide what I wanted to look for in jobs after graduation. I got to learn a lot about higher ed., and make connections I wouldn’t have made otherwise.


What was your most visited spot on campus?
This year, it was definitely the WUC. It had everything I needed, including coffee and snacks! Plus I was able to do homework and work at Abby’s House and just relax if I wanted.


What will you miss the most about WOU?
I am going to miss the people so much! All the staff and faculty were always kind and so helpful with anything, I just wish I was at WOU for more than just my last two years.


What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?
I wish I had more realistic expectations of college (thanks high school), and that I was more comfortable with the idea of plans changing. I never expected to be graduating from WOU after five years, but am so glad I found the right college for me.


What are your plans for after graduation?
I am moving to Roseburg, and starting a job at Peace at Home as a Campus Advocate for Umpqua Community College! It’ll be quite the change, but I am really excited for the new start!

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