Jonathon “Jonny” Watt is an Elementary/Middle School Education major with a concentration in Middle School Mathematics. He is a Kansas City, Kansas. As an outstanding 2020 graduate, we interviewed Watt on his favorite aspects of WOU and his future plans for after graduation.
Why did you choose WOU?
I chose WOU because I was being recruited to play football here and another university. When I came for my visit on campus, I fell in love with the way it looked and felt with students on campus and classes going on.
What has been your most memorable class?
My most memorable class was ED 421, Middle/High School Technology integration. This class was fun, and I will remember it for the rest [of my] life. I had a lot of cohort members that I enjoyed spending time with. I also enjoyed the professor who always used humor and puns in class.
What has been your favorite annual event at WOU? Why?
The Holiday Tree Lighting is my favorite event of the year! I love how involved the community is with the Holiday Tree Lighting, and how we get so many people on campus. I have worked the event, spectated the event, and been in the parade; no matter what I did in the event, I had fun and was able to share the joy with a ton of other people. It was also fun because, in the last few years, friends and I went to the Gubswer neighborhood in Keizer to look at the lights in that neighborhood after the Holiday Tree Lighting. These are some of the nights to remember in college.
What have some of your extracurriculars been? How did those impact your time on campus?
Some of the extracurriculars that I have been involved in are Omega Delta Phi Fraternity INC. (ODPhi), Campus Recreation, and the Mathematics Department. I joined ODPhi Spring term of 2017 and have been [a part] of the fraternity my whole time at WOU. Being in ODPhi, I saw a whole side of campus life that I never would have seen. My brothers took me to events I probably would not have attended if it were not for them. For Campus Recreation, I work a lot as an intramural supervisor and official. Doing [this] sparked my interest in different club sports and activities that I do not think I would have attended; for example, lacrosse and rugby. As a part of the Mathematics Department, I was a mathematics tutor and grader. This helped me develop relationships with mathematics professors that helped me with my higher-level mathematics classes.
Do you have any advice for current and prospective students?
My advice for both current and prospective students is to get involved on campus! There are a ton of things to do on campus, and you will not experience them all, but you should try. There are a ton of events I went to because I had to work them, and I wish I did not have to work them because they looked fun to participate in. If a friend invites you to an activity, go and do it. My freshman year, I was invited to participate in the trivia night on campus and made a few friends, and we went regularly throughout college. But the advice that is most important is to be present. That means in class, in meetings, and anything else you do. I have been reflecting on my time at WOU recently and realizing the different things I am going to miss, and I noticed how I was not always present at those things. You are going to be fine; just experience college. It goes by fast when you look back at it!
Who stands out from your time at WOU?
I cannot choose one person who sticks out during my time at WOU, but I can choose two! Dr. Rachel Harrington, Education professor, and Sharon Price, Mathematics Department office coordinator. Like many people, I had my up and down days during my four years, and if I was having a bad day, I knew that [these people were] going to be in a cheerful mood. There were many days that I rerouted my path through the Mathematics building just to hear the cheerfulness from Sharon for a quick pick-me-up. This year, there were also many days that I ended up [in] Dr. Harrington’s office, where she gave me much-needed words of wisdom and [cheered] me up.
What was your most visited spot on campus?
My most visited spot on campus was the Peter Courtney Health and Wellness Center, on the 1.5 level where the tables and chairs are outside of the pool. […] There was some white noise but not too noisy, and [I would] do some much-needed homework. I would visit this spot when I had major assignments due, because I worked most efficiently [there].
What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?
Office hours are your best friend. I wish I would have utilized office hours more than I did, especially freshman and sophomore year. I realize now that I could have done so much better in classes if I would have attended office hours. I know now that my professors care, and that they want us to go to office hours. [If we’re] unable to attend, they are more than willing to set up a time to meet with [us].
What are your plans for after graduation?
My plans after graduation are to get a middle school mathematics teaching job in the area and attend graduate school online at WOU. After a few years as a teacher, I plan to go back and get my doctorate in administration and become an administrator in a school. I also plan on officiating football, basketball, and baseball, allowing students to participate in the sports they love.