Grad Profile: Taylor Dowler

WOU graduate Taylor Dowler smiles in her red graduation cap and gown, and proudly shows off her diploma.

Taylor Dowler is a graduating Political Science student from Portland. She transferred to WOU from Mount Hood Community College, and has actively been involved with numerous extracurricular activities on campus, including Model United Nations and ASWOU.

What has your experience as a transfer student been like?
I originally obtained my Associates Degree from Mount Hood Community College. The experience was made so much easier by the Transfer Student Orientation event held by WOU each year, which I highly recommend to incoming transfer students. Not only does it provide valuable information, but you also get the opportunity to fellow incoming transfer students.

Why did you choose WOU?
I actually chose to enroll at WOU for a few different reasons. First and foremost, I chose WOU because it was less than a half hour away from my moms, and I was tired of living several hours from her. The second reason is because WOU had a Model United Nations Team that I was quite interested in joining. The final reason is because I actually got married on this campus at Gentle House a year prior to enrolling, and I thought it would be nice to see my wedding venue every day.

What has been your most memorable class?
That is a particularly tough question because all of my classes were exceptionally memorable. However, if I have to choose just one, it would definitely be Cannabis Law taught by Mark Mayer. I found the subject matter to be particularly interesting, especially considering that Cannabis Law is the only subject area of law that is nearly constantly evolving.

WOU graduate Taylor Dowler smiles outside as she shows off her certificate from ASWOU.
Taylor shows off her certificate from the ASWOU Judicial Board

What have some of your extracurriculars been?
Through my time here at WOU, I’ve had the opportunity to take part in amazing extracurricular experiences. This includes being offered an amazing job by an adjunct Professor that I still have now. I’ve been lucky enough to serve on the ASWOU Judicial Board where I cultivated wonderful relationships with my fellow Justices. By far the most impactful extracurricular that I have had the honor of participating in has been our Model United Nations team. With MUN I have traveled to places I never dreamed of, and met people from all over the world. I’ve gained skills that will directly apply to the jobs I intend to seek post graduation. MUN is, by far, one of the best and coolest things I’ve ever done.

Do you have any advice for current and prospective students?
The best advice I can give to any college student is to join a club. Participating in even just one club during college gives you the opportunity to meet people that you wouldn’t have necessarily met otherwise, and allows you to feel a deeper sense of belonging. You are also statistically more likely to perform better academically if you join a club.

What has been the highlight of your time at WOU?
The absolute highlight of my time here at WOU was acting as a World Press Reporter for the Model United Nations Farwest Conference in San Francisco. Acting as the Press meant that I had the opportunity to cover the topics I was most interested in, and was also able to meander around and see what was happening in different committees. Having the ability to travel in itself was amazing, but the Farwest conference was one of the most incredible experiences that I have ever had.

Who stands out from your time at WOU?
I have a few people who were particularly impactful during my time at WOU. The first would have to be Mary Pettenger, who works tirelessly to ensure that students are given the opportunity to learn about the United Nations, and is an amazing advisor to, and advocate for the MUN Club. The other two people who come to mind are my best friends Huston and Taylor, who have put up with my nonsense with grace, and been there through difficult times. I don’t believe I could have been as successful without their support.

What will you miss the most about WOU?
Aside from the wonderful friends I’ve made here, I believe that I’ll miss my Political Science classes the most. I’ve loved being academically challenged these past two years, and being asked to think about topics and evaluate opinions that I might not have otherwise.

What do you love most about the major/minors you completed?
The amazing thing about political science is that you can spend an hour arguing with someone in class, and then go grab lunch together afterwards and laugh about it. It’s natural to have differing opinions, and when no one seems to have a dissenting opinion, it can even be fun to play “devil’s advocate”. The important part is learning to have constructive and civil conversations about politically charged topics. Honestly, I might miss the arguments the most.

What has been your biggest achievement, success or accomplishment in college?
The fact that I am here right now, about to finally get the degree I’ve worked so hard for is, in itself, amazing. However, my greatest accomplishment will be graduating in the top 1% of our class. I’ve worked day and night to keep my GPA at a 3.9, and as a person who dropped out of high school twice, working my way to where I am now is my most incredible accomplishment.

What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?
I wish I had known about the R&R room!! I didn’t find out about it until my second year, and have spent an hour of every week there since. I love that massage chair.

What are your plans for after graduation?
Due to the pandemic, I am massively playing it by ear when it comes to the future. I am currently supremely lucky being employed in a position where I am able to work from home, so I absolutely intend to stay with this company for a while. However, I would love to eventually work for a cause with a great deal of meaning for me. It is my hope to someday work for The Innocence Project, or a similar organization.

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