Julz Mudge is a 2021 graduate from Des Moines, Wash. She is a Performing Arts major with a double minor in Psychology and Communications.
Why did you choose WOU?
WOU was the first college I ever toured, and despite numerous other college visits, I always came back to WOU. There was something about it that just made it impossible to forget. I committed to WOU the second time I visited; I was standing in the bookstore with my parents and my best friend, Candace, who was also touring WOU. Candace told me this school was perfect for me, and she was right. Stepping onto campus feels like home, and it has ever since that first step.
What has been your most memorable class?
My favorite class, or rather my favorite classes, are classes I took this year. Despite the less than ideal delivery method of both classes, due to the state of the world, I can honestly say I learned and grew so much. The two classes were Group Choreography with Cynthia and Solo Performance with Ted. Both of these classes gave me a ton of space to explore who I am as an artist and performer, in a safe space. My classmates as well as my professors […] were amazing, [and the] classes felt like more of a jam session than anything else.
What have some of your extracurriculars been? How did those impact your time on campus?
I have been involved in so many things in my time at WOU: [t]he Residential Conduct Board and Hall Government; Drag Show as a dancer, character, force member, and choreographer; Triangle Alliance [executive] member as Historian and now President; multiple Dance Department concerts; [and I] started working Summer Bridge and the Ambassador’s Team. I am [a] SafeZone Ally and Primary trained, [plus] I have worked for the last year as a Programming Assistant for University Housing, which I have loved. [I] participated in the Theatre Department plays, musicals, and one-acts, [as well as] Color Guard and the Marching Wolves. I have been on the WOU Dance Team, a part of the Academic Excellence Showcase, a Stonewall Advocate, [and I worked] on recruitment for the Dance Department, and so much more. I have been a crazy busy person at WOU and gotten involved in so many things and have loved every minute of the insanity.
Do you have any advice for current and prospective students?
Something I’ve always told people to do is get involved. The key to me being successful in college has been because I’ve gotten involved–not just in things I did in high school, things I already knew how to do, or things that I knew I already loved, but rather things that push me outside of my comfort zone. Joining Color Guard was a huge push outside of my comfort zone; honestly, I’d had never heard of Color Guard before coming to college, but I was lucky enough to have an amazing friend named Kayla who wouldn’t let the idea of me joining go, and I am better because of it.
Who stands out from your time at WOU and why?
Laura Killip and Gabbi Boyle stick out in my mind, both [of] which are amazing and unsung heroes of WOU. Laura is the glue that holds the arts departments together; she is always there to support me and teach me something new. She also always checks in on me and asks how I am doing. Gabbi is an amazing person who has been huge in me not only picking my degree, but also supporting me in said degrees. They are constantly teaching me something and making me a better person. I am so thankful for both of them and know I would not have gotten this far without them.
What was your most visited spot on campus?
I probably spend the most time in the dance studios on campus, specifically the upper Health and Wellness Center studio. There’s something perfectly, effortlessly beautiful about watching the sunset and [sun]rise through the wall of windows in that studio. I basically live in that studio, and I love it. It is the perfect place to dance–my favorite place to dance.
What do you love most about the major/minors you completed?
I love that my degree is very unique to me. I am graduating with a degree in Performing Arts, Psychology, and Communication. I am the only person graduating with a degree in Performing Arts in my year. Despite the fact that my majors and minors are very different areas of study, I love how they play off each other. WOU gave me the chance to do what I love and to truly have it all.
What has been your biggest achievement, success or accomplishment in college?
I will be graduating a year early this June with honors and am very proud of such. Additionally, I was accepted to WOU’s graduate school, which I will be starting this fall, in addition to a graduate assistant position.
How have you adapted your learning process for COVID-19 restrictions and virtual classes?
While I can say online learning is not my thing, I have learned a lot, especially in relation to video editing and graphic design. My dance class has required me to learn to video edit, in addition to [learning] film and photography skills, which has been amazing. Online learning has made me tech savvy.