Kaeli Hancock is a 2021 graduate from Prineville, Oregon. Their major is Bachelor of Fine Arts in Production Training with a concentration in Stage Management.
What has been your most memorable class?
My most memorable class has definitely been History of Architecture and Decor with Scott Grim. We created our own handwritten textbooks with hand-drawn images featuring the furniture, architecture, decor, and art from the Hellenistic Period to modern architecture and toured historic buildings in Salem as a class.
What has been your favorite annual event at WOU?
Drag Show is my favorite annual event; I’ve had the pleasure of working as a house staff member at Rice Auditorium, and everyone who attends wants to be there and enjoys the celebration and inclusivity of the queer community on campus. Many who attend use it as a jumping off point to learn more about the queer community, and even about themselves sometimes! Both participants and those who attend are always so polite, positive, and love donating their time and money to a great cause.
What have some of your extracurriculars been? How did those impact your time on campus?
While attending campus, I mainly worked and participated in theatre; this included working as a Scene Shop Supervisor, House Manager, and also working on our productions on campus, which can be every single week night and weekends during show weeks. I made fantastic connections with those who participated and also our campus community who we get to work with such as [the Music and Dance] departments, and others we had the pleasure of working with. This also is a great opportunity for future employment, and I have worked with many guest artists who have asked to hire me in the future, post graduation.
Do you have any advice for current and prospective students?
My biggest advice is to protect your personal time and take advantage of the campus resources. After 10 p.m., I don’t answer any emails or do any homework so I can have a set time to destress and make time for my personal interests and hobbies. On campus, there’s everything from counseling to a whole library of not just books but of items and programs free to use; you are paying for them!
What has been the highlight of your time at WOU?
The highlight of my time at WOU has been participating in theatre and participating in our traditions such as the spring picnic and getting to know my peers and staff outside the classroom.
What will you miss the most about WOU?
I will miss my peers, the staff, and faculty the most at WOU. Besides school, there’s no other time in your life that’s perfectly set to make friends and have new experiences.
What do you love most about the major/minors you completed?
What I love most about my major is that it is made to be hands-on, and [for me to] gain real world experience I can put on a resume. Often your major is only learning lecture style, but in Creative Arts, I really had the chance to learn from creatives from all over the world and see where my degree could take me.
What has been your biggest achievement, success or accomplishment in college?
My biggest achievement has been graduating in four years top of my class and debt-free, thanks to my family, working part and full time, and all the scholarships I was awarded over the last four years!
What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?
One thing I wish I knew was that no matter what you are doing or how much previous experience you have, college is a learning experience. Giving myself the grace to fail and ask questions was one of the best things I did for my education and my own self improvement.
Did you have any funny mishaps or moments of confusion when you first started at WOU?
Since middle school, it has been an unprepared tradition for myself to get lost on the first day of school and enter the wrong classroom. My freshman year, I accidentally ended up in a business class when I meant to be in a philosophy of art class!