Trani Rae Morton is a 2021 graduate from Chino Hills, California. She is a double major in American Sign Language/English Interpreting and ASL Studies.
What has been your most memorable class?
I really can’t name just one. I love all of my teachers and the staff interpreters at WOU. If one [specifically] was life changing for me, it would be my cultural intelligence class. Taking that class during a time when my community was really hurting and starting to really speak up about it was painful, eye opening, and healing for me. I thank the interpreting program for making that a required class.
What has been your favorite annual event at WOU?
The drag show, by all means. Although I didn’t get the chance to work on or in the show, I found a fun, safe place with people like me where we could be ourselves and just have fun. Those shows have been the best experiences, and I hope I can continue to go in the years to come.
What have some of your extracurriculars been? How did those impact your time on campus?
I work as a professional [makeup artist] at Ulta with MAC. Being a part of that store and being the closest makeup store to Monmouth brings in a lot of students. I was often recognized at work for being “the girl with the hair” that they had seen on campus, so it really impacted my social life. I got to know a lot of wonderful people by simply working there.
Who stands out from your time at WOU?
Erin Trine has been the example of a lifetime. I hope to grow up and be as graceful, kind, and nurturing as she is. From before I was even accepted at WOU, I had her support [on] how to handle the situations I was put in at the community college. Without Erin, I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t be graduating.
What do you love most about the major/minors you completed?
I love the support. I didn’t expect to have a community of people giving me all types of support and advice in this manner at all. This isn’t something that is limited to our area; this is quite literally a whole community of people all across the country that reach out and are willing to connect new graduates with mentors and job links. Our staff is a collective group of amazing people that I’m honored to work with and share in my success story.
What has been your biggest achievement in college?
Graduating with honors. I still can’t believe it. I took 18+ units almost every term in order to complete my double major, and I can’t believe I did it with honors. I felt very supported my entire time at WOU.
Did you have any funny mishaps or moments of confusion when you first started at WOU?
I started a scare war with some other students in RWEC, and one time I was coming out of the bathroom, and my friend scared me and I screamed and made everyone else in the bathroom scream. This happened while people were leaving classes, and it was just really funny. I also fell down the stairs a few times while trying to walk and sign.
What are your plans for after graduation?
Well, now that I know how smart I am, I will be continuing my education with the masters program at WOU. I love this school too much to leave yet. I’m ready.