Grad Profile: Cole Hendren

Cole Hendren is a 2021 graduate from Banks, Oregon. He is a Psychology major with a double minor in Organizational Leadership and Communications. Cole is also an award winner from WOU’s Leadership Recognition Month, where he was given a Psychology Peer Advising Leadership Award.


Why did you choose WOU? 

Honestly, as corny as it might sound, Western Oregon chose me. When my reserve unit returned home from a deployment to Central America, we were not granted any portion of the GI-Bill. Western Oregon stepped up and created a scholarship for Oregon Reserve Marines who were on that deployment, allowing us to come to school here. Western was there for me when I needed it, and I will never forget that. 


What has been your most memorable class? 

Psychology of Creativity with Professor Jessica Murfin.   


What have some of your extracurriculars been? How did those impact your time on campus?

Since I started at Western Oregon University, I have tried to be as active as possible on campus. I was the Communications Officer for the Student Veterans of America Chapter, and I have held positions on both the Student Media Advisory Board and the Student Veterans Advisory Board. Currently, I am a Peer Advisor for the Psychology Department and was recently accepted into the Psych Chi International Honor Society. For me, being involved on campus has been an amazing experience. It allowed me to meet so many different people and to make connections I never would have otherwise. 


Student sitting on a rocky ride, a river and mountain range behind him.
Cole Hendren

Do you have any advice for current and prospective students? 

Get involved. The easiest way to make friends and to get the most out of your college experience is to get involved on campus. 


What is the biggest lesson you have learned throughout your time at WOU? 

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Life can be stressful, especially when you add in work, school, a social life, and relationships; don’t let your own thoughts add to this stress. All you can do is put your best foot forward in everything you do; there is nothing to gain from being hard on yourself.  


Who stands out from your time at WOU and why?

There are two people in particular that will always come to mind: Professor Murfin and Dr. Brannan. Professor Murfin has been a mentor to me just as much as she has been an instructor. She has truly helped me in my life, and I could not be more grateful. Dr. Brannan has been such a bright light in my life since I started at Western. She is someone that has encouraged and pushed me to be better, and [I] truly appreciate her.


What is your favorite building on campus? 

This is a toss up between the library and the Werner University Center, or better known as the WUC. I honestly just love being around people, and these two buildings are always filled with people coming and going. They’re also the two easiest places to meet up with friends or classmates to work on homework and hangout.  


What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?

If I could go back in time to my first term, I would tell myself to attend as many activities on campus as possible. As much as college is about academics, it’s more so about making connections with other people and finding who you are and who you want to be. Take this time to have fun and enjoy the moments with those around you.  

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