Grad Profile: Ruby Van Dyke

Ruby Van Dyke is a 2021 graduate from Santa Rosa, California. Their major is Gerontology: Aging and Older Adulthood. 


Why did you choose WOU? 

I chose WOU because it is one of two schools in the Northwest (NorCal to Washington) with a bachelor’s in gerontology, and I love the rain more than anything. 


What has been your most memorable class? 

Anything Philosophy with Ryan Hickerson. He did a special topics class just for three of us to learn more logic, and it was awesome. I loved that class. 


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

I have had a few different jobs while being a student at WOU, and it was good to challenge myself sometimes, but I also want to be honest and say at times it was hard. I worked on campus in the bookstore and that was super fun, and I had a few different jobs in my field, which was great work experience. 


Student stands in front of brick wall, holding their red grad cap and smiling.
Ruby Van Dyke

Do you have any advice for current and prospective students? 

Try new things. Go to events that scare you. Take advantage of college and do art classes, learn a new language. Enjoy the little things. 


Who stands out from your time at WOU and why?

I met my partner at WOU, and I will always be grateful for the perfect-for-me friend I made. I always kinda knew I would meet my person in college, and I did. 


What is your favorite building on campus? Why? 

Todd Hall, hands down. It is haunted, and the staircases make no sense, and I just love creepy buildings with odd charm. 


Did you have any funny mishaps or moments of confusion when you first started at WOU?

On my first day walking to class Freshman year, someone asked me for directions and I was like, “Um, I have no idea, sorry!”


What are your plans for after graduation? 

I am finishing up a practicum this summer where I will get to work with LGBTQ+ older adults by establishing a support group in the Salem area. I am really excited, and it’s what I am looking forward to most about this summer. 

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