2019-2020 PLUS Team Members

Student Engagement hires approximately 25 WOU students to serve as members of the Orientation PLUS (Peer Leaders Understanding Students) Team! PLUS Team assists incoming students during the Summer Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) days, as well as works during New Student Week to get students excited about approaching school year and help new students make meaningful connections with their fellow classmates, which is approximately 1300 new incoming and transfer students each year.

Kaylie Leonard

Junior
Major Early Childhood Education
Minor Psychology
Hometown: Roseburg, OR

I love houseplants and gardening! I want to be an elementary school teacher in my hometown! I enjoy scrapbooking, hiking and hanging out with friends. Alumni Relations Office and PLUS Team. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Yeasty Beasty. My favorite moment from my first year at Western was meeting my best friend who happens to be another PLUS Team member! I  met Madi Knox on move-in day, we were roommates our freshman and sophomore years! The advice I have for new students, get out of your comfort zone! There are so many things to be involved and to discover on campus!

 

Maya Guerra

Senior
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies
Hometown: Forest Grove, OR

I love to play basketball and go to the gym. I plan on working in Student Affairs at any University that will hire me. I am involved in Kappa Sigma Fraternity and I am a part-time employee at H & M and Fred Meyers. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Crush. My favorite memory from my first year at Western was going to Buffalo Wild Wings during new student week with my hall. The advice I would give to first-year students, be sure to attend your class before you buy the book.

 

Enrique Martinez

Senior
Language: Spanish
Major: Elementary/Middle Education
Hometown: Portland, OR
Transferred from: Portland Community College

Activities I enjoy outside of school would be video games. Goals include becoming a Middle School Math Teacher and a Supervisor at Recreation Centers to help my community! I am employed at Student Engagement. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Yang’s Teriyaki. My favorite memory from my first year at Western was the Discover Leadership retreat and the PLUS Team Retreat. Advice I would give to first year students, break out of your comfort zone, once you try something new and it yourself out there you realize that people aren’t going to make fun of you, they are going to respect you and want you to contribute even more on campus!

 

Cheyanne Bumgardner

Junior
Language: American Sign Language (ASL)
Major: American Sign Language/English Interpreting
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Grants Pass, OR

Activities I enjoy outside of school include playing my ukulele, cooking/baking, and dancing My career plans include medical and mental health care interpreting. Clubs, honors, and activites I have participated in include being the Vice President of Administration in the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) Wolf Chapter, Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC, coming fall 2020), and Psychological Sciences Teaching Assistant. Positions I have held on campus include PLUS Team, Campus Ambassadors, Campus Visitation Coordinator (currently on hold due to campus visitations on suspension per COVID-19 regulations). My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Momiji Sushi. My favorite memory as a first-year student at WOU was my time as a Hall Host! I had the privilege of giving tours of the residence halls to prospective students and their families on a weekly basis, and I had an absolute blast doing so! This role opened the door for so many leadership opportunities on campus! Advice I would give first year students at Western is, I encourage you to utilize the many incredible resources on our campus! Even if you aren’t sure it will fit your wants or needs, try it out once or twice. From academic tutoring, to fitness classes, to the rest and relaxation room (and beyond), there is so much waiting for you to experience! I attended a dual-enrollment program between a charter school and a community college while in high school. I spent the majority of my junior and senior years actively taking classes on a community college campus. For any incoming dual-enrolled students, I understand the uniqueness of being not quite a traditional first-year but not quite a transfer student!

 


F
atima Urenda-Hernandez

Junior
Language: Spanish
Major: Elementary Education
Minor: ESOL endorsement
Hometown: Hillsboro, OR  Tepic, Nayarit (Mexico)

Activities I enjoy, I love baking, playing volleyball, playing piano, and dancing. Drinking coffee is also something I am passionate about. My career plans include becoming an elementary school teacher in my hometown and then in the future pursuing a master’s degree. Positions I have held on campus include, Mecha, KDChi, and  MCR mentor. I work during the summer in a summer school. I also work at a library. My favorite places to eat in Monmouth/Independence are Yangs and Urban Deli! My favorite memories from my first year at Western were new student week and the experiences I had there. I got to meet so many people and become lifelong friends with them. Something I remembered the most was the hypnotist. It was the first time I was in shock! Also, the tortas were really good! My advice for first years students would be to not be afraid! Being a college freshman only comes once in your life and it is a great time to discover yourself. Also, don’t forget the resources you have and be sure to take advantage of them. I was in an exchange program in New York so if anyone wants to learn more about it then ask me! And yes, I ate A LOT of pizza and went on the subway a lot.

 

Abigail Fisher

Sophomore
Language: American Sign Language
Major: Elementary Education
Minor: American Sign Language
Hometown: Tigard, OR

My interests and hobbies include theater, choir, watching movies, listening to music, and hiking. My academic goal is to get my Masters Degree in Deaf Education. Then, after graduation, my career plan is to become an elementary school teacher at the Oregon School for the Deaf. I enjoy working out and exploring the Monmouth/Independence area over the weekends with friends. I am a member of ASL Club, a Hall Rep for Heritage Hall Government, and was a part of Discover Leadership during the fall. This year, I was on the WOU President’s Honor Roll. Over the summer, I work at Conestoga Recreation and Aquatics Center where I run an all-day camp for kids ages six to eight. As well as being a PLUS Team Member at WOU, I will also be an Ambassador for the 2020-2021 school year! My favorite restaurant is Yeasty Beasty. It’s a great place to go with friends! My favorite moment of freshman year was going to Main Street Ice Cream and exploring Monmouth with my hallmates on the first day of school! We all became super close during new student week and decided to celebrate our first day with ice cream. It was a great way to start my new chapter of life. My advice for first years students at Western, get involved as soon as you arrive on campus! It may be scary to get out of your comfort zone, but it is so worth it. You will create lasting friendships and get to know your new home. Interesting Fact: I absolutely love picnics and was lucky enough to have a picnic in Central Park when I was in New York for my high school graduation trip!

Christopher Linares-Espinoza

Senior
Lanugage: Spanish
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies
Hometown: Portland, OR

 

My interests and hobbies outside of school include reading, writing, watching movies, listening to music, playing video games, photography, and dancing! I plan to work in a high school or college campus to help students want to better themselves and be successful both academically and socially. Activities I have been involved with include  Omega Delta Phi Fraternity Inc, Multicultural Student Union, MEChA, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Multicultural Representatives, Student Activities Board, various intramural sports, and the Drag Show! On-campus I have worked as a PLUS Team Orientation Leader, Campus Ambassador, and Upward Bound RA. Off-campus I work at the Independence Civic Center as a custodian. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is the Starduster Cafe. My favorite memory of my first year at WOU was joining my fraternity Omega Delta Phi, because it opened a lot of doors both at WOU as well as being able to network with various people across the country. Advice for first-year students is, Get out of your comfort zone! Don’t just stay in your dorm watching shows and movies on Netflix, be involved on campus, and chase the college experience because if you don’t you’ll miss it! Fun fact! If by any random reason you need a minister, I’m actually an ordained minister!

 

Madison Knox

Junior
Major: Early Childhood Education
Minor: Theatre
Hometown: Lyons, OR

Outside of school, my interests include reading to my houseplants, collecting scrunchies and going to the gym with friends. I want to teach Kindergarten! I am employed on campus by Ambassadors and Plus Team. Favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Momiji’s. The best memory of the first year at Western was meeting my roommate for the first time and realizing that she was going to be one of the best friends I’ve ever had. Deciding to live with a roommate was the best decision I’ve made in my time at WOU! I don’t know what I would’ve done without her by my side. Advice for first year students I have, put yourself out of your comfort zone! It might be hard at first pushing yourself to be social or go the extra mile, but it’s so rewarding to look back and realize how many great friendships and memories you made because you conquered your fears.

Priscila Espana

Sophomore
Language: Spanish
Major: Public Policy & Administration/Spanish
Hometown: Medford, OR

I enjoy going on runs and taking trips to lakes with my friends, and I’ve recently gotten into baking and cooking.  I’m also really involved in environmental advocacy. I hope to attend law school and pursue a career related to government, where I plan to work with underrepresented communities. During my first year, I was involved with hall government, Discover Leadership, and MECHA.  I’m also a Diversity Scholar and in the Honors Program at WOU. Last summer I did a fellowship with a non-profit called Rogue Climate! Favorite places to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Sing Fay or Koyotes. My favorite memory from my first year at Western was going on the Discover Leadership group retreat! Advice for first-year students, don’t be afraid to try new things and be your own best advocate! There are a ton of cool opportunities at WOU, so take advantage of them. (Also, get the vanilla chai latte from Caffe Allegro) Fun fact: My friends and I have an Instagram where we rate smoothie bowls from different places.

Blanca Jimenez

Sophomore
Language: Spanish
Major: Community Health Education
Hometown: Portland, OR

My interests outside of school include Netflix, makeup, shopping, rugby, gym, puzzles, coloring, nature. I plan to possibly double major in Community Health Education, and Political Science with a concentration in Health and Administration. After this, I hope to obtain a master’s degree in Public Health. From this, I wish to establish a Mental Health clinic and serve underrepresented families. I am a member of MEChA, MSU, UNIDOS, On-Track program, and I was treasurer for Ackerman Hall Government. I plan to play rugby next year! I work at Salty’s on the Columbia as a host. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Lonneys. My favorite memory from my first year at Western was New Student Week and the hypnotist. My advice for first-year students is, don’t be afraid to reach out for help and get involved. Get out there and make new friends and new connections, I promise you that will make you feel right at home. Fun fact! I am considered to be an “Irish Twin” because my older sister and I are the same age for one week.

 

Emilie Sass

Junior
Major: Biology-Botany
Minor: Earth Resources
Hometown: Monmouth, OR

I like to do outdoorsy things like hiking and bird watching. I’m also an avid movie watcher and I love listening to true crime podcasts. I plan on continuing school after my bachelor’s degree and then working in research at a university or in sustainability. Besides the PLUS Team, I ‘m also a member of the Campus Ambassador program! I’ve also done some acting at Pentacle Theatre in Salem and I used to be part of the WOU cheer squad in 2018. Outside of school, I work as a barista at Governor’s Cup Coffee in downtown Salem. I’m a food cart frequenter, although I also really enjoy going to Urban Deli on occasion. I loved New Student Week. I think the activities are definitely worth going to even after your first year. My advice to first-year students, Don’t feel like you need to have everything figured out right off the bat. You’ll figure everything out as you go. Also just because nobody’s there to tell you to go to class, doesn’t mean you don’t have to go (I learned that one the hard way).

Isaac Acosta

Junior
Major: Pre-Education
Minor:ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages
Hometown: Salem, OR
Transferred from: Chemeketa Community College


My interests outside of school include basketball, guitar, and ultimate frisbee! I am also always prepared for a chess match. I plan on teaching English abroad after I receive my Bachelor’s before becoming a high school teacher. I am also a transfer Scholar and AVID tutor for Crossler Middle School. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Tuckey’s Food Cart. MY favorite memory from my first year at Western was making a fun educational video on group collaboration for WR 230 with Dr. Soderlund! My advice for first-year students, get to know your classmates and professors! You’ll have a lot of familiar faces in your classes as the terms go by so building a good network with friends and study buddies. I like to tell corny jokes… What do you get when you cross a Wolf with a good education from Western? Aware wolf.

Dylan Van Horn

Sophomore
Major: American Sign Language/English Interpreting
Hometown: Washougal, WA

I enjoy rock climbing with friends, playing tennis, and playing the drums. I want to either be an ASL Interpreter or teach deaf children someday. I am in the rock climbing club, and I play tennis. I work for Campus Recreation at the climbing wall. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Koyotes. I think my favorite moment of my first year at Western,  was meeting my new friends and creating new relationships with people. My advice for first year students is to step out of your comfort zone. It might seem hard to find your friends or your place here at WOU, but if you go out and try something new you will make friends anywhere you go

Angel Cruz

Junior
Language: Spanish
Major: Education-concentration in Mathematics
Minor: ESOL
Hometown: Lincoln City, OR
Transferred from: Oregon Coast Community College

My interests outside of school include skateboarding, soccer, video games, guitar, road trips, hikes, swimming, and learning new things. My career plans are to become a high school mathematics teacher after graduating from Western Oregon University. After working for some years, I will work towards going to graduate school for Mathematics in order to teach mathematics at a University level. I am involved in Math Club, Academic Honor Roll, and Intramural Sports. I am also employed as a Math tutor for Western Oregon University and a barista for Starbucks. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Yangs. My favorite moment of my first year at Western is probably when I was stressed about a quiz one day. So after walking to class one day, and hearing everyone is also stressed, it made me feel a little relieved. Then It was even more relieving when the professor was nice enough to make it a group quiz haha so we could all work together on it and it was quite fun actually! My advice for first-year students coming to Western, download, and use google calendar asap!!! It is a life save for keeping a well-organized schedule and time managing in college! Everyone at Western Oregon University is so nice it almost feels like it is a requirement to get accepted haha! So whenever you may feel overwhelmed with schoolwork and life, talking to your professors can help. They really are caring for their students and will make time to see and talk to them. Also, your classmates are very friendly, and asking for help on let’s say homework, can be a resource if you are not understanding something. Also, communication is key so there are no worries about getting work late if you at least talk to your professor and work with them. I remember I would use to do my homework all at home or at the library by myself, then I walked into the math lounge before class one day to finish homework before class, and I immediately knew I would start doing my homework in there constantly! It is just a great environment, both friendly while still being homework efficient.

Eithan Martinez

Sophomore
Major: Computer Science
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Independence, OR

In my free time, I play sports like soccer and tennis and I enjoy working out. I also play music (guitar, keyboard, drums, bass) at my church in Keizer. I’m a huge fan of technology and I love to joke around. I would say I’m the type of person that likes to work hard but also have fun too! I’m studying Computer Science because I want to do something in the tech industry. I want to be able to use my tech skills in order to help others and use technology for the greater good, whether that be through expanding important medical equipment or providing simple entertainment. My goal is to graduate from Western Oregon University with a degree in technology. I’m involved with WOU Men’s Club soccer and play intramural sports like volleyball and futsal. This is my first year on the PLUS Team and I am also a Campus Ambassador. I am a Ford Scholar and a Diversity Scholarship recipient.  I participated in Discover Leadership during my first year. I work on the PLUS Team and as a Campus Ambassador. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is my house. My favorite memory of my first year at Western was going on a retreat with Discover Leadership. My advice for first year students at Western, you will hear many different things about what college is like, but everyone has a different experience. Take what others tell you into consideration, but don’t let it stop you from being excited about the experience. Fun fact! I’m a big Marvel fan, and my favorite character is Spider-man.

Kayley Arpaia

Junior
Major: Biology
Minor: ASL and Social Science
Hometown: Chino Hills, CA

I love any and all things animals, except for I have a minor fear of cats. I love plants and I am working towards being good at taking care of plants. I have tons but I spend more time replacing them than taking care of them because they always seem to die on me. I am trying my best to be a better plant mom though! I love going on adventures and being spontaneous. My favorite thing to do is to get into my car and drive to see where it takes me. Recently I have started to get into painting although I am pretty sub-par at it After graduation, I hope to go on to study wild animals in their natural habitats to track things like behavior patterns and use research to advocate for the protection and conservation of wild animals. At WOU I am in the honors program, involved in Model United Nations, Student Activities Board, and I am a member of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority Inc. Currently, I have a few jobs at Western. I am a Facilities Scheduling Assistant, the Assistant Director for the Student Activities Board, a PLUS Team member, and I am in training to be a Campus Ambassador for the 2020-21 school year. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Momijis or Subway. My favorite moment from my first year at WOU was meeting all of my closest friends through all living in the same building on campus. It gave us easy access to each other and led to some great memories and an amazing first year with some great people. My advice for first-year students at Western, don’t be afraid to be you. College is a clean slate and it is the opportunity to reinvent yourself. Ask lots of questions and find a club or origination you are passionate about and get involved in. The best way to meet people is to join something!

Sandra Garcia Torres

Junior
Language: Spanish
Major: Psychology
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Colima, Mexico

I like: Watching the Portland Thorns (Women’s Soccer Team) play, String Art, Cooking (this is new), Fishing, Hiking, Longboarding, Pennyboarding, hanging out with friends and family, a friendly match of soccer, baseball or basketball, and making smoothies. I hope to become a clinical psychologist and help people through their mental health. For now, my academic goals are to finish my undergraduate degree and get accepted to a graduate program. I was involved in various activities for WOU but now, I have found paid positions to what I really enjoy doing. I would like to attend the longboarding club at some point. Positions I have held on campus are Alternative Break Educational Coordinator (will be my new position name) Co-Coordinator of Ambassadors, and PLUS Team Member. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Lonney’s Lunch Wagon, Koyotes, Momiji, Yeasty Beasty, and Froyo. My favorite memory of my first year at Western was New Student week. I got to meet so many new people and I still remain friends with a lot of the people I met. My advice for first-year students at Western, don’t be afraid to be yourself and do things that interest you and that you love doing. High School you, will not be the college you. Get out of your comfort zone and explore other things that you are interested in. This is the perfect time to do it because there will definitely be more people who have similar interests you do and this will be the time to try new things and get to know people. I was longboarding around campus and I saw one of my residents that I was guiding during New Student Week. I got a little too excited to see them and I definitely fell off my longboard as they were saying “Hi” back.  Everyone was okay and luckily there was no one else around.

Jenni Avila-Lara

Junior
Language: Spanish
Major: Education for Middle/High School Language Arts
Minor: ESOL
Hometown: Tualatin, OR

My interests outside of school are spending time with friends and family, working with kids, and journaling. My career aspirations include becoming a bilingual teacher! Other positions I have held on campus include Alternative Break 2019, MECHA Raza Outreach Coordinator 2020, National Student Exchange 2019. Outside of school, I worked with Growing With Pride Daycare 2015-2019. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Casa Burrito! My favorite memory from my first year at Western was Alternative Break 2019 in Canada! My advice for first-year students at Western, be willing to create new memories, and go outside of your bubble! Take advantage of all the opportunities you have.  College goes by too fast to miss the opportunities you do not take.

Jazmine Rios

Junior
Language: Spanish
Major: Criminal Justice
Minor: Forensic Psychology
Hometown: Tigard, Oregon

My interests outside of school include clothes, shoes, and accessories, fashion overall. I really enjoy soccer and taking pictures as well. After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I want to work as a police officer for the city of Portland. I am also employed as a Peer Mentor, Mecha Hostess at a Mexican Restaurant. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Starduster cafe in Independence. I have so many favorite memories from my first year at WOU but if I had to choose one it would be meeting my roommates. I did not know anyone coming to WOU and was so scared I wasn’t going to make any friends. After meeting my roommates for the first time, everything changed. We became each other’s support system and family. Two years later, I do not see my life without them in it. My favorite tradition with them was the holidays. We would decorate our dorm for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and my favorite, Easter. We made our own Egg Hunt around campus and created so many beautiful memories with each other.  This would’ve never happened if I had gone to a different school. My advice for first-year students at Western, put yourself out there! The college has been the best years of my life so far and the only reason I have enjoyed them so much is that I have involved myself in clubs, and organizations that lets me meet so many amazing new friends. Of course, it’s scary at first and sometimes overwhelming, but that goes away as soon as you make those friendships and relationships with your peers. If you don’t know why you’re here, that’s fine! This is the perfect place to figure out what you want to do and what are the things that you are passionate about,  I promise it’s all worth it in the end.

Michael Stevenson

Senior
Major: Education
Minor: Theatre

My interests outside of school include video games, motorcycling, and hanging with my pet bird Kaplan. My career aspirations include teaching Middle or High school History or Psychology! I am employed by Student Engagement and Target! My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Lonney’s Hawaiian. My favorite memory from my first year at Western was meeting all of my friends from Second Gunn. We still talk all the time! My advice to first-year students at Western, Just be yourself! College is an amazing place to meet new people and have the best time of your life. I already mentioned my birdy but he is absolutely hilarious!

Keyonna Jones

Senior
Major: Business with a focus in accounting
Minor: Communications
Hometown: Lynnwood, WA

My interests outside of school include basketball, coloring, playing with my cat, enjoying nature, sometimes finger knitting. I hope to be in graduate school after I graduate and get my master’s in accounting and hopefully become a doctor of accounting. I am currently on the WOU Women’s Basketball team, Plus Team, Savs Thai Food Cart. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Savs Thai Food Cart. My favorite moment from my freshman year was probably new student week. I was able to make way more friends than I would’ve and it made the transition a little bit better. My advice for first-year students at Western, Yes, it may seem scary now, but the more effort you put into it the more you will get out of it. So don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn new information. My favorite color is rose gold. I think it’s beautiful. My favorite number is 13 so to me it’s the luckiest number in the world.

Abigail Perry (Abby)

Junior
Major: High School Education
Hometown: Milwaukie, Oregon
Transferred from: Clackamas Community College

My interests include making music, working out at the gym, crocheting, and journaling. My academic goals are to continue attending Western Oregon University until I graduate in 2022, and I plan to pursue a career in high school education where I would teach Spanish in a low-income school district and I hope to one day get involved in school counseling. I am a member of Plus Team, Ambassadors, Acapella Club, and I’m also involved in the Upward Bound summer program at WOU. I am currently employed at WinCo foods as a cashier. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth in Lonney’s lunch wagon! My favorite moment from my first year at WOU was probably when I decided to go to one of the New Student Week events as a transfer student. It was the WUC Premiere Night and it completely shaped my college experience from then on.  I met some of my best friends that night, I got connected with some of the members of the Acapella Club before I joined, and I was able to get to know all about the WUC before I knew I would be spending loads of time there. I’ve had so many great moments at WOU during my first year, but that night in the WUC changed everything for me before I even knew it. Advice that I would share with new students is to get involved. I would say do everything that you possibly can when you get to college, find yourself, find your friends, life is too short! I would say that finding a designated study spot is going to be one of the best study strategies for completing homework and learning the material and making sure that you find a study system that works for you early on. Some fun facts about me are, I can play 5 instruments, I have 2 middle names, and I am allergic to carrots! I love to make people laugh and smile, so one of my favorite things to do is tell bad jokes whenever I can. It makes every situation happy and fun!

Clysta Rose

Junior
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Aurora, Oregon

I love anything that has to do with art! I love painting and crafting. I also like to dance! Music is very important to me. I like listening, playing, and making music. My career end goal is to become a psych nurse. Due to working hard to get some extra college credits in high school, I got a year of college for much cheaper. This means that I will graduate in three years with a bachelor of science. Then I am planning to enroll in an accelerated nursing program to get my BSN. Hopefully, I will be able to accomplish this in five years. I was very involved in high school. During my first year at WOU, I wasn’t very involved. However, I started to turn that around in the second half. I rushed with Kappa Delta Chi on campus and am now a part of the PLUS team and campus ambassadors. I am employed with Starbucks, Campus Ambassadors, and PLUS team. I work at Starbucks when there are breaks from school. My favorite place to eat, I love Yangs! it is good and the food is cheap. Great for college students! My favorite moment would have to be when my roommate and I both woke up at the same time at 3 am and ate goldfish together and laughed at stupid things. My advice for first-year students is, don’t be afraid to get involved early! Just take the first step and the rest will follow. there are lots of great opportunities! I have a cat named Millie. She is very cute and the love of my life.

 

Daniel Lopez Solis

Senior
Language: Spanish
Major: Criminal Justice
Minor: Social Science
Hometown: Dallas, Oregon

My interests outside of school would be trail hiking in Oregon, singing, and dancing. I plan to become a juvenile probation officer. I am involved in Omega Delta Phi and the Multicultural Student Union. I am employed at the Student Enrichment Program. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Urban Deli for sure. My favorite moment from my first year at Western was joining Omega Delta Phi because I was able to find a community with similar interests as I do. My advice to first-year students, get out of your comfort zone and try new things, Join clubs, be social!!

Kiara Wehrenberg

Junior
Language: American Sign Language
Major: American Sign Language Interpreting
Minor: Communications
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Transferred from: Cascadia College

My interests outside of school include rock climbing, photography/ art, longboarding, reading, hiking, and enjoying music. I want to expand my knowledge of Deaf Culture, ASL, and Interpreting skills while here at WOU to become an ASL-English Interpreter. Outside of school, I am involved in rock climbing club team, Dean’s Honor Roll, PLUS Team, and Target guest advocate. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Yang’s. My favorite moment from my first year at WOU was finding my people, and being able to have fun while making the most of our first year here at WOU. My advice to first-year students, keep an open mind! It is likely that college is not what you’re expecting and that’s okay! Enjoy this time and roll with the tides, great things happen this way!

Cole Somers

Junior
Major: Criminal Justice
Language: German
Hometown: Hillsboro, OR

My interests outside of school include video games, singing, acting, D&D, board games, and beard growing. My career aspirations include getting a bachelor’s degree, finishing a police reserve program, and then transferring to a bigger department. I am involved as an officer for Acapella club and Vice President of the German club. I am employed by Student Engagement and Peer mentor. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Lonneys. My favorite memory from my first year at Western was the Acapella retreat. My advice for first-year students at Western is to get out of your comfort zone, sitting in the dorms all day is nice but try and get a good balance of social recreation and alone time. Fun Fact, I collect colored glasses, I had a cousin on the Bachelorette, and I’m on a Netflix show for like 0.5 seconds.

Antonia Scholerman

Senior
Major: History
Minor: Art History
Hometown: Bend, OR

My interests outside of school include singing, knitting and crochet, and gardening. I’d like to use my degree to work with museums or public history in some way. Whether that means working in a museum, archive, or visitor’s center, I’d love to be a person who interprets historical events and places for the public. I am involved in Acapella club, Ambassadors, PLUS Team, Student Activities Board, Honor’s Program, Wellness Advocacy Group. I am employed around campus with Ambassadors, PLUS Team, and Hamersly Library Archives. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Yangs, Momiji’s, Casa Burrito, and Jade Terrace. One of my favorite memories from my first year at WOU was from the 60th anniversary Holiday Tree Lighting. The Holiday Tree Lighting is very fun every year, and I love the community atmosphere, seeing the parade, hearing the elementary schoolers read their essays, drinking hot apple cider, and watching the Giant Sequoia light up. My advice for first-year students is to get involved on campus as early as you can. Coming to WOU (and college in general) is a big transition for a lot of students. In order to find a community on campus and feel like you belong, you should join a club or organization for something you enjoy or are passionate about. For me, I joined Acapella Club when I first got here, and they have become my second family. I was really nervous to move from home and having a group of people welcome me so readily felt very validating and eased many of my worries about college.

Danielle Terawaki-Doble

Sophomore
Major: Psychology
Minor: Forensic Psychology & Dance
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii

My hobbies include dancing, watching Netflix and YouTube, playing Animal Crossing on my Switch, and hanging out with my friends. I’m very interested in cooking and watching other people cook because I can’t do it myself, but it looks really fun to do. My favorite cooking videos to watch are by the channel, “Tasty,” on YouTube. I plan to work with children and adolescents when I graduate from college. Specifically, children who come from broken homes or need intervention from agencies like Child Protective Services. I’m currently one of the Vice Presidents of the Western Oregon Dance Team! Spring 2020 was my first season on the team and I will be continuing on as the VP in the fall. I held two on-campus jobs as a Freshman. I worked in the Deli in the Werner University Center, as well as in the South Sister Annex doing office work for Campus Dining. My favorite place to eat in Monmouth/Independence is Koyotes because they’re open until midnight on school nights and 2 am on weekends. My favorite moment was finding my group of friends that I knew I wanted to stick with through the year and for the rest of college and being able to experience something new with them. My advice for first-year students, try your best to put yourself out there whenever you get the chance. There are hundreds of different opportunities to get involved on campus throughout the year, and there’s always something for everyone to enjoy. Fun fact, I’m Filipino and Japanese! I wasn’t aware you could sprain your rib area until I did winter term dancing 🙁

Jose Hernandez-Galvan

Senior
Language: Spanish
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies
Minor: Latinx/Chicano Studies
Hometown: Hillsboro, Oregon
Transferred from: Portland Community College

My interests outside of school include reading, cooking, playing 2K, hanging out with my dog Kazoo, and going on hikes. I want to work at a university. Either in Admissions or under Student Affairs. I am involved in Omega Delta Phi Fraternity – MemberFraternity and Sorority Council – President Unidos Multicultural Student Union. I am employed on campus with the PLUS Team Coordinator and Ambassador Coordinator. My favorite places to eat in Monmouth/Independence are Momijis or Casa Burrito. My favorite memory from my first year at Western was making friends at Summer Bridge. We would go play laser tag and go to the beach. My advice for first-year students is to be yourself, but don’t be afraid to change. Enjoy any free food opportunities.