Adrienne Shaw’s heart was set on going out of state for college. After weighing her options, she realized that Westminster College offered the best value—in cost and level of education. The university’s small class sizes and focus on liberal arts suited her; she enjoyed the campus environment and thanks to Westminster’s generous financial aid offer, tuition was more realistic.
“I love that I’m not just a number, but a face with a name and somebody really cares about me,” she says. “Because we have such small numbers, you have the experience catered to you.” Professors make an effort to keep students engaged and notice when you miss class.
Graduating with a marketing degree in 2010, Adrienne plans to pursue a career in event planning and coordinating for non-profit organizations and political parties. Westminster’s marketing program, unlike many universities, is housed in the business school. The business core, a required part of Adrienne’s degree, provides her with a stronger skill-set. “I get a huge range of accounting, financing and classes I may not have taken originally, but that are really beneficial to my major and my life in general,” she says.
As an active member in the city and campus community, Adrienne has gained a great deal of event planning experience. During her internship with the Utah Democratic Party, she helped coordinate fundraising events, such as the Legislative Gala, Eleanor Roosevelt Luncheon and Jefferson-Jackson Celebration.
As the activities coordinator for the Associated Students of Westminster College (ASWC)—the university’s student government and activities board—Adrienne has been involved with planning dances, lectures and the weekly Wild Wednesday activity. Her involvement in these organizations has helped her build networks, improve her time management skills and understand how to better cater the to community’s expectations. “The active building of relationships that are professional is really beneficial,” she says.
The ASWC has been, in a sense, Adrienne’s college experience. Starting as an intern freshman year, she has been working her way up the ranks—becoming a senator, a chair for the Film and Lecture Series, the current activities coordinator and was recently elected vice president for the 2009-10 academic year.
Adrienne’s passion and commitment to improve students’ college experience was her motivation to run for VP with Brody Leven, who will serve a second term as president. Their focus is to encourage student involvement through attending activities, and to find something they’re passionate about and make it their own.
Being part of the effort to increase athletic support has been one of Adrienne’s greatest memories this academic year. To show support of Westminster’s teams, all of the ASWC members—more than 30 students—made an effort to attend all of the sporting events and invite friends along. “We had a huge reaction,” she said. Sports became the buzz around campus and a sense of school spirit could be felt as the community filled the stands.
The most memorable of the events was a basketball game where the Griffin’s won by a one-point buzzer beater and fans rushed to the court in celebration. “I’m getting chills just thinking about it,” she says. “It was so exciting.”
College isn’t all academics, or all social—it’s the balance of the two that has made for a rewarding experience. Westminster campus size, liberal arts component and opportunities for involvement have been a perfect fit for Adrienne. As a commuter student, the ASWC gave her a tie to campus. She not only met students outside of class, but has also gained experience essential to her career path.