Abbey Schlanz '18
Major: English and Writing
Hometown: Shadyside, Ohio
Member of WRMU, Kappa Phi, DWOC, Sigma Tau Delta, Honors Program, Co-editor of Calliope and vice president of English Society
Choosing Mount Union
Originally, while searching for schools, I had planned on majoring in engineering. My dad’s friend occasionally works as an adjunct professor for Mount Union’s engineering department, and he told us about the university. I actually chose Mount Union fairly late. Although I had already committed to a different university closer to home, over the summer I kept thinking of how much I liked the campus and especially the faculty members I met during my visits. Right before the last Preview session, I switched over to Mount Union, and I haven’t regretted it since.
Making Mount Union Home
It’s more of a combination of things—the friends I’ve made, the faculty and staff, walking around the lakes at night…I could go on. I guess, to sum it up, what I like is how much it feels like home. Ever since I first visited this campus, I’ve felt like I belong here, and I miss it in the summer as much as I miss my family during the semesters. My friends in McMaster definitely helped me adjust to college the most. Our floor was essentially one huge family, and we’d all constantly have our doors open, hang out in the hallways, and have movie nights. Some of them are still my closest friends to this day, and I have our random residence hall assignments to thank for it.
I never feel like just another face on campus. The entire faculty of the English and writing departments know me by name, I can’t walk across campus without someone I know waving and saying hello, and I’ve met some of the closest friends I’ve ever had here. Because the campus is so small, it’s easy to get to know a lot of people pretty quickly, which makes them feel like a second family. There is a true sense of community at Mount. From the moment you get on campus, faculty and staff are doing everything they can to make sure your time in college doesn’t just get you a degree but also helps build you as a person in a comfortable environment. I can personally attest to this as a Preview Guide. Our first priority is always the well-being of our students, and I believe this mentality extends to the entire faculty and staff. Everyone makes sure that Mount feels like a second home, which is why our Raider pride is so strong. I don’t know that any other campus community could feel as much like a family as ours.
Advice to Prospective Raiders
Try everything. You don’t have to commit to it all, but if an organization catches your eye, go to at least one meeting. If you’re interested in a certain class, take it. This is the best chance you’ll have to discover who you are, so take it. If you would’ve asked high-school me if I’d be an English and writing major who hosts a radio show in a couple of years, I would’ve laughed. Now, I can’t imagine being anything else, and it’s all because I took the opportunities Mount Union gave me.
Well, by the time I came to Mount Union, my intention was to be a chemistry major with an AYA education minor. However, during my first semester I was randomly placed in an English literature class, which I enjoyed far more than my chemistry class, so I talked to various faculty members about it, including the professor teaching my English class, who encouraged me to choose whichever subject made me happiest. After a week or so of debating, I switched over to the English literature major and asked that professor—Dr. Olin-Hitt—to be my advisor. Less than a year later, I dropped my AYA minor and added the writing major instead. It took some time to figure out what my passions are, but I’m now confident that they are English literature and writing.
I dislike choosing favorite professors because every professor in the English and writing departments—as well as others—has influenced me in a different but important way. However, my favorite would have to be Dr. Olin-Hitt because I likely wouldn’t be in my majors without his advice and insight, as well as the experiential opportunities he has given me. It is both humbling and encouraging to know that he has trusted me with editing his award-winning novel and helping him produce the pilot edition of his magazine. I have grown exponentially during my time here at Mount both as a student and person, and much of it is thanks to him. One of the perks to loving your majors is that you tend to love all of the classes involving them. If I had to choose, though, I would have to say rhetorical grammar is my favorite. I’ve always been a nerd for grammar, so this class was my ideal. While I went into the class knowing the basic grammatical components, Dr. Dick taught me about the rhetorical effects of utilizing and following certain grammatical rules—or choosing not to. It deepened my understanding of language and how it’s used, which has helped me both to write better and to analyze others’ writing more critically.
I’ve taught at the Alliance Early Learning Center and worked as a DWOC consultant for two years so far, and I currently have an internship with Dr. Olin-Hitt’s magazine The Braided Way. While all of these experiences have been valuable, my internship is my favorite because it aligns most closely with my career goal, which is to be an editor—potentially for a newspaper, website, or magazine. I have also gotten to interview a variety of interesting people that I likely wouldn’t have met otherwise. If there’s one thing I enjoy more than writing my own stories, it’s hearing those of others.
Right now, my dream is to go into the editing field. Whether I go into copyediting or manage a magazine—I haven’t figured that out yet. I’m still researching the various opportunities available to me. Mount Union is preparing me for this by providing me with a varied skill set that I have obtained through my employment at the DWOC, internship, and of course classes. Professors have also been giving me direction as I research, pointing me toward graduate programs that may be helpful, cities with the most editing opportunities, and ways that I can continue building my communication and technological skills.
I don’t know that any other campus community could feel as much like a family as ours.
- Do you prefer Macs or PCs?
- Macs definitely.
- Where is your favorite travel destination?
- Asheville, North Carolina. I have family down there, and I love hiking in the mountains and visiting the downtown arts district.
- What is your favorite quote/motto?
- "I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. And then I ran some more." —Tyler Durden, Fight Club
- What is your guilty pleasure TV show?
- Naruto. I'm a total anime dork.
- What three songs define your music tastes?
- People, Turn Around – Delta Spirit, Rollercoaster – Bleachers, Tessellate – alt-J