Julie Watko '18
Hometown: Massillon, Ohio
Gallery Assistant for the Department of Art, Community Educator and Secretary of Kappa Pi (Honorary Art Fraternity)
Future Pixar Animator
Road Trip to Mount Union
When my brother, who is two years older than me, was looking for colleges, we would take road trips with my family to look at different places. We did a drive through of Mount Union, and it just stuck with me. It looked like somewhere I could picture myself and when I took a tour a few years later, it was a college I knew I wanted to apply to. And when the time came, I chose Mount Union because it felt the most like home to me. Other colleges were giving me similar offers, but I couldn't picture myself living on their campuses.
Feels Like Home
I love the sense of family that comes from Mount Union. Everywhere on this campus feels like home to me. I pass teachers that I have never had and they will say "hi" or ask how I am doing. The professors I have had in class care deeply about my personal education and are always willing to make themselves available if I need to see them about something.
From Friends to Family
My friends make Mount Union feel the most like home. I did not know anyone when I first came to UMU. Freshman year, I was in one of my classes and just decided to start up a conversation with a girl next to me. After we realized that we were in the same major, we became quick friends. She has been in all of my major- related classes and makes a great study partner.
Not Just a Number
At Mount Union, I am not a number. All of the professors and staff treat me as an individual. They always take the time to make sure my problem is solved or my questions are answered. I know people who went to big colleges and had over 100 people in some of their first year classes. At the end of the semester, the teacher didn’t even know their name. The biggest class I have had at UMU was about 35 my freshman year.
Prospective Students: Money Isn’t Everything
Do not make a college decision based on the money they offer you. College is so much more than that. It is the atmosphere, the student life, academics, and even the food. It is the things you see and experience everyday. If a school offers you a lot of money, that is great, but if you cannot see yourself at home on the campus or being involved in what they have to offer, you will be missing out on most of the college experience.
The best hands-on experience I have had is working as a Gallery Assistant for the Art department. I work with another student to put up and take down the artwork around campus. I get to meet and engage with the artists that come to exhibit on our campus while also getting the hands-on experience of running a gallery.
My favorite class is Photography 2 with Professor Joel Collins. I love it because they concept of the class is to have something to say with your art. Every other art class I have taken is just to complete projects and learn concepts. In Photo 2, I am given the chance to not only express myself, but to make others feel something towards my subject. Everyone in the class learns from each other and it is very self driven. You get out of the class only what you put into it.
Professor Joel Collins has been one of the best professors that I have had at UMU. When he talks with his students, he cares not only about class work, but also about students' personal lives. He encourages self-growth and taking changes and gives real life advice that is applicable outside of the classroom through casual conversations.
My dream is to work for Pixar and Mount Union has allowed me to take classes outside of my major, such as, 3D Modeling and Animation which gave me the opportunity to explore things I was interested in. I would love to work as an animator, but Mount Union has exposed me to different options such as Graphic Design, Communications and Advertising- all skills that will benefit me in future job opportunities.
I love the sense of family that comes from Mount Union.
- Do you prefer Macs or PCs?
- Where is your favorite travel destination?
- What's your favorite quote/motto?
- "What's meant to be will always find its way in the end."
- What is your pop culture guilty pleasure?
- I enjoy watching gamers on Youtube.
- What's your favorite app?