Kristin Werstler '18
Hometown: Louisville, Ohio
President of English Society, PR Chair for Calliope, Student Senate Rep. for Sigma Tau Delta, and a member of Alpha Lambda Delta.
Choosing Mount Union
I grew up around the Alliance community, so Mount Union was always in the back of my mind. I knew a few people from my high school who attended Mount Union and loved it, so when it was time to apply for college I knew I had to check it out. When I came for my campus visit, it was pouring down rain and freezing. I remember standing in front of Chapman in a soaked rain jacket, looking out at the students walking around the quad. Despite the cold, there was still a friendly, safe atmosphere. Students were laughing, walking in groups, and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Along with the welcoming atmosphere, I had a conference with Dr. Dick of with writing department, and he showed me everything Mount Union had to offer; from the interesting classes to the many opportunities for professional development. The campus just seemed like great place both socially and academically. After the tour when my mom and I were sitting in our car, soaking wet and shivering from the rain, she looked at me and said, “I bet you end up going to Mount Union.” I knew instantly that she was right.
I have yet to encounter a professor who isn’t caring, compassionate, and dedicated to helping their students. Regardless of what class I take, I end up gaining so much personally and professionally from their teachings. When I started Mount Union, I found that there are a lot of different organizations that give students a place to connect with others and develop their passions. For example, I joined English Society, and the people in that organization became my closest friends and strongest support system. More than that, the organization helped me develop my passion for the written word. We’ve hosted poetry workshops for elementary school kids, put together books of poetry submitted by members of a homeless shelter, and have travelled to seminars. Constantly being around people who share my interests and encourage me to develop them really made Mount Union feel like home.
Advice for Future Raiders
Go to where your heart calls you. Yes, it’s cheesy, but it’s true. I almost went to different college because my then-boyfriend wanted me to study at his school. But because I followed my gut feeling, I ended up at the school that was best for me. It’s important to really evaluate what you want from a college or university, and find the school that best suits your needs, regardless of anyone else.
Picking a Major
Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be writer. I finished my first (horrible) novel when I was in middle school, and my passion for the written word never wavered. So, when I came to Mount Union, I immediately knew writing was the major for me. Of course, it’s very difficult to be a good writer if you aren’t a good reader, so I added on a major in English to help develop those skills. My English major not only helps my writing, but also feeds my constant craving for great literature.
I’ve had a lot of hands-on learning experience at Mount Union, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few favorites. My professor, Dr. Olin-Hitt, is currently working on establishing his own magazine, Braided Way. I had the privilege of interning for the magazine; I wrote articles, conducted interviews, edited the website, and laid out issues of the magazine. Getting to help build not only a magazine, but an entire brand, from the ground up has been extremely rewarding and educational.
I took a Creative Nonfiction class as a sophomore, and in that class we had to write, perform, and produce our own podcasts. Mount Union has amazing resources for producing this kind of content – everything from editing software to professional microphones – and it’s all available to students for free. Because of this, I was really able to sink my teeth in the podcast genre. At first, I was nervous, but after working on a few podcasts, I realized I had a passion for creating audio projects. I kept working at it, and eventually produced a podcast that was accepted to present at SCHOLAR Day. Being able to present my creative work in such a professional setting was really rewarding, and gave me the confidence to pursue other audio projects outside of my Creative Nonfiction class.
Liberal Arts Foundations
I believe with my whole heart that liberal arts is key for success. It forces me to think about the world through the perspective of others, and get out of my comfort zone. Not only that, it also adds a deeper layer of understanding to my major-related courses. The Integrative Core at Mount Union is unlike the general education program at many other universities. Instead of only requiring students to take College Writing and Public Speaking their freshman year, students spend two years developing writing and speaking skills through their foundations courses. This extensive training in oral and written communication leads Mount Union graduates to be extremely prepared for the workforce. Mount Union really pays attention to the constantly-evolving workforce, and has tailored the Integrative Core to truly support that.
I want to make a living as a writer. I have a passion for writing fiction, and would love to become a novelist or short story writer one day. Truthfully, as long as I’m writing and creating, I will be happy.
I have yet to encounter a professor who isn’t caring, compassionate, and dedicated to helping their students.
- Macs or PCs?
- Macs, definitely.
- What three songs define your music tastes?
- “Stranger Things Have Happened” by the Foo Fighters “Addict with a Pen” by twenty one pilots “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zepplin
- What's your favorite quote/motto?
- “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde
- Where is your favorite travel destination?
- Anywhere I have not already visited. I’m always excited to explore a new corner of the world, and to gain perspectives I’ve never thought I would!
- What did you want to be as a kid?
- An author!