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Success, Support and Unlimited Opportunities

Melissa playing with the Steel Drum Band.

Melissa said that everyone at Western – faculty, staff and administrators – wants students to succeed not only at the University, but also in the future.

"Western is definitely my second family. I couldn't have asked for a more supportive school than Western. I am not only encouraged to excel in my academics, but also in the other organizations I'm involved in. All of the professors are so willing to help me succeed inside and outside of the classroom. If the student is willing to give effort in the class, then almost any professor at WIU would 'bend over backwards' to help that student succeed. My academic curriculum is engaging and stimulating; we actually go out and have numerous experiences working with children in the educational environment. Having these experiences makes me even more excited to start my career as a prepared future educator from WIU."

Balancing Academics, Extracurriculars and Life Outside of the Classroom

One look at Melissa's academic schedule and her co-curriculars can make a person wonder "How does she do all that and still get great grades?!" Melissa has been involved in a myriad of activities since her freshman year. As she enters her third year at Western, Melissa is a resident assistant in Bayliss Hall, a member of the Bureau of Cultural Affairs, a member of Hall Government, chair of the volunteer committee for Bayliss-Henninger halls Mud Volleyball fundraiser, a Learning to Lead Scholar, a member of the University Steel Band, a student assistant for University Advising and Academic Services and is a member of the Student Development Office Team.

"WIU sees the vital importance of balancing academics with extracurricular activities and helps the student to succeed in both with the many resources on campus. There are unlimited opportunities at Western. It may not look like it at the first glance, but there is always something to do on campus. Everything from intramurals, concerts, comedians, hall government, volunteering, the opportunity to travel and more, we have it all at Western. There is absolutely no possible way you could get bored."

Scholarships and Giving Back

Melissa  Volunteering.Thanks to Melissa's numerous scholarships -- Citizen's National Bank; John P. Wayne Scholarship; Pearl Chenhall Scholarship (Table Grove Church); MidCentury Telephone Co-Op Scholarship; Civil Service Dependent Scholarship and WIU 4-Year Trustee Scholarship Class of 2011 – she can be much more involved on campus.

"Thankfully, I am able to live on campus and take part in numerous organizations. I think that it is so vital for students, commuter or not, to not only be engaged in the classroom, but also on campus and in the community. Being involved in extracurricular activities you learn so many life skills that can be used during your career, such as how to delegate tasks, active listening skills, working as a team and time management. You develop to be a well-rounded person and also meet so many people of diverse backgrounds. I really wanted to give back to Western for all of the amazing opportunities that it has offered me. I couldn't think of any better way than becoming a resident assistant. I love the students here and love encouraging them to become involved and supporting them to be successful at WIU."

Melissa Downin's Info