Elevating Student Preparation

Elevating Student Preparation

Northwest Nazarene University
Aug 24, 2021


Growing up in Nampa, I always planned on leaving Idaho and going to college far, far away—I’m sure glad I didn’t end up following through with those plans. Over the last three years, I have been constantly reassured by my decision to attend NNU, just a mile away from my childhood home. 

I am now a rising senior double-majoring in Financial Economics and Political Science with a minor in Communication. I am also a member of NNU’s Honors College, a competitor on the Speech and Debate Team and the incoming Student Government Association (SGA) Business Manager. All of these different roles have played a vital part in my college journey. 

While studying at NNU, we are exposed to NNU’s four values: transformation, truth, service and community. These values extend far beyond the classroom setting and play an essential role in developing us for our future lives. One of the primary reasons I chose to attend NNU is its focus on community; the NNU community is like none other. 

From my first day on campus—move-in day—I saw just how vibrant and exciting the NNU community is. There is always something happening on campus, someone new to get to know and another memory to make. 

Surprisingly, one of my favorite aspects of the NNU community was living in the freshman dorms. I never thought that living in a dorm would be one of the most fun and memorable aspects of going to college. I created so many friendships—friendships that have lasted throughout my college experience. Just as I developed amazing friendships with others while living in the dorms, I have been involved in many other facets of the NNU community. 

After having absolutely zero prior speech and debate experience, I joined the NNU Speech and Debate Team my freshman year. I had the opportunity to travel across the Northwest for regional tournaments and go to New York City and Grove City, Pennsylvania, for national tournaments. During my sophomore year, I was a semi-finalist in junior debate and placed fourth in varsity extemporaneous speaking at the National Christian College Forensics tournament.

It is such a great feeling to take all of the knowledge you are learning both inside and outside of the classroom to create an excellent debate case—it’s even better when you construct your arguments in a clear, concise and logical way and you can see that everything you are saying is clicking with the judge. 

This year, Speech and Debate has looked a lot different. We conducted every tournament online and competed from the NNU Learning Commons due to nationwide travel restrictions. I qualified to compete in the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament and walked away with a national championship in Interviewing. I credit this victory to everything I have learned about interviewing and building a resume in my classes in the College of Business and the Communication Department. 

NNU has not only given me the skills and knowledge needed to excel in speech and debate, but it has also prepared me for achieving my aspirations and future career goals. 

I am a member of the NNU Honors College, which has been an amazing experience. Honors College students have a unique course sequence, which includes classes that push us to think harder about complex topics. This program is truly an interdisciplinary approach to learning, geared for students who want to take their college education to the next level. 

Throughout the Honors College program, we take courses that cover some of our general education requirements and expose us to pieces of literature, worldviews and others’ lived experiences that we usually wouldn’t learn about in courses outside of the Honors College. We read works from Plato and Aristotle to Jane Austen to Ursula LeGuin and Isak Asimov to Bryan Stevenson. At the completion of the program, we take two courses that teach us to become better researchers as we write a final research paper. I am writing my final research paper on how American political leaders have promoted various economic theories within their leadership and how the implementation of these theories has impacted populations of different socioeconomic statuses. 

I am excited for the upcoming school year, although I am sad it will be my last year at NNU. I will serve on the NNU Student Government Association as the Business Manager and handle all of the finances for the SGA members and school clubs—I look forward to serving the NNU community in this role. I will be competing on the NNU Speech and Debate Team and writing my senior thesis for the Honors College. I will also be applying to law schools, which is scary yet exhilarating. 

NNU has prepared me in so many ways that I never thought possible to achieve my future goals. After graduation, I plan on attending law school to become a criminal trial lawyer.

From learning to build logical arguments, think on my feet and be a more confident public speaker, being a part of the Speech and Debate Team has given me an abundance of skills that I hope to utilize throughout my future career. The Honors College has exposed me to new ways of thinking and understanding the world that will help me be a better advocate for the communities around me. I might only get to be on campus for another year, but I know NNU has provided me a network and community that I can always call home.