Looking Forward: A Senior Profile with Nicole Wilson
Senior Nicole Wilson has less than a month remaining before graduation, but that has not stopped her from continuing to be involved and invested in the Calvin community. She was willing to talk with Chimes about both her experiences at Calvin as well as her next steps following graduation.
Chimes: What are you studying?
Wilson: I’m an elementary education major with minors in math and integrated science.
Chimes: What have been some of your favorite or formative classes?
Wilson: Some of my favorite classes have been the SCES (science education studies) classes with Professor Jadrich and Professor Bergwerff. They were just very applicable, fun and I learned a lot! I also wouldn’t be who I am today without the philosophy and religion core courses; they were very formative.
Chimes: Many students know you from last year’s Orientation Board; what else have you been involved with at Calvin?
Wilson: I’ve been able to be involved in leadership opportunities like residence life as an RA for two years, weekend programming, orientation and also admissions.
Chimes: How have these experiences influenced your plans after graduation?
Wilson: Those involvements and leadership opportunities have shaped who I am. I will be working at Grand Valley State University as a leadership programmer in charge of the Laker Leadership program and getting my master’s degree in higher education with an emphasis on college affairs and leadership.
Chimes: How have your education and activities at Calvin prepared you for this next opportunity?
Wilson: Coming into Calvin I had my heart set on becoming a classroom teacher, but as I got more and more involved in co-curricular activities and internships around campus the Lord started doing a big work in my heart. That’s when I started opening myself up to new opportunities, and trying to find where I not only fit in at Calvin but also how best I can serve Him with my vocation. I definitely wouldn’t be who I am today without each and every person I’ve met along the way!
Chimes: What drew you to work in a university setting?
Wilson: As of right now, these are the doors that have opened up, and I’m extremely excited. As a senior you have to balance that — being present where you are and enjoying that and also looking ahead. Also, the staff around campus — Paula Englin, Bob Crow, John Britton and Jared Votaw — and their investment in me was so fundamental and formative in developing me as a leader. The combination of them inspiring and empowering me and my desire to give back started getting me interested in higher education.
Chimes: What were some of your most meaningful involvements at Calvin?
Wilson: My time as a RA in the dorms on 2nd Bennink — that was when I grew the most spiritually and was challenged the most. It was my sophomore year, and that’s when all the change started happening. It was a huge transition time when I was the most open with allowing myself to not be in control and letting God to speak into my life. And the girls were phenomenal!
Chimes: Is there a particular memorable moment from your time at Calvin?
Wilson: There’s something to be said for that first day in spring when you walk out of class and everyone is on Commons lawn. That’s one of my favorite memories; it’s unconventional but something I’ll take with me. That patch of grass in the center of campus builds community.
Chimes: What are some of your regrets — and perhaps advice for students beginning their time at Calvin?
Wilson: Not doing a semester or interim abroad because of my major! There’s so much I could have learned from that and other ways I could have grown. Also, I should have taken the women’s self-defense or rock-climbing class. One thing I don’t regret is not doing the Sem Pond jump!
Chimes: Any last comments or advice as a senior?
Wilson: The more you put in, the more you get out. That was my experience and what I’ve heard other seniors say in reflecting. It’s what you make it. You miss the opportunities you don’t take.