Titan Orientation Leaders are current Illinois Wesleyan students who are either juniors or seniors. These students have been selected to serve as positive role models to first year and transfer students throughout the Turning Titan and Spring Orientation programs. Not only do the Titan Orientation Leaders (TOLs) facilitate discussion with small groups during these programs, but they also interact with students through the many fun activities such as Titan Carnival, the Summer Reading program, and the All Campus Movie. A select group of TOLs also assist with welcoming the parents and guardians of our new students at Experience IWU.

If you are interested in becoming a Titan Orientation Leader, please see our information regarding recruitment.

While Orientation Leaders are not assigned their Turning Titan groups until just before the event, please feel free to click on any of the Orientation Leaders below to get to know them! Feel free to contact them with any questions you may have about your transition to IWU.

 

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Aaron J. Thum

Biology

Junior

TOL Group

Why did you choose IWU?

 

The community-like environment of Illinois Wesleyan really drew me into the school. As someone who came from a small town, the small school feel of IWU was a real benefit in my decision-making process. I really have enjoyed seeing familiar faces everyday and the friendliness that occurs daily at our small school.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

Meeting my best friends and current roommate Piotr Barnas.

 
 
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Abigail Brown

Biology

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

From the moment I stepped on IWU's campus, I knew this was the college for me. I love the small close knit feel that you get from walking across the quad. The location also gave me a chance to get out of my state without going too far away from home. I loved the feeling of all the creative people in one location and that they were able to express themselves freely. IWU was the right choice for me.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory is the hypnotist. The show was very entertaining and you will always remember your fellow classmates who volunteer. 

 
 
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Adam Wax

Undecided (possible Finance Major with Spanish and Jazz studies minors)

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

It is a small school that allows you to be involved in a lot and to have relationships with professors. Most people are very welcoming and nice.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

The hypnotist was unbelievable!

 
 

Amy Holpuch

Nursing/Health

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I choose IWU because of the atmosphere on campus. The whole campus has such a friendly and welcoming feel that pulled me in and got my hooked. I absolutely love the size of the campus as well as the class size. All of the professors and faculty are extremely friendly and genuinely concerned about the success of their students.


What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

The Titan Carnival. It was a great way to finish off an awesome week.
 
 
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Anna Sikora

Nursing major with a Health minor

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because of the small campus feel and the nursing program reputation. I value the small class sizes and appreciate that my professors care greatly about my success not only in the classroom, but in life. The option of a may-term has allowed me to be able to complete a health minor, which would be practically impossible at other universities. The nursing program is well known and last year had a 100% passing rate of the NCLEX (board certifying test) on the first try.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

I really enjoyed all of the Turning Titan events, but the memory that stands out the most was the Turning Titan Carnival and the hypnotist. Nothing beats sitting next to your newfound friends and sharing a laugh or bonding over food and games.

 
 
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Annie Harb

International Business and Political Science Double Major

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

IWU was such a standout school to me. It was a really tough decision, though, I was choosing between here and University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and I did not know what to do at all. I ended up closing my eyes and thinking where I could really, truly see myself and where I would have a better experience. In that moment, I knew I wanted to be more than just a number to professors, I knew I wanted to walk down the quad and actually know the people I passed. I wanted IWU. I have not once regretted my decision to become a Titan. The memories I've made here, the people I've encountered, the crazy things I've gotten myself into, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory would have to be the Titan Carnival. It's the end of the week, you're comfortable enough to where you've made a few friends and you can go, have a great time, meet even more new people. I went to Titan Carnival and ended up leaving with people I'm still super close with to this day.

 
 
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Ariella Tavor

Chemistry/ Mathematics

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU simply because it felt right. Initially when I came to tour I already thought I would be going to a different school. But by the time I left IWU, I knew this was the place for me. Everything fell into place, I did not have to change myself to fit into IWU, rather I just be myself. The science is great as well as I have the opportunity to be on the track team. By the time I left, I already saw myself calling IWU my home.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite memory of turning titan was the titan carnival. I went to the carnival with my floor mates and it gave us a chance to get to know each other as well have a great time with memories galore. The memory that sticks out the most is when a friend and I went through the obstacle course and we could barely finish it because we were laughing so hard.

 
 

Austin Rupert

Music Education

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because, when I came to visit, everyone was so friendly and happy to see me. No one was mean to me. and the School of Music is stellar.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory was getting to meet Rebekah Smith through my TOL Amy Holpuch, and they were just the nicest people I've ever met. They are the ones who made me want to become a TOL so I could be like them.

 
 
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Brendan Finnell

Biology/Biochemistry

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

IWU just seemed like the right fit. I was looking for a school with academic rigor, close to home, great biology and music programs. When I found I could get a scholarship in music as a non-major and the high rate of med-school admissions, I knew this school was the right choice for me. The figure that sealed it was hearing how well the men's and women's basketball teams had performed and the IWU was in the top 10 for most academic all-americans for any school in any division. I think that says a lot about a school. It had a campus size that fit me, small classes, friendly professors, and I felt like I would fit in.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite memory was by far the hypnotist. That routine brought me to tears from laughing, and was truly one of the funniest things I have ever seen. It made my Turning Titan week an exceptional amount of fun.

 
 

Brock Taylor

Biology (Pre-Medicine)

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

Illinois Wesleyan University is a wonderful school because of the personal environment. The class sizes are relatively small meaning that students have the opportunity to form relationships with professors and other students in the class. All of the faculty and staff are very encouraging, and I can tell that they want me to succeed. With top-notch academics and outstanding graduate and medical school placements, I am very confident that I made the right decision in choosing Illinois Wesleyan University for my undergraduate schooling.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory was the Hypnotist. Many of my new friends were chosen to participate, and it was hilarious to see them perform unexpected and often silly acts.

 
 
 

Cassidy Elgeness

Nursing

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

On my visit to the school of nursing, some of the professors went out of their way to welcome me to the school and made me feel at home even though I was not enrolled in the school yet.

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?Meeting new people and the carnival.
 
 

Catherine Tatsuguchi

Elementary Education

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I knew from the first moment I walked on campus that this was the school for me. I could picture myself going to school here for the next four years. Also, I really liked that I would have more of an opportunity to get to know my professors and class members better than I would at a bigger sized school.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory is the hypnotist. I really enjoyed the show and I got to bond with some of my floor mates.

 
 
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Clifford Klimas

Biology Pre-Med

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I first looked at IWU for the sports teams, I was a real big football player in high school. Once I came for a visit though I fell in love with the campus. I loved the fact that it was a very "smart" school and I knew that I would receive a great education here. The other reason I fell in love with the school is because of the small campus, Everyone knows everyone and it really feels like home here. I came from a small high school and I was looking for something similar in a college and when I came here I know I found home. I often find myself on breaks waiting to go back to school because I miss my IWU community.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

I really enjoyed karaoke because everyone went and I met a lot of new people. It was fun seeing everyone up there singing whether they be music majors or not. I can not sing very well but my friend Scott and I went up and sang "Summer Loving" from Grease. It was funny because we were both football players and we were singing a duet about Love. I had the part of Sandy and when I sang I made everyone laugh it was a lot of fun.

 
 
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Colin Gogoel

Business

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

It is a small school, but it is in a big town with a lot of opportunities and places to go. The campus itself really stood out to me; the trees, the buildings, and the sports facilities. Each time I visited, the people were always friendly and through my time here I have found this to be very true. The prestige and the academic quality of IWU led me here as well.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

When the hypnotist came.

 
 
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Crystal Ocampo

International Studies

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

Picture this: I was eighteen, stressed out, and stuck between three different colleges, IWU being one of them. I was looking for a small college with lots of opportunities to get involved on campus. When the time rolled around for me to visit colleges, I was crossing my fingers hoping that one would pop out from the rest...and it did. As soon as I stepped onto the IWU campus it was like the stress evaporated and I could finally breathe! I felt like I was home. Everywhere I looked, friendly faces greeted me, held open doors, and welcomed me. Now that I have been here a while, I feel like it is the best decision I have ever made. Those friendly faces became friends, those doors opened to opportunity, and the school continues to welcome me into the family. I absolutely love it here.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

Riding the mechanical bull of course! I remember getting on, rather determined to stay on. As it was flinging me around, I tried to hold on for dear life...until I fell. I remember coming out of the little arena thinking I had been the one who had lasted the longest. "How long was I up there?" I asked my friend/roommate, who laughed and said, "Not even a minute." Oh well. It's my favorite memory! 

 
 

Daniel Gordon

Biology

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

IWU is a small school compared to other Big Ten schools I was looking at. This reason and the fact that IWU has a high rate of acceptance in Medical Schools were the major factors that made me choose the school. So far, these factors are paying off.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory was when one of my friends got called up on stage and was hypnotized by a hypnotist. It was really cool!

 
 
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Emil Maric

Biology/Hispanic Studies

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose it for the small class sizes and the excellent academics.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My TOL's imparted a lot of wisdom with me that I still put to use today. It wasn't a one-week only kind of deal for me, but I took the advice they gave us and put it to good use.

 
 
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Emilee Monken

Secondary Education and Hispanic Studies

Sophomore

TOL Group


Why did you choose IWU?

The one thing that really stood out to me on my first visit was that the student to faculty ratio was so small. After being on campus, that is also the best benefit. My professors truly care about not only my schoolwork, but me personally. Just last week, my grandmother passed away. I emailed my professors to let them know when I would not be in class because of the services. They all sent me back kind and understanding responses. When I got back to campus, however, I was shocked. I had sympathy cards from all of my professors in my mailbox and they were sure to ask me how I was doing when I came back to class.


What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

This year I'm sure was very different from others because the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a huge ordeal at that time. We had THREE faculty members participate right in front of us. It was so much fun and a great way to bond with the faculty and my peers.
 
 
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Emily Brown

Physics & International Studies

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I wanted a place where I could do it all. Literally.

The liberal arts program at Wesleyan is unlike some of the other liberal arts colleges that I looked at. I have such a wide range of interests (if it wasn't obvious already by my majors...) so finding a place that is willing to accommodate that was more challenging that you'd think. But when I was looking at schools, Wesleyan really stood out for it's ability to integrate different disciplines without a problem and still have a solid graduation and graduate school acceptance rate.

The fact that I get to go from math methods for physics to ballet to international studies in one day has only confirmed what I had IWU built up as in my mind - the place where I can follow my unique path and still achieve.


What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

As one of the orientation activities we had a chance to work at the Peace Garden. It was a lot of fun getting to be a part of it and I now I always feel like I have a connection to the vegetables that they sell on the quad; even though I am not regularly involved there. Plus, not all IWU students even knew we had the Peace Garden!

 
 
 

Emily Jehle

Nursing

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

IWU's nursing school is top-notch. Right when I took a tour and met with faculty, I knew that IWU was the place for me. The small campus and close contact with everyone around you is what is really important to me. I grew up in a town of nearly 600 residents, and so moving to a small college was important to me. The friendships I have made are ones that will last me a lifetime. I came here to be successful and make my life matter, and I definitely believe that Wesleyan has everything I need to be the student I want to be.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

When I was Turning Titan, everything was brand new and I was overwhelmed. Being in a small group and having awesome TOL leaders helped me come out of my shell and find out that the Titan Life was for me. My favorite memory would be that even after TOL ended, my group and I would catch lunch or breakfast with our TOL leaders because we liked them so much! It was great to have so many friendships right off the bat.

 
 
 

Emma Lewis

Elementary Education & Spanish

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I choose IWU because it made me feel at home. The first minute I walked on campus, I felt comfortable and the people were so friendly and kind. Also IWU had a wonderful study aboard program and it offered amazing opportunities for my Elementary Education major. Just as a Freshman this year, I will begin working in a classroom at an Elementary school nearby; what an amazing opportunity!

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titans memory was playing the name game with my TOL group. It was a great way to meet everyone and learn all their names in a fun activity.

 
 
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Eric Rydell

Psychology

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

IWU provided a unique combination of athletic and academic credibility. Often, a university excels in one area or the other. IWU's combination of athletic excellence and academic rigor and credibility provided exactly what I was looking for in a school. Small class sizes and intimate student/faculty relationships were another attractive feature that had a great deal of influence on my decision.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

As a freshman, I remember feeling extremely welcome (no matter how overwhelmed) and knew immediately I made the right choice. As a TOL, bringing energy and excitement to Turning Titan week and doing my absolute best to make orientation week a positive memory for newcomers.

 
 
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Grace Hanzelin

Psychology/Religion

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because from the first time I visited here, I just felt like this was a school I could see myself going to! Everyone I met on campus was nice and helpful, and the campus was small enough that I never got lost! The academics here were impressive and I knew I would be challenged in the best way possible if I went here.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

All of the nighttime activities where I got to interact with everyone in my freshman class at the same time, it was a great way to meet people.

 
 

Guadalupe Hernandez

Psychology and Business Major and Hispanic Studies Minor

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I came on a campus tour just because we needed to visit as many colleges that we applied to. I ended up liking IWU and was able to see myself studying there. I went to a second visit to make sure that I actually did want to attend IWU. I liked it and stayed.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

The carnival because I was able to meet new people and see the people who I meet previously. That was the day when I meet most of my closest friends. We were able to get henna done together, ate cotton candy, and went to the petting zoo. We were all surprised when I actually lasted on the mechanical bull.

 
 
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Haley Lower

Biology and French

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

The first time I toured Wesleyan's campus, I fell in love with the atmosphere. Everyone here was so friendly and welcoming to me and everyone else. Our academic record is strong, and as a pre-med student, our high placement rate into medical schools is a huge plus.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite turning Titan memory is meeting my best friend and then-future roommate. She's pretty fantastic.

 
 
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Huyen Nguyen

International Business/Hispanic Studies

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose Illinois Wesleyan University because the faculty and staff really care about my future education. They were there every step of my college admissions process and they continue to be now. It shows how much IWU really cared about their students. I wasn't just a number to them, but rather someone who will use the knowledge to make a name for myself.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

The RSO fair was phenomenal! My roommate and I had just watched Pitch Perfect so we decided to sign up for WESN Radio, Acapella, and every other group that we passed by. Everyone had a great attitude and it was so much fun!

 
 
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Jacquelyn Schirmacher

undeclared

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because it was the right size, fit, and feel for me. I was looking for a smaller school for more individualized attention in the classroom. I also liked the feel of the campus and I fit in with the cross country and track teams. All of the criteria matched up for me and it was definitely the right choice.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

I really enjoyed the separated group talks to recap each event. The "Real World 101" was also very memorable because it connected with students by being direct and upfront. It was also very well performed.

 
 
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Jade Molln

Undecided

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

When I was on my college search, I had no idea what to expect or what it would feel like when I found the college that was right for me. The day I visited Illinois Wesleyan, I was supposed to visit ISU as well. By the end of my IWU tour, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. I didn't think I could ever be in love with a school, but that was proven wrong. It's safe to say, that I cancelled my tour at ISU. There was no need to keep looking at schools, I had found my fit. First off, the campus is gorgeous! It's so beautiful with all of the trees. The facilities as well were beautiful of the inside and out. As I was on my tour, all the students and faculty I had ran in to were so friendly and welcoming. All of these things put together made the thought of living here so comfortable and natural.

 

Now that I am a student here, IWU still lives up to the image I had the first time I stepped on campus. Everyone is just as friendly in my day to day activities. On top of that, I have made some amazing friends that will last a life time. Here at IWU we have such a sense of community that will be so hard to find anywhere else.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

Finding my friend groups and doing everything together. It's so fun sharing stories and experiences.

 
 
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Jake Thaker

Physics

Junior

TOL Group

Why did you choose IWU?


When pursuing a Physics or Engineering career, students typically go to larger institutions. The advantage of coming to IWU was the small student faculty ratio, which helps me connect with my professors both on a professional and personal level. These connections have helped me cherish my time learning and enjoy the experiences I have at IWU.

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

Singing Sweet Child of Mine at the Live Band Karaoke was definitely a highlight.
 
 
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Jessica Edwards

Biology/Psychology

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU for both the incredible Biology program and for their liberal arts curriculum. I knew I'd be able to graduate from this University as a well-rounded student prepared for Medical School.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory was the Hypnotist. I was skeptical of hypnotism beforehand, but Frederick Winter's performance converted me.

 
 

Jill Bookman

International Business  

Junior

TOL Group

 

Some strengths I would bring to the Orientation Leader position are I am involved in greek life on campus, I am an out of state student, and I have been involved in Student Senate. Being in greek life on campus is a strength because it has helped me develop my leadership skills within the community and has helped me branch out on campus. Being an out of state student is also a strength because I am able to connect with the students who are also out of state while also connecting with the students from Illinois. Lastly having previous experience with Student Senate allowed me to branch out and meet different groups of people, while also being involved with campus and some of the decisions that have affected campus.

 
 
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Jill Harmon

Math/Economics

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

The small class sizes and the deep relationships that the students are able to make with their professors, as well as, the successful Track and Field team and Coach Shoe.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

The hypnotist. It was super funny and really entertaining to watch.

 
 

Jonathan Novak

Music Education

Senior

TOL Group


Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because I felt like this university stood alone in being a place where I could fit in, be myself, and get what I wanted to get out of my undergraduate experience. I did several visits to IWU as a high school senior, and my final visit confirmed that the student body and professors were made up of the kinds of people that I could respect and enjoy being around. Since coming here, I could not see myself at another university and have never felt more at home with a student population.


What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory was the first floor meeting where my FYRA had us try and name all of the superheroes on our door decorations. It was a fantastic community building exercise.
 
 
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Karolina Sierzputowska

Nursing/Health

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because the second I stepped onto campus I fell in love with the school. I also chose IWU because of the direct entry program for Nursing. After my third year at school, I know that I made the right decision. The nursing program continually pushes me to be the best and use my knowledge, and the people I have met throughout my time here are the best!

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

The hypnotist! He always puts on a good show.

 
 
 

Katie Vallorano

Nursing/Human Services Management

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because I liked the small community feel of the campus. The nursing program here was perfect for me because the professors take the time to know each student, there are a lot of hands-on opportunities, and I have the ability to earn an administrative minor to help in my career. IWU is also close to my family, which was very important to me.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite memory from Turning Titan is the hypnotist. It's always a good time to watch your new peers get hypnotized on stage, and his act never gets old. Upperclassmen still wait in line to get in because it's just that good.

 
 

Kelly Kaveney

Secondary Education, English & Music

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

The small and friendly atmosphere of the campus had really caught my attention. May term and the way it makes it easy to study abroad was very eye opening, along with the individual attention I would be receiving from professors and advisors. On top of everything else, I loved the Bloomington-Normal community and the fact that there would always be a place to stop by if I ever got bored of the small school's campus (which has yet to happen!) Sugar Mama's Bakery was also a major selling point... Those cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate anything and everything.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

Going to an ice cream shop about 10 minutes away from campus with my TOL group. It was a great way for us all to relax and get to know each other on the last day of our TOL meeting!

 
 

Kelsey Ott

Biology

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I have always grown up around IWU and the community here is one of the biggest reasons why I chose this school. When visiting the campus I always felt like everyone was very welcoming and this has been reinforced throughout my experience at Wesleyan. Through getting to know all of the great people at IWU, I have been given the opportunity to make lifelong friends and I couldn't imagine my college experience another way! Academically I chose Wesleyan because I am pre-med and the rigorous coursework has allowed me to prepare for the future. My past years at Wesleyan have only reinforced exactly why I chose to come to this school and I can't believe how fast the time has gone!

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

I had an awesome TOL during Turning Titan and getting to know him along with the rest of the group was probably my favorite memory. Some of the people in my group ended up becoming some of my best friends today!

 
 

Kristen Dace

Nursing

Junior

TOL Group

 

I chose to come to IWU because it was the only school that had everything I was looking for. It was the right size, has a great nursing program, everyone is extremely welcoming, and the professors want you to succeed just as much as you want to.

 
 

Leeza Kennedy

Psychology

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

When looking for colleges I knew I wanted to study abroad so my goal was to find a school that not only supported studying abroad, but encouraged it. I knew IWU would be a school that would help me achieve my dreams. But it has done so much more than just help me go abroad. I have really found my home away from home.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

The Titan Carnival was my favorite Turning Titan memory. Monkeys were always my favorite animal growing, and within the first week of being at IWU I was able to make my dreams of holding a monkey come true. It was the icing on the cake of making my college decision.

 
 

Lily Chang

Economics& International Business, possibly History minor

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

As an international student, I have grown up thinking colleges in the US equal to big Ivy League skills like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. However, after paying a college campus tour throughout the US during my senior year, I have realized that small liberal arts colleges are more suitable for me. I received an email inviting me to apply to Wesleyan, and after I have done so I was admitted within two weeks. I fell in love with the Wesleyan campus as soon as I walked in-although the ground was still covered in snow during March-because of the scholarly and historic atmosphere this school has. I appreciate the individual attention I can have from IWU faculty and staff and fellow students due to the small student body, and this encourages me to excel in academics and other areas even more.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My TOLs brought all of us to Orange Leaf, and we just chilled there, ate Froyo, took selfies, and had some pretty good conversations.

 
 
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Linda (Tianze Zhang)

Accounting and international studies

Sophomore

TOL Group

Why did you choose IWU?

 

IWU is a place where you can meet different types of people with all kinds of inspirations, they may have a passion of becoming a doctor, a musician, a businessman or a social activist. The opportunity of meeting passionate students with interests in all areas can definitely help one to grow through being exposed to classmates from a variety of disciplines. There is also a variety of extra-curricular activities that allow students to further develop their passion. Furthermore, the faculty members on campus are all very helpful and dedicated to the academics of the students as well. IWU is definitely a place to get a high-quality education and helps one to develop as an all-rounded person.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

titan carnival!

 
 
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Linnea Swanson

Psychology

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose Illinois Wesleyan because of its small size and great academic reputation. I love being able to have small classes where I know other students, and have the ability to get to know the professors. The people on campus are welcoming and supportive, which makes it a great community to be part of.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

The hypnotist. During part of the show, I was pulled on stage because a girl from my floor was convinced I was her cat! I have never laughed so hard!

 
 
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Lorraine Tezak

Psychology and Bio-premed

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I was first interested in IWU because of how it looked on paper-- the academics were in line with what I wanted and it looked like an overall good school. When I came for an overnight visit my senior year of high school, it cemented my choice. Everyone I met here was so friendly and nice to talk to, and I just felt like I would be able to fit in here and really enjoy myself. The school has plenty of clubs and activities as well, so I knew that I would have the chance to get involved, which is something that I knew I wanted to do.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

I loved everything about the Frederick Winters show! I didn't know that I would have so much fun at a hypnotist show.

 
 
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Lucy Howat

Undecided/Dance

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because of the small-school atmosphere. The school's size allows me the chance to meet new people, while still seeing people I know all across campus. This became clear to me during my first week on campus; The girls who live in the room across from me became my closest friends on campus. When we walked across the quad together, we would all wave and say hello to different people we knew.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory is when all of the incoming students gathered in Presser Hall and recited the motto of Wesleyan. It was so powerful to hear the people that I would spend the next four years with repeat our schools saying.

 
 

Mallory Schiferl

Nursing

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

Being a TOL leader really made me more confident in interacting with people who I do not really know that well. This has really helped me to connect with a lot of new people in my class this year. I am a nursing major, so we often get caught up in our little bubble. I have found that this year I have really been able to open up and talk to a lot of new people, and I think that being a TOL really helped me to do that.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

I think that the hypnotist was probably the most memorable experience during Turning Titan!

 
 
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Margaret Devine

Nursing major, Health minor

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because I loved the atmosphere of a small, close knit campus. I was especially drawn to the liberal arts small class sizes and the idea that I would not just be another face in lecture, but the professors would actually know my name. I have always wanted to be a nurse, so another factor in choosing this school was because I was accepted into the well known school of nursing.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

When thinking about this question, many positive memories came to mind but one in general stuck out the most. One of my most positive memories about IWU was during freshman orientation when my floor painted our mural in the quad. During this time, I was able to bond with my floor mates and make many new friends. Everyone from my floor put their hand prints on the mural around a large painted world. Every time I take the elevator, I look at my hand print and reminisce about how far I have come since the first week of school and am able to be proud of how much I accomplished. It is also a positive reminder to keep working hard.

 
 

Maria Hanna

Biology/Spanish

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

When I first stepped on the IWU campus, I immediately loved it. Not only is the campus beautiful, but also every single person that I spoke to was open and friendly and welcoming. I also attended several open houses, and I was extremely impressed with the faculty. The professors seemed very intelligent and very passionate about their subjects and I knew that I would get an excellent education here. Finally, I chose IWU because it felt like home. And I know that I made the right decision, because it still feels like home. I love my floor, and my RA and my TOL group, and I know I am learning a lot from my classes. I love the small size of the school and the campus, and how every time I walk around campus, I'm likely to see someone I know.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

I personally really enjoyed the titan carnival and the hypnotist. Those activities were a lot of fun and really funny, and going to those with my floormates was a great bonding experience because we all laughed and had a great time together.

 
 

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Marissa Cozzi

Economics

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I visited Illinois Wesleyan University one time as a prospective student. I walked around and just fell in love. I didn't even have to go on any other college visits because I knew this is where I needed to be.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory was the hypnotist show!! It was just unbelievable.

 
 
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Megan Lemke

International Studies and Business Major

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because I felt at home when I visited campus. I could see myself walking around campus and growing as person during my four years at IWU. Since coming to IWU my thoughts were confirmed, I love walking around and seeing so many people I know, which wouldn't happen on a daily basis if I went to a large school.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory was painting the mural with my floor. It was the first time we really got to bond and get to know one another.

 
 

Michaela Lamczyk

BA Music

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

IWU stood out to me because of its smaller size as a university and its friendly atmosphere. I always meet very helpful faculty and students that I see multiple times around campus.

IWU also stood out because of it being a liberal arts university. It's students are able to get a well-rounded education while working towards their chosen major.

IWU also has a very successful School of Music that many students are involved in. With choosing a BA Music major, I enjoy seeing and taking part in the opportunities that the School of Music offers.

One final part of IWU that stood out to me was their study abroad program. I love traveling and seeing different countries and cultures. I plan on studying abroad my junior year and I can't wait.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

Walking to Carl's and getting ice cream with my TOL group.

 
 
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Michal Kozdronkiewicz

Biology

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

For me, the choice was easy. Form the moment I visited IWU, I knew it was the place for me. I had this feeling of "I belong here." It felt like a place that I could call home for the next 4 years. It was a feeling that I didn't have on any other visit to other schools. There was just something about IWU that made me stay. And I could not be happier with my decision!

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory is getting so close with my group. When coming to a new place, emotions take over. You are scared and happy and excited all at the same time. Realizing that you are not the only one that feels this way and connecting with your group and all the people you meet your first week is truly special. It is something that I will never forget.

 
 
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Miranda Mhoon

Vocal Performance/Piano Performance

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

As soon as I stepped on campus, I knew something was different. I felt a sense of security and professionalism. My audition for the School of Music was amazing. The faculty was so enthusiastic and nice. I love the size of the college, the campus is beautiful, and coming from Texas- the idea of snow all the time was superbly exciting. The night before the application was due, Scott Ferguson, who is now my voice teacher, called me to tell me how much he hoped I was going to pick IWU. I absolutely love the decision I made and no where else would have been able to make me this happy.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

On one of the days my TOL leader had our group sit down outside and tell everyone about ourselves and what we wanted to do with our lives. It was amazing to see the diverse group of people that were sitting right next to me and all of the dreams and aspirations that hopefully all come true.

 
 
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Molly Johnson

Political Science and International Studies

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

The reason that IWU always stood out for me was it was the perfect size which would allow for close relationships with both students and faculty. It also had a feeling of being at home because of how tight the community is. Since being a student here, I can confirm that all of these things are undoubtedly true and I don't think I would have been able to find anything nearly as special at any other school.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite memory from Turning Titan was being able to go to Titan Carnival with all of the new friends that I had made from my floor. It gave us the chance to go somewhere and get to know each other and it turned out that some of those friends are still the people I am closet with here at IWU.

 
 
 

Molly Sermersheim

Biology Pre-Vet/ Spanish

Junior

TOL group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I was actually very adamant about not coming to IWU or even researching the school. I have no idea why. Once my mom and high school coach persuaded me to visit, I fell in love with the school. IWU has a great academic reputation and successful athletics, but most importantly I feel at home here.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite activity was the hypnotist. I had new friends up on stage and ended up getting to know many of the people of the stage throughout the semester that have become very good friends.

 
 

Molly Willeford

International Studies/Political Science

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I choose IWU because the second I stepped onto campus I knew it felt like home. The campus is very beautiful and has an extremely welcoming environment. During my tours, everyone was so friendly and helpful. I also really liked the class sizes: one-on-one with professors was something that was very important to me. I knew I wanted a smaller school because relationships with my professors is something that is really important to me. A smaller school meant I would have more opportunities to be involved directly on campus. My parents went to a Big Ten school, so I knew I wanted something different than that.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory was meeting all the new people in my TOL group and on my floor. My favorite activity was the hypnotist, and I even got hypnotized in the audience! Jumping up and yelling, "Go Titans!" without knowing why was pretty hilarious!

 
 
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Nia Joiner

Psychology/French

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

The academics are what first stood out. The science program I knew was rather prestigious and also the track & field team was also very good and I really liked the coach. I also really liked the small class sizes and the opportunity to get to know your professors.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

Going to see the Hypnotist!

 
 
 

Nicole Jovicevic

Political Science

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

As a prospective student, I was really looking for a school with a good reputation, that would allow me to explore various fields of study other than my theatre major, and that had a lot of student teacher involvement. When I came to visit on campus, it was clear to me that there was a very caring and involved culture on campus where I felt I would personally fit in and where I felt I could make a difference.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

During my Turning Titan experience, I met some of my best friends. A lot of my favorite memories included meeting new people whom I never talked to before and deciding to go do things together and getting to know each other through those experiences. Attending some of the event like the karaoke night, the carnival and Frederick Winters truly gave me and my friends some great memories to start off our friendship.

 
 

Rachel Shaffer

Political Science & International Studies

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because of its excellent academic reputation as well as opportunities to study abroad. Moreover, IWU stands out to me because of their inclusive and impressive Greek community. As a member of this Greek community, I feel as if I am a part of something much larger than myself. It also provides me with more leadership experience and resume-building opportunities. IWU promotes excellent job-training skills and several opportunities for students to gather necessary skills for the workforce.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory is the experience of having only first-year students on campus. This provided for the ideal transition into the college where I did not feel intimidated by the presence of upper-classmen. My second favorite Turning Titan memory is from last year when I was a Titan Orientation Leader and I participated as the human wall during the hypnotist routine. Fredrick Winters did an excellent job and the people whom I provided support for did some REALLY funny stuff.

 
 
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Ramzy Sabbara

Accounting/Political Science

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

The size! I love that I can wake up 5 minutes before class and get there 2 minutes early. I also really enjoy the fact that I can walk anywhere on campus and know someone! It is such a friendly school (and that includes both the staff and students!).

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

Fred Winters!

 
 

Rachel Zarchy

Biology

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

The main reason I chose IWU was because of the feeling I got when I came to campus - it's very hard to explain, but I just felt as if the faculty and students cared about me before I was even a student. I had a fantastic admissions counselor who kept in close contact, the biology department was fantastic, and all of the students seemed to be at home. Finding a university with good academics is important, but finding a school where you feel at home is crucial - I felt that IWU had both of these aspects.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

Definitely the mural painting. I was feeling extremely homesick that day, and wasn't even going to get out of bed until my RA dragged me to the quad. At first I just sat on a bench, but eventually got excited about the painting. I am eternally grateful for my RA who drug me there because that was the day I met my two best friends.

 
 
 

Rebekah Smith

English Literature, Secondary Education/Theatre Dance

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

IWU had everything I could ever want - beautiful campus, smaller classes, a great dance program, and the opportunity to get involved. During my campus visits senior year, I absolutely fell in love with the university. After coming to IWU, I joined every organization I possibly could, and I have been able to build friendships with so many people. This is a school where I can't walk across the quad without saying hello to at least five people I know. My professors know me, and they really care about me. IWU has helped me grow as a student, as a friend, and as a person. Choosing to become a Titan has been the best decision of my life.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite part about Turning Titan and my first year in general was getting to know the people on my floor. We baked cookies in the lounge, watched movies, had long chats, and created many memories. In the first week I knew all the girls on Munsell 3 and most of the guys on Ferguson 3 too. Your floor mates can become some of your closest friends during your first year.

 
 
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Robin Camp

Sociology/ Dance

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I never heard of IWU before a family friend mentioned it to me while I was in the middle of my college search. Her and her husband both went to IWU and are so proud of it, I thought that it must of had potential to be a good school. My first visit on campus I was a little hesitant, but the minute I actually saw the campus, I fell in love and I knew it was the school for me. I always knew I wanted to come to a small school; IWU has small classes and your professors know you and care about your success. All of the students I met before coming to Wesleyan were amazing, and I knew that I wanted to be one of these amazing students at this school.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

The Hypnotist, but of course the entire week over all is my favorite week of the year and holds some of the best memories.

 
 

Ross Randon

Biology

Junior

TOL Group


Why did you choose IWU?

I chose Illinois Wesleyan for their reputable science department and the strong sense of community within the school. Over the past two years, faculty and my fellow peers have supported me and have helped me achieve success and I could not be happier with my decision to attend Illinois Wesleyan.


What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite turning titan memory would have to be the hypnotist. It was an incredible and funny show!
 
 

Samantha Wiesinger

Biology

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I loved the atmosphere of campus. I also was really attracted to the biology department and all of the opportunities that it offered.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

Seeing all of the different room set-ups on my floor. It was fun to compare options and slowly make your room your own and homey.

 
 
 

Sarah Zwickl

Psychology

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because of how beautiful the campus is and for how much I felt like I belonged. I have found my best friends at IWU and I enjoy every day that I am here.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite memory of Turning Titan is being hypnotized by Fredrick Winters. I do not remember what happened, but my friends told me that I said some pretty crazy stuff.

 
 
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Savanna Steck

English-Writing

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I choose IWU because of the atmosphere. It sounds so cheesy but it felt like home here. Everyone was friendly and welcoming when I visited. People said hello to each other on the quad. I loved how close and inviting Wesleyan felt. And you know, the stellar academics and fabulous professors helped too.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

The hypnotist for sure!That was an amazing performance!

 
 
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Shante Williams

Elementary Education

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because it is a small school and it is involved in the community, which I love. I also chose IWU because of the track team and the distance from my hometown.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory was my very last TOL group meeting because we spoke about every question that we had and we really got to know our TOLs on more of a personal level.

 
 
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Steven Gualandri

Psychology

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose Illinois Wesleyan for its academics overall and the chance to get a liberal arts education. However, another contributing factor that led me to choose this school over others is the opportunity to run in the sport I grew up with and love, Track and Field.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory was when our entire class having an assembly in Presser Hall because I knew at that moment that I was a part of something that I would love for the next four years.

 
 
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Taylor Nimrick

Nursing/Spanish

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

When I visited IWU I felt like anything was possible. The professors seemed very willing to help you achieve your goals and make sure that success will happen if you put in the effort. I felt that I could be a successful student here. Also, I was interested in joining the track team. I had a great time meeting with the coach and could really see myself being part of the team.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

I loved going to the hypnotist because I had never experienced that before. I also think it was a great way to meet many of my classmates because everyone was so excited to be there and it was very crowded. Watching people preform on stage is something I will never forget!

 
 
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Tony Wu

Environmental Studies

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

IWU is a friendly liberal arts college with excellent professors and TAs that are always reachable. The classes offered are sufficient in content but not boring. Plus, it is a small college, and that means I can have a lot of close friends.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

The Titan carnival. Laser tags, obstacle course, etc. Every activity that night was infused with fun and excitement.

 
 

Tyler Casebolt

English Lit and Elementary Ed

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I knew I wanted to go to IWU after visiting one of their open house events. While I was eating lunch in the dining hall with my mom, I was approached by LeeAnna, a music theatre major who offered to introduce me to her friends. After lunch, she took it upon herself to tour me around campus, and I even got to sit in on a entire choir class taught by the Provost, Dean Green. That kind of welcoming, social atmosphere in a small school setting was what convinced me that IWU would be my new home.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

On the first night of Turning Titan, there was Live Band Karaoke at Hansen Student Center. I performed Bust a Move by Young MC in front of everyone, which was the highlight of the entire week. My favorite part was letting the audience sing the chorus while I danced on stage, but rapping the verses was fun, too.

 
 

Vincent Catania

business history/italian

Junior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

the education was a huge portion of why I chose iwu. The personal face to face atmosphere that it achieves, and starts to portray through tol does not stop as a student.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

Probability meeting two of my best friends that are sitting next to me right this moment.

 
 

Veena Hamill

Chemistry, minor: Spanish, biology

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I chose IWU because the small campus fosters can environment for meeting and being able to recognize people on a daily basis. Instead of seeing new faces each day, you eventually reach a point where faces are recognizable on campus; for me, it makes the campus feel more like just a home than just a school. I also chose IWU for its strong science and pre-medical programs. There are a plethora of activities students can choose to get involved in on campus, which makes it a more comfortable campus where one can find their niche.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite memory from Turning Titan is when we dumped a bucket of ice on the admins as part of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge.

 
 
 

VishnuDivya Velupula

Biology

Sophomore

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

IWU stands out because it has a very close-knit, small school community. This type of environment is the main reason my grades are high because I have been able to ask my professors questions right before a quiz or test, which is a huge advantage that a small school has over a big one. Also, there are many buildings that are accessible even at late night hours that I can go to for studying, which is extremely useful when it is time for finals. I love the fact that these buildings are available for anyone to use because I spend most of my time studying at State Farm Hall, which has been very beneficial for me with the large white boards and wide desk space. Big colleges have more resources, but smaller colleges have their resources much more available to students. Also, since IWU is just an undergraduate college, all the resources are available for everyone to use whereas at bigger colleges there is a lot more competition for opportunities. All in all, the main reason I chose IWU is because I knew I would thrive in an small environment where professors are easy to reach and study space is aplenty.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

My favorite Turning Titan memory is going to the first meeting of First Year Leadership Institute because I felt like that helped me meet a lot of people who wanted to make a difference on this campus and get involved immediately. I was inspired to go to more events and get out of my comfort zone because I was around people who had the same passions for involvement.

 
 
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Xane Peters

Biology

Senior

TOL Group

 

Why did you choose IWU?

I knew the high quality of the Biology program here and as a pre-medical student, I wanted to go to school somewhere that would contribute to my competitiveness as an applicant. Working closely with and getting to know the faculty was also something I wanted in an undergraduate experience. The relatively small campus and quality of the Bloomington-Normal community helped solidify my decision.

 

What is your favorite Turning Titan memory?

The giant-glove boxing during the Turning Titan carnival and Frederik Winters hypnotism.