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Ryan Stocker

President’s Seniors, Class of 2017

Ryan Stocker.

"The professors are so personable…"

Hometown: Fenton, Missouri

High School: Lindbergh High School

Major: Social Work, with minors in Psychology and Juvenile Justice

Campus Activities: Phi Gamma Delta, Theatre Department, Jesters, Social Work Club, President’s Twenty, President’s Concert and Lecture Series Committee

What work experience have you had?

I have done a lot of volunteering with the local juvenile center (Fulton Treatment Center). This is also where I am doing my Senior Field Practicum for the 2016-17 school year.

What are your career plans?

I have the goal of running a counseling agency geared towards helping young adult men and women cope with eating disorders and addictions.

Why did you come to William Woods?

I came to William Woods for the family-like atmosphere and the super closeknit community style that exists on campus.

What is one word you’d use to describe William Woods?

Home

What has been your favorite class?

My favorite class here has to be the research methods course that is required for Psychology and Social Work students. I am a giant nerd for research and finding out why people do what they do. Taking this course led me to pursue a Mentor-Mentee project with Dr. Elizabeth Wilson that focused on reducing student stress through the use of recreational activities (including puppies!). It was an awesome experience and opportunity for students to conduct colligate level research while having fun and doing something you enjoy.

What has been your favorite LEAD event?

My favorite LEAD event has to be the President’s Concert and Lecture Series event where Teri Griege, an athlete and cancer survivor, came and spoke to the student body. It really hit home with me due to the fact that I have had multiple family members deal with cancer over their lives and it has deeply impacted my family.

What’s one thing you wish you had known when you first started at William Woods?

That your declared major on the first day of freshman year won’t necessarily be your major by the time you graduate — or even by the end of your freshman year.

What is one thing you wish more people knew about you?

Even though I usually come across as angry and crabby, I really only look like that and when you get to know me I’m not THAT crabby or angry

What is your favorite thing in your room?

I have a small stone box where I keep my fraternity pin. It is special to me because it is something that belonged to my grandfather. He was the first member of my close family to pass away since I’ve been old enough to realize what it means to lose a family member. When we were going through his stuff, it is something I picked up and I guard that box more than anything else in my room.

What is your favorite spot on campus?

My favorite spot on campus has to be the balcony seats in the Dulany Theatre. When classes aren’t being held in the auditorium, it is amazingly quiet an amazing place to regain focus and perspective.

This is super important for me when my schedule gets busy and I need to just sit and breathe. I honestly do my best work at night in the theatre. I normally do lighting design for the theatre department, which puts me in the theatre a lot during the night when no one is still there. I also made a lot of my best, lasting friends while watching rehearsals and other theatre events up in the balcony.

Where do you like to study? Do you have any favorite study tips?

I do most of my homework in my dorm or in the library. The biggest study tip I have is to stay organized and to stay on top of your work. In college, work piles up very quickly and it is beyond easy to get in over your head. Two hours a night of homework during the week is much more manageable than eight hours of work on a Sunday night.

What is a typical weekday like for you at William Woods?

Is hectic an acceptable answer? On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I start my day at 7, getting ready for an 8 a.m. business course. Then, I usually have a short break until lunch. Following lunch, I usually head to my internship, where I stay until 9 at night or later. Tuesdays and Thursdays are just as hectic. I have classes from 8 am until 12, and then I try to schedule any club meetings or other tasks I have for the afternoons on these days.

What is your favorite place in Fulton? Why?

My favorite part has to be outside of town at one of the campgrounds. It’s known as “the Pines” to most students. It is super relaxing and the perfect place to go and unwind with your friends around a bonfire. At night the pine trees make really cool shadows and it’s definitely a unique place to be.

What has surprised you the most about going to school at William Woods?

As excited as I was to leave home and go away to school, I was still terrified of the task of living on my own, motivating myself to perform at my best in classes, and remembering to feed myself and do my laundry. Coming here, everyone is super supportive of everything you have to do on a day-to-day basis, and it is very nice that everyone respects that classes and personal wellbeing come before extracurricular.

What has been the most challenging part of college?

Having to manage my time efficiently. I’ve learned how to do it more over the past few years, but I still end up working on homework late into the night when I spent the afternoon watching TV or napping.

What is one word your friends would use to describe you?

(Brutally) Honest

What is your favorite memory of your time here at William Woods so far?

The first day of orientation/move-in day. That’s when college became real to me, and I felt like I was growing up a lot faster than I had for the past 18 years. It wasn’t fun having to tell my family goodbye, but it was my first day of true independence.

Who is your favorite faculty or staff member?

My favorite faculty member on campus has to be Dr. Elizabeth Wilson. She is my advisor and one of the main reasons that I chose to switch from Psychology to social work. She and I worked together on the Mentor-Mentee project and has become basically my mom away from home. She is basically the Social Work mom for the entire department and will go above and beyond to make sure students have everything that they need to be successful.

What is your superpower?

Helping people see the silver lining in every situation. I use this skill every day while working with the clients at my internship. The skill/superpower is what pointed me in the direction of Social Work over another major. I’m not worried about making a six-figure salary (although it would be fantastic). My career goal is to help people, especially children and young adults, to better themselves.

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