John Wesley Honors College

Interview Stories: Looking Backwards and Forwards

by Janice Murray, John Wesley Scholar, Class of 2016

Do you remember when you interviewed for the Honors College?

Maybe you were incredibly nervous, met people who are now your best friends, or found yourself explaining why you’re passionate about the Second Amendment. This past Friday, many other prospective JWHC students faced that same interview process.

In honor of the second round of admissions interviews for prospective JWHC students, I’m highlighting some interview stories of current students.

Katherine Fitch
Katherine Fitch

Katherine Fitch, Class of 2015

Katherine Fitch, a junior who’s majoring in International Relations and History, remembers her visit to IWU on Interview Day quite clearly. A friend she had met in Summer Scholars was also interviewing that day, but had forgotten her copy of the required readings.

Knowing their way around campus, they realized that Katherine’s friend could copy Katherine’s carefully annotated readings and then they would both be able to reference the text during the discussion.

Unfortunately, the two wound up in separate mock discussion groups before Katherine’s friend could return the readings to her, and Katherine had to rely on her memory and her ability to ask strategic questions.

Thankfully, she was strong in both of these areas, which continue to play into her extensive participation in the HC.

Mary-Madison Weaver
Weaver, Mary-Madison

Mary-Madison Weaver, Class of 2016

Mary-Madison Weaver, a sophomore Nursing major, didn’t know she’d be interviewing for the Honors College when she showed up on campus in the spring of 2012. She was considering majoring in music, so she was auditioning for a music scholarship.

However, one of the professors realized that she would be a good match for the Honors College, so he walked her across campus to Goodman after her audition. Sara (Scheunemann, the HC Program Coordinator) agreed to stay late to conduct an impromptu interview—which seems to have been the real purpose of her visit to campus that day.

Her classmates are grateful for the literal God-send of her membership in the HC.

David Priest
Dave Priest

Dave Priest, Class of 2015

Junior Writing major Dave Priest discovered how much he was going to like the HC during his interview. After answering a few typical interview questions, he was asked to identify a book that had impacted his life—which, given that he had planned on a writing major for years, was a question he had no trouble answering.

He spent the rest of the interview describing Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, a book about soldiers who were caught up in the Vietnam War. (Side note: If you haven’t read this book, consider doing so this summer. Though its topic does necessitate some rather unpleasant sections, it’s very well-written and offers a lot of insight about the topic. It’s also written more like fiction than non-fiction and is often an enjoyable read.)

His chances to talk about topics he’s interested in have continued during his HC experience.


Ren Martin
Ren Martin Interviews picture

Ren Martin, Class of 2014

Senior Ren Martin remembers her interview day most for the relationships it sparked. Her interviewers—Dr. Bressler, Dr. Toland, and Luke Nelson (a 2012 HC graduate who enjoyed humor and life in general)—and the other people she met that day have made quite an impact on her last four years.

Luke saw her through freshman-year panics and encouraged her theological growth. The student who led her to her interview became a friend with whom she served at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club for two years.

The other two prospective students who sat with her awaiting interviews wound up being friends she lived down the hall from or went to church with. Dr. Bressler taught her “about the poetry of the gospel and gave [her] excuses to read more Chesterton than [she] ever had before,” and Dr. Toland taught her about the beauty and complexity of history…and, as her advisor, helped with scheduling and loaned her books.

So what is your story?

Despite these stories’ differences, they all hint at a common theme: God’s use of Honors College interviews for a preview of ways he will work in interviewees’ days to come. Share your story with your friends and look for God’s fingerprints… even if you think you have a boring story, you may be surprised at what you and your friends find!