Truman students have achieved academic success by utilizing skills acquired from out-of-class experiences.
The following
are testimonials from Truman State Alumni.

Heather A. Stalling - 2002 from Truman; 2004 from Western Illinois University; B.A. English; M.A. College Student Personnel
Current Job/Graduate School Status: Assistant Complex Director/1st year, full-time graduate student at Western Illinois University
Current Job Field or School Major Area of Study: Residence Life; College Student Personnel
Out-of-class experiences: Alpha Phi Omega, National Educators Association, Daughters of the American Revolution, Student Advisor, Student Advisor Council, Student Worker for Center for International Education Abroad, Residence Life, and Language and Literature Division, Desk worker in Centennial, Missouri, and Ryle Halls, Night monitor Missouri Hall, Residence Life Judicial Board member, Residence Life Appeals Board member, Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society), CHOICE (Centennial Hall Government).

Heather StallingIn what out-of-class experience(s) did you participate as an undergraduate student at Truman State University?

I mainly participated in Alpha Phi Omega, NEA, and worked a great deal with Residence Life office both as a worker and as a Student Advisor.

What factors determined your decisions about your out-of-class involvements?

I wanted to work with organizations that would be beneficial to me in the future, and that served a great good such as APO.

If you go back in time and change anything about your out-of-class involvements, what would you change?

I believe I would have dedicated more time to Student Advisor Council and National Residence Hall Association.

What out-of-class experiences were most helpful in supporting your liberal arts education?

I believe I gained the greatest experience working in the office of Residence Life, and Center for International Education Abroad. In both offices I was exposed to a great deal of diversity both in work assignments and also in the variety of individuals I can in contact with during my time in the office.

What out-of-class experiences were most helpful in supporting your education in your major?

At the time I was an English major with the intent to teach elementary education. NEA was very helpful in the area of education, but Sigma Tau Delta was crucial to encouraging me to finish my English degree.

How did your out-of-class experiences prepare you for your life after graduation (job, graduate school)?

Honesty, without my out-of-class experiences I would have never discovered my true passion in life. The Student Advisor job opened many doors for me. I found great friends, a supportive staff, and my niche-helping college students develop and succeed through their time at Truman State University. This semester I will have my first residents graduate, I am honored that I have been contacted to attend their graduation ceremony. My out-of-class experiences led me to Western Illinois University where I am currently pursuing my dream of becoming a Director of Residence Life one day.

In what other ways do you believe your out-of-class involvements enhanced your undergraduate experience?

Hard to believe, but my out-of-class involvements forced me to focus on my academics. I knew that I could not participate in the outside activities if my academics were not first on my list of priorities. I found that if I wanted to work with an organization I had to be very organized and make sure all my homework was completed.

What advice would you give first-year-students at Truman regarding out-of-class experiences?

I suggest trying as many activities as you like. Know that it is okay to become involved with an organization and then decide that the organization is not the right fit for you. You will never know if you don’t try. Also be ready to have some fun, and enjoy your time with fellow organizational members. These friends may become your best friends before you know it.


Daniel Luttrell Pettit – Graduated May 2002 - Theatre Major/French Minor
Current Job/Graduate School Status: Teacher Assistant with Special School District of St. Louis County/Occasional Acting Jobs
Current Job Field or School Major Area of Study: Special Education and Theatre

Out-Of-Classroom Activities: Campus Christian Fellowship, French Plays, Numerous productions with the Theatre Department at Truman, Residence Life (as a Student Advisor), International Club Events, Franklin Street Singers, Cantoria

Daniel PettitIn what out-of-class experience(s) did you participate as an undergraduate student at Truman State University? I participated in dances that were held around school as well as around town, helped with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, performed in a theatre project that focused on the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, visited local nursing homes, and attended many cultural events on campus.

What factors determined your decisions about your out-of-class involvements? The main determining factors were the amount of hours I carried in a given semester, what interested me most, and whether a given activity would help me to reach personal goals.

If you go back in time and change anything about your out-of-class involvements, what would you change? In my first few semesters, I got a little too involved, but I wouldn’t change that because it helped me learn to prioritize. In later semesters, I focused in on a few areas of interest.

What out-of-class experiences were most helpful in supporting your liberal arts education? Campus Christian Fellowship helped me become more solid in my faith. All of my theatrical adventures honed my skills as I struggled with the artist in me. Cultural events that came to town as a part of the Lyceum or performances by groups at Truman exposed me to new ideas, beauty, and passion. Service opportunities gave me a chance to give back a little of all the riches my education was yielding.

What out-of-class experiences were most helpful in supporting your education in your major? Productions with the Theatre Department and French Department helped grow my passion for theatre. For instance, playing “Puck” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream really helped me to test and develop what I was learning in the classroom.

How did your out-of-class experiences prepare you for your life after graduation (job, graduate school)? Every experience I dove into contributed to the many interests and talents that I pursue as I continue my life education.

In what other ways do you believe your out-of-class involvements enhanced your undergraduate experience? Gaining an education is all about finding out what drives you, what captivates you. Out-of-class activities gave me a chance to figure that out through real experiences-to take out of my head whatever I thought that my passion was, beat it against a few walls and see if it was still intact.

What advice would you give first-year-students at Truman regarding out-of-class experiences? Try a lot of stuff. Get involved in the impractical interests that you never thought to actually try. If you don’t try wrestling giant sloths while dancing to Celtic music NOW, when will you?

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The Cocurricular Planning Map is a tool designed to help students make informed and intentional decisions about their out-of-class experiences while at Truman State University.

Planning your education outside the classroom

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