Student Profile: Erin Ponder

By Michael O’Shea


Major: Nursing

Extra Curricular:

President of Honors College Board of Directors, Member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Student Leader Council, President of WCU Chapter Mortar Board, Ballroom Dancing, Reading.


Michael O’Shea: Erin, tell me about your involvement with the Honors College Board of Directors?

Erin Ponder: I’ve been involved since my Freshman year in various faculties. I became president my sophomore year and retain that position this year. I was also director of the Honors College Mentoring Program last year.

MO: What, exactly, is the Honors College Board of Directors?

EP: The Board is a student advisory council to the Dean of the Honors College. Our main goal is to foster a sense of community amongst the Honors College students through service, social and academic involvement. The Honors College Board is different than most because it is the Dean’s only on-campus advisory council and it is composed entirely of students.

MO: What is the Board responsible for?

EP: Well, last year we set new standards for Freshman admissions, as well as revamping the requirements for graduating with Honors. We also hosted social events such as cook-outs, holiday parties, movie nights, and we help out with CuRvE’s efforts to revitalize Cullowhee. We also won the Homecoming parade float competition last year, not to brag or anything.

MO: Tell me about Ballroom dancing.

EP: That’s a hobby I picked up from my parents making me go cotillion in middle school. Everyone thought it was dorky, but I really liked it. I know how to waltz, swing dance, salsa and I’m not taking lindy hop lessons.

MO: What made you come to Western?

EP: I was supposed to go to Clemson originally, but my financial aid fell through and I ended up switching to Western at the last minute.

MO: Have you been happy with that decision?

EP: Absolutely. My Freshman year was amazing and the education that I have received here. The Honors and Nursing Programs have been especially challenging, which I enjoy. Western has given me an opportunity to become very involved with my own education and with the community on campus.