by Natalia Kirychuk, Student Public Relations Writer
Since summer 2015, Cedarville University has welcomed incoming freshmen who want to get a headstart on college requirements during the WAVE program. Now, the first tide of WAVE students will graduate at Cedarville’s commencement on May 4.
WAVE, created by The Cove, Cedarville’s academic enrichment center, is designed to help students jump-start college life. A typical day in the summer program involves lectures and workshops on academic skill sets, strengthening academic concepts and introducing students to faculty and staff at Cedarville; a chapel service; goal-setting and strength-identifying sessions; and an evening activity.
— Kristen Cochran
Senior political science major Kristen Cochran, from Springfield, Ohio, has been a dean’s list student every semester and believes the challenges she overcame through WAVE helped her transition to college and positioned her well for academic achievement. “There were so many days that I wasn’t sure I was going to pass,” said Cochran. “But Kim (Ahlgrim) and Deidre (Sizer) were amazing and were always cheering us on." Ahlgrim, director of The Cove, and Sizer, tutoring and office coordinator, directed the first year.
She credited their encouragement as a big reason for her success. "That went a long way, and I completed the entire requirement within the two weeks," Cochran said. "I’ve looked back on that experience every semester since. After I conquered the two-week course, I knew I could accomplish anything if I put my mind to it. My experience during WAVE has motivated me to do my very best and excel even in the most challenging classes I have taken at Cedarville.”
Along with their classes, WAVE students hear from a professor or staff member each morning. Jeff Reep, director of career services, spoke on how to prepare for their career while in college. Dr. Greg Couser, senior professor of Bible and Greek, spoke to the students about how spiritual growth needed to be their foundation.
The students go on several adventures to learn about the surrounding area. This included trips to Young’s Jersey Dairy farm, Kings Island amusement park, local coffee shops and some of the many hiking areas within a few minutes of campus.
“WAVE reminds me what a privilege I had to be taught the starters of college. Some kids come into college not knowing what to expect, confused on how to study properly and haven’t been encouraged yet by faculty or advisers to pursue their dreams,” noted Andriana Polsdorfer, senior broadcasting and digital media student from Columbus, Ohio. “Instead, we learned to trust each other, form friendships and rely on each other to get through the two weeks of WAVE and eventually our 1,000 days of college.”
After graduation, Polsdorfer is considering an internship with the Christian band For King and Country and hopes to work in video production one day. She’s also developing her wedding photography skills and may start a business. Above all this, however, her one dream in life is to be the best wife and mother to the family God gives her.
“WAVE was a picture of the tight-knit community on campus,” said Cochran. “People from so many backgrounds became a family during those two weeks, and that was a brief glimpse into what my next four years would be like. It confirmed that Cedarville was definitely the right choice.”
Cochran hopes to live in Washington, D.C., and work for a conservative think tank where she can marry her faith with her interests in public policy. She hopes to be a light in the dark world of politics and make it her ministry. Eventually, she hopes to work at the federal level, perhaps as a policy analyst.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu."