The Western Program
at Miami University
Student Profile: Jeff Folz (2014)
Jeff is interested in physics and philosophy and he is currently enrolled in the Individualized Studies Seminar (WCP 251), in which he will identify his complex interest and plan of study. Jeff is a Resident Assistant in Peabody Hall, a tutor in the Inquiry Center, and a member of Miami's Honors Program.
Students must be active and engaged, creating their own direction. I think that's the core value of this program: engagement.
"I didn't really know what to write about when I was asked to write this profile. I was given an idea, but was told to write whatever I thought. I think that is a perfect description of the Western Program in and of itself. Instead of telling students what they need to take and do in order to get a degree, Western asks students to provide the answer to the questions, 'What am I going to take? What am I going to do? What am I going to write about for a profile?' Students must be active and engaged, creating their own direction. I think that's the core value of this program: engagement.
"There's definitely a lot in which to be engaged. Personally, I'm in the process of creating my own major, which will (fingers crossed) combine physics and philosophy in an effort to examine how we as humans measure, define, and try to make sense of this crazy world in which we live.
"On top of that, the Western Program provides it's own tutoring service through The Inquiry Center. There, I tutor students in calculus, physics, and chemistry, as well as help students engage in any act of inquiry. That's my role as a tutor, but that's not all I do. I'm also an editor of Mi Cup of Tea, an interdisciplinary undergraduate journal, which accepts submissions from undergraduate students in all subjects and highlights their commitment and interest in their topics.
"Western also offers a unique community atmosphere. Dinners and events are held monthly (nearly weekly!), and they provide a great opportunity to engage with both students and professors outside of the classroom, to share thoughts and ideas, and just generally kick it with an awesome set of peers.
"So, whether it is tutoring, inventing my own major, or hunting mushrooms with the head my academic department, the Western Program is the most engaged on campus."