A native of Morgantown, Wren King graduates this May with degrees in anthropology, women's and gender studies, and geography. They were recently named a WVU Outstanding Senior.
At WVU, they were an Honors College Student Ambassador, part of Global Medical and Dental Brigades and member of the Editorial Review Board for Mountaineer Undergraduate Research Review. In 2021, King was selected as a Key into Public Service Scholar by the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honors society.
After graduation, Wren plans on moving to Pittsburgh and working in higher education for several years before attending graduate school. They are considering several different advanced degree paths and hope the time off will help them cement one topic and direction.
Share with us one of your most impactful Honors College experiences.
My most impactful Honors College experience has absolutely been my position as an Ambassador. Through this position I have had the privilege of talking to hundreds of potential and incoming first-year students, as well as working on Honors College programming, and sharing my experiences. It’s been a joy being able to learn the art of recruitment and to see the moment of realization when a student sees themselves at the Honors College. I love working Discover and Decide and representing this university and college that has done so much for me.
What is your favorite memory of your time at WVU?
My favorite memories were definitely made in Panama while on Brigade with Global Medical and Dental Brigades. Having the opportunity to represent West Virginia and the university on an international scale while doing service was such a joy and a privilege. A particularly fond memory was the first day we were working in clinics. We facilitated clinics for two days in a community called Yaviza, which is at the terminus of the Pan-American Highway. Working with such an accomplished and impressive group of students and having the pleasure of organizing them into action and seeing the results of that was one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever experienced. I’ll always treasure witnessing them adapt to the situation and work like a well-oiled machine.
What are your points of pride, accomplishments or the skills you developed that you are proud of most?
I am most proud of the collective work I have done on the leadership team of the journal. During my time at the journal since spring of 2020, I’ve seen the publication of four volumes and reviewed several dozen student articles across numerous disciplines, developed a land acknowledgement and workshops about Indigenous issues in research, expanded publication in humanities and social sciences, improved our review methodology, and increased awareness of this excellent resource. I’ve also personally learned so much about undergraduate research, publishing, accessibility in research, and my experience with the journal has cemented my passion for accessible interdisciplinary undergraduate research.
What is one thing you learned about yourself during your time at WVU?
My time at WVU has been transformative, and I am literally a completely different person than when I started at the university. Because of the amazing faculty, staff, and students I have had the privilege of working with during the last four years, I was able to blossom into a confident leader, activist, and scholar. I never would have expected to have been so involved with undergraduate research, president of a pre-medical organization, and representing the Honors College in so many different contexts. Overall, I have learned to not underestimate myself, and believe what others see in me. My mentors, colleagues, and friends believed in me, and realizing that people say things for a reason and taking them to heart emboldened me to push myself further than I ever thought was possible.
What advice would you give to future WVU students?
Read your emails! Almost all of my opportunities have come from the newsletters I receive on a weekly basis. Additionally, don’t be afraid to cold email faculty, staff, other students about any questions you may have. No one is going to be angry at you, and most people want to help you succeed. There’s no harm in sending an email. It’s fast, easy, and free.