Wartburg helped me challenge my assumptions

NAME: Trevor Hurd    
HOMETOWN: West Union
MAJOR: History, political science

INVOLVEMENT ON CAMPUS: Baseball, Student Senate, Wartburg Student Body President, Wartburg Ambassadors, Admissions Assistant, WRSL consultant

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE WARTBURG: If I am being entirely honest, I chose Wartburg almost entirely on a whim. I was under the impression that it was a strong school and would most likely provide me with the tools necessary to achieve my life goals; however, I was unaware of just what makes this place truly unique and capable of leaving a lasting impression on all former and current students.

HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON YOUR MAJOR: From the outset, I knew I had interests in both politics and history — particularly American history. I engaged in a period of reflection following high school, in which I determined that the individuals whom I admired the most seemed to all have something in common. That is, each of them had a career in either the law or politics, and frequently both. I determined that if I wished to model myself after those who have been true examples for my life, I would study each of these disciplines.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER GRADUATION: I plan to attend the University of Iowa Law School following graduation with the intention to enter into the field of criminal law and eventually serve as a judge.  

Trevor Hurd

HOW DID WARTBURG PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR NEXT STEP: Wartburg provides an outstanding education to each and every student who truly seeks to learn. I have found that my experience is no exception to this rule. However, I believe the most important characteristic that Wartburg offers is the manner in which it teaches students to adopt a critical structure of thought. Students at Wartburg are not only bombarded with factual knowledge, but are also instructed to think differently — perhaps, even a bit dangerously. They are taught to challenge nearly every assumption and adopt an attitude of intellectual humility that encourages a pragmatic approach to life that is likely to be fruitful for years to come. 

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS: My favorite class was the International Relations course taught by Dr. Bret Billet. It required me to give up all parochial forms of thought in favor of a new, global understanding of the world. Not only were my opinions challenged, but I also learned the importance of research and the necessity of providing evidence to my claims and arguments. This class restructured my thought patterns for future classes, making it an invaluable experience.

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST DIFFICULT CLASS: The most difficult classes that I took include both the previously mentioned International Relations course, as well as a class entitled The Developing World. Not only did these classes entail rigorous workloads, but they also challenged the dominant paradigms of my mind. For the first time, I was required to consider international theories of development that were less than coherent with the Western style of thought I had always abided by. These classes were difficult because they challenged the previous held assumptions that I used to shape nearly every argument I had developed prior to these classes.

DO YOU HAVE ANY MENTORS ON CAMPUS: I have a number of people that I look to in times of disarray. Tara Winter, Katie Wyman, Mallory Luensmann, Danny Drees, Coach Joel Holst, and Coach Jared Pirkl have each provided me with valuable feedback about life decisions. That being said, the most important person who has shaped my academic career, social life, and overall life outlook, is Dr. Bret Billet. Not only has he been indispensable in guiding me through challenging research, but he has also provided insight into various other realms of my life. Without Dr. Billet, I can assure you that I would not have become the student or person that I am today.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER IMAGINED YOU WOULD DO BEFORE COMING TO WARTBURG: Prior to Wartburg, I never would have imagined that I would have the opportunity to be published in The Wall Street Journal. To begin, I do not think I would have considered myself capable of contributing to a periodical like the Journal, nor would I have been as eager to test my skills had I not attended Wartburg. Not only did Wartburg provide the skills to achieve such a feat, but it also provided me with the confidence to test the waters and see what I could accomplish.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WARTBURG MEMORY: During my time at Wartburg, I have had the opportunity to engage with my peers and professors in numerous ways. That being said, I believe the most impactful of these interactions took place at around 2 a.m. in a computer lab with Dr. Billet and (fellow student) Freddie Eden. On the brink of exhaustion and less than ecstatic about the results of my research, I found myself comforted by the fact that I was surrounded by people who enjoyed the predicament we each found ourselves in. Ultimately this experience is meaningful to me because it represents the uniquely passionate people Wartburg attracts. I felt that I belonged.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: I encourage students to take a step back and attempt to observe just how lucky they are to have the opportunity to receive an education that encourages true intellectual growth. The term liberal arts has been thrown around and used rather loosely and seems to have lost some of its meaning in recent years; yet, I believe students at Wartburg — if they are willing — can still begin to grasp just what it means to receive such a valuable education.

WHY IS WARTBURG WORTH IT: I believe that Wartburg is worth it because it is an institution that is loved by so many of its faculty, staff, and alum, but also is a school that provides an education designed to alter the manner in which you live your life. It is worth it because it is so much more than a college; it is a stepping stone along the path to achieving any and every dream you set your mind to. Wartburg is a light in a world that has increasingly chosen to neglect the importance of education and becoming a lifelong learner.