Emmali Montgomery

Emmali Montgomery

Full Name: Emmali Montgomery

Hometown: Lancaster, PA

Major: Computer Science 

Minors: Entrepreneurship; Women's Studies

Year: Junior

Expected Semester of Graduation: Spring 2018


Why did you join the Honors College?

The Honors College originally appealed to me because I had always been in the Honors/AP track in high school and thought this would be similar. I also really liked that Honors students were centralized in one dorm (Reighard Hall) because I felt that the environment that was being created would allow me to excel in my classes and live with people who had a similar work ethic to me. I've also really enjoyed helping my community which I'm able to do through the Honors College and our community service events. 

How has the Honors College shaped your experience at Millersville University?

I never thought that such an organization would have this kind of impact on my life. Being in Reighard really helped me to form relationships with fellow honors students, and I have a feeling that many of those relationships are going to last me a lifetime. The honors courses have also expanded my knowledge and way of thinking to encompass so much more than I could have ever imagined. Thinking about the Honors thesis also prompted research with Dr. Hardy from the Computer Science department, which later led to a co-authored paper that was published and represented at 3 major conferences. Had I not been required to write a thesis, I probably would have never ended up with the chance to work so closely with a professor. I've also been able to work very closely with Dr. McCollum-Clark on my thesis. Researching with a professor is something I never actually imagined myself doing. A lot of the organizations I'm involved with were also a result of meeting people in the Honors College who said, "Hey! I'm in this organization and it's really cool! You should join!" Not to mention the fact that I've had the opportunity to work with Barb in Franklin House on a lot of things involving the Honors College. 

What was your favorite honors course/professor? Why?

My favorite honors course was English Composition with Dr. Kim McCollum-Clark because she really shaped how I write. Within her classroom, we were encouraged to write in various different styles about anything that intrigued us and she was the reason I started thinking about my thesis topic so early. The Honors Thesis can seem really daunting but she had us considering topics in our very first year. Because of her, I've been way ahead of the game in completing my requirements. As of my 5th semester here, I have completed all 30 honors credits including the thesis. 

I also really enjoyed the courses that I made honors within my major. Having honors in your major is something you can do once you have 15 honors credits. Because of this opportunity, I was able to make both my Data Mining and Artificial Intelligence courses with Dr. Schwartz honors. I loved this because I was able to get honors credit for studying topics within my major that really interested me. The professor was also wonderful and always available if I had a question or needed advice (she's my advisor, after all). 

How many credits do you typically take?

For 3 semesters I took 18 credits a semester (in addition to being in 5 total organizations). College is teaching me that there is a such thing as 'too much', so I have since backed down my credits to 15 a semester and eventually got it to 13 when I no longer had to double-up on science courses. 

What does your typical day look like?

My typical day really depends on which day you're asking about. Now that I'm in my 6th semester of college and because I took so many courses early on, my schedule has opened up a lot. I have more flexibility in what I'm able to do during the day or even what days I have classes. On Mondays and Wednesdays my schedule is very busy. I'm in 4 class that last about 4.5 hours total. I also work at Franklin House for 2 hours and have Concert Band rehearsal for another 1.5 hours. My day starts at 9am and typically ends around 8pm. On Fridays, I only have two 1-hour classes and 4 hours of work so my day ends around 3pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my more relaxed days throughout the week. I don't have class at all, but I still work at Franklin House during the day. I also tend to go to the Marauder Men's Glee Club rehearsals to listen to and support my friends.  

What other organizations have you been a part of?

I have been a part of the Honors College Student Association (of course), Student Alumni Association, Relay for Life, Concert Band, Flute Ensemble, and one summer I participated in J.A.M. Crew. 

What leadership roles have you had on campus?

I have been a mentor through the Honors College since my Sophomore year and this year I had the opportunity to be the Peer Mentor for all 60 incoming Computer Science freshman. From 2015-2016 I was the Secretary for the Student Alumni Association, and from 2016-2017 I was the Secretary for Relay for Life. 

What was your favorite Honors College event?

It's really hard to pick one favorite event, so I'm picking two! I loved the corn maze as well as going to Spooky Nook to try out the rock climbing wall. I had a lot of fun with my friends and was able to de-stress from whatever was going on in my life at the time. 

What community service events have you completed while at the Honors College?

Since I've been here for a few years now, I've had the chance to complete a lot of different kinds of community service. One of the most fun events to do is the Sugar Bowl fundraiser. The Sugar Bowl is a pizza place on campus that allows organizations to keep tips as long as they deliver food for the night. This really helped me learn the campus! I've also participated in our annual Day of Caring, Walk for Wishes, Breast-a-Ville, Relay for Life, and supplying donations to the SPCA. All of these events I have repeated numerous times over because I really enjoy helping my community. There are also a lot more events scheduled every year that are normally tailored to the organization we're sponsoring! 

What advice would you give an incoming Freshman?

My biggest advice is to get involved on campus. College really is what you make of it and you will only enjoy your experience here if you put time into finding organizations that fit your interests. Most organizations are student run, so you will be able to make so many more friends who like similar things as you! Just make sure you don't overwhelm yourself with too many extracurriculars. I've been here for 3 years and I'm still learning that! It's very important to figure out a healthy balance between schoolwork, extracurriculars, family, and a social life if you want to be successful. I would also say to avoid procrastination. Even the best of us procrastinate sometimes and all that does is add unnecessary stress. Professors really like to see you thinking about and working through projects early-on rather than waiting and are more willing to help if it's not the day before the assignment is due. On that note, if you're ever confused in a class, don't be afraid to talk to your professor! They all have office hours and most respond by email if that's easiest. Professor's actually like to interact with their students and when you go to them for help it shows them you really care about their course. 

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