It’s senior week and we are highlighting some of the members of the Class of 2021 as part of our #HumansOfLongwood series. Wherever life after Longwood takes them—a new job, graduate studies or an internship—these students reflect the goals and achievements made possible in a close-knit community that promotes student involvement, values inclusion and nurtures citizen leadership in whatever form it takes.

Austin Van Horn ‘21
Hometown: Midlothian
Major: History
Next step: Pursuing a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs at Indiana University

The most rewarding experience of my undergraduate career has to be working in Longwood’s Admissions Office for the past three admissions cycles. It made me realize that I want to pursue a career in higher education and help students find their home and passions. This experience opened many avenues for me to be able to meet and get to know so many amazing people. I also interned in Longwood’s Office of Institutional Advancement and this allowed me to see how valuable networking is in any profession, including higher education.

When I look back on my four years at Longwood there have been so many people invested in my well-being. The campus is full of caring faculty and staff who genuinely pushed me to be the best version of myself every day. They not only believed in me academically and professionally but also as an individual and as an emerging citizen leader. Specifically, Aaron Sims ’17, an admissions counselor, has been a mentor who helped prepare me for grad school and sparked my interest in working in higher education—specifically in enrollment management.

Next I will be pursuing a master’s degree at Indiana University. In graduate school I hope to study ways to make colleges and universities more equitable. This desire grew out of research I conducted at Longwood that helped me realize that I enjoy helping make campus and higher education more inclusive and diverse. I love that Longwood is fertile ground to allow you to grow into whoever you want to be. It provides mentors and support for you to find paths to not only benefit yourself but also to give back to our campus and society as a whole.

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