Our Stories

Jenn HeidtJenn Heidt

Jenn Heidt: Lead the way.

Jenn Heidt understands the power of preparation. While applying for a $26,000 Truman Scholarship, she and fellow student Lesley Meyer had to endure what might be referred to as the Willamette Inquisition to prepare for their regional interviews. "Lesley and I had three 40-minute sessions of being grilled by some of the best professors on campus," recalls Heidt, a senior politics major from Missoula, Mont. "They took time out of their schedules to review our applications and grill us for 40 minutes."

The result: Each won a Truman Scholarship to help finance their postgraduate studies in the realm of public service. According to Heidt, it's no accident that Willamette has produced eight Truman Scholars in the past five years. "Lesley and I were the most prepared students at the regional interviews," says Heidt. "The Truman interview was easy compared to the mock interviews. Coming back, I was like, 'I cannot believe how much preparation I received.'"

And after three years as a student here, Heidt still can't believe the level of support she receives from Willamette administrators and faculty members. "I don't believe there's another institution on the face of this Earth where you can be this close to your professors," says Heidt. "The professors are interested in more than just the academics - they're interested in helping you build yourself up as a person."

Heidt plans to pursue a master's degree in public policy before heading to law school, but don't expect to see her at the helm of some high-priced legal firm. Her goal is to develop policies in the interests of fairness and justice. "I don't think I'll practice law, but it'll provide me with a really good base to work from when developing public policy," says Heidt. "I could see myself being an advisor to the governor - or even being the governor."