KOKOMO, Ind. – Brian Arwood is the definition of an over-achiever.
A non-traditional student with a wife, child, and crazy work and school schedule, he takes time to volunteer, serve on student organizations, and cheer on the Cougar athletic teams. Oh, and yes, he's an exceptional student as well.
After not using his previous degree in literature and working in the restaurant industry for years, he decided it was no longer an option and wanted to pursue new things for the betterment of his family.
Double majoring in nursing and psychology is a natural choice for Arwood. As an Army medic in the National Guard, he has gained first-hand experience in the medical field. He even had the privilege of delivering his daughter, Molly, who is now one year old.
"I have a caregiver personality, and I want to help people. This was the best choice for me," he said.
However, Arwood hasn't stopped at simply a double major. He's also added four minors into the mix – sociology, philosophy, communications, and leadership.
"Once I figured out what I truly wanted to do and what my goals were, adding these minors were important to my educational experience," Arwood said. "Having a solid grounding in these subjects is important to any student, and it will greatly impact me as I enter my career."
In order for Arwood to graduate within four years, he has to take 21-24 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters, in addition to summer courses. So far, he has taken at least 21 credit hours per semester and is on track to graduate in December 2014.
His reasoning for taking on such great responsibilities at IU Kokomo is simple: distinction.
"When I graduate from IU Kokomo, I want to know that I will stand out," he said. "Getting the degree isn't enough anymore. You have to go above and beyond and set yourself apart from the thousands of other people who are graduating with the same degrees as you are."
His heavy involvement in campus life will help set him apart from other students. Arwood is the director of the Student Athletics and Wellness Board, assistant editor of The Correspondent student newspaper, president of Psychology Club, president of Student Veterans Organization, treasurer of Student Nurses Association, and vice president of Philosophy Club. He also serves as an IU Seek Mentor, an Orientation Leader, a Student Ambassador, a Peer Advisor, as well as a tutor for the School of Nursing. He sits on various committees, and helped plan recent homecoming.
His latest project stemmed after attending a leadership conference with other IU Kokomo students, he hopes to start up a mentoring program on campus for students who want to go the extra mile.
"My idea for a mentoring student organization is my effort to implement a more formalistic version of mentorship on campus," Arwood said.
There are current mentoring programs available, but he believes a mentoring organization can assist students with résumé building, online and social media presence, public speaking, interviewing, and studying skills, appropriate conduct in public, and philanthropic work.
"Students don't always think about what's happening after college, and this organization will allow students to think ahead and be in a position to get interviews and jobs after they graduate," he added.
Arwood recently decided to take his degree to the next level and join the Honors Program, meaning he will take additional coursework in and outside of his major and be required to present at student conferences. He will graduate with University Honors, Major Honors, and Interdisciplinary Honors in nursing and psychology, an incredible accomplishment for any student.
As required by the Honors Program, he recently presented at the Indiana University Undergraduate Research Conference on the IUPUI campus. His research presentation was titled, "Politicizing the Armenian Genocide."
In addition to his busy life at IU Kokomo, Arwood serves as a volunteer around campus and in the community.
After graduation, he would like to finish his master's in literature, obtain a health management certificate, and complete a master's in nursing, all at IU Kokomo.
All in a day in the life of an over-achiever.
Story written by Mary Olk. Mary is a student writer in the Office of Media & Marketing.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.