Hannah Horick lives in Odessa, Texas where she is Director of Education and Partnerships at Crisis Center of West Texas. Horick’s experiences in the Honors College at UNT allowed her to lead one of her employer’s largest fundraisers of the year, Dancing with West Texas Stars, and she successfully help raise $300,000 in revenue for the organization. Horick graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Texas in 2017 and was a member of the Honors Program.
What brought you to the University of North Texas?
UNT felt like home as soon as I toured the campus. The biggest draws were the university’s commitment to green energy and sustainability, the Honors College’s ability to make a big school feel smaller, and a diverse school community that had been absent in my hometown.
Why did you choose to be a member of the UNT Honors College (or program) during your studies?
The Honors College at UNT made a large, public university far less overwhelming. It seemed, and proved to be, one of the best ways to find a community of motivated people on campus with similar interests and to access courses and resources that would help me succeed in my time at UNT.
What do you enjoy most about the Honors College?
Honors courses remain one of my favorite parts of the Honors College. These courses were the most engaging and informative classes I took over the course of four years. Fittingly, the non-Honors course that proved to measure up was taught by an Honors College professor who also served as the Faculty in Residence at one of the Honors residence halls. The smaller class sizes, in-depth coverage of topics, and course work that emphasized critical thinking and analysis motivated me and made it easier to learn.
What has been the most valuable lesson – inside or outside the classroom – that you have learned at UNT?
Definitively, the most valuable lesson I learned was to build a relationship with your professors from the beginning. Whether it was staying a minute or two after class to have a conversation about lecture or dropping by office hours to ask a question, making that initial introduction early on can only be beneficial. Having professors who knew my name and recognized my face proved valuable time and time again.
Please share a memorable moment or experience from your time at UNT and the Honors College.
My semester in the North Texas in D.C. (NTDC) Scholarship Program was undoubtedly the most memorable experience at UNT, and the Honors College played an enormous role in my success in my NTDC internship. Having the opportunity to live and work in Austin during the Texas legislative session was the perfect hands-on learning experience and honed my general interest in politics and public policy. I was fortunate to be given a tremendous amount of freedom and responsibility in my office, and got in-depth policy experience while simultaneously discovering a passion for public health.
How would you describe UNT, the Honors College, and Denton?
UNT is accessible and easy-going, but shouldn’t be underestimated. All of the resources that you might need to succeed at a relatively large, public university are there, and it’s up to the individual which resources you choose to take advantage of.
The Honors College was the part of UNT that made me feel the most at home over the course of my four years of college. Through programs, socials, residence halls, lectures, and courses, there’s a consistent community of people who care about education. More than anything, the Honors College was a place full of people I knew I could fall back on when I needed to be around people with similar goals.
Denton is everything I wanted in a college town. It was the perfect distance from my hometown, and was close enough to the DFW metroplex that if we ever needed an escape, it wasn’t far away. It’s a city that’s small enough that you can really get to know it, but large enough that there are always new things to find and do.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment so far?
I am quite proud of the role I played in Crisis Center of West Texas’ largest fundraiser of the year, Dancing with West Texas Stars. This year’s event raised nearly $300,000 in revenue for our organization, which provides services to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in addition to education programs for the community. Though I had only worked at the agency for a brief time before joining the planning efforts for the event, I oversaw graphic and web designs, marketing efforts, and helped the agency transition to a new donor management system. The event hosted more than 800 people, and more than doubled the funds raised the previous year.