Frank Westry came to Roosevelt University because he was looking for an excellent English program. But he was also influenced by his mother, alumna Martha R. Rice, who earned a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree in 2009 with a concentration in psychology. Her experience at Roosevelt was so transformative and welcoming that she persuaded her son to attend.
Westry has a love for literature. He is a prolific reader who enjoys the works of Toni Morrison, Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde and Robert Louis Stevenson. Westry also admires books by Malcolm Gladwell because the author addresses how we think as human beings, and he admires Mary Wollstonecraft, an 18th Century feminist philosopher who advocated for women’s rights.
Westry believes that literature can impact one’s life because it teaches and entertains at the same time. Roosevelt has helped him hone his writing skills and increase his understanding of the importance of good writing. The Roosevelt English major works at putting his skills into action by serving as a tutor in the University’s Writing Center, which helps students become better writers. This experience will serve him well as he wants to go on to graduate school and eventually teach at the high school level.
One of Westry’s favorite quotes is from Martin Luther King, Jr. who, when addressing the purpose of education, said, “The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society.”
Along with his mother, he gives credit to two professors, Ellen O’Brien and Carrie Brecke, whose outlook and encouragement have given him a positive attitude on life, education and the importance of the written word. Westry feels that during his time at Roosevelt, he has been challenged and grown academically.
Westry enjoys traveling and would like to do more of it in the future so he can observe different cultures. London, where Shakespeare founded his Globe Theatre, is near the top of his list. He wouldn’t mind locating to a warmer climate so he has included Hawaii on that list, too.
“The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
When he isn’t working in the Writing Center or at Hertz Rent-a-Car, Westry enjoys playing pool, especially in pool halls. Playing and watching basketball – he’s a Bulls fan – and working on jigsaw puzzles – the more pieces the better – are some of his other interests.
When asked what advice he would give to his fellow students, he said, “Always be ready to learn. It should never stop. And, don’t be afraid to come to the Writing Center!”
Would you like to help a student like Frank Westry?
There are many ways to support Roosevelt students, including establishing a named scholarship. For information, visit roosevelt.edu/giving or call the Office of Institutional Advancement at (312) 341-4327.