Author Archives: Payten Bovat

Human Behavior and Social Institutions

POSC 100- The American Political System

I took this class with Dr. Harbour in Fall 2018, my first semester at Longwood. I enjoyed this class so much more than I thought I would. Learning about the inner workings of the American political system intrigued me to the point of considering changing my major to political science. If you have read my biography, you know it doesn’t take much for me to consider such things! This class made me eager to learn more about the way our country is run and take a deeper look at the people who are in the highest seats of power. Two years later and I still apply topics I learned in this class when I watch the news and when I decided who I will vote for. Other than the fact that this was an 8am class and I did not particularly enjoy my professor, topic wise, POSC 100 has been one of my favorite classes at Longwood.

Global Citizenship

ASL 110- Begin Language and Culture

A reflection of this class can be found under the Perspectives tab along with my reflection of and artifacts from ASL 210.

ASL 210

For two semesters I have taken American Sign Language with Dr. Emmett Jones in order to fulfill my World Language Perspective requirement. I was surprised when I found the language harder to learn than I initially expected. Many ASL signs look nearly identical and have to be deciphered based on the context of each sentence. Translating was one of the most challenging parts for me because ASL has a different grammatical structure than English and it’s difficult to rearrange the words to make sense in my mind without losing a sign in the process— which can completely alter the meaning of the sentence. The most surprising thing I learned in this course was that there are three different versions of Sign Language: American Sign Language (ASL), Pidgin Signed English (PSE), and Signed Exact English (SEE). While ASL is the most widely used and accepted version among the Deaf community, PSE is the one that is most commonly taught in schools to children. I was confused when I learned this and wondered why the most accepted version among people who actually used the language wouldn’t be taught. However, after a lot of research I found that PSE is used more like a continuum between ASL and English, serving as a bridge for the deaf and hearing.

The biggest thing that I took away from this course is that a hearing person does not need to know perfect ASL in order to have relationships with people of the Deaf and hard of hearing community. My ASL is nowhere near perfect but on the two occasions where I went to Dr. Jones’ workshop for families with deaf children, I found that I was able to effectively communicate with the people there because they knew and appreciated that I was seeking to learn their language. I once thought ASL was only used among the deaf community but I have begun to notice it among many groups of people such as children, individuals with verbal disabilities, and most prevalently a little girl in my family who has Cerebral Palsy. I have used the knowledge from both semesters of this course and applied it to my life in teaching my niece basic signs so that she can understand her cousin with CP and communicate with others before her verbal language skills develop. Both semesters of this course allowed me a new perspective on the Deaf community and how far empathy and the desire to be educated can go.



This academic year was monumental for many reasons. I finalized my major, chose a career path, and involved myself in various organizations, many of which I held high positions.

Honor and Conduct Board

In the fall semester I was a member of the Honor and Conduct Board. I learned so much about myself in the three day training we a part of before the rest of campus came back. I learned that I am very organized and strive for finite goals that can be accomplished. With each case I sat on came a new level of empathy and understanding. I feel so grateful that I was given a chance to see the inner workings of the student conduct process.

Student Government Association

Since I first arrived at Longwood I knew that I wanted to carry on my high school involvement in student government into my college years. In the 2018-2019 school year I served on the Student Government Association as a Freshman Representative and set my sights on becoming SGA President before I graduated. I am so happy to say that I have stuck with this goal and have made large strides in what I hope will result in my achieving it. In Fall 2019 I served as the Sophomore Class President and realized how heavily SGA impacts Longwood’s campus and each student that attends our university. After stepping away for one semester to recenter myself and take a breath from all my additional responsibilities, I returned to SGA and was elected to the position of Executive Senator for the upcoming school year of 2020-2021. Being a member of exec will allow me a unique insight on behind the scenes work and I am extremely excited to have this experience. SGA has quickly become my favorite aspect of Longwood and it was the first organization that truly made me feel like I had found my home away from home. During my time serving the student body I have vastly increased my abilities to organize events and have also discovered my love for thinking up initiatives and taking them on. I will keep working towards my goal of becoming SGA President and hopefully my next update will include that success!

Elwood’s Cabinet

Elwood’s Cabinet has caused me to take a look at my heart and has also given me skills in recognizing the needs of those around me. I served as the Director of Donations this past year and I have been elected to do so again for the upcoming year. Being a  member of this amazing organization, I have experienced exponential growth in both my personal and professional life. Running the cabinet takes an army and it is a lot of hard work, but it is so worth it. I have always had a heart for serving others but I never thought about the fact that my peers need serving as well.Elwood’s Cabinet won the Best New Organization award and that was a very humbling moment for everyone who volunteers for us. Knowing that students utilize our resources and appreciate our mission gives me a deep sense of satisfaction and makes me beyond honored to be a Lancer.It is because of this organization and my desire to serve that I have decided to join the AmeriCorps after graduation and then pursue a career working for nonprofit organization.

Writing Center

Perhaps the biggest professional development I have made this academic year was being accepted to join the Writing Center staff for the upcoming year. I have always loved writing and editing things and I knew that the Writing Center would be a fantastic place to gain work experience that relates to my degree. After undergoing five weeks of training, I was offered an official position as a Writing Consultant. I am eager to work with students and sharpen my skills as both a writer and a tutorer. This experience will give me a unique edge when applying to grad schools and I know it will serve me well in both my professional and personal development.

Enhancement of ENGL 365

ENGL 365 is the first course that I have enhanced at Longwood. Solely dedicated to intricately studying and analyzing Shakespearean plays and sonnets, this class greatly enriched my thought process and analytical skills. Throughout the course of the Spring 2020 semester we read and studied a variety of Shakespeare’s comedy, tragedy, and historical plays. In deciding which play would be the topic of our enhancement, my partner Amber and I conducted research of which plays are most commonly adapted and concluded to make the comedy, Twelfth Night or What You Will, the subject of our enhancement. During the research process we watched a total of four film adaptations ranging from 1910-2006. Spending many hours delving deep into research and watching approximately six hours of movies, finishing this project is one of the most rewarding things I have accomplished.

Writing alongside another person was a new experience for me and while initially challenging, my writing skills greatly improved from this partnership. Merging writing styles, we aimed to give our paper a tone that was academic and professional while still presenting as approachable and casual to readers. I experienced vast professional and personal development due to my training as a writing consultant, coincidentally concurrent with the timeline of my partner and I writing our enhancement paper. Both training to become tutors at Longwood’s writing center, Amber and I used our desire of helping writers flourish and applied the skills we were learning in training to our own project.  Working on this enhancement for an entire semester and then seeing the finished product left me feeling rewarded and accomplished in my academic studies.

Quantitative Reasoning

Math 135- Mathematical Modeling of Finance

To satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning pillar I took Mathematical Modeling of Finance with Professor Stanton. The second half of this class was very useful in that it prepared me to make budgets and I learned how to break down loan agreements. This class helped me gain many useful skills that I will be able to implement when I begin to pay my own bills and take out loans. I found the topic of this class interesting and I enjoyed being able to break down numbers and apply formulas to figure out things such as interest rates and monthly payments. I think this is a very useful course that everyone should take because it helps prepare for the financial realties of adult life.

In this class we were assigned three written paper projects where we paired with partners and created a financial plan. Below I have attached my final project. The assignment was to work with a partner and make an Amortization table/schedule for an item that we desired. I worked with my partner and we each chose an object we wanted and then created separate tables. In this project the object I desired was a new car (object A).


Aesthetic Expressions

English 220- Intro to Dramatic Writing

During my first semester I took a dramatic writing class with Professor Carroll-Hackett that was based on writing and analyzing screenplays for short films and movies. Before taking this class I had the assumption that it was solely going to be a dramatic writing class. The biggest thing I took away was that I am definitely not a screenwriter. I learned that I prefer to write research-based papers and things that are analytical and thought provoking. While this workshopping class was very thought provoking and could be analytical at times depending on how in depth the writer was, this class was not my favorite. Mary (that’s what Professor Carroll-Hackett preferred to be called) is an incredibly interesting woman and genuinely sparked an interest in me. I was fascinated in seeing all the background work that goes into making a movie. We learned that for each page written, it equates to one minute of screen time. This fact is amazing to me because I struggled writing my 9 page short-film script and I cannot imagine writing one that is over 200 pages. I can honestly say that I have not watched a movie in the same way as I did before this class.  Even though I did not necessarily like the topic of the course and it was the source of many late nights, it prompted me to dig deep when coming up with plots. I have taken away a lot of valuable lessons from this course that go beyond screenwriting thanks to Mary.


We were assigned to write four scripts throughout the course of the semester, workshopping each others on a rotation schedule each week. Each week after workshopping other’s scripts and hearing feedback on mine, I gained knowledge about plot and character development and basic formatting. The most challenging part about writing a screenplay is creating the characters. Each has to have qualities and quirks that make them human and not one dimensional.  I struggled the most with this throughout the semester but through reading my classmates scripts and talking about it each class, I eventually learned how to improve my characters and what drives them. The script below is the second one I wrote for this class and I’ll admit that it’s not very good but I am not the most creative person when it comes to creating a storyline.

Scientific Reasoning

PSYC 101- Intro to Psychology

I took AP Psychology my senior year of high school and achieved a high score on the AP Exam, allowing my class to transfer as college credit.

Historical and Contemporary Insights

History 221- US History Colonial-1877

I took this class through John Brown University, during my junior year of high school. This counted as dual-enrollment credit here at Longwood University.

CTZN 110

This class was also one of my Honors requirements that I took during my first semester at Longwood.