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Non-Traditional In a Non-Traditional Sense: Annie Titus

| Jacob Noren

            Annie Titus, a Rhetorics of Science, Technology, and Culture major, sophomore, and non traditional student, has become a face known both within the English department and throughout all corners of campus. Whether its her involvement within the English department, her participation in several of the university’s largest events, her work as an activist, or her classwork, Titus demonstrates excellence at any opportunity.

            Before coming to Eau Claire as a non-traditional student Titus traveled the country as a truck driver for Walmart, served as a mayor for a small town, and has described herself as a “master rouser of rabbles.” This description is more than just words, Titus’s political experience dates back to 1988 where she helped with local Republican political campaigns. She participated in multiple presidential elections and ran their campaigns within Iowa. Titus worked alongside Senator John McCain while working on Phil Gramm’s presidential campaign. Annie’s political work and mayoral position ended when she transitioned in the early 2000’s and would later describe herself as a “recovering Republican.”

            “I’ve always been an activist in one form or another. I like being with people, I like being active, I like discussing ideas,” said Titus when asked about her role as an activist, “I tend to think things through and don’t take others’ opinions just because they say so (and this applies to professors as well)”

            Within the English department Titus works in the Writing center, serves as an English Ambassador, and has participated in the English Department internships for two straight semesters. She describes the art of persuasion as one of her passions and believes that in the “real world” this skill is valued above all others:

“If you want to do activism, if you want to be involved in peoples’ lives, if you want to make things happen, you have to understand how rhetorics work. You need to understand how persuasion works. You have to understand how communication works. And if a person can write an argument then there’s a good possibility they can also verbally make that argument at some point later… In the world of business, in the world outside of academia the one skill that makes more sense than anything else out there is the ability to write, the ability to communicate, and ultimate the ability to persuade somebody… to me rhetorics is about persuasion.“

            Titus’s involvement does not end in the English Department. Titus is a videographer and video editor which has led to her involvement in the EauQueer film festival. Titus was one of the ten student and staff volunteers who traveled to San Francisco for two weeks to meet with film representatives and retrieve the films that will be featured in this years EauQueer Film Festival, one of the largest events UWEC hosts. Titus also worked along several other video editors to create the film festival’s trailers which can be viewed on the EauQueer website.

            Titus’s work with the queer community is not limited to EauQueer. This semester Titus took on the role of President of Pride, a student organization that provides resources and discussions for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. “I’m passionate about being queer,” stated Titus, “I’m passionate about sharing a love for queer people… There’s a community there that I cannot find elsewhere.” Along with her new position as President of Pride, Titus is in charge of GEEKcon, a cooperative event between Pride and LTS. The event will take place on December 9th and showcase all of the “geek” Eau Claire has to offer.

            Annie Titus has become a face known by staff and students alike throughout campus and will continue to affect our community through her involvement. She can be found in her “dungeon” in the basement of the old library, on the fourth floor of centennial barraging her professors with questions, or eating lunch with her friends in the Dulany.