Coming out of high school we all know how tough it is to decide what you want to do with your life or where you want to go. Being from Mesa, Arizona I only knew one thing…I wanted to leave there and see another part of the country. I visited schools in Iowa, Colorado, and in Minnesota and after 10 plus visits I finally settled at Concordia. I mean after all I was kind of a legacy at this school. My aunt is in the athletic hall of fame for winning a national championship here and my great grandfather is former Concordia College president Joseph Knutson (his statue is in the Knutson Campus Center). The decision was one of the best I have made in my life.
The first reason it was the best choice is that I got to continue to play the sport I love, but being able to put education first was key. I played golf at this college for four years, amassing 23 top-25s and finishing 3rd all-time in career scoring average. Most importantly though I was privileged enough to become captain the past two years and to be able to show the other men how to make the right choices. This allowed me to make an imprint on my fellow teammates and shape how they think about the world. It is important to stress the ability to instill a hard work ethic, the same work ethic that I learned in Chemistry 127-128 in my freshman year. Golf provided me an outlet and allowed me to grow as a man and a kid trying to become a responsibly engaged in the world.
The education at Concordia is grueling and the teachers are not shy about pushing you to exceed your expectations. They push you to set higher goals and expand your horizons. Dr. Mach of my Neurochemistry class has done this just as much as anyone. In her class we looked at 9 neurodegenerative diseases the plague the world at this time and each week I found myself becoming more engaged in the material and thirsting for more knowledge on the topics. In life, there is no easy road and I am constantly going to keep driving forward and the thirst for knowledge that Concordia has instilled in me will make that happen.
The well-rounded curriculum at Concordia College has allowed me to be a science major but also take classes in global studies, English, and humanities while also focusing on my major. This allows me to make connections between fields of study that I would not have had the ability to do at a large university. It has become easier for me to see problems from many different angles and has allowed me to see the world from a new lens. All this allows me to become a more responsible citizen in a global community.
Finally, we get to my capstone experience, the peak of the mountain, the cherry on top of the sundae. Taking Neurochemistry for any science major is a must. The ability to have a free flowing classroom where we all participate and are not lectured at for an hour provides an experience where we all learn together. We research was interests us and are not confined to a bubble of material that the professor assigns. Dr. Mach gave all of us the freedom to follow our passion and this was especially exemplified in the blog posts and the community action project. The blog posts only requirement was that they had to focus on the week’s topic and provide some science. This allowed me to write a biography one week and provide research another. These gave me the chance to provide my own learning into the topic.
The community action project was another highlight of my undergraduate education. Logan, Hannah, and I decided to focus on ALS a debilitating neuro disease that has no cure and is a death sentence. Based on Dr. Mach’s instructions whatever we did just had to be focused on ALS and this gave us the freedom to act as ambassadors to the ALS association and try and promote the ALS walk in Fargo, ND on Saturday August 19 at 10:00am. We contacted radio station executives in an effort to get air time to discuss the walk and are still in negotiations, but this experience allowed us to leave the bubble on campus and promote change on a larger scale. To experience the real world and try to make a difference. Hopefully we are successful in the end.
My time at Concordia has come and gone and I am thankful for the opportunity to attend a college that allowed me to grow as a man. A place where the professors push you to excellence, but at the same time provide you with the support needed. A place where I was able to follow my passion of playing golf and also provide me with a rigorous education. However, now it is time to enter the real world and I know wherever I go, Concordia has provided me with a launch pad into the future.