First-year student Emily Pachta follows sister’s footsteps

Dec 06, 2021

When Emily Pachta started first grade, her sister, Elyse (Pachta) Rottinghaus, began her freshman year at Newman University.

The sisters are 13 years apart, and Pachta looks up to Rottinghaus as her role model. Even so, as the younger sibling, Pachta was stubborn and declared she would not follow in her sister’s footsteps as far as college went. But as her senior year of high school progressed, Pachta decided to apply to Newman for its prestigious, full-tuition St. John Henry Newman Scholarship, which she ultimately received.

“Once I was awarded the scholarship, I knew Newman was the best choice for me,” Pachta said.

Rottinghaus currently lives in the sisters’ hometown of Wamego, Kansas, with her husband and two kids, where she works as a veterinarian.

Elyse (Pachta) Rottinghaus with her husband and two children.
Elyse (Pachta) Rottinghaus with her husband and two children.

Pachta is a current psychology major with a concentration in pre-med. She hopes to eventually attend medical school to become a psychiatrist — a goal inspired by her own mental health struggles, which came about during the pandemic.

“This reassured my career goals and opened my eyes to the importance of therapy and medication for those who need it,” Pachta said.

Finding her way at Newman

As a student at Newman, Pachta has taken advantage of the university’s many extracurricular activities. The one she is most involved with is the Sloppy Joe Improv troupe.

“Auditioning for the group was one of the best decisions I have made at Newman,” Pachta said. “I did a lot of theater in high school, and Sloppy Joes allows me to be creative and use my talents again. The team consists of some of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and we all support each other not only in improv, but also in classes and our social lives.”

Emily Pachta at the 2021 Breakfast and Bingo event
Emily Pachta at the 2021 Breakfast and Bingo event

In addition, Pachta is part of the Multicultural Leadership Organization and Newman Circle K International, as well as the Newman University Medical Professionals Club, which was actually started by Rottinghaus and some of her classmates. She’s also involved with the Student Government Association.

“I appreciate the power it has given me to make change, and because of SGA, I am now trying to start a speech and debate team,” Pachta said.

Overall, even though Pachta was hesitant about attending Newman at first, it’s proven to be one of the best decisions of her life thus far.

“I was scared of coming to Newman because of the small size, and I was worried I wouldn’t make friends,” she said. “Then you start meeting people and joining clubs and realize that no matter if you play sports, do plays, or focus on school and work, there is a place for you at Newman. You will find your people if you just give it time.”

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