Fare thee well, Newman: A tribute to my professors

May 04, 2022
Dr. Brian Dietrich and Madeline Schnieders

This story originally appeared in The Vantage, Newman University’s student newspaper, published Thursday, April 28.

Oh Newman. What can I say? Besides switching my major from sonography to English, I’ve changed so much during my time here.

I came to Newman for a start over of my adult life after discerning out of a convent in California. I was shy with a better-than-thou attitude and, frankly, not very happy. Honestly, my philosophy as a freshman was, “I don’t need or want friends.”

Madeline (Alvarez) Schnieders
Madeline (Alvarez) Schnieders

But the people I met at Newman, from fellow students to professors, made that ideology impossible to hold onto. To name everyone I’ve been touched by during my time here would take too long, but I will name The Vantage and the English Department as the two main sources for my friendships and my growth academically, professionally and personally.

I went from joining The Vantage as a freshman who had never written a news article before to becoming editor-in-chief two years later. I honestly don’t think I could have improved so much had it not been for The Vantage Adviser Denise Neil. I’m convinced it’s largely due to her guidance that I now have a full-time job as a News Producer at KWCH.

My English professors also played a huge role in my journey as a writer as well as my growth as a person. As any of them will tell you, English majors often rank the highest in empathy because of the experience they gain by reading through the perspective of so many characters who have vastly different views of the world.

I know a lot of my growth as a human has been due to these experiences. I owe much to Professor of English Bryan Dietrich, my adviser, for pulling me into the program from the sonography track. I am much happier in the humanities area than I was in the health field.

It was because of my switch to majoring in English and my involvement with The Vantage that I met my husband, Cole Schnieders. He majored in English and wrote for The Vantage.

Madeline Schnieders in the Newman theater production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
Madeline Schnieders in the Newman theater production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

We got to know each other better on a trip to a writers’ conference that English Professor Susan Crane took English majors to.

A few days later, Cole invited me to eat lunch with him on a bench in Founders Plaza after leaving a Vantage meeting. Our relationship took off from there, and two years later, December 2021, we were married in St. John’s Chapel.

All in all, although Newman has been a source of stress, it’s also been a source of growth and happiness for my life and vocation. I won’t miss the homework and pulling all-nighters, but I’ll miss the people I’ve grown close to over the past four years.

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