Cue the countdown: Newman students start their spring semester classes this Monday, Jan. 14.
The start of a new semester may bring new classes and work schedules, but with each comes feelings of excitement and anticipation. These students share what they look forward to the most.
Freshmen twins Austin and Brenden Schwartz
“I’m excited to spend another semester with all the new friends I’ve made over the past few months,” Austin said. “I enjoy the Newman community very much and am excited for the new friendships to come.”
Austin is a theater major and plans to stay active over the semester as he participates in the Sloppy Joe Improv Troupe, Student Government Association and the Visual Arts Club. He will also perform in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” as Peter, and is joining the Newman Chorale.
Atop all this, he will continue to work at the Yard Store in downtown Wichita.
“I hope to break out of my comfort zone and experience new things this semester,” he said. “I went to New Mexico with Campus Ministry over the break for my first service trip and it was an absolute blast. So I hope to find new opportunities like that.”
Austin’s twin brother, Brenden, said he is excited to see his friends who have been gone over break, and to take his Exploring the Bible class.
Brenden is studying chemistry and fills his time with many extracurriculars. Some of these include the Sloppy Joe Improv Troupe, starring in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” as Tumnus, Chem Club and the Visual Arts Club.
“My No. 1 goal is to stop procrastinating and get things done when they’re assigned,” Brenden said.
Austin added, “I just hope everyone is willing to explore and try new things. You may find a hidden passion, and I guarantee you will meet some wonderful people.”
Junior Ally Schoeppner
Schoeppner recently finished her associate degree in the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program and is currently working on her bachelor’s in psychology.
Out of all her classes this semester, Schoeppner says she is most looking forward to Cognitive Psychology.
“I’ve always found psychology interesting,” she said. “I am also curious about my Heritage of Western Music class since I am not really sure what to expect from it.”
This spring, Schoeppner hopes to earn her state license as an OTA.
“I graduated with that degree this December and I am really excited to begin looking for jobs,” she added. “I also want to try to reach out and meet new people and to be involved with events on campus.”
Senior Annie Dang
Dang is studying biology with a concentration in pre-optometry. She is applying to physician assistant programs, where she hopes to become a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional.
Dang also auditioned for the upcoming C.S. Lewis play, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” and landed the role of Dwarf.
“I loved the movies and books growing up, and I had a distinct dream about playing Mr. Tumnus,” she said. “I told my friends who all encouraged me to try out and even offered to go with me. “
“So the three of us, my friends Linnea Ristow, Anthony Navarrete, and I, headed off because we thought it’d be fun to cap off senior year doing something new. We auditioned similarly first semester of freshman year (I dropped out of any role that time), so we really came full circle.”
Dang’s senior friends also received roles: Ristow will play the part of Maugrim and Navarrete will play Leopard 2.
Dang said she is most excited to take the class Anthropocene, a Newman Studies Program class taught by Associate Professor of Chemistry Ryan Huschka, Ph.D., and Associate Professor of Philosophy Jamey Findling, Ph.D.
“It’s about exploring human relationships with the environment and our impact on nature, which is a topic very near and dear to my heart,” Dang explained. “I’m just excited to delve in and get some more knowledge about environmentalism and ways we can reduce our impact.”
With a full class and extracurricular load, Dang set some goals for herself this semester.
“I just hope I can manage everything I’ve signed up to do, and survive it all without contracting senioritis,” she said. “I’m still taking 16 credit hours somehow when I thought I’d be able to decrease my load and relax, but I guess I’m going to work until the end.”
“But I want to have fun,” she added. “I want make memories with everyone and not just be stuck studying all the time.”
Senior Regan Casey
Casey is another student who is hoping to give this semester her all. She is studying criminal justice and wants to pursue a career in law enforcement.
Casey will also complete her co-operative education study with the Wichita Police Department in the spring.
“I’m really excited for that,” she said. “I’ll get to meet different officers and hopefully learn a lot more about a law enforcement career. I would like to get some experience under my belt this semester, and by being around the field more, hopefully I will see what to do in different situations and how it should be handled.”
By the time May graduation rolls around, she would like to have a work-related position lined up.
“I have applied to a couple different police departments and the Kansas Highway Patrol, so hopefully I get my acceptance letter this semester,” Casey said.
Several students are using this semester as an opportunity to get outside their comfort zones.