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Home Features Freshmen and Transfers Share First Impressions of Concordia

By April Bayer


As LAUNCH Weekend 2018 kicks off, Concordia’s campus is filled with new students and their families as they settle into their dorm rooms, meet their professors, and get to know each other before classes start. Concordia’s new students come from a variety of places, both near and far. Many different things bring them to Concordia—sports, scholarships, academic programs, and the Christian atmosphere.

Once you get past your own LAUNCH weekend and get settled into the rhythm of life at Concordia, it can be easy to forget what it’s like to be a new student on campus. So, the Sower took a moment to chat with some new students about their journeys to Concordia and what their experiences have been like so far.

Freshman Gerard Dunning
Photo by April Bayer

Freshman Gerard Dunning is a native of Grand Island, Nebraska, and came to Concordia to play baseball. He hopes to study exercise science or biology.

What brought you to Concordia?

“Baseball and just the family feel.”

What has your Concordia experience been like so far (on visits and move-in day)?

“It’s been different because everyone is welcoming and really friendly and just has a family feel.”

What are you most looking forward to in the year to come?

“Just making lots of friends and making many memories.”

Freshman Miriam Wolf
Photo by April Bayer

Athletics are just one reason new students are drawn to Concordia. Freshman Miriam Wolf is originally from St. Louis, meaning that the move to a small town like Seward is a big transition for her. She plans to major in secondary education, most likely with a concentration in English.

How are you feeling about coming to a small town like Seward from a city like St. Louis?

“You know, it’s charming. …It’s going to be nice. I was told that people don’t lock their cars or anything, so I think it’ll be good. It’ll be nice and refreshing.”

What drew you to Concordia as a school?

“Definitely the Lutheran, Christian aspect. I knew that I wanted to go to a Christian school, and I think what really drew me to this Concordia is that I had so many teachers that I loved who went here, and everyone just wants you to succeed.”

What are you looking forward to in the year to come?

“Definitely learning a lot, making new friends, (and) drama club.”

What has your Concordia experience been like so far?

“Positively overwhelming. It’s definitely fast, it’s definitely a lot, but everyone is just so nice, and they want you to have a good time.”

Sophomores Emma Van Donselaar and Rebecca Tierney
Photo by April Bayer

However, not all new students are freshmen. Sophomores Emma Van Donselaar and Rebecca Tierney are transfer students from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. They were roommates at their old college and will continue to room together at Concordia. Though the two women made the decision to transfer separately, they both came for the same reason—to continue working with their Trap and Skeet coach, Scott Moniot.

Van Donselaar is from Oskaloosa, Iowa, and is excited to begin a new academic focus as a marketing major. Tierney, a native of Charles City, Iowa, plans to continue studying chemistry.

What brought you both here?

Tierney: “Our coach moved schools here, (and) the school offered both of our academic programs, and the campus was pretty, and so that made it worth it to transfer.”

What are you guys hoping for each of your academic programs?

Van Donselaar: “Well, at Simpson (College), I was studying public relations, though honestly I’m just looking to kind of see what marketing is because that’s what I initially wanted to do, but they didn’t have it (as a program), so I’m just kind of looking to see what marketing is all about until I figure out what I want to do post-college.”

Tierney: “I’m really excited for the brand new Dunklau Center for Science and Math because science and math are both of my main things, so hopefully in another year or two, I’ll get to be in there and use that (facility). I know I really like chemistry, so I’m just really looking forward to all the core classes and working with all the professors to pursue something that I think is really fun and will hopefully lead to working in a lab after college.”

What has your Concordia experience been like so far?

Van Donselaar: “It’s been really good. All the people are super nice. It’s just a smooth transition, really.”

Tierney: “It’s been a lot easier than I was expecting it to (be). Not super chaotic. …We’re transfers, so they expect us to know a bit about what move-in is like, but they still guide us and are helpful and answer any questions we have.”

Were you nervous about the decision to transfer?

Van Donselaar: “Yeah, we both decided to transfer super late in the game, too. I think it was the beginning of July.”

Tierney: “I know for sure that I like being at home, and so this is a good five plus hours (away) as opposed to two or three. It’ll be a little bit of an adjustment, but I think the community here will make it a little bit easier

What are your backgrounds with trap and skeet shooting? What do you enjoy about the sport?

Van Donselaar: “I started when I was in eighth grade, and I initially started out with trap shooting and then a few years ago moved into skeet shooting. It’s been awesome, and I’m hoping to potentially go Olympic level with it. I’m getting there; it’s a process.”

Tierney: “I started in high school with just trap shooting too, and really didn’t do much else until last year, but the coach, we know, is phenomenal, and is obviously a big reason to bring us here. I’ve made so much progress.”

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