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Otterbein seniors reflect on time on campus

Otterbein seniors reflect on time on campus

Undergraduate commencement is this Sunday, April 30, and the graduating class of 2017 will begin their new lives and careers. Five graduating seniors remember their early days as Cardinals and how Otterbein impacted them back then, now and into the future.


Kris Crews
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Major: Journalism and Media Communication
Minor: Public Relations

“Yes, it’s scary, but also exciting being able to know that the possibilities for our future are endless. I look back thinking to my freshman year: a brace-faced girl living in Hanby Hall who had no idea what she was doing. I think about all of the things I was worried or scared about. I wondered how I would make it through bad days or semesters that were physically, emotionally and academically draining. I thought to myself, “How am I going to get this done at this time? Am I good enough? What am I even doing? Should I switch majors?” Fast-forward almost four years later, and here I am. Seeing how much we’ve all grown as individuals, young adults, leaders and students is truly inspiring. It’s fulfilling seeing all that we’ve done. Just think about it, before we were in line on our first Schneider’s donut run and now we are in line for our diplomas!”


Regan Donoughe
Hometown: Medina, Ohio
Major: Marketing
Minors: Marketing Analytics; Business Administration

“Over the past four years, I have had experiences that I could only have dreamed of having anywhere else. I got the opportunity to take a women and leadership class with President Krendl where I ended up being introduced to an amazing mentor who helped me to secure two of my three internship experiences and who always set time aside every couple months for dinner. I was able to start an organization with a friend, The Otterbein Business Association, to help students network and to get exposure to different jobs they could pursue post-graduation. I became co-president of OTTERTHON, a philanthropic effort for Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where in my time here we raised over $40,000. I have learned the importance of networking, have been trained in leadership, have explored my strengths and weaknesses and have learned how to use those in collaboration with others. I have learned how to utilize my failures as strengths for the future. I have met peers, faculty and alumni who have helped to shape and mold me to who I am today.”


Jordan Hawkins
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Major: Political Science
Minors: Sociology; Criminology and Justice Studies
2017 Undergraduate Commencement Student Greeter

“For me, the Otterbein community has been vital in my ability to find my voice while earning a degree. When I arrived here, younger, far more naive, and unsure of what the future would entail, I didn’t understand what it meant to live in the skin I do. I came from an all-boys catholic high school in the inner city of Cleveland, to a predominately white institution with a plethora of young, intelligent and lively people of all walks of life. At first, I felt isolated, despite being a student-athlete. I felt as if people from my background would not fit into this environment. I often questioned why I was here. I had to find my voice in a community where many did not look like me, and dismay the idea that my identity should spur marginalization or silence. I found a way, thanks largely to great friends and amazing faculty/staff in providing motivation and a platform to voice my thoughts and therefore find my voice. Their impact on me, maybe 20 years from now, will still be relevant, will still be profound, and I will never forget our time here together. I will never forget how we all impacted each other.”


Maria Slovikovski
Hometown: Shaker Heights, Ohio
Major: Public Relations
Minors: Sports Communication; Journalism and Media Communication; Communication Studies; Dance

One of the many things I love about Otterbein is the people. Each one of us students has taken a unique path during our time at Otterbein and each one us is a valuable individual in the eyes of everyone at this institution. Whether in the classroom, finding internships or participating in extracurricular activities, each of us have made our mark on this quiet, peaceful village and we should be immensely proud of the legacy we leave. It’s comforting to know that the professors and staff members value us as not only students, but also as individuals who will positively impact those around us and the world as a whole. Even though we are walking away from our Otterbein home, we are taking so much of Otterbein with us. Take that with you wherever you go. It may take on a slightly different meaning. You may forget about it for a while, only to remember it when you’re feeling lost. Whatever it is that shaped you, it’s worth keeping around for a while because you wouldn’t be the person you are today without it.


Yilan Sun
Hometown: Fuzhou, China
Major: Computer Science
Minors: Accounting; English Literary Study

“While studying at Otterbein, I saw how scientific knowledge can help others in simple and profound ways. We were making an ICU monitor app for the Nursing Department in order to train them better. This was the first ‘realizing’ moment for me as a science major, but it was more than that. It was also a starting point of my ethical development, my own self-understanding as a member of the world scientific community. Helping others doesn’t mean that we need to change the whole world. It can be as simple as becoming a better communicator and finding vivid ways to pass on our knowledge. Be a volunteer and look at the world and care for others more. Even more than what you think, how you think matters. We are not only battling for knowledge, but also battling as global citizens.”