Countdown to Commencement: Alyssa Edmond, David Carey, Ayanna Hayes
I chose Heidelberg because the faculty automatically made me feel at home. The first professor I met on campus was Dr. Marc O'Reilly. Not only did he prioritize me as a person and my personal goals, but had remembered me from a tour I completed almost a year prior.
This is actually a really long story. I entered majoring in Political Science because I loved the ability to analyze and dissect stances. In my first semester, I took a Philosophy class by accident and enjoyed the philosophical framing of thought and how that can stretch one's beliefs. Ultimately, my sophomore year I took Intro to Computer Science to fulfill a general education requirement. Computer Science was -- in my mind -- a perfect addition to my education. The intersection of these three disciplines was the ability to solve puzzles and tell stories.
A major challenge I encountered while at Heidelberg was finding my spot academically and socially on campus and I handled it by trying a little bit of everything. During my time at Heidelberg, I've been an athlete, a Greek, part of faculty committees, part of student committees, a club president, a club member, a student worker, and at one point I was none of the above -- simply a student. The beauty of Heidelberg was that since the campus is smaller than average, I wasn't pigeon-holed into being one thing my freshman year. I entered as an athlete majoring in the Humanities, yet was able to try my hand at so many different hats socially and academically on campus. I got to try anything and everything I was interested in while also learning a little bit about myself every step of the way.
Above all, Heidelberg prepared me to connect with people. The small sphere of Heidelberg and its network has really allowed me to connect with people from all over the world.
Outside of the classroom, I was involved in a lot. I was a member or held leadership positions on the volleyball team, The Patricia Adams Selection Committee, Zeta Theta Psi, Rho Eta Delta, Honors Activity Board, Model United Nations, Greek Life Council, and Pi Sigma Alpha. I also worked as an academic coach, writing consultant, Sexual Assault prevention coordinator, and in Saurwein.
My favorite extra-curricular activity was Model United Nations because of the experiences and connections that established my confidence early on in my time at Heidelberg. Although I wasn't able to finish out the program as I had planned due to COVID, Model UN was a highlight of my time here. I was originally drawn to the program in high school, and the trips to San Francisco during my freshman and sophomore years were unbelievable. Not only did it teach me a lot academically, but I also found some of my absolute best friends and derived confidence in myself from the confidence my classmates surrounded me with. I will never forget spending late nights in the shared executive suite and I make sure to get foot at Wipeout in Fisherman's Warf whenever I'm in the Bay Area.
One faculty or staff mentor or advisor who impacted my ‘Berg experience is Dr. Marc O'Reilly because he has been with me every step of the way. I first met Marc over facetime because my cousin who was a current student insisted that I meet him during my college search. From that moment to chatting with me during my visits to insisting I meet him during office hours my first week of classes, Marc has always been there for me both as a mentor academically and on a personal level. He has given me invaluable contacts, information, and guidance professionally while always checking in on me emotionally as well. Although he may text me back at 3 a.m., Marc genuinely has cared about me and fostered my academic success. Part of the beauty of Heidelberg is that the professors get to know you personally and give you a level of support that is unmatched. I also cannot go without mentioning that Dr. Josh Bowman and Sean Joyce have also been extremely valuable mentors for me and I cannot begin to thank them for all their help.
My favorite Heidelberg memory is meeting and interviewing Laura and Barbara Bush. They were extremely kind and gracious despite my nerves about meeting such affluent women. I cannot thank Heidelberg and the Adams family enough for this amazing opportunity. I had dinner with Laura Bush and she was such an amazing woman, asking us questions about our plans and lives at Heidelberg. I even got a Christmas card from the family inviting me to their library in Texas!
My plans after graduation are to move to New York City to work full time as an analyst and remotely pursue my master's in Cybersecurity, Technology, and Public Policy part time at the University of Colorado.
I chose Heidelberg because it was close to home and because of the wonderful support from my high school choir director and the choral director here, Dr. Greg Ramsdell.
I majored in Music Education because music has been my passion for so many years and I love helping people and making music. I want to make a difference in students' lives just as my previous teachers have done for me.
A major challenge I encountered at Heidelberg was trying to balance all the rehearsals and school work while still maintaining a happy, healthy lifestyle with friends. I managed this by being very hard working during the week and spending hours on the weekend doing homework first and foremost but realizing when I can take a break and just spend time with my friends to help relieve mental stress. Also, having a good support system and people to work with was a big help.
Above all, Heidelberg prepared me to be a very successful teacher right out of the gate.
Outside of the classroom, I was involved in a fraternity, Rho Eta Delta, and the corollary for Zeta Theta Psi, the Zeta Gents. I was a part of a music teachers group called OCMEA (Ohio Collegiate Music Educators Association) as well as the music honorary, Tau Mu Sigma.
My favorite extracurricular activity was being a member of Rho Eta Delta and Zeta Theta Psi because of all the friends that I made by joining those groups. I have friendships that will last my whole life and some of those people I would have never known had I not joined those groups.
One faculty or staff member who impacted my ‘Berg experience would be Dr. Greg Ramsdell. He helped get me to come to this school, he has taught me so much about choral directing and life skills in the 4 years I have been here. He has been the biggest help and influencer in my music career and I am forever thankful for him.
My favorite Heidelberg memory was the homecoming football game my junior year. The Marching Band had been working their butts off to be ready for the game. There were more people in attendance than ever before and the halftime show went great. It was such an amazing experience that I won't ever forget.
My plans after graduation are to try and get a choir or band teaching job somewhere in Ohio near Tiffin or my hometown Norwalk.
I chose Heidelberg because I wanted to be at a smaller university that made me feel safe.
I majored in Biology because I love science and learning about how everything around us works and evolves.
A major challenge I encountered while at Heidelberg was getting over some mental hurdles that were holding me back and I handled it by praying and talking to someone when I needed help.
Above all, Heidelberg prepared me to be able to handle any situation.
Outside of the classroom, I was involved in Black Student Union, Religious Life, and Track & Field.
My favorite extracurricular activity was Black Student Union because of the outreach we have and how many people we’ve been able to help.
One faculty or staff mentor or advisor who impacted my ‘Berg experience is Dr. Justin Pruneski because he helped me a lot when I was struggling with classes and never gave up on me.
My favorite Heidelberg memory is the Afro Ball.
My plans after graduation are to begin personal training, coaching, and apply to a Physical Therapy program for next Spring.