A Memoir From Joanna Reusser
Posted by iusbvision on April 22, 2007
I came to this university because of one woman – Joanne Phillips. Her commitment to higher education and diligence in uncovering student financial support inspired people, such as my scholarship donor, to give generously to IUSB and its students. The scholarship that I received drew me to IUSB and ultimately affected the future of my life. I arrived at IUSB five years ago, a mere shadow of what I am today. In my time here, there have been seven individuals that have truly shaped me. I wanted to take this time to share a few of my experiences with these individuals.
First and foremost, I wanted to thank my academic advisor, Dr. Ann Grens in the Biology department, for everything she has done for me and all of her students. I know for a fact that she has spent countless hours going above and beyond the call of duty. Often times, she can be found on campus at the wee hours of the morning. Be it helping students with homework, advising the 300 plus biology major/pre-meds, teaching class, or just being available for her students, Dr. Grens continues to amaze me with her devotion to her students. On a personal note, I find that she exemplifies the true meaning of service. Thank-you Dr. Grens for everything you have done.
I also have to thank two individuals in the Chemistry department who have also played a large role in my life. After my freshman year at IUSB, I was pretty discouraged with my academic performance. It’s quite comical to reflect on it now, but I was absolutely dreading my sophomore year. I had discovered my strong distaste for chemistry and did not think that my preference for Organic chemistry would be much different. After the first day of class, my opinion on the subject of chemistry began to change. I found the professor of that class, Dr. McMillen, to be one of the funniest and most vivacious people I had ever met. If anyone could make Organic chemistry exciting, it would be him (and that is quite a feat indeed!). He also carried his love for students and teaching outside the classroom. I always knew that I could talk to Dr. McMillen if I needed advice; he was always willing and able to help students; and his door was always open. Indeed, his assistance and advice were the main reasons I was able to study abroad in Northern Ireland, but more on that later. Success in his class motivated me to continue and to not give up. With this new-found passion for science, three years later, I found myself in Biochemistry. Yet again, the faculty of IUSB amazed me. With the help of Dr. Anderson, my eyes were opened to the wonders of the unseen world of biochemical reactions (and how much Nicholas Cage seems to know about such things). She also devotes much out-of-class time to her students. Her advice throughout the medical school admissions process has been invaluable. I was so touched when she agreed to proof my personal statement for medical school. I can proudly say that her help has played a large part in my acceptance into two medical schools.
I think it would be safe to say that we have some of the best faculty members here at IUSB (yes, I know I’m slightly biased). I do not believe that I would have had some of these opportunities had it not been for their continued involvement in my life.
Another opportunity that I had while attending IUSB wasn’t actually at IUSB. Second semester of my junior year, I had the privilege of studying abroad in Northern Ireland. My time there gave me a much broader view of the world around me and let me experience cultures other than my own. Much of this experience I owe to Rose Marie Hengesbach in the Office of Student Scholarships. If it had not been for the scholarship I received that enabled me to study overseas, I would not have been able to have that wonderful adventure. Rose Marie’s commitment to creating scholarships such as these enables students to travel abroad in such places as Northern Ireland, France, Germany, and Mexico.
Last but not least, I owe a huge thanks to Mike and Shannon Renfrow and Kim Muncie. Their support and friendship have been a huge blessing throughout my time at IUSB. My three years of work with the Student Government Association was made possible only after an introduction to the organization by Mike. With all of the political experiences over the years, these three individuals have always been there for me. Even outside the SGA, I owe all of them a great deal of thanks. Mike, you will always be the boss. Shannon, you have been my rock throughout everything! Kim, we’ve faced many fun times together and I will always remember them fondly. I appreciate all of you so much.
If there’s one thing that I could say that has been my best experience at IUSB, it would be the people that I’ve met. I am blessed to have been at such an institution. I don’t believe that I could have a better educational experience elsewhere. As I prepare to graduate and leave for medical school, I know that I go from here a stronger person, ready to handle the challenges that are ahead. Thanks again to everyone who has played a part in my educational experience. There are many I’m unable to name, but I just wanted to offer a general thanks to the Biology and Chemistry departments, to my fellow colleagues in the Student Government Administration, and to the administration of IUSB for their true dedication to the IUSB student body.