Helping others find their fit

Michael Tyler Johnsrud

NAME: Michael Tyler Johnsrud


HOMETOWN: Orono, Minn.  

MAJOR: Biology

INVOLVEMENT ON CAMPUS: Ambassadors, Ritterchor, intramural volleyball

WHY WARTBURG: I chose Wartburg for one main reason: it felt like my family. I felt like I belonged at the school. Beyond that, I was blown away by the overwhelming support staff who I knew would be able to help me out with any of the hardships I would experience in my growth in college.

WHAT DID YOU NEVER IMAGINE YOU WOULD DO BEFORE COMING TO WARTBURG: Join a choir! I joined a choir because my roommates were all in some sort of music, and I was very bored that hour of the day when they were all gone. So I did the logical thing for someone who never sang before. It has been one of my favorite things at the school. I love the group of guys in the chorus, and Christmas with Wartburg is so amazing to be a part of. It has made my experience that much better.

HOW ARE YOU LIVING OUT THE WARTBURG MISSION: I am living the mission by getting a leadership minor so that wherever I go with my degree I will be able to deal with situations that I may not have been able to earlier in my life.  Also I have been learning more about myself through faith at the school. I have a great relationship with Pastor Brian Beckstrom, who I talk to pretty regularly about my own faith and expression. I didn’t grow up in an extremely religious family, so I was afraid to go to a school that had such deep roots in the Lutheran faith.  I can say that it has only made me grow as a person by questioning myself and figuring out what I really wanted to do with my faith.

WHO ARE YOUR MENTORS: Dr. Keith McClung (biology professor) is my research adviser for my senior research project. I have gotten to know him on a more personal level and feel he has been able to help me through issues both as a student and as a young adult. I also think that Lindsey Leonard in the Admissions Office has been a great mentor. I have worked with her the last two years and have been extremely fortunate to be able to have her help me through the college years.

WHY DO YOU CHOOSE TO SHARE YOUR WARTBURG STORY AS AN AMBASSADOR: I love sharing my Wartburg story with anyone who wants to hear it. I want to let students know why I chose Wartburg and why I still feel it’s such a great fit for me, but more than that I want to help students find the right school for them so they can have the same sort of experience I have had. I want prospective students to feel comfortable in their choice and feel like they can achieve anything that they want at the school they choose.

WHY IS WARTBURG WORTH IT: People ask me all the time where I go to school, and I love telling them I go to Wartburg. I tell people with pride that it is the best decision I have made in my life. I also can’t tell you how amazing all of the alums are and the community behind all of the students. Everyone at the school, and also affiliates of the school, want to see Wartburg graduates succeed.