Wartburg taught me to make the most of every opportunity 

NAME: Hannah Hart 
HOMETOWN: Brookings, S.D. 
MAJOR: Neuroscience and biology 
CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Women’s soccer, Water to Thrive, Dance Marathon, Knightcaller

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE WARTBURG: I had a really specific idea of what I wanted to do with my life, but I couldn’t find quite the right major.  At all these state schools that I was looking at I was playing around with a bunch of different majors and none of them fit right. I came here for the Science Symposium and stumbled across the neuroscience table.  I was like “Oh my gosh this is perfect.” Then I looked into Wartburg more and realized that I could easily tailor my major to be a little more specific to what I was interested in. Then Wartburg came through with huge scholarships and soccer was a part of the decision so I got to have that, which has been one of my favorite parts about being at Wartburg.

HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON YOUR MAJORS:  All through middle school and high school I have been really interested in Alzheimer’s and neurological diseases in general. I knew that I wanted to do something to help people who are dealing with that. I messed around with looking at would a counseling degree get me to where I want to go or a biology degree, and the answer was always no until I discovered neuroscience. Especially since I’ve been here, I’ve just realized how interdisciplinary neuroscience is, and for what I want to do with Alzheimer’s, I think it’s so important to recognize the hardcore science can be rooted in that foundation and also be able to extrapolate to things like social work, counseling, and communication. Neuroscience would give me the foundation to do that while also being flexible enough to learn about social work and counseling. 

Hannah Hart

HOW HAS WARTBURG SET YOU UP FOR SUCCESS IN YOUR FIELDI think Wartburg has really trained me on how to recognize opportunities, step into them, and be prepared to make the most of an opportunity. I feel like a lot of the times, especially in neuroscience, and in Alzheimer’s too, it’s a lot of uncharted territories. There’s a lot to be said for having the ability to recognize a need and step into it and kind of break new ground and go somewhere that hasn’t really been explored before to create a path and a way for others to go. I think Wartburg has really instilled confidence and some of the foundational knowledge you need to go into those sorts of situations equipped.

WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE WARTBURG MEMORIES: The soccer team has been super successful in getting to travel and go to nationals. I have such fond memories of winning games together. I also just have really specific memories of being in classes where you get to do group projects and expand on things you’re learning in class and make them more personal towards you.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER GRADUATION: I’ll do research for a little bit and finish up some projects that I’m working on. I’ll then go on to grad school and hopefully end up working with helping towns and bigger cities to help them become friendlier for people with dementia.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Don’t just let classes and projects become routine. Notice how much you can get out of each and every opportunity if you put in the effort and make it personal towards you. I think that’s what has really defined my time here is being able to take a pretty classic course, say genetics, that everyone takes and tailor it to how it could fit my future career and what I can do to really narrow in the focus.

WHY WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE WORTH IT: What has made my experience worth it has just been learning how to expand my learning to become bigger than just my own personal development. The things I’m learning now will expand and affect so many people. Wartburg is so community-, service-, and relationship-oriented that this has been a lot more than just an education. It’s been life-changing, and I have learned how to go out and make an impact in the world and make a difference wherever I may end up.