Johanna Ender

Math, music combined for perfect Wartburg experience

NAME: Johanna Ender 

CLASS YEAR: 2018 

HOMETOWN: Lake City, Minn. 

MAJOR: Mathematics and actuarial science

INVOLVEMENT ON CAMPUS: Service trips, Sanctuary Band, Knightliters Jazz Band, president of Kappa Mu Epsilon, intramurals

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE WARTBURG: I chose Wartburg because I was undecided about what I wanted to major in or do for a career. I knew Wartburg offered a lot of support for students who were still finding their path academically. Wartburg’s high four-year graduation rate was also appealing to me. At Wartburg, I have not only found a field of study that I am passionate about, but I have also found a place and group of people who have supported me and helped me reach my potential. I started college with no idea what degree I would be leaving with. Now, because of support and encouragement from the mathematics department, I am confident that I will be successful and have a rewarding career.

HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO MAJOR IN MATHEMATICS AND ACTUARIAL SCIENCE: My academic adviser, Dr. Mariah Birgen, encouraged me to try taking calculus and other math courses. As time went on, I found that I really enjoyed math courses and found success in math, so math and actuarial science majors were natural fits for me.  

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS: My favorite course was Statistical Applications. I really enjoy working with applied statistics and numbers that I can relate to the real world. In Statistical Applications, I used the software program R to perform statistical tests similar to tests I will conduct in my career. I really enjoyed using R to perform my own research about geographic differences in violent crime trends. 

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST DIFFICULT CLASS: The most difficult course I took at Wartburg was Actuarial Mathematics. The actuarial science major is new here, so our class was the first to take Actuarial Math. It was a very challenging course that was working to prepare us to take actuarial exams. I remember lots of studying and huge curves on the tests for that class!

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER IMAGINED YOU WOULD DO BEFORE COMING TO WARTBURG: I never imagined that I would lead a service trip across the country. Being a leader of a service trip to New York City was a unique and challenging opportunity that I may not have had at a different school. Traveling with a group of my peers to one of the most diverse areas in the nation was eye opening. It was an experience that I will always remember, as it shaped me into a stronger servant leader.

WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT PARTICIPATING IN A MUSIC ENSEMBLE: I really enjoyed being a part of the Sanctuary Band and Knightliters. I was happy to find a creative outlet that let me share my music and gave me a break from my less-creative majors. I wasn’t interested in being in one of the more time-consuming musical groups on campus, but I am glad I got to continue playing trumpet and piano in college.

WHAT DID YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT LIFE AT WARTBURG: My favorite part about living at Wartburg was the sense of community that came from living with my friends. I loved living in the dorms and being around the events and activities that campus offers. I also really enjoyed working out at The W and playing intramural sports, like sand volleyball.