Madeline Kemp

It was an honor to represent Wartburg

NAME: Madeline Kemp 


HOMETOWN: Cedar Falls 

MAJOR: Biology and public health

INVOLVEMENT ON CAMPUS:  Cross country, track and field, Student Athletic Advisory Committee member, and National Society of Leadership and Success member

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE WARTBURG: I would like to say that I chose Wartburg because of the excellent biology program and outstanding athletics, but I came to college unsure of what I was doing, let alone what I wanted in a school. As cheesy as it sounds, it is very true, Wartburg definitely chose me. My four years here have been challenging yet extremely rewarding. Attending Wartburg was definitely worth it. From the close relationships I have developed with faculty, to the countless memories shared with so many of my close friends, I couldn’t imagine spending the past four years anywhere else.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER GRADUATION: I am pursuing a Master’s in Public Health in epidemiology at the University of Iowa. 

DID YOU DO ANY RESEARCH: I did research the summer going into my senior year. I worked with Dr. Lori Sheeler on a Community Health Needs Assessment for Bremer County. Working on the HNA expanded my understanding of the impact of certain health determinants at the local level. It also helped me start asking more questions: Why were some health disparities more prevalent than others? How could this problem be solved? What community resources can be utilized? I also studied the effects of fertilizer on nitrate concentration in beets for research my senior year. Research was hard and time consuming but very rewarding. I learned how important it is to address expectations right away when working closely with people. Not only that, but research helped me realize that I am capable of more than I think. The summer following graduation I was selected for a fellowship through the CDC and Johns Hopkins. I was placed in Sioux Falls, S.D., for the summer and interned at the Health Department. I was reminded that the experiences that teach you what you don’t like to do are just as valuable as the experiences you enjoy. This fellowship helped me realize that I am capable of more than I think and not to sell myself short. The faculty in the program continuously reminded us that we were the “4.3 percent of applicants accepted.” Being part of the MCHC RISE-UP program helped me realize how well Wartburg prepared me—from my skills in the lab to interacting with community members and organizations.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS: My favorite class was BI 208: Island Ecology. This class was in the Bahamas on a small island called San Salvador during May Term. We spent each day outside, whether that was snorkeling, hiking, or traveling to sites to learn. The students that went were great and our professor did a good job of making sure we were learning yet enjoying our time there. I made lifelong friends during that May Term trip—we still talk to each other and get together when we can even though many of us have graduated.

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST CHALLENGING CLASS: My most challenging course would have had to have been organic chemistry. I’m not the biggest fan of chemistry in general, so this class definitely challenged my abilities. This class was one where you had to stay on top of your studies and utilize resources provided and ask for help when you needed it. While the class was challenging, the professor was good at helping students.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WARTBURG MEMORY: I can’t limit my favorite Wartburg memory to just one because there are far too many. If I had to choose one, I would say cross country and track and field meets—especially conference, regionals, and nationals. Traveling across the country to run and cheer on my sisters and brothers was always so much fun. We would pile as many people as we could into cars, dress in our best orange and black, and cheer as loud as we could. It was always an honor to wear the Wartburg uniform and represent the best school as I toed the line.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER IMAGINED YOU WOULD DO BEFORE COMING TO WARTBURG: I never truly imagined myself pursuing a master’s degree, let alone contemplating whether or not I want to eventually earn my doctorate. Wartburg has provided me with endless opportunities to succeed.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST ABOUT BEING A WARTBURG ALUMNA: I really want to work closely with Wartburg faculty and the faculty at UI to help implement a 4+1 program for the college in public health.