Meet a Loper Graduate: Madi Stearnes reminds Lopers to work hard, but also have fun

Madi Stearnes of Omaha graduates Friday with a bachelor’s degree in biology with a health science emphasis. She plans to pursue a nursing degree through the accelerated UNMC program in Kearney.

What does this moment mean to you?
This moment is a symbol of all the hard work and amazing times I’ve had in the last five years.

How did UNK help prepare you for your future career?
UNK helped me prepare by giving me resources that I learned to use during my time here and will continue to use along my path in life.

What activities/organizations were you involved in at UNK? How did that enhance your education?
I played volleyball at UNK during my freshman through junior years. This helped a lot with time management and teamwork.

What was your most memorable experience at UNK?
I would have to say my most memorable experience was probably when they have the booths out on campus at the beginning of the year (Blue and Gold Welcome Week) and you get to see people you haven’t seen all summer. It really got me excited for the upcoming school year!

Who’s someone from UNK you’ll never forget?
Paul Twigg. He was my Biology 106 professor freshman year and also my research mentor. Not only was he my research mentor, but he offered a lot of good life advice and help in many more ways than just research. For that I have to thank him.

What’s your favorite place on campus?
It’s got to be Bruner Hall of Science. I spent the majority of my days in that building for classes. It’s also where I made a lot of friends.

Tell me about the time when you worked the hardest during your undergraduate career:
Probably during my sophomore year when I was in organic chemistry and anatomy and physiology while playing volleyball. That was the year I got little sleep.

What was your favorite class?
I would have to say anatomy and physiology was probably my favorite, because it doesn’t just have to do with the bones, muscles, organs, etc. It’s the what is it and what all can it do that I loved the most.

Who was the most influential person during your undergrad career?
My best friend Lexie Trimble. We struggled, laughed, cried and had so much fun together, and today we are still the best of friends. I don’t think I would have made it through without her.

What advice do you have for current and future Lopers?
Study hard, but don’t forget to have fun. And most importantly, if you feel like someone’s holding you back, let them go. There will be someone a million times better on the other side!

If you could go back in time and do something differently, what would it be?
I wish I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself. People make mistakes and college is hard. I wish I would have been able to tell myself that.