Trisha Xiong is majoring in biology health science and minoring in psychology. She loves that Mount Mary has an atmosphere of sisterhood. This is why Mount Mary became her top choice when she choose which university to attend.
“There is a bond here like nowhere else. Women who come from all walks of life and are of different ethnicities are able to relate to each other. And when we cannot empathize, we sympathize. Our experiences make us who we are, and as a team, we are so strong. Mount Mary is a promising place for women to find their identity through their faith or social justice. From my personal experience here, I’ve never for a second felt left behind or as a second-class citizen. The diversity of this school is what makes it stand out.
Mount Mary has provided me with resources, a listening ear, and a bond between sisters that cannot be broken. The resources are for all students who are in need. This is not limited to tutoring sessions. There are counselors here on campus that help students deal with stress. To know that my school provides this allows me to recognize how far they will go to help us all. In addition, because of all the committees and student organizations on campus, I’ve always felt like my voice was heard. Every individual who has had a suggestion for change has been taken into consideration. Lastly, because of the size of the campus, we are able to make stronger connections to each other as peers. We help each other, and we even get involved in each others’ lives.”
“After receiving my associate degree at my local community college in Rockford, IL, I decided that I wanted to continue my education at a four-year university. I began to consider Mount Mary University, as I was inspired by three of my aunts who are Mount Mary graduates. Through their stories of the excellent academic programs and strong community, I was convinced that this school would be a good fit for me. I transferred to Mount Mary and am currently majoring in occupational therapy.
Last fall was my first semester at Mount Mary, and I loved it. Mount Mary has proven to be all that my aunts have said. Not only has it challenged me academically, but it has also promoted strong personal growth. Even in the short time I have been here, I have felt myself become more confident and further attuned to social justice issues. Additionally, the faculty, students, and staff have shaped a warm welcoming environment that makes me feel right at home. Similarly, the small class sizes help to facilitate strong classroom discussions and a positive learning environment that have helped me to excel academically. As I enter into this spring semester, I am excited to continue learning, growing, and shaping my talent.
Ultimately, I could not be happier with my decision to transfer to Mount Mary University. It is providing me with the tools to attain a degree in a field I am passionate about, while also helping me become the confident, well rounded person I want desire to be.”
Mako Shidad is currently studying fashion design. As a child, she spent six years living in a refugee camp in Dadab, Kenya.
“Mount Mary has always been close to my heart. My sister graduated from here a couple years ago and was a living testament to how Mount Mary helps a woman grow not only academically but also as an individual. The more diverse my surroundings, the more comfortable I feel, making it easier for me to succeed and grow.
Financial aid played a huge role in my college decision. Coming from a refugee family, money has always been a deciding factor in any decision-making. My first year of college, I was lucky enough to be a Grace Scholar recipient. This scholarship covered 85% of my tuition at Mount Mary for all for four years, and when I, an African refugee who never even imagined going to school, was given that opportunity, the sky was the limit. Then when I got news of winning the Wisconsin Grant, which would give me up to $1,000 each semester, the possibilities were endless. I knew that with Grace and the Wisconsin Grant combined, I could do and be anything I wanted to.
Born and coming from a country where women are persecuted for getting an education, I have made it my goal to be a leader and advocate for women’s educational rights. With my college degree, I hope to start a nonprofit organization and open an all-girls boarding school in Kenya, to prove to them that success can be more than a dream.”
Along with opening an all-girls boarding school in Kenya, Mako hopes to design her own clothing line, exclusively made in Kenya. All of the profits from the line would benefit the boarding school.
“Mount Mary’s mission statement with justice and leadership has influenced me to be a leader for other, even for my home, thousands of miles away.”
Aisha Ullius is a senior majoring in art education and art therapy. She feels Mount Mary's community and smaller class sizes have helped her flourish.
“Mount Mary has provided me with so many opportunities to build my leadership skills and creativity. Being a SOAR (student orientation and registration) leader, I am able to help new students by facilitating their questions and making sure they feel ready for college. I am also grateful to be a student representative for the honors program on campus. I enjoy working with different faculty from all different departments and bringing forward other opportunities for my peers...The campus magazine, Arches has helped me understand the submission process for artwork and be able to share my work in a creative way.
Overall, I have made a new support system in my life because of Mount Mary. I have friendships from all different majors and backgrounds. I feel that I am building a strong network of people that I can reach out to beyond my years in college.
Because of the drive and opportunities that this campus holds, I feel I am able to make the most out of my time in college and be ready to transform the world.”