Katie Stout is excited about what the future holds. In fact, she is counting the days until final exams are over and she can participate in the university’s 80th annual Commencement Ceremony on May 6, 2017 with friends and family.
After that, Katie will spend the summer working in Fort Wayne, Indiana where she’ll provide hands-on health and wellness services for chronically ill, geriatric, and other patients.
This fall, she will begin a rigorous three-year Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree at Huntington University, ranked first among 450 occupational therapy schools across the United States.
Katie credits her student experience at Marian University and faculty in the Department of Biology with helping her succeed.
“The biology professors have high expectations and standards, but they make sure students have the tools and resources we need for success. My lab partners and peers shared my academic goals—and we held each other accountable while working on assignments, class projects, and studying for exams. I never felt alone because we all supported one another. I lived on campus all four years, which was a lot of fun. It also kept me focused and on track academically.”
Catholic faith and values are at the core of Katie’s student experience.
“I chose Marian University because I knew it was a school that would make me a better person and prepare me to be an example of Christianity in my career. For me, it was about the quality of the education. I wasn’t interested in a big campus with a huge number of students. I wanted a smaller, more meaningful experience that would enable me to explore how I can make a positive impact on the world.”
One of Marian University’s prestigious San Damiano Scholars, Katie has participated in hundreds of hours of faith-building groups, activities, and events over the past four years. Each month, she performs a minimum of eight hours of community service. For her sophomore service project, Katie served as race director responsible for planning and managing a 5K fundraising event. The race benefitted O’Connor House, a nonprofit organization that serves single, homeless pregnant women by providing shelter and education by teaching important life skills. Katie raised $7K through sponsors and participants.
Katie also spent time each year as an undergraduate student serving the Sisters of St. Francis Oldenburg in southern Indiana, including working at Michaela Farm, which nurtures organic, sustainable relationships among land, plants, animals, and humans.
Some of her favorite things about Marian University include classes in the EcoLab and the close relationships she has built with faculty like Dr. Kim Vogt, chair of the Department of Biology, and Professor Deb Gardner. Katie describes them as “two of the most authentic people I’ve ever met because they really care about students.”
The future occupational therapist says she feels blessed to be at Marian University with those who share her values and her professional aspirations.
“I’ve found my vocation and am prepared to serve as a leader in my chosen field. I have explored my passions and used them to help others. But most importantly, students at Marian University are more than numbers and I have loved being part of that.”