Archive: Student Spotlights

Image of Hayley Holmquist

Hayley Holmquist, '20

Criminal Justice
Minor: Psychology

"As a college athlete, there were many things I looked for when visiting this campus being that Wheeling Jesuit is across the country from my hometown in Temecula, California. When I visited the University, not only did I realize how friendly the atmosphere was, but I also realized that all the students were so dedicated to academics as well as athletics.

One of my favorite things about Wheeling Jesuit is the small school size, which makes it easy to have connections with professors and easier to meet new people around campus. I also love how available all the programs are and how accessible it was for me to get involved to become a Resident Assistant. I am currently a captain on the women’s lacrosse team, and I serve as a member of Wheeling Jesuit’s NCAA Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). I plan on graduating in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology. Wheeling Jesuit University has so much to offer, and I am grateful for the opportunities and the support I have received from my WJU family."

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Chelsey Ward, '20


"My name is Chelsey Ward, and I am from Dawson, Pennsylvania. I came to Wheeling Jesuit University because this place immediately felt like home the moment I set foot on campus. I continue to love this University because of the atmosphere and the people. The people here at Wheeling Jesuit are my family.

I am a biology major (Pre-Med Track) and my professors helped me to apply for a grant that allowed me to start my own cancer research project. These professors allowed me to see my potential and will continue to help me throughout the rest of my time here at Jesuit. After graduating, I plan on going to optometry school.

Outside of my academics, I have a wide variety of activities that I am involved with on campus such as serving as a Student Advocate on the Student Government Executive Board. As the Student Advocate, I am given the opportunity to be a voice for the student body, oversee the intramural sports league, and I work with Parkhurst and the Student Government Association (SGA) Senate Food Committee to improve the dining experience on campus. I am the current Mendel Biology Club President, Med-Life Secretary, an Arrupe Scholar, student ambassador and Luceat. I also coordinate and lead service-immersion trips, participate in homeless outreach, and help lead retreats with Campus Ministry."

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Bethany Booth, '20


"My name is Bethany Booth, and I am from Moundsville, West Virginia. I chose to go to Wheeling Jesuit University for several reasons. I liked that it was close to home which gave me the opportunity to commute. My sister was also attending Wheeling Jesuit, so I saw the opportunities she was taking part in as a student which only furthered my interest in coming here. Finally, the excellent academic reputation Wheeling Jesuit had confirmed that this University was the right choice for me. I am currently a junior nursing student. Ever since I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I was inspired by so many different nurses who held my hand and took care of me while I needed it. The thing I like the most about Wheeling Jesuit’s nursing program is the small class size and the opportunities that students are offered. The professors’ doors are always open as well. Anytime I have a question or concern, they always go the extra mile to help. I am also a member of Wheeling Jesuit’s Student Nurses Association. After I graduate, I have hopes to come back to Wheeling Jesuit to pursue my Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) and become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)."

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Martin Minuzzi, '19

Business - Management & Marketing Concentration

"My major is business, with a concentration in management and marketing. During my four years of college, I played on the men’s soccer team and completed community service with the Gabriel Project. I am from Cordoba, Argentina. I decided to attend Wheeling Jesuit for the opportunity to travel to another country and play the sport I love. My favorite thing about the University is the openness to the world as well as different cultures."

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Christina Gibson, '19

Minor: Pastoral Studies

"My name is Christina Gibson and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. My major is theology in religious studies with a minor in pastoral studies. I'm on the women's track and field team, secretary of the Black Student Union/Building Student Unity (BSU), and I serve as a Resident Assistant (RA) in the freshmen dorms. I also try to attend as many service-immersion trips as I can. I have participated in the homeless immersion trip as well as the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice trip in Washington, DC.

Coming to Wheeling Jesuit University was not in my original plan for the future. I had a total of 15 scholarship offers from a variety of different schools, and I was actually committed to another university. I already had my student ID, classes, and roommates. However, Yahvah (God) saw fit for me to be at Wheeling Jesuit. I had completely surrendered my life to Yahvah who was helping me persevere through challenging times. One of the most difficult challenges was losing my grandmother. She strongly instilled in me the importance of education as well as my faith. When she was called home to heaven, it really broke my heart and I knew there was only one person I could turn to and that was Yahvah. With that being said, this was no longer my plan for my life, but it was Yahvah's plan. It turned out to be such a blessing in disguise for me.

I finally accepted my calling as a religious counselor and switched my major from athletic training to theology. I have been building up my confidence in every decision I have made since being enrolled here, and I have had complete and total peace as a result. I'm genuinely grateful for every step leading me to Wheeling Jesuit University. This University is known for service and helping anyone in need. I really appreciate the service aspect of the University and my absolute favorite thing about Wheeling Jesuit is how supportive the staff is of its students. They really want us to succeed and they make themselves available to help, including the President. It’s amazing because I am also a transfer student and I've never received this much support. Attending Wheeling Jesuit was not in my plan, but it was in Yahvah's plan for me. As a result, His plan has now become mine and I couldn't be more proud to call myself a Cardinal. I feel so honored and so blessed to be here. Wheeling Jesuit University turned out to be the perfect fit. I have grown mentally, physically and spiritually, and I am very excited to see how I will continue to grow after I graduate this spring."

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Jonathan Stodola, '21

Engineering & Theology

"I am an engineering and theology double major from Charleston, West Virginia. I am a Resident Assistant, Luceat, ARC Tutor, President of the Tennis Club, a member of the Help Enrich Someone Special (HESS) staff, an Arrupe Scholar, and a member of the Choir, Man Club, Cards for Life, and Campus Ministry. I first visited Wheeling Jesuit because it was the only Catholic University in West Virginia, and I chose to attend Jesuit because of the emphasis on serving the community. My favorite thing about the University would have to be the people. The students, faculty and staff are all extremely supportive and caring people who challenge you to grow as a person."

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Marcel McCaskill, '19

Media Communications
Minor: Fine Arts

"What initially drew me to Wheeling Jesuit was my ability to run track and field on an athletic scholarship while not being to far away from home since I am from Pittsburgh, PA. Overall, my favorite thing about Wheeling Jesuit is the level of comfortableness with establishing myself within the student-body. It’s not everyday you meet someone with a unique personality that involves walking and talking into a camera all the time. The student-body is so intrigued with what I do that it trickles into my classes. Bringing a diverse, creative perspective to Wheeling Jesuit makes me stand out and helps me be seen as a leader. My time at the University has improved my character in general, encouraged me to come out my shell and excel in leadership positions, such as Campus Activities. I will graduate this May with a Bachelor's in Media Communications and a minor in Fine Arts."

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Lauren Rose, '22

Exercise Science

"I chose Wheeling Jesuit for the great academic programs and the warm and welcoming feeling you receive when you arrive on campus. My hometown is Wheeling, so I am a local student. I had always planned on staying close to home so Wheeling Jesuit seemed like the perfect fit. I am majoring in exercise science, and I will graduate in 2022. I hope to continue on to physical therapy. My favorite aspect of Wheeling Jesuit is the small class sizes that enable one on one time with the professors as well as a sense of comfort knowing that you are not just another number in a classroom full of students. On campus, I am involved in HESS (Help Enrich Someone Special), and I also attend a weekly women’s prayer group and volunteer when the opportunity is available. Recently, I went with a group of students to the Gabriel Project, here in Wheeling. I am also a student worker in the Business Office on campus. With just finishing my first semester, I have high hopes for the years to come in discovering what other aspects Wheeling Jesuit has to offer. So far, all of my expectations prior to the start of the year have been exceeded."

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Darius Berry, '19

Chemistry & Pre-Pharmacy

"I was initially attracted to Wheeling Jesuit University because it offered small, personalized classes, and I appreciated the size of the campus. I’m from Cumberland, Maryland and the distance to WJU was a perfect fit – not too far for me to drive home on the weekends, yet not too close either. One of the best parts of Wheeling Jesuit is the opportunity to be involved on campus and in the community while still managing your studies. Along with being a student-athlete on the track team, I participate in several other activities including the Chemistry Club, Chemistry Honors Society, and the Black Student Union. I am also the Student Government President. Throughout my time here, I have taught freshman year seminar, served as a freshman mentor as well as a Cristo Rey mentor, delivered speeches at the Presidential Inauguration and freshman convocations, and participated in our annual Make a Difference Day of Service. I want to be able to make a difference in the lives of others in the same way Wheeling Jesuit has made a difference in mine."

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Lucy Hritzo, '18

Biology & Pre-Medicine
Double Minor: Theology & Literature

"Being a student leader has allowed me an array of experiences -- whether it is working in the lab on Lyme Disease research, participating in five choirs and directing two of them, leading nature activities with adventure society, helping students' voices be heard through Student Government, serving as a woman for others in Wheeling and the local community, or shining my light as a Luceat to guide new Cardinals along their respective paths -- and I am thankful to attend a school that provides so many opportunities for involvement. Jesuit captured my attention over the 21 other schools to which I applied because of the people. It truly is a family of caring and loving individuals who want to see the students succeed in everything we do. The people here make up the fabric of this campus, and the University would not be the same without them. The people that I have met over the last four years are the backbone and the light which keeps WJU the beacon on the hill shining out for everyone else to see."