• Jordan Dykstra Engel
  • 2009 Cedar Grove Belgium High School graduate
  • 2013 Marian Education Graduate
  • Five-year Wilson Elementary School first grade teacher
  • Current Oriole Lane Elementary School teacher

Why Marian University?

I always knew it was my home. My sister attended in the mid-1990s, met her husband there, and visiting her overnight, on the weekends and for Little Kin Weekend showed me it was the right size and that I could get involved. I went to a smaller high school, and larger schools were out of my comfort zone. I always knew that is where I wanted to go

What was Marian University like?

I loved having the opportunity to be a part of so many pieces on campus. I played soccer for four years, basketball for one, I worked in the Admissions Office, was a student mentor, and found my home working in the Public Relations Office for my final two years, where I helped run Marian’s social media accounts and took photos at campus events. I still talk about that job, the friends I made there and what a great opportunity it was and all that it taught me – I always felt connected to everything at Marian. Professors knew who I was and I could talk to them openly, and they helped prepare me for my career in teaching.

How did Marian University prepare you to be a teacher?

Attending Marian to major in Education was amazing. The class size being 12-14 was awesome, because it allowed you to bond with your fellow Education majors and the professors while building trust and the feeling of being in a safe space. I was able to get a job right out of college thanks to three of my professors that helped me prepare my resume, practice interview questions, and had connections with school districts in the area. I oftentimes think of the professors I had at Marian and the bonds we had, which I wanted to transfer to my classroom. When a student is able to trust the teacher, they are able to open up and learn and grow together, and that’s what my professors did for me at Marian. I am so thankful for Marian’s professors, because they helped shape me into the teacher I am today.

Would you have done anything differently?

When I think back to my Marian experience, there’s nothing I would change. I was given the tools to be a successful educator, not only in my education classes, but in the other positions I held around campus. As an athlete and by working on-campus, I learned a lot about time management and the importance of interpersonal skills. Being in athletics allowed me to make everlasting friendships with coaches, my teammates, and the head athletic trainer. Working in the PR Office gave me a chance to understand that if you don’t love what you’re doing that you’re in the wrong profession. It taught me a lot about photography, writing, and was the perfect balance of fun and work because we got the job done and enjoyed the process. Being an Admissions Student Worker allowed me to give potential students and their family’s tours around the place that I loved, and working as a student mentor allowed me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I think back to my time at Marian and it feels so long ago, but it was an experience that I’m glad I was able to have.

Alumni Jordan DykstraAlum Jordan Dykstra