Humans of RU

At the core of what makes Rockhurst, Rockhurst are its students. Humans of RU focuses on sharing the people who make Rockhurst University unique through stories, profiles and interviews. Each week a new student is featured, showcasing just one piece of the puzzle.
Marc Kerby, M.Ed., and daughter

Tell us about yourself:

I am married to my high school sweetheart, Kara. We've been married 22 years. We have three kids: Cole (20), Sofie (15) and Max (11). This past year was crazy. My wife went back to school to finish her associate's degree and my oldest son started his sophomore year of college. The entire family was in school! 

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in the Kansas City area (Pleasant Hill). In...Read More

Sydney Shindler poses in front of a woodpile.

Everything’s bigger in Texas. There’s no messing with that – just ask any Texan.

But bigger isn’t always better… or the right fit.

For Houston native Sydney Shindler, she had been to a few of the huge Texas universities to visit friends or drive through.

“Whenever you're at those universities, they’re massive,” she said. “I know when I was in high school and our high school teachers would be preparing us to go...Read More

Kaley Marcinski holds up her anatomy cards for a photo.

What do anatomy, art and playing cards have in common? 

Senior Kaley Marcinski has been working on playing cards with anatomical drawings on them since she was a freshman. Since she was always creating anatomical doodles, her advisor, Annie Lee, Ph.D, professor of chemistry, encouraged her to pursue her interest in art. 

Fast forward, Marcinski then took an independent study within the art department.

“I saw that there was a picture in the Gray’s...Read More

Two students stand in front of clothing rack

Sitting in professor Richard Wagner, Ph.D, assistant professor of economics’ Sustainability and Environmental Policy class last semester, senior transfer students Alexis Sims and Rachel Larberg were tasked with the assignment of coming up with a way that they could promote sustainability on campus. They came up with some ideas, but another took its place. They knew that they had an initiative that would benefit Rockhurst. They took their idea to Laura Fitzpatrick, Ph.D, professor of...Read More

Stockton Grunewald sits at a desk in Arrupe Hall.

Sophomore Stockton Grunewald has always loved learning about the past and reading about policy. His passion for these subjects led him to studying history and political science. Through his studies, he was encouraged by adjunct psychology professor, Alex McEntire, Ph.D., to put pen to paper on an idea for a story he had been thinking about for a while.

The book titled, “End of the Line”, contains a little bit of mythology, a little bit of history and a little bit of theology...Read More

Jessica Shea stands in front of Arrupe Hall

Q: How did you end up at Rockhurst?

A: One of my aunts actually suggested Rockhurst during my junior year of high school at Kapaun Mount Carmel. I had attended a Catholic school my entire life so she thought I would enjoy everything this college had to offer. At that time, I had my eyes set on Kansas University as my dad played basketball there and my aunt was in a sorority that I loved. KU was my number one school until colleges starting recruiting me for...Read More

Nelson Searcy poses for a photo in Arrupe Hall.

Junior Nelson Searcy recalls having an attraction to Rockhurst’s six core values after arriving on campus. One in particular, reflection and discernment, stuck out to him over the others.

“People are so caught up in the business of life and they don’t think to just sit down and give themselves a minute to think from a big picture perspective,” Searcy said.

Sitting down and taking the time to sift through his thoughts has helped Searcy make sure that he’s paying close...Read More

Patrick Bira sits near the St. Ignatius statue.

Patrick Bira, ‘81, credits his time at Rockhurst as the roots for his successes in his career. Throughout his 32 years in healthcare administration, Bira has had several opportunities to make big differences in small communities.

This passion to make improvements for the betterment of the entire community stems from a decades-old admiration of the Jesuits and their mission.

Bira was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended De Smet Jesuit High School. It was...Read More

Stephen Wingo sits near the St. Ignatius statue

You might have seen some of sophomore Stephen Wingo’s artwork in the Thomas More Dining Room this past fall. Showcasing his talents, Wingo creates drawings for the chalk walls and on the windows in the cafeteria. His passion of creating and expressing himself through art began at a young age. Read more about it below.

Q: What led you to Rockhurst?

A: Initially, Rockhurst caught my eye because of the wonderful scholarship offer. I decided to tour the campus...Read More

Janelle Dempsey sits on a bench in Arrupe hall.

Junior Janelle Dempsey recalls always having a passion for travel and language. She loves the idea of being fully immersed in another culture and has a dream to live somewhere outside of the U.S. someday.

Dempsey was able to finally fulfill this passion this past year when she had opportunities to travel abroad on a service immersion trip to the Dominican Republic, and again a few months later when she traveled to Italy to study abroad for a month.

Choosing Rockhurst was an...Read More