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.
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 volleyball - RU being one of those schools.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 attention to the events happening in his life and the ways he’s responding to them. Reflection and discernment, according to Searcy, is one way to foster personal growth.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.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 and was sold. It helped that Rockhurst had such a positive reputation in the Kansas City area as providing a quality education with a knack for service.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

Nico Leon sits on a bench on the tennis courts.

Junior Nico Leon has had a tennis racquet in his hand for as long as he can remember.

“I have pictures of me dragging a racquet in my house when I was two,” Leon said. “I started training and practicing when I was six and then I have been playing for 14 years of my life.”

From Guayaquil, Ecuador, the accounting and finance major wanted to continue his tennis and academic careers in the United States. In order to do so, Leon’s family hired a scout to look at and reach out to...Read More

Emily Dickson sits on the bleachers on bourke field

You arrive at the course, wearing your racing uniform, warm-ups, and your hair back in your favorite racing hairdo. The smell of freshly cut grass fills your nose, your feet feel warm in your shoes, and you see teams filing into the tent city. You survey the course, it is a (insert weather) day, but no matter the conditions you feel strong, rested, and ready to run a great race.

Freshman Emily Dickson has spent much of her life participating in sports. From a young...Read More

Andrew sits in front of a window

Sophomore Andrew Mallon was looking for somewhere he could be a part of something bigger than himself. His senior year of high school, he was considering applying to seminary. In January, he discerned out of it but realized he still had to make a decision about college. Thinking he was wanting to work with the Jesuits, he began looking at Jesuit schools.

“I obviously looked at Saint Louis University being from St. Louis. I had heard about Rockhurst before,” Mallon said. “I went to...Read More

Paola Rodriguez sits in a hammock on campus

Sophomore Paola Rodriguez always knew she wanted to further her education despite her immigration status. Now, she’s working a local organization to help students like herself fulfill their dreams of becoming a college graduate. Read below to find out more.

Q: How did you choose Rockhurst?

A: I knew I wanted to be an occupational therapist, so I started by looking at the top 50 schools in the U.S. and I applied to I think 30 of them. I got accepted to a handful...Read More

Caroline Adams sits in the big blue Adirondack chair on campus.

Figuring out a career path can be difficult. For junior Caroline Adams, her childhood paved the way for what she would ultimately become interested in as a career.

“I have so many photos from my childhood, so many albums. So I was always kind of interested in that,” Adams said.

Adams’ professional photography training came from a job she held in high school with a portrait company.

“I applied for Picture People at the local mall,” Adams said. “I was trained...Read More