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.
Filippo Santandrea sits at a table in Arrupe

For graduate student Filippo Santandrea, the love of soccer expands far beyond the borders of his country.

Santandrea played for a club team when completing his undergraduate degree in Italy, but was looking to continue playing.

After finishing his degree in Italy, Santandrea heard from a friend who opened up an opportunity to travel and play soccer while also furthering his education.

“I played soccer seven years ago with a guy who’s playing and studying here. He’s...Read More

Veronica Clay sits in front of books in the library

Senior Veronica Clay has been passionate about writing poems and spoken word since she was young. The love she had for learning and writing lead her to publish her first book, Mile Marker 17, and later attend Rockhurst. Read her Q&A from this past spring below for more.

Q: What’s your major and grade?

A: I am a junior majoring in English with a concentration in both writing and literature, and I transferred here so it’s kind of been my freshman...Read More

Alexandra Meyer sits at a table under the pergola

Senior Alexandra Meyer had always planned to go to college, even though no one else in her family had previously attended. She wanted to be a sign language interpreter, but when a medical diagnosis changed her path, she was forced to choose a new track.

“I wanted to be a sign language interpreter for a really long time, and I speak sign language, so I’ve had this dream since fifth grade,” Meyer said. “I had always known that I had some kind of hearing problem, but we never had the...Read More

Kori Hines sits on a table in a meeting room in Arrupe.

Senior Kori Hines’ passion for helping others expands beyond the campus of Rockhurst. After being diagnosed with a blood cancer as an early teen, Hines saw a need to help the families of those diagnosed in a unique way. Read her interview below to find out more.


Q: What got you into the English/communication track and what do you want to do with that?

A: My goal is to get my doctorate in something. I want to be a college professor eventually. I started...Read More

Clare Mitchell stands outside of the Mabee Chapel.

Although senior Clare Mitchell is a Rockhurst legacy, choosing Rockhurst wasn’t an immediate decision.

“I was actually baptized in Mabee Chapel. Both of my parents came here and I’ve had a bunch of cousins come here before me,” Mitchell said. “It has always kind of been on my radar, but I didn’t necessarily see myself coming here until second semester of my senior year.”

Mitchell looked and applied at many schools before deciding to come to Rockhurst.

“I ended up...Read More

Shawn Taylor sits in front of the St. Ignatius statue

Sophomore Shawn Taylor first dipped his toes into information technology several years ago at various programs.

“I have been doing different programs that have to do with IT,” Taylor said.

Last summer, Taylor was involved in a summer program at Ranken Technical College, where he had the opportunity to work with computing systems and software and dive into IT networking.

He recalls being interested in IT even before this.

“I always had a passion with dealing with...Read More

Annika Svoboda sits in front of some tulips on campus

Although from Wasilla, Alaska, senior Annika Svoboda focused her college search on the Midwest. In the end, Svoboda found herself traveling over 3,000 miles to attend Rockhurst University. Read her interview below. 


Q: What were you looking for in a university?

A: I was definitely looking for a smaller community. I knew that I didn’t want to go to a big state school. I wanted to get an education that was faith-based. I mean, basically I chose Rockhurst...Read More

Alexis Medina sits on the Kinerk Commons ledge

Junior Alexis Medina had always planned to be a first-generation college student. Although he knew that, as a Hispanic male, statistics were not on his side, he knew that this would drive him to work harder to overcome those odds.

“I know in middle school and high school it was maybe more of an unreachable goal because statistics for Hispanic males graduating high school, or even going to college, aren’t that good,” Medina said.

Medina’s parents set an example for him to keep...Read More

Virginia Vanegas sits in front of the Rockhurst "R" shrub

When she was only 15 months old, senior Virginia Vanegas made the journey from El Salvador to the United States with her parents.

Hoping to create a better life for the family, Vanegas’ parents first moved to the city of Santa Ana from their village when her father got a job in the city. Soon, they were met with some challenges.

“There were a couple instances,” Vanegas said. “The house that we lived in was broken into and he wasn’t getting paid enough.”

Taking these...Read More

Sarah Hummel holds a canvas with the words "love grows here"

Being crafty has its perks. Junior Sarah Hummel was able to take what she loved doing and turn it into a business. Hummel recalls always being known for her creativity in high school.

“My friends would want me to make things for them, or any time there was a birthday they would get something that I made, whether they liked it or not,” Hummel said.

Originally, Hummel had not considered putting these items for sale. Her sister, Maggie, served as one of the biggest early...Read More