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Foundations For Success

Esmeralda and Alex
Accent Summer 2019

Pre-professional programs help students prepare for graduate-level education required by many professions after earning a bachelor’s degree. MNU science majors have a stellar reputation for acceptance to medical school, and that’s just one of many professional fields open to our graduates. 
Here are two examples of students following that path -- one at the end of his MNU career, and one just beginning. Maybe you know a high school student who should consider MNU’s pre-professional education. If so, contact admissions at

Pathway to Profession Grows Clear
By Ella Phillips ('21)

Esmerelda Reyes (’22) is just beginning her collegiate career at MNU, but she discovers more about herself and her passions daily. The freshman kinesiology and pre-physical therapy major intends to specialize in pediatrics.

Her interest in physical therapy began after Esmerelda was injured and tore her ACL, the major ligament in the knee, in eighth grade. Throughout her six months of therapy, she enjoyed being able to connect with the physical therapist and become “friends” throughout a difficult time in her life. 

Several jobs interacting with children have also influenced her choice. One that impacted her most was her position as a tech at Preferred Physical Therapy where she observed how the physical therapists interact with children and their families.

But it wasn’t until Esmerelda got to college that she discovered a passion for missions. 

“MNU has taught me not to be ashamed of my beliefs. I have always known of God, but never felt connected with Him,” she says. “I could feel that He had been tapping me on the shoulder, trying to get my attention, but I would not stop and intentionally listen.” 

Unaware of what God wanted her to do, Esmerelda recalls a church service where a guest speaker discussed his experiences in the mission field. She could see herself doing the same thing and signed up to take a mission trip to Croc, Mexico. 

“While my time there was short, I learned more than I expected,” she says. “Now, I want to continue to see all of the amazing ways God moves through people’s lives throughout different cultures.”

Choosing to intentionally listen to God’s will for one’s life is not always an easy task, but Esmerelda says she feels so welcomed in her faith, that she can explore this at MNU.

“I feel like I can go to anyone at any time just to talk about faith without feeling pressured by the world,” she adds. ”Everyone I meet here seems like they are part of a bigger family.”

Giving many examples of why MNU feels like a big family, Esmerelda says she especially loves the small class sizes, community feeling and welcoming professors. 

“The professors are eager to share their wisdom with students and do everything in their power to help us with life,” she says.

MNU continues to help Esmerelda stay grounded in her faith while growing relationally and in the classroom. 

“For the future, my life is only going to get clearer as God lays out the path in front of me,” she declares. “I am not afraid of what is to come as I know God has the plan already made.”

Taking Hold of New Opportunities
By Kristen (Perry '06) Johnson

A new partnership between MNU and Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) recently allowed Alex Goertz (’19) to become the first student to graduate from the university’s new dual degree engineering program.

Through the program, students earn a bachelor’s degree in physics or chemistry from MNU, and then transfer to WashU to earn a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in engineering.

“The dual degree partnership program allows students from affiliate schools to get the best of a liberal arts education with the values and experiences of a small teaching-oriented school as well as the excellent technical training of a world-class research institution,” explains Dr. Jordan Mantha, a professor instrumental in bringing the program to MNU.

Alex will combine his MNU degree in both math and physics with three years at WashU, to earn a master’s in engineering.

The oldest of three boys, Alex comes from a family with a predisposition for math and science. His father works in IT and his mother minored in math. You could say math and science are in his blood. 

“As a kid I always gravitated toward anything where I was making things or solving problems,” he explains.

In choosing a college, the Lawrence, Kansas, native chose to research MNU because of the athletic opportunities it offered. He ran cross country and track for four years and played basketball for two years. He was also assured that MNU could offer him what he was looking for academically.

“With this program, we offer students quality liberal arts and technical education in a Christian environment,” Mantha says. “We prepare students to not only be employable but also adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing and increasingly technical society.”

Alex agrees that MNU provided the best of both worlds.

“What sets MNU apart is the faculty. The way they invest in the students and the university is not something you find everywhere,” he says.

The professors in math and science also gave Alex the chance to explore different career paths because they all come from diverse backgrounds. The small classes allowed him opportunities he would not have had at a larger school, such as working with Mantha to build a muon detector. A muon is a sub-atomic particle in the same class as an electron, but with a mass 200 times greater.

Alex’s muon detector will be on display in Osborne Hall once it’s finished and calibrated.

While Alex contemplates specializing in mechanical or aerospace engineering at WashU, his future looks bright. 

“I’m excited about the unknown challenges in my future,” he says. “MNU has prepared me to understand that I don’t have to shy away from challenges, but that I’m ready to tackle them.”

Typical pre-professional programs at MNU

Actuarial Science
Art Therapy
Athletic Training
Occupational Therapy
Physical Therapy
Physician Assistant
Mental Health
Public Safety
Sports Medicine
Veterinary Medicine


Fall 2019 Accent Cover image
This Issue

Fall 2019

We hope you enjoy this issue of Accent featuring women in leadership. From alumni to students to administration, MNU and the new We Lead initiative seek to empower our graduates.

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