Northwest University Blog

Write Your Own Story

Write Your Own Story

Each student at Northwest University has a story to tell. For some, the story is about how NU’s Christ-centered environment has deepened their faith. Others tell a story about living in a close-knit community and being supported by those around them to grow into more than they ever thought they could become. Many will tell you about wise and caring professors who encourage them to find and unleash their gifts. And there are those who will share how a global learning experience or internship put them on a new and exciting career trajectory.

While each story is different, they all have the same core: Because of NU, my life will never be the same.

You have a story—one that is full of possibility. Each page is yours to write. We hope the stories that follow will inspire you as you think about the tale you’ll tell someday. We think it’s going to be a great one. 

Placide Woodlin

Placide Woodlin

As a young Haitian, I grew up in a poor family. I have had a hard life and saw one way to change this story: education. It has always been a priority for me. I have made many sacrifices to realize my dreams while always meditating on my mom’s words: “Remember where you come from and know where you want to arrive.” Since then, I have never ceased asking for advice. I believe my global perspective and life experiences will drive me to succeed in the increasingly global business world. Being part of the soccer team at NU has also shaped and changed my life. My teammates and coaches are wonderful people who are very supportive and encouraging and have caring, good hearts. I am so grateful and happy to be a part of the Eagles family.

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

My time at Northwest has helped in redefining what friendship is. People have always been central to my passions and life, but it wasn’t until my time in college that I was able to understand the factors that produce healthy friendships. For a long time, I allowed the closest people in my life to define my worth and shape who I was. This created in me an unhealthy dependence on others. When I moved away from home and began taking a deeper look at who God has called me to be as a friend, so many things came into clearer focus. Friendship is something that ultimately should glorify God because He is the originator of community and relationship. Friendships must challenge you to be better, push you to understand God deeper, and cultivate vulnerability and trust that mirror the Creator.

Alex Lee

Alex Lee

In August 2014, I got on a plane and took a long journey to the United States. I was offered the opportunity to study at Northwest University in the beautiful and friendly city of Kirkland, Washington. As an international student who had no friends or family around, it was a new experience. Two things have since been the hallmark of my time here at Northwest University: opportunity and experience. A question I often get is, “Is your university small?” I always respond by saying that it may be smaller than others, but the opportunity to connect and have relationships with your professors and to reap those benefits and the opportunities they bring is enough for me. Being able to walk around campus and have a community that you recognize and know really makes NU feel like a family. NU has about 20% international students, and meeting, learning, and growing with students from all over the world and of different cultures opens up the experience of a lifetime. If you’re looking for great opportunities and experiences, I would say come to NU.

Gabrielle Neufeld

Gabrielle Neufeld

I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for college, but as I was applying, I was told about scholarship opportunities for musicians. I auditioned last minute and was awarded a scholarship that made Northwest look possible. However, I was still short the money I needed to confidently commit to NU, so I called the school. When they heard about my situation, they told me they would look for more scholarships for me, and if I really wanted to come, they would make it happen. They awarded me another scholarship, and these additional scholarships have made all four years of my NU story possible.

Tommy Meaney

Tommy Meaney

I can confidently say that my one year at NU has been the most growth-filled year of my entire life. I have made some of the most important friendships I will ever make, many of which have played a massive role in my growth as a follower of Christ and as a person overall. The men who I shared a floor with last year became like brothers to me, and many of them God used in a very big way to absolutely change my life. I truly am not exaggerating when I say that God used my friendships at NU to get me closer to Him in ways I had never experienced before.

Maranatha Tsegay

Maranatha Tsegay

Northwest has positively impacted my spiritual life. Here, I can openly pray and worship God. I can also freely share the word of God with my colleagues. One of the ways that God is spiritually equipping me is through chapel. It’s made my learning experience at NU more meaningful. God has spoken to me through our chapel speakers at various moments, and I have learned to spend quality time with God. Coming to NU has also opened doors for me to learn about global missions—a new story for me. This year, I have met students and professors who are serving nations around the world. Today I am involved in mission ministry, and this has given me a deeper understanding of what Christianity is.

Sarah Caviness

Sarah Caviness

The friendships I’ve made while at NU have impacted my life in many ways, and they came into my life so naturally: walking to class and striking up a conversation with someone I didn’t know, or late-night talks in the dorms, or sitting with someone new at The Caf or in chapel. All of these scenarios have been the start of meaningful friendships I’ve formed at NU that I can see myself having for the rest of my life. My friends are not perfect friends, but they are Godly friends who love and fear the Lord and help me do so, too. Coming into college I lacked good friends. I literally prayed so hard for meaningful friendships. Let me tell you, the Lord definitely provided!

Micah Lorenz

Micah Lorenz

A lot of the time in Christian academia and church circles, you get either a strong pastoral-minded leader, or you get an intellectually-minded leader. Finding a blend of these two is rare. That is exactly what makes Dr. Thomas such a terrific professor and why I am incredibly thankful for him. He calls me to a high standard academically, yet his heart is that of a pastor who understands the day-to-day of walking by faith. He understands the importance of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life, and he has been an excellent example of a God-fearing man for me. For this, I am truly thankful for Dr. Thomas and his ability to engage my mind, while giving space for God to engage my heart and soul.

Emilie Heisel

Emilie Heisel

NU has tremendously impacted my spiritual walk in just three years. The day I first stepped foot onto this campus, I knew there was something vibrant happening. I’m thankful for the worship nights in the halls, the 24-hour prayer in the chapel, and the professors who speak prophetically over my calling. Because of my time at NU, my ear towards the Holy Spirit is stronger, my interpretation of the Word is clearer, and my desire to walk in obedience is at its best.

Kirsten Philpott

Kirsten Philpott

The biology major has challenged me academically in many ways. From organic chemistry to cell biology, I am constantly learning relevant information about my field. Small class sizes have created a community geared toward not only learning but also supporting each other in our academic journeys and plans after school. Through opportunities such as my research internship through the school, I have found where my interests are peaked. My professors have encouraged and guided me through the process of applying to graduate school, where I hope to pursue epidemiology (the study of diseases). My long-term goal is to provide education to people groups about safe practices for improving health.

Josh Pineda

Josh Pineda

When I first arrived at NU, I was an ambitious, inexperienced, aspiring artist with grand visions of pop music immortality. But my story was singular. Without a mentor, all the ambition in the world was useless. That’s when I met Steve Smith, the director of NU’s Creatio program. Steve took me under his wing and taught me everything I know about the music industry. But more than the knowledge I gained from the classroom, Steve truly believed in me and my dreams. Now, three years later, a new story is emerging: I have a growing fan base, am on the verge of releasing my debut EP, and am connecting with record labels. Most importantly, I have found a purpose and a vision outside of myself to spread hope to others through my music. I wouldn’t be who I am today without Steve’s mentorship.

Gino Bruce

Gino Bruce

Northwest University has impacted my story in so many different ways. Spiritually, NU has helped play a huge factor in where my relationship is with God right now and has given me tools and resources to continue that after college. Here, I have opportunities to grow and learn in the classroom, from my theology classes to my science classes. My professors do more than just ask me about my studies; they ask about my relationship with God. This community has had a huge impact on my spiritual life as well, being surrounded by people who actually care about me and are willing to challenge me and help me grow in my spiritual life.

Megan Joslin

Megan Joslin (On the Right)

Academics at Northwest have continually exceeded my expectations in terms of their focus on holistic excellence. As a nursing student, I appreciate that classes are challenging enough to help me grow, but not impossible to manage through intentional effort. Especially during clinical rotations, I have been impressed by how professors have evaluated me not just on academics, but also on professionalism and spiritual application in my work. This is important to me because while anyone can complete nursing tasks well, it takes the Holy Spirit in a person to extend kindness, grace, and mercy, even when some patients may be challenging. Northwest has taught me how to flourish in a vocation where I continually must rely on Christ in me.

Morgan Joslin

Morgan Joslin (On the Left)

Northwest has challenged my idea of academics, showing me that the most effective learning comes from real-life experience. That’s why I love my nursing major. It lets me experience real nursing every week in my field of study. I’ve worked on four different cardiac units, and that has led me to consider cardiac nursing as a career path. I’ve had clinical rotations at Overlake, Providence, and Children’s Hospital, and through NU, obtained a nurse technician job at UW Medical Center that has taught me so much this past summer. Today, my story is about building my confidence and skills through real-world clinical experiences and using my education to invest in people.

Jelsy Gundao

Jelsy Gundao

Northwest University has definitely been a growing experience for me. Being at NU has been a difficult yet good two years. During this time, I have been surrounded by people who truly show me what caring for and loving a person actually looks like. I have had opportunities to be involved in different positions that have allowed me to expand my comfort zone. I have been challenged and encouraged by both staff and faculty here. NU is also where I found myself wondering where my identity rested and found myself solidifying it on Jesus, not on my performance. Overall, being a student at NU has allowed me to grow in ways I never thought I would.

Casey Miller

Casey Miller

This summer, I got the opportunity to go to Thailand through NU’s outreach program. I have a big heart for missions, so being able to go serve in a different country through NU impacted my life in numerous ways. In Thailand, I was able to see and experience many different cultures and lifestyles in a very unique way. Instead of just reading about the people and their customs in a textbook or hearing about them in a lecture, I got to go out and step into their world and experience firsthand what life for Thai people is like. Because of NU’s outreach program, I will forever carry and cherish many experiences, lessons, and memories that I gained in Thailand.